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Wednesday, March 01, 2006 

Unnecessary Mock Draft II

Our second unnecessary and under-achieving attempt at mocking the NFL Draft (NYC, April 29-30).

1. Houston Texans - Reggie Bush (RB USC) – The Texans are currently surveying the league to determine the trade value of this pick. This is something you have to do when your team has more holes than a brand new pair of Abercrombie jeans. No matter: Bush will be selected #1, regardless of whether or not Houston is serious about dealing. I refuse to believe that any NFL GM is stupid enough to pass on Reggie.

2. New Orleans Saints - Vince Young (QB, Texas) - In my opinion, Matt Leinart is clearly a better prospect than Young, but the Saints will take the Longhorn after his brilliant performance at the Rose Bowl. Young can give the franchise an identity and has a strong following in this part of the country. However, the controversy surrounding Vinny's Wonderlic test results (first reported as 6, later as 16) isn't helping his draft stock. It remains to be seen how this situation plays out, but no team wants a QB under center who has the same IQ as Sloth from "The Goonies."

3. Tennessee Titans - Matt Leinart (QB, USC) - Why take the QB with questionable throwing motion and test results when the battle-tested Leinart is available? Reuniting with Norm Chow as Steve McNair's backup is a perfect scenario for Leinart. The pressure will be off him during training camp but McNair is a lock to miss a couple games at some point during the year, giving Leinart some tick. If the Saints resist the pressure from fans to take Young, Leinart will be their guy at #2.

4. New York Jets - D’Brickashaw Ferguson (OT, Virginia) - Those of you who read Noob Sports' first Unnecessary Mock Draft know that D'Brickashaw is my boy... and that was before this week's "Sporting News" arrived in my mailbox. The magazine included an article about my sweet Brick's love for Dave Chappelle, his loyalty to his 2002 Ford Taurus with 80k miles under the hood, and his focus on being the best. Needless to say, this could be the start of a long love affair. I would sell SEL to the Gypsies if it meant the Brick would be heading to Motown.

5. Green Bay Packers - Mario Williams (DE, NC St.) - NFL execs love athletic freaks like Williams and he will go very highly in the draft. The Packers will be tempted to pair Mario with Kabeer Gbaja Biamila at defensive end and let them loose, and it's not a bad idea. Williams could have immmediate impact chasing the not so mobile Joey Harrington, Rex Grossman, and Brad Johnson in the NFC North (Culpepper can't be counted on). Green Bay will need to get significantly better this offseason if they hope to keep Favre from retirement and Williams would improve the club instantly.

6. San Francisco 49ers* - A.J. Hawk (OLB, Ohio St.) - Defensive minded 49ers head coach Mike Nolan will love A.J. Hawk. If the Niners keep Julian Peterson, their linebacking corps will be the strength of the team.

7. Oakland Raiders* - Jay Cutler (QB, Vanderbilt) - Cutler has been getting all kinds of hype since the bowl season ended and that has continued at the combine. While Leinart and Young scheduled personal workouts, Cutler showed up ready to compete but didn't set the world on fire. Draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. said "Cutler hasn't improved his draft position by what he did at the Senior Bowl or combine. He had a good senior season and finished strong. If you like Cutler based on how he finished the season, that's fine, but don't think that he's moved up dramatically based on the Senior Bowl and combine." Fair enough, but many "experts" are still raving about the Vandy star, even making comparisons to a young Brett Favre. Cutler's swagger should get him drafted in the top 10.

8. Buffalo Bills - Haloti Ngata (DT, Oregon) - The 6'5, 340 lb. junior is athletic enough to be named a first team All American. The Bills have a bigtime need for a DT so this is a natural fit. I am still not a big fan of taking DTs in the top 10, but it happens every year.

9. Detroit Lions - Michael Huff (DB, Texas) - Huff impressed me as a Longhorn and is big enough (6'1, 205) to play safety or cornerback in the league. Cutler, Jimmy Williams, Tamba Hali, and Winston Justice are other options. I wonder if the Lions would be better off trading this pick, as there isn't a player available at this point who they absolutely need. Perhaps Millen can instead use the pick to add an established veteran. Ray Lewis won't happen, but it would be pretty boss.

10. Arizona Cardinals - Vernon Davis (TE, Maryland) - Dennis Green can't pass up offense and Davis would open things up for Kurt Warner, Anquan Boldin, and Larry Fitzgerald. At 6'3 and 250 lbs., he is the prototypical tight end for the new millenium.

11. St. Louis Rams - Jimmy Williams (CB, Virginia Tech)
12. Cleveland Browns - Chad Greenway (OLB, Iowa)
13. Baltimore Ravens - DeAngelo Williams (RB, Memphis)
14. Philadelphia Eagles - Santonio Holmes (WR, Ohio St.)
15. Atlanta Falcons - Tamba Hali (DE, Penn St.)
16. Miami Dolphins - DeMeco Ryans (LB, 'Bama)
17. Minnesota Vikings - LenDale White (RB, USC)
18. Dallas Cowboys - Winston Justice (OT, USC)
19. San Diego Chargers - Ashton "Feelin' On" Youboty (CB, Ohio St.)
20. Kansas City Chiefs - Chad Jackson (WR. Florida)
21. New England Patriots - Laurence Maroney (RB, Minnesota)
22. Denver Broncos (from Washington) - Ko Simpson (DB , South Carolina)
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Mathias Kiwanuka (DE, Boston College)
24. Cincinnati Bengals - Gabe Watson (DT, Michigan)
25. New York Giants - Bobby Carpenter (LB, Ohio St.)
26. Chicago Bears - Leonard Pope (TE, Georgia)
27. Carolina Panthers - Sinorice Moss (WR, The U.)
28. Jacksonville Jaguars - Elvis Dumervil (DE, Louisville)
29. Denver Broncos - Claude Wroten (DT, LSU)
30. Indianapolis Colts - Maurice Drew (RB, UCLA)
31. Seattle Seahawks - Ernie Sims (LB, FSU)
32. Pittsburgh Steelers - Brian Calhoun (RB, Wisconsin)

-NJV

You forgot to mention that Denny Green would be an idiot to pass up a TE that is faster than both Boldin and Fitzgerald. In case you missed it, Vernon Davis ran a 4.38 at the combine. The fastest time of the week was a 4.32, and Matt Jones (WR-JAX) ran a 4.38 last year.

I'm not going to get into Lions draft strategy, but it should be noted that the Lions have had very mixed results drafting players from Texas:
1997 - 5th Overall, Bryant Westbrook - major disappointment.
2001 - 2nd Round, Shaun "Big Baby" Rogers - one of the finest D-tackles in the NFL, could dominate like no other if he didn't have mental lapses and maturity issues. Overall, this was probably the best draft selection by Detroit in my lifetime.
2004 - 7th Overall, Roy Williams - Great rookie season, significant regression as a sophomore coupled with development of questions about his character and work ethic (see fight with Kevin Jones this season)

So will the lions reach for the Burnt Orange one more time? Looks like there will be reasons to think so (other Texas alums on the squad, history of drafting UT players), and reasons not to (Bad experience with players from the Texas secondary, questionable character from everyone who comes out of that school).

And another note: Concerning VY's wonderlic test - word is he scored a 6 on the test the first time he took it, but it was improperly administered or graded, and when he took it again he received a 16, or 4 points below the average person.
Mind you, test results aren't all that important, here is a list of some other QB results:
Steve Young - 33, Troy Aikman - 29, Eli Manning - 39, Peyton Manning - 28, Tom Brady - 33 (go Blue), Alex Smith - 40, Ryan Fitzpatrick - he took it three times: 37, 38 and a perfect 50.
Heath Schuler - 16, Akili Smith - 15, Aaron Brooks - 17, Jeff George - 10, Ryan Leaf - 27, Dan Marino - 14.

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