Around the NFL: Day 1 draft recap

Here's a quick look at some of the Day 1 draft happenings around the NFL.

When the Houston Texans broke the mold and selected North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams with the first selection in the 2006 college player draft, this draft could have gone in many directions.

Houston's passing on running back Reggie Bush (U.S.C.) may come back to haunt the Texans down the road. Bush may not be a feature back to carry the pigskin 25-times a game, but he is an explosive presence the Texans offense lacked. Coming out of the backfield and ability in the return game made Bush so desirable.

This isn't to take away from the selection of Williams, a hard-charging athletic marvel at defensive end. The Houston defensive scheme is going to be a base 4-3 defense and the team does not have a legitimate pass-rushing end, thus the selection of Williams could fill the void.

With Bush slipping to the second-pick, the New Orleans Saints wasted no time in selecting the dynamic playmaker and appear poised to utilize his skills in the same backfield with Deuce McAllister.

Needless to note, the Saints are one satisfied organization today. Additionally, New Orleans added a starting center to the mix on draft day, when they acquired Jeff Faine from the Cleveland Browns, in a move where the Saints moved back nine positions in the second round.

While the selection of Williams was somewhat a surprise, watching U.S.C. quarterback Matt Leinart slip to the 10th-selection (Arizona) may be the blessing Cardinals' head coach Denny Green could have only imagined. When starter Kurt Warner is ready to hang-up then cleats, Leinart should be ready to run the Cardinals potentially explosive offense.

Texas quarterback Vince Young to Tennessee makes sense. The Titans did the same with Steve McNair, selecting the player and let him learn before throwing him into the fire and the same is expected with Young. Athletically gifted, Young will have the opportunity to learn the pro-game from offensive coordinator Norm Chow, which should be a significant boost to Young's mental preparation at the next level.

In a draft of few early surprises, such as the Buffalo Bills nabbing of safety Donte Whitner (Ohio State) with the eighth-pick in the draft, much of the day Saturday went fairly close to what the experts envisioned. Whitner was a highly sought defensive back, but this selection was the shocker of the first round.

The New York Jets and Green Bay Packers went the safe route (if there is such a notion), with the Jets selecting offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson and the Packers jumping on the opportunity to select linebacker A.J. Hawk from Ohio State. Ferguson has the ability to be a force at the tackle spot for the next decade as the Jets looked to revamp their offensive line (also selected center Nick Mangold on day one).

Looking for starting quality players, the San Francisco 49ers had a tremendous day-one in the draft. The selection of tight-end Vernon Davis (Maryland) and wide receiver Brandon Williams (Wisconsin) provides this organization with a pair of legitimate receivers for quarterback Alex Smith, while adding a pass-rushing threat in Manny Lawson (OLB).

And the strong got stronger on draft day, with the Pittsburgh Steelers trading up in the first round to select wide receiver Santonio Holmes (Ohio State) and kick returner Willie Reid (Florida State) to help offset the loss of Antwaan Randle El in free agency. The Steelers selection of hard-hitting safety Anthony Smith is a nice fit.


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