1 Houston – Reggie Bush RB USC. The logical pick now that they have committed to QB David Carr. He can be an impact player, as he will display running, receiving and kick and punt return skills.
2 New Orleans – AJ Hawk LB Ohio State. Signing Drew Brees takes the pressure off them drafting a QB. The defense needs work. The pick comes down to Mario Williams and AJ Hawk, both excellent players. LB is more of a need.
3 Tennessee – Matt Leinart QB USC. The Titans were pleased when the Saints signed Brees, which likely allowed Leinart to fall to them. He will reunite with offensive coordinator Norm Chow. Since it looks like Steve McNair will be released, they still have Billy Volek as an interim QB while Leinart gets ready to play.
4 NY Jets – D'Brickashaw Ferguson OT Virginia. Even though they can still draft a QB here, with Patrick Ramsey acquired, they can concentrate on rebuilding a line that was decimated in free agency. Ferguson is a good start. He will be a prime LT for many years.
5 Green Bay – Mario Williams DE North Carolina State. Brett Favre has done them a great disservice. He needs to get off the pot so they can move on. The Pack needs help all over the roster especially on defense. They were hoping to come out of the draft with either Williams or Hawk. Williams is there so they grab him.
6 San Francisco – Vernon Davis TE Maryland. The Niners have so many holes to fill that a trade down to accumulate picks would be a good idea. If they stay here they will get a very good player. We considered Michael Huff, but Vernon Davis is too good to pass up. He will be a vertical threat at TE in the mode of the new big and fast TEs that are dominating the league.
7 Oakland – Vince Young QB Texas. This seems like a natural fit for both. The Raiders like to collect award-winning players especially those with speed and with Aaron Brooks on board they can bring Young along slowly.
8 Buffalo – Brodrick Bunkley DT Florida State. This is a need position and Bunkley has moved to the top of the DT list. He is a more athletic replacement for Sam Adams. The Bills could possibly trade JP Losman and draft Cutler here.
9 Detroit – Michael Huff CB/S Texas. After three years of drafting WRs in the first round, they address a serious defensive need. We would try Huff at corner, but his ultimate position will probably be safety. He can be an immediate impact player.
10 Arizona – Jay Cutler QB Vanderbilt. In a normal year this may be a little high for Cutler, but once the three QBs are gone the talent falls off sharply. The Cards have to think about an upgrade for Kurt Warner so why not get a head start on it by drafting Cutler.
11 St. Louis – Chad Greenway LB Iowa. The Rams need help on defense. What has set them back is that they made three first round picks at DT and none of them worked out. Greenway helps fill another defensive position of need. Despite not having a good postseason, he is a solid tackler and playmaker.
12 Cleveland – Kamerion Wimbley LB Florida State. Despite adding Willie McGinest and Ted Washington the Browns still need to address their defensive front seven. Wimbley can become a prototypical 3-4 LB. He has good size, can run and looks like a playmaker.
13 Baltimore – Jason Allen S Tennessee. The Ravens have a huge hole at safety and Allen would be an excellent fit. Allen was a top-rated DB going into the season but a hip injury caused him to miss substantial time. He is heeled now.
14 Philadelphia – Haloti Ngata DT Oregon. Concerns over stopping the run have surfaced in Philly. Ngata is a good athlete for his size, but there are concerns over his work ethic during games. Proper motivation could turn this boom or bust player into a boom.
15 Denver from Atlanta – Santonio Holmes WR Ohio State. The Broncos have two special needs, WR and RB. There are only two first round receivers so they grab one here. Holmes is an explosive receiver. They don't have much behind an aging Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie.
16 Miami – Winston Justice OT USC. The Fish did a lot of roster repair in the offseason but they still need help on the O-line. This is not a particularly deep year for offensive tackles so they snag one of the best. Justice has a great upside, but character issues are a concern.
17 Minnesota – Demeco Ryans LB Alabama. The Vikes were active in the offseason. They made a controversial move dealing Culpepper and they will need to select a QB, but not here. Ryans brings athletic ability and toughness to a weak LB corps.
18 Dallas – Andrew Whitworth OT LSU. The Cowboys made a big splash in Jerry Jones style by signing team-killer T.O. They struggled last year when their O-line was hit with injuries and they didn't have capable replacements. Whitworth isn't pretty, but he is as tough as they come and he will battle hard.
19 San Diego – Chad Jackson WR Florida. The Bolts need to turn over their entire WR unit and this selection starts the process. Jackson is a great athlete with tremendous speed. He could also be productive in their new offense, which is now led by Philip Rivers, the guy the Giants drafted and used to obtain Manning.
20 Kansas City – Jimmy Williams CB Virginia Tech. The Chiefs secondary is in shambles. Even if they eventually sign Ty Law, they need an upgrade especially at CB. Jimmy Williams is a big corner with speed and athletic skills. He can be a little unstable off the field.
21 New England – Tye Hill CB Clemson. The Pats roster took a beating in the offseason, but they are masters of picking up the pieces in the second tier free agents. They have needs at LB, DB, WR and RB. The secondary was particularly porous so Tye Hill makes a lot of sense. He's not big, but he can run and cover.
22 Denver from Washington – Laurence Maroney RB Minnesota. The filled their WR need with the 15th pick, now they fill their RB need. Would you feel good going into the season with oft-injured Tatum Bell and Ron Dayne? We wouldn't. So Maroney is the slashing type runner that can be successful behind the Broncos proficient line.
23 Tampa Bay – Manny Lawson DE/LB North Carolina State. The Bucs are a good team who, like the Giants, will go as far as their young QB Chris Simms will take them. In Lawson, they get a versatile player who could play down DE as well as an OLB. He brings great pass rush ability to a D-Line that is beginning to show age at DE.
24 Cincinnati – Matthias Kiwanuka DE Boston College. The Bengals are suspect at DE. Kiwi did not have a particularly good postseason. He was not impressive at the Senior Bowl, but he has pass rush potential and that's what Cincy needs.
25 NYG – Bobby Carpenter LB Ohio State. We thought that since Nick Greisen did not get a lot of interest in free agency that he might return, but so far it hasn't happened. Signing LaVar Arrington would change the strong need for a weakside LB. The son of Rob Carpenter, Bobby can be a dynamic OLB. He's tough and he plays hard. If he were off the board, Plan B would be Florida State LB Ernie Sims.
26 Chicago – Antonio Cromartie CB Florida State. The Bears have specific needs at CB, LB and TE. The best value at this point is Cromartie. He is an underclassman who missed most of the year with an ACL, but he has exciting ability. He has great size and speed and he plays the ball well. If not for the serious knee injury he would have gone in the top half of the round.
27 Carolina – Donte Whitner S Ohio State. They are giving up on Thomas Davis as a safety and moving him to linebacker. Whitner will replace Davis. He had an impressive postseason. He has great speed and the range to play the ball. He does everything well including tackling. He will fit nicely in John Fox's defensive schemes.
28 Jacksonville – Roger McIntosh LB Miami. Linebacker is the priority need for the Jags. McIntosh has a lot of good attributes including speed. He was a very productive college player. He can hit and he takes on blocks well. He also has decent cover skills.
29 NY Jets from Atlanta/Denver – Thomas Howard LB Texas-El Paso. Another offensive lineman would not be out of the question here even though they took Ferguson earlier. Howard is a little raw but he would be a nice fit at OLB in their 3-4 defense. He's a very good athlete who needs to refine his big-time skills.
30 Indianapolis – DeAngelo Williams RB Memphis. Losing Edgerin James left them with a huge hole at RB. Williams has a lot of flash. He's not tall, but he can run. He is used to being a workhorse back at Memphis. His only real question is durability. The Colts offense needs a runner to balance the attack and he can get the job done.
31 Seattle – Charles Spencer G Pittsburgh. The defection of Steve Hutchinson has them scrambling at guard. Right now they have penciled in Pork Chop Womack at tackle. Spencer is a bit of a gamble because of some off-field issues. He has played DT and OT, but he projects as a guard. He showed incredible toughness and a nasty demeanor at the Senior Bowl.
32 Pittsburgh – LenDale White RB USC. A very poor pro day workout caused White to fall. He was fat and out of shape and obviously put in very little effort to prepare for the workout, which is not good. He did nine fewer reps than the significantly smaller Reggie Bush. His indifference cost him. Still, he is a great talent and Cowher could whip him into shape. If so they will have an outstanding back.
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