Speaking of free agency, the Packers lost out in their attempt to sign LB LaVar Arrington. Expect them to make a strong push to sign DB Charles Woodson before the draft. That being said, this draft will include a trade that involves the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints. The Packers will trade their 1st round pick in the 2006 draft (number 5 overall), WR Javon Walker and their third round pick in the 2007 draft to New Orleans for WR Donte' Stallworth and the Saints' first round pick in the 2006 draft (number 2 overall).
The Packers desperately want DE Mario Williams or RB Reggie Bush. This trade assures them of getting one of the two, most likely Williams. The Packers also rid themselves of a malcontent, while also getting a decent WR with upside that had his best season as a pro in 2005 with 70 catches and 7 TDs. The Saints are reportedly shopping Stallworth, and head coach Mike McCarthy has a history with Stallworth. The irony is that Walker will join CB Mike McKenzie in the Saints locker room. I hope the Saints have some extra crying towels available.
Seriously, the Saints really need help at linebacker, but taking A.J. Hawk at number two overall would have been too early. This way the Saints can still get their man at number five, while also getting some other value. The Packers don't lose any picks in this year's draft in the trade, and also get one of the two guys they really want.
Anyway, here we go. I will comment on the first five picks of the draft.
* - Forecasted trade
1) Houston Texans - RB Reggie Bush (USC)
The Texans are currently negotiating with both Bush and Mario Williams. My guess is that they will get a deal done with Bush. And why not? What a multi-faceted weapon. Bush truly could be the next Gale Sayers.
2)* Green Bay Packers - DE Mario Williams (NC State)
The Packers are ecstatic to get Williams. He has the ability to help the defense in many phases. He can rush the passer, play the run well and also be a three down lineman. The overall defense will improve, including the secondary, just because of his presence.
3) Tennessee Titans - QB Matt Leinart (USC)
The Titans recent treatment of QB Steve McNair really illuminates the importance of this pick.
Offensive coordinator Norm Chow is very familiar with Leinart, having worked with him at USC. Leinart is the safest pick of the three "elite" QBs, due to the pro style offense he ran at USC.
4) New York Jets- OT D'Brickashaw Ferguson (Virginia)
The Jets might opt for a QB here, but they really need someone to help keep their QB from getting planted on his back. Ferguson is easily the best OT in this draft. The Jets will have a bookend OT for years to come.
5)* New Orleans Saints - LB A.J. Hawk (Ohio State)
The Saints get the guy they wanted. Hawk is always around the football and has a knack for making a big play. If the Packers don't trade up to take Williams, this is the guy I would expect them to take at number five overall.
6) San Francisco 49ers - TE Vernon Davis (Maryland)
7) Oakland Raiders - QB Vince Young (Texas)
8) Buffalo Bills- DT Haloti Ngata (Oregon)
9) Detroit Lions - DB Michael Huff (Texas)
10) Arizona Cardinals - QB Jay Cutler (Vanderbilt)
11) St. Louis Rams - CB Jimmy Williams (Virginia Tech)
12) Cleveland Browns - LB Chad Greenway (Iowa)
13) Baltimore Ravens - OT Winston Justice (USC)
14) Philadelphia Eagles - WR Santonio Holmes (Ohio State)
15) Denver Broncos - WR Chad Jackson (Florida)
16) Miami Dolphins- LB DeMeco Ryans (Alabama)
17) Minnesota Vikings - RB DeAngelo Williams (Memphis)
18) Dallas Cowboys - LB Ernie Sims (Florida State)
19) San Diego Chargers - CB Tye Hill (Clemson)
20) Kansas City Chiefs - CB Ashton Youboty (Ohio State)
21) New England Patriots - RB LenDale White (USC)
22) San Francisco 49ers - CB Antonio Cromartie (Florida State)
23) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - OT Marcus McNeill (Auburn)
24) Cincinnati Bengals - DT Brodrick Bunkley (Florida State)
25) New York Giants - CB Jonathan Joseph (South Carolina)
26) Chicago Bears - TE Leonard Pope (Georgia)
27) Carolina Panthers - Laurence Maroney (Minnesota)
28) Jacksonville Jaguars - LB Bobby Carpenter (Ohio State)
29) New York Jets - DT Gabe Watson (Michigan)
30) Indianapolis Colts - RB Joseph Addai (LSU)
31) Seattle Seahawks - DE Mathias Kiwanuka (Boston College)
32) Pittsburgh Steelers - S Darnell Bing (USC)