Cadillac Williams, RB Tampa Bay Draft Position: Round 1, 4th overall
Stats: 223 carries, 924 yards 5TDs rushing. 16 catches, 67 yards receiving.
Gets a ton of pub because of his elusiveness, but his power is what impresses me. He can run between the tackles like a 235 lb back, but has the quickness of a 200-pounder. Constantly gets yards after contact and is the biggest reason that Tampa’s offense is having success. Moreover, he’s doing it behind a sub-par offensive line and with a young QB. He’ll be in Hawaii within the next two years.
Ronnie Brown, RB Miami Draft Position: Round 1, 2nd overall
Stats: 187 carries, 841 yards 4TDs rushing. 28 catches, 208 yards receiving.
Still splitting time with Ricky Williams, but he’s showing why he was the 2nd overall pick. Has the power, speed and ability in the passing game to be very, very special. Like his college running mate, Cadillac Williams, Brown is playing behind a poor offensive line and with even less help from his QB. Had one of this season’s best runs by any RB against Kansas City, where he went off left tackle, made contact with a defender and tip-toed the sideline all the way to the end zone.
Heath Miller, TE Pittsburgh Draft Position: Round 1, 30th overall
Stats: 33 catches, 318 yards 6TDs receiving.
Miller’s stats certainly aren’t overwhelming, but this guy’s a perfect fit for Pittsburgh’s offense. He’s currently 2nd on the team in receptions, finds the end zone and is a solid blocker. For a team that’s focused on ball-control and defense, Miller’s been everything that the Steelers had hoped for and should only get better as Pittsburgh adds more weapons for QB Ben Roethlisberger. His blocking doesn’t show up on the scoreboard, but coaches know his value extends to more than his receiving capability.
Lofa Tatupu, MLB Seattle Draft Position: Round 2, 45th overall
Stats: 94 Tackles, 4.5 Sacks, 3INT, 1 FR, 7PDs.
Tatupu is making every scout or Draft “expert” (including yours truly) eat their words about him being a reach in Round 2. Not only has Tatupu started every game for Seattle’s young, but improving defense, he’s also proven to be a huge playmaker every week and is responsible for calling the defensive shifts. He makes tackles all over the field and always seems to be in position to make the big play. Tatupu, along with 3rd Round pick LeRoy Hill, has been a big reason that GM Tim Ruskell is being mentioned as the NFL’s GM of the year.
Odell Thurman, ILB Cincinnati Draft Position: Round 2, 48th overall
Stats: 82 Tackles, 1.5 Sacks, 5INTs, 1FR, 4FF.
Solid MLB that had Round 1 talent, but slipped because of character issues on Draft day. Thurman’s been just as big a playmaker for the Bengals as Tatupu has for Seattle, making plays from sideline-to-sideline and a boost for Cincy’s defense. Thurman has more pure athleticism than most LB’s in the 2005 class and has legitimate Pro Bowl potential. However, he must keep his discipline in check. He was benched last week for an undisclosed team rule violation, but played most of the game.
Leroy Hill, OLB Seattle Draft Position: Round 3, 98th overall
Stats: 50 Tackles, 7 Sacks, 2 FF
Athletic and very quick, Hill’s been a major contributor for the Seahawk defense this year. Playing in sub-packages for the majority of the year, Hill is just now starting due to the loss of LB Jamie Sharper. But even with limited playing time, Hill’s impact is undeniable. He shows solid pass rushing ability and should only get better now that he’s starting.
Possible 2006 Seattle Draft Targets
The following are a list of 32 players that might be in Seattle’s Draft plans for 2006. It’s still far too early to determine where each team is picking, let alone which team will be drafting them, but these players are earning Round 1 or Round 2 grades at this time.
*Note: Players in positions of little need for Seattle, such as USC’s Matt Leinhart, will not be included in this list.
1. Reggie Bush, RB USC - First overall
2. DeAngelo Williams, RB Memphis - Top 5
3. A.J. Hawk, OLB Ohio State - Top 5
4. Mario Williams, DE N.C. State - Top 10
5. Mathias Kiwanuka, DE Boston College - Top 10
6. Chad Greenway, OLB Iowa - Top 15
7. Jimmy Williams, CB Virginia Tech - Top 15
8. Tye Hill, CB Clemson - Top 15
9. Tamba Hali, DE Penn State - Top 15
10. Laurence Maroney, RB Minnesota - Top 15
11. Santonio Holmes, WR Ohio State - Round 1
12. Michael Huff, CB/S Texas - Round 1
13. Haloti Ngata, DT Oregon - Round 1
14. Claude Wroten, DT LSU - Round 1
15. Pat Watkins, S Florida State - Round 1
16. Thomas Howard, OLB UTEP - Round 1
17. Gaines Adams, DE Clemson - Round 1
18. Paul Posluszny, LB Penn State - Round 1
19. D’Qwell Jackson, LB Maryland - Round 1
20. A.J. Nicholson, OLB Florida State - Round 1
22. LenDale White, RB USC - Round 1
23. Derek Hagan, WR Arizona St. - Round 1/2
24. Greg Blue, S Georgia - Round 1/2
25. Kamerion Wimbley, DE Florida State - Round 1/2
26. Elvis Dumervil, DE Louisville - Round 1/2
27. Ray Edwards, DE Purdue - Round 2
28. Rodrique Wright, DT Texas - Round 2
29. Orien Harris, DT Miami - Round 2
30. Quentin Moses, DE Georgia - Round 2
31. Alan Zemaitis, CB/S Penn State - Round 2
32. Anthony Smith, S Syracuse - Round
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