2006 Draft Preview: Rigmaiden's Mock Draft

The Seahawks.NET draft team (Kyle Rota, Ryan Rigmaiden and Scott Eklund) each have watched hours of tape, reviewed all 32 NFL teams' needs and put that knowledge to good use with the first of two mock drafts. Below Ryan Rigmaiden tells us what he thinks will transpire on April 29th when the NFL conducts in annual Draft.

2006 First Round

1. Houston - Reggie Bush, RB USC

Unless a monumental trade offer presents itself to the Texans, you can bank on Bush at #1. While running back definitely isn't a big need for Houston, adding a multi-dimensional threat like Bush is simply too hard to pass on.

2. New Orleans - D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OT Virginia

Acquiring Drew Brees probably means the Saints will pass on a QB with this pick. Ferguson's a much better prospect than Jamaal Brown, the Saints' first round pick last year, and would give them bookend tackles for the next decade.

3. Tennessee - Matt Leinart, QB USC

The Titans are almost a lock to select a QB here and Leinhart is the best of the bunch. He's familiar with Norm Chow's offense and should have a year to learn behind Steve McNair.

4. New York Jets - Mario Williams, DE N.C. State

Williams has looked great in workouts and is being compared to Julius Peppers by many scouts. His size, speed and agility make him an elite prospect and you can expect him to start as a rookie.

5. Green Bay - A.J. Hawk, OLB Ohio State

One of the most highly rated outside linebackers to come out in years, Hawk is exactly what the Packer defense needs. He's fast, instinctive, can blitz and cover. He's an immediate impact player that should be an early favorite for defensive rookie of the year.

6. San Francisco - Michael Huff, S/CB Texas

Huff is a tremendously talented defensive back that has the skills to play corner, but should have more of an impact as a safety in the NFL. Coach Mike Nolan will move him around often to disguise his intentions and take full advantage of his skills. He could have a rookie year similar to Dallas' Roy Williams.

7. Oakland - Vince Young, QB Texas

Some people think Young is going to be the next Culpepper, but I think he's going to be the next Akili Smith. He's a great college QB, but his arm strength and ability to read defenses give me cause for concern. Any QB that makes more plays with his feet rather than his arm raises too many questions. However, owner Al Davis could fall in love with his potential and pull the trigger on him here.

8. Buffalo - Vernon Davis, TE Maryland

I love this kid. Davis is an amazing athlete with great speed and ball skills. He can catch the ball in traffic, out-jump defenders for the ball, and, get this . . . block! That's right, he's a solid blocker in the running game and is a Pro Bowl caliber TE. With WR Eric Mould's impending release or trade, the Bills need to add some offensive weapons and would love to take Davis here.

9. Detroit - Jay Cutler, QB Vanderbilt

Detroit's quarterback situation has been a disaster for years. Joey Harrington made too many mistakes for this franchise to be consistent and is on his way out. Mike Martz's offense requires a big, accurate arm and Cutler, who has been moving up boards all year, gives the Lions a franchise caliber signal-caller to run it.

10. Arizona - Haloti Ngata, DT Oregon

The Cardinal defense is slowly turning the corner, but injuries have kept their team from playing as a whole for some time. DT isn't the biggest need for Arizona, but after busting on Wendell Bryant the Cards would be wise to add an elite DT like Ngata to pair with Darnell Dockett. Ngata's huge and commands double teams vs. the run, but he's also quick enough to rush the passer. He'd be a solid pick here.

11. St. Louis - Tye Hill, CB Clemson

The Rams have made some decent moves in Free Agency, but the secondary still needs some work. Enter Hill, who has the pure speed, quickness and ability to run with any receiver. Scouts drool over guys with those skills. If Hill is able to improve his route recognition and overall awareness, he should be a very solid player for the Rams.

12. Cleveland - Kamerion Wimbley, DE/OLB Florida State

This may be a bit high for Wimbley, but he's screaming up Draft boards right now. A defensive end at Florida State, Wimbley fits the mold of a 3-4 OLB and could flourish in Romeo Crennel's system.

13. Baltimore - Broderick Bunkley, DT Florida State

Another Seminole defensive lineman comes off the board! Bunkley had a solid senior year in Tallahassee and followed it up with a tremendous Combine and personal workouts. He's big, quick and has Pro Bowl potential. After losing as much defensive line talent as the Ravens have this year, Bunkley would definitely soften the blow.

14. Philadelphia - Ernie Sims, OLB Florida State

Three Florida State players coming off the board in a row? I've seen stranger things happen. Philly hasn't been that good drafting linebackers of late, but that should change with Sims. He's great in coverage, can tackle sideline-to-sideline and is a playmaker. He should start as a rookie and would round out a nice defensive unit.

15. Denver - Santonio Holmes, WR Ohio State

The Broncos may be tempted to grab a running back here, but they know one will be around later in the first round. Ashley Lelie hasn't had the impact the Broncos thought he would and they're desperately searching for additional talent. Holmes isn't very big, but he's fast, has great hands and makes defenders miss. He'd be a nice pick.

16. Miami - Winston Justice, OT USC

Justice was a bit of an underachiever throughout his career, but he has enormous potential and would fill a big hole for the Dolphins. Stability on Miami's offensive line has been virtually non-existent, but Justice has the ability to start at right tackle as a rookie and could for the next decade.

17. Minnesota - Chad Greenway, OLB Iowa

It's hard for me to imagine Greenway slipping this far, but after some sub-par workouts it's definitely possible. However, Greenway plays much faster than his 40 time indicates, has great instincts and tackles well. The Vikings need linebackers that can run and Greenway definitely fits the mold of what they're looking for. Tremendous pick.

18. Dallas - Chad Jackson, WR Florida

The Terrell Owens signing gives the Cowboys the best WR in the game, but he, along with Terry Glenn, are on the wrong side of 30 and adding a young, talented receiver would be a good idea. Jackson had a decent career at Florida, but his Combine performance boosted his stock he's become a hot item.

19. San Diego - Jimmy Williams, CB Virginia Tech

Williams' recent workouts weren't as good as scouts had hoped, but I can't see him falling too much further. Some scouts are grading him as a safety, a position of need for the Chargers, but the Bolts may try him at corner first. Their entire secondary needs more talent and depth and Williams gives them great versatility.

20. Kansas City - Mathias Kiwanuka, DE Boston College

The Chiefs are in desperate need for defensive line and cornerback help and will have to choose between the two with this pick. Because it all starts up front, they could lean towards Kiwi, a huge defensive end that specializes in bringing down quarterbacks. He's quick for his size, but he'll need to get stronger if he's going to succeed at the next level.

21. New England - Laurence Maroney, RB Minnesota

As they always do, running backs seem to slip on Draft day. Maroney has rushed for 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons for the Golden Gophers and can do it all. With Corey Dillon slowing down and battling injuries, Maroney would be his heir apparent and give the Pats great depth at the position and help lessen the load on Dillon.

22. Denver - DeAngelo Williams, RB Memphis

Getting Williams here would be an absolute steal. If he were playing for a bigger program you'd be hearing much more about him, but Williams is the real deal. He can run inside and outside, block, catch and take the ball to the house. He could be deadly in Denver's one-cut system.

23. Tampa Bay - Marcus McNeill, OT Auburn

If the Bucs are going to ‘Pound that Rock', they're going to need more help up front. McNeil is absolutely huge and is athletic enough to start on the right side immediately.

24. Cincinnati - Leonard Pope, TE Georgia

At 6-7, Pope is the kind of huge target that quarterbacks love to look for over the middle. While he doesn't have great speed, Pope gets separation from defenders, has good hands and can jump. He'd be a solid pick at this point.

25. New York Giants - Bobby Carpenter, OLB Ohio State

Carpenter would've received greater attention if he didn't play in the shadow of A.J. Hawk, but he'll make a name for himself in the NFL. At 250 pounds and with good speed and athleticism, he's a prototypical strong-side ‘backer and should start as a rookie.

26. Chicago - Antonio Cromartie, CB Florida State

This kid is amazing. Only months after a knee reconstruction, he still managed to clock 4.4's in the 40 and looked great in personal workouts. The Bears have a terrific defense, but would love to add a corner with Cromartie's talent to complete the unit.

27. Carolina - Thomas Howard, LB UTEP

Howard is extremely fast and athletic, but still very raw. He'll need some work on recognition, but with additional coaching and film study he can definitely improve. The Panthers plan on moving last year's first round pick, Thomas Davis, to weakside LB to replace the departed Will Witherspoon, but adding another young, fast linebacker would be a nice move.

28. Jacksonville - Lendale White, RB USC

RB Fred Taylor's proven to be one of the best in the NFL when he's healthy, but last year the injuries piled on again and he missed significant playing time. White has good size, decent speed and is tremendous in the passing game. He could spell Taylor for the time being and ultimately be Jacksonville's long-term answer at running back.

29. New York Jets - Ashton Youboty, CB Ohio State

Justin Miller showed flashes last year, but the Jets need to bring in more talent at corner. Youboty is probably one of the best all-around cornerbacks in the Draft and would instantly upgrade New York's pass defense. He has the size, speed and ball skills to see playing time right away.

30. Indianapolis - D'Qwell Jackson, LB Maryland

The Colts would love it if one of the elite running backs fell to them here, but if they don't they'll have to go in another direction. Jackson's an instinctive LB that can run, cover and tackle well. He fits Tony Dungy's Cover-2 scheme and could be tried at OLB as well.

31. Seattle - Johnathan Joseph, CB South Carolina

Seattle's made some solid acquisitions through free agency, but they have a hole at corner after releasing Andre Dyson. Joseph only started one year for the Gamecocks, but he's shown enough to warrant a high pick. He has amazing top end speed and tackles very well.

32. Pittsburgh - Claude Wroten, DT LSU

A bit of a surprise pick here, but Wroten was the best DT in college last year. He had some off-field trouble that was ultimately dismissed, but his stock definitely suffered. The Steelers are always looking for big, quick defensive lineman that can operate in their 3-4 defense and Wroten fits the bill. He can play end in base formations and slide inside for obvious passing situations.

As usual, any questions or comments can be sent to rlrigmaiden@hotmail.com. Thanks for taking the time to write in.

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