Mock, mock til you drop

With ten picks overall, the Steelers could trade up in the first, or stay put and trade up in the second. Either way, you've got to believe they'll get their guy -- one of them.

Here's a look at the first round of the NFL draft and how it affects the Pittsburgh Steelers.

1. Houston, Reggie Bush, RB, USC. They've floated the rumor that they'll take Mario Williams if Bush doesn't agree to a contract before the draft. Don't believe it.

2. New Orleans, Mario Williams, Defensive End, North Carolina State. Williams is a massive pass rushing end who needs to play up to his potential on every down. That said, he's too talented to pass up.

3. Tennessee, Vince Young, QB, Texas. The coaches want Matt Leinart. The front office wants Young. Owner Bud Adams is a Houston man despite moving the team from there. He makes the deciding vote.

4. New York Jets, D'Brickshaw Ferguson, Offensive Tackle, Virginia. The Jets need help pretty much at every position. Getting Ferguson isn't a bad start.

5. Green Bay, A.J. Hawk, Offensive Linebacker, Ohio State. The Packers were awful on defense last year. Hawk is outstanding and helps their run defense.

6. San Francisco, Vernon Davis, Tight End, Maryland. The 49ers traded or released all of their receivers from last season. They now can go with a two tight-end offense with Davis and Eric Johnson.

7. Oakland, Matt Leinart, QB, USC. The Raiders have so many needs, but Al Davis can't pass up a former Heisman Trophy winner.

8. Buffalo, Broderick Bunkley, DT, Florida State. Bunkley's was a man playing with boys in college. He's a monster.

9. Detroit, Michael Huff, Safety, Texas. After picking wide receivers in the first round of three straight drafts, the Lions go with somebody who can cover a receiver.

10. Arizona, Jay Cutler, QB, Vanderbilt. Kurt Warner isn't getting younger. With the receivers the Cards have, Cutler could settle into the job nicely in a couple of seasons.

11. St. Louis, Haloti, Ngata, DT, Oregon. The Rams are solid offensively. Defensively, they need lots of help. There's a whole lot of Ngata to go around.

12. Cleveland, Kamerion Wimbley, OLB, Florida State. Wimbley has a lot of the same attributes as Willie McGinnest, whom he'll tutor under.

13. Baltimore, Winston Justice, OT, USC. Justice has some character issues - he was suspended for the 2005 season for brandishing a fake gun at somebody while already on probation. But what better team is there for a problem child to go to?

14. Philadelphia, Santonio Holmes, WR, Ohio State. With the Terrell Owens experience behind them, the Eagles move on.

15. Denver (from Atlanta) Chad Jackson, WR, Florida. Rod Smith isn't getting any younger and Ashley Lelie hasn't worked out like they'd hoped.

16. Miami, Jimmy Williams, DB, Va. Tech. The Dolphins need secondary help and Williams could play corner or safety.

17. Minnesota, Ernie Sims, LB, Florida. Sims runs well and will be a great fit in the Vikings' defense. The Vikings would love to trade up for a QB.

18. Dallas, Manny Lawson, DE/OLB, North Carolina State. The Cowboys will pair Lawson with 2005 top pick DeMarcus Ware, to whom Lawson favorably compares.

19. San Diego, Tye Hill, CB, Clemson. The Chargers pass defense was awful in 2005. Hill is an immediate starter.

20. Kansas City, Antonio Cromartie, CB, Florida State. The Chiefs roll the dice a little bit and take a chance on Cromartie, who didn't play in 2005 after tearing knee ligaments.

21. New England, Bobby Carpenter, OLB, Ohio State. Bill Belichick was on the Giants staff when Carpenter's dad, Rob, played running back there.

22. San Francisco, Chad Greenway, OLB, Iowa. The 49ers could go for a corner here, but linebacker is a more pressing need.

23. Tampa Bay, Donte Whitner, S, Ohio State. Whitner's speed and coverage ability could allow him to play some corner, especially in Tampa's Cover-2 scheme.

24. Cincinnati Bengals, Gabe Watson, DT, Michigan. Marvin Lewis still has nightmares about his team's inability to stop the run.

25. N.Y. Giants, Marcus McNeil, OT, Auburn. They have to protect the franchise, Eli Manning.

26. Chicago, Jason Allen, S, Tennessee. The Bears traded veteran safety Mike Green to Seattle earlier this week.

27. Carolina, DeAngelo Williams, RB, Memphis. Williams is a powerful runner despite his small stature. Stephen Davis is gone and DeShaun Foster is always banged up.

28. Jacksonville, DeMeco Ryans, LB, Alabama. Jacksonville's defense is strong and the speedy and powerful Ryans could make it stronger.

29. N.Y. Jets (from Denver), Laurence Maroney, RB, Minnesota. Maroney has oustanding speed and will be the heir apparent to Curtis Martin.

30. Indianapolis, Joseph Addai, RB, LSU. Addai is a great receiver out of the backfield and is tough between the tackles. A nice replacement for Edgerrin James.

31. Seattle Seahawks, Tama Hali, DE, Penn State. The Seahawks need help with their pass rush. Hali could give them that.

32. Pittsburgh Steelers, LenDale White, RB, USC. They may trade up to grab him or Whitner, two players they covet. In this scenario, they stay at home and get one of their guys.

If the Steelers don't have to trade up in the first round, it will allow them to move up in the second, with a fourth rounder, to grab safeties Daniel Bullocks, Darnell Bing or Ko Simpson.

In the third round, the team could target wide receiver Brandon Williams from Wisconsin or Willie Reid of Florida State, both of whom are excellent return men as well.

In the fourth round with their two compensatory picks, look for offensive tackle Willie Colon to be one pick, with an OLB prospect such as Brent Hawkins of Southern Illinois, Tennessee's Parys Haralson or Ryan LaCasse of Syracuse.

The fifth round would be a good spot to target a third-string quarterback. Bruce Gradkowski, Ingle Martin and Jeff Mroz would be good targets.

In round six, the team will look for a corner, with T.J. Rushing of Stanford being a possibility to become a cheaper version of Chidi Iwoma. He also has some extra value as a return man.

The seventh rounder has little chance of making this team, so the team will take a look at a young punter. How about Tom Malone from USC or Luke Johnson from Southern Mississippi? Courtesy of the Observer-Reporter


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