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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    2006 NFL Draft: A Look Back

    Since the Rams have parted ways with their first two picks of the 2006 draft, I thought it would be an appropriate time to look back and see how other top picks from 2006 are doing after three years in the league.

    I've started off with the first round. If I've the time and feel brave enough, I may move on to tackling rounds two and three later. But it's interesting to see how many first rounders from this class have underperformed or not lived up to expectations.

    Keep in mind, these are only my evaluations. Yours may differ, and if they do, I invite you to share them here.



    ROUND ONE

    1. Houston Texans
    Mario Williams, DE, NC State
    6'7" - 295 lbs - Junior
    -ANALYSIS: One of the top defensive ends in the game today, double digit sacks in two of his three seasons. At 6'6" 288 pounds, he is the complete package at end.
    -GRADE: A

    2. New Orleans Saints
    Reggie Bush, RB, USC
    5'10" - 201 lbs - Junior
    -ANALYSIS: Thought it was a gift when he slipped to them, but three years later, Bush is fragile and isnít capable of carrying anything close to a full workload.
    -GRADE: C-

    3. Tennessee Titans
    Vince Young, QB, Texas
    6'5" - 229 lbs - Junior
    -ANALYSIS: Is currently backing up Kerry Collins in Tennessee; despite his own claims of a Hall of Fame future, Young has done little in this league.
    -GRADE: D-

    4. New York Jets
    D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OT, Virginia
    6'6" - 312 lbs - Senior
    -ANALYSIS: Solid but not spectacular player, not the franchise left tackle youíd expect when drafting this high. Jets were 2008ís worst team running behind left tackle.
    -GRADE: C-

    5. Green Bay Packers
    A.J. Hawk, LB, Ohio State
    6'1" - 248 lbs - Senior
    -ANALYSIS: Hawkís best season was his first, and heís declined since then. Now word is he may not be an every-down LB in Green Bayís new 3-4. Not what you expect drafting a LB 5th overall.
    -GRADE: C

    6. San Fransisco *****
    Vernon Davis, TE, Maryland
    6'3" - 263 lbs - Junior
    -ANALYSIS: Has the physical tools to dominate in the passing game, but really hasnít. Nine career touchdowns in three seasons for a guy who was supposed to revolutionize the position.
    -GRADE: C+

    7. Oakland Raiders
    Michael Huff, DB, Texas
    6'0" - 204 lbs - Senior
    -ANALYSIS: No one loved Huff as a prospect more than me, but heís not made the transition to the NFL and is currently a back-up on the Oakland Raiders. A back-up. Psshh.
    -GRADE: D-

    8. Buffalo Bills
    Donte Whitner, DB, Ohio State
    5'10" - 204 lbs - Junior
    -ANALYSIS: Like AJ Hawk, Whitnerís best season was his rookie year, though the Bills have been toying with shifting him to free safety. Heís a solid all-around presence for them in the secondary.
    -GRADE: B-

    9. Detroit Lions
    Ernie Sims, OLB, Florida State
    5'11" - 231 lbs - Senior
    -ANALYSIS: Sims is undersized but plays bigger than he is. Heís one of the only bright spots on the Lionsí roster the last few years, but isnít known for making many big plays.
    -GRADE: B

    10. Arizona Cardinals
    Matt Leinart, QB, USC
    6'4" - 225 lbs - Senior
    -ANALYSIS: The Cardinals thought they were getting their QB of the future, but four years later and the future hasnít arrived yet. Leinart was in danger of losing his back-up job this offseason as well.
    -GRADE: D+

    11. Denver Broncos (f/STL)
    Jay Cutler, QB, Vanderbilt
    6'3" - 226 lbs - Senior
    -ANALYSIS: Cutler was 17-20 with no playoff appearances in Denver before being traded. Whatever success he has now doesnít help Denver.
    -GRADE: C

    12. Baltimore Ravens (f/CLE)
    Haloti Ngata, DT, Oregon
    6'4" - 338 lbs - Junior
    -ANALYSIS: After Albert Haynesworth, Ngata might be the best defensive tackle in the league. Moves very well for a 340+ pound man; elite against the run.
    -GRADE: A+

    13. Cleveland Browns (f/BAL)
    Kamerion Wimbley, OLB, Florida State
    6'3" - 248 lbs - Senior
    -ANALYSIS: Wimbley had double-digit sacks his rookie year, but without someone to keep double teams off of him, has fallen off a bit. Has the potential but hasnít overcome poor circumstances.
    -GRADE: C+

    14. Philadelphia Eagles
    Brodrick Bunkley, DT, Florida State
    6'2" - 306 lbs - Senior
    -ANALYSIS: Bunkley missed most of his rookie year and, though he has improved in his second and third seasons, probably isnít the inside presence youíd expect for a top fifteen pick.
    -GRADE: C+

    15. St. Louis Rams (f/DEN & ATL)
    Tye Hill, CB, Clemson
    5'9" - 185 lbs - Senior
    -ANALYSIS: Solid rookie season is forgotten after two years of injury and poor play. Now Hill has been shipped to the Falcons.
    -GRADE: F

    16. Miami Dolphins
    Jason Allen, DB, Tennessee
    6'0" - 209 lbs - Senior
    -ANALYSIS: Hasnít found a home at any DB position for Miami, and remains on their roster only because of his special teams play.
    -GRADE: D-

    17. Minnesota Vikings
    Chad Greenway, OLB, Iowa
    6'2" - 242 lbs - Senior
    -ANALYSIS: Missed his rookie campaign due to injury but has bounced back nicely; five and a half sacks and five forced fumbles in two seasons, both of which were 100+ tackle years.
    -GRADE: B+

    18. Dallas Cowboys
    Bobby Carpenter, LB, Ohio State
    6'2" - 256 lbs - Senior
    -ANALYSIS: Carpenter has one start in three years and is nothing more than a special teams player at this point. Donít need to spend a first round pick to get those results.
    -GRADE: F

    19. San Diego Chargers
    Antonio Cromartie, CB, Florida State
    6'2" - 208 lbs - Junior
    -ANALYSIS: Broke out on the scene in 2007, but his other two seasons werenít as impressive. Rumored to be on the trade block in March. Can he recover from 2008ís injury?
    -GRADE: B-

    20. Kansas City Chiefs
    Tamba Hali, DE, Penn State
    6'3" - 275 lbs - Senior
    -ANALYSIS: Haliís fairly good production plummeted when Jared Allen wasnít opposite him. Now heís reportedly not looking great in the Chiefsí new 3-4 scheme as an outside linebacker.
    -GRADE: C+

    21. New England Patriots
    Laurence Maroney, RB, Minnesota
    5'11" - 217 lbs - Junior
    -ANALYSIS: Hasnít established himself as a top back, and doesnít even look like heíll be a starter this year. Only nine starts in three seasons, mostly thanks to injury.
    -GRADE: D+

    22. San Francisco ***** (f/DEN)
    Manny Lawson, OLB, NC State
    6'5" - 241 lbs - Senior
    -ANALYSIS: Lawson has five and a half sacks in three seasons as a nickel player, though he missed most of one due to injury. Heís not been the pro pass rusher that he was in college.
    -GRADE: D

    23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Davin Joseph, OG, Oklahoma
    6'2" - 311 lbs - Senior
    -ANALYSIS: Joseph has missed a few games here and there with injury, but overall has provided a nice inside run blocking presence to the Tampa line.
    -GRADE: B

    24. Cincinnati Bengals
    Jonathan Joseph, CB, South Carolina
    5'11" - 193 lbs - Junior
    -ANALYSIS: Joseph emerged as a starter his rookie season, followed it up with a solid 2007 campaign, but had some injury problems in 2008. Still, he has nice physical tools and returns as a starter this year.
    -GRADE: B

    25. Pittsburgh Steelers (f/NYG)
    Santonio Holmes, WR, Ohio State
    5'10" - 179 lbs - Junior
    -ANALYSIS: Holmes has yet to unseat Hines Ward as Pittsburghís top receiver, but was a hero in the playoffs and shows #1 kind of potential.
    -GRADE: A-

    26. Buffalo Bills (f/CHI)
    John McCargo, DT, N.C. State
    6'1" - 302 lbs - Junior
    -ANALYSIS: McCargo has not started a single game for the Bills, and would have been traded to the Colts had he passed a physical. He canít stay healthy enough to even try to fulfill his draft potential.
    -GRADE: F

    27. Carolina Panthers
    DeAngelo Williams, RB, Memphis
    5'9" - 201 lbs - Senior
    -ANALYSIS: Williams had two solid seasons before breaking out in 2008 with 1500+ yards and 18 touchdowns. Heíll likely have another productive year, even with Jonathan Stewart behind him.
    -GRADE: B+

    28. Jacksonville Jaguars
    Marcedes Lewis, TE, UCLA
    6'6" - 261 lbs - Senior
    -ANALYSIS: Heís been used more as a blocker than he probably should have, and led NFL tight ends in drops in 2008. Still, heís started every game the last two years with a combined 78 receptions.
    -GRADE: C+

    29. New York Jets (f/ATL via DEN)
    Nick Mangold, C, Ohio State
    6'3" - 300 lbs - Senior
    -ANALYSIS: Mangold is emerging as one of the top centers in the NFL, and graded out as the best run blocking lineman in 2008 by ESPNís KC Joyner.
    -GRADE: A+


    30. Indianapolis Colts
    Joseph Addai, RB, LSU
    5'11" - 214 lbs - Senior
    -ANALYSIS: Addai has two 1,000-yard seasons to his credit, but took a step back in 2008 due to injury. Now heíll be sharing carries with Donald Brown. How will he respond?
    -GRADE: B-

    31. Seattle Seahawks
    Kelly Jennings, CB, Miami
    5'10" - 178 lbs - Senior
    -ANALYSIS: Jennings has done nothing to warrant much confidence since being drafted, and is basically a dime corner at this point in his career.
    -GRADE: D-

    32. New York Giants (f/PIT)
    Mathias Kiwanuka, DE, Boston College
    6'5" - 256 lbs - Senior
    -ANALYSIS: Kiwanuka is a versatile player, having started his pro career as a linebacker before filling in at defensive end in 2008. Heís a valuable part of the Giantsí pass rush rotation.
    -GRADE: B
    Last edited by Nick; -09-08-2009 at 10:34 AM.


  2. #2
    Nick_Weasel's Avatar
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    Re: 2006 NFL Draft: A Look Back

    I think Denver's selection of Cutler deserves better than a C. Sure he was traded, but they received Kyle Orton, 2 1st-rounders and a 3rd-rounder in return. That's a pretty good return on an 11th overall pick.

    Anyway, really interesting analysis. 2006's 1st-round sure looks like it's shaping up to be 1 big bust with few exceptions.

  3. #3
    Goldenfleece's Avatar
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    Re: 2006 NFL Draft: A Look Back

    A C+ might be too generous for Vernon Davis given his tendency to get on the coaches' bad side with his ego and fights in practice.

    Also, it sure is interesting how the best grades are disproportionately at the bottom of the round. Even if you don't penalize the guys at the top based on expectations for where they were drafted, only about 4 picks in the top 15 have panned out so far.

  4. #4
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: 2006 NFL Draft: A Look Back

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick_Weasel View Post
    I think Denver's selection of Cutler deserves better than a C. Sure he was traded, but they received Kyle Orton, 2 1st-rounders and a 3rd-rounder in return. That's a pretty good return on an 11th overall pick.

    Anyway, really interesting analysis. 2006's 1st-round sure looks like it's shaping up to be 1 big bust with few exceptions.
    The thing that I keep going back to, though, is that they spent an eleventh overall pick on a guy whom they've traded away. So for Denver, Cutler himself was a bust. He had a losing record with the Broncos, couldn't get them into the playoffs, and is now no longer on the team. Giving him a C seemed like a good middle ground, considering that he's not on the team but did get them some compensation when he left.

    It's true, though, that the final grade will likely depend on how the compensation they received in that trade turns out. They received Kyle Orton, whom I think is a marginal starter. They received a 2009 first round pick, which they spent on Robert Ayers. Ayers reportedly has not had a great preseason and has not emerged as a starter on a weak Denver defense. They received a third round pick, which they packaged in a trade with Pittsburgh in order to draft tight end Richard Quinn (and, in the fourth round, lineman Seth Olsen), viewed primarily as a blocking tight end with only 12 career receptions to his name.

    What they do with Chicago's 2010 first round pick will be interesting for two reasons - (1) the Bears could be contenders in the NFC North this year which means Denver could be picking late, and (2) Denver traded away their own 2010 first rounder I believe, so they'll still only have one first round selection.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenfleece View Post
    A C+ might be too generous for Vernon Davis given his tendency to get on the coaches' bad side with his ego and fights in practice.

    Also, it sure is interesting how the best grades are disproportionately at the bottom of the round. Even if you don't penalize the guys at the top based on expectations for where they were drafted, only about 4 picks in the top 15 have panned out so far.
    That's a very good point. I'm very intrigued to see how well teams do through the second and third rounds, because upon review, it seemed like a lot of teams came out of this first round either completely disappointed or just okay but not head over heels with their selection.

  5. #5
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    Re: 2006 NFL Draft: A Look Back

    pretty good nick but you accidently said that tye hill was traded to the cardinals. he was traded to the falcons.. but you got the bird part right

  6. #6
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    Re: 2006 NFL Draft: A Look Back

    Given that Hill gave the Rams one decent season as a rookie, I'd upgrade him to an F+.

  7. #7
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    Re: 2006 NFL Draft: A Look Back

    A C- is way low for D'Brickashaw Ferguson. I can't argue with your comments, but the guy has started every game and graded out very well last season. That stat about the Jets being worst in NFL off LT is a farce. He was a pro bowl alternate last year and deserved it. He's not Jonathan Ogden, or Pace, but he is a good to very good LT and continues improving. C- is way low, especially when you compare him to disappointments like Bush, Hawk and Vernon Davis.

    I also think Cutler deserves a ton more than a C. I can respect your reasoning, but they got two first round picks, a starting QB and more. If you were told that you could have a starting player for three years and then trade him for two first rounders and Kyle Orton, wouldn't you be happy?

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