This is a pretty good draft site
1. HOUSTON TEXANS
RB | Southern Cal | Scouting Report
The Texans "earned" this pick by losing a number of close games in bizarre fashion down the stretch and thus won "The Reggie Bush Sweepstakes", as the battle among the leagues worst teams for the top pick had been labeled. In all reality it isn't a question of if Houston will take the star running back from USC, but rather should they? This is a team that has numerous holes to fill, most notably up front along the offensive line, and a running back in Domanick Davis that has rushed for about 1,000+ yards in each year of his career who they just recently rewarded with a new $21.1 million contract extension. There is no doubt that Reggie Bush would make any team better, but for this franchise drafting him is simply not a sound strategy. Bush is a rare athlete who scouts describe as "special" and he can dominate a game with explosive plays as a runner, receiver and return man. However with the Texans he will have to split carries with Davis and won't even help out as a kick returner because they already have a Pro Bowler there in rookie Jerome Mathis. If they want to make the flashy pick and appease the fans they will take Bush, but if they want to make the right football decision they would move down for a package of draft picks and take Ferguson. From all accounts it looks like the team plans to select Bush but you have to wonder how much of an impact he will be able to have for this team with precious few weapons around him and limited opportunities to get his hands on the ball.
2. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
QB | Southern Cal | Scouting Report
This would be the ideal scenario for New Orleans as it addresses their most glaring needs both on as well as off the field. From a football standpoint there is little doubt that they need to bring in a top young quarterback now that the final chapters of the Aaron Brooks era have been written. You also can't underestimate the value this selection would provide the franchise from a public relations standpoint either though, as bringing in a high-profile player and Heisman Trophy winner to be the face of the franchise is exactly what the doctor ordered for this beleaguered fan base. By now everyone knows all about Leinart and how he wins National Championships, passes up being the #1 pick a year ago to return to school for his senior season, etc. so I will save you the details. While he doesn't have amazing physical tools Leinart is simply a winner with intangibles that are off the charts, a la Tom Brady, and an added bonus is that he is ready to come in and start right now. This is a match made in NFL Draft Heaven and even if they had the top overall pick Leinart would almost assuredly be their choice so to still be able to land him here at #2 is outstanding for the Saints. Don't rule out other teams potentially trying to trade up ahead of New Orleans to steal him away but that would be extremely costly and the Texans probably don't want to move down anyway. Get out a pen and write down "New Orleans Saints - Matt Leinart, QB, USC" because as long as he is available when they pick it is a done deal. Would Leinart pull an Elway / Eli and say he doesn't want to play for a team with so many issues though? Just speculation and something to think about over the next few months...
3. TENNESSEE TITANS
QB | Texas | Scouting Report
After last year's salary cap purge the Titans are now in full rebuilding mode which means there are a lot of directions they could potentially go with this pick. What may turn the tide in the favor of Vince Young though is the teams desire to look for the best talent available and Young's relationship with their current signal caller. Steve McNair met Young while he was attending the Titan quarterbacks football camp as a sophomore in high school and since then has taken him under his wing and been described as a father figure to the Longhorn standout. There is a good chance that McNair may retire but if Young is brought in you'd have to think Steve would stick around at least another year to help mentor and help groom his replacement. There is simply no denying Vince Young's talent and he probably has as high of an upside as any prospect that has come along in the last 10-20 years. However he also has a major downside and is just as likely to be a bust of epic proportions as he is to turn into a transcendent star. There is always risk when it comes to the NFL Draft, it just so happens that in Young's case the stakes are as high as ever. A phenomenal athlete with excellent size and running abilities, Young is able to do things on the football field that others don't dare dream of. However he is also extremely raw as a passer, has an unconventional delivery, lacks great arm strength and will likely need to sit and learn for a year or two before he is ready to play in the NFL. Offensive tackle is also a concern with Brad Hopkins likely to be moving on so D'Brickashaw Ferguson is a very real possibility here as well, but in the end the McNair factor and Young's potential might be the deciding factor.
4. NEW YORK JETS
OT | Virginia | Scouting Report
Rumor has it that the Jets are interested in trading down because they feel they have so many needs that just one player won't do them much good. That might eventually happen but since I don't predict trades Ferguson would make the most sense here considering they missed out on both Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart. A year ago Kareem McKenzie was lost as a free agent and while Adrian Jones is a solid young player with potential he is not in the same class as D'Brickashaw Ferguson. A tremendous athlete for his size, Ferguson has everything you look for from the position and he deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as guys like Walter Jones, Jonathan Ogden and Orlando Pace. With Chad Pennington going down for the second consecutive season with a serious shoulder injury the team is going to have some very tough decisions to make regarding his long-term future. With so much obviously riding on the quarterback position for this team it would be irresponsible to go into another season with everything resting on Chad's fragile arm so if they have a chance to bring a top signal caller like Vince Young they have to take it in my opinion. At this point though Ferguson is the best player available and would give them a guy they can build around up front for the next decade.
5. GREEN BAY PACKERS
OLB | Ohio St. | Scouting Report
It was a very disappointing season for the Cheeseheads due in large part to injuries and free agent defections but things could be looking up, especially if they are able to add an impact player like A.J. Hawk to their roster. Defensive coordinator Jim Bates did an excellent job with the talent he had to work with but you don't win the Kentucky Derby riding a donkey and this team simply doesn't have the horses on defense that they need to compete. Linebacker is of particular concern with both outside spots needing to be upgraded so it wouldn't surprise anyone to see them look in that direction with this choice. Hawk is as productive and instinctive of a linebacker as you will ever find and is seemingly always around the action, so bringing him in to be the leader of this young defense would be an excellent move by the Packers. When he was with the Miami Dolphins Bates had an All-Pro captain in Zach Thomas and Hawk could play a very similar role for him in Green Bay. A premier defensive end such as Mario Williams would be a great pick and would draw strong consideration here as well but a top playmaker like Hawk is exactly what this team needs from both a talent and attitude perspective so he is the pick.
6. OAKLAND RAIDERS
DE | North Carolina St. | Scouting Report
Last offseason the Raiders used most of their resources to address the offense by bringing in Randy Moss and LaMont Jordan but it didn't have the desired affect and the team struggled mightily on both sides of the ball. The acquisition of Derrick Burgess was a major bright spot as he recorded 16 sacks but Oakland still finished with the leagues 27th rated defense and that side of the ball must be addressed in the draft early and often. Mario Williams could easily be gone much earlier than this but if he is available snatching him up would make a lot of sense for the Raiders. Physically Williams has everything you look for in a premier defensive end and he might very well be the best prospect to come along at the position since Julius Peppers. He is still a little inconsistent but when his motor is running he can be unblockable and teaming him with Burgess could potentially give Oakland the best set of defensive ends in the league and as a byproduct would help out the secondary as well. Linebacker is also a major concern and they could certainly look in that direction but Williams is simply too talented to pass up at this point in the draft and would give them a young impact player on the defensive side of the ball.
7. SAN FRANCICSO 49'ERS
TE | Maryland | Scouting Report
From a personnel standpoint the Niners probably deserve to be choosing higher in the draft than this, but late season wins over St. Louis and Houston ended any hope they might have had of bringing in Reggie Bush to team with his old high school teammate Alex Smith so they look elsewhere. When healthy Eric Johnson is one of the most productive tight ends out there but he has missed the past two seasons with injuries and can't be counted on. What San Francisco really needs are playmakers on offense and Vernon Davis is certainly that, with the physical tools to rank among the leagues elite at his position. He is not as tall as you'd like but if you looked up the term workout warrior in the dictionary there would probably be a photo of Davis, who is as strong, fast and athletic of a tight end as we have seen come along in a while. Don't be fooled though because Davis was also very productive for the Terps and adding him would provide a major boost to this lethargic offense. The defensive secondary is also a major concern so don't rule out Michael Huff or Jimmy Williams here, with the defensive line being a viable option for the franchise as well. Word is the Niners would prefer to trade down a little and stockpile additional draft picks so that is a situation to keep a close eye on in the coming months.
8. BUFFALO BILLS
DT | Oregon | Scouting Report
Last offseason the Bills lost mammoth defensive tackle Pat Williams as a free agent and as it turns out they probably miss them even more than they thought they would. Sam Adams did not have a good season and may not be back while youngsters like Tim Anderson and Justin Bannan just haven't gotten the job done. Enter Haloti Ngata, who at 6-5 and 338 lbs. has a freakish blend of size, speed, strength and athleticism. In fact, there is a chance he could be gone by this point because based on upside and potential he would rate as one of the premier players in the entire draft should he come out early. Their other major weakness is on the offensive side of the ball at tackle, where Mike Gandy leaves a lot to be desired at left tackle and they have resorted to benching former #4 overall pick Mike Williams and starting a converted tight end who went undrafted in Jason Peters on the right side. If by some chance a top offensive tackle fell into their laps here that could be the direction they opt to go, but defensive tackle is every bit as big of a need and to land a supreme talent like Ngata this low could turn out to be a steal. Either way look for them to focus on bringing in a big nasty to upgrade the trenches very early on, but whether it be on the offensive or defensive side of the ball.
9. DETROIT LIONS
OT | Southern Cal | Scouting Report
How about another wide receiver? Lions fans probably won't find that too funny but after using their last three first round picks to bring in disappointments like Charles Rogers, Roy Williams and Mike Williams it is obviously time to take a new approach when it comes to the draft. One area that has been a major problem is the offensive line, where Kelly Butler was simply not the answer at right tackle and the ineffectiveness of the guys up front contributed to a lack of production in the running and passing games. Winston Justice is still raw and has some maturity questions he must answer but from a pure talent standpoint he will likely rank among the elite offensive linemen available in the 2006 NFL Draft. A gifted athlete with good size, Justice plays right tackle for the Trojans but could possibly move to the left side at the pro level and he would dramatically improve all facets of the Detroit offense. Obviously a quarterback is their greatest need and while Jay Cutler might be an option eventually he isn't worthy of a Top 10 pick at this point. It wouldn't hurt to add a premier defensive end either since Cory Redding is solid but would be much better in a backup role than he is as a starter. Keep an eye out for Vernon Davis too as he'd be an option if they wanted to add some additional offensive firepower.
10. ARIZONA CARDINALS
RB | Memphis | Scouting Report
After being the popular pick by many analysts to take a big leap this season the Cards were back to their old tricks and among the leagues worst teams. Unfortunately for them they won just enough games to take them out of the range they needed to be in to address their most pressing weakness, an elite young quarterback. With Leinart and Young off the board Arizona looks elsewhere to try and improve their offense by bringing in a top running back. Even though they did draft J.J. Arrington in round two a year ago the Cards still ranked 32nd (a.k.a. Last) in the NFL in rushing this past year with Arrington only managing 370 yards with a 3.3 avg. per carry. Granted a lot of those problems can be attributed to the troubles of the offensive line but even so Arrington showed little or no hope that he can be a starting runner at the pro level. DeAngelo Williams doesn't get nearly the attention he deserves but he is going to be a great NFL running back and would be an excellent fit for Arizona here. A natural runner with great instincts, Williams is one of the most productive running backs in college football history and his addition would balance out the offense and allow them to not put so much emphasis and pressure on Kurt Warner and the passing game. You can't rule out a stud tight end, defensive tackle or linebacker here either but they absolutely must upgrade their rushing attack.
11. ST. LOUIS RAMS
S | Texas | Scouting Report
After years of being known for their offense and "The Greatest Show on Turf" it appears that with the firing of Mike Martz the franchise is ready to put an emphasis on the defensive side of the ball. If that is the case there is little doubt as to what area they need to address, with the secondary severely lacking at both cornerback and safety. The Rams have a lot of youngsters in the deep patrol and some solid players but what they lack is an impact performer and difference maker, which is where Michael Huff comes in. Huff is a ballhawk who has been one of the most productive defensive backs in the college game the past few years and has experience at both cornerback and safety, with the physical tools to project to either position at the next level. Regardless of where they play him Huff would be a major upgrade to the St. Louis defense, that is if he is still on the board this late in round one. The defensive line could be considered another need since Leonard Little still has something left in the tank but Tony Hargrove hasn't performed up to the teams expectations and his defensive end spot could certainly stand to be upgraded. A darkhorse here could be an elite tight end as an upgrade over Brandon Manumaleuna, but all indications are they want to go defense with this pick.
12. CLEVELAND BROWNS
DE | Boston College | Scouting Report
You have to give Romeo Crennel and Phil Savage a lot of credit because they have taken one of the least talented teams in the league and made them competitive in the majority of their games. Crennel is still a defensive coach at heart and more than likely wants to bring in some playmakers on that side of the ball and Mathias Kiwanuka could be his version of Willie McGinest in Cleveland. The man they call "Kiwi" is an imposing physical presence with excellent athleticism who excels at terrorizing opposing quarterbacks. Whether it be at defensive end or outside linebacker this is exactly the type of impact performer Crennel and the Browns defense needs. They could also use a stud nose tackle in the middle of their 3-4 scheme and Haloti Ngata would be an ideal fit if they could manage to get themselves in position to draft the Oregon run stuffer. Cleveland has been in search of a top left tackle for years now and they are still looking so don't rule that out either. With some good young offensive talent already in place at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end it appears the Browns are on their way back and getting a top talent like Kiwanuka will be another big piece of that playoff puzzle.
13. BALTIMORE RAVENS
CB | Virginia Tech | Scouting Report
Quarterback looked to be Baltimore's most obvious need but Kyle Boller actually showed some flashes down the stretch and they are probably inclined to give the former first rounder one more shot at proving himself, plus it's not like they would have a shot at Matt Leinart or Vince Young down this low anyway. For many years now this franchise has relied on a dominating defense to win games but a lot of their key players on that side of the ball are beginning to age so it is time to bring in an infusion of young talent. The Ravens have three excellent starters in the secondary in Chris McAlister, Ed Reed and Samari Rolle but could use an upgrade at one safety spot and really need some depth at corner with Deion Sanders retiring and Dale Carter not even half the player he used to be. The selection of Jimmy Williams would solve both problems. Williams is a former safety who still plays with that same physical mentality, but he also has the speed and athleticism of a corner. In other words he is exactly what teams look for in that he is both big and fast. There is some debate as to where Williams will play and he could realistically project to corner or safety at the next level but in this case that isn't a problem because the Ravens could use him in both capacities. Never rule out the Ravens simply going with the best player available either, which is something they have been known to do in recent years.
14. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
OLB | Iowa | Scouting Report
Oh how the mighty have fallen and after four years of being one of the elite teams in the league time may be catching up with the Eagles. They still have plenty of talent but injuries and off-the-field distractions (See Owens, Terrell) absolutely torpedoed any chance Philly had of enjoying a successful 2005 season. One of the perks of such a disappointing campaign is a much higher draft pick than this franchise has become accustomed to in recent years so that could be the sliver lining of an otherwise dark cloud. A potential Top 5 overall pick coming into his senior year, Greenway had a nice season but it was obvious all the losses the Hawkeyes endured up front affected him. His loss is the Eagles gain though as it allows them to get excellent value for the pick while addressing a need at the same time. At this point it appears safe to say that Terrell Owens will never play another game for the Eagles, in which case there is a major hole at wide receiver for a team that relies heavily on the passing game so watch out for Santonio Holmes here too. The other major area they could look to address is the offensive line because even though they do have some youngsters that they like it wouldn't hurt to bring in a top talent, especially outside where Jon Runyan and Tra Thomas appear to be winding down. In the end linebacker is a need and Greenway is a great player so that is the way they go.
15. ATLANTA FALCONS
DE | Penn St. | Scouting Report
Before ultimately selecting wide receiver Roddy White in the first round of last years draft the word was that Atlanta was taking a close look at defensive line prospects. That is even more of a concern now because due to injuries and a lack of depth they have been forced to play Jonathan Babineaux, a rookie defensive tackle, outside at end. Brady Smith is getting older and there is very little behind him and Patrick Kerney when it comes to depth so taking a guy like Tamba Hali here would make a lot of sense. Hali is just beginning to receive the national attention he deserves thanks to a fantastic senior season and he is a player on the move. After playing out of position at defensive tackle earlier in his career Hali has found a home outside at end and emerged as one of the premier sack artists in the country as a senior in '05. Also, his high-energy and intense style will mesh right in with similar personalities like Kerney and Smith along the Falcons defensive line. For years now the Falcons have gone through journeyman after journeyman at the safety position, with Keion Carpenter and Ronnie Heard being the latest stopgaps, so that is a viable option for them as well. Finally, even though they aren't known for using high picks on the offensive line that is an area that could stand to be upgraded and there should be some solid value in this portion of the draft if they chose to go in that direction.
16. MIAMI DOLPHINS
QB | Vanderbilt | Scouting Report
Is this a reach? Right now it probably is, but if Cutler has the type of performance at the Senior Bowl that many expect he will it won't be come Draft Day. Cutler didn't get a lot of national attention playing for perennial loser Vandy but he had a tremendous senior season and has become one of the hottest names in the draft. In fact, if this guy had played at USC or Michigan people would probably be talking about him as one of the best players available. In addition to ideal physical tools Cutler also has that extra something and a gunslinger mentality that his teammates rally around. Also keep in mind that Nick Saban knows all about Cutler from having coached in the SEC and in his first draft a year ago showed a preference towards players from that conference. Offensive tackle is also a major concern for the team and you can never rule out defense with Saban at the helm and calling the shots, but this team needs a top young signal caller and if they don't nab Cutler here they likely won't be able to find one later in the draft as their is a huge drop-off in talent after him. Keep an eye on this guy, his stock is on the rise.
17. MINNESOTA VIKINGS
RB | Minnesota | Scouting Report
It is easy to blame the teams extreme drop-off in offensive production on the loss of Randy Moss and while that was a factor you'd be remiss not to note the lack of a running game as well. Basically the team doesn't have a runner who they can give the ball to 20-25 times a game and have carry the load. Michael Bennett will be a free agent who is not likely to return, Mewelde Moore is injury-prone and best suited for a 3rd down or situational role, Moe Williams is only a short yardage runner at this point and the jury is still out on Ciatrick Fason. An extremely productive and explosive runner who is a threat to take it the distance every time he touches the ball, Maroney would give this offense exactly what they need. Don't discount the goodwill that bringing in a local star would create among the fan base either after the tumultuous year the franchise has had both on and off the field. Linebacker is also a pressing concern for the Vikings, but adding a premier running back would be just what the doctor ordered to restore the luster to what was known as a one of the most dangerous offense in the league not all that long ago.
18. DALLAS COWBOYS
OT | Auburn | Scouting Report
There are very few teams with as glaring of a need as the Dallas Cowboys have at offensive tackle. Rob Petitti did an admirable job overall starting on the right side as a rookie but they had to give him a lot of help which affected their entire offense and I doubt they will want to go into next season without upgrading the position. Marcus McNeill is a mountain of a man at 6-9 and 330 lbs. but he is also a rare athlete for a guy that size and could potentially play left or right tackle at the pro level. He had a good, not great, senior season and there is some concern about the health of his back but it would surprise nobody if his stock skyrocked because from a physical standpoint he is pretty special. If they were going to go in another direction free safety would probably be the most likely option because there has been next to nothing alongside Roy Williams in the deep middle since Darren Woodson hung up his cleats a couple of years ago. With offensive tackle being such a prominent weakness though it would be real hard to justify looking anywhere else as long as there is any type of value left on the board here so McNeill it is.
19. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
S | L.S.U. | Scouting Report
You would have a hard time finding a franchise that has done a better job of building through the draft in recent years than San Diego. In fact, right now they have 15 players that they drafted starting for them, and that doesn't include Antonio Gates and Kris Dielman who they signed as undrafted free agents. For those who are counting that's 17 home-grown starters, which is pretty amazing no matter how you cut it! Lately the teams focus on draft day has been on the defensive side of the ball, but this year they could really go either way. At free safety Bhawoh Jue was brought in as a free agent and has done a solid job, but there is definitely room for improvement. Landry is a ballhawk with experience at both free and strong safety and bringing him in would provide the team with the type of playmaking dimension in the secondary that they are currently lacking. A couple of other major considerations would be the offensive line where they are solid at the starting spots but in great need of quality depth, especially at left tackle behind the aging Roman Oben, and linebacker where Randall Godfrey plans on retiring following the '05 season. Don't rule out a wide receiver either because, while they have some solid players, they lack a true #1 option. Still it would be hard to pass up a turnover machine in the secondary like Landry considering their lack of production and need for help in the area.
20. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
DT | Florida St. | Scouting Report
At long last the Chiefs finally decided to address their defense last offseason and while improvements were certainly made there is still work to be done, most notably up front. A big problem this season was the defensive tackles inability to keep blockers off of linebackers Derrick Johnson and Kendrell Bell which prohibits them from flying around and making plays, but adding a guy like Brodrick Bunkley would remedy that. Bunkley doesn't get a lot of attention but you can be sure pro scouts know all about him and his stock has steadily been on the rise all season long. A nose tackle who is able to effectively play both the run and the pass, this guy is very underrated right now but he won't be for much longer. Kansas City might also be looking to add a premier wide receiver since Eddie Kennison is getting older and they haven't really had a true #1 for some time now. Overall though the defense is still what really needs to be addressed and they could realistically opt for a lineman, linebacker or defensive back without much second-guessing from anyone. Last offseason was a big step in the right direction and one more effort like that could lead to the defense challenging their offensive counterparts for team superiority.
21. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
OLB | Alabama | Scouting Report
This really couldn't work out much better for the Patriots as they are able to land an excellent player who will fit in with what they try to do both in terms of talent and intangibles. Tedy Bruschi made a miraculous recovery and looks like he will be back to his old self soon but some help is needed inside. Mike Vrabel was shifted inside but he will likely replace Willie McGinest soon and free agent acquisitions Monty Beisel and Chad Brown have been solid but certainly nothing to write home about. DeMeco Ryans isn't the biggest or fastest linebacker out there but he is simply a playmaker with outstanding instincts who is very productive and seemingly always around the action. The other major need for New England would appear to be in the secondary at cornerback and safety so if a top defensive back fell into their laps he would likely garner serious consideration as well, but at this point Ryans and New England are such an ideal combination that it is hard to imagine them looking anywhere else if he were available.
22. DENVER BRONCOS (f/WAS)
WR | Ohio St. | Scouting Report
Even though it seems like Rod Smith is ageless he isn't getting any younger and while Ashley Lelie is a solid #2 he is never going to be able to fill Smith's shoes all by himself. Over the past few years the team has done just about everything they can to add depth to their receiving corps from drafting Darius Watts to bringing in guys like Jerry Rice and David Terrell. Obviously none of that worked since undrafted journeyman Charlie Adams out of Hofstra is currently their third option so bringing in a top wideout here would make a lot of sense. Santonio Holmes isn't the type of physically impressive receiver prospect we have seen in recent years like Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, but he is very fast and a big play threat who also does the little things like block and run good patterns. They could really go a number of directions with this pick knowing that they have another selection acquired from Washington in a trade prior to the draft a year ago but without question Holmes is the best fit in terms of value and need and they would have to consider themselves very lucky if the top receiver available lasts this long on draft day.
23. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
OT | Miami (FL) | Scouting Report
If the names Anthony Davis and Kenyatta Walker don't sound too familiar to you don't worry, they don't strike much fear into the hearts of opposing defensive ends either. Those two are actually the Buccaneers starting offensive tackles, Davis a former undrafted free agent on the left side and Walker a former first round pick and frequent resident of Jon Gruden's doghouse on the right side. Needless to say this is a team in desperate need of a stud blocker on the outside. Eric Winston is a former tight end who is still learning the position but has all the tools to possibly be a top left tackle at the next level and, at worst, a right tackle. In fact, had it not been for a serious knee injury Winston may have entered the draft last year and been the first offensive lineman chosen. He struggled early this year while still working his way back to 100% but came on late in the season and began to look like his old self. It usually takes a couple of years to come back from the type of injury he suffered so if teams base his draft grade on the way he played in 2005 someone could end up getting a major steal when he is fully recovered. Depending on what happens in free agency with Chris Simms they might also be in the market for a young quarterback and don't rule out defensive help either, especially at safety.
24. CAROLINA PANTHERS
OT | Miami (FL) | Scouting Report
When healthy the Panthers have arguably the best defensive tackle in the game but the fact is Kris Jenkins has been injured for two straight years now and with Brentson Buckner getting up there in years as well it is time to bring in some quality depth and insurance. Orien Harris, who is the younger brother of San Francisco offensive tackle Kwame Harris, has what you look for athletically and would be a major upgrade over the likes of Jordan Carstens and Kindal Moorehead. Prior to the 2004 season the team tried to move Jordan Gross from right to left tackle but after he struggled mightily they returned him to his original position, which left a hole on the left side. To fill that critical spot this year they moved Travelle Wharton, a guard, outside and to say he had some trouble would be an understatement so if a top left tackle fell to them that would be a viable option. A big wide receiver to help replace Muhsin Muhammad is needed as well since the Rod Gardner experiment was a failure and Keary Colbert didn't step up his play like they were hoping. If Stephen Davis is a cap casualty as has been rumored and the injury-prone DeShaun Foster leaves as a free agent there will be a major need at running back as well, especially since the team is said to be down on last years 2nd rounder Eric Shelton.
25. CHICAGO BEARS
TE | Georgia | Scouting Report
Sometimes it is hard to determine which side of the ball a team will address with their first round pick, but that isn't the case here. There is little doubt that the Bears defense ranks right up there with the best in the league, however the offense is on the other end of the spectrum and still needs some work. Right now their basic philosophy is to run the ball and let the defense take them home, but in order to allow the offense the opportunity to hold up their end of the bargain more playmakers are needed. Last offseason the team did a nice job of adding Muhsin Muhammad, Mark Bradley and Cedric Benson, not to mention Kyle Orton and upgrading the offensive line, but the work is far from done. One thing that can really help an offense, especially one with a young signal caller, is to bring in a tight end who can be a weapon in the passing game. Leonard Pope is a physical marvel at 6-7 and 250 pounds and is effective as both a pass catcher and blocker, which would mesh in well with what the Bears like to do on offense. There is an outside chance they could bring in some youth along the offensive line as well but at the end of the day this team needs guys who can help move the chains and put points on the board so Pope would be a great addition for them this late in round one.
26. CINCINNATI BENGALS
TE | U.C.L.A. | Scouting Report
There is little doubt that the majority of the Bengals most glaring needs lie on the defensive side of the ball but adding a top pass catching tight end could be the final touch for what is already one of the most prolific offenses in the entire league. The duo of Reggie Kelly and Matt Schobel bring very little to the table in terms of catching the ball so if they could find a major upgrade this late in round one it might make sense for them to pull the trigger. Marcedes Lewis is a great athlete who is like a wide receiver in a tight ends body with the size and speed to stretch the field and open things up for others. Addressing the defense is definitely a strong possibility though and adding a top safety to team with youngster Madieu Williams would be a wise move since Kevin Kaesviharn is not the type of player you want starting for you. There is a need along the defensive line as well inside at tackle where John Thornton and Bryan Robinson are solid players but provide little in the way of penetration so bringing in someone who can get after the quarterback from the interior would be smart as well. This could very well be defense but it might be awfully tempting to add yet another young weapon for Carson Palmer to play with.
27. PITTSBURGH STEELERS
RB | Southern Cal | Scouting Report
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know where the Steelers bread is buttered so any choice used to bolster the running game can hardly be criticized. The great Jerome Bettis is probably going to head off into the sunset (and Hall of Fame) and with Duce Staley unable to stay healthy the team will be in need of a big, bruising running back to compliment "Fast" Willie Parker. In a lot of ways White will remind you of Bettis in that despite his size (235 lbs.) he has tremendous feet and is a lot shiftier than you would think. Although Reggie Bush gets the majority of the attention White has been even more productive for the Trojans and has had a tremendous junior season himself. Much like Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams a year ago, both Bush and White grade out as 1st round picks which is rare to see from the same backfield. The defense is also a concern for Pittsburgh as that side of the ball hasn't played up to the level most have come to expect from them so they could look to add a defensive lineman, linebacker or defensive back with this pick as well. One thing this team can't live without though is a dominant running game and with the looming upheaval expected to come at that position bringing in a guy like White, an absolute ideal fit for their system, would be a very wise move on their part.
28. NEW YORK GIANTS
DT | L.S.U. | Scouting Report
The Giants have one of the better defensive end duos in the league with Michael Strahan and Osi Umeyiora, but the interior is a different story. William Joseph was beginning to look like a first round bust before starting to come on a little, but beyond him there is very little else with Kendrick Clancy and Fred Robbins being mediocre at best. Claude Wroten is a player who doesn't get a lot of attention but is quietly one of the better defensive prospects in this draft. Despite his lack of top sheer physical tools Wroten is active and very disruptive which could lead to him going much higher than casual college football observers would expect. The team might also be on the lookout for a top left tackle to replace Luke Petitgout or maybe even a wide receiver to bolster that corp. On defense some depth is probably needed at linebacker after seeing that group get ravaged by injuries and it wouldn't hurt to upgrade at safety or potentially bring in a replacement for free agent Will Allen at cornerback. Wroten is a good value at this point though and his addition would really improve the interior of the G-Men's defensive line.
29. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
CB | Clemson | Scouting Report
Everyone knows about Rashean Mathis, who is one of the better young cornerbacks in the league, but how many of you can name the other corners on the Jags roster? Give up? Well if the names Kenny Wright and Terry Cousin don't ring a bell you need not worry, they are journeymen at best and fans in Jacksonville probably wouldn't recognize them on the street. Needless to say it is imperative for the Jaguars to bring in a top young cornerback to round out what is one of the more impressive groups of young defensive talent in the league. Hill doesn't get a lot of publicity but he is a great athlete with tremendous speed who many feel is a better prospect than Justin Miller was a year ago. Another area the team could address is the defensive line where, despite having the best set of defensive tackles in the league, they are lacking outside opposite of Reggie Hayward where the duo of Paul Spicer and Marcellus Wiley leave a lot to be desired. As long as there is any type of value left at the cornerback position that would by all accounts be the obvious direction for them to go as it is easily their most glaring need.
30. DENVER BRONCOS
OT | Boise St. | Scouting Report
Through all their success in the last ten years there has been one constant for the Denver Broncos, and it wasn't John Elway or one of their many 1,000 yard rushers at running back. It was a great offensive line. There is a reason that whoever the team starts in the backfield excels and it all starts up front where the Broncos have traditionally fielded one of the best and most unheralded offensive lines in the league. There could be some changes looming though so it might be time to bring in a top youngster to groom. Daryn Colledge would fit right in with this group and could factor in at any of the tackle or guard positions so he would provide a lot of versatility. Despite having a lot of success with all of those Cleveland Brown castoffs the Broncos could also use an infusion of talent up front along the defensive line, especially at tackle, so that might be a direction they could go with one of these two first round picks as well. Don't rule out help in the secondary at safety either where John Lynch is getting older and depth is needed.
31. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
DE | Louisville | Scouting Report
This pick would fit right in with the Seahawks trend towards bucking convention when it comes to the NFL Draft. That's not to say they haven't made some great moves on Draft Day, but some of their choices have definitely gone against the grain. Dumervil figures to be one of the more controversial prospects in the draft because even though he lacks the size and speed you look for in a defensive end it is hard to ignore what a dominant sack machine he was in '05. Chike Okeafor was lost as a free agent and Bryce Fisher is nothing to write home about so it sure wouldn't hurt to bring in a top defensive end, even if only for the sake of depth. Linebacker is a concern as well and there is a chance that the undersized college defensive end Dumervil could change positions and eventually take over for Jamie Sharper there. Dumervil might be worth the risk at this point though and while the Dwight Freeney comparisons are way off base it will nevertheless be very interesting to see how his game translates to the next level.
32. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
OLB | U.T.E.P. | Scouting Report
After years of being a team known for having a great offense and terrible defense it appears that Tony Dungy's influence as well as some smart personnel moves have finally begun to pay dividends. As of now the Colts will likely keep their attention on the defense for at least one more year when it comes to the draft, although that plan could change depending on what happens with upcoming free agents Edgerrin James and Reggie Wayne. A Dungy signature and a principle the team has tried to adhere to is speed on defense and when it comes to that you would have a hard time finding a faster, more athletic linebacker than Thomas Howard. A former safety who walked on with the Miners early in his career, Thomas has been timed as fast as 4.45 in the forty and would provide the type of playmaking ability that is ideal for the Indy defensive scheme. Also, with David Thornton set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason this choice would provide a cheaper alternative and allow them to let him walk like they have done with other linebackers such as Mike Peterson and Marcus Washington in the past. A running back or wide receiver could still be possibilities if they lose James or Wayne, but as of now there is still some work to be done on the other side of the ball and Howard is the best value here.