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-2006 NFL Mock Draft - Round 1
By Chris Pokorny, PFCritics Writer
April 19, 2006
The 2006 NFL Draft will take place from April 29th to the 30th. On the first day of the draft, teams will try to find impact players during rounds 1-3. On the second day of the draft, teams will try to find potential "steals" that are still available, as rounds 4-7 cap off the draft. It's always fun to predict what will happen during the first round of the draft, and that's exactly what I have done here at PFCritics.com.

The only thing I always hate about creating a mock draft is the potential trades that may occur. Not only would a trade void my pick at that spot in the draft, but everyone else could be affected as well. Teams have to decide whether or not they will choose the best player available, or the best player suited for their team. That's where the value of the pick comes into play, because nothing is ever sure when it comes to the draft. However, I am pretty sure everyone knows who the Houston Texans will be selecting.

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PFCritics.com Mock Draft - Round 1
Houston Texans - Reggie Bush, RB - USC
1 - This is almost a no-brainer pick for the Texans. In fact, if the Texans do not select Bush, then this entire mock draft could be completely different. The only other questionable position that the Texans would take is a quarterback, but it appears as if they are willing to give David Carr at least another year. If Bush turns out to be the "once-in-a-lifetime" player that he's being tagged as, then maybe it was worth it all along to "throw away" so many games last season.
New Orleans Saints - D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OT - Virginia
2 - Prior to signing Drew Brees, the Saints probably would have selected either Matt Leinart or Vince Young at this pick. Now, the Saints could very well trade this pick to a team that's interested in Leinart in an attempt to snag him before the Titans do. If the Saints do not find an adequate trade though, their options will come down to Ferguson and Mario Williams. The Saints already lost a huge part of their offensive line to free agency (LeCharles Bentley), and adding a franchise left tackle would only do well for Brees and RB Deuce McAllister.
Tennessee Titans - Matt Leinart, QB - USC
3 - Yes, the Titans do still have Steve McNair, Billy Volek, and Matt Mauck on their team. McNair can still play the same without question, but he has shown that he cannot survive through a 16-week season without getting injured. Volek has shown signs of life, but he will probably be well suited as a backup. Taking Leinart will solidify the quarterback position on a team that is attempting to mix proven veterans with their young players over the next few seasons.
New York Jets - Mario Williams, DE - N.C. State
4 - With the Jets implementing the 3-4 defense under new head coach Eric Mangini, Williams will be the perfect young player to make an impact in his system for a long time to come. With Williams touted as possibly the second best player in the draft, there is no way the Jets will pass him up here, unless Ferguson is still on the board.
Green Bay Packers - A.J. Hawk, OLB - Ohio State
5 - The Packers have already made several defensive upgrades, but there primary focus in the draft will still be to improve up front. They will have their sights set on Williams and Hawk, but chances are that Williams will either go to the Jets or the Saints. Hawk is without question the best linebacker in the draft and could wreck havoc on a division full of quarterbacks that aren't considered very good.
San Francisco 49ers - Vernon Davis, TE - Maryland
6 - In the NFL, we are beginning to see the idea of young quarterbacks being paired up with an elite tight end. Eli Manning has Jeremy Shockey, Phillip Rivers has Antonio Gates, and Charlie Frye will "supposedly" have Kellen Winslow Jr. Alex Smith struggled to find the end zone last year, but a reliable target in Davis will not only help Smith during crunch time, but he could draw some defenders off of the receivers.
Oakland Raiders - Vince Young, QB - Texas
7 - When the Raiders signed Aaron Brooks, I can't imagine that Al Davis projected him as their quarterback of the future. Brooks will only last a year with the Raiders as a placeholder for either Young or Jay Cutler. Despite all of the downward spirals that Young's stock has supposedly taken, just take a look at the BCS Championship game to figure out why Davis simply can not pass him up.
Buffalo Bills - Winston Justice, OT - USC
8 - Justice's stock is constantly rising, however, the question is whether or not it'll actually raise this high. The Bills could just as easily take DT Haloti Ngata, but Justice could potentially be not too far behind Ferguson in terms of a franchise left tackle. Whoever the Bills choose as their quarterback though, it would be nice to have a reliable protector for years to come.
Detroit Lions - Chad Jackson Michael Huff, CB/S - Texas
9 - Please note that the Jackson pick is purely sarcasm. This will mark the first time in years that the Lions will be selecting a position besides wide receiver with their first pick, and rightfully so. The Lions need to add someone in the secondary, and Huff gives them the versatility to place him at cornerback or safety.
Arizona Cardinals - Jay Cutler, QB - Vanderbilt
10 - The Cardinals just signed Kurt Warner to a new deal, but honestly, isn't this the same situation that the Titans are in? The Cardinals have not had a stable quarterback for years, and although Warner can lead them well, he cannot survive a 16-week season anymore. Dennis Green will take Young at this spot if the Raiders decide they want Cutler instead.
St. Louis Rams - Haloti Ngata, DT - Oregon
11 - This area of the draft will see a solid group of defensive players on the board, and that's exactly what the Rams will be looking for. They will also have their eye on CB Jimmy Williams, but Ngata and Bunkley are the best defensive tackles in the draft. The Rams need a more dominating presence up front, so it'll depend on whichever tackle they prefer.
Cleveland Browns - Broderick Bunkley, DT - Florida State
12 - The Browns have already made some outstanding offensive and defensive acquisitions in the offseason, including DT Ted Washington. Washington is old though, and the team needs to develop a young defensive tackle that'll plug the line for years to come. Ngata and Bunkley are probably the most realistic to go to the Browns, but it's possible that they'll add a linebacker instead.
Baltimore Ravens - Gabe Watson, DT - Michigan
13 - I'll admit, this is the only spot of my mock draft where I felt I was reaching. Originally, I believed that the Ravens would be interested in Justice, Bunkley, Ngata, or Cutler. I don't really think they need a lot of help with their linebackers and secondary, and the next best option at defensive tackle is Watson. Why is that a reach? Because before I started my mock draft, I had envisioned Watson being selected in the early part of the second round.
Philadelphia Eagles - Ernie Sims, OLB - Florida State
14 - The Eagles defense is not what is used to be, and Sims speed will add a spark to the team's defensive unit. The Eagles would also love to have a defensive tackle, but the top three players from that position are already selected.
Denver Broncos - Chad Jackson, WR - Florida
15 - The Broncos did not have very many flaws last year, so they have to decide whether their focus will be on offense or defense. The Broncos need a running back after the departure of Mike Anderson, but there are a lot more backs in the draft than there are receivers. While Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie make a fair tandem, Smith is getting older and Lelie still needs to establish himself a little more.
Miami Dolphins - Jimmy Williams, CB - Virgina Tech
16 - After losing Patrick Surtain and Sam Madison in recent years, the Dolphins could use some fresh blood at the cornerback position. Ranked as the best cornerback in the draft, Saban will be thrilled if Williams falls this far and is not selected by the Rams or the Ravens.
Minnesota Vikings - Jason Allen, S - Tennessee
17 - I certainly hope the Vikings do not take another running back. They already signed Chester Taylor as a free agent, and I would like the Vikings to stick with him. The Vikings could really use a linebacker and have their sights set on Ernie Sims in my mind. If the Eagles do indeed select him, Minnesota may still consider Chad Greenway or DeMeco Ryans. However, Allen's potential at safety will be difficult to pass up at this point.
Dallas Cowboys - Kamerion Wimbley, OLB - Florida State
18 - After taking Demarcus Ware last year, the Cowboys will continue their development of young, playmaking linebackers. Wimbley's stock has been rising tremendously, and his versatility will help the Cowboys stop the likes of Clinton Portis and Tiki Barber in the NFC East.
San Diego Chargers - Santonio Holmes, WR - Ohio State
19 - After Keenan McCardell, the Chargers do not have a significant threat at the wide receiver position. Holmes will be a good target for Phillip Rivers to develop with over the next few years as McCardell makes his transition towards retirement.
Kansas City Chiefs - Tye Hill, CB - Clemson
20 - The Chiefs are in desperate need of a big-name receiver, so it shouldn't please them that Jackson and Holmes are already off the board - both to division rivals no less. The Chiefs seem to always need an upgrade at cornerback, and new head coach Herman Edwards will address a defensive need with Hill.
New England Patriots - Manny Lawson, DE/OLB - N.C. State
21 - I would have to believe that this is a perfect match for the Patriots defense. The Patriots lost Willie McGinest to free-agency, and Lawson provides the versatility of defensive end and linebacker very well. The Patriots defense is what led them to their Super Bowls, but they've been stuck with the 32nd pick in the first round the past several years it seems.
San Francisco 49ers - DeAngelo Williams, RB - Memphis
22 - I just finished my mock draft, and found out about the 49ers trade with Denver to attain this pick. I originally had the Broncos taking Williams, so I'm keeping it that way for the moment. The 49ers will upgrade at two offensive positions if they take a runner here, which would really add depth for the future of this young team.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Antonio Cromartie, CB - Flordia State
23 - The Buccaneers will probably be thinking defense with this pick after taking Carnell Williams last year. Cromartie will be the best available cornerback on the board, but they could just as easily take defensive end Tamba Hali to offer a future presence on the outside of the line.
Cincinnati Bengals - Leonard Pope, TE - Georgia
24 - The Bengals defense was able to create a lot of turnovers last year, but they gave up way too many yards and points, which could lean them towards taking a defensive player at this spot. Offensively, perhaps their only weakness is at the tight end position. Pope will add a tough, receiving tight end to Palmer's game, and we know how important that can be when you compare the situation to a team like the Colts.
New York Giants - Chad Greenway, OLB - Iowa
25 - Out of all of the teams, the Giants are one of the few where I believe that they will take a linebacker in the first round, regardless of what happens. Their linebackers are nothing to brag about, and Greenway is an absolute steal at this point. He was originally considered the second-best linebacker behind A.J. Hawk only, but has fallen behind Ernie Sims and Kamerion Wimbley over the past few weeks.
Chicago Bears - Jonathan Joseph, CB - South Carolina
26 - The Bears obviously have some problems moving the ball on offense, but that's something that can't change in one year. The Bears are built on defense, and their cornerbacks did not do a solid job in the playoffs last year. Nathan Vasher will play one cornerback spot, but Charles Tillman will move to safety and Jerry Azumah retired.
Carolina Panthers - Laurence Maroney, RB - Minnesota
27 - I was stuck between choosing LB Bobby Carpenter or a running back for the Panthers. The Panthers locked up RB DeShaun Foster, but history has shown that the Panthers are usually down to their third-string runner come playoff time due to injury. Their defense is manageable due to the playmakers they still have, so they will hold off on a linebacker until round two.
Jacksonville Jaguars - DeMeco Ryans, OLB - Alabama
28 - Similar to the Giants, I'm almost positive that the Jaguars will take a linebacker with this pick. Ryans seems to be the most obvious pick and will continue the progress of one of the league's best defenses.
New York Jets - Marcus McNeil, OT - Auburn
29 - The Jets need a running back after the injury concerns of Curtis Martin last year, but that may be something that can hold off for another year, or be addressed in another round. After missing out on Ferguson earlier in the first round, the Jets will settle for the next best thing - Marcus McNeil. McNeil may be underrated too - he has the potential to be a franchise left tackle as well.
Indianapolis Colts - LenDale White, RB - USC
30 - The Colts will not settle with Dominic Rhodes as their full-time starter, and they'll be thrilled if White is still available at this point. White is not nearly the same as RB Edgerrin James, but he has the talent to be worked into the Colts system - especially on draw plays - very effectively.
Seattle Seahawks - Tamba Hali, DE - Penn State
31 - The Seahawks ideally need an upgrade in their secondary or a young offensive lineman due to the departure of Steve Hutchinson. However, with most of the top cornerbacks off the board and the offensive linemen not being overly impressive, it may be difficult to pass up on Hali due to his potential, and the fact that he could have been selected around the 20th spot.
Pittsburgh Steelers - Sinorice Moss, WR - Miami
32 - I'm sold on the fact that the Steelers will either take Moss, or C Nick Mangold. However, after losing Antwaan Randle El to the Bears, the Steelers need another receiver who can be a deep threat for Ben Roethlisberger. Better yet, they need another receiver threat in general after Hines Ward.

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