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- Top Ten NFL Draft Issues

Chris Pokorny May 13, 2006
Chris Pokorny
PFC Owner & Writer

Tell Chris your opinion.

The draft is a few weeks old now, but the topics of conversation regarding several of the picks are still hot. I'm going to discuss several controversial decisions, and reflect on whether or not they made sense or will benefit their team in the future. Here are the top ten topics in the first round in the draft, counting down to the biggest issue of them all.

Issue 10: Buccaneers Taking Davin Joseph Too Early?
Although Joseph was rated as my top guard in the draft, it was a surprise to see him selected in the first round. I think the 49'ers should have taken someone at the cornerback position, but that may have changed after the San Diego Chargers nabbed Antonio Cromartie. Still, Jonathan Joseph and Jimmy Williams were still available, as well as offensive tackle Winston Justice, who fell to the second round.

Issue 9: Denver Preparing Their Future Quarterback
I originally thought that Broncos would have a huge offensive first round with the possibility of selecting WR Chad Jackson and RB DeAngelo Williams. Before the draft, the Broncos traded away their second first-round pick, leading me to believe they'd only take Jackson. To my surprise, they traded up to the 11th spot and selected Jay Cutler, after Jake Plummer was coming off the best season of his career. Obviously Cutler will not see any playing time for several years, which brings up the question: Why did Denver waste their two-first round potential impact players for this year in exchange for the future? Isn't it time to win now?

Issue 8: Browns "Giving" Ravens Their Guy
Ray Lewis was sick of offensive lineman preventing him from getting through the line. Lewis all but demanded that the Ravens select DT Haloti Ngata. There was one problem though: the Browns were scheduled to pick one spot ahead of the Ravens, and were believed to have Ngata as the highest rated player on their draft board. The Browns ended up trading down one spot, theoretically "giving" the Ravens their guy. Does anyone actually believe it was a bad move by the Browns though? The Browns obviously decoyed the Ravens, and were going to take DE/LB Kamerion Wimbley regardless of whether or not a trade occurred. Who did the Browns take with the sixth-rounder by the way? They took DT Babatunde Oshinowo, who was rated as the fifth-best nose tackle in the draft.

Issue 7: LenDale White Will Remember Who Passed
After the BCS Championship and White's shining moments, many believed that his stock could have raised him into the top five players in the draft. His stock quickly dropped, eventually all the way down to the second round. The Colts, Jets, and Steelers were the potential late-first-round suitors for White, but they all passed on him. The Titans may have gotten a steal with White, and if he is able to prove all of his doubters wrong, we'll never hear the end of it. He'll have an opportunity to shine with the Titans too - it's not as if Chris Brown or Travis Henry were that special or anything.

Issue 6: Almost A Wide-Receiver-Free Round
Compared to the past several years, we knew that this was one of the weakest wide receiver classes in recent memory. Chad Jackson and Santonio Holmes were the top receivers, and the earliest one of them was expected to be taken was at number 15. Sinorice Moss was also a strong candidate to be taken at the end of the first round. Instead, Jackson, rated by many as the top receiver, wasn't even taken in the first round. Perhaps, the only reason that Holmes was selected as high as he was is due to the Steelers trading up to get up.

Issue 5: New Orleans Selecting Reggie Bush
Granted, the Saints had to be surprised that Bush suddenly fell into their hands. In the end, who in their right minds would not take a player with the caliber of Bush? However, let's take a look at the Saints current condition. They already have Deuce McAllister, one of the premiere runners in the NFC when healthy. He has struggled the past few years with an average-at-best offensive line. The New York Jets probably would've loved to have Bush, so couldn't the Saints have traded down and taken Ferguson, as well as pick up the Jets other first-round pick? It's easier said then done, but Bush will not make the Saints a contender right away because they need a whole lot of depth at several other positions.

Issue 4: Raiders, Bills, and Lions Skip a Quarterback
The Raiders are apparently going to "settle" with Aaron Brooks for a year or two. The Bills will have to choose between veteran Kelly Holcomb, underachiever J.P. Losman, and the question mark in Craig Nall. The Lions will have to choose between Jon Kitna and Josh McCown after several miserable years under Joey Harrington. Matt Leinart fell into each of their hands, and they all passed up on him. Leinart is proclaimed as a quarterback who has the tangibles to simply step into the NFL and win, and if that's the way he turns out, all three of those teams will wonder why they ever passed on him.

Issue 3: Titans Switching From Leinart to Young
The past few months before the draft, it seemed like the Titans were sold on taking Leinart. Why did they suddenly have a change of heart and revert back to taking Vince Young? Young was absolutely amazing at the BCS Championship game, but his stock apparently "fell" a great deal following the game. Young brings almost an identical style that Steve McNair brought. Leinart would've been the safe choice for the Titans, but give credit to the Titans for having the guts to take a chance on someone with mass potential.

Issue 2: Texans Passing on Reggie Bush
This was very close to the top issue in the draft, since this seemed to be a 100% lock in my mind until the day before the draft when the Texans signed Mario Williams. If you would've told me three days before the draft that the Texans would pass on Bush, I would've thought you had no clue about the draft. Bush was supposed to be drafted, he was going to be drafted. It didn't happen, and I can't imagine too many Texans fans were happy with it. I know that Domanick Davis isn't that bad, but when you reflect over the past few years, he has been injured often and has not been a game-changer by any means.

Issue 1: Buffalo Reaching Not Once, But Twice
And the top issue in the draft - why in the world did the Bills do what they did in the first round? I'm not questioning the individual players that they took, but what the Bills appeared to do in my mind is look at their draft board and take the top players on it, regardless on where they were picking. So if Donte Whitner would've been the top player on their board and they had the second pick, they probably would've taken him. The Bills probably could have traded down to the middle of the first round - ahead of the Cowboys - and been able to select Whitner still. Then, after moving back into the first round again to take DT John McCargo, I was really lost. Again, I don't have an issue with the players that were taken, but the Bills should have been able to add several more picks through trades. Instead, they lost position after getting McCargo.

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