Since I follow college football so much one of my favorite days of the year is the NFL Draft. I know a lot of people don't get it or think it's stupid but I have a great time watching or in the case of this year, listening to the draft. It's a day for new hopes as it starts the process of building the team for the upcoming year which is always welcome considering how bad my team the Oakland Raiders did last year.
Starting at the top the Texans drafted Mario Williams ahead of Reggie Bush and it does make sense on many levels. If Houston believes Williams is the next Julius Peppers as he was being called and combine that with the fact that the Texans already have 3 decent RB's in Domanick Davis, Jonathan Wells and Vernand Morency so RB wasn't a need. I don't have too much of a problem with the pick, unlike most others, I think Houston did what they think is needed for their team.
The Saints got lucky and had Reggie Bush fall into their lap. Sure they have Deuce McAllister but he has been banged up the past few years and by getting Reggie it will allow them to split carries and makes it better for both backs.
The Titans did what was rumored and drafted Vince Young who was the favorite of owner Bud Adams as opposed to Matt Leinart who had previously worked with and had great success with Coach Norm Chow. I was hoping the Raiders could nab him at 7 since if the Titans hadn't drafted him he probably would have fallen that far but it was not to be. Vince is the highest drafted QB but he might be put into the worst situation as there is a good chance that he could be called upon for heavy duty this season since the Titans are probably going to let Steve McNair go. I still like the pick and believe that Vince will be a very good pro.
D'Brickashaw Ferguson, AJ Hawk and Vernon Davis were the next three to go, just as expected, all solid picks and fit needs for all teams. Then came the Raiders who were at #7. It had long been rumored they were enamored with Vince but since he was gone I wanted Michael Huff because the Raiders could definitely use secondary help and I really am not sold on Leinart as an NFL QB, more on that later. My brother who for some unknown reason decided to make the Detroit Lions his team a few years ago, and also loves Texas second to Michigan was furious when the Raiders took Huff since he had been slotted to the Lions for quite sometime now. Double bonus for me.
Then at the #8 spot the Bills started the day with the "What the hell were they thinking?" pick and not only did it at that spot but continued to do it at #25 when they took Donte Whitner and John McCargo respectively. Granted I am a Wolverine so I hate all Buckeyes but Whitner is nowhere near that sort of talent at #8. If I'm a Bills fan I am just asking myself what just happened? I do think they did get great value in the 3rd and 4th rounds picking up Ashton Youboty and Ko Simpson.
I really can't do this for the entire first round so I'll just pick and choose from here on out. That brings us to Mr. Hollywood himself Matt Leinart who fell to the Arizona Cardinals at #10. I did say I didn't think Leinart would become a good pro and that he was more of a byproduct of his system than his skills, much like most Duke basketball players, but he definitely got put into the best situation he could have hoped for with an offense as stacked as it is. He can learn from Kurt Warner for about 5 weeks until he gets hurt then can take control of an offense that has Edgerrin James for him to handoff to and Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin to throw to, good deal for him.
San Diego took a big gamble at #19 with Florida State early entry CB Antonio Cromartie, also you can't forget the fact that he did not play a single game in 2005. Pretty good if you ask me, he sits out a year and works out pretty well and with his size becomes a first round pick. I remember when Cromartie came up to Michigan for his recruiting visit the Maize Rage was there chanting his name and he was loving it. Guess that doesn't do anything for him though as he went to Florida State. He is a big, fast corner but he hasn't played in a year and they used a first round pick on him? Who knows he could end up being a stud but we'll see.
I definitely liked picks 25 and 27 for Pittsburgh and Carolina, respectively as the Steelers moved up to get Santonio Holmes and the Panthers took DeAngelo Williams, the RB I had ranked as 2nd best in this draft. Holmes is also a Buckeye but he will fit in well with Pittsburgh and gives them a WR to replace Antwaan Randle El who departed to Washington via Free Agency. Carolina gets a very good RB in Williams which they needed considering how fragile all the Carolina RB's seem to be.
Chad Jackson and Jimmy Williams at 36 and 37 for New England and Atlanta were steals as they both were slated to be first round selections. Although they did have character concerns the Eagles and Titans made good pickups of Winston Justice and Lendale White in the 2nd round. If not for the off the field issues they're probably both first round picks. I also liked the Sinorice Moss and Greg Jennings picks as well. Most people don't know who Greg Jennings is but he is a WR from Western Michigan that just lights it up. To tell you the truth I've never seen him play either but I did have him on my college fantasy football team and there were weeks that he carried my team to victory this past season, much like 2005 NFL draftee Ryan Moats did for my team the year before. Because of that I really think Jennings will become a solid pro especially in GB where they need new WR targets since Javon Walker is gone.
Picks I really liked in the third round include Abdul Hodge, Leonard Pope, Brian Calhoun, Jerious Norwood and David "I catch every ball thrown to me" Thomas of Texas who you might remember from the Rose Bowl catching every ball thrown his way that night. I could go on through all the rounds but I won't and just mention that there were plenty of players on Day 2 who I thought were great pickups at that point.
Gabe Watson and Jason Avant were drafted in the 4th round by Arizona and Philadelphia. The surprise came when Tim Massaquoi was drafted by Tampa Bay in the 7th round. Watson and Avant were both drafted lower than expected but that's what happens when you workout poorly and have a rep being lazy (Watson) or run a slow 40 at a position where it's glorified (Avant). I do think Avant will be great for the Eagles because he is a possession receiver like no other. There aren't many balls I remember Avant not coming up that were within reach during his 4 years .
Overall I think the Raiders drafted ok, not as horribly as they have in the past when Al Davis just drafts speed and only speed but not great either, I am definitely glad to see the defensive help we got and getting Darnell Bing in the 4th round was pretty good, it just seems like the natural progression from Long Beach Poly to USC to the Raiders.
Teams I thought had great drafts include Green Bay, Philadelphia and Tennessee. Other than Buffalo I can't really see any other teams I thought had bad drafts, everyone seemed to have their share of good and bad picks. Now it's time to see how these guys will do on the field.