ESPN.com's 2006 mock draft
ESPN.com's 10th annual interactive mock draft is over. Thanks for all the questions; we had way too many to answer. For a more in-depth look at the entire draft, check out the latest mock from Todd McShay, which starts at pick No. 1 and goes all the way to No. 255.
For more from McShay, Kiper, Pasquarelli, Clayton and others, check out our complete draft coverage.
Moderator: The first pick will be coming up. We'll start with a question from Rick in Hartford ... Lenny, is this one of the most unsettled drafts that you can remember in a while?
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: In terms of defining the top 6-8 players, no, because I think everyone pretty much has the same group. In terms of who is going where, yeah, one of the most unsettled I can remember in 28 years of doing this. And it's not like I'm the only one saying that. Guys whose voices are more important than mine, like Arizona coach Denny Green, agree. There's simply a lot of disagreement at the top. Add to that the fact that it's "Lying Time" again in the league, and it's really confusing.
Moderator: The Texans are on the clock and we have a question from Joe M. in Houston ... Is the Mario Williams thing w/the Texans legit or just a negotiating ploy? Also, is Williams really as good as many are making him out to be?
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Both really good questions, Joe. The second half first: Scouts love all the "measurables" with Williams and keep comparing him to Julius Peppers. Heck, I know one team that thinks he might be the second coming of Richard Seymour. But when you watch him on tape, you don't see consistent production. I went back and checked yesterday on some stats. Williams played in 36 games in college, yet had sacks in just 16 of those games. Of his 25½ career sacks, 13 came in four games. In 2005, he had 14½ sacks, but had three against Wake Forest, three against Southern Miss and four against Maryland. In 2004, he had six sacks, but three of those were against Florida State. As for the Texans' flirtation with him, part of it definitely is a negotiating ploy. From a football standpoint, it's a split house in Houston, where some coaches are pushing hard for Williams and some scouts wonder if he's the real deal. Could they take him first? Yeah, I think so, even though I think it would be a mistake. The Texans are starting to get a little antsy, we hear, over some of the Bush stuff.
Reggie Bush, RB, USC
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: When you have the chance to get a once-in-a-generation player, and add him to one of the league's worst offenses, money shouldn't be the overriding factor. The Texans will take Bush.
Moderator: The Saints are on the clock and before they pick we have a question from Rich Jones in Ohio ... Hey guys, just say the Texans pass on Reggie Bush, do you think the Saints would take him?
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: From what we've heard, yeah, in a heartbeat. Although if Reggie slips to No. 2, the Saints' phones are going to be ringing. I know the Saints have Duece McAllister and signed Michael Bennett in the offseason. But Bush would be good for the Saints both on and off the field. Can you imagine, given his great personality, what he might mean to that city?
Mario Williams, DE, NC State
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Saints would prefer to move down and take someone like Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk, but aren't getting many offers. Even with two former first-round ends on the roster, Williams is too good to pass up.
Moderator: The Titans are on the clock now and we have a question from Phil in Wichita) ... Will there end up being a rift between the coaching staff and the front office if the Titans take Young over Leinart?
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: I wouldn't call it a rift because Floyd Reese could still go with the coaching staff's wishes and go with Leinart. Reese has the final call. If he feels Young is the better quarterback in the long run, he should go for Young over Leinart. The Titans have been good about giving young quarterbacks time to develop without rushing them in as rookies.
Vince Young, QB, Texas
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Lots of intrigue in the Titans war room, with battle lines drawn between the Young and Matt Leinart supporters. The last time we looked, Bud Adams was still signing the paychecks, and the Titans' owner is believed to favor Young.
Moderator: The Jets are up and with Matt Leinart still on our board, things could get interesting. We have a question from Jerry in NYC ... Lenny, how bad will the Jets fans act if they take Ferguson over Leinart?
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Oh, they'll boo the choice, for sure. But the Ferguson pick would be a really good one. It doesn't matter who's playing quarterback if you can't keep the guy perpendicular. Have you looked at the Jets' offensive line depth chart? Ferguson is one of the surest things in this draft.
D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OT, Virginia
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: The fans might want Leinart, but it doesn't matter who the quarterback is if you can't protect him. Ferguson is one of the safest picks in the draft and he'll help solidify a shaky line.
Moderator: It's been a good week for Packers fans. Green Bay is now on the clock. Kelly in Wisconsin asks ... If Ferguson and Hawk are both on the board at No. 5, who will the Packers take?
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: They'd take Hawk. Mike McCarthy thinks Adrian Klemm is a better tackle than a guard so with Mark Tauscher and Chad Clifton, they have more tackles than can play at one time. They could move Tauscher inside, but they need talent on defense. They bid hard for LaVar Arrington and they got Charles Woodson. Hawk would help the linebacking corps and give them a future leader. Still, don't be surprised if they opt out for TE Vernon Davis, although I still think they take Hawk.
A.J. Hawk, LB, Ohio State
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Hawk has been the main Packers target the entire offseason. He'll add skill and leadership to their defense. While Hawk is the likely pick, don't be surprised if general manager switches off to give Brett Favre tight end Vernon Davis.
Moderator: The 49ers are on the clock.
Vernon Davis, TE, Maryland
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: The 49ers are fine whether they get Davis or Hawk. Figuring they would probably end up with Davis, the 49ers traded up with Denver to get the 22nd pick in the first round and be in position to get a defensive back or a linebacker. The 49ers just need starters.
Moderator: The Raiders are up, but we have a 49ers question from Aaron in Clinton ... The 49ers need a lot of help, do they have any possibility of trading up for the No. 1 pick to get Bush?
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: I don't think, Aaron, they've shown any inclination of doing so. And the price tag would be high. The top pick in the draft has a value of 3,000 points on the chart most teams use. The 49ers have the sixth pick (1,600 points) and the 22nd pick (780 points). That adds up to just 2,380 points. So the 49ers would have to give up both first-rounders and something else to make it work. Given all their needs, the 49ers, at least in my opinion, should just make the picks at their spots, because they'll get two good players to help them in their rebuilding.
Moderator: We're going to take a Raiders question before we get to their pick. Ryan asks .. Are the raiders seriously considering Vince Young even though Andrew Walter has gotten good reviews within the organization?
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: It seems they are, although it could be just smoke. And, let's face it, who blows smoke any better than the Raiders do? Still, if Young fell to them, the Raiders would have to strongly consider it, given his rare abilities. Good call on Walter, Ryan, because the reports on him this offseason have been favorable. He's a big guy, good pocket presence, with a big arm.
Matt Leinart, QB, USC
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Aaron Brooks was signed as a one-year fix at quarterback, so the Raiders can't turn down a franchise quarterback, whether it's Leinart or Young. Al Davis isn't the biggest fan of left-handed quarterbacks, despite the success of Ken Stabler, but Leinart is too talented to pass up.
Moderator: The Bills are up next.
Brodrick Bunkley, DT, Florida State
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: There are rumors they could be tempted by QB Jay Cutler and are also considering DT Haloti Ngata, but seem to be higher on Bunkley, more a one-gap tackle who better fits their defensive design. The Bills have lost starting tackles each of the last two offseasons.
Moderator: The Lions are on the clock and we have a question from Mike in Detroit ... Every mock draft I have seen has the Lions taking Huff from Texas, but it seems that you never know what Millen is going to do. What are the other possible picks the Lions will make at the No. 9 spot?
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: First off, Mike, do yourself a favor and put little stock in mock drafts. Yep, even this one! Teams spend millions scouting players and preparing for the draft, and most are lying to the reporters doing mock drafts. OK, now down from my soap box. I think there is some credence to the Huff projections, given that rookie coach Rod Marinelli wants a physical presence in the secondary. And Huff, even if he drops to No. 9, which he might not, is among the elite group of eight top-shelf players in this draft. The Lions might also consider one of the defensive tackles, if they are convinced that Dan Wilkinson is serious about retiring. Or they could trade down and would have some suitors if, say, Jay Cutler dropped to their spot.
Michael Huff, S, Texas
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer:There's a chance the Lions will trade down or, if they are convinced DT Dan Wilkinson is serious about retiring, take the best tackle available. But new coach Rod Marinelli wants a big hitter in the secondary and Huff delivers. One sure thing: The Lions won't take a wide receiver for the fourth year in a row.
Moderator: The Cardinals are up next. But first, we have a good question on the Texans and the No. 1 pick from Mario in Chico, Calif. ... Why are the Texans not considering D'Brickshaw Ferguson in the No. 1 slot? Last time I checked protecting a quaterback and establishing dominant line play is an important part of the game of football. Reggie Bush is a great player, but won't touch the ball more than 10 times a game. Why not take Ferguson here?
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Terrific question, Mario, especially with the Texans' continued inability to protect David Carr. I'm not a scout, but I guess the Texans, like just about everyone else, have players higher on their board than Ferguson. A lot of times, teams won't draft strictly for need with the top pick, but try to actually get the premier player in the draft. But I share your opinion of Ferguson. He's not Tony Boselli or Jonathan Ogden, so don't get lulled into believing that. But, as I stated earlier, he's one of the safest picks in this draft, a guy who should have a long and celebrated career.
Winston Justice, OT, USC
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Another team that will be tempted if Cutler is available, and LB Ernie Sims is also a big-time possibility here. But the Cardinals have to address the offensive line and Justice provides them a stud to line up next to LG Leonard Davis.
Moderator: The Rams are up and we have a question from John Curtis in St. Louis ... Will the Rams be tempted to take Jay Cutler in this spot. Obviously Bulger is good, but he's always getting hurt?
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: They will be tempted but they need defensive players. After the recent mini-camp, they felt the four players they brought in during free agency were their best players on defense. Marc Bulger is still young. Gus Frerotte is the backup. They need help in the secondary.
|11. St. Louis Rams|
Tye Hill, CB, Clemson
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: At the recent mini-camp the Rams' DBs didn't have a lot of success covering their talented receiving corps. Although the Rams would like to get a little big bigger at the cornerback position, Hill offers more coverage skills than Jimmy Williams.
Moderator: The Browns are on the clock.
Kamerion Wimbley, DE/LB, Florida State
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: GM Phil Savage has done his best this offseason to upgrade the defensive front seven. Although they will be tempted by defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, Wimbley gives Savage the Peter Boulware-type of rush-linebacker he's seeking.
Moderator: The Ravens are on the clock.
Haloti Ngata, DT, Oregon
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Ray Lewis wanted a big body in front of him to free him up and Ngata is that perfect player. Lewis misses Sam Adams and Tony Siragusa. With the Ravens back in the 4-3 defense, Ngata is the perfect fit.
Moderator: The Eagles are on the clock, which looks a little weird this early in the draft. First we have a question from Joe in Philadelphia ...Do you think the Eagles will be able to work out a trade for Javon Walker? What direction do you think they'll go when making their first pick: Best available or try and fill a need at LB/OL?
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Philly offered disgruntled DT Hollis Thomas and a low-round pick for Walker, and that didn't get it done. I can't see Andy Reid, and a team that believes as strongly in the draft as the Eagles do, giving up their first-rounder for Walker. I'd be stunned if that happened. And, remember, any team that deals for Walker will have to negotiate a contract extension, since he's in the last year of his deal. Andy likes linemen, on both sides of the ball, with his first-round picks. In fact, of the 57 players the Eagles have drafted under Reid, 14 have been offensive linemen. I think he'd love to get Winston Justice, but the USC tackle might not be there for him. It would be a little out of character for the Eagles to take a linebacker in the first round, but a guy like Ernie Sims would be hard to pass up.
Ernie Sims, LB, Florida State
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: History shows that coach Andy Reid usually prefers big guys, offensive and defensive linemen, early in the draft. But there aren't any value picks here on either side of the line, unless the Eagles make a bit of a reach for Ohio State center Nick Mangold. Eagles need to upgrade at linebacker and Sims lends plenty of speed to defense.
Moderator: The Broncos are on the clock
|15. Broncos (from Falcons)|
Santonio Holmes, WR, Ohio State
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Broncos will also consider WR Chad Jackson of Florida. Veteran wideout Rod Smith will be 36 next month and is entering his 12th season, and Denver brass is about ready to give up on former first-rounder Ashley Lelie, who is being shopped in trade talks. The offense needs an outside playmaker.
Moderator: The Dolphins are up and we have a question from Alex in Miami, Fla. ... Gentlemen, when Nick Saban arrived in Miami he emphasized the importance of building through the draft and the value of young players. However, while he added a second-rounder last year for Pat Surtain he also has given up a 2nd and 6th this year for players. Do you think he will make a move down in the first round to try and add some picks?
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Always a possibility, Alex, since Nick really is a firm believer in the draft. But I think he's identified 2-3 candidates he believes will be available at his spot in the first round, and will likley stay put and take one of them. Nick knows, by the way, he's got to start bringing in some fresh blood on defense. It's still a good unit, but most of the star-caliber players are getting older.
Manny Lawson, DE/LB, NC State
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Might go for one of the wide receivers, Holmes or Jackson, if one or either is still on the board. But Nick Saban knows he needs to get younger on defense and Lawson gives him a guy who can rush opposite Jason Taylor and, in time, replace him.
Moderator: The Vikings are on the clock.
Jay Cutler, QB, Vanderbilt
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: This might be the best pick in the first round. Adding Cutler's arm to Brad Childress' offense could make this a great pick. Childress won't have to rush Cutler into service because Brad Johnson can get him through this season.
Moderator: The Cowboys are on the clock and we have a question from Scott in Denver ... Hey guys, the Cowboys' most glaring need is probably the safety position opposite Roy Williams. My question: is Jason Allen from Tennessee worth the risk after missing a lot of time last season with an injury? Should they use that pick at No. 18 on him?
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Some teams still have concerns about Allen's hip, so he might be a gamble. I agree the Cowboys need to upgrade at safety but, for what it's worth, word is they won't take a safety in the first round and will get one a little later. Allen, though, is an intriguing guy because he can play safety and corner.
Bobby Carpenter, LB, Ohio State
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Bill Parcells and Jerry Jones won't be able to pass up another chance to complete the rebuilding of their 3-4 defense. Carpenter's father played for Parcells. Bobby understands what the coach wants.
Moderator: The Chargers are on the clock.
Jason Allen, CB/S, Tennessee
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: The prime need for the Chargers is a left tackle but it might be a little too early to take Marcus McNeill. Allen is a big corner with speed. Though the Chargers could trade down, Allen would give the defense versatility because he could also help out at safety.
Moderator: The Chiefs are on the clock.
Jimmy Williams, CB, Virginia Tech
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Chiefs allowed CB Eric Warfield to depart and need some help. Free agent Lenny Walls is often injured and promising young veteran Julian Battle may not be ready for prime time yet. Could also be tempted by some of the other corners still on the board or by a wide receiver like Chad Jackson.
Moderator: The Patriots are on the clock and we have a question from Sean in Boston ... Do you think the Patriots might try and move up in the draft to get the player (linebacker) they want, or do you think they'll take the best one available at 21?
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: The Pats have shown some history of moving up, but I think they'll stay put and take either a LB, DB or RB.
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Memphis
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: The Patriots need to identify the eventual successor to tailback Corey Dillon and Williams is a steal at this juncture. Another team that will be tempted if WR Chad Jackson is still around.
Moderator: The 49ers are back on the clock for their second first-round pick.
|22. 49ers (from Broncos)|
Johnathan Joseph, CB, South Carolina
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Have you seen the 49ers' cornerback depth chart? 'Nuff said.
Moderator: The Buccaneers are on the clock.
Marcus McNeill, OT, Auburn
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: If the Bucs determine that past back injuries are no issue, and it appears that McNeill has been cleared by their doctors, they'll jump at the opportunity to grab a quality young left tackle.
Moderator: The Bengals are on the clock.
Antonio Cromartie, CB, Florida St.
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Though most people believe the Bengals will take a tight end, the only first-round tight end on their board is Vernon Davis, who is long gone. The Bengals have a little age at the cornerback position, so Cromatrie is the type of speed corner who can be groomed for a future starting job.
Moderator: The Giants are on the clock and we'll get back to a few more questions. This one is from Mark in Wilmington ... The Giants have solved many of their defensive issues that plagued them last year in the playoffs. Are they going to continue that trend in the early rounds of the draft, or do you see them going for a good left tackle, or perhaps a speedy, play-making receiver? And if so could you give me some possible names of who they would target.
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Unfortunately, given where the Giants pick, the really top defensive tackles will probably be off the board. I'm a big fan of DT John McCargo of North Carolina State, but don't know that he's a good fit, schematically, for the Giants. He's more a one-gap tackle. After that, they might be reaching a bit if they took a tackle. There is some noise they're looking at wide receivers, but it's a very thin position, unless they wanted to go for someone like Sinorice Moss of Miami. Again, is he a good fit? The Giants like bigger receivers. But Moss is a playmaker and adding him to that offense might really make it special.
Chad Jackson, WR, Florida
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: The Giants don't need a linebacker after signing LaVar Arrington, so they could just take the best athlete available. They will be tempted by the speed at the cornerback position, but Jackson will give them speed at wide receiver, which is needed.
Moderator: The Bears are on the clock.
DeMeco Ryans, LB, Alabama
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Expect the Bears to trade out of the first round, but if they stay, Ryans would give them an insurance policy in case they eventually can't re-sign Lance Briggs or Hunter Hillenmeyer.
Moderator: The Panthers are up and we'll take a question from Justin in Indianapolis ... Most people have the Panthers taking a running back, but wouldn't it be possible for a linebacker with the loss of Will Witherspoon?
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Yeah, I think it is possible, Justin. The Panthers did address the linebacker situation some by adding Keith Adams and Na'il Diggs, but someone like Chad Greenway of Iowa could be attractive to them. That said, if I were a betting man, and I'm not, I'd bet on RB over LB.
Donte Whitner, S, Ohio State
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Could go a lot of ways, and would consider Iowa linebacker Chad Greenway or a running back under this scenario. But Whitner brings the kind of physical presence to the secondary that coach John Fox covets, and the Panthers lost starting SS Marlon McCree in free agency.
Moderator: The Jaguars are on the clock.
Chad Greenway, LB, Iowa
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Might look to the offensive line for help and, even though it might be a bit of a reach, TE Marcedes Lewis of UCLA is also a possibility. Greenway doesn't test fast, but he plays fast, and he'd be a nice fit with the Jaguars linebacker corps.
Moderator: The Jets are back up for their second first-round pick.
|29. Jets (from Broncos)|
Davin Joseph, OG, Oklahoma
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Jets will strongly consider a running back here and there's a good chance, too, they'll move out of the slot. Joseph isn't a sexy pick, and the New York draftniks will go nuts if the Jets use both first-rounders on offensive linemen, but this is a solid pick.
Moderator: The Colts are up and we have a question from Derrick in Indy ... Is it basically a given that the Colts will draft a RB in Round 1?
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: No, it's not a given. The Colts believe they can get a good running back in the second round. Although they would like to draft a defensive player at No. 30, expect them to get a running back because the run on cornerbacks and linebackers is going to take away their top prospects at those positions.
Laurence Maroney, RB, Minnesota
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Though general manager Bill Polian would prefer to take a defensive player in the first round, the run on linebackers and cornerbacks leaves them in the position to get better running backs than expected. Now, they won't have to sweat into the second round to replace Edgerrin James. Getting Maroney at No. 30 is a bargain.
Moderator: The Seahawks are on the clock. We have a question from Greg in Seattle ... With Ty Law as a prospective pick up for the Seahawks, do they still draft a player to beef up the secondary?
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Seahawks president Tim Ruskell said Wednesday that, while there is still some interest in Ty Law, things are on hold until after the draft. And that's probably a safe approach, since it doesn't seem like anyone else is close to signing Law. I think the Seahawks have to upgrade in the secondary, whether it's with a corner or safety or one of the many "combo" defensive backs in this draft.
Kelly Jennings, CB, Miami
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: GM Tim Ruskell needed a safety and a cornerback and they got the safety in Mike Green of the Chicago Bears, whom they acquired for a sixth-round pick. They have continued to talk with Ty Law, but Jennings gives them a corner to replace Andre Dyson.
Moderator: The Steelers are on the clock with the final pick in ESPN.com's interactive mock draft. Lets take a question from Matt in Albuquerque ... With the last pick in the first round, should the Steelers try to plug up some holes on defense (secondary), or just get the best player available (L. White)?
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: Whoever the Steelers pick will be a luxury, a guy they won't have to rush onto the field. LenDale White is going to be very intriguing if he falls to them. But don't rule out a safety, like Ko Simpson, or someone like Ohio State center Nick Mangold. Whoever the Steelers take, it will be a solid pick, and a tough guy.
LenDale White, RB, USC
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: The Steelers really don't think White's going to drop to them. They think he could go to the Panthers or the Jaguars, but he's the big back who can replace Jerome Bettis. White repaired his image during his visit to the Steelers. If he's there, he's a Steeler.
Moderator: OK, that's it. Thanks for all the questions and sorry we couldn't get to more. Tune in Saturday starting at noon ET on ESPN to catch all the action. For a complete mock draft from No. 1 to No. 255, check out Todd McShay's seven-round mock.
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