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NFL DRAFT: Mock selection

Friday, April 28, 2006

BY PAUL NEEDELL

Star-Ledger Staff

1 -- Texans -- RB Reggie Bush, USC (6-0, 205, 4.34 speed)

 

Comment: Houston jumps all over the draft's most exciting player, the next Marshall Faulk/Barry Sanders.

 

2 -- Saints -- OT D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Virginia (6-6, 295, 5.05 speed)

 

Comment: Wanting to protect QB Drew Brees, Ferguson gets nod over DE Mario Williams since Jammal Brown's move to left tackle was shaky.

 

3 -- Titans -- QB Vince Young, Texas (6-4 1/2 240, 4.55 speed)

 

Comment: Coach Jeff Fisher and offensive coordinator Norm Chow prefer Matt Leinart but GM Floyd Reese calls the shots.

 

4 -- JETS -- DE Mario Williams, N.C. State (6-7, 291, 4.71 speed)

 

Comment: New GM Mike Tannenbaum passes up Leinart to earn his first obligatory boos from the draft gallery.

 

5 -- Packers -- LB A.J. Hawk, Ohio State (6-1, 247, 4.67 speed)

 

Comment: Highest a LB has gone since LaVar Arrington went second in 2000. QB Brett Favre was hoping for TE Vernon Davis.

 

6 -- 49ers -- TE Vernon Davis, Maryland (6-3, 253, 4.38 speed)

 

Comment: Coach Mike Nolan wants to give QB Alex Smith a dynamic weapon to build an offense around.

 

7 -- Raiders -- QB Matt Leinart, USC (6-4 1/2, 228, 4.88 speed)

 

Comment: Last time Al Davis took a souhpaw from USC it was bust named Todd Marinovich. Oops! Maybe Leinart will be more Ken Stabler.

 

8 -- Bills -- DT Brodrick Bunkley, Florida State (6-2 1/2, 305, 4.97 speed)

 

Comment: GM Marv Levy mulls long and hard about Michael Huff but can't bring himself to take a safety this high.

 

9 -- Lions -- S Michael Huff, Texas (6-0, 205, 4.35 speed)

 

Comment: Matt Millen rejoices when Bills pass on Huff. Fans in Detroit rejoice that it's not a wide receiver for fourth straight year.

 

10 -- Cardinals -- LB Ernie Sims, Florida State (5-11, 234, 4.54 speed)

 

Comment: If Dennis Green had more time, he'd take QB Jay Cutler, but Arizona has to start winning pronto.

 

11 -- Rams -- LB Chad Greenway, Iowa (6-2 1/2, 244, 4.76 speed)

 

Comment: Hasn't had the greatest pre-draft workouts, but the game tapes don't lie to a team craving defense.

 

12 -- Browns -- LB Kamerion Wimbley, Florida (6-3 1/2, 249, 4.65 speed)

 

Comment: Coach Romeo Crennel needs a speed rusher to come off the corner in his 3-4 schemes.

 

13 -- Ravens -- DT Haloti Ngata, Oregon (6-4, 338, 5.17 speed)

 

Comment: GM Ozzie Newsome makes disgruntled middle LB Ray Lewis happy by getting him huge protector.

 

14 -- Eagles -- OT Winston Justice, USC (6-6, 320, 5.1 speed)

 

Comment: A linebacker tempts them, too, but they want to make sure QB Donovan McNabb has a bounce-back year.

 

15 -- Broncos (from Falcons) -- WR Chad Jackson, Florida (6-1, 213, 4.32 speed)

 

Comment: Rod Smith is 35 and Ashlee Lelie is on the trading block, so a receiver is the call for coach Mike Shanahan.

 

16 -- Dolphins -- WR Santonio Holmes, Ohio State (5-10 1/2, 189, 4.4 speed)

 

Comment: A running back's tempting, but Ronnie Brown will pick up slack left by another Ricky Williams' suspension.

 

17 -- Vikings -- QB Jay Cutler, Vanderbilt (6-3, 227, 4.77 speed)

 

Comment: Jets trying to trade up from 29 to get him but Vikes land the QB Phil Simms likes best in draft.

 

18 -- Cowboys -- DE-LB Manny Lawson, N.C. State (6-5, 240, 4.44 speed)

 

Comment: Bill Parcells loves tweener type for his 3-4 defense and Lawson can be bookend with Demetrius Ware.

 

19 -- Chargers -- CB Antonio Cromartie, Florida State (6-2, 209, 4.38 speed)

 

Comment: Boom-or-bust type missed 2005 after major knee surgery but he has got great size and speed; Giants love him, too.

 

20 -- Chiefs -- CB Tye Hill, Clemson (5-9 1/2, 194, 4.36 speed)

 

Comment: Herman Edwards needs speed in the secondary and Hill is among the fastest guys in the draft.

 

21 -- Patriots -- LB Bobby Carpenter, Ohio State (6-2 1/2, 255, 4.56 speed)

 

Comment: Bill Belichick knows his dad, ex-Giants RB Rob Carpenter, and makes great use of big linebackers who can run.

 

22 -- 49ers -- (from Broncos via Redskins) -- CB Johnathan Joseph, South Carolina (5-11, 191, 4.32 speed)

 

Comment: San Francisco has a lot of wideouts to cover in the NFC West, so they get busy tending to secondary.

 

23 -- Buccaneers -- CB Jimmy Williams, Virginia Tech (6-2 1/2, 211, 4.44 speed)

 

Comment: Jon Gruden continues the mini-run on CBs, although C Nick Mangold tempts him as well.

 

24 -- Bengals -- TE Mercedes Lewis, UCLA (6-6, 260, 4.83 speed)

 

Comment: Cincy is set at wide receiver but wants to open the middle of the field for QB Carson Palmer.

 

25 -- GIANTS -- RB Laurence Maroney, Minnesota (5-11, 215, 4.48 speed)

 

Comment: Maroney wasn't supposed to slip this far, so GM Ernie Accorsi grabs Tiki Barber's future replacement instead of OT Eric Winston.

26 -- Bears -- CB Ashton Youboty, Ohio State (5-11 1/2, 188, 4.45 speed)

 

Comment: Jerry Azumah recently retired and Chicago's already stingy defense could use another coverage man.

 

27 -- Panthers -- RB DeAngelo Williams, Memphis (5-9, 215, 4.45 speed)

 

Comment: Ideally, RB LenDale White would be more their hammering style but they're scared off by his pre-draft woes.

 

28 -- Jaguars -- TE Leonard Pope, Georgia (6-7 1/2, 256, 4.65 speed)

 

Comment: QB Byron Leftwich is in need of a big target down the middle of the field and this guy is it.

 

29 -- JETS (from Broncos) -- OT Eric Winston, Miami (6-6 1/2, 312, 4.94 speed).

 

Comment: Too soon to take the remaining QBs, Jets go for potential left tackle after missing out on Ferguson at 4.

 

30 -- Colts -- RB Joseph Addai, LSU (5-11, 212, 4.4 speed)

 

Comment: With Edgerrin James off to the Cardinals, GM Bill Polian grabs rusher-receiver with speed to keep offense clicking.

 

31 -- Seahawks -- CB Richard Marshall, Fresno State (5-11, 190, 4.46 speed)

 

Comment: Defending NFC champs go for Marshall over CB Kelly Jennings, who's a bit undersized for them.

 

32 -- Steelers -- RB LenDale White, USC (6- 1/2, 244, 4,6 speed)

 

Comment: Out of shape, has torn hamstring, yada, yada, yada. . . but he's ideal to replace retired Jerome Bettis for Super Bowl champs.

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