With less than 24 hours until the 2006 NFL Draft begins, here’s how Pewter Report sees the first round shaping up:
1. HOUSTON DE Mario Williams (North Carolina State) Williams is the surprise pick of the Texans, who were locked on Bush for awhile.
2. NEW ORLEANS RB Reggie Bush (USC) Despite having Deuce McAllister Saints absolutely have to take Bush.
3. TENNESSEE QB Matt Leinhart (USC) The Vince Young talk was a smokescreen. Taking Leinhart makes too much sense.
4. NY JETS OT D’Brickashaw Ferguson (Virginia) The Jets wanted Leinhart, but settling for Ferguson, who fills a need, isn’t bad at all.
5. GREEN BAY LB A.J. Hawk (Ohio State) The best, most consistent player in the draft falls to Green Bay at number 5.
6. SAN FRANCISCO TE Vernon Davis (Maryland) The 49ers are praying Green Bay doesn’t take Davis to help Brett Favre.
7. OAKLAND QB Vince Young (Texas) Al Davis smiles as he gets his new rouge signal caller.
8. BUFFALO DT Brodrick Bunkley (Florida State) Bunkley is a better fit in the Bills’ one-gap defense than Haloti Ngata.
9. DETROIT CB Michael Huff (Texas) They might grab Ernie Sims if not for his concussion history. Detroit needs a safe pick.
10. ARIZONA QB Jay Cutler (Vanderbilt) Cutler is too tempting to pass up and is the new QB of the future.
11. ST. LOUIS CB Antonio Cromartie (Florida State) Jim Haslett’s defense reaches, but gets a speedy, freakish playmaker in Cromartie.
12. CLEVELAND LB Kamerion Wimbley (Florida State) Romeo Crennel likes Wimbley’s pass rushing ability as an outside linebacker.
13. BALTIMORE DT Haloti Ngata (Oregon) Ray Lewis finally gets a big body that can keep guards off of him on Sundays.
14. PHILADELPHIA LB Ernie Sims (Florida State) The linebacker-needy Eagles are thrilled that a striker like Sims has fallen this far.
15. DENVER (from Atlanta) RB Laurence Maroney (Minnesota) The Broncos need a feature back and Maroney’s cutback skills fit the bill.
16. MIAMI WR Chad Jackson (Florida) The Fins don’t have much behind Chris Chambers and Marty Booker. Now they do.
17. MINNESOTA DB Jimmy Williams (Virginia Tech) Mike Tomlin wants a big, fast and physical DB and Williams is in that mold.
18. DALLAS WR Santonio Holmes (Ohio State) Holmes helps the Cowboys return game and gives Dallas three speedy wideouts.
19. SAN DIEGO OT Winston Justice (USC) The Chargers need a replacement for Roban Oben and Justice can play left tackle.
20. KANSAS CITY DE Manny Lawson (N.C. State) Herman Edwards wants a John Abraham-type pass rusher and Lawson is it.
21. NEW ENGLAND LB Chad Greenway (Iowa) New England needs some linebacker help and Greenway fits the Patriots mold.
22. SAN FRANCISCO (from Washington) CB Tye Hill (Clemson) The 49ers desperately need corner help and to get a stud like Hill here is a blessing.
23. TAMPA BAY G Deuce Lutui (USC) The Bucs will go interior line, but will it be Lutui or Nick Mangold? We say Lutui.
24. CINCINNATI DB Donte Whitner (Ohio State) The Bengals stay in-state and grab the speedy Whitner who can play corner or safety.
25. NY GIANTS CB Jonathan Joseph (South Carolina) The Giants are desperate for cornerback help opposite Sam Madison. Enter Joseph.
26. CHICAGO TE Marcedes Lewis (UCLA) The Bears need help at tight end and Lewis is the second-best TE after Davis.
27. CAROLINA RB LenDale White (USC) White is more of a smash-mouth runner than Joseph Addai or DeAngelo Williams.
28. JACKSONVILLE LB DeMeco Ryans (Alabama) The Jaguars need help at linebacker and Ryans gets the nod over Bobby Carpenter.
29. NY JETS LB Bobby Carpenter (Ohio State) Eric Mangini would love to get a physical pass rusher like Carpenter at No. 29.
30. INDIANAPOLIS RB Joseph Addai (LSU) The versatile Addai has great hands and is a between-the-tackles, goal-line runner.
31. SEATTLE CB Ashton Youboty (Ohio State) The Seahawks desperately need a cornerback and Youboty brings size and speed.
32. PITTSBURGH RB DeAngelo Williams (Memphis) Williams gives the Steelers another backfield option behind Willie Parker.
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