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Read and React: Miss hits

Thirteen minutes.

That's how long the first mock draft of 2006 was up before someone sent an angry email asking why their favorite player wasn't among the first-round picks. And the cries of conspiracy haven't stopped since. Whether it's the omission of Miami's Sinorice Moss, Penn State's Michael Robinson, UCLA's Marcedes Lewis – or about three dozen other players – someone seems to be getting the shaft.

As usual, everyone has their own draft scenario – how the picks will fall, who the sleepers are, the guy who is getting too much hype (some readers say it's Jay Cutler) or the player who isn't getting enough love (Vince Young fans, unite!). The complaints are coming faster than we can print them. So we might as well get started.

Remember to include your first and last name with future submissions, along with your city and state. My responses will be in italics.

To the mail …

MOCK DRAFTS ("First draft impressions," Feb. 22, 2006, and "Mock draft makeover," March 1, 2006)

What about Sinorice Moss? Don't you think he will be a first-round pick?

Amar Desai
Washington, D.C.

Moss ran a good 40-yard dash (4.36 to 4.40 seconds), but his lack of consistent production at the college level – along with size and durability concerns – are going to keep him out of the first round.


How did Michael Robinson do at the combine? Nobody seems to be mentioning him at all. I read he tried out at three positions.

Richard M LaBabera II
State College, Pa.

Actually, Robinson chose to pass on workouts at the combine, irking plenty of personnel people. He has plenty to prove, both as a quarterback and prospective wide receiver, and didn't get off on the right foot.


Why are the Washington Redskins not in your mock draft?

Erich
Washington, D.C.

The Denver Broncos hold Washington's No. 22 pick, as part of a deal that sent last year's 25th overall pick (used to select Jason Campbell) to the Redskins.


The buzz around the Oakland Raiders is that they love their third-rounder from last year, Andrew Walter. I can't see them drafting a quarterback this high, especially a project like Young. They have serious cap issues and wouldn't burn the cap space for someone that isn't ready to play. My bet is Michael Huff, the safety from Texas. Al Davis loves speed!

Tom Blizzard
Sacramento, Calif.


How in the world could Vernon Davis fall four spots after an amazing performance? Davis is the greatest athlete in this draft and should be drafted in the top five.

Clark Harris
Gaithersburg, Md.

Davis is worthy of the top 10, but the way the draft looks to be shaping up, he could fall to No. 11 because of top-10 teams addressing other needs.


I was wondering about Marcedes Lewis. You have been mentioning three tight ends ahead of him and I was wondering how has Mercedes been doing.

Quoc To
Fountain Valley, Calif.

Lewis looks the part of a big-time tight end, but he didn't jump out at personnel people during drill work at the combine. He ran an average 40-yard dash (4.8 seconds) and raised a lot of concerns about how he's going to match up when it comes to blocking. He's not considered a first-round pick on most boards.


Reggie McNeal was 9-for-11 in the East-West Shrine Game. Not an accurate passer? You're nuts, man.

Matt Jones
Austin, Texas

The Shrine game? What about his 54.6 completion percentage during his four years at Texas A&M?


Don't you think that there is too much emphasis placed on these NFL combine workouts? I'm reading everywhere about Jay Cutler climbing up the charts and he's listed right with Matt Leinart and Vince Young. Don't you think it should be more about what these guys do on the football field?

Botbyl
Hawthorne, N.J.

Cutler wasn't exactly a stiff on the football field. Despite playing for Vanderbilt, the guy was the SEC's Offensive Player of the Year last season.


I can't believe that you didn't mention Drew Olson of UCLA in your article on second-tier quarterbacks. I don't know why he is being questioned as a good quarterback. He led UCLA's turnaround last season and is one of the most accurate passers in college.

Darren
Los Angeles

Olson's arm strength is the reason why most personnel people are dismissing him.


If I'm the Houston Texans, I'm taking D'Brickashaw Ferguson. He's an Orlando Pace/Jonathan Ogden/Walter Jones type of tackle who doesn't come around all that often. You're foolish not to take him regardless where your draft position is in the top five or top 10. Why on earth Houston wouldn't take an offensive lineman, especially a cornerstone tackle, is beyond me. Especially one as mobile and intelligent as Ferguson.

Brian Longo
Homer, Ga.

Ferguson is a quality player, no doubt. But he's not really in the mold of Pace or Ogden. Those guys are massive, mauling types. I don't think Jones is a bad comparison, though. Ferguson could be that type of player eventually.


VINCE YOUNG ("Combine notebook: Settling the score with Vince," Feb. 27, 2006)

I just want to know why you guys – the media – are making a deal out of this Wonderlic nonsense. Vince Young wants to play football. He's shown that he can be a great player at the highest level, and most importantly, he's got the physique to do well in the NFL.

Kofi Frimpong
Gaithersburg, Md.

The Wonderlic is what it is. Just one more piece of the puzzle. Like the 40-yard dash, it's not a be-all, end-all in evaluations.


Your mention of Vince Young's potential Wonderlic test results came towards the end and put any blame on his agent. For this rumor to spin the way it did, largely rests on the shoulders of agent Major Adams. If Young did, in fact, do poorly on this test, then it's his agent's fault for not ensuring Young was properly prepared.

Michael Simpson
Huntington Beach, Calif.


I'll never understand how fickle this NFL scouting process is. A month and a half ago, Vince Young was the greatest quarterback prospect the NFL has ever seen. Now all of a sudden, he's the next Ryan Leaf. The funny thing is, nothing has changed. No games have been played, no injuries have occurred.

Tony Q.
Great Lakes, Ill.

One thing that people should understand: It wasn't NFL personnel people who were calling Vince Young college football's "biggest thing ever." That was the media and television in classic hype mode. Precious few NFL people gushed about Young the way the talking heads did. In fact, when you talked to scouts immediately after the Rose Bowl, many pointed out that Young was operating in an offense that doesn't translate to the NFL.


You ever stop and think Vince Young might be trying to get out of being the No. 1 pick to have a shot at being on a more competitive team, or a team that fits more to his style of play? I would rather win and then make my money.

Ferdinand Torres
Westland, Mich.

No. No way does someone purposely sabotage their own draft stock. That's a ludicrous notion.


Teams foolish enough to pass on Vince Young will regret the decision every day for the next 15 years. He's the real deal and just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential.

Jerry Kreiner
Huntsville, Texas


I think the evaluation currently on Vince Young is premature. First of all, the combine tests are pre-destined to determine what a prototype athlete is. Like Michael Vick, the traditional skills that teams assume they are looking for would almost assuredly cast doubt on Young.

Syreeta
Columbia, Mo.