By Charles Robinson, Yahoo! Sports
March 1, 2006
More draft: Mock No. 1 | Combine's winners and losers
Let the shuffling begin.
Vince Young is in silver and black, LenDale White is providing some thunder in the Arizona backfield and Vernon Davis is stepping into an already crowded St. Louis passing attack.
With the NFL's scouting combine in the books, the mock draft has been treated to a massive tune-up. This one reflects the drills, interviews and, of course, the skipped workouts that took place in Indianapolis over the last six days.
With free agency looming, the liquid nature of rosters means this landscape will be changing again in a few weeks. But for now, here are the adjustments made in the second installment of the mock draft.
1. Houston Texans – Reggie Bush, RB, USC. It's too bad Bush didn't run in Indianapolis on what was clearly a fast track. Don't rule out a trade here. The Texans are enamored with a handful of other players, too (D'Brickashaw Ferguson, for one).
Watch Bush's highlights
2. New Orleans Saints – Matt Leinart, QB, USC. Vince Young isn't the only one who should be worrying about Jay Cutler. The Saints were impressed with Cutler, and after skipping the combine workouts, Leinart can't afford to have a bad performance on his pro day.
Watch Leinart's highlights
3. Tennessee Titans – Jay Cutler, QB, Vanderbilt. Word around the combine was that Norm Chow wasn't sold on Vince Young's ability to run his offense. Meanwhile, Cutler did nothing but convince some personnel people that he might be the best pocket quarterback in this draft.
4. New York Jets – D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OT, Virginia. Ferguson was fantastic in team interviews. But there were a handful of personnel people in Indy who got the impression the Jets like Jay Cutler quite a bit and might try to move up to get him. Don't discount a possible move to the No. 1 pick. The prevailing feeling is that this is as far back as Houston would be willing to move down.
5. Green Bay Packers – Mario Williams, DE, North Carolina State. Williams earned some respect by working out at the combine despite being a top-five pick. He looked fluid and impressive in drills, and his 4.66 40-yard dash was eye-opening for a guy who stepped in at 6-foot-7 and 295 pounds.
6. San Francisco 49ers – A.J. Hawk, OLB, Ohio State. Some at the combine thought Hawk might be more suited for an inside position in a 3-4, but he could have the flexibility to play inside or out. One scout remarked that Hawk has the best balance and change of direction of any linebacker in the draft. It's worth mentioning that one scout insisted the 49ers want Texas cornerback/safety Michael Huff at this spot.
7. Oakland Raiders – Vince Young, QB, Texas. His combine was a mess. In hindsight, Young would have been better served if he had worked out. But he's going to have a shot to climb right back to a top-three pick at his pro day. If anyone is capable of blowing the minds of NFL people in a workout, it's Young. Conjecture suggests Al Davis' age might preclude the Raiders from taking a developmental quarterback, but Young would be too good to pass up if he falls this far. Watch Young's highlights
8. Buffalo Bills – Haloti Ngata, DT, Oregon. Ngata interviewed with the Bills and seems like a natural selection at this spot. He ripped off 37 reps and was clocked in the 40-yard dash anywhere from 5.1 to 5.2 seconds. That's not bad for a guy who showed up at 6-4 and 338 pounds.
9. Detroit Lions – Michael Huff, S/CB, Texas. Huff ran a blistering 40-yard dash (4.32 to 4.35 seconds) and showed top-notch lower body explosion in the broad jump and vertical (40 inches). He looked like a guy who could be a great safety (think Ronnie Lott) or a good corner.
10. Arizona Cardinals – LenDale White, RB, USC. White showed up at the combine a little heavy. One scout said he heard groans when White took his shirt off to be measured and weighed. But the buzz was that the Cardinals like him and think he'll be at his best once his pro day rolls around. The thinking is that White can be the power back to accentuate J.J. Arrington's finesse style.
11. St. Louis Rams – Vernon Davis, TE, Maryland. It's hard to imagine Davis being left out of the top 10 after his freakishly awesome combine performance, but the picks seem to be shaping up that way. About the only thing that needs a little work are his hands. One scout said Davis fought the ball a little in passing drills, but every other thing about him was off the charts.
12. Cleveland Browns – Winston Justice, OT, USC. Justice is starting to look like this year's Jammal Brown. Justice didn't run the 40, but he was very impressive in agility drills, placing at or near the top of everyone in his group. Browns general manager Phil Savage also said he believes Justice has got the chops to play left tackle. In the second round, the Browns are focusing on Florida State's Kamerion Wimbley to convert him to outside linebacker.
13. Baltimore Ravens – DeAngelo Williams, RB, Memphis. Williams checked in at the combine at a compact 5-9 and 214 pounds, then disappointed teams by not working out. If the Ravens lose Jamal Lewis and Chester Taylor in free agency and can't land a marquee back, Williams may be the next best option. Watch Williams' highlights
14. Philadelphia Eagles – Santonio Holmes, WR, Ohio State. He wasted a good opportunity to run on a fast track and now must contend with Florida's Chad Jackson, who is creeping up on him. Holmes measured in at a solid 5-10½ and 198 pounds, but if he doesn't run fast at his pro day, the bigger Jackson could bump him from this spot.
15. Atlanta Falcons – Jimmy Williams, CB/S, Virginia Tech. Already known for being a motor-mouth with the media, Williams came off cocky in his interview, according to one personnel man. Williams asserted that he "wants coaches to know" that he's a safety and not a corner. That's bound to rub some teams the wrong way. But if he works out fast at his pro day, he could get his wish.
16. Miami Dolphins – Chad Greenway, OLB, Iowa. Greenway alarmed some when he managed only 16 reps in the bench press at the combine. It raises concern about whether he has the strength to shed blockers at the next level. But he's a favorite of Nick Saban disciple Kirk Ferentz, and the Dolphins need a young playmaking starter at outside linebacker. Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle is the target in the second round.
17. Minnesota Vikings – Ernie Sims, OLB, Florida State. Sims opened a lot of eyes in Indianapolis. After checking in at a slightly more bulked up 5-11 and 231 pounds, he was clocked between 4.46 and 4.51 seconds in the 40 and demonstrated excellent lower body explosion with a 41-inch vertical and 10-5 broad jump. Size is still an issue, but Sims plays big.
18. Dallas Cowboys – Chad Jackson, WR, Florida. There are rumbles that the Cowboys may be looking to trade back to the end of the first round and select N.C. State's Manny Lawson, who will be moved to outside linebacker. If Dallas keeps this pick, the speedy Jackson provides an eventual replacement for the aging duo of Terry Glenn and Keyshawn Johnson. Clemson's Charlie Whitehurst is the quarterback the Cowboys are looking at in the middle rounds.
19. San Diego Chargers – Tye Hill, CB, Clemson. Offense isn't the No. 1 priority, so that will put some depth needs on the back burner. And there isn't a safety good enough to be taken at this spot, so Hill becomes the best available option. There are some size concerns with Hill at 5-9, but he had a very good Senior Bowl and went nuts in the combine drills. Hill was the fastest player in Indy this year in the 40 (4.3 seconds), had a vertical jump of 41 inches and placed in the top three in every agility drill at his position.
20. Kansas City Chiefs – Tamba Hali, DE, Penn State. Hali showed up at the combine at a bulked-up 6-3 and 275 pounds, and looked the part of a dominant defensive end. He would give the team another edge rusher to pair with Jared Allen.
21. New England Patriots – Ashton Youboty, CB, Ohio State. It's hardly a surprise, but there seemed to be a total vacuum when it came to whom the Patriots seemed to be interested in at the combine. They could use a safety and outside linebacker, but Youboty probably would help with the depth issues that seem to plague the Patriots every year at cornerback.
22. Denver Broncos (from Washington) – Brodrick Bunkley, DT, Florida State. He checked in at 6-2 and 286 pounds and caught everyone by surprise when he knocked out 44 reps at 225 pounds. Bunkley ran a 4.95 in the 40 and impressed in drills after having a solid Senior Bowl performance. This might be a tad high, but Bunkley would likely be gone by the Broncos' 29th pick.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Marcus McNeill, OT, Auburn. Despite his massive size (6-7½, 336) McNeill had a good combine. He ran a 5.07 in the 40, which doesn't mean a lot but is impressive for his size. For the most part, McNeill showed good footwork and was said to have been impressive in his team interviews. The Buccaneers are already familiar with him after breaking down film of Carnell Williams, who ran behind McNeill at Auburn.
24. Cincinnati Bengals – Gabe Watson, DT, Michigan. As expected, tight end looked deep enough at the combine to allow the Bengals to go another way in the first round. A massive defensive tackle is a huge need, and the 6-3, 341-pound Watson fills the massive part. Even though he is loaded with potential, personnel people continued to cast a wary eye on Watson at the combine with the same complaints we've been hearing for some time – he's a part-time stud, part-time dud. A lot of that has to do with Watson's weight and motivation.
25. New York Giants – DeMeco Ryans, OLB, Alabama. Personnel people at the Senior Bowl warned that Ryans was a guy who would get lost in the mix a bit in the combine drills, and that's exactly what happened. Ryans had a solid but not spectacular week. But the fact remains he was a highly productive player on the college level, and if that translates to the NFL, the Giants could have a steal late in the first round.
26. Chicago Bears – Leonard Pope, TE, Georgia. Pope went into the combine and solidified his status as the draft's second-best tight end. He has amazing size (6-7, 258) and ran a good 40 (4.62). Pope also showed great hands in drills and finished in the top five in virtually every drill. He's still somewhat of a liability as a pass blocker but shows the potential to improve.
27. Carolina Panthers – Dominique Byrd, TE, USC. Byrd disappointed by opting out of the combine workouts and choosing to do everything at his pro day. He's taking a gamble, especially with Colorado's Joe Klopfenstein looking like the next best prospect beyond Vernon Davis and Leonard Pope. A defensive tackle like LSU's Claude Wroten remains a possibility here.
28. Jacksonville Jaguars – Mathias Kiwanuka, DE, Boston College. The Jaguars have a lot of needs that could be addressed here, but Kiwanuka would be one of the few possible impact players left. Some thought Kiwanuka would bounce back from a poor Senior Bowl with a big combine. That didn't happen. Instead, Kiwanuka looked mostly like a talented project that could pay off big down the line. He did have the best 20-yard shuttle time at his position.
29. Denver Broncos – Nick Mangold, C, Ohio State. Tom Nalen is on the decline, and Mangold was clearly the best center at the combine. He was fluid in drills, displayed good footwork and seemed to have universally raised his stock among personnel people. Mangold was particularly impressive in the shuttle and cone drills, showing seamless change of direction.
30. Indianapolis Colts – Manny Lawson, DE/OLB, N.C. State. Lawson will more than likely switch to outside linebacker, and he showed the skill set in Indy to make him a very, very attractive project at that spot. Lawson (6-5, 241) posted a 4.42-second 40-yard dash and a 39½-inch vertical, but it didn't end there. He blew away the competition in the agility and explosiveness drills. Despite working out with highly acclaimed teammate Mario Williams, it was Lawson who delivered the most surprising buzz.
31. Seattle Seahawks – Laurence Maroney, RB, Minnesota. Obviously, this pick would be predicated on Shaun Alexander getting away in free agency. And considering the situation with the collective bargaining agreement, that looks like a very real possibility. Although Maroney passed on workouts at the combine, he's a tough and productive runner who should be very durable at 5-10 and 220 pounds. South Carolina safety Ko Simpson is another guy that Seattle has been looking at.
32. Pittsburgh Steelers – Bobby Carpenter, LB, Ohio State. Carpenter would give the Steelers the depth that their linebacking corps is missing. He can play anywhere and be groomed to be a future starter. Safety Ko Simpson is a possibility here, too.
Charles Robinson is the senior investigative reporter for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter. Send Charles a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.
Updated on Thursday, Mar 2, 2006 2:45 am, EST
Email to a Friend | View Popular