NFL Draft

by Brian Bavosa

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday May 8, 2006

The NFL Draft has long been a favorite day of fans around the league. Whether it's the Gang Green fans of the NY Jets, who show up just to boo whomever the team drafts, or the few faithful of teams like Indianapolis, who seem to pick near the end of the first round every year-since they actually win-this year's draft had a little bit of everything: controversy, stupidity, and the beginning of many promising careers in football.

The overwhelming favorite to be this year's first pick was USC Trojan running back, Reggie Bush. Bush demonstrated the ability to make the average Joe think his head was on a swivel, and was by far the league's leader of evoking "Ooh's" and "Aah's" from spectators around the nation. However, recent speculation that his family may have been living in a house in violation of NCAA regulations, the Houston Texans and their number one draft choice instead decided to actually fulfill a need-and got a deal done with Mario Williams, a defensive player out of NC State, whom many considered to be Bush's counterpart on the other side of the ball.

Williams and the Texans ironed out a deal the night before the draft, leaving Bush to fall to number two, and the New Orleans Saints. In many ways, there is now more pressure on Bush to deliver: He not only has to save a franchise in ruins, but an entire city; a landmark of American culture that means as much to football as it does jazz. No easy task, even for this wunderkind.

At the three pick, the Tennessee Titans selected Vince Young at Quarterback. His draft stock most certainly rose after handing Bush's Trojan's their only loss of the year in The Rose Bowl, and should fit nicely into the system down south. But, he better be ready to give it his all, after Titans fans got used to seeing almost superhuman efforts week in and week out, with the perennially injured Steve McNair.

With the fourth pick, the Jets selected D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OT from Virginia. Now, even though Jets fans love to boo on selection weekend, many feel this year they had a just reason for doing so. With lingering questions regarding QB Chad Pennington's throwing arm, many felt the Jets would draft a QB, or even trade up to number two and draft Bush. They did neither, and also passed on Bush's teammate in the backfield at USC, Matt Lienart. Lienart was 37-2 as a starter for USC, but many questioned his dedication and lifestyle. Instead he fell to number ten, and went to the Arizona Cardinals. Well, I predict he will prove many a naysayer wrong. I mean, California kid playing in the Arizona sunshine, with two prime targets at receiver (Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, and the addition of Edgerrin James at running back? If I were the rest of the NFC East, I would no longer be counting those two match-ups as easy wins.

The top ten was rounded out by:

5.) Green Bay Packers - A.J. Hawk - OLB (Ohio State)
6.) San Francisco 49ers - Vernon Davis - TE (Maryland)
7.) Oakland Raiders - Michael Huff - CB (Texas)
8.) Buffalo Bills - Donte Whitner - S (Ohio State)
9.) Detroit Lions - Ernie Sims - OLB (Florida State)

Overall, needs were addressed, stupidity (or was it?) was displayed, and a few pieces of the puzzle fell exactly where expected. Fans cheered and booed this past weekend, but will have to wait and see what their teams' picks do on the field before being able to give a repeat performance.

A technical recruiter by day, and a freelance writer by night, Brian Bavosa covers a lot of ground. Besides Edge, he regularly contributes to,, Vegas Poker Pro, and The Inside Connection. His other credits include stints at Rolling Stone Magazine, and being a team member of HeadCouunt--the music scene's driving force behind educating the masses and registering them to vote. You can contact him at: [email protected]

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