Indianapolis Colts- In the 2006 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts tried to remedy the hole left behind by free agent
running back Edgerrin James (who left for the Arizona Cardinals). But running back Joseph Addai
of LSU was probably not the best pick in the 30th spot in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft. Perhaps there are reasons why they passed up on USC running back LenDale White (perhaps the same reasons the USC crew moved down the 2006 NFL draft
board in general) but Addai may provide a less prima donna approach to the game than Edgerrin James.
2006 NFL Draft grade: C-
Jacksonville Jaguars- The Jacksonville Jaguars have underachieved the last few NFL season, though chronically injured (but tough as nails) quarterback Byron Leftwich has been at the source of their inability to break to the next level. Tight end Marcedes Lewis, while a great addition for the Jaguars, may have been a stretch with the 28th pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, especially when offensive line help would have been more in line with Jacksonville’s needs in the 2006 NFL Draft. However, picking UCLA teammate and running back Maurice Drew in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft was a great idea considering the health concerns over Fred Taylor.
2006 NFL Draft grade: C+
Houston Texans- The Houston Texans pulled out the first coup of the 2006 NFL Draft by signing defensive end Mario Williams the night before the 2006 NFL draft. Their shunning of Reggie Bush shows the commitment by Charlie Casserley and Gary Kubiak to building the core of the Texans and doing it with a great player like Williams early in the 2006 NFL Draft. Second round 2006 NFL Draft pick DeMeco Ryans, linebacker from Alabama, provides great depth at their linebacking position for years to come. The Texans used the first two picks of the third round of the 2006 NFL Draft to start building anew their offensive line by taking tackles Charles Spencer and Eric Winston, with hopes of protecting their investment in David Carr for the next decade or so. The Texans approached the 2006 NFL Draft wisely by building up their weak areas and giving first year coach Gary Kubiak a chance to compete in this upcoming season, instead of waiting for the first pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.
2006 NFL Draft grade: A-
Tennessee Titans- Forget the rest of the 2006 NFL Draft for the Tennessee Titans, the first two picks of the 2006 NFL Draft showed the good fortune of the hapless Titans in an overly scientific NFL draft process in 2006. Quarterback Vince Young is perhaps the best prospect on the 2006 NFL draft board (rivaling Reggie Bush, in my opinion) and the Titans benefitted from the push for Reggie Bush and the upward swing of momentum behind Mario Williams in getting a franchise quarterback in the 2006 NFL Draft. In the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft, Jeff Fisher and the Titans brain trust must have been ecstatic at LenDale White’s undrafted status. White, who had been considered a possibility in the late first round in the 2006 NFL Draft, fell to the middle of the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft when questions about his conditioning and weight came to light. Never mind those concerns, the Titans will be back on track in the next couple of years after they get past Steve McNair’s financial wake and when 2006 NFL Draft Pick’s Young and White take over the Tennessee Titans offense.
2006 NFL Draft grade: B+
2006 NFL Draft Division Winner- The Houston Texans made the greatest strides in the 2006 NFL Draft by fixing up their offensive and defensive lines, but the Tennessee Titans made great strides towards a potentially great future.