2006 NFL Draft -- Analysis by position

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QB
1. MATT LEINART, Southern California, below, 6-41/2, 225 -- A winner, a leader, accurate. Does not have the strongest arm of the group, though, and he may be slipping.

2. VINCE YOUNG, Texas, 6-41/2, 230 -- Not as polished as Leinart, but he has more ability and a stronger arm.

3. JAY CUTLER, Vanderbilt, 6-3, 225 -- Over-hyped since the end of the season. Not as good as where he will be drafted in the first round.

4. CHARLIE WHITEHURST, Clemson, 6-41/2, 223 -- A dropoff here, after the first round. Looks like an NFL QB and has the arm for it. Not a pressure player.

5. BRODIE CROYLE, Alabama, 6-21/2, 205 -- Durability has been a problem, coupled with his smaller size.

RB
1. REGGIE BUSH, right, Southern California, 5-11, 202 -- One longtime NFL personnel man said he is the best back he has scouted since Barry Sanders.

2. LAURENCE MARONEY, Minnesota, 6-0, 215 -- Good, strong back who can add another 10 pounds without losing his breakaway speed.

3. LENDALE WHITE, Southern Cal 6-01/2, 244 -- Yes, he has a torn hamstring; yes, he gets a little lazy, but, if you want to hit a home run late in the first round, he's your man.

4. JOSEPH ADDAI, LSU, 5-11, 214 -- Can catch, block and has great character. Loves to run inside.

5. DEANGELO WILLIAMS, Memphis, 5-9, 214 -- Not a tough guy and overrated. Many have him higher than this.

FB
1. LAWRENCE VICKERS, Colorado, 6-0, 245 -- Best of another slim fullback talent field. All-around back who had good Senior Bowl.

2. GARRETT MILLS, Tulsa, 6-1, 240 -- Outstanding receiver. Tough and a more polished fullback than Vickers.

3. MATT BERNSTEIN, Wisconsin, 6-01/2, 260 -- Powerful, pure blocker inside with an ability to gain short yardage. Gained 127 yards against Penn State.

4. QUADTRINE HILL, Miami, 6-2, 222 -- Good receiver for a West Coast offense, but not a good Steelers-type blocking fullback.

5. DAVID KIRTMAN, Southern California, 5-111/2, 235 -- Good blocker, good receiver, needs to get stronger.

WR
1. CHAD JACKSON, Florida, 6-1, 213 -- Big and fast (4.32 in the 40), the Steelers would love him, but he'll be long gone about the middle of the first round.

2. SANTONIO HOLMES, Ohio State, 5-101/2, 188 -- Not as big, but virtually as fast as Jackson. Needs an attitude adjustment and drops too many balls.

3. SINORICE MOSS, Miami, 5-8, 185 -- Best receiver of the bunch, but height and history of injuries hurt him. Could go late in first round in a weak class.

4. DEMETRIUS WILLIAMS, Oregon, 6-11/2, 195 -- Thin and not tough. He has the ability with good quickness and great hands, average speed.

5. MAURICE STOVALL, Notre Dame, 6-41/2, 220 -- Has good size, but his speed is more suited for a No. 2 receiver, and he's inconsistent catching the ball.

OT
1. VERNON DAVIS, Maryland, 6-3, 254 -- Outstanding prospect from a deep group. Great speed (4.38) and near perfect physically for the position. Will make linebackers look silly.

2. MERCEDES LEWIS, UCLA, 6-6, 260 -- A receiver, not a blocker, but a good one at that. Led Bruins with 58 receptions last season and scored 10 touchdowns.

3. JOE KLOPFENSTEIN, Colorado, 6-6, 255 -- Tough, played through shoulder injury last season. Decent blocker and nice target with good speed for a big man (4.64).

4. LEONARD POPE, Georgia, 6-71/2, 255 -- Big with nice speed (4.60), he has been rising on draft boards. More of a receiver than a blocker.

5. DOMINIQUE BYRD, Southern California, 6-3, 255 -- Has all the ability, but scouts question his attitude. Does not like to block and has history of injuries, including broken jaw in a fight.

OT
1. D'BRICKASHAW FERGUSON, right, Virginia, 6-6, 310 -- Top five pick as a left tackle. Missed only two starts in four years. Among the best in years.

2. WINSTON JUSTICE, Southern California, 6-6, 320 -- Missed 2004 and was inconsistent in 2005. Has the ability and size to be a great one -- if he puts his mind to it.

3. MARCUS MCNEILL, Auburn, 6-8, 335 -- A right tackle, another in a long line of good linemen from Auburn. Back injury history may scare off some.

4. ERIC WINSTON, Miami, 6-7, 310 -- Can play either side of the line. Athletic, quick feet. Loves to play the game and has great attitude toward it.

5. DARYN COLLEDGE, Boise State, 6-41/2, 300 -- Can play right tackle or guard. Started 51 consecutive games over four years. Visited Steelers.

G
1. MAX JEAN-GILLES, Georgia, 6-4, 355 -- Not a good year for top-flight guards. Can play tackle and has great ability, but scouts question his intangibles.

2. DAVIN JOSEPH, Oklahoma, 6-21/2, 312 -- Played tackle last season but won't play there in NFL. Has good movement, needs to work on mechanics.

3. LUTUI TAITUSI, Southern California, 6-5, 335 -- Nicknamed Deuce, could he block for Duce? More of a zone power blocker than one who can pull.

4. CHARLES SPENCER, Pitt, 6-41/2, 350 -- Played left tackle for the Panthers last season, will play guard in the pros. Technique needs to catch up with his strength and size.

5. ROB SIMS, OHIO STATE, 6-3, 307 -- Solid player who can move in a pinch to tackle, where he played as a junior. A good punch blocker.

C
1. NICK MANGOLD, Ohio State, 6-31/2, 300 -- By far the best of a thin crop. Many mock drafts have Steelers taking him. Typical of their past centers, very athletic.

2. CHRIS CHESTER, Oklahoma, 6-3, 300 -- Converted tight end, a good athlete. Has a history of injuries. Outstanding attitude that coaches love.

3. JASON SPITZ, Louisville, 6-31/2, 313 -- Played guard throughout college and can also play there in pros. A history of injuries and not a great athlete. Inconsistent performances in college.

4. GREG ESLINGER, Minnesota, 6-3, 292 -- A tad small by NFL standards and little room to grow. Good Denver-like cut blocker with quickness.

5. WILL MONTGOMERY, Virginia Tech, 6-3, 310 -- Gives everything he has all the time. Also can play guard. Led all combine linemen with 35 reps on the bench press.

DE
1. MARIO WILLIAMS, North Carolina State, 6-7, 295 -- Most ideal defensive end, he's a top-three pick, the best defensive prospect in the draft. Many compare him to Carolina's Julius Peppers.

2. KAMERION WIMBLEY, Florida State, 6-31/2, 250 -- Also an outside linebacker for 3-4 teams. Can disrupt passing game as a pure rusher. Won't use him to cover in a 3-4.

3. TAMBA HALI, Penn State, 6-3, 275 -- Native of Liberia. Workout numbers were not good, but can disrupt as an end in any alignment and also has played tackle.

4. MATHIAS KIWANUKA, Boston College, 6-51/2, 266 --Early, severe ankle injury last season hampered him. Has good size, speed and attitude.

5. DARRYL TAPP, Virginia Tech, 6-11/2, 252 -- Overachiever who gives everything he has. Problem is he's small for the position and may be just a part-time player.

DT
1. HALOTI NGATA, Oregon, 6-4, 338 -- Defensive player of the year in the Pac-10. Can play nose tackle in 3-4 or inside in the 4-3. Good range for such a big man.

2. BRODERICK BUNKLEY, Florida State, 6-3, 306 -- Strong, quick, probably more suited to being 4-3 defensive tackle.

3. CLAUDE WROTEN, LSU, 6-2, 300 -- Draft spot dropped after January arrest for possession and intent to deliver marijuana, charges which were ultimately dismissed. Imposing player.

4. GABE WATSON, Michigan, 6-31/2, 339 -- Strong, can collapse the pocket and dominate at the line. If he did not take so many plays off, he would go higher.

5. ORIEN HARRIS, Miami, 6-3, 300 -- Had a strong senior season after so-so junior year. Can be dominant. Can play either in a 4-3 or a 3-4.

OLB
1. A.J. HAWK, Ohio State, 6-1, 248 -- Near-perfect performer. He also can play inside linebacker. Outstanding character. Top-10 pick.

2. ERNIE SIMS, Florida State, 5-11, 231 -- Tough player who loves to freelance; plays like Kendrell Bell. Size somewhat of a negative.

3. CHAD GREENWAY, Iowa, 6-2 1/2 , 242 -- Good speed, athletic and has good intangibles. Productive in a good conference.

4. BOBBY CARPENTER, Ohio State, 6-21/2, 256 -- Versatile player who can play inside. Steelers love him. So, reportedly, do the Patriots. Compared to Mike Vrabel.

5. MANNY LAWSON, North Carolina State, 6-51/2, 241 -- Would play end in a 4-3, and many list him as such. May have to be situational pass-rusher, but a good one.

ILB
1. D'QWELL JACKSON, Maryland, 6-01/2, 230 -- No-nonsense player who gives it his all every time. Always makes the tackle. Had at least 15 tackles five times last season.

2. ABDUL HODGE, Iowa, 6-01/2, 235 -- Outstanding against the run, but has trouble covering backs in the passing game. Very productive as a three-year starter.

3. GERRIS WILKINSON, Georgia Tech, 6-3, 234 -- Another consistent producer as a three-year starter, one at defensive end in 2003.

4. TIM DOBBINS, Iowa State, 6-11/2, 244 -- Inconsistent play last season has him all over some boards. Strictly a two-down player against the run.

5. FREDDIE KEIAHO, San Diego State, 5-11, 224 -- Covers a lot of ground and hits hard. A leader who plays with passion. Played his best game against Ohio State. Started one season.

CB
1. JIMMY WILLIAMS, Virginia Tech, 6-21/2, 211 -- Also can play safety, but too talented not to start out at corner. Outstanding size and can blitz. Three-year starter, first year at free safety.

2. TYE HILL, Clemson, 5-91/2, 184 -- Among the fastest corners on the board (4.34). Has great disposition for the position, playing with great confidence.

3. ANTONIO CROMARTIE, Florida State, 6-2, 209 -- Would have been top-5 pick, except he missed last season because of torn ACL in August. Had great workouts and could be a steal late in first round.

4. JONATHAN JOSEPH, South Carolina, 5-11, 191 -- Fastest among corners (4.31), good in coverage and a solid tackler. Possible first-rounder.

5. ASHTON YOUBOTY, Ohio State, 5-111/2, 188 -- Can play with the best of them, but he did not play consistently that way last season. Runs a sub-4.4.

S
1. MICHAEL HUFF, Texas, 6-0, 205 -- Will go high in the draft. Has played every position in the backfield. Became starter as a freshman and was outstanding all the way through.

2. JASON ALLEN, Tennessee, 6-1, 208 -- Teams had doubts about a hip injury he had last season. Then, he ran a 4.4 at combine. Some teams may reject him for medical reasons, but Steelers give him the green light.

3. DONTE WHITNER, Ohio State, 5-10, 205 -- Great productivity and works hard on and off the field to get better. Outstanding in coverage.

4. KO SIMPSON, South Carolina, 6-1, 210 -- More of a free safety than strong and could be Steelers pick. Just three years out of high school. Needs to get stronger.

5. DARNELL BING, Southern California, 6-2, 225 -- Almost a toss-up between him and Simpson, but Bing is more of a strong safety, although he moved to free at USC last season.

P/K
RYAN PLACKEMEIER, Wake Forest, 6-31/2, 250 -- Also can kick off. Should be drafted. Averaged 47.2 yards last season. Likely second-day pick.

KICKERS

1. JOSH HUSTON, Ohio State, 6-1, 209 -- Made 22 of 28 field-goal tries, 17 of 18 inside 40 in a cold-weather conference.

2. STEVE GOSTKOWSKI, Memphis, 6-1, 214 -- Kicked four years. Made 22 of 25 field-goal attempts last season, finished with 70 field goals in his career.

3. JON SCIFRES, Southwest Missouri State, 6-01/2, 225 -- Made just 10 of 14 field-goal tries last season after making all 15 as a junior.DRAFT



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