Skip to main content
Original Issue

Dr. Z's Draft Roundup

The Cardinals, Saints, Niners and Jets (for once!) got it right, but no team performed more impressively on draft weekend than Mike Shanahan's Broncos

WHO WERE thewinners last weekend? Who were the losers? Dr. Z presents his top five in eachcategory, plus one team for which the final ruling may take a while.


BRONCOS MikeShanahan ought to be jailed for theft. First he moved up in the first round toget Jay Cutler, rated the No. 1 QB by some scouts. Then he made anotherterrific trade, sending a second-round choice to the Packers for veteranwideout Javon Walker, who caught 89 balls two years ago and is only 27. Addsecond-round pick Tony Scheffler, whose 4.54 was second only to the amazingVernon Davis among TEs at the combine, and fourth-rounder Brandon Marshall, acocky 6'4 1/2", 229-pound WR, and Denver has the makings of an offensivemonster.

JETS When NewYork went for the best offensive lineman, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, instead of QBMatt Leinart, there were more cheers in Radio City Music Hall than boos. Onefan in the balcony pointed to his head. Smart! Adding the best center on theboard, Nick Mangold, with its second choice in the first round showed that theclub is serious about protecting its QB, whoever it might be.

CARDINALS Theygot lucky and landed Leinart. Then they added G Deuce Lutui, who some peoplefelt was the heart of the Southern Cal O-line, and a huge (6'7 1/2", 258pounds), athletically gifted TE, Leonard Pope.

SAINTS A toast tothe team that didn't use the old "we need more players" argument totrade out of the Reggie Bush spot.

49ERS I like thepure athleticism of their top three picks: TE Davis, whose 4.38 at the combinesomeday will be inscribed on a monument; DE-LB Manny Lawson, only slightlyslower at 4.43; and tiny (5'9 1/2", 179 pounds) WR Brandon Williams, who'llmake old Niners fans misty-eyed with memories of Freddie Solomon.


TEXANS Couldn'tpull the trigger on the Bush contract, then laid it off on an overwhelming urgeto fortify the defense with DE Mario Williams. Right. Now tell us about the seacaptain and the mermaid.

BILLS Nothingagainst the top pick, S Donte Whitner, but when your offense finished 28th andyour passing attack 29th, and your first five picks were all for defense, I'dsay it's a case of misplaced aggression.

BEARS This mustbe a trend. Offense was 29th, pass offense 31st, and the first five picks were... defensive guys, headed by Abilene Christian's finest, S DaniealManning.

GIANTS Strongestposition on the club is DE. So they traded seven places down in the first roundand took Mathias Kiwanuka, a skinny DE who might fit in someday if he getsstronger and bulks up. They got lucky in the second round, though, with SantanaMoss's dynamic WR brother, Sinorice.

REDSKINS Lastyear they traded their first-round choice for QB Jason Campbell, who didn'tplay. This time the top pick, No. 35 overall, was an instinctive and athleticLB, Rocky McIntosh. After that, the thrill is gone.


TITANS When willVince Young become a true NFL QB? When will LenDale White become thepulverizing runner in Tennessee that he was at USC? If the answers are soon,then it's a hell of a draft. If they're never, then it's a bummer. The truthprobably will be something in between.



TENN SPOT Young will don Titans blue in '06, but the jury's out on when he'll hit it big.