Jets Draft 2006
The New York Jets hit the "Daily Double" in Round One of the 2006 NFL Draft as the Green & White landed both Virginia T D'Brickashaw Ferguson (#4 overall) and Ohio State C Nick Mangold (#29 overall). Both Ferguson and Mangold were considered to be the best players at their respective positions.
The 6'5", 289-pound former Cavalier earned Associated Press All-America honors last season and first-team All-ACC honors in both 2004 and 2005. While at UVA, Ferguson started in 49 games, placing him second in ACC history among offensive linemen.
Ferguson, a native of Freeport, returns home to Long Island where he grew up just eight miles from the Jets headquarters at Hofstra University.
On top of a phenomenal playing career, Ferguson graduated from Virginia a semester early with a degree in religious studies. "Brick" is commonly acknowledged for his positive off-field attitude and poise in addition to his physical talents. He has earned black belt status in karate, become a youth minister in his church and also plays the saxophone
Mangold, 6'3 5/8", 300 lb, started in 33 games for the Buckeyes. He possesses above average speed, natural strength and incredible athleticism for his position, running the 40-yard dash in 4.96 and bench pressing 225 pounds 24 times.
Mangold, who participated in the Senior Bowl, will compete with recent free-agent addition Trey Teague to replace former center Kevin Mawae, who became a free agent after eight seasons in the Jets organization.
The 2006 NFL Draft commenced at 12:12 p.m. Saturday afternoon as Paul Tagliabue placed the Houston Texans on the clock. Moments later, the Texans officially selected Mario Williams, a defensive end from N.C. State.
"One of the things we have to do is improve our pass rush and Mario Williams is a guy who can instantly improve our pass rush," said Houston GM Charlie Casserly.
Houston and Williams had reached agreement Friday evening on a reported six-year deal that could equal $54 million. The 6'7" 294-pound Williams racked up 25.5 sacks in three years at North Carolina State.
With the second overall selection, the New Orleans Saints landed 2005 Heisman Trophy Winner Reggie Bush. The 5'11", 202-pound Bush ran for 3,312 yards at the University of Southern California and averaged 7.6 yards per carry. Bush is a dual threat, having registered 95 receptions and 13 receiving touchdowns during his three-year collegiate career.
"I am coming in there strong," said Bush of New Orleans. "I'm coming in there to help some win games. I am coming in there to help get things turned around."
Then the Titans wasted little time to select QB Vince Young with the third overall selection. Young is coming off an outstanding season, steering the Longhorns to a National Title while passing for 3,036 yards and running for 1,186 yards. He totaled 81 touchdowns (44 passing, 37 rushing) in three seasons.
Following Ferguson's selection, Green Bay grabbed instinctive Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk. The 6'1", 248-pound Hawk is relentless in pursuit and should fit in well next to Nick Barnett.
Vernon Davis, the athletically gifted tight end from Maryland, was taken by the San Francisco 49ers. Davis thought he might be selected by the Jets, but instead he'll head to the West Coast and join the Niners rebuilding project. He is an explosive receiving target who averaged 16.6 yards per reception in College Park. The 6'3 ¼", 254-pound Davis recorded a 4.38 time in the 40-yard dash.
With Matt Leinart still on the board, the Raiders tabbed Texas DB Michael Huff. The versatile Huff can play both cornerback and safety and also possesses sub 4.4 speed.
New Lions defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson received some help at linebacker when the Lions selected Florida State 'backer Ernie Sims. Despite his size, 5'11 ¼", 234 pounds, Sims is a punishing hitter. His stock steadily rose in recent weeks.
Arizona head coach Dennis Green and the Cardinals needed a young quarterback and Matt Leinart was an easy selection at #10. Leinart, who stayed for his senior season and could have been the number one overall selection last spring, posted a 37-2 record as a starter. The lefty passer is accurate and enters a situation with two very talented wideouts in Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. The Cards also acquired veteran runner Edgerrin James in free agency.
A mini-run on quarterbacks continued as Denver selected Vanderbilt gunslinger Jay Cutler to open up the second 10. Cutler, who owned the strongest arm in this draft class, had an impressive senior season while throwing for 21 touchdowns against only nine interceptions. He continued a meteoric rise with good showings at both the Senior Bowl and the Indianapolis Combine.
The first 15 was filled out by four defensive players. Baltimore plugged a big nose tackle in the middle of their defense with the addition of Oregon DT Haloti Ngata. Cleveland, who picked up a late round selection from the Ravens to move down one slot, selected Florida State DE Kamerion Wimbley. The Eagles also went the Seminole route, grabbing disruptive DT Brodrick Bunkley. St. Louis saw Clemson corner Tye Hill on the board at 15 and happily selected the quality cover man.
Five more defensive selections followed before the New England Patriots ended the run, picking Minnesota RB Laurence Maroney. The former Gopher star was a workhorse in the Twin Cities, carrying the ball 281 times last season. Maroney is a quality cutback run runner with good speed in the open field.
It wasn't supposed to be one of the better years for receivers and the first wideout wasn't taken until #25 when Pittsburgh moved up to select Ohio State's Santonio Holmes. In Holmes, the Steelers get a burner to replace the multi-dimensional Antwaan Randle El. Holmes averaged caught 53 balls last season and scored 11 touchdowns.
Round one ended at 5:01 p.m. when Boston College DE Matthias Kiwanuka joined the cross-town Giants. Kiwanuka, 6'5 5/8", 261 pounds, was the 11th player selected from the Atlantic Coast Conference.