Do Numbers Have To Do With Position In American Football 2006 NFL Draft Preview Continued: Picks 6-10

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2006 NFL Draft Preview Continued: Picks 6-10

The San Francisco 49ers are excited about Vernon Davis from Maryland who they grabbed with the 6th pick in this year’s draft. At 6’4″, 253 pounds, Davis has a great NFL body and is one of the best players in this year’s draft. Young and Bush have drawn attention as the most athletic players in 2006, but Davis might be the best. He ran a 4.38 40-yard dash and a 42-inch vertical jump at the combine. He’s a tight end who will be a great target for Alex Smith for years to come. His receiving skills remind me of Tony Gonzalez, but he’s faster and more athletic than the Kansas City Chiefs star. Despite Davis’ great NFL body, he will need to improve his blocking. If he can do that, I think he has a great chance to become one of the best players in the game. Great pickup for a team known for great receivers.

With the 7th overall pick, Oakland surprised a few people by taking Michael Huff, a talented safety out of Texas. Many experts predicted that Oakland would move Leinart to No. 7, if he moved that far, in hopes of another Kenny Stabler. But I think they got a good player in Huff who can come in and contribute as a rookie. He is 6’1” and 205 pounds with exceptional sub 4.40 speed as a defensive big. He is a big hitter reminiscent of Bobby Sanders in Indianapolis. It might not be to his liking, but Huff has experience playing at the corner position in the past, and his speed and size could be good assets matching up 1-on-1 with some of the game’s best wide outs. However, if Oakland decides to play him at corner, they will lose some of his big play ability.

Donte Whitener probably wasn’t on most people’s top 10 radar, but the Bills snagged him with the 8th pick. At this point, Michael Huff leads as a safety prospect because Whitener benefited greatly from playing in an excellent defensive system at Ohio State in which each player understands their role and is rarely out of position. I liken the Buckeyes defense to the Chicago Bears defense in this regard. I’m not sure I agree with this pick because there were better players available that would have given the Bills bargaining power with many other teams, but they decided to fill a defensive need. Don’t get me wrong, at 5’ll” and 205 pounds, Whitener is built like a ton of bricks and hits like one. What gives this kid a great upside in my opinion is that he has a great attitude and never quits until the whistle blows. He could be very effective in some blitz packages for the Bills. Perhaps this surprise pick will be the biggest surprise in the NFL this season.

It was the year of the linebacker in the black and blue division, and Green Bay grabbed Chad Greenaway along with AJ Hawk and Minnesota. I was a little surprised that Detroit passed on Greenway with this crop and went with Florida State’s Ernie Sims. His numbers don’t come close to Greenway and Hawk, but he has more speed. He’s undersized in a division with punishing rushers at just 220 pounds. I think he could be great in some delayed blitz packages with his quickness and great timing, and maybe Detroit likes his speed in pass coverage. Sims has a lot of potential and the Lions will be hoping to tap into that.

Experts were calling Matt Leinart the most NFL ready QB in this year’s draft and he was eventually taken by the Cardinals with the 10th overall pick. He’ll make a good study of Kurt Warner, who as one of the game’s best players who recognizes the blitz and gets away with it quickly, will be a great learning tool for Leinart. Toughest things for a young QB. I could see Leinart getting the start this season if Arizona decides halfway through. Warner has also been plagued by injuries for the past few years. I love these guys’ ability to stay in the pocket and distribute the football with precision. His speed and mobility are major questions, however, those were also major questions for Kurt Warner, who won two Super Bowls and the league MVP award. Arizona should be happy to get Leinart this late.

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