NFL Draft preview

The two-day, seven round marathon that is the NFL Draft gets underway this Saturday from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. For the second time in five years the Huston Texans have the coveted, yet treacherous, first pick. USC’s superstar Reggie Bush is the best player in the draft and would be the logical pick at number one, but is the running back the right pick for the Texans? The organization has been feeling a lot of pressure from supporters to bring in homegrown quarterback Vince Young from the University of Texas. The Texans need to withstand the pressure and draft Bush. Some of Bush’s mind-blowing stats include his average 8.7 yards per carry and a rushing total of 1658 yards last season. Bush is a special player that only comes along once in a very long time and it would be foolish of the Texans to pass on him. After Bush is taken the draft gets interesting. It is a well-accepted fact that N.C. State defensive end Mario Williams is the second best player but it is still unclear whether or not he will be taken with the second pick. New Orleans is the owner of that pick and while they could use William’s speed and skill a trade may be the best course of action for the Saints. The other player that will be considered at number two is USC’s Matt Leinart. After leading the Trojans to back-to-back championship games and winning the Heisman Trophy in 2004, the quarterback is regarded as the most NFL-ready signal caller. If he is not taken at number two look for the Tennessee Titans to snatch him up with the third pick. The quarterback position has created one of the most intriguing storylines surrounding the draft. What once was a two horse race for the top quarterback has grown to three in the last couple of weeks. Leinart and Young have been vying for the top spot since their epic Rose Bowl battle, but Vanderbilt’s Jay Cutler has recently jumped into the picture after a meteoric rise in his draft stock.Leinart is the safest pick of the three. He played in a pro-style system for four years at USC and has proven he is ready for the next level. His arm strength and quickness are question marks but his knowledge of the game gives him an edge over the competition.Young has the most potential of the three. His incredible athleticism gives him the possibility of greatness. But he spent his whole college career in the shotgun and against defense with inferior speed, so it will be interesting to see how he adjusts to playing under center and against the speed of the NFL. Look for the Oakland Raiders to take Young with the number seven selection. Wouldn’t it be great seeing Young throwing touchdowns to Randy Moss?Cutler, once considered a late first or early second round selection, could go as high as number 10 to the Arizona Cardinals. It’s hard to believe that a quarterback who never won anything in college can come in and lead an NFL team. He does have a powerful arm and has shown the ability to make the hard throws. But he also has a tendency to make rushed decisions and force the ball to covered receivers. While quarterback is the more glorious pick, many teams will look to the defensive side of the field when making selections this year. After Williams the next defensive player off the board should be Ohio State’s A.J. Hawk. The versatile linebacker is a fierce competitor and would be a perfect fit in Green Bay at number five where the Packers are in desperate need of a playmaker on defense.Staying on the defensive side of the ball, defensive backs could have a huge first round. With teams in desperate need of players to shut down their opponents speedy pass catchers there is the possibility that as many as 10 cornerbacks and safeties will be taken in the first 32 picks. For many teams the draft holds the key to their future. Will their picks turn out to be superstars or busts? The teams that are able to get the most out of their picks will be in great shape entering the next few seasons. Make sure to tune into all seven rounds of the draft on ESPN April 29th and 30th.