History says Kubiak may be right: a quarter-century ago, New Orleans used the first overall pick on running back George Rogers and the Giants used the second on a young man named Lawrence Taylor.
Rogers, a power runner nowhere near as electric as Bush, was solid. New York, meanwhile, won two Super Bowls because of LT.
Beyond Bush and Leinart, the first round went more or less as predicted.
After Young, the New York Jets took offensive tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson of Virginia at No. 4; Green Bay picked Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk fifth and San Francisco followed with Maryland tight end Vernon Davis, one of the new breed of pass catchers at that position who can open up the middle of the field.
Oakland, which might have taken a quarterback, went instead for Texas defensive back Michael Huff; Buffalo pulled a slight surprise by taking Ohio State safety Donte Witner, expected to go about 10-15 picks later, and Detroit chose Florida State linebacker Ernie Sims.
Then Leinart finally went at No. 10.
That prompted Denver to move up with the first trade of the round — a swap with St. Louis that enabled them to take the third first-round quarterback, Vanderbilt’s Jay Cutler. That didn’t exactly indicate much confidence in Jake Plummer, although Cutler, who like Plummer is mobile, will have plenty of time to learn behind the incumbent.
Then the draft proceeded through a group made up primarily of defensive players.
One interesting pick was Ohio State linebacker Bobby Carpenter to Dallas with the 18th choice overall — Carpenter was chosen by coach Bill Parcells, who was the Giants’ coach in the early 1980s when his father Rob was New York’s starting running back.
Carpenter was one of three defensive players from Ohio State to be picked in the first 20 and the Buckeyes had the most first-rounders taken with five. Florida State had four defensive players drafted: Sims; end/linebacker Kamerion Wimbley to Cleveland; tackle Brodrick Bunkley to Philadelphia; and cornerback Antonio Cromartie to San Diego.
North Carolina State had three defensive linemen chosen. In addition to Williams, defensive end Manny Lawson was chosen by San Francisco, and defensive tackle John McCargo by Buffalo.
The first round had 19 defensive players chosen and 13 on offense.
In another development, Green Bay traded disgruntled wide receiver Javon Walker to Denver for a second-round pick. Walker had a standout year in 2004 but was unhappy with his contract. Then he missed almost all of last year with a serious knee injury and demanded a trade.
The first three rounds ended after nearly 10 hours with four more quarterbacks taken: Kellen Clemens of Oregon by the Jets and Tarvaris Jackson of Alabama State by the Vikings in the second round and Charlie Whitehurst of Clemson by San Diego and Brodie Croyle of Alabama by Kansas City in the third.
Among the most notable players available on Sunday are Virginia Tech quarterback Marcus Vick, the brother of Falcons star Michael, and Colorado wide receiver and Olympic skier Jeremy Bloom.
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