Picking fourth helps, of course. Tannenbaum and Mangini made choices to rebuild their team in the classic way — adding the two top rated offensive linemen right away in Virginia tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Ohio State center Nick Mangold. That meant filling a need and ignoring the glamour pick in USC's Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Matt Leinart.
And what's after getting the draft's two best offensive linemen? Get more depth on offense and defense.
Conversely, the Buffalo Bills, the Jets' AFC East rivals, had the kind of draft that will have people scratching their heads for some time.
Perhaps general manager Marv Levy and owner Ralph Wilson know what they're doing, but their first day drafting effort must be baffling western New York.
The most intriguing draft goes to the Tennessee Titans. It could make general manager Floyd Reese a genius or make him a laughing stock. Reese gambled with his first two picks, which could be boom or bust.
But when everything is re-graded in a couple years, some unexpected team may end up at the head of the class — and someone else could go from valedictorian to a remedial class.
New York Jets
The Jets did not give into temptation and passed on a quarterback at No. 4. They rebuilt their offensive line with the draft's two best offensive linemen. Ferguson should boost the offense, while Mangold, picked at No. 24, should replace departed Kevin Mawae. Along with free agent veteran Trey Teague, New York has done a tremendous job bolstering its offensive line in just one offseason. Then they came back and got solid value with Oregon quarterback Kellen Clemens, Ohio State linebacker Anthony Schlegel and Michigan State safety Eric Smith, who was rising up most draft boards in the last few weeks.
You couldn't ask for more than this if you're a Jets fan.
San Francisco 49ers
The Niners made great use of their two No. 1s, getting two top 20 players in stellar Maryland tight end Vernon Davis at No. 6 overall and highly touted North Carolina State defensive end Manny Lawson at No. 22. They also filled a need with Wisconsin receiver Brandon Williams.
Not bad with two top 40 players with the 27th and 58th picks. They got productive Memphis runner DeAngelo Williams and Fresno State defensive back Richard Marshall, who was considered a first-round talent, but dropped to the late second round.
Cleveland put the Ravens' feet to the fire, extorting a sixth round pick from Baltimore to drop one spot so the Ravens could select Haloti Ngata. What Cleveland really wanted was Florida State pass rusher Kamerion Wimbley, so they got their man and an extra pick. They came back in round 2 and took a Maryland linebacker D'Qwell Jackson below where he was slotted by some teams, which could turn out to be a steal.
The decision to bypass Reggie Bush to sign defensive end Mario Williams is one that they will never live down if Williams doesn't develop into a dominant pass rusher — and even worse if Bush becomes a star. But they came back and did a nice job on the next two rounds when they drafted Alabama linebacker DeMeco Ryans and Miami offensive tackle Eric Winston, who could have been a second-round pick.
The Eagles did another outstanding drafting job, landing two top 25 players rated with their first- and second-round choices.
Florida State defensive tackle Broderick Bunkley, an explosive force in the middle, was a surprise choice at No. 14 because most teams thought he'd be gone by then. Philly then grabbed USC's Winston Justice with the 39th pick. Justice has some off-field issues, but none when he's in shoulder pads. Then they topped things off with defensive end Chris Gocong from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. He's a guy a lot of teams were hoping to grab before the first day was out. This has the potential to be a great draft.
A- ... or D-
This could be one of the most memorable drafts ever.
The Titans took Texas quarterback Vince Young at No. 3 overall, bypassing USC's Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Matt Leinart. Most scouts think Leinart is more ready for the NFL, while Young could be a star down the road. Tennessee thinks Young has the potential to be even better than Steve McNair, which would make this an incredible pick. But if his odd throwing motion and lack of experience dropping back from under center (he mostly worked out of the shotgun at Texas) becomes something he can't overcome, general manager Floyd Reese will never live it down. Then they came right back in Round 2 and took another question mark in USC running back LenDale White.
White was a possible first-round pick until he showed blew his combine workouts. His value plummeted even further when later showed up at the USC workouts with a hamstring injury. But he says teams should have looked at his production in games, in which he averaged 6.6 yards a carry. If they did, as the Titans obviously must have, you see a guy even forced Reggie Bush to share time. If Young and White fulfill their potential this could be a legendary draft. If they don't, it will be an infamous draft.
ProFootballTalk: Patriots QB Tom Brady addressed Wes Welker’s decision to head West to Denver. Brady says he isn’t surprised by anything after being in the league for so long and hopes that Welker has a great season with the Broncos.
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