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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

2006 NFL Draft Recap Part Two - Bill Chackles

The 2006 Draft Recap Part II-Prospecting for Draft Gold

So just who are these players who get picked on the second day of the draft each
year? Are they the guys who were the stars of their class in high school, and went to college on that big fat scholarship, but sometime during their 4 years (or 5 or 6) they fell back to the rest of the pack and became "ordinary" or "average." Or possibly they had a "sub-standard" season as a sophomore or junior, and didn't improve enough the following year to erase memories of the past. So many of them go from "can't miss 1st round selections to "lucky to be drafted at all." Some however are rare but raw unpolished bodies of work that could become the backbone of a championship contender.

Some players who might have that type of impact are: Georgia's Max Jean-Gilles, an OG selected by the Eagles with the 99th Pick (#2 in round 4) and Jason Avant, the WR from Michigan selected by the Eagles 10 picks later. Both these players will bolster the Birds passing offense. The Niners selection of the versatile Michael Robinson (WR/KR/RB/QB) will also help San Francisco's crumbling offense.

The Jets and Giants both had two choices in round 4. Gang Green selected Brad Smith, a QB/WR from Missouri, and RB Leon Washington from Florida State. The Giants selected Barry Cofield, a DT from Northwestern, and Guy Wimper, an OT from East Carolina. Both teams appear to be drafting from the need for depth at those positions, but all four are capable of stepping in as starters should the need arise. The Dolphins chose OT Joe Toledo from the University of Washington. Many scouts had Toledo ranked in the top 10 tackles in this class, and his value had only risen in the days before the draft.

Round 5 saw two players who could become the steals of the entire draft, let along the second day. Dallas selected Florida State FS Pat Watkins, who is both fast and strong enough to contribute in several special teams roles. Cincinnati selected Florida State OLB A.J. Nicholson. A.J. had some problems of a personal nature, but if that is truly behind him, he could be the best LB in this class. Seattle chose USC's David Kirtman, the FB who cleared the way for Reggie Bush and LenDale White. Kirtman was also a long snapper in high school. Also in the round, the Eagles went for WR/KR Jeremy Bloom from Colorado. Bloom is noted for his Olympic Skiing career, but he claims he is now committed to football.

Round 6 & 7 saw lots of players go who were considered higher selections just days before. Some will develop into solid players, and some will contribute briefly before becoming afterthoughts of this class. The cowboys selection of DT Montavious Stanley of Louisville (#182 in rd 6) bears special mention, as he has a boatload of talent, but must live up to his upside potential. The Bengals took QB/WR Reggie McNeal from Texas A&M, who could develop into a solid receiver if he learns to focus on the ball. The also selected WR Bennie Brazell, the LSU wide out. The Bears selected Penn State's Tyler Reed, who had a good career at OG for Penn State. Atlanta took local product DJ Shockley, the QB from Georgia. Many had him as the 4th best QB in the draft after Jay Cutler, but fall to round 7 he did. What all these second day players have in common is that some scouts and personnel directors saw enough Film on them to moe then just take a chance, or else they'd have been signed as free agents instead of being drafted.


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