It’s been ten years since the historic 2006 draft. It had so many college stars in it, including three Heisman winners (Reggie Bush, Vince Young, Matt Leonard) and introduced many unknown stars into the league. All in all, 39 players drafted in 2006 have been to at least one Pro Bowl and six more who went undrafted also made it. 46 players total!
However, they weren’t all stand out All-Pro players. Unfortunately, this draft had high expectations for some and they didn’t quite live up, but there really isn’t any way of knowing how a player will turn out after they are drafted.
We here at the Monster’s of Geek offices have done some research, brewed some coffee, and watched the tapes. Looking ten years into the future, we are going to re-do the 2006 NFL Draft. Let’s go.
Picked By: Reid
Original Pick: DE Mario Williams
The Texans tossed and turned on Reggie Bush vs. Williams. Ultimately, they went with Williams. He was a force on defense but injuries and salary have hurt his stock. Ferguson has been a stud lineman and Houston has been known for their poor protection. He could have saved Matt Schaub’s career.
Picked By: Aaron
Original Pick: RB Reggie Bush (USC)
There is no denying Bush’s dynamic play making ability, but his work as a running back left a bit to be desired. Enter Maurice Jones Drew who turned out to be a better, more complete version of Reggie Bush.
According to Pro Football Reference, Jones-Drew’s career rushing numbers blow Bush’s out of the water by nearly 2700-yards, his career receiving numbers only trail Bush’s by just over 500-yards (on 124 less receptions), and the whopping 33 more rushing touchdowns show Jones-Drew was the all-pro back the Saints wanted Bush to be. Even with receiving touchdowns added in, Jones-Drew still has a 27 touchdown edge over Bush. And we won’t even mention the 573 more rushing attempts Jones-Drew was trusted with over his career. The one category that Bush does lead in is career receptions, which shouldn’t be a big surprise, but the gap isn’t as large as you would think with Jones-Drew only trailing Bush by 124.
The Saints in 2005 were terrible and with Brees and Payton ready to turn the franchise around in 2006, Maurice Jones-Drew would have played a big part by giving the Saints a true franchise running back that gave them the versatility mixed with the running ability to get the tough yards between the tackles. Bush’s numbers don’t hold a Louisiana candle to Jones-Drew’s spectacular career.
Jones-Drew also makes the biggest leap up the draft board thus far in our re-Draft. Jones-Drew was originally drafted in the 2nd round and 60th overall and rises 58 spots to be the Saints newest running back. Sorry Reggie, but Maurice is the true King of Los Angeles.
Picked By: Daniel
Original Pick: QB Vince Young (Texas)
The Steve McNair era had come to an end in Music City, and the Titans desperately needed a quarterback. Tennessee fell victim of the massive hype that followed Vince Young after the 2006 Rose Bowl. Early in his career, Young certainly looked the part by making plays with his legs, but as a passer he had too many fatal flaws mechanically and mentally.
The Titans passed on hometown hero Jay Cutler, who found plenty of success at Vanderbilt. It is true that Cutler will not go down as a Hall of Famer, but the very simple truth is that Cutler has what I would consider to be Hall of Fame talent. The Titans had a decent defense to keep them in games, and letting Cutler cut his teeth in a city that he would’ve been both loved and comfortable in might have made all the difference. This makes too much sense not to do it.
Picked By: Joe
Original Pick: OT D’Brickashaw Ferguson (Virginia)
The Jets had much thinking to do coming off a horrific 4-12 season in 2005, where both offense and defense were lackluster. Chad Pennington had two shoulder surgeries to repair a torn rotator cuff within 8 months, and the thoughts may have been a QB or better protection. In this fantasy draft both Jay Cutler and D’Brickashaw Ferguson have been taken and the front office now looks to fortify the pass rush.
With an aging Shaun Ellis, they decided skip over NC State’s Mario Williams, who many thought was the top defensive end in the draft, in favor of choosing a different defensive end named Tamba Hali. Hali played at Penn State and was a versatile DE for the Nitney Lions. The Jets could use him to rotate with aging Shaun Ellis, but also play outside linebacker and creating a scary combo with Jonathan Vilma.
Picked By: Reid
Original Pick: LB AJ Hawk (Ohio State)
Hawk was supposed to be a monster coming out of Ohio State. His consistency is too strong to call him a bust, but he certainly isn’t a game changing player. The Packers had a lack of offense at the time. Rodgers was still two years from his throne, Ahman Green was on the downside of his career. The only weapon they had was Donald Driver. If they had Davis, it would give them the tight end they’ve always wanted, another offensive option, and not to mention tight ends receive the most attention from first year starters. Davis would have helped make Rodgers even better in the beginning.
Picked By: Aaron
Original Pick: TE Vernon Davis (Maryland)
The 49ers were just plain awful heading into the 2006 Draft and, as time would tell, chose the wrong QB in the 2005 Draft (Alex Smith over Aaron Rodgers. Whoops.). They originally went searching for offensive help and came away with Vernon Davis, and even though Davis showed flashes of greatness (check out his 2009 and 2013 seasons), he was inconsistent during his time moonlighting on The Bay.
That is why I would go with Ngata who would have fit perfectly in Mike Nolan’s 3-4 defensive scheme. And even though Nolan didn’t make the 49ers a contender during his time as head coach, he did lay a foundation for a defense that would become one of the best we’ve seen in the NFL by time Jim Harbaugh arrived in 2011.
And, if we can use future drafts to help our picks, the 49ers would still be terrible in 2006 regardless of who they picked and would, hypothetically, be in line to draft a certain linebacker from Ole Miss named Patrick Willis. That guy had a pretty good career already, now imagine him being able to run around untouched while Ngata, like he did for an older Ray Lewis in Baltimore, occupied the middle of the opponents’ offensive line and start on his way to becoming one of the scariest nose tackles in all of football. Insert a young faster Willis and that, my friends, is the very definition of a nightmare.
Picked By: Daniel
Original Pick: S Michael Huff (Texas)
No single pick at this point in the draft could change the path Oakland was set on, as they were well on their way to becoming a complete dumpster fire. The roster had too many misses from the draft, and plenty of aging veterans acquired via free agency that simply didn’t work out.
Michael Huff was the Jim Thorpe award winner and the best defensive player on a Texas Longhorns team that took down the juggernaut USC Trojans. He benefited from the exposure, but he was a liability defending the pass in the NFL. Oakland needed a stable player, and Mario Williams fits that bill. He has wracked up close to 100 sacks in his career, and is a building block Al Davis’ Raiders needed. The Raider offense was abysmal, but no one player in this draft would have fixed that. It is easy to say that any player picked in this spot could have easily failed due to how bad things in Oakland were and would become. Williams is the only player remaining that I think could have survived the culture in the Bay and still went on to have a great career.
Picked By: Yeti
Original Pick: S Donte Whitner (Ohio State)
The Bills feel like their young nucleus of J. P. Losman and Willis McGahee need another weapon. With the eighth pick they select the 6’4 200+ pound WR from UFC, Brandon Marshall. Marshall will eventually give Losman the go to target he needs and the teams first major big play threat at wide receiver since Andre Reed.
Marshall also takes over the largest jump up the board. Originally drafted in the 4th round and 119th overall by the Denver Broncos making him a true steal if there ever was one, Marshall jumps an amazing 111 spots into the top ten of our Re-draft.
Disagree with our picks up to this point? Tell us in the comment section below! The MOG Re-Draft will continue with the next 8 picks on the board. Hope you enjoyed the first part!