NFL Draft Day One: Surprises subject logo: PROSPORTS
Posted by: badanov

We knew linebacker Ernie Sims of Florida State and Chad Greenway of Iowa would go pretty high, but we figured DeMeco Ryans would go first given his performance with Alabama. Ryans went in the second round to Houston, who had surprised everyone by taking North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams over USC tailback Reggie Bush.

We contended earlier that Ohio State's AJ Hawk was too small to go high in the draft, but Green Bay didn't feel that way, and after listening to friends tonight, it appears that Hawk was drafted for his run playing abilities. He may well play four downs at outside linebacker, but his forte will be stuffing the run.

Texas safety Michael Huff, who went to Oakland was the big winner at defensive back, someone we didn't think would go until the second round if then. Before him Clemson's Tye Hill did go before Huff.

Except for Huff, none of our picks for defensive back went in the first three rounds except for Syracuse's Anthony Smith. Scouting reports knocked him as slow and a tough sell at cornerback and likely to be a better fit at safety. Smith went to Pittsburgh.

Two of the linebackers who went in the first round were small: Sims and Hawk. The other two, Greenway and Ohio State's Bobby Carpenter were both good sized linebackers, both likely to start at linebacker. Sims weighs in at 220 pounds , while Hawk is at 240 pounds..

Mario Williams was the top overall pick at defensive end but Tamba Hali was the third place defensive end to go, after Cleveland took Florida State's Kamerion Wimbley. The Giants, who were apparently eyeing Hali, instead took Boston College's defensive Mathias Kiwanuka when Kansas City took Hali.

We were also surprised at how many Seminoles went in the first round: Ernie Sims, Brodrick Bunkley, Kamerion Wimbley, and Antonio Cromartie, all on the defensive end of the ball. Ohio State had more with five players in the first round taken, Hawk, Donte Whitner at safety to Buffalo, Carpenter, Santonio Holmes at split end to Pittsburgh and center Nick Mangold to the New York Jets.

Of 32 first round picks, 19 were defenders. The NFL was drafting defense this year.

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