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Williams up against strong DE tandem in New Orleans

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; As we approach the 2006 NFL draft, I can't wait to find out where all of these top prospects are going to land. In the days following the draft, the focus will now shift to how all of these new ...

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Old 04-28-2006, 01:38 PM   #1
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Williams up against strong DE tandem in New Orleans

As we approach the 2006 NFL draft, I can't wait to find out where all of these top prospects are going to land. In the days following the draft, the focus will now shift to how all of these new prospects are going to mesh with their new teams. If the Texans do indeed take Reggie Bush, how does he fit? Will Matt Leinart be the immediate starter in Tennessee?

Some drafted rookies will move into immediate starting positions. If the New York Jets take offensive tackle D'Brickshaw Ferguson and theGreen Bay Packers take weak-side linebacker A.J. Hawk as I am predicting, they immediately will fill holes.

In other instances, as I mentioned with Bush and Leinart, there will be some great camp battles that should take shape this summer.

I want to look at five potential camp battles that could arise if the draft falls the way I expect it to this weekend.

Texans, running back: Reggie Bush vs. Domanick Davis


The Texans have been selling that they might take defensive end Mario Williams, but I believe the pick will be Bush. If that occurs, head coach Gary Kubiak will have the tough job of trying to find minutes for two talented backs. Even though Bush will be the first pick, don't expect him to start the season ahead of Davis. Davis is more of a workhorse running back and the team would be wise to bring Bush along slowly. The Texans will learn a lot about Bush in the preseason. Can he handle the grueling two-a-day training camp schedule and maintain his weight? One of the biggest issues surrounding Bush is, can he be an every-down player at the NFL level? This is something the Texans will learn over time. In the early part of the season at least, expect Davis to carry the load with the team trying to find 10-15 touches (running, receiving and returns) for Bush.

Saints, defensive end: Mario Williams vs. Charles Grant/Will Smith
If the Saints select Williams at No. 2, they definitely will be selecting the best available player on their board because he surely does not fill a need. Sure, Grant had a down year last season with only three sacks, but in the previous three seasons he tallied 28 with 11 forced fumbles. The Saints have a lot of issues to fix, but Grant is not one of them. Third-year end Smith, who plays opposite Grant, has 17 sacks over his first two seasons. Where does Williams fit? He is definitely a talented player, and based on potential should be a better prospect than both Grant and Smith. Getting on the field early could be tough though. Grant and Smith are both talented and play hard -- they are not just going to let Williams walk right in and take their jobs.

Titans, quarterback: Matt Leinart vs. Billy Volek
The Titans' quarterback situation will be very interesting. There has been a lot of posturing in recent days. Will Steve McNair return or will they cut him loose? Will the Titans take Leinart or Vince Young? Let's start with McNair. His relationship with the team really has deteriorated in recent weeks. Anytime you lock the face of your organization out of the building, it can't end well. I believe he will be waived and sign in Baltimore. As for the Leinart vs. Young situation, Leinart is the guy more ready to play, and the Titans might need him to this season. That being said, expect Volek to win the training camp battle and begin the season as the starter. Leinart will be on Volek's heels, though. Of all the quarterbacks who have come out over the past few years, he is the most ready to be the guy. He is smart and a winner, only losing two college games as a starter in a solid football conference. He has played in a pro-style offense, and keep in mind, his college coach Pete Carroll has an NFL background. Carroll runs his entire program like an NFL organization in terms of how practice and meetings are conducted. This should make for an easier transition with Leinart going to the NFL.

49ers, tight end: Vernon Davis vs. Eric Johnson


Other than Young, you could make a case for Davis being the most "freakish" athlete on the draft board. The only way this can become a battle is if Johnson can stay healthy. That has been a problem for him, as he missed the entire 2005 season with a torn muscle in his left foot. Johnson is the incumbent, so look for him to begin the season as the No. 1 tight end. It will be tough for him to hold off Davis though. Davis is extremely athletic and can run. His ability to stretch the field will open up the entire San Francisco offense. He is a guy who can make plays after the catch and be a nice security blanket for young Alex Smith, who is still trying to develop his game. The 49ers had one of the worst offenses in the NFL last season. If they do indeed draft Davis, don't expect him to sit on the bench collecting dust.

Raiders, quarterback: Vince Young vs. Aaron Brooks
If Young fell to the Raiders at No. 7, it's hard to imagine them not selecting him. Owner Al Davis loves athletes, and there are none as exciting as Young with the ball in his hands. However, of the Big Three quarterbacks (Leinart, Young and Jay Cutler), Young is the rawest. He played in a shot-gun, read-option system in college and would need some time to adjust to a pro-style offense. The biggest issue for the Raiders' coaching staff is resisting rushing Young into action. Veteran Brooks is streaky, and he is a guy who will frustrate you with untimely poor plays. The temptation will be there to play Young, but playing a quarterback too early can be detrimental to his future, so they will have to tread lightly.

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Old 04-28-2006, 01:41 PM   #2
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RE: Williams up against strong DE tandem in New Orleans

Thats why we DON'T get Mario... get Hawk!
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Old 04-28-2006, 02:48 PM   #3
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RE: Williams up against strong DE tandem in New Orleans

i'm not sure if hawk would start right away here like he will in green bay... i mean, simmons will lock up the middle spot, and fujita and bockwoldt will definitely have the inside track to their respective starting spots... i think he has the talent and potential to walk in here and give the a run for their money, but in green bay, the day he sets foot in the locker room he's their starting OLB...
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Old 04-28-2006, 02:52 PM   #4
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RE: Williams up against strong DE tandem in New Orleans

I smell 3-4.
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Old 04-28-2006, 02:53 PM   #5
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RE: Williams up against strong DE tandem in New Orleans

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Old 04-28-2006, 03:15 PM   #6
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What about Fincher? Some here were just plain giddy about the Saints drafting him last year. He has the right attitude and size. Comments?
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Old 04-28-2006, 03:18 PM   #7
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fincher will make the squad for sure, but won't be starting... i notice the same thing... it seems that since hawk is available at our spots, some around here forget what we do have.... last year everyone was wringing their hands over the idea of fincher in our linebacking corps, but now, all of a sudden, he's an afterthought... guess what? the guy is good and will be a great contributor in situations and special teams...
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