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08 Jan 2006
Vince Young will announce today at 4 p.m. ET that he is entering the NFL draft.
Posted by: Michael David Smith on 08 Jan 2006
50 comments, Last at
14 Jun 2006, 3:08pm by
As I told everyone who was watching the Rose Bowl with me, the Saints next QB was playing in that game.
Saints, maybe. But can the Texans pass up a local kid who might make their horrible offensive line look merely terrible?
The Texans have all but decided that they are going to take Bush. I think the highest Young would go would be #2, but I think they have their eye on Leinart since their last experiement with a guy like Young didn't go so well...
The Texans have picked up the option on David Carr...they hired all sorts of consultants to see if they should keep him and they all told the Texans that Carr was good, it's just the O-line that makes him look terrible. I have to agree on that front, and I don't think Vince Young would fare any better - plus that would signal a total rebuild, which the Texans don't entirely need. They've got Dave Ragone, too, so they don't really have a shortage on young QBs in development. I think they draft Reggie Bush, which would not be worth it (being that they already have a young RB), except that the argument could be made that anytime you have an opportunity at a player you think can be that good you take them whether you have a need at the position or not.
What was the Texans "last experiment with a guy like Young"?
Since, this year, someone probably may actually want to trade up, I think the Texans would be silly to not trade down.
Basilicus - What you say about Carr may be true, but drafting Bush does not make their o-line any better.I seriously have no idea how Casserly still has a job.
Catholic Samurai is referring to the Saints (the #2 pick) there, I think.
The Texans don't need a quarterback, but honestly, they don't need a running back, either. That's the strongest position group on the team, with Dominick Davis, Jonathan Wells and Vernand Morency all good players. I understand that Bush would give them a different dimension, and I always believe in taking the best player available if you stay put, but Bush is a luxury pick for a team that doesn't necessarily have the luxury.
As a Jets fan, I'm thrilled by Young's decision, as it means that there are now four AAA offensive players, meaning one of them will definitely slide to the team at the four spot. That will give them the option of taking the best player on the board and having it directly address a need, or of having a good bargaining chip to trade down with.
It would seem the right move for Houston is to trade that pick and let somebody else pay a king's ransom to Bush. Is there any chance they do that?
Why are people saying that the Texans are definitely going to take Reggie Bush? Definitely? So they're not even going to watch any tape of any other first-pick prospects, or even bother sending a scout to the workouts of anyone who's not projected as a second-round pick or lower? What if Bush gets in a car accident in the next three months? What if he gets arrested? What if the coach they hire tells the front office that Domanick Davis is a really good fit for the offense he's planning to run, and that he's positive Vince Young (or Matt Leinart or D'Brickashaw Ferguson) is the one piece that they need to add to the offense? What has David Carr done in four years to make anyone think he's ever going to be any good?
The Texans have picked up David Carr's $8 million option, so they aren't going to take a quarterback. The question is: will Leinart or Young pull an Eli Manning and demand a trade from New Orleans. This would conceivably leave the Jets with a chance to pick up Leinart or Young. Pennington is obviously not the answer at QB and Curtis Martin probably won't return so New York needs a QB and a RB. Most likely they'll take D' Angelo Williams.
I don't understand why the Texans insist that David Carr is not part of the problem.
And the marketing value alone for Vince Young in the Houston-area could be astronomical.
The Texans SHOULD cut Carr and draft Young (maybe trade down) and accumulate some more young talent, doesn't mean they'll do it though.
Jon, can you provide a link to information about that $8 million option? When did they pay it? Has anyone in the Texans' front office said Carr will definitely be back in 2006?
Trade down if you can, but still get him. I simply don't think Young is going to be all that as an NFL QB.
The Texans might also be planning to trade down for someone to pick up Reggie Bush. They know this years teams will be interested in the top picks unlike last year.
Picking up Carr just tells that they won't pick a QB.
As a poor texans fan i just hope they trade down. They are still hurting from the Bosselli injury and need to get d'brickshaw. And another tackle. And a d-line. And realise their Lbs aren't good enough to play 3-4.
Oh well, next season can't really be much worse.
Re 11: Why is Pennington obviously not the answer? According to DVOA, he's one of the best quarterbacks in football when he's healthy. He also just finished signing a big contract extension, so he's not going anywhere. The teams has been very open about the fact that they don't like Leinart, so they aren't about to trade up for him. They also aren't going to trade up for Young, who will need at least a year on the bench before he plays. The team will bring in another quarterback because of Pennington's shaky health, but they won't drop major money on the position in all probability. And Martin will be coming back next year at a reduced salary, along with Derrick Blaylock and Cedric Houston.
MDS- The Texans have been quite clear that they intend to pick up the option on Carr. Really, they need to draft Ferguson (think of how different things would be looking for Houston if they had taken Alex Barron last year and Ferguson this year), but he's not worthy of the top spot. That means that Houston will probably want to deal down.
Right now, I hope that the Texans are saying they'll be picking Bush for sure so that they make it known that if a team wants Bush, they need to talk to the Texans. Because really - as good as Bush is, he isn't going to address all the needs they have.
The Saints taking Young would be interesting. I don't know if I'd want to do that, but it's not a bad move given that Leinart has already said that he does not want to play in NO and will attempt to get out of it. The Saints don't have as many glaring weaknesses as other teams that are down - possibly RB, but that's it - aside from QB.
I'm still surprised by this though - Young could do really well next year.
On a side note - what a contrast to last year, where the QBs were mostly meh and there were a ton of great RBs going out that were good but not astounding. No one cared about that first pick. This year, the top 5 picks are all great.
As to Pennington: history has shown that a QB that gets repeated shoulder injuries loses a lot of their ability to throw the ball with speed. Pennington already had a problem before, and won't be getting better after this season.
MDS, here ya go. I posted this last night in the Saturday Wild Card thread.
Carr has led Houston to one average season, which tells me he has it in him.
Davis is ok, and could be awesome, if he learned to freakin' pass block. Houston must trade down, and pick up at D'Brickishaw, and some other awesome Big 10 OL. I'll put money on the Houston fans cheering if they do this, not if they take Bush or that shot-putting moron from Austin. He'd make a great TE, though...
The last two games of the season said a lot about Carr. The Texans let him call the plays in the first half and Pendry called the second half. Results? 40 points in Carr-called halves, 0 points in the Pendry halves.
Carr ain't necessarily the problem.
Thanks for the link. That article says they will pick up Carr's option, not that they have picked it up. Which means if they find that the best coaching candidate they interview absolutely doesn't want Carr, it's not too late to change their minds, cut Carr, and draft Leinart or Young. I'm not saying they won't take Bush, I'm just saying it's silly to report as fact that they will take Bush. It's too soon to tell.
Re 13: I found the Carr extension on ESPN.com.
Re 17: I'm a Jets fan and I sure don't want a QB-RB combination of Pennington-Martin. Chad has NEVER played a full season and he has a terrible arm. His huge contract is a problem, especially considering the Jets are in salary cap trouble. I would just release him if I were Terry Bradway despite the cap hit. As for Curtis Martin, he might have 1 good year left, but even if he does, NY is going to have to get another running-back sometime. Unfortunately, the Jets got left out of the top-3 picks in the draft, but they'll have their pick between Williams, Ferguson, and Hawk. Hawk is probably the best player out of that bunch, but based on need, either Ferguson (aging O-line) or Williams (aging RB) is the answer. Trading down might not be a bad idea either.
Kal- Understood. Pennington's arm strength is absolutely a concern, particularly if Heimerdinger remains the offensive coordinator, as his offense requires a lot of downfield throws. Arm strength is the primary reason why Matt Leinart is not a serious consideration for the team. Vince Young is another matter, but again, I don't think the team really wants to invest top-five money in a quarterback after having just given Pennington $64 million. The team is in cap trouble as it is, and such a concentration of salary at one position would force them to gut the team. The Jets will make a move on a free agent quarterback who they can bring in to compete with Pennington (they may take a run at Chris Simms, who is a restricted player, and who they should have drafted in 2003 instead of BJ Askew in the third round, but that's Bradway, always willing to give up a first for a player he could have had for a third), and they will probably look at drafting a guy on the first day, but not in the top five.
If the Jets were to move up for anyone, it would likely be Reggie Bush.
First off, you never, ever draft based on need, not unless you like being a bad team. You take the best player available. Secondly, releasing Pennington would essentially force you to gut the roster right here and now, and by gut I mean Tennessee/San Francisco style gutting, with multiple years of 2-14 to look forward to. It would be a panic move with no upside to speak of. On the other hand, there is no downside at this point to leaving Pennington on the roster- in the best case scenario he recovers from his injury (he has a lot more rehab this time than he did last year), but even in the worst case, you can keep him on the roster for another year, eat up some of that contract, and give him more time to get healthy while still exploring other options. It's entirely possible that Pennington makes it back, and it would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater to cut and run now.
As for running back, the team isn't in terrible shape at the position. Blaylock was signed for reasonable money last year, and Houston showed some ability in limited action. I'm not going to say it wouldn't be nice to see Reggie Bush in green, but considering that running backs have a short lifespan and are among the most easily replaced positions, I'm not going to jump through hoops to give a 200 lb. running back a $25 million signing bonus.
The Jets are very old and have absolutely no upside with the exception of Jonathan Vilma, Dewayne Robinson, Shaun Ellis and Kerry Rhodes. Blaylock is not an every down back and Cedric Houston doesn't seem like a starter in this league. Their best offensive linemen, Kevin Mawae and Pete Kendall, are old, and John Abraham and Ty Law probably won't be back on the defensive side. My point: NY needs a full-on rebuilding project. I wouldn't mind a couple 3-13 seasons if it meant a couple top-5 picks. RIght now, it's hard to see the Jets being a contender next year, no matter who they draft, so why not just bite the bullet and rebuild.
Jon- Suffice to say I disagree. There is excessive negativity based on how this season turned out, but it's fundamentally the same team that was a play away from the AFC Championship game a year ago. There are changes that need to be made, but nearly as many as you might think. The defensive core is quite solid, with Abraham, Robertson, Ellis, Bryan Thomas, Vilma, Barton, Miller, Coleman, Rhodes and Strait all good young players. There were some weaknesses that were exploitable this year, notably the James Reed spot, Victor Hobson and Mark Brown, and the David Barrett/Justin Miller rotation at corner. Those are fairly easily fixed, and just eliminating the weaknesses will allow the strengths of the defense to be felt. Just adding a big runstuffing tackle to make up for Jason Ferguson will go a long way towards fixing the defense. An intelligent approach to free agency and the draft could see the Jets with a top five defensive unit next year.
The offense is more problematic, but again, there are some pieces to work with. This same offensive unit was a top five DVOA unit in 2004. This year they fell apart due to a combination of sudden offensive line deterioration and a quick and fatal succession of injuries at quarterback (and really, Pennington was playing injured from the beginning). The skill positions aren't going to blow you away, but there are competent players and decent depth at running back and tight end, and solid frontline starters at wide receiver. The offensive line and the quarterback position are going to have to be addressed heavily, and I suspect they will be. A quarterback will be brought in through free agency, another one will be drafted, and Pennington will be given every opportunity to rehab- that combination should be enough to ensure that this year's disaster isn't repeated. Blaylock has demonstrated that he can be a very effective runner behind good blocking- he was every bit as effective as Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson in Kansas City last year- and I'm not convinced that Martin is finished. The team could address the OL, trade down in the first and grab Lendale White, or grab a Joseph Addai in the second round, and have a nice running back rotation to work with.
Again, there is a lot of work to be done. There is a fair amount of salary trimming that needs to happen, and the team needs to make hay with the draft this year (they should be helped by several compensatory picks in addition to their new fourth-rounder). They also need to be smart in who they target in free agency. But honestly, there are 3/4ths of an upper echelon football team on the roster already, assuming injured players come back healthy and ready to go next year. The team's plight is greatly overstated.
I think Houston would be stupid to draft Reggie Bush. What in the world is he gonna do behind that offensive line? They need to get D'Brickshaw Ferguson, whether it be with their 1st overall pick or by trading down a few spots. If David Carr had any time at all to throw the ball, he'd be a great quarterback. If this team continues to not address its problems on the offensive line, I don't know that they'll ever be a good team.
Re 29: The answer is that it doesn't matter what Bush does behind that offensive line. You draft so you have the best possible team in three years, not next year. If you pass over a fantastic running back like Bush to take a lesser offensive line prospect, your team will not be as good in three years as they would be if they took the best available player now and then made other moves to address the line, either via free agency, later in the draft, or by drafting a better offensive line prospect next year. It's drafting 101- reach for need and you degrade your talent over time.
What if Reggie Bush isn't an every-down NFL back? It's possible he's a great collegiate player with no real NFL position. He's more likely to be this generation's Terry Metcalf than the next Barry Sanders, although Metcalf was no sad sack.
Sean (#28) -- Great post. I think I agree with everything other than that Miller is a weakness at CB. No doubt he was a little raw in coverage this year, but he's got a lot of talent. And he's as good a tackler at the CB position as the Jets have had in a long time. Otis Smith and James Hasty were pretty good tacklers. I think Miller is better. The Jets should try to use him a bit like the Bucs use Ronde. I betcha he'd be a better blitzer than Vilma, who's not very good at it and is better off using his speed in pass coverage. If you haven't noticed, I'm pretty excited about Miller (KO's too).
The Titans are in a great situation here. Either they get Leinart who thrived under Chow's system at USC, or Young, who more than one person has said reminds them of a young Steve McNair, with the actual McNair hanging around for another year or two for guidance.
al, didn't leinert throw for more yards and touchdowns this year (with chow in nashville)? i thought i had heard that he'd actually had a better year this year than last.
i'm a titans fan and hope they trade for more picks and pick up some defensive backfield help or d'brickashaw. if young can learn from mcnair, though, then that wouldn't be that bad...
31- That may well be. The issue isn't who the player is in particular, but rather how he is evaluated. If the Texans do their scouting and decide that Bush isn't the best player in the country, they should go elsewhere. But if they do think Bush is the best player, they are making a mistake if they pass over him to take a player with a lower grade, even if that player happens to be at a position of need like left tackle.
32- I'm with you on Miller. He was a weakness at times in coverage this year, but I'm not suggesting that he will continue to be a weakness going forward. He has great skills and got a lot of useful playing time this year. He and Strait should both be real assets to the pass defense next season. That's one of those defensive holes that will take care of itself through simple player maturation. A runstuffing DT, on the other hand, is likely going to come from outside the current roster, unless Sione Pouha does a complete turnaround.
Re 6: True that the Texans don't need a RB, but if you truly think that Reggie Bush is a special player (i.e. that he's the next Barry Sanders or Jim Brown) then you draft him whether you have a Dominic Davis or not.
Nice article summarizing the careers of the players chosen first in the NFL draft over the last fifteen years:
Re: the Bush/Ferguson issue: It's worth noting that the last RB to be chosen first in the draft was injury-plagued Ki-Jana Carter (1995). The last O-Lineman to be chosen first was seven-time Pro Bowler Orlando Pace (1997).
Just kidding. That fact means nothing, of course, but it's fun to cite portentous past events.
You make a lot of good points and obviously know more about your team than me but still, we fundamentally disagree on the outlook. Re. The AFC Championship game point, the Jets were hardly a juggernaut two years ago. IIRC they didn't actually beat many good teams that year at all and were never a really serious contender. Two years ago is a long time when you are as old at important positions as the Jets. I think they are two years removed from being an above-average team, at best.
Re. the defense, there is a certain amount of talent there, but I hesitate to put Thomas, Barton and Miller into the same category as Vilma and Robertson. Is Abraham going to be back? I would agree they could be a middle of the pack defense but top 5? I think that is excessively optimistic. Re. the offense, it is a total mess. The QB position is not going to be resolved next year into a major positive and I suspect thats more or less it for Martin given his age and workload. Beyond that you have an absolute mess of an offensive line with no young upper echelon players, a good WR in Coles and the rest of the offense is league-average talent.
Given the salary cap woes that the Jets reportedly face, I would say at best that we're looking at an 8-8 team while the inevitable is put off, especially in a division with the Pats and the resurgent Dolphins. A more likely outcome is the Jets dwelling in the cellar for some time. Without knowing the exact vagaries of the salary cap re. dead money hits for the Jets, I would crater next season, take the time to fully assess Pennington's status for 2007 and beyond, and so be hopefully be in a position to reload to be a contender in that year and beyond with a healthy, decent QB and a re-opened salary cap window.
sh. I think the highest Young would go would be #2, but I think they have their eye on Leinart since their last experiement with a guy like Young didnâ€™t go so wellâ€¦
It went okay, but it went on too long. AB was pretty damned good from 2002-2003.
I agree with you about the Titans being in a great spot, but can they take the cap hit to keep McNair around?
I've heard some pretty wild numbers about what Tennessee would have to pay to keep McNair. I'm not a capologist, but all the "McNair to Miami, Baltimore, etc.," stories are based on the Titans not being able to afford him.
If they can, though, they get the added bonus of being able to shop Volek for more draft picks for their horrid defense.
Sean, I think you miss the point slightly on the Bush/Ferguson-for Houston debate. Of course you should draft the best player left on the board, if the alternative is to reach for the player who fills the greatest need. Here, it isn't. If the Texans take Ferguson, it will be at 3 or 4, not 1. The choice is not Bush versus Ferguson, it's Bush versus Ferguson plus maybe a high second, third and fourth this year or a first and a third or fourth next year.
In fact, it's not implausible the Texans could have three picks in a row at the top of the third round, having already acquired the Saints no.3 in a draft-day trade last year. Just a random thought.
All that said, I think it would be hard for an under-fire GM like Casserly to pass on Bush, because if he does come into the league with another team and play like the Sanders-Payton-Faulk super-hybrid many people seem to think he will, while in Houston Ferguson has the inevitable bumpy introduction to the pros that any O-lineman faces, Casserly could be fired before his decision is proved right three years down the line. I believe that job insecurity, leading to a now-first attitude (reaches for need, trading next year's first for a second today) explains many poor GM decisions in the NFL.
Finally, I hope for the last time, for crying out loud people, Houston's O-line is above average at run-blocking. They just suck in pass protection. If Bush fails in Houston, it won't be because of his line. That said, what they're best at is creating space right up the middle (5th in adjusted line yards for runs listed as centre or guard) - not a good fit for Reggie.
As a Houston fan, I sincerely hope Casserly is brave enough to look to repeat the Ricky Williams trade that made his reputation and let some other idiot pay a running back $60m over 7 years.
How much of the Texans O-line above-averageness comes from zone blocking? Joe Pendry uses zone-blocking, which means that a) they run a scheme which doesn't require linemen to win individual matchups but places an emphasis on mobility and b) is reliant on the o-line coach maintaining continuity.
So if the o-line coach is replaced by the new head coach with someone who doesn't use zone-blocking are the Texans offensive lineman likely to be as effective in the running game?
I remember an analysis on this from last offseason, but I can't seem to find it now.
Is Reggie Bush the next Desmond Howard? I know they didn't play the same position, but they were both excellent kick returners who won the Heisman and didn't carry the ball 20 times a game.
It's definitely a lot safer to pick Ferguson, it's definitely good marketing to pick Young but he could be a bust and you have to do something with Carr, and Bush has lots of upside and plays a position that they currently have some kind of need (he could even split time and return kicks for a year) and can afford to pay top dollar for (at QB they'd be paying top dollar for two guys, at RB just Bush).
Y'know, of all the "expert commentary" I've read about Young entering the draft, I haven't heard anyone make the comment that I've read on one of the FO boards (I can't find it now, or I'd give proper credit) that if he were to wait until the 2007 draft, the new CBA will likely have a rookie cap, and even if he were to stay a top-five pick (avoid injury and all that) he'd probably make less money in 2007. So it's even more of a no-brainer for him to enter the draft this year.
Another case where the "amateurs" raise points that the "experts" miss.
38: Just remember that last year, those resurgent Dolphins of yours were 4-12, just like us, with an offensive DVOA of -28.5%, worse than our -23.0%, and with salary cap problems caused by their aging defense. They too had a disaster at quarterback and very poor offensive line play. That was a year ago, or one draft and one free agent class ago, if you prefer.
Most teams have enough talent on their roster to allow them to quickly turn things around, given the proper changes.
Do you trust the texans to make the neccessary moves though? IE make the CORRECT moves?
Rich- I was referring to the Jets, not the Texans.
The comment is in the linked thread (Young Dodging NFL Draft), comment 14 by dryheat. And he's absolutely right, from a financial standpoint it is significantly better him, and potentially any high draftee, to come out this year if possible.
Another factor I've thought about in this: would it be better for him as a player to play another full year of college ball, against college opponents and with college coaching, or ride the pine for a year (a la Palmer, Culpepper, McNair, etc) and get NFL-level coaching and practice? I think he's pretty much shown that college ball doesn't hold a ton of challenge for him anymore, and he'd grow more as a pro backup than college starter this year, even just seeing the game at NFL speed.
Sorry to interrupt. Resume Jets discussion.
Yeah, right. Good luck with finding this offseason's equivalent of Saban, Linehan and Houck to turn your team around. Getting a Ricky Williams equivalent back as a legit contributor at a minimum salary might help too. Also hitting on your first round pick, turning your major weakness of the 4-12 year into a strength. I could go on, but even cutting out the coaching part of it, the Jets are going to have to do well to match the draft/free agency offseason the Fins had last year. Looks like the two teams are going in completely different directions to me.
I think they'll draft Mario Williams...
The Vikings need offensive line help, while the Bears, Lions, and Packers have significant defensive concerns.
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