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MOORE: Pick-by-pick analysis

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David Moore

David Moore has been the senior football writer for FOX Sports since Aug. 2005. He appears weekly on the FSN Baseball Report and MLB on FOX. One more line lorem ipsum dolor sit amet e pluribus unum.

 
   
 
FOXSports.com's senior NFL writer David Moore provides pick-by-pick analysis on the entire first round.


FIRST-ROUND ANALYSIS
1. Houston Texans
Pick: David Carr, quarterback, Fresno State
David Moore's comment: Some say the suspense ended weeks ago when the club announced it would select Carr with the first pick. I'd argue it's just beginning. History has not been kind to rookie quarterbacks on expansion teams. Go back a few years to check the bruised and battered body of Cleveland's Tim Couch. Kerry Collins had some initial success in Carolina, but soon succumbed to the pressure before reviving his career with the New York Giants. The Texans are convinced Carr has the mental and physical tools to handle all that goes with being the first pick of an expansion team.
2. Carolina Panthers
Pick: Julius Peppers, defensive end, North Carolina
David Moore's comment: Talk about spoiled. Just months removed from watching Michael Strahan break the NFL's single-season sack record, new coach John Fox drafts a player with the potential to be just as disruptive. Personnel directors tell you Peppers is one of two, special players in this draft. The other is Oklahoma safety Roy Williams. Peppers went higher because the league places a premium on 6-foot-6, 283-pound athletic ends who wreak havoc with opposing quarterbacks. He's arguably the most dominant defensive force to come out of North Carolina since Lawrence Taylor.
3. Detroit Lions
Pick: Joey Harrington, quarterback, Oregon
David Moore's comment: There was a healthy debate in the organization about whether to go with Harrington or cornerback Quentin Jammer. The Lions made the right choice. Jammer is a wonderful player and is arguably the most NFL-ready athlete in this draft. But Harrington can give Detroit something it hasn't had in decades — a franchise quarterback. The Lions flirted with moving down two or three spots and still selecting Harrington, but wisely decided to stay put and take the player who made the most sense.
4. Buffalo Bills
Pick: Mike Williams, offensive tackle, Texas
David Moore's comment: This isn't a sexy pick — 375-pound offensive tackles usually aren't mentioned in these terms. But it's the right one. The Bills are desperate for help in the offensive and defensive line. The 6-foot-5 Williams is almost a line unto himself. The best run blocking tackle in this draft, the rookie is an instant starter and will make New England's Drew Bledsoe feel better about a trade if the two sides ever consummate a deal.
5. San Diego Chargers
Pick: Quentin Jammer, cornerback, Texas
David Moore's comment: Is it possible to have a better name for a defensive back? Is there a better defensive back than Jammer. Not in this draft. The Chargers are thrilled. They would have taken offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie or receiver Donte Stallworth and been happy, but this is the player coach Marty Schottenheimer wanted all along.
6. Kansas City Chiefs (trade from Cowboys)
Pick: Ryan Sims, defensive tackle, North Carolina
David Moore's comment: Minnesota coach Mike Tice coveted Sims and intended to take him at No. 7. The Chiefs knew the only way they could get the player they wanted was to strike a deal with Dallas. Why was Sims so important to Kansas City? The Chiefs defense ranked 27th against the run last season. Sims is the most complete defensive tackle in this draft and will help the team plug that hole.
7. Minnesota Vikings
Pick: Bryant McKinnie, offensive tackle, Miami
David Moore's comment: Sims was the player new head coach Mike Tice wanted. Kansas City's end around spoiled that wish. He might be better off. The Vikings do need to improve defensively, but offense is still what carries this team. McKinnie is the best pass-blocking offensive tackle in this draft and upgrades a group that struggled last season.
8. Dallas Cowboys (trade from Chiefs)
Pick: Roy Williams, safety, Oklahoma
David Moore's comment: This is the highest a safety has been taken in 11 years. It's deserved. Williams is that rare talent who transcends the position. There are scouts who tell you he's faster than Tampa Bay's John Lynch and a bigger hitter than the Cowboys Darren Woodson. Those are pretty impressive credentials.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars
Pick: John Henderson, defensive tackle, Tennessee
David Moore's comment: The expansion draft — when the Jaguars lost starting defensive tackles Gary Walker and Seth Payne — made it imperative that Jacksonville address that need here. Why Henderson instead of teammate Albert Haynesworth? Look no further than coach Tom Coughlin. Henderson is all about production. That is more attractive to Coughlin than the fact most scouts believe Haynesworth has a bigger upside.
10. Cincinnati Bengals
Pick: Levi Jones, offensive tackle, Arizona State
David Moore's comment: What would the draft be if the Bengals didn't leave people shaking their heads? Jones is a good player, but here? Why take the third best offensive tackle in the draft instead of the top receiver (Donte Stallworth), the top tight end (Jeremy Shockey) or the second best cornerback (Phillip Buchanon). If the Bengals didn't want any of those players, they should have traded down. Maybe president Mike Brown should take a trading class from Jerry Jones.
11. Indianapolis Colts
Pick: Dwight Freeney, defensive end, Syracuse
David Moore's comment: You knew the Colts would go with defense here. You just didn't know they would go with Freeney. The Syracuse star is a demon rushing the quarterback, but is undersized for an end and has trouble stopping the run. This seems like a bit of a reach here — most thought Freeney would go in the low teens. But new coach Tony Dungy has a proven track record on this side of the ball and deserves the benefit of the doubt.
12. Arizona Cardinals
Pick: Wendell Bryant, defensive tackle, Wisconsin
David Moore's comment: Coach Dave McGinnis was holding his breath that one of the defensive tackles would slip to him at this point. He got to choose between two — Bryant and Albert Haynesworth — and took the one who is more solid. The Cardinals have no presence or pressure from their interior defense. Bryant instantly changes that.
13. New Orleans Saints
Pick: Donte Stallworth, wide receiver, Tennessee
David Moore's comment: The Saints have a crying need at defensive end, so it's a little surprising that they didn't go with Georgia's Charles Grant here. That being said, it's hard to fault a team that comes away with the best wide receiver in the draft. General manager Randy Mueller puts a premium on play makers in the first round, and if he didn't take Stallworth, Tennessee would have at No. 14. Look for New Orleans to address the defensive line at No. 25.
14. New York Giants (trade from Titans)
Pick: Jeremy Shockey, tight end, Miami
David Moore's comment: This made too much sense not to happen. Shockey should be the perfect compliment to an offense that needs an intermediate threat. The best receiving tight end in this draft, Shockey has added 16 pounds this off-season — he now weighs 256 — and maintains he's a better blocker than scouting reports say.
15. Tennessee Titans (trade from Giants)
Pick: Albert Haynesworth, defensive tackle, Tennessee
David Moore's comment: One general manager said it best: If Haynesworth had the maturity and work ethic of the three tackles taken ahead of him, he would have been among the first five players taken. Instead, he drifted down to the Titans. Tennessee needs his size in the middle. He will help collapse the pocket and make life easier for Jevon Kearse and Kevin Carter.
16. Cleveland Browns
Pick: William Green, running back, Boston College
David Moore's comment: He doesn't have great size. He doesn't have great speed. But then, neither does Emmitt Smith. Not to say Green will be the next Smith. Some scouts say his running style reminds them of Green Bay's Ahman Green. That's not bad company. The Browns must improve their running game to take full advantage of their defense and move to the next level. Green is a step in that direction.

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