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Rookies get their first taste of the big leagues


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(Sept. 12, 2006) -- The first six rookies selected in the 2006 NFL Draft collected an estimated $116,150,000 when they signed between April 28 (Mario Williams) and July 31 (Reggie Bush). Seven of the first nine draft picks started in Week 1 -- only Vince Young and Donte Whitner did not start. Young played one series during the second quarter of the Titans game against the Jets. He completed his first three passes then underthrew his fourth pass and had it intercepted.

1) Mario Williams, DE, Texans -- Started and made three tackles (two solos and one assist). Texans second-round pick DeMeco Ryans started and had 13 tackles (12 solos and one assist). Charles Spencer, the team's third-round pick, started at left tackle and gave up two sacks. Fourth-rounder Owen Daniels started at tight end. Sixth-rounder Wali Lundy started at running back and had 11 carries for 32 yards. He also caught two passes for minus-1 yard.

Saints rookie RB Reggie Bush was impressive in his first regular season NFL game.

Saints rookie RB Reggie Bush was impressive in his first regular season NFL game.

2) Reggie Bush, RB, Saints -- Started and also returned punts. He misjudged the first punt, but still returned it 11 yards. Overall, he accounted for 141 all-purpose yards (61 rushing, 58 receiving and 22 on punt returns). The only time he saw the end zone was in warm-ups. Second-round choice Roman Harper started at safety and had five tackles and a sack. Seventh-rounder Marques Colston started at wide receiver and had four catches and a touchdown that put New Orleans ahead 16-7.

3) Vince Young, QB, Titans -- Played one series at 8:52 in the second quarter and completed his first three passes. His fourth attempt was under thrown and intercepted. Had he thrown it far enough, it could have been a big play. The crowd came alive when he entered the game. Second-round pick LenDale White was inactive.

4) D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OT, Jets -- Started at left tackle and Nick Mangold, the team's other first-round pick, started at center. The Jets had 393 yards of total offense against the Titans. Second-round choice Kellen Clemens was inactive. Fourth-rounder Brad Smith had two rushes and one catch.

5) A.J. Hawk, LB, Packers -- Started at linebacker and had five tackles (three solos and two assists). Second-round pick Greg Jennings did not start (the team started the game with two tight ends), but he was the No. 2 receiver ahead of Robert Ferguson. Jennings had one catch for 5 yards. Third-rounder Jason Spitz and fifth-rounder Tony Moll started on offense. Punter Jon Ryan averaged 45 yards per punt.

6) Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers -- Started at tight end and had five catches for 37 yards and a touchdown. Manny Lawson, the second first-round pick, started and had six solo tackles. Fourth-round pick Michael Robinson backed up starting RB Frank Gore.

7) Michael Huff, DB, Raiders -- Started against the Chargers on Monday night and recorded three tackles (two solos and one assist). The Raiders also started LB Thomas Howard and G Paul McQuistan. It was the first time since the merger that Oakland had three rookie starters to open the season.

8) Donte Whitner, S, Bills -- Did not start, but played at nickel back and had eight tackles (four solos and four assists) and one interception, which he returned 10 yards for a TD that was called back. The second first-round pick, John McCargo, played backup at defensive tackle.

9) Ernie Sims, LB, Lions -- Started at linebacker and had 10 tackles (seven solos and three tackles) against Seattle. Second- and third-round picks Daniel Bullocks and Brian Calhoun, were backups and played against Seattle

10) Matt Leinart, QB, Cardinals -- Was the backup quarterback and did not play against the 49ers.

Mike Bell didn't get drafted, but he's proving to be a valuable asset for the Broncos.

Mike Bell didn't get drafted, but he's proving to be a valuable asset for the Broncos.

11) Jay Cutler, QB, Broncos -- Was the No. 2 quarterback and did not play vs. the Rams. Free agent RB Mike Bell did not start, but had 10 carries for 58 yards and a touchdown. He also caught four passes. Second-round pick Tony Scheffler played a lot.

12) Haloti Ngata, DT, Ravens -- Started at defensive tackle. He did not register any tackles against Tampa Bay, but returned an interception 60 yards. Sixth-round punter Sam Koch averaged 47 yards per punt against the Bucs.

13) Kamerion Wimbley, DE, Browns -- Played backup and had four tackles (two solos and two assists) against New Orleans. Second-round pick D'Qwell Jackson started at linebacker and had 10 tackles (7 solos and 3 assists).

14) Brodrick Bunkley, DT, Eagles -- Played backup and registered three solo tackles against the Texans.

15) Tye Hill, CB, Rams -- Played nickel back and had two solo tackles and an interception against the Broncos. Second-round choice Joe Klopfenstein started at tight end.

16) Jason Allen, CB, Dolphins -- Played backup against the Steelers and had no tackles. Third-rounder Derek Hagan was a backup wide receiver and caught one pass.

17) Chad Greenway, LB, Vikings -- He's lost for the season with a torn ACL. Second-round choice Tarvaris Jackson played well in the preseason. He completed 64.7 percent of his passes and had a QB rating of 106.1. Fifth-round choice Greg Blue got the start in place of inactive free safety Dwight Smith on Monday night vs. the Redskins.

18) Bobby Carpenter, LB, Dallas -- A backup inside linebacker, but was inactive for the first game. Second-round pick Anthony Fasano started in the two-TE set. Fifth-rounder Pat Watkins started at safety and had five solo tackles against Jacksonville. Seventh-round pick Pat McQuistan started two games at left tackle in the preseason.

19) Antonio Cromartie, CB, Chargers -- Did not start against the Raiders on Monday night, but played in the nickel package. Second-rounder Marcus McNeill started and played the whole game at left tackle.

20) Tamba Hali, DE Chiefs -- Started at defensive end and had seven tackles (three solos and four assists) against the Bengals.

21) Laurence Maroney, RB, Patriots -- Played a lot as a backup to starter Corey Dillon. He ran for 86 yards on 17 carries against the Bills. He averaged 5.6 yards per carry in preseason. Fourth-round kicker Stephen Gostkowski kicked 9 of 9 field goals and 11 of 11 PATs in the preseason. He had a field goal and two extra points vs. Buffalo. Fifth-rounder Ryan O'Callaghan started at right tackle on offense.

22) Manny Lawson, LB, 49ers -- See No. 6 under Vernon Davis.

23) Davin Joseph, G, Buccaneers -- Won the starting job as offensive lineman, but was injured and inactive for the Ravens game. Sixth-rounder Bruce Gradkowski completed 73.8 percent of his passes in the preseason and had a 105.3 QB rating.

24) Johnathan Joseph, CB, Bengals -- Started at left corner against the Chiefs and had three solo tackles.

25) Santonio Holmes, WR, Steelers -- Was a backup receiver who returned two kickoffs and a punt against the Dolphins. He also caught one pass. Third-round WR Willie Reid led the AFC in catches (14) in the preseason. He was inactive in Week 1.

26) John McCargo, DT, Bills -- See No. 8 under Whitney.

27) DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers -- He's a backup RB who also returns kickoff.

Fast Fact

28) Marcedes Lewis, TE, Jaguars -- Was inactive for the first game and most of the preseason with an ankle injury. Second-round choice Maurice Jones-Drew played well in preseason and returns punts and kickoffs.

29) Nick Mangold, Jets -- See No. 4 under Ferguson.

30) Joseph Addai, RB, Colts -- Was a backup and played against the Giants. He had seven carries for 27 yards and three catches for 22 yards.

31) Kelly Jennings, CB, Seahawks -- A backup corner who played against the Lions and had three tackles -- all solo. Seventh-round kicker Ryan Placemeier averaged 52.6 yards on five punts against Detroit.

32) Mathias Kiwanuka, DE, Giants -- The backup defensive end had one assisted tackle vs. the Colts. Fourth-rounder Barry Cofield started at tackle and pitched in with three tackles.

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GBN makes note of wk 1 Peko


I can officially say I have fully warmed up to him after hating the pick on draft day. Still hate Frostee the Slowman, though

I note that two of the safeties I was touting - Donte Whitner and Roman Harper - did real well this past week

You have to admit that this year's draft looks a whole lot better than you thought it did. It looks like we already have two winners in Johnathan Joseph and Domata Peko. I have a really good feeling about Whitworth and Kilmer as well. Just like you, I still hate the Rucker pick. I don't think anybody liked that pick on draft day. Of course, I can remember everybody not liking the Madieu pick, too. We all know how that turned out.

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I'm not sold on any of them, but

Joseph - one average quality game, not bad for a rookie in his first appearance

Whitworth - probably inactive on Sunday for the rest of the year unless there are 2 or more injured/out players on the OL. Not sold on him.

Rucker - hate hate hate hate hate this pick. hate it.

Peko - first round type production. outstanding.

Nicholson - waived as soon as Odell comes back. No value from this very bad pick

Reggie McNeal - not good enough to make the team as a returner, wr, or qb. another poor pick.

Kilmer - I still haven't seen enough of this guy to make a judgement. To get value, he needs to replace the hard working but vastly undertalented KK

Brazell - injuries happen, but why did we draft 3 WR's (yes, I still include Kilmer) when this is the deepest position on the team? Looked good in reseason, obviously. More value here if we can get a trade for Henry or KW....CHad, Housch, and Tab are too valuable.

I'll add here that I really, really hated the pick of Tab Perry last year, but the guy is a machine - wr, h-back, return man, special team tackler, blocker, you name it. So maybe just maybe Frostee can be that kind of guy as well. For now, I doubt it. He sits idle, probably walks with Two Carry to the bank to cash his check.

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Rucker and Nicholson are draft picks for the future - projects of sorts with high ceilings - the Bengals' have most of their players signed through next season and don't need immediate needs filled in many areas.

Peko was a steal - great character and athleticism - I don't see how anyone could not be impressed as hell with him as a 4th rounder - already in the starting rotation and beat out Sean Smith.

Joseph was a solid pick also - it's picks like that, that keep teams on top every year, Marvin has done a wonderful job of roster management - the key to winning consistently in the NFL.

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