Breaking down the draft, pick-by pick
1. Houston Texans
The pick: Mario Williams, DE, N.C. State
Scouts take: Houston took a lot of suspense out of this pick by agreeing to a contract with Williams on Friday night and electing not to take USC running back Reggie Bush with the first overall pick. Though the Texans had hinted this might be coming, Bush is such an explosive weapon that we felt they couldn't pass on him. But new head coach Gary Kubiak was Denver's offensive coordinator for years, and that organization clearly has a rich tradition of getting the most out of unheralded backs. With that said, getting Williams fills an important need. Houston is switching its base defense from a 3-4 to a 4-3 front, so it needs defensive ends who can rush the passer, and Super Mario certainly fits the bill.
Williams has the initial burst, agility and closing speed to consistently get to the quarterback. It doesn't hurt, either, that he has the size and strength to hold his own when teams run at him. There is one concern, however. Williams is inconsistent, and it is unlikely Texans fans will be patient waiting for him to produce, especially if Bush gets off to a strong start.
MORE NFL HEADLINES
- Chancellor probable after late-practice injury
- Goodell: Pursuing Deflategate aggressively
- Hundreds lose out on tickets to Super Bowl
- Goodell: NFL to rule on Lynch fine after SB
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
2006 draft coverage
From inside analysis from Scouts Inc. to reports from Len Pasquarelli, John Clayton and Michael Smith, ESPN.com had the draft covered.
• Clayton: Winners and losers
• Pasquarelli: D dominates
• Smith: Thoughts on Round 1
• Inside analysis: 1st | 2nd | 3rd
• Pasquarelli: Character matters
• Green: Money sways Texans
• Clayton: OTs popular on Day 1
• Wojciechowski: Texans did what?
• Scouts: Draft Q&A
• SportsNation: Vote | Grades
• Photo gallery: First-round picks
• Complete 2006 draft coverage
• Pasquarelli: 2006 draft wrap
• Smith: Vick says he's matured
• Inside analysis: 4th | 5th | 6th | 7th
• Clayton: Skier Bloom drafted
• McShay: Players who slipped
• Clayton: Vets sent packing