2006 NFL Draft 1st round: Where are they now?

2006 NFL Draft

The 2006 NFL Draft was meant to be a game-changer for every single one of the teams that held the top three picks heading into the event.

The calibre of talent available was ridiculous and the Houston Texans, New Orleans Saints and Tennessee Titans all went into the Draft feeling like they couldn't miss. Except that's not how things panned out.

So, come with us as we take a look at the first round of the 2006 Draft and where those 32 players taken in the first round are now.


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1. Mario Williams - Houston Texans

The first overall pick and a star of the future. Many had predicted that Reggie Bush would go first overall but the Texans went for the defensive end out of North Carolina State. Williams has had a good career, but he never really transformed into the franchise-changing star he was predicted to be. Williams made four Pro Bowls and was a three-time First Team All-Pro.

2006 NFL Draft

2. Reggie Bush - New Orleans Saints

The original YouTube sensation, Reggie Bush was a huge name known around the world thanks to his incredible highlight reel plays and gaudy numbers from his time at USC.

Unfortunately, he didn't put up those same numbers in the league. The Heisman winner only made the Pro Bowl on one occasion and has played on four teams since not getting a second contract from the Saints. 

New Orleans Saints v San Francisco 49ers

3. Vince Young - Tennessee Titans

Another team who was thinking they were getting a saviour, Vince Young was incredible at the Texas, putting the Longhorns on his back as they won the 2005 National Championship in glorious fashion against USC. While Young wasn't the prototypical NFL quarterback, the Titans fell in love with him after the come-from-behind win and got him. 

Young was a two-time Pro Bowler and won Rookie of the Year honours, but flamed out after five years in Tennessee and one with the Eagles. 

2006 NFL Draft

4. D'Brickashaw Ferguson - New York Jets

The Jets needed an offensive lineman and got one in the Virginia man. Ferguson was solid if unspectacular and spent his entire 10-year career with Gang Green, never missing a game and only missing one snap out of over 10,000.

5. A.J. Hawk - Green Bay Packers

Hawk was the best linebacker available in the Draft and was seen as a playmaker. He will go down as the best LB from this class, but that is only because it was not rich with talent. Hawk played six years in Green Bay before moving to the Bengals in 2015. He now plays on the Falcons.

6. Vernon Davis - San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers couldn't resist the big tight end that ran like the wind. And the selection worked out rather well for San Francisco, as Davis made a couple of Pro Bowls and has carved out a long career in the league. He is currently playing for the Redskins and enjoying something of a renaissance. 

7. Michael Huff - Oakland Raiders

Another Texas player that went in the top 10, Huff was a consensus top 10 player despite not really having a position (see Peppers, Jabrill for the 2016 version). Huff played for seven years in Oakland before spending a year in Baltimore and Denver before bowing out in 2013.

8. Donte Whitner - Buffalo Bills

The second safety in as many picks, Whitner wasn't expected to go as high as he did out of Ohio State but has had a very strong career. The Bills didn't see his best years - Whitner made three straight Pro Bowls after leaving - but he has shown his value time and time again before signing with the Redskins this season.

9. Ernie Sims - Detroit Lions

The Lions took Sims thinking him to be a cornerstone of their defense for the future, until they traded him in 2009. Spells with the Eagles, Colts and Cowboys followed before retiring in 2012.

10. Matt Leinart - Arizona Cardinals

The other quarterback from that famed USC-Texas game, Leinart went into Atlanta with hopes of being their franchise quarterback for years to come. Then he got injured and Kurt Warner took his job. Finished his career with a 57% completion rating and 15 TDs to 21 INTs.

Oakland Raiders v Arizona Cardinals

11. Jay Cutler - Denver Broncos

The third quarterback off the board was by far and away the most successful. The Vanderbilt man is still in the league with the Chicago Bears after a 2009 trade. Cutler made one Pro Bowl and has 32,467 career passing yards.

Tennesee Titans v Chicago Bears

12. Haloti Ngata - Baltimore Ravens

Round of applause to the Ravens. Ngata has been a star player basically every season he was at the Ravens and now in Detroit. Five All-Pro selections and a Super Bowl win make Ngata a great pick.

13. Kamerion Wimbley - Cleveland Browns

A college defensive end who moved to outside linebacker, Wimbley did well without ever really pulling up trees. 53.5 career sacks isn't too bad for the LB who was last seen with the Titans in 2014.

14. Brodrick Bunkley - Philadelphia Eagles

Bunkley was once suspended a game for missing a team plane while out buying chicken. Later played for the Broncos and Saints.

Philadelphia Eagles 2009 Headshots

15. Tye Hill - St. Louis Rams

Played five years in the league after being drafted out of Clemson. Was the fasted man at the combine but that didn't translate into success.

16. Jason Allen - Miami Dolphins

Suffered a dislocated hip in his senior season at Tennessee but Nick Saban still wanted him at Miami. Finished his eight-year-career with 15 interceptions.

17. Chad Greenway - Minnesota Vikings

Greenway missed his entire rookie year after tearing his ACL, but bounced back to become a two-time Pro Bowler and is still on the Vikings all these years later. A team veteran and real fans favourite.

18. Bobby Carpenter - Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys haven't always been great at drafting in the first round. He may have played in nearly every game of his rookie contract, but the Cowboys didn't keep Carpenter around and he was out of the league within two years of leaving Dallas.

19. Antonio Cromartie - San Diego Chargers

Cromartie only started one game in his entire career at Florida State but the Chargers couldn't turn down the sprinter with size. It worked, with Cromartie making four Pro Bowls and having a long career before being released by the Colts earlier this season.

20. Tamba Hali - Kansas City Chiefs

In this weird wasteland of talent, we've had two very good picks in a row. Has the most career sacks out of anyone in this draft and still rocks the red and yellow of KC to this day. A franchise legend. 

San Diego Chargers v Kansas City Chiefs

21. Laurence Maroney - New England Patriots

Maroney had 2,500 career yards and was taken ahead of DeAngelo Williams and Maurice Jones-Drew. This is one that Bill Belichick would rather forget.

22. Manny Lawson - San Francisco 49ers

The most tackles Lawson had in a season was 52. The 49ers thought they had a game-changer. Lawson was not that at all.

23. Davin Joseph - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Played for eight years in Tampa and made it to two Pro Bowls. Then spent a year with the Rams before retiring in 2014. 

24. Johnathan Joseph - Cincinnati Bengals

Joseph is still kicking in the league at the grand age of 33-years-old as a defensive back. Joseph was solid for the Bengals but was better at the Houston Texans, where he made two Pro Bowls and plays to this day.

Houston Texans v Oakland Raiders

25. Santonio Holmes - Pittsburgh Steelers

Holmes was the first wideout off the board at 25 but he wasn't the best. His 6,030 career receiving yards pale in comparison to those of Brandon Marshall, Marques Colston and Brandon Jennings.

26. John McCargo - Buffalo Bills

If the Bills hit on Whitner then they missed on their second pick of the round. McCargo was a real reach that never proved to be worth the first.

27. DeAngelo Williams - Carolina Panthers

Williams never challenged to be the best back in the league but he was what the Panthers needed - someone solid and reliable to depend and based their run game upon. He had 6,846 yards in Carolina and is now a very handy back-up for Le'Veon Bell in Pittsburgh.

28. Marcedes Lewis - Jacksonville Jaguars

10 years and 4,146 receiving yards later, Lewis is still in Jacksonville where he is an elder statesman of Gus Bradley's team.

29. Nick Mangold - New York Jets

What a draft for the Jets this was. Not only did they get one dependable offensive lineman, they grabbed another as well at the end of the first round. Seven Pro Bowl appearances and still starting for New York means that the Jets can be very happy with the center from Ohio State.

Pittsburgh Steelers v New York Jets

30. Joseph Addai - Indianapolis Colts

Addai may not have been the best runner in football, but he was exactly what the Peyton Manning-led Colts needed thanks to his blocking and receiving skills. Was a Super Bowl winner in his rookie year.

31. Kelly Jennings - Seattle Seahawks

A speedy defensive back out of Miami, Jennings could've made a decent sprinter. Instead, he chose football, which his five years in the league show may not have been the best choice. 

32. Mathias Kiwanuka - New York Giants

The last pick in the first round, Kiwanuka was a part of two Super Bowl-winning teams and played his entire career in New York before retiring in 2014. Played on that famous D-line that contained Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora.

Oakland Raiders v New York Giants News Now - Sport News