Kiper revisits 2006 NFL draft

In a thought-provoking Insider post, Mel Kiper Jr. revisits the 2006 NFL draft and looks how the first round would unfold based on what we know now.

Remember Haloti Ngata going to the Ravens at No. 12? Not this time. Kiper has him going No. 1 overall to the Houston Texans. Overall, the AFC North teams fared poorly in Kiper's re-draft.

Let's see which players Kiper would have going to the AFC North teams now:


Draft position: No. 12 (they were actually No. 13 but traded up with the Browns in 2006)

Player chosen in 2006: Haloti Ngata, DT

Kiper re-draft: Reggie Bush, RB (Saints-Dolphins)

End result: Bad for Ravens. Baltimore desperately needed a defensive tackle -- Ray Lewis was campaigning for one before this draft -- and the Ravens got extremely lucky when Ngata fell to them. Bush would have been a non-factor because he requires a creative scheme to thrive. Brian Billick didn't know what to do when he had Priest Holmes.


Draft position: No. 13

Player chosen in 2006: Kamerion Wimbley, DE-OLB

Kiper re-draft: Devin Hester, KR-PR-WR (Bears)

End result: Bad for Browns. Wimbley never lived up to expectations, and Hester is one of the greatest returners in NFL history. But the Browns already had Josh Cribbs at this time, and they couldn't stop anyone from running the ball. Selecting a linebacker like A.J. Hawk or DeMeco Ryans would have helped out more in the re-draft.


Draft position: No. 24

Player chosen in 2006: Johnathan Joseph, CB

Kiper re-draft: Eric Winston, OT (Texans)

End result: Bad for Bengals. Cincinnati really needed a young corner like Joseph, and it was set at the time at offensive tackle with Levi Jones and Willie Anderson. With Joseph off the board in Kiper's re-draft, I would've taken a safety like Donte Whitner for the Bengals.


Draft position: No. 25

Player chosen in 2006: Santonio Holmes, WR

Kiper re-draft: Marcedes Lewis, TE

End result: Bad for the Steelers. Who would've caught the game-winning touchdown in the Super Bowl without Holmes? Yes, he's no longer with the Steelers but Holmes gave them an average of 958 yards receiving in his four seasons including several clutch catches. Lewis doesn't make sense for Pittsburgh, which used a first-round pick on tight end Heath Miller in 2005.