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Jets think long term

THE BALTIMORE SUN

One axiom about any NFL draft is that its overall quality and the ultimate winners and losers will not be known for three or four years.

However, what can be said for this year's draft is the team that approached it with the greatest commitment toward the long term was the New York Jets, who selected two of the best available offensive linemen with their two first-round selections.

While the weekend dramas revolved around the Houston Texans' decision to make defensive end Mario Williams the No. 1 pick over running back Reggie Bush and the three-way comparisons among the top quarterbacks, the Jets laid the foundation to be a consistent competitor in the AFC East.

Perhaps it's a reflection of a new Jets philosophy - they also have the league's youngest coach in 35-year-old Eric Mangini - but they resisted the temptation for quick fixes after a 4-12 season and appeared to draft for a more distant horizon. Offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson and center Nick Mangold, taken with the No. 4 and No. 29 picks, will be keeping quarterbacks upright and healthy for years to come.

In the second round, the Jets did take a quarterback, Kellen Clemens, who can be groomed for two or three seasons while veterans Chad Pennington and Patrick Ramsey hold the fort.

Teams who, unlike the Jets, are already competitive but had good drafts because they filled areas of immediate need were the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers and the perennial contender New England Patriots. The Steelers traded up in the first round to get wide receiver Santonio Holmes to replace Antwaan Randle El, and the Patriots added a fistful of offensive skill players, including the best all-around running back Laurence Maroney and the fastest wide-out Chad Jackson.

The Patriots might have also drafted the heir to likely Hall of Fame kicker Adam Vinatieri, a free-agent loss, in Stephen Gostkowski, a fourth-rounder out of Memphis who was 16-for-17 on field-goal tries over 40 yards the past two seasons but less impressive on shorter tries.

Across the board, the AFC North appeared to be the division that got the strongest. Along with the Steelers filling some of the holes created by free agency defections, the Ravens and the Cleveland Browns improved markedly, and the Cincinnati Bengals shored up their defense.

The Ravens added bulk on both lines, but they needed a good draft to keep pace with rapidly improving Cleveland. The Browns took two players who project as solid starters, outside pass rusher Kamerion Wimbley, who has a chance to thrive in the Browns' 3-4 defense, and inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson from Maryland.

The New Orleans Saints - beneficiaries of the Texans' decision to take Williams - had a great draft simply because they got Bush, a player who has the potential to be greater than the sum of whatever he produces on the field. For a city and a sports franchise trying to recover from Hurricane Katrina, Bush represents hope to not only win games but also reclaim fans.

Teams that took the biggest risks were Houston, the Tennessee Titans and San Diego Chargers.

When a club takes a defensive end over an offensive weapon like Bush, it means the defender has to be better than just good; he has to be a difference-maker. At Williams' position, that translates into sacks - lots of them. Anything less than 12 or 15 a year will mean he was a bad pick relative to Bush, assuming the running back produces as well.

The Titans are in a perilous position with their No. 3 choice, quarterback Vince Young. Despite his obvious talents, Young is a long way from being NFL ready - far less so than the other two quarterbacks available, Matt Leinart who went to the Arizona Cardinals and Jay Cutler who was drafted by the Denver Broncos. And now it appears quite possible that alienated veteran Tennessee quarterback Steve McNair will get his wish and wind up in Baltimore.

So, Titans coach Jeff Fisher and offensive coordinator Norm Chow, who preferred Leinart and lost the draft debate to GM Floyd Reese, will be in the awkward spot of trying to fill in at quarterback, probably with Billy Volek, while Young is tutored in the pro game.

San Diego took a gamble with its first-round pick, 19th overall, choosing cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who has just one college start. Cromartie has all the so-called "measurables," height and speed, but he missed last season with a knee injury and left Florida State with eligibility remaining.

The drafts of the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills aren't adequately described by simply being called bad - they were utterly inexplicable.

The Bears, with the No. 2 defense in the NFL in 2005 but the No. 29 offense, drafted like they never intended to allow their offense on the field next season. Chicago took just one offensive player and that was a fullback in the sixth round.

The picks of Bills new general manager Marv Levy were a mystery.

Like the Bears, Buffalo concentrated on defense but in most cases reached for players not generally rated as high as the Bills took them. Buffalo, with the 28th-ranked offense last season and now without top receiver Eric Moulds, who was traded to Houston, took just three offensive players among its nine picks. And all were linemen.

bill.ordine@baltsun.com

Ravens

1 (12) Haloti Ngata, nt, Oregon. 2 (56) Chris Chester, c, Oklahoma. 3 (87) David Pittman, db, Northwestern State. 4 (111) Demetrius Williams, wr, Oregon. 4 (132) P.J. Daniels, rb, Georgia Tech. 5 (146) Dawan Landry, db, Georgia Tech. 5 (166) Quinn Sypniewski, te, Colorado. 6 (203) Sam Koch, p, Nebraska. 6 (208) Derrick Martin, db, Wyoming. 7 (219) Ryan LaCasse, lb, Syracuse.

Arizona

1 (10) Matt Leinart, qb, Southern Cal. 2 (41) Deuce Lutui, g, Southern Cal. 3 (72) Leonard Pope, te, Georgia. 4 (107) Gabe Watson, dt, Michigan. 5 (142) Brandon Johnson, lb, Louisville. 6 (177) Jonathan Lewis, dt, Virginia Tech. 7 (218) Todd Watkins, wr, BYU.

Atlanta

2 (37) Jimmy Williams, db, Virginia Tech. 3 (79) Jerious Norwood, rb, Mississippi State. 5 (139) Quinn Ojinnaka, ot, Syracuse. 6 (184) Adam Jennings, wr, Fresno State. 7 (223) D.J. Shockley, qb, Georgia.

Buffalo

1 (8) Donte Whitner, db, Ohio State. 1 (26) John McCargo, dt, N.C. State. 3 (70) Ashton Youboty, db, Ohio State. 4 (105) Ko Simpson, db, South Carolina. 5 (134) Kyle Williams, dt, LSU. 5 (143) Brad Butler, ot, Virginia. 6 (178) Keith Ellison, lb, Oregon State. 7 (216) Terrance Pennington, ot, New Mexico. 7 (248) Aaron Merz, g, California.

Carolina

1 (27) DeAngelo Williams, rb, Memphis. 2 (58) Richard Marshall, db, Fresno State. 3 (88) James Anderson, lb, Virginia Tech. 3 (89) Rashad Butler, ot, Miami. 4 (121) Nate Salley, db, Ohio State. 5 (155) Jeff King, te, Virginia Tech. 7 (234) Will Montgomery, g, Virginia Tech. 7 (237) Stanley McClover, de, Auburn.

Chicago

2 (42) Danieal Manning, db, Abilene Christian. 2 (57) Devin Hester, db, Miami. 3 (73) Dusty Dvoracek, dt, Oklahoma. 4 (120) Jamar Williams, lb, Arizona State. 5 (159) Mark Anderson, de, Alabama. 6 (195) J.D. Runnels, rb, Oklahoma. 6 (200) Tyler Reed, g, Penn State.

Cincinnati

1 (24) Johnathan Joseph, db, South Carolina. 2 (55) Andrew Whitworth, ot, LSU. 3 (91) Frostee Rucker, de, Southern Cal. 4 (123) Domata Peko, dt, Michigan State. 5 (157) A.J. Nicholson, lb, Florida State. 6 (193) Reggie McNeal, wr, Texas A&M.; 7 (209) Ethan Kilmer, db, Penn State. 7 (231) Bennie Brazell, wr, LSU.

Cleveland

1 (13) Kamerion Wimbley, de, Florida State. 2 (34) D'Qwell Jackson, lb, Maryland. 3 (78) Travis Wilson, wr, Oklahoma. 4 (110) Leon Williams, lb, Miami. 4 (112) Isaac Sowells, g, Indiana. 5 (145) Jerome Harrison, rb, Washington State. 5 (152) DeMario Minter, db, Georgia. 6 (180) Lawrence Vickers, fb, Colorado. 6 (181) Babatunde Oshinowo, dt, Stanford. 7 (222) Justin Hamilton, db, Virginia Tech.

Dallas

1 (18) Bobby Carpenter, lb, Ohio State. 2 (53) Anthony Fasano, te, Notre Dame. 3 (92) Jason Hatcher, de, Grambling. 4 (125) Skyler Green, wr-kr, LSU. 5 (138) Pat Watkins, db, Florida State. 6 (182) Montavious Stanley, dt, Louisville. 7 (211) Pat McQuistan, ot, Weber State. 7 (224) E.J. Whitley, c, Texas Tech.

Denver

1 (11) Jay Cutler, qb, Vanderbilt. 2 (61) Tony Scheffler, te, Western Michigan. 4 (119) Brandon Marshall, wr, Central Florida. 4 (126) Elvis Dumervil, de, Louisville. 4 (130) Domenik Hixon, wr, Akron. 5 (161) Chris Kuper, ot, North Dakota. 6 (198) Craig Eslinger, c, Minnesota.

Detroit

1 (9) Ernie Sims, lb, Florida State. 2 (40) Daniel Bullocks, db, Nebraska. 3 (74) Brian Calhoun, rb, Wisconsin. 5 (141) Jonathan Scott, ot, Texas. 6 (179) Dee McCann, db, West Virginia. 7 (217) Fred Matua, g, Southern Cal. 7 (247) Anthony Cannon, lb, Tulane.

Green Bay

1 (5) A.J. Hawk, lb, Ohio State. 2 (47) Daryn Colledge, ot, Boise State. 2 (52) Greg Jennings, wr, Western Michigan. 3 (67) Abdul Hodge, lb, Iowa. 3 (75) Jason Spitz, g, Louisville. 4 (104) Cory Rodgers, wr, TCU. 4 (115) Will Blackmon, db, Boston College. 5 (148) Ingle Martin, qb, Furman. 5 (165) Tony Moll, ot, Nevada. 6 (183) Johnny Jolly, dt, Texas A&M.; 6 (185) Tyrone Culver, db, Fresno State. 7 (253) Dave Tollefson, de, Northwest Missouri.

Houston

1 (1) Mario Williams, de, N.C. State. 2 (33) DeMeco Ryans, lb, Alabama. 3 (65) Charles Spencer, ot, Pittsburgh. 3 (66) Eric Winston, ot, Miami. 4 (98) Owen Daniels, te, Wisconsin. 6 (170) Wali Lundy, rb, Virginia. 7 (251) David Anderson, wr, Colorado State.

Indianapolis

1 (30) Joseph Addai, rb, LSU. 2 (62) Tim Jennings, db, Georgia. 3 (94) Freddie Keiaho, lb, San Diego State. 5 (162) Michael Toudouze, ot, TCU. 6 (199) Charlie Johnson, ot, Oklahoma State. 6 (207) Antoine Bethea, db, Howard. 7 (238) T.J. Rushing, db, Stanford.

Jacksonville

1 (28) Marcedes Lewis, te, UCLA. 2 (60) Maurice Drew, rb, UCLA. 3 (80) Clint Ingram, lb, Oklahoma. 5 (160) Brent Hawkins, lb, Illinois State. 7 (213) James Wyche, de, Syracuse. 7 (236) Dee Webb, db, Florida.

Kansas City

1 (20) Tamba Hali, de, Penn State. 2 (54) Bernard Pollard, db, Purdue. 3 (85) Brodie Croyle, qb, Alabama. 5 (154) Marcus Maxey, db, Miami. 6 (186) Tre' Stallings, g, Mississippi. 6 (190) Jeff Webb, wr, San Diego State. 7 (228) Jarrad Page, db, UCLA.

Miami

1 (16) Jason Allen, db, Tennessee. 3 (82) Derek Hagan, wr, Arizona State. 4 (114) Joe Toledo, ot, Washington. 5 (exercised in supplemental draft) 7 (212) Fred Evans, nt, Texas State. 7 (226) Rodrique Wright, dt, Texas. 7 (233) Devin Aromashodu, wr, Auburn.

Minnesota

1 (17) Chad Greenway, lb, Iowa. 2 (48) Cedric Griffin, db, Texas. 2 (51) Ryan Cook, c, New Mexico. 2 (64) Tarvaris Jackson, qb, Alabama State. 4 (127) Ray Edwards, de, Purdue. 5 (149) Greg Blue, db, Georgia.

New England

1 (21) Laurence Maroney, rb, Minnesota. 2 (36) Chad Jackson, wr, Florida. 3 (86) Dave Thomas, te, Texas. 4 (106) Garrett Mills, fb, Tulsa. 4 (118) Stephen Gostkowski, k, Memphis. 5 (136) Ryan O'Callaghan, ot, California. 6 (191) Jeremy Mincey, lb, Florida. 6 (205) Dan Stevenson, g, Notre Dame. 6 (206) Le Kevin Smith, dt, Nebraska. 7 (229) Willie Andrews, db, Baylor.

New Orleans

1 (2) Reggie Bush, rb, Southern Cal. 2 (43) Roman Harper, db, Alabama. 4 (108) Jahri Evans, ot, Bloomsburg. 5 (135) Rob Ninkovich, de, Purdue. 6 (171) Mike Hass, wr, Oregon State. 6 (174) Josh Lay, db, Pittsburgh. 7 (210) Zach Strief, ot, Northwestern. 7 (252) Marques Colston, wr, Hofstra.

N.Y. Giants

1 (32) Mathias Kiwanuka, de, Boston College. 2 (44) Sinorice Moss, wr, Miami. 3 (96) Gerris Wilkinson, lb, Georgia Tech. 4 (124) Barry Cofield, dt, Northwestern. 4 (129) Guy Whimper, g, East Carolina. 5 (158) Charlie Peprah, db, Alabama. 7 (232) Gerrick McPhearson, db, Maryland.

N.Y. Jets

1 (4) D'Brickashaw Ferguson, ot, Virginia. 1 (29) Nick Mangold, c, Ohio State. 2 (49) Kellen Clemens, qb, Oregon. 3 (76) Anthony Schlegel, lb, Ohio State. 3 (97) Eric Smith, db, Michigan State. 4 (103) Brad Smith, wr, Missouri. 4 (117) Leon Washington, rb, Florida State. 5 (150) Jason Pociask, te, Wisconsin. 6 (189) Drew Coleman, db, TCU. 7 (220) Titus Adams, de, Nebraska.

Oakland

1 (7) Michael Huff, db, Texas. 2 (38) Thomas Howard, lb, UTEP. 3 (69) Paul McQuistan, ot, Weber State. 4 (101) Darnell Bing, lb, Southern Cal. 6 (176) Kevin Boothe, g, Cornell. 7 (214) Chris Morris, c, Michigan State. 7 (255) Kevin McMahan, wr, Maine.

Philadelphia

1 (14) Brodrick Bunkley, dt, Florida State. 2 (39) Winston Justice, ot, Southern Cal. 3 (71) Chris Gocong, lb, Cal Poly. 4 (99) Max Jean-Gilles, g, Georgia. 4 (109) Jason Avant, wr, Michigan. 5 (147) Jeremy Bloom, wr, Colorado. 5 (168) Omar Gaither, lb, Tennessee. 6 (204) LaJuan Ramsey, dt, Southern Cal.

Pittsburgh

1 (25) Santonio Holmes, wr, Ohio State. 3 (83) Anthony Smith, db, Syracuse. 3 (95) Willie Reid, wr, Florida State. 4 (131) Willie Colon, g, Hofstra. 4 (133) Orien Harris, dt, Miami. 5 (164) Omar Jacobs, qb, Bowling Green. 5 (167) Charles Davis, te, Purdue. 6 (201) Marvin Philip, c, California. 7 (240) Cedric Humes, rb, Virginia Tech.

St. Louis

1 (15) Tye Hill, db, Clemson. 2 (46) Joe Klopfenstein, te, Colorado. 3 (68) Claude Wroten, dt, LSU. 3 (77) Jon Alston, lb, Stanford. 3 (93) Dominique Byrd, te, Southern Cal. 4 (113) Victor Adeyanju, de, Indiana. 5 (144) Marques Hagans, wr, Virginia. 7 (221) Tim McGarigle, lb, Northwestern. 7 (242) Mark Setterstrom, g, Minnesota. 7 (243) Tony Palmer, g, Missouri.

San Diego

1 (19) Antonio Cromartie, db, Florida State. 2 (50) Marcus McNeill, ot, Auburn. 3 (81) Charlie Whitehurst, qb, Clemson. 5 (151) Tim Dobbins, lb, Iowa State. 6 (187) Jeromey Clary, ot, Kansas State. 6 (188) Kurt Smith, k, Virginia. 7 (225) Chase Page, dt, North Carolina. 7 (227) Jimmy Martin, ot, Virginia Tech.

San Francisco

1 (6) Vernon Davis, te, Maryland. 1 (22) Manny Lawson, de, N.C. State. 3 (84) Brandon Williams, wr, Wisconsin. 4 (100) Michael Robinson, rb, Penn State. 5 (140) Parys Haralson, lb, Tennessee. 6 (175) Delanie Walker, wr, Central Missouri. 6 (192) Marcus Hudson, db, N.C. State. 6 (197) Melvin Oliver, de, LSU. 7 (254) Vickiel Vaughn, db, Arkansas.

Seattle

1 (31) Kelly Jennings, db, Miami. 2 (63) Darryl Tapp, de, Virginia Tech. 4 (128) Rob Sims, g, Ohio State. 5 (163) David Kirtman, fb, Southern Cal. 7 (239) Ryan Plackemeier, p, Wake Forest. 7 (249) Ben Obomanu, wr, Auburn.

Tampa Bay

1 (23) Davin Joseph, g, Oklahoma. 2 (59) Jeremy Trueblood, ot, Boston College. 3 (90) Maurice Stovall, wr, Notre Dame. 4 (122) Alan Zemaitis, db, Penn State. 5 (156) Julian Jenkins, de, Stanford. 6 (194) Bruce Gradkowski, qb, Toledo. 6 (202) T.J. Williams, te, N.C. State. 7 (235) Justin Phinisee, db, Oregon. 7 (241) Charles Bennett, de, Clemson. 7 (244) Tim Massaquoi, te, Michigan.

Tennessee

1 (3) Vince Young, qb, Texas. 2 (45) LenDale White, rb, Southern Cal. 4 (102) Calvin Lowry, db, Penn State. 4 (116) Stephen Tulloch, lb, N.C. State. 5 (137) Terna Nande, lb, Miami (Ohio). 5 (169) Jesse Mahelona, dt, Tennessee. 6 (172) Jonathan Orr, wr, Wisconsin. 7 (215) Cortland Finnegan, db, Samford. 7 (245) Spencer Toone, lb, Utah. 7 (246) Quinton Ganther, rb, Utah.

Washington

2 (35) Rocky McIntosh, lb, Miami. 5 (153) Anthony Montgomery, dt, Minnesota. 6 (173) Reed Doughty, db, Northern Colorado. 6 (196) Kedric Golston, dt, Georgia. 7 (230) Kili Lefotu, g, Arizona. 7 (250) Kevin Simon, lb, Tennessee.

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