Posted: Thursday April 20, 2006 5:30PM; Updated: Monday April 24, 2006 5:13PM
Hines Ward's intensity on the field makes him a sure-fire first-rounder.
14. Philadelphia, Donovan McNabb, QB -- Duh. Andy Reid stands by his man, and anyone on the Eagles who questions the pick will be forced to apologize to McNabb -- or else.
15. Atlanta, Matt Hasselbeck, QB -- Completing the raid on studs under center, Falcons coach Jimmy Mora finds the perfect passer to run GregKnapp's West Coast Offense. To celebrate, Hasselbeck joins teammates d at a happening Buckhead club, but when the hairline-challenged quarterback is forced to remove his Falcons cap, the doorman laughs and turns him away.
16. Miami, Ed Reed, S -- Back in the city in which he starred in college, Reed reestablishes himself as the league's most potent defensive playmaker, earning a heartfelt grunt of appreciation from Dolphins coach Nick Saban.
17. Minnesota, Steve Smith, WR -- Not only is Smith the NFL's most breathtaking player, but he also ensures that if the cops raid this year's "Rookie Party," at least one Viking will escape.
18. Dallas, Terrell Owens, WR -- "I think we should go defense here," Bill Parcells declares in the war room. "A big guy, like Marcus Stroud or Roy Williams." Grinning and patting his coach on the head, Jerry Jones replies, "Sure, Bill, anything you say."
19. San Diego, Antonio Gates, TE -- This may be the only thing on which GM A.J. Smith and coach Marty Schottenheimer can agree. When Chargers beat writers ask Smith to comment on his reacquisition of the team's unstoppable tight end, he has them bound, gagged and deported to Tijuana.
20. Kansas City, Larry Johnson, RB -- Forget the diapers; Johnson now wears the pants in Kansas City. To celebrate LJ's return, team president Carl Peterson, just for kicks, convinces the Jets to trade their second-round pick to the Chiefs for a plate of beef ribs at Gates Barbecue.
21. New England, Hines Ward, WR -- The fifth-greatest day of BillBelichick's life ends with the coach saying, "Hey, all this guy does is go out and play his ass off and lay people out and catch the f------ ball and get in the f------ end zone. He's a football player, OK?"
22. Washington, Reggie Bush, RB -- Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams threatens to "pull up every inch of grass at Redskin Park, blade by blade," if the Skins don't draft cornerback DeAngelo Hall or pass rusher Julius Peppers. Owner Dan Snyder laughs, hands Williams a stack of Benjamins and picks the most marketable player available.
23. Tampa Bay, Cadillac Williams, RB -- Thrilled after reclaiming the team's 2005 draft prize, Jon Gruden jumps into the halfback's arms and proclaims, "I love you, man." Had everyone known Williams would run as assertively and adeptly as he did as a rookie, he'd have gone No. 1 in the real draft last April.
24. Cincinnati, Lofa Tatupu, LB -- Marvin Lewis, in his fourth year as the Bengals' coach, finally gets his "Little Ray" -- a fearless, inspirational middle linebacker who can put a team on his back.
25. New York Giants, Shawne Merriman, LB -- Though Merriman is a beast in the making, we are so, so tempted to put Randy Moss in this spot, if only to contemplate the cheery banter between him and coach Tom Coughlin.
26. Chicago, Tommie Harris, DT -- The Bears' defense is good all the way around, but the real strength is up the middle, where Urlacher, underrated safety Mike Brown and the explosive Harris are modern-day monsters.
27. Carolina, Jake Delhomme, QB -- Even though Peppers is still on the board, John Fox will take his chances with this Bayou Badass every single time. Now that Keyshawn Johnson is in town, watch how Delhomme blows up in '06.
28. Jacksonville, Marcus Stroud, DT -- The only thing nearly as brutal as the thought of staging another Super Bowl in this city is trying to run up the middle against the Jags. John Henderson has something to do with that, too, but Stroud is the team's most important player.
29. Denver, Anquan Boldin, WR -- If you liked what Mike Shanahan did for Ed McCaffrey and Rod Smith -- and vice versa -- the pairing of the Mastermind and the sublime fourth-year receiver is simply scary to contemplate. Boldin is the best thing to hit Arizona since the invention of lip balm.
30. Indianapolis, Osi Umenyiora, DE --Randy Moss? Bill Polian ain't having that. Edgerrin James? Polian clearly isn't that big a fan. Instead, he raids the Giants' roster to score the league's best young sack artist for TonyDungy's killer D, betting on Umenyiora's potential over Peppers' current brilliance.
31. Seattle, Steve Hutchinson, G -- "See -- we really didn't want to lose him," general manager Tim Ruskell says. "And we clearly love him more than we love Shaun Alexander. Still, in the name of locker room harmony, we're putting a clause in his contract that requires Steve to scream, 'But Walter Jones is better!' before every play."
32. Pittsburgh, Joey Porter, LB -- Peppers, remarkably, is still there for the taking -- there's no logical reason he has slipped this far, but even Ultimate Mock Drafts have to have an Aaron Rodgers once in awhile. Besides, Bill Cowher calls Porter the Steelers' unquestioned "emotional leader," and in case you haven't noticed, the Jaw carries a bit of credibility these days. If any of y'all have a problem with this pick, feel free to tell Porter that yourselves.