Posted: Thursday April 27, 2006 10:49AM; Updated: Thursday April 27, 2006 1:14PM
5. N.C. State
If the Texans decide to draft for defense with the first pick, the Pack's Mario Williams will likely be their choice.
Top prospects: DE Mario Williams, DE Manny Lawson, DT John McCargo
Other likely picks: CB Marcus Hudson, LB Stephen Tulloch, LB Oliver Hoyte
What does it say about the Wolfpack's offense that despite boasting a defense that produced the top two defensive ends in this draft -- including potential No. 1 pick Williams -- and as many as six overall draftees, N.C. State went just 12-11 the past two seasons.
Top prospects: WR Sinorice Moss, T Eric Winston, CB Kelly Jennings Other likely picks: CB Marcus Maxey, WR/CB Devin Hester, LB Roger McIntosh
The 'Canes' NFL assembly line has slowed down a bit the past couple of years, but with Moss, "The U" should have at least one first-round pick for the 12th straight year, and Winston and Jennings aren't that far behind.
Top prospects: LB DeMeco Ryans, DT Mark Anderson Other likely picks: S Roman Harper, QB Brodie Croyle, LB Freddie Roach, LB Charlie Peprah
The Tide's breakthrough 10-2 season was keyed largely by this group of weathered seniors, many of whom started for three or four years. Ryans is the only one getting significant NFL buzz, but watch out for Harper and Croyle.
8. Penn State
Top prospects: DE Tamba Hali, CB Alan Zemaitis Other likely picks: CB Anwar Phillips, QB Michael Robinson
The Nittany Lions were another senior-laden team last year, and while their class doesn't go quite as deep as 'Bama's in the eyes of the NFL, Hali and Zemaitis have a chance to be valuable contributors, as could the athletic Robinson if he finds the right position.
Top prospects: RB Joseph Addai, DT Claude Wroten Other likely picks: DT Kyle Williams, T Andrew Whitworth, WR Skyler Green
These five were part of a highly successful class that won a national title and played in two SEC title games. Addai was a solid running back who usually split carries with others, while Wroten and Williams were both dominant as seniors.
Top prospects: TE Marcedes Lewis, RB Maurice Drew Other likely picks: LB Spencer Havner
All three were college All-Americas. Lewis is the most coveted tight end in the draft behind Maryland's Vernon Davis. Drew figures to be a special-teams whiz, and Havner was a tackling machine who could make a good mid-round pick for some team.