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4/19/2006 11:19:00 AM

Breaking Down The Top Five Picks

Reggie Bush
USC running back Reggie Bush sits atop nearly every mock draft in the nation.
Robert Beck/SI

Reggie Bush's road to the No. 1 pick has been way too smooth. This is mock-draft season, where the only certainty is that everyone is wrong. Check out some mock drafts from 10 days before the 2005 draft. Aaron Rodgers was still slotted in the top spot by most experts but he fell to 24th.

It's not surprising that reports are surfacing that the Texans aren't sure Bush is their man. Even if he is their guy -- which I happen to believe he is -- NFL teams love to lie in April. And there's the not-so-small matter of leverage in contract negotiations with Bush.

A report on NFL.com claimed people in the Houston organization like defensive end Mario Williams. The story pointed out running back is one of the few areas where the Texans don't need help and they already have a Pro Bowl return man in Jerome Mathis.

I would imagine there is real dissent in Houston's office. GM Charley Casserly's back is against the wall and he needs Bush for instant excitement. New coach Gary Kubiak proved in Denver he can turn practically anyone into a Pro Bowl RB and wouldn't need to take one that high.

My gut says Casserly makes the call and takes Bush. If the top pick goes according to the script, it sounds like Williams will go No. 2 over the quarterbacks, even if the Saints trade that selection. Despite all the swirling rumors around the Titans, quarterback Matt Leinart makes too much sense at No. 3. The Jets stick with a safe pick, offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson, even though they'll be tempted by QB Jay Cutler and TE Vernon Davis.

Everyone has linebacker A.J. Hawk headed to the Packers, but I still don't buy it. Hawk is a beast, but taking a 'backer that high would seriously buck a trend of avoiding that position in the first round. Green Bay could have visions of Davis being an unstoppable target for Brett Favre ... or Aaron Rodgers (I'm not touching that one).

That's my take 10 days before the big day. I'm sure it will change by tomorrow. Let me know how you think the top five will shake out.
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