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Talk pro football with SI.com's Andrew Perloff in Huddle Up, a forum to discuss the hottest topics around the NFL.
9/07/2006 03:21:00 PM

Teams will regret passing on Leinart, Cutler

Texans fans are off-base in worrying that the team screwed up by taking Mario Williams over Reggie Bush. They should really be sorry that Houston didn't draft Matt Leinart. And Saints fans will end up thinking the same thing about Jay Cutler.

Leinart and Cutler went at Nos. 10 and 11, respectively, and even though they faced backup defenses in the preseason that were running simple schemes, I'm convinced they'll both be good NFL quarterbacks.

The reality of the NFL is that you have to take a shot at big-time quarterbacks that high in the draft. Several GMs could eventually lose their jobs based on this year's draft-day decisions. Let's do a quick assessment of the teams that had the top 10 picks and passed on Leinart and Cutler.

Texans: No sign that Williams' sick Combine numbers will translate onto the field. David Carr will be gone soon and the franchise will be starting over at QB.

Saints: New QB Drew Brees benefited from playing inferior defenses in the AFC West and has a questionable shoulder. He'll get pounded this year, and New Orleans will wonder why it has two star running backs and no QB of the future.

Titans: Vince Young will be fine. Leinart and Cutler will be better.

Jets: The Jets obviously needed a quarterback in the draft and they think they got one in second-round pick Kellen Clemens. Prediction: Two years from now Clemens is the next Oregon QB flop and the Jets can't figure out why they passed on Leinart for D'Brickashaw Ferguson.

Packers: This is one of two teams in the top 10 that didn't need to take a QB. Aaron Rodgers will fill in nicely for Brett Favre one day. But why take a linebacker?

49ers: The other team that really couldn't go QB.

Raiders: Imagine what Al Davis would give for another shot at Cutler. Mike Shanahan might play Cutler just to get back at his old boss.

Bills: This article from TheBrushback.com sums it up: "Bills Wish They Googled Jay Cutler Before Draft."

Lions: Matt Millen's past draft follies forced him to go defense. In the long run, he should have gone QB.

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