NEW YORK -- The Houston Texans surprised most observers late Friday when they decided against making Reggie Bush the No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft. Our scouts explain the rationale behind that decision and every other first-day pick as they unfold.
Analysis: First round | Second round | Third round | Fourth round | Fifth round | Sixth round | Seventh round
Inside the first round
1. Houston Texans
The pick: Mario Williams, DE, N.C. State
Scouts take: Houston took a lot of suspense out of this pick by agreeing to a contract with Williams on Friday night and electing not to take USC running back Reggie Bush with the first overall pick. Though the Texans had hinted this might be coming, Bush is such an explosive weapon that we felt they couldn't pass on him. But new head coach Gary Kubiak was Denver's offensive coordinator for years, and that organization clearly has a rich tradition of getting the most out of unheralded backs. With that said, getting Williams fills an important need. Houston is switching its base defense from a 3-4 to a 4-3 front, so it needs defensive ends who can rush the passer, and Super Mario certainly fits the bill.
Williams has the initial burst, agility and closing speed to consistently get to the quarterback. It doesn't hurt, either, that he has the size and strength to hold his own when teams run at him. There is one concern, however. Williams is inconsistent, and it is unlikely Texans fans will be patient waiting for him to produce, especially if Bush gets off to a strong start.