Reflecting on the 2006 Draft: Mario Williams Was the Right Choice

The RantCorrespondent IMarch 24, 2009

CLEVELAND - NOVEMBER 23:  Mario Williams #90  of the Houston Texans walks on the field during the NFL game against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on November 23, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Looking back at the 2006 Draft, the Houston Texans were heavily criticized for taking defensive end Mario Williams over the famous USC running back Reggie Bush.

Todd McShay said the Texans worst pick of the 2006 draft was, of course, Mario Williams. McShay's explanation was that, "Williams is cheaper and fits a much bigger position of need, but passing on USC running back Reggie Bush with the No. 1 overall selection was a mistake that the Texans might never live down".

So far, the Texans are living it down. 

Gene Wojciechowski of ESPN was quoted as saying, "Houston could have chosen USC tailback Reggie Bush, but instead got sloppy drunk on "measureables" and potential rather than actual production. Hel-lo, did you see how many contrails and broken ankles Bush left behind this season?"

Looking back, I think the Texans may have been sober making the decision. Maybe the Texans should have drafted QB Vince Young?

Today, when talking about the 2006 draft, the Texans are smiling saying, "I told you so."

Looking at Reggie Bush's professional career thus far, one really isn't impressed. Yes Bush has been a great slash player catching passes and returning kicks but as a starting No. 1 running back, he cant carry a full load. He has more receiving yards—1599—than rushing yards—1550—in addition to a 3.7 yards per carry average over his career.

These aren't numbers you would expect out of a guy who was considered by many as the consensus No. 1 pick. 

Reggie Bush very well may not be the best running back taken in the first round of the 2006 draft. Comparing No. 2 pick Reggie Bush to No. 27 pick DeAngelo Wiliams is almost a non-comparison. The "Home-Run Hitter" Reggie Bush has seven carries of 20+ yards and one of 40+ yards as compared to DeAngelo Williams, who has 25 carries of 20+ yards and six of 40+ yards. 

Mario Williams may not have been the only Williams selected in the first round who is having a better career than the Saint's No. 2 pick. 

The drunk sloppy decision of Mario Williams has produced 14 and 12 sacks respectively the last two years since his disappointing rookie season where Williams produced only 4.5 sacks. Williams 2008 statistics were comparable to Julius Peppers of the Panthers and Jared Allen of the Vikings, both of whom are arguably the best players at their positions. 

Williams has been one of the most scrutinized No. 1 draft picks in the last decade. After a disappointing rookie season, that showed few signs of superstar and more signs of bust, Williams has come into his own. At 6'6'' 283 and 24 years old, Williams will look to continue his path to being a dominant force in the NFL

The Texans took a lot of heat for making the decision but looking back at the 2006 draft, Mario Williams was the right decision HANDS DOWN.