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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Donte Whitner Validates Marv Levy's Pick



Posted Nov 16th 2006 7:14AM
By Michael David Smith

With half of their first pro season under their belts, we'll examine the best and the worst players at each position in the NFL's 2006 rookie class.

First pick: Michael Huff, Raiders (Texas) -- Oakland chose Huff with the seventh overall pick, and he's played quite well, starting every game on a Raiders defense that is fairly good but gets no attention because the offense is so horrible. On the one hand, you've got to think a lot of Raiders fans wish they had taken Matt Leinart instead. On the other hand, do you really want to put Leinart behind that atrocious offensive line?

Best pick: Donte Whitner, Bills (Ohio State) -- Yes, this is the pick everyone ridiculed when Marv Levy made it in April. You can still make the case that Levy could have traded down a few spots from the No. 9 selection and still taken Whitner, but it's hard to argue with the results, and Whitner is a front-runner for the defensive rookie of the year award.



Worst pick: Jason Allen, Dolphins (Tennessee) -- The 16th overall pick, Allen seems fully recovered from the injury that cut short his senior season at Tennessee, but he can't crack the starting lineup on a disappointing Miami defense.

Best sleeper: Danieal Manning, Bears (Abiline Christian) -- Going from Shotwell Stadium to Soldier Field would seem to be a big adjustment, but Manning, a second-round pick, has made it seamlessly, making a big impact on the best defense in the league.

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