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Bush No Lock For #1

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I've been saying since January that Reggie Bush wouldn't go #1 overall to the Texans. I may be right. Adam Shefter of NFL.com wrote in his most recent draft notes column:

For the first time, there is legitimate reason to think that USC running back Reggie Bush is not going to be wind up in Houston, the city that currently holds the No. 1 overall pick.

Reggie Bush could still go to Houston, or another team, at No. 1      
This does not come from one source or from one team. This comes from multiple sources, from across the league, without any agenda to push.

The mounting evidence includes this:

As of Monday, the Texans had not had any contract discussions with Bush and his representatives. None.

Yet the Texans have approached North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams, trying to see if he would be receptive to discussing a deal.

But the evidence goes beyond contracts. When Bush was in Houston, a certain segment of the organization never introduced itself to the running back. This might not be unusual, but if the organization was convinced it was taking a certain player, it should be rolling out the welcome mat with everyone trying to make the player feel as at home as possible. This, according to those who know Bush, did not happen.

Then there is the simple and significant matter of need. Within the past year, the Texans signed running back Domanick Davis to a long-term extension. They also drafted wide receiver Jerome Mathis, the return man who went to the Pro Bowl during his rookie season. The Texans know they have a dependable running back and return man, the two spots Bush fills.

Houston's greater need is at defensive end, and, just as much, at left tackle, a position that could be filled by Virginia's D'Brickashaw Ferguson, who is expected to go in the top four picks.

Yet whether Houston winds up with Williams or Ferguson is unknown. What is known is that Bush no longer is a lock for Houston.

As a person in the Bush camp said Monday, "Do I have a feeling that Reggie is going to Houston? No, I have a feeling that he's not."

Okay, so I was only half right. I've been crowing that the Texans would be insane -not- to draft Vince Young, native son, as the face of their franchise. If Shefter's right, though, this opens up a series of possibilities.

For one, the Texans would have to decide when they thought they could land Williams, if in fact, that's who they want. If they could trade down to, say, 4th, the Jets could be a potential trading partner.

The wild card, though, remains the Saints. With Brees signed, the Saints can plausibly pass on drafting a quarterback, but it's important to note that Brees' deal can very easily turn out to be a one-year, and not six-year, package. The upshot of this is that the Saints will likely shop their pick, but could be just as happy to settle in at #2 and take a quarterback if the right offer doesn't materialize.

Because there is no lock on the #1 pick, and with all the teams at the top of the draft pecking order having so many needs, I am, for the first time perhaps ever, totally captivated by this year's draft. The chance of Vince Young being drafted #1 remains a possibility. Frankly, he's the most dynamic football player and personality available in this year's draft; someone should do it. Maybe I'll be half-right after all.

--PB--