Reggie Bush Was Assumed To Be Locked-In #1 Pick

Published on January 21st, 2023 3:23 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

In photo: Mario Williams.  4 times Pro Bowl NFL player. Reggie Bush put together one of the most impressive seasons in the history of college football in 2005.

Bush, the standout USC running back, won the 2005 Heisman Trophy, beating out Vince Young and Matt Leinart for the award.

Bush was the most dynamic player in college football in 2005, as he rushed for 1,740 yards, caught 37 passes for 478 yards and added another 670 yards in kickoff/punt return yardage. Bush found the endzone 19 times over the course of his 2005 campaign.

Everyone assumed that Bush would be drafted first overall at the 2006 NFL Draft.

In fact, many fans of the worst teams in the league were strong advocates of tanking, as they all wanted their team to add the dynamic Reggie Bush.


Reggie Bush impressed in his pro day showcase, as he ran the 40 in just 4.33 seconds.

The Houston Texans had earned the #1 draft pick, and everyone assumed that they were still planning on taking Bush.

Everything was lining up, and nobody doubted that the Texans would pick anyone other than Reggie Bush.


The night before the 2006 NFL Draft, the Texans shocked the world by signing Mario Williams to a deal.

This meant that they were locked into drafting Williams at #1.

The New Orleans Saints couldn't believe their luck and quickly indicated that they would be drafting Bush at #2, which they ended up doing.


There is no doubt that Mario Williams was a stud, but analysts still couldn't believe the move.

How could the Texans have passed on such a generational talent like Reggie Bush?

Some analysts would declare that the Texans had made the "biggest mistake in the history of the NFL draft", one that would set their franchise back for years.

Texans fans were beside themselves as well, as they were certain that the team would draft Reggie Bush.

At the very least, Texans fans said at the time, take a quarterback (Vince Young) if you aren't going to draft Reggie Bush.

But to pass up Bush AND Vince Young for a defensive player? Unforgiveable.


The funny part of this story is that the Texans were right to take Williams first overall.

Mario Williams ended up having a very nice career in the NFL, and was certainly worthy of the #1 overall pick.

During his time in the league, Williams was a 4x Pro Bowl player and a first-team All-Pro on one occasion.

Over the course of his career, Williams registered a total of 97.5 sacks and recorded 12+ sacks in a season 4 times.


Reggie Bush, on the other hand, can only be described as a disappointment in the NFL.

Over the course of his career, Bush compiled 5,490 rushing yards and 3,598 receiving yards, and found the endzone a total of 58 times.

Bush managed to break the 1,000 rushing yard mark twice over the course of his career - in 2011 with the Dolphins, and in 2013 with the Lions.

In his defense, Bush battled a number of serious injuries over the course of his career that severely limited his mobility.


With all of that being said, there can be no doubt that the Texans made the right choice in 2006, despite how controversial the move was at the time.

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