- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 29, 2006

NEW YORK — The wait lasted less than an hour for Maryland tight end Vernon Davis.

At 1:02 p.m. today, approximately 47 minutes after the start of the NFL Draft, Davis fielded a call from San Francisco 49ers coach Mike Nolan.

Moments later, commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced Davis as the sixth pick in the draft.

Davis became only the 11th tight end since 1967 and the eighth Maryland player since 1937 - the first since Joe Campbell went seventh overall to New Orleans in 1977 - to get selected in the top 10.

Davis turned pro after catching 51 passes with six touchdowns for the Terrapins last year as a junior. At the time, he thought he would be a mid-to-late first round selection. But a 4.38 40-yard-dash time at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis catapulted him into the top 10.

Several teams were believed to be interested in trading up for Davis, chiefly Denver and Green Bay. But he goes to a 49ers team that ranked last in offense last season and joins last year’s No. 1 pick, quarterback Alex Smith, in trying to rebuild under Nolan.

The Houston Texans eliminated any drama when they signed N.C. State defensive end Mario Williams to a 6-year, $54 million contract on Friday night. Williams had a school-record 14.5 sacks last season, and was serenaded with chants of “Overrated,” by the fans in attendance.

New Orleans drafted running back/receiver/return man/do-it-all Heisman Trophy award winner Reggie Bush with the second pick, turning down trade offers from several teams, including the New York Jets.

Jets fans got excited when Tennessee opted for Texas quarterback Vince Young at No. 3 instead of USC’s Matt Leinart. Young was the choice of Titans general manager Floyd Reese, who won the arm-wrestling match with

coach Jeff Fisher and offensive coordinator Norm Chow, both of whom wanted Leinart.

The Jets passed on Leinart to take Virginia offensive tackle

D’Brickashaw Ferguson at No. 4 and when Green Bay opted for Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk with the fifth pick, Davis was sitting there for the 49ers.

After Davis, Oakland and Buffalo both reached to take safeties - Texas’ Michael Huff and Ohio State’s Donte Whitner, respectively. The assumption had been that the Raiders would take a quarterback and the Bills a defensive tackle.

Leinart rounded out the top 10 by going to Arizona.

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