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Reggie Bush, A.J. Hawk and the 2006 NFL Draft

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The release of Reggie Bush and A.J. Hawk got me thinking a bout the 2006 NFL Draft. A lot of craziness went down leading up to it.

Pouya Dianat-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has seen numerous roster cuts over the last week, as teams clear cap space and prepare for the start of 2015 free agency. There have been quite a few notable names kicked to the curb. Two of the biggest would have to be running back Reggie Bush and linebacker A.J. Hawk. The Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers, respectively, cut them on Wednesday. Both have a decent shot of landing with a new team, but it is still kind of crazy to see names like that end up released.

Bush and Hawk were both members of the 2006 draft class, with Bush going No. 2 to the New Orleans Saints, and Hawk going No. 5 to the Green Bay Packers. The San Francisco 49ers had the No. 6 pick in that draft, and used it on tight end Vernon Davis.

When I first wrote about Bush being released, user Missing Link brought up the interesting end to the 2005 season that resulted in the draft order we saw for the 2006 NFL Draft. I'll just post his comment here:

In the final game of the 2005 season the Niners hosted the Texans. The Texans were 2-13, and the Niners were 3-12. If the Niners had lost the game they'd finish in a three-way tie for the worst record in the NFL with the Texans and Saints, at 3 -13. If there were EVER a game to tank to improve one's draft position this one was it. The game was played in the rain, and it was the smallest crowd I've seen at Candlestick in decades of being a season ticket holder. A terrible game on a miserable day. My son and I were cheering the Texans on, hoping that the Niners would lose and thus win the "Reggie Bush" Bowl for the first pick in the 2006 draft.

Well, it wasn't to be. The Texans were winning 17-10 late in the game when Mike Adams picked off a pass and took it 40 yards to the house. The game goes to OT, and the Niners win on a Joe Nedney field goal.

The Texans got the first pick of the draft, and surprisingly (at the time) passed on Bush. And Bush didn't exactly turn out to be the superstar that he was predicted to be. But were it not for a stupid Mike Adams pick-six Bush would have ended up elsewhere, and who knows what would have been.

If this is correct, the 49ers would have earned the No. 1 pick due to the worst strength of schedule among them, the Saints and the Texans. If the 49ers had the No. 1 pick, do they take Bush, someone else, or trade down? One interesting connection is that Alex Smith and Reggie Bush both played at Helix High in San Diego. Smith is a year older, but they spent some time together in high school. I don't think that would have guaranteed the pick, but I'm sure that story would have gotten a ton of play in the months leading up to the draft.