This comes a couple of years too late, but here goes: "Sorry, Charley."

That goes out to former Texans General Manager Charley Casserly from one of the many who said he was bonkers for selecting North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams with the No. 1 overall draft pick on April 29, 2006.

Had I thought of it first, I probably would have suggested, as ESPN columnist Bill Simmons did, that Casserly's decision warranted the Texans hiring a "Vice President of Common Sense."

Had I been a Texans fan, I would have booed as loudly as most of them did that day.

But in defense of our dumbness, our criticism of that pick was fueled by the perfect storm of pre-draft hype never seen before. Or since.

There were three choices for the No. 1 pick in 2006. One was Vince Young, a quarterback, Houston native and national champion from Texas. Choice No. 1A was Reggie Bush, a running back, Heisman Trophy winner and national champion runner-up at Southern Cal.

The other choice was Williams. And he was thought to be in the mix only to help bring down the signing price of Young or Bush.

Bush went to New Orleans with the second pick. Young went No. 3 to Tennessee.

Bush is an exciting player with star power, but not the every down back you'd expect from a No. 1 overall pick. Young, meanwhile, is teetering on the verge of becoming a draft bust. As the Titans have gone 7-0 this season, Young has been injured, benched and humiliated publicly when concerns about his emotional state forced the Titans to call on the police to find him.

Williams, meanwhile, just keeps knocking down quarterbacks in a quarterback-driven league. He has seven sacks this season, 21 in his past 23 games and 25 1/2 for his career heading into Sunday's game against the Vikings and the immobile Gus Frerotte.

So, again, "Sorry, Charley."

I called Casserly this week. After spending 24 years as an NFL executive and 16 years as a general manager with the Redskins and Texans, Casserly now works as an analyst for the NFL Network and CBS Sports.

Was there any doubt in your mind that you were making the right pick, Charley?

"There was never any doubt in my mind or on the team that he was going to be a terrific player in the league," Casserly said. "He showed all the characteristics in college. He showed the physical ability, the effort, the intelligence, the work ethic and the character."

There was plenty of doubt in the minds of a public that's infatuated with offensive players, particularly quarterbacks and running backs. A public that somehow doesn't grow tired of weeks upon months of ESPN-driven draft hype.

"The first thing you learn about making decisions is you can't worry about what other people think," Casserly said. "If you do, then you're going to be bouncing around all over the place. So what other people are going to think is not something you can take into consideration or let bother you. So you simply tune it out because you know those opinions will change."

Casserly was the guy George Allen hired as an unpaid intern with the Redskins in 1977. The guy who became a scout and was responsible for finding undrafted free agents Joe Jacoby and Jeff Bostic, two of the Redskins' famed "Hogs." The guy who as Redskins general manager in 1999 swapped the fifth overall pick for all of the Saints' draft picks plus first- and third-round picks in 2000. The guy who then used the 12th pick that originally belonged to the Saints to select cornerback Champ Bailey, the guy Casserly wanted in the first place.

Williams was the last first-round pick selected by Casserly. He could end up being among his best ever.

Again, "Sorry, Charley."