1. Cleveland Browns – QB Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech)
The Browns are happy with Myles Garrett, their original #1 overall pick, who has developed into one of the best defensive players in the league, but, if they could do this over, it would be a no brainer decision to select Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes would not have had the same success in Cleveland as he has had in Kansas City, but he’s obviously a legitimate franchise quarterback and that’s the most valuable asset in the NFL, especially when you take into account that he is still only 26.
2. Chicago Bears – QB Deshaun Watson (Clemson)
The Bears moved up to select a quarterback here originally, but they took the wrong one, taking Mitch Trubisky with Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson on the board. In this do over, they wouldn’t make the same mistake and would end up with the franchise quarterback they have lacked for years. Watson missed all of 2021 with off-the-field problems and has an uncertain future, but he’s still a franchise quarterback in his mid 20s who could easily put his off-the-field issues behind him and have a long productive career.
3. San Francisco 49ers – DE TJ Watt (Wisconsin)
The 49ers fleeced the Bears into giving them extra picks to move up for Mitch Trubisky, but they made just as bad of an actual draft pick as the Bears, as defensive end Solomon Thomas ended up with just 6 sacks in 48 games in three seasons in San Francisco. TJ Watt obviously has had a lot more success, totalling 72 sacks, 82 hits, and a 14.3% pressure rate in his career, despite frequent double teams. He would add to an already dangerous defensive line in San Francisco, which had drafted DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead in the previous two drafts and went on to add Nick Bosa two years later.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars – DE Myles Garrett (Texas A&M)
The original #1 pick in this draft, Garrett falls out of the top-3 in this redo, but not due to any fault of his own, as Mahomes and Watson play a more valuable position, while Watt gets the slight edge over Garrett among edge defenders. As good as Watt is, that edge is very slight, as Garrett has added 58.5 sacks, 61 hits, and a 12.7% pressure rate in his career, despite also being frequently double teamed. In the short term, Garrett would also add to an already dominant defensive line in Jacksonville with Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue, and Dante Fowler all surpassing 8 sacks in 2017, while giving them a long-term building block, with the three aforementioned defensive linemen all elsewhere by the 2020 season.
5. Tennessee Titans – WR Cooper Kupp (Eastern Washington)
The Titans selected wide receiver Corey Davis here originally and he isn’t a bad player, but obviously the Titans would have been better off taking Cooper Kupp, who has developed into one of the best wide receivers in the league. Despite missing time with a 2018 torn ACL, Kupp ranks 6th, 9th, and 8th in the NFL in catches, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns since entering the league in 2017, including a 2021 season in which he led the league in all three of those metrics.
6. New York Jets – TE George Kittle (Iowa)
The Jets originally selected Jamal Adams here and he gave them three good years while netting them two first round picks in return in a trade with Seattle before the 2020 season, but Adams has not been the same since joining the Seahawks and would not go this high in a re-draft. Instead, the Jets take one of the best all-around players in the league, tight end George Kittle. Kittle has a history of injuries, which is a concern, and tight ends aren’t usually drafted this high, but when he’s healthy, he’s been among the most valuable non-quarterbacks in the league since his breakout second season in 2018 and would be a huge addition for a Jets team who had just 18 catches by a tight end in the 2016 season before this draft and that has not had a consistent starter at the position in the years since.
7. Los Angeles Chargers – OT Ryan Ramczyk (Wisconsin)
Mike Williams wasn’t a bad pick here, but the Chargers have needed offensive line help more than wide receiver help in recent years and Ryan Ramczyk is on another level from Williams as well, as he’s been one of the best right tackles in the league since his rookie year and is arguably the best right now. Right tackle has been a position where the Chargers have consistently had a problem for years, one that was not solved by them giving a big contract to veteran free agent Bryan Bulaga during the 2020 off-season.
8. Carolina Panthers – RB Christian McCaffrey (Stanford)
Christian McCaffrey would be tough to place because he’s shown himself to be one of the best offensive skill position players in the league when healthy, while also missing most of the past two seasons with injury and playing a position that has been devalued in the league. However, I don’t think the Panthers would go elsewhere in a redo, as they have remained committed to a running back who they gave a 4-year, 64 million dollar extension two off-seasons ago before his recent string of injuries.
9. Cincinnati Bengals – RB Alvin Kamara (Tennessee)
The Bengals drafted a bust of a wide receiver in John Ross here originally, but it didn’t really matter, as the Bengals still had Tyler Boyd and AJ Green and, while Green eventually moved on, the Bengals replaced him with Tee Higgins and JaMarr Chase to give themselves probably the best wide receiver trio in the NFL. Instead, the Bengals address another position of need here and take running back Alvin Kamara. The Bengals went on to select Joe Mixon in the second round of this draft originally and he’s a solid player, but Kamara gives them a higher upside playmaker at the position. Since entering the league in 2017, Kamara ranks 2nd in the NFL in all-purpose yards and 1st in total offensive touchdowns.
10. Kansas City Chiefs – WR Chris Godwin (Penn State)
The Chiefs miss out on Patrick Mahomes in this draft, but they still had Alex Smith, who was not a bad signal caller, and they have the opportunity to give him a third talented playmaker to work with alongside Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. Godwin didn’t get into the starting lineup until year three in Tampa Bay and he has had some injury issues, but he’s still averaged over 1000 yards per 16 games in his career and would have gotten the opportunity to play earlier in Kansas City. Even coming off of a torn ACL in late 2021, Godwin figures to become one of the highest paid wide receivers in the league in free agency this off-season, after spending last season on the franchise tag, totaling a 98/1103/5 slash line in just 14 games.
11. New Orleans Saints – CB Marshon Lattimore (Ohio State)
The Saints came out of the 2017 NFL Draft with the most talent, which means they will be the losers of this redraft. They have already lost a couple key players they originally drafted this year in Ryan Ramczyk and Alvin Kamara and will continue to lose talent as this draft goes on, but they can at least keep their original pick here at 11, Marshon Lattimore. Lattimore has been a little inconsistent, but overall has been one of the best cornerbacks in the league in his career, leading to the Saints locking him up long-term on a 5-year, 97.603 million dollar extension.
12. Houston Texans – CB Tre’Davious White (LSU)
Tre’Davious White is the other top cornerback to come out of this draft. A torn ACL late in 2021 hurts his stock a little and the Saints wouldn’t pick him over Lattimore in a redo regardless, but the Texans need talent wherever they can get it, given the mismanagement of their roster that is to come in the later days of the Bill O’Brien era, and White is one of the top cornerbacks in the league when healthy, while otherwise missing just three games in his career prior to the ACL tear.
13. Arizona Cardinals – S Budda Baker (Washington)
The Cardinals originally took Haason Reddick here, who eventually turned into a good player, but he took three years to develop, had his fifth year option declined, and then left after his one good season in Arizona. Fortunately, the Cardinals had a little better luck with second round pick Budda Baker, a valuable starter for them over the past five seasons and a player they extended on a 4-year, 59 million dollar deal. In this redraft, they use their first round pick to keep him.
14. Philadelphia Eagles – RB Dalvin Cook (Florida State)
The Eagles won the Super Bowl in 2017, but they didn’t have a featured running back, instead relying on a committee led by LeGarrette Blount, who was not brought back for 2018. Miles Sanders became the starter in 2019 and has remained their top running back for three years since, but the Eagles would obviously be upgrading on him by adding Dalvin Cook, who has shaken off early career injuries to become one of the best all-around running backs in the league over the past three seasons. Since 2019, he ranks 2nd in the NFL in yards from scrimmage and 3rd in offensive touchdowns.
15. Indianapolis Colts – S Marcus Williams (Utah)
The Colts drafted Malik Hooker here originally, but his once promising career was derailed by injuries. Marcus Williams, originally a second round pick of the Saints, has developed into what Hooker was supposed to be, a ballhawk single high safety in the mold of Earl Thomas. After playing the 2021 season on the franchise tag with the Saints, Williams figures to become one of the highest paid safeties in the league this off-season wherever he signs.
16. Baltimore Ravens – CB Marlon Humphrey (Alabama)
Marlon Humphrey is not quite as good as Marshon Lattimore or Tre’Davious White, but he is almost as good and the Ravens are obviously happy with their original selection, extending him on a 5-year, 97.5 million dollar deal that makes him the third highest paid cornerback in the league in average annual value. They wouldn’t want a redo in a scenario where there isn’t an obvious upgrade available to them.
17. Washington Redskins – DT Jonathan Allen (Alabama)
Here is another team content with their original pick, as Jonathan Allen has developed into one of the better interior defenders in the league, with his best season coming in 2021, when he ranked 3rd among interior defenders on PFF and totaled 9 sacks, 15 hits, and a 13.7% pressure rate in 17 games, only behind Chris Jones and ahead of Aaron Donald in pass rush productivity. In total, he has 26 sacks, 42 hits, and a 10.3% pressure rate in 69 career games, as part of a dominant Redskins’ defensive line.
18. Tennessee Titans – DE Trey Hendrickson (Florida Atlantic)
Brian Orakpo had double digit sacks for the Titans in 2016, but he was in his age 30 season and played just two more underwhelming years, while the Titans didn’t have an edge defender with double digit sacks again until 2021. Even in 2021, they could still use another talented edge defender and, while Hendrickson took a few years to develop as a backup on the Saints loaded depth chart, he would have opportunities to play earlier in Tennessee and could potentially have broken out quicker. Even if the Titans would have to wait, the wait would be worth it for a player who has totaled 27.5 sacks, 26 hits, and a 15.1% pressure rate over the past two seasons, first with the Saints and then with the Bengals after signing a 4-year, 60 million dollar deal in free agency last off-season.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – S Marcus Maye (Florida)
The Buccaneers had needs all over their defense in 2017 and for several years after. Safety Justin Evans was their second round pick in this draft, but he never developed and headlined an underwhelming safety group in 2017 that included veterans at the end of their line in Chris Conte and TJ Ward, with Conte playing just one more season in 2018 and Ward’s career ending after 2017. Marcus Maye, who has developed into one of the better safeties in the league, would be a much better choice. Franchise tagged by the Jets last off-season, Maye’s free agency is complicated by a down 2021 season and a November torn achilles, but he was PFF’s 21st ranked safety in 2019 and their 4th ranked safety in 2020, so he could be a value free agent signing.
20. Denver Broncos – OT Dion Dawkins (Temple)
The Broncos originally used this pick on Garret Bolles, who has started 77 games for the Broncos in five seasons and was kept long-term on a 4-year, 68 million dollar contract, but that came after a frustrating penalty habit led to the Broncos declining his 5th year option for 2021, before his cleaned up the problem in a breakout 2020 season. In this redo, the Broncos take a more consistent option in Dion Dawkins, who received a 4-year, 58.3 million dollar extension of his own from the Bills, with whom he has started 74 career games.
21. Detroit Lions – S Jamal Adams (LSU)
Jamal Adams was tough to place in this redraft because he was one of the best safeties in the league early in his career with the Jets, finishing 3rd among safeties on PFF in 2018 and 4th in 2019, before getting traded to the Seahawks and falling to 47th in 2020 and 66th in 2021, two seasons both ended by injury after 12 games. The Lions have lacked high end talent on defense like Adams appeared to be early in his career, but made the playoffs at 9-7 in 2016, so they need to take a risk here, picking outside of the top-20, if they hope to find one of those high end talent players.
22. Miami Dolphins – RB Aaron Jones (UTEP)
The Dolphins have had running back problems for years, with their last thousand yard rusher being Jay Ajayi in 2016, before he was traded to the Eagles early in the 2017 season. They tried to sign Aaron Jones as a free agent last off-season, even outbidding the Packers, but he chose to take slightly less money to remain in Green Bay on a 4-year, 48 million dollar deal. Jones returned to a slightly reduced role in 2021 due to the emergence of second year player AJ Dillon, but he finished with his third straight season of 1,200+ yards from scrimmage and 10+ touchdowns and has a career average of 5.06 yards per carry, 2nd most in the NFL by a running back with at least 800 carries since 2017. He might not be quite as successful away from Aaron Rodgers, but he would still be a big upgrade for the Dolphins.
23. New York Giants – OT Taylor Moton (Western Michigan)
The Giants had offensive line problems in 2016 and they continued in 2017 and beyond, even remaining a problem in 2021 and likely into the future unless the Giants make major upgrades this off-season. In this redraft, the Giants lock down the right tackle position for years to come with Taylor Moton, one of the better right tackles in the league and a player who has made 67 straight starts for the Panthers, who selected him in the 2nd round in 2017. Carolina also extended him on a 4-year, 72 million dollar extension that pays him deservedly among the top right tackles in the league.
24. Oakland Raiders – RB Joe Mixon (Oklahoma)
The Raiders were led in rushing by a 31-year-old Marshawn Lynch in 2017 and he was just about done, so they needed a running back of the future. They used a first round pick on Josh Jacobs in 2019, but Mixon would solve the problem faster while giving them a better running back with more three down ability. Mixon has surpassed 1,300 yards from scrimmage in three of five seasons in Cincinnati, including 1,519 yards from scrimmage in 2021, 8th most in the NFL.
25. Cleveland Browns – WR Mike Williams (Clemson)
Adding Patrick Mahomes should automatically make the Browns significantly better than the 0-16 they were in 2017, but Mahomes is still entering a situation where their leading receivers were a backup running back and two tight ends, with no Browns wide receiver surpassing 357 yards receiving in 2017. Mike Williams hasn’t quite lived up to being the 7th pick in this draft, but he has a pair of thousand yard seasons opposite Keenan Allen and figures to be paid well as a free agent this off-season, if the Chargers don’t franchise tag him. He’d be an obvious upgrade for a Browns team that still has wide receiver problems to this day, even after giving up a first round pick and other assets to acquire Odell Beckham.
26. Atlanta Falcons – DE Haason Reddick (Temple)
Has any team needed anything longer than the Falcons have needed edge help? I feel like edge defender has been near the top of their needs in every draft dating back to the later days of John Abraham, who left the Falcons after the 2012 season. Their problem actually goes back further than that as somehow they haven’t had more than 39 sacks in a season since all the way back in 2004. Haason Reddick took a few years to develop, but that could be because the Cardinals were using him incorrectly prior to his breakout 2020 season. Between that season and last season in Carolina, Reddick has totaled 23.5 sacks, 19 hits, and a 11.7% pressure rate over the past two seasons, while maintaining the athleticism to drop in coverage if needed. Reddick took a one-year prove it deal with the Panthers last off-season and it figures to pay off, as he’s likely to break the bank in his second trip to free agency this off-season.
27. Buffalo Bills – OLB Matt Milano (Boston College)
The Bills had a strong draft in 2017 and have already missed out on a pair of Pro-Bowlers they drafted this year, cornerback Tre’Davious White and left tackle Dion Dawkins. Milano has not made a Pro-Bowl, but that’s more of an oversight than anything, as Milano has consistently played at a borderline Pro-Bowl level, including a 2021 season in which he ranked 17th among off ball linebackers on PFF as a 16-game starter for one of the top defenses in the league.
28. Dallas Cowboys – CB Chidobe Awuzie (Colorado)
The Cowboys whiffed badly with Taco Charlton here, selecting a player who had just 4 sacks for the Cowboys in 27 games with the team, before bouncing around the league as a journeyman. Luckily the Cowboys redeemed themselves by selecting Chidobe Awuzie in the second round, who developed into an above average starting cornerback in Dallas. After a down 2020 year, in large part due to poor coaching on Mike Nolan’s defense, Awuzie signed a 3-year, 21.75 million dollar deal with the Bengals last off-season, which has proven to be a steal, as Awuzie has bounced back with the best season of his career, ranking 2nd among cornerbacks on PFF. The Cowboys have one dominant cornerback in Trevon Diggs, but letting Awuzie walk is probably one they’d like to have back, as he likely would have fared much better in Dan Quinn’s system than he did in Mike Nolan’s.
29. Cleveland Browns – S John Johnson (Boston College)
The Browns addressed offense with their first two picks and now address defense and take a safety, which is the position they addressed with the 25th overall pick originally, taking Jabrill Peppers. Peppers was never great for them though and was traded to the Giants in the Odell Beckham trade, with the Browns eventually fixing their problem at safety by signing John Johnson to a 3-year, 33.75 million dollar deal last off-season. In this scenario, they add him earlier and get an upgrade at safety with a player who has finished in the top-11 among safeties on PFF in three of five seasons in the league.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers – WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (USC)
The Steelers lose out on TJ Watt, their original pick here, as he is way too good to be close to being available with the 30th pick in a redo. They do keep their second round pick though. Smith-Schuster hasn’t been the same without Antonio Brown opposite him, but he did finish 5th in the NFL in receiving yards in his 2nd season in the league in 2018 opposite Brown, which also happened to be the last time Ben Roethlisberger was capable of throwing downfield consistently. Still only 25, he could easily bounce back if he gets an upgrade at quarterback and stays healthy following an injury plagued 2021 season.
31. San Francisco 49ers – WR Kenny Golladay (Northern Illinois)
Kenny Golladay’s stock is down after an injury plagued 2020 season and a down 2021 season in his first season on a 4-year, 72 million dollar deal with the Giants, but he had back-to-back thousand yard seasons in 2018 and 2019, so the 49ers take a chance on him and address a big position of need. The 2017 49ers were led in receiving by Marquise Goodwin, whose 962 receiving yards are more than he has had in four seasons since, while no other wide receiver surpassed 500 yards in 2017.
32. New Orleans Saints – RB Austin Ekeler (Western Colorado)
The Saints don’t get Alvin Kamara in this redraft, but they are able to get a player who has a similar skill set and could thrive in their system with Drew Brees. Ekeler took a little bit of time to develop and has missed some time with injury, but he finished 6th in the NFL in yards from scrimmage in 2021 and tied with first in offensive touchdowns. His 216 catches since 2019 are the most in the NFL over that time period by a running back, five more than 2nd place Alvin Kamara.