2015 NFL Draft Redo

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – DE Danielle Hunter (LSU)

After 5 seasons, the jury is still out on the quarterback the Buccaneers took here, Jameis Winston, which is not what you want from a quarterback you select first overall. With Winston set to hit free agency, the Buccaneers are exploring all other quarterback options and seem to view Winston as a last resort. Unfortunately, there isn’t a sure fire franchise quarterback in this draft worth taking #1 overall, so the Buccaneers address another need, by adding arguably the best overall player from this draft class. 

Hunter was just a third round selection, but he has 54.5 sacks and a 13.4% pressure rate in 78 career games and has been as good as any pass rusher in the league over the past 2 seasons, with 29 sacks, 3rd in the NFL. Also a good run defender, Hunter is coming off the best overall season of his career in 2019, finishing 8th among edge defenders on Pro Football Focus, and he doesn’t even turn 26 until October. 

2. Tennessee Titans – OT Trent Brown (Florida)

Like the Buccaneers, the jury is still out on the quarterback the Titans selected here, Marcus Mariota, who the Titans are fully expected to let hit free agency this off-season. Without a good quarterback option here, the Titans address a big need at right tackle with Trent Brown. They eventually fixed their right tackle problem with the 8th overall pick in 2016 Jack Conklin, but taking Brown a year earlier would have allowed the Titans to use that pick elsewhere. Brown was just a 7th round pick originally due to weight concerns, but he’s stayed in shape and has developed into one of the best right tackles in the league. In a draft class that lacks many elite players, he’d make sense even as high as #2 overall. 

3. Jacksonville Jaguars – DT Grady Jarrett (Clemson)

The Jaguars’ original pick Dante Fowler eventually developed into a solid player with the Rams, but he was never worth this pick for the Jaguars and only returned a 3rd and 5th round pick via trade. With Hunter off the board, there isn’t a top flight edge rusher available here for the Jaguars, but with Yannick Ngakoue and Calais Campbell coming in subsequent off-seasons, defensive end hasn’t been a need for the Jaguars in recent years, which is part of why they let Fowler go.

Instead, they fill a need at defensive tackle with Grady Jarrett, who is one of the best all-around defensive tackles in the NFL, despite only being a 5th round pick originally. He’s finished 16th, 6th, and 3rd respectively on Pro Football Focus among interior defenders on PFF in the past 3 seasons, dominating as a run stuffer, ranking 3rd in the NFL among defensive tackles with 35 tackles for a loss, and totalling 17.5 sacks, 30 hits, and a 9.4% pressure rate in 46 games.  

4. Oakland Raiders – CB Marcus Peters (Washington)

The way Peters plays sometimes, he could arguably go off the board #1 in this re-draft, but he’s been inconsistent enough to already be on his 3rd team in 5 seasons in the league. He struggled so much with the Rams that they got rid of him in what amounted to a salary dump, only to watch him be one of the top cornerbacks in the league for a dominant Ravens defense the rest of the year. He’s finished 16th, 14th, and 4th among cornerbacks on Pro Football Focus in 2016, 2017, and 2019 respectively, but also 99th in 2018.

The Raiders are the kind of team willing to take the good with the bad with a player like Peters, who is originally from the Oakland area and would be a big help for a team that has had significant cornerback problems for years. Amari Cooper wasn’t a bad choice by the Raiders here originally, but considering they ended up trading him 3 and a half years later, albeit for a future first round pick, it’s likely they’d go another direction in a re-draft.

5. Washington Redskins – G Brandon Scherff (Iowa)

The Redskins have been pretty happy with their original selection of Scherff here, aside from a few injuries (15 games missed over the past 3 seasons). He’s finished in the top-27 among guards on Pro Football Focus in all 5 seasons in the league, including top-7 finishes in 2017 and 2019. He made 12.525 million on his 5th year option last season and could set a new high for the position with 14+ million annually with a new deal in free agency this off-season. He’s a candidate for the 14.915 million dollar franchise tag for a Redskins team that doesn’t want to lose one of their few building blocks on offense. 

6. New York Jets – RB Todd Gurley (Georgia)

Todd Gurley was a tough one to place. He’s played like an MVP at times, but he plays a position with a short shelf life and just five years into his career he already has significant injury and durability concerns and is signed to an increasingly bad looking 4-year, 57.5 million dollar deal that has already paid him 15 million in new money even though it technically hasn’t even started yet. There are also concerns about how he would perform without all of the talent around him on the Rams’ offense. Without an obvious other option, the Jets take a chance at 6, hope to get a few great years from him, and maybe would be wise enough with full hindsight to let him walk at the end of his rookie deal. 

7. Chicago Bears – WR Amari Cooper (Alabama)

It’s crazy to think the debate for top wide receiver in this draft class was between Amari Cooper and Kevin White, who originally went 7th overall to the Bears after Cooper went 4th to the Raiders. White suffered a series of career disrupting injuries and ended up with 25 catches in 14 games with the Bears, while Cooper, though he hasn’t always played at 100% through injuries of his own, has averaged a 71/1019/7 slash line in 5 seasons in the league and is coming off of a career best at 79/1189/8, putting him 8th in the NFL in receiving yards last season. The Cowboys are unlikely to let him hit free agency this off-season, but he figures to get a massive payday either way. He would be a dream selection for a Bears team that has still had issues at the wide receiver position to this day. 

8. Atlanta Falcons – DE Trey Flowers (Arkansas)

The Falcons originally used this draft pick on Vic Beasley, who had 15.5 sacks in 2016, but otherwise had a very disappointing tenure in Atlanta. Even in that 2016 season, he struggled mightily against the run and his peripheral pass rush stats (4 hits, 11.9% pressure rate) were not as good as his sack total. Overall, Beasley had just 37.5 sacks, 18 hits, and a 9.6% pressure rate in 78 games with the Falcons, while offering little in run support, and he’s not expected to be brought back as a free agent this off-season. 

Flowers, on the other hand, has never had a big sack total, with his career high being 7.5, but he has strong peripheral pass rush numbers and is stout against the run. Over the past 3 seasons, he has 21 sacks, 46 hits, and a 13.5% pressure rate and was rewarded last off-season by the Lions with a 5-year, 90 million dollar deal in free agency. The Lions struggled defensively in Flowers’ first season in town, but he was Pro Football Focus’ 21st ranked edge defender, so he wasn’t to blame for their struggles. 

9. New York Giants – S Landon Collins (Alabama)

Collins had an unceremonious exit from the Giants last off-season with new GM Dave Gettleman in town, but he had a good 4 years with the team and is one of the better safeties in the league. The Giants originally got him in the first round, but take him 9th overall in this re-draft, rather than wasting this pick on mega-bust Ereck Flowers. Collins maxed out as Pro Football Focus’ 10th ranked safety in 2016 for the Giants.

10. St. Louis Rams – WR Stefon Diggs (Maryland)

It’s hard to imagine given the receiving corps the Rams have now, but back in their St. Louis days, the Rams annually had among the worst receiving corps in the league for years. Stefon Diggs was just a 5th round pick in this draft originally, but he had an impressive 52/720/4 slash line as a rookie and has averaged a 78/976/7 slash line in 4 seasons since, despite sharing targets with top receiver Adam Theilen. If the Rams had taken him here, he could have given them a #1 receiver sooner and would have saved them from spending a first round pick to acquire Brandin Cooks. 

11. Minnesota Vikings – S Adrian Amos (Penn State)

The Vikings had two of their later picks already go in the top-10 in this re-draft (Danielle Hunter, Stefon Diggs), but they can at least upgrade on their original pick Trae Waynes. Waynes hasn’t been a bad cornerback, but the Vikings used a second round pick on a cornerback in 2016 (Mackenzie Alexander) and a first round pick on a cornerback in 2018 (Mike Highes) after taking Waynes in the first in 2015, so he certainly didn’t solve their cornerback problem, and, now a free agent, he’s not expected to return and could be replaced by yet another highly drafted cornerback this off-season.

In this re-draft, the Vikings take a safety instead, adding another talented safety to play alongside Harrison Smith. Drafting Amos, who originally fell to the Bears in the 5th round, would keep him from one divisional rival and potentially from another, the Packers, if the Vikings were able to sign him long-term after his rookie deal. An underrated player, Amos has been a top-32 safety on Pro Football Focus in all 5 seasons in the league, including 3 seasons in the top-17 and a career best 3rd ranked finish in 2017.

12. Cleveland Browns – DE Frank Clark (Michigan)

The Browns went with a defensive tackle here originally, taking Danny Shelton, but I thought defensive end was a more pressing need. Shelton never panned out any way, nor did Nate Orchard, the defensive end they selected in the 2nd round, who had just 5 sacks in 34 games with the Browns. The Browns didn’t have a single pass rusher with more than 6 sacks in either 2015 or 2016 and, while the addition of Myles Garrett #1 overall in 2017 certainly helped, they could have used another talented defensive end opposite him. Adding Clark here saves them from having to trade their top offensive lineman Kevin Zeitler to acquire Olivier Vernon before the 2019 season.

Originally a second round selection, Clark has 41 sacks, 37 hits, and a 12.2% pressure rate over the past 4 seasons, while playing also playing the run well. He could have gone in the top-10, but I dropped him a little because of off-the-field concerns. He’s stayed out of trouble as a professional and earned a 5-year, 104 million dollar deal from the Chiefs last off-season, but his troubling history in college was why he fell out of the first round originally and some teams might still not view him as an option for that reason.

13. New Orleans Saints – MLB Eric Kendricks (UCLA)

The Saints blew chances to get Drew Brees another shot at a ring in 2014, 2015, 2016 when they supported when with arguably the worst defense in the league every season. They eventually made some significant upgrades on their defense, but they needed help in all three levels in 2015 and instead used this pick on offensive lineman Andrus Peat, who turned out to be an inconsistent and injury prone starter in 5 seasons with the team. 

In this re-draft, they take the top defensive player available, Eric Kendricks. Kendricks has made 70 starts in 5 seasons in the league and, while he was a solid if unspectacular starter for the first 4 seasons, he is coming off of a dominant 2019 campaign in which he finished as Pro Football Focus’ 1st ranked linebacker. He’s an obvious upgrade over Stephone Anthony, a megabust linebacker that the Saints drafted 31st overall in 2015 later in the first round.

14. Miami Dolphins – G Shaq Mason (Georgia Tech)

The Dolphins have seemingly needed upgrades across their offensive line for years and 2015 was no exception. Miami’s division rival New England found a steal in the 4th round in 2015 with Shaq Mason and locked him up on a very reasonable 5-year, 45 million dollar extension in 2018. At his best, Mason is one of the best guards in the league, topping out as Pro Football Focus’ 1st ranked guard in 2018 and finishing in the top-12 at his position in each of the past 4 seasons.

15. San Diego Chargers – C David Andrews (Georgia)

Here is another diamond in the rough that the Patriots found on their offensive line in 2015, although Andrews wasn’t even drafted. Andrews developed into Pro Football Focus’ 4th ranked center in 2017 and their 11th ranked center in 2018 and his absence in 2019 with blood clots was as big of a reason as any for the Patriots’ offensive struggles. He’s expected back at full strength in 2020 and would be a welcome return. In this re-draft, he’d be a welcome addition for a Chargers team that much like Miami has needed help across their offensive line for years. He’d replace the recently retired Nick Hardwick at center.

16. Houston Texans – CB Byron Jones (Connecticut)

The Texans originally used this pick on Kevin Johnson, but he was often injured throughout his tenure with the Texans and ended up playing just 35 games in 4 seasons with the team. In this re-draft, they take a different cornerback. Not only has Jones stayed relatively healthy (1 game missed in 5 seasons), but he also maxed out as Pro Football Focus’ 7th ranked cornerback in 2018 and has the versatility to play safety as well, which has also been a problem position for the Texans over the years. He’s been a bit inconsistent, but he’d be a welcome addition for the Texans and figures to get a sizable deal from someone as a free agent this off-season.

17. San Francisco 49ers – DE Za’Darius Smith (Kentucky)

The 49ers originally used this pick on Arik Armstead, who broke out as a pass rusher during the 49ers run to the Super Bowl in 2019, but in this re-draft they use this pick on a player who broke out earlier. Smith may seem like a one-year wonder because he wasn’t a household name until his dominant 2019 season in the first year of a 4-year, 66 million dollar deal with the Packers, but there’s a reason he got that big contract in the first place.

In his final 2 seasons in Baltimore, the former 4th round pick had 12 sacks, 32 hits, and a 12.4% pressure rate as a part-time player. As an every down player in Green Bay, Smith flourished with 13.5 sacks, 24 hits, and a league best 17.1% pressure rate. Smith isn’t the best run defender, but he took a big step forward in that area this season and finished as Pro Football Focus’ 3rd ranked edge defender overall. He didn’t do much for the first couple years of his career, but he’s worth the wait and could have broken out as a high level player sooner if he had more opportunity early in his career.

18. Kansas City Chiefs – MLB Benardrick McKinney (Mississippi)

The Chiefs lacked linebacker depth behind a then-33-year-old Derrick Johnson during the 2015 season and linebacker has been even more of a problem since Johnson left following the 2017 season. The Chiefs managed to win the Super Bowl without good linebackers, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t use a talented every down linebacker like McKinney. McKinney has finished in the top-30 among linebackers on Pro Football Focus in all 5 seasons in the league (73 starts), maxing out at 9th in 2018. He’s a capable edge rusher in addition to being above average against the run and in coverage as a traditional linebacker.

19. Cleveland Browns – OT Rob Havenstein (Wisconsin)

The Browns originally used this pick on offensive lineman Cameron Erving, with the idea that he would replace either center Alex Mack and right tackle Mitchell Schwartz, who were going into the final year of their contracts. The Browns wound up losing both Mack and Schwartz and Erving struggled wherever the Browns tried him, including guard. They eventually sent him to the Chiefs for a 5th round pick after just 2 seasons with the team. 

Instead, they take right tackle Rob Havenstein to replace Schwartz at right tackle in this re-draft. Havenstein had a down year due to injuries in 2019, but he made 59 starts in his first 4 seasons in the league, was an above average starter in all 4 seasons, and ranked 3rd among offensive tackles on Pro Football Focus as recently as 2018. He has obvious bounce back potential in 2020 and would be a welcome addition to the Browns who have struggled to replace Schwartz to this day. The 5-year, 36.5 million dollar deal they gave to ex-Steeler Chris Hubbard two off-seasons ago has not worked out.

20. Philadelphia Eagles – DT Leonard Williams (USC)

The Eagles love having a deep defensive line and have lacked a true counterpart for Fletcher Cox for years so Leonard Williams is too good for them to pass on at this point. He’s never posted the big sack numbers, with just 17.5 in his career and only a half sack last season, but his peripheral pass rush stats are much better, 86 hits and a 10.0% pressure rate, and he’s a strong run stuffer as well. He’s maxed out as Pro Football Focus’ 10th ranked interior defender in 2016 and has finished in the top-28 three times.

Williams had a down year last year and was traded by the Jets to the Giants at the deadline for a 3rd and 5th round pick, with the Jets unwilling to meet his asking price in long-term negotiations, but the Giants reportedly value him highly enough to keep him on the franchise tag if needed. He’d be a good addition for the Eagles if they could get their hands on him, as defensive tackle remains a need for them to this day.

21. Cincinnati Bengals – OT La’El Collins (LSU)

The Bengals used their first two draft picks in 2015 on offensive tackles Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher, but somehow both were complete busts and offensive tackle remains a need to this day. Maybe if La’el Collins weren’t unfortunately under investigation for murder (he was cleared a few days later) at the time of the draft, the Bengals would have taken him with one of those two picks, but instead he fell out of the draft completely and then signed with the Cowboys when his name was cleared. Collins took a few years to develop, in part because he played out of position at guard early in his career, but he’s seemingly gotten better every season and has turned into one of the top right tackles in the league. Last season was his best, as he finished as Pro Football Focus’ 4th ranked offensive tackle overall.

22. Pittsburgh Steelers – OLB Bud Dupree (Kentucky)

Here is a rare case of a team sticking with their original pick. Dupree was a bit of a disappointment through his first 4 seasons as he was an average starting outside linebacker who never topped 6 sacks in a season, but he broke out in the final year of his rookie deal in 2019, with 11.5 sacks, 9 hits, and a 9.4% pressure rate, while finishing as Pro Football Focus’ 25th ranked edge defender overall. The Steelers are understandably wary about locking him up long-term on a big extension with significant guaranteed money based on one big year, but they don’t want to let him go either, so he’ll almost definitely be franchise tagged this off-season. If he showed his top form more consistently, he would go higher in this re-draft, but I think the Steelers would still take him again at 22 if they had these choices and full hindsight.

23. Denver Broncos – QB Jameis Winston (Florida State)

Jameis Winston was arguably the toughest player to slot in this re-draft. He’s made 70 starts in 5 seasons with the Buccaneers, but seemed to never progress as a decision maker and the Buccaneers are reportedly exploring all other quarterback options this off-season, with Winston returning seemingly a last resort option. Most teams have had at least one quarterback better than Winston in the 5 years since this draft and he’s unlikely to have a significant market as a free agent if the Buccaneers don’t bring him back, so he wouldn’t be a high pick this time around, but he could still go in the first round in a draft without another good quarterback option and the Broncos would make a lot of sense, as they are one of the few teams that hasn’t had a better quarterback than Winston over the past 5 seasons. 

At the time of this draft, the Broncos had a washed up Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler under contract and both left the following off-season, leading to the Broncos wasting a first round pick in 2016 on Paxton Lynch and starting players like Trevor Siemian, Case Keenum, Joe Flacco, and Brandon Allen before eventually potentially finding something with 2019 2nd round pick Drew Lock, who went 4-1 in rookie year starts. Perhaps the Broncos will think they could get more out of Winston than the Buccaneers did and even if they don’t he’d still be arguably the best quarterback they’ve had in 5 years. They could be an option to sign him in free agency this off-season if they’re looking for competition for Lock.

24. Arizona Cardinals – OLB Dante Fowler (Florida)

The 2015 Cardinals made it to the NFC Championship, but their team leader in sacks was 35-year-old passing down specialist Dwight Freeney with 8 and no one else had more than 5. They acquired Chandler Jones the following off-season, but have lacked a consistent complement opposite him. Dante Fowler was originally the 3rd overall pick in this draft, but missed his rookie year with a torn ACL and was buried on the depth chart when he returned, playing just 1,198 snaps total in 39 games for the Jaguars before they traded him to the Rams for a 3rd and 5th round pick. 

Fowler’s first half season with the Rams was underwhelming, but he took his play to another level in 2019, totaling 11.5 sacks, 6 hits, and a 13.2% pressure rate while finishing as Pro Football Focus’ 35th ranked edge defender. Still only going into his age 26 season, Fowler’s best may still be yet to come now that he’s past his early career injuries. His slow start to his career drops him into the late first round in this re-draft, but he’d be valuable for the Cardinals. 

25. Carolina Panthers – CB Steven Nelson (Oregon State)

The Panthers originally used this pick on linebacker Shaq Thompson, who has been a solid player, but he was stuck as a part-time 3rd linebacker behind Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis in his first four seasons in the league, so the Panthers address another position. Cornerback was their biggest need going into the 2015 off-season and it was one they never addressed. They were able to make it to the Super Bowl the following season as a cornerback group led by breakout player Josh Norman overperformed, but Norman left the following off-season and cornerback has been a position of need in the years since he left. 

Originally a 3rd round pick, Nelson has made 53 starts over the past 4 seasons for the Chiefs and Steelers and has seemingly gotten better every year. His best year with the Chiefs was his final one in 2018 when he finished 27th among cornerbacks on Pro Football Focus and he was even better in 2019 in the first year of a 3-year, 25.5 million dollar deal with the Steelers, finishing 6th among cornerbacks. 

26. Baltimore Ravens – WR Tyler Lockett (Kansas State)

Lockett’s first three seasons in the league were underwhelming as he never topped 664 yards receiving, but he’s emerged as the Seahawks’ top wide receiver over the past 2 seasons, posting 57/965/10 and 82/1057/8 slash lines despite playing on a run heavy offense. He’s averaged 1.97 yards per route run and 11.2 yards per target over the past 2 seasons as Russell Wilson’s top option and it’s not hard to imagine how he could have a similar impact playing with Lamar Jackson or even catching deep bombs from Joe Flacco like Torrey Smith and Mike Wallace.

27. Dallas Cowboys – MLB Shaq Thompson (Washington)

The Cowboys now have an impressive linebacker duo of Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Brown, but for years they lacked depth behind the oft injured Sean Lee. Shaq Thompson didn’t get a lot of playing time early in his career behind Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis, but he could have shined in a bigger role in Dallas. He had always flashed in limited action playing about 38.1 snaps per game in his first 4 seasons in the league and finished last season as Pro Football Focus’ 16th ranked linebacker in his first season as an every down player.

28. Detroit Lions – DT Eddie Goldman (Florida State)

Defensive tackle was a need in 2015 for a Lions team that had just lost Ndamukong Suh to the Dolphins. Goldman isn’t quite on Suh’s level, but he’s a talented defensive tackle that the Lions would be taking away from their division rival Chicago Bears. Not just a big run stuffer at 6-4 320, Goldman also has 12.5 sacks, 8 hits, and a 7.0% pressure rate in 5 seasons in the league and his best could still be yet to come, only going into his age 26 season.

29. Indianapolis Colts – G Ali Marpet (Hobart)

Offensive line was an obvious need for the Colts for years, but they didn’t figure out the unit until late in Andrew Luck’s career and by then he had already suffered enough injuries to want to retire. If they had protected him better, perhaps he would still be playing. Even if he wouldn’t be, he certainly would have benefited from better play in front of him throughout his career. Marpet has made 72 starts for the Buccaneers in 5 seasons and has been an above average starter at all three interior offensive line spots at different points in his career. He’d be a great addition for the Colts.

30. Green Bay Packers – MLB Jordan Hicks (Texas)

The Packers’ linebacker problems were obvious in their loss to the 49ers in the 2019 NFC Championship, but their issues at that position go back much further. Adding someone like Jordan Hicks in 2015 would have been a big boost. Hicks plays like one of the best linebackers in the league at times, finishing 3rd among linebackers on Pro Football Focus in 2016 and 12th in 2018, but he’s inconsistent and injury prone (missing 21 of a possible 80 games in 5 seasons in the league), which makes him available at the end of the first round. The Packers did well in free agency last off-season, but would have benefited from outbidding the 4-year, 34 million dollar deal the ex-Eagle Hicks got from the Cardinals last off-season.

31. New Orleans Saints – DE Preston Smith (Mississippi State)

The Saints continue to add to what was probably the worst defense in the league at the time. Preston is the lesser known of the two Smith “brothers” on the Packers, but he got a big-money deal as well, coming over from the Redskins on a 4-year, 52 million dollar contract. While Smith is a dominant edge rusher, Smith is a more complete player. He has just 36.5 sacks in 80 career games (66 starts), but he has a 10.9% pressure rate and plays great run defense as well. 

32. New England Patriots – DE Arik Armstead (Oregon)

Originally the 17th overall pick by the 49ers, Armstead had just 9 sacks in his first 4 seasons in the league and missed 18 of 64 games with injury, but he was always a strong run stuffer and he broke out as a pass rusher in 2019, with 10 sacks, 9 hits, and a 12.5% pressure rate. Overall, he finished last season as Pro Football Focus’ 4th ranked edge defender. The 49ers pass on him in this re-draft for someone who broke out faster, but the Patriots will take a shot that they can get it out of him earlier. Both defensive end and defensive tackle were needs for the Patriots back in 2015 and Armstead can play both spots, much like Trey Flowers, who was originally a 4th round pick of the Patriots.

2014 NFL Draft Redo

1. Houston Texans – DT Aaron Donald (Pittsburgh)

There was nothing wrong with the Texans’ original pick of Jadeveon Clowney, but the Texans can shoot a little higher in this re-draft with Aaron Donald, who is the best defensive player in the league. Donald and JJ Watt have won 5 of the last 7 Defensive Player of the Year awards. Imagine trying to block both of them. No thanks.

2. St. Louis Rams – DE Khalil Mack (Buffalo)

As good as Aaron Donald is, Khalil Mack isn’t much of a downgrade. The Rams miss out on Donald (originally drafted 13th overall), but Mack gives them a much needed edge rush presence and helps soften the blow of losing Donald.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars – WR Odell Beckham (LSU)

In a draft class filled with elite talent, the Jaguars reached on a quarterback, taking Blake Bortles 3rd overall. Quarterback was a huge need for them at the time, but Bortles hardly solved it, as the Jaguars are in the market for a new quarterback again this off-season. I thought about giving the Jaguars a quarterback here, but with several elite talents still left on the board, any quarterback would be a bit of a reach. Wide receiver was also a massive need at the time and the Jaguars originally added a trio of wide receivers in the 2014 NFL Draft, Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee, and Allen Hurns. None of those receivers are bad, but Beckham is an obvious upgrade and would have been a big boost to this offense.

4. Buffalo Bills – G Zack Martin (Notre Dame)

Guards don’t usually go in the top-5, but with Zack Martin you know you’re getting an annual All-Pro. The Cowboys were criticized by some for taking him at 16, but it turns out that wasn’t nearly high enough, as he’s arguably the top interior offensive lineman in the league and has been one of the best at his position since his first game in the league.

5. Oakland Raiders – DE Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina)

Jadeveon Clowney is the Raiders’ consolation prize for Khalil Mack going a few picks higher. He hasn’t been as durable or as consistent as Mack, but he’s shown stretches of dominance and was one of the younger players in this draft, so he could continue getting better, only going into his age 26 season in 2019.

6. Atlanta Falcons – OT Taylor Lewan (Michigan)

Jake Matthews, the Falcons’ original pick here, is a solid left tackle, but Taylor Lewan is a higher level player. Matthews’ 4th quarter hold in Super Bowl 51 is also a big part of the reason why the Falcons were not able to finish off the Patriots, so perhaps the Falcons would have been Super Bowl Champs if they had taken Lewan instead.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – WR Mike Evans (Texas A&M)

The Buccaneers stick with their original pick here, as Mike Evans has topped 1000 yards in all 5 seasons in the league, averaging a 79/1221/8 slash line and missing just 3 games with injury. Still only 26 in August, Evans is one of the top receivers in the entire NFL.

8. Cleveland Browns – QB Derek Carr (Fresno State)

The quarterbacks were tough to slot in this re-draft. Normally franchise caliber quarterbacks go high, but this draft is filled with top level talent at other positions, while the top quarterbacks have their warts. With much of the top level talent gone at this point, it makes sense for the Browns to take a quarterback. Derek Carr has been inconsistent, but he’s started 78 of 80 games in 5 seasons in the league and would have stabilized the Browns’ quarterback situation far earlier than Baker Mayfield eventually did. He would have been an obvious upgrade over Johnny Manziel, the quarterback they took with the 22nd pick, or Justin Gilbert, the cornerback they took with this 8th overall pick originally.

9. Minnesota Vikings – QB Jimmy Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois)

Like Derek Carr, Garoppolo was tough to slot. At his best, he has a higher upside than Carr, but he’s much less proven, with just 10 career starts. After spending the first 3 and a half years of his career as Tom Brady’s backup, Garoppolo tore his ACL 3 games into his first full season as a starter in 2018. Signed to a 5-year, 137.5 million dollar extension last off-season, Garoppolo is  highly valued and productive quarterback when healthy.

The Vikings top quarterback at the time of the 2014 NFL draft was Matt Cassel. They did take Teddy Bridgewater with the 32nd pick and he was decent for a couple years, but then he suffered a devastating injury, forcing the Vikings to trade a first round pick for Sam Bradford and give a guaranteed contract to Kirk Cousins. At his best, Garoppolo is an upgrade over both of those quarterbacks and could have lead the Vikings to the Super Bowl in 2017, when the Vikings made the NFC Championship with Case Keenum. He comes with questions, given his lack of experience, durability concerns, and the fact that he might not have been as good if he didn’t start his career with New England, but he’s worth the pick here for Minnesota.

10. Detroit Lions – DE DeMarcus Lawrence (Boise State)

Eric Ebron, the Lions’ original pick here, never panned out for them like they wanted, so instead they get some much needed help for their defense. Lawrence had injuries early in his career, which is why he slides to 10, but he’s been one of the best edge rushers in the league over the past 2 seasons, with a combined 25 sacks and 23 quarterback hits, while playing stellar run defense as well. Unless he’s franchise tagged for a 2nd straight year at a price of 20.57 million, he’s expected to become one of the highest paid defensive players in the league on a long-term deal this off-season.

11. Tennessee Titans – WR Davante Adams (Fresno State)

The Titans have needed a #1 receiver for years, with Kendall Wright in 2013 being their last 1000-yard wide receiver. Davante Adams slides because he got off to a slow start to his career and because he’s benefitted from playing with Aaron Rodgers, but he also had a 74/885/10 slash line in 2017 with Rodgers missing most of the season with injury and his 111/1386/13 slash line was among the very best in the league in 2018.

12. New York Giants – WR Brandin Cooks (Oregon State)

Brandin Cooks has topped 1000 yards in 4 straight seasons, but falls a little bit in a strong wide receiver class. As consistent as he’s been, he’s never put up dominating numbers and he’s always played with a lot of talent around him, catching passes from Drew Brees, Tom Brady, and Jared Goff in his career. The Giants take him as a consolation prize for losing Odell Beckham. Cooks is a slight drop off talent wise, but he’s more durable and less of a headache to deal with than Odell, so this isn’t a bad scenario for the Giants.

13. St. Louis Rams – OT Jake Matthews (Texas A&M)

The Rams can’t take Aaron Donald, their original choice here, but they took Khalil Mack at 2 instead of their original #2 overall pick Greg Robinson, who was a massive bust, and now they can take a better left tackle in Jake Matthews here at 13. As good as Donald is, the Rams might prefer to have both Mack and Matthews, who has developed into an above average left tackle. The Rams had terrible play at left tackle until they signed Andrew Whitworth two off-seasons ago and he could retire this off-season, ahead of what would be his age 38 season.

14. Chicago Bears – CB Kyle Fuller (Virginia Tech)

The Bears have had a weird ride with Kyle Fuller, their original pick here. He was a starter for them his first 2 seasons in the league, but missed all of his 3rd season with injury and had his 5th year option declined, as they felt he did not work hard enough to return from injury. Fuller ended up making the Bears regret turning down his option, playing at a high level in 2017 and parlaying that into a big contract. The Bears gave him the transition tag, giving them the right of first refusal on any contract offer he accepted, and ended up matching a 4-year, 56 million dollar deal he signed with the Green Bay Packers. Considering he had arguably the best season of his career in 2018 on an overall dominant Bears defense, I don’t think they regret that contract and ultimately they’d probably take him again if they could.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers – DE Stephon Tuitt (Notre Dame)

Stephon Tuitt was originally a 2nd round selection by the Steelers, but he’s played at such a high level that they’ll have to take him in the first round this time around. Their original first round pick Ryan Shazier was not a bad selection, but his career is in doubt after a terrible neck injury he suffered during his 4th season in the league in 2017.

16. Dallas Cowboys – DE Dee Ford (Auburn)

The Cowboys have already lost Zack Martin, their original pick here, and DeMarcus Lawrence, a 2nd round selection, but they still get a high level player in Dee Ford here at 16. Ford isn’t as good as Lawrence against the run, but he has 30.5 sacks and 40 hits in 67 career games, while Lawrence has 34 sacks and 36 hits in 64 career games, so there isn’t much drop off there.

17. Baltimore Ravens – MLB CJ Mosley (Alabama)

CJ Mosley was the Ravens’ original pick here and they would probably take him again if they had the opportunity. He has his issues in coverage, but he’s one of the best run stoppers in the league and has been a tackling machine for one of the NFL’s better defenses. His 579 tackles over the past 5 seasons combined rank 4th behind Luke Kuechly, Bobby Wagner, and Lavonte David.

18. New York Jets – WR Sammy Watkins (Clemson)

Originally the 4th overall pick, Sammy Watkins was tough to slot in this re-draft. On one hand, he hasn’t played a full 16-game season since his rookie year and has only topped 1000 yards once, which puts him far behind the other top receivers in this class in terms of production. He hasn’t even topped 600 yards since 2015 and missed 15 of 48 games the past 3 seasons combined. On the other hand, he signed a 3-year, 48 million dollar deal with the Chiefs last off-season, making him the 6th highest paid wide receiver in the league in terms of average annual salary, so clearly his skill set is still in high demand. He was a bit underwhelming in 10 games for the Chiefs in his first season in Kansas City, but, still only in his age 26 season, he still has plenty of upside and at least one team would fall in love with him in the first round in a re-draft. The Jets, who only had one receiver with more than 409 yards in 2014, are one of the teams that could use him.

19. Miami Dolphins – WR Jarvis Landry (LSU)

The Dolphins chose not to retain Jarvis Landry as a free agent last off-season, instead franchise tagging him and trading him to the Browns for a 4th round pick, but that was mostly for financial reasons, as the cap strapped Dolphins couldn’t afford the 5-year, 75.5 million dollar deal the Browns ultimately gave him. That deal might be a little bit of an overpay, but Landry has still averaged a slash line of 96/1003/5 in 5 seasons in the league and has just 26 career drops, as opposed to 481 career catches. The Dolphins have to use their first round pick to keep him this time around, after originally taking him in the second, but he’s worth this spot, even in a good wide receiver draft.

20. New Orleans Saints – CB Malcolm Butler (West Alabama)

The Saints tried to trade for Malcolm Butler two off-seasons ago, even offering their original pick here, Brandin Cooks, in a trade for Butler, before ultimately sending Cooks to the Patriots for a first rounder when the Patriots decided to keep Butler. The Saints addressed their cornerback need by taking Marshon Lattimore with the 11th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, but taking Butler in 2014 would have helped them sooner and he’d form a solid duo with Lattimore. There’s some concern that Butler was benched in the Super Bowl by the Patriots and that he wasn’t as good in his first season outside of New England, which is why he slips a little, but he’s still a solid starter and was still highly valued on the open market last off-season, signing for 61.25 million over 5 years.

21. Green Bay Packers – S HaHa Clinton-Dix (Alabama)

I went back and forth on putting Clinton-Dix here. On one hand, he was a solid starter for the Packers for the first four and a half years of his career, making 65 starts after originally being drafted here at #21 overall, but he was also traded mid-season to the Redskins for a 4th round pick this year. He was in the final year of his rookie contract, but the Packers were also in playoff contention, so it was surprising to see the Packers deal away their best safety. An above average starter at his best, Clinton-Dix is worth drafting again.

22. Cleveland Browns – G Joel Bitonio (Nevada)

The Browns missed badly with their two first rounders in 2014, taking Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel, but they did salvage their draft somewhat by taking Joel Bitonio in the 2nd round. Bitonio has developed into one of the better left guards in the league and would likely go in the first round in a re-draft, so the Browns have to take him here if they want to keep him. In reality, they kept him with a 5-year, 50 million dollar extension in 2017, so clearly they value him highly.

23. Kansas City Chiefs – G Andrew Norwell (Ohio State)

Originally undrafted in 2014, Norwell made 54 starts in 4 seasons with the Panthers, before signing a 5-year, 66.5 million dollar deal with the Jaguars last off-season. He’s talented enough to go higher in this re-draft, but falls because of lack of positional need. He’d fill a big need for the Chiefs and would be the most talented guard they’ve had in recent years.

24. Cincinnati Bengals – C Brandon Linder (Miami)

The Bengals originally took Russell Bodine in the 4th round of this draft and he made all 64 starts for them at center from 2014-2017, but he didn’t play all that well and the Bengals ultimately used a first round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft on a center, taking Ohio State’s Billy Price. Linder, one of the better centers in the league, would be an obvious upgrade over Bodine and Price.

25. San Diego Chargers – C Matt Paradis (Boise State)

The Chargers have had offensive line issues for years, especially at center, which was an annual weakness until they signed Mike Pouncey to a 2-year, 15 million dollar deal last off-season. Paradis, one of the better centers in the league, would have filled that weakness much quicker.

26. Philadelphia Eagles – OLB Anthony Barr (UCLA)

Anthony Barr hasn’t been as good in recent years as he was early in his career, but he still would have helped an Eagles team that had linebacker issues in 2014. A free agent this off-season, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of market he has.

27. Arizona Cardinals – OLB Telvin Smith (Florida State)

The Cardinals originally drafted Deone Bucannon here, a 6-1 211 safety that they eventually turned into a linebacker. Bucannon had some good years early in his career, but has struggled with injuries in recent years and likely will have to settle for a one-year deal on the open market this off-season. Telvin Smith, who signed a 4-year, 45 million dollar extension with the Jaguars in 2017, is a similar player at 6-3 215, but has been much more consistent in his career, despite originally falling to the 5th round. He’d likely go in the first in a re-draft.

28. Carolina Panthers – OT Charles Leno (Boise State)

The Panthers had serious issues at both tackle spots in 2014 and still have a weakness at left tackle even today, despite giving Matt Kalil a 5-year, 55.5 million dollar deal two off-seasons ago. If they had taken someone like Charles Leno, they could have avoided that. Leno, originally a 7th round pick, was a late bloomer, which is why he falls this far, but he’s one of the better pass protecting left tackles in the league.

29. New England Patriots – DT Timmy Jernigan (Florida State)

The Patriots used this pick on defensive tackle Dominique Easley in 2014, but he played in just 22 games for New England due to injuries. Timmy Jernigan would have been a better option for a team that had a big need at defensive tackle at the time, taking one in the first round in both 2014 and 2015. Jernigan missed most of 2018 after off-season back surgery, but he was a solid starter in 3 seasons with the Ravens and took his game to the next level in 2017, when he won the Super Bowl after an off-season trade to the Eagles, earning a 4-year, 48 million dollar extension in the process.

30. San Francisco 49ers – S LaMarcus Joyner (Florida State)

The 49ers didn’t have a lot of weaknesses in 2014, as this Jim Harbaugh team was coming off of its 3rd straight NFC Championship game appearance. They took a versatile defensive back in Jimmie Ward here originally, but LaMarcus Joyner, who fell to the Rams in the 2nd round, became a much better version of what they were expecting Ward to be, though it did take him until his 4th season in the league to breakout. Drafting him here not only gives them much needed talent on a defense that was depleted pretty quickly after 2014, but it also keeps him away from the division rival Rams.

31. Denver Broncos – CB Bradley Roby (Ohio State)

Bradley Roby was the Broncos’ original pick here and, while he never developed into a top level cornerback, I don’t think the Broncos really have too many regrets about getting a solid starter late in the first round. At this point, it’s hard to do much better than Roby, who will likely be one of the highest cornerbacks in free agency this off-season.

32. Minnesota Vikings – WR Allen Robinson (Penn State)

The Vikings got a quarterback at 9 and now get a receiving threat. Before the days of Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, had a real problem at wide receiver. The 2014 Vikings were led in receiving yards by the overpaid Greg Jennings, who was released the following off-season after a 59/742/6 slash line. Allen Robinson has been inconsistent and injury prone, but he’s shown #1 receiver ability for stretches. He falls because he’s part of a very deep wide receiver class.

2013 NFL Draft Redo

1. Kansas City Chiefs – OT David Bakhtiari (Colorado)

The Chiefs used this pick on left tackle Eric Fisher originally and are clearly pretty happy with his development, giving him a 4-year, 48 million dollar extension two off-seasons ago. However, in this re-mock, they can get a clear upgrade, as David Bakhtiari, originally a 4th round pick by the Packers, has developed into arguably the best left tackle in football. The Chiefs have a number of good options with this pick, but left tackle is a very important position and was a huge need for them.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars – RB Le’Veon Bell (Michigan State)

Le’Veon Bell might be the most talented player from this draft, but the Chiefs still had two good years left of Jamaal Charles, which allows him to fall to the Jaguars, who were still relying on a broken down Maurice Jones-Drew in 2013 (3.43 YPC on 234 carries), before releasing him the following off-season. Bell would obviously have had a huge impact on Jacksonville’s offense, much more than original draft pick Luke Joeckel, who struggled in right tackle, left tackle, and left guard in 4 seasons with the team before being let go last off-season.

3. Miami Dolphins – OT Lane Johnson (Oklahoma)

When the Dolphins originally moved up to 3, many assumed it was to take Lane Johnson to fill a major hole on their offensive line. Instead, they took defensive end Dion Jordan, who had just 3 sacks in 2 seasons with the Dolphins due to injuries, off-the-field issues, and ineffectiveness. Johnson, meanwhile, went 4th to the Eagles and has developed into one of the best offensive linemen in the league. He’s capable of playing both right tackle and left tackle for the Dolphins and would have been a huge boost to their offensive line.

4. Philadelphia Eagles – DT Kawann Short (Purdue)

The Eagles would have been happy to take Lane Johnson again, but he goes one pick earlier in this redraft. Instead, the Eagles take Kawann Short, arguably the best defensive player from this draft, and put together a dangerous duo of Short and Fletcher Cox, their 2012 first round pick and one of the best defensive tackles in the league. Tim Jernigan did a solid job in 2017, but prior to that they lacked a capable counterpart to Cox.

5. Detroit Lions – CB Darius Slay (Mississippi State)

The Lions originally used a 2nd round pick on Darius Slay, but they have to use their first rounder to keep him in this redraft. Considering Slay has developed into one of the top cornerbacks in the league, the Lions probably wouldn’t mind. They signed him to a 4-year, 48.15 million dollar extension two off-seasons ago. They take him here over their original pick Ezekiel Ansah, who had an impressive start to his career, but has been slowed by injuries over the past 2 seasons. Slay is a much cleaner pick.

6. Cleveland Browns – WR DeAndre Hopkins (Clemson)

DeAndre Hopkins is definitely a top-5 talent, but there wasn’t a huge need for wide receivers in the top-5, so he falls to the Browns in this redraft. Considering the offensive issues they’ve had for years, they’d take Hopkins here in a heartbeat. Hopkins has developed into one of the best wide receivers in the league and has shown the ability to put up big numbers despite terrible quarterback play, which will be very important for him in Cleveland.

7. Arizona Cardinals – C Travis Frederick (Wisconsin)

Everyone laughed when the Cowboys traded back to the end of the first round and drafted Travis Frederick, a center who most expected to go in the 2nd or 3rd round. However, Frederick has since developed into arguably the best center in the league and would undoubtedly go higher in a redraft. The Cardinals originally drafted guard Jonathan Cooper here, making him the highest drafted interior offensive linemen in two decades. Cooper was never healthy for the Cardinals and was eventually sent to New England as a throw-in in the Chandler Jones deal and has since bounced around the league. In this redraft, they take Frederick and get a much needed Pro-Bowler on the inside of their offensive line.

8. St. Louis Rams – WR Keenan Allen (California)

The Rams traded up to draft Tavon Austin here in hopes that he’d upgrade a receiving corps that had desperately needed help for years. Instead, Austin maxed out at 509 receiving yards and the Rams continued to have issues in the receiving corps until signing Robert Woods, trading for Sammy Watkins, and drafting Cooper Kupp last off-season. Keenan Allen would have solved that problem earlier. He’s had injury issues throughout his career, but has averaged 74.26 receiving yards per game in 5 seasons in the league, 8th most by any player who has played at least 50 games over that stretch and most of anyone in this draft. He’s also still only going into his age 26 season and should be a #1 receiver for another 3-5 seasons if he can stay healthy.

9. New York Jets – CB Desmond Trufant (Washington)

The Jets had two first round picks in 2013 after trading Darrelle Revis to the Buccaneers for the 13th pick. Considering Revis lasted one season in Tampa Bay and was back with the Jets two years later, that was a wise trade. What was not wise is the Jets’ selection of Dee Milliner here at 9 as their replacement for Revis. Milliner played just 21 games in 3 injury plagued seasons for the Jets and is now out of the league entirely. In this redraft, they take Desmond Trufant instead. Trufant was the 22nd pick by the Falcons and has developed into a #1 cornerback.

10. Tennessee Titans – CB Xavier Rhodes (Florida State)

Xavier Rhodes is another talented cornerback from this draft class. Cornerback has been an issue for a while for the Titans. Rhodes would be a #1 cornerback for this team and would be a huge upgrade over both Chance Warmack, the guard they drafted 10th overall originally, and Blidi Wreh-Wilson, the cornerback the Titans selected in the 3rd round. He would have formed a talented duo with Jason McCourty before becoming the #1 guy.

11. San Diego Chargers – OT Ricky Wagner (Wisconsin)

The Chargers originally used this selection on DJ Fluker, but he spent just 4 seasons with the team and never developed into a starter at either right tackle or right guard. Wagner, meanwhile, is arguably the best right tackle in the league. The 2013 5th round pick didn’t play much as a rookie, but has been an above average starter in 4 seasons since and is coming off of his best season with the Detroit Lions, the season after the ex-Raven signed a 5-year, 47.5 million deal in free agency.

12. Oakland Raiders – TE Travis Kelce (Cincinnati)

The Raiders had a desperate need at tight end in 2013 and eventually took Mychal Rivera in the 6th round of the draft. They were so thin at the position that he led the team with 38 catches by a tight end as a rookie, but he never developed into a starting caliber player and was one of the least efficient tight ends in the league in his one full season as a starter in 2014. Travis Kelce not only gives them a much needed weapon in the passing game, but drafting him also keeps him away from a hated divisional rival.

13. New York Jets – S Tony Jefferson (Oklahoma)

The Jets originally doubled up on defense with their two first round picks, taking Milliner at 9 and Sheldon Richardson at 13. Richardson worked out better than Milliner did and had some dominant seasons early in his career, but had character issues later in his time with the Jets and eventually was traded to the Seahawks for a 2nd round pick. In hindsight, they’d probably take a different player. Jefferson would fill a big need for a team that started Antonio Allen and 31-year-old Dawan Landry at safety in 2013.

14. Carolina Panthers – DT Brandon Williams (Missouri Southern)

The Panthers originally took Star Lotulelei with this pick, but they can shoot higher in this redraft, as Lotulelei never developed into the kind of player that was worth the 14th overall pick. Ideally they’d be able to get Kawann Short, originally their 2nd round pick, but he’s too good to last to this point. Williams is more similar in skill set to Lotulelei and has developed into the player the Panthers were expecting Lotulelei to be. Given that they used their first two draft picks on defensive tackles in 2013, the position was clearly a need for them at the time.

15. New Orleans Saints – OT Terron Armstead (Arkansas-Pine Bluff)

The Saints originally used this pick on safety Kenny Vaccaro, who had an up and down 5 years in New Orleans. Terron Armstead, originally a 3rd round pick by the Saints, was a much better selection. They have to take him in the first round this time around to keep him, but he’s been a valuable blindside protector and much more valuable to this team than Vaccaro, so I think they’d be happy to take him here. Armstead would have likely been a top-10 pick if this redraft was done a couple years ago, but he has dealt with some injuries in the past two years that have keep him off the field and sapped his effectiveness somewhat. Only going into his age 27 season in 2018, Armstead could easily be a top level left tackle for 3-5 more years if he can stay healthy.

16. Buffalo Bills – WR Adam Thielen (Minnesota State)

The Bills have had issues at wide receiver for years. They were led in receiving by tight end Scott Chandler (655 yards) back in 2013 and then by tight end Charles Clay (558 yards) in 2017. The only pass catcher to exceed 700 yards for the Bills since the 2013 NFL Draft is Sammy Watkins, who they traded two first round picks to move up and draft before trading him away for a mere 2nd round pick last off-season. Addressing their wide receiver need in 2013 would have allowed them to avoid that. Adam Thielen was a late bloomer, which is why he falls a little bit. The former undrafted free agent had his first 1000+ yard season in 2017 (91/1276/4) and made his first All-Pro (2nd team).

17. Pittsburgh Steelers – MLB Jamie Collins (Southern Mississippi)

Jamie Collins would have been a top-10 pick if I did this two years ago, but Collins was traded by the Patriots to the Browns for a mere 3rd round pick in 2016 and hasn’t been the same player since being traded, including a 2017 season in which he struggled through injuries. Going into his age 29 season, there’s time for him to turn it around, but his redraft stock takes a hit. He fills a need for the Steelers, who desperately needed to get younger on defense at the time. They drafted Ryan Shazier in the first round in 2014, but he suffered a terrible spine injury last season and may never play again. Collins fixes their middle linebacker problem a year earlier and gives them a long-term solution.

18. San Francisco 49ers – TE Zach Ertz (Stanford)

I remember originally mocking Ertz to the 49ers in the first round because of the Jim Harbaugh/Stanford connection and because the 49ers didn’t have any obvious needs at the time. They didn’t have a good #2 tight end behind Vernon Davis at the time and would eventually use a 2nd round pick on Vance McDonald in 2014, which did not work out as well as Ertz would have. 2013 was also the last productive season Vernon Davis had for the 49ers, so Ertz would have filled a need that was bigger than they realized at the time.

19. New York Giants – G Justin Pugh (Syracuse)

The Giants stick with their original pick here. Justin Pugh has never been a dominant offensive lineman, but he’s been an above average starter at both right tackle and left guard, with his best play coming at left guard in 2015-2016. He was definitely worth the 19th overall pick in the draft and the Giants may franchise tag him this off-season. If he were to hit free agency, he’d be one of the highest valued offensive linemen available.

20. Chicago Bears – G Kyle Long (Oregon)

The Bears are another team that sticks with their original pick, though all of the injuries Kyle Long has suffered in his career have been concerning. He’s only missed 15 games in 5 seasons, but has had neck, shoulder, and ankle surgery in recent seasons and is already going into his age 30 season, so there are long-term durability concerns with him. His best season came in his 2nd season in the league in 2014 when he looked like one of the best right guards in football, but he wasn’t the same player at right tackle in 2015 and has had injury problems in each of the last 2 seasons. He’s played pretty well through the injuries through, so the Bears probably don’t regret this pick. Long likely would have gone higher two years ago.

21. Cincinnati Bengals – DE Ezekiel Ansah (BYU)

Ezekiel Ansah is another player who would have gone higher two seasons ago, when he was coming off of a breakout 2015 season, in which he was one of the best 4-3 defensive ends in football and totalled 14.5 sacks. However, he’s had just 14 sacks combined in the 2 seasons since, thanks to injuries. He’s also older than most of the players from this class, as he’s already going into his age 29 season this off-season. We will see if the Lions think he is worth the franchise tag. In this redraft, the Lions take cornerback Darius Slay over him at 5 and he slips because of teams having more pressing needs. The Bengals could have used a complement to Carlos Dunlap and Ansah would have been a great fit in the Bengals’ 4-3 defense.

22. Atlanta Falcons – CB Tyrann Mathieu (LSU)

The Falcons would have loved to have been able to keep Desmond Trufant, but he is too good to fall to 22 again. Instead, the Falcons take a different defensive back, Tyrann Mathieu. Mathieu had dominant seasons in 2013 and 2015, but tore his ACL at the end of both of those seasons and wasn’t the same in his other 3 seasons. Only going into his age 26 season, he may prove to be a steal, but he’s undersized at 5-9 186 and has had both knee and shoulder problems in his career. He can play both slot cornerback and safety.

23. Minnesota Vikings – DT Johnathan Hankins (Ohio State)

The Vikings’ original pick here was defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, who looked like a great pick until he suffered a knee injury that has kept him out since week 1 of 2016. His long-term future is very much in doubt. Johnathan Hankins is a step down from what Floyd was as a player, but he doesn’t have Floyd’s injury issues. He’d form a dominant duo inside with Linval Joseph.

24. Indianapolis Colts – G Larry Warford (Kentucky)

Maybe if the Colts invested in the offensive line more, Andrew Luck’s career might not be in jeopardy because of a shoulder injury. Larry Warford was one of the best guards in the league as a rookie in 2013. Though he hasn’t been quite that good since, he’s still an above average right guard and is well worth the 4-year, 34 million dollar deal the Saints gave him in free agency last off-season. He would have been valuable in Indianapolis, where they’ve had a rotating door of players at every position except left tackle in Andrew Luck’s career.

25. Minnesota Vikings – CB Logan Ryan (Rutgers)

The Vikings can’t keep Xavier Rhodes in this redraft because he went in the top-10, so they take a different cornerback instead. Logan Ryan is a downgrade, but he still fills what was a big need at the time for the Vikings.

26. Green Bay Packers – TE Jordan Reed (Florida)

At his best, Jordan Reed is one of the best receiving tight ends in football and a matchup nightmare for any defense, because of his combination of speed and size. However, he isn’t much of a run blocker and has never been able to stay healthy, missing 28 games in 5 seasons in the league with a variety of injuries. His career high in games played was in 2015, when he posted a dominant 87/952/11 line in 14 games. He was limited to 27/211/2 in 6 games last season, so he falls in this redraft, but he and Aaron Rodgers could do some huge things together in the passing game, so the Packers would be happy to have him, even with the injuries. He gives them the pass catching tight end he’s never really had. He would have been an upgrade over Jermichael Finley and Jared Cook, their best pass catching tight ends in the Aaron Rodgers era.

27. Houston Texans – OT Ryan Schraeder (Valdosta State)

The Texans originally got a steal here with DeAndre Hopkins, but he goes much earlier this time around. Schraeder was originally undrafted, but he became a starter midway through his 2nd season in the league and has developed into one of the best right tackles in football. He’s worth a first round pick in a redraft and would be a good fit with the Texans, who have had multiple different starters at right tackle in recent seasons.

28. Denver Broncos – OT Eric Fisher (Central Michigan)

The Broncos had Ryan Clady at left tackle during this draft, but injuries limited him to 18 games from 2013-2015 and the Broncos then released him after the 2015 season, so left tackle, in hindsight, was a big need for the Broncos in this draft. Eric Fisher wasn’t worth the first overall pick, but he’s developed into a capable left tackle in recent seasons, after struggling early in his career. He’s still worth a first round pick and would be a nice addition by the Broncos, who have had a variety of different left tackles over the past 5 seasons.

29. Minnesota Vikings – WR Robert Woods (USC)

Cordarrelle Patterson never developed into anything more than a good return man for the Vikings and was let go after 4 seasons with the team. This time around, the Vikings take a better wide receiver. Robert Woods never put up huge numbers in his 4 seasons in Buffalo, but that was largely because he was stuck on a run heavy offense. In 2017, in his first season with the Rams, he had a 56/781/5 line in just 12 games. He’s also one of the youngest guys from this draft, still only going into his age 26 season, so he could continue getting better.

30. St. Louis Rams – MLB Alec Ogletree (Georgia)

The Rams stick with their original pick, even though Ogletree is coming off of a down year in his first season in Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense. He’s a much better fit as a 4-3 linebacker. Despite that, the Rams locked him up long-term with a 4-year, 42.75 million dollar extension back in October, so they clearly value him highly.

31. Dallas Cowboys – S Jahleel Addae (Central Michigan)

The Cowboys don’t get Travis Frederick this time around, so they settle for upgrading their secondary, which has been a problem for them for a while. Addae, originally undrafted, was a late bloomer, which is why he’s available late in the first, but he’s been an above average starter for the Chargers in each of the past 2 seasons and has made 41 starts in the past 4 seasons. He’d be a welcome addition to the Cowboys.

32. Baltimore Ravens – S Micah Hyde (Iowa)

The Ravens completely whiffed on their first 2 picks in 2013, with Matt Elam and Arthur Brown, but they still came out of the draft with two players who have already been taken in this redraft, 3rd round pick Brandon Williams and 5th round pick Ricky Wagner. 4th round pick John Simon, 4th round pick Kyle Juszczyk, and 6th round pick Ryan Jensen have also developed into useful players. Micah Hyde was a useful player for 4 seasons with the Packers, despite being a mere 5th round pick, and then he took his game to the next level in his first season in Buffalo in 2017. He can play both cornerback and safety, but his best season was as a full-time safety. He’d be an obvious upgrade over Elam at a position of need.

2012 NFL Draft Redo

1. Indianapolis Colts – QB Andrew Luck (Stanford)

This is a no brainer. This draft class has produced several dominant players, including quarterback Russell Wilson, but the Colts wouldn’t hesitate for a second drafting Luck again. Luck hasn’t led them to the Super Bowl yet, but that’s largely as a result of GM Ryan Grigson failing to surround him with enough talent. Perhaps things will be better under new GM Chris Ballard, after Grigson was let go this off-season.

2. Washington Redskins – QB Russell Wilson (Wisconsin)

The Redskins traded 3 first round picks, including the 6th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, to move up 4 spots to 2 to select Robert Griffin, a move that looked good in the beginning, when RG3 won Offensive Rookie of the Year, but that quickly went downhill after RG3 tore his ACL in a playoff loss to the Seahawks and was never the same. Turns out, the quarterback the Redskins should have drafted would have been available at 6…and at 60. Russell Wilson, a 3rd round pick of the Seahawks, has made all 80 starts in 5 seasons in the league and has made the playoffs in all 5 seasons. While the Colts would still take Luck over him, there’s an argument to be made that Wilson is better than Luck, so he’s a no brainer choice for the Redskins at 2.

3. Cleveland Browns – MLB Luke Kuechly (Boston College)

The Browns have needed a quarterback for forever and Kirk Cousins would make some sense here because he has developed into one of the better starting quarterbacks in the league, but he didn’t really develop into that player until his 4th year in the league, after 3 years backing up RG3 in Washington. If the Browns took Cousins at 3, they’d probably rush him into action too early and mess up his career, so I’m going to give them a much safer option. Kuechly is one of the best linebackers in the league and the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year. Even the Browns couldn’t mess up his career.

4. Minnesota Vikings – S Harrison Smith (Notre Dame)

The Vikings had a pair of first round picks in the 2012 NFL Draft, trading up into the bottom of the first round on draft day. Matt Kalil was selected 4th overall, but he never lived up to a promising rookie year thanks to injuries. However, their other first round pick, safety Harrison Smith, has developed into one of the best safeties in the league. If the Vikings were doing this over again, they’d keep Smith before they kept Kalil, who signed with the Panthers as a free agent this off-season.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars – QB Kirk Cousins (Michigan State)

The Jaguars took a quarterback in the first round in 2011, Blaine Gabbert, but he never came close to developing into a starting quarterback. Cousins took a little bit to develop into the quarterback he is now, but considering the Jaguars are still searching for a competent quarterback 5 years later, even after using another first round pick on a quarterback in 2014 (Blake Bortles), they’d welcome Kirk Cousins with open arms, even if he had to sit behind Gabbert for a couple years.

6. Dallas Cowboys – DT Fletcher Cox (Mississippi State)

Originally the 12th pick in the draft by the Eagles, Fletcher Cox has developed into one of the best defensive players in the league and would undoubtedly go higher in a re-draft. Cox would have provided a massive upgrade at defensive tackle for the Cowboys both then and now and, by drafting him, the Cowboys also keep him away from division rival Philadelphia, where he has been a dominant interior defender for several seasons.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – DE Olivier Vernon (Miami)

Olivier Vernon isn’t a household name, but he’s one of the best defensive linemen in football and worth every penny of the 5-year, 85 million dollar deal the Giants gave him after the 2015 season. The 2012 Buccaneers only had one edge rusher with more than 3 sacks and that was Michael Bennett, but the Buccaneers strangely let go to the Seahawks on a cheap one-year deal the following off-season. Vernon would give them a big upgrade at a position where they’ve needed help for years and would still be their best edge rusher today.

8. Miami Dolphins – QB Ryan Tannehill (Texas A&M)

This is a tough one. Ryan Tannehill has been unspectacular in 5 seasons in Miami and there are other good players left on the board, but the quarterback position is so valuable and Tannehill has been a capable starter for the Dolphins at that position since they drafted him 8th overall. They committed to him long-term with a 4-year, 77 million dollar extension two off-seasons ago and would probably pick him again at 8 if they had to do it all over again.

9. Carolina Panthers – MLB Bobby Wagner (Utah State)

The Panthers lose out on Luke Kuechly in this re-mock, but Bobby Wagner isn’t much of a downgrade, so the Panthers grab him here. Wagner, originally a second round pick by the Seahawks in 2012, is considered by some to be the second best middle linebacker in the league behind Luke Kuechly and would ensure the Panthers’ defense not miss much of a beat, even without Kuechly.

10. Buffalo Bills – WR TY Hilton (Florida International)

Steve Johnson had thousand yard years for the Bills in 2011 and 2012, but they lacked a capable #2 receiver behind him. Johnson was eventually replaced by Sammy Watkins, the 4th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, but the Bills have lacked a capable complement to Watkins throughout Watkins’ career. TY Hilton has developed into one of the best wide receivers in the league and would give the Bills’ receiving corps an instant boost. He and Watkins would be arguably the best wide receiver duo in the NFL.

11. Kansas City Chiefs – DE Mike Daniels (Iowa)

Dontari Poe was a solid pick by the Chiefs here, but Mike Daniels would have been better. Poe has a rare combination of size, quickness, and stamina, but Daniels is a much better pass rusher and one of the best defensive linemen in the entire NFL. He also has never had any serious injuries, while Poe had to accept a one-year deal in Atlanta as a free agent this off-season because of concern about his back.

12. Philadelphia Eagles – MLB Dont’a Hightower (Alabama)

The Eagles don’t get Fletcher Cox in the re-draft, but they still get a great defensive player. The 2011 Eagles were the so called “dream team” Eagles that finished 8-8, largely because of poor linebacker play. The Eagles focused on upgrading the linebacking corps the following off-season, trading for veteran middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans and drafting outside linebacker Mychal Kendricks in the 2nd round. Hightower can play both linebacker spots and is an upgrade over Kendricks and a long-term replacement inside for Ryans, whose last full season as a starter for the Eagles was 2013.

13. Arizona Cardinals – OLB Chandler Jones (Syracuse)

The Cardinals ultimately ended up with Chandler Jones, trading a 2nd round pick to the Patriots for him before the final year of his contract last off-season and re-signing him to a 5-year, 82.5 million dollar deal this off-season. Jones had 11 sacks for the Cardinals in his first season in Arizona in 2016 and has had double digit sacks in three of the past 4 seasons. He filled a big need for the Cardinals when he arrived and would have filled that need sooner if they had taken him in 2012. The 2012 Cardinals didn’t have a single edge rusher with more than 4 sacks.

14. Los Angeles Rams – OT Cordy Glenn (Georgia)

The Rams ended up with the 2nd pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, but didn’t end up picking until 14, after trades down with the Redskins and Cowboys. The trade with the Redskins moved them down from 2 to 6 for the 39th pick in 2012 and what became the 22nd pick in 2013 and the 2nd pick in 2014. The Rams traded down again from 6 to 14 with the Cowboys for the 45th pick, which they traded down for the 50th pick and the 150th pick. In 2012, the Rams used the 14th, 39th, 50th, and 150th picks to select defensive tackle Michael Brockers, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, running back Isaiah Pead, and guard Rokevious Watkins. In 2013, the Rams traded down again from 22nd to 30th with the Falcons, picking up the 92nd pick in the process. The Rams used the 30th pick on linebacker Alec Ogletree and the 92nd pick on wide receiver Stedman Bailey and then in 2014 used the Redskins’ #2 overall pick on Greg Robinson.

Ultimately, they got 7 players for one pick and were the obvious winners of the trade, given that the Redskins used that #2 overall pick on Robert Griffin. However, the trade could have been a lot better for the Rams if they used those picks more wisely. Janoris Jenkins was a solid cornerback for the Rams, while Michael Brockers and Alec Ogletree are capable starters, but they didn’t get a franchise changing player out of it. The biggest bust was Greg Robinson, the #2 overall pick in 2014, who has struggled mightily in 3 seasons in the league. He was drafted to fix the left tackle position, which has been a problem for the Rams for years. If they had drafted a left tackle like Cordy Glenn in 2012, it would have saved them from making the mistake they did with Robinson in 2014.

15. Seattle Seahawks – G Kelechi Osemele (Iowa State)

As seems to always be the case, the Seahawks lose out big-time in this re-draft, because second and third round picks Bobby Wagner and Russell Wilson are long gone at this point. Luckily, this was a very deep draft. Bruce Irvin was a solid pick here at 15, but the Seahawks could do better. Offensive line was a problem for the Seahawks back then and it’s even worse now. Kelechi Osemele can play both tackle positions and both guard positions and has developed into one of the best left guards in the league, signing a 5-year, 58.5 million dollar deal with the Raiders last off-season, after spending the first 4 seasons of his career with the Ravens, who selected him in the 2nd round in 2012.

16. New York Jets – DE Malik Jackson (Tennessee)

The Jets would go on to select 3-4 defensive ends in the first round in 2013 and 2014 in Sheldon Richardson and Leonard Williams, but in 2012 they needed a starter opposite 2011 first round pick Muhammad Wilkerson at the 3-4 defensive end position. Wilkerson, Richardson, and Williams have all become great players and are arguably the Jets’ 3 best players, but they all play the same position so it’s tough to get all 3 on the field at the same time and they’ve all struggled out of position. In this scenario, the Jets take Jackson in 2012 to start next to Wilkerson and hopefully focus on other positions in 2013 and 2014.

17. Cincinnati Bengals – G Kevin Zeitler (Wisconsin)

The Bengals had two first round picks in 2012 because of the Carson Palmer trade and they selected cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick at 17 and guard Kevin Zeitler at 27. This off-season, both were free agents and the Bengals re-signed Dre Kirkpatrick to a 5-year, 52.5 million dollar deal, while letting Kevin Zeitler take a 5-year, 60 million dollar deal with instate “rival” Cleveland. That suggests the Bengals might see Kirkpatrick as more valuable going forward, but it’s hard to argue he was more valuable than Zeitler over the past few years, considering Kirkpatrick didn’t become a starter until his 4th year in the league. In fact, Zeitler has more than double the amount of starts Kirkpatrick has made in his career, 71 vs. 34. Kirkpatrick has been inconsistent too, while Zeitler has consistently been one of the best guards in the league throughout his career. Choosing Kirkpatrick over Zeitler this off-season didn’t make much sense to me and I highly doubt they would have done it in 17 if they had to go back and do it all again. Zeitler is arguably the best player available too.

18. San Diego Chargers – CB Casey Hayward (Vanderbilt)

The Chargers ended up with Casey Hayward anyway, signing him to a 3-year, 15.3 million dollar deal last off-season, after he was buried on the depth chart with the Packers to start his career. The 2012 2nd round pick flashed in limited action with the Packers and proved to be a steal for the Chargers in 2016, as he was one of the best cornerbacks in the league and led the league with 7 interceptions. In this re-draft, they select Hayward and don’t leave him buried on the depth chart like the Packers did.

19. Chicago Bears – WR Alshon Jeffery (South Carolina)

The Bears ended up with Alshon Jeffery in the second round in 2012, but they need to use a first rounder to keep him in this re-draft. That’s not much of an issue for them, as they originally drafted Shea McClellin here with the 19th pick and he proved to be a massive bust. Jeffery wasn’t perfect in 5 years with the Bears, but, at his best, he was one of the best receivers in the league. He signed with the Eagles in free agency this off-season and he will be missed.

20. Tennessee Titans – DE Whitney Mercilus (Illinois)

In 2012, the Titans were aiming to select Shea McClellin at 20, to fill their need for an edge rusher opposite Derrick Morgan, but the Bears selected him one pick earlier and the Titans had to settle for Kendall Wright. That ended up being a good thing, as Wright was, by default, the better player in the NFL, but the Titans can do better in a re-draft. In this scenario, they take Whitney Mercilus, who has developed into one of the better edge rushers in the league for division rival Houston.

21. New England Patriots – DE Melvin Ingram (South Carolina)

The Patriots miss out on Chandler Jones in this re-draft, but they do get the opportunity to select Melvin Ingram instead. Ingram’s career got off to a rough start because of injuries, which is why he goes 8 spots lower than Jones in this re-draft, but he’s developed into one of the best edge rushers in the league over the past 2 seasons and is arguably a better player than Jones is right now because he’s a better run stopper and can drop into coverage.

22. Cleveland Browns – OT Mitchell Schwartz (California)

The Browns picked at 4 and 22 in 2012 and ended up with Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden. The one saving grace of the Browns’ 2012 draft was 2nd round pick Mitchell Schwartz, who has become one of the best right tackles in the league. They have to take him a round earlier in this re-draft, but it’s worth it. Unfortunately, the Browns decided to let him take a reasonable 5-year, 33 million dollar deal with the Chiefs last off-season and have yet to find a good replacement.

23. Detroit Lions – CB Janoris Jenkins (North Alabama)

Cornerback was a big problem for the Lions in 2012. They ultimately upgraded the position by selecting Darius Slay in the 2nd round in 2013 and developing him into one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. However, Slay and Jenkins would have made a strong cornerback duo on a team that still to this day hasn’t found a good #2 cornerback.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers – G David DeCastro (Stanford)

The Steelers stick with their original pick here at 24. DeCastro hasn’t been quite as good for the Steelers as Zeitler was for the Bengals and his career got off to a rough start thanks to a knee injury, but he’s still one of the better guards in the league. He’s made 63 starts over the past 4 seasons and was re-signed to a 5-year, 50 million dollar extension last off-season. The Steelers are clearly happy with this selection.

25. New England Patriots – MLB Brandon Marshall (Nevada)

The Patriots originally drafted defensive end Chandler Jones and linebacker Dont’a Hightower in the first round in 2012. In this re-draft, they can’t get either player, but it’s a deep enough draft that they can find good replacements for both. A fifth round pick in 2012, Marshall didn’t play much in his first 2 seasons in the league, but has become one of the best linebackers in the league since and has made 39 starts over the past 3 seasons. The Broncos kept him on a 4-year, 32 million dollar extension last off-season. Losing Hightower definitely isn’t great for the Patriots, but keeping Marshall away from a hated rival almost makes it worth it.

26. Houston Texans – G Brandon Brooks (Miami-OH)

The Texans originally got Brooks in the 3rd round in 2012, but have to use their first round pick to keep him in this re-draft. Brooks became a starter for the Texans in 2013 and instantly became one of the best guards in the league. He made 44 starts for the Texans in 3 seasons before signing a 5-year, 40 million dollar deal with the Eagles in free agency, with whom he has continued to play at a high level.

27. Cincinnati Bengals – OLB Vontaze Burfict (Arizona State)

Dre Kirkpatrick is definitely an option for the Bengals here at 27, but I’d argue Vontaze Burfict has been more valuable to their defense in 5 seasons with the Bengals than Kirkpatrick. Like Zeitler, he has made significantly more starts (56 vs. 34) than Kirkpatrick and he’s been the better player too. A former undrafted free agent, Burfict was re-signed to a 4-year, 20 million dollar extension after just 2 seasons in the league, which has proven to be a steal thus far for the Bengals. He’s set to hit free agency next off-season, so we’ll see how much of a pay increase the notoriously stingy Bengals are willing to give him.

28. Green Bay Packers – DE Derek Wolfe (Cincinnati)

The Packers drafted Nick Perry here at 28 in 2012, but the real prize from their 2012 draft class was Mike Daniels, a 4th round pick who has developed into one of the best 3-4 defensive ends in football. Daniels went 11 to Kansas City in this re-draft, so the Packers take his replacement here at 28. Wolfe took a few years to develop, but he too has become one of the best 3-4 defensive ends in the league and could fill Daniels’ hole well. Part of the reason Wolfe took so long to develop could have been that he was playing out of position as a 4-3 end early in his career. The 2012 2nd round pick is much better in a 3-4.

29. Minnesota Vikings – CB Josh Norman (Coastal Carolina)

It was a big debate between Matt Kalil and Morris Claiborne for the Vikings in 2012, but they ultimately selected left tackle Matt Kalil at 4 and then safety Harrison Smith at 29 and then addressed cornerback in the first round in 2013 (Xavier Rhodes) and 2015 (Trae Waynes). In this re-draft, they take Smith at 4 and then take a cornerback at 29. Josh Norman, a 5th round pick originally, took a few years to develop, but has become one of the best cornerbacks in the league. Even before his 2015 breakout season, he was still a solid cornerback. He’s made 54 starts in 5 seasons in the league, including 42 in the past 3 seasons.

30. San Francisco 49ers – DT Damon Harrison (Hampton)

Harrison didn’t even get drafted originally because of his weight and the fact that he played at Hampton, but he’s become arguably the best pure nose tackle in the league. “Snacks” has gotten his weight under control after weighing over 400 pounds at one point. The 360-pounder is still a monster in the middle of the defense, while having the stamina to still play about 60-70% of the snaps and the quickness to play in a 4-3 defense, which he did last season with the Giants. The ex-Jet signed with the Giants on a 5-year, 46.2 million dollar deal last off-season. He would have filled a big need for the 49ers at nose tackle.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – OLB Lavonte David (Nebraska)

Here’s another team keeping a player they drafted in a later round. Lavonte David was the Buccaneers’ 2nd round pick in 2012 and has developed into one of the better 4-3 outside linebackers in the league and a much more valuable player than Tampa Bay’s first round pick, running back Doug Martin.

32. New York Giants – RB Lamar Miller (Miami)

The Giants drafted David Wilson in the first round in 2012, but his career was unfortunately cut short by a neck injury. The Giants were right to address the running back position though, as they’ve struggled to run the ball in recent years. Lamar Miller could give them the feature back they were expecting Wilson to develop into and an upgrade on any running back they’ve had in the past few seasons.

2011 NFL Draft Redo

1. Carolina Panthers – QB Cam Newton (Auburn)

The 2011 NFL Draft was one of the most talented in recent memory, but I don’t think there’s any question that the Panthers would make the same choice again if they had to do it all over again. Cam Newton won the 2015 NFL MVP and led the Panthers to the Super Bowl and has been one of the better quarterbacks in the league over the past few seasons. The Panthers need more help around him, but he’s definitely someone that can lead them to where they want to go and that’s all you can ask for out of the #1 pick.

2. Denver Broncos – OLB Von Miller (Texas A&M)

This is how quickly things change in the NFL: The Panthers and Broncos went from picking #1 and #2 in the 2011 NFL Draft to facing off against each other in Super Bowl 50 during the 2015 season. The Broncos’ turnaround was initially led by Peyton Manning, who the Broncos signed a year after drafting Von Miller #2 overall, but Manning struggled mightily throughout the 2015 season and the Broncos still were able to win the whole thing, beating Carolina in Super Bowl 50, thanks to their defense. Von Miller was the leader of that defense and was given Super Bowl 50 MVP. One of the best defensive players in the entire league, Miller was one vote shy of winning Defensive Player of the Year this past season.

3. Buffalo Bills – DE JJ Watt (Wisconsin)

This is how talented the 2011 NFL Draft was: JJ Watt is a 3-time Defensive Player of the Year and goes 3rd overall. Watt would have made sense for either the Panthers or the Broncos in this re-draft, but both teams are so satisfied with their original picks that I don’t think they’d change anything. Instead, Watt falls to the Bills at 3, who waste no time turning in their selection. Marcell Dareus, their original pick, has been a great player for them, but Watt is on another level. Despite missing most of the 2016 season with a back injury, Watt is still on a Hall of Fame track.

4. Cincinnati Bengals – WR AJ Green (Georgia)

The Bengals have plenty of good options here, including wide receiver Julio Jones, who I think is a little bit better than AJ Green. However, like the Panthers and Broncos, the Bengals are so satisfied with Green that I don’t think they’d change anything for continuity reasons. Green is one of the best wide receivers in the game.

5. Arizona Cardinals – CB Patrick Peterson (LSU)

Another team sticks with their original pick, as the Cardinals select Patrick Peterson again. You could make an argument that Richard Sherman is a better cornerback than him, but that argument would likely fall on deaf ears in the Cardinals’ front office, given how valuable Peterson has been for them in his career.

6. Atlanta Falcons – WR Julio Jones (Alabama)

I promise this will get more interesting, but I have a hard time seeing the Falcons pass on Julio Jones if they had to do it all over again. The Browns, who traded out of this pick for the picks to draft Phil Taylor, Brandon Weeden, Greg Little, and Owen Marecic, would probably like a do over, but that’s not how these re-drafts work.

7. San Francisco 49ers – OLB Justin Houston (Georgia)

Here is where teams start regretting their picks a little bit. Aldon Smith was one of the best young defensive players in the league to start his career, with 33.5 sacks in 2 seasons, but legal issues and substance abuse issues limited him to 10.5 sacks in 18 games in 2014 and 2015 combined. The 49ers cut ties with him the following off-season and he remains suspended indefinitely as a member of the Oakland Raiders as of this writing. Justin Houston’s career is the kind of career Smith could have had if he stayed out of trouble. Houston is one of the best edge rushers in the league, with 50.5 sacks from 2012-2015, before missing most of the 2016 season with a torn ACL.

8. Tennessee Titans – QB Andy Dalton (TCU)

Here is where teams REALLY start regretting their picks. In one of the most talented top-11s in an NFL draft ever (Cam Newton, Von Miller, Marcell Dareus, AJ Green, Patrick Peterson, Julio Jones, Tyron Smith, JJ Watt), the Titans reached on a quarterback and ended up with a dud, Jake Locker, who lasted 4 seasons in the NFL and went 9-14 in 23 starts with the Titans. There are more talented players available, but the quarterback position reigns supreme and Dalton would have given the Titans an instant stabilizer at quarterback. He’s gone 56-35-2 in 93 starts with the Bengals, who drafted him in the 2nd round originally.

9. Dallas Cowboys – OT Tyron Smith (USC)

I mentioned Tyron Smith under the last write up. Considering he’s developed into one of the best left tackles in the entire league, I’d say the Cowboys are pretty happy with him. They locked him up on a 8-year, 97.6 million dollar extension in 2014, after just three years in the league, and he’s been worth every penny so far.

10. Jacksonville Jaguars – CB Richard Sherman (Stanford)

Like the Titans, the Jaguars reached on a quarterback and wound up missing out on some incredible players. Blaine Gabbert, the Jaguars’ original pick here, went just 5-22 in 3 seasons with the Jaguars before being sent to the 49ers for a 6th round pick. The Jaguars miss out on Andy Dalton, but they still have plenty of good options to choose from to build around the quarterback position. Richard Sherman is arguably the best available player. The 2011 5th round pick is one of the biggest steals in recent memory. A converted wide receiver who played cornerback for just one season at Stanford, Sherman has developed into one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. He’s arguably better than Patrick Peterson, the 5th pick in this draft.

11. Houston Texans – CB Chris Harris (Kansas)

Here is another cornerback that’s arguably better than Peterson as well. Harris, Peterson, and Sherman, three of the best cornerbacks in the league, being in the same draft just highlights the depth of this draft. The Texans miss out on JJ Watt, but they get a dominant cornerback to help soften the blow. Originally undrafted, Harris developed from a slot cornerback to a dominant #1 cornerback in just a few short years in Denver.

12. Minnesota Vikings – DT Jurrell Casey (USC)

The Vikings needed an upgrade at defensive tackle next to Kevin Williams, an aging veteran who left the Vikings after the 2013 season. They actually drafted Sharrif Floyd in the first round in 2013, but this fills the need a year earlier and with a better player. Jurrell Casey isn’t the biggest name, but the former 4th round pick has developed into one of the best defensive linemen in the league in relatively obscurity in Tennessee.

13. Detroit Lions – DT Marcell Dareus (Alabama)

The Lions originally drafted a defensive tackle here, taking Nick Fairley, but his career in Detroit was a mixed bag and he was often criticized for his effort, leading to the Lions letting him go after just 4 seasons with the team. Marcell Dareus is an upgrade for a team that needed one next to Ndamukong Suh, the team’s first round pick in 2010. Dareus and Suh would have been arguably the best defensive tackle duo in the NFL, which is likely what they had in mind when they drafted Fairley.

14. St. Louis Rams – DE Robert Quinn (North Carolina)

Here is another team satisfied with their original pick. Quinn hasn’t been quite the same player in the past 2 seasons thanks to injury, but he had 40 sacks in 3 year stretch from 2012-2014 and is still just 27 so he should still be in the prime of his career if he can get healthy. The Rams locked him up on a 4-year, 66.575 million dollar extension after 3 seasons in the league and he is under contract through 2019.

15. Miami Dolphins – DE Cameron Jordan (California)

The Dolphins selected center Mike Pouncey here originally. He hasn’t been a bad player for them, but hip injuries have limited him in recent years. Cameron Jordan fills a much more important need for them, as they needed another pass rusher outside of Cameron Wake. Jason Taylor was their 2nd leading sacker in 2011, in his age 37 season, his final in the league. In 2012, no one had more than 4.5 sacks outside of Wake. Jordan can rush the passer from the inside and the outside and has 45.5 sacks in the past 5 seasons for the Saints.

16. Washington Redskins – OLB Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue)

The Redskins originally drafted Ryan Kerrigan here in 2011 and he hasn’t disappointed, totalling 58.5 sacks in 6 seasons. He’s had at least 7.5 sacks in all 6 seasons in the league and hasn’t missed a game. The Redskins wisely locked him up on a 5-year, 57.5 million dollar extension two off-seasons ago.

17. New England Patriots – OT Nate Solder (Colorado)

Yet another satisfied drafter. Nate Solder has replaced long-time Brady blindside protector Matt Light well. Solder spent his rookie year on the right side before taking over for Light and has made 79 starts in 6 seasons in the league, consistently playing at a high level. He’s graded out above average on Pro Football Focus 5 times in 6 seasons.

18. San Diego Chargers – DE Cameron Heyward (Ohio State)

The Chargers originally drafted Corey Liuget here, a solid player who wasn’t a bad pick. However, this draft is deep enough for them to get an upgrade here. Cameron Heyward has developed into an above average starting 5-technique defensive end for the Steelers and would be the Chargers’ best interior defensive lineman even today.

19. New York Giants – RB DeMarco Murray (Oklahoma)

The Giants averaged just 3.47 YPC in 2011 and ended up using a first round pick on running back David Wilson in 2012. Wilson never ended up becoming the feature back they drafted him to be because of a neck injury. DeMarco Murray could be that guy. Not only does picking him here save them from making a mistake with Wilson in the following draft, it keeps him away from division rival Dallas, who got him in the 3rd round. Murray has had some injury issues, but has rushed for 6515 yards and 43 touchdowns on 1420 career carries (4.59 YPC) in 6 seasons in the league.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – WR Doug Baldwin (Stanford)

The Buccaneers leading receivers in 2011 were Mike Williams (771), Kellen Winslow (763), Preston Parker (554), and Arrelious Benn (441). Despite going undrafted and signing with a run first team quarterbacked by Tarvaris Jackson, Doug Baldwin had more receiving yards (788) than any of them. Baldwin has 368 catches for 4954 yards and 34 touchdowns in 6 seasons for the Seahawks, despite playing for one of the run heaviest teams in the league. He’s been especially good in the past 2 seasons, going for 78/1069/14 and 94/1128/7, while being one of the most efficient receivers in the league on a per route and a per target basis.

21. Cleveland Browns – QB Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech)

Tyrod Taylor didn’t make a start until his 5th year in the league, after the 6th round pick spent the first 4 years of his career on the bench behind Joe Flacco with the Ravens. However, the Browns have been so desperate for quarterbacks in recent years that they can afford to wait on him to take a couple years to develop. Taylor has been a surprisingly competent quarterback over the past 2 seasons with the Bills.

22. Indianapolis Colts – OT Anthony Castonzo (Boston College)

Like the Patriots, the Colts took a left tackle in the first round and are pretty satisfied with him. Solder has definitely outplayed Castonzo at times, but Castonzo is a more consistent player with 89 starts (all at left tackle) in 6 seasons in the league. The Colts gave him a 4-year, 42 million dollar extension 2 off-seasons ago and would definitely make this selection again if they had to do it all over again.

23. Philadelphia Eagles – OLB KJ Wright (Mississippi State)

The 2011 Eagles were the so called “dream team” Eagles and they were done in primarily by poor linebacker play. Jamar Chaney and Brian Rolle led the team in tackles from the linebacker spot, which shows you how bad things were. KJ Wright was just a 4th round pick of the Seahawks in the 2011 NFL Draft originally, but he has grown into one of the best and most consistent three down 4-3 outside linebackers in the NFL.

24. New Orleans Saints – DE Pernell McPhee (Mississippi State)

The Saints can’t draft Cameron Jordan, their original pick, because he’s gone at this point, so they draft Pernell McPhee instead. Like Jordan, McPhee can line up inside and outside and has experience in both a 3-4 and a 4-3 defense. McPhee has never put up big sack numbers, but that’s mostly because he was buried on the depth chart in Baltimore and has dealt with limiting injuries in Chicago, since signing a 5-year, 38.75 million dollar deal two off-seasons ago. Throughout his career, he’s been one of the most efficient pass rushers in the NFL on a pressures per pass rush snap basis.

25. Seattle Seahawks – WR Randall Cobb (Kentucky)

The Seahawks leading receiver in 2011 was undrafted rookie Doug Baldwin, who has already been drafted at this point. The Seahawks take Randall Cobb here as a replacement for Doug Baldwin. Cobb has had some big years in Green Bay, though he has had issues with injuries, especially in recent years.

26. Kansas City Chiefs – C Rodney Hudson (Florida State)

The Chiefs originally drafted Rodney Hudson in the second round, but they have to use their first round pick to keep him in this re-draft. Considering they originally whiffed with Jonathan Baldwin here, the Chiefs probably won’t mind. A collegiate guard, Hudson became one of the best centers in the league with the Chiefs and has continued that high level of play with the Raiders over the past 2 seasons. Hudson’s 5-year, 44.5 million dollar deal was the most expensive in NFL history for a center at the time it was signed, but he has been worth it. The Chiefs probably regret not bringing him back.

27. Baltimore Ravens – CB Jimmy Smith (Colorado)

One final team sticks with their original pick. Jimmy Smith took a couple years to develop and also has dealt with some injuries, but, at his best, he’s a legitimate #1 cornerback. The Ravens gave him a 4-year, 41.1 million dollar extension two off-seasons ago and would probably like to keep him in a re-draft.

28. New Orleans Saints – DT Muhammad Wilkerson (Temple)

The future Saints will thank the 2011 Saints for using both first round picks on defensive players in this re-draft, given how bad their defense has been in recent years. Even though they were unable to keep Cameron Jordan in this re-mock, Pernell McPhee and Muhammad Wilkerson are a nice haul. Wilkerson probably would have gone 10-15 spots higher a year ago, as he struggled mightily in the first year of a 5-year, 86 million dollar deal last off-season. Part of that was that he was coming off of a broken leg and part of that was that he was playing out of position frequently, but there were also effort concerns with him, very concerning considering the Jets just guaranteed him 36.75 million. For the first 5 seasons of his career though, he was one of the better interior defensive linemen in the league.

29. Chicago Bears – G Clint Boling (Georgia)

The 2011 Bears needed help at pretty much every offensive line position and originally grabbed Gabe Carimi here, to upgrade one of the two tackle positions. However, Carimi was a massive bust who lasted just 2 seasons with Bears. Boling, on the other hand, was a 4th round pick who has become one of the better guards in the league. He didn’t play much as a rookie, but has made 74 starts in the past 5 seasons for the Bengals and has graded out above average on Pro Football Focus in all 5 seasons. Jay Cutler would have loved to have had him.

30. New York Jets – OLB Aldon Smith (Missouri)

The Jets have had such a need at the edge rusher position for years and, given where they’re drafting, I think they would be willing to draft Aldon Smith even knowing how much trouble he was going to get into. Smith burst into the league with 33.5 sacks in his first 2 seasons in the league, but has just 14 sacks in 27 games since thanks to suspensions and remains suspended indefinitely by the league, after missing all of last season. The Raiders still own his rights though and the fact that they haven’t given up on him, despite his issues, just shows how good he is when he’s right.

31. Pittsburgh Steelers – CB Prince Amukamara (Nebraska)

The Steelers were pretty much old at every position in the secondary in 2011 and Prince Amukamara is arguably the best available player left on the board. He would have been a future replacement for Ike Taylor in Pittsburgh. He’s been a solid cover cornerback whenever he’s been healthy, though he has missed 27 games in 6 seasons in the league thanks to injury.

32. Green Bay Packers – RB Mark Ingram (Alabama)

The 2010 Packers won the Super Bowl with James Starks as their starting running back down the stretch and the 2011 Packers averaged just 3.94 yards per carry with James Starks and Ryan Grant splitting carries. Given the players left on the board, Mark Ingram might be their best choice at this point. Ingram has rushed for 4238 yards and 32 touchdowns on 953 carries (4.45 YPC) in 6 seasons with the Saints and would have stabilized the running back position for the Packers.

2010 NFL Draft Redo

1. St. Louis Rams- DT Gerald McCoy (Oklahoma)

The argument before the 2010 NFL Draft was Sam Bradford or Ndamukong Suh. While Suh has clearly been the right answer of those two, Suh actually hasn’t even been the best defensive tackle in this draft class. Both Suh and McCoy have been top-4 defensive tackles on Pro Football Focus in each of the last 3 seasons, but McCoy has actually ranked higher in all 3 seasons, ranking 2nd, 1st, and 3rd, while Suh has ranked 4th, 2nd, and 4th.

McCoy had injury problems early in his career, missing 13 games over those 2 seasons, but he still was impressive when healthy and Suh took a couple of years to become the player he is today, ranking outside the top-30 on Pro Football Focus in each of his first 2 seasons in the league. Over the past 3 seasons, McCoy has missed just 3 games. The Rams would take either of those two players, but McCoy is the slightly better player in my opinion. The Rams have had issues at defensive tackle for a while, spending a lot of money on Kendall Langford in free agency and drafting both Michael Brockers and Aaron Donald in the first round over the past few seasons. The Rams seem to have struck gold with Donald, but imagine him and McCoy on the same line.

2. Detroit Lions- DT Ndamukong Suh (Nebraska)

While McCoy might be a little bit better than Suh, the Lions don’t have any real complaints about Suh (other that he’s gone now). He’s one of the best defensive tackles in the league, joining McCoy as one of two defensive tackles to grade out in the top-4 on Pro Football Focus in each of the last 3 seasons. It took him a couple years to get to that point. Despite big sack numbers, he wasn’t anywhere near the complete player he is today early in his career, struggling mightily against the run and not getting nearly the amount of hits and hurries per season he’s had recently. I don’t hold that too much against him though, considering the player he’s become.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- WR Antonio Brown (Central Michigan)

Calvin Johnson had some injury issues this year, so Antonio Brown took over the mantle of top wide receiver in football and he might actually be better than Johnson if Johnson was healthy. Over the past 2 seasons, Brown has ranked 2nd and 1st in receiving yards, 3rd and 1st on Pro Football Focus among wide receivers, and 7th and 8th in yards per route run. The Buccaneers had a significant wide receiver need going into the 2009 NFL Draft as the only wide receiver they had with more than 366 yards in 2009 was Antonio Bryant, who never played another snap in the NFL. They used 2nd and 4th round picks on 2010 on Arrelious Benn and Mike Williams, but neither of them had any sort of staying power with the team, forcing the team to give Vincent Jackson a big contract and use a high pick on Mike Evans to finally fix their issue at the position. This fixes the problem a lot faster.

4. Washington Redskins- OT Trent Williams (Oklahoma)

The Redskins drafted Trent Williams 4th overall in 2010 to solidify the blindside position on the offensive line and, after a rough rookie year, he’s done that, grading out above average on Pro Football Focus in 4 straight seasons, including 3 straight seasons in the top-18 and a #1 overall finish at the position in 2013. This is a strong draft class so the Redskins certainly have other options, but I generally default to original pick as a tie breaker.

5. Kansas City Chiefs- WR Demaryius Thomas (Georgia Tech)

The Chiefs didn’t get a single touchdown from their wide receivers in 2014. You can blame that partially on bad luck and partially on Alex Smith’s hesitance to throw to wide receivers down the field outside the numbers, but there’s no way that would be the case if the Chiefs had drafted Demaryius Thomas 5th overall in 2010. Demaryius Thomas has put up absurd numbers over the past 3 seasons, playing all 48 games, catching 297 passes for 4483 yards and 35 touchdowns. Playing with Peyton Manning at quarterback and being a target monster has definitely helped him, but he’s graded out 2nd, 5th, and 5th among wide receivers on Pro Football Focus in his own right in 2012, 2013, and 2014 respectively. No other wide receiver has graded out in the top-5 in all 3 of those seasons. Along with Calvin Johnson and draft-mate Antonio Brown, you can make a case for him as the best wide receiver in football.

6. Seattle Seahawks- S Earl Thomas (Texas)

The Seahawks struck gold with Earl Thomas with the 14th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, but they have to draft him earlier in this re-draft to keep him. That’s fine with the Seahawks, who originally drafted Russell Okung at this spot and he’s struggled through injuries thus far in his 5 year NFL career. Earl Thomas and Devin McCourty are the two best pure free safeties in the NFL and both went in this draft. It’s arguable which one is better, but if you asked the Seahawks, you can bet they’d say Thomas.

7. Cleveland Browns- CB Joe Haden (Florida)

This is another case of a team keeping the player they originally drafted. Haden was one of two cornerbacks to grade out in the top-20 at their position on Pro Football Focus in every season from 2010-2013, which got him a 5-year, 68 million dollar extension last off-season. He graded out 5th in 2010, 10th in 2011, 20th in 2012, and 17th in 2013. By those standards, he had the worst season of his career in 2014, when he graded out 28th, but he’s still one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL. There might be better players available at this point, but Haden is in the conversation as one of the best available and he’s re-drafted by the Browns for continuity’s sake.

8. Oakland Raiders- TE Rob Gronkowski (Arizona)

Rob Gronkowski has had issues with injuries throughout his career, but he’s come out fine on the other side of all those injuries and, when healthy, he’s arguably the most valuable offensive skill position player in the NFL who isn’t a quarterback. Gronk has caught 294 passes for 4231 yards and 49 touchdowns in his last 57 games and he averages 2.41 yards per route run in his 5 year career. For comparison, Jimmy Graham averages just 2.08 yards per route run over that same time period and Gronkowski is a significantly better blocker.

It helps to play with Tom Brady, but for Tom Brady, it also really, really helps to play with Gronk. In games where Gronk plays over the past 4 years (since Gronk’s 2011 breakout year), Tom Brady completes 65.1% of his passes for an average of 7.80 YPA, 114 touchdowns, and 33 interceptions, including playoffs. When he doesn’t over the past 4 years, Brady completes 58.1% of his passes for an average of 6.84 YPA, 30 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. That’s a significant drop off in production and there’s enough sample size on both sides to confidently attribute a lot of the difference in Brady’s production to the big tight end.

9. Buffalo Bills- TE Jimmy Graham (Miami)

Any debate between Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham should have been put to bed when the Saints traded Graham to Seattle earlier this month. The Patriots would never trade Rob Gronkowski in the prime of his career. He’s too valuable to them. Gronkowski is a better pass catcher, a significantly better blocker, while Graham only having the edge in durability over Gronkowski. Still, he’s a valuable pass catching threat that would really help the Bills, who needed an upgrade at tight end up until they overpaid Charles Clay this off-season. Graham is a significantly better player.

10. Jacksonville Jaguars- S Devin McCourty (Rutgers)

I mentioned that it’s arguable between Earl Thomas and Devin McCourty who is the better free safety. Thomas goes early in this re-draft because the Seahawks wanted to keep their guy, but I actually think McCourty is the better overall player. He entered the NFL as a cornerback, moved to safety in the middle of the 2012 season and has pretty much been dominant wherever he’s been. He’s graded out above average in all 5 seasons he’s been in the league since the Patriots drafted him in the 1st round in 2010 and, with the exception of 2011, he’s been an elite player in every season.

In 2010, he was Pro Football Focus’ 7th ranked cornerback. In 2012, his composite grade across cornerback and safety would have been 5th among cornerbacks and 4th among safeties. And in the last two seasons, he’s been Pro Football Focus’ 1st and 8th ranked safety respectively. The Jaguars tried to sign him away from the Patriots in the legal tampering period this off-season and you can bet they would have loved to have drafted him instead of Tyson Alualu here in this spot 5 years ago.

11. San Francisco 49ers- WR Dez Bryant (Oklahoma State)

The 49ers drafted Michael Crabtree 10th overall in 2009 and he led their team in receiving yards by a wide receiver in every season from 2009-2012. However, he only went over 1000 yards once in 6 seasons in San Francisco and the 49ers definitely could have used another talented wide receiver to go with him. Bryant only falls to 11 because of how loaded this draft is at the top. Dez Bryant has always been productive, with 381 career catches for 5424 yards and 56 touchdowns in 75 career games in 5 seasons, since being drafted in the first round in 2010.

He’s been especially good over the past 3 seasons, as he’s had 3 straight seasons of at least 80 catches for 1200 yards and 12 touchdowns. He hasn’t missed a game in those 3 seasons and has caught 273 passes for 3935 yards and 41 touchdowns in that time period. Last season, he was Pro Football Focus’ 2nd ranked wide receiver and he was franchise tagged by the Cowboys as a result. You can bet the 49ers would love to have a player like this.

12. San Diego Chargers- MLB NaVorro Bowman (Penn State)

It might be easy to forget because he just missed the entire season with a torn ACL, but Bowman is one of the best linebackers in the NFL when healthy, grading out 1st, 6th, and 1st among middle linebackers on Pro Football Focus in 2011, 2012, and 2013 respectively. The injury certainly hurts his long-term projection, but he’s only going into his age 27 season and he has a solid chance of continuing his dominant level of play into the future. He would have gone higher here if not for the injury and could be a value pick at 12 for a San Diego team that used a 3rd round pick on Donald Butler in the original 2010 draft.

13. Philadelphia Eagles- DE Jason Pierre-Paul (Central Florida)

The Eagles drafted Brandon Graham here originally. It wasn’t that Graham was a bad player, but the Eagles never really utilized him properly in terms of giving him enough playing time. In this redo, they land a dominant edge rusher who they would have had no problem getting on to the field. Aside from an injury plagued 2013 season, JPP has been one of the best 4-3 defensive ends in the league over the past 4 seasons, grading out 6th in 2011, 3rd in 2012, and 7th in 2014, earning him the franchise tag this off-season. Brandon Graham, meanwhile, had to settle for a 4-year, 26 million dollar deal back in Philadelphia.

14. Seattle Seahawks- S Kam Chancellor (Virginia Tech)

There might be better players available, but I think the Seahawks would like to keep their defense together at all costs in this re-draft and they do that here by taking Kam Chancellor, originally a 5th round pick, to stay paired with Earl Thomas, who they had to draft 6th to keep, rather than being able to take him here. The cost is left tackle Russell Okung, but he’s missed 21 games with injury in 5 seasons and, while he was Pro Football Focus’ 8th ranked offensive tackle in 2012, that’s the only season of his career where he’s graded out above average. Chancellor, meanwhile, has made 62 of 64 possible starts in the past 4 seasons, while grading out 5th, 20th, 12th, and 20th among safeties.

15. New York Giants- DT Geno Atkins (Georgia)

Here’s another guy that would have been much higher if not for injury. Atkins looked like one of the best defensive players in football following the 2012 season, grading out 7th among defensive tackles as a rookie in 2010, despite playing just 356 snaps as a reserve, and then finishing #1 in both 2011 and 2012 as he became a starter. Atkins, who agreed to a 5-year, 55 million dollar extension before the 2013 season, looked on his way to a similar year in 2013, grading out as Pro Football Focus’ 4th ranked defensive tackle through 8 games before tearing his ACL in the 9th game of the season. He finished 10th on the season on 458 snaps.

In 2014, he didn’t seem like the same player, grading out just 20th at his position, but that’s still solid and he’s only going into his age 27 season so he could still become the dominant interior defensive linemen he once was again. He could prove to be a value pick for the Giants at 15 and help them make up for the loss of Jason Pierre-Paul.

16. Tennessee Titans- DE Greg Hardy (Mississippi)

Unlike guys like Bowman, Gronkowski, and Atkins, Hardy’s career was derailed by off-the-field issues, rather than injuries. Hardy broke out as one of the top 4-3 defensive ends in the game in 2012 and 2013, grading out 6th and 2nd respectively at his position in those two seasons, earning him the franchise tag for the 2014 season. However, Hardy was arrested for and convicted of domestic violence that off-season and, while the NFL could not suspend him as he was appealing the verdict, Hardy lasted just one game into 2014 before public pressure forced the Panthers to suspend him with pay for the rest of the season. The Panthers essentially paid him 13.1 million for 1 game in 2014.

Hardy got the charges dropped on a technicality and is expected to return to the field in 2015, though he could face a short suspension first, after signing a heavily incentive laden deal with the Dallas Cowboys. The Titans take him here as a higher upside defensive end, rather than the safer Derrick Morgan. Hardy, only 27, is one of the best defensive players in football when healthy and has minimal injury history.

17. San Francisco 49ers- G Mike Iupati (Idaho)

Here’s another team that sticks with their original pick. Iupati has graded out in the top-14 at his position on Pro Football Focus in 4 of the 5 seasons he’s been in the league, with the exception coming in an injury plagued 2013, when he still graded out above average. Despite that injury plagued 2013 season, he’s missed just 4 games in 5 seasons, all coming in 2013. The Cardinals rewarded him with a 5-year, 40 million dollar deal this off-season, poaching him from division rival San Francisco.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers- OLB Junior Galette (Stillman)

Maurkice Pouncey, who the Steelers originally drafted in the spot, is overrated, so let’s give the Steelers a different player. I was originally going to give them Jason Worilds here, their original 2nd round pick and a player who turned into a valuable starter for the Steelers in 2013 and 2014, but his decision to make an early retirement after 5 seasons in the league puts a damper on his long-term value, so let’s give the Steelers the next best edge rusher available.

That’s Junior Galette, who originally went undrafted, but has turned into one of the better edge rushers in the game over the past 2 seasons, grading out 12th among 3-4 outside linebackers in 2013 and 4th among 4-3 defensive ends in 2014. He’s not a late bloomer either as he graded out above average as a pass rusher in reserve roles in both 2011 and 2012. Like Worilds, Galette would provide valuable depth behind an aging James Harrison and an injury prone LaMarr Woodley early in his career and start for them in 2013, 2014, and beyond.

19. Atlanta Falcons- DE Carlos Dunlap (Florida)

The Falcons have been searching for pass rush help for years, really since missing on Jamaal Anderson 8th overall in 2007, and have especially needed it over the past 2 seasons with John Abraham gone, as they’ve combined for just 54 sacks, fewest in the NFL over that time period. Dunlap would add to their pass rush and he’s also a great player against the run. A very consistent player, Dunlap has graded out 21st, 4th, 8th, 9th, and 15th among 4-3 defensive ends in 5 seasons in the league.

20. Houston Texans- CB Alterraun Verner (UCLA)

The Texans drafted Kareem Jackson originally here and they do like him, as evidenced by the 4-year, 34 million dollar deal they gave him to keep him long-term this off-season, after he graded out 11th among on Pro Football Focus cornerbacks in 2014. However, he’s not as consistent as Verner, who has graded out 21st, 11th, 25th, 13th, and 7th in 2010 through 2014 respectively. Much of that is because he’s arguably the best run stopping cornerback in football, but he holds up in coverage as well and his run play is still valuable. Jackson, meanwhile, has graded above average in just 2 of 5 seasons and still commanded a more expensive deal in free agency, as Verner signed a 4-year, 26 million dollar deal with the Buccaneers last off-season.

21. Cincinnati Bengals- DT Jared Odrick (Penn State)

The Bengals, who are seemingly always drafted 21st, originally used this pick on Jermaine Gresham, who never lived up to the expectations and, as of this writing, is still unsigned as a free agent in his first trip to the open market. The Bengals miss out on Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins, who they drafted in the 2nd and 4th rounds respectively, but they still add to their defensive line here.

Odrick’s career started off on the wrong foot as he was limited to 22 snaps as a rookie in 2010 by injury, struggled in his first year as a starter in 2011 as a 3-4 defensive end, and then struggled even more in 2012 as a 4-3 defensive end, grading out 59th out of 62 eligible at his position that year. However, the Dolphins moved him back to his natural position of 4-3 defensive tackle in 2013 and the results have been great. He was 16th at his position in 2013 and then 19th in 2014, earning him a 5-year, 42.5 million dollar deal from the Jaguars this off-season. With full hindsight, the Bengals draft him here and leave him at his natural position of 4-3 defensive tackle.

22. Denver Broncos- S TJ Ward (Oregon)

The Broncos had a big need at safety going into 2010 as Renaldo Hill and Brian Dawkins were their starters and they were going into their age 32 and age 37 seasons respectively. The Broncos used a 2nd round pick on Rahim Moore in 2011, but they only filled one of their holes at safety. They didn’t fill the other one until they signed TJ Ward in free agency before the 2014 season. Here they get him earlier. Ward, a 2010 2nd round pick, has graded out 32nd, 14th, 6th, 4th, and 32nd respectively among safeties in 5 seasons in the league.

23. Green Bay Packers- OLB Derrick Morgan (Georgia Tech)

The Packers struck gold with Clay Matthews in the 1st round in 2009, but were seeking an edge rushing complement for him for years until they signed Julius Peppers last off-season. Peppers played well in 2014, but he’s going into his age 35 season in 2015 so even he’s not a long-term solution. The Packers find a long-term solution here and someone who will prevent them from wasting a first round pick on Nick Perry in 2012.

Derrick Morgan’s career got off to a slow start as he was limited to 112 snaps by a torn ACL as a rookie in 2010 and struggled in his return from that injury in 2011, grading out as Pro Football Focus’ 64th ranked 4-3 defensive end out of 67 eligible. However, he’s graded out above average in each of the past three seasons, grading out as Pro Football Focus’ 5th ranked 4-3 defensive end in 2012, 11th ranked 4-3 defensive end in 2013, and 8th ranked 3-4 outside linebacker in 2014. Most importantly, he’s missed just 2 games over the past 4 seasons and doesn’t have any significant injuries on his record other than that torn ACL.

24. Dallas Cowboys- MLB Sean Lee (Penn State)

Lee, a 2nd round pick by the Cowboys in 2010, was really hard to place in this re-draft because he’s missed 34 games in 5 seasons in the league, including 31 in the last 3 seasons and all of 2014. The Cowboys are still expecting big things from him in 2015, but he’ll already be in his age 29 season and he’s coming off of a torn ACL, so that might be overly optimistic. However, when on the field, he’s absolutely one of the best linebackers in the NFL. He was Pro Football Focus’ 14th ranked middle linebacker in 15 games in 2011, 8th in just 6 games in 2012, and 7th in 11 games in 2013. Through 9 games (before the injury) in 2013, he was #1 at his position and he was 4th at his position through 5 games in 2012 before the injury.

25. Denver Broncos- WR Emmanuel Sanders (Southern Methodist)

I gave the Broncos someone they signed in free agency last off-season with the 22nd overall pick and I do that again here at 25. Sanders was nothing special for the first 4 seasons of his career in Pittsburgh, which is why he’s still available here, but that all changed when he went to Denver and met Peyton Manning. In 2014, Sanders finished 5th in the league in receiving yards (1409), 12th in touchdowns (9), and 4th in catches (101) and it wasn’t just Manning. Sanders graded out as Pro Football Focus’ 5th ranked wide receiver in his own right, including 3rd in pass catching grade. For a team that wasn’t able to keep Demaryius Thomas in this re-draft, he’s a very important addition here at 25.

26. Arizona Cardinals- OLB Jerry Hughes (TCU)

The Cardinals have spent a lot of mid round picks trying to fix their edge rush since 2010, starting with O’Brien Schofield (4th round) in 2010. He was followed by Sam Acho (4th round) in 2011, Alex Okafor (4th round) in 2013, and Kareem Martin (3rd round) in 2014. Here’s a premium pick who is actually a long-term solution.

Hughes is a late bloomer, which is why he’s available this late. He was a bust in Indianapolis as a first round pick in 2010, playing a combined 240 snaps in 2010 and 2011 and then struggling in his first serious action in 2012, grading out 25th out of 34 eligible 3-4 outside linebackers. However, after the Bills acquired him after that season for basically nothing, he graded out as Pro Football Focus’ 8th ranked 3-4 outside linebacker in 2013 and their 14th ranked 4-3 defensive end in 2014, before re-signing for 45 million over 5 years this off-season.

27. New England Patriots- DT LaMarr Houston (Texas)

The Patriots miss out on Devin McCourty in the re-draft, but this draft is deep enough that they’re still able to add a valuable piece to their defense. The Patriots have been looking for an interior complement to Vince Wilfork really since they traded Richard Seymour and now that Wilfork is also gone, that need has become even bigger and they are banking on 2014 1st round pick Dominique Easley staying healthy. Houston fills the need earlier and gives them a versatile player that can play inside and outside in both a 3-4 and a 4-3, something Belichick will love. Before a season that ended early with a torn ACL in 2014, Houston graded out as Pro Football Focus’ 20th ranked, 11th ranked, and 13th ranked 4-3 defensive end in 2011, 2012, and 2013 respectively.

28. Miami Dolphins- S Reshad Jones (Georgia)

The Dolphins drafted Jones in the 4th round in 2010 originally, but he’s been a solid player for them, so they use their 1st round pick here to keep him. Jones has made 56 starts for the Dolphins over the past 2 seasons and, while he’s been inconsistent, grading out below average in 2 of those seasons, he’s graded out above average in 2 of the last 3 seasons, including 3rd in 2012 and 3rd in 2014.

29. New York Jets- WR Golden Tate (Notre Dame)

The common narrative is that Golden Tate didn’t have a breakout year until 2014, the first season of a 5-year, 31 million dollar deal with the Detroit Lions, when he finished 7th in receiving yards with 1331 yards (7th in the NFL), after never previously topping 1000 yards. However, when Tate signed that deal, I thought it was a steal for Detroit because Eric Decker got 36.25 million over that same length of time last off-season.

That’s because, while Decker put up bigger receiving numbers, Tate was actually comparable on a per route basis in 2011, 2012, and 2013, despite generally having worse quarterback play (Tarvaris Jackson and Russell Wilson vs. Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow, and Peyton Manning). Decker averaged 1.28, 1.80, and 2.03 yards per route run in 2011, 2012, and 2013 respectively, as opposed to 1.33, 1.80, and 2.01 for Tate, whose numbers were kept down by a run heavy offense in Seattle. In fact, Tate’s 2.13 yards per route run average in 2014 was barely a career high.

Tate graded out 16th among wide receivers in pass catching grade in 2014, but he actually did that exact same thing in 2012 and 2013. He should see his production decrease in 2015 with Calvin Johnson healthy for a full season, but he’s still arguably the best #2 receiver in the league and he’s a good value here for a Jets team that has had all sorts of issues with their wide receivers in recent years.

30. Detroit Lions- DE Everson Griffen (USC)

When Everson Griffin got a 5-year, 42.5 million dollar deal from the Vikings last off-season, it was a head-scratcher as Griffen had made just 1 career start. I didn’t like the move other as, while he had 14 sacks in 2012 and 2013 despite being a reserve, he actually played as much as some starters in terms of pass rush snaps with 423 pass rush snaps played in 2012 and 449 pass rush snaps played in 2013.

He only ranked 29th out of 62 eligible in pass rush efficiency among 4-3 defensive ends in 2012 and only ranked 21st out of 52 eligible in pass rush efficiency among 4-3 defensive ends in 2013. He graded out as Pro Football Focus’ 36th ranked 4-3 defensive end in 2012 and 19th ranked 4-3 defensive end in 2013. While it was an overly speculative deal, Griffen responded well, grading out as Pro Football Focus’ 8th ranked 4-3 defensive end in 16 starts. He’s definitely an above average starter, albeit a late bloomer, and would be a good fit for the Lions here as Kyle Vanden Bosch was on the decline, going into his age 32 season in 2010.

31. Indianapolis Colts- OT Jared Veldheer (Hillsdale)

The Colts drafted Anthony Castonzo in the 1st round in 2011 and he’s been solid on the left side, but here they get help earlier and add someone who could be a bookend for Castonzo long-term, which would save them from giving Gosder Cherilus a 5-year, 34.5 million dollar deal, as they did two off-seasons ago. Aside from an injury plagued 2013 season, Veldheer has been one of the better left tackles in the league over the past 4 seasons, grading out 16th in 2011, 15th in 2012, and 9th in 2014. The Cardinals gave him a 5-year, 35 million dollar deal last season after his injury plagued 2013 season and he’ll continue making that deal look like a steal as long as he stays healthy. He’s an excellent value at this point, further evidence of how deep this draft was.

32. New Orleans Saints- DE Brandon Graham (Michigan)

Graham was a first round pick by the Eagles in 2010, but he was limited to 491 snaps in his first 2 seasons combined by injuries. However, he played well when on the field in those 2 seasons and he had somewhat of a breakout year in 2012. He didn’t get a ton of playing time (435 snaps), which is why it’s hard to call it a true breakout year, but he still graded out 2nd among 4-3 defensive ends that season, despite the limited playing time.

The Eagles moved to a 3-4 in 2013, which Graham wasn’t seen as a good fit for, so he only saw 331 snaps, but he still graded out 15th at his position, making it two straight years where no one played fewer snaps than him and graded out better at his position. In 2014, he was still the 3rd outside linebacker, but he played ahead of 1st round pick Marcus Smith all year, set a career high in snaps played with 524 snaps and graded out 3rd among 3-4 outside linebackers. For the third straight year, no one graded out better at his position on fewer snaps.

Scheme versatile, Graham was a great value for the Eagles on a 4-year, 26 million dollar deal this off-season and I think his most productive years are still ahead of him as I expect him to get more playing time going forward. He’ll fill a need for a Saints team that needed young pass rushers (they drafted Cameron Jordan in the 1st round in the following year) and I think they would have utilized him better earlier in his career than Philadelphia did, with full hindsight.

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2009 NFL Draft Redo

1. Detroit Lions- QB Matt Stafford (Georgia)

If the Lions had to do it all over again, I don’t think they’d change anything here. After some early career injury problems, Stafford has played all 48 games in the past 3 seasons, completing 60.7% of passes for an average of 7.24 YPA, 90 touchdowns, and 52 interceptions. The Lions still have a lot to build around him, but the quarterback position is the most important one and a franchise quarterback is always worth the #1 pick. That’s what Stafford has been.

2. St. Louis Rams- OT Eugene Monroe (Virginia)

The Rams took Jason Smith here #2 overall and he ended up being one of the being busts of the draft. They had the position right though. Orlando Pace was heading into the final year of his career, which he played in Chicago, so the Rams desperately needed a replacement. Monroe went 8th overall originally, but he could easily go even earlier the 2nd time around considering he’s blossomed into one of the best left tackles in the game. He’s graded out 6th, 15th, and 16th among eligible offensive tackles on Pro Football Focus in 2011, 2012, and 2013 respectively.

3. Kansas City Chiefs- OLB Clay Matthews (USC)

The Chiefs took Tyson Jackson here originally. Adding to the front 7 was the right call considering the Chiefs had just 10 sacks the entire season the year before, the fewest by an NFL team ever. However, Jackson never really developed into much more than a strong run stuffer. Tamba Hali, who led the 2008 Chiefs with 3 sacks, eventually developed into one of the better edge rushers in the NFL and the Chiefs drafted Justin Houston in the 3rd round in 2011 to give them a feared duo of edge rushers. However, adding Matthews would have given them that even sooner.

4. Seattle Seahawks- DE Brian Orakpo (Texas)

The Seahawks have a great pass rush now, but that wasn’t always the case. In 2008, the Seahawks’ top-3 defensive ends were Patrick Kerney, who was going into his age 33 season, Lawrence Jackson, a massive bust as a 1st rounder in 2008, and Darryl Tapp, a decent veteran who they would eventually trade to the Eagles for Chris Clemons. Clemons’ addition would give them a feared edge rusher later, but pairing him with Brian Orakpo would have given them one of the NFL’s best pass rushes very quickly.

5. New York Jets- RB LeSean McCoy (Pittsburgh)

The Jets knew they needed to address the running back position in 2009, as they drafted Shonn Greene in the 3rd round. Thomas Jones was heading into his age 31 season in 2009. Greene wasn’t terrible, but having LeSean McCoy would have been much better. In 5 seasons, McCoy has 7600 yards from scrimmage and 49 touchdowns, while Greene has 4239 yards from scrimmage and 22 touchdowns, about half of McCoy’s production. The Jets are unfortunately unable to address the quarterback position here because Stafford was the only good one to come out of this draft, but drafting McCoy 5th would have been much better than using this pick on Mark Sanchez and taking Greene in the 3rd.

6. Cincinnati Bengals- DE Michael Johnson (Georgia Tech)

The Bengals eventually took Michael Johnson in the 3rd round, but they have to take him earlier here to keep him around. Johnson was Pro Football Focus’ 13th ranked 4-3 defensive end in 2012, earning the franchise tag, and then was Pro Football Focus’ 4th ranked 4-3 defensive end this season. He’ll get a good amount of money on his next contract. The other option here would be for the Bengals to just draft Andre Smith again as he’s been very good for them at right tackle in recent years, but I think Johnson has been the more important player for them.

7. Oakland Raiders- S Jairus Byrd (Oregon)

Safeties rarely go in the top-10, but that’s because if they don’t become Pro-Bowl caliber players, they’re almost automatically busts. Getting a just solid starter at safety out of a top-10 pick is a failure. However, with complete hindsight, we know that Byrd has become one of the best safeties in the league and even one of the best defensive players at any position. Byrd was Pro Football Focus’ 3rd ranked safety in 2011 and 2nd ranked in 2012. He ranked 8th in 2013, which wasn’t as good, but he missed a few games with injury to start the year so that had something to do with it. Upon his return, he was just as good as he was before the injury. The Bills now have a choice between franchise tagging him for the 2nd straight year or letting him hit the open market, where he could become the highest paid safety in the NFL. Either way, he’ll get paid. As for the Raiders, they needed all the talent they could get at this point. Drafting Darrius Heyward-Bey here didn’t help. The Raiders would eventually take Michael Mitchell in the 2nd round, but he never developed into the starting safety they wanted him to be.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars- CB Lardarius Webb (Nicholls State)

The Jaguars felt the need for a cornerback in 2009, drafting Derek Cox in the 3rd round. He flashed at times, but wasn’t nearly the player they wanted him to be.  Lardarius Webb is much better. Webb was Pro Football Focus’ 4th ranked cornerback in 2011 and has been an above average player in all 5 seasons of his career, though he was derailed by a torn ACL in 2012. He wasn’t quite as good as he was in 2011 this year, grading out 21st, but there’s a very good chance he could once again be a top-10 cornerback again in 2014, another year removed from that injury.

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9. Green Bay Packers- RB Arian Foster (Tennessee)

The Packers have been searching for a talented running back to complement their talented passing game for years, finally finding Eddie Lacy in 2013. Arian Foster could have solved the problem a lot faster. He’s had some injury problems of late, but he’s still totaled 6777 yards from scrimmage and 52 touchdowns in 5 seasons. Imagine him and Aaron Rodgers in the same backfield.

10. San Francisco 49ers- WR Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech)

This is one where the pick doesn’t change. Michael Crabtree took a little bit to come around, but he had his first 1000+ yard season in 2012, catching 85 passes for 1105 yards and 9 touchdowns. He missed 11 games and was limited in the others after tearing an Achilles in 2013, but he showed enough down the stretch to suggest he should make a full recovery for 2014. Colin Kaepernick loves throwing to him and he’s the 49ers’ #1 receiver. They don’t let him get away here.

11. Buffalo Bills- OLB Brian Cushing (USC)

The Bills needed another linebacker other than Paul Posluszny going into the 2009 season. Cushing would be a great fit because he’s scheme versatile and the Bills have run both a 3-4 and 4-3 defense over the past 5 years. Cushing has had a lot of issues with injuries, but he was Pro Football Focus’ 2nd ranked 4-3 outside linebacker in 2009 (when he won Defensive Rookie of the year) and 3rd ranked middle linebacker in 2011. He’d be an obvious upgrade over Keith Ellison and Kawika Mitchell, who were their other starting linebackers at the time.

12. Denver Broncos- DT Henry Melton (Texas)

It’s amazing that the Broncos are going to the Super Bowl considering how bad Josh McDaniels messed things up in just 2 years there. It’s a huge credit to Peyton Manning and the new front office and coaching staff. The Broncos desperately needed front 7 help in 2009, but drafted just one front 7 player, outside linebacker Robert Ayers who never fit the scheme and has been a bust. They took Knowshon Moreno here and even to today he hasn’t proven to be worth a first round pick. Henry Melton would have been a much better pick to fix the defensive tackle position, their biggest need. He was Pro Football Focus’ 16th ranked defensive tackle in 2011 and 7th ranked in 2012, before tearing his ACL in 2013 after being franchise tagged.

13. Washington Redskins- OT Andre Smith (Alabama)

The Redskins would take Trent Williams 4th overall in 2010 and he’s been a fantastic player for them, but they needed help at both offensive tackle positions and Andre Smith could be a strong right tackle for them. The right tackle position is still a problem to this day, as the Redskins’ trade for Jammal Brown never panned out. Smith struggled to start his career, but he was Pro Football Focus’ 28th ranked offensive tackle in 2011, 4th ranked in 2012, and 20th ranked in 2013.

14. New Orleans Saints- DE Michael Bennett (Texas A&M)

Not enough people know about Michael Bennett. Bennett has been Pro Football Focus’ 7th, 7th, and 5th ranked 4-3 defensive end from 2011-2013 respectively. He has the versatility to play both inside and outside and can both rush the passer and stop the run at a high rate. He would have been a very valuable complement for Will Smith in New Orleans and helped a pass rush that was, for years, much in need, really up until this season.

15. Houston Texans- CB Vontae Davis (Illinois)

The Texans used to have serious secondary problems. They drafted Kareem Jackson in the 1st round in 2010, but Davis would have solved the problem even quicker and could have formed a very formidable duo with Jackson in a couple of years. That would have allowed the Texans to avoid paying Johnathan Joseph a massive sum of money to be their other starting cornerback. Davis has been inconsistent in his career, struggling with injuries at times and getting traded to the Colts for a 2nd and 6th round pick, but he is coming off of a fantastic contract year. He graded out as Pro Football Focus’ 3rd ranked cornerback this season and was also 12th in 2010.

16. San Diego Chargers- S Glover Quin (New Mexico)

The Chargers have been in need of safety help for years. They’ve never really replaced Rodney Harrison. Eric Weddle is a fantastic player, but they need another safety opposite him. Glover Quin struggled early in his career, but has turned it around big time since moving to safety. He was a solid starter in Houston at safety for 2 years and then signed a 5-year deal last off-season with the Lions, where he had arguably the best season of his career in 2013, grading out as Pro Football Focus’ 11th ranked safety.

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17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- WR Mike Wallace (Mississippi)

The Buccaneers desperately need wide receiver help in the 2009 draft. Antonio Bryant was their leading receiver in 2008 and no one else had more than 484 yards. As good as Bryant was that season, he was out of the league in 2 years for a variety of reasons. They added Kellen Winslow before the 2009 season and he led the team in receiving yardage in 2009, but they needed help on the outside. They’d eventually use 2nd and 4th round picks of Arrelious Benn and Mike Williams in 2010, but this would have been a better way to go.

18. Denver Broncos- CB Jason McCourty (Rutgers)

As I mentioned the Broncos really messed up the 2009 draft. Even though they had 2 first round picks and 5 picks in the first two rounds, Knowshon Moreno is the only player of substance they drafted. I addressed the front 7 with the 12th pick, but they also had a need in the secondary. The Broncos traded a future first round pick for Alphonso Smith, but that didn’t work out as Smith never developed into a starter and that future first round pick turned into Earl Thomas, one of the best safeties in the game. McCourty solves the problem a lot better. He’s been a top-10 cornerback on Pro Football Focus in each of the last 3 seasons, though much of his positive grade comes against the run.

19. Philadelphia Eagles- WR Jeremy Maclin (Missouri)

Jeremy Maclin never turned into the 1000+ yard receiver the Eagles were hoping he would, but he still had 258 catches for 3453 yards and 26 touchdowns from 2009-2012, before tearing his ACL and missing the entire 2013 season. Still, he’s expected to make a full recovery and the Eagles still have interest in bringing him back on a one year deal. I have to think that, if given the chance, they’d take Maclin once again in this situation.

20. Detroit Lions- CB Keenan Lewis (Oregon State)

The Lions went 0-16 the year prior to the 2009 NFL Draft so they really had needs at every position. Cornerback was a big one as they allowed 8.8 yards per pass attempt in 2008, not only the most in the NFL that season, but most seasons. Keenan Lewis has graded out above average in back-to-back seasons since becoming a starter in 2012, grading out 40th and 26th on Pro Football Focus. He’s probably the best available left here.

21. Cleveland Browns- C Alex Mack (California)

Here’s another team that stays with their original pick. The Browns drafted Alex Mack in the first round in 2009. It was a risky proposition, even though he was widely considered one of the top center prospects of the decade, because they would need him to emerge as a perennial Pro-Bowler. If he was just an average starter, he would have been a bust because center isn’t that valuable of a position. However, he’s been top-10 on Pro Football Focus among centers in all 5 seasons, so he’s been well worth this pick.

22. Minnesota Vikings- WR Percy Harvin (Florida)

Percy Harvin’s tenure in Minnesota was up and down. He never went over 1000 receiving yards despite getting the lion’s share of the targets and he also missed 10 games in 4 seasons, but he was an explosive all-purpose weapon, returning kicks and carrying the ball, in addition to his work as a receiver, despite working with terrible quarterbacks for the most part. In his final 25 games with the team, he averaged 83.4 yards from scrimmage per game and also got the Vikings a 1st round pick in return when they traded him to the Seahawks. I think they’d do it all over again in this situation.

23. Baltimore Ravens- OT Phil Loadholt (Oklahoma)

The Ravens originally drafted Michael Oher here and he started for 5 seasons for them on the offensive line, playing both left tackle and right tackle. However, he was very inconsistent and had a terrible year in 2013, grading out 68th out of 76 eligible offensive tackles on a terrible Baltimore offense. Phil Loadholt would have been a better fit. He’s broken out as a great right tackle over the past few years, grading out 24th, 22nd, and 10th on Pro Football Focus among offensive tackles from 2011-2013 respectively.

24. Atlanta Falcons- DE Paul Kruger (Utah)

The Falcons have been struggling for pass rush for years. They’ve been looking for a complement for John Abraham for years, using a 4th round pick in 2009, a 5th round pick in 2012, and a 4th and 5th round pick on defensive ends, as well as giving a large contract to Ray Edwards that was a huge failure. Paul Kruger would solve that problem, a problem that was especially bad over the past season with John Abraham gone.

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25. Miami Dolphins- G Louis Vasquez (Texas Tech)

The Dolphins have had needs on the offensive line for years. Louis Vasquez is too good to pass on here. He’s graded out above average in all 5 seasons on Pro Football Focus that he’s been in the league and would be a real asset on the offensive line. He maxed out at 3rd overall among guards on Pro Football Focus in 2013. If they had him, they never would have needed to bring in Richie Incognito.

26. Green Bay Packers- DT BJ Raji (Boston College)

The Packers originally drafted BJ Raji 9th overall. He hasn’t been quite that good because he’s been very inconsistent, but he was an integral part of their Super Bowl team so they’d probably want to hang on to him here with their 2nd pick in the first round. He graded out as Pro Football Focus’ 3rd worst ranked 3-4 defensive end in 2013 and last ranked defensive tackle in 2011, but he was also their 7th ranked 3-4 defensive end in 2012 and 28th ranked defensive tackle in 2010.

27. Indianapolis Colts- G Andy Levitre (Oregon State)

The Colts have needed offensive line help dating back to the Peyton Manning days and grab one of this draft class’ many talented interior offensive linemen here. Andy Levitre has graded out above average on Pro Football Focus in 4 straight seasons as a starter, grading out 6th, 9th, and 13th in 2011-2013 respectively. He became one of the league’s highest paid interior linemen before the 2013 season, when he signed a 6 year, 46.8 million dollar deal with the Titans, leaving Buffalo.

28. Buffalo Bills- OT Sebastian Vollmer (Houston)

The Bills acquired this pick from the Eagles for Jason Peters, but they didn’t replace the left tackle, opting instead for center Eric Wood, who has been just alright. Vollmer would be an upgrade on the blindside over the terrible Demetress Bell, who took over for Peters. Bell was eventually replaced by Cordy Glenn, who has done a solid job over the past 2 seasons, but Vollmer and Glenn would form quite a tandem today if they had drafted both of them.

29. New York Giants- WR Hakeem Nicks (North Carolina)

Hakeem Nicks has had a bunch of injury problems in his tenure in New York, missing 10 games and being limited in countless others, but he’s overall had a solid 5 years, catching 311 passes for 4622 yards and 27 touchdowns. The Giants are probably moving on from him this off-season, but I think, given their current choices, they’d do it all again with Nicks, who had 2 seasons of 1000+ yards and was an integral part of their Super Bowl team.

30. Tennessee Titans- C Max Unger (Oregon)

The Titans take another one of this draft class’ talented interior linemen. They’ve had issues at the center position since Kevin Mawae retired following the 2009 season. Unger could play guard for a season until then and then move to center, where he’s been one of the NFL’s best over the past few years. He had some issues with injuries in 2013, but he was Pro Football Focus’ 3rd ranked center in 2012.

31. Arizona Cardinals- G Alex Boone (Ohio State)

Alex Boone took an interesting road to the 49ers’ starting lineup. He went undrafted in 2009 because of concerns about his alcohol abuse, after he was arrested for DUI, jumping on car hoods, yanking on a tow truck cable, and trying to break a window. The 49ers snatched him up as an undrafted free agent and he got his life clean, moving into the starting lineup in 2012. He was Pro Football Focus’ 3rd ranked guard that season and even though he struggled through injuries in 2013, he’s still worth a pick here, especially for an Arizona team that has been hurting for offensive line help for years.

32. Pittsburgh Steelers- DE Desmond Bryant (Harvard)

The Steelers originally used this draft pick on Ziggy Hood, a collegiate defensive tackle converted to 5-technique defensive end in Pittsburgh. Hood struggled through weight problems though and was largely a bust. Here they do the same thing with Bryant, a much better player. Bryant was very good on the defensive line for the Raiders in 2011 and 2012, playing both defensive end and defensive tackle, grading out as Pro Football Focus’ 6th ranked defensive tackle in 2012. He wasn’t quite as good in 2013, struggling through injuries, but he’s still worth this pick.

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