2007 NFL Draft Redo

1. Oakland Raiders- WR Calvin Johnson (Georgia Tech)

Hmm…Calvin Johnson or JaMarcus Russell? Calvin Johnson or JaMarcus Russell? The Raiders obviously would have liked to have been able to get a franchise quarterback here because that was a huge need and such an important position, but there simply wasn’t one available. Look at the list of quarterbacks drafted in 2007. JaMarcus Russell, Brady Quinn, Kevin Kolb, John Beck, Drew Stanton, Trent Edwards, Isaiah Stanback, Jeff Rowe, Troy Smith, Jordan Palmer, Tyler Thigpen and Matt Moore went undrafted. Yikes! I’m sure the Raiders wouldn’t mind Megatron though, the best available player.

2. Detroit Lions- OT Joe Thomas (Wisconsin)

The Lions miss out on Megatron, but Joe Thomas is not a bad consolation prize. He’s been one of the best offensive linemen in the league since he was drafted and would have been a huge help for a Lions team that surrendered 63 sacks in 2006, 2nd most in the NFL.

3. Cleveland Browns- RB Adrian Peterson (Oklahoma)

Like the Lions, the Browns miss out on a stud player, but Adrian Peterson is not a bad replacement. Reuben Droughns averaged 3.4 YPC as their starting running back in 2006 and while they added Jamal Lewis in free agency, he was at the tail end of his career and you can’t really pass on Peterson here.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- CB Darrelle Revis (Pittsburgh)

The Buccaneers had the league’s 23rd ranked pass defense in 2006. Think Darrelle Revis would have cleaned that up? Revis is part of a 2007 NFL Draft class loaded on elite talent.

5. Arizona Cardinals- MLB Patrick Willis (Mississippi)

How loaded is the 2007 NFL Draft class on talent? Patrick Willis goes 5th. Willis is one of the league’s top 2 or 3 middle linebackers, if he isn’t the best and only goes below the other 4 because he doesn’t play a premium position. I don’t think the Cardinals would really care that much about that at this point as they steal an elite player from a division rival.

6. Washington Redskins- DE LaMarr Woodley (Michigan)

The Redskins had a league worst 19 sacks in 2006. There are some questions about how LaMarr Woodley would do in a 4-3 (he’s spent his entire career in Pittsburgh’s 3-4) and about how he would do without so many talented players around him, but the Redskins have to take that risk at this point. Besides, they would eventually switch to a 3-4 defense a few seasons later.

7. Minnesota Vikings- WR Dwayne Bowe (LSU)

No Adrian Peterson available for the Vikings, but they get a legitimate #1 receiver, which they really needed. Their top 3 leading receivers in 2006 were Travis Taylor, who left as a free agent, 3rd down back Mewelde Moore, and rookie receiver Troy Williamson, who would never have a better season than his mediocre rookie year. It’s no surprise that the Vikings were lead in receiving in 2007 by Bobby Wade and Sidney Rice, a 2nd round rookie. Bowe would have been better for the Vikings in the 1st than Rice would have been in the 2nd.

8. Atlanta Falcons- DE Charles Johnson (Georgia)

Right position, but wrong player. The Falcons needed another pass rusher, but the problem is that Jamaal Anderson, who they used this pick on, couldn’t get to the quarterback. Instead they grab Charles Johnson and steal him from a division rival. Johnson would have gone higher if he weren’t a late bloomer.

9. Miami Dolphins- S Eric Weddle (Utah)

The Ted Ginn pick is one of the worst picks I’ve ever seen. Not just because Ginn didn’t do anything of note for the Dolphins, but it was so predictable that he would never do anything of note. Teams reach for guys fairly often in the top-10 and get a ton of criticism, but the Ginn case was one where every word of criticism turned out to be right. Instead, they take Eric Weddle here, arguably the league’s best safety now with Reed and Polamalu aging. No defensive back has allowed a lower QB rating in the last 4 seasons than the 25.8 that Weddle allowed last year, as he allowed 40.7% completion, 4.1 YPA, and 1 touchdown to 7 interceptions. I told you this class was loaded on elite talent. Unfortunately, it drops off a cliff pretty soon.

10. Houston Texans- CB Leon Hall (Michigan)

Houston had the league’s 24th rated pass defense in 2006, a trend that would continue really up until this last offseason, when the Texans signed Johnathan Joseph. Adding Hall would have definitely helped the problem sooner.

11. San Francisco 49ers- MLB Lawrence Timmons (Florida State)

The 49ers lose out on Patrick Willis, but Lawrence Timmons, ProFootballFocus’ #1 middle linebacker in 2010, isn’t a bad consolation prize for a team who had a need at that position.

12. Buffalo Bills- G Marshal Yanda (Iowa)

The Bills allowed 47 sacks in 2006. Marshal Yanda, one of the league’s best guards, would have definitely helped. He can also play right tackle. On top of being an upgrade in pass protection, Yanda would have helped a running game that ranked 28th in 2006.

13. St. Louis Rams- MLB Jon Beason (Miami)

The Rams haven’t had good linebacker play in a while. Will Witherspoon was very solid in 2006, but their next 4 leading tackles were two safeties, a cornerback, and a defensive end, before you get to Brandon Chillar, who had just 57 tackles. He left after the 2007 season to sign in Green Bay anyway.

14. New York Jets- MLB David Harris (Michigan)

David Harris has become a big part of the Jets strong defense since they drafted him in the 2nd round. Unfortunately, they miss out on Darrelle Revis here, but they are able to lock up their talented middle linebacker with a 1st rounder.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers- C Ryan Kalil (USC)

Interior offensive linemen rarely go this high, but that’s because, if they don’t become Pro Bowlers, they’re pretty much disappointments as top-20 picks. If a center drafted in the top-20 becomes just a solid starter, it’s a disappointment because you can find solid starting centers much later. At other positions like cornerback, wide receiver, left tackle etc, it’s not as big of a deal if they’re just solid. That being said, Ryan Kalil is a 3-time Pro Bowler and really has been one of the league’s best interior offensive linemen over the past few years so there’s no doubt he deserves to go this high looking back in hindsight. The Steelers have needed offensive line help for years. Kalil would solidify their pass protection and anchor their running game.

16. Green Bay Packers- DT Ray McDonald (Florida)

McDonald would have gone higher if he hadn’t been a late bloomer, but McDonald broke out as an elite 3-4 defensive end last year, ranking 3rd at his position on ProFootballFocus. His collegiate position was defensive tackle, where he’d be originally for the Packers, though they eventually switched to a 3-4 so he’d play end in that scheme. He’s definitely better than Justin Harrell, their original pick.

17. Denver Broncos- MLB Paul Posluszny (Penn State)

Al Wilson, the Broncos’ middle linebacker and leading tackler in 2006, retired following the season. Posluszny can be his replacement and fits the range as part of a very talented middle linebacker class.

18. Cincinnati Bengals- RB Marshawn Lynch (California)

Rudi Johnson averaged just 3.8 YPC as the feature back in 2006. He averaged just 2.9 YPC the following season and was benched for Kenny Watson in 2007, who managed just 13 career carries after 2007. Lynch has had an inconsistent career, but would have really helped their running back problems.

19. Tennessee Titans- S Michael Griffin (Texas)

This pick stays the same. Michael Griffin hasn’t been the best safety in the league or anything, but he’s been an above average starter on their defense and recently received a 5 year, 35 million dollar extension this offseason after being slapped with the franchise tag.

20. New York Giants- RB Ahmad Bradshaw (Marshall)

Bradshaw was a 7th round pick of the Giants’ in 2007 and has been worth way more than his draft slot. Unfortunately, they aren’t able to get him there in a redo, but they use their 1st rounder to keep him. This isn’t a huge loss because Aaron Ross, their original pick here, was not very good.

21. Jacksonville Jaguars- WR Sidney Rice (South Carolina)

The Jaguars leading receivers in 2007 were Reggie Williams, Dennis Northcutt, and Ernest Wilford. They’ve had wide receiver problems for a while. Sidney Rice only has one season of more than 32 catches for 484 yards in 5 years, but he’s worth the risk here. In 2009, he caught 83 passes for 1312 yards and 8 touchdowns, but has been plagued by injuries since.

22. Cleveland Browns- OT Joe Staley (Central Michigan)

The Browns lose out on Joe Thomas at #3, so they grab a replacement left tackle here instead. Staley is obviously not on Thomas’ level, but he’s a solid left tackle and a good value here at 22 for a Browns team that surrendered 54 sacks in 2006.

23. Kansas City Chiefs- OT Jared Gaither (Maryland)

The Chiefs allowed 41 sacks in 2006. Gaither would have gone higher if not for his injury issues, but in 2008 and 2009 he was one of the best offensive tackles in the league and, still young, he still has a chance to turn his career around. The Chiefs had Gaither for a half season in 2011, before giving up on the injury riddled player, who rebounded by playing very well for the Chargers for 5 games and landing a large contract. Of course now he’s hurt again.

24. New England Patriots – MLB Desmond Bishop (California)

Tedy Bruschi and Junior Seau were heading into the twilights of their careers at this point. Bruschi, heading into his age 34 season, had two more years left, while Seau, heading into his age 38 season, had 3 more left and only one as a starter. Bishop was a late bloomer. Otherwise, he would have gone higher. However, he’s a perfect fit in New England, where he would have had time to develop behind established starters.

25. Carolina Panthers- G Ben Grubbs (Auburn)

The Panthers miss out on Ryan Kalil in the 2nd round, but Grubbs is another good interior offensive lineman for a team that needed help there and he fits the range. He’s also a typical John Fox pick as the conservative Fox loves to build in the trenches and on the ground.

26. Dallas Cowboys- RLB Anthony Spencer (Purdue)

Believe it or not, Spencer has proven to be worth this pick. Spencer takes a lot of heat for never exceeding 6 sacks in a season despite being a 1st round pick in 2007 and having DeMarcus Ware opposite him, taking away the defensive pressure. However, that number doesn’t tell the whole story. Spencer also had 9 quarterback hits and 35 quarterback pressures last year and leads all edge rushers in tackles over the last 3 seasons. For his efforts last year, he was a top-10 player at his position on ProFootballFocus and only James Harrison graded out better against the run. I don’t know if he was worth the franchise tag this offseason, but he’s a valuable member of the Cowboys’ defense.

27. New Orleans Saints- DT Brandon Mebane (California)

The Saints ranked 31st against the run in 2006, so defensive tackle was an obvious need. Brandon Mebane is a solid player who fits the range and would fill the hole. This draft class is really starting to fall off a cliff.

28. San Francisco 49ers- OT Jermon Bushrod (Towson)

The 49ers originally used this pick on Joe Staley. He’s not available, so they need another left tackle. Jermon Bushrod is an overrated player who Drew Brees makes look better than he is. Brees has only taken a sack 82 times in the last 4 years on 674 pressured drop backs (12.2%), the best rate in the league over that period by a quarterback who has played in all 4 seasons (sorry, Peyton Manning). A deeper look at Bushrod’s stats shows that he is really a product of Drew Brees’ abilities. Bushrod has allowed 20 quarterback hits and 90 quarterback pressures in the last 2 seasons, yet only 7 sacks. He is really a replacement level player disguised as a Pro-Bowler with the help of his quarterback. However, the 49ers will take him at this point in the draft.

29. Baltimore Ravens- WR Robert Meachem (Tennessee)

The Ravens used a 3rd round pick on a wide receiver, Yamon Figurs, so it was obviously a need. Meachem isn’t a great receiver, but he’s the best left and this draft class has really fallen off a cliff talent wise.

30. San Diego Chargers- OT Doug Free (Northern Illinois)

Ugh, yeah Doug Free goes in the 1st round. He’s a solid offensive tackle with the ability to play both on the left and right side. AJ Smith has only used one draft pick higher than the 3rd on an offensive lineman in his tenure in San Diego and it’s really started to show over the past few years. He’d be an upgrade over Jeromey Clary, who has been starting at right tackle for the Chargers for a while, even though he isn’t very good.

31. Chicago Bears- TE Greg Olsen (Miami)

In a weak draft class, the Bears will make this pick again. Olsen was a solid tight end for them for a few years and then got them a 3rd round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft last offseason, which isn’t too bad. This pick is worth a 2012 3rd rounder and 196 catches for 1981 yards and 20 touchdowns over 4 seasons from a tight end, at least in this thin draft class.

32. Indianapolis Colts- DT Alan Branch (Michigan)

The Colts had the league’s worst run defense in 2006. Branch was a bust as a 2nd round pick in Arizona, but emerged as one of the best defensive tackles in the league last year in Seattle, especially against the run. I guess that’s worth this pick from a team who needs a run stuffer.

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2006 NFL Draft Redo

1. Houston Texans- DE Mario Williams (NC State)

Normally if there’s a franchise quarterback available, I would put him #1 because those guys are just so valuable, and there is one available this year, Jay Cutler. However, the Texans got Matt Schaub the following offseason and things worked out pretty well for them with this original pick. Mario Williams proved the Texans right and established himself as one of the league’s premier pass rushers, which is another very valuable thing.

2. New Orleans Saints- RB Maurice Jones-Drew (UCLA)

Again, I’m not putting Cutler here because the Saints signed Drew Brees this offseason. The Saints used this pick on Reggie Bush, but even though that didn’t really work out, things worked out pretty well for the Saints. Can you imagine if they had taken Maurice Jones-Drew instead? Is it possible to score 40 points per game?

3. Tennessee Titans- QB Jay Cutler (Vanderbilt)

Here’s where Cutler goes. The Titans picked Vince Young here. He had some good moments with the Titans, but also some bad moments and, overall, his tenure in Tennessee was a failure. Things would have worked out a lot better if they had taken the local kid, Cutler, from in state Vanderbilt. Cutler is the only true franchise quarterback in this draft class and is one of the top 12-15 quarterbacks in the league. Those guys are so valuable because they can mask so many different problems and it’s impossible to win a Super Bowl without one.

4. New York Jets- OT D’Brickashaw Ferguson (Virginia)

This pick worked out pretty well for the Jets. Ferguson proved himself to be one of the better left tackles in the league and, other than quarterback, no position is more valuable. There is a reason why the franchise tag for offensive linemen is normally the 2nd highest in the NFL after quarterback and why you rarely see franchise caliber left tackles on the open market, only behind quarterbacks in frequency.

5. Green Bay Packers- DE Tamba Hali (Penn State)

The Packers had just 35 sacks in 2005 and besides, how could you pass on Tamba Hali here? Hali has emerged as one of the best pass rushers in the league and has experience in both the 3-4 and 4-3, both of which the Packers have run since 2006, so he’d be a perfect fit for them.

6. San Francisco 49ers- OT Andrew Whitworth (LSU)

I have no idea how Andrew Whitworth has never made a Pro Bowl. He’s one of the most underrated players in the league and has been a legitimate franchise caliber left tackle on Cincinnati’s offensive line over the past few years. The 49ers allowed 48 sacks in 2005, 5th most in the NFL. They attempted to fix the problem the following draft by trading up for Joe Staley, but, while Staley has been solid on the left side for them, Whitworth is a much better player. Besides, this way they would have been able to keep their 1st round pick in 2008 (#7), which they surrendered to move up for Staley.

7. Oakland Raiders- CB Johnathan Joseph (South Carolina)

Oakland had the league’s 26th rated pass defense in 2005. They attempted to fix that by drafting safety Michael Huff at this pick. He’s been alright, but he hasn’t really been worth a top-10 pick. Joseph is worth one and would have solved the problem more directly.

8. Buffalo Bills- DT Haloti Ngata (Oregon)

Buffalo had the league’s 29th rated run defense in 2005. Haloti Ngata sure would have fixed that problem. In Baltimore’s hybrid 3-4/4-3 scheme, he has experience in both of the schemes the Bills have run since 2006, so he’s a perfect fit for them, on top of filling a need and being the best available player.

9. Detroit Lions- DE Elvis Dumervil (Louisville)

The Lions’ defense was so bad for so many years because they simply ignored it in the early rounds in the Matt Millen era. Just one of Millen’s eight 1st round picks was a defensive player (Ernie Sims). I guess drafting crappy receivers was more important. If they got a do-over, they’d probably have drafted more defensive players, like Elvis Dumervil, who definitely would have helped a pass rush that managed just 31 sacks in 2005.

10. Arizona Cardinals- G Jahri Evans (Bloomsburg)

Interior offensive lineman rarely go this high, but that’s because, if they don’t become Pro Bowlers, they’re pretty much disappointments as top-20 picks. If a guard drafted in the top-20 becomes just a solid starter, it’s a disappointment because you can find solid starting guards much later. At other positions like cornerback, wide receiver, left tackle etc, it’s not as big of a deal if they’re just solid. That being said, Jahri Evans is a 3-time Pro Bowler and really has been one of the league’s best interior offensive lineman over the past few years so there’s no doubt he deserves to go this high looking back in hindsight. The Cardinals have needed offensive line help in a big way for years.

11. Denver Broncos- WR Greg Jennings (Western Michigan)

Jennings doesn’t go in the top-10 because you have to wonder how he’d do without Aaron Rodgers or Brett Favre throwing him the football. The Broncos’ top two receivers in 2005 were Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie. Smith was heading into his age 36 season in 2006 and caught just 52 passes for 512 yards and 3 touchdowns before retiring at the end of the season. Lelie, meanwhile, left as a free agent during the 2006 offseason.

12. Baltimore Ravens- NT Kyle Williams (LSU)

The Ravens miss out on Haloti Ngata, but they get Kyle Williams instead. Williams was ProFootballFocus’ top rated defensive tackle in 2010 and only goes below Ngata because he was a bit of a late bloomer and because he hasn’t had the consistent success that Ngata has had. Maybe that would have been different in a defense surrounded by Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, and Ed Reed, among others.

13. Cleveland Browns- WR Brandon Marshall (Central Florida)

The Browns had lost #1 receiver Antonio Bryant during the offseason and needed a complimentary young receiver opposite Braylon Edwards, who didn’t exactly turn out as they planned. Marshall would have turned out how they planned Edwards to turn out though and given the Browns a much needed #1 receiver, something they’ve lacked for years.

14. Philadelphia Eagles- CB Brent Grimes (Shippensburg)

The Eagles had the league’s 23rd ranked pass defense in 2005. Brent Grimes would have gone higher, but he was a bit of a late bloomer. There’s no doubt that the Shippensburg product is one of the top cornerbacks in the league now though. He was just given the Falcons’ franchise tag this offseason at a position with a franchise tag value tied for 2nd highest in the league.

15. St. Louis Rams- WR Marques Colston (Hofstra)

The Rams haven’t had good receivers since the days of Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt. That once dynamic duo was heading into their age 34 and age 30 seasons respectively in 2006, so Colston would be some young talent for them to have waiting in the wings. Like Jennings, he doesn’t go higher because you have to wonder how he would have done without Drew Brees.

16. Miami Dolphins- TE Vernon Davis (Maryland)

This is a more appropriate place for Davis. Davis has become one of the better tight ends in the league, but he’s still just a tight end. Those guys are not really worth top-10 picks. Randy McMichael, a decent tight end, left the Dolphins after the 2006 season and left them starting Justin Peelle at tight end. He caught 29 passes for 228 yards and 2 touchdowns. After him, it’s been Anthony Fasano, who hasn’t been much better, at least as a pass catcher.

17. Minnesota Vikings- MLB Stephen Tulloch (NC State)

The Vikings took a linebacker here. Chad Greenway has been a solid player for them, but I think Tulloch is a better player because, unlike Greenway, he doesn’t struggle in coverage. He’d be a great fit for their cover 2 scheme, which requires linebackers be able to cover. He could have either played outside in Greenway’s spot, or inside and moved EJ Henderson outside.

18. Dallas Cowboys- MLB DeMeco Ryans (Alabama)

The Cowboys took a linebacker here. Bobby Carpenter really sucked. Here’s someone who doesn’t suck to fill a hole for the Cowboys in the middle of their linebacking corps.

19. San Diego Chargers- WR Miles Austin (Monmouth)

Keenan McCardell and Eric Parker were their top two wide receivers in 2005. Both left after the 2006 season. Vincent Jackson stepped up in their absence, but they could have used another receiver like Austin, especially since it would have allowed them to avoid to Buster Davis disaster in the 1st round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Austin goes below the other receivers because he was a late bloomer.

20. Kansas City Chiefs- DE Kamerion Wimbley (Florida State)

The Chiefs chose Tamba Hali here. That was a great pick, but he’s gone in this redo. However, they need to take some sort of pass rusher because Hali has been their only good pass rusher since and if they don’t replace him, they’ll really have trouble getting to the quarterback for years. Wimbley isn’t on Hali’s level, but he fits the range.

21. New England Patriots- RB DeAngelo Williams (Memphis)

The Patriots used this pick on Laurence Maroney. That didn’t work out. DeAngelo Williams would have worked out much better and made the Patriots’ offense even more explosive, which was obviously the goal with Maroney.

22. San Francisco 49ers- CB Tramon Williams (Louisiana Tech)

Tramon Williams upgrades a defense that ranked dead last against the pass in 2005. He has the talent to go earlier, especially after his 2010 season, but he was a late bloomer and is currently dealing with nerve damage in his shoulder that really limited him in 2011. We’ll see if he’s healthier and bounces back in 2012.

23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- OT Donald Penn (Utah State)

The Buccaneers got Donald Penn as an undrafted free agent and he turned into a legitimate left tackle for them. They wouldn’t be able to get him there again, so they just use their 1st round pick to secure a big part of their offense.

24. Cincinnati Bengals- CB Antonio Cromartie (Florida State)

The Bengals originally used this pick on Johnathan Joseph, but he’s not available unfortunately. Instead, they just take the best available cornerback to fill the void.

25. Pittsburgh Steelers- C Nick Mangold (Ohio State)

The Steelers have needed offensive line help for years. Besides, it’s a steal to get Mangold at this point. The league’s top center, Mangold would solidify their pass protection and anchor their running game.

26. Buffalo Bills- OLB Chad Greenway (Iowa)

Greenway goes off the board here and is an upgrade on the outside for a Buffalo defense that was using some scrub named Jeff Posey at one outside linebacker spot in 2005. No wonder they ranked 29th against the run.

27. Carolina Panthers- OT Eric Winston (Miami)

The Panthers had a need on the right side of their offensive line in 2006. Winston would have filled it and allowed them to continue the run heavy offense that Head Coach John Fox loves. They took right tackle Rashad Butler in the 3rd round.

28. Jacksonville Jaguars- DE Jeremy Mincey (Florida)

The Jaguars got to the quarterback 35 times in 2005 and have really struggled to get to the quarterback over the past few years. Mincey was a 6th round pick of the Jaguars’ in 2006, but I’m sure they wouldn’t mind taking him again with a 1st rounder in a redo since he’s their only proven pass rusher at the moment. He would have gone higher, but he was a late bloomer.

29. New York Jets- S Michael Huff (Texas)

This is a more appropriate spot for Michael Huff. He’s a solid safety, but he just wasn’t worth a top-10 pick. The Jets have had safety issues for years and even though this was a huge need in 2006, this is a best available player pick. The Jets also used a 3rd round pick on Eric Smith, a safety.

30. Indianapolis Colts- OLB D’Qwell Jackson (Maryland)

Another best available player pick, Jackson would have fit in with the Colts defense at linebacker. He would have gone higher if it weren’t for injury issues. The Colts used a 3rd rounder on a linebacker in 2006.

31. Seattle Seahawks- CB Tim Jennings (Georgia)

The Seahawks used this pick on Kelly Jennings, a cornerback. They had the right idea. They needed a cornerback. They just took the wrong Jennings. Tim is one of the best underrated cornerbacks in the league and was one of just two starting cornerbacks to not allow a touchdown last season.

32. New York Giants- OLB Mathias Kiwunaka (Boston College)

I don’t imagine the Giants have any complaints about this pick. Kiwanuka has been a solid starting linebacker and situational pass rusher for them.

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2005 NFL Draft Redo

1. San Francisco 49ers- QB Aaron Rodgers (California)

This is a no brainer. I don’t care how much 49ers fans might like Alex Smith now. They’d all do this move in a heartbeat.

2. Miami Dolphins- RLB DeMarcus Ware (Troy)

The Dolphins used a 2nd round pick on Matt Roth so pass rush was obviously a need for them. And even if it wasn’t, how could they pass on DeMarcus Ware?

3. Cleveland Browns- DE Trent Cole (Cincinnati)

Pass rushers typically go early off the board and Trent Cole, however underrated he may be, has been one of the best pass rushers in the league since being selected in 2005. In his 7 year NFL career, he has 68 sacks, including 63 in the last 6 seasons. He has 4 seasons of double digit sacks and hasn’t gone under 8 sacks since his rookie year. He’s been one of ProFootballFocus’ top 3 defensive ends in each of the last 4 seasons, the only player who can say that, and one of the top 2 players in each of the last 3 seasons. The Browns managed just 32 sacks in 2004, so they could have really used a pass rusher like Cole.

4. Chicago Bears- OT Michael Roos (Eastern Washington)

No team allowed more sacks in 2004 than the Bears, who allowed 66. It’s not like things are any better now. Roos is one of the most underrated players in the league, as well, as a legitimate franchise left tackle. These guys do not grow on trees and they are rarely available through trade or free agency. That’s why this position so often goes high in drafts.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- DE Justin Tuck (Notre Dame)

Sticking with the quarterback/pass rusher/left tackle theme because these positions are the ones most often drafted early in drafts and because this class seems to be loaded on them. The Buccaneers did have 45 sacks in 2004, but Simeon Rice only had one more year of double digit sacks in him before combined for 3 in 2006 and 2007, while the 8 sacks Greg Spires had in 2004 at age 30 proved to be a career high. Besides, how do you pass on Justin Tuck in this situation?

6. Tennessee Titans- DE Cameron Wake (Penn State)

Yet another great pass rusher. The only reason Wake isn’t higher is because he was a late bloomer. I still don’t understand how a player this talented was able to go undrafted and slip through the cracks despite playing at such a prominent football program in Penn State. Wake has ranked 4th and 1st at his position on ProFootballFocus in the last 2 seasons after posting a ridiculous 20.4 pass rush efficiency rate as a situational player in 2009 (no edge rusher else had one higher than 16.0 and no one who played as many snaps as he did had one higher than 14.1). In 2008, he was the CFL’s Defensive Player of the Year. The Titans managed just 32 sacks in 2004.

7. Minnesota Vikings- WR Roddy White (UAB)

The Vikings clearly felt they needed a wide receiver to replace Randy Moss, who had been traded in the 2005 offseason before the draft. The problem was they drafted the wrong one. Troy Williamson had 87 catches in his career. Roddy White has exceeded 83 catches in each of the last 5 seasons.

8. Arizona Cardinals- OT David Stewart (Mississippi State)

Another great player at a position of high value, David Stewart has been a right tackle his whole career in Tennessee opposite Michael Roos (how did Tennessee did up with both of those guys in the same draft?), but he’s been one of the best at his position and has the talent to potentially be a franchise left tackle if he ever had to. Even as a “mere” elite right tackle, he’s worth this pick for the Cardinals. They weren’t particularly awful in pass protection in 2004, allowing 39 sacks, but the Cardinals have had trouble protecting the quarterback for years and it’s tough to pass on someone like Stewart here.

9. Washington Redskins- WR Vincent Jackson (Northern Colorado)

The Redskins lost their top two receivers, Laveranues Coles and Rod Gardner, in the 2005 NFL offseason. Their leading returning receiver was Chris Cooley, who caught 37 passes for 314 yards and 6 touchdowns as a rookie and their leading returning wide receiver was James Thrash, who caught 17 passes for 203 yards. They signed Santana Moss that same offseason and Chris Cooley broke out in 2005, but their 3rd leading receiver in 2005 was David Patten with 22 catches for 217 yards. Let’s give them a better complimentary receiver and one of the best players available.

10. Detroit Lions- DT Jay Ratliff (Auburn)

The Lions’ defense was so bad for so many years because they simply ignored it in the early rounds in the Matt Millen era. Just one of Millen’s eight 1st round picks was a defensive player (Ernie Sims). I guess drafting crappy receivers was more important. If they got a do-over, they’d probably have drafted more defensive players, like Jay Ratliff, who happens to be one of the best available at this point.

11. Dallas Cowboys- RB Frank Gore (Miami)

Poor Cowboys. They lost out on DeMarcus Ware in this redraft. Running back was a need position for the Cowboys because in 2004 they had a washed up Eddie George splitting carries with Julius Jones. George averaged just 3.3 YPC in 2004 and retired that offseason. The Cowboys spent a 4th round pick in this draft on Marion Barber to replace George and he did that well, but they wouldn’t be able to get him at that point in a redraft. Gore in the 1st round is a more talented player and fits the range well. Running backs are risky early in drafts, but Gore has made it to 1653 career carries without too many problems and is 46th all-time in rushing yards and is still going somewhat strong in 2012, heading into his age 29 season.

12. San Diego Chargers- MLB Derrick Johnson (Texas)

The Chargers had an aged 32 Randall Godfrey start for them at middle linebacker in 2005 and Derrick Johnson is too talented for them to pass on anyway. Johnson was ProFootballFocus’ 4th ranked linebacker last season, for divisional rival Kansas City nonetheless and need is not as important as value in redrafts.

13. New Orleans Saints- RB Darren Sproles (Kansas State)

I didn’t know where to put Darren Sproles in this remock because he’s such a unique player. You could argue he should have put been about 10 spots lower than this or not in it all at, but running back was a need for the Saints in 2005 as they needed a compliment for Deuce McAllister, who would play in just 5 games the following season thanks to injury (leading to the Saints using the 2nd overall pick on Reggie Bush in the 2006 NFL Draft). Drew Brees wouldn’t get to the Saints for a year and neither would Sean Payton, but I love the fit of him in their system with Brees and Payton so much I’m putting him about 10-15 spots higher than he probably deserves.

14. Carolina Panthers- G Logan Mankins (Fresno State)

Interior offensive lineman rarely go this high, but that’s because, if they don’t become Pro Bowlers, they’re pretty much disappointments as top-20 picks. If a guard drafted in the top-20 becomes just a solid starter, it’s a disappointment because you can find solid starting guards much later. At other positions like cornerback, wide receiver, left tackle etc, it’s not as big of a deal if they’re just solid. That being said, Logan Mankins is a 4-time Pro Bowler and really has been one of the league’s best interior offensive lineman since being drafted so there’s no doubt he deserves to go this high looking back in hindsight. John Fox and the Panthers loved to run the rock and Mankins would have helped them accomplish that goal. The Panthers spent a 3rd round pick on this position so it was a need.

15. Kansas City Chiefs- CB Corey Webster (LSU)

The Chiefs had the league’s worst passing defense in 2004, allowing 8.5 YPA. That number is actually so bad that only the 2008 Lions have posted a worst number since, 8.8 YPA, and they didn’t win a game. Corey Webster has quietly been one of the leagues better cornerbacks with the Giants over the past few years.

16. Houston Texans- DT Jonathan Babineaux (Iowa)

The Texans had the right idea drafting a defensive tackle at this spot in 2005, after they ranked 23rd against the run in 2004, but they picked the wrong one. Travis Johnson was a complete bust, while Jonathan Babineaux remains one of the league’s better defensive tackles to this day.

17. Cincinnati Bengals- C Chris Myers (Miami)

Like Mankins, Myers goes earlier than most interior offensive lineman do because we know what he is now. He was ProFootballFocus’ #1 rated center last year and #1 rated run blocker regardless of position. He goes lower than Mankins because the 2005 6th round pick was more of a late bloomer than Mankins, who was great from the word go.

18. Minnesota Vikings- DE Shawne Merriman (Maryland)

Shawne Merriman and Darren Sproles were the 2 toughest players for me to place. Merriman had an amazing start to his career, with 40 sacks from 2005-2007, but injuries limited him to 5 sacks from 2008-2011 and after being cut by the Bills this preseason, his NFL career might be done at age 28. How much is 3 elite years worth? I’m putting him here conservatively. The Vikings used this pick on Erasmus James, a defensive end who managed 5 sacks his entire career. Using complete hindsight, the Vikings could have just cut Merriman after the 2007 season and not have owed him any more guaranteed money.

19. St. Louis Rams- OT Todd Herremans (Saginaw Valley State)

Ah, the perennial football powerhouse Saginaw Valley State. Anyway, the Rams had the right idea using this pick on an offensive tackle with Orlando Pace getting up there in age, but the problem was that Alex Barron really, really sucked. The Rams have had pretty poor offensive line play over the past 7 years and actually allowed 50 sacks in 2004 even with Pace. Herremans is a versatile player who can play guard and tackle and he definitely would have been an asset to the Rams.

20. Dallas Cowboys- 3-4 DE Chris Canty (Virginia)

The Cowboys originally used this pick on Marcus Spears. That didn’t work out so well, but luckily they used a 4th round pick on Chris Canty, another 3-4 defensive end. If they had used their 1st round pick on Canty and their 4th on Spears, that would have made more sense. Canty is a much more talented player than Spears and was a valuable player for the Cowboys before he left to sign with the Giants. Marcus Spears is actually still with the Cowboys, but I bet most of their fans wish that wasn’t the case. He isn’t very good.

21. Jacksonville Jaguars- WR Nate Washington (Tiffin)

Do Tiffin and Saginaw Valley State ever play each other? Anyway, this might seem a little early for Nate Washington, but the Jaguars have been starved for wide receiver help for forever. They used this pick on Matt Jones and that really did work out. Nate Washington proved last year he can be a 1000 yard receiver if given the chance, which he definitely would be in Jacksonville, and before that, he was a solid complimentary/slot receiver. This draft class is getting pretty thin so that’s worth this pick.

22. Baltimore Ravens- WR Lance Moore (Toledo)

The Ravens also used this pick on a wide receiver, taking Mark Clatyon. He didn’t really work out and Lance Moore has been a very good slot receiver for the Saints who has stepped into the starting lineup when needed over the past few years. Yeah, this draft class is getting thin.

23. Oakland Raiders- CB Stanford Routt (Houston)

The Raiders used this pick on Fabian Washington. That didn’t work out, though the Raiders did draft Stanford Routt in the 2nd round and that wasn’t so bad. I think they’d like to use their 1st round pick to secure Routt in a redraft.

24. Green Bay Packers- QB Alex Smith (Utah)

Alex Smith had a pretty miserable career up until last year, but maybe things would have worked out for him better if he had 3 years behind Brett Favre on the bench like Aaron Rodgers did. The Packers needed a successor for Favre, so they might as well take this chance.

25. Washington Redskins- QB Matt Cassel (USC)

Matt Cassel isn’t great, but is he really worse than the quarterbacks the Redskins have had since drafting Jason Campbell in this spot in 2005? Since then, they’ve had Mark Brunell (2005 and part of 2006), Campbell (part of 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009), Todd Collins (mixed in when Campbell was hurt at times from 2007-2009), Donovan McNabb (2010), and Rex Grossman and John Beck last year. They had to do something at the position and, unlike Jason Campbell, Matt Cassel is still a starter today.

26. Seattle Seahawks- DT Sione Pouha (Utah)

Pouha would have gone higher had he not been a late bloomer. He’s a pretty one dimensional player, but he’s an amazing run stuffer and was actually ProFootballFocus’ 1st rated defensive tackle in 2011. The Seahawks had the league’s 24th ranked run defense in 2004.

27. Atlanta Falcons- DT Mike Patterson (USC)

The Falcons used this pick on Roddy White, but unfortunately he’s not available any more. Neither is Jonathan Babineaux, their 2nd round pick, but Mike Patterson is a decent replacement to make up for that loss.

28. San Diego Chargers- WR Braylon Edwards (Michigan)

This is just another one of those I like the fit picks. Philip Rivers and the Chargers have always had success with taller receivers and they missed out on Vincent Jackson in this redraft, who was originally a 2nd round pick of theirs, so you know wide receiver was a need. Maybe Edwards’ career would have gone better if he was drafted by the Chargers and if not, he still managed to catch 80 passes for 1289 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2007 with Derek Anderson as his quarterback. That’s a major accomplishment even if it was only one season.

29. Indianapolis Colts- RB Cedric Benson (Texas)

The Colts had an aging Edgerrin James in 2005 and would use a 1st round pick on Joseph Addai in the 2006 NFL Draft. That didn’t work out so well, but maybe this would have worked out better. Benson was a bust in his early career in Chicago, but turned into a better player later in his career in Cincinnati. Maybe playing with a talented passing game around him, something he hasn’t gotten to do until this season, his age 30 season in Green Bay, would have allowed him to meet his potential. Like I said, this draft class is getting thin.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers- TE Heath Miller (Virginia)

This is the only pick that doesn’t change. Heath Miller has been a big and underrated part of the Steelers’ offense as a receiver and blocker since they used this pick on him in 2005. At first glance, he doesn’t seem like someone who was worth this pick in hindsight, but when you look at who was in this draft class, it makes a lot more sense at #30 overall.

31. Philadelphia Eagles- RB Brandon Jacobs (Southern Illinois)

Maybe Brian Westbrook wouldn’t have broken down so quickly if the Eagles had a power back like Brandon Jacobs to compliment him with. Maybe he still would have, but at least they would have had insurance.

32. New England Patriots- G Evan Mathis (Alabama)

Mathis has literally only had one good year in the NFL. He was no one last offseason and signed a small money deal with the Eagles, but he was ProFootballFocus’ #1 rated guard this season. That’s worth putting him here as a replacement for Logan Mankins with the Patriots.

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