As we move closer and closer to April’s draft, it only makes sense to go back through the 2017 NFL draft class and re-draft the first round. Sure hindsight is 20/20, but going through and picking apart what teams “should” have done is in the media’s nature, right?
Knowing what they know now, do you think NFL teams would draft different players? Heck yes, I do. You’re lying to yourself if you think they wouldn’t. Something to highlight before we move forward – I understand trades were made because of the supply/demand on draft night. However, I will be making my selections based on the trades that did occur.
Without further adieu, if these teams received a mulligan, would they take the same players?
Cleveland Browns – 1st Overall
Original selection – Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
Heading into the 2017 NFL draft, the Cleveland Browns had an excessive amount of holes in their roster so realistically the Myles Garrett pick is a great pick. However, the Browns have been anemic when it comes to drafting a quarterback. Can you remember the last time they had someone that made your eyes pop (for a good reason, of course)?
Because the Browns have missed so many times with quarterbacks over the years, that’s the position they should look at. Outside of a dominating pass rusher, the most important position is quarterback.
Re-drafted Selection – Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Chicago Bears – 2nd Overall
Original selection – Mitchell Trubisky, QB, UNC
Mitchell Trubisky was a solid pick for the Bears and one I think they stick with even if they could re-draft. While it was tempting to draft Mahomes here, I think Trubisky is the right pick. The Bears just released a quarterback that had a huge arm and decided to go in a different direction.
Re-drafted Selection – Mitchell Trubisky, QB, UNC
San Francisco 49ers – 3rd Overall
Original selection – Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
Solomon Thomas was drafted third overall by the 49ers, but with Myles Garrett on the board, there is no chance I draft Thomas over Garrett.
While Thomas likely will go on to have a highly successful career, the 49ers would have struck gold having Myles Garrett land in their lap at third overall.
Re-drafted Selection – Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
Jacksonville Jaguars – 4th Overall
Original selection – Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Leonard Fournette was the perfect selection by the Jacksonville Jaguars – they absolutely nailed their draft pick. While some people may draft Dalvin Cook or Alvin Kamara, Fournette was the perfect selection as the Jaguars were looking for a downhill running back that carries the football 20-25 times a game.
Additionally, the Jaguars do not throw the football to running backs very often so neither Cook or Kamara would have been utilized like Fournette was.
Re-drafted selection – Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Tennessee Titans – 5th Overall
Original selection – Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
The Titans addressed two major needs they had last season with the 5th and 18th picks (wide receiver and cornerback). Instead of waiting to draft Adoreé Jackson with the 18th pick, the Titans would gladly go back and take Marshon Lattimore with the 5th selection.
Lattimore was one if the best cornerback’s in the NFL last season.
Two CBs played 500+ coverage snaps and allowed 0 TDs last season: Marshon Lattimore and Aaron Colvin. pic.twitter.com/wE4OfJC0rS
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) February 25, 2018
He was widely recognized as one of the league’s toughest cornerbacks. Because of his superior island play, he was awarded the 2018 Defensive Rookie of the Year.
This marks the first time an @NFL team has swept the Rookie of the Year awards since Detroit’s Mel Farr and Lem Barney did it in 1967
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) February 4, 2018
Re-drafted selection – Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
New York Jets – 6th Overall
Original selection – Jamal Adams, SS, LSU
Jamal Adams was one of my favorite rookies from last season. I projected him sixth overall to the Jets but thought the Titans might take him with the fifth overall selection.
There is little dispute that Jamal Adams will continue to have success on the field, even if he does play for the New York Jets. He is a perfect fit for Todd Bowles and his system as he can play at the line of scrimmage and over the top as a last resort.
Re-drafted selection – Jamal Adams, SS, LSU
Los Angeles Chargers – 7th Overall
Original selection – Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Mike Williams still has a lot of football ahead of him. However, because of his injury history, I highly doubt the Los Angeles Chargers draft him if they have a redo.
Imagine the defensive backfield if the Chargers added Tre’Davious White to the mix.
Tre’Davious White earned the top grade among rookie CBs in 2017! pic.twitter.com/fWZ2s0YHec
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) February 15, 2018
White and Casey Heyward would make one of the league’s most dangerous defensive backfield – arguably better than Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye.
Re-drafted selection – Tre-Davious White, CB, LSU
Carolina Panthers – 8th Overall
Original selection – Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
While Christian McCaffrey was a valuable asset for the Panthers in 2017, I think McCaffrey’s Stanford teammate, Solomon Thomas, is too good of a defensive lineman to pass up at eighth overall.
Thomas didn’t have the season he quite hoped for, but if the Panthers shuffled him in the mix with their terrorizing defensive line, his numbers, without question, would have increased.
Re-drafted selection – Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford
Cincinnati Bengals – 9th Overall
Original selection – John Ross, WR, Washington
Patrick Mahomes would represent a new era for Bengals fans (along with firing Marvin Lewis, to be completely honest). The Bengals would benefit greatly from a big, strong arm like Mahomes.
Imagine the production A.J. Green would have!
Re-drafted selection – Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
Kansas City Chiefs – 10th Overall
Original selection – Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
Obviously, the Chiefs moved up multiple spots to draft Mahomes, but for the sake of this article, let’s ignore that. Kareem Hunt was an outstanding late round pick, but what if they took a running back with this selection?
The Chiefs show flashes of brilliant offensive plays with Travis Kelce and homerun threat Tyreek Hill – and with this pick, they could add Alvin Kamara to the list. He would arguably be the most explosive player between the three.
Alvin Kamara led all RBs in yards per route run in his rookie season! pic.twitter.com/K5NKWK9IyH
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) March 3, 2018
Re-drafted selection – Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee
New Orleans Saints – 11th Overall
Original selection – Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
Marshon Lattimore was a steal of a pick at 11th overall. However, since Kamara is off the board, I could see the Saints taking a very similar player in Christian McCaffrey.
McCaffrey stays in the NFC South but gets paired with a much more accurate quarterback and better offensive mind in Sean Payton.
Here are the top five plays from McCaffrey’s rookie season.
— NFL UK (@NFLUK) March 5, 2018
Re-drafted selection – Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
Houston Texans – 12th Overall
Original selection – Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Looking back on last year’s draft, I still don’t know how Watson fell to 12th overall. Last season, Russell Wilson led the NFL in touchdowns with 34 which was the lowest touchdown total since 2009 (Drew Brees). If you look at the statistics from this past season, Deshaun Watson was on pace to record 34 touchdowns.
The Texans defense is one of the top units in the NFL and would have benefited greatly to add Budda Baker to their lineup. He can play both in the box and over the top.
Baker would feast playing with a defense that gets after the quarterback as well as the Texans front seven do.
Re-drafted selection – Budda Baker, S, Washington
Arizona Cardinals – 13th Overall
Original selection – Hasson Reddick, OLB, Temple
Hasson Reddick didn’t play as well as he would have liked in the 2017 season. And with the Arizona Cardinals losing Calais Campbell to free-agency, the Cardinals need to stay on the defensive side of the football.
Why not draft the player that led all rookies in sacks? Carl Lawson led all rookies with 7.5 sacks last season and shows no signs of slowing down. Arizona finished in a three-way tie for 17th most sacks in the NFL last season. If you add the five-sack differential from Reddick to Lawson, the Cardinals finish top seven in sacks.
Draft the guy that gets after the quarterback.
Re-drafted selection – Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn
Philadelphia Eagles – 14th Overall
Original selection – Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
By all accounts, Derek Barnett had a very successful season, but if Philadelphia was given a redo, do they draft him again?
I don’t think so – not after the season Takk McKinley had for the Falcons. While Takk didn’t find the field as often as he would’ve liked, he made his presence known by showing his relentless motor.
Despite playing only 38% of defensive snaps, he recorded the second most sacks of the rookie class at six.
Re-drafted selection – Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA
Indianapolis Colts – 15th Overall
Original selection – Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
While Malik Hooker was one of the top players on my big board a season ago, an early season-ending injury abruptly ended his rookie season.
Knowing what they know now, do the Colts still draft Malik Hooker? Probably not. The Colts biggest need is a pass rusher along the defensive front. Only Tampa Bay finished with fewer sacks than the Colts last year (25 sacks). While sacks are not the “end all be all” statistic, they sure are important.
For the third consecutive pick, a team drafts a defensive end.
Re-drafted selection – Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
The draft is my favorite time of the year. I can’t wait for April 26th – Christmas comes early.