Many NFL teams will look back on last year’s draft with regret (I’m looking at you San Diego) and if they had another chance to make their selections then some teams would simply jump at the opportunity.
Here at Read American Football we love ‘what if’ situations and in this re-draft article, I outline, with the benefit of hindsight, what teams should have done.
1. Tampa Bay Buccanneers: Jameis Winston QB (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
No change here for the Bucs, Winston was superb and with better weapons in the future, he should become an elite signal caller in this league.
2. Tennessee Titans: Marcus Mariota QB (Tennessee Titans)
No change for the Titans either, Mariota had no running game, no offensive line and only one NFL viable receiving option. He showed promise at times.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Marcus Peters CB (Kansas City Chiefs)
This may seem harsh on Dante Fowler Jr, but we have no idea if he will become good. Peters was superb last season and Jacksonville’s secondary is a hot mess.
4. Oakland Raiders: Amari Cooper WR (Oakland Raiders)
Oakland have drafted well lately and Cooper helped continue this trend. He dropped a few balls but his route running was superb.
5. Washington Redskins: Todd Gurley RB (LA Rams)
Brandon Scherff had an OK rookie year, but Gurley was amazing for the Rams and the Redskins need a running game as Alfred Morris has turned from Alfred the Great to Alfred the WOAT.
6. New York Jets: Leonard Williams DE (New York Jets)
It was a shock he fell this far in the original draft but he will fall again in this draft. He was a great fit for the Jets 3-4 scheme and it is making Todd Bowles consider the future of Mo Wilkerson.
7. Chicago Bears: Eric Kendricks MLB (Minnesota Vikings)
Another injury snub but the Bears have a big problem at middle linebacker and Kendricks was really useful for the Vikings. John Fox would love a player like him.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Vic Beasley DE (Atlanta Falcons)
The Falcons didn’t get a lot out of Beasley but it was mainly because there was no penetration on his opposite side. His strip sack of Cam Newton showed his talent.
9. New York Giants: La’el Collins OG (Dallas Cowboys)
The Cowboys continue to produce amazing o-linemen and Collins was a great player for them. The Giants pick of Ereck Flowers looks to be a straight up bust.
10. Los Angeles Rams: Thomas Rawls RB (Seattle Seahawks)
Seattle hit the jackpot with Rawls and with Gurley off the board, LA would likely give Rawls a chance.
11. Minnesota Vikings: Trae Waynes CB (Minnesota Vikings)
Waynes has fitted the Vikings system extremely well, there is no need for change on their part.
12. Cleveland Browns: David Johnson RB (Arizona Cardinals)
Cleveland’s running back core was nearly as bad as their wide receiver core (if you can call it that). Johnson could run riot behind their O-Line.
13. New Orleans Saints: Ronald Darby CB (Buffalo Bills)
The Saints secondary was an absolute train wreck last season and Darby was arguably the best defensive player in the draft class.
14. Miami Dolphins: Andrus Peat OT (New Orleans Saints)
The Dolphins offensive line was the worst in the NFL last year and Peat would have helped them protect Ryan Tannehill.
15. San Diego Chargers: Jeremy Langford RB (Chicago Bears)
I’m not a guy to judge a draft pick after one year, but Gordon is a flat out bust. Langford was solid for Chicago behind the legendary Matt Forte.
16. Houston Texans: Kevin Johnson CB (Houston Texans)
Bill O’Brien will be counting his stars in our imaginary scenario as his young stud of a cornerback slips to them at 16.
17. San Francisco 49ers: Arik Armstead DE (San Francisco 49ers)
Armstead was one of the most underrated players in the League last year, he did a great job in the 3-4 system and there’s no reason for San Fran to change their pick.
18. Kansas City Chiefs: Preston Smith OLB (Washington Redskins)
The Chiefs would be disappointed that Peters was lost, but Smith is a good long term replacement for the likely departing Tamba Hali.
19. Cleveland Browns: Dante Fowler OLB (Jacksonville Jaguars)
This is a risk, but picking safely hasn’t worked for Cleveland in the past. Their pass rush is awful so Fowler could eventually be the answer.
20. Philadelphia Eagles: Brandon Scherff OG (Washington Redskins)
I don’t think Scherff was ever worth a top five pick, 20 is about where he should have gone. The Eagles interior o-line was poor, Scherff is an upgrade.
21. Cincinatti Bengals: Tyler Lockett WR (Seattle Seahawks)
The Bengals would be losing Jones and Sanu so Lockett could be a long term target for Andy Dalton. He is deadly on deep routes and rarely drops the ball.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers: Byron Jones CB/S (Dallas Cowboys)
The Steelers secondary was a terrible mess last year and Jones could go close to making it good. He was the only competent guy in the Cowboys secondary.
23. Denver Broncos: Shane Ray DE (Denver Broncos)
Other players were tempting here but why would the Broncos alter a winning team?
24. Arizona Cardinals: Danny Shelton DT (Cleveland Browns)
The Cardinals got nothing out of DJ Humphries, D-Line was also a need and Shelton was a decent nose tackle for Cleveland.
25. Carolina Panthers: Shaq Thompson OLB (Carolina Panthers)
The Panthers were worried going into the draft but Thompson fitted their system so well, great in coverage and a strong tackler.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Rob Havenstein OT (LA Rams)
Breshad Perriman had a red shirt year for the Ravens which disappointed fans. The Ravens O-Line struggled to protect Flacco all year and Havenstein would have been a good fit on their line.
27. Dallas Cowboys: Frank Clark DE (Seattle Seahawks)
The Cowboys pass rush was underwhelming so Frank Clark would have been a lovely boost on the outside to help young Jack Crawford on the inside.
28. Detroit Lions: Ali Marpet OG (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
The Lions tried to improve their line with Laken Tomlinson and although he showed promise, Marpet of the Buccanneers was a lot better.
29. Indianapolis Colts: Stefon Diggs WR (Minnesota Vikings)
The Colts enjoy drafting small wide recievers but in 2015 the decision to draft Dorsett was atrocious. Diggs was versatile and his ability to play underneath is a good contrast for T.Y Hilton.
30. Green Bay Packers: Damarious Randall CB (Green Bay Packers)
The Packers always seem to draft well and Randall fitted into this pattern. He was productive for their defence and he wouldn’t need to be changed.
31. New Orleans Saints: Mario Edwards DE (Oakland Raiders)
The Saints pass rush was pathetic and this put a strain on the secondary. Edwards has performed nicely for the Oakland Raiders and he would have been an upgrade on their ancient pass rush unit.
32. New England Patriots: Malcom Brown DT (New England Patriots)
There were other options here but I wouldn’t dare question the strategy of Bill Bellichick.