May 3rd was the deadline to pick up the fifth-year options for 2015 first round picks. Now that it has passed and with three seasons to see how the draft class has played, it’s fair to look back and do a re-draft! For the purposes of this re-draft I’m going to keep all trades in place.
- Buccaneers – Jameis Winston (Option picked up) Re-draft: Winston (taken 1th overall)
The Buccaneers got it right the first time around. While Jameis Winston hasn’t played up to expectation yet, he is improving. Even though Winston isn’t the best player from this draft class, if you don’t have a quarterback you have no chance to win.
- Titans – Marcus Mariota (Option picked up) Re-draft: Mariota (taken 2nd overall)
Much like the Buccaneers, the Titans are in the same boat. Marcus Mariota hasn’t played up to the expectations yet and has some injury history to him. However, would the franchise be better off with a non-quarterback in this spot instead? Absolutely not.
- Jaguars – Dante Fowler Jr. (Option decline) Re-draft: Leonard Williams (taken 6th overall)
As good as the Jaguars defense is, Dante Fowler is a second-tier player on that unit. Fowler had his fifth-year option declined because he is stuck behind Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue on the depth chart and had failed to produce until last season. Leonard Williams would replace anyone the Jaguars have starting at defensive tackle and would make a dangerous defense even better.
- Raiders – Amari Cooper (Option picked up) Re-draft: Todd Gurley (taken 10th overall)
While the Raiders have high hopes for Amari Cooper and picked up his fifth-year option, imagine how good Todd Gurley would be behind that offensive line. None of the running backs on the Raiders’ roster are very good, and Gurley would be a game changer for the offense.
- Redskins – Brandon Scherff (Option picked up) Re-draft: Scherff (taken 5th overall)
Brandon Scherff has been one of the best guards in the league since being drafted in 2015. Over his three year career, Scherff has played in 46 out of 48 games and started everyone of them. He is also coming off back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons.
- Jets – Leonard Williams (Option picked up) Re-draft: David Johnson (taken 86th overall)
If Williams was still around, he would be the pick. However, with him off the board the Jets turn their attention to helping out rookie quarterback Sam Darnold. David Johnson was the steal of the 2015 draft class and is one of the best three down backs in the league. Giving Darnold a running back like Johnson would make his transition to the NFL much easier.
- Bears – Kevin White (Option decline) Re-draft: Amari Cooper (taken 4th overall)
Injuries have ruined Kevin White’s career. During the off-season the Bears signed Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and drafted Anthony Miller in the second round. White had his fifth-year option declined and he might not make the final roster in September. Had the Bears taken Cooper, signing Robinson never would have been needed.
- Falcons – Vic Beasley (Option picked up) Re-draft: Beasley (taken 8th overall)
Remember when everyone was debating who was the better prospect between Fowler and Vic Beasley? Well clearly Beasley has been better. Beasley has 24.5 career sacks, including leading the league with 15.5 back in 2016. That year Beasley was a Pro Bowl selection and made first team All-Pro.
- Giants – Ereck Flowers (Option decline) Re-draft: Landon Collins (taken 33rd overall)
Imagine being the Giants and the pick after you take Flowers, the Rams land the best running back in the league. Ereck Flowers has been a huge disappointment since being drafted. However, the Giants saved themselves — somewhat — by selecting Landon Collins at the top of the second round. When healthy, Collins is one of the better safeties in the league.
- Rams – Todd Gurley (Option picked up) Re-draft: Melvin Gordon (taken 15th overall)
If not for the knee injury, Gurley would never have made it this far down the draft. The Rams made the right choice and haven’t looked back since. With Gurley and Johnson off the board, the best running back left is Melvin Gordon. While he isn’t the level of player Gurley is, Gordon is one of the better running backs in the league.
- Vikings – Trae Waynes (Option picked up) Re-draft: Eric Kendricks (taken 45th overall)
Trae Waynes wasn’t a bad pick, but the Vikings made two better picks later in the draft. One of them was second round pick Eric Kendricks, who just signed a big contract extension. With all the depth at cornerback, the Vikings could handle losing Waynes. Without Kendricks, that defense wouldn’t be the same.
- Browns – Danny Shelton (Option decline) Re-draft: D.J. Humphries (taken 24th overall)
Browns fans should be happy; the team is finally improving. However, with Joe Thomas retiring there is now a big hole at left tackle. The Browns traded Danny Shelton and a fifth round pick to the Patriots for a 2019 third round pick earlier this off-season. Imagine how much better the Browns would be if D.J. Humphries had been playing right tackle all this time and would now flip to the left side.
- Saints – Andrus Peat (Option picked up) Re-draft: Peat (taken 13th overall)
The Saints are known for Drew Brees and their two-headed running game with Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. However, their offensive line is one of the best in the league. That isn’t the case without Andrus Peat. His versatility was needed last season, as he played in multiple positions along the offensive line because of injuries.
- Dolphins – DeVante Parker (Option picked up) Re-draft: Stefon Diggs (taken 146th overall)
Injuries have been an issue for DeVante Parker. However; even when on the field, Parker has struggled to produce. In three seasons, Parker has eight touchdowns while Stefon Diggs had eight last season alone. The quarterback play in Miami hasn’t been very good, but Diggs has shown an ability to produce with multiple quarterbacks.
- Chargers via 49ers – Melvin Gordon (Option picked up) Re-draft: Kwon Alexander (taken 124th overall)
Had Gordon still been on the board he would have been the pick. However, with him gone the Chargers turn to upgrading the linebacker spot. Both Denzel Perryman and Jatavis Brown have struggled to stay healthy. Plugging Kwon Alexander in the middle of that already great Chargers defense would make them arguably the best in the league.
- Texans – Kevin Johnson (Option picked up) Re-draft: Marcus Peters (taken 18th overall)
Taking a cornerback was the right move for the Texans; however, they took the wrong cornerback. While Kevin Johnson has been solid, he has missed 14 games over the last two seasons and has just one career interception. Marcus Peters can be difficult to coach at times, but he has 19 career interceptions.
- 49ers via Chargers – Arik Armstead (Option picked up) Re-draft: Danielle Hunter (taken 88th overall)
At the time, Arik Armstead was a good pick under their 3-4 defense. With the switch to a 4-3 defense last season, Armstead is playing out of position and has just six career sacks. Danielle Hunter was a steal for the Vikings and has 25.5 career sacks. Hunter would be a perfect fit opposite Solomon Thomas at defensive end.
- Chiefs – Marcus Peters (Option picked up) Re-draft: Byron Jones (taken 27th overall)
Peters was a great pick for the Chiefs but with him off the board they turn their attention to a player with more versatility. Byron Jones has experience at both safety and cornerback. His ability to line up in several spots would provide the Chiefs defense another nice chess piece in the secondary to go along with Eric Berry.
- Browns via Bills – Cameron Erving (Option decline) Re-draft: Preston Smith (taken 38th overall)
This pick was part of the Sammy Watkins trade from the previous draft. Needless to say the Browns wasted this pick. Cameron Erving was traded to the Chiefs last off-season and now is fighting for his roster spot. Meanwhile, Preston Smith was a good pick by the Redskins in the season round and has two seasons with eight sacks. Pairing Smith with Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah would give the Browns a good trio of pass rushers.
- Eagles – Nelson Agholor (Option picked up) Re-draft: Agholor (taken 20th overall)
Prior to last season Nelson Agholor looked like a bust, as he had trouble catching the ball and producing despite plenty of opportunity. After a move to the slot he has drastically improved, posting career highs across the board. Agholor tied for second on the team with eight touchdowns and should continue to improve in 2018.
- Bengals – Cedric Ogbuehi (Option decline) Re-draft: Mitch Morse (taken 49th overall)
Cedric Ogbuehi was the first of two offensive tackles the Bengals took in that draft class. Jake Fisher was the other tackle and is the better of the two. After declining his fifth-year option, Ogbuehi’s roster spot is in doubt, especially with the addition of Cordy Glenn. Had the Bengals taken Mitch Morse, 2018 first round pick Billy Price could slide to guard and improve two spots on the offensive line.
- Steelers – Bud Dupree (Option picked up) Re-draft: Dante Fowler Jr. (taken 3rd overall)
Coming off his career high six sacks last season, the Steelers picked up Bud Dupree’s option, but it wasn’t an easy decision. While Dupree has been solid, he has yet to become a game changer. After missing his rookie year with a torn ACL, Dante Fowler has put up 12 sacks over the last two seasons including eight last year.
- Broncos via Lions – Shane Ray (Option decline) Re-draft: Trae Waynes (taken 11th overall)
After selecting Bradley Chubb, the decision to decline Shane Ray’s option became much easier. Ray has just 13 career sacks and missed eight games last season with an injury. With the trade of Aqib Talib, the Broncos lack a proven third cornerback. Waynes would match up well with Bradley Roby and Chris Harris.
- Cardinals – D.J. Humphries (Option picked up) Re-draft: Markus Golden (taken 58th overall)
Ideally the Cardinals would love for Humphries to be here, but with him gone they instead they turn to their second round pick, Markus Golden. Last season Golden torn his ACL in week four, but in 2016 he had 12.5 sacks. Chandler Jones gets a lot of credit on the Cardinals defense but Golden plays a critical role as well.
- Panthers – Shaq Thompson (Option picked up) Re-draft: Frank Clark (taken 63rd overall)
Last season both Mario Addison and Julius Peppers had 11 sacks. However, both are on the wrong side of 30 and are in contract years. The depth behind them is questionable at best. Frank Clark has 19 sacks over the last two seasons and would provide even more pressure from the outside to complement their excellent interior group.
- Ravens – Breshad Perriman (Option decline) Re-draft: Ali Marpet (taken 61st overall)
During his three year career, Breshad Perriman has missed 21 games and has only 43 career catches. The Ravens signed three wide receivers in free agency and drafted two more. Perriman’s chances of making the roster in September are slim. Ali Marpet has been a player since the Buccaneers took him in the second round. After losing Ryan Jensen in free agency, the Ravens need a new center.
- Cowboys – Byron Jones (Option picked up) Re-draft: Devin Funchess (taken 41st overall)
Looking back, Jones was a great pick for the Cowboys. However, with him off the board the Cowboys turn to their biggest need; wide receiver. After the release of Dez Bryant, the Cowboys lack a true number one wide receiver. While Devin Funchess isn’t a great number one option, he is coming off a career season with 63 catches for 840 yards and eight touchdowns.
- Lions via Broncos – Laken Tomlinson (Option decline) Re-draft: Shane Ray (taken 23rd overall)
Last season Ziggy Ansah lead the Lions with 12 sacks, second on the team with Anthony Zettel with 6.5, while no one else had more than three. Ansah is on a one-year deal with the franchise tag, and the Lions did little to improve the defensive line in the 2018 draft. Laken Tomlinson was traded to to 49ers last off-season for a 2019 fifth round pick. Ray hasn’t lived up to his first round expectations, but he would help the Lions more than Tomlinson did.
- Colts – Phillip Dorsett (Option decline) Re-draft: Trent Brown (taken 244th overall)
The Colts spent two of there first three picks in the 2018 draft on offensive lineman, but both picks were on guards and Denzelle Good is projected to start at right tackle. Phillip Dorsett was traded for Jacoby Brissett just before the 2017 season and Brissett is a good back up. However, Trent Brown is one of the more underrated right tackles in the league and would be an upgrade over Good.
- Packers – Damarious Randall (Option picked up) Re-draft: DeVante Parker (taken 14th overall)
Earlier this off-season the Packers traded Damarious Randall to the Browns in exchange for DeShone Kizer and a couple of draft pick swaps. Moving to cornerback, Randall struggled as a Packer and needed a fresh start elsewhere. Parker has been a disappointment so far in his career but how much of that is due to poor quarterback play in Miami? With Jordy Nelson now a Raider, Parker could have had a major impact in Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers.
- Saints via Seahawks – Stephone Anthony (Option decline) Re-draft: Grady Jarrett (taken 137th overall)
Originally this pick was part of the Jimmy Graham deal. The Saints took Stephone Anthony and, after two seasons, he was traded to the Dolphins for a 2018 fifth round pick. Anthony has been a role player at best during his NFL career. Grady Jarrett; however, has been a force for the Falcons with eight sacks in three years. After losing Nick Fairley to a heart condition, the Saints need a replacement at defensive tackle.
- Patriots – Malcom Brown (Option decline) Re-draft: Shaq Thompson (take 25th overall)
Getting back Dont’a Hightower from injury will help the Patriots linebacker group. They also drafted two on the third day of the 2018 draft. However, the Patriots still lack a true cover linebacker. Shaq Thompson has been an underrated part of the Panthers defense and would have fit in well for the Patriots.
After three seasons the draft class has shown several Pro Bowl caliber talents and a few busts already. Only 18 of the original 32 first round picks were re-selected in this re-draft. Four teams; Falcons, Panthers, Rams, and Redskins each had two players selected in the re-draft. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers, Cardinals, and Vikings each had three players selected in the re-draft. The Vikings have had the most success since the 2015 draft, and clearly that draft class is a big reason why.