May 3rd was the deadline to pick up the fifth year options for 2014 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 we are going to keep all trades in effect.
- Houston Texans: Jadeveon Clowney
Re-pick: Derek Carr (taken 36th overall)
Clowney finally got healthy last season and showed why he was picked first overall. However, the Texans have several good pass rushers but lack a franchise quarterback. In hindsight, taking Carr would have put this team over the top and into Superbowl contention over the past two seasons.
- Los Angeles Rams (from Redskins): Greg Robinson
Re-pick: Khalil Mack (taken 5th overall)
With an already scary defensive image, if the Rams had Mack lining up as an outside linebacker in defensive coordinator Wade Phillip’s 3-4 defense, that would have put them over the top and provided them with arguably the best pass rusher in the NFL today. Mack is clearly the best defender to come out of this draft class and is already one of the best in the NFL. Robinson has been a bust and had his fifth year option declined making him a free agent after the 2017 season.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Blake Bortles
Re-pick: Jadeveon Clowney (taken 1st overall)
Bortles has been a question mark at best in his first three seasons in the league. The Jaguars did pick up his fifth year option, but they don’t have a ton of faith in him. With no quarterback worth the pick here, the Jaguars should have taken Clowney which in turn gives them one of the best pass rushers in the league, making that young defense even more dangerous.
- Buffalo Bills (from Browns): Sammy Watkins
Re-pick: Odell Beckham Jr. (taken 12th overall)
The Bills made the right decision to trade up to select a wide receiver, but they picked the wrong one. In a shocking move, the Bills declined Watkins’ fifth year option as he has battled injuries since entering the league. Meanwhile Beckham has been arguably the best receiver in the NFL the last three years.
- Oakland Raiders: Khalil Mack
Re-pick: Aaron Donald (taken 13th overall)
Clearly the Raiders nailed the 2014 draft as they selected the top two players in this re-draft. Since both Carr and Mack are off the board they select Donald, who has been a force and arguably the best interior defensive lineman in the NFL. Donald is a hell of a consolation prize after missing out on Mack in this re-draft.
- Atlanta Falcons: Jake Matthews
Re-pick: Jake Matthews (taken 6th overall)
The Falcons nailed this pick. Matthews has been one of the more underrated blindside protectors in the NFL and a big reason why Matt Ryan had an MVP season in 2016. Matthews is clearly the best tackle from this draft class.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Evans
Re-pick: Mike Evans (taken 7th overall)
What a great pick for them. Evans has turned into one of the best receivers in the NFL and a mismatch nightmare for opposing defenses. Without Evans this offense wouldn’t be anywhere near the same.
- Cleveland Browns (from Vikings): Justin Gilbert
Re-pick: Jimmy Garoppolo (taken 62nd overall)
Well we all know how bad the Browns screwed this draft up. Both their first round picks are currently out of the league. Gilbert was a bust and never was trusted by the coaching staff. All the rumors have been linking Garoppolo to the Browns since the end of the 2016 season. It sure would be nice if the Browns actually had drafted the quarterback, instead of potentially giving up multiple premium draft picks.
- Minnesota Vikings (from Bills through Browns): Anthony Barr
Re-pick: Anthony Barr (taken 9th overall)
Barr is a critical part to Mike Zimmer’s defense. Being able to line up as a linebacker on early downs and then put his hand in the dirt as a pass rusher on third down makes makes him one of the best in the league. Barr has 208 total tackles in three years as a starter and is a do it all three down linebacker.
- Detroit Lions: Eric Ebron
Re-pick: Jarvis Landry (taken 63rd overall)
Just imagine if this Lions offense had Landry working the middle of the field with Marvin Jones and Golden Tate on the outside. Matthew Stafford might throw for 6,000 yards in a season with that trio of receivers.
- Tennessee Titans: Tayor Lewan
Re-pick: Taylor Lewan (taken 11th overall)
Lewan was a beast at left tackle for the Titans this past season. Not only does Lewan do a great job protecting Marcus Mariota’s blindside, but also has a major impact on their running game.
- New York Giants: Odell Beckham Jr
Re-pick: Zack Martin (taken 16th overall)
Beckham was a steal here and if he was available in this re-draft, the Giants would take him again, but with him off the board they should take Martin. They have one of the weakest offensive lines in the league and Martin has been one of the best guards since entering the league.
- Los Angeles Rams: Aaron Donald
Re-pick: Brandin Cooks (taken 20th overall)
Donald is long gone so the Rams turn to give Jared Goff a legit number one wide receiver. Cooks would not only help the passing game but keep defenses from stacking the box with eight defenders against Todd Gurley. Cook has over 2,800 yards since entering the league.
- Chicago Bears: Kyler Fuller
Re-pick: Jason Verrett (taken 25th overall)
Taking a cornerback was the right move for the Bears, but they selected the wrong one. Fuller’s fifth year option was declined and he has battled injuries all of his career. Meanwhile Verrett has turned into one of the better cornerbacks in the league despite being slightly undersized at 5’10”.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: Ryan Shazier
Re-pick: Stephon Tuitt (taken 46th overall)
Tuitt was taken in the second round by the Steelers, and while both players have been good for them, Tuitt plays a more critical role for them in their 3-4 defense. Tuitt has 11.5 sacks in three years and should be getting a major extension done soon.
- Dallas Cowboys: Zack Martin
Re-pick: Dee Ford (taken 23rd overall)
Owner Jerry Jones almost took Johnny Manziel here but was talked out of it in favor of Martin instead. Thankfully he made the right decision, but with Martin off the board in this re-draft they select Ford. With a lack of pass rushers, Ford would have started from day one and would be the best pass rusher the team has had since DeMarcus Ware left in free agency.
- Baltimore Ravens: C.J. Mosley
Re-pick: Allen Robinson (taken 61st overall)
Mosley has been a beast for them since they selected him, but the Ravens’ lack any firepower on offense. Robinson has been a true number one wide receiver since entering the league and just imagine how much better he would be playing for a consistent quarterback like Joe Flacco.
- New York Jets: Calvin Pryor
Re-pick: Malcolm Butler (undrafted)
The Jets are ready to move on from Pryor as they declined his fifth year option and are looking to trade him after drafting both Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye. Butler has become the best undrafted player from this draft class and is a legit number one cornerback. The Jets have no cornerback who is on par with Butler. Plus if he didn’t go to the Pats, the Seahawks would have won consecutive Super Bowl rings.
- Miami Dolphins: Ja’Wuan James
Re-pick: Sammy Watkins (taken 4th overall)
James has been solid and did have his fifth year option picked up but he is their third best offensive lineman. With Landry going earlier in this re-draft the Dolphins will need a play maker to go along with DeVante Parker.
- New Orleans Saints (from Cardinals): Brandin Cooks
Re-pick: C.J. Mosley (taken 17th overall)
Trading away Cooks this offseason shows the Saints felt like they would be fine without him, and they are as Michael Thomas is expected to take the next step in his development this season. However, the linebacker spot has been a mess for the Saints since they won Superbowl XLIV. Mosley has been a beast since he entered the league racking up over 340 tackles.
- Green Bay Packers: HaHa Clinton-Dix
Re-pick: HaHa Clinton-Dix (taken 21st overall)
The Packers nailed this pick as Clinton-Dix has been one of the best safeties in the league the past couple of years. As bad as the Packers’ secondary was in 2016, thanks to injuries, it would have only been worse if you take away Clinton-Dix’s production as he racked up 80 tackles and six turnovers.
- Cleveland Browns (from Eagles): Johnny Manziel
Re-pick: Kelvin Benjamin (taken 28th overall)
Manziel; need I say more? One of the worst picks in Browns’ history and given how they have drafted over the past decade or two, that is saying something. Benjamin has been very solid despite missing all of the 2015 season with a torn ACL. Whoever plays quarterback for the Browns this season would sure like to have a 6’5” target to throw to opposite of speedy Corey Coleman.
- Kansas City Chiefs: Dee Ford
Re-pick: Ryan Shazier (taken 15th overall)
All Pro Derrick Johnson will turn 35 years old during the 2017 season, and the team doesn’t have his replacement on the roster. Shazier has turned into a key member of the Steelers defense and in this re-draft would be a good replacement for Johnson in the middle of their defense.
- Cincinnati Bengals: Darqueze Dennard
Re-pick: Joel Bitonio (taken 35th overall)
After losing two starters on the offensive line in free agency this past Spring, the Bengals are thin and inexperienced on the line. Bitonio; one of the best guards in the league, just signed a big extension with the Browns.
- Los Angeles Chargers: Jason Verrett
Re-pick: Bradley Roby (taken 31st overall)
With Verrett already taken in this re-draft, the Chargers grab Roby instead. Not much of a downgrade as Roby has been a key component of the Broncos’ “no fly zone” secondary.
- Philadelphia Eagles (from Colts through Browns): Marcus Smith
Re-pick: Devonta Freeman (taken 103rd overall)
After spending money in free agency on wide receivers and offensive linemen, the Eagles have given Carson Wentz a good supporting cast. However, the running back spot could be easily upgraded. Freeman is one of the more underrated running backs in the league and would make this Eagles offense even more dangerous.
- Arizona Cardinals (from Saints): Deone Bucannon
Re-pick: Deone Bucannon (taken 27th overall)
Bucannon is a key part of the Cardinals interchangeable defense. He can play either safety or linebacker in sub packages. After getting his fifth year option picked up by the Cardinals, expect him to get a contract extension done after the 2017 season.
- Carolina Panthers: Kelvin Benjamin
Re-pick: Davante Adams (taken 53rd overall)
With Benjamin off the board in the re-draft, the Panthers grab Adams; who would give them a more fluid receiver than Benjamin, although not as big. Given that the Panthers still have both Devin Funchess and Greg Olsen at 6’5”, they can get away with the slighter shorter Adams.
- New England Patriots: Dominique Easley
Re-pick: Eric Ebron (taken 10th overall)
Easly was released just after just two seasons with the Patriots, but has found a home with the Rams. Ebron is a good value at this point in the re-draft despite a slightly disappointing career thus far. Ebron would be an upgrade over Dwayne Allen at the second tight end slot and would provide one more mismatch chess piece for Tom Brady. If anyone is going to get the best out of Ebron, it’s Bill Belichick’s offensive scheme.
- San Francisco 49ers: Jimmie Ward
Re-pick: Blake Bortles (taken 3rd overall)
Sure Bortles hasn’t turned into the franchise quarterback the Jaguars had hoped he would be, but wouldn’t Bortles be an upgrade over anyone currently on the 49ers roster? Bortles might even show to be more effective behind a better offensive line than the one he has in Jacksonville.
- Denver Broncos: Bradley Roby
Re-pick: Gabe Jackson (taken 81st overall)
Roby has been a key part of that dominate defense, but with him off the board, taking Jackson would improve the offensive line; perhaps their biggest weakness. Jackson is one of the most underrated guards in the league and a key part of the Raiders’ strong offensive play.
- Minnesota Vikings (from Seahawks): Teddy Bridgewater
Re-pick: Timmy Jernigan (taken 48th overall)
If Bridgewater’s health wasn’t a question, he easily would have been taken earlier. However, with the health concerns, the Vikings re-draft Jernigan who would provide depth with starting ability which the team desperately needs with Sharrif Floyd facing a career threatening injury.
After three seasons, the draft class has produced several Pro Bowl caliber talents and a few busts already. Only 21 of the original 32 first round picks were re-selected in this re-draft. Six teams; Falcons, Jaguars, Packers, Patriots, Ravens and Steelers each had two players selected in the re-draft. However, the top three picks for the Raiders; Mack, Carr and Jackson, were all selected. With the top two players originally being drafted by the Raiders, it is safe to say they had the best draft in 2014.