Matt Miller's Midseason 2013 NFL Re-Draft
How would the 2013 NFL draft look if we were able to do it all over again right now? To be blunt, it wouldn't look the same at all.
The Kansas City Chiefs would love the chance to swap Eric Fisher out for a more dependable player. Had we known what EJ Manuel and Geno Smith would look like, multiple teams would jump at the chance to have them on their roster.
Unfortunately the NFL doesn't allow a midseason re-draft, but we do.
A few ground rules:
- Any draft-day trades made are not included here. This is the draft order from before the first pick was made.
- Because this is a re-draft, there is hindsight involved, so this doesn't follow any pre-draft player rankings.
- Some rookies haven't played yet, and unfortunately they are penalized for it. I've tried my best to weigh production versus potential.
- Injured players are not punished for their injuries.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Original Pick: OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
With the first pick in the 2013 NFL draft, the Kansas City Chiefs made a move for the future by selecting offensive tackle Eric Fisher.
The idea was that the Senior Bowl superstar would serve as a one-year fix at right tackle before presumably moving to the left side once Branden Albert's one-year franchise tag contract expired. That was then. This is now.
Re-Draft Pick: DE Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
Fisher has struggled on the right side for the Chiefs through their 8-0 start, and the team's best right tackle is arguably Donald Stephenson. With Stephenson already on the roster, the Chiefs could have instead focused on turning Bob Sutton's 3-4 defense into even more of a nightmare.
Sheldon Richardson has been unstoppable as a one-gap defensive end for the New York Jets. That's exactly what the Chiefs would ask the athletic phenom to do next to Dontari Poe. Can you imagine the Chiefs' pass rush with Richardson, Poe, Justin Houston and Tamba Hali? Disgusting.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
Original Pick: OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
The selection of Luke Joeckel was not a bad one. The in-season trade of left tackle Eugene Monroe to Baltimore made Joeckel's presence on the team even more necessary. Were it not for an ankle injury that cut his season short, I'm positive we would see Joeckel emerging as a top-tier young left tackle.
But a left tackle isn't the Jaguars' biggest need. It wasn't then, and it's not now.
Re-Draft Pick: QB EJ Manuel, FSU
With the benefit of hindsight, the Jaguars would have drafted a quarterback No. 2 overall.
At the time, no one thought any of the quarterbacks were worthy of such a high draft pick, but time has proven that EJ Manuel—the only quarterback drafted in the first round—will be worth it.
Manuel's season has been interrupted by injury, but his play before injury was good enough to quiet any doubters. Manuel looks like a legitimate franchise quarterback, and that's something the Jaguars haven't had since Mark Brunell.
3. Oakland Raiders
Original Pick: CB D.J. Hayden, Houston
Traded with Miami to pick No. 12
The Oakland Raiders were facing a very tough offseason, and with little in draft picks or salary cap money, they had to trade back to secure extra picks for the overhaul needed on the roster. That led to them dropping back nine spots so the Miami Dolphins could come up for Dion Jordan. If the draft were today, the Raiders wouldn't be moving that pick.
Re-Draft Pick: DE/OLB Dion Jordan, Oregon
Dion Jordan hasn't made huge news, but anyone paying attention has seen the edge defender playing well when given snaps. The Miami Dolphins' struggles to scheme him into the game plan are not because of any lack of ability on his part.
Jordan would give the Raiders a young pass-rusher to work into the lineup as an outside linebacker or defensive end, depending on the down and distance.
While D.J. Hayden has been fine, he's not been the playmaker Jordan could be.
4. Philadelphia Eagles
Original Pick: OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma
In the year of the offensive lineman, the Philadelphia Eagles faced a big board minus Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel by the time they came on the clock. With a massive hole at right tackle, the team moved to draft an athletic lineman with upside: Lane Johnson.
With all the offensive linemen still available in our re-draft, that pick would change.
Re-Draft Pick: OT D.J. Fluker, Alabama
Lane Johnson has been up-and-down for the Eagles at right tackle, but none of the rookie linemen are playing as well as D.J. Fluker has.
The big mauler from Alabama wasn't expected to be so agile and effective early in his NFL career, but he has dominated at times. Fluker has even lined up at left tackle, something at which most draft experts would have belly-laughed in April.
Given the chance to do it all over again, grabbing Fluker to protect Michael Vick's blind side would have been the best move.
5. Detroit Lions
Original Pick: DE Ezekiel Ansah, BYU
Re-Draft Pick: DE Ezekiel Ansah, BYU
The Detroit Lions got this one right.
Ezekiel Ansah showed incredible promise during his week working with the Lions' staff at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. That gave the front office confidence in his ability to execute in the team's scheme.
And he has.
Ansah, lining up on the end of a defensive line featuring All-Pro talents Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, has been the burst off the edge the team was lacking previously.
And he's just scratching the surface. As a relative newbie to the game of football, Ansah is still learning technique and leverage. Once he does, watch out.
6. Cleveland Browns
Original Pick: OLB Barkevious Mingo, LSU
The Cleveland Browns were focused on building an elite defense in the 2013 NFL draft, and they damn near succeeded. Adding a pass-rushing nightmare in Barkevious Mingo has helped round out the defense, even if he's not completely ready to be an every-down player yet.
While Mingo has been very good, nothing is more important than a quarterback. And the Browns don't have one.
Re-Draft Pick: QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
Looking back to April, it's crazy now to think that the Browns were confident heading into the season with Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell at quarterback. That confidence resulted in the team drafting zero quarterbacks in a heavy class of passers. If they could do it over again now, they would.
Geno Smith has been inconsistent this season, but that's to be expected from a rookie quarterback. Especially when that rookie quarterback has very little talent around him on offense.
Planted in the Browns' system with their talent, the whole league would be talking about Geno Smith's future as one of the up-and-comers in the league.
7. Arizona Cardinals
Original Pick: OG Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
Offensive guard Jonathan Cooper was playing well before losing his season to injury, but in a re-draft of the 2013 class, the Arizona Cardinals would want to look at offensive tackle first.
Going back to April, there had been a run on tackles that saw Eric Fisher, Luke Joeckel and Lane Johnson all drafted before the Cardinals came on the clock. Knowing what we know now, Cooper could be had later while the team focuses on a blue-chip left tackle prospect.
Re-Draft Pick: OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
Luke Joeckel ranked as my No. 1 overall prospect in last year's class, and when he was healthy, he showed that upside. Even playing out of position at right tackle, Joeckel was adjusting well to the speed of the league and starting to show his value before getting hurt.
Taking away the fact that Joeckel is injured, the Cardinals would love to have him at left tackle. The team traded longtime starter Levi Brown to Pittsburgh and is currently relying on Bradley Sowell to hold down the blind side.
8. Buffalo Bills
Original Pick: QB EJ Manuel, FSU
Traded with St. Louis Rams to pick No. 16
The Buffalo Bills were confident enough in their secret plans to draft quarterback EJ Manuel that they moved back from pick No. 8 to No. 16 overall. That move allowed the Rams to get Tavon Austin, and it gave the Bills more ammunition in a loaded draft class.
The pick of EJ Manuel was not a popular one on draft day, but he's proven experts (myself included) wrong as time has gone by.
Manuel, though, is so valuable that in a re-draft, the Bills would never have a chance at him.
Re-Draft Pick: ILB Kiko Alonso, Oregon
The bad news about a re-draft is that the teams who really knocked it out of the park in the draft are penalized. Thankfully for Bills fans, this is just a fictional mock draft.
The Bills wouldn't be able to grab franchise quarterback EJ Manuel because he's off the board to the Jacksonville Jaguars, but fans would be happy with inside linebacker and Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate Kiko Alonso staying on the roster.
Alonso has been fantastic, and the play of Thad Lewis in Doug Marrone's offense makes it less of a catastrophe that Manuel is off the board.
9. New York Jets
Original Pick: CB Dee Milliner, Alabama
Cornerback Dee Milliner looked like a can't-miss prospect coming out of Alabama, but the big cover man has struggled early in his first year.
It's way too early to call the New York Jets' pick a bust or a miss, but there are other, better options available with the No. 9 pick.
Re-Draft Pick: OLB Barkevious Mingo, LSU
The unquestioned strength of the Jets' roster is the defense, but they're able to play well without any really great outside pass-rushers. LSU's Barkevious Mingo, who was originally drafted No. 6 overall, would be an instant starter for the team.
You might wonder why there isn't a quarterback listed here, but with both EJ Manuel and Geno Smith gone, the Jets really couldn't afford to reach for a quarterback like Matt Barkley or Mike Glennon here. Instead, continuing to build the defense would make the most impact and most sense for the long term.
10. Tennessee Titans
Original Pick: OG Chance Warmack, Alabama
Re-Draft Pick: OG Chance Warmack, Alabama
It's tough to argue with the selection of Chance Warmack with the No. 10 pick overall.
The Alabama road grader has been as good as advertised at right guard for the Titans. On top of that, the team has few needs currently, with so many young players in key roles. Until those players show they are worthwhile long-term, the Titans are in a good position to keep doing what they have been doing.
Warmack would rank as the best player available in this re-draft, and at a preseason position of need, this pick still makes the most sense.
11. San Diego Chargers
Original Pick: OT D.J. Fluker, Alabama
The San Diego Chargers saw something that no one else in the top 10 picks did, and they got a steal in offensive tackle D.J. Fluker. But Fluker has been so good early on that the team would never have a chance to get him again in a re-draft.
With Fluker not available, where do the Chargers turn?
Re-Draft Pick: WR Keenan Allen, California
General manager Tom Telesco hit on more than just D.J. Fluker in his first draft with the team. Wide receiver Keenan Allen has been exceptional in his first season. Given the chance to re-draft his 2013 class, Telesco would be wise to pick up Allen in the first round this time.
Allen, whom the team grabbed in the third round originally, has been a go-to receiver for Philip Rivers. And if the team can't get Fluker, Allen is the next-best option.
12. Miami Dolphins
Original Pick: DE Dion Jordan, Oregon
Traded up to pick No. 3.
In the original 2013 draft, the Miami Dolphins traded up to the No. 3 overall pick. Many thought at the time that they were moving up to get offensive tackle Lane Johnson.
Instead, they made a surprise pick of Dion Jordan.
Jordan has played well for Miami, even as the team struggles to find ways to use him. But Jordan is gone in the re-draft, heading to Oakland with the No. 3 overall pick.
Re-Draft Pick: OG Larry Warford, Kentucky
The idea that Miami needed help on the offensive line was accurate. Left tackle Jon Martin has shown that he's best served on the right side. Guards Richie Incognito and John Jerry haven't looked like long-term answers, either.
Larry Warford has been an instant answer in Detroit. The third-round pick from Kentucky has stepped in and immediately helped solidify the Lions' pass protection. He is opening massive holes for Reggie Bush in the run game.
With Ryan Tannehill on pace to be sacked 73 times this season, the Dolphins need all the offensive line help they can find.
13. New York Jets
Original Pick: DE Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
The New York Jets struck gold when they found Sheldon Richardson with pick No. 13 last spring. They wouldn't be so lucky again, with Richardson going first overall in the re-draft.
But where would the team go with both Richardson and their second-round pick, quarterback Geno Smith, off the board?
Re-Draft Pick: DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
This is the second of the Jets' picks in the re-draft, the first being used on outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo. With one pick already spent on defense, the Jets could still use another impact player on that side of the ball.
Richardson has been excellent as a defensive end in the team's 3-4 scheme, but Star Lotulelei could be just as good in that alignment. While not as elusive or quick as Richardson, Lotulelei is stronger and better against the run. The impact would be different, but it would still give the Jets one of the league's best defensive lines.
14. Carolina Panthers
Original Pick: DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
Star Lotulelei was arguably one of the best prospects in last year's draft class. The Panthers were able to grab him later than expected after teams overthought a fluke heart issue that came up at the scouting combine.
In a re-draft, knowing what we know now, that would not be the case. Lotulelei is off the board at pick No. 13, and the Panthers must look in another direction.
Re-Draft Pick: CB/S Tyrann Mathieu, LSU
The Panthers just miss out on getting Star Lotulelei again, but they'll find comfort in adding dynamic cover man Tyrann Mathieu instead.
Mathieu has been a game-changer for the Arizona Cardinals, and he's just scratching the surface after missing a full year of football at LSU. Mathieu has shown an ability to play either safety or nickel cornerback, and he can play both exceptionally well.
Where the team hasn't had to use him, but could, is as a return man. Once he's freed to make plays there, his value would be even higher.
15. New Orleans Saints
Original Pick: FS Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
Re-Draft Pick: FS Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
There is nothing the New Orleans Saints would redo about this one.
Safety Kenny Vaccaro has been lights-out for the team from the first practice. He's been intimidating as a hitter and a ball-hawk in coverage, adding 31 tackles, one sack and an interception in seven games.
With the Saints offense rolling and the defense playing better than expected, keeping Vaccaro is more important than re-drafting and adding an outside linebacker or wide receiver.
16. St. Louis Rams
Original Pick: WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia
Traded up to pick No. 8
The St. Louis Rams originally traded up to the No. 8 pick in the draft to secure wide receiver Tavon Austin. They sure gave up a lot for a player the coaching staff has struggled to use.
Austin and the coaches are equally to blame for his early struggles, but they're very much an issue. While he could go on to be the greatest player from this rookie class, through seven games the Rams would much rather have a more consistent, productive wide receiver.
Re-Draft Pick: WR DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson
Tavon Austin's 31 catches may best DeAndre Hopkins' 28, but looking at the two on film, you'd rather have Hopkins right now. Austin may be brilliant down the road, but in a re-draft where hindsight is the key, Hopkins has had the bigger immediate impact.
The Rams may have thoughts about adding safety Eric Reid here or going after a running back like Eddie Lacy, but rounding out the offense and selecting Hopkins is the right call.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers
Original Pick: OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia
The Pittsburgh Steelers made news this week when they announced that first-round pick Jarvis Jones would be benched, per Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. If they could have a mulligan on the 2013 NFL draft, it's easy to see them going in another direction.
Jones can't be written off yet—not after eight weeks—but the Steelers are struggling and need an impact player on the field. Jones, to date, hasn't been that.
Re-Draft Pick: CB Marcus Cooper, Rutgers
The instant impact the Steelers need comes from an unlikely source—pick No. 252 in the 2013 draft.
The San Francisco 49ers drafted the Rutgers cornerback, but they weren't able to keep him on their 53-man roster after training camp. Since being picked up by the Kansas City Chiefs, Marcus Cooper has been an absolute steal.
How good has Cooper been? Pro Football Focus (subscription required) ranks him as the No. 5 cornerback in the league right now. That's an incredible return on investment from a free-agent pickup. Given the chance, the Steelers would draft him 235 spots higher than he was originally selected.
18. Dallas Cowboys
Original Pick: C Travis Frederick, Wisconsin
Traded with San Francisco to pick No. 31
The selection of Travis Frederick wasn't a popular one on draft night, especially not on the Bleacher Report set. The rookie from Wisconsin has played well, though, solidifying himself as the team's long-term answer at center.
If redoing the draft today, the Dallas Cowboys would go in a different direction and wait on Frederick, which they should have done originally.
Re-Draft Pick: WR Terrance Williams, Baylor
Take the Cowboys' first three draft picks—Frederick, tight end Gavin Escobar and wide receiver Terrance Williams—and mix up the order, and you have a pretty solid draft class. Williams, out of them all, has been the best of the team's selections.
If the draft were today, Williams wouldn't get past Dallas. In fact, the team would be lucky to see him still on the board at pick No. 18 (their original pick). Jerry Jones can't afford to overdraft the interior lineman and hope he can find a steal in Round 3 this time around.
19. New York Giants
Original Pick: OT Justin Pugh, Syracuse
Drafting Justin Pugh at pick No. 19 overall was a bit of a surprise when it happened, but the selection made sense. The Giants desperately needed help on the offensive line, and Pugh was thought to be the best available there.
Looking back at the draft and the Giants' needs today, Pugh would still be a very good fit but a better value in Round 2. Instead of reaching slightly for an offensive tackle, the Giants can fix history and grab an impact defensive tackle.
Re-Draft Pick: DT Kawann Short, Purdue
The Carolina Panthers stole Kawann Short in the second round, and their pairing of him with Star Lotulelei has made for an instant improvement on defense.
Halfway through the season, Short wouldn't get out of the first round if we redid the draft.
The Giants would plug Short in next to Jason Pierre-Paul, giving them more of a pass rush than they've had since their last Super Bowl run and fixing a major issue that's caused the team's slow start.
20. Chicago Bears
Original Pick: OG Kyle Long, Oregon
Re-Draft Pick: OG Kyle Long, Oregon
The Chicago Bears added a keeper at pick No. 20. Oregon's Kyle Long has been a monster at right guard. He and fellow rookie Jordan Mills have solidified a Chicago offensive line that was downright bad last season.
Long was thought of as a project after a short career at Oregon that saw him start just four games in his senior season. But Long's pedigree—his dad Howie is a Hall of Famer, and brother Chris starts for the St. Louis Rams—combined with his outstanding athletic ability and raw upside made him a legitimate first-rounder.
Eight weeks into his NFL career, Long's play is backing up that grade.
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Original Pick: TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
Re-Draft Pick: TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
The Cincinnati Bengals had very few immediate needs heading into the 2013 NFL draft. That allowed the front office to grab a talented pass-catcher in Tyler Eifert even though Jermaine Gresham was already firmly set as the starting tight end.
Redoing the draft today, the Bengals would still want the big tight end from Notre Dame.
Eifert has been impressive as a pass-catcher. He's seeing more reps each week and becoming a bigger target in a loaded Bengals passing game. With the NFL moving to more two-tight end sets and aiming to get as many athletes on the field as possible, Eifert will always have a home in the Bengals offense thanks to his mismatch abilities against cornerbacks, safeties and linebackers.
22. St. Louis Rams (from Washington)
Original Pick: OLB Alec Ogletree, Georgia
Traded with Atlanta to pick No. 30
The trade that sent the No. 2 overall pick to Washington during the 2012 NFL draft—which the Redskins used on Robert Griffin III—netted the St. Louis Rams an extra first-round pick in the 2013 class.
With that pick, the team added athletic outside linebacker Alec Ogletree. A potential top-10 talent, Ogletree's stock fell due to some off-field issues, but under Jeff Fisher the Rams have become a safe haven for character risks.
Ogletree has been good, but the Rams left a sure-fire offensive game-changer slip by.
Re-Draft Pick: RB Eddie Lacy, Alabama
Eddie Lacy has revitalized the Green Bay Packers offense with his power running up the gut. And if you're good enough to take the ball out of Aaron Rodgers' hands, you're good enough to pound the rock in St. Louis.
While rookie Zac Stacy has been a nice find for the Rams, the team wouldn't be able to pass on the three-down impact Lacy could bring to this offense.
With DeAndre Hopkins already added previously, plugging Lacy and his pounding, aggressive running style would open the entire offense up for the team now and down the road.
23. Minnesota Vikings
Original Pick: DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida
Re-Draft Pick: DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida
If the draft were today, the Minnesota Vikings would have to consider gambling on a quarterback like Mike Glennon, but the smartest pick is still the one they made.
Adding defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd didn't fill a huge need immediately, but he's already in place for the Kevin Williams' eventual retirement. And Floyd has played well early in his career, notching 1.5 sacks while splitting time on the line.
If they could do it all over again, the Vikings could safely do exactly what they did before.
24. Indianapolis Colts
Original Pick: OLB Bjoern Werner, FSU
Before the 2013 draft, Indianapolis Colts were focused on adding pieces to the roster to cushion the loss of Dwight Freeney. They spent a first-round pick on defensive end Bjoern Werner, with the hopes of turning him into a big, powerful pass-rusher.
Werner has potential, but he's played in just 86 snaps so far this season. That's a low return for a first-round pick at a position of need.
If the Colts could have this pick to do again, they'd look to the offense and wait on a pass-rusher.
Re-Draft Pick: WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
Looking at the Indianapolis Colts' depth chart—even before Reggie Wayne was lost for the season—it was obvious that the team needed help at wide receiver.
Wayne is a future Hall of Famer and T.Y. Hilton is deadly, but more help is needed. Darrius Heyward-Bey isn't the kind of help I mean, either. With the draft board still holding several talented wide receivers, the Colts can grab an athlete in Cordarrelle Patterson and watch him go.
Patterson, drafted by Minnesota at No. 29 overall after a trade with the New England Patriots, hasn't been used to his full potential in a conservative offense. That said, he's shown flashes of brilliance on special teams and when given the ball in space. In the Colts' passing scheme, Patterson would be Andrew Luck's new best friend.
25. Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle)
Original Pick: CB Xavier Rhodes, FSU
Re-Draft Pick: CB Xavier Rhodes, FSU
Pick acquired for WR Percy Harvin pre-draft
Trading Percy Harvin wasn't a popular decision, but it helped put the Minnesota Vikings in a position to add three rookies in the first round of a loaded 2013 class. In the re-draft, the team has another chance to get more premium talent thanks to hindsight.
The Vikings had three picks in the 2013 first round, but in the re-draft they have just two. The first was spent on defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, an original pick for the team. With their second pick, the team has to go cornerback again.
Cornerback Xavier Rhodes has been solid, despite experiencing the struggles you would expect from a rookie acclimating to the NFL. He's shown the goods to be worthy of a late first-round pick if the team had it to do over again.
The Vikings might want to consider quarterbacks here, but again, there are none of value. Instead, they can plug a hole in their defense and hope for a quarterback in 2014.
26. Green Bay Packers
Original Pick: DE Datone Jones, UCLA
The Green Bay Packers entered the 2013 offseason fresh off an embarrassing playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
In that game, Colin Kaepernick shredded the Green Bay defense for 181 yards rushing, many of them coming on zone read-option plays.
General manager Ted Thompson was serious about stopping quarterback runs. So serious that he spent a first-round pick on an athletic defensive end who could shoot gaps and hold the edge.
Datone Jones has been good, but good enough to draft again with pick No. 26?
Re-Draft Pick: OT David Bakhtiari, Colorado
Jones could become an All-Pro at defensive end, but the Packers are solid at defensive end without him thanks to Mike Daniels and Jerel Worthy—two young players who are also still be developing—as well as veterans B.J. Raji and Johnny Jolly. Jones has been a rotational player, and an expensive one.
The Packers' draft class has been solid all-around though, and it's a pick Thompson made in the fourth round that's paying off best for the Packers.
Tackle David Bakhtiari has stepped in and played like a veteran for Green Bay at left tackle, providing the protection Aaron Rodgers needs and keeping the offense moving in spite of an injury to Bryan Bulaga. Losing Bakhtiari would affect this team more than missing out on Jones or Eddie Lacy.
27. Houston Texans
Original Pick: WR DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson
The Houston Texans' struggles this season have nothing to do with the choice of DeAndre Hopkins to end the first round. While the rest of the offense struggles, Hopkins has shown good development, production and playmaking ability. So good, in fact, that he's already off the board in our re-draft.
Re-Draft Pick: WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia
The play of Matt Schaub makes a quarterback here very intriguing—if only there was one worthy of the pick. Same for the offensive line, which has struggled all season. The Texans were smart in drafting a wide receiver to end the first round, though, and would do so again if given the chance.
Tavon Austin has been the most productive rookie wide receiver when you look at catches, but his development has been slowed. The Rams' coaches are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole instead of letting Austin work in space. The rookie has made some mistakes, to be sure, but his explosiveness is being handcuffed.
In Houston, you could argue the conservative play-calling would also hurt Austin, but he's a prospect they couldn't ignore if available.
28. Denver Broncos
Original Pick: DT Sylvester Williams, North Carolina
The Denver Broncos are getting solid defensive tackle play, but not yet from Sylvester Williams. Instead it's second-year man Malik Jackson who is doing the damage on the inside of the Denver defensive line.
Williams has too often been an afterthought in the Denver rotation, playing just 87 snaps in six games. While on the field, Williams hasn't shown the burst and power that made him a late first-rounder last spring.
If the Broncos could redo this one, they would.
Re-Draft Pick: CB Desmond Trufant, Washington
The emergence of Jackson at defensive tackle makes that less of a need, while injuries to Champ Bailey have made the cornerback position more of a need right away.
The Broncos have talent in the secondary—you won't find a bigger Chris Harris fan than this writer—but they could always use more. Inserting Desmond Trufant into this defense makes them more dangerous against the pass instantly. With his speed and agility in man coverage—combined with the Broncos' pass rush—he could be a starter in no time.
One surprise pick here would be running back Gio Bernard to replace the team's selection of Montee Ball in the second round, but with so many good backs available, the team could wait (again) at that spot.
29. New England Patriots
Original Pick: OLB Jamie Collins, Southern Miss
Traded with Minnesota
The 2013 draft saw the first round pass without a pick by the New England Patriots. The team sent pick No. 29 to the Minnesota Vikings for multiple picks throughout the draft. Instead, the Patriots' first pick came at No. 52 overall, where they selected outside linebacker/defensive end Jamie Collins.
Doing the draft over today without trades, it's interesting to see who would have been available for New England.
Re-Draft Pick: WR Robert Woods, USC
It is no secret that the Patriots have struggled on offense thanks to dropped passes and inexperience at wide receiver. The team invested in the position by adding Aaron Dobson (second round) and Kenbrell Thompkins (undrafted), but both have had ups and downs while trying to prove they belong long-term.
One wide receiver the team could have added at the end of Round 1 who hasn't struggled is Robert Woods. The former USC star would have gone in the first round were it not for injuries. He eventually fell to the Buffalo Bills at pick No. 41.
Available here, the Patriots would have him lining up all over the field for Tom Brady.
By adding Woods here, the Patriots could have focused on defense with pick No. 52 and walked away with a better wide receiver.
30. Atlanta Falcons
Original Pick: CB Desmond Trufant, Washington
Traded with St. Louis to pick No. 22
The Atlanta Falcons are no strangers to draft-day trades, and last April they moved up to get Desmond Trufant with the 22nd pick in the draft. Today that pick looks good, but Trufant's value would pull him off the board before Atlanta's original pick.
Re-Draft Pick: CB Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State
Drafting a cornerback was the right move for Atlanta, especially with Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson leaving in free agency. However, the team didn't need to trade up to pick No. 22 to get one. While Trufant could ultimately be the better player, Johnthan Banks has been impressive himself.
With Trufant off the board—gone to Denver at pick No. 28—the Falcons can go for the next-best rookie cover man. A defensive end or wide receiver is tempting here, but there are no values like Banks would be over the long haul.
31. San Francisco 49ers
Original Pick: FS Eric Reid, LSU
Re-Draft Pick: FS Eric Reid, LSU
The 49ers had to trade up to get Reid in the regular 2013 draft, and they should have to here, but there are no teams who would place a high priority on the free safety position in a re-draft. The 49ers luck out. Big time.
Reid has been better than his biggest fans anticipated, showing the coverage skills and run support the 49ers needed as Dashon Goldson left in free agency. Reid has been better than the veteran, and he's drawing fewer personal fouls and showing better protection on the deep routes Goldson struggled with.
Rarely does a rookie step in and replace a valuable starter, but Reid has done it.
32. Baltimore Ravens
Original Pick: SS Matt Elam, Florida
The exodus of so many starters on defense after the Baltimore Ravens' Super Bowl victory was staggering. Losing Ray Lewis and Ed Reed hurt and likely forced the hand of general manager Ozzie Newsome in the first round.
Safety Matt Elam hasn't quite hit the ground running. While he's never been known for his coverage skills, the former Florida Gator has struggled to leave his mark on the field in passing situations on a weekly basis.
Elam is good against the run, but his NFL career will be made or broken on his coverage ability.
Re-Draft Pick: WR Kenny Stills, Oklahoma
The Ravens' struggles on offense, especially early in the year, are a direct result of Joe Flacco having no targets to throw to.
Sure, Torrey Smith is a very good deep threat, but he's been unable to work the middle of the field. Same for Jacoby Jones. We've recently seen development from Marlon Brown, but the team couldn't say no to a top-tier wide receiver if one were available.
Kenny Stills fell all the way to the fifth round of the 2013 draft, but if we were re-drafting today he would be a first-rounder. Stills isn't the biggest or fastest wide receiver, but he has a knack for getting open and securing the catch. He's quickly become a trusted target for Drew Brees. He is giving the Saints offense the intermediate target the Ravens so desperately need.
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