NFL Power Rankings: One 2011 Draft Pick Each Team Would Do over
If the 2011 NFL draft was redone and held today, you can bet that Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton would go far higher than he did in April.
The same is true for Dallas' DeMarco Murray and Oakland's Denarius Moore, both of whom would find their services in much higher demand.
Hindsight is, of course, always 20/20, but this year with such an excellent rookie class it's hard not to imagine how each squad would do a selection differently if they could. While most teams certainly benefited from the draft, each one has a mistake or error they most certainly would correct if they could.
If each team could redo one selection, who would benefit most? Let's take a look.
No. 32: Buffalo Bills Would Like a Marcell Dareus/AJ Green Swap
Who Buffalo Selected: LB/DT Marcell Dareus, 1st Round, Pick No. 3
Who Buffalo Should Have Selected: WR AJ Green, 1st Round, Pick No. 4 (Cincinnati)
When Buffalo snagged Dareus with the third overall selection, it was a selection that was hailed as one of the smarter picks in the first round.
Now, would the Bills redo the pick, even considering Dareus 29 tackles and 3.5 sacks? Probably, if they knew just how good AJ Green was going to end up.
It's not a huge error by Buffalo, especially since Dareus is a great young player and is performing well on the season. But they really need some wide receiver help, and Green looks like a superstar at the position.
Green has 745 yards on 44 receptions and six touchdowns, and those numbers are even better considering he's playing with a rookie quarterback (Andy Dalton) and missed the last two contests.
Would Buffalo swap Dareus for Green if they could? They'd have to seriously consider it. But they shouldn't lose sleep over it.
No 31: Cincinnatti Erred in Their Selection of Dontay Moch
Who Cincinnati Selected: LB Dontay Moch, 3rd Round, Pick No. 66
Who Cincinnati Should Have Selected: LB Mason Foster, 3rd Round, Pick No. 84 (Tampa Bay)
Dontay Moch struggled with a foot injury that kept him out until Week 7, but even after his return he hasn't played a down yet this season.
Meanwhile, Mason Foster is starting in Tampa Bay and doing a fantastic job. He has 53 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble.
Cincinnatti's run defense is already great, but if they'd taken Foster, they could have been even deeper.
No. 30: Denver Should Have Selected Marcus Gilchrist
Who Denver Selected: S Rahim Moore, 2nd Round, Pick No. 46
Who Denver Should Have Selected: CB Marcus Gilchrist, 2nd Round, Pick No. 50
Moore has been solid for Denver with 18 tackles and an interception, but Gilchrist looks like the more solid prospect of the two and has 25 tackles and and interception. It's a bit of a toss up between the two, but Gilchrist has Moore beat, at least for now.
Denver should be commended for signing undrafted rookie Chris Harris, who looks like one of the most solid secondary players in the class.
No. 29: Jacksonville Messed Up When They Took Blaine Gabbert
Who Jacksonville Selected: QB Blaine Gabbert, 1st Round, Pick No.10
Who Jacksonville Should Have Selected: QB Andy Dalton, 2nd Round, Pick No. 35 (Cincinnati)
Jacksonville gave up their 16th overall selection (Washington used it to select Ryan Kerrigan) and their second round selection in order to move up and take Gabbert.
You can't really put all the blame on Gabbert, who is in a bad situation in Jacksonville. But he's been increasingly average, with a 47% completion rating and six interceptions along with his six touchdowns and there are serious question marks about his ability to be a starting level quarterback.
Meanwhile, Dalton has over 2,000 yards and 16 touchdowns for Cincinnati. Jacksonville could have taken the better quarterback without even having to move up to get him.
No. 28: Kansas City Should Have Passed on Jonathan Baldwin
Who Kansas City Selected: WR Jonathan Baldwin, 1st Round, Pick No. 29
Who Kansas City Should Have Selected: WR Torrey Smith, 2nd Round, Pick No. 58
The talent is there for Baldwin, but the mental game isn't. He got in a fight in training camp before the season even started—not worth the potential headache for an already migraine inducing Chiefs franchise.
Torrey Smith is an excellent wide receiver who is putting up better numbers than Baldwin without the risk. Kansas City would have been wiser to go with Smith.
No. 27: Washington Should Have Selected Andy Dalton
Who Washington Selected: DE Ryan Kerrigan, 1st Round, Pick No. 16
Who Washington Should Have Selected: QB Andy Dalton, 2nd Round, Pick No. 35 (Cincinnati)
This is another tough one, because Kerrigan has easily been one of the top rookie defenders. But Washington's quarterback situation is a mess, and they're currently bouncing between Rex Grossman and Jon Beck.
In a quarterback driven league, if you have a choice between a great defender and a great quarterback, you have to take the quarterback. Dalton has been spectacular for the Bengals, and has 2,506 yards and 16 touchdowns on the season.
Most importantly, Dalton would be excellent in Mike Shanahan's offense. You can call this one close, because Kerrigan really has been impressive (48 tackles, four forced fumbles, and an interception) but Washington's need for a quarterback is higher than their need for defensive help.
No. 26: Atlanta Shouldn't Have Broken the Bank for Julio Jones
Who Atlanta Selected: WR Julio Jones, Pick No. 6
Who Atlanta Should Have Selected: WR Torrey Smith, 2nd Round, Pick No. 58 (Baltimore)
This isn't an argument that Smith is better than Jones, but Atlanta gave up a ton to draft Jones and in hindsight they could have avoided overpaying.
Jones is an excellent young player, and the second best wide receiver in the draft behind AJ Green. But if Atlanta knew what we know now, they could have avoided overpaying for Jones and still got some excellent talent.
The Falcons swapped their first (27th overall), their second (59th) and fourth (124th) round selections in 2011 as well as their first and fourth-round selections in 2012 for the right to grab Jones.
It's a tough call, but Atlanta should have stayed put. There were other WRs available—Smith and Denarius Moore both come to mind—who would have been available with Atlanta's first round selection. They could have taken Smith with their first rounder and snuck Moore in with their fifth rounder.
No. 25: Green Bay Picked Randall Cobb, Should Have Taken Denarius Moore
Who Green Bay Selected: WR Randall Cobb, 2nd Round, Pick No. 64
Who Green Bay Should Have Selected: WR Denarius Moore, 5th Round, Pick No. 148 (Oakland)
Cobb broke his way into the league with a punt return for a touchdown in the Packers Week 1 win over the Saints, and should be a decent prospect for a deep Green Bay passing core. He has 255 yards and a recieving touchdown so far for the Packers.
But Moore has proven himself one of the real steals of the draft, with 410 yards on 24 catches and four touchdowns for an Oakland team that jumbled between quarterbacks midseason. Imagine what Moore could produce if he'd had played with Aaron Rodgers.
Cobb is a nice player, but Moore at this point just looks better.
No. 24: Tennessee Should Have Taken Andy Dalton
Who Tennessee Selected: QB Jake Locker, 1st Round, Pick No. 8
Who Tennessee Should Have Selected: QB Andy Dalton, 2nd Round, Pick No. 35 (Cincinnati)
Jake Locker was selected higher than Dalton because of his physical gifts, and while he's sitting on the bench in Tennessee behind Matt Hasselbeck, many believe Locker could be a fine player in a year or so.
But while his future is uncertain, what is certain is that Andy Dalton is an excellent quarterback and likely the second best behind Carolina's Cam Newton.
Even if Tennessee is excited about Locker's future, you have to think they are second guessing their pass on Dalton.
No. 23: Baltimore Would Like a Do-over on Tandon Doss
Who Baltimore Selected: WR Tandon Doss, 4th Round, Pick No. 123
Who Baltimore Should Have Selected: LB Jacquian Williams, 6th Round, Pick No. 202 (New York Giants)
Baltimore had an excellent draft, getting great pieces in Torrey Smith and Jimmy Smith. Their one misstep is apparently Doss, who has yet to play for Baltimore this season.
The Raven's defense is still one of the best in the league but their lineback core is getting older and older. They could have snagged up Williams to help give some youth at the position. Williams has been very good for New York on the season with 38 tackles and two fumble recoveries.
No. 22: New Orleans Would Have Done Better in Selecting Reed
Who New Orleans Selected: DE Cameron Jordan, 1st Round, Pick No. 20
Who New Orleans Should Have Selected: DE Brooks Reed, 2nd Round, Pick No. 42 (Houston)
I considered discussing a Mark Ingram/DeMarco Murray swap here, but I'll go with the Saints' other first round selection.
Jordan has been fine for the Saints with 25 tackles on the season. Reed meanwhile has 31 tackles and six sacks for Houston and clearly would have been a better choice than Jordan in hindsight.
No. 22: Houston Should Have Selected Chris Conte
Who Houston Selected: CB Brandon Harris, 2nd Round, Pick No. 60
Who Houston Should Have Selected: S Chris Conte, 3rd Round, Pick No. 93 (Chicago)
Houston fixed a ton of their secondary problems this summer when they signed Jonathan Joseph, but they missed a chance when they picked Brandon Harris.
Harris has just one tackle all season for the Texans. Meanwhile, Conte has 24 tackles and an interception and has worked his way into Chicago's starting defense.
No. 21: Carolina Would Like a Redo on Kealoha Pilares
Who Carolina Selected: WR Kealoha Pilares, 5th Round, Pick No. 132
Who Carolina Should Have Selected: WR Denarius Moore, 5th Round, Pick No. 148 (Oakland)
Kealoha Pilares hasn't played a single snap for the Panthers this season, while Moore has become one of the Raiders more consistent options.
If Carolina had taken Moore, it could have opened up the offense more for quarterback Cam Newton. The Panthers have a star in Newton, but they really need to surround him with talented and missed that chance with Moore.
No. 20: St. Louis Should Have Taken Nate Solder
Who St. Louis Selected: DE Robert Quinn, 1st Round, Pick No. 14
Who St. Louis Should Have Selected: OT Nate Solder, 1st Round, Pick No. 16 (New England)
This is not a slight on Quinn, who has played well and has 15 tackles and five sacks on the season.
But the Rams offensive line is utterly dismal and have failed to protect Sam Bradford all season. Solder has played great for New England when given the chance and looks like the real deal for the Patriots.
The Rams need for pass protect far outweighs their defensive necessities.
No. 19: Dallas Missed a Chance on Brooks Reed
Who Dallas Selected: LB Bruce Carter, 2nd Round, Pick No. 40
Who Dallas Should Have Selected: LB/DE Brooks Reed, 2nd Round, Pick No. 42 (Houston)
Dallas used their second round selection on Bruce Carter, a linebacker who has seen only limited playing time all season.
Houston, meanwhile, took Brooks Reed two picks later, and Reed has racked up 32 tackles and 6 sacks on the season.
Brooks was a talent multiple teams passed over, and with his production so far he's proving he should have gone far earlier than he did.
No. 18: San Diego Should Swap Corey Liuget for Phil Taylor
Who San Diego Selected: DT Corey Liuget, 1st Round, Pick No. 18
Who San Diego Should Have Selected: DT Phil Taylor, 1st Round, Pick No. 21 (Cleveland)
Liuget was drafted to help the Chargers defend against the run, but San Diego has had issues with it all season. Liuget current has racked up 11 tackles and a forced fumble, hardly 1st round worthy stats.
Taylor has been very solid all season for the Browns and would looks like a smarter choice than Liuget. Taylor has 29 tackles so far in Cleveland.
No. 17: Pittsburgh Would Like a Swap of Heywerd and Reed
Who Pittsburgh Selected: DE Cameron Heywerd, 1st Round, Pick No. 31
Who Pittsburgh Should Have Selected: DE Brooks Reed, 2nd Round, Pick No. 42 (Houston)
Heywerd has seven tackles and a forced fumble on the season and looks like a decent future prospect for the Steelers.
Meanwhile, Reed has show himself to be one of the better and more consistent defenders in the 2011 class, with 31 tackles and six sacks on the season for the Texans.
Reed should have easily been a 1st rounder for any team that needed some help at DE.
No. 16: Chicago Fumbled with Nathan Enderle
Who Chicago Selected: QB Nathan Enderle, 5th Round, Pick No. 160
Who Chicago Should Have Selected: LB Jacquian Williams, 6th Round, Pick 202 (New York Giants)
Chicago had a very nice draft and all of their prospects are doing alright, so let's swap out the only one not seeing some playing time.
Enderle is third in Chicago's depth chart but with Caleb Henne starting and Jay Cutler out with injury, the Bears aren't comfortable with Enderle as their backup and have been looking at options.
The best player left in the draft at this point was arguably Williams, who is fifth amongst rookies with 47 tackles. The Bears don't really need a LB, but you take talent where you can find it.
No. 15: Tampa Bay Should Have Taken Torrey Smith
Who Tampa Bay Selected: DE Da'Quan Bowers, 2nd Round, Pick No. 51
Who Tampa Bay Should Have Selected: WR Torrey Smith, 2nd Round, Pick No. 58 (Baltimore)
Tampa Bay is having a great year from their young defenders like Adrian Clayborn and Mason Foster, but De'Quan Bowers has been slightly average with just 11 tackles.
The Bucs desperately need help at wide receiver and they missed a chance at a really good one with Torrey Smith. Smith would have added an excellent scorer and provided struggling quarterback Josh Freeman with an top option he severely lacks.
No. 14: New England Should Have Selected Chris Culliver
Who New England Selected: CB Ras-I Dowling, 2nd Round, Pick No. 33
Who New England Should Have Selected: CB Chris Culliver, 3rd Round, Pick No. 80 (San Francisco)
New England's defensive is certainly their biggest weakness, and nothing is more weak than their secondary. The Patriots hoped Dowling could help shore up that weakness, but he has just three tackles on the season.
You could make the case for multiple players here, but Culliver gets the nod. He's been excellent for San Francisco, with 26 tackles and an interception while often covering the opposing team's #1 or #2 option.
No. 13: Indianapolis Would Like Swap of Anthony Castonzo for Gabe Carimi
Who Indianapolis Selected: OT Anthony Castonzo, 1st Round, Pick No. 22
Who Indianapolis Should Have Selected: OT Gabe Carimi, 1st Round, Pick No. 29 (Chicago)
Indianapolis has been falling apart at the seems all season and have tons of weaknesses, but their offensive line is one of their biggest.
Castonzo is a good player, but Carimi is the best offensive tackle in the class aside from Dallas' Tyron Smith or perhaps the Patriots' Nate Solder. He's played fantastic for Chicago, especially considering he's been transitioning from right tackle to covering the blind side.
No. 12: Cleveland Should Have Taken Julio Jones
Who Cleveland Selected: Traded the No. 6 Selection to Atlanta
Who Cleveland Should Have Selected: WR Julio Jones, Pick No. 6 (Atlanta)
While Cleveland did an excellent job of getting a ton of picks from Atlanta for the right to draft Julio Jones, they should have kept the pick and taken Jones.
For Jones, Cleveland eventually ended up with DT Phil Taylor, WR Greg Little and FB Owen Marecic. Taylor is a great defensive player and Little is above average for a rookie wideout, but Jones is a borderline Pro-Bowler.
Cleveland's biggest weakness right now is their passing game. Colt McCoy desperately needs some help, and in a situation where he'd be the primary receiver Jones could have put up numbers close to AJ Green's.
Where Atlanta would have been better served by not breaking the bank for Jones, Cleveland had a bigger need at the position and should have kept him.
No.11: San Francisco Should Have Taken Chris Harris
Who San Francisco Selected: S Colin Jones, 6th Round, Pick No. 180
Who San Francisco Should Have Selected: CB Chris Harris, Undrafted (Signed with Denver)
San Francisco's secondary has improved this season for sure, but it is still a position of need for the 49ers. And while most of their 2011 draft selections all look like they have a bright future for the 49ers, looking back on it Chris Harris would have been the right choice at this point in the draft.
Any team with needs at the secondary should be kicking themselves over Harris, who is certainly amongst the top of the defensive rookie. He has 46 tackles and an interception for Denver this season, playing in all 11 of the Broncos contests.
Meanwhile, Jones, a safety from TCU, has just three tackles on the year for San Francisco.
No. 10: Seattle Needed a Quarterback but Passed on Dalton
Who Seattle Selected: OT James Carpenter, 1st Round, Pick No. 25
Who Seattle Should Have Selected: QB Andy Dalton, 2nd Round, Pick No. 35 (Cincinnati)
Surprise, surprise. Tarvaris Jackson is not the future of the franchise and Seattle needs to find their quarterback as soon as possible. It's a shame for Seahawks fans that Seattle passed on Dalton.
Carpenter struggled at offensive tackle before his season ending ACL injury, and looks like a bust for a first round selection.
No. 9: New York Jets Should Have Drafted Kendall Hunter
Who New York Selected: DE Kenrick Ellis, Round 3, Pick No. 93
Who New York Should Have Selected: RB Kendall Hunter, Round 4, Pick No. 115 (San Francisco)
The Jets have serious problems with running the ball, and while they drafted a running back Bilal Powell in the fourth, they missed a chance to take a far better one in Kendall Hunter.
New York took Kendrick Ellis in the third, but he only has five tackles on the season and is seeing limited playing time. Hunter, meanwhile, looks like the real deal in San Francisco, with 298 yards on 69 carries and two touchdowns while playing behind Frank Gore.
The Jets need offensive firepower, not more defense, and Hunter would have been an excellent starter for New York.
No. 8: Oakland Would Have Done Better with Chris Harris
Who Oakland Selected: CB CB Chimdi Chekwa, 4th Round, Pick No. 113
Who Oakland Should Have Selected: CB Chris Harris, Undrafted (Signed with Denver)
Much like San Francisco, Oakland tried to fix their secondary in the draft and passed on one of the better cornerbacks in the draft.
The Raiders give up a ton of passing yards and Chekwa has struggled to get on the field. He appeared in Oakland's first four contests but hamstring issues have kept him sidelined since early October.
Harris would most certainly help improve Oakland's defense, which is the Raiders' biggest weakness.
No. 7: Detroit Should Have Selected DeMarco Murray
Who Detroit Selected: RB Mikel Leshoure, 2nd Round, Pick No. 57
Who Detroit Should Have Selected: RB DeMarco Murray, 3rd Round, Pick No. 71 (Dallas)
Detroit has struggled with their running backs this year, losing Javid Best with concussions and juggling in between Maurice Morris, Kevin Smith and Keiland Williams.
They lost Leshoure in training camp after a torn Achilles tendon, so we won't know how good he could have been. But looking at DeMarco Murray emerge in Dallas as a star has to hurt any team who drafted a running back, especially Detroit, who desperately need some run help.
While it isn't quite fair to say Leshoure is a bust (his injury was no fault of his own), it's plainly obvious that Murray should have been a top tailback selection.
No. 6: Arizona Missed out on DeMarco Murray
Who Arizona Selected: RB Ryan Williams, 2nd Round, Pick No. 38
Who Arizona Should Have Selected: RB DeMarco Murray 3rd Round, Pick No. 71 (Dallas)
Arizona's situation is nearly identical to Detroit's. They needed to improve their running game and they'd hope that Williams, who stared at Virginia Tech, would produce for them.
And much like Mikel Leshoure, Williams went down with a season ending injury, and now Arizona can only watch DeMarco Murray tear up the field for Dallas.
It's hard to criticize a team's selection when Williams hasn't played a down in the NFL, but it's obvious that Murray is a star talent and will certainly be the best at his position from the 2011 draft class.
No. 5: Miami Should Have Taken Andy Dalton
Who Miami Selected: C Mike Pouncey, 1st Round, Pick No. 15
Who Miami Should Have Selected: QB Andy Dalton, 2nd Round, Pick No. 35 (Cincinnati)
Get used to seeing Dalton's name. He should have been taken long before he was. Dalton has been excellent in his rookie campaign and has 2,506 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Matt Moore, currently Miami's starter, has done well despite all the Dolphins' problems but he is not the future of the position. Pouncey has been excellent for Miami as their starting center, but you can't pass up a chance at a possible franchise quarterback.
Miami would be much higher on this list if it wasn't for Pouncey's excellent play. But if they could swap the picks, they most definitely should.
No 3: Minnesota Would Eagerly Take Denarius Moore
Who Minnesota Selected: CB Brandon Burton, 5th Round, Pick No. 139
Who Minnesota Should Have Selected: WR Denarius Moore, 5th Round, Pick No. 148
The loss of Sidney Rice to Seattle really gutted the Vikings passing attack, and if they could they'd most certainly take Denarius Moore off the Raiders hands.
Burton hasn't played all season for the Vikings, so this swap would mean a ton for Minnesota.
Moore looks like a prospective number one receiver and, along with quarterback Christian Ponder, would give the Vikings the second best rookie QB/WR combo, only behind Dalton and AJ Green.
The Vikings are 30th in the league in passing yards and really need to find Ponder a wide receiver who can help build up Minnesota's future.
No. 2: Philadelphia Would Have Loved Mason Foster
Who Philadelphia Selected: S Jaiquawn Jarrett, 2nd Round, Pick No. 54
Who Philadelphia Should Have Selected: LB Mason Foster, 3rd Round, Pick No. 84 (To Tampa Bay)
With the grace of hindsight we know that the Eagles didn't need to worry about fixing their secondary in the draft. With that in mind, if Philadelphia could swap a pick today they would jump on the chance to improve their run defense with Foster.
The Eagle's greatest weakness this season has been their abysmal run defense, something Foster could have really helped with. He has 53 tackles so far for Tampa Bay, good for second amongst rookies.
If Philadelphia's defense was just a little tougher, perhaps they would have lived up more to their pre-season expectations. As is, they're more than likely out of the playoff hunt.
No. 1: New York Giants Missed a Chance on DeMarco Murray
Who New York Selected: DT Marvin Austin, 2nd Round, Pick No. 52
Who New York Should Have Selected: RB DeMarco Murray, 3rd Round, Pick No. 71 (Dallas)
Of all the teams that missed on DeMarco Murray, none should be regretting it more than the New York Giants.
Ahmad Bradshaw has been injured for a good part of the season and the Giants running game has really struggled. Austin hasn't played yet for New York, which is very disappointing for a 2nd round selection.
Imagining Murray in the hands of their division rivals may give Dallas fans nightmares, but New York missed an excellent opportunity for a game changing runner.