Re-Drafting the 2011 NFL Draft

Nick Kostos@@thekostosContributor IApril 19, 2013

Re-Drafting the 2011 NFL Draft

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    The 2013 NFL draft is less than a week away, and it features a first round that appears to be one of the most unpredictable in recent memory—one that is destined to go down as one of the more memorable opening rounds in draft history.

    Another first round that is ingrained in our consciousness is 2011's. Remember the NFL lockout? Well, I don't like to either, but it did happen, and it cast a palpable pall over that entire draft—specifically the first round, with fans booing Commissioner Goodell as the league and player's association hadn't yet come to an agreement.

    That first round also contained a few shock picks, with teams taking quarterbacks well ahead of their projections (Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder).

    So, with two years of hindsight, how would a redraft of the 2011 first round look?

    I'm glad you asked.

Pick No. 1, Carolina Panthers: Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada

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    2011 pick: QB Cam Newton

    Redraft pick: QB Colin Kaepernick

    Cam Newton was a fantastic selection at first overall, and he had a rookie season for the ages, capturing the Offensive Rookie of the Year title. 

    But, he hasn't been without headaches. Whether it's calling a reporter "sweetheart," his poor body language or his celebrating after touchdowns when down by double digits, he's rubbed people the wrong way.

    If the Panthers had a chance to redraft, they'd select Colin Kaepernick to be their franchise quarterback, as he comes with all the talent, minus the drama.

Pick No. 2, Denver Broncos: Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M

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    2011 pick: LB Von Miller

    Redraft pick: LB Von Miller

    John Elway, Hall of Fame quarterback and the Broncos executive vice president of football operations, knocked his first-ever draft selection out of the park. 

    Von Miller was an outstanding pick. He's been nothing short of a pass-rushing demon, terrorizing opposing quarterbacks to the tune of 30 sacks in two seasons.

    With Peyton Manning having been added to the fold in 2012, it's easy to slide Miller in as the second overall pick once again.

Pick No. 3, Buffalo Bills: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

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    2011 pick: DT Marcell Dareus

    Redraft pick: QB Cam Newton

    While Newton hasn't rubbed everyone the right way, there's no denying his massive talent and immense potential.

    Could you imagine him running Chan Gailey's offense? I truly believe that Gailey would still be the head coach of the Bills had they gotten a chance to select Newton. He would have sparkled in Western New York.

Pick No. 4, Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

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    2011 pick: WR A.J. Green

    Redraft pick: WR A.J. Green

    A.J. Green has been nothing short of stellar for the Bengals, who desperately needed to add a playmaker of his ilk.

    With two Pro Bowl berths in two seasons, he's definitely still their pick.

Pick No. 5, Arizona Cardinals: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

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    2011 pick: CB Patrick Peterson

    Redraft pick: DE J.J. Watt

    In today's NFL, you win by passing the ball and rushing the opposing passer. 

    With no quarterback on the board worth selecting at fifth overall, the Cardinals opt to add the draft's best pass-rusher, J.J. Watt. 

    I understand that the Cardinals have Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett already. I don't care about that.

    Watt would have joined them to form one of the most dominant fronts in all of football.

Pick No. 6, Atlanta Falcons: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

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    2011 pick: WR Julio Jones

    Redraft pick: WR Julio Jones

    While Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff was mostly criticized for his huge draft-day trade with Cleveland to move up to No. 6 for wide receiver Julio Jones, it's proven to be an excellent, prescient move.

    Jones has been a star opposite Roddy White, providing Atlanta with everything it expected after Dimitroff paid a king's ransom for the right to draft him.

    And, if Dimitroff could do it over, he definitely would.

    That makes Jones the obvious pick in this redraft.

Pick No. 7, San Francisco 49ers: Aldon Smith, LB, Missouri

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    2011 pick: LB Aldon Smith

    Redraft pick: LB Aldon Smith

    The 49ers nailed this pick, as Smith has been a monster at rushing the passer, with 33.5 sacks in his two seasons.

    They're glad to snatch him up again in this redraft.

Pick No. 8, Tennessee Titans: Andy Dalton, QB, TCU

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    2011 pick: QB Jake Locker

    Redraft pick: QB Andy Dalton

    I don't fault Mike Munchak for wanting to select a franchise quarterback with his first draft pick as Titans head coach.

    However, I do fault him for believing Jake Locker was the guy to take at No. 8.

    This isn't a moratorium on Locker's career; he can certainly still blossom. 

    But, Andy Dalton has proven to be the better player, with two postseason trips in two seasons.

    He'd be the pick if Tennessee could redraft.

Pick No. 9, Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith, OT, USC

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    2011 pick: OT Tyron Smith

    Redraft pick: OT Tyron Smith

    Dallas nailed this pick the first time around, as Tyron Smith has done a fantastic job protecting Tony Romo. He's been the bright spot on an otherwise awful Cowboys offensive line.

    He'd be their pick once again.

Pick No. 10, Jacksonville Jaguars: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

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    2011 pick: QB Blaine Gabbert

    Redraft pick: CB Patrick Peterson

    While Blaine Gabbert has time to turn his career around, he's been nothing short of an unmitigated disaster thus far in his two seasons.

    If the Jags could redraft, they'd snatch up Patrick Peterson in a heartbeat. He'd immediately be their best corner and would provide a playmaking dimension on special teams that the team has sorely lacked.

Pick No. 11, Houston Texans: Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland

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    2011 pick: DE J.J. Watt

    Redraft pick: WR Torrey Smith

    With J.J. Watt off the board, the Texans turn to Torrey Smith, who is the receiver they've been dying to pair alongside Andre Johnson.

    The Texans offense would be a scary sight with Smith and Johnson opening up running lanes for Arian Foster.

Pick No. 12, Minnesota Vikings: Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State

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    2011 pick: QB Christian Ponder

    Redraft pick: QB Christian Ponder

    I know I'm going to take a lot of flak for this one. 

    I don't care.

    I've been stunned at the number of Vikings fans that have called into my shows on SiriusXM, calling for Minnesota to draft another quarterback this year. I know that Ponder hasn't sparkled just yet, but I believe in him.

    Look at his performances in Weeks 16 and 17 in must-win games at Houston and home against Green Bay. Ponder was terrific in both, leading the Vikings to victory.

    Even if Peyton Manning were the Vikings' quarterback, the offense would run through Adrian Peterson. Ponder doesn't need to throw for 35 touchdowns in that offense.

    Ponder is good enough to lead the team to the postseason, and I think he deserves the chance to get them there again.

Pick No. 13, Detroit Lions: Richard Sherman, CB, Stanford

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    2011 pick: DT Nick Fairley

    Redraft pick: CB Richard Sherman

    The loquacious Richard Sherman has been a revelation for the Seahawks, who drafted him in the fifth round in 2011.

    There's no way he would last that long in a redraft. He is one of the best cornerbacks in football, and the Lions, in dire need of help in the secondary, would love to have him.

Pick No. 14, St. Louis Rams: Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky

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    2011 pick: DE Robert Quinn

    Redraft pick: WR Randall Cobb

    While Robert Quinn has been a nice fit in Jeff Fisher's defense, the Rams absolutely need to surround Sam Bradford with playmakers.

    Cobb, a speedy wide receiver who also provides explosion on special teams, would be electric on the turf of the Edward Jones Dome.

Pick No. 15, Miami Dolphins: Mike Pouncey, C, Florida

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    2011 pick: C Mike Pouncey

    Redraft pick: C Mike Pouncey

    The Dolphins hit big-time with the selection of center Mike Pouncey, as he's stabilized the interior of their line and has proven to be one of the best young linemen in football. 

Pick No. 16, Washington Redskins: Ryan Kerrigan, LB, Purdue

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    2011 pick: LB Ryan Kerrigan

    Redraft pick: LB Ryan Kerrigan

    The Redskins would love to select Ryan Kerrigan again, as he's been dynamite as an outside linebacker in their 3-4 defensive scheme, teaming with Brian Orakpo to form a fearsome pass-rush combination.

Pick No. 17, New England Patriots: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

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    2011 pick: OT Nate Solder

    Redraft pick: OT Nate Solder

    Nate Solder has done a very good job protecting Tom Brady and has improved in the run game as well. There's no reason for New England to take someone else in this redraft.

Pick No. 18, San Diego Chargers: Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple

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    2011 pick: DT Corey Liuget

    Redraft pick: DT Muhammad Wilkerson

    While Corey Liuget hasn't been a bad player by any means, he's not as good as Muhammad Wilkerson, who plays the same position. That makes Wilkerson the redraft pick.

Pick No. 19, New York Giants: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

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    2011 pick: CB Prince Amukumara

    Redraft pick: DT Marcell Dareus

    While I like the potential of Prince Amukumara, he hasn't played up to his first round billing thus far for Big Blue.

    Dareus would be a monster on the inside of the Giants defensive line, flanked by waves of pass-rusher. He'd be able to do serious damage, and that makes him the redraft pick.

Pick No. 20,Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DE Jabaal Sheard

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    2011 pick: DE Adrian Clayborn

    Redraft pick: DE/LB Jabaal Sheard

    The Buccaneers desperately needed pass-rush help in 2011, and still need it now.

    Jabaal Sheard is an ascending player, and he's just what the Bucs could use on their defense.

Pick No. 21, Cleveland Browns: Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor

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    2011 pick: DT Phil Taylor

    Redraft pick: DT Phil Taylor

    While Phil Taylor's 2012 season was lost to injury, I'm excited for his comeback in 2013. He was ascending prior to injury, and with Ray Horton bringing his aggressive, 3-4 scheme to Cleveland, Taylor will wreak havoc in the middle of their front.

Pick No. 22, Indianapolis Colts: Justin Houston, DE, Georgia

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    2011 pick: OT Anthony Castonzo

    Redraft pick: DE/LB Justin Houston

    The Colts whiffed with their pick of Anthony Castonzo, and it ended up costing former general manager Bill Polian his job. One of the great "What-If?"'s in NFL history is if the Colts had drafted Andy Dalton to groom as Peyton Manning's successor, as Andrew Luck wouldn't be a Colt and Polian would still be running the team.

    But, as we know, that didn't happen, and the Colts ended up with Luck. That makes a pass-rusher their most glaring need, and Houston, who has sparkled in Kansas City, fits the bill.

Pick No. 23, Philadelphia Eagles: Orlando Franklin, OT, Miami

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    2011 pick: OG Danny Watkins

    Redraft pick: OT Orlando Franklin

    Danny Watkins has proved to be a bust for the Eagles, and with the team needing help on the offensive line, they snatch up the best tackle available with Orlando Franklin.

Pick No. 24, New Orleans Saints: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

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    2011 pick: DE Cameron Jordan

    Redraft pick: DE Robert Quinn

    The New Orleans Saints desperately need help on the defensive side of the ball, and while Cameron Jordan has been a nice player, Robert Quinn is better, and that makes him the redraft pick.

Pick No. 25, Seattle Seahawks: Cameron Jordan, DE, Cal

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    2011 pick: OG James Carpenter

    Redraft pick: DE Cameron Jordan

    The Seahawks, in need of pass-rushing fortification, would be thrilled to see Cameron Jordan drop to them, and snatch him up in this redraft.

Pick No. 26, Kansas City Chiefs: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas

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    2011 pick: WR Jonathan Baldwin

    Redraft pick: QB Ryan Mallett

    The Chiefs could have really used a quarterback in 2011, and if they'd selected Ryan Mallett, I believe Scott Pioli would still have a job.

    Mallett would be the better choice than either Jake Locker or Blaine Gabbert, as he's had no off-field issues since joining New England.

Pick No. 27, Baltimore Ravens: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

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    2011 pick: CB Jimmy Smith

    Redraft pick: CB Jimmy Smith

    The Ravens would stand pat with their original 2011 selection and redraft Jimmy Smith, a rangy corner with impressive potential.

Pick No. 28, New Orleans Saints: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois

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    2011 pick: RB Mark Ingram

    Redraft pick: DT Corey Liuget

    The Saints struck out with their trade-up for Alabama running back Mark Ingram. They didn't need him, and he has barely seen the field, with New Orleans already stocked with talented tailbacks.

    With the defense needing help, Corey Liuget would be the pick. He'd help fortify the defensive front.

Pick No. 29, Chicago Bears: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

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    2011 pick: OT Gabe Carimi

    Redraft pick: DT Nick Fairley

    Gabe Carimi hasn't gotten the job done, and head coach Marc Trestman recently described him as more of a guard (per ESPN's Jeff Dickerson).

    That means the Bears will be looking elsewhere in this redraft, and with the Bears loving to fortify their defensive interior, Fairley is the logical selection.

Pick No. 30, New York Jets: Brooks Reed, LB, Arizona

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    2011 pick: DT Muhammad Wilkerson

    Redraft pick: LB Brooks Reed

    With Muhammad Wilkerson off the board, the Jets stay on the defensive side of the ball and seek to help their pass rush, which has been lackluster. Brooks Reed is the pick.

Pick No. 31, Pittsburgh Steelers: DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma

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    2011 pick: DE Cam Heyward

    Redraft pick: RB DeMarco Murray

    Pittsburgh really struggled to run the ball in 2012, while Heyward hasn't yet hit his stride as a player.

    DeMarco Murray fits the Steelers' offensive modus operandi: tough, physical football. He'd quickly become a folk hero in Pittsburgh.

Pick No. 32, Green Bay Packers: Stevan Ridley, RB, LSU

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    2011 pick: OT Derek Sherrod

    Redraft pick: RB Stevan Ridley

    With Derek Sherrod still not having cracked the starting lineup, the Packers are looking elsewhere in this redraft. 

    Green Bay hasn't been able to run the ball with consistency in the Aaron Rodgers era, and Stevan Ridley would change that. He'd add another dimension to the Packers offense, and that would only make the team more dangerous.