Re-Drafting the 2018 NFL Draft's 1st Round
When they speak publicly, general managers won't admit to the desire to pick a different player in hypothetical re-draft scenarios.
Then again, we know the selection order wouldn't look the same if all rookies returned to the draft pool. Based on first-year production, some clubs hit on their opening-round picks—others may want a do-over.
It's unlikely safety Derwin James would fall to No. 17 again, and running back Phillip Lindsay wouldn't go undrafted, which would change the approach of multiple teams set to make Day 1 decisions.
Using the 2018 draft order and current rosters, we'll remove all rookies from their respective teams and go through first-round selections to determine the best choice for each club.
1. Cleveland Browns
Original selection: Baker Mayfield, QB
Re-draft selection: Baker Mayfield, QB
The Cleveland Browns made the right choice with the No. 1 overall pick. Among the five first-round rookie signal-callers, Mayfield looks most ready to lead an NFL team. Aside from Lamar Jackson in Baltimore, he has the most talent around him in terms of skill players and assets on the offensive line.
Mayfield has blossomed through adversity—specifically turmoil between former head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Following their dismissals, the rookie passer's production significantly improved. He's thrown 14 touchdown passes and four interceptions in the last six games (10 scores and seven interceptions in seven previous contests).
Despite playing with a flawed defense that ranks 19th in scoring, Mayfield kept Cleveland in the late playoff picture. The Browns have won seven regular-season games for the second time since 2007.
General manager John Dorsey deserves props for choosing the Oklahoma product as the face of the franchise. If he had to do it again, the selection would remain the same.
2. New York Giants
Original selection: Saquon Barkley, RB
Re-draft selection: Sam Darnold, QB
New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman took Barkley, a running back, over a quarterback. Although the Penn State product looks like a strong candidate to win Offensive Rookie of the Year, his production didn't equate to enough wins for a playoff berth.
Yes, the Giants need upgrades along the offensive line. Still, QB Eli Manning doesn't have the physical tools to throw a consistently accurate deep ball to superstar wideout Odell Beckham Jr. The 37-year-old can't escape the pocket and throw on the move when there's a breakdown in pass protection.
Darnold's ability to extend plays would benefit Beckham, Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram. They're all a handful to cover for long periods.
The USC product doesn't have high-end talent around him with the Jets. He's also playing under a defensive-minded head coach, Todd Bowles, and an offensive coordinator in Jeremy Bates who last served in the same position with the Seattle Seahawks in 2010. That team ranked 23rd in scoring and 28th in yardage.
With Big Blue under head coach Pat Shurmur, Darnold would maximize pass-catching talent on the perimeter. His mobility makes him an ideal choice while Gettleman tweaks the offensive line.
3. New York Jets
Original selection: Sam Darnold, QB
Re-draft selection: Josh Rosen, QB
The New York Jets traded up from No. 6 to secure this spot for a quarterback. With Mayfield and Darnold off the board, Rosen would become the No. 3 pick.
Going by his production—10 touchdowns and 14 interceptions with a 55.4 percent completion rate—this selection seems questionable. But the UCLA product played under a first-year head coach in Steve Wilks, his offensive coordinator, Mike McCoy, got fired in October and the Arizona Cardinals' pass protection ranks 25th in the league, per Football Outsiders. It's premature to label him a bust, considering the staff and talent around him.
According to Spotrac, Gang Green will have $106.8 million in 2019 cap space. That's enough financial capital to surround Rosen with quality personnel. The first-year signal-caller has shown few flashes in 13 games, but the 21-year-old possesses considerable upside. The former Bruin can stand in the pocket and move the chains through the air, but he needs on-field help and an innovative mind calling plays from the sideline.
4. Cleveland Browns
Original selection: Denzel Ward, CB
Re-draft selection: Saquon Barkley, RB
The Browns filled a pressing need at cornerback with Ward. Through 12 games, it's clear he can hold his own on the boundary. The Ohio State product has logged 11 pass breakups and three interceptions.
While Ward looks like a solid choice, the Browns can't pass up on a star running back at No. 4. Together, Mayfield and Barkley would put FirstEnergy Stadium on tilt. They're arguably the top two offensive rookies in this class.
Cleveland selected Nick Chubb in the second round; he's recorded four 100-plus-yard rushing performances, but Barkley eclipsed the century mark in four consecutive outings (six in total) behind a lesser offensive line. Furthermore, his above-average pass-catching skills add another layer to the aerial attack.
With Mayfield and Barkley, the Browns may have fielded two Offensive Rookie of the Year candidates and finished the campaign with a top-10 scoring offense.
5. Denver Broncos
Original selection: Bradley Chubb, EDGE
Re-draft selection: Bradley Chubb, EDGE
Denver Broncos president of football operations John Elway would probably think about a quarterback at No. 5, but Josh Allen doesn't throw with consistent accuracy and Jackson's low passing volume still leaves question marks. Though his skills are limited, Case Keenum has done enough to stick around for a second year in Denver unless the front office lands Joe Flacco or Teddy Bridgewater.
The Broncos selected an immediate-impact player in edge-rusher Bradley Chubb, who's tied for eighth in sacks (12). He warrants Defensive Player of the Year mentions and looks like the perfect complement to Von Miller. The pair may become the league's best pass-rushing duo for several years.
The front office found an upgrade over Shane Ray, whose contract expires in the offseason. Chubb takes some of the pressure away from Miller and looks like a game-changer—so no change in picks here.
6. Indianapolis Colts
Original selection: Quenton Nelson, OG
Re-draft selection: Quenton Nelson, OG
There's no buyer's remorse for taking an offensive guard at No. 6; it's exactly what the Indianapolis Colts needed. Nelson has bolstered quarterback Andrew Luck's interior pass protection and opened lanes for the ball-carriers.
The Colts don't have a star running back, but they're in need of high-end talent at the position with a road-grader at guard. NFL Network's Brian Baldinger has done a great job of highlighting some of Nelson's best moments.
In recent years, the Colts offensive line couldn't set the tone. This season, their front five has a different attitude on the interior. The 6'5", 330-pound Nelson can move big bodies and use his quickness to flatten a defender on the second level, clearing the way for the ground attack.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Original selection: Josh Allen, QB (to Buffalo)
Re-draft selection: Lamar Jackson, QB
The Buffalo Bills originally traded up to select Allen with this pick, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers keep it in this scenario. And the franchise has to acquire and groom a signal-caller for the long term because Jameis Winston continues to show inconsistencies.
Jackson is an above-average ball-carrier who provides a unique element to the game plan. Considering that aspect of his skill set along with head coach Dirk Koetter and coordinator Todd Monken's offensive minds, it's possible the Louisville product would've been a more productive passer in Tampa Bay. Despite a disappointing season with multiple switches between Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback, the Bucs still rank No. 1 in passing yards and sixth in aerial touchdowns.
Jackson would have multiple big-bodied receiving targets who could increase his margin for error. Wideout Mike Evans (6'5", 231 lbs) along with tight ends O.J. Howard (6'6", 251 lbs) and Cameron Brate (6'5", 245 lbs) can haul in throws slightly off the mark because of a wider catch radius.
The 21-year-old signal-caller would have more dynamic perimeter options within the Buccaneers offense. As a result, it's possible the coaching staff would have more confidence in him as a passer. Additionally, Jackson would immediately jump-start the ground attack, which may create favorable one-on-one opportunities for his pass-catchers downfield.
8. Chicago Bears
Original selection: Roquan Smith, LB
Re-draft selection: Roquan Smith, LB
As an inside linebacker, Smith doesn't log many sacks or interceptions, but he's roaming the field as the Chicago Bears defender most likely to initiate contact with a ball-carrier or receiver. The Georgia product missed a significant portion of the offseason program because of a contract dispute.
Still, four months later, the 21-year-old leads the team in solo tackles (85). He provides the grit that Bears fans have become accustomed to at the position through the franchise's history. It's not a glamorous spot, but he's a key cog in Vic Fangio's defense.
Smith can also run down quarterbacks. He's recorded five sacks, which ranks third on the team. In addition, the rookie covers the middle of the field when the ball is in the air, notching five pass breakups and an interception.
As a second-level defender with quickness and field awareness, Smith serves as the ideal fit alongside Danny Trevathan and between Khalil Mack and a quick-twitch pass-rusher in Leonard Floyd.
9. San Francisco 49ers
Original selection: Mike McGlinchey, OT
Re-draft selection: Mike McGlinchey, OT
The San Francisco 49ers lost quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and running back Jerick McKinnon to ACL tears, but McGlinchey has proved his worth.
McGlinchey secured his starting spot at right tackle during the offseason and started every contest since. He's a key component to a ground attack that's posed a threat to defenses without its top ball-carrier.
As Niners Nation writer Patrick Holloway noted: "McGlinchey has been a great run-blocker and decent in pass protection, and it's his rookie season."
When McKinnon returns, short passes to him in the flat will allow McGlinchey to use his athleticism, running out in front of plays and pancaking defenders downfield. As he soaks up lessons from left tackle Joe Staley, the Notre Dame product should develop into a Pro Bowl-caliber tackle.
10. Oakland Raiders
Original selection: Josh Rosen, QB (to Arizona)
Re-draft selection: Derwin James, S
According to Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic, he would've selected James had the team kept the No. 10 selection, but the front office took two players, Karl Joseph and Obi Melifonwu, at safety with top-60 picks since 2016.
"We wanted to take Derwin James. Everybody wanted Derwin James," Gruden told reporters in October. "We had, unfortunately, drafted a safety in the first round two years ago, and we drafted another safety in the second round, so it's hard to draft a safety that high every year."
In August, the Raiders waived Melifonwu after he missed several practices with a lower-body injury. Recently, Joseph has shown flashes, but he's yet to justify his first-round status and served in a backup role through the first half of the season. There's no way Gruden would pass on James on a second go-around. The Florida State product has been all over the field, logging 3.5 sacks, 13 pass breakups and three interceptions.
The Raiders would have an effective safety blitzer off the edge and a defender who could cover tight ends in the passing game—a perpetual issue over the last few years.
James wouldn't change the Raiders' 4-11 record, but he'd become a strong building block.
11. Miami Dolphins
Original selection: Minkah Fitzpatrick, S
Re-draft selection: Denzel Ward, CB
The Miami Dolphins made a fine selection with Fitzpatrick, but the re-draft order creates a better option. Cornerback Cordrea Tankersley couldn't build upon his rookie campaign as a starter on the boundary. He appeared in six contests but went on injured reserve with a torn ACL.
The Dolphins have a pair of safeties on the books for the long term in Reshad Jones and T.J. McDonald. The coaching staff has used Bobby McCain on the outside and in the slot, but he seems most comfortable playing inside where he took snaps in 2016 and 2017.
Fitzpatrick has lined up on the boundary, but that's not his natural spot. The Dolphins could use Ward to lock down the side opposite Xavien Howard.
Along with Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller, Howard leads the league in interceptions (seven), but Ward snagged three picks in Cleveland. The former Buckeye also offers versatility, as he can slide inside to cover quicker receivers out of the slot.
12. Buffalo Bills
Original selection: Vita Vea, DT (to Tampa Bay)
Re-draft selection: Josh Allen, QB
The Bills didn't have strong competition for Allen during training camp and the preseason. The team traded AJ McCarron to the Raiders for a fifth-round pick and released Nathan Peterman in November. Neither had a strong showing during the exhibition period.
The lack of talent at quarterback forced Allen into a starting position in Week 2. The Bills have ridden his ups and downs and won games with the No. 2 defense in yards allowed. Similar to Jackson, he's running wild, logging a team-leading 536 yards and six touchdowns on the ground.
Buffalo found a way to win without a big rushing performance from the nimble quarterback in Week 15, too. The Detroit Lions held Allen to 16 rushing yards and a score, but the Bills defense allowed just 13 points. The rookie signal-caller did enough as a passer, throwing for 204 yards and a touchdown, to win. It's not the most beautiful formula, but it works while the Wyoming product learns on the job.
There's upside to Allen's game, and this Bills get it five picks later in this scenario. Like Jackson, it's difficult to corral him when he's on the move outside the pocket.
13. Washington Redskins
Original selection: Daron Payne, DT
Re-draft selection: Daron Payne, DT
In hindsight, because of Alex Smith's career-threatening leg fracture, the Washington Redskins would consider a quarterback, but we haven't seen much from signal-callers selected outside the first round.
With what we know about rookie QBs Mason Rudolph and Kyle Lauletta, the Redskins would stick with their choice at No. 13. Defensive tackle Daron Payne flashed as a solid asset, bolstering the run defense before the team allowed 100-plus yards in seven of the last eight games. The Alabama product has also provided pocket pressure with five sacks.
Despite the defensive collapse late in the season, it's clear the front office found a playmaker who's capable of taking the field as a disruptor on all three downs. With Payne, Jonathan Allen and Matthew Ioannidis, Washington's front line can pressure the pocket, and at times, clutter running lanes.
14. Green Bay Packers
Original selection: Marcus Davenport, DE (to New Orleans)
Re-draft selection: Minkah Fitzpatrick, S
In this scenario, the Green Bay Packers' trade with the Saints doesn't happen, and Fitzpatrick slides to No. 14 in an ideal landing spot.
The secondary needs an upgrade. The Packers dealt Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and waived Jermaine Whitehead. Tramon Williams transitioned from cornerback to safety. The coaching staff benched Kentrell Brice for Josh Jones over the last three contests.
Fitzpatrick could play both safety positions and the slot, which gives the Packers flexibility on the back end. Although the Dolphins pass defense ranks 19th in yards allowed and surrendered 28 touchdowns, the Alabama product isn't part of the problem. He's notched two interceptions and nine pass breakups while lining up in various spots.
In Green Bay, Fitzpatrick would focus on filling the void at safety, and it's possible he'd post similar numbers to the stats he's put up in Miami. As a versatile defensive back capable of shadowing pass-catchers and helping in the box against the run, Fitzpatrick would stay on the field regardless of the down and distance.
15. Arizona Cardinals
Original selection: Kolton Miller, OT (to Oakland)
Re-draft selection: Calvin Ridley, WR
At No. 15 overall, the Arizona Cardinals would miss the ideal quarterback options since their real-life trade up to No. 10 wouldn't happen, but they can take a proactive approach to an inevitable transition at wide receiver.
According to the Arizona Republic's Bob McManaman, Larry Fitzgerald hasn't made a decision on his future. "It may. It may not," he said when asked if Week 16 would be his last home showing. "I'm just blessed to be able to play the game I love."
Regardless of Fitzgerald's decision, the Cardinals have to find his successor. In reality, they chose Christian Kirk in 2018's second round, but the front office would have the chance to take Ridley in this spot. The Alabama product leads all rookie wideouts in receiving yards (789).
Ridley scored six touchdowns in the first four weeks before his production tapered off and the Falcons' season went off the rails. He shared the field with an elite wideout in Julio Jones and still leads his team in touchdown receptions (nine).
The Cardinals wouldn't have Rosen in this re-draft, but Ridley would emerge as the top perimeter playmaker.
16. Baltimore Ravens
Original selection: Tremaine Edmunds, LB (to Buffalo)
Re-draft selection: Nick Chubb, RB
With Jackson gone to the Buccaneers at No. 7, the Ravens' long-term quarterback plans have to change. Flacco would hang around for at least another season. The 33-year-old signal-caller underwhelmed before losing his starting job, throwing 12 touchdown passes and six interceptions in nine games.
But Flacco has recovered from a hip injury, and he'd reclaim his role under center without Jackson around. In this scenario, since the original first-round signal-callers are gone, the Ravens focus on bolstering the ground attack.
Running back Alex Collins will become a restricted free agent in March. The front office could retain him on a new deal, but Chubb offers more upside. Phillip Lindsay has been the more productive ball-carrier, but the Georgia product possesses a sturdier, more compact frame (5'11", 227 lbs) to handle more pounding, which would allow the Ravens to steamroll their opponents.
Chubb is third among rookie ball-carriers in rushing yards (972) and logged just 16 carries in his first six games as a backup to Carlos Hyde, who was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars. He's moved the ball at an impressive 5.3 yards per carry. Chubb would offset some of the shortcomings in the aerial attack with his production on the ground.
17. Los Angeles Chargers
Original selection: Derwin James, S
Re-draft selection: Darius Leonard, LB
Of course, James didn't fall to No. 17 this time, but the Los Angeles Chargers can take another Defensive Rookie of the Year hopeful. Similar to this team's original pick, linebacker Darius Leonard provides an impact on multiple levels of the defense.
Leonard leads the league in solo tackles (107) and has seven sacks, six pass breakups and an interception. Typically, he's in the middle of the action, which is ideal for a second-level defender. The South Carolina State product is a clear upgrade over Hayes Pullard or Kyle Emanuel at linebacker.
Los Angeles would plug Leonard into coordinator Gus Bradley's defense and watch him make plays on all three downs while he goes downhill against the run, pressures the pocket or drops into coverage. His ability to clean up tackles and initiate contact provides instant playmaking for the Chargers linebacker corps.
18. Seattle Seahawks
Original selection: Jaire Alexander, CB (to Green Bay)
Re-draft selection: Jaire Alexander, CB
At No. 18, it's the same player with a new team. Alexander is still the second cornerback off the board and goes to the Seattle Seahawks—who retooled their defense over the offseason—sans a trade to the Packers.
Without versatile rookie defensive back Tre Flowers (a 2018 fifth-rounder) on the roster, Seattle isn't in a position to pass on a quality cover man capable of lining up on the inside and outside. Alexander missed two games with a groin injury, but he's been productive when healthy.
Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward spoke highly of Alexander in a Dec. 20 interview with Michael Cohen of The Athletic. "When I watch Jaire, I would say he's got potential to be very special, and that's not saying it just because you're asking me these questions," he said. "I really feel like he's got a chance to be special. As long as he could stay healthy, the sky is the limit for him."
Despite his absences, Alexander leads the Packers in pass breakups (11). He's a reliable tackler in the open field and against the run, listing second on the team in solo tackles (61). He can provide coverage and toughness—two qualities needed to reshape the Seahawks' post-Legion of Boom secondary.
19. Dallas Cowboys
Original selection: Leighton Vander Esch, LB
Re-draft selection: Leighton Vander Esch, LB
Before the draft, reports about the condition of Vander Esch's neck caused concern, but the issue hasn't come up since the Dallas Cowboys picked the linebacker at No. 19. Furthermore, the Boise State product looks like a tackling machine, leading the team with 99 solo takedowns.
Based on Sean Lee's recent history of hamstring injuries, Dallas needed to address the position. He's missed 14 contests over the last two years. Fortunately for the Cowboys, their first-round choice can hold his own as the patrolling linebacker in the middle of the field. Beyond his reliable tackling, Vander Esch has also recorded seven pass breakups and two interceptions as a solid short-area coverage defender.
Even though owner Jerry Jones told the Dallas Morning News' Jon Machota that Lee will start once he's healthy, the Cowboys shouldn't have any regrets about taking Vander Esch in the opening round.
20. Detroit Lions
Original selection: Frank Ragnow, G/C
Re-draft selection: Frank Ragnow, G/C
The Detroit Lions selected Ragnow in the first round and running back Kerryon Johnson in the second. The acquisitions indicated a potential shift to a balanced offensive attack with a stronger commitment to the run game.
Detroit ranks 21st in rush attempts—up from 31st last year—but Johnson hasn't suited up since Week 11 because of a sprained knee; the team placed him on injured reserve in December. Despite the absence of their top ball-carrier, the Lions have eclipsed 100 rushing yards in four of the last five contests with LeGarrette Blount, Zach Zenner and Theo Riddick involved in a committee.
In Week 13, Ragnow struggled as a pass protector against Los Angeles Rams interior defenders Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh, but that's not a surprise for a rookie. As the Arkansas product increases his functional strength, he should see improvements in his ability to protect the pocket. At the least, he's provided immediate ground help.
According to Football Outsiders, the Lions average 4.47 adjusted line yards when ball-carriers run behind the mid-guard area compared to 3.45 last year. Ragnow deserves a share of the credit for the increased production between the tackles.
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Original selection: Billy Price, G/C
Re-draft selection: Billy Price, G/C
Thus far, Price hasn't lived up to first-round expectations for the Cincinnati Bengals. In fairness, the center suffered a foot strain, which sidelined him for six games. Bengals Wire's Chris Roling offered a suggestion that could change the Ohio State product's outlook with the team:
"[Trey] Hopkins shifted from right guard to center while Price missed a big chunk of his rookie year with an injury and, as fans might recall, many concerns about the offensive line went away. ... Price played at an elite level in college at both guard spots before moving to center. If he can slide to right guard now and be effective, why not plug Hopkins back in at center?"
It's telling that the Bengals offensive line performed better without the rookie first-rounder. Only nine games into his career, Price still has plenty of time for a turnaround.
If he doesn't pan out at the pivot, perhaps the coaching staff will shift him to guard, which wouldn't be a waste of a first-round pick. The Bengals need upgrades on the interior of the offensive line to open lanes for running back Joe Mixon. Cincinnati made the right choice at No. 21, but as Roling suggests, the combination up front may need a tweak to optimize his talent.
22. Buffalo Bills
Original selection: Rashaan Evans, LB (to Tennessee)
Re-draft selection: Tremaine Edmunds, LB
The Bills chose their potential franchise quarterback with the No. 12 overall pick, again nabbing Allen in the re-draft. Using No. 22, the front office would hold on to the centerpiece of the defense. Edmunds claimed a starting linebacker spot during the offseason, and he's started in 14 games.
Defensive tackle Kyle Williams feels as though Edmunds possesses the intangibles to eventually lead the defense, per the Buffalo News' Jay Skurski. "There [are] a couple things that have to come before he can step in front of a group of a lot of guys and lead them," he said. "He has to have production. He has to be accountable. He has to work the right way. Those are things he's done well."
Williams' endorsement says a lot about Edmunds' transition to the pros, as the veteran is a leader in the locker room who's spent 13 seasons with the team. The rookie linebacker's 69 solo tackles, 11 pass breakups and interception show his do-it-all capabilities. He's set to become a building block and the heartbeat of the defense.
23. New England Patriots
Original selection: Isaiah Wynn, G/T
Re-draft selection: Phillip Lindsay, RB
The New England Patriots traded a third-round pick to San Francisco for Trent Brown, and he won the training camp battle at left tackle during the offseason. Wynn went down with a torn Achilles during the preseason. The Georgia product will likely land on his feet as a starter, but the offense needs a featured back to balance the attack.
If Sony Michel avoided injury, he may have reached the 1,000-yard mark. He's averaging 73.4 rushing yards per contest but missed three games because of a knee issue. Oftentimes, the Patriots acquire unheralded players who develop into consistent contributors. Going with that theme, Lindsay is the ideal choice at No. 23.
While Michel has been solid in 12 outings, Lindsay ranks seventh in rushing yards (1,037) and was the most valuable player on the Broncos offense before he broke his hand Monday and ended his season. The Colorado product has exceeded expectations as the first undrafted offensive rookie to earn a Pro Bowl invite.
Despite Lindsay's smaller stature (5'8", 190 lbs), the Patriots could utilize him as the lead ball-carrier. The 24-year-old scored six of his nine rushing touchdowns from inside the 10-yard line.
24. Carolina Panthers
Original selection: DJ Moore, WR
Re-draft selection: DJ Moore, WR
The Carolina Panthers selected a wide receiver to elevate the play around quarterback Cam Newton and replace Kelvin Benjamin, whom the team traded to the Bills before the 2017 deadline.
Among rookie wideouts, Moore is second in receiving yards (707), but he must work on ball security. He lost two fumbles in Week 6 against the Redskins—one on a punt return and the other after the catch—and lost possession on a handoff in a close Week 15 game with the Saints.
Nonetheless, offensive coordinator Norv Turner has done a satisfactory job of scheming for Moore, moving him into space to make plays. As long as he can hold on to the football, there's tremendous upside because of his ability to extend plays. He's racked up 386 yards after the catch, which ranks 27th in the league. The Maryland product could also serve as a ball-carrier, which would allow creativity in the playbook.
Either way, the pick remains the same.
25. Tennessee Titans
Original selection: Hayden Hurst, TE (to Baltimore)
Re-draft selection: Marcus Davenport, EDGE
The New Orleans Saints' shocking move up to No. 14 for Davenport wouldn't happen in our Day 1 hypothetical. In this scenario, he'd fall to the Tennessee Titans at No. 25.
The 2018 class isn't loaded with high-end pass-rushers who are worth a first-round pick, but Davenport would land in a spot where he doesn't have to start right away—similar to his reality New Orleans. The Titans selected Harold Landry in the second round; the Boston College product serves in a backup role to Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan.
In March, Orakpo and Morgan will hit the free-agent market, and it's unlikely Tennessee will keep both edge-rushers because of their spotty production. They have a combined two sacks. Davenport would have a clear path to start in 2019. The University of Texas-San Antonio product logged four sacks this season, showing flashes of his upside.
As a late first-round pick, Davenport would be a steal if he made strides as a full-time starter.
26. Atlanta Falcons
Original selection: Calvin Ridley, WR
Re-draft selection: Will Hernandez, OG
Ridley's production would likely catch the eye of another team before the Atlanta Falcons make their pick at No. 26. Instead of reaching for another wide receiver in this spot, the Falcons turn to Hernandez as an ideal acquisition for a team struggling to commit to and establish the ground attack.
The Falcons signed guard Brandon Fusco to a three-year deal last offseason; the 30-year-old landed on injured reserve with an ankle injury, though. Fellow interior offensive lineman Andy Levitre sustained a torn triceps, and he's set to hit the free-agent market in March.
Atlanta can fill a need with Hernandez, a talented young guard who's partially responsible for Barkley's impressive first season in New York. The Offensive Rookie of the Year hopeful talked about the UTEP product's impact, per Newsday's Tom Rock. "Will has been great," he said. "Obviously, you've been seeing him doing a lot more recently, so he's definitely been a great help to the offensive line, and to not only my success but all the running backs' success."
If Tevin Coleman signs elsewhere during the offseason, the Falcons would lean on running backs Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith, who are more than capable of racking up yards behind a quality interior lineman such as Hernandez.
27. New Orleans Saints
Original selection: Rashaad Penny, RB (to Seattle)
Re-draft selection: Mark Andrews, TE
The New Orleans Saints signed quarterback Drew Brees to a two-year, $50 million deal during the offseason. Before he walks off into the sunset, the front office should load the offense with pass-catchers to maximize the investment in him.
Even though Brees has built a strong rapport with Michael Thomas, who's converting 85.7 percent of his targets into receptions, the passing attack doesn't have a strong No. 2 option. Before he returned to action in Week 16 after a knee injury, Ted Ginn Jr. hauled in just 54.5 percent of his targets, a significant drop-off from last year's 75.7 percent rate.
The Saints don't have a tight end on the books beyond the 2018 campaign. Andrews would serve as a potential go-to option when defenses try to neutralize Thomas downfield. The Oklahoma product went to the Ravens in the third round and became an immediate asset for Flacco and Jackson, logging 30 catches for 498 yards and three touchdowns.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers
Original selection: Terrell Edmunds, S
Re-draft selection: Terrell Edmunds, S
Edmunds is listed as a safety, but the coaching staff can use him in a variety of ways on the second and third levels of the defense. He lined up all over the field at Virginia Tech. With his size (6'1", 217 lbs) and skill set, the Pittsburgh Steelers could fill the nickel or dime linebacker role or keep Edmunds alongside safety Sean Davis.
Edmunds' speed will allow him to reach the quarterback on designed blitzes, position himself to force turnovers or break up a pass in coverage. Morgan Burnett's absence because of a groin issue put the rookie safety on the fast track to a starting role, but he's flashed as well.
The former Hokie has started all but one game this season, logging 51 solo tackles, four pass breakups, a sack and an interception. As Edmunds matures, expect defensive coordinator Keith Butler to utilize the rookie's athleticism to impact plays and potentially generate takeaways.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars
Original selection: Taven Bryan, DL
Re-draft selection: Maurice Hurst, DT
Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson can already see the writing on the wall. The 28-year-old has been used in a backup role in the last four games. According to Florida Times-Union's John Reid, the seventh-year veteran envisions a future elsewhere:
"In my mind, if I'm third or fourth on the depth chart making $14.5 million to $15 million, I don't see too much future for me in Jacksonville. I'm not trying to be a journeyman by any means. But it's a business and soon as you try to forget that then it's a rude awakening for sure."
Because of limited action, Bryan hasn't done enough to warrant first-round consideration. The Jaguars could turn to Hurst to succeed Jackson at defensive tackle, though. The Michigan product may have been a top-32 pick in April if not for a heart ailment. In his first year with the Raiders, he hasn't experienced any health issues aside from an ankle injury.
Hurst leads Raiders' punchless pass rush with four sacks. The rookie interior lineman can also penetrate the offensive line in run situations; he's notched 26 solo tackles with three for a loss. The former Wolverine would fare well as another cog in the Jaguars' stout front seven.
30. Minnesota Vikings
Original selection: Mike Hughes, CB
Re-draft selection: James Daniels, G/C
Despite going into the draft with a deep cornerback group, the Minnesota Vikings selected Mike Hughes at No. 30. At the beginning of the season, Trae Waynes struggled to stay healthy. As a result, Hughes played at least 78 percent of the defensive snaps in four of the first five weeks.
Unfortunately, Hughes landed on injured reserve with a torn ACL. Meanwhile, Waynes continues to suit up and is second on the team in pass breakups (eight). With Xavier Rhodes and Mackensie Alexander under team control beyond this season, it's best to address a need in this spot.
The Vikings can overlook depth in the secondary to strengthen the interior of the offensive line. An imbalanced attack likely contributed to the decision to fire offensive coordinator John DeFilippo after a Week 14 loss to the Seahawks. In the following contest, Minnesota recorded a season-high 220 rushing yards in a 41-17 victory over the Dolphins.
Although the Vikings have the running back talent to move the chains, quality guards could elevate the rushing offense.
At Iowa, Daniels spent most of his time at center. But according to Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs, he's fared well at left guard with the Bears: "Daniels has been technically sound since he was inserted into the lineup and advanced for just turning 21. He has displayed good play strength, but his intelligence showed [in Week 14 against the Los Angeles Rams]."
In Week 8, Daniels logged his first start and held the role since; he'd have a shot to surpass 2017 fifth-rounder Danny Isidora for the lead role at left guard once Tom Compton's contract expires at the end of the year.
31. New England Patriots
Original selection: Sony Michel, RB
Re-draft selection: Sam Hubbard, DE
In this re-draft, the Patriots addressed running back with the No. 23 pick, selecting Lindsay. There's no need to take Michel here. The front office can address a major need on the defense—specifically the pass rush. With Davenport taken, Hubbard follows him as the next pass-rusher off the board.
In a reserve role, Hubbard logged six sacks and seven tackles for a loss through 15 appearances with the Bengals. Although he isn't starting, the Ohio State product has played more snaps than first-unit defensive end Michael Johnson (470-441). He's likely to take over the starting spot next season.
The Patriots could plug Hubbard into a sizable role, putting him on the field for more than 50 percent of the snaps. Opposite Trey Flowers, who's set to become a free agent in the offseason, New England would have a young pass-rusher on the rise.
32. Philadelphia Eagles
Original selection: Lamar Jackson, QB (to Baltimore)
Re-draft selection: Kerryon Johnson, RB
The Ravens traded back into the first round to acquire Jackson in April. But he's long gone in the re-draft, which leaves the Philadelphia Eagles on the clock with the final selection on Day 1. Keep in mind all rookies return to the selection pool; Josh Adams wouldn't have a roster spot yet.
In an attempt to upgrade the rushing offense, the Eagles choose Johnson as the potential lead ball-carrier of the future. Running backs Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles will hit the open market in the offseason. Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood have fared well in complementary roles.
Johnson jumped out to a strong start with the Lions. He suited up for 10 games, started seven, averaged 5.4 yards per carry and accumulated 854 yards from scrimmage. Detroit hadn't finished a game with a 100-yard rusher since Reggie Bush did it in 2013. The rookie tailback accomplished the feat twice. He's capable of carrying the load in Philadelphia.