Redrafting the 2020 NFL Draft

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJanuary 16, 2021

Redrafting the 2020 NFL Draft

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    Sometimes, NFL teams would like a do-over.

    Just ask the Cleveland Browns, who hired Freddie Kitchens as their head coach over current Coach of the Year candidate Kevin Stefanski last season. Or the Pittsburgh Steelers, who decided to rest their starters against those same Browns in the season finale this year. Or the Washington Football Team, which used a 2019 first-round pick on quarterback Dwayne Haskins and then made the playoffs without him on the roster less than a year later.

    Blessed with the gift of future sight, you can bet these franchises would have made different decisions. You can say the same thing about several teams and their choices in the 2020 NFL draft. While they had plenty of information about the prospects themselves, they had no way of knowing how the ensuing season would unfold.

    If they did, you can bet the first round of the 2020 draft would have gone differently. How might it have looked? We're going to have a little fun today and examine that very question.

    We'll approach this 2020 redraft as if the franchises involved in Round 1 knew what was coming. This means everything over the past season—rookie performances, emerging needs, injuries and team fits—will be considered. We'll also be using the post-free-agency, predraft order, meaning that early deals like the Stefon Diggs and Minkah Fitzpatrick trades will be included, but draft-day moves will not.

1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

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    Susan Walsh/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

    The Cincinnati Bengals took LSU quarterback Joe Burrow first overall, and it's hard to believe they wouldn't do so again in a redraft. Burrow looked the part of a franchise quarterback while throwing for 2,688 yards with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions in his first 10 NFL games.

    The one point of hesitation might be the knee injury that landed Burrow on injured reserve after those 10 games. However, he seems poised to return to 100 percent.

    "Based on the surgery he had and based on the injury he had, he's got a very predictable recovery. I think he can anticipate a full and complete recovery," Bengals athletic trainer Paul Sparling said, per Geoff Hobson of the team's official website.

    In the real world, Cincinnati has found its franchise quarterback. It'll grab him in this magical redraft world too.

2. Washington Football Team: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State

    Washington fared well by drafting Ohio State pass-rusher Chase Young. He amassed 7.5 sacks and 23 quarterback pressures during his rookie campaign and appears to be a defensive building block for the future.

    However, Washington needs to solidify its quarterback position. If the team knew it would jettison Dwayne Haskins before the end of the season while Oregon's Justin Herbert had a record-setting rookie year, it would probably opt for Herbert.

    The former Duck started 15 games in 2020, finishing with 4,336 passing yards, a rookie-record 31 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions. He also rushed for 234 yards and five more scores.

    Given the talent level of Washington's defensive front, Young was largely a luxury pick. By taking Herbert in the redraft, the Football Team won't have questions at the game's most important position.

3. Detroit Lions: Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State

    After Washington passes on Young, the Detroit Lions don't hesitate to scoop him up. Premier pass-rushing prospects don't come along often, and Young can be a difference-maker for the Lions for the next decade-plus.

    In a division with Aaron Rodgers, that could be huge.

    The Lions originally selected Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah, who had his fair share of rookie struggles—he allowed an opposing passer rating of 118.0.

    Okudah did show flashes of promise as a rookie, and to be fair, a lot of defenders played poorly under Matt Patricia in Detroit. Still, few question marks surround Young, and the Lions wouldn't hesitate to turn in his draft card.

4. New York Giants: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

    The New York Giants have a tough decision here. They got plenty of up-and-down play out of rookie offensive tackle Andrew Thomas. The former Georgia standout was responsible for three penalties and 10 sacks allowed in 2020, according to Pro Football Focus.

    Louisville's Mekhi Becton, on the other hand, committed seven penalties and allowed seven sacks in nearly 300 fewer snaps, but he was still one of the few bright spots for the New York Jets.

    Regardless, Becton has the higher physical ceiling and is a mauler in the running game. That may not be a major selling point for the 2020 season, but with Saquon Barkley back in the lineup for 2021, it could be huge.

    Here, the Giants go with Becton and look to build a more consistent run-first offense to complement their budding defense.

5. Miami Dolphins: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

    The Miami Dolphins originally selected former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. They'll pass on him here for a couple of reasons. The first is that not everyone in the organization appears sold on his NFL upside.

    "The concerning thing to the players who spoke to the Herald is they are not convinced Tagovailoa is going to be great in the future," Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald recently wrote.

    The other factor is that Miami knows the 2021 pick it obtained from the Houston Texans will be No. 3 overall. Miami will have another opportunity to roll the dice on a quarterback prospect.

    Instead, the Dolphins scoop up a new No. 1 receiver in the form of LSU's Justin Jefferson. He racked up 1,400 receiving yards and seven touchdowns on 88 receptions for the Minnesota Vikings this season. With Jefferson on the field and Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, Miami might have even made the postseason in 2020.

6. Los Angeles Chargers: Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

    The Los Angeles Chargers found their franchise quarterback in real life. However, Herbert is not available in this redraft. While L.A. can't get him, it can still land an athletic quarterback prospect with loads of arm talent by scooping up Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts.

    Hurts fell to the second round last season and landed with the Philadelphia Eagles. Despite making just four starts for the Eagles, he finished 2020 with 1,061 passing yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions. He also rushed for 354 yards and three more scores.

    While there's a limited book on Hurts, his potential is intriguing. The Chargers, who have substantially more offensive talent than the Eagles, might be able to fully capitalize on that potential.

    Los Angeles would get an extended look at Hurts in 2020 because, in this hypothetical scenario, Tyrod Taylor still goes out of the lineup in Week 2.

7. Carolina Panthers: Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

    In reality, the Carolina Panthers waited until the second round to select Southern Illinois safety Jeremy Chinn. Knowing how much the multifaceted defender will shine in 2020, there's no way Carolina waits that long to grab him here.

    Chinn was one of the most electric rookies we saw at any position this past season. He amassed 117 total tackles, an interception, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, two defensive touchdowns, a sack and five passes defended.

    He was the sort of secondary centerpiece most teams dream of drafting.

    Originally, the Panthers took run-stuffing defensive tackle Derrick Brown. While Brown was a solid space-eater as a rookie, Chinn was a legitimate playmaker. The Panthers don't risk losing him and pull the trigger a round early.

8. Arizona Cardinals: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

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    Sean Rayford/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

    The Arizona Cardinals struggled to find a role for rookie linebacker Isaiah Simmons. That's a problem for the team to address and not an indictment of the former Clemson star's ability. The versatile linebacker-safety hybrid flashed plenty of playmaking potential when he was able to get onto the field.

    Despite starting just seven of his 16 games, Simmons finished the season with 54 total tackles, two passes defended, two sacks, a forced fumble and an interception.

    In this redraft world, Arizona knows it isn't a Super Bowl contender just yet. Therefore, there's no need to trade Simmons' immense upside for a player who could contribute more immediately.

    As a hybrid player, Simmons always appeared to be a bit of a project. Here, Arizona again takes the 2019 Butkus Award winner and looks to develop him for the long term.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: CJ Henderson, CB, Florida

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Original Pick: CJ Henderson, CB, Florida

    Last April, the Jacksonville Jaguars tried to revamp their secondary with former Florida cornerback CJ Henderson. While Henderson wasn't perfect—he allowed an opposing passer rating of 110.2—he left a positive impression on the coaching staff.

    "Everything that we prepared for in the draft, physical side, the ability to run, play in our system, is exactly what we thought we were getting," defensive coordinator Todd Wash told reporters.

    Henderson only appeared in eight games before landing on injured reserve with a groin injury. While that's disappointing, it also may have helped Jacksonville secure the No. 1 pick in the 2021 draft.

    Many of this year's rookie cornerbacks have struggled, and there's little reason to believe a different corner would perform substantially better for Jacksonville. Like the Cardinals, the Jaguars stick with their original choice.

10. Cleveland Browns: Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama

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    David Richard/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama

    The Browns are also going to roll with their original selection. They made former Alabama standout Jedrick Wills Jr. the second offensive tackle off the board last April, and they'll do the same again here.

    Like most rookie tackles, Wills had a few gaffes in his inaugural campaign. However, he was mostly solid and rarely appeared overwhelmed in pass protection. For the year, Wills was responsible for 11 penalties but just four sacks, according to Pro Football Focus.

    The long-maligned Browns are about to play in the divisional round of the postseason for the first time since the 1994 season. Along with Stefanski, the offensive line has played a massive role in the team's turnaround.

    The Browns know what kind of player Wills can be. He's still on the board, so they don't think twice about selecting him again.

11. New York Jets: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

    The Jets came into the 2020 draft needing help at both tackle spots. They took left tackle Mekhi Becton and have every reason to be happy with that decision. However, he's off the board here, so New York instead turns its attention to the right tackle spot.

    One could argue former Iowa tackle Tristan Wirfs has been the best of a strong rookie O-line class. He started every game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and performed wonderfully. He was responsible for a mere three penalties and a sack, according to Pro Football Focus.

    While it would be nice to solidify the all-important left tackle position, the Jets should be thrilled to land a franchise right tackle.

    New York knows it will have the No. 2 pick in the draft and more than $60 million in cap space in 2021. It will have other chances to add a left tackle. It won't have other chances to snag Wirfs.

12. Las Vegas Raiders: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

    The Las Vegas Raiders originally used this pick on former Alabama speedster Henry Ruggs III. He was a bit disappointing statistically, finishing with 452 yards and two touchdowns. While Ruggs shouldn't be judged on stats alone—his speed did open things up for the Raiders offense—it's not unfair for Las Vegas to want more out of its rookie receiver.

    Instead, the Raiders take former Oklahoma star CeeDee Lamb here. While Lamb doesn't possess the raw speed of Ruggs, he's still capable of stretching the field. He can also make good things happen in less than ideal situations.

    Lamb finished the 2020 season with 935 yards and five touchdowns despite playing most of it without Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback Dak Prescott.

    With Nelson Agholor to fill the deep-threat role Ruggs was drafted for, Lamb can slot in as an all-around receiver and as the Raiders' new No. 1 target.

13. San Francisco 49ers (from Indianapolis): Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa (by Tampa Bay)

    The San Francisco 49ers originally traded this selection and then used the No. 14 pick on South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw. This came on the heels of trading DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts, so the decision to take a defensive tackle made sense.

    However, with Brown still on the board, the 49ers go a different route in terms of the player.

    While Kinlaw did show flashes for the 49ers, Brown was a game-wrecker in the defensive interior for Carolina. Run defense was his calling card, as he was able to move the line of scrimmage and stonewall ball-carriers at the point of attack. However, he was also sneaky good at generating pressure.

    Though Brown finished with just two sacks, he also amassed 17 quarterback pressures and 12 quarterback hits. Would Brown outright replace Buckner? Probably not, but he'd be a valuable addition to the 49ers' defensive front.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina (by San Francisco)

    The Buccaneers would be bummed to see Wirfs off the board, but they'd still want to address the offensive line. Quarterback Tom Brady is 43 years old in any reality, and losing him to injury would derail Tampa's season.

    In the redraft, Tampa takes a chance on Georgia's Andrew Thomas. As previously mentioned, he experienced his fair share of struggles, but it's worth noting he blocked for a quarterback with pocket-presence issues in Daniel Jones. With Brady's usually quick trigger, Thomas may have fared much better for the Buccaneers.

    Thomas also brings some versatility to the proverbial table, having played both right and left tackle for the Bulldogs.

    Tampa would rather have Wirfs, but it could do much worse than landing Thomas 10 spots later than where he was actually drafted.

15. Denver Broncos: Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

    Originally, the Denver Broncos selected premier route-runner Jerry Jeudy with this selection. The Alabama product was widely viewed as the most pro-ready receiver prospect in the 2020 draft. While he didn't transform the Denver offense, he did show flashes while finishing with 52 receptions, 856 yards and three touchdowns.

    In the redraft, the Broncos eschew pro-readiness for legitimate playmaking ability. They scoop up former Notre Dame star Chase Claypool, who had a tremendous rookie campaign for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    Claypool proved to be a scoring threat virtually any time he was on the field. He caught 62 passes for 873 yards and nine touchdowns. He also carried the ball for two more scores.

    By selecting Claypool over Jeudy, the Broncos would provide quarterback Drew Lock with the sort of home run threat he lacks. Of course, the challenge of determining whether Lock can be a true franchise quarterback remains.

16. Atlanta Falcons: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson

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    Brett Duke/Associated Press

    Original Pick: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson

    The Atlanta Falcons used the 16th pick on former Clemson cornerback A.J. Terrell, and the results have been mixed. While he was arguably the best cornerback on Atlanta's roster, he also surrendered 936 yards in coverage and an opposing passer rating of 109.6.

    Still, Terrell's struggles weren't great enough for Atlanta to move off its original pick because the team seems happy with his development.

    "I'm really fired up about where he's going," interim head coach Raheem Morris told reporters. "Really fired up where A.J. is going to be, and I'm really fired up at his demeanor and how he approaches every single game."

    Atlanta could be tempted to take the free-falling Okudah, but they have a far better handle on Terrell's potential and make the same selection instead.

17. Dallas Cowboys: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Original Pick: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

    The Dallas Cowboys originally used this selection on CeeDee Lamb. It was a luxury pick, as a lack of receiving weapons didn't prevent Dallas from winning the NFC East. A horrific defense did, so with Lamb off the board, the Cowboys scoop up Jeff Okudah.

    As previously mentioned, Okudah's rookie campaign left plenty to be desired. However, it's impossible to dismiss the buzz he generated in the predraft process.

    "Okudah is the best cornerback prospect we've evaluated since Jalen Ramsey left Florida State. Unlike many top cornerbacks in recent years, Okudah has no injury history and has the NFL size to match up with any type of receiver he faces," Bleacher Report's Matt Miller wrote in April.

    A linebacker would also make sense, as Dallas ranked just 31st in run defense. The presence of Leighton Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith and Sean Lee, however, would have made such a selection redundant.

18. Miami Dolphins (from Pittsburgh): Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

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    Adrian Kraus/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Austin Jackson, OT, USC

    While the Dolphins may not be sold on Tua Tagovailoa and will have a crack at another quarterback in the 2021 draft, it's still worth taking a flier on him here. Things might have played out differently with a go-to receiver such as Justin Jefferson on the roster, and it's easier to move on from a mid-first-round pick than a top-five selection.

    While Tagovailoa didn't take the NFL by storm the way Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert did, he still showed flashes of promise. It also appeared like he was given a conservative play-call sheet—at least when compared to gunslinger Ryan Fitzpatrick—by former offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, who resigned after the season.

    The Dolphins liked Tagovailoa enough to select him with the fifth pick. He's still available in the redraft, so Miami goes back to the well.

19. Las Vegas Raiders (from Chicago): Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

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    AJ Mast/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State

    The Raiders originally used the 19th pick on former Ohio State cornerback Damon Arnette. He wasn't spectacular—he allowed an opposing passer rating of 106.9—and he was also limited to nine games because of injury and played 75 percent of snaps in only four of his outings.

    Instead, the Raiders grab former LSU linebacker Patrick Queen in the redraft. He had a phenomenal rookie campaign with the Baltimore Ravens, finishing with 106 tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles and two passes defended.

    Queen played at least 75 percent of snaps 12 times.

    Queen would have made a huge impact on Las Vegas, helping bolster a run defense that ranked just 24th. Queen's ability to blitz could also have helped a pass rush that produced a mere 21 sacks.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from L.A. Rams): Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

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    Sean Rayford/Associated Press

    Original Pick: K'Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU

    The Jaguars selected former LSU pass-rusher K'Lavon Chaisson in April. The hope was that Chaisson would boost a pass-rush that was likely to lose—and did lose—Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue.

    But despite playing 16 games, Chaisson produced just one sack and nine quarterback pressures.

    Instead of doubling down on Chaisson, the Jaguars scoop up South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw. While Kinlaw didn't prove to be a replacement for DeForest Buckner in the San Francisco defense, he was still a quality run-stuffer who brought pressure from the interior. In 14 games, he finished with 33 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 10 quarterback pressures.

    One of Jacksonville's biggest issues was its run defense, which ranked 30th. Kinlaw would have helped and also improved the pass rush.

21. Philadelphia Eagles: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU

    The Philadelphia Eagles opted for the deep-threat ability of TCU receiver Jalen Reagor while passing on Justin Jefferson, Chase Claypool and Tee Higgins. The decision didn't work out, as Reagor finished with a mere 396 yards and a touchdown and was arguably the most disappointing rookie wideout.

    With Higgins still on the board, the Eagles pass on Reagor here. While Higgins might not stretch the field quite like Reagor, he has proved to be a reliable No. 1 target in the making. Despite playing a big chunk of the season without Joe Burrow, Higgins still finished with 908 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

    Higgins' 6'4" frame would help provide Carson Wentz with a big, reliable target on the perimeter, which he lacked this season.

    While adding Higgins instead of Reagor might not have prevented Wentz's disastrous campaign, it may have helped provide more consistency than what fans witnessed.

22. Minnesota Vikings (from Buffalo): Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

    The Minnesota Vikings originally selected former LSU wideout Justin Jefferson, and there's not a chance they regret the decision. Jefferson is long gone in this redraft, however, leaving the Vikings scrambling for another wideout.

    Here, they'll take a chance on Henry Ruggs III, who ran an impressive 4.27-second 40-yard dash at the scouting combine.

    While Ruggs wasn't consistent for the Raiders, his speed did help open up underneath routes and running lanes. That would have been huge for the Vikings, who relied on running back Dalvin Cook.

    It's unlikely Ruggs would have the same sort of production as Jefferson did, but if he pulls defenders out of the box, he would still serve a valuable purpose.

23. New England Patriots: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Kenneth Murray Jr., LB, Oklahoma (by L.A. Chargers)

    The New England Patriots originally traded out of this slot. Instead, New England goes with former Alabama pass-catcher Jerry Jeudy.

    While Jeudy had issues with drops in Denver—he had 10 of them—his ability to create separation with savvy route skills was on full display. That he can execute precision cuts and fluidly move in and out of breaks could have been even more valuable in New England's timing-based passing attack.

    While plenty has been made of Cam Newton's inefficient campaign, it's worth noting the Patriots were starved for receiving talent. Jeudy wouldn't fix all that, but he would have given Newton a reliable weapon on the perimeter.

    Jeudy's 856 receiving yards were more than any Patriots pass-catcher produced—Jakobi Meyers led the team with 729.

24. New Orleans Saints: Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan

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    Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan

    There's really not a lot to analyze with this selection. The New Orleans Saints drafted Michigan interior offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz, played him in 15 games and started him nine times. More importantly, Ruiz was up to the challenge.

    According to Pro Football Focus, Ruiz was responsible for just one penalty and zero sacks in 744 snaps.

    The offensive line has been a huge asset for the Saints, opening holes for Alvin Kamara and keeping Drew Brees mostly clean in the pocket—he was sacked 13 times in 12 games. Ruiz has been a big piece of the consistency, and there's little reason for New Orleans to go in a different direction.

25. Minnesota Vikings: L'Jarius Sneed, CB, Louisiana Tech

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State (by San Francisco)

    The Vikings originally traded this pick but will use the selection in the redraft to address their woeful pass defense.

    Minnesota parted with cornerbacks Mackensie Alexander, Trae Waynes and Xavier Rhodes in the offseason and never recovered. It ranked 25th in passing yards allowed and 28th in yards allowed per attempt.

    Louisiana Tech cornerback L'Jarius Sneed could have helped remedy the situation. Sneed was, in reality, a fourth-round selection of the Kansas City Chiefs. His on-field production, however, justifies this massive bump in draft stock.

    Injuries limited Sneed to just nine games, but he was nothing short of superb. He logged seven passes defended and three interceptions while allowing an opposing passer rating of just 54.2. Grabbing him here would have given the Vikings the No. 1 corner they lacked.

26. Miami Dolphins (from Houston): Austin Jackson, OT, USC

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    Doug Murray/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State (by Green Bay)

    The Dolphins continue rebuilding their offense by grabbing USC offensive tackle Austin Jackson.

    In real life, the Dolphins selected Jackson with the 18th pick. In the redraft, they used that pick on Tuaa Tagovailoa. With Jackson still available, however, Miami turns in his draft card here.

    While Jackson was considered a project, he performed admirably, appearing in 13 games with 12 starts. He was responsible for five penalties and four sacks in 848 snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.

    The Dolphins originally dealt this selection to the Green Bay Packers, and the latter picked Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. With no draft-day trades here—and with Green Bay possibly regretting the decision to tab Aaron Rodgers' eventual replacement—that doesn't happen.

27. Seattle Seahawks: Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech

    The Seattle Seahawks used this pick on Texas Tech linebacker Jordyn Brooks. While Brooks was a fine contributor—he finished with 57 tackles and two passes defended—he didn't do much for Seattle's biggest weakness, its pass defense.

    The Seahawks defense rebounded late in the season, but it still ranked 31st in passing yards allowed. Adding a quality cornerback in the draft might have helped the secondary come together, and so Seattle goes with Mississippi State product Cameron Dantzler here.

    The second cornerback drafted by the Vikings, Dantzler proved to be one of the better rookie defenders in the NFL. He appeared in 11 games, snagged two interceptions and finished with an opposing passer rating of just 92.8—that's 1.7 pints better than the opposing passer rating of Pro Bowler Marshon Lattimore.

    Would Dantzler have helped the Seahawks avoid an early playoff exit? Perhaps not, but he might have aided Seattle in its quest to avoid the opening round altogether by securing the NFC's top seed.

28. Baltimore Ravens: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

    The Baltimore Ravens originally used this selection on Patrick Queen. Since he is off the board, they turn to Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.

    While the Ravens used a first-round pick on wideout Marquise Brown in 2019, he has served more as a speedy complementary receiver. This has left Lamar Jackson without a No. 1 target on the perimeter. Aiyuk showed flashes of being just that during his rookie campaign with the 49ers.

    Despite playing only 12 games, Aiyuk recorded 748 yards and five touchdowns on 60 receptions. Even more impressively, he caught 42 of those passes for first downs. This suggests Aiyuk could be the type of reliable chain-mover the Ravens lack—Brown converted 35 first downs on 58 grabs in 16 games.

    Baltimore brought in veteran wideout Dez Bryant midseason to help bolster its receiving corps. The Ravens wouldn't have even considered that move with Aiyuk on the roster.

29. Tennessee Titans: Kenneth Murray Jr., LB, Oklahoma

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia

    The Tennessee Titans initially used this selection on Georgia right tackle Isaiah Wilson. While the Titans may still be banking on Wilson's prospects as a pro, his rookie season was basically nonexistent.

    Wilson played just four snaps because of two stints on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He was later suspended for violating team rules.

    Instead of going with a player they know won't see the field, Tennessee grabs former Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr. A versatile sideline-to-sideline player, Murray shined for the Los Angeles Chargers, finishing with 107 tackles, a sack and three passes defended.

    By adding Murray, Tennessee could have strengthened its 19th-ranked run defense. That unit was gashed for 236 rushing yards in a wild-card loss to the Ravens, ending a promising campaign.

30. Green Bay Packers: Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn (by Miami)

    The Packers originally traded up to select Jordan Love, drawing the ire of fans who hoped Green Bay would capitalize on its Super Bowl window. They were also upset the team didn't draft a wide receiver or address its run defense early.

    Here, Green Bay rectifies the latter issue by scooping up run-stuffing Alabama defensive tackle Raekwon Davis. At 6'7", Davis can eat up space on the interior or edge and would likely have had an impact for a Packers defense that ranked 21st in yards allowed per carry.

    In the real world, Davis was a second-round selection of the Dolphins who amassed 40 tackles and 19 solo stops while making 12 starts and playing 16 games.

    While he would likely have served more of a rotational role with Green Bay than he did with Miami, that shouldn't be an issue. The Packers have gotten nothing out of Love aside from perhaps a little motivation for Aaron Rodgers.

31. San Francisco 49ers: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU (by Minnesota)

    The 49ers originally traded up from No. 31 to snag Brandon Aiyuk. Since he's already off the board here, they'll instead address another offensive position. Here, they snag former Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor.

    Taylor was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the second round, with the 41st pick. While he got off to a slow start, he finished as one of the most dangerous dual-threat backs in the NFL. Taylor amassed 1,169 rushing yards, 299 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. He also averaged an impressive 5.0 yards per carry.

    While 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan has made the best out of his committee backfield, he hasn't been able to work with a back as dynamic and as potent as Taylor. Given that the backfield was hit by San Francisco's injury bug, Taylor might just have helped the 49ers remain competitive.

    While there'd still be room for Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr., it's exciting to think about the impact Taylor could have had on Shanahan's space-creating running scheme.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU

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    Mark LoMoglio/Associated Press

    Original Pick: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU

    The Chiefs used this selection on former LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and it's hard to think they'd deviate in this redraft. While Edwards-Helaire did have a few early issues—like getting into the end zone, doing so just four times on the ground—he was mostly reliable.

    In his 13 regular-season appearances, Edwards-Helaire amassed 803 rushing yards, 297 receiving yards and five touchdowns.

    His ability to impact the game as both a runner and receiver fits perfectly with the Chiefs. He provides versatility and the option to remain up-tempo without having to switch personnel in the backfield.

    This decision might be harder if Jonathan Taylor were still on the board, as he's been just as versatile and even more productive. He isn't, though, so Kansas City sticks with the running back it originally selected.


    Advanced statistics from Pro Football Reference unless otherwise noted.


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