Re-Drafting the 2020 NFL Draft

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistApril 8, 2021

Re-Drafting the 2020 NFL Draft

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    Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

    What if NFL teams could jump into Dr. Emmett L. Brown's retrofitted DMC DeLorean, set the flux capacitor for April 23, 2020, and get a draft do-over?

    In our opinion, you'd end up with quarterbacks in the top two slots and two members of the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the top 10. 

    Here are the specifics in a redraft that includes four signal-callers, one running back, nine wide receivers, seven offensive linemen, one defensive tackle, three linebackers, two cornerbacks, four safeties and just one damn good edge defender.  

    (Excludes draft-day trades but accounts for moves teams have made subsequently.)

1. Cincinnati Bengals: QB Joe Burrow, LSU

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    Al Drago/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Drafted QB Joe Burrow

    Where he was actually picked: First overall by the Bengals

    Reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert would be tempting, but there's no way the Cincinnati Bengals can already bail on Burrow. 

    The phenom from LSU generated 16 passing/rushing touchdowns to just five interceptions and flashed superb playmaking ability despite a lack of support from a poor offensive line. And if not for a torn ACL in November, his rookie campaign likely would have been a tremendous success under those circumstances. 

    He still isn't a lock to become a franchise quarterback, but neither is Herbert based on one solid but inconsistent debut season with the Los Angeles Chargers. 

    Burrow remains a no-brainer in the event of a do-over.

2. Washington Football Team: QB Justin Herbert, Oregon

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    Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Drafted edge Chase Young

    Where he was actually picked: Sixth overall by the Chargers

    The Washington Football Team would likely have nearly as much trouble breaking from Young, but Herbert would be impossible to pass up now that the Dwayne Haskins experiment has failed.

    That's especially the case because Washington lacks 2021 draft capital after sneaking into the playoffs, meaning it is unlikely to have a shot at any of this year's first-round-caliber quarterbacks. It's either Herbert or a year with Ryan Fitzpatrick and/or Taylor Heinicke, which is far from ideal when you're supposed to be a contender. 

    Young was the Defensive Rookie of the Year and appears to be on track to become a perennial Pro Bowler, but Herbert threw 31 touchdown passes to just 10 interceptions and looked like the complete package at the sport's most important position in 2020.

    That's tough to pass up, especially when you've at least already got Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne up front on defense.

3. Detroit Lions: WR Justin Jefferson, LSU

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    Al Godlis/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Drafted CB Jeff Okudah 

    Where he was actually picked: 22nd overall by the Vikings

    Okudah isn't a bust yet, but he was too much of a non-factor as a rookie to merit being redrafted in the top three. That's especially the case considering that the Detroit Lions recently lost starting wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. on the open market and that Justin Jefferson was incredible at the position in 2020. 

    As a 21-year-old rookie, the LSU product ranked third among wide receivers with 1,400 yards in a seven-touchdown campaign in which he was the only player in the NFL to average more than 11.0 yards per target on more than 75 targets. 

    Throw in that the Lions would be stealing him from the NFC North rival Minnesota Vikings, and this is a lock with the top two quarterbacks off the board. 

    He beats out Young and offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs, both of whom look like stars but play positions in which the Lions are already heavily invested.

4. New York Giants: OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa

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    Kevin Sabitus/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Drafted OT Andrew Thomas 

    Where he was actually picked: 13th overall to by the Buccaneers

    The New York Giants might not be ready to give up on Thomas after a disappointing rookie season, but there's no way they'd stick with him over Wirfs. 

    The physically dominant Iowa product was a key member of the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. According to Pro Football Focus, he surrendered just one sack throughout the regular season and playoffs. And according to Pro Football Reference, he was flagged for holding just twice. 

    He was just 21 for practically that entire run, and he didn't miss a single snap on Tom Brady's right side. 

    The Giants would love an edge defender with a ceiling as high as Young's, but I also think they know how important it is to maximize protection for young quarterback Daniel Jones in what might be a make-or-break year. Wirfs would allow them to more comfortably say goodbye to expensive veteran Nate Solder and use those savings on a veteran pass-rusher.

5. Miami Dolphins: Edge Chase Young, Ohio State

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    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Drafted QB Tua Tagovailoa 

    Where he was actually picked: Second overall by Washington

    That leaves the Miami Dolphins with a tough decision between Young and Tagovailoa, who didn't excite anyone in limited action as a rookie but didn't put together a significant sample coming off a major hip injury. 

    It's far too early to call Tua a bust, but the odds are stacked against him based on his slow start and the encouraging early-career showings from Burrow and Herbert. Draft precedents indicate at least one of those guys will fail. 

    But in this case, Miami would know that it has enough draft capital in 2021 to land one of the top-end quarterbacks of that class. Considering that Young was an elite playmaker down the stretch in his Defensive Rookie of the Year campaign, I think the Dolphins would jump at a chance to add him to the fray along with Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Mac Jones or Trey Lance. 

    Throw in that the pass rush is a lingering area of need for a team that said goodbye to Shaq Lawson and Kyle Van Noy this offseason, and this is the right call.

6. Los Angeles Chargers: QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

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    John Munson/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Drafted QB Justin Herbert

    Where he was actually picked: Fifth overall by the Dolphins

    This would be a tough pill to swallow for the Bolts, but with Herbert long gone, they'd have no choice but to take the only other potential franchise quarterback in the 2020 class. 

    Tagovailoa didn't stand out as a rook, but there was nothing wrong with his 11-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio in nine starts, and it was at least encouraging that he held up physically while also scoring three rushing touchdowns. Plus, he was a gamer in college, and he only just turned 23.

    With the Chargers likely out of contention for the cream of this year's quarterback crop, Herbert a goner, and the other rookie stars like Jefferson, Wirfs and Young off the board, there'd be no other option in this spot. 

    Tough break for new Los Angeles head coach Brandon Staley. Good thing this isn't real.

7. Carolina Panthers: DT Derrick Brown, Auburn

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    Danny Karnik/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Drafted DT Derrick Brown 

    Where he was actually picked: Seventh overall by the Panthers

    This wasn't a sexy pick for the Carolina Panthers at the time, and it still isn't. But that doesn't make it a bad one, as Brown was quietly awesome as a rookie in Carolina. 

    As a 15-game starter, the Auburn product generated 12 quarterback hits, a pair of sacks, 34 tackles and four passes defensed. Through 16 weeks, PFF had him leading all rookie defenders—including Young—with 34 pressures. 

    Would it be tempting for the Panthers to steal safety Antoine Winfield Jr. from the division-rival Bucs? Sure, and that would likely be the debate in this spot. But Brown's ceiling remains higher, and the tie goes to the dude already drafted by the team in question. 

    The toughest part would actually be rolling with Brown over fellow 2020 Panthers rookie Jeremy Chinn because both were difference-makers out of the gate.

8. Arizona Cardinals: S Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota

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    Steve Luciano/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Drafted LB Isaiah Simmons 

    Where he was actually picked: Second round (45th overall) by the Buccaneers

    The versatile and gifted Simmons might turn into a superstar, but he came along too slowly as a rookie to be worthy of the top 10 in a redraft. Plus, Winfield would be a perfect fit next to Budda Baker in the Arizona Cardinals secondary. 

    The real-world second-round pick out of Minnesota put together 94 tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles, six passes defensed, four quarterback hits and an interception as a rookie starter for the champs. He also picked off Patrick Mahomes in Super Bowl LV. 

    Prior to that game, he had the second-highest qualified PFF pass-rushing grade at his position. 

    He easily beats out Simmons. And although you could make a case for Jedrick Wills Jr. or Mekhi Becton at tackle, the Cardinals can maintain continuity for young quarterback Kyler Murray with D.J. Humphries and Kelvin Beachum.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: WR Tee Higgins, Clemson

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    Zach Bolinger/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Drafted CB CJ Henderson 

    Where he was actually picked: Second round (33rd overall) by the Bengals

    Henderson was routinely assaulted in coverage before a groin injury ended his rookie season in November. He might still become a shutdown corner, but the Jags can do better with this top-10 pick. And they at least have veteran free-agent addition Shaquill Griffin at cornerback now. 

    Instead, with real-life 2020 second-round receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. likely to go off the redraft board in Round 1, they can upgrade at that critical spot and complement top target DJ Chark Jr. with Tee Higgins. 

    With limited support in the Bengals offense in 2020, the Clemson product racked up 908 yards and six touchdowns. He started a little slowly, and the Burrow injury was a blow. But between Week 4 and Week 10, only two wide receivers—Stefon Diggs and Davante Adams—compiled more receiving yards than Higgins. 

    He edges out Wills and Becton, mainly because the Jags still appear to believe Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor can become long-term fixtures at the tackle positions.

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

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    Kirk Irwin/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Drafted OT Jedrick Wills 

    Where he was actually picked: 10th overall by the Browns

    The Cleveland Browns wouldn't have to overthink this, especially now that it appears Odell Beckham Jr. is coming back and both Jefferson and Higgins are off the board. 

    Cleveland has one of the strongest offensive lines in the NFL, and it would be silly to tinker with that at this point. Continuity is critical as quarterback Baker Mayfield progresses, and Wills had a promising rookie campaign on Mayfield's blind side. 

    According to PFF, he was the only first-round rookie offensive lineman who didn't allow four or more pressures in a single game in 2020. Still only 21, the Alabama product has the tools to become a perennial Pro Bowler. 

    He's easily the choice over Becton and linebacker Patrick Queen, who would certainly address a weaker spot for the Browns but doesn't play a position of extreme importance and isn't quite as necessary now that veteran Anthony Walker Jr. has joined that linebacking corps.

11. New York Jets: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville

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    Peter Joneleit/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Drafted OT Mekhi Becton 

    Where he was actually picked: 11th overall by the Jets

    Ditto for the New York Jets, who will need as much strength and skill as possible along the offensive line in order to support whichever quarterback they draft second overall. 

    There's no reason for New York to get cute and redraft anyone other than Becton, who is a physical marvel coming off a strong age-21 rookie season at left tackle for Gang Green. The Louisville product was flagged for zero holding penalties while drawing a solid PFF grade (74.4), and he should be expected to turn into a standout in the years to come. 

    He's the obvious redraft pick over Andrew Thomas and the less enamoring Michael Onwenu, and this and the 2021 receiver pools are deep enough that he beats out first-round-caliber pass-catchers like Chase Claypool, CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, Brandon Aiyuk and Henry Ruggs III.

12. Las Vegas Raiders: WR Chase Claypool, Notre Dame

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    Gary McCullough/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Drafted WR Henry Ruggs III

    Where he was actually picked: Second round (49th overall) by the Steelers

    It's gotta be a receiver, especially with the big three offensive linemen off the board and the wideouts going fast. The Las Vegas Raiders could draft Ruggs again, but Chase Claypool dramatically outplayed the speed demon from Alabama in 2020. 

    Ruggs averaged just 34.8 yards per game and scored only two touchdowns in 13 outings, while Claypool averaged 54.6 yards per affair and racked up 11 total touchdowns as a second-round rookie for the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

    Right now, he looks a lot more likely to become a star than Ruggs, and he and speedster John Brown would seemingly mix well with safety valves Hunter Renfrow and Willie Snead IV in that receiving corps. 

    So the next receiver up beats out Queen, especially because the Raiders can address the defense with their next first-round pick and have already invested heavily in Cory Littleton, Nick Kwiatkoski and Nicholas Morrow off the ball.

13. San Francisco 49ers: CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State

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    Brian Westerholt/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Traded back, drafted DT Javon Kinlaw 14th overall

    Where he was actually picked: Third overall by the Lions

    You couldn't fault the San Francisco 49ers for giving another shot to Kinlaw here. But he was pretty bleh as a rookie, and there's a decent chance he'll slide out of this redraft anyway. Besides, they could always take a shot at Raekwon Davis if Kinlaw has been taken when they hit the clock again with the No. 31 overall selection in this experiment. 

    Jeff Okudah wasn't any more promising than Kinlaw during his disappointing rookie campaign, but he has a higher ceiling as a top-three pick with shutdown corner potential, and it looks as though the 49ers might lose Richard Sherman along with the already departed Ahkello Witherspoon on the open market. 

    With the cream of the receiver crop off the board, this would be a smart investment in a complete-package player at a premium position, and he could quickly blossom with more support in San Francisco than he had in Detroit.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: OT Michael Onwenu, Michigan

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    Peter Joneleit/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Traded up, drafted OT Tristan Wirfs 13th overall

    Where he was actually picked: Sixth round (182nd overall) by the Patriots

    This is not a good scenario for the Bucs, who lose Wirfs but also miss out on Wills and Becton. There's still little doubt they'd have to go with an offensive lineman, though, and real-life sixth-round New England Patriots draft pick Michael Onwenu performed a hell of a lot better than Andrew Thomas in 2020. 

    The versatile Michigan product started all 16 games for the Pats and took just one penalty. He earned the highest PFF run-blocking grade among first-year players, and he allowed multiple quarterback pressures just three times all season. 

    He didn't come into the league with much hype, but that immediate production in a system that Tom Brady operated within in recent years indicates Tampa Bay could have survived with him manning the right side of the offensive line early in Brady's Florida tenure.

15. Denver Broncos: WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma

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    Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Drafted WR Jerry Jeudy 

    Where he was actually picked: 17th overall by the Cowboys

    With Ruggs off the board, the Denver Broncos likely debated between Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb in this spot. 

    This is us telling them that they made the wrong choice, although it admittedly remains somewhat of a close call since we're taking Jefferson, Higgins and Claypool off the board as well. 

    Lamb was slightly more productive for the Dallas Cowboys than Jeudy was in Denver. Both dropped a lot of passes, but the former still caught 66.7 percent of the passes thrown his way, while the latter finished with a mark of just 46.0 in that metric. 

    That's a significant concern.

16. Atlanta Falcons: LB Patrick Queen, LSU

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    Terrance Williams/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Drafted CB A.J. Terrell 

    Where he was actually picked: 28th overall by the Ravens

    Terrell's rookie numbers were ugly, as the Clemson product surrendered six touchdowns and a 109.6 passer rating into his coverage in 14 starts. And while those statistics don't tell the whole story for a player who actually flashed as a playmaker and improved over the course of the year against strong competition, it would be tough for the Atlanta Falcons to pass on Queen in this spot. 

    The 21-year-old linebacker out of LSU showed off his range, versatility and playmaking ability during a standout debut campaign with the Baltimore Ravens. He compiled three sacks, 10 quarterback hits, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, a pick and 106 tackles, leaving him on a clear path toward superstardom in 2021 and beyond. 

    The Falcons have Deion Jones at linebacker, but they lost Keanu Neal in the box. And they lack talent in general within the front seven. Queen could immediately spruce up that unit.

17. Dallas Cowboys: WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

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    Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Drafted WR CeeDee Lamb 

    Where he was actually picked: 15th overall by the Broncos

    With Lamb landing in Denver, this is just poetic.

    Jeudy wasn't quite as effective as Lamb and the rest of this class' top receivers in 2020, but he didn't have much support in a bad passing offense. And he still averaged a tremendous 16.5 yards per catch as a 21-year-old. 

    The future remains pretty bright for the Alabama product, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones would likely recognize that in this spot and gamble on a remarkably talented skill-position player to replace Lamb. 

    Plus, it's hard not to be encouraged by the fact that Jeudy put up 140 yards and a touchdown in his Week 17 rookie swan song.

18. Miami Dolphins: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia

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    Brad Penner/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Drafted OT Austin Jackson 

    Where he was actually picked: Fourth overall by the Giants

    Jackson outplayed Thomas in 2020, so you couldn't fault the Dolphins for sticking with the status quo and maintaining continuity with Jackson in this spot. That said, neither stood out as a rookie, and there's little doubt that Thomas has an extremely tall ceiling as an original top-five pick who was dominant at Georgia. 

    Pro Football Focus called Thomas the best all-around tackle prospect in this class. He's unbelievably powerful, which bodes well for his chances to excel once he's become more acclimated to the NFL game. 

    With Young and Thomas in a redraft scenario, the rebuilding Dolphins would walk away with two of the top four picks from the real world. That's a sweet deal.

19. Las Vegas Raiders: S Julian Blackmon, Utah

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    Brett Carlsen/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Drafted CB Damon Arnette 

    Where he was actually picked: Third round (85th overall) by the Colts

    The jury's still out on Arnette, who saw action in just nine games as a rookie and gave up a 106.9 passer rating on throws into his coverage, but the Raiders can swap him out for a surer thing in the secondary by grabbing safety Julian Blackmon. 

    The Utah product was often a game-changer in the Indianapolis Colts secondary, finishing with two interceptions, six passes defensed, 42 tackles (three for a loss) and a forced fumble. But those numbers don't do justice to his impact. Several of his key plays came in particularly big moments. 

    The real-world No. 85 overall pick is also a great fit for the Raiders, who have 2019 first-round safety Johnathan Abram inside the box but said goodbye to Lamarcus Joyner this offseason and could use an upgrade over Jeff Heath at free safety.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars: S/LB Jeremy Chinn, Southern Illinois

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    Daniel Kucin Jr./Associated Press

    What actually happened: Drafted edge K'Lavon Chaisson 

    Where he was actually picked: Second round (64th overall) by the Panthers

    This would represent great value for CJ Henderson if the Jags wanted to re-add him to the roster despite an unimpressive rookie showing, but Jeremy Chinn had such a standout season in the Panthers secondary that it would be silly for a team with a major hole at safety to let him pass by. 

    The original second-round selection out of Southern Illinois actually beat out Queen and Winfield to earn Defensive Rookie of the Year runner-up honors behind Young. Per PFF, only three rookie defenders recorded more stops (30), and he scored two touchdowns in an 11-second span against the Vikings. 

    He's quite simply a high-impact player, and he'd immediately become a critical starter next to new free safety Rayshawn Jenkins in the revamped Jacksonville secondary.

21. Philadelphia Eagles: WR Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Drafted WR Jalen Reagor 

    Where he was actually picked: 25th overall by the 49ers

    The Eagles passed on Aiyuk in favor of Reagor in the real world, but Aiyuk outproduced Reagor in almost every way during the 2020 season. Considering that they were similarly graded receivers in the first place, that gives the Arizona State alum the edge in this situation. 

    Among rookies, Aiyuk trailed only Jefferson with 62.3 receiving yards per game. Injuries and drops were a factor, but there are going to be warts when you get beyond the top 20 while working with NFL tape and results. 

    The elephant in the room is quarterback Jalen Hurts, who impressed enough as a rookie that the Eagles appear to be intent on giving him the first shot to replace the departed Carson Wentz in 2021. But do they like him enough to sacrifice Reagor or Aiyuk? Considering that they're loaded with draft capital over the next two years, it's possible they'd gamble here and hope Hurts isn't redrafted anyway. 

    Worst-case, they navigate the first-round 2021 draft board for one of this year's top five quarterbacks or pursue somebody like Jimmy Garoppolo on the trade market. It's a close call, though.

22. Minnesota Vikings: WR Laviska Shenault Jr., Colorado

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    Terrance Williams/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Drafted WR Justin Jefferson 

    Where he was actually picked: Second round (42nd overall) by the Jaguars

    With Jefferson long gone, the Vikings grab the next receiver on the board in a class loaded with awesome talent at that high-profile position. 

    Laviska Shenault Jr. flew under the radar compared to a lot of his peers in 2020, but he scored five touchdowns and accumulated 600 yards despite starting just a dozen games in a weak Jacksonville offense. Most encouragingly, 246 of those yards and four of those touchdowns came in December and January. 

    The Colorado product has tremendous physical tools and sure hands, and it looks as though he's only scratched the surface at 22. He's the best the Vikes can get here to replace Jefferson opposite Adam Thielen.

23. New England Patriots: QB Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma

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    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Traded out of Round 1

    Where he was actually picked: Second round (53rd overall) by the Eagles

    So much for that gamble from the Eagles that Hurts might go un-redrafted. The Patriots were widely considered a good fit for Hurts and a potential suitor for him ahead of last year's draft, and there's little reason to believe that would be any different now. 

    After all, the Oklahoma product put on a show with 106 rushing yards in leading the Eagles to a victory over the New Orleans Saints in his first career start and went on to post eight passing/rushing touchdowns to three interceptions in a short run as Philly's starter. And that all went down while Cam Newton was wrapping up a disappointing season as New England's starter. 

    Newton is back, but he hasn't been himself for years and is making backup money. With no option for the Pats to trade back here and with the prime offensive linemen and receivers off the board, Hurts is a no-brainer.

24. New Orleans Saints: OL Damien Lewis, LSU

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    Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Drafted OL Cesar Ruiz

    Where he was actually picked: Third round (69th overall) by the Seahawks

    You can bet the Saints would be cool with retaking Ruiz in this spot because he wasn't bad at all in the right guard position and should continue to progress beyond 2020. 

    That said, Damien Lewis was even better for the Seattle Seahawks. In fact, PFF assigned him the sixth-best run-blocking grade among all qualified guards, which is pretty sweet for a third-round pick working within a weak interior offensive line. 

    That was enough to earn him all-rookie nods from PFF and the PFWA, which should be enough for the Saints to reconsider which interior offensive lineman they'd prefer in this situation.

25. Minnesota Vikings: CB CJ Henderson, Florida

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Traded back, drafted CB Jeff Gladney 31st overall

    Where he was actually picked: Ninth overall by the Jaguars

    We originally had the Vikings taking a shot at great value for Isaiah Simmons in this spot, but with Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks and Harrison Smith already on the roster and Gladney's future uncertain after he was charged with third-degree felony family violence, it makes more sense for them to take a similar shot at another top-10 pick who underperformed in 2020. 

    Cornerback wasn't a strength for the Vikings even before Gladney's future became cloudy. Third-round pick Cameron Dantzler put together an encouraging rookie season, and they signed Patrick Peterson and Mackensie Alexander last month. But Dantzler still has a lot to prove, Alexander plays primarily in the slot and Peterson is declining at age 30. 

    That being the case, why not swing for Henderson this late? It's unlikely somebody would draft Gladney anyway, and the cream of the crop is gone. Henderson entered the league looking like the complete package, and it's not unusual for rookie corners to struggle, especially if they lack support in places like Jacksonville.

26. Miami Dolphins: RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

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    Zach Bolinger/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Traded back, drafted CB Noah Igbinoghene 30th overall

    Where he was actually picked: Second round (41st overall) by the Colts

    Running backs are almost never worth first-round picks, but the Dolphins have more first-rounders than the Easter Bunny has chocolate eggs and a huge hole in the offensive backfield. Plus, Jonathan Taylor was a true difference-maker with the Colts in 2020. 

    The Wisconsin product ranked fifth among running backs with 1,468 yards from scrimmage and tied for fourth among that crowd with a dozen total touchdowns. He was also the only player in the league to rush for more than 1,100 yards but fumble fewer than twice. 

    And it's particularly promising that he was at his best when he appeared to find his groove in December and January (6.7 yards per attempt and eight total touchdowns in five regular-season games). 

    That put him in the Offensive Rookie of the Year conversation, and it would set him up to be a focal point of the budding Miami offense in place of current backs Myles Gaskin, Malcolm Brown and Salvon Ahmed.

27. Seattle Seahawks: LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson

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    Jennifer Stewart/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Drafted edge Jordyn Brooks 

    Where he was actually picked: Eighth overall by the Cardinals

    The Simmons slide can't continue. It happened because, as versatile as he is, he doesn't necessarily slide into an obvious premium position, and his rookie season was quiet in Arizona. But we know he has strong playmaking ability and can make an immediate impact in coverage, in run defense and as a pass-rusher. 

    Even with Bobby Wagner and Jamal Adams on the roster, that's something the Seahawks could use in what might be the post-K.J. Wright era (the veteran has yet to re-sign). Plus, his presence could help a pass rush that has lacked pop for several years now. 

    Throw in that Brooks was basically a non-factor as a rookie and that they'd be stealing a potential star from a division rival, and this isn't a tough imaginary decision.

28. Baltimore Ravens: LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma

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    Peter Joneleit/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Drafted LB Patrick Queen

    Where he was actually picked: 23rd overall by the Chargers

    Patrick Queen and Kenneth Murray were clearly the top two pure off-ball linebackers in this class, and both performed that way in 2020. The Ravens didn't get to choose between them in this spot because the Chargers had already traded up for Murray, and now they're in the same situation but with Queen unavailable instead. 

    Murray it is. 

    The Oklahoma product racked up 107 tackles as a 16-game starter in L.A., and he finished strong with the best performance of his career to date in Week 17 against the Chiefs. 

    Baltimore would simply plug him into Queen's spot.

29. Tennessee Titans: S Kamren Curl, Arkansas

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    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Drafted OT Isaiah Wilson 

    Where he was actually picked: Seventh round (216th overall) by Washington

    That Wilson pick will live in infamy because he's already off the roster and possibly done in the NFL. Instead, a Tennessee Titans team that lacks defensive oomph and is rebuilding its secondary can replace the departed Kenny Vaccaro next to standout Kevin Byard with surprise sensation Kamren Curl. 

    An original seventh-round pick by Washington, the Arkansas product intercepted three passes, registered two sacks and five quarterbacks hits and compiled 88 tackles despite starting just 11 games in 2020. It was such an unexpectedly epic campaign that it drew comparisons to Sean Taylor's rookie season in D.C. 

    That's lofty, and it's important to note that Curl likely won't become as good as Taylor and might even be a one-hit wonder. But he's the exact type of impact defender that Tennessee needs. He's worth a shot this late.

30. Green Bay Packers: WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama

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    Justin Edmonds/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Traded up, drafted QB Jordan Love 26th overall

    Where he was actually picked: 12th overall by the Raiders

    There's too much value and too much talent here for the Green Bay Packers to pass up on Ruggs, even if the team believes it's in strong shape with Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard supporting Davante Adams in the receiving corps. 

    Ruggs' 4.27-speed would put a perma-smile on Aaron Rodgers' face and would make life even easier on Adams, the rest of the receiving corps and breakout tight end Robert Tonyan. He wasn't consistently effective as a rookie in Las Vegas and dropped down in this receiver-happy redraft as a result, but he still averaged a fantastic 17.4 yards per catch and limited his mistakes for the Raiders. 

    The Alabama product would have every opportunity to excel in that offense, and unlike Love, he addresses a critical need for a team that will likely continue to sink or swim with the passing offense.

31. San Francisco 49ers: WR Darnell Mooney, Tulane

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Traded up, drafted WR Brandon Aiyuk 25th overall

    Where he was actually picked: Fifth round (173rd overall) by the Bears

    Aiyuk is off the board, and the 49ers already passed on Kinlaw with their first Round 1 reselection. But it makes more sense to take a new player here because, in this imaginary world, they'll keep Kinlaw anyway so long as the Chiefs don't take him in the No. 32 spot. 

    Considering that Kansas City already has Chris Jones, Derrick Nnadi and Jarran Reed up front, it's probably safe to assume that won't happen. 

    So instead let's mix it up by replacing the promising Aiyuk with original Chicago Bears fifth-rounder Darnell Mooney out of Tulane. The polished burner flashed multiple times as part of a bad Chicago offense in 2020, and the drops that sometimes plagued him in college weren't a problem. 

    He'd fit in nicely opposite Deebo Samuel for whomever the 49ers draft with the 2021 No. 3 overall selection to take over under center.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: OT Austin Jackson, USC

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    Adam Hunger/Associated Press

    What actually happened: Drafted RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire 

    Where he was actually picked: 18th overall by the Dolphins

    Based on those aforementioned rules, the Chiefs would have little reason to re-select Edwards-Helaire here. But considering Austin Jackson's pedigree and the recent turnover at the critical offensive tackle positions, Jackson might be the more appropriate pick regardless of what's happening at running back. 

    After all, the Chiefs have Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson in the backfield and are loaded with weapons on offense in general, and now they're without both Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz at left and right tackle, respectively. 

    Jackson isn't a lock to become a pillar offensive tackle, but he limited his penalties (two) and sacks allowed (four) as a rookie and appears to be on the right track. 

    Right now, he'd likely walk into a starting role and be seen as an upgrade in K.C.