Re-Drafting the 2020 NFL Draft

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2022

Re-Drafting the 2020 NFL Draft

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    David Becker/Associated Press

    It didn't take long for the 2020 NFL draft class to have a big impact on the league. 

    That class has already yielded an AFC Championship-winning quarterback in Joe Burrow, four first-team All-Pro selections and 11 Pro Bowl appearances. 

    There is no doubt its members are talented. And there's also no doubt that several general managers and decision-makers would have probably chosen differently if the draft were held today.

    Evaluating draft picks as they happen is nearly impossible. But with two years of seeing these players in action, it becomes a lot easier to see where they should have been slotted. 

    So here's what the draft would have looked like if GMs had access to a Time Stone, DeLorean or your favorite time-traveling MacGuffin. 

    For the sake of simplicity, this re-draft will use the order in which teams actually picked on draft night. Current team situation and a player's production thus far were taken into consideration. 

1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Original selection: Joe Burrow

    Where he was actually picked: No. 1 overall

    The early success of Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert is going to spark a debate about the two for the rest of their careers. Regardless, Joe Burrow was the right quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals franchise. 

    The 2021 campaign is all the proof you need. One year after tearing his ACL, Burrow was able to guide the Bengals to their first AFC championship since 1988. 

    Both Burrow and Herbert are unquestionably franchise quarterbacks. The tiebreaker here is Burrow's connection to Ohio. He grew up and played high school football in Athens and chose to go to Ohio State before transferring to LSU, where he blossomed into a superstar. 

    Had the Bengals taken Herbert, a California guy with West Coast roots, there would always be the question of whether he was committed to staying in Cincinnati. 

    The Bengals don't have that problem with Burrow. 

2. Washington Commanders: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

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    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    Original selection: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State

    Where he was actually picked: No. 6 overall

    This re-pick has less to do with Chase Young and his future as an NFL pass-rusher and more to do with Justin Herbert's potential to be a top-five quarterback for the next decade. 

    The Washington Commanders have trotted out a carousel of quarterbacks over the last two seasons that includes Alex Smith, Kyle Allen and Taylor Heinicke. 

    Young won Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in his first season. However, he had just 1.5 sacks in nine games before tearing his ACL in Week 10 of the 2021 season. 

    He'll likely bounce back and still become a great pass-rusher based on his rookie year. But there's no doubt the Commanders would rather have Herbert under center than what they have at quarterback now. They were forced to deal two draft picks just to get Carson Wentz. 

    Meanwhile, Herbert is coming off a Pro Bowl season in which he threw for 5,014 yards with 38 touchdowns. 

3. Detroit Lions: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

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    Duane Burleson/Associated Press

    Original selection: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State

    Where he was actually picked: No. 22 overall

    All you have to do is look at the success of Ja'Marr Chase in his rookie season and the free-agent market for wide receivers to see that it is now a premium position. 

    Teams are paying up for top pass-catchers with big dollars in free agency. The Bengals took Chase with the fifth pick in the 2021 draft, and he was instrumental in getting them to the Super Bowl. 

    Justin Jefferson may have fallen all the way to No. 22 in the real draft, but a team wouldn't hesitate to take him with a top-five pick in a re-draft. 

    With 3,016 receiving yards in his first two seasons, Jefferson has nearly 1,000 yards more than CeeDee Lamb, who has the second-most receiving yards of any 2020 draftee and is worthy of a first-round pick in his own right. 

    Outside of Amon-Ra St. Brown, who was a surprise rookie success with 90 catches for 912 yards, there aren't a lot of exciting receivers on the Lions' roster right now. That would change with Jefferson in tow. 

4. New York Giants: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

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    Original selection: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

    Where he was actually picked: No. 13 overall

    The New York Giants had the right idea when they took Andrew Thomas with the fourth overall pick. A dominant tackle would help with quarterback Daniel Jones' development, as well as help get the most out of Saquon Barkley when healthy. 

    The problem is they took the wrong one. 

    Andrew Thomas cleaned up his play quite a bit in 2021, but his transition to the league has been bumpy. He gave up 10 sacks in his rookie season while earning a Pro Football Focus grade of 62.4, putting him in backup territory. In Year 2, he raised that grade to 78.9 with two sacks allowed. 

    Wirfs has done his work on the right side, but the transition to the pro game has been seamless. He only allowed one sack and carried an 81.8 grade from PFF as a rookie. In 2021, he earned his first All-Pro nod.

    Thomas is a strong option after his second season, but Wirfs is shaping up to be a multiple-time All-Pro.  

5. Miami Dolphins: Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Original selection: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

    Where he was actually picked: No. 2 overall

    2022 is going to be the year the Dolphins figure out whether Tua Tagovailoa is worth another contract. They've done everything they can to surround him with talent in his third season. 

    So far, the results have been inconclusive. The southpaw has thrown for 4,467 yards, 27 touchdowns and 15 interceptions with a 13-8 record as the starter. 

    But in this exercise and with the benefit of hindsight, it would make more sense to get a potentially elite edge-defender and wait until 2021 to draft a quarterback. In 2021, the Dolphins would have had the option of either Justin Fields or Mac Jones with the No. 6 pick they used to take receiver Jaylen Waddle. 

    Young had a disappointing second season. He only had 1.5 sacks in nine games before an ACL tear ended his year prematurely. But there's reason to believe he'll get back to the promise he showed in 2020, when he was named Defensive Rookie of the Year and a Pro Bowl selection.

    He could pair with Emmanuel Ogbah to create a dangerous pass-rushing duo for the Dolphins. 

6. Los Angeles Chargers: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson

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    Original selection: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

    Where he was actually picked: No. 16 overall

    The Chargers are one of the bigger losers in this exercise. It just goes to show how fortunate they were that Justin Herbert fell to them at the No. 6 pick. 

    With Herbert off the board, they are faced with settling for Tua Tagovailoa or going best player available. 

    In this scenario, they would still need to find a way to be competitive in an AFC West where everyone has an elite quarterback. That's not going to happen with Tagovailoa in his current form. Instead, the Chargers opt to build an elite secondary with A.J. Terrell playing across from free-agent acquisition J.C. Jackson. 

    While Trevon Diggs is the flashier corner in this draft class, Terrell had a dominant 2021. He held opposing quarterbacks to a 50.0 percent completion rate and 61.0 passer rating on 86 targets in his second season. 

    A secondary featuring Terrell, Jackson and Derwin James would make it tough for opposing passers to find success. 

7. Carolina Panthers: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

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    Original selection: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

    Where he was actually picked: No. 5 overall

    Many of the Panthers' current woes could be solved if they had found a way to acquire a quarterback in the 2020 draft. They would not have felt the need to make the move for Sam Darnold that is costing them a second- and fourth-rounder this season. 

    Instead, they are still left with a major hole at the quarterback position and no picks between No. 6 and No. 137 in 2022. 

    Tagovailoa might not be a slam-dunk prospect, but he has more promise than anyone on the Panthers roster. In other words, this choice comes down to Tagovailoa and still having their second- and fourth-round picks or a prospect from the 2022 draft class like Kenny Pickett and no other draft picks on Day 1 or 2. 

    That's a pretty easy choice. Tagovailoa still has time to take the next step in 2022. His 13-8 record as a starter is proof that you can at least contend for a playoff spot with him as the quarterback. 

    For a team that hasn't made the playoffs since 2017, that sounds pretty good. 

8. Arizona Cardinals: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

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    Roger Steinman/Associated Press

    Original selection: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

    Where he was actually picked: No. 51 overall

    Isaiah Simmons had a much better second season compared to his rookie year, but he still isn't quite the impact playmaker the Cardinals were hoping for when they took him at No. 8 overall. 

    Trevon Diggs, on the other hand, was one of the highest impact corners in the league last season.

    Diggs is the definition of boom-or-bust on a week-to-week basis. After picking off three passes and defending 14 more as a rookie, he racked up a league-leading 11 interceptions and 21 passes defended in 2021. All of that ball production comes at a cost, though. 

    He also gave up 907 yards and four touchdowns when targeted. 

    Diggs is not a direct replacement for Simmons, but the Cardinals likely would have gone for the cornerback's turnover production and looked for a linebacker later in the draft.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

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    Adam Hunger/Associated Press

    Original selection: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

    Where he was actually picked: No. 4 overall

    The Jaguars have already parted ways with their actual selection here, so it's safe to say they'd like a do-over. 

    The decision to franchise-tag Cam Robinson (twice!) is an interesting one. He had a PFF grade of 61.7 with five sacks allowed in 2020 before they tagged him the first time. He then followed it up with a 67.4 grade with one sack allowed in 2021.

    In other words, Robinson has been average at best but is getting paid like one of the top tackles in the league. 

    The Jaguars could prevent that situation here while ensuring that quarterback Trevor Lawrence has adequate protection. Andrew Thomas struggled in his first season with 10 sacks allowed and a 62.4 grade. However, he took a huge leap forward in 2021 with a 78.9 grade and just two sacks allowed. 

    The team would be in a much better situation having Thomas on two more years of a rookie contract and a fifth-year option than continuing to tag Robinson. 

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

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    Ron Schwane/Associated Press

    Original selection: Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama

    Where he was actually picked: No. 10 overall

    The Browns have a real dilemma here between their original selection of Jedrick Wills Jr. and CeeDee Lamb. The Odell Beckham Jr. experiment didn't work out, and the Browns haven't had a true No. 1 wide receiver since taking Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick in the 2018 draft. 

    On the other hand, the need for a left tackle was dire in 2020, and Wills has proved to be a starting-caliber option there. He has allowed nine sacks across 28 starts in the last two years, per PFF

    Ultimately, Wills fits in with the identity of Kevin Stefanski's offense well enough that he's the pick. 

    The Browns were sixth in running play percentage in 2021. Stefanski's offense is still based on a strong ground game that opens up the passing game. 

    As the Amari Cooper trade has shown, it's a bit easier to acquire a veteran wide receiver who can help right away than it is to find a tackle of Wills' caliber.

11. New York Jets: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    Original selection: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

    Where he was actually picked: No. 17 overall

    Of the four tackles who went in the first half of the actual 2020 draft, Mekhi Becton has the most to prove. 

    The 6'7" tackle had a decent rookie season in which he compiled a 74.4 grade from PFF but gave up seven sacks. Then he played just 48 snaps in 2021 before tearing suffering a season-ending knee surgery. 

    Given Becton's huge frame, his weight is going to be a concern moving forward. ESPN's Rich Cimini reported that Becton weighed north of 400 pounds during his knee rehab last season. 

    With a chance to rethink their pick, the Jets decide to go another route to fill their needs on the offensive line and get a weapon in CeeDee Lamb instead. If it weren't for Justin Jefferson becoming an immediate superstar, Lamb would be the No. 1 receiver in the class. 

    He's second among all 2020 receivers in catches (153) and yards (2,037). Inserting him into the receiving corps with Elijah Moore, Corey Davis and Braxton Berrios would give 2021 second overall pick Zach Wilson every chance to succeed. 

12. Las Vegas Raiders: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

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    Original selection: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

    Where he was actually picked: No. 33 overall

    The Raiders are among the biggest winners of this exercise since they had two first-round picks in the 2020 draft and would gladly redo both of them if given the chance. 

    The first is Henry Ruggs III. The receiver was starting to show signs of fulfilling his first-round pick status before he was charged with four felonies and a misdemeanor, including DUI resulting in death, in relation to a car crash that killed 23-year-old Tina Tintor. He was released from the team.

    Here, the Raiders still target a receiver who can help Derek Carr but replace Ruggs' sheer athleticism with a deep threat who wins at the catch point. Higgins was 12th among all receivers in air yards per reception last year and is third in the 2020 class with 1,999 yards in his first two seasons. 

    Higgins would immediately give the Raiders the outside presence they have been missing. If they still traded for Davante Adams, they would have an argument for the best receiving corps in the league. 

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from Indianapolis): Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota

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    Jason Behnken/Associated Press

    Original selection: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

    Where he was actually picked: No. 45 overall

    You don't have to use your imagination to picture Antoine Winfield Jr. in Todd Bowles' system. The Bucs miss out on Tristan Wirfs here, but they would be pretty happy to still wind up with the safety they picked in the second round of the actual draft. 

    Winfield had a strong rookie campaign with six passes defended, three sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception for the Super Bowl champion Bucs. 

    He followed up that campaign with another six passes defended, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, two sacks and four tackles for a loss. 

    Winfield is all over the place for the Tampa Bay defense and is a proven good fit. The Bucs got a steal by snagging him in the second round, and they'd be willing to spend the premium pick here based on what he's done for their defense. 

14. San Francisco 49ers (from Tampa Bay): Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois

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    Darryl Webb/Associated Press

    Original Selection: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

    Where he was actually picked: No. 64 overall

    The 49ers eventually picked here after trading DeForest Buckner for a first-round pick. They went with Javon Kinlaw as a direct replacement for Buckner, but that hasn't worked out so far. 

    Kinlaw only had 1.5 sacks and four quarterback hits in his rookie campaign. He didn't have any sacks or tackles for a loss this past season, which was cut short after four games due to an ACL injury.

    It's tempting to give the 49ers Derrick Brown here. He would fill the same role and has remained healthy for the Panthers. But it's hard to pass on Jeremy Chinn considering the immediate impact he's made in the league.

    Chinn found success right away as a Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate with the kind of season that was expected from Isaiah Simmons in Arizona. At 6'3", 220 pounds, he's a hybrid linebacker/safety who would fit well alongside Jimmie Ward, giving an already good Niners defense even more talent. 

    Chinn can make plays in coverage, with 10 passes defended and two interceptions since entering the league, but he's also effective closer to the line of scrimmage, with eight tackles for a loss, two sacks and 10 quarterback hits. 

15. Denver Broncos: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

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    Original selection: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

    Where he was actually picked: No. 7 overall

    Jerry Jeudy has shown some promise, and he may be in line for a third-year breakout with Russell Wilson coming to Denver. However, the Broncos receiving corps would be all right without him. 

    Courtland Sutton has shown the potential to be a No. 1 receiver and will also benefit from Wilson's presence. Tim Patrick has been a reliable No. 2 in back-to-back seasons. 

    Where the Broncos could struggle after the Wilson trade is on the interior. With Shelby Harris leaving as part of the trade with Seattle, Denver is left with Mike Purcell starting at nose and Dre'Mont Jones as the 3-4 defensive end. 

    Adding Derrick Brown to that group would make it more promising. Brown hasn't quite made the impact that was expected when he was selected No. 7 overall, but he has 31 pressures over his first two seasons, so there's some pass-rush production to build on. 

16. Atlanta Falcons: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

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    Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

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

    Where he was actually picked: No. 61 overall 

    Losing out on a second-team All-Pro corner is a bummer for the Falcons, but they get another high-ceiling prospect at the same position here. 

    Kristian Fulton only got to play in six games as a rookie due to injury. His injury history and off-field concerns were both factors in his dropping to the second round in the actual draft.  

    His second season showed his immense upside, though. Fulton dealt with a hamstring injury but made 13 starts and allowed a completion percentage of 51.4 percent and a passer rating of 71.3 when targeted. 

    Fulton is certainly a more risky choice than Terrell at this point, but that's why Terrell would be a top-10 pick if the draft were held today.

17. Dallas Cowboys: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

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    Original selection: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

    Where he was actually picked: No. 8 overall

    The Cowboys were all too happy to take CeeDee Lamb in the 2020 draft because he was the best player available. In this case, they take a similar approach by grabbing Isaiah Simmons even if linebacker isn't their greatest need. 

    Dan Quinn attempted to turn a safety into a linebacker with Keanu Neal. Now, he gets the opportunity to draft a linebacker with safety skills in Simmons. 

    The Clemson star's unique skill set hasn't created as many splash plays as expected, but he's showing signs of growing into his potential. He started all 17 games in 2021, racking up seven passes defended, four forced fumbles and four tackles for a loss. 

    The Cowboys would miss out on Lamb here, but they likely would have held on to Amari Cooper and had the scariest duo of young linebackers in the game with Simmons and Micah Parsons. 

18. Miami Dolphins (from Pittsburgh): Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

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    Original selection: Austin Jackson, OT, USC

    Where he was actually picked: No. 11 overall

    Mekhi Becton's second-year injury and aforementioned weight concerns drop him a bit in this re-draft, but the Dolphins should be happy to stop the slide. 

    In reality, they took Austin Jackson in hopes he could play tackle. Two years into that experiment, and there's reason to be dubious. He has had major struggles as a pass-blocker with 44 blown blocks in his first two seasons, per Sports Info Solutions

    Considering he was kicked inside to left guard during the season, those pass-blocking woes are even more concerning. 

    Becton wouldn't be a perfect fit in new head coach Mike McDaniel's zone scheme, but he's athletic enough to make it work when healthy. With Terron Armstead holding down the left tackle spot, Becton could move to right tackle.

    The Dolphins would be much more prepared to make McDaniel's offense go than they are right now. 

19. Las Vegas Raiders (from Chicago): G/T Michael Onwenu, Michigan

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    Winslow Townson/Associated Press

    Original selection: Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State

    Where he was actually picked: No. 182 overall

    Again, the Raiders get to replace a pick that didn't work out all that well with one that would address a present-day need. Damon Arnette was considered a reach at the time and performed poorly when available. He was released after less than two seasons with the team after threatening to kill someone while brandishing a gun in a social media post.

    Michael Onwenu was a sixth-round pick of the New England Patriots in 2020, but he's proved to be much more valuable than that in his first two seasons. 

    Onwenu finished 2021 as the third-highest-graded guard by PFF. Even though he only made eight starts while playing in 16 games, the sample size is big enough to say that's not a fluke. After all, he registered an 84.3 mark with PFF as a full-time starter in his rookie season.

    That's a whole lot better than who the Raiders have played at left guard over the last two seasons. With Richie Incognito injured, the Raiders have turned to 2020 fourth-rounder John Simpson. He only allowed three sacks last season but drew 10 penalties and earned a grade of 52.6 from PFF

    As a bonus, the 6'3", 350-pound Onwenu has also played well at tackle, giving the Raiders added flexibility after 2021 first-round pick Alex Leatherwood struggled at tackle and guard as a rookie. 

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams): Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

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    AJ Mast/Associated Press

    Original selection: K'Lavon Chaisson, OLB, LSU

    Where he was actually picked: No. 41 overall

    If any team other than the Colts can attest to just how good Jonathan Taylor is, it's the Jacksonville Jaguars. After all, he ran over their defense to the tune of 253 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries the second time they met last season. 

    The argument can be had all day about the value of running backs in the draft, but the Jaguars have already proved they are willing to take one in the first round after taking Travis Etienne No. 25 overall last year.

    However, Taylor has already proved to be everything the Jaguars hope Etienne can become when he returns from the Lisfranc injury that cost him his rookie season. 

    This is a great example of why a first-round back can work out sometimes. The Jaguars used this pick on K'Lavon Chaisson, who plays a more valuable position as an edge-rusher but has had just two sacks in two seasons. 

    Sometimes it's just better to get the best football player regardless of position. 

21. Philadelphia Eagles: Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma

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    Mark LoMoglio/Associated Press

    Original selection: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU

    Where he was actually picked: 53rd overall

    Picking Jalen Reagor over Justin Jefferson is a choice that is likely to haunt the Eagles for the duration of Jefferson's career. 

    Reagor has had two seasons to prove he belongs in the starting lineup, but he hasn't done much to reward the Eagles' faith in him. He has just 695 yards and three touchdowns in two seasons. 

    Hurts, who was the team's second-round pick, hasn't necessarily proved that he's the franchise quarterback moving forward. However, he's been good enough to get them to the playoffs and gives them an identity on offense. 

    Hurts showed considerable improvement from Year 1 to Year 2. He was 8-7 as the starter and lowered his sack rate while contributing 784 yards on the ground. Once the Eagles realized they were best on offense as a run-heavy ground-and-pound team, they went 7-3 over the final 10 games. 

    With the quarterback-needy Chargers right behind them, the Eagles have to use a first-round pick to keep Hurts in this scenario. 

22. Minnesota Vikings (from Buffalo): Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC

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    Zach Bolinger/Associated Press

    Original selection: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

    Where he was actually picked: No. 34 overall

    The Vikings don't get to take a second-team All-Pro receiver with the 22nd pick this time around, but they still get a viable weapon for Kirk Cousins.

    The Vikings were incredibly fortunate to get Jefferson with the pick they received in the Stefon Diggs trade, but Michael Pittman would put up numbers in this offense too. 

    Pittman is a contested-catch star. According to PFF, he had the second-most contested catches against single coverage in 2021. After a relatively quiet rookie season, Pittman took the next step in 2021 with 1,082 yards and six touchdowns. 

    Pittman's game is different from Jefferson's, but he's still a good complement to Adam Thielen. He's on pace to become a legitimate No. 1 receiver. 

23. Los Angeles Chargers (from New England): Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech

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    Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

    Original selection: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

    Where he was actually picked: No. 27 overall

    After Isaiah Simmons, the debate over who was LB2 in the 2020 draft class was fiercely divided between Patrick Queen and Kenneth Murray. They were ranked Nos. 16 and 19, respectively, on Bleacher Report's 2020 big board

    The Seahawks threw a wrench into those rankings by taking the No. 33 player on that big board in Jordyn Brooks in the first round. As it turns out, the Seahawks weren't wrong in their evaluation. 

    Brooks has played much better than expected and was second in the league in tackles last year with 184. He also had a significantly higher PFF grade (58.4) than both Queen (43.6) and Murray (34.0).

    The Chargers don't get their franchise quarterback in this alternate universe, but they at least have two defenders to help Brandon Staley build a defense to slow down the high-powered offenses of the AFC West. 

24. New Orleans Saints: Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Original selection: Cesar Ruiz, C/G, Michigan

    Where he was actually picked: No. 49 overall

    The Saints addressed the interior of their offensive line with this selection. Given the success of 2020's 75th overall pick, Jonah Jackson, in Detroit, it was tempting to have them still address that need. 

    However, the state of the receiving corps in New Orleans and the cost of adding elite options in free agency makes Chase Claypool the pick. Claypool has put up two solid seasons in Pittsburgh, where he has had to share targets with Diontae Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster. 

    The version of Ben Roethlisberger he has played with hasn't helped him reach his full potential. Claypool was the team's best deep threat with 9.8 air yards per reception, so it makes sense that he took a backseat to Johnson and Smith-Schuster in Pittsburgh. 

    With Jameis Winston at the helm, Claypool would have a quarterback who is willing to throw it up to him. Winston isn't necessarily better than Big Ben, but he does play more aggressively. 

    Pairing Claypool with a potentially healthy Michael Thomas would give the Saints a much better receiving corps than they had in 2021. 

25. San Francisco 49ers (from Minnesota): Darnell Mooney, WR, Tulane

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    Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press

    Original selection: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

    Where he was actually picked: No. 173 overall

    The 49ers still target a wide receiver here, but instead of selecting Brandon Aiyuk, they get the biggest overachiever at the position in Darnell Mooney. 

    Through two seasons, Mooney and Aiyuk have similar production. Mooney has 142 receptions, 1,686 yards and eight touchdowns in 33 games. Aiyuk has 116 catches for 1,574 yards and 10 touchdowns in 29 games. 

    The difference is context. Aiyuk has had the benefit of playing alongside Deebo Samuel and George Kittle in Kyle Shanahan's offense. Mooney has put up his numbers with Matt Nagy as his coach and a struggling Allen Robinson as the Bears' only other premier target. 

    Aiyuk has turned out to be a decent value for where he was drafted, but it's fun to think about what Mooney could do with more one-on-one situations within the 49ers offense. 

26. Green Bay Packers (from Houston): Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Original selection: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

    Where he was actually picked: No. 15 overall

    How much drama could the Packers have saved had they not taken Jordan Love with this pick? In fairness, it's hard to predict that Rodgers would continue to play at the level he has through Love's rookie contract. 

    Still, had the Packers elected to use this pick to help Rodgers rather than find his replacement, it's hard to argue they wouldn't be better. 

    In this case, they get the most talented receiver left on the board. If it weren't for Jerry Jeudy's injury in 2021, he would have been higher in this hypothetical draft. 

    Jeudy was arguably the highest-rated receiver prospect in this class, but it's hard to tell what his ceiling is. However, he got off to a good start with 856 yards and three touchdowns in his rookie campaign. 

    However, his second season was a disappointment with just 467 yards in 10 games. He missed six games due to an ankle injury that put him on injured reserve.

    With Russell Wilson in town, we'll get to see what Jeudy can do when he has a higher-caliber quarterback. In this scenario, we get to see that from the jump. 

27. Seattle Seahawks: Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah

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    Original selection: Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech

    Where he was actually picked: No. 50 overall

    The Seahawks' selection of Jordyn Brooks has aged well in terms of his play compared to his perception. But with Brooks off the board and the chance to redo the pick, the Seahawks would be better off targeting a different position entirely. 

    Losing D.J. Reed in free agency has left the Seahawks with serious questions about who will play corner opposite Sidney Jones. 

    Jaylon Johnson would make that an easy question to answer. The physical corner doesn't have great ball production with just one interception in two seasons, but he does make life hard on opposing wide receivers. 

    Johnson had 15 passes defended in his first season and has allowed a completion percentage of 58.0 percent over the last two seasons. 

28. Baltimore Ravens: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Original selection: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

    Where he was actually picked: No. 28 overall

    No reason to mess with anything here. It seemed like the Ravens were getting a steal by getting Queen five picks after Kenneth Murray was selected, but in reality, this was just a case of a team taking the right prospect at the right time. 

    Queen has his faults and needs to improve in pass coverage. He gave up a passer rating of 115.6 on 52 targets in 2021 with two touchdowns allowed and no interceptions. But he has proved to be a good asset in the run and a strong blitzer. He has 18 total pressures and 19 tackles for a loss in two seasons. 

    Queen is a solid fit for the Ravens and fits the mold of the typical aggressive linebacker they have featured over the years. Some players just seem destined to play for certain teams. Queen winds up right back where he belongs in this re-draft. 

29. Tennessee Titans: Jonah Jackson, OG, Ohio State

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    Danny Karnik/Associated Press

    Original selection: Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia

    Where he was actually picked: No. 75 overall

    The Titans had the worst pick of the first round in 2020. They were hoping to bolster their offensive line with Isaiah Wilson, but he played a grand total of three offensive snaps before he was traded for a seventh-round pick swap in March 2021. 

    Unfortunately for the Titans, no first-round-worthy tackles fall to them in this scenario, but they can still upgrade the offensive line with Jonah Jackson at left guard. 

    Jackson was named to the Pro Bowl as an alternate in his sophomore campaign, signaling his potential to become an elite guard over time. His PFF grade jumped from 57.0 as a rookie to 70.0 in his second season. 

    His pass protection isn't quite top-tier yet considering he gave up four sacks in 2021, per PFF. But his ability to open up lanes in the run game would be welcomed by elite running back Derrick Henry.  

30. Miami Dolphins (from Green Bay): Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

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    Mark LoMoglio/Associated Press

    Original selection: Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn

    Where he was actually picked: No. 36 overall

    The Dolphins whiffed on this pick in the real draft. Noah Igbinoghene has played just 365 defensive snaps since being drafted, and in that limited time, he's been torched for four touchdowns with just two passes defended.

    In this scenario, there isn't really a corner to be a direct replacement for Igbinoghene, but the Dolphins can still upgrade the secondary. With Byron Jones and Xavien Howard on the outside, the Dolphins have a good cornerback duo.

    They would form an elite young safety tandem by pairing Xavier McKinney with Jevon Holland. According to PFF, Holland finished first in man coverage among safeties, while McKinney finished third.

    McKinney was advertised as a do-it-all defensive weapon at Alabama. He lived up to that billing in his second season with 93 tackles, 10 passes defended and five interceptions.

    Add Chase Young and McKinney to the Dolphins defense, and they are downright scary for the foreseeable future.

31. Minnesota Vikings (from San Francisco): Darrell Taylor, Edge, Tennessee

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    Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

    Original selection: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

    Where he was actually picked: No. 48 overall

    The Vikings got very little out of their second first-round pick in this draft. Jeff Gladney isn't even on the roster after two seasons. They do, however, get a chance to improve their defense in the redo. 

    In general, this was not a strong class of pass-rushers. Two seasons in, D.J. Wonnum is the only draftee who has double-digit sacks. 

    While he was underdrafted in the fourth round, the Vikings opt for the potential of Darrell Taylor. The Seahawks pass-rusher missed his entire rookie season with a leg injury. 

    However, he showed why the Seahawks were willing to trade up for him in his first official season in 2021. He accrued 6.5 sacks while playing just 46 percent of the defensive snaps.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

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    Jed Jacobsohn/Associated Press

    Original selection: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU

    Where he was actually picked: No. 25 overall

    This is a great example of why teams shouldn't always draft for immediate need. In 2020, the Chiefs had Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins and had just drafted Mecole Hardman in the second round of the 2019 draft. 

    Had they taken a wide receiver in 2020, it would have looked like they skipped out on addressing more pressing needs. 

    Fast-forward to 2022, and both Hill and Watkins are gone and the Chiefs had to turn to free agency to sign Marquez Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster. 

    Aiyuk would provide them with a promising receiver who still has two years and a fifth-year option on his rookie contract. The Arizona State receiver has been overshadowed by Deebo Samuel's breakout 2021 season, but he has 1,574 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns with the 49ers so far. 

    His production would be even better with Patrick Mahomes throwing him the ball instead of Jimmy Garoppolo. 


    Advanced statistics via Pro Football Reference unless otherwise noted.