GLS isn’t prepared to conduct a 2011 mock draft yet, mainly because we want to see what happens with the collective bargaining agreement first. Once we know if free agency will take place before or after the draft, we’ll surely produce a horrible mock draft.
In the meantime, I figured it would be fun to re-do past drafts, starting with 2010. Yes, that was less than a year ago and most coaches, general managers, scouts and analysts will tell you that you need at least two or three years of hindsight to review a draft, but I’m betting that at least a few teams are already wishing they took someone else last April.
So here goes nothing…
1. St. Louis Rams: QB Sam Bradford
Original pick: QB Sam Bradford
The offensive rookie of the year has already become the face of the young Rams.
2. Detroit Lions: DT Ndamukong Suh
Original pick: DT Ndamukong Suh
The defensive rookie of the year was an All-Pro in his first season. He’s already one of the best defensive tackles in football.
3. Tampa Buccaneers: DT Gerald McCoy
Original pick: DT Gerald McCoy
The jury’s still sort of out on McCoy, but I can’t see the Bucs taking anyone else.
4. Washington Redskins: OT Bryan Bulaga
Original pick: OT Trent Williams
Bulaga, who was actually taken 23rd by the Pack, immediately helped a Green Bay line that was dreadful in 2009.
5. Kansas City Chiefs: S Eric Berry
Original pick: S Eric Berry
Four picks, two sacks and 92 tackles as a rook. Berry is living up to being a No. 5 pick.
6. Seattle Seahawks: OT Trent Williams
Original pick: OT Russell Okung
Okung dealt with injuries for much of the season. I’m thinking the Seahawks might now prefer Williams, Anthony Davis or Rodger Saffold.
7. Cleveland Browns: CB Devin McCourty
Original pick: CB Joe Haden
McCourty was the Patriots’ pick at 27, and it’s safe to say that the Pro Bowler saved New England’s otherwise horrendous secondary.
8. Oakland Raiders: LB Rolando McClain
Original pick: LB Rolando McClain
McClain lived up to expectations as a rookie. His future is bright.
9. Buffalo Bills: C Maurkice Pouncey
Original pick: RB C.J. Spiller
The Bills have enough running backs — the offensive line needs help. Pouncey was actually picked 18th by the Steelers, but he was a Pro Bowler as a rook.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars: DE Carlos Dunlap
Original pick: DE Tyson Alualu
Dunlap, who was selected 44 picks later than this by the Bengals, had 9.5 sacks in 2010. That was second to only Suh among rookies.
11. San Francisco 49ers: OT Rodger Saffold
Original pick: OT Anthony Davis
Saffold was taken with the first pick of the second round by St. Louis. And while Bradford gets all the attention, Saffold was quietly stellar at left tackle.
12. San Diego Chargers: WR Mike Williams
Original pick: RB Ryan Mathews
Mathews had injury problems and the Chargers are without an elite No. 1 receiver. Williams, who was taken in the fourth round by Tampa, was the best rookie receiver in football, and it wasn’t even close.
13. Philadelphia Eagles: OLB/DE Koa Misi
Original pick: DE Brandon Graham
I don’t think the Eagles have even come close to giving up on Graham, but Misi had a much more successful rookie campaign as a pass rusher.
14. Seattle Seahawks: S Earl Thomas
Original pick: S Earl Thomas
Thomas lived up to expectations.
15. New York Giants: RB LeGarrette Blount
Original pick: DE Jason Pierre-Paul
Blount, who wasn’t drafted because of character issues and was cut by the Titans in camp, was the only rookie to rush for 1,000 yards and has become the undisputed No. 1 back in Tampa.
16. Tennessee Titans: WR Dez Bryant
Original pick: DE Derrick Morgan
Bryant was tremendous when healthy as a rookie with Dallas, and the Titans were desperate enough to make a waiver claim for Randy Moss.
17. San Francisco 49ers: G Mike Iupati
Original pick: G Mike Iupati
The Niners did a good job with their two picks. Iupati was solid as a rookie in a bad offence.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers: CB Joe Haden
Original pick: C Maurkice Pouncey
Sorry, Steelers fans. Pouncey was a tremendous pick but he’s gone in this mock draft. So Pittsburgh fills another need and takes the sliding Haden.
19. Atlanta Falcons: LB Sean Weatherspoon
Original pick: LB Sean Weatherspoon
This was a tough one. Weatherspoon was good when he was able to get on the field as a rook, but he disappeared a lot and was forced to miss some time due to injury. Still, the Falcons are in good shape at most other positions.
20. Houston Texans: CB Alterraun Verner
Original pick: CB Kareem Jackson
Taking a defensive back was a good decision. Taking Jackson, who struggled badly in his first season, was not. Verner was Tennessee’s fourth-round pick, and he was far more consistent than Jackson, Kyle Wilson or Patrick Robinson.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: RB Dexter McCluster
Original pick: TE Jermaine Gresham
I think the Bengals are happy with Gresham, but McCluster can change an entire offence.
22. Denver Broncos: DE Jason Pierre-Paul
Original pick: WR Demaryius Thomas
Pierre-Paul didn’t do much as a rookie but he only just turned 22 so there’s extra room for improvement. Thomas was injured for a big chunk of 2010 and an offseason injury has already put his 2011 season in jeopardy.
23. Green Bay Packers: OT Anthony Davis
Original pick: OT Bryan Bulaga
With Bulaga gone in this re-draft, they take the best tackle available. Davis had a solid rookie campaign, so this isn’t so bad.
24. Dallas Cowboys: S T.J. Ward
Original pick: WR Dez Bryant
They’re happy with Dez Bryant, but that secondary struggled in 2010. Ward would be a fantastic addition.
25. Denver Broncos: QB Tim Tebow
Original pick: QB Tim Tebow
Nothing’s changed here. Tebow had a good rookie season.
26. Arizona Cardinals: DT Dan Williams
Original pick: DT Dan Williams
Jury’s still out on Williams, but he still fills a major need in Arizona. Obviously a quarterback would’ve made sense, but there aren’t any good ones on the board.
27. New England Patriots: TE Rob Gronkowski
Original pick: CB Devin McCourty
Since McCourty is gone, the Pats just take the guy they ended up grabbing in Round 2. This team knows how to draft.
28. Miami Dolphins: TE Jermaine Gresham
Original pick: DT Jared Odrick
Odrick dealt with injuries all year. Brian Price would be a good fit here, too.
29. New York Jets: CB Sam Shields
Original pick: CB Kyle Wilson
Shields, who went undrafted, helped the Packers secondary when injuries forced him to play often during Green Bay’s Super Bowl run.
30. Detroit Lions: RB Chris Ivory
Original pick: RB Jahvid Best
Another guy who wasn’t drafted. Ivory’s 5.2 yards-per-carry average was two entire yards better than Best’s.
31. Indianapolis Colts: OT Russell Okung
Original pick: DE Jerry Hughes
Bill Polian has already admitted that drafting Jerry Hughes was a mistake. I’m thinking the Colts would take Saffold if they could go back in time. In this re-draft, the top offensive tackle left on the board is Okung.
32. New Orleans Saints: DE Tyson Alualu
Original pick: CB Patrick Robinson
Robinson struggled and you can never have too many quality pass rushers.
Picks that remained the same: 10
First-round picks that stayed in the first round: 21
Second-round picks that moved into the first round: 6
Third-round picks that moved into the first round: 0
Fourth-round picks that moved into the first round: 2
Fifth-round picks that moved into the first round: 0
Sixth-round picks that moved into the first round: 0
Seventh-round picks that moved into the first round: 0
Undrafted players that moved into the first round: 3