2008 NFL Re-draft

Welcome to the third installment of mock drafting with the beautiful gift of hindsight. We’ve already conducted do-overs of the 2010 draft and the 2009 draft. Here’s 2008…

1. Miami Dolphins: QB Matt Ryan
Original pick: OT Jake Long

Long has become one of the best tackles in the game, but the Dolphins haven’t been able to contend without a franchise quarterback.

2. St. Louis Rams: DE Chris Long
Original pick: DE Chris Long

After two rather slow years out of the gate, Long emerged as the Rams’ best defensive player in 2010. The future is very bright.

3. Atlanta Falcons: QB Joe Flacco
Original pick: QB Matt Ryan

Honestly, the drop-off from Ryan to Flacco isn’t huge.

4. Oakland Raiders: OT Jake Long
Original pick: RB Darren McFadden

The Raiders make up for that Robert Gallery pick in 2004. Long is a steal at No. 4.

5. Kansas City Chiefs: RB Chris Johnson
Original pick: DT Glenn Dorsey

I realize that in reality they grab Jamaal Charles later, but Johnson has become of the top three backs in the league.

6. New York Jets: RB Ray Rice
Original pick: DE Vernon Gholston

Rice moves up 49 spots. People worried that he played in the Big East and lacked both size and speed. They should have been looking at his unbelievable numbers at Rutgers. The guy can ball.

7. New Orleans Saints: WR DeSean Jackson
Original pick: DT Sedrick Ellis

Here’s another guy who was apparently too small to be a force in the NFL. Jackson has become one of the most dangerous playmakers in the league.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars: OT Ryan Clady
Original pick: DE Derrick Harvey

Clady had a great rookie season and has become a franchise left tackle.

9. Cincinnati Bengals: LB Jerod Mayo
Original pick: LB Keith Rivers

Mayo has simply been better than Rivers.

10. New England Patriots: CB Aqib Talib
Original pick: LB Jerod Mayo

Character concerns that had teams worried about Talib prior to this draft have come to fruition during the first three years of his career. Still, he’s become one of the best cornerbacks in football.

11. Buffalo Bills: OT Jeff Otah
Original pick: CB Leodis McKelvin

To this day, the Bills still don’t have a legitimate starting left tackle.

12. Denver Broncos: LB Keith Rivers
Original pick: OT Ryan Clady

They’re undoubtedly happy with the Clady pick, but that front seven has really taken a fall.

13. Carolina Panthers: RB Jamaal Charles
Original pick: RB Jonathan Stewart

Only one back had more rushing yards than Charles in 2010. The guy has averaged 6.0 yards per carry in his three-year career. And that’s why he moves up 60 spots from the third round.

14. Chicago Bears: CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Original pick: OT Chris Williams

Williams hasn’t lived up to expectations. DRC is the best defensive player on the board.

15. Kansas City Chiefs: OT Sam Baker
Original pick: OT Branden Albert

Honestly, I wouldn’t be shocked if they went back in time (using the flux capacitor of course) and still picked Albert. But I think I’d go with Baker.

16. Arizona Cardinals: RB Darren McFadden
Original pick: CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

Like Chris Long, it took McFadden a couple years to find his rhythm in the big leagues. But now he has it, and in Arizona he’d be the clear-cut No. 1 guy.

17. Detroit Lions: TE Jermichael Finley
Original pick: OT Gosder Cherilus

Cherilus hasn’t worked out and Finley is a star-in-the-making.

18. Baltimore Ravens: RB Matt Forte
Original pick: QB Joe Flacco

This was one hell of a draft for the Ravens. Neither their first-round pick (Flacco) nor their second-rounder (Rice) are available, so they take the best running back on the board.

19. Carolina Panthers: OT Branden Albert
Original pick: OT Jeff Otah

A good-but-n0t-great group of tackles have played musical chairs in this re-draft. With Otah gone, the Panthers settle for Albert.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Tracy Porter
Original pick: CB Aqib Talib

The Bucs would prefer Talib, but at least Porter isn’t firing shots at family members.

21. Atlanta Falcons: DT Sedrick Ellis
Original pick: OT Sam Baker

Ellis would help a Falcons’ pass rush that is in dire need of a boost in 2011.

22. Dallas Cowboys: S Brandon Flowers
Original pick: RB Felix Jones

Dallas’ secondary has becomes the team’s weak spot. Jones hasn’t been reliable enough for the Cowboys to turn away from a defensive back like Flowers.

23. Pittsburgh Steelers: RB Rashard Mendenhall
Original pick: RB Rashard Mendenhall

Mendenhall has done everything the Steelers have asked of him.

24. Tennessee Titans: RB Peyton Hillis
Original pick: RB Chris Johnson

Based on his 2010 performance alone, Hillis should be a top-10 pick. But let’s give it another year to see if he’s the real deal.

25. Dallas Cowboys: OT Duane Brown
Original pick: CB Mike Jenkins

I’d take Brown over Doug Free.

26. Houston Texans: S Kenny Phillips
Original pick: OT Duane Brown

The Texans improve that worsening secondary with the best defensive playmaker on the board.

27. San Diego Chargers: RB Danny Woodhead
Original pick: Antoine Cason

Two white running backs in the first round? Now I’ve seen everything. Woodhead wasn’t drafted and was dumped by the Jets, but he broke out with over 900 total yards and six touchdowns despite starting in just three games in 2010 with New England.

28. Seattle Seahawks: WR Jordy Nelson
Original pick: DE Lawrence Jackson

Nelson was a big part of Green Bay’s Super Bowl XLV victory. And he’s only getting better.

29. San Francisco 49ers: DE Jason Jones
Original pick: DE Kentwan Balmer

Jones isn’t overly special on paper, but he’s a solid end who can play inside. Considering that Balmer’s been a bust and is no longer a 49er, this makes sense.

30. New York Jets: TE Dustin Keller
Original pick: TE Dustin Keller

Keller’s been very consistent in New York, with his numbers climbing steadily year-after-year.

31. New York Giants: G Carl Nicks
Original pick: S Kenny Phillips

Nicks, who was drafted 164th as a tackle by New Orleans, has become a very reliable and consistent guard.

Breakdown
Picks that remained the same: 4
First-round picks that stayed in the first round: 19
Second-round picks that moved into the first round: 7
Third-round picks that moved into the first round: 2
Fourth-round picks that moved into the first round: 0
Fifth-round picks that moved into the first round: 1
Sixth-round picks that moved into the first round: 0
Seventh-round picks that moved into the first round: 1
Undrafted players that moved into the first round: 1

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