Every draft seems to have the best players drafted early, but when you look back at it, that isn’t always the case. We’re going to look at the last three NFL Drafts and re-draft to what it should’ve been. It will be a mixture of how players have performed in the NFL, and when they actually got drafted. It has to be realistic though. Just because a player drafted late in the draft became a star doesn’t mean at the time they should’ve been a top-10 draft pick. We’re going to keep things realistic and go based off of players who it could’ve made sense at the time.
Top-10 draft picks are really valuable. Those players drafted this early in the draft are expected to be stars. Some teams may value top-10 draft picks than many players. That’s the type of value these players have. Looking back over the last three seasons, we’re going to pick what would’ve been the best draft pick for each of these teams. We’re taking into consideration what they were looking for then, and what their current team stands like. With looking forward, that would obviously change some draft picks.
It could be frustrating to look back and see what players your favorite team could’ve had, compared to actually drafted. Other fans will be happy their team made the right decision, and maybe even draft the same players again. Here we go, let’s see how every top-10 draft would go since 2016 if things changed.
30 2016: 1st Overall - Jared Goff - L.A. Rams
Original Pick: Jared Goff
In Jared Goff’s rookie season, everyone considered him a bust. With Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott both playing well in their rookie seasons, Goff wasn’t having the best of luck under Jeff Fisher. Once Fisher was fired, Goff’s trajectory completely changed. Goff has been fortunate enough to play around one of the most talented teams in the league, but it takes a smart quarterback who makes the right decisions. Goff may not be the most talented quarterback, but he’s smart with his decisions and makes the throws when needed. He was definitely worth the first overall pick.
29 2016: 2nd Overall - Carson Wentz - Philadelphia Eagles
Original Pick: Carson Wentz
Looking back, injury concerns may deter the Eagles from drafting Carson Wentz again, but at the same time they needed a quarterback. A lot of fans are tough on Wentz, but he was nearly unstoppable in 2017, throwing for 3,296 yards, 33 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. While Wentz has been dealing with the after-effects of last year's season-ending injury, he’s still been good enough to give the Eagles a chance to win. In 2016, Wentz was still the right pick. If they didn't draft him, there’s a really good chance the Eagles don’t win their first Super Bowl.
28 2016: 3rd Overall - Joey Bosa - L.A. Chargers
Original Pick: Joey Bosa
Analysts thought Joey Bosa was undersized and that he would struggle in the NFL, but he’s been one of the best defensive ends in the NFL since being drafted. Chargers stick with their franchise pass rusher, and draft him again. Despite having Melvin Ingram, this team looks to build what is now one of the best defensive lines in the game. Bosa keeps looking like he will eventually become the league’s sack leader. He’s been a lot better than anyone ever expected.
27 2016: 4th Overall - Ezekiel Elliott - Dallas Cowboys
Original Pick: Ezekiel Elliott
If the Cowboys were drafting higher, maybe they could have gone after a quarterback. Ezekiel Elliott is that offense, so no way do they want to pass up on that. Elliott, won the rushing title this season for the second time in his three-year career. Elliott has been a top-five running back each year, and continues to improve. The Cowboys look to build around Elliott, so they stay put and draft the former Ohio State running back fourth overall. No way do the Cowboys change a thing about the 2016 NFL Draft.
26 2016: 5th Overall - Michael Thomas - Jacksonville Jaguars
Original Pick: Jalen Ramsey
This is a pretty significant jump, but it’s worth it. Michael Thomas was originally drafted 47th overall by the Saints, but instead, he gets drafted fifth overall by the Jaguars, over Jalen Ramsey. Thomas was an animal in the red zone for Ohio State, but didn’t get as many touches as he would’ve liked. Of course, he's turned into one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. Most teams still draft the cornerback, but the Jaguars try to help add some firepower to their offense.
25 2016: 6th Overall - Ronnie Stanley - Baltimore Ravens
Original Pick: Ronnie Stanley
Jalen Ramsey could turn the Ravens defense to the ultimate defense, but they pass to improve their offensive line. Ronnie Stanley is yet another player who is drafted in the same spot, as the team needed a solid offensive tackle to protect Joe Flacco (and now, Lamar Jackson). It’s great to have a talented defense, but you need to be able to protect the most valuable player on the field. In this draft, the Ravens do just that. It works out as he becomes a solid player.
24 2016: 7th Overall - Jalen Ramsey - San Francisco 49ers
Original Pick: DeForest Buckner
Maybe one of the most surprising changes on this list is that Jalen Ramsey would drop in the 2016 draft. Since Ramsey was drafted, he’s arguably been the best cornerback in the NFL. The question is, why would Ramsey drop down two picks? The Jaguars had other plans, and they don’t re-draft Ramsey. Ramsey ends up falling because teams have other needs, but the 49ers need a boost to their secondary. Eventually, it would be Jalen Ramsey and Richard Sherman on each corner.
23 2016: 8th Overall - Leonard Floyd - Tennessee Titans
Original Pick: Jack Conklin
Leonard Floyd was picked earlier but doesn’t look now like he should’ve. Floyd has struggled especially this season but showed a lot of potential in his rookie season. The reason why he goes up one is that the Titans still lack a true game-changing pass rusher, and Floyd has the potential to dominate as he would be the guy there. Right now, there’s so much talent on the Bears defensive line that allows them to shift players around a lot. Floyd stays in the top 10 due to potential.
22 2016: 9th Overall - Keanu Neal - Chicago Bears
Original Pick: Leonard Floyd
Back in 2016, the Bears had other plans. Looking forward, this team might be a great safety away from being one of the best defenses in NFL history. Their original draft pick may not make it to where they’re drafting, so they go after Keanu Neal out of Florida. Neal has been really good for the Falcons, despite missing most of this season. Neal would jump up from the 17th overall pick. This would help complete the Bears defense, and give them security on the back end of their defense.
21 2016: 10th Overall - DeForest Buckner - New York Giants
Original Pick: Eli Apple
Let’s start things in 2016. DeForest Buckner drops three spots from his original pick and is drafted by the Giants with the 10th overall pick. The Giants are in need of a pass rusher, especially with Jason Pierre-Paul getting older. Buckner has all the assets to be a serious problem in the NFL, and the Giants need to get to the quarterback to compete in the NFC East. The pass rush becomes their strong suit, as both Pierre-Paul and Buckner cause havoc for quarterbacks.
20 2017: 1st Overall - Patrick Mahomes - Cleveland Browns
Original Pick: Myles Garrett
Who else would be the first overall pick but Patrick Mahomes? Mahomes is the first overall pick in probably every draft in the 21st century. He is special. In his first full season as a starter, he had an MVP caliber year, with passing totals that most QBs wouldn't dream of putting up in a career year. Mahomes is a really difficult quarterback to stop, and the Browns would land themselves a real savior. It doesn’t matter how good Myles Garrett is; Mahomes replaces LeBron James as the star in Cleveland.
19 2017: 2nd Overall - Deshaun Watson - Chicago Bears
Original Pick: Mitch Trubisky
If the Bears draft Deshaun Watson over Mitchell Trubisky, their Super Bowl chances immediately go up. Trubisky certainly has some talent, but Watson is the type of quarterback that changes an offense. His ability to run the football and his accuracy make him a dangerous quarterback. If you think Trubisky does a good job at spreading the football, imagine Watson with this Bears offense. You would likely see Allen Robinson be a legitimate No. 1 receiver. The only concern would be that Watson would not have a star receiver like a DeAndre Hopkins.
18 2017: 3rd Overall - Christian McCaffrey - San Francisco 49ers
Original Pick: Soloman Thomas
Most analysts wouldn’t agree last season, but they would now. Christian McCaffrey has been lights out. In his rookie season, he was used mainly in the passing game which is why a lot of teams weren’t in love with him. This season, he’s really adjusted and became a running back who can run between the tackles, and has rushed for over 1,000 yards on the season, and caught over 100 passes. McCaffrey is breaking records left and right. This would be the player Kyle Shanahan dreams of, which is why he signed Jerick McKinnon last offseason.
17 2017: 4th Overall - Mitchell Trubisky - Jacksonville Jaguars
Original Pick: Leonard Fournette
In a re-draft, Mitchell Trubisky goes from being the first quarterback drafted to the third. Trubisky is not better than Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes. Just because he fit that typical NFL quarterback prototype, doesn’t mean he’s the most talented. Regardless, it works out for the Jaguars. Trubisky has done a good job spreading the football for the Bears, and he would have to do the same in Jacksonville without a No. 1 wide receiver. This would actually benefit the Jaguars.
16 2017: 5th Overall - Corey Davis - Tennessee Titans
Orignal Pick: Corey Davis
While most analysts may not consider Corey Davis worth a fifth overall pick, the Titans love Corey Davis. Davis has become the Titans No. 1 receiver. If the Titans had another playmaker, Davis could get fewer eyes on him and be even better. It may not be the move Titans fans would like, but it would be bound to happen again. In a re-draft, Davis is the only player in the top-10 to be drafted by the same team again.
15 2017: 6th Overall - Myles Garrett - New York Jets (DE)
Original Pick: Jamal Adams
In most re-drafts, Myles Garrett stays at least within the top-five. In the 2017 re-draft, Garrett falls outside to sixth overall due to the surplus of offensive talent in this draft. Draft analysts were right, Garrett is as good of a defensive end as any star player in the NFL. Garrett stayed healthy this season and had a breakout year. He’s playing on another level. Unfortunately for him, teams within the top-five would value offensive talent before him knowing how good those offensive weapons would be.
14 2017: 7th Overall - Jamal Adams - L.A. Chargers
Original Pick: Mike Williams
Mike Williams is not worth a top-10 draft pick. As good as he’s been in the red zone, he’s not a No. 1 wide receiver. Williams has proven to be a great no.2 behind Keenan Allen, but a no.2 receiver should not be drafted in the top 10. Instead of drafting a wide receiver, the Chargers draft a safety a year early. Jamal Adams has a lot of potential, and has played really well in a bad situation in New York. He can drop back in coverage, creep up in the run game, and rush the quarterback. He’s an all-around great player.
13 2017: 8th Overall - Leonard Fournette - Carolina Panthers
Original Pick: Christian McCaffrey
Seeing the way the NFL is heading, running backs who can catch and run the football are more valuable, which helps Christian McCaffrey go sooner than eighth overall. That doesn’t change the fact that the Panthers needed a running back then, and they'd need one now. Their offense becomes more of a downhill running offense, with Cam Newton and Leonard Fournette. Fournette has more success because teams have to account for Newton’s legs as well. This helps balance out the Panthers offense, though, as they can run the ball down defenses’ throats.
12 2017: 9th Overall - Marshon Lattimore - Cincinnati Bengals
Original Pick: John Ross
John Ross has been a complete disappointment. If we go back in time, the Bengals definitely don’t draft John Ross. As fast as he is, he hasn’t transitioned into an NFL receiver. Instead of adding another weapon, they can improve their secondary, which has been one of the worst in the NFL. They address the cornerback position and add a phenomenal cornerback in Marshon Lattimore. Through Week 14, Lattimore has seven career interceptions in only two seasons. The Bengals could use some of that help on their defense.
11 2017: 10th Overall - Budda Baker - Kansas City Chiefs
Original Pick: Patrick Mahomes
Unfortunately, the Chiefs become a new team because no way Patrick Mahomes drops to the 10th overall pick. Alex Smith remains the quarterback for the future, so the next important thing to improve is the defense. The Chiefs draft Budda Baker, to help improve their defense, particularly their backend. The Chiefs are in need of someone to defend the pass and Baker would've been an excellenct complement to fellow safety Eric Berry. He's nowhere near as good of a pick as Mahomes, but at least the defense improves sooner rather than later.
10 2018: First Overall - Saquon Barkley - Cleveland Browns
Original Pick: Baker Mayfield
Like it should’ve been, the best player in the 2018 NFL Draft is selected first overall. Patrick Mahomes, Saquon Barkley, Jarvis Landry - just imagine how good it could be for Cleveland. It might be one of the greatest trios of all time. Even with a weak offensive line, Barkley has played really well running the football, as well as catching passes out of the backfield. Considering the Browns have their franchise quarterback in our redrafts, they can draft the once-in-a-lifetime running back. In 2018, the Browns become a Super Bowl contender.
9 2018: 2nd Overall - Baker Mayfield - New York Giants
Original Pick: Saquon Barkley
What a change of events. With the Browns drafting Patrick Mahomes in 2017 in our re-draft scenario, there’s no need to draft their real-life quarterback, Baker Mayfield. Eli Manning’s time is coming to an end, as the Giants draft Mayfield. Mayfield has a big ego and carries around a similar attitude that the Giants locker room has. With the best quarterback in the draft available, the Giants have no choice but to draft him. Mayfield would've ended up as the starter by Week 10 when the Giants were practically out of the playoff race.
8 2018: 3rd Overall - Sam Darnold - New York Jets
Original Pick: Sam Darnold
Sam Darnold's big knock this season was the amount of interceptions he threw, but he got a lot better as the season went on and he has all the potential in the world to finally be the QB savior Jets fans have been waiting for. Darnold's turnovers in his rookie year shouldn't be a deterrent for skeptics, as some of the NFL's best QBs ever threw a lot of picks in their rookie years. It's too soon to bump Darnold down this list.
7 2018: 4th Overall - Denzel Ward - Cleveland Browns
Original Pick: Denzel Ward
It was really hard to make a case for any other player in this spot. Why would you pass up on the best cornerback in the draft? Ward has the potential to be one of the best in the league, and this is a huge boost for the Browns defense. Some are shocked that the Browns pass on Bradley Chubb, but they like Ward a lot. There would probably be more interest in Chubb in this situation because they never drafted Myles Garrett, but a cornerback helps this secondary tremendously.
6 2018: 5th Overall - Bradley Chubb - Denver Broncos
Original Pick: Bradley Chubb
Another draft pick from 2018 remains on the same team, and his name is Bradley Chubb. There’s still a lot of trust in Case Keenum, and it wouldn’t make sense to draft a quarterback the same season they sign him to a two-year deal.
The Broncos do the obvious, and draft Bradley Chubb. Chubb was said to have the potential to be a no. 1 draft pick if this wasn’t such a quarterback-needy draft, and if Saquon Barkley wasn’t in it.
5 2018: 6th Overall - Quenton Nelson - Indianapolis Colts
Original Pick: Quenton Nelson
There was a lot of talent in this draft, but Quenton Nelson has been remarkable for the Colts. In just his rookie season, he has really helped improve this run game and provided protection for Andrew Luck who was recovering from shoulder surgery. The Colts front office may have been tempted to go many different ways because of the talent on the board, but Nelson is a one-of-a-kind offensive lineman. You see how he plays on game days. The Colts front office sticks with the plan and drafts him again.
4 2018: 7th Overall - Lamar Jackson - Buffalo Bills
Original Pick: Josh Allen
Even with us knowing how Lamar Jackson has performed this season, there are three quarterbacks that would be drafted ahead of him. As good as he’s run with the football, he still hasn’t proved that he can beat you with his arm. In his rookie season, defenses are having a tough time stopping him in the run game. That happens a lot with rookie quarterbacks because teams don’t know how to cover it yet. Eventually, teams figure you out. The Bills find themselves a better rushing quarterback, who is smarter throwing the football.
3 2018: 8th Overall - Roquan Smith - Chicago Bears
Original Pick: Roquan Smith
It doesn’t matter how good Leighton Vander Esch has been this season; the Bears would still draft Roquan Smith over and over again. Smith has been really good in all parts of his game, helping make this defense one of the best in the NFL. While the Bears could go many different ways in this draft, they go with their gut feeling and add the final touches to their defense by bringing in a really good linebacker.
2 9th Overall - Derwin James - San Francisco 49ers
Original Pick: Mike McGlinchey
The 49ers go back and draft another defensive star, in Derwin James. In our scenario, the team put together one of the best secondaries in the NFL, with Jalen Ramsey, Richard Sherman, and Derwin James. James was originally considered a top-10 pick, but the value of the position led him to drop to 17th overall. Kyle Shanahan doesn’t want to pass up on a playmaker like James, even though he did in the actual draft. James has been as good as anyone would’ve expected, and in a re-draft, he makes his way into the top-10 like he deserved to be.
1 2018: 10th Overall - Josh Allen - Arizona Cardinals
Original Pick: Josh Rosen
Cardinals fans are not going to be in love with this pick, but Josh Allen becomes the second to last quarterback drafted in the first round, with the 10th overall pick. That means that four quarterbacks were drafted in the first 10 picks which is insane, but teams are motivated to compete as soon as possible. The good thing about this pick is the Cardinals get themselves a QB with a strong arm, much like Carson Palmer was. The problem is that Allen is inaccurate and would play against much more difficult competition in the NFC West.