Most organizations would give anything to go back and re-draft the bad decisions. The 2010 NFL Draft saw more wrong decisions than most teams could stomach. Here, we try to ease the pain and fix those mistakes.
With the buffer zone of seven seasons, it’s a bit easier to look back on the draft than it was for the front offices making the decisions at the time. Seven seasons have passed and that takes away all the guess work that was done back in 2010. Now, data is available to decide more accurately who each team should draft.
Not all teams failed the 2010 draft. Some teams got the right guy. Others missed the mark completely. And there are some that drafted a star, but they could have drafted a superstar.
We don’t have to base the decisions off college play alone anymore. Looking at college stats is almost pointless because everyone on the board did good in college. Now, we know who has been able to perform in the NFL and we know who will fail in the league.
Now we can get them to the right team.
This draft included superstars like Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham and Antonio Brown. But none of them were drafted in the first round. Brown, possibly the best receiver in the league, fell to the sixth round.
But this draft also included some duds – Tim Tebow tops that list.
Just imagine all the pain we could save if we could go back and correct these missteps. Here, we're going to fix those mistakes and re-draft the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
32 1. ST. LOUS RAMS: DEZ BRYANT
Original Pick: Sam Bradford
The Rams needed a talented playmaker in this pick, and Sam Bradford just doesn’t really fit that mold. Bradford has been a good NFL quarterback, but not among the NFL’s elite. Bradford really has been more of an average to below-average quarterback for most of his career. In this slot, the Rams should have drafted a wide receiver. The best choice for them would have been Dez Bryant.
Bryant, who would be drafted late in the round by the Cowboys, has shown he can be great with even a rookie quarterback. Yeah, Dak Prescott has been good without Bryant on the field. But when Bryant is running routes, Prescott looks like an elite and seasoned veteran. It takes a special wide receiver to do something like that. With Bryant, the Rams could have picked up a veteran quarterback from free agency or rolled the dice down the road on a different rookie quarterback. Instead, the Rams have spent the past six years working without a solid No. 1 wide out.
31 2. DETROIT LIONS: ANTONIO BROWN
Original Pick: Ndamukong Suh
Imagine where the Lions would be now if they had one of the league’s best wide receivers. The only reason Antonio Brown didn’t go first in this round is because it took him a few years to really grow into the receiver that he is today. But that would not have affected the Lions who were working with the league’s best in Calvin Johnson, until he retired in 2015.
There’s no better way to plan it. Johnson and Brown paired with Matthew Stafford could have resulted in deep playoff runs. Johnson may have had a chance at a Super Bowl ring if he had Brown lining up with him. There’s no saying how far this team could have gone with two receivers like that. Plus, the Lions would be safe in knowing they still have one of the league’s best receivers, instead of Golden Tate, who puts up good numbers, but not great ones.
30 3. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: GERALD McCOY
Original Pick: Gerald McCoy
The Buccaneers were the first team to draft the right guy this season. Although teams should generally stick to the playmakers who are also decision makers for the team in the first few picks of the draft, Gerald McCoy has proven to be a defensive force at tackle for the Buccaneers. It didn’t seem that way in the first couple of seasons though. Injuries stymied a lot of McCoy’s playing time. He played in just 19 games through his first two seasons in the NFL.
But the guy flipped the script and has only missed a handful of games since. He’s led the charge of revamping a once failed Buccaneers defense. Even better, McCoy has been named to five-straight Pro Bowls following his lackluster start as a pro.
29 4. WASHINGTON REDSKINS: NDAMUKONG SUH
Original Pick: Trent Williams
Ndamukong Suh just missed out from being drafted first overall in the re-draft. Overall, he’s put together a better career than McCoy when you account for their first couple of seasons in the league. But McCoy has proven to be loyal to Tampa Bay and you can’t risk losing that by drafting a different guy. So, since Suh is still on the board, the Redskins will be very happy to snag the guy who originally was drafted second overall.
It wouldn’t matter for the Redskins that they’d be shelling out millions of more dollars for Suh, who Miami made the highest-paid defensive player in league history in 2015. Suh has been deemed a dirty player by some in the league, but jealousy runs rampant against the league’s top athletes. There are reasons to shy away from selecting Suh, but none are big enough to let this guy drop further down than the fourth overall pick.
28 5. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: SAM BRADFORD
Original Pick: Eric Berry
Eric Berry’s story is one of the best in the NFL (more to come later). But the Chiefs could have benefited much more from a quarterback up here. The Chiefs defense has been a main part of their success. But even though their defense could have been slightly worse without Berry, their offense would have benefited greatly from Sam Bradford. Bradford has not put up a career worthy of his No. 1 draft pick.
However, Bradford has had stretches that make him worthy of an upper-first round draft pick. In 2012, Bradford tossed 21 touchdowns with nearly 4,000 yards. Though, Bradford followed that performance by playing in just seven games because of injuries over the course of two seasons. Maybe that could have been different in Kansas City. Even if the injuries remained, the Chiefs would have been better off with Bradford. With Bradford, they could have made a deep run in this year’s postseason instead of losing to a Steelers team who only scored from field goals.
27 6. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: DEMARYIUS THOMAS
Original Pick: Russell Okung
Russell Okung may have shown stretches of greatness on the offensive line for Seattle, but he’s on Denver now. Also, Okung was part of the Seahawks Super Bowl team during the 2013 season, but that year he started only eight games due to injury. Clearly, Seattle could have done better. One of the best tight ends ever to play the game is still on the board, but Seattle has never been too keen on production from the tight end spot. Nothing against Jimmy Graham, but he posted crazy numbers in New Orleans. He’s since had very inconsistent outings with the Seahawks. Sometimes he’s great but sometimes he goes unnoticed.
Here, the Seahawks need to draft a playmaking wide receiver. These picks are tough to identify, which is why the position tends to fall to the later parts in the draft. But with hindsight, we know Demaryius Thomas should have gone here. Thomas would have been a great stabilizer for this offense, which tends to be inconsistent in the passing game.
26 7. CLEVELAND BROWNS: JOE HADEN
Original Pick: Joe Haden
This was a great pick for the city and the team. Things were entertaining for Browns fans getting to watch Joe Haden. Haden was even better off the field as he was always seen around Cleveland at Cavs or Indians games. Even at local recreation centers. And on the field, he was able to stop some of the best receivers out there.
Despite a four-game suspension in 2012 and missing 11 games due to injuries in 2015, Haden has been an integral part of the Cleveland defense. He’s been able to lock down the league’s top talent in a consistent way, and the Browns couldn’t have selected anyone better. There were some big playmakers still available on the board here, but none would have fit in better with Cleveland than Haden.
25 8. OAKLAND RAIDERS: TRENT WILLIAMS
Original Pick: Rolando McClain
Here we reach the first selection of the draft that a team got completely wrong. The Oakland Raiders could have almost done better had they not drafted Rolando McClain. Well, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement. Rolando McClain provided somewhat of a defensive threat in his first couple of seasons before his downward spiral began. He missed a good chunk of the season in 2012 before missing all of 2013 with the Ravens. McClain is currently battling drug-related issues – he was suspended by the league twice for violating its substance abuse policy – and will probably never play in the NFL again.
Instead, the Raiders can now grab offensive tackle Trent Williams, who has twice been named to NFL Network’s Top 100 Players List. Williams has been a reliable offensive lineman, despite a suspension in 2016 for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. So, there are similarities with McClain, but Williams should be able to get back on the right track.
24 9. BUFFALO BILLS: ROB GRONKOWSKI
Original Pick: C. J. Spiller
The Bills didn’t botch this first-round pick as many other teams did this year, but they could have done better. The Bills could have grabbed one of the most talented tight ends that the league has ever seen. Spiller was good at times. Well, Rob Gronkowski has been great just about all of the time. The guy is a great receiver who also has the skillset of an offensive lineman. Gronk can do it all. He can block, he’s got good hands and he’s a good route runner. Gronk would be a huge contributor even without Tom Brady tossing him passes.
Tight ends are usually, at best, late first round draft picks. Most tight ends aren’t drafted until later rounds, and most of those drafted in the first round are not taken in the top 10. But Gronkowski is a special type of talent, and it would be a solid argument to say he should have been drafted even higher up.
23 10. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: EARL THOMAS
Original Pick: Tyson Alualu
Tyson Alualu has been consistently average. Alualu has played in every game for the Jaguars since being drafted. But that does not warrant a top-10 draft pick. Average guys should not be drafted this high. The Jaguars would have fared much better had they drafted Earl Thomas.
Thomas, the best safety in the draft and among the best safety’s in the league, has been a crucial part of Seattle’s history of defensive dominance. Thomas has been a named to the Pro Bowl in five-straight seasons and has a Super Bowl ring from the 2013 season with the Seahawks. If he didn’t get injured in Week 13, he’d be going to his sixth-straight Pro Bowl. Unfortunately for the Seahawks and their fans, Thomas tweeted that he was considering retirement following his injury. Regardless of what happens from here, his contributions make him a great top-10 draft choice.
22 11. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: RUSSELL OKUNG
Original Pick: Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis has an interesting story for an offensive tackle, but he should not have been drafted here or at all in the first round. By June 2015, Davis decided to retire, saying that he would like to let his brain and body heal. He came back in 2016, but by September, he announced his decision to re-retire. So, with the re-draft, the 49ers are looking for a bit more long-term stability. And there’s no better choice for stability than an offensive lineman. Of course, San Francisco didn’t get any long-term consistency out of Davis, so we’re here to help them out. Instead of the now-retired athlete, the 49ers should have drafted Russell Okung. Okung is coming off an injury-riddled 2016 and had issues with injuries in 2014. But the Pro Bowler is still in the league and has a chance to be great again if he can recover from being sidelined due to injury.
21 12. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS: MAURKICE POUNCEY
Original Pick: Ryan Mathews
Again, here we opt for consistency and reliability over the potential for a flashy playmaker. Originally, Maurkice Pouncey was the highest drafted center since 1999 at pick No. 18. Well, we’re going to give him even more of a bump in this re-draft. With what’s left on the board, Pouncey may be the best NFL player out there.
He’s certainly the best center in this draft class and, at this pace, will probably go down as one of the best centers in the game. The Steelers, who originally drafted Pouncey, named him the teams’ Rookie of the Year. Pouncey has since been named to five Pro Bowls. He would have added a great presence in San Diego, who pick Ryan Mathews.
Mathews has shown spurts of greatness – he’s rushed for more than 1,000 yards in two seasons – but he’s had a relatively quiet career. He’s maybe a solid pack later in the draft, but should not be considered this high up.
20 13. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: JIMMY GRAHAM
Original Pick: Brandon Graham
Brandon Graham’s stats keep getting better as his career progresses, but they just don’t warrant this high of a selection. Instead, the Eagles would have been much better off by drafting Jimmy Graham, who was drafted by New Orleans in the third round. Tight ends get beat up a lot. But that hasn’t affected Jimmy Graham much as he’s played in all but a handful of games through his career. He’s another one of the select few tight ends that are very threatening receivers as well as linemen.
Jimmy Graham has two seasons with more than 1,200 receiving yards and has been selected to the Pro Bowl three times. These numbers were with the Saints prolific quarterback Drew Brees, but he could have put up solid numbers in Philly. Why not? He’s been posting pretty good numbers with a Seattle offense that is fairly inconsistent with its passing game.
19 14. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: T.J. WARD
Original Pick: Earl Thomas
The Seahawks lost out on their draft pick in the re-draft as he was selected by Jacksonville with the No. 10 spot. Solid wide receivers like Golden Tate and Emmanuel Sanders are still available for the Seahawks, but they drafted Demaryius Thomas in this re-draft so there’s no need for another wide receiver here. The Seahawks were right in grabbing a safety, and T. J. Ward can bring the same level of consistency to the Seahawks roster, though he might not be as successful as their original draft choice.
Ward has been to the Pro Bowl twice (2013, 2014) and was named to the AP’s Second-team All-Pro. What’s crazy about this is he was part of a failing Cleveland Browns team while receiving these accolades – except for the 2014 Pro Bowl selection when he was on the Broncos. Ward has proven to be good on a bad team, and great on an awesome team. He could have done wonders if he began his career in Seattle.
18 15. NEW YORK GIANTS: JASON PIERRE-PAUL
Original Pick: Jason Pierre-Paul
Jason Pierre-Paul has been a bit of a mixed bag in terms of success. He was an on-and-off starter through his first four years in the league and has spent the last two years missing time because of injuries. In 2015, Pierre-Paul had to have his right index finger amputated because of a fireworks accident. He returned and played just as good as before, but in December 2016, the defensive end underwent surgery for a sports hernia. If he’s able to return, he has a chance to build on a pretty good career that’s included a Pro Bowl selection.
The main reason the Giants should stick with their draft pick is because of his loyalty to his team. Not many guys would pass up a bigger contract to stick with their team. But Pierre-Paul did just that. In March 2016, he turned down a better offer from Arizona to stay in New York.
17 16. TENNESSEE TITANS: ERIC BERRY
Original Pick: Derrick Morgan
Derrick Morgan has been good for Tennessee, but his best season came in 2016. That’s a long time to wait for solid production from the top draft choice. Instead, the Tennessee Titans should have opted for a guy who’s story would have made some fans tear up and cry. Eric Berry has become one of the more inspirational stories in the NFL. What makes his story even better? He’s really good.
Berry was initially drafted fifth overall, but we know what’s going to happen. Unfortunately, Berry had chest pain in 2014 and he was eventually diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He had to miss some time, but returned for the 2015 clear of any signs of cancer. He was selected to the Pro Bowl that year and the Chiefs placed the franchise tag on him before the 2016 season. Any team would be lucky to have this type of guy, and Tennessee lucks out with this pick in the middle of the first round.
16 17. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: MIKE IUPATI
Original Pick: Mike Iupati
All fans hope their team will draft a first-round playmaker. Front offices hope they can grab a guy that will be among the team’s top decision makers. Offensive linemen don’t tend to fit either of these molds. But if you can grab the right offensive lineman, he’ll add to your team’s success for years to come. And Iupati has done just that for the 49ers. In 2012 he was named to his first Pro Bowl and was selected through 2015. He did suffer a bad neck injury near the end of his first season with the Cardinals, but he’s returned to the field in 2016. In his entire career, which still continues, Iupati has only missed a handful of games and has been a consistent force on the offensive line. Although the 49ers will not keep Iupati for his entire career, they enjoyed their time with the Pro Bowler.
15 18. PITTSBURGH STEELERS: GOLDEN TATE
Original Pick: Maurkice Pouncey
Yet again, we come to a team who lost out on their first-round draft pick. With Pouncey gone, the Steelers are left searching for a replacement. They’re forced into grabbing a wide receiver in this first round re-draft because their stud Antonio Brown was selected earlier. Originally, Brown fell to the sixth round but the Steelers aren’t so lucky this time.
Instead, they’re left deciding between Emmanuel Sanders and Golden Tate. There’s not much of a question here for the Steelers, who would have to choose Golden Tate. Sanders has been good, but he’s benefited from lining up with Demaryius Thomas. Tate, on the other hand, is working as the top wide receiver in Detroit. He may not be as good as Antonio Brown, but he’ll still post some good numbers for Pittsburgh.
14 19. ATLANTA FALCONS: DEVIN McCOURTY
Original Pick: Sean Weatherspoon
By 2012, Sean Weatherspoon was named a defensive captain for the Falcons. By 2013, his career began falling into the injury-riddled pit that it currently sits. Weatherspoon’s first few years in the league were promising, but have been anything but promising since. Due to the last three seasons, Weatherspoon has fallen out of the realm of being a top-draft prospect. He shouldn’t be looked at until the later rounds of the draft.
The Falcons received some production from Weatherspoon, but they would have been much happier drafting Devin McCourty, who was selected by the Patriots with their No. 27 pick. McCourty has proved to be one of the better defensive assets in the league – he’s been selected to the Pro Bowl twice, has been named to the All-Pro Second-team three times and was part of a Super Bowl winning team.
13 20. HOUSTON TEXANS: EMMANUEL SANDERS
Original Pick: Kareem Jackson
For the second time in this re-draft, a team selects a promising young wide receiver to complement their All-Star. First, the Lions selected Antonio Brown to help out with Calvin Johnson. Now, Emmanuel Sanders will add his skill to the Texans offense. With Sanders, the Texans are a Super Bowl worthy team. We’ve seen how well Sanders is able to produce behind Demaryius Thomas. Combine Sanders with the skill of Johnson and you’ve got an offensive storm ready to take out any opponent.
Kareem Jackson was not a bust for the Texans. In fact, he still holds a roster spot down in Houston. But his production has been declining and there’s no way of telling how much longer he has left. Though it’d be a safe bet that he won’t outlast Sanders.
12 21. CINCINNATI BENGALS: JERMAINE GRESHAM
Original Pick: Jermaine Gresham
You can’t fault the Bengals for selecting Jermaine Gresham here. Yeah, tight ends aren’t always a good choice for the first round. And yeah, there were two amazingly talented tight ends who were selected in the re-draft earlier, but were available this year – Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham. But it’s unfair to compare Gresham to those guys. Those two were on the leading front showing that tight ends could be built like NBA post players.
Gresham is similar to that mold and even played college basketball, but he isn’t compared to those guys in most cases. But this far down in the first round, the Bengals should not complain. They drafted a guy who was named to the Pro Bowl in two consecutive seasons after his rookie year. Although he plays for another team now, Gresham was a good pick for Cincinnati. It’s just too bad they couldn’t hold onto him for longer.
11 22. DENVER BRONCOS: NAVORRO BOWMAN
Original Pick: Damaryius Thomas
If injuries hadn’t been a factor in NaVorro Bowman’s recent seasons (2014 and 2016), he would have easily been a top-10 and maybe even a top-five draft choice in this re-draft. But, like many NFL potential superstars, Bowman had been sidelined for a good chunk of 2014 and 2016. However, Denver is running out of options this late in the round and their wide receiver options left in the draft are slim. They need to take the best talent available, and that is Bowman, who has been selected to the Pro Bowl three times (2012, 2013 and 2015). Bowman has even been selected to AP’s First-team All-Pro in 2011 through 2013 and again in 2015. Even if injuries keep Bowman from ever producing seasons like that again, his production makes him a first-round lock.
10 23. GREEN BAY PACKERS: RYAN MATHEWS
Original Pick: Bryan Bulaga
Green Bay wasn’t completely wrong with its pick, but the Packers could have done better. Bryan Bulaga has been a solid member of their offensive line, but they could have grabbed a similar type of lineman talent in the second or third rounds. During this stretch, Green Bay was working with Eddie Lacy as primary running back. Lacy was good, but he could have been helped tremendously by Ryan Mathews. That’s why the Packers looked passed C. J. Spiller and opted for Mathews in the re-draft. Plus, throughout a career of sharing the backfield, Mathews, who is often part of a three-man rotation with the Eagles, has proven to be reliable in those types of offenses. And when he was the primary ball carrier, he posted great numbers. In 2011, he was named to the Pro Bowl as he rushed for more than 1,000 yards and had nearly 500 receiving yards. In 2013 he also rushed for more than 1,000 yards with the Chargers.
9 24. DALLAS COWBOYS: ERIC DECKER
Original Pick: Dez Bryant
The Cowboys are the biggest loser in this re-draft. They lost their best athlete to the first overall pick. No one that remains can fill the void left by Bryant. Dallas fans won’t like this, but the Cowboys are stuck with Eric Decker, who was originally drafted in the third round, here. Decker, in all honesty, shouldn’t be taken until the second round at the earliest. But the Cowboys have no choice. They need a wide receiver.
And in all fairness, Decker isn’t the worst imaginable first-round draft choice. He’s consistent. From 2012 to 2015, he played in all but two games and averaged about 80 receptions a season. Those aren’t Dez Bryant numbers, but they’ll do just fine for a late-first round draft choice.
8 25. DENVER BRONCOS: ZANE BEADLES
Original Pick: Tim Tebow
There was hope from a lot of people that Tim Tebow wouldn’t be a dud, but that was just wishful thinking. It is still tough to understand why the Broncos drafted him here. They could have easily waited a few rounds and snagged him up. There was absolutely no need to draft Tebow this high. I mean, c’mon. A lot of analysts wondered whether Tebow was going to be drafted at all. It blew just about everyone’s minds when the Broncos selected Tebow this high. Though it did make for some good storylines.
The Broncos would have been fine not drafting anyone here, but in the re-draft their forced to snag Zane Beadles before someone else does. Originally, the Broncos drafted Beadles in the second round. But they don’t have the luxury to wait for Beadles, who was named to the Pro Bowl in 2012. Before the 2016 season, Beadles signed a three-year $11.35 million deal with the 49ers.
7 26. ARIZONA CARDINALS: BRANDON GRAHAM
Original Pick: Dan Williams
Dan Williams had high hopes for the NFL. He was ranked the third best defensive tackle available behind Nadamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy. But Suh and McCoy have had careers so far that far outmatch anything Williams has done. Williams, however, is still playing in the NFL with relative success to most guys. Though, his success doesn’t amount to a first-round draft pick.
A guy that should have been drafted in the first round is Brandon Graham. Graham was originally selected with the No. 13 pick in 2010, but that was far too high for a player that has had the type of career he has had. Graham has been good, and is getting better. His best season to date was in 2016 when the AP selected him for its Second-team All-Pro. So, things are looking up for Graham, and soon he may prove to be worthy of a higher selection…but that would take a few years playing like he did last season.
6 27. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: C.J. SPILLER
Original Pick: Devin McCourty
The Patriots join the list of teams who got it right the first time around, but can’t get their guy in the re-draft because he was selected higher up. However, this is a blessing in disguise for the Patriots. New England was great this year, but they could have been better. Entering Week 1, the Patriots had five running backs on the roster. Now, they didn’t need much of a run game as Tom Brady was connecting with Randy Moss and putting up insane numbers.
But if you enter C.J. Spiller into that mix, we could have seen a completely different career path for the running back and an entirely more dominant Patriots organization. If the Patriots were able to rely, just a little bit on the run game during those years, they could have gone down as the best team in history.
5 28. MIAMI DOLPHINS: KAM CHANCELLOR
Original Pick: Jared Odrick
Not counting the past two seasons and his first season in the league, Jared Odrick played in every game. But just showing up doesn’t amount to a good first-round selection. The Dolphins could have done better.
You have to go far down on the draft board to find the athlete that should have been taken by Miami. Here, the Dolphins should have drafted Kam Chancellor. He’s been so good, that entering this season Seattle named Chancellor as one of their four captains. The only reason Chancellor isn’t higher in the list is that the past three seasons have showed declining production. He’s missed 11 games over the past three seasons and he may be just one big hit away from retirement.
But there’s no doubting the impressive career Chancellor has had. It’s been so impressive, the Dolphins kind of stole him this late in the draft, if he can continuing producing and avoid injuries. He’s been selected to the Pro Bowl four times and has twice been named to AP’s Second-team All-Pro.
4 29. NEW YORK JETS: BRANDON LAFELL
Original Pick: Kyle Wilson
Kyle Wilson has barely been able to keep a spot on a NFL roster over the past couple of seasons. He’s quickly fading out of the league. That’s not something you want to hear about a first round draft pick. But this late in the first round, there’s a lot going against hopes of getting a star. By this point, teams should be happy if their guy is still playing six years later. For the Jets, they would have been well-suited grabbing a wide receiver. Unfortunately, though, wide receivers have been snagged in the earlier parts of the draft.
There is till a solid receiver left undrafted. Brandon LaFell, who was originally drafted in the third round by the Panthers, would have been a suitable first-round choice. LaFell hasn’t put up any type of numbers that would permit a Pro Bowl selection, but he has played on a Super Bowl winning Patriots team. Furthermore, LaFell has only missed about 10 games in his entire career. And in two recent seasons, he’s nearly caught for almost 1,000 yards. The Jets could use some consistency like this from a wide receiver.
3 30. DETROIT LIONS: CARLOS DUNLAP
Original Pick: Jahvid Best
The number of concussions that Jahvid Best suffered kept him from playing more than a couple seasons in the NFL. He had the skills needed to be an NFL running back, but injuries kept him sidelined. For Detroit, focusing on defense is much needed in this pick since the Lions first pick in the re-draft was dedicated toward an offensive talent.
Here, the Lions would be extremely happy about selecting Carlos Dunlap. Dunlap had a great rookie season and recorded nearly 10 sacks. But those numbers cooled down until the last couple of seasons. If he had kept up that production, he would be a top-5 pickup. But since he hasn’t come alive until late – in 2016 he recorded 13.5 sacks – he sits down at the bottom of the first round.
2 31. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: RESHAD JONES
Original Pick: Jerry Hughes
Jerry Hughes has been a good NFL player and currently plays for the Buffalo Bills. He’s played in every game for the past three seasons, though two of them have been for Buffalo. His consistency makes him a good draft pick. But the question is – should he be drafted here by the Colts? It’s a toss up because it was a good decision to draft Hughes. And finding good decisions is rare in the first round of the NFL draft.
But the Colts should go for a guy who has proved to be a star. Reshad Jones, who was originally picked in the fifth round, is that guy. He drops to the bottom of the first round because he’s recently been injured and he only played in six games during the 2016 season. But the year before he played in every game and recorded five interceptions with two touchdowns. That led him to a Pro Bowl selection, and if he gets healthy again, he can be a veteran leader on any defense.
1 32. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: LINVAL JOSEPH
Original Pick: Patrick Robinson
Yet again, we have another team who didn’t get its pick wrong. New Orleans made a good decision with Patrick Robinson. But he’s now playing with the Chargers and was injured this past season. Of course, guys playing this long in the league tend to find better contracts on different teams. But the goal is to find a guy who is going to start and finish his career with the same organization. That’s a longshot, even for a re-draft. But the hope is, with the right fit, guys will remain with the organization that gave them their first big contract.
Here, the Saints place their hopes with Linval Joseph. And if Joseph remains with the Saints, their fans would be ecstatic because he just finished his best season. In 2016, Joseph played so well that he was selected to his first Pro Bowl.
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