A good draft in any sport can change the fortunes of an entire franchise, but at the same time, a bust at the top of a draft can demoralize an organization, and while we can’t blame these teams for making bad selections, looking back with hindsight definitely helps us make better and more informed decisions. Now, with a redraft, the organization might have wanted to go in a different direction to what we have, because we don’t know exactly who they liked beyond their selection, but with extensive research on team needs and what players actually became big stars from this draft, we present to you a complete redraft of the first round of the 2007 NFL draft. Which steals should have been picked much earlier, and which players had no business being picked in the first round? Let's find out.
32 Oakland Raiders – Calvin Johnson
Original Pick: JaMarcus Russell
With the #1 overall selection, the Oakland Raiders were in need of a QB, and they took the talented JaMarcus Russell, but as we know now, he became one of the biggest busts, if not the single biggest bust in NFL history. This selection would be much better used on the man who became known as Megatron, Calvin Johnson. Because they had no good QB, Russell was the smart pick at the time, but knowing what we know now, taking the ultra-talented Johnson and then finding a QB via trade or free agency would have been a much better idea. Despite having other talent in this draft, Johnson is probably the biggest star to join the NFL in 2007. You can argue that maybe Darrelle Revis or Adrian Peterson would have been the better pick, but Johnson could have been a franchise changing selection, and whomever you think they should have chosen here, they would have been light years better than Russell.
31 Detroit Lions – Darrelle Revis
Original Pick: Calvin Johnson
With the #2 overall pick, the Detroit Lions selected Calvin Johnson, and he went on to have a fantastic career, but with our redrafting, he would have been taken with the #1 pick, so that would have meant the Lions having to change up their pick, and with help in the secondary needed at the time, Darelle Revis is the perfect player for them. If Johnson couldn’t change the fortunes of this struggling franchise, it’s unlikely that Revis could have done it, but he went on to become one of the best shut down corners in the history of the game, so he would have been a great addition to this defense. As a Jets fan, I would have hated to see Revis end up somewhere else, but he is clearly the right pick for the Lions here after they lose Calvin Johnson at #1 to the Raiders.
30 Cleveland Browns – Joe Thomas
Original Pick: Joe Thomas
The Cleveland Browns are finally looking like turning their franchise around after a fantastic 2017 draft, but 10 years earlier they definitely had the chance to do it, and taking their veteran O-Lineman Joe Thomas is definitely still the play here. We will get to what they should do with the #22 pick later, but with Thomas, they have had one of the most reliable blockers in the NFL over the past 10 years, and if it wasn’t for the amount of QBs the team has gone through over that time, maybe he would be getting the recognition he deserves. He has earned a spot in the Pro Bowl every year during his NFL tenure and seven straight First Team All Pro selections, so he has been a lone bright spot for the Browns, if only they had of played the rest of this draft right, he might have experienced some team success over that time too.
29 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Ryan Kalil
Original Pick: Gaines Adams
Coming into the 2007 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were looking for help in the trenches, and unfortunately for them, they picked wrong, as they selected Gaines Adams out of Clemson who would only be with the team until 2009. If they had another chance, they would look to Ryan Kalil, a Center who has been a consistent force for the Carolina Panthers ever since that fateful draft night. Sure, Kalil might not be the impact type player they were looking for, but in 10 seasons, he has made five Pro Bowls and rarely missed time during that stretch, and that’s the kind of consistency that a young team at the time needed.
28 Arizona Cardinals – Joe Staley
Original Pick: Levi Brown
When putting these together, we have the value of hindsight, but those teams can only go off what their eyes see at the time, and at that time, it seemed like Levi Brown was a safe pick to solidify the Cardinals struggling O-Line, but if they had another chance, they most certainly wouldn’t go for Brown who was inconsistent and mediocre in his six years, and instead would have gone for the incredible consistent Joe Staley. Staley was originally drafted late in the first round, and he is still with the 49ers, and while that may not have been the immediate impact that a team is looking for, it certainly would have helped the Cardinals in the long run. Staley has five Pro Bowl selections, and has rarely missed time over his 10-year career, and while it might have been a reach to take him for some teams, the Cardinals certainly needed help on the O-Line, so this would be the perfect selection.
27 Washington Redskins – Patrick Willis
Original Pick: LaRon Landry
The Washington Redskins for so long have struggled to put together a good defense, so when they picked up the hard-hitting LaRon Landry, they thought he was the key to turning that around, and while he went on to have a great career, it would be much more beneficial to the team to bring in Patrick Willis, who could have made this entire unit elite for years. Their need was at the safety position, so no one can blame the Washington organization for drafting Landry, because he did a great job for the team, but in Patrick Willis, they would have had a leader on and off the field, who was also one of the most versatile players the NFL has ever seen. There was some very bad picks this draft, and some very good one which would have remained the same, but this was one of the only good ones that we ended up changing, simply because of how much of a game-changer Willis turned out to be.
26 Minnesota Vikings – Adrian Peterson
Original Pick: Adrian Peterson
Despite the fact that he has now moved on to the New Orleans Saints, Adrian Peterson was one of the best players to ever don the Minnesota Vikings uniform, and with no teams before them having a need to take a Running Back, it would make sense for them to again select him with the 7th overall pick. It would have been better if the team could have surrounded him with a little bit more talent during his tenure with the team, but he will go down as one of the greatest Running Back’s in the history of the NFL, and there’s few talents that can compare to him in this draft. The Vikings struggled as a team quite a bit over his tenure, but he almost took them to the Super Bowl and single handedly took them to the playoffs the year he broke the Rushing yardage record, and is one of the best to ever done the iconic purple uniform of the Vikings.
25 Atlanta Falcons – LaRon Landry
Original Pick: Jamal Anderson
The Atlanta Falcons have finally built a great defense, and combined with their prolific offense, they are set to quite possibly return to the Super Bowl this season, but they could have been a lot scarier if the team had of chosen to go with safety help instead of D-Line help in this draft. Originally, the hard-hitting Landry was taken several picks earlier, but with Willis going to the Redskins and the Falcons having the benefit of hindsight, this is the pick they definitely should have made. Arguments can be made that they could have gone for Eric Weddle or one of the other safeties in this draft, but Landry would have made a huge impact straight away, and would certainly have been the best fit for the team that would pick up Matt Ryan a year later.
24 #9: Miami Dolphins – Ted Ginn Jr.
Original Pick: Ted Ginn Jr.
Speed receivers in the NFL are some of the most dangerous players on the field, and a year ago with Cam Newton, we saw just how great Ted Ginn can be, so with another chance in the 2007 NFL Draft, it’s likely that the Dolphins would stick with their selection, and would be more confident in building around the all-around threat that Ginn has become. Dwayne Bowe may have been the more traditional receiver to take in this position, but Ginn is just such a dangerous threat, so if the Dolphins could have given him a good QB to facilitate his talents, he could have become huge for the team. He didn’t pan out for the team, but they have seen what he could have become, so I believe they would draft him again, and try build a bit better around him.
23 Houston Texans – Dwayne Bowe
Original Pick: Amobi Okoye
These days, the Houston Texans seem to be on the cusp of greatness every year, but there’s always one thing holding them back, and in 2007, that was a lack of a passing game outside of the legendary Andre Johnson. Picking up Dwayne Bowe, a man who has gone on to have a great NFL career would be the great pick here, especially considering Amobi Okoye went on to have a fairly unremarkable NFL career. The Texans were in need of D-Line help at the same time heading into this draft, so picking up a D-Lineman with plenty of promise wasn’t the worst idea, but few at the position from this draft succeeded. Dwayne Bowe probably wouldn’t have changed the fortunes of this franchise, but he would have been a great pickup, and a great compliment to Johnson, and could have helped build this team into an offensive force.
22 San Francisco 49ers – Jon Beason
Original Pick: Patrick Willis
The San Francisco Giants went to a Super Bowl back in 2011, and it was mostly due to their amazing defense, and the building of that team began in 2007 by drafting Patrick Willis. But with hindsight, he would have been off the board much earlier than #11 overall, so the team would need to replace him. So why not pick up the hard-hitting Jon Beason? He isn’t the player that Patrick Willis was, but he could have given the defense the backbone that Willis did over his career, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they would have preferred to go with secondary help, Beason would be the logical choice. Paul Posluszny would definitely be in the back of the 49ers minds, but Beason just fits what they would want their defense to be just a bit too much.
21 Buffalo Bills – Marshawn Lynch
Original Pick: Marshawn Lynch
Marshawn Lynch didn’t quite pan out for the Buffalo Bills, but that’s not his fault, as the team struggled to build a decent core around him, especially on the offensive side of the ball, but with the career he ended up having, and is still adding too in Oakland, it’s likely that the team would again choose the superstar Lynch. It’s the following years that made Buffalo struggle, as they are one of the few teams from the first round that made a great selection, but after seeing what Lynch did in Seattle, you can’t help but think they missed the boat on Beast Mode. After seeing his performances over a great career, a few teams ahead of the Bills could be tempted to take him earlier, but they had other needs, and the Bills likely wouldn’t hesitate to take Beast Mode again.
20 St. Louis Rams – LaMarr Woodley
Original Pick: Adam Carriker
The current Rams team is certainly built around their phenomenal defense, and it has been for quite some time, but they still could have improved it during this draft, and instead of taking Adam Carriker, they should have selected the man who would become a key part of the Steelers D, LaMarr Woodley. He was eventually taken in the second round, and although he wasn’t as big a part of that Steelers team as the likes of James Harrison or Troy Polamalu, he was certainly important, and would have filled a massive need for the then St. Louis Rams. This was a draft that was very light on defensive linemen, and with Carriker being the waste of a pick he was, Woodley would certainly be a massive upgrade.
19 New York Jets – Leon Hall
Original Pick: Darrelle Revis
The New York Jets weren’t a very good team at this time, so any kind of superstar with the 14th pick would have been good, but their biggest need at the time was at CB, and with Darelle Revis off the board at #2 in our redraft, the Bengals longtime CB Leon Hall is the obvious selection to make. He didn’t do too much during his nine-year stint with the NFL, but as a 14th pick, he would have been a great selection, as there wasn’t too much game changing talent left at this time, so he certainly would have been a good piece for their rebuilding process. This wouldn’t be a very exciting pick, but Revis helped turn this D around, and Hall wasn’t quite as good, but would be a worthy choice nonetheless.
18 Pittsburgh Steelers – Lawrence Timmons
Original Pick: Lawrence Timmons
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been incredibly consistent over the last few decades, and the main reason for that is the defense. In the 2007 draft, they added two key pieces to that, and despite the fact that they probably would lose LaMarr Woodley in a redraft, drafting Lawrence Timmons again would be a no-brainer. His career that is now continuing in Miami hasn’t come with many accolades, but he has been a very consistent force over those 10 years, and while there could be other picks to make here, for their team needs, you can imagine they’d be happy to take him again. Timmons was never an elite player in the league, but he contributed in a very consistent way for years, and at #15, Timmons is as good as any player they could get at this point of the 2007 Draft.
17 Green Bay Packers – Eric Weddle
Original Pick: Justin Harrell
The Green Bay Packers have been great for quite some time, and that’s due to the great QB play from Brett Farve and Aaron Rodgers, but they haven’t consistently won the Super Bowl like many fans think they should have, and that’s because of their defense. If they could have taken Pro Bowl Safety Eric Weddle, that could have very well changed. Weddle was a highly regarded prospect coming out of college, but he seemed like a risky pick at the time, but looking back on it, he could have completely changed the fortunes of a Packers franchise that was already looking good with Rodgers and Farve at QB.
16 Denver Broncos – Reggie Nelson
Original Pick: Jarvin Moss
Coming into this draft, the Broncos were looking to improve their stock on the defensive side of the ball, and unfortunately Jarvin Moss, the promising defensive end didn’t work out. So in a do-over, the pick would have to be Reggie Nelson, a safety who can do it all in the game of football, who has played well for the Jaguars, Bengals and now the Oakland Raiders. Nelson has been selected to two Pro Bowls over his career, and is easily the standout safety from this entire draft class, and could have been a difference maker for the Broncos, especially when paired with Von Miller who came into the league four years later. Taking Moss would certainly not enter the Broncos minds again, and any of these safeties would have been great choices, but Nelson would have helped the team most.
15 Cincinnati Bengals – Anthony Spencer
Original Pick: Leon Hall
The Bengals originally selected Cornerback Leon Hall in this draft, but with him being selected by the Jets this time around, they would likely look to their second biggest draft need, and that’s the linebacker position. Although Anthony Spencer didn’t have a long, illustrious career, he certainly would have been better than anyone else left on the board at that position. Hall was a decent player, but Spencer had the ability to change a game, and despite the fact that he was only selected to one Pro Bowl, he was a much more dangerous player than Hall, and maybe if he was selected by the Bengals this early, he could have completely changed his career.
14 Tennessee Titans – Sidney Rice
Original Pick: Michael Griffin
Heading into this draft, the Titans were looking for either receiver help or secondary help, and despite Michael Griffin becoming a fairly decent player, he didn’t make the impact they would have hoped, and with all the top receivers off the board at this point, Sidney Rice is the much better pick for this position, for both the long term and the short term. Rice may not have had the career that many expected of him, and that is due to several injuries, but in his early days, he was a huge threat from anywhere on the field, and that is the kind of strike power that the Titans desperately needed. Jacoby Jones is a little more versatile, so he could certainly be slotted in here, but Rice has the size that coaches love in a receiver, so that’s the logical selection here.
13 New York Giants – Paul Posluszny
Original Pick: Aaron Ross
Paul Posluszny is one of the more underrated linebackers in recent NFL history, and with the Giants wasting a pick on Aaron Ross here, it would have been much better to take the man who became the backbone of the Jaguars defense, who could have combined with Jason Pierre-Paul to make this a much more dynamic defense. Ross was on both of the Super Bowl winning Giants teams, but he was no more than a role player in this team, and with Posluszny, he could have been a difference maker to help this team become a lot more consistent. This team certainly did need secondary help, so you can see the thinking behind the pick, but it just didn’t turn out, and instead of taking Ross, the second-rounder Posluszny was the much better pick.
12 Jacksonville Jaguars – Brandon Meriweather
Original Pick: Reggie Nelson
With Reggie Nelson off the board, the Jacksonville Jaguars needed to add to their secondary, and it was a toss-up between Michael Griffin and Brandon Meriweather, but Meriweather, the Patriots' best safety for years would be a much better fit for this young Jaguars team. Meriweather was a very underrated player for quite some time, and while he didn’t excel in one area as a safety, he was good in every area you needed to be, and would have filled a very big need for this team. With their need at their pick falling at #21 overall, the Jaguars were very unlikely to change the fortunes of their franchise with this selection, but by adding Meriweather and a few other players in the coming years, and this could have been an above average pick for them.
11 Cleveland Browns – Marshall Yanda
Original Pick: Brady Quinn
We earlier touched on the fact that Cleveland would be wise to take Joe Thomas again with their #3 overall pick, but this one would have to change, as Brady Quinn, while a seemingly good pick at the time just didn’t work out, so adding two elite-level pass protectors in Thomas and Marshall Yanda certainly would have helped this teams growth a bit more. With Quinn, the Browns thought they were getting the future of the organization, but if they played their hands right here, they could have made a play at either Joe Flacco or Matt Ryan a year later, and with increased pass protection, that could have changed the franchise. It makes sense that a team stays away from drafting two of the same position in one first round, but if they could have done this, the team could have been on the rise 10 years ago like they are now.
10 Kansas City Chiefs – Jacoby Jones
Original Pick: Dwayne Bowe
At this time, and for the past 10 years, the Kansas City Chiefs have severely struggled to throw the ball, so this draft was a chance for them to get a game-changing WR. They took Dwayne Bowe who was their #1 for quite some time, and it’s likely they’d take him again given the chance, but in this redraft, Bowe has gone much earlier, so they need to look to another receiver to fill that void. With Ted Ginn also gone, Jacoby Jones is the most effective wide out left. The team was still struggling to find their QB, so a receiver like Jones who can return kicks and be effective in any phase of the game would be a much needed addition, and he might not have had the success of a traditional WR, but he certainly knew how to come up big in big moments, especially the Super Bowl in which he returned a kick off for a TD for the Ravens. It’s hard to say which of the two that KC would prefer, but either way they would be getting a fairly good receiver with this pick.
9 New England Patriots – Michael Griffin
Original Pick: Brandon Meriweather
Michael Griffin is one of many great safeties who came out of the 2007 NFL Draft, and in our redraft, the Titans would have opted to take Sidney Rice, leaving Griffin to be Brandon Meriweather’s replacement in New England. He had a great career over three teams, so can you imagine what he could have done under Bill Belichick in New England? Over a nine-year career, Griffin stuffed the stat-sheet, with several sacks, tackles, interceptions, forced and recovered fumbles, and although he is done for the time being, it’s likely he would have been the backbone of a New England defense. The Patriots didn’t need to go with a safety here, as they had another need or two, but this is easily the best selection for the team at this time.
8 Carolina Panthers – DaShon Goldson
Original Pick: Jon Beason
The Carolina Panthers currently have a great defense, but it wasn’t always that way, and the 2007 NFL Draft was a way to change that, and with Jon Beason going a bit earlier in the draft, the hard-hitting DaShon Goldson would be a great substitute, as he would have given the Panthers the attitude and edge that they have today with Luke Kuechly leading the group. Somehow, Goldson ended up going late in the 4th round, but looking back on the career he has had, as it included several Pro Bowl selections and a First Team All-Pro selection in 2012, he would have been better than anyone else at this point of the draft. Going from the 4th round to the 1st round is a huge leap, but Goldson would have been a great selection for a team that needed help in the secondary, and it’s not too surprising considering people like Brady Quinn and Jamarcus Russell were first rounders, which shows just how crazy this draft was.
7 Dallas Cowboys – James Jones
Original Pick: Anthony Spencer
The Dallas Cowboys at this time were in some serious need of receiver help, but instead of taking a chance on two or three of the receivers that ended up as great players, they went for Anthony Spencer, but if they took a chance on Green Bay’s James Jones, he could have been exactly what the team needed at the time. The team would pick up Superstar Dez Bryant several years later, and we know how well Jones played as a #2 in Green Bay, so they would have been a fantastic pairing, and with Spencer hypothetically off the board, it’s the only pick to make. Sure, you can make the argument that Robert Meachem would be the better pick, but Jones was much more consistent over his career, and would help the Cowboys quite a lot.
6 New Orleans Saints – Greg Olsen
Original Pick: Robert Meachem
Greg Olsen has played for two NFL teams over his 10 year career so far, and whether it be catching passes from Jay Cutler or Cam Newton, Olsen has been a star, so imagine what he could have been if the Saints paired him with Marques Colston and Drew Brees for the past 10 years. The team managed to grab a steal in Jimmy Graham three years later, but Olsen would have added another lethal weapon to their Super Bowl winning team, and with few weapons left on the board, it just makes sense. Tight end is one of the more underrated positions on the field, but we have seen how much of a difference maker a great TE can be, and with just two big names coming out of this draft, Olsen should definitely move up the board in any redraft of the 2007 NFL Draft.
5 San Francisco 49ers – Robert Meachem
Original Pick: Joe Staley
The San Francisco 49ers had two needs going into the draft, and that was someone to protect the QB, and someone for him to throw too, and with Joe Staley off the board, selecting someone like Robert Meachem would be a great idea, and would have been a good #2 for the team for years to come. Meachem was selected one pick earlier in the 2007 Draft, but with the Saints given a chance to do it over, they would certainly go with Greg Olsen, so with Meachem still available, he could help the team more than anyone left on the board. He certainly wouldn’t have changed the franchise, especially considering they now would have missed out on their best offensive lineman, but he certainly wouldn’t have been a bad selection late in the first round.
4 Baltimore Ravens – Jermon Bushrod
Original Pick: Ben Grubbs
In the original 2007 draft, the Baltimore Ravens lucked into Marshall Yanda in the third round, but he certainly would have gone by now in a redraft, so instead of using this pick on Ben Grubbs, the Ravens would be wise to pick up Jermon Bushrod, someone who fell to the fourth round himself. Bushrod certainly isn’t as consistent as the top four O-Linemen taken in this draft, but when he is on, he is one of the best in the entire NFL, and while he might not be a first round talent, this certainly would have filled a need that the Ravens ended up filling later on. The year later, the Ravens team picked up Joe Flacco, so having someone like Bushrod to protect him would certainly be a major positive, especially when all they ended up getting was someone who despite making two Pro Bowls, just isn’t as good as Jermon.
3 San Diego Chargers – Steve Smith
Original Pick: Craig Davis
Unfortunately for the Chargers, this isn’t THE Steve Smith, but with the waste of a pick that Craig Davis became, and the team's need for a wide receiver heading into the draft, this would just be a much better pick. And although he didn’t ever become a top receiver or a Pro Bowler, he would have helped compliment the rest of the Chargers offense. Ultimately, there weren’t many top stars left by this point of the draft (with Greg Olsen being the only one left, but TE wasn’t a need with Antonio Gates on the team already), so a very good #2 or #3 receiver would have been the best pick they could make. It’s hard to get a franchise-changing player at the #30 pick, and this one certainly wouldn’t have done that, but it’s certainly better than picking up Davis who did basically nothing for the franchise, as he struggled to crack 600 yards over a four-year career.
2 Chicago Bears – Zach Miller
Original Pick: Greg Olsen
The Chicago Bears had a few needs heading into the 2007 draft, but their biggest was another weapon on the offensive side of the ball, and with Greg Olsen off the board already, it only makes sense that they take the second-best tight end from the draft, Zach Miller. (And that's not the same Zach Miller who's currently a Bears TE.) He certainly didn’t last as long as Olsen, and he was nowhere near as consistent, but the offense needed a major boost at this time, and Miller is the only threat on that side of the ball left in the draft, so it certainly makes sense to take him here. With the Bears, Miller might have found a home that could have made him consistent, but he bounced between a few teams over his career, and had some great production, so giving him a home in Chicago could have done wonders for his career.
1 Indianapolis Colts – Alan Branch
Original Pick: Anthony Gonzalez
In 2006, the Indianapolis Colts fell short in the Super Bowl, despite being led by one of the best QB’s to ever play the game in Peyton Manning, and that’s because their defense needed some help, so instead of wasting this pick on Anthony Gonzalez, a WR who didn’t amount to much, they could have fortified their defense with Alan Branch, a big defensive tackle who has become a two-time Super Bowl Champion in his own right. He may have bounced around a fair bit over his still active 10-year career, but with the Manning dynasty in full swing in 2007, he would have become a staple on the defensive side of the ball for the Colts. His stats won’t tell you much about him, because he really is a great player at this point in his career, and the Colts sure would love to have this pick again.