There have been some pretty exciting NFL Drafts in the past five years with a lot of star power. In the first 11 picks alone in 2011, we have seen nine of them reach the Pro Bowl, including superstars like Cam Newton, Von Miller, A.J. Green, Patrick Peterson, Julio Jones, Tyron Smith and J.J. Watt.
The next year, everyone was looking forward to the quarterback battle at the top between Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. A third contender would emerge later in the draft in the form of Russell Wilson, while there were also stars like Luke Kuechly, Fletcher Cox and Harrison Smith all taken in the first round. Even 2014 has already produced megastars like Odell Beckham, Jr. and Khalil Mack.
But what about the 2013 NFL Draft? Some have called it the worst of all-time, but people aren’t really seeing the full picture. Yes, an offensive tackle out of Central Michigan that hasn’t been very effective was the first pick in the draft. Yes, EJ Manuel was the only quarterback taken in the first round. That doesn’t mean it was the “worst” draft, though.
There was plenty of talent to be found throughout the seven rounds and the undrafted free agent board, but people just give the draft a bad reputation because of the quarterback class, which probably was the worst of all-time. If teams had a chance to draft 2013 all over again, how would they do it? Here is the complete first round re-draft from 2013, starting with a Pro Bowl receiver moving up the board.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (DeAndre Hopkins)
Original Selection: Eric Fisher
Eric Fisher out of Central Michigan was the original top overall pick, but he certainly hasn’t played up to his potential. Regardless, the Chiefs have awarded him with a new contract, though you can tell that they would much rather have DeAndre Hopkins, but then again, any team would love to have someone like Hopkins on their team. Hopkins has improved every year and 2015 was a phenomenal season for the receiver, with 1,521 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. Considering the lack of output from Chiefs receivers over the past few years, they would have loved to have this one back, especially when you consider that there was a 21 game streak during Hopkins’ career where the Chiefs had no touchdowns from wide receivers. A lethal duo of Jeremy Maclin and DeAndre Hopkins would give defenses fits.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (Le’Veon Bell)
Original Selection: Luke Joeckel
The second player off of the board was another offensive tackle and one that has been a big disappointment thus far for the Jaguars. Luke Joeckel has looked lost at times in the NFL and he still doesn’t have the starting job locked down. You would think a fourth year, number two overall pick would have gotten that down by now. It’s gotten to the point that the Jags have declined to pick up his fifth year option, giving him one final year to prove himself.
Instead, the Jaguars could have bolstered their running game with a running back like Le’Veon Bell, who was originally selected 48th overall, who has quickly become one of the best in the game. Though he’s had issues with suspensions, when Bell plays all 16 games, he is capable of 2,215 total yards and 11 touchdowns like in 2014.
3. Miami Dolphins (Ezekiel Ansah)
Original Selection: Dion Jordan
While Luke Joeckel has been a disappointment for the Jaguars, Dion Jordan has been a downright bust so far for the Dolphins. The product out of Oregon has started just one game in three seasons and tallying just three sacks. Jordan even missed the entire 2015 season due to suspension and he might not even play much in 2016. They actually had to trade up to get Dion Jordan, moving up from 12th in a trade with the Oakland Raiders that they surely regret today.
Ezekiel Ansah out of BYU has had a much bigger impact, missing just two games in his three year career and would’ve made sense for the Dolphins, who traded up to get an elite push rusher. They would’ve had that with Ansah, who has 10 times as many sacks with 30 total, 14.5 of those coming in 2015, in a year where he made the Pro Bowl. He’s only going to get better, too.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (Lane Johnson)
Original Selection: Lane Johnson
The Eagles selected Lane Johnson fourth overall with the hopes of bolstering their offensive line that was already solid at the time. Fast forward three years later, and Johnson is pretty much the only bright spot on the offensive line. That is…if he’s not suspended. In his first three seasons, Johnson was one of the (if not the) best right tackles in the NFL. Even though he will be missing the first half of the 2016 season, after being suspended 10 games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy again, it would be hard for the Eagles not to take him again. Maybe this time they could talk some more sense into him about performance enhancing drugs. While he hasn’t made the Pro Bowl yet, if he can play a full season without being suspended, we think he can definitely crack the squad.
5. Detroit Lions (Travis Frederick)
Original Selection: Ezekiel Ansah
The Detroit Lions would no doubt love to draft Ziggy Ansah again if they had the chance, but he’s already off of the board, going third overall to the Miami Dolphins.
This time around, Detroit could get a little help on the offensive line front by taking center Travis Frederick out of Wisconsin. Frederick has already been selected to two Pro Bowls and is considered among the best centers in the league. Centers don’t usually get taken this high and the Cowboys were actually ridiculed for this pick, but Frederick has been a slam dunk for Dallas, not missing a single game thus far in his career. Plus, he would replace Travis Swanson, who is completely anonymous among NFL fans.
6. Cleveland Browns (Kyle Long)
Original Selection: Barkevious Mingo
A lot of people remember when the Browns took Barkevious Mingo out of LSU because he had a cool name, freakishly long arms and Jon Gruden couldn’t stop gushing about him. So far, though, the Browns have gotten next to nothing out of Mingo since his rookie season. In 2015, Mingo didn’t have a single sack and only totalled 13 tackles. Time is starting to run out for Mingo, as this could be his last season to prove himself in Cleveland.
As for Kyle Long, the guard has been an absolute stud for the Chicago Bears. Long has made the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons and has only missed one game in that time. Not only that, but he appears to continue his improvement, as the Bears found a huge piece for their offensive line in the 2013 Draft.
7. Arizona Cardinals (Tyrann Mathieu)
Original Selection: Jonathan Cooper
For a seventh overall pick, Jonathan Cooper has been completely hidden it seems. Cooper has started 11 games over the past two seasons (not playing in 2013), and was recently part of the deal that brought Chandler Jones to the Cardinals from New England. It’s hard to tell if this was a wasted pick as we haven’t seen much from Cooper, which will change this season as the Patriots needs him to step up due to injuries.
However, the Cardinals hit paydirt in the third round, 69th overall, when they drafted Tyrann Mathieu out of LSU, who is already an All-Pro. This time, the Cardinals would undoubtedly have to spend a first round pick on the Honey Badger, since it seems his off-field problems in college didn’t translate to the NFL, thankfully.
8. St. Louis Rams (Keenan Allen)
Original Selection: Tavon Austin
Tavon Austin out of West Virginia was the first wide receiver off of the board in 2013, and people were sure that he was going to be some quick playmaker that helped the Rams recreate the Greatest Show on Turf. Instead, they haven’t had a season where he has gotten more than 907 total yards, which is not what you expect from the eighth overall pick. He’s been a terrific kick and punter returner for the team, but the first receiver off the board should contribute more in the passing game.
Keenan Allen, a third round pick, 76th overall, by the Chargers, has been much more dynamic. His first season saw him eclipse the 1,000 yard mark and he would have been well on his way to a 1,400 yard season in 2015 had he not gotten hurt. Allen is still improving and will be an important part of the Chargers offense in the years to come.
9. New York Jets (Sheldon Richardson)
Original Selection: Dee Milliner
The Jets were able to pick up Sheldon Richardson out of Missouri with the 13th overall pick, but they might not want to wait that long in a re-draft. Compared to Dee Milliner, their original pick, Richardson has shown much better value with 180 tackles and 16.5 sacks. He has also been a versatile player, lining up at defensive tackle, defensive end and linebacker. He’s been suspended for the first game of the 2016 season and the Jets will hope this doesn’t become a reoccurring issue for their talented defensive star.
The same praise could not be given to Dee Milliner, who had a rough rookie season where he was benched multiple times. Speaking of multiple, Milliner has only played in five games since then due to injuries and needs a huge bounceback year to stay on the Jets roster.
10. Tennessee Titans (Eddie Lacy)
Original Selection: Chance Warmack
Chance Warmack out of Alabama has not been a poor choice for the Titans since he has started at guard in all but two games during his career. Warmack just hasn’t been a standout player like his college teammate Eddie Lacy has been.
Lacy and Warmack led a huge rushing charge at Alabama that won the 2012 National Title, but Lacy had to wait until the 61st pick to be drafted by the Green Bay Packers. In his first two seasons, Lacy was able to put up more than 1,100 rushing yards in each campaign, making the Pro Bowl in his rookie year. 2015 was a bit rough as he missed some time, but Lacy is still an effective playmaker that would sneak into the top 10 in a redraft.
11. San Diego Chargers (Terron Armstead)
Original Selection: D.J. Fluker
The Alabama train keeps rolling as the Chargers selected D.J. Fluker originally, who hasn’t been quite as impressive as he was while with the Crimson Tide. Fluker played left and right tackle his rookie season, then was moved to right tackle full time in the second season before being moved to right guard. He only played 12 games last season and the Chargers will be hoping for an improvement from him this season. The Chargers were hoping for a franchise left tackle at this position, not a right guard.
They could have had that in the form of Terron Armstead out of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, whom the Saints picked in the third round, 75th overall. Armstead is now one of the best left tackles out there and he has been locked up by New Orleans through the 2021 season. He still hasn’t made the Pro Bowl, but we expect that to change over the coming seasons.
12. Oakland Raiders (Darius Slay)
Original Selection: D.J. Hayden
If there’s one thing I learned about growing up in Michigan, it’s that Lions fans typically hate their team’s cornerbacks to the point where it’s scary. One of the rare ones that they actually like is Darius Slay, who was taken in the second round in 2013. Slay has been a pleasant surprise that just inked a four-year extension while D.J. Hayden hasn’t lived up to expectations and fans were already calling for Hayden to be cut in the offseason. Slay has already started 36 games compared to Hayden’s 23 games, making much more of an impact on the field than him at the same time. While their interception totals are fairly equal with Slay having four to Hayden’s three, there is no doubt that Slay presents a bigger threat to opposing quarterbacks so far in his career.
13. New York Jets (Kawann Short)
Original Selection: Sheldon Richardson
The New York Jets get their second pick in the first round since they made a deal with the Buccaneers to pick up Sheldon Richardson. Since they already took him with the ninth pick, they get another defensive stud to bolster their corps. This time it’s Kawann Short out of Purdue, a second round pick, 44th overall, of the Panthers. Short has already become a star pass rusher from the defensive tackle position with 11 sacks in 2015. Short was named to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams and looks to be continuously improving. While Cam Newton gets all the credit, Short was a big part of the Panthers’ 15-1 season in 2015 and will need to be equally good for the Panthers to match their previous season. He’s due to become an unrestricted free agent after this season, so if he can continue this play, he’ll be in line for a HUGE contract.
14. Carolina Panthers (Star Lotulelei)
Original Selection: Star Lotulelei
Speaking of the Carolina Panthers, here’s another defensive tackle that they picked up in 2013. While the Panthers would much rather have Kawann Short at this point than Star Lotulelei, it’s a nice consolation prize that they would like to bring back once again. Lotulelei, from Utah, has been a space eater for the Panthers and a huge part of why Kawann Short was able to have such an impressive 2015 season. So far in his career, he has six sacks and 68 solo tackles, while making life difficult for offensive lineman and allowing his talented teammates to hit the quarterback for him.
While he doesn’t have big sack numbers and hasn’t made a Pro Bowl yet, he still puts a lot of pressure on the quarterback and those that watch the battles in the trenches know just how good Lotulelei is.
15. New Orleans Saints (Eric Reid)
Original Selection: Kenny Vaccaro
I was thinking about this pick and which player was better between Eric Reid and Kenny Vaccaro. Both were star safeties in college that were taken in the teens during the first round, but Reid has shown more versatility. Vaccaro might be a victim of circumstance since he has been lumped in with the rest of the New Orleans defense that was historically bad in 2015. On top of that, Reid has four more interceptions so far and already has a Pro Bowl appearance under his belt, while Vaccaro hasn’t been in contention for one just yet. Reid is also just a little bit bigger, which is something that the Saints could use right now. At the end of the day, though, it would be like trying to stop a leak on a cruise ship with a band-aid.
16. Buffalo Bills (Jamie Collins)
Original Selection: EJ Manuel
It’s hard to believe that the only quarterback taken in the entire first round of the 2013 NFL Draft was EJ Manuel. Do you want to know what the worst part about that is? Manuel might still be the best quarterback taken in the entire draft because his only competition at this point is Geno Smith, who has been terrible for the Jets. It was that bad. Now that the Bills have Tyrod Taylor, who they recently signed to a huge extension, there is no need to bring in Manuel in a re-draft.
This time, the Bills would love to stick it to their rivals, the Patriots, by taking their outside linebacker Jamie Collins out of Southern Miss. Collins was a Pro Bowler and All-Pro in 2015 and the Bills really could have used him behind their impressive front line. At the same time, they would be weakening the Patriots, who have depended on Collins over the last couple of years.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers (Tyler Eifert)
Original Selection: Jarvis Jones
In the 2013 NFL Draft, the Steelers selected Jarvis Jones out of Georgia. Though he started in all 15 games that he played in 2015, he has not been the consistent answer that they were looking for at the outside linebacker position. He’s only managed five sacks over three years and doesn’t seem like he’ll be a difference maker for the Steelrs as a pass rusher.
There were better options on the board at the time of this pick, including Tyler Eifert out of Notre Dame. Eifert would have been a fantastic replacement for Heath Evans and it also would have taken a red zone target away from the Bengals. In 2015 alone, Eifert scored 13 touchdowns and combining him with Antonio Brown would have been a nightmare for defenses.
18. San Francisco 49ers (Jordan Reed)
Original Selection: Eric Reid
The 49ers probably wouldn’t mind seeing Eric Reid come back to the team if they were to draft in the 18th position once again, but we have him going just a few spots ahead of this slot to the New Orleans Saints.
Still, picking up a player like Jordan Reed is certainly not a bad thing. Reed has a chance to become one of the best tight ends in the league and he was better than each one except for maybe Rob Gronkowski in 2015. Reed was a third round pick for the Redskins and he was good for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns last season, despite only playing in 14 games and starting nine of them. The only downside for Reed is that he hasn’t had a full season yet due to injuries. Well, that and the random dumb penalties.
19. New York Giants (Xavier Rhodes)
Original Selection: Justin Pugh
The Giants selected Justin Pugh, a guard out of Syracuse, with the 19th pick in 2013. While Pugh has been a consistent starter in his first three seasons, missing just four games, it’s quite apparent that the Giants need more help at stopping the pass and Pugh hasn’t been good enough to force their hand despite that issue.
That’s where Xavier Rhodes comes in, a player that has helped the Vikings revamp their defense and become one of the better teams in the league. Rhodes was originally drafted 25th overall by the Vikings and had started every game from them over the last two seasons. In 2015, the Giants ranked dead last in passing offense, giving up 4,783 passing yards. Basically any cornerback in the draft would have helped and Rhodes is certainly a good one.
20. Chicago Bears (Justin Pugh)
Original Selection: Kyle Long
Kyle Long has been phenomenal with the Bears in his first three seasons, which is why he has already been taken off of the board long before Chicago gets to pick in the re-draft, going sixth overall to the Cleveland Browns. If there were trades allowed in the re-draft, Chicago might have traded up just to get Long back. Instead, they have to settle with a guard to take his spot and it’s the same player that the Giants just passed on re-selecting; Justin Pugh. Although Pugh doesn’t quite have the ceiling that Long has, he has shown a lot of versatility, and is actually a couple of years younger than Long, giving him more time in the league. He’s only missed four game so far and has shown the durability that teams looks for in their offensive lineman. He makes for a decent consolation prize for the Bears after losing out on Long.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (Travis Kelce)
Original Selection: Tyler Eifert
The Bengals franchise and their fans love Tyler Eifert, and would welcome him back in the re-draft with open arms. However, Eifert went to the rival Steelers earlier in the first round, so the Bengals need a tight end here to replace him. The 2013 class ended up being a very solid one for tight ends, so the Bengals get Travis Kelce this time around. Kelce was a third round pick, 63rd overall, by the Chiefs out of Cincinnati, but this time he gets to stay home. Many believe that Kelce has an extremely high ceiling and could become one of the top five TEs in the league, something that Andy Dalton might be able to get out of him.
Kelce has had five touchdowns in each of his last two seasons, and has had 862 and 875 yards. When that’s the third best tight end in the class, you have something good going.
22. Atlanta Falcons (Desmond Trufant)
Original Selection: Desmond Trufant
While the Falcons have been one of the more inconsistent franchises over the past few years, one thing that has been consistent is the play of Desmond Trufant. Trufant, the cornerback out of Washington, was the 22nd overall pick and would remain that way if he fell to the Falcons in the re-draft. Trufant has not missed a single game in his first three NFL seasons, and he has totaled six interceptions while making his first Pro Bowl appearance in 2015. Atlanta was 18th best against the pass in 2015, but it was certainly not the fault of Trufant, who is a rising star in the league. Since the Falcons need to go against top QBs like Drew Brees, Cam Newton and the emerging Jameis Winston twice year, they have no reason to change this pick and likely wish they could have a couple of Desmond Trufants patrolling their secondary.
23. Minnesota Vikings (Johnathan Hankins)
Original Selection: Sharrif Floyd
The Vikings took Sharrif Floyd from Florida with the 23rd pick hoping that he would turn into a defensive stud. If they were to get one of their current players back from this draft, it would most definitely be Xavier Rhodes, but he has already been selected. With that said, Floyd has been a decent player for the Vikings, but not quite what they were hoping for. He’s only managed 9.5 sacks so far and has only started 24 out of the 43 games he’s been in.
Johnathan Hankins, the second round pick of the Giants, 49th overall, has shown a little more potential, especially when it comes to rushing the passer. People are expecting big things from Hankins now that he has switched positions after returning from injury and could be a star if he lives up to his ceiling in 2016.
24. Indianapolis Colts (Sharrif Floyd)
Original Selection: Bjoern Werner
If the Vikings wouldn’t want to bring Sharrif Floyd back in the re-draft, the Colts would be more than happy to take him off of their hands. That’s because the Colts originally drafted one of the biggest disappointments of the first round, Bjoern Werner. Werner was a project pick out of Germany that attended Florida State and the Colts thought they really got a steal. Instead, all they got was 6.5 sacks in three seasons and Werner didn’t even start a single game for Indianapolis in 2015. He’s since moved on from the Colts, signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he’ll hope to get his career on track in 2016. He’ll face a lot of competition there and we wouldn’t bet on a redemption story.
As for Floyd, the Colts would certainly fit him into the starting lineup after struggling on defense in 2015.
25. Minnesota Vikings (Jarvis Jones)
Original Selection: Xavier Rhodes
The Vikings are back on the board just two picks later,and this is where they originally took Xavier Rhodes in 2013, who went 19th overall in our re-draft to the New York Giants. With both of their original first round picks already off of the board, they would likely continue to go for defensive help. Jarvis Jones would help to fill in for the Vikings, who has slipped from the 17th spot due to some inconsistencies. Still, Jones has shown that he is a first round talent (at least in terms of the 2013 class). Jones has the ability to play any of the linebacker spots, which is something that you could always use no matter how many linebackers you have on your roster. Though his sack totals have left plenty to be desired, as he only has five sacks in three seasons, he’s still shown a lot of potential and it’s entirely possible he can turn his career around.
26. Green Bay Packers (C.J. Anderson)
Original Selection: Datone Jones
So far, the Packers haven’t been all that impressed with Datone Jones out of UCLA, who has started just three games in his first three seasons. They are hoping that him shedding weight and moving positions will help, but that remains to be seen. After eight sacks, in those three seasons, the Packers would probably look elsewhere, bringing in C.J. Anderson.
The Packers’ second round pick, Eddie Lacy, is already off the board, as we had him going 10th overall to the Titans, so they need a running back. C.J. Anderson went undrafted in 2013, but he has been solid for the Broncos, posting a 4.7 yards per carry mark in 2015. He’s yet to crack 1,000 yards, but has been a solid touchdown machine.
27. Houston Texans (Theo Riddick)
Original Selection: DeAndre Hopkins
The Texans hit an absolute home run at this spot in 2013 when they picked up DeAndre Hopkins out of Clemson. Sadly for Houston, getting him again would require a very expensive trade as he went first overall to Kansas City in our re-draft.
While Theo Riddick isn’t anywhere near dynamic as Hopkins, the Notre Dame product is certainly a valuable asset. Although Riddick is listed at running back, most of his work comes through the air as he had nearly 700 receiving yards in 2015 to go along with 133 rushing yards, with scoring three receiving thouchdowns. Riddick would have been a great fit for the Texans, who have just recently found a running back solution with Lamar Miller.
28. Denver Broncos (Kiko Alonso)
Original Selection: Sylvester Williams
This was a pretty tough choice to make as both players have had some ups and downs to their careers. Sylvester Williams was the 28th pick out of North Carolina while Kiko Alonso went in the second round, 46th overall, to the Bills. Williams hasn’t been all that special, while Alonso showed flashes of greatness before hitting some speed bumps. Williams hasn’t had his rookie option picked up by the Broncos, which should tell you they aren’t that high on him. He’s only managed 4.5 sacks for the defensive tackle position, despite being a consistant start on a great defense. Maybe Von Miller just kept getting there too quickly for him?
Maybe a change of scenery for Alonso would be better, as he was solid in Buffalo in 2013 before getting injured, missing the entire 2014 season and then getting traded. He will have another chance in Miami, so we’ll see if this would end up being a good pick.
29. Minnesota Vikings (Chance Warmack)
Original Selection: Cordarrelle Patterson
Hey look, everyone, the Minnesota Vikings are selecting in the first round again. That’s right, Minnesota had three selections in 2013, and this was by far the weakest of the bunch. Cordarrelle Patterson keeps being the guy that has “unmet potential” even though it seems obvious that he isn’t going to be much of a factor in the NFL, despite him showing flashes with long touchdown runs that seemingly come out of nowhere. He was actually an All-Pro in 2013 due to his work in the return game, but a first round WR should contribute more in the passing game. With only 863 receiving yards in his first three seasons, the Vikings would prefer something more consistent.
Chance Warmack slipped down the board in the re-draft, but is still a solid player and a starting guard would be an upgrade for the Vikings compared to what Patterson is bringing to the table.
30. St. Louis Rams (Alec Ogletree)
Original Selection: Alec Ogletree
I wasn’t sure whether to put St. Louis or Los Angeles for this selection, but the Rams were in St. Louis in 2013, so I’m going with that. The Rams took linebacker Alec Ogletree with this pick originally and they would likely stick with that plan once again. Ogletree was a solid player for the Rams in his first two seasons, racking up 179 tackles and not missing a single game. Ogletree was off to a good start in 2015 before a broken leg put him on injured reserve and now he will be an inside linebacker in 2016. Though he’s not a flashy player, the Rams do like him and he would be on the roster again. This is not the kind of pick that gets fans to come to the stadium, but Ogletree is a solid player on a solid Rams defense, so they wouldn’t change their pick here.
31. Dallas Cowboys (D.J. Fluker)
Original Selection: Travis Frederick
The Cowboys had one of the biggest steals of the first round when they picked Travis Frederick with the 31st spot, even though they were mocked for their selection at the time. It’s not often you get an All-Pro this late in the first round this soon into their careers. While the Cowboys would definitely do it all over again, that’s not going to be an option since he’s long gone, as we had the Lions take him fifth overall.
Instead, the Cowboys could have stuck with their plan to build the offensive line, taking D.J. Fluker out of Alabama after he dropped from 11th overall. There might not be a spot for Fluker right away, but the Cowboys seem to have a knack for turning offensive line projects into stars, so maybe they could do the same here.
32. Baltimore Ravens (Latavius Murray)
Original Selection: Matt Elam
Ever since Ray Rice was suspended for his domestic violence incident, the Ravens have been looking for stability at the running back position. While Justin Forsett has been a decent replacement, he isn’t quite the game-breaker that they need. Latavius Murray, when healthy, has been a solid running back that already broke the 1,000 yard mark in a single season. He’s part of an interesting core for the Oakland Raiders, along with Derek Carr and Amari Cooper, and they hope he can be an elite runner who gets them into the postseason. He’s on his way, as he made the Pro Bowl in 2015, after rushing for 1,066 yards and six touchdowns. Murray would be the replacement pick for Matt Elam, a safety that has struggled since coming into the league and has had injury problems of his own, missing the entire 2015 season.
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