2014 NFL Draft Review/Redo

Have you ever wished you could do something over? Here, I review last year's first-round picks in the NFL Draft and redo some of the selections from the class of 2014.

We all wish we could get a do-over with certain things we have done in our lives.

What would happen if there was a do-over with last year's first round draft picks? Let's review the first 32 and see who sticks and who picks a different player.

Note - In this exercise the order re-set to the original assigned 32 teams and their draft spots and no trades were included. For example it's very doubtful Minnesota trades up and back into the first round with Seattle at No. 32 overall if Teddy Bridgewater is off the board.

1) Houston Texans

Pick: (DE) Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina)
Draft do-over selection: (QB) Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville)
I can’t fault the Texans for picking Clowney. You have to take him because players with his physical attributes and abilities come around once in a generation. Add to the fact that at this time last year it was perceived that there wasn’t a slam dunk quarterback out there like an Andrew Luck or Peyton Manning that you could gobble up with the No. 1 overall pick. Still, Clowney was a huge disappointment but that wasn’t entirely his fault. He battled injuries and only played in four games before succumbing to a season ending knee injury. The draft do-over pick here is quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. He played very well as a rookie in Minnesota. He started a dozen games and led the Vikings to a 7-9 record. He progressed nicely through the season with no Adrian Peterson and much help at the wide receiver position. Bridgewater would have given the Texans great promise at this position and a possible playoff berth in 2014. Instead, Houston had to go with Ryan Mallett, Case Keenum and Ryan Fitzpatrick last year.

2) St. Louis Rams

Pick: (OT) Greg Robinson (Auburn)
Draft do-over selection: (DT) Aaron Donald (Pitt)
The irony here is that St. Louis drafted both of these players, Robinson at this spot and Donald with their second first round selection. In this exercise I have the Rams selecting both players once again but Donald first. He joined what was already the NFL’s most feared defensive front. Donald was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after recording 47 tackles and nine sacks. He was also a Pro Bowler. If Jeff Fisher had to do it all over again my guess is that this is the player he would want first. It’s not that Robinson played poorly. He first started inside at guard but moved to tackle for the final stretch of the season once St. Louis lost starter Jake Long because of injury. Robinson got better and better as the season progressed.

3) Jacksonville Jaguars

Pick: (QB) Blake Bortles (UCF)
Draft do-over selection: Blake Bortles
The Jaguars have to be very excited about their future, especially at the quarterback position with Bortles. If Jacksonville has to do it all over again they pick the former UCF signal caller. As a rookie, Bortles showed so much promise, poise and leadership as their starter for most of the season. It was a season he was supposed to sit and learn but he took over control of the Jags offense in late September. Bortles passed for just under 3,000 yards, 11 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. This is a young team that will have a chance to grow up together with what looks like a future franchise quarterback. That’s what Jacksonville is banking on.

4) Cleveland Browns

Pick: (CB) Justin Gilbert (Oklahoma State)
Draft do-over selection: (WR) Odell Beckham, Jr. (LSU)
The Browns made several day one draft day moves that are not taken in consideration in this exercise. They originally traded spots with Buffalo and moved back and selected cornerback Justin Gilbert. Here, Cleveland stays put. They opt to take the electric wide receiver from Baton Rouge in Odell Beckham, Jr. He had a brilliant rookie campaign for the Giants and was one of many impact players at wide receiver. Beckham posted huge numbers in 2014, finishing with 91 receptions, for 1,305 yards and a dozen touchdowns and showed the NFL he’s one of the most explosive players in the league. He would also give the Browns a playmaker on the perimeter they do desperately need.

5) Oakland Raiders

Pick: (OLB) Khalil Mack (Buffalo)
Draft do-over selection: Khalil Mack
Hey, what do you know? The Raiders got one right! Actually, Oakland got a lot of it right with their 2014 draft. You have to commend general manager Reggie McKenzie and his staff with a job well done. It’s starts with their first selection in Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack. In this draft do over the Raiders pray he’s still available at No. 5 because he was sensational in the silver and black as a rookie. Mack registered 76 tackles and four sacks. He didn’t win the award but Mack played like a rookie of the year.

6) Atlanta Falcons

Pick: (OT) Jake Matthews (Texas A&M)
Draft do-over selection: (DE) Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina)
Atlanta has high hope for their first round pick in Matthews. But he battled injuries and inconsistent play as a first year Falcon. In this draft do-over Atlanta can’t pass on the potential of Clowney. No rookie disappointed more and you have to believe he has an extremely bright future. Clowney would be a race car on the edge on that Georgia Dome turf.

7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Pick: (WR) Mike Evans (Texas A&M)
Draft do-over selection: (OL) Zack Martin (Notre Dame)
The Bucs would be perfectly content with Evans. He had a great rookie season despite bad quarterback play behind an even worse offensive line. That’s why the do-over selection here is offensive tackle/guard Zack Martin. Martin played and started the entire season at right guard and made the All-Pro Team. He was the first Cowboy rookie to do that since Calvin Hill in 1969. That’s all you need to know about his play, as he was one of the game’s best guards in year one. Martin would give Tampa Bay an immediate presence they so sorely need in the trenches, whether it’s at guard or tackle.

8) Minnesota Vikings

Pick: (OLB) Anthony Barr (UCLA)
Draft do-over selection: Anthony Barr
With Bridgewater and Bortles gone I would imagine that the Vikings would be very tempted to take Derek Carr here with their do-over selection. Instead, coach Mike Zimmer and GM Rick Spielman don’t do a thing and stay with their original selection of Barr from UCLA. He posted 70 tackles and four sacks in 12 starts with Minnesota. He finished the year on the injured reserve (knee). There’s no question that he was one of the top rookies in this draft class. Barr showed the Vikings brass that he was no project and could do a little bit of everything.

9) Buffalo Bills

Pick: (WR) Sammy Watkins (Clemson)
Draft do-over selection: Sammy Watkins
The Bills were so excited about Watkins and wanted him so desperately that they traded spots with Cleveland last season to nab him, giving up their 2015 first round pick. In this do-over selection Buffalo stays put and lands this former Clemson standout at the No. 9 spot. Watkins had a very good rookie season despite the quarterback issues for the Bills. He caught 65 passes for 982 yards and six touchdowns. His reception and yards total were Buffalo rookie records. Barring injury, Watkins is going to have a very good NFL career.

10) Detroit Lions

Pick: (TE) Eric Ebron (North Carolina)
Draft do-over selection: (OT) Taylor Lewan (Michigan)
The Lions thought Ebron would bring another dynamic to defend with the Detroit offense but he posted some very pedestrian numbers his rookie season, catching only 25 passes and scoring only one touchdown. They don’t go this route with their do-over selection. Instead, the Lions go local. This time they take former Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan. He had the best season of all the rookie tackles for the Titans before a season ending injury (high ankle sprain) late in the year.

11) Tennessee Titans

Pick: (OT) Taylor Lewan (Michigan)
Draft do-over selection: (CB) Jason Verrett (TCU)
With Tennessee’s real pick off the board (Lewan) the Titans turn their attention to defense, specifically the secondary where they look to address concerns at the cornerback position. There were a handful of quality rookies here that had good seasons. None were better than Jason Verrett. This former TCU star played really well in San Diego in year one. A shoulder injury cut Verrett’s season short.

12) New York Giants

Pick: (WR) Odell Beckham, Jr. (LSU)
Draft do-over selection: (WR) Mike Evans (Texas A&M)
The Giants real pick is long gone. Here, they opt for another top rookie wideout in Mike Evans from Texas A&M. He had a fantastic 2014 campaign for the inept Bucs, catching 68 passes for 1,051 yards and 12 touchdowns. Evans is a completely different wide receiver than Beckham. He’s huge at 6-foot-5 and I am sure Eli Manning would find ways to get him the football down field.

13) St. Louis Rams

Pick: (DT) Aaron Donald (Pitt)
Draft do-over selection: (OT) Greg Robinson (Auburn)
Please see St. Louis and their first selection.

14) Chicago Bears

Pick: (CB) Kyle Fuller (Virginia Tech)
Draft do-over selection: Kyle Fuller
Fuller really played well early on for Chicago. He finished with 64 tackles, four interceptions, three forced fumbles and 10 deflections. If they got a draft do-over I would imagine that they would do it all over again, as Fuller showed he can play in the NFL.

15) Pittsburgh Steelers

Pick: (OLB) Ryan Shazier (Ohio State)
Draft do-over selection: Ryan Shazier
When he played Shazier played very well. The problem was he battled injury (sprained MCL) and was limited to only nine games. But I believe he showed enough to Pittsburgh and he’s a huge part of their future defense. Shazier can run like a deer and make plays all over the field.

16) Dallas Cowboys

Pick: (OL) Zach Martin (Notre Dame)
Draft do-over selection: (MLB) C.J. Mosley (Alabama)
Martin was gobbled up by the Bucs at No. 7 in this exercise so here Jerry Jones elects to select inside linebacker C.J. Mosley over defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan and defensive end Kony Ealy. Mosley was one of the best rookies in a very good rookie class. All he did was post a 133 tackle season for the Ravens. He would be a nice addition to the Dallas defense, especially considering Sean Lee missed the season because of injury.

17) Baltimore Ravens

Pick: (MLB) C.J. Mosley (Alabama)
Draft do-over selection: (DT) Tim Jernigan (FSU)
Jernigan was the second most productive player at his position behind Donald. He starred for the Ravens and was a Baltimore second round steal in the for real draft one year ago. He finished with 23 tackles and four sacks. Here the Ravens use their first round pick on him.

18) New York Jets

Pick: (S) Calvin Pryor (Louisville)
ReDraft do-over selection: do pick: (WR) Kelvin Benjamin (FSU)
Prior wasn’t a bust or even bad in year one. He had his moments. But the Jets could have really used a big play, big wide receiver on the outside for their offense. Benjamin was a first round steal for the Panthers. He caught 73 passes for 1,008 yards and nine scores. Benjamin was a monster in Carolina.

19) Miami Dolphins

Pick: (OT) Juwuan James (Tennessee)
Draft do-over selection: (OT) Jake Matthews (Texas A&M)
James started with a bang and many thought he could be a huge steal for the Dolphins early. Then he pretty much played like a rookie the rest of the way and appears to be a reach with where they selected him. Time will tell. Matthews was also a disappointment in Atlanta but he fared better than James. If he’s available in this exercise for Miami than the fish have to take Matthews here.

20) Arizona Cardinals

Pick: (S) Deone Bucannon (Washington State)
Draft do-over selection: Deone Bucannon
I could make a real strong argument here that the Cardinals should redo their first round selection and go with the big back from LSU in Jeremy Hill. He was a total stud for the Bengals as a rookie and would match well with Andre Ellington. I believe Arizona would make the same selection in safety Deone Bucannon. He made some plays and finished with 81 tackles and a pair of sacks. Here, the Cardinals stay in their original spot. They swapped positions with the Saints in the first round one year ago.

21) Green Bay Packers

Pick: (S) HaHa Clinton-Dix (Alabama)
Draft do-over selection: HaHa Clinton-Dix
It’s the same pick for the Packers, as Clinton-Dix solidified the back end of the Green Bay secondary. He had a nice year, finishing with 94 tackles and three interceptions playing free safety.

22) Philadelphia Eagles

Pick: (OLB) Marcus Smith (Louisville)
Draft do-over selection: (CB) E.J. Gaines (Missouri)
Just pick a cornerback or safety for the Philadelphia do-over selection. Here, I made the pick of a cornerback from the SEC in Gaines from Missouri. He was a late round steal by the Rams and played as well as any rookie defensive back in this draft class. Gaines recorded 70 tackles, two picks and had 14 pass deflections. More importantly, Gaines only gave up one touchdown pass all season.

23) Kansas City Chiefs

Pick: (DE) Dee Ford (Auburn) Draft do-over selection: (WR) Brandin Cooks (Oregon State)
The most absurd stat of the 2014 season is that no Kansas City wide receiver caught a touchdown pass. How is that possible in today’s NFL, especially with the Chiefs who are coached by Andy Reid? That’s simply unbelievable to me. KC’s do-over selection is wide receiver Brandin Cooks from Oregon State. He had a nice season in a bad year for the Saints. Cooks season was cut short because of injury. He would be an ideal fit in Reid’s west coast offense.

24) Cincinnati Bengals

Pick: (CB) Darqueze Dennard (Michigan State)
Draft do-over selection: (RB) Jeremy Hill (LSU)
Hill was the Bengals second round selection. He played like a first rounder and goes here with the do-over pick. Once he got comfortable in Cincinnati’s offense Hill ran the ball as good and as hard as anyone. He looks like a great find by this franchise.

25) San Diego Chargers

Pick: (CB) Jason Verrett (TCU)
Draft do-over selection: (DE) Kony Ealy (Missouri)
Verrett was picked in this exercise a while back. The Chargers could go with another corner or they could select defensive lineman Kony Ealy from Missouri. He’s the guy here and he played well for the Panthers at both end and tackle. Ealy was their second round selection. He would give the Chargers front the same versatility.

26) Cleveland Browns

Pick: (QB) Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M)
Draft do-over selection: (QB) Derek Carr (Fresno State)
The Browns moved up four spots in a trade with the Eagles (swapped spots) and picked Johnny Manziel. No way they would do that again. Carr had a nice season for the Raiders and showed so much promise on a pretty bad football team. He’s certainly a guy they can build around, which is the thinking here of why Cleveland would want a do-over. Carr looks like he can develop into a franchise quarterback.

27) New Orleans Saints

Pick: (WR) Brandin Cooks (Oregon State)
Draft do-over selection: (CB) Bradley Roby (Ohio State)
Cooks was a good player on an inconsistent New Orleans offense last fall. They were very un-Saints like and the defense was even worse. New Orleans needs corner help and that’s why the do-over goes to Bradley Roby from Ohio State. He was the Broncos first pick and he played well in the Mile High City, recording 65 tackles, two interceptions and 13 pass deflections.

28) Carolina Panthers

Pick: (WR) Kelvin Benjamin (FSU)
Draft do-over selection: (WR) Jordan Matthews (Vanderbilt)
With Benjamin off the board already the Panthers turn their attention to another bigger wide receiver (although not Benjamin’s size) in Jordan Matthews. He had a very good season in Philly, catching 67 passes for 872 yards and eight touchdowns.

29) New England Patriots

Pick: (DT) Dominique Easley (Florida)
Draft do-over selection: (OL) Joel Bitonio (Nevada)
Easley played well for the Patriots and then hurt his knee… again. I think if the Patriots could do it all over again they would take a strong look here at Joel Bitonio from Nevada. He had a killer season for Cleveland at guard and may have been the second best rookie OL behind Martin. They would have loved his game in New England, especially after trading away Logan Mankins to Tampa Bay.

30) San Francisco 49ers

Pick: (S) Jimmie Ward (Northern Illinois)
Draft do-over selection: (CB) Darqueze Dennard (Michigan State)
The 49ers need help in a lot of places and here they get cornerback Darqueze Dennard. He had a disappointing rookie campaign in Cincinnati. He battled some injuries and a handful of talented veterans and didn’t get as much playing time as he would have liked.

31) Denver Broncos

Pick: (CB) Bradley Roby (Ohio State)
Draft do-over selection: (CB) Justin Gilbert Oklahoma State
Gilbert was the first defensive back taken off the board in the real draft by the Browns at No. 8 overall. He was supposed to be paired with Joe Haden, giving Cleveland a super one-two punch at that position. Gilbert didn’t get off to a good start and lost time because of injuries. He came on later in the year. Gilbert finished with only 29 tackles and an interception.

32) Seattle Seahawks

Draft do-over selection:: (WR) Jarvis Landry (LSU)
Seattle didn’t have a first round pick. They traded out of this spot to Minnesota, who eventually took quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Here, the Seahawks get a do-over and land Jarvis Landry. This wide receiver from LSU had a good season with the Dolphins, finishing with 84 receptions for 758 yards and five scores.

Related stories: NFL Rosters Breakdown Series
Part 1 - Daddy, where are NFL players from?
Part 2- Where do student-athletes major in the NFL?
Part 3 - Drafted vs Undrafted Players
Part 4 – Positional Breakdowns of the NFL: Where are they from?
Part 5 - NFL Veterans: Where are they from?
Part 6 – Top NFL Producing High Schools

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