Interesting read. 2005 Draft day reduxWhat if teams had a chance to change their picks?Hindsight is a beautiful thing to have on your side when it comes to the NFL Draft. Looking back at what should have happened is so much easier than predicting what's going to take place. But for the second year in a row, we're taking a crack at re-doing the draft's first round, given that we know now what we wish we knew then.There wasn't any clear-cut Ben Roethlisberger-type correction to make this time around. But we're still going by the basic tenet that rookie-season production carries the day over projection in this draft redux. In most cases we've re-ordered the first round to account for late-season realities, and reward those players who already have proven themselves NFL ready.Here's the way things should have unfolded in New York on April 23on Banks' Revised Draft Position Team 1 San Francisco 49ersSHAWNE MERRIMAN, LB, MarylandOriginal pick: Alex Smith, QB, UtahMaybe Smith will develop into a Pro Bowl quarterback in San Francisco, but as of this writing, he still hasn't thrown his first NFL touchdown pass. Merriman, who went 12th to San Diego, has made a bigger impact than any defensive rookie, and he looks like he'll be a playmaking force for years to come. The 49ers used four QBs this year, and could have saved money and made due by taking Ryan Fitzpatrick in the middle rounds. 2 Miami DolphinsCARNELL WILLIAMS, RB, AuburnOriginal pick: Ronnie Brown, RB, AuburnWe're not getting real tricky here. Even with Ricky Williams' renaissance, the Dolphins were wise to take the highest-rated running back on the board. It's just that after one season, you have to give the early edge to Cadillac, who started fast and is finishing strong for the first-place Bucs. Brown isn't far off the pace, and may end up being more durable. But Cadillac will be the league's Offensive Rookie of the Year. 3 Cleveland BrownsBRAYLON EDWARDS, WR, MichiganOriginal pick: Braylon Edwards, WR, MichiganBefore suffering a season-ending knee injury in Cleveland's 10th game, Edwards was starting to flash some of the big-play potential that made him such a high pick. In his last three games, he caught 15 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns, to finish with a respectable 32-catch, 512-yard, three-touchdown rookie season. In retrospect, landing Troy's Demarcus Ware for Romeo Crennel's 3-4 defense would have been shrewd as well. 4 Chicago BearsMATT JONES, WR, ArkansasOriginal pick: Cedric Benson, RB, TexasHistory has borne out the Bears weren't in desperate need of a running back, because Thomas Jones has more than done the job with a 1,273-yard rushing season. What Chicago still lacks is another playmaking receiver to pair with free-agent addition Muhsin Muhammad, who has 39 more catches than any other Bear. We're giving them Jones, who's raw but has managed 33 catches for 377 yards and four touchdowns in Jacksonville. 5 Tampa Bay BuccaneersRONNIE BROWN, RB, AuburnOriginal pick: Cadillac Williams, RB, AuburnThe back half of our Williams-Brown flip-flop makes sense for the Bucs, too, because we've all seen this season what kind of team Tampa Bay can be when it runs effectively. Brown hasn't been as sensational as Williams, but he put together some very good numbers in the middle third of the season. 6 Tennessee TitansDARRENT WILLIAMS, CB, Oklahoma StateOriginal pick: Adam "Pacman" Jones, CB, West VirginiaJones was a calamity for much of this season in Tennessee, and has only recently started to contribute, mainly via his role as the Titans' punt and kickoff return man. Williams, a second-round pick in Denver, made plays from the time he walked in the door. He has missed the past two games with injuries, but he was deservedly getting some Defensive Rookie of the Year attention earlier this season. 7 Minnesota VikingsLOFA TATUPU, LB, USCOriginal pick: Troy Williamson, WR, South CarolinaWilliamson could grow into a game-breaking speed-receiver threat, but he spent a good bit of this year in head coach Mike Tice's doghouse and fighting to be active on game day. Tatupu, a second-round pick, started all season in Seattle and would have made Minnesota younger and stronger at middle linebacker, where veteran Sam Cowart has been solid but far from a difference-maker. 8 Arizona CardinalsSAMKON GADO, RB, LibertyOriginal pick: Antrel Rolle, CB, MiamiRolle has been a major disappointment in the desert, appearing in only five games. Playing behind a horrendous offensive line, the Arizona running game has been non-existent. The Cardinals have just two rushing touchdowns all season, so why not give them the undrafted free agent Gado, who had three 100-yard games in his five starts? I know Dennis Green doesn't like drafting QBs high, but investing in Alex Smith might have been the wise move for the future. 9 Washington RedskinsODELL THURMAN, LB, GeorgiaOriginal pick: Carlos Rogers, CB, AuburnThurman has played and played well in the middle as a second-round pick in Cincinnati this season. He would have been a nice fit in Washington, where the Redskins lost the emerging Antonio Pierce to the Giants in free agency, replacing him with a lesser talent in Lemar Marshall. Rogers has started opposite Shawn Springs at times, but his impact has been limited thus far. 10 Detroit LionsDEMARCUS WARE, LB, TroyOriginal pick: Mike Williams, WR, USCSelecting a receiver in the first round for a third consecutive year looked like a mistake on draft day. Now we know it was. The Lions didn't need another underachieving pass-catcher, they needed some youth who could step into the lineup and make things happen. Ware has done that in Dallas, racking up seven sacks. I know the Lions don't play a 3-4 defense, but you invent ways to get a talent like Ware on the field. 11 Dallas CowboysDERRICK JOHNSON, LB, TexasOriginal pick: Demarcus Ware, OLB, TroySince the Cowboys just missed out on Ware in our little draft revision, we're giving them another ball-chasing outside linebacker who has been on the field plenty as a rookie. Johnson hasn't dominated in Kansas City, but he hasn't been a disappointment either. And besides, he's a Longhorn who would have been even further inspired by staying home in Texas. 12 San Diego ChargersLUIS CASTILLO, DL, NorthwesternOriginal pick: Shawne Merriman, LB, MarylandThe Chargers nailed both of their first-round picks, taking Merriman 12th and Castillo 28th. But since they weren't in position to steal Merriman with their first pick in our draft, we're trying to do the right thing and award them Castillo, who has actually seen more playing time this season than Merriman. Castillo has started 14 games at left end and been more productive than the No. 20 pick, Dallas left end Marcus Spears. 13 New Orleans SaintsALEX SMITH, QB, UtahOriginal pick: Jammal Brown, OT, OklahomaNothing against Brown, who has held down the starting right tackle slot in New Orleans for much of his rookie season. But with Aaron Brooks looking like an ex-Saint in the near future, and no obvious replacement on the horizon unless Adrian McPherson develops overnight, the Saints need another option at quarterback. Smith would have represented a bargain in this slot. 14 Carolina PanthersHEATH MILLER, TE, VirginiaOriginal pick: Thomas Davis, S-LB, GeorgiaDavis has played only part-time in Carolina, and while he may blossom into the playmaking force the Panthers believe him capable of being, it's not a matter of waiting around for Miller to develop. The Steelers rookie tight end has caught 36 passes for 397 yards and six touchdowns. He would look pretty good in Carolina's lineup, replacing middle-of-the-road veteran Kris Mangum. 15 Kansas City ChiefsELLIS HOBBS, CB, Iowa StateOriginal pick: Derrick Johnson, OLB, TexasWhile Patrick Surtain has upgraded the Chiefs' secondary at one corner, veteran Eric Warfield isn't the answer on the opposite side. Hobbs was taken by New England in the third round, and he has steadily progressed into the latest nice find in the Patriots secondary. Also keep in mind that we have OLB Derrick Johnson going to Dallas at No. 11. 16 Houston TexansALEX BARRON, OT, Florida StateOriginal pick: Travis Johnson, DT, Florida StateThe Texans still get an ex-Seminole. They just get the one many of us had them taking for most of last draft season. Johnson has been almost non-existent in terms of impact, so Houston would have been better off addressing its long-standing need for upgrading its pass protection. Isn't that right, David Carr? Another option would be defensive end Chris Canty, who has looked like a steal for Dallas in the fourth round. 17 Cincinnati BengalsTHOMAS DAVIS, S, GeorgiaOriginal pick: David Pollack, LB, GeorgiaThe Bengals still get themselves a Bulldog with a position switch in his future, but we're going with Davis, who can play both safety and linebacker, over Pollack, who has been a bit slow to make the switch from defensive end to linebacker. Davis hasn't exactly been a fast starter in Carolina, but he's an upgrade for the Bengals over strong safety Ifeanyi Ohalete. 18 Minnesota VikingsCEDRIC BENSON, RB, TexasOriginal pick: Erasmus James, DE, WisconsinBenson's training camp holdout buried him with the Bears, but he was just starting to show us a little bit when he went down with a knee injury in Chicago's ninth game. His college resume is too impressive to ignore, and the Vikings desperately need a consistent rushing threat to replace the inconsistent Michael Bennett-Mewelde Moore tandem. 19 St. Louis RamsJAMMAL BROWN, OT, OklahomaOriginal pick: Alex Barron, OT, Florida StateNothing real sexy about this one. The Saints took Brown 13th in the real draft, and left Barron for the right tackle-needy Rams. In our draft, we've got Barron going to the Texans at No. 16, leaving Brown, who has been only fair as a New Orleans rookie, for the Rams. But St. Louis has had a revolving door at the position for years, so Brown or Barron make solid sense. 20 Dallas CowboysMIKE NUGENT, K, Ohio StateOriginal pick: Marcus Spears, DE, LSUOn our board, Spears is still available, and it's not likely that Bill Parcells would pass on pass-rushing defensive end in order to take a kicker in the first round. But then again, after making four kicking changes this season since training camp, maybe he would. Nugent has been a very solid 19 of 24 on field goals for the Jets, and that's kicking in the tricky winds of the Meadowlands half the time.21 Jacksonville JaguarsJEROME MATHIS, WR/KR, HamptonOriginal pick: Matt Jones, WR, ArkansasSorry, Jags, Mr. X Factor -- Matt Jones -- is long gone by now. But we're going to give you another intriguing and speedy prospect to toy with. Mathis is going to the Pro Bowl as a rookie kick returner, and he leads the NFL with a gaudy 29.1-yard average and two touchdowns. Besides, your Chad Owens pick was a bust. Throw in his one receiving touchdown on just three catches and Mathis has been one of the few bright spots in Houston this season. 22 Baltimore RavensMARK CLAYTON, WR, OklahomaOriginal pick: Mark Clayton, WR, OklahomaSigning late seemed to set Clayton back considerably, but he has started to show the promise that elevated him to first-round status to begin with. In his last four games, Clayton has hauled in 21 passes for 305 yards and two touchdowns, developing a good rapport with quarterback Kyle Boller. If not Clayton, here's an idea: Mid-round quarterbacks Charlie Frye and Kyle Orton have both proven to be capable of winning games as rookies. 23 Oakland RaidersREYNALDO HILL, CB, FloridaOriginal pick: Fabian Washington, CB, NebraskaHere's why the science of drafting is a bunch of malarkey (not Mike): Hill goes in the seventh round to Tennessee and easily out-plays the likes of Washington, Antrel Rolle, Pacman Jones and Carlos Rogers, who all were first-round cornerbacks. For all the work that NFL teams put into draft weekend, players like Hill and Samkon Gado eventually put the lie to the accuracy of scouting grades. 24 Green Bay PackersAARON RODGERS, QB, CalOriginal pick: Aaron Rodgers, QB, CalOK, so we're breaking our own production over projection rule. But Rodgers still makes a lot of sense for the Packers this far down in the round, and we can't pass judgment on him in any way until he gets a shot to succeed Brett Favre. If he develops into a star for years to come, Green Bay will have pulled off yet another coup at the game's most pivotal position. 25 Washington RedskinsCarlos Rogers, CB, AuburnOriginal pick: Jason Campbell, QB, AuburnPassing on Campbell might some day look like a mistake from our vantage point, but it doesn't today and here's why: With Joe Gibbs not long for the NFL in his second go-round of coaching, the Redskins are built to win now. And for now, they have plenty of quarterbacking with the resurgent Mark Brunell and the still youthful Patrick Ramsey. We give them Rogers 16 spots lower than they selected him and say use a mid-round pick on Orton or Frye. 26 Seattle SeahawksTROY WILLIAMSON, WR, South CarolinaOriginal pick: Chris Spencer, C, MississippiThe Seahawks took Spencer as the eventual replacement for veteran Robbie Tobeck, and that's all well and good at the bottom of the first round I suppose. But with the lightning-fast Williamson still on my board, I'm not worried about the offensive line down the road. I'm trying to find some one who can stretch the field the way Seattle once hoped Koren Robinson would. 27 Atlanta FalconsCHRIS HENRY, WR, West VirginiaOriginal pick: Roddy White, WR, Alabama-BirminghamWhite hasn't looked deserving of first-round billing thus far. He has just 25 catches for 399 yards and a pair of touchdowns. By comparison, the 6-foot-4 Henry has been a pleasant surprise in Cincinnati, scoring six times on 31 receptions for the playoff-bound Bengals. And he only cost Cincy a third-round pick. 28 San Diego ChargersMARCUS SPEARS, DE, LSUOriginal pick: Luis Castillo, DL, NorthwesternI had the Chargers taking Castillo at No. 12, so give them Spears to help make up for the playing-making presence of outside linebacker Shawne Merriman, who wasn't there for the taking for San Diego this time. Castillo might some day shift inside to tackle, freeing up left end for Spears. Another good option would be Wisconsin DE Erasmus James, who Minnesota took 18th in the real draft. 29 Indianapolis ColtsADAM "PACMAN" JONES, CB, West VirginiaOriginal pick: Marlin Jackson, CB, MichiganJackson has played some as an extra cornerback for Indy this season, and he hasn't fared badly. But while Jones has been disappointing in coverage, his speed is enticing and he does bring the added dimension of making plays as a kick/punt return man. That's one of the few areas the Colts, with their embarrassment of riches, could use an upgrade. 30 Pittsburgh SteelersBRANDON JACOBS, RB, Southern IllinoisOriginal pick: Heath Miller, TE, VirginiaWith Miller long gone to the Panthers at No. 14, the Steelers could invest in Jacobs, grooming him as the short-yardage, power-running back who will take over the pivotal Jerome Bettis role once he retires. Jacobs has run a bit too straight up and timidly at times this season for the Giants, but the fourth-round pick does have six rushing touchdowns for New York. 31 Philadelphia EaglesMARION BARBER, RB, MinnesotaOriginal pick: Mike Patterson, DT, USCThe Eagles threw the ball entirely too much this season, and at times their running game seemed like an afterthought. Barber ran for more than 500 yards and five touchdowns as a part-time player in Dallas this season, and the fourth-round pick is the kind of tough, inside runner that Andy Reid likes to have around when the weather turns nasty in the NFC East. 32 New England PatriotsLOGAN MANKINS, OL, Fresno StateOriginal pick: Logan Mankins, OL, Fresno StateWho else but the personnel-savvy Patriots would have taken Mankins in the first round? All he did was walk into the void created by left guard Joe Andruzzi's signing with Cleveland and seamlessly replace him, starting all 15 games thus far. Mankins is a tough, all-business type who was the perfect Patriots' team guy even before New England drafted him.
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