Hindsight is interesting to think about, especially when evaluating former draft prospects. I will do a re-draft of the drafts from 2007 to 2012 every week until the 2014 draft. And for those who caught onto the draft in 2013: sorry, you’ll have to wait until next year for a re-draft, as the jury is still out on most (if not all) of those picks.
These re-mocks are all based on what the players have done in the NFL, not what they did in college. Otherwise, a re-draft would be pointless. And this is what I would do per circumstance and how I would want the draft to play out, not necessarily how I think it would play out.
(Note: the re-mocks are in bold and the original draft selections are in italics. I also left the order of the draft as it originally was picked, and did not revert to where teams picked before trades.)
Without further ado…
1. Oakland Raiders
Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma
Actual pick: JaMarcus Russell, QB, Louisiana State
Russell was arguably the biggest draft bust in the history of the NFL. Although the Raiders needed a quarterback, the 2007 draft class’ best QBs were Kevin Kolb and Tyler Thigpen. Ronald Porter and Jerry Curry were already two above-average starters at receiver, so taking Calvin Johnson doesn’t make as much sense as taking Peterson. After taking AP, the Raiders won’t run the risk of drafting oft-injured running back Darren McFadden in 2008. Lane Kiffin was right after all about Russell, but I’d take Peterson over Johnson.
2. Detroit Lions
Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech
Actual pick: same
Detroit nailed this one. Johnson is undoubtedly the league’s best receiver right now. There’s no reason to pass on him.
3. Cleveland Browns
Darrelle Revis, CB, Pittsburgh
Actual pick: Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin
Cleveland drafted Eric Wright in the second round, and Revis is better than Wright. Cornerback was an obvious need, and while the Browns will have to pass on Joe Thomas, Revis was the best cornerback in the NFL until his ACL injury in 2012.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Patrick Willis, LB, Mississippi
Actual pick: Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson
Tragically and unfortunately, Adams passed away after a short NFL career in 2010. Patrick Willis is one of the best players in the NFL right now, and is perhaps the best linebacker in the league. Barrett Ruud and Patrick Willis would be a wrecking crew in the middle of the field.
5. Arizona Cardinals
Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin
Actual Pick: Levi Brown, OT, Penn State
The Cardinals still get a tackle to protect Kurt Warner (or Matt Leinart, since he was the opening day starter in 2007). Thomas is an obvious upgrade over Levi Brown, as the current Browns tackle is widely regarded as one of the best, if not the best, offensive linemen in the NFL.
6. Washington Redskins
Leon Hall, CB, Michigan
Actual pick: LaRon Landry
Most people would take Landry in a draft do-over. I don’t even have him as a top 20 pick. He was constantly bothered by the injury bug which limited his playing time in Washington, and I thought he was a borderline bust until he was signed by the Jets. Instead of Landry, the Redskins take a premier slot corner and solid overall corner to go alongside Shawn Springs and Carlos Rodgers.
7. Minnesota Vikings
Marshawn Lynch, RB, California
Actual pick: Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma
Peterson is off the board. Running back is still a major need – while Chester Taylor was decent, Marshawn Lynch has proven during his NFL tenure that he’s too good to pass up. Minnesota definitely had other needs, but Lynch would essentially be what Adrian Peterson had been for the team for the last seven years.
8. Atlanta Falcons
Charles Johnson, DE, Georgia
Actual pick: Jamaal Anderson, DE, Arkansas
While cornerback is a need, Revis and Hall are both off the board. The Falcons stick with a defensive end here, except his name is not Jamaal Anderson. Charles Johnson has been a good pass rusher with Carolina – he was just franchise tagged – and will help with what’s now a poor Atlanta pass rush. Although Johnson barely played in 2007, he has recorded 54 sacks in six seasons.