9. Miami Dolphins
Eric Weddle, S, Utah
Actual pick: Ted Ginn, Jr., WR, Ohio State
The Dolphins did have Will Allen at safety, but the team’s actual pick, Tedd Ginn, has mainly been a return specialist throughout his career with only a little contribution on offense. He’s not worth taking this high. Weddle is regarded as one of the league’s best safeties and now, in hindsight, was a steal for San Diego in the second round. He’s the best defensive player available.
10. Houston Texans
Joe Staley, OT, Central Michigan
Actual pick: Amobi Okoye, DT, Louisville
Houston had just traded for Matt Schaub to be its franchise quarterback, and pass protection is a must-have. Staley is a top-tier tackle who has done a tremendous job in San Francisco and would protect Schaub’s blind side.
11. San Francisco 49ers
LaMarr Woodley, LB, Michigan
Actual pick: Patrick Willis, ILB, Mississippi
Patrick Willis is long gone, but the 49ers still take a linebacker. Although Woodley is an outside linebacker, the ‘Niners’ pass rush could use some help. Woodley’s career is winding down as of now, but the Steelers still got seven productive years out of him.
12. Buffalo Bills
Dwayne Bowe, WR, Louisiana State
Actual pick: Marshawn Lynch, RB, California
Buffalo needed playmakers on offense – Marshawn Lynch proved his worth in Seattle, but it unfortunately didn’t work out in Buffalo. Dwayne Bowe ended up being arguably the best receiver from this draft class, although he has been inconsistent in Kansas City. After the elite players from this draft – Peterson, Johnson, Revis, Thomas, Willis, Lynch, and Hall – there’s a huge drop off in talent.
13. St. Louis Rams
Lawrence Timmons, LB, Florida State
Actual pick: Adam Carriker, DT, Nebraska
Carriker was traded to the Redskins, where he was plagued by injuries. Timmons would give St. Louis another pass rusher to that defense, which, right now, has a top front seven. This draft was seven years ago, and Timmons has started to slow down, but he would’ve given the Rams an excellent pass rusher.
14. New York Jets
Chris Houston, CB, Arkansas
Actual pick: Darrelle Revis, CB, Pittsburgh
Cornerback was obviously a need for the Jets, as they took Darrelle Revis here originally. Revis was taken third overall in this scenario. Chris Houston has been a consistent player for the Lions, and he fits New York’s needs as well.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers
Marshal Yanda, OT, Iowa
Actual pick: Lawrence Timmons, LB, Florida State
Yanda, along with Matt Birk, was the anchor of the Ravens’ defense for years, and still is. The Steelers would go with the best player available strategy here, as there isn’t much good talent outside of the elite few players. Pittsburgh gets Ben Roethlisberger the best pass protection possible, helping to keep his jersey clean.
16. Green Bay Packers
James Jones, WR, San Jose State
Actual pick: Justin Harrell, DT, Tennessee
Jones was a third round pick of Green Bay in this draft, and I don’t think he would still be available by the time the Packers would have picked next. It has worked out well with Jones and the Packers. He has great speed and athleticism – although his hands are questionable, he has definitely helped Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers through seven years before signing with Oakland this offseason.