9. Buffalo Bills
Joe Haden, CB, Florida
Actual pick: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
Spiller didn’t start playing in a starting role until later in his career. It wouldn’t be a good option for the Bills to draft Spiller in a re-mock, especially with the players still available. Put Haden alongside young star in the making in Stephon Gilmore and there’s a nice cornerback tandem.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars
Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia
Actual pick: Tyson Alualu, DT, California
Much like Oakland, Jacksonville has lacked a consistent playmaker on offense. Maurice Jones-Drew was good, but teams can’t really run when they’re down the whole game. No more quarterbacks are even worth drafting here (please don’t fill my Twitter mentions with Tim Tebow nonsense). Demaryius Thomas is a true number one receiver and would greatly aid the Jaguars’ passing attack with, at the time, David Garrard.
11. San Francisco 49ers
NaVorro Bowman, LB, Penn State
Actual pick: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
Davis has been an integral part of the ‘Niners’ offensive line, but I’m not letting San Francisco pass on NaVorro Bowman. He’s too good of a linebacker. His injury is a concern now, but he should be able to come back this year at some point. He’s one of the best inside linebackers in the game along with Luke Kuechly and teammate Patrick Willis.
12. San Diego Chargers
Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
Actual pick: Ryan Matthews, RB, Fresno State
Now, the Matthews pick seems like it was worth it after Mike McCoy decided to run the ball for the last five or so games of 2013. After all, someone needed to replace Ladanian Tomlinson. But with the current best left tackle in the league on the board, there’s no way I’m passing on him. San Diego has had a bad pass-blocking offensive line which led to bad seasons for Philip Rivers in 2011 and 2012, but we saw what he can do with even an average line in 2013. Williams is an upgrade over any tackle in the league.
13. Philadelphia Eagles
Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
Actual pick: Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan
Suh finally gets off the board. When he isn’t stomping on people, he’s a really good player. Philly’s run defense has been so-so over the years, and Suh would draw double-teams on every play, freeing up guys like Trent Cole. Suh would also draw doubles on passing downs, improving the pass rush.
14. Seattle Seahawks
Kam Chancellor, S, Virginia Tech
Actual pick: Earl Thomas, S, Texas
With Earl Thomas long gone, Seattle needs at least one member of the LOB. Chancellor does actually remind me of Sean Taylor in the way he hits. He’s been a beast with Seattle, so I’ll take the original fifth-round pick here at 14th overall.
15. New York Giants
Jared Veldheer, OT, Hillsdale
Actual pick: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
JPP used to be a freak pass rusher – that was for maybe a few years after he was drafted. It seems like he’s disappeared now; injuries may have gotten the best of him over the last year or two. The Giants’ number one priority should’ve been to protect Eli Manning – he’s been knocked around too much in his career. Veldheer is a premier tackle who’ll provide some stability to an always-shuffling New York offensive line.
16. Tennessee Titans
Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma
Actual pick: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
Again, there’s no quarterback worth taking, so might as well take an offensive playmaker. Bryant hasn’t gotten into any real trouble in his NFL tenure, and he’s the best receiver left.