After months of hype and analysis, Thursday’s NFL Draft is finally within reach. With fans developing a growing anticipation as to whose name will be called and when this weekend, a certain aura of draft fever has spread throughout the NFL.
But even though the draft is all about looking forward, it’s also a great excuse to look back. In the NFL, some players present themselves as great very early on, but a lot of them don’t, and it may take a few seasons—or teams—for a player’s potential to be fully realized.
That makes it hard to know when exactly a draft class can be evaluated and picked apart. Certainly you want to wait more than a few years (For instance, in 2008, what would a 2005 Re-Draft have made of Aaron Rodgers?). That’s why we’re settling on a nice round number. Ten years later, what would the 2004 draft class look like if teams had a do-over.