By Brian Kalchik @RantsportsBrian on April 1, 2014
The 2011 NFL Draft has the potential to be a great class. While some notable quarterbacks have been major busts, this class was very deep at many other positions. However, what would this draft look like if it was held today rather than in 2011? Here now is my 2011 NFL Draft re-do.
For 2012's re-do, visit http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/2014/03/30/2012-nfl-draft-redo/
Original Pick: Cam Newton
Re-Draft Pick: Colin Kaepernick
Cam Newton has not done anything to lose his status as the No. 1 pick, but San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick played his way into the No. 1 pick this time around. In his short time as a starter, Kaepernick has guided the 49ers to a Super Bowl 47 appearance and the 2013 NFC Championship game. Kaepernick's dual-threat ability has proven to be better than Newton's so far.
Original Pick: Von Miller
Re-Draft Pick: Von Miller
No reason to change anything here for the Denver Broncos. In 40 career games, Miller has 35.5 sacks and if not for a four-game suspension and a season-ending injury in 2013, Miller would have been just as good as his first two seasons with Denver. Miller is one of the five best pass rushers in the league right now.
Original Pick: Marcell Dareus
Re-Draft Pick: J.J. Watt
Rushing the passer is and was a necessity for the Buffalo Bills considering they face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots twice. Instead of the disappointing Marcell Dareus, the Bills select J.J. Watt this time around. Watt has turned into a dominant defensive lineman for the Texans, winning the 2012 Defensive Player of the Year Award. The Bills missed on this pick.
Original Pick: A.J. Green
Re-Draft Pick: A.J. Green
Much like the Broncos before them, the Cincinnati Bengals are quite happy with their selection of A.J. Green at No. 4. Green has turned into one of the elite receivers in the NFL, posting three consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons back-to-back 11 touchdown seasons. What's more impressive is that these numbers have come from the highly inconsistent Andy Dalton.
Original Pick: Patrick Peterson
Re-Draft Pick: Richard Sherman
Just like the Kaepernick-Newton debate, Patrick Peterson did nothing to fall out of the top-five, but Richard Sherman played his way up. The leader of the "Legion of Boom", Sherman has turned into the best defensive back in the game today. His defensive play late in the NFC Championship game led the Seahawks to a Super Bowl victory over Denver.
Original Pick: Julio Jones
Re-Draft Pick: Julio Jones
The Atlanta Falcons paid a steep price to select Julio Jones at No. 6, but they would do the same deal every time. Jones helped a talented Falcons team break through into the 2012 NFC Championship game with 79 catches and 10 touchdowns in 2012. Before Jones went down for the year in 2013, he had 41 catches and two touchdowns in just five games.
Original Pick: Aldon Smith
Re-Draft Pick: Aldon Smith
Despite some troubling off-field issues, the San Francisco 49ers made the correct pick in selecting Aldon Smith at No. 7. In Smith's three seasons, the dynamic pass rusher has 42 sacks in just 24 starts. Smith's edge pressure is one of the major reasons why San Francisco's defense is among the elites in the NFL. The pick here would be Smith each and every time.
Original Pick: Jake Locker
Re-Draft Pick: Cam Newton
Knowing that Jake Locker has not played like the eighth-best player of this class and that Newton has fallen this far, the Tennessee Titans don't hesitate to select Newton here at No. 8. Newton holds the rookie record for passing yards in a season and scored 14 rushing touchdowns as a rookie. In his second year, Newton led the Panthers to a division title. Locker is close to being a bust.
Original Pick: Tyron Smith
Re-Draft Pick: Tyron Smith
Dallas got this pick right the first time around and this time around as well. Tyron Smith has turned into the Dallas Cowboys' franchise left tackle and one of the bright young players on a rather poor offensive line. Smith has started all 47 of the games he has appeared in for the Cowboys ad made his first of what should be many Pro Bowl appearances in 2013.
Original Pick: Blaine Gabbert
Re-Draft Pick: Andy Dalton
Just like the Tennessee Titans, the Jacksonville Jaguars would select a different quarterback. This time, instead of draft bust Blaine Gabbert, the Jaguars select Andy Dalton at No. 10 in my re-draft. While Dalton has his flaws, he has led the Bengals to the playoffs in each of his first three seasons. The Jaguars make up for their big-time mistake this time.
Original Pick: J.J. Watt
Re-Draft Pick: Torrey Smith
With J.J. Watt long gone this time around, the Houston Texans now can finally find a legitimate No. 2 receiver to Andre Johnson in Torrey Smith. After sliding to the second round, Smith has become the Baltimore Ravens' top receiving threat and was a major reason why the Ravens won Super Bowl 47. With Smith and Johnson, the Texans would have had the best receiving tandem in the NFL.
Original Pick: Christian Ponder
Re-Draft Pick: Patrick Peterson
After Brett Favre retired in the 2011 offseason, the Minnesota Vikings drafted Christian Ponder hoping he could be the next franchise quarterback. With that experiment not working, the Vikings select Patrick Peterson. Peterson fell this far due to more pressing needs for the teams ahead of Minnesota. With Peterson, the Vikings' pass defense would get a major upgrade.
Original Pick: Nick Fairley
Re-Draft Pick: Nick Fairley
Despite some inconsistency and character issues, the Detroit Lions select Nick Fairley here like they did before. After struggling in his rookie season, Fairley has recorded 11.5 sacks the past two years. Fairley has teamed with 2010 first-round Ndamukong Suh to form the most feared defensive tackle combination in all of football.
Original Pick: Robert Quinn
Re-Draft Pick: Robert Quinn
After a slow start his rookie season, Robert Quinn has turned into a top-five pass rusher for the St. Louis Rams. In the past two seasons, Quinn has accumulated 29.5 sacks and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2013. Quinn has been a perfect fit for Jeff Fisher's defense, and the best is yet to come for Quinn and a very talented Rams defense.
Original Pick: Mike Pouncey
Re-Draft Pick: Mike Pouncey
With poor offensive line play in 2010, the Miami Dolphins selected former Florida Gator Mike Pouncey, the brother of Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro center Maurkice Pouncey. Mike Pouncey has been one of the few consistent pieces on Miami's struggling offensive line in recent years. Despite making the Pro Bowl in 2013, his future is in doubt after his role in the bullying saga last year.
Original Pick: Ryan Kerrigan
Re-Draft Pick: Justin Houston
The Washington Redskins drafted a great linebacker in Ryan Kerrigan, but an even better one has outperformed Kerrigan so far and that is Justin Houston. As part of Kansas City's great defense, Houston has been a major presence coming off the edge, collecting 26.5 sacks and making the Pro Bowl the past two seasons. A tandem of Brian Orakpo and Houston would be more potent.
Original Pick: Nate Solder
Re-Draft Pick: Nate Solder
Trying to find an eventual replacement for left tackle Matt Light, the New England Patriots hit the mark by drafting Colorado's Nate Solder. Solder has become one of the mainstays of a very good offensive line in New England assigned to protect perhaps the greatest quarterback of all time in Tom Brady. New England, in this same position, would select Solder every single time.
Original Pick: Corey Liuget
Re-Draft Pick: Muhammad Wilkerson
Corey Liuget is a very good 3-4 defensive end for the San Diego Chargers, but Muhammad Wilkerson has proven to be a better 3-4 defensive end for the New York Jets. That is why the Chargers select Wilkerson this time around. Wilkerson anchors a very talented Jets defensive line with Sheldon Richardson and Damon Harrison. Wilkerson is the obvious choice that the Chargers missed.
Original Pick: Prince Amukamara
Re-Draft Pick: Jurrell Casey
With Prince Amukamara slowly becoming a disappointment as a corner for the New York Giants, the Giants instead look to beef up their stacked defensive line with Jurrell Casey. Casey would have been dominant on the inside with teams focusing on stopping Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and the other great Giants pass rushers. A position of strength would get even better.
Original Pick: Adrian Clayborn
Re-Draft Pick: Cameron Jordan
Adrian Clayborn is a good player for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but Clayborn is not a great two-dimensional defensive end. The better pick this time would be Cameron Jordan. Jordan has excelled as both a 4-3 and 3-4 defensive end for the division rival New Orleans Saints. The Buccaneers would love to have had Jordan team with Gerald McCoy on a good defensive line.
Original Pick: Phil Taylor
Re-Draft Pick: Randall Cobb
Knowing now that the Cleveland Browns' defense is a very good unit and the offensive unit is poor, the Browns select Randall Cobb. Cobb is one of the most versatile players in the NFL, doing a little bit of everything. Before the Browns had Josh Gordon and Greg Little, their top receivers were Greg Little and Josh Cribbs. Cobb is better than both by a mile.
Original Pick: Anthony Castonzo
Re-Draft Pick: Ryan Kerrigan
Knowing that Jerry Hughes was a flop in the 2010 Draft, the Indianapolis Colts rectify this pick by selecting Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan. Kerrigan started all 16 games in each of his first three seasons and would have been an effective 4-3 defensive end and an even better 3-4 outside linebacker after Indianapolis changed defenses following the 2011 season.
Original Pick: Danny Watkins
Re-Draft Pick: Malcolm Smith
One of the biggest busts in Philadelphia Eagles' history, the Eagles this time select outside linebacker Malcolm Smith. The "Dream Team" experiment failed in part because the Eagles' linebackers were a poor unit. With Smith in the fold this time, he would have been a huge difference-maker behind a very talented defensive line. Watkins' failure led Andy Reid out the door in 2012.
Original Pick: Cameron Jordan
Re-Draft Pick: Adrian Clayborn
With Jordan off the board, the New Orleans Saints settle for the next defensive end available in Adrian Clayborn. While Clayborn would not have been able to save New Orleans from their poor defensive output in 2012, He would have been a good piece in Rob Ryan's multiple defense in 2013.
Original Pick: James Carpenter
Re-Draft Pick: Julius Thomas
Instead of Julius Thomas competing in Super Bowl 48 against the Seattle Seahawks, he could have been playing for Seattle in this re-do. The Denver Broncos tight end has turned into one of the rising stars at the tight end position. After drafting James Carpenter, an inconsistent lineman for the Seahawks, a big-play tight end like Thomas is a necessity for Seattle's offense.
Original Pick: Jonathan Baldwin
Re-Draft Pick: Kyle Rudolph
Rather than drafting a bust in Jonathan Baldwin, the Kansas City Chiefs select tight end Kyle Rudolph. After letting Tony Gonzalez go in 2009, the Chiefs still haven't found his replacement. Rudolph would have been a major upgrade over the likes of Leonard Pope, Anthony Fasano, Sean McGrath, and the other failures at tight end for the Chiefs since Gonzalez left.
Original Pick: Jimmy Smith
Re-Draft Pick: Jimmy Smith
One of the best young defenders on a great Baltimore Ravens defense, cornerback Jimmy Smith is well on his way to becoming Baltimore's best secondary player. After being a minor player for his first two seasons, Smith started all 16 games in 2013 for the Ravens, forcing three fumbles and collecting two interceptions.
Original Pick: Mark Ingram
Re-Draft Pick: DeMarco Murray
The New Orleans Saints drafted the correct position with their second first-round pick in 2011, but they selected the wrong player. While Mark Ingram has turned into a bust, Dallas running back DeMarco Murray has turned into Dallas' best rusher. With Murray in Sean Payton and Drew Brees' offense rather than Tony Romo's, Murray would have been a top-10 running back for the Saints.
Original Pick: Gabe Carimi
Re-Draft Pick: Marcell Dareus
With the realization that both Gabe Carimi would turn out to be a bust and the interior defensive line of the Chicago Bears would get decimated in 2013, the Bears this time select Marcell Dareus, who has fallen from No. 3 down to No. 29. While Dareus hasn't played like the No. 3 pick in Buffalo, he would have been a great fit in Chicago's good defense.
Original Pick: Muhammad Wilkerson
Re-Draft Pick: Corey Liuget
With San Diego selecting Wilkerson at No. 18, the New York Jets turn around and select Corey Liuget here at No. 30. In essence an unofficial trade, Liuget would fill the same role that Wilkerson did to anchor the defensive line of Rex Ryan's defense. Given the success of Ryan's defense in New York, Liuget would have been just as productive as Wilkerson in Jet Green and White.
Original Pick: Cam Heyward
Re-Draft Pick: Stevan Ridley
With the Pittsburgh Steelers struggling to run the ball and Rashard Mendenhall not becoming a franchise running back, the Steelers turn around and select Stevan Ridley. Despite having some fumbling issues in New England, Ridley is the Patriots' best running back. He fits the tough, physical tone that the Steelers have normally operated under.
Original Pick: Derek Sherrod
Re-Draft Pick: Brooks Reed
Derek Sherrod hasn't been able to get on the field for the Green Bay Packers and has been a definite bust. This time around, the Packers select a complimentary rusher to Clay Matthews in Brooks Reed. Reed would have had a field day in Green Bay with teams focusing their attention towards Matthews. The search for Matthews' partner would have ended with the selection of Reed.
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