By Brian Kalchik @RantsportsBrian on April 21, 2014
There's nothing like looking back at a previous draft to see where scouts got it right or wrong in a given year. Here, I want take a stab at the 2004 NFL Draft armed with hindsight and the knowledge of how each player in the class performed.
Here's how I would re-do the 2004 NFL Draft 1st-Round knowing what I know now assuming the Manning-Rivers trade was made.
For 2005, visit http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/2014/04/21/2005-nfl-draft-re-do/
Original Pick: Eli Manning
Re-Draft Pick: Eli Manning
Manning was correct when he demanded a trade from San Diego. He's led the Giants to two Super Bowl titles and is one of the league's top quarterbacks.
Original Pick: Robert Gallery
Re-Draft Pick: Ben Roethlisberger
Gallery was a bust, so the Raiders find a franchise quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger has won two Super Bowls for Pittsburgh, and Oakland is still searching for a franchise quarterback.
Original Pick: Larry Fitzgerald
Re-Draft Pick: Larry Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald has been one of the most dominant players at his position and almost led the Cardinals to a Super Bowl 43 victory. With another few good years left, Fitzgerald will be in Canton as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Original Pick: Philip Rivers
Re-Draft Pick: Philip Rivers
As the other half of the Manning trade, Philip Rivers has kept the franchise in title contention throughout his career. Rivers has led the Chargers to the AFC divisional playoffs in five of his 10 seasons.
Original Pick: Sean Taylor
Re-Draft Pick: Sean Taylor
Not predicting that Taylor would pass way too soon, Taylor, who was twice named to the Pro Bowl (once posthumously), solidified his reputation as one of the NFL's hardest hitters. He was bound to be one of the top safeties in the league.
Original Pick: Kellen Winslow Jr.
Re-Draft Pick: Vince Wilfork
Instead of wasting a pick on the now infamous younger Kellen Winslow, the Browns would add a pillar to their interior defense with Vince Wilfork.
Original Pick: Roy Williams
Re-Draft Pick: Steven Jackson
Jackson would've been the perfect answer for the Lions' long-standing need for a franchise running back after Barry Sanders' retirement. The Lions would draft Kevin Jones at No. 30, but Jackson would have been the better option for Detroit.
Original Pick: DeAngelo Hall
Re-Draft Pick: DeAngelo Hall
Hall became one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons. Despite only spending four seasons in Atlanta, Hall recorded 17 interceptions and was always around the ball.
Original Pick: Reggie Williams
Re-Draft Pick: Jared Allen
Allen was one of the biggest surprises of the 2004 draft as a fourth-round pick for Kansas City. He has been a star for both Kansas City and Minnesota while Jacksonville has been stuck with several first-round draft busts like Derrick Harvey and Tyson Alualu.
Original Pick: Dunta Robinson
Re-Draft Pick: Wes Welker
Call me crazy for having Houston draft another first-round receiver after selecting Andre Johnson the year before, but Wes Welker has proved to be one of the best receivers in the NFL. An undrafted free agent for the San Diego Chargers, Welker has excel ed as both a New England Patriot and a Denver Bronco.
Original Pick: Ben Roethlisberger
Re-Draft Pick: Matt Schaub
The Steelers found their franchise quarterback in Roethlisberger, but with Big Ben off the board, Matt Schaub would be a good replacement. The two-time Pro Bowler has been a consistent quarterback for the Texans and put them in position to reach the postseason for the first time in their young franchise history.
Original Pick: Jonathan Vilma
Re-Draft Pick: Jonathan Vilma
Vilma was a solid player for the New York Jets in his brief stint in New York. He captured the 2004 Defensive Rookie of the Year award and was one of the more underrated linebackers in the NFL before leading New Orleans to a Super Bowl 44 victory.
Original Pick: Lee Evans
Re-Draft Pick: Roy Williams
Evans didn't earn Pro Bowl honors during his time in Buffalo, and Williams was a one-time Pro Bowler for the Detroit Lions. With both Fitzgerald and Welker gone, Williams is the next best receiver for a team that needed a wide receiver.
Original Pick: Tommie Harris
Re-Draft Pick: Tommie Harris
Harris became one of the faces of the Chicago defense in the mid-2000s. The defensive tackle helped lead Chicago to a Super Bowl 41 appearance and went to three Pro Bowls in seven years for Chicago.
Original Pick: Michael Clayton
Re-Draft Pick: Michael Turner
Turner was a workhorse during an impressive run with both the San Diego Chargers and the Atlanta Falcons. He led the NFC in rushing yards in 2010 and 2011, and up until drafting Doug Martin, the Buccaneers had troubles finding a franchise running back.
Original Pick: Shawn Andrews
Re-Draft Pick: Jason Peters
Andrews would make multiple Pro Bowls for the Eagles, but undrafted free agent Jason Peters would be the pick this time around. After starring for the Buffalo Bills, he made two Pro Bowls before joining the Eagles in 2009 and another four in his first five seasons in Philadelphia.
Original Pick: D.J. Williams
Re-Draft Pick: Karlos Dansby
Dansby has been not just one of the more underrated linebackers in the NFL but one of the most underrated players in all of football. Whether it's on the inside or the outside, Dansby has excelled with the Arizona Cardinals and the Miami Dolphins.
Original Pick: Will Smith
Re-Draft Pick: Darnell Dockett
Dockett has been a disruptive force as a defensive tackle since stepping into the league for the Arizona Cardinals. He would've given the Saints a dominant interior defender on a very good defense.
Original Pick: Vernon Carey
Re-Draft Pick: Bob Sanders
Injuries cut Bob Sanders' career short, but when healthy, he was one of the best defenders in the NFL. The 2007 Defensive Player of the Year would've been an absolute stud in Miami's defense.
Original Pick: Kenechi Udeze
Re-Draft Pick: Shaun Phillips
The Vikings failed when they drafted Udeze and Erasmus James the next year as pass rushers, but drafting Phillips would have made both moves obsolete. Phillips has been one of the top rushers in all of the NFL, and just imagine if he was a Viking when fellow 2004 pick Jared Allen joined the team in 2008.
Original Pick: Vince Wilfork
Re-Draft Pick: Chris Gamble
Gamble never made a Pro Bowl in Carolina, but he was a great No. 1 corner during his nine-year career. Imagine how good he could've been in New England in Bill Belichick's defensive scheme.
Original Pick: J.P. Losman
Re-Draft Pick: Chris Snee
Snee is the kind of dirt-tough, hard-nosed interior lineman the Bills have lacked for several years. As a four-time Pro Bowler with the New York Giants, Snee would've filled one of Buffalo's long-standing needs.
Original Pick: Marcus Tubbs
Re-Draft Pick: Kellen Winslow Jr.
After injuries slowed Winslow's progress in his early years, he briefly emerged as the top tight end in pro football during his time in Cleveland. With the Seahawks, Winslow would have been Matt Hasselbeck's security blanket and a much-needed upgrade over Jerramy Stevens.
Original Pick: Steven Jackson
Re-Draft Pick: Daryl Smith
Smith has exceled at all linebacker positions for the Jacksonville Jaguars and most recently the Baltimore Ravens. For a team that desperately needed linebacker help in the mid 2000s, the Rams would have been ecstatic if Smith were available here.
Original Pick: Ahmad Carroll
Re-Draft Pick: Dunta Robinson
Robinson is the big, physical corner the Packers have routinely liked for their defenses. Teaming Robinson with Al Harris in 2004 instead of Ahmad Carroll would have helped the Packers down the road.
Original Pick: Chris Perry
Re-Draft Pick: Chris Cooley
Cooley quietly developed into one of the NFL's top tight ends during his nine-year career with the Washington Redskins. Cincinnati's top tight end for several years was Reggie Kelly, who consistently failed to produce at least 50 catches per season, making Cooley the obvious pick here.
Original Pick: Jason Babin
Re-Draft Pick: Shawn Andrews
Andrews was an exceptional player for the Eagles and a three-time Pro Bowler for Philadelphia. A monstrous blocker like Andrews would've helped franchise quarterback David Carr have some form of success in Houston.
Original Pick: Chris Gamble
Re-Draft Pick: Will Smith
Smith was one of the key veterans on a Saints' defense who helped New Orleans win the franchise's first Super Bowl title. While Smith would've been backing up Julius Peppers and Mike Rucker in Carolina, he would've been an excellent long-term replacement for Rucker.
Original Pick: Michael Jenkins
Re-Draft Pick: Malcom Floyd
The Falcons struggled to find a solid No. 2-receiver for quite some time before drafting Roddy White in 2005. Floyd would've been a great complementary receiver for Atlanta and a great receiver in Atlanta's current offense.
Original Pick: Kevin Jones
Re-Draft Pick: D.J. Williams
Despite multiple suspensions during his career, D.J. Williams was one of the NFL's most productive linebackers during his time with the Broncos.
Original Pick: Rashaun Woods
Re-Draft Pick: Nathan Vasher
As a member of the Chicago Bears, Nathan Vasher was one of the best ballhawks in the NFL, grabbing 19 interceptions in six seasons with Chicago. In San Francisco, Vasher would've been a much-needed upgrade over veteran free agent journeymen Walt Harris and Nate Clements.
Original Pick: Ben Watson
Re-Draft Pick: Lee Evans
Coming off their second Super Bowl victory in three seasons, the Patriots had zero needs to fill. Here, the Patriots select a speed receiver in Lee Evans who could stretch the field and could have been a dynamic player after most of the Patriots' receiving corps would be gone in free agency.
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