Draft Do-Overs  

 

2004 NFL Draft do-over: Oakland Raiders get Ben Roethlisberger

» More draft do-overs: 2003


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 the knowledge of how each player in the class performed throughout his respective career. While circumstances ultimately determined the success and failures of some of the top prospects in the class, it's fun to take a look at how things could've turned out with a little 20/20 vision shaping our new opinions:

2004 NFL Draft -- Round 1
Pk
Team
Player
Pos.
College
1
QB
Ole Miss
2
OT
Iowa
3
WR
Pittsburgh
4
QB
NC State
5
FS
Miami (Fla.)
6
TE
Miami (Fla.)
7
WR
Texas
8
CB
Virginia Tech
9
WR
Washington
10
CB
South Carolina
11
QB
Miami (Ohio)
12
LB
Miami (Fla.)
13
WR
Wisconsin
14
DT
Oklahoma
15
WR
LSU
16
OT
Arkansas
17
LB
Miami (Fla.)
18
DE
Ohio State
19
OT
Miami (Fla.)
20
DE
USC
21
NT
Miami (Fla.)
22
QB
Tulane
23
DT
Texas
24
RB
Oregon State
25
CB
Arkansas
26
RB
Michigan
27
LB
Western Michigan
28
CB
Ohio State
29
WR
Ohio State
30
RB
Virginia Tech
31
WR
Oklahoma State
32
TE
Georgia
» 2004 NFL Draft: All the picks

1. San Diego Chargers
Pick: Eli Manning, QB
Do-Over: Same
Comment: Manning was eventually traded to the New York Giants for Philip Rivers. He's led the G-Men to two Super Bowl titles and developed into one of the league's top quarterbacks.

2. Oakland Raiders
Pick: Robert Gallery, OT
Do-Over: Ben Roethlisberger, QB
Comment: Gallery didn't live up to the hype, so I'm sure the Silver and Black would prefer a big-bodied franchise quarterback with a pair of Super Bowl rings.

3. Arizona Cardinals
Pick: Larry Fitzgerald, WR
Do-Over: Same
Comment: Fitzgerald has been one of the most dominant players at the position since stepping into the league.

4. New York Giants
Pick: Philip Rivers, QB
Do-Over: Same
Comment: After being acquired in a draft-day trade by the San Diego Chargers, Rivers has kept the franchise in title contention throughout his career.

5. Washington Redskins
Pick: Sean Taylor, FS
Do-Over: Same
Comment: Before his unfortunate death in 2007, Taylor, who was twice named to the Pro Bowl (once posthumously), solidified his reputation as one of the NFL's hardest hitters.

6. Cleveland Browns
Pick: Kellen Winslow, TE
Do-Over: Same
Comment: After a slow start to his NFL career due to a host of injuries, Winslow briefly emerged as the top tight end in pro football during his time in Cleveland.

7. Detroit Lions
Pick: Roy Williams, WR
Do-Over: Steven Jackson, RB
Comment: Jackson would've filled the Lions' desperate need for a franchise running back after Barry Sanders' surprising retirement after the 1998 season.

8. Atlanta Falcons
Pick: DeAngelo Hall, CB
Do-Over: Same
Comment: Hall became one of the most prolific ballhawks in NFL history as an aggressive cover corner.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars
Pick: Reggie Williams, WR
Do-Over: Jared Allen, DE
Comment: Allen was one of the biggest surprises of the 2004 draft, exhibiting dominant rush skills and takeaway prowess.

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10. Houston Texans
Pick: Dunta Robinson, CB
Do-Over: Vince Wilfork, DT
Comment: Robinson was a solid pick, but Wilfork would've anchored a Texans defense that has been among the ranks of the elite for the past few seasons.

11. Pittsburgh Steelers
Pick: Ben Roethlisberger, QB
Do-Over: Dunta Robinson, CB
Comment: Robinson is the big, physical corner that the Steelers have routinely featured in their stellar defense for years.

12. New York Jets
Pick: Jonathan Vilma, LB
Do-Over: Same
Comment: Vilma was a solid player for Gang Green during his time in New York. He captured the 2004 Defensive Rookie of the Year award and sparked the unit with his dynamic leadership skills.

13. Buffalo Bills
Pick: Lee Evans, WR
Do-Over: Darnell Dockett, DT
Comment: Dockett has been a disruptive force as a defensive tackle since stepping into the league. He would've given the Bills a standout interior defender to build around.

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14. Chicago Bears
Pick: Tommie Harris, DT
Do-Over: Same
Comment: Until injuries robbed Harris of his explosiveness, the disruptive penetrator spearheaded a Bears front four that dominated the NFL and carried the franchise to a Super Bowl appearance.

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pick: Michael Clayton, WR
Do-Over: Karlos Dansby, LB
Comment: Clayton flashed intriguing potential, but Dansby would've been a terrific fit as a playmaker in the middle of the Buccaneers' defense.

16. Philadelphia Eagles
Pick: Shawn Andrews, OT
Do-Over: Same
Comment: Andrews was an exceptional player for the Eagles as a monstrous blocker on the interior. Although his career was cut short due to injuries, Andrews earned three Pro Bowl bids during his time in Philadelphia.

17. Denver Broncos
Pick: D.J. Williams, LB
Do-Over: Same
Comment: Williams was one of the NFL's most productive linebackers during his time with the Broncos.

18. New Orleans Saints
Pick: Will Smith, DE
Do-Over: Same
Comment: Smith was one of the mainstays of a defense that helped the Saints to the franchise's first Super Bowl title.

19. Miami Dolphins
Pick: Vernon Carey, OT
Do-Over: Chris Snee, G 
Comment: Snee is the kind of blue-collar interior blocker that the Dolphins have needed for years. As a four-time Pro Bowler, he would've sufficiently filled one of Miami's biggest needs.

20. Minnesota Vikings
Pick: Kenechi Udeze, DE
Do-Over: Shaun Phillips, LB
Comment: The Vikings have always coveted pass rushers with high-revving motors and natural rush skills. Phillips has notched 79.5 sacks and performed at a Pro Bowl level throughout his career.

21. New England Patriots
Pick: Vince Wilfork, DT
Do-Over: Bob Sanders, SS
Comment: Injuries prematurely cut short Sanders' career, but the 2007 Defensive Player of the Year would've been a perfect fit in the back end of the Patriots defense.

22. Buffalo Bills
Pick: J.P. Losman, QB
Do-Over: Matt Schaub, QB
Comment: The Bills thought they had landed their franchise quarterback in Losman, but a better pick would've been Schaub. The two-time Pro Bowler has been the consistent performer that the Bills have missed since the Jim Kelly era.

23. Seattle Seahawks
Pick: Marcus Tubbs, DT
Do-Over: Lee Evans, WR
Comment: Evans didn't earn Pro Bowl honors during his time in Buffalo, but he was one of the NFL's leading pass catchers as a crafty No. 1 receiver.

24. St. Louis Rams
Pick: Steven Jackson, RB
Do-Over: Daryl Smith, LB
Comment: Smith has carved out a nice career as a consistent defender at multiple linebacker spots.

25. Green Bay Packers
Pick: Ahmad Carroll, CB
Do-Over: Antonio Smith, DE
Comment: The Packers would've benefited from having a hard-nosed defender like Smith anchoring the defensive line.

26. Cincinnati Bengals
Pick: Chris Perry, RB
Do-Over: Michael Turner, RB
Comment: Turner proved his worth as a workhorse during an impressive run with the Atlanta Falcons that saw him lead the NFC in rushing yards in 2010 and 2011. Imagine his hard-nosed, physical presence behind Carson Palmer in the Bengals' backfield.

27. Houston Texans
Pick: Jason Babin, LB
Do-Over: Jerricho Cotchery, WR
Comment: The Texans struggled filling the No. 2-receiver role opposite Andre Johnson for most of his career. Cotchery would've thrived as a complementary receiver in a system designed to help polished route runners shine.

28. Carolina Panthers
Pick: Chris Gamble, CB
Do-Over: Same
Comment: Gamble never reached Pro Bowl status in Carolina, but certainly played well as the team's No. 1 corner during a nine-year career.

29. Atlanta Falcons
Pick: Michael Jenkins, WR
Do-Over: Max Starks, OT
Comment: The Falcons would've welcomed a solid offensive tackle like Starks to shore up an offensive line that has occasionally struggled to protect the quarterback.

30. Detroit Lions
Pick: Kevin Jones, RB
Do-Over: Chris Cooley, TE
Comment: Cooley quietly developed into one of the NFL's top tight ends during a solid nine-year career.

31. San Francisco 49ers
Pick: Rashaun Woods, WR
Do-Over: Jason Babin, LB
Comment: A productive pass rusher like Babin would've helped the 49ers' defense create consistent pressure off the edges.

32. New England Patriots
Pick: Benjamin Watson, TE
Do-Over: Same
Comment: Watson didn't emerge as a star in New England, but the Patriots probably could have done a better job of maximizing his skills as an athletic pass catcher in hindsight.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.

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