Draft Do-Overs  

 

2008 NFL Draft do-over: CJ2K to Raiders

» More draft do-overs: 2003 | 2004 | 2005


There's nothing like looking back at a draft to see where the coaches and scouts got it right or wrong with their evaluations. Although evaluators don't have the benefit of hindsight when making selections at the time, I've been able to monitor the progress of the top prospects in this draft throughout their respective careers. Here's how I would re-do the 2008 NFL Draft based on what I know about the players and teams since that point:

2008 NFL Draft -- Round 1
Pk
Team
Player
Pos.
College
1
OT
Michigan
2
DE
Virginia
3
QB
Boston College
4
RB
Arkansas
5
DT
LSU
6
LB
Ohio State
7
DT
USC
8
DE
Florida
9
LB
USC
10
LB
Tennessee
11
CB
Troy
12
OT
Boise State
13
RB
Oregon
14
OT
Vanderbilt
15
OT
Virginia
16
CB
Tennessee State
17
OT
Boston College
18
QB
Delaware
19
OT
Pittsburgh
20
CB
Kansas
21
OT
USC
22
RB
Arkansas
23
RB
Illinois
24
RB
East Carolina
25
CB
South Florida
26
OT
Virginia Tech
27
CB
Arizona
28
DE
USC
29
DE
North Carolina
30
TE
Purdue
31
FS
Miami (Fla.)
Note: A 2007 video-taping scandal forced the Patriots to forfeit their No. 31 overall pick.
» 2008 NFL Draft: All the picks

1. Miami Dolphins
Pick: Jake Long
Do-Over: Matt Ryan
Comment: Given another chance to select a franchise quarterback over the "best player available," Bill Parcells would definitely take the signal caller in Miami. Ryan has been a standout performer since entering the league. Most important, he has consistently guided his team into the postseason with his steady hand at the position.

2. St. Louis Rams
Pick: Chris Long
Do-Over: Jake Long
Comment: Chris Long has been a productive player off the edge, but the selection of Jake Long would've solidified a position that's been one of the Rams' biggest weaknesses on offense.

3. Atlanta Falcons
Pick: Matt Ryan
Do-Over: Joe Flacco
Comment: It's hard to poke holes at Joe Flacco's suggestion that he is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL when you look at his Super Bowl ring and overall winning percentage. He consistently leads his teams into the playoffs, which is a significant deal in a league that's all about winning.

4. Oakland Raiders
Pick: Darren McFadden
Do-Over: Chris Johnson
Comment: The late Al Davis would take the CJ2K in a draft do-over based solely on his superior speed, quickness and burst. Johnson is one of the elite runners in the NFL, with six consecutive 1,000-yard seasons to open his career.

5. Kansas City Chiefs
Pick: Glenn Dorsey
Do-Over: Jamaal Charles
Comment: The Chiefs grabbed Charles in the third round of the 2008 draft, but he has been the crown jewel of the class. The perennial Pro Bowler is arguably the most explosive running back in the NFL, with a game that's built on speed, quickness and burst.

6. New York Jets
Pick: Vernon Gholston
Do-Over: Ray Rice
Comment: After whiffing on Gholston in the original draft, the Jets would opt to add a rugged runner to complement their "Ground and Pound" attack under Rex Ryan. Rice is more than capable of filling the bill with a hard-nosed running style that shines in cold weather.

7. New Orleans Saints
Pick: Sedrick Ellis
Do-Over: DeSean Jackson
Comment: Imagine the numbers Drew Brees would put up with a legitimate speedster on the perimeter. While Jackson's prickly personality would test the patience of the Saints' coaching staff, the opportunity to add a player with a track record of delivering big plays (Jackson leads the league with 35 40-plus yards receptions since 2008) would make the risk-reward proposition a worthwhile gamble.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars
Pick: Derrick Harvey
Do-Over: Ryan Clady
Comment: Clady is one of the premier offensive tackles in the league. It's possible that his steady presence at left tackle would've improved dismal quarterback play that plagued the Jaguars in recent years.

9. Cincinnati Bengals
Pick: Keith Rivers
Do-Over: Aqib Talib
Comment: Marvin Lewis has been successful rehabbing troubled playmakers throughout his tenure in his Cincinnati. While Talib's immaturity would require some added attention, there's no doubt that his skills as a ball hawk would've helped the Bengals defense hold up against the elite offenses in the AFC.

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10. New England Patriots
Pick: Jerod Mayo
Do-Over: Matt Forte
Comment: It's hard to suggest that Mayo has been a disappointment with the Patriots when you look at his production, but I'm sure Tom Brady would love to have a versatile weapon like Forte in the backfield. The Pro Bowler capably anchors the ground game with his slippery running style, while also adding key production as a dangerous receiver out of the backfield.

11. Buffalo Bills
Pick: Leodis McKelvin
Do-Over: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Comment: Rodgers-Cromartie has been maddeningly inconsistent as a cover man throughout his career, but he has the talent and potential to be the premier shutdown corner in the league.

12. Denver Broncos
Pick: Ryan Clady
Do-Over: Duane Brown
Comment: Critics snickered when Brown emerged as a first-round selection in the original draft, but he has rarely given up sacks or holding penalties since entering the league. That's exactly what coaches want from a franchise offensive tackle selected near the top of the board.

13. Carolina Panthers
Pick: Jonathan Stewart
Do-Over: Jerod Mayo
Comment: Mayo would've been a perfect fit in the Panthers' 4-3 defensive scheme. He is an instinctive playmaker with a knack for finding the ball at the point of attack.

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14. Chicago Bears
Pick: Chris Williams
Do-Over: Branden Albert
Comment: Williams' struggles in Chicago would lead the team to nab Albert in a do-over. The big-bodied offensive tackle has quietly been one of the best at his position throughout his career.

15. Kansas City Chiefs
Pick: Branden Albert
Do-Over: Dustin Keller
Comment: Keller wouldn't make Chiefs fans forget Tony Gonzalez, but he certainly would've given the team an explosive weapon in the middle of the field.

16. Arizona Cardinals
Pick: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Do-Over: Jordy Nelson
Comment: Nelson would've been a perfect complementary receiver to Larry Fitzgerald in the passing game. He is a big, physical receiver with the speed and burst to blow past defenders in one-on-one matchups on the backside.

17. Detroit Lions
Pick: Gosder Cherilus
Do-Over: Chris Long
Comment: Adding a productive, high-motor pass rusher to one of the best defensive lines in football would've taken the Lions defense to another level.

18. Baltimore Ravens
Pick: Joe Flacco
Do-Over: Calais Campbell
Comment: Ozzie Newsome has done a great job of identifying "football players" in the draft. Campbell doesn't garner significant attention on the national scope, but he has been one of the top defenders in the league the past two seasons.

19. Carolina Panthers
Pick: Jeff Otah
Do-Over: Chris Williams
Comment: Williams was a disappointment in Chicago, but he has had a solid career since moving inside to offensive guard. The Panthers love to feature a big, physical offensive line, which makes this move a sensible one in a draft do-over.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pick: Aqib Talib
Do-Over: Martellus Bennett
Comment: Bennett was considered an underachiever during his first few seasons in the NFL, but his recent emergence as a top tier tight end suggests that he has the talent to anchor a passing game as a deep middle threat.

21. Atlanta Falcons
Pick: Curtis Lofton
Do-Over: Same
Comment: Lofton has been one of the most productive tacklers in the NFL since stepping into the league. Although the Falcons allowed Lofton to leave as a free agent in 2012, the team would love to have his rugged presence in the middle of a defense that has slipped considerably since his departure.

22. Dallas Cowboys
Pick: Felix Jones
Do-Over: Carl Nicks
Comment: Nicks became one of the top interior blockers in the NFL after being overlooked on draft day. He would command significant attention in a draft do-over due to his strength, power and polished overall blocking ability.

23. Pittsburgh Steelers
Pick: Rashard Mendenhall
Do-Over: Brandon Flowers
Comment: Flowers is the ultra-competitive cover corner that has traditionally played in Pittsburgh. The Pro Bowler brings toughness, tenacity and physicality to the position.

24. Tennessee Titans
Pick: Chris Johnson
Do-Over: Pierre Garcon
Comment: CJ2K was sensational for the Titans, but developing a playmaking receiver would've helped advance the careers of Vince Young and/or Jake Locker as franchise quarterbacks.

25. Dallas Cowboys
Pick: Mike Jenkins
Do-Over: Thomas DeCoud
Comment: DeCoud would've given Jerry Jones the hard-hitting safety the Cowboys have missed over the past few seasons.

26. Houston Texans
Pick: Duane Brown
Do-Over: Red Bryant
Comment: Bryant would've given the Texans the big body needed to play on the interior of an aggressive 3-4 defense.

27. San Diego Chargers
Pick: Antoine Cason
Do-Over: Orlando Scandrick
Comment: Scandrick entered the NFL viewed as one of the best athletes in the draft. He has developed into a top cover corner in Dallas despite playing primarily as a nickel corner throughout his career.

28. Seattle Seahawks
Pick: Lawrence Jackson
Do-Over: Cliff Avril
Comment: Avril played a key role on a Seahawks defensive line that wreaked havoc on foes on the way to victory in Super Bowl XLVIII. Imagine if he played in the Pacific Northwest from the start of his career.

29. San Francisco 49ers
Pick: Kentwan Balmer
Do-Over: Tracy Porter
Comment: The 49ers attempted to upgrade their defense by adding another weapon along the frontline, but grabbing a sticky cover corner with terrific ball skills would've been a better option.

30. New York Jets
Pick: Dustin Keller
Do-Over: Jermichael Finley
Comment: The Jets were looking for a deep middle threat when they selected Keller at this point. Finley has been a superior player for most of his career, so nabbing the big, athletic pass catcher at the bottom of the round would've been a sensible decision at this point.

31. New York Giants
Pick: Kenny Phillips
Do-Over: Darren McFadden
Comment: The oft-injured McFadden has shown flashes of greatness as a runner, but he has failed to play a full season as a pro. Regardless, McFadden's considerable talent would make it hard for a team to bypass him at the bottom of the first round.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.

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