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2011 NFL Draft Do-Over: Buffalo Bills land J.J. Watt at No. 3

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Hindsight is 20/20. This is especially true in the NFL, where personnel (and in-game) decisions are heavily scrutinized.

This draft do-over is less about second-guessing general managers, owners, and head coaches -- though I will point out picks that seemed like reaches at the time. My primary focus is a re-imagining of what could be if those decision-makers had a chance to re-draft this class based on players' success and current team needs.

I'll post a series of draft do-overs this week, with 2011 today, 2012 on Tuesday, 2013 on Wednesday, 2014 on Thursday and 2015 on Friday.

1. CAROLINA PANTHERS

Pick: Cam Newton, QB

Do-over: Same

Newton's talent was too great to pass up on draft day. Though things haven't always gone swimmingly for him in Charlotte, the 2015 MVP proved the team made the correct call.

2. DENVER BRONCOS

Pick: Von Miller, OLB

Do-over: Same

The Broncos wouldn't have won the Super Bowl without Von Miller leading the defense. No need to make any changes here.

3. BUFFALO BILLS

Pick: Marcell Dareus, DT

Do-over: J.J. Watt, DE

Dareus is a fantastic player, but Watt's the best defender in the NFL, so he has to go in the top three in this do-over.

2011 NFL Draft -- Round 1
Pk
Team
Player
Pos.
College
1
QB
Auburn
2
LB
Texas A&M
3
DT
Alabama
4
WR
Georgia
5
DB
LSU
6
WR
Alabama
7
LB
Missouri
8
Jake Locker
QB
Washington
9
OT
USC
10
QB
Missouri
11
DE
Wisconsin
12
QB
Florida State
13
DT
Auburn
14
DE
North Carolina
15
C
Florida
16
LB
Purdue
17
OT
Colorado
18
DE
Illinois
19
DB
Nebraska
20
DE
Iowa
21
Phil Taylor
DT
Baylor
22
OT
Boston College
23
Danny Watkins
G
Baylor
24
DE
California
25
OT
Alabama
26
Jonathan Baldwin
WR
Pittsburgh
27
DB
Colorado
28
RB
Alabama
29
Gabe Carimi
OT
Wisconsin
30
DT
Temple
31
DE
Ohio State
32
OT
Mississippi State
» 2011 NFL Draft: All the picks

4. CINCINNATI BENGALS

Pick: A.J. Green, WR

Do-over: Same

Green, of course, is one of the NFL's top receivers.

5. ARIZONA CARDINALS

Pick: Patrick Peterson, CB

Do-over: Same

Like Green, Peterson's been a Pro Bowl player from the start, becoming a turnover-creating machine (17 picks) for the Cardinals.

6. ATLANTA FALCONS

Pick: Julio Jones, WR

Do-over: Same

The Falcons gave up two first-round picks, a second-round pick and two fourth-round picks to move up for Jones. He appears to be worth the price.

7. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Pick: Aldon Smith, OLB

Do-over: Marcell Dareus, DT

Smith started out with 33.5 sacks in his first two seasons. But the troubles he's had since would likely force the 49ers to go with Dareus instead. Dareus' sack total dropped from 10 in 2014 to two in 2015, but he's still a fine interior presence.

8. TENNESSEE TITANS

Pick: Jake Locker, QB

Do-over: Andy Dalton, QB

Dalton has proven to be the second-best quarterback in this class. Locker was a questionable pick at the time, and he retired last year.

9. DALLAS COWBOYS

Pick: Tyron Smith, OT

Do-over: Same

Smith's athleticism was unquestioned coming out of USC, but many wondered if he would be strong enough to handle pro defensive ends. There's no wondering now.

10. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

Pick: Blaine Gabbert, QB

Do-over: Richard Sherman, CB

The Jags seem to consistently be in the market for long, tough cornerbacks. Sherman fits that bill, though nobody (except Sherman) expected him to be as good as he's been in Seattle.

11. HOUSTON TEXANS

Pick: J.J. Watt, DE

Do-over: Torrey Smith, WR

DeAndre Hopkins has turned into one of the league's best receivers, but the team still needs a secondary wideout option. Smith hasn't been a superstar, but he has the third-most receiving yards among receivers in this draft class and averages more than 17 yards a catch with 34 scores.

2016 NFL DRAFT

Draft coverage:

12. MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Pick: Christian Ponder, QB

Do-over: Robert Quinn, DE

The Vikings gambled that Ponder would fulfill his potential, but it didn't work out. Quinn would have been a great pickup as the successor to Jared Allen.

13. DETROIT LIONS

Pick: Nick Fairley, DT

Do-over: Nate Solder, OT

Fairley was seen as a bargain here, but his inconsistency kept him from becoming more than a solid player. Protecting Matthew Stafford should be a high priority for the Lions, and Solder would be handling either tackle spot with ease.

14. ST. LOUIS RAMS

Pick: Robert Quinn, DE

Do-over: Jimmy Smith, CB

Smith and Trumaine Johnson would be an excellent cornerback duo. Smith's game and athleticism didn't match his original draft slot (27th overall). This is the area in the draft that he should have heard his name called.

15. MIAMI DOLPHINS

Pick: Mike Pouncey, C

Do-over: Same

There's no question the three-time Pro Bowler was worth a mid first-round selection.

16. WASHINGTON REDSKINS

Pick: Ryan Kerrigan, OLB

Do-over: Muhammad Wilkerson, DT

Kerrigan's a pretty good rusher, but Wilkerson's strength and versatility would be a welcome sight on Washington's defensive line.

17. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Pick: Nate Solder, OT

Do-over: Justin Houston, DE/OLB

Go ahead and imagine Houston playing as a defensive end/linebacker hybrid in Bill Belichick's scheme.

18. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

Pick: Corey Liuget, DE

Do-over: Cameron Jordan, DE

This is no slight to Liuget, who's a very good player. Jordan's 39 sacks in five years and his fit in the Chargers' scheme just give him a slight edge in this re-draft.

19. NEW YORK GIANTS

Pick: Prince Amukamara, CB

Do-over: DeMarco Murray, RB

Murray's career has been a bit up and down. He excelled behind a great offensive line in Dallas, and stumbled a bit for a less-talented Eagles squad last season. The Giants would give him a chance to carry the rock 15-17 times a game.

20. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Pick: Adrian Clayborn, DE

Do-over: Jabaal Sheard, DE

The Buccaneers made the wrong call here. I'll give a slight edge to Sheard over Kerrigan at this spot.

21. CLEVELAND BROWNS

Pick: Phil Taylor, DT

Do-over: Ryan Kerrigan, OLB

Kerrigan would be an excellent fit in the Browns' current scheme, chasing the quarterback just as he has for Washington (47.5 sacks).

22. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

Pick: Anthony Castonzo, OT

Do-over: Same

The Colts' offensive line has had its struggles in recent years, but Castonzo's not the problem.

23. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Pick: Danny Watkins, OG

Do-over: Randall Cobb, WR

Putting Cobb with Nelson Agholor and Jordan Matthews would make for a strong receiving triumvirate.

24) NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Pick: Cameron Jordan, DE

Do-over: Cameron Heyward, DT

Jordan's off the board now, so the Saints find another difference-maker on the front line in Heyward.

25. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Pick: James Carpenter, OT

Do-over: K.J. Wright, LB

Wright has made the most tackles of anyone in this class. Given what they know now, the Seahawks would have picked Wright much earlier than the fourth-round slot where they took him in 2011.

26. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Pick: Jonathan Baldwin, WR

Do-over: Corey Liuget, DE

Liuget's a bargain at this point in the first round. Kansas City needs help at its five-technique spot, and he plays quite capably there for the Chargers.

27. BALTIMORE RAVENS

Pick: Jimmy Smith, CB

Do-over: Akeem Ayers, OLB

I would put Pernell McPhee, a fifth-round pick of the Ravens in 2011, in this spot. However, the team allowed him to leave in free agency, so I'll give them someone different in Ayers. He could play inside or outside for the Ravens in their scheme.

28. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Pick: Mark Ingram, RB

Do-over: Same

The Saints used their first pick on defense, and I'm not sure Sean Payton would give up Ingram after the way he's played since being given more touches the past two seasons.

29. CHICAGO BEARS

Pick: Gabe Carimi, OT

Do-over: Pernell McPhee, OLB

I couldn't pass up sticking McPhee with the team that gave him a big contract last offseason. He's had 13.5 sacks over the past two seasons.

30. NEW YORK JETS

Pick: Muhammad Wilkerson, DT

Do-over: Orlando Franklin, OG/OT

Franklin would be a plug-and-play at guard or right tackle for the Jets. This would make for a reunion of sorts with former Broncos teammate Ryan Clady, who was traded to the Jets after left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson decided to hang up his cleats.

31. PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Pick: Cameron Heyward, DE

Do-over: Jurrell Casey, DT

I'm sure Mike Tomlin would rather have Heyward, but Casey's just the sort of active nose tackle who fits well into the Steelers' defense.

32. GREEN BAY PACKERS

Pick: Derek Sherrod, OT

Do-over: Brooks Reed, OLB

Many expected the Packers to take Reed the first time around. GM Ted Thompson went in another direction, and the team is still looking for a difference-maker to take over when Julius Peppers needs rest in 2016 and after he retires.

Follow Chad Reuter on Twitter @chad_reuter.

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