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2014 NFL Draft Do-Over: Texans choose Derek Carr

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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 on Monday, 2012 on Tuesday, 2013 on Wednesday, 2014 today and 2015 on Friday.

1. HOUSTON TEXANS

Pick: Jadeveon Clowney

Do-over: Derek Carr

This pick could have never happened in 2014 because of the way the career of Derek's older brother, David, went down in Houston. But after two seasons, it looks as though taking Derek Carr here would have been the right call. The book is still out on Clowney because of injuries.

2. ST. LOUIS RAMS

Pick: Greg Robinson

Do-over: Teddy Bridgewater

Bridgewater should have been a high pick in this draft, as he always had the pocket awareness to be a good (if not great) NFL starter. The concerns about his underwhelming pro day are long gone, and the Rams wouldn't have had to make the megadeal they did today with Bridgewater in tow. Robinson's still trying to earn respect in the league as a reliable blind-side protector.

3. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

Pick: Blake Bortles

Do-over: Same

There's no reason to change this pick, even though he's had 35 interceptions in two years. If he cuts down on picks, it might put him ahead of Bridgewater on this list a year or two from now.

4. BUFFALO BILLS

Pick: Sammy Watkins

Do-over: Same

Even though Watkins missed three games last year, he still cleared 1,000 yards and scored nine times.

2014 NFL Draft -- Round 1
Pk
Team
Player
Pos.
College
1
DE
South Carolina
2
OT
Auburn
3
QB
UCF
4
WR
Clemson
5
LB
Buffalo
6
OT
Texas A&M
7
WR
Texas A&M
8
CB
Oklahoma State
9
LB
UCLA
10
TE
North Carolina
11
OT
Michigan
12
WR
LSU
13
DT
Pittsburgh
14
CB
Virginia Tech
15
LB
Ohio State
16
G
Notre Dame
17
LB
Alabama
18
S
Louisville
19
OT
Tennessee
20
WR
Oregon State
21
S
Alabama
22
QB
Texas A&M
23
DE
Auburn
24
CB
Michigan State
25
CB
TCU
26
LB
Louisville
27
S
Washington State
28
WR
Florida State
29
DT
Florida
30
S
Northern Illinois
31
CB
Ohio State
32
QB
Louisville
» 2014 NFL Draft: All the picks

5. OAKLAND RAIDERS

Pick: Khalil Mack

Do-over: Same

There was some concern about Mack's game translating from the MAC to the NFL. Two years and 32 starts later, he has 19 sacks and no one is asking those questions anymore.

6. ATLANTA FALCONS

Pick: Jake Matthews

Do-over: Odell Beckham

Jake Matthews isn't a bad player, and he'll start at left tackle for many years to come. But would the Falcons rather line up OBJ across from Julio Jones? Probably.

2016 NFL DRAFT

Draft coverage:

7. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Pick: Mike Evans

Do-over: Same

Evans has had two 1,000-yard seasons. His touchdowns dropped from 12 as a rookie to three in 2015, but the progression of quarterback Jameis Winston and his surrounding talent will help him find the end zone more regularly in the future.

8. CLEVELAND BROWNS

Pick: Justin Gilbert

Do-over: Anthony Barr

The irony here, of course, is that the Browns traded spots with the Vikings two years ago so they could pick Gilbert. Minnesota picked Barr, whom they were likely to take, anyway. Now the Browns turn the table, getting a Pro Bowl linebacker. Gilbert has started three games in two years, suffering injuries and not playing well when on the field.

9. MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Pick: Anthony Barr

Do-over: Aaron Donald

The Vikings go with the best player available here. Donald's explosiveness allows him to get into the backfield with regularity; the All-Pro has 20 sacks in his first two years in the league.

10. DETROIT LIONS

Pick: Eric Ebron

Do-over: Taylor Lewan

The Lions should have stayed in-state with this pick, putting together Big Ten star tackles (Riley Reiff from Iowa on the left side, Michigan's Lewan on the right) to give Matthew Stafford comfort in the pocket. Ebron did take a step forward in 2015, and could turn out to be a very good tight end.

11. TENNESSEE TITANS

Pick: Taylor Lewan

Do-over: Jake Matthews

Losing Lewan leads the Titans to pick a solid second option in Matthews. He'll be a stalwart at left tackle who can keep Marcus Mariota's jersey clean.

12. NEW YORK GIANTS

Pick: Odell Beckham

Do-over: Allen Robinson

Beckham is not available to the Giants as part of this do-over. That means another big playmaker is needed by the G-Men, and Robinson fits that bill. He led the NFL with 14 touchdown receptions last year, catching 80 passes for 1,400 yards.

13. ST. LOUIS RAMS

Pick: Aaron Donald

Do-over: Kelvin Benjamin

Obviously, the Rams would miss Donald, but how about a Bridgewater-Benjamin connection? Not bad. Benjamin only falls behind Robinson due to missing the 2015 season with an injury.

14. CHICAGO BEARS

Pick: Kyle Fuller

Do-over: Same

It didn't take long for Fuller to make a name for himself in the league, with six interceptions and 19 pass breakups in two years. The Bears wouldn't trade him for anyone else still available here.

15. PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Pick: Ryan Shazier

Do-over: Deone Bucannon

It would be interesting to see Bucannon play the Troy Polamalu role in the Steelers' defense. He's been much more productive in a linebacker role than Shazier, who has the potential to be a star defender if he can stay healthy.

16. DALLAS COWBOYS

Pick: Zack Martin

Do-over: Same

Martin's been the impactful interior lineman that the Cowboys needed to take the running game to the next level.

17. BALTIMORE RAVENS

Pick: C.J. Mosley

Do-over: Same

I don't think Ozzie Newsome would change his mind this time around, as Mosley's been the leading tackler of this class.

18. NEW YORK JETS

Pick: Calvin Pryor

Do-over: Jadeveon Clowney

Even though Clowney hasn't been a big hit in his first two years, his potential as the sort of pass rusher that the Jets need is enough to take a chance on at this point in the round. Pryor showed glimpses of becoming a good starter in 2015.

19. MIAMI DOLPHINS

Pick: Ja'Wuan James

Do-over: Jarvis Landry

Landry was a first-round talent with a third-round 40 time. Despite being arguably the fifth-best receiver in this class, the Dolphins would still quickly select him a round earlier than they did originally.

20. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Pick: Brandin Cooks

Do-over: Kony Ealy

Cooks has stepped up for the Saints in his first two years, but I'm putting Ealy in this spot to aid the team's anemic pass rush. He and Cameron Jordan would be a tough duo to handle on the outside.

21. GREEN BAY PACKERS

Pick: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

Do-over: Same

As usual, general manager Ted Thompson waited for the board to come to him instead of trading up to ensure the team got the safety they needed in this draft. Clinton-Dix's rookie season didn't end on a great note (see: playoff loss in Seattle), but he did an outstanding job in his sophomore campaign for the Packers.

22. CLEVELAND BROWNS

Pick: Johnny Manziel

Do-over: Brandin Cooks

Losing Travis Benjamin in free agency means the Browns are searching for a quick, dynamic receiver like Cooks.

23. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Pick: Dee Ford

Do-over: Jordan Matthews

Yet another receiver comes off the board. The Chiefs could use a player like Matthews, who owns the red zone with eight touchdowns in each of his first two seasons.

24. CINCINNATI BENGALS

Pick: Darqueze Dennard

Do-over: Jeremy Hill

This class' leading rusher powers his way into the first round for the team that selected him in the second round. Dennard really hasn't made an impact in Cincinnati.

25. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

Pick: Jason Verrett

Do-over: Same

Based on his 2015 play (three interceptions, 12 pass breakups), the Pro Bowler looks like a good value here.

26. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Pick: Marcus Smith

Do-over: Greg Robinson

With Jason Peters nearing the end of a fantastic career with the Bills and Eagles, picking up a talent like Robinson would be a great investment. Smith has yet to start a game in his career, and has just 1.5 sacks in 21 contests.

27. ARIZONA CARDINALS

Pick: Deone Bucannon

Do-over: Bradley Roby

Roby hasn't been a regular starter in Denver as of yet, but that doesn't keep the Cardinals from valuing him here.

28. CAROLINA PANTHERS

Pick: Kelvin Benjamin

Do-over: Devonta Freeman

Freeman's, who had 1,634 yards from scrimmage and 14 total touchdowns last season, belongs somewhere in the first round. The Panthers might be looking for a second back to take pressure off of Jonathan Stewart, who hasn't played 16 games in a season since 2011.

29. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Pick: Dominique Easley

Do-over: Carlos Hyde

The Patriots are looking for a young power back, so it's no surprise they would seek out Hyde. The Patriots released Easley this week.

30. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Pick: Jimmie Ward

Do-over: Aaron Lynch

Ward had injury issues in his rookie year, but flashed talent as a nickel back for San Francisco in 2015. Still, Lynch's ability to set the edge and rush the passer is more valued as of today, so I'll have the Niners moving their fifth-round selection into the first round, where many thought he could be drafted as a freshman All-American at Notre Dame. Scouts soured on him during his time at USF and the pre-draft process, but the talent was always there.

31. DENVER BRONCOS

Pick: Bradley Roby

Do-over: Joel Bitonio

The Broncos might like the interior linemen they have on the roster now, but Bitonio's athleticism and toughness would fit in perfectly with their offensive scheme.

32. MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Pick: Teddy Bridgewater

Do-over: Jimmy Garoppolo

Would Vikings general manager Rick Spielman have pulled the trigger on a Garoppolo pick if Bridgewater was not available to him? We'll never know, but he takes the QB in this redo.

Follow Chad Reuter on Twitter @chad_reuter.

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