The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Re-drafting the historically great 2011 NFL Draft

Re-drafting the historically great 2011 NFL Draft

How things could have gone differently
Von Miller celebrates at Sports Authority Field.

The way I set this up was I drafted players based on team needs from their 2010-11 rosters, not their current rosters. I used the exact draft order from 2011 and included the names and positions of the original selections and my redrafted selections. The benefit of hindsight always makes things easier, and you’ll see a lot of big names come off of the board in the first round in the redraft that had to wait until later rounds to be selected back in 2011.

Carolina Panthers Pick # 1

Original Pick – Cam Newton QB

New Pick – Cam Newton QB (Drafted 1st Overall by Panthers)

The Panthers suffered through the 2010 season with Jimmy Clausen as their quarterback. Even if more talented players are available, the team needs to draft a quarterback.

Denver Broncos Pick # 2

Original Pick – Von Miller LB

New Pick – Von Miller LB (Drafted 2nd Overall by Broncos)

J.J. Watt may be the better player, but picking Miller worked out so well for the Broncos the first time that they can’t pass up the opportunity to do it again.

Buffalo Bills Pick # 3

Original Pick – Marcell Dareus DT

New Pick – J.J. Watt DE (Drafted 11th Overall by Texans)

The Bills take the best player left on the board and land Watt all the way at third overall. Watt is by far the best player in the draft.

Cincinnati Bengals Pick # 4

Original Pick – A.J. Green WR

New Pick – Julio Jones WR (Drafted 6th Overall by Falcons)

While Green has quite the impressive résumé, Jones has been better and has been the best or second best receiver in the league for several seasons.

Arizona Cardinals Pick # 5

Original Pick – Patrick Peterson CB

New Pick – Patrick Peterson CB (Drafted 5th Overall by Cardinals)

The Peterson pick is another one that worked out so well that it gets redone. Peterson is also the best prospect left on the board at this point.

Atlanta Falcons Pick # 6

Original Pick – Julio Jones WR

New Pick – Tyron Smith OT (Drafted 9th Overall by Cowboys)

Smith is a Hall of Fame caliber left tackle who will protect Matt Ryan’s blind side for the next decade.

San Francisco 49ers Pick # 7

Original Pick – Aldon Smith LB

New Pick – Richard Sherman CB (Drafted 154th Overall by Seahawks)

Instead of choosing Smith the 49ers take Sherman, who was arguably the best cornerback in the league for a few years. He is also on the team’s current roster.

Tennessee Titans Pick # 8

Original Pick- Jake Locker QB

New Pick- Andy Dalton QB (Drafted 35th Overall by Bengals)

Locker never developed into an NFL quarterback, but Dalton has made several Pro Bowls as a starter for the Bengals. The Titans are thrilled to have him.

Dallas Cowboys Pick # 9

Original Pick – Tyron Smith OT

New Pick – Cameron Jordan DE (Drafted 24th Overall by Saints)

Jordan was a Defensive Player of the Year candidate and has had ten sacks three times in his career. He will provide the Cowboys with their post-DeMarcus Ware pass rusher.

Jacksonville Jaguars Pick # 10

Original Pick – Blaine Gabbert QB

New Pick – Justin Houston LB (Drafted 70th Overall by Chiefs)

He’s the best pure pass rusher in the draft behind Watt and Miller. In 2014 he recorded 22 sacks. He can be a defensive centerpiece for the rebuilding Jaguars.

Houston Texans Pick # 11

Original Pick – J.J. Watt DE

New Pick – Chris Harris Jr. CB (Undrafted)

I don’t know how Harris went undrafted. He could very well be one of the best undrafted players of all-time. He’s been to three Pro Bowls and rounds out an impressive cornerback class with Peterson and Sherman.

Minnesota Vikings Pick # 12

Original Pick – Christian Ponder QB

New Pick – A.J. Green WR (Drafted 4th Overall by Bengals)

Green doesn’t deserve to fall as far as he does. He’s made the Pro Bowl each of his seven NFL seasons and will provide the Vikings with their best receiver since Randy Moss.

Detroit Lions Pick # 13

Original Pick – Nick Fairley DT

New Pick – DeMarco Murray RB (Drafted 71st Overall by Cowboys)

No Lions running back crossed the 600 yard mark in 2010 or 2011. Murray has never rushed for less than 600 yards in a season in his career and finally gives the Lions a stable ground game.

St. Louis Rams Pick # 14

Original Pick – Robert Quinn DE

New Pick – Jason Kelce C (Drafted 191st Overall by Eagles)

Kelce has become one of the best centers in the NFL. I’m a fan of building from the front back and Kelce will provide a corner stone for the Rams offensive rebuild.

Miami Dolphins Pick # 15

Original Pick – Mike Pouncey C

New Pick – Mike Pouncey C (Drafted 15th Overall by Dolphins)

Pouncey isn’t on the Dolphins anymore, but he made three Pro Bowls with the team. That’s more success than most players experience in their careers. The Dolphins take Pouncey again.

Washington Redskins Pick # 16

Original Pick – Ryan Kerrigan LB

New Pick – Ryan Kerrigan LB (Drafted 16th Overall by Redskins)

Kerrigan has averaged over ten sacks per season with the Redskins and has been to three Pro Bowls. He’s been one of the best and most consistent pass rushers in the league during his career.

New England Patriots Pick # 17

Original Pick – Nate Solder OT

New Pick – Nate Solder OT (Drafted 17th Overall by Patriots)

Someone reliable and dependable has to guard Tom Brady’s blind spot. Solder more than proved himself to be a man worthy of the job in his long stint with the Patriots.

San Diego Chargers Pick # 18

Original Pick – Corey Liuget DT

New Pick – Jurrell Casey DT (Drafted 77th Overall by Titans)

The Chargers took the wrong defensive tackle in the draft. Somehow Casey fell to the third round. Since being drafted he has made three Pro Bowls and recorded 39 sacks.

New York Giants Pick # 19

Original Pick – Prince Amukamara CB

New Pick – Kyle Rudolph TE (Drafted 43rd Overall by Vikings)

At this time the Giants didn’t have a legit or established tight end. Rudolph has had his best seasons these last two years and has made two Pro Bowls in his career.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pick # 20

Original Pick – Adrian Clayborn DE

New Pick – Robert Quinn DE (Drafted 14th Overall by Rams)

Quinn has struggled with injuries and consistency lately, but he once recorded 19 sacks in a season. He is certainly better than Clayborn and, if he returns to form, other teams should be scared.

Cleveland Browns Pick # 21

Original Pick – Phil Taylor Sr. DT

New Pick – Tyrod Taylor QB (Drafted 180th Overall by Ravens)

Is it any surprise that the Browns will take another shot at landing a franchise quarterback? Taylor did go to the Pro Bowl with the Bills and is actually on the Browns roster right now.

Indianapolis Colts Pick # 22

Original Pick – Anthony Castonzo OT

New Pick – Rodney Hudson OL (Drafted 55th Overall by Chiefs)

If the Colts were determined to build from the front back, Hudson is a two-time Pro Bowler who has played the majority of his career at center but is also able to play guard.

Philadelphia Eagles Pick # 23

Original Pick – Danny Wilkins OG

New Pick – K.J. Wright LB (Drafted 99th Overall by Seahawks)

The Eagles needed to bolster their linebacker corps, and Wright is a former Pro Bowler and he rarely misses games with injuries. While he isn’t the most flashy or explosive player at his position, he brings a lot of dependability and consistency to the table.

New Orleans Saints Pick # 24

Original Pick – Cameron Jordan DE

New Pick – Cameron Heyward DE (Drafted 31st Overall by Steelers)

By this point Jordan is long gone, but Heyward, a Pro Bowler and First Team All-Pro selection, is still available. Heyward isn’t quite as nimble as Jordan, but he can kick inside and take snaps at the defensive tackle position.

Seattle Seahawks Pick # 25

Original Pick – James Carpenter OT

New Pick – Doug Baldwin WR (Undrafted)

Again, how does a player like Baldwin go undrafted? Ironically, the Seahawks were the team that signed Baldwin when he went undrafted, but they rectify that mistake by selecting him here.

 Kansas City Chiefs Pick # 26

Original Pick – Jonathan Baldwin WR

New Pick – Randall Cobb WR (Drafted 64th Overall by Packers)

Baldwin never panned out and was a complete bust, but Cobb has had several quality seasons in the NFL and even made a Pro Bowl in 2014.

Baltimore Ravens Pick # 27

Original Pick – Jimmy Smith CB

New Pick – Muhammad Wilkerson DE (Drafted 30th Overall by Jets)

While he hasn’t been living up to his contract lately, Wilkerson was once a Pro Bowler and would provide the Ravens with a pass rusher to pair with Terrell Suggs. That duo would strike terror into quarterbacks and offensive coordinators alike.

New Orleans Saints Pick # 28

Original Pick – Mark Ingram Jr. RB

New Pick – Mark Ingram Jr. RB (Drafted 28th Overall by Saints)

He has rushed for 1,000 yards twice in his career and has crossed the 1,000 yards from scrimmage mark four times on his way to two Pro Bowl seasons. Ingram has definitely worked out as a pick for the Saints.

Chicago Bears Pick # 29

Original Pick – Gabe Carimi OT

New Pick – Torrey Smith WR (Drafted 58th Overall by Ravens)

At this point Johnny Knox was the Bears’ best receiver. Smith would bring a much needed presence to the subpar receiving corps.

New York Jets Pick # 30

Original Pick – Muhammad Wilkerson DE

New Pick – Jabaal Sheard DE (Drafted 37th Overall by Browns)

With all of the big, Pro Bowl names at the defensive end position gone, Sheard is the best player at his position remaining. He has 41.5 sacks and just over 300 combined tackles in his career.

Pittsburgh Steelers Pick # 31

Original Pick – Cameron Hayward DE

New Pick – Anthony Castonzo OT (Drafted 22nd Overall by Colts)

Ben Roethlisberger was sacked 32 times in 2010 and 40 times in 2011. While the Steelers drafted tackle Marcus Gilbert later in the draft and already had Max Starks on their roster, Castonzo could start right away or add depth to the line. He may not have been as good as teams hoped he would be, but Castonzo is still a solid starter.

Green Bay Packers Pick # 32

Original Pick – Derek Sherrod OT

New Pick – Marcus Gilbert OT (Drafted 63rd Overall by Steelers)

Sherrod only started one game in his career, while Gilbert has started 82. While Gilbert has an injury history and was suspended last year for a PED violation, he’s a quality starter who is available more often than not.

Best Remaining: Marcell Dareus DT, Jimmy Smith CB, Pernell McPhee LB, Aldon Smith LB, Colin Kaepernick QB, Jordan Cameron TE, Stefen Wisniewski OL, Prince Amukamara CB, Orlando Franklin OT, Julius Thomas TE, Dion Lewis RB, Charles Clay TE, Malcolm Smith LB

A few quick notes: first I think Marcell Dareus might go in the first round anyways in a redraft, but I didn’t put him up there because he’s started just 11 games in the last two seasons and is clearly not the great player he once was. Second, Jimmy Smith has been a solid cornerback for the Ravens and is probably worthy of a first round pick. Third, I might have considered Orlando Franklin for the last selection over Marcus Gilbert, but Franklin just retired. And finally, someone would take Colin Kaepernick, probably, in the late first round or early second round. Quarterbacks are just too valuable to not draft, especially if you’re a team in dire need of one. I just ran out of places to put him and liked other pairings better.

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