In the spirit of draft season, I am going to go back three years to the 2008 draft and draft players for teams had they known exactly what kind of players they would eventually become. I'm using the scenario of replacing the player they originally drafted with the new pick, with all other factors remaining constant. I am not going to spin my head with paradoxes in the universe if a player falls a few spots.
Original Selection: Jake Long, OT
New Selection: Matt Ryan, QB: This is the most obvious change that dolphans are still losing sleep over. Even though Jake Long is the best young tackle in the league, there is no doubt the Dolphins would be competing with the Jets and Patriots for AFC East supremacy had they taken Ryan.
Original Selection: Chris Long, DE
New Selection: Chris Long, DE: I thought about DeSean Jackson here, but Chris Long has really come on over the past few years, and is vital to the Rams defense. He looked like a washout in the first few years, but his production is starting to pay off for the Rams.
Original Selection: Matt Ryan, QB
New Selection: Jake Long, OT: Atlanta made the right choice on draft day, taking Matt Ryan. In this re-draft, however, he is not available, so they take the best player available, and probably the best talent to come out of this class.
Original Selection: Darren McFadden, RB
New Selection: Ryan Clady, OT: While McFadden had a great 2010 campaign, Clady is right next to Long as the best young tackles in the NFL. Even today, the Raiders have holes on the offensive line.
Original Selection: Glenn Dorsey, DT
New Selection: DeSean Jackson, WR: Dorsey, although he plays a little better than he is given credit for, has not quie been the dominant force in the middle the Chiefs have been looking for. I'll give them a speed complement to Dwayne Bowe to give them one of the best reciever corps in the legaue.
Picks 6-10, including the Jets selection, after the jump:
Original Selection: Vernon Gholston, DE
New Selection: Chris Johnson, RB: Alright Jets fans, imagine this - Chris Johnson + Shonn Greene - Joe McKnight.
Original Selection: Sedrick Ellis, DE
New Selection: Ray Rice, RB: New Orleans can't find a running back to stay healthy, and Rice is the kind of guy who can do it all and fit nicely in Sean Payton's offense.
Original Selection: Derrick Harvey, DE
New Selection: Joe Flacco, QB: Jacksonville would be set a QB for a decade had they made this pick. Instead, they are treading water with Garrard and are constantly looking for his repacement.
Original Selection: Keith Rivers, LB
New Selection: Jeff Otah, OT: Andre Smith is looking more like a guard than a tackle. They would have never had to draft him if they made this pick, who had been great for Carolina so far.
Original Selection: Jerod Mayo, LB
New Selection: Jerod Mayo, LB: This was already the right pick for the Pats. Mayo is the heart of the young Pats defense, and no other option makes as much sense here.