Posted: Thursday December 16, 2010 1:47PM ; Updated: Thursday December 16, 2010 2:32PM
Don Banks
Don Banks>INSIDE THE NFL

Draft redux

Reprojecting the 2010 first round based on season-to-date performances

Mid-December means it's almost time to go into full-blown review mode in terms of 2010, and we always get that process started by looking back at last April's NFL Draft with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight. This is our seventh annual redraft of the first round, and as always our attempt is to divine how things should have unfolded based on what we know now. Remember, rookie-season production carries more weight than potential or projection in our redraft. And honesty compels me to add one thing this year: The teams at the very top of the draft did excellent work. There's little reason to quibble with their choices.

Don Banks' 2010 Revised NFL Draft
1St. Louis 

Rams
St. Louis Rams (Original pick: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma)
RE-DO PICK: BRADFORD
The Rams passed on Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco in 2008, and Mark Sanchez and Josh Freeman in 2009, so they obviously thought Bradford was worth waiting for. And he was. The ex-Sooners quarterback has been everything St. Louis could have hoped for, and more. His poise and natural leadership skills made an immediate impact on the suddenly respectable Rams, and his strong and accurate passing arm can take the heart out of a defense. Bradford's 17 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 2,884 yards and 79.1 rating don't tell the whole story. He's a winner, and his presence has been the single most important factor in the resurgence of the first-place Rams.
 
2Detroit 

Lions
Detroit Lions (Original pick: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska)
RE-DO PICK: SUH
Why no change at the top of our draft redux this year? Wrap your brain around this: Bradford and Suh are the overwhelming favorites to win the NFL's Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year awards, and that's the first time since both have been given out (1967-on) that the hardware will go to the top two picks in the draft. Why try fixing something that's not broken? Suh has been a beast for the Lions this season, with a rookie-best eight sacks, as well as three passes defensed, one interception and one fumble recovery for a touchdown. And you can't even measure the intimidation factor that he's added to a Lions defense that has kept Detroit competitive in most games.
 
3Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Original pick: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma)
RE-DO PICK: McCOY
A torn left biceps suffered last Sunday in Washington just put McCoy on the shelf for the rest of the year, but the Bucs defensive tackle had been making some recent impact after his rookie season got off to a slow start. Tampa Bay's run defense remains a work in progress, but the vastly improved Bucs made the right choice when they decided to build their defensive front around the ex-Sooner. McCoy has started all 13 games for Tampa Bay, accumulating three sacks, two forced fumbles, four passes defensed and 43 tackles. All three of his sacks came in Tampa Bay's most recent four games, and after suffering via comparisons with Suh early on, McCoy has quickly emerged as one of the leaders of the on-the-way-up Bucs.
 
4Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins (Original pick: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma)
RE-DO PICK: RODGER SAFFOLD, OT, INDIANA
The Redskins have been very happy with Williams' rookie season, and he has more than held his own at left tackle against a steady stream of some of the best pass rushers in the league. But Saffold, who went No. 33 overall to St. Louis, leading off the second round, has been one of the major surprises in the Class of 2010, and he's considered the consensus top rookie tackle by league personnel men. The 6-foot-4 Saffold wasn't thought tall enough to play left tackle in the NFL, but he quickly disproved that, starting from day one for the Rams and superbly protecting Bradford's blind side (just two sacks allowed this season).
 
5Kansas 

City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs (Original pick: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee)
RE-DO PICK: BERRY
I know it's not as much fun, but once again we have ourselves a case of a team getting it right near the top of this year's draft. Though he's still learning his craft and can get caught out of position at times, Berry has helped upgrade a Chiefs defense that has made significant strides this season. His three interceptions tie him for fourth among rookies, and he has 10 passes defensed and a forced fumble, in addition to his 76 combined tackles at strong safety. In short, he's been as advertised and produced up to his top-five billing for the worst-to-first Chiefs.
 
6Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks (Original pick: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State)
RE-DO PICK: TRENT WILLIAMS, OT, OKLAHOMA
When Okung has played, the Seahawks have been very pleased with what they've gotten from the ex-OSU standout. But he has missed almost half the season so far (playing only seven of 13 games) due to two different high ankle sprains, and that tips the scales in favor of Williams. The Redskins rookie left tackle has started 10 of the 11 games he has played in, missing a couple games early in the season due to injuries to a knee and toe. But Williams has thrived as an athletic and physical blocker, successfully dealing with the likes of pass rushers Dwight Freeney, DeMarcus Ware, Julius Peppers, Mario Williams, Justin Tuck and Kyle Vanden Bosch. Williams quickly proved why the No. 4 Redskins made him the draft's first offensive lineman taken.
 
7Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns (Original pick: Joe Haden, CB, Browns)
RE-DO PICK: COLT MCCOY, QB, TEXAS
The Browns aren't regretting their choice of Haden for a second, given his five interceptions and 21 passes defensed. But the reality is Cleveland found itself a quality starting quarterback in the third round, and McCoy would never last that long if the draft were re-held. McCoy has missed the past three games with an ankle sprain, but the Browns were a different team in the five games he started in midseason. Cleveland beat both the Saints and Patriots with McCoy under center, and played the Steelers, Jets and Jaguars tough. McCoy has been given more of the Browns playbook to work with every week, and for a guy who wasn't even supposed to get a sniff of action this year, his 81 of 127 (63.8 percent) passing, with three touchdowns, three interceptions and a 85.3 rating is pretty good return on that third-round investment.
 
8Oakland Raiders
Oakland Raiders (Original pick: Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama)
RE-DO PICK: DEZ BRYANT, WR, OKLAHOMA STATE
McClain has been a fairly low-impact rookie in Oakland. Bryant has been the polar opposite of that in Dallas, and the Cowboys look pretty shrewd for taking the draft's most dynamic playmaker at No. 24. We all know Raiders owner Al Davis loves home-run hitters at receiver, and Bryant leads all rookies with eight touchdowns this season, six as a receiver and two as a punt returner. Bryant fractured an ankle in Week 13 and is lost for the season, but he didn't let a preseason high ankle sprain that cost him all of August ruin his rookie year. He finished with 45 catches for 561 yards (only two rookies have more yards), with a heady 14.3-yard punt return average and 24.4 on kickoffs.
 
9Buffalo 

Bills
Buffalo Bills (Original pick: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson)
RE-DO PICK: LeGARRETTE BLOUNT, RB, OREGON
The Bills thought they were selecting the draft's best running back when they chose Spiller ninth overall, but that's not how the story has worked out so far. Spiller hasn't been able to beat out Fred Jackson, and lately a hamstring injury has limited him. Instead, Blount (667 yards, 5 touchdowns) and New Orleans rookie Chris Ivory (683 yards, 5 touchdowns), both of whom went undrafted, have been the league's top two rookie rushers. We're giving the Bills the more powerful Blount, because we love the idea of him bludgeoning his way through defenses in the AFC East, not to mention the chill of another Buffalo winter.
 
10Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars (Original pick: Tyson Alualu, DT, California)
RE-DO PICK: ALUALU
The Jaguars' selection of Alualu was the most controversial pick of the top 10, because some teams didn't even grade him as a first-round prospect. But who's laughing now? Alualu has started every game for first-place Jacksonville, and he's been a solid, productive player from day one. His 31 tackles lead the Jaguars interior linemen, and his 3.5 sacks are fourth on the team. Even better, Jacksonville loves his work ethic, motor and leadership skills. If the Jags had it to do all over again, they'd do it all over again.
 
11San 

Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers (Original pick: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers)
RE-DO PICK: MAURKICE POUNCEY, C, FLORIDA
The Steelers have raved about Pouncey's play at center all season, and he's been the key to the resurgence of the Pittsburgh running game. The 49ers actually drafted two offensive linemen in the first round, Davis and Idaho guard Mike Iupati at No. 17. Iupati's been great at left guard and he's pivotal to the 49ers running game. Davis has been decent, and the team feels he'll improve. But Pouncey was the draft's best interior offensive linemen, and he'd upgrade San Francisco wherever he played.
 
12San Diego Chargers
San Diego Chargers (Original pick: Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State)
RE-DO PICK: MIKE WILLIAMS, WR, SYRACUSE
Any way you slice it, Mathews hasn't provided the impact the Chargers were hoping for this season. But Williams has been one of the steals of the draft. Given the way San Diego's receiving corps has been decimated by injuries (or holdouts and injuries, in the case of Vincent Jackson), Williams and his NFL rookie-leading 52 catches for 784 yards and seven touchdowns would have been a godsend for the Chargers.
 
13Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles (Original pick: Brandon Graham, LB, Michigan)
RE-DO PICK: EARL THOMAS, S, TEXAS
The Eagles took South Florida free safety Nate Allen early in the second round, and he's been a nice addition with 45 tackles and three interceptions. But with Thomas still on the board, Philly lands the draft's top-rated free safety. Thomas has 65 tackles and five interceptions for the Seahawks, and he plays the run and the pass equally well.
 
14Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks (Original pick: Earl Thomas, S, TEXAS)
RE-DO PICK: T.J. WARD, S, OREGON
With Seattle getting its offensive tackle at No. 6 (Trent Williams), but missing out on Earl Thomas in this slot, we're giving them Oregon safety T.J. Ward, who leads all rookies with 104 tackles, and has two interceptions. The Browns took Ward in the second round, and he's a strong safety, while Thomas plays free safety. But Seattle strong safety Lawyer Milloy must be 47 years old by now, so Ward still makes sense in Seattle.
 
15New 

York Giants
New York Giants (Original pick: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida)
RE-DO PICK: DEVIN McCOURTY, CB, RUTGERS
The Giants would be ecstatic to have a crack at McCourty, the local kid from Rutgers who has turned into an instant playmaker in New England's secondary. McCourty leads both the Patriots and all rookies with six interceptions, and he's got great coverage skills, as his 20 passes defensed exhibit. Pierre-Paul has started showing up late in terms of pass rush (four sacks), but McCourty is a top 10 talent in this redraft.
 
16Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans (Original pick: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech)
RE-DO PICK: PAT ANGERER, LB, IOWA
Derrick Morgan didn't make much of a mark as a rookie in Tennessee, playing in just four games before tearing an ACL and being lost for the season. Angerer, a second-round pick of the Colts, has been a nice addition at outside linebacker in Indy, with 70 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble. The Titans linebackers depth chart could use the boost.
 
17San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers (Original pick: Mike Iupati, G-C, Idaho)
RE-DO PICK: JOE HADEN, CB, FLORIDA
The 49ers got their interior offensive lineman in Pouncey at No. 11, and now it only makes sense to take Haden, the second-most productive cornerback so far in this season's rookie class. With Nate Clements aging, Haden would represent the future. Haden's five interceptions this season lead the Browns and he had one pick in a team-record four consecutive games.
 
18Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers (Original pick: Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida)
RE-DO PICK: Mike Iupati, G-C, Idaho
Missing out on Pouncey this time around hurts, but Iupati has been rock-solid at left guard in San Francisco, and he's a road grader when it comes to run blocking. Restoring the running game was job one in Pittsburgh this season, and Iupati aids a Steelers offensive line that has been a patchwork unit at times this year.
 
19Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons (Original pick: Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri)
RE-DO PICK: TONY MOEAKI, TE, IOWA
In a season in which there are a bevy of quality rookie tight ends to choose from, Moeaki is a natural choice to be groomed as Tony Gonzalez's replacement in Atlanta. As a third-round pick of the Chiefs this season, Moeaki has made catches that have been virtual carbon copies of the grabs Gonzalez made for years in K.C. Moeaki has 38 catches for 451 yards and three touchdowns for the surprising Chiefs.
 
20Houston 

Texans
Houston Texans (Original pick: Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama)
RE-DO PICK: ROLANDO McCLAIN, LB, ALABAMA
Jackson hasn't really helped a Texans pass defense that's far and away the worst in the NFL, and the sad truth is Houston never really found a way to replace two-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans after he was lost for the season in mid-October with a torn Achilles. McClain hasn't been spectacular for the Raiders, but his tackling has improved the run defense, and he would have come in real handy once Ryans went down.
 
21Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals (Original pick: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma)
RE-DO PICK: AARON HERNANDEZ, TE, FLORIDA
The ex-Gator lasted until New England took him in the fourth round because there were character red flags attached to his name in everyone's scouting reports. But through the first 13 games of his career, he looks like a first-round talent, with 41 catches for 532 yards and four touchdowns. Hernandez's average catch of 13.0 yards dwarfs the 8.7 average compiled by the Bengals' actual pick, Gresham. The ex-Sooner hasn't been too shabby himself, with 47 receptions for 409 yards and three scores. But Hernandez has been better.
 
22Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos (Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech)
RE-DO PICK: LEMARR HOUSTON, DE, TEXAS
When the Broncos lost outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil with a torn pectoral muscle in the preseason, there went most of their pass rush. Houston was a second-round pick in Oakland, and has started 12 games for the Raiders, with four sacks, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.
 
23Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers (Original pick: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa)
RE-DO PICK: CHRIS IVORY, RB, TIFFIN
There's been nothing wrong with the Bulaga pick, and he'll be a mainstay on the Packers offensive line for years. But Green Bay's running game virtually disappeared when Ryan Grant was lost for the season in the opener at Philadelphia, and the Packers offense got one-dimensional. Ivory would've helped. The undrafted running back from Tiffin leads all rookie rushers with 683 yards, a 5.3 average carry, with five touchdowns and five rushes of 20 or more yards.
 
24Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys (Original pick: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State)
RE-DO PICK: NATE ALLEN, S, SOUTH FLORIDA
The Cowboys safety situation has been problematic for years now, and Allen has played free safety well for the Eagles, who took him in the second round. Allen has 45 tackles, three interceptions, two sacks, and a fumble forced, and he'd be an upgrade over Dallas starter Alan Ball.
 
25Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos (Original pick: Tim Tebow, QB, Florida)
RE-DO PICK: JACOBY FORD, WR/KR, CLEMSON
The Broncos sure as heck wouldn't take Tim Tebow again if they had another shot at the No. 25 slot. The ex-Gator has barely gotten onto the field, and even then, only as a novelty act. Ford, on the other hand, has supplied real first-year impact for Oakland, which selected him in the fourth round. He's made 19 catches for 367 yards (a team-best 19.3-yard average), and his 23.3 kickoff return average and two touchdowns have boosted that part of the Raiders' attack as well.
 
26Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals (Original pick: Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee)
RE-DO PICK: BRYAN BULAGA, OT, IOWA
The Cardinals offensive line has been dismal this season, surrendering 40 sacks, no matter who happened to be playing quarterback at the moment. Bulaga has made nine starts for Green Bay this season, and though he's at right tackle now, he'll make his way to the more valuable left tackle slot at some point soon.
 
27New England Patriots
New England Patriots (Original pick: Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers)
RE-DO PICK: ROB GRONKOWSKI, TE, ARIZONA
The Patriots actually took Gronkowski in the second round, 42nd overall, but he's already outperformed his draft slot as a rookie. The ex-Wildcat has emerged as one of Tom Brady's favorite targets, with 31 catches for 365 yards and seven touchdowns (more than any other rookie tight end). He had a three-touchdown game in a win at Pittsburgh last month, and he's got seven catches of 20 yards or more.
 
28Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins (Original pick: Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State)
RE-DO PICK: JAHVID BEST, RB, CALIFORNIA
Best started out his NFL career in Detroit with five touchdowns in his first two games, then struggled with injury issues that robbed him of his burst. But he's still got almost 900 yards of combined rushing and receiving (with 51 catches) and those five touchdowns. Ricky Williams can't play forever in Miami's backfield, and the Dolphins could use some fresh legs.
 
29New 

York Jets
New York Jets (Original pick: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State)
RE-DO PICK: ALTERRAUN VERNER, CB, UCLA
The Kyle Wilson pick looked smart in April, but his impact has been slight. Verner, a fourth-round selection by the Titans, has overachieved in relation to his draft spot. He's started nine games in Tennessee, with two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, 71 tackles and 12 passes defensed.
 
30Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions (Original pick: Jahvid Best, RB, California)
RE-DO PICK: JARED VELDHEER, OT, HILLSDALE
The Raiders' third-round pick out of little-known Hillsdale has made eight starts this season, and he's that rare prospect who has been able to handle the left tackle slot as a rookie. The Lions can use all the solid building blocks they can find in year two of the Jim Schwartz coaching era.
 
31Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts (Original pick: Jerry Hughes, LB, TCU)
RE-DO PICK: ANTHONY DAVIS, OT, RUTGERS
While Davis hasn't been dominant as a rookie for the 49ers, he has started all season at right tackle and shown improvement as his experience deepens. Colts president Bill Polian recently admitted he should have gone for offensive tackle help in the first round, rather than select Hughes, who has barely made the field.
 
32New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints (Original pick: (Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State)
RE-DO PICK: JASON PIERRE-PAUL, DE, SOUTH FLORIDA
The Saints haven't gotten enough pass rush from their defensive line this season. Ends Will Smith and Alex Brown have combined for just 4.5 sacks, or a half-sack fewer than Pierre-Paul has totaled in spot duty for the Giants. New York's first-round pick has also forced two fumbles and recovered one.

First-round picks who did not make the cut this time: No. 6 Russell Okung, Seahawks, OT; No. 9 C.J. Spiller, Bills, RB; No. 12 Ryan Mathews, Chargers, RB; No. 13 Brandon Graham, Eagles, LB; No. 16 Derrick Morgan, Titans, DE; No. 19 Sean Weatherspoon, Falcons, LB; No.20 Kareem Jackson, Texans, CB; No. 21 Jermaine Gresham, Bengals, TE; No. 22 Demaryius Thomas, Broncos, WR; No. 25 Tim Tebow, Broncos, QB; No. 26 Dan Williams, Cardinals, DT; No. 28 Jared Odrick, Dolphins, DT; No. 29 Kyle Wilson, Jets, CB; No. 31 Jerry Hughes, Colts, LB; No. 32 Patrick Robinson, Saints, CB.

 
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