In this exercise we will be giving NFL teams the opportunity to re-do their 2012 1st Round selections. For purposes of clarity, we will pretend that all other factors surrounding each selection are exactly as they were at the time of the draft. So let’s have at it…
If you missed the first part, you can check it out here:
Tennessee Titans (Round 1, Pick 20):
2016 Selection: Olivier Vernon– Defensive End, Miami (FL)
2012 Selection: Kendall Wright – Wide Receiver, Baylor
After starring alongside Josh Gordon and RGIII at Baylor, many expected Kendall Wright to step right in and become a #1 wide receiver in Tennessee. Wright has failed to deliver upon the lofty expectations and considering the wealth of talent in this draft; the Titans would love the chance at a do-over with this pick.
The fact that the Titans are able to select Olivier Vernon with the #20 pick in this exercise has more to do with the wealth of talent in this draft than Vernon’s ability on the field. Although the #20 pick is certainly considered a premium pick, Vernon was arguably the best 4-3 defensive end in the league during the 2nd half of the 2015 season. Vernon has never missed a game since being selected in the 3rd round by the Miami Dolphins, all the while amassing 29.0 sacks and being a force against the run.
New England Patriots (Round 1, Pick 21):
2016 Selection: Cordy Glenn– Offensive Tackle, Georgia
2012 Selection: Chandler Jones – Defensive End, Syracuse
The New England Patriots hit the jackpot with their two 1st round selections in the 2012 NFL Draft, by picking up both Chandler Jones and Don’t’a Hightower. Both of those players were selected earlier in this re-do Draft, so the Patriots take the best available offensive lineman with the #21 pick. Cordy Glenn was a 2nd round selection out of Georgia by the Buffalo Bills, who initially was pegged as an offensive guard coming into the league. Glenn has been a consistent force for the Buffalo Bills, making the transition to left-tackle and being handsomely rewarded this offseason with a 5-year $65 million contract extension. With the offensive line struggles in New England the past few seasons, Bill Belichick would welcome Glenn with open arms.
Cleveland Browns (Round 1, Pick 22):
2016 Selection: Doug Martin– Running Back, Boise St.
2012 Selection: Brandon Weeden – Quarterback, Oklahoma St.
The second half of the Browns’ epic 1st round strikeout in 2012, Brandon Weeden fell flat on his face as a Brown and is currently looking to make an NFL roster. Doug Martin has been a force on the ground for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when he has been able to stay on the field. Martin has amassed two 1400-yard rushing seasons, two Pro Bowl selections and was named a First-Team All-Pro in 2015. In 2012 the Browns landed Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson with their two 1st round selections, things might be looking much better for Browns’ fans if it were Kirk Cousins and Doug Martin instead.
Detroit Lions (Round 1, Pick 23):
2016 Selection: Michael Brockers – Defensive Tackle, LSU
2012 Selection: Riley Reiff – Offensive Tackle, Iowa
Although Riley Reiff has been a consistent performer at offensive tackle for the Lions, Detroit’s defense was decimated with the departure of All-Pro defensive tackles Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh. Brockers does all of the dirty work as a defensive tackle, allowing the rest of the defense to make plays by freeing them up from blockers. Detroit’s defense has struggled in recent years and adding Brockers would give them the defensive tackle depth necessary to slow down opponent’s offenses.
Pittsburgh Steelers (Round 1, Pick 24):
2016 Selection: Harrison Smith – Free Safety, Notre Dame
2012 Selection: David DeCastro – Offensive Guard, Stanford
The Steelers had the luxury of selecting DeCastro with the #24 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and the organization has reaped the benefits of that selection ever since. Over the past few years the Achilles’ heel of the Steelers has been its secondary, which has consistently been picked apart by opposing Quarterbacks. Harrison Smith was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the #29 pick in 2012 and has steadily improved since entering the league. Pro Football Focus named Smith a First-Team All-Pro in both 2014 and 2015, meaning Pittsburgh’s pass defense immediately becomes less of a liability. Not only does Smith play the centerfielder role well but he is a handful close to the line of scrimmage, delivering punishing hits to opposing running backs.
Thanks for reading make sure to check back for the rest of Round 1…