Shuffle Up and Re-Deal
How would the 2011 NFL Draft had gone down if teams were allowed to re-draft today?
I am a firm believer that you cannot fully grade a draft until 4 to 5 years after the fact, with that being said, let us take a look back at the NFL Draft from 2011 to see how those picks turned out. If teams knew then what they know now, who would have been drafted instead?
The 2011 NFL draft has produced 23 Pro Bowlers, including 12 of the top 16 picks that year, also in that draft are players who have retired or are out of the game completely, and 15 players who went undrafted that have gone on to be starters in the league.
Hindsight is undefeated, but there are many hits and misses among the 2011 draft class, and the league could look a lot different had teams made other decisions. If the teams were to re-draft today, here is how it would have unfolded.
- Carolina Panthers – QB Cam Newton – Perfect fit, right player at the right time.
- Denver Broncos – DE JJ Watt – Denver is VERY happy with Von Miller, but Watt is a once in a generation talent
- Buffalo Bills – DB Richard Sherman – A 5th round pick in 2011, a top 3 DB now
- Cincinnati Bengals – WR A.J. Green – Natural fit, just needs more help
- Arizona Cardinals – CB Patrick Peterson – Vastly underrated, cornerstone franchise player
- Atlanta Falcons – WR Julio Jones – Top 5 WR talent, needs to stay healthy
- San Francisco 49ers – LB Von Miller – Starter from day one, going to be a force for a long time
- Tennessee Titans – DE Robert Quinn – Same as Von Miller, dependable. Much better pick than Jake Locker
- Dallas Cowboys – RB DeMarco Murray – Dallas takes Murray earlier than 2011, still lets him go in free agency
- Jacksonville Jaguars – C Mike Pouncey – Off the field worries you a bit, on the field, no questions. Could have snagged a QB like Ryan Mallett in the 2nd round and been better off than Blaine Gabbert.
- Houston Texans – DE Marcell Dareus – Decent consolation prize for not getting Watt to drop to them.
- Minnesota Vikings – OT Tyron Smith – Running game would have been great, could have Blaine Gabbert or Greg McElroy much later for the same value they got out of REACHING for Christian Ponder
- Detroit Lions – DT Nick Fairley – Would have stayed in Detroit.
- St. Louis Rams – OT Nate Solder – Could have kept Bradford healthy
- Miami Dolphins – DE Ryan Kerrigan – Solid fit
- Washington Redskins – DT Corey Liuget – Would have easily replaced Albert Haynesworth
- New England Patriots – WR Randall Cobb – Brady + Welker + Moss + Cobb????
- San Diego Chargers – RB Mark Ingram – Contributes most anywhere in the league
- New York Giants – OT Anthony Castonzo – Solid Contributor
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – DE Cameron Jordan – Lot of power next to DT Gerald McCoy
- Cleveland Browns – DE Justin Houston – Would have wasted his career on another bad team
- Indianapolis Colts – DE Muhammad Wilkerson – Stud for a defense that needed it.
- Philadelphia Eagles – TE Julius Thomas – Would Andy Reid have used him the way Peyton Manning and Denver did?
- New Orleans Saints – LB Bruce Carter – Imagine him being a guy involved in “Bounty Gate”? Scary.
- Seattle Seahawks – QB Colin Kaepernick – No Russell Wilson, would there still have been a pair of Super Bowl trips?
- Kansas City Chiefs – LB Akeem Ayers – Lot of tackles. Output would be there no matter where he was.
- Baltimore Ravens – G Gabe Carimi – Solidify any offensive line unit when he is healthy
- New Orleans Saints – CB Prince Amukamara – Solid starter despite the injuries
- Chicago Bears – TE Jordan Cameron – Cutler, Forte, Marshall, Jeffrey, and Cameron? Tough offense to contain.
- New York Jets – QB Andy Dalton – Either large success or complete dumpster fire
- Pittsburgh Steelers – CB Jimmy Smith – Fell in 2011 because of off the field issues, has been solid since joining the NFL
- Green Bay Packers – C Jason Kelce – Keeping Aaron Rodgers upright and healthy is always a concern.
Crazy to think of how some of these teams would have unfolded had the draft gone this route and to wonder which coaches and general managers would be employed had they made these selections instead.