We’ve just hit the tip of the iceberg in our 2014 NFL Draft Re-Draft. We, you and I, have slipped the surly bonds of Earth together on a journey into another universe. A universe where NFL general managers, scouts and coaches are all a lot smarter.
Most string theory adherents believe it’s impossible to contact one of these other universes and peer inside. Have I disproven their theories with this mock draft? Have I?
Carl Sagan once said, “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” No one ever asked him for his blackberry cobbler recipe after that.
If you’d like to review Part 1, click here. Here’s a quick review; Houston Texans – Aaron Donald, St. Louis Rams – Jadeveon Clowney, Jacksonville Jaguars – Khalil Mack, Buffalo Bills – Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders – Teddy Bridgewater.
Let’s make some picks!
6. Atlanta Falcons – Odell Beckham, Jr., WR, LSU
Original pick: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
I was tempted to plug Taylor Lewan in here, the best tackle in this draft, but there’s no way this team passes up on OBJ a second time around. Imagine, if you can, Julio Jones on one side of the offense and Beckham on other. Now, if you’re a defensive coordinator go change your pants. Matthews has been a decent offensive tackle and still has time to develop into being worthy of his namesake, but he’s not there yet. It’s no reason to be down on Matthews’ development. As most high picks, he was thrown in to action early and has had to learn on the job. He’s done well enough to secure his position as the starting left tackle on a Super Bowl team, so there’s no reason to toss your hat into the dirt and stomp on it over this original pick.
Beckham is a legit NFL superstar. In his first three seasons he’s amassed 288 catches for 4,122 yards and 35 touchdowns. Just last season OBJ officially became the fastest player in NFL history to hit the 3,500 yard mark. He added 622 more to it.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
Original pick: Evans
It seems to happen every time I do one of these. A team nails their pick so hard it actually comes back around to them in the re-draft. Evans is a star and the fact that he and Beckham Jr. went in the same draft is pretty remarkable. Even more so when you consider some of the wide receivers taken later. This might have been the best wide receiver class in NFL history. I mean, hell, Allen Hurns and Willie Snead IV didn’t even get drafted for God’s sake.
In three seasons, Evans has 238 catches for 3,578 yards and 27 touchdowns. If you’re doing the math, that probably makes him the second fastest player to reach 3,500 yards receiving.
8. Cleveland Browns – Blake Bortles, QB, USF
Original pick: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
With the Rams sitting at No. 13 looking for a quarterback as insurance for Sam Bradford, the Browns can’t afford to wait until later in the draft. They pull the trigger on Bortles here at No. 8 and hope for the best. And what they would get, unquestionably, is their best quarterback since Vinnie Testeverde. Bortles actually kind of looks like Testeverde when you think about it. Gilbert, of course, was an epic Browns bust and is not currently in the NFL. Bortles still has plenty of questions, but I legitimately think they’ll be solved with a serious coaching upgrade. The fact that Bortles has played as well as he has with Gus Bradley, the worst head coach in modern NFL history at the helm, is kind of astounding.
9. Minnesota Vikings – Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Original pick: Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA
The Vikings spent years shoving aside their pending offensive line issues. In this draft, we take care of a big piece of it with Lewan. Barr wasn’t a bad pick here, but there’s no question Minnesota would rather have Lewan at this spot. Lewan turned out to be the best tackle in this draft. A draft in which all the scouts had him no higher than No. 3 (which is where he went in reality behind Robinson and Jake Matthews). This is why I do my own evaluations, but that’s not to say I’m perfect. I had Lewan at No. 2 behind Matthews myself.
Barr has been a solid pro and will show up later in the is first round draft re-do. This was just way too high for him on a team with so many other needs, especially along the offensive line.
10. Detroit Lions – Devonta Freeman, RB, Florida State
Orginal pick: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
The Lions have been pissing into the wind at running back for years. They got a 1,000 yard season out of Reggie Bush in 2013, but since then it’s been backfield by committee and the committee has not been very good. Matthew Stafford has had to do pretty much all the offensive work himself, and while the guy has the talent, plug in a legitimate star like Devonta Freeman and the whole complexion of the offense changes. Freeman is a complete back. He has power, breakaway speed and he can contribute in the passing game as a receiver and blocker. He’s a scoring machine and over the last two seasons with the Falcons has scored 27 touchdowns while notching back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons while having to split carries with Tevin Coleman. While Ebron hasn’t been a bust for the Lions, he’s certainly only now started to live up to their lofty expectations when they drafted him No. 10. He’s caught seven touchdowns in his career. Freeman has caught six TDs to go with his 23 rushing touchdowns.
Freeman is our first round jumper in this draft re-do. He was originally taken in the fourth round by Atlanta with the 103rd pick, so, you know, 93 picks later. Ridiculous.
11. Tennessee Titans – Zach Martin, OG, Notre Dame
Original pick: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
The Titans are our third team to take a negative hit in this first round do-over. Lewan, as I already stated, was the best offensive tackle in this draft. On the bright side, Martin is a pretty solid consolation prize as he’s probably the second best offensive lineman in the this draft, regardless of position. With this pick, the Titans continue building up their line, which they were desperate to do. It’s paid off in real life as they probably have the second best unit in the league behind the Dallas Cowboys, who actually took Martin back in 2014.
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