Redrafting the 2005 NFL Draft

By: Dylan Elder – Editor-in-Chief.

In conjunction with our Mock Draft series, we will also be redrafting previous drafts on a weekly basis here at FSLR. Now that the 2014 episode is only 8 weeks away, we’ll start with 2005 and finish with 2012 (too early to judge the 2013 class). While hindsight is 20/20, there are some glaring mistakes in each draft from the past 8 years… let’s poke fun.

1. San Francisco 49ers – Aaron Rodgers (previous pick: QB, Alex Smith): A homegrown product, the 49ers totally dissed Rodgers by taking the incompetent alternative. As did the other 23 teams that past on the star QB. Even though the Niners eventually found their franchise guy in Kaepernick, imagine the already loaded San Francisco team with Rodgers at the helm.

2. Miami Dolphins – Demarcus Ware (previous pick: RB, Ronnie Brown): While Brown has put together a very unmemorable career, Demarcus Ware just signed another monster contract and is still one of the best pass rushers in the league. Dolphins fans, I ask you to picture Ware lining up across from Jason Taylor (back in the day) or Cameron Wake (now). I’m sorry.

3. Cleveland Browns – Roddy White (previous pick: WR, Braylon Edwards): After struggling in his first two NFL seasons, Braylon Edwards broke out in a grandiose way (80 catches for 1289 yards and 16 touchdowns) in 2007. However, the receiver failed to eclipse 7 touchdowns or 904 yards in any single season thereafter. Meanwhile, save for 2013, Roddy White is always mentioned among top NFL receivers and would have been a nice piece for the Browns’ brass to build around.

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4. Chicago Bears – Frank Gore (previous pick: RB, Cedric Benson): Gore lasted three rounds in the 2005 draft, but Cedric Benson lasted just 3 season with his first NFL team. Gore has past the 30 year old mark (the proverbial cliff for running backs) and yet he’s still producing. Bears fans, wouldn’t it have been nice to have Gore for that Super Bowl against the Colts? Brings back some bad memories huh?

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Derrick Johnson (previous pick: RB, Cadillac Williams): Quick tangent, notice how the NFL has drastically changed since 2005: In this draft, 3 running backs were picked in the top 5. In 2013, none were picked in the entire first round. Back to the redraft, Williams never found his niche in the NFL and Derrick Johnson has been a pro bowler for the past 3 seasons. How does it sound to pair up the perennial pro bowl linebacker (Johnson) with up and coming star (Lavonte David) to anchor the middle of the Tampa defense?

6. Tennessee Titans – Logan Mankins (previous pick: CB, Pacman Jones): By now, everyone knows the story about Pacman Jones and his insane antics. And although he has certainly cooled down and found a complementary role with the Bengals, that doesn’t change the fact that he did next to nothing for Tennessee. The Titans shelled out almost $48 million for a mediocre guard in Andy Levitre last offseason, and if they selected Mankins here, their interior offensive line would have been set for the ensuing decade instead of constantly overpaying for mediocre talent.

7. Minnesota Vikings – Vincent Jackson (previous pick: WR, Troy Williamson): Williamson is widely considered one of the biggest WR draft busts in recent memory. The man never broke 500 yards receiving or 40 catches in any season. If they had picked Jackson instead, the Vikings would have had a much smoother transition from the Randy Moss era and each of their many quarterbacks over the years would have enjoyed a reliable target to throw to.

8. Arizona Cardinals – Antrel Rolle (previous pick: CB/S, Antrel Rolle): Finally we get to a team that actually drafted right in 2005! The only mistake that the Cardinals made with Rolle was letting him go too early. After bolting for the Giants in 2010, Rolle has made the All-Pro team twice, including this past season.

9. Washington Redskins – Michael Roos (previous pick: CB, Carlos Rogers): The Redskins always seem to have needs all over the field, but perhaps one of their biggest holes (from ’05-’10 at least) was at left tackle. Roos (a three time All-Pro) would have solidified the blindside for whatever quarterback was under center in Washington and could have provided stability to an ever evolving offensive line.

10. Detroit Lions – Evan Mathis (previous pick: WR, Mike Williams): In the real draft, the Lions had their choice of Roddy White or Vincent Jackson instead of the wildly disappointing receiver Williams. But in this redraft, both studs are gone, so Detroit settles for 2013 All-Pro guard Evan Mathis. It took a while, but Mathis has finally put together his game and should now be considered one of the premier interior lineman in the NFL.

11. Dallas Cowboys – Justin Tuck (previous pick: LB, Demarcus Ware): Poor Cowboys. A draft pick finally goes right for them but then he gets taken right from their grasp in the redraft. Okay maybe it’s not real life, and Justin Tuck is a fine plan B, but still.

12. San Diego Chargers – Shawne Merriman (previous pick: LB, Shawne Merriman): I struggled a good amount with this one. On one hand, Merriman averaged 13 sacks per year over his first three NFL seasons, on the other hand, after those three miraculous years, he didn’t make an sort of impact whatsoever. Even though his success was short-lived, his dominance over that period of time was so great that I still deem him worthy of such a high pick.

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13. New Orleans Saints – Trent Cole (previous pick: OT, Jamaal Brown): Somehow Cole lasted until the 4th round in 2005 and a team can never have too many pass rushers. This pick would’ve helped a Saints defense that struggled to stay relevant for several of the past 8 years.

14. Carolina Panthers – Heath Miller (previous pick: LB, Thomas Davis): Yes, Greg Olsen has been a coup for the Panthers in his few years with the team; no doubt about that. However, Miller would have provided unquestionable consistency at a very important position for years on end.

15. Kansas City Chiefs – Lofa Tatupu (previous pick: LB, Derrick Johnson): Unfortunately for the Chiefs, they lose out on their stud LB in this redraft. However, Lofa Tatupu did indeed play at a pro-bowl level for a few seasons in Seattle and it’s the best Kansas City can do to fill Johnson’s void.

16. Houston Texans – Nick Collins (previous pick: DT, Travis Johnson): No matter who the Texans pick in the redraft he’s bound to be better than Travis Johnson. Even though Nick Collins last played in 2011, he still made 3 pro bowls in his career and helped lead the Packers to a Super Bowl championship in the process.

17. Cincinnati Bengals – Jamaal Brown (previous pick: LB, David Pollack): Despite being out of football as we speak in 2014, Brown still had a productive career that included two trips to the pro bowl with New Orleans. The Bengals certainly could have used that continuity in their offensive line.

18. Minnesota Vikings – Corey Webster (previous pick: DE, Erasmus James): Webster has never made a pro bowl, but he won two Super Bowls with the Giants and was a consistent player in their secondary for years. The Vikings would have been lucky to employ an above average corner like Webster for the past eight seasons.

19. St. Louis Rams – Carlos Rogers (previous pick: OT, Alex Barron): Carlos Rogers has had quite the eventful career, and I’m not sure he would’ve succeeded in St. Louis, but he would have definitely given the Rams a much needed talent upgrade at CB.

20. Dallas Cowboys – Darren Sproles (previous pick: Marcus Spears): Ever since Emmitt Smith departed, the Cowboys have had a revolving door of running backs come through Dallas. While Sproles wouldn’t have completely solved that problem, he would have provided a much needed spark to an offense that struggled for much of the late 2000s.

21. Jacksonville Jaguars – Stanford Routt (previous pick: WR, Matt Jones): Even with Routt’s up and down career, I’d still take him over Matt Jones who was a physical specimen but not much of a football player. Give me a few good years of Routt and I’ll be content at this spot.

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22. Baltimore Ravens – Ronnie Brown (previous pick: WR, Mark Clayton): Sure, Ronnie Brown is considered a bust by many, including myself, but lest we forget that the running back made a pro bowl in 2008.

23. Oakland Raiders – Thomas Davis (previous pick: CB, Fabian Washington): Davis is one of the most incredible stories in recent NFL history. He has torn the same ACL three times and is still playing effective football for the Panthers to this day.

24. Green Bay Packers – Alex Smith (previous pick: QB, Aaron Rodgers): The Packers clearly got the steal of the draft in 2oo5, but would Alex Smith have been remotely successful if he sat behind Brett Favre for multiple years too?

25. Washington Redskins – Jason Campbell (previous pick: Jason Campbell): Even though Campbell doesn’t knock anybody’s socks off, he’s still a competent NFL QB. With the arid selection left at this point, it’s the best option for Washington.

26. Seattle Seahawks – David Baas (previous pick: C, Chris Spencer): Baas’s name doesn’t get mentioned often in offensive line folklore, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. He’s had a quietly productive career and the Seahawks would have been pleased by his consistency at center.

27. Atlanta Falcons – Todd Herremans (previous pick: WR, Roddy White): The Falcons struck gold at the end of the first round with White, but they aren’t as fortunate this time around. However, their offensive line has struggled for years and Todd Herremans would have been a nice stop-gap at the tackle or guard position at the very least.

28. San Diego Chargers – Luis Castillo (previous pick: DE, Luis Castillo): Again the Chargers select the same player that they did in 2005. Castillo was never a flashy player, but he was a consistent force on the defensive line and would definitely be welcomed back to San Diego.

29. Indianapolis Colts – Mike Patterson (previous pick: CB, Marlin Jackson): Back in 2005, the Colts were led by their record setting offense controlled by Peyton Manning. Defense was almost an after thought and a decent player like Patterson could have paid serious dividends.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers – Pacman Jones (previous pick: TE, Heath Miller): With Heath Miller off the board, the Steelers turn to troubled yet talented corner Pacman Jones. The hope here would be that Pittsburgh’s close-knit locker room could have kept Jones out of trouble.

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31. Philadelphia Eagles – Kevin Burnett (previous pick: DT, Mike Patterson): Kevin Burnett has carved out a solid career for himself. While he likely wouldn’t have been a high impact player, he could’ve still injected stability to an aging defense.

32. New England Patriots – Nick Kazcur (previous pick: G, Logan Mankins): The defending champion New England Patriots picked little known guard Logan Mankins out of Fresno State, and he’s been a mainstay in their offense ever since. However, with their original pick long gone, the Pats select Kazcur, whom they nabbed in the third round in 2005.