This is a 2004 NFL Draft Re-Mock, just in case you missed the big blue letters up top. I'm going back to 2004 and re-distributing all of the 2004 NFL Draft prospects to all of the teams in the 2004 NFL Draft order. This 2004 NFL Draft Re-Mock is based on how these players have performed in their careers, as well as the needs each team had back in 2004.
San Diego Chargers: Philip Rivers, QB, N.C. State Actual 2004 NFL Draft Pick: Eli Manning, QB (traded to NYG for Philip Rivers, QB) My 2004 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Eli Manning, QB
As you'll see, the 2004 NFL Draft was packed with talented players, notably four franchise quarterbacks: Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisbeger, Eli Manning and Matt Schaub.
I would rank those four signal-callers in that order in the wake of Roethlisberger's multiple rape accusations. Big Ben has had the most success in the NFL of those four, but if he gets into trouble again, he could be suspended for an entire season. Thus, I'd have to put Rivers ahead of Roethlisberger - a decision made easier considering that the Chargers venture into the playoffs every year with Rivers at the helm.
Oakland Raiders: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Miami Of Ohio Actual 2004 NFL Draft Pick: Robert Gallery, OT My 2004 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Roy Williams, WR
How do you go from being the Super Bowl runner-up to having the No. 2 pick in the draft? By drinking goat blood, sacrificing virgins and passing on franchise quarterbacks, that's how.
Call me crazy, but I don't think Al Davis would have minded Big Ben's off-the-field actions.
Arizona Cardinals: Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Pittsburgh Actual 2004 NFL Draft Pick: Larry Fitzgerald, WR My 2004 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Larry Fitzgerald, WR
The Cardinals needed a franchise quarterback - Josh McCown was the starter in 2004 - but considering that Larry Fitzgerald would help them reach the Super Bowl four years later, I think I'll have Arizona keep its superstar wideout.
New York Giants: Eli Manning, QB, Ole Miss Actual 2004 NFL Draft Pick: Philip Rivers, QB (traded to NYG for Eli Manning, QB) My 2004 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Robert Gallery, OT
The Giants should have drafted Robert Gallery over Eli Manning! OK, maybe not. New York can keep the quarterback who will lead them to a Super Bowl victory in four years.
(Sidenote: Tenses are pretty weird here. I'm talking something in the past that will happen in its relative future, but still the past in our time... I feel like I'm in Lost and my nose is bleeding from time jumps, so excuse me if I screw up a tense or two.)
Washington Redskins: Jared Allen, DE, Idaho State Actual 2004 NFL Draft Pick: Sean Taylor, S My 2004 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Sean Taylor, S
This is why you don't draft safeties in the top five. As good as the late Sean Taylor was, he helped the Redskins reach the playoffs only once. Washington could have used an elite pass-rusher like Jared Allen; its starting defensive ends combined for only 6.5 sacks in 2004.
Cleveland Browns: Matt Schaub, QB, Virginia Actual 2004 NFL Draft Pick: Kellen Winslow Jr., TE My 2004 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Kellen Winslow Jr., TE
Safeties shouldn't be picked in the five, just as tight ends should be selected in the top six. Cleveland's starting quarterback in 2004 was a 34-year-old Jeff Garcia. See what happens when you pass on franchise quarterbacks (Ben Roethlisberger)? The Browns still haven't recovered from this mistake, and it's been six years.
Detroit Lions: Steven Jackson, RB, Oregon State Actual 2004 NFL Draft Pick: Roy Williams, WR My 2004 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Tommie Harris, DT
Let me quote something I wrote in my 2004 NFL Mock Draft: "The Lions could also consider Kenechi Udeze or trading down for Steven Jackson." As it turns out, Detroit drafted Kevin Jones at the bottom of Round 1. I think Jackson's a bit better.
Atlanta Falcons: Vince Wilfork, DT, Miami Actual 2004 NFL Draft Pick: DeAngelo Hall, CB My 2004 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Kenechi Udeze, DE
The Falcons already had Patrick Kerney (13 sacks in 2004) and Rod Coleman (11.5 sacks) on their defensive front. Imagine how good the line would have been with Vince Wilfork playing next to Coleman.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Will Smith, DE, Ohio State Actual 2004 NFL Draft Pick: Reggie Williams, WR My 2004 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Will Smith, DE
Reggie Williams? Boooo!!! My pick was better. In case you were wondering, Jacksonville's starting defensive ends combined for only six sacks in 2009. This franchise just doesn't understand that you can't consistently win in the NFL without pressuring the quarterback.
Houston Texans: Sean Taylor, S, Miami Actual 2004 NFL Draft Pick: Dunta Robinson, CB My 2004 NFL Mock Draft Pick: DeAngelo Hall, CB
The Texans really needed help in their secondary. But what a shame that Sean Taylor's life and football career ended so prematurely.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Darnell Dockett, DE/DT, Florida State Actual 2004 NFL Draft Pick: Ben Roethlisberger, QB My 2004 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Ben Roethlisberger, QB
Pittsburgh, a smart team, was able to take advantage of the stupidity of the Browns. "Hey, let's not take a franchise quarterback! We have Jeff Garcia, who's 34 years old!" Six years later, and Cleveland is just as dumb. "Hey, let's not take a franchise quarterback! We have Jake Delhomme, who's 35 years old!" Cue the Joseph Smith South Park music. Poor Browns fans.
The Steelers don't have the same luxury in this re-mock. But they still can get a great player in Darnell Dockett; starting end Kimo von Oelhoffen was 33 during the 2004 season.
New York Jets: Karlos Dansby, LB, Auburn Actual 2004 NFL Draft Pick: Jonathan Vilma, ILB My 2004 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Reggie Williams, WR
Reggie Williams? Boooo!!! Their pick was better. Well, it was until Eric Mangina installed a 3-4 that didn't fit Jonathan Vilma's strengths. Let's give the Jets a linebacker who can play in either scheme just in case the Mangina screws things up in this alternate timeline as well.
Buffalo Bills: Wes Welker, WR, Texas Tech Actual 2004 NFL Draft Pick: Lee Evans, WR My 2004 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Michael Clayton, WR
Good thing Buffalo didn't listen to me... though I guess it doesn't matter because Lee Evans has had nothing but crappy quarterbacks throwing the ball to him during his career.
I'd give Evans to the Bills again, but they may want to blockade the Patriots and prevent them from obtaining Tom Brady's favorite receiver.
Chicago Bears: Michael Turner, RB, Northern Illinois Actual 2004 NFL Draft Pick: Tommie Harris, DT My 2004 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Vince Wilfork, DT
The Bears would go on to draft Cedric Benson a year later, so let's give them a running back who actually plays hard when awarded a big signing bonus.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Lee Evans, WR, Wisconsin Actual 2004 NFL Draft Pick: Michael Clayton, WR My 2004 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Randy Starks, DT
It's a shame Lee Evans' career has played out the way it has. His quarterbacks in Buffalo have been a fossilized Drew Bledsoe, Kelly Holcomb, J.P. Zohan, Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brian Brohm. Oh, if only the Bills could ever find a quarterback they liked enough.
At any rate, I'd like to see Evans on a real team with a real quarterback. The shame of it is that he'll be a free agent when he's 32.
San Francisco 49ers: Corey Williams, DT, Arkansas State Actual 2004 NFL Draft Pick: Rashaun Woods, WR My 2004 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Lee Evans, WR
Speaking of a guy whose career has been derailed, Corey Williams was great enough with the Packers to warrant a 6-year, $38.6 million contract in the 2008 offseason. Unfortunately, he foolishly signed with a 3-4 team, where he struggled. The 49ers played a 4-3 at the time, so Williams would have been a great fit.
As a Jags fan, I was glad to see him slide to the second rd. My only question would be "will San Diego's 2nd and 3rd Rd picks be far superior to what Jax selected?" I hope not, but only time will tell.