This is a 2008 NFL Draft Re-Mock, just in case you missed the big blue letters up top. I'm going back to 2008 and re-distributing all of the 2008 NFL Draft prospects to all of the teams in the 2008 NFL Draft order. This 2008 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 2008.
Miami Dolphins: Joe Flacco, QB, Delaware Actual 2008 NFL Draft Pick: Jake Long, OT My 2008 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Jake Long, OT
Bill Parcells deemed neither Joe Flacco nor Matt Ryan worthy of the No. 1 pick, opting to go with Jake Long here and then Chad Henne in Round 2. Kind of makes you wonder about Geno Smith and the 2013 NFL Draft class of quarterbacks.
In all fairness to Parcells, barely anyone at the time thought Ryan should be the top selection. In fact, Ryan was barely included in the discussion; it was between the two longs, Jake and Chris. Jake won out, but if Miami had to do this over again, there's no way it would go with the Michigan tackle.
It comes down to Ryan and Flacco. The former has posted the better stats, but I'll give the edge to the latter because of his playoff success and Super Bowl ring. He was just made the richest player in league history, after all.
St. Louis Rams: Chris Long, DE, Virginia Actual 2008 NFL Draft Pick: Chris Long, DE My 2008 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Chris Long, DE
Matt Ryan seems like the obvious choice here, but remember that I'm basing this on the team needs at the time. Back in 2008, St. Louis still has an effective Marc Bulger under center. Even if the front office really wanted Ryan, it couldn't really afford him; handling two very expensive quarterbacks during the days of the old CBA would have been a huge burden on the roster.
With that in mind, Chris Long is the obvious choice. He's arguably the best player available, as he's been a dominant force on St. Louis' defensive line the past few seasons.
Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College Actual 2008 NFL Draft Pick: Matt Ryan, QB My 2008 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Glenn Dorsey, DT
Yeah, so I think the Falcons made a great decision by selecting Matt Ryan No. 3 overall. Let's move on.
Oakland Raiders: Ray Rice, RB, Rutgers Actual 2008 NFL Draft Pick: Darren McFadden, RB My 2008 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Darren McFadden, RB
The Raiders drafted the speedy Darren McFadden, but he sucks. He's always hurt and appears to have lost some of his burst. I'm not sure he makes it in the first round of this 2008 NFL Mock Re-Draft. He's just too unreliable.
If Al Davis really wanted a running back, he should have used this selection on Ray Rice. Looking back on this draft, it's baffling how he managed to be picked after McFadden, Rashard Mendenhall and Jonathan Stewart.
Kansas City Chiefs: Calais Campbell, DE/DT, Miami Actual 2008 NFL Draft Pick: Glenn Dorsey, DT My 2008 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Sedrick Ellis, DT
The Chiefs drafted Glenn Dorsey with this selection and then opted to move him into a 3-4, which did not fit his skill set. Maybe they'd have more success with a defensive lineman who could actually play the 3-4.
Calais Campbell fills a big need vacated by Jared Allen. General manager Carl Peterson, in his infinite wisdom, decided to trade a 26-year-old Allen because he wanted to rebuild. Yeah, that made so much sense.
New York Jets: Jerod Mayo, ILB, Tennessee Actual 2008 NFL Draft Pick: Vernon Gholston, DE/OLB My 2008 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Vernon Gholston, DE/OLB
Speaking of players in bad schemes, Jonathan Vilma struggled mightily in the Jets' new 3-4. One of the reasons Eric Mangini was unsuccessful in his coaching stints is because he failed to understand that personnel beats scheme every time. You don't move to a 3-4 if you have 4-3 players. It's stupid.
Inside linebacker was a huge need at the time, and I can only imagine how happy New York would have been with New England's Jerod Mayo instead of Vernon Gholston.
New England Patriots: Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia Tech Actual 2008 NFL Draft Pick: Jerod Mayo, LB My 2008 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Branden Albert, OT
The Patriots miss out on Jerod Mayo, but they get to fill another hole on their roster instead. I listed cornerback as New England's No. 1 need, and Bill Belichick responded by drafting Terrence Wheatley and Jonathan Wilhite. Who?
Brandon Flowers is my top player available. He's been a stud cornerback for the Chiefs for several years.
Baltimore Ravens: Jamaal Charles, RB, Texas Actual 2008 NFL Draft Pick: Joe Flacco, QB My 2008 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Matt Ryan, QB
The Ravens would use back-to-back selections on Joe Flacco and Ray Rice in what turned out to be an outstanding 2008 draft class. In this re-mock, however, Flacco's unavailable, and there won't be any Rice Rice to be had in Round 2.
There won't be any Jamaal Charles to be had there either. Charles is a dynamic player who can go the distance on any play. He can't shoulder the same sort of workload Rice can, but he would serve as a lethal threat for Flacco in this offense.
Cincinnati Bengals: Tyvon Branch, S, Connecticut Actual 2008 NFL Draft Pick: Keith Rivers, OLB My 2008 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Keith Rivers, OLB
The Bengals needed a safety, and Tyvon Branch happens to be one of the top players available. Branch was a rare good draft pick in the final days of Al Davis; the speed-obsessed owner grabbed the UConn product with the first pick of the fourth round. Branch has emerged as one of the league's top safeties.
New Orleans Saints: Red Bryant, NT, Texas A&M Actual 2008 NFL Draft Pick: Sedrick Ellis, DT My 2008 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Leodis McKelvin, CB
New Orleans had a huge hole at nose tackle. Just check out what I wrote in the team's offseason needs page: "The Saints need a forceful nose tackle next to Brian Young. There's a slim chance Pat Sims could fall to them in the second round. Otherwise, Frank Morton later on."
Frank Morton? Who the hell is Frank Morton? You know you're in trouble when you're counting on someone named Frank Morton to be an upgrade.
Buffalo Bills: John Sullivan, C, Notre Dame Actual 2008 NFL Draft Pick: Leodis McKelvin, CB My 2008 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB
The Bills had someone named Melvin Fowler starting at center for them back in 2008. Think they needed an upgrade?
Denver Broncos: Duane Brown, OT, Virginia Tech Actual 2008 NFL Draft Pick: Ryan Clady, OT My 2008 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Ryan Clady, OT
I had trouble slotting the best three offensive tackles: Duane Brown, Ryan Clady and Jake Long. The teams at the top needed tackles, but there were better players available. After that initial wave, however, the other squads didn't have to address the position. That's why Brown, Clady and Long all fell.
Having said that, the three weren't listed higher in my re-mock big board because they all have some sort of issue. For Brown, it's that he's a zone-blocking lineman and wouldn't be a good fit in traditional schemes. Fortunately for the Broncos, they happened to utilize a zone-blocking scheme under Mike Shanahan at this time, so they would have welcomed Brown with open arms.
Carolina Panthers: Jake Long, OT, Michigan Actual 2008 NFL Draft Pick: Jeff Otah, OT My 2008 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Chris Williams, OT
As for Jake Long's problem, he's been very banged up lately and his play has dropped off as a consequence. He could be dominant again if healthy, but his situation reminds me of Tony Boselli's. He may have to stay at right tackle eventually.
The Panthers would have no problem with that. They drafted Jeff Otah at this spot to play that exact position. Long would have been a much better option.
Chicago Bears: Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State Actual 2008 NFL Draft Pick: Chris Williams, OT My 2008 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Jeff Otah, OT
The Bears have dealt with offensive line issues for years. They'd be thrilled to have Ryan Clady blocking for Jay Cutler.
Clady's problem? He's been very inconsistent and doesn't run block very well. He's still worthy of being a top-10 pick, but I just couldn't fit him in there for reasons I stated above.
Detroit Lions: Cliff Avril, DE, Purdue Actual 2008 NFL Draft Pick: Gosder Cherilus, OT My 2008 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Derrick Harvey, DE
As I wrote in my 2013 NFL Free Agency Mock Draft, the Lions would love to keep Cliff Avril, but they have financial issues and he would be too expensive to be franchised twice in a row. They get to keep him here.
Arizona Cardinals: Chris Johnson, RB, East Carolina Actual 2008 NFL Draft Pick: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB My 2008 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Rashard Mendenhall, RB
I had trouble slotting Chris Johnson. On one hand, he had that amazing 2,000-yard season. On the other hand, he's been a bum the past two seasons, dancing around the line of scrimmage and then blaming others for his struggles.
This could be the right spot for CJ1K. He's still capable of dominating games if he has good blocking in front of him. Arizona's offensive line wasn't as bad in 2008.
Will the broncos realistically be able to snag Zach Cunningham like you're predicting? This is a dream scenario for me as he's my favorite true Inside Linebacker in this draft. I see him coming off almost everyone's day 2 mock draft super early besides yours. He's had tackling issues when coming from behind and doesn't have that elite speed but...will he really drop that far? Oh I've never been so excited for round 2 of the nfl draft!!! Thoughts?