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Gregory Payan/Associated Press
The 2013 NFL draft is the Rodney Dangerfield of that event—it just can’t get no respect. In 2017, Andre Vergara of Fox Sports called the 2013 draft the worst of the past 25 years.
Vergara’s criticism is justified. Most of the top 10 picks that year were busts. Only three have made the Pro Bowl. Only one has been named to more than one.
However, it’s not like the class of 2013 was completely without talent. Arguably the NFL’s best tight end (Travis Kelce) was drafted that year. So was one of the league’s most dangerous wide receivers in DeAndre Hopkins. And one of the best offensive tackles in the game in David Bakhtiari.
In other words, this draft could have gone a lot better had teams just made the right picks in the right spots.
That’s what we’re here for—to get the Dangerfield Draft some dap.
We’ve eliminated all draft-day trades (but included the ones that occurred before) and with the benefit of hindsight taken another pass through the first 32 picks in 2013.
With that in mind, the Kansas City Chiefs are on the clock.
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Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press
Original Pick: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
New Pick: Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati
The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t do too badly with the first overall pick in the 2013 draft. Offensive tackle Eric Fisher struggled early in his career, but he’s grown into a capable starter and made a Pro Bowl in 2018.
However, another player drafted a couple of rounds later has become an even bigger part of Kansas City’s recent success.
Dating all the way back to 1936, a tight end has never gone No. 1 overall. But it’s not every day that a tight end racks up four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. That had never happened until Travis Kelce peeled them off the past four years.
Over seven seasons in the NFL, Kelce has amassed 6,465 receiving yards—the most ever by a player at his position over his first seven years in the league.
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Jeff Roberson/Associated Press
Original Pick: Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
New Pick: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Back in 2012, the Jacksonville Jaguars used their first draft pick on Oklahoma State wideout Justin Blackmon. To say that pick didn’t pan out is being exceedingly kind. Neither did the selection of tackle Luke Joeckel the following year.
This re-draft affords the team the opportunity to right both wrongs.
Over his seven seasons in the NFL, DeAndre Hopkins has become one of the most dangerous wideouts in the league. In five of those seven seasons, Hopkins has eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards. He’s topped 100 catches three times and had an equal number of seasons with 11 or more touchdowns. Hopkins’ average season at the professional level has been 90 catches for 1,229 yards and eight scores.
A four-time Pro Bowler, Hopkins has become the player the Jags hoped they were getting in Blackmon the year before.
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Charlie Riedel/Associated Press
Original Pick: Dion Jordan, Edge, Oregon (by Miami Dolphins)
New Pick: David Bakhtiari, OT, Colorado
In the actual 2013 draft, the Raiders flipped this pick to the Miami Dolphins, who selected Oregon edge-rusher Dion Jordan. The trade netted the Raiders an extra second-round pick—and the Dolphins a player who was on the field for just two seasons in Miami.
The Raiders used that second-round pick to draft a tackle in Menelik Watson who played four uneventful seasons for the team. To say David Bakhtiari would be an upgrade is quite the understatement.
Bakhtiari wasn’t the first tackle drafted in 2013. Or the third. Or the fifth. Or the eighth. But he’s arguably been the best. After Bryan Bulaga tore his ACL in 2013, Bakhtiari was inserted into the starting lineup at left tackle for the Green Bay Packers as a rookie. He’s since started 106 of 112 possible games there, earning a pair of Pro Bowl nods along the way.
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Lynne Sladky/Associated Press
Original Pick: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
New Pick: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
The first round of the 2013 NFL draft isn’t especially well-thought-of seven years later. But while there was no shortage of misses, there were some hits too.
Among the players drafted in the top five, none hit bigger than Oklahoma tackle Lane Johnson.
In Johnson’s first training camp, the 6’6″, 317-pounder won the starting right tackle job for the Philadelphia Eagles. A pair of PED suspensions slowed his ascension, but by the 2017 season, he was a Pro Bowl honoree and first-team All-Pro. He’s made the Pro Bowl each of the past three seasons and signed a four-year, $72 million contract extension last November.
Per Pro Football Focus, Johnson played 759 offensive snaps for the Eagles in 2019. Over that span, he allowed just one sack.
There isn’t a better right tackle in the NFL today.
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Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press
Original Pick: Ezekiel Ansah, Edge, BYU
New Pick: Darius Slay, CB, Mississippi State
For a time, it appeared the Lions hit the jackpot with their selection of Ezekiel Ansah fifth overall in 2013. Ansah had eight sacks as a rookie and exploded in 2015, piling up 14.5 sacks and making the Pro Bowl. He also had 12 sacks in 2017.
But he’s had all sorts of injury issues, and this past season the Lions allowed him to depart in free agency.
Detroit’s second pick in 2013 is also no longer on the team. But as good as Ansah was in flashes for the Lions, Darius Slay was even better. In 2017, Slay racked up 26 passes defensed and tied for the NFL lead with eight interceptions on his way to the first of three straight trips to the Pro Bowl.
Now in the prime of his career, Slay is one of the best cover corners in the game and a difference-maker on the back end.
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Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press
Original Pick: Barkevious Mingo, Edge, LSU
New Pick: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
In 2013, the Cleveland Browns were smack in the middle of a stretch of first-round futility that had to be seen to be believed. In 2012, the team drafted running back Trent Richardson and quarterback Brandon Weeden. In 2013, it was edge-rusher Barkevious Mingo. The following year, it was cornerback Justin Gilbert and quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Miss, miss, miss, miss and miss.
Re-drafting Xavier Rhodes would solve two problems—it would make up for the Mingo misstep and (hopefully) preclude the Browns from wasting a top-10 pick on Gilbert in 2014.
Rhodes admittedly struggled with the Minnesota Vikings in 2019—so much so that the Vikes let him go in the offseason. That he made the Pro Bowl last year despite those struggles is…something.
But prior to last season, Rhodes had developed a reputation as a solid cover corner and physical run defender. The 30-year-old has posted at least 47 tackles in all seven of his NFL seasons and had five interceptions back in 2016.
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Roger Steinman/Associated Press
Original Pick: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
New Pick: Travis Frederick, C, Wisconsin
The Arizona Cardinals weren’t spared the ugliness of the top 10 of the 2013 NFL draft. Guard Jonathan Cooper lasted three seasons in the desert before being traded to New England. Cooper spent time with half a dozen different teams after his Arizona tenure and is out of the NFL.
In fairness, Travis Frederick is also out of the league—he retired last year because of complications from Guillain-Barre syndrome. But while he was in the league, there wasn’t a better center in the game.
A starter for the Dallas Cowboys from the moment he set foot on an NFL field, it didn’t take long for Frederick to start turning heads. By his second season, he had been named to the Pro Bowl and earned the first of three first- or second-team All-Pro honors.
Frederick would make the Pro Bowl in five of the six seasons he played, starting 96 games in the middle of the Dallas line.
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Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press
Original Pick: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia (by St. Louis Rams)
New Pick: Keenan Allen, WR, Cal
Buffalo originally traded this selection to the St. Louis Rams for a package of four picks—the first of which it used to draft quarterback EJ Manuel.
Manuel’s professional career was less than impressive. But Keenan Allen has had considerably more success in the NFL.
As a rookie, Allen hauled in 71 passes for over 1,000 yards and a career-best eight touchdowns. After some injury issues the next few years, he kicked things into overdrive in 2017—102 receptions for almost 1,400 yards. It was the first of three straight 1,000-yard seasons and three consecutive Pro Bowls for the 6’2″, 211-pound Allen, who topped 100 receptions again in 2019 and was the 2017 NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
Granted, this doesn’t solve Buffalo’s problem under center. But the cold reality is that there wasn’t really a rookie in this class who would.
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Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press
Original Pick: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
New Pick: Tyrann Mathieu, S, LSU
And so continues the hot mess that was the first 10 players selected in 2013. Dee Milliner was a highly regarded corner coming out of Alabama. But Achilles and wrist injuries limited him to 21 games over his first three years in the NFL, and by September 2016, his professional career was over.
Tyrann Mathieu wouldn’t solve the Jets’ issues on the boundary—most of his professional career with the Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs has been spent as either a slot corner or deep safety. But what Mathieu would do is provide Gang Green with an impact defender who played a significant role defensively for the Super Bowl champs in 2019.
Over his seven seasons in the league, Mathieu has amassed at least 75 tackles in a season four times, collected 17 interceptions and been named a first-team All-Pro twice.
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Jack Dempsey/Associated Press
Original Pick: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
New Pick: Kyle Long, OG, Oregon
The first 10 picks of the 2013 draft were almost laughably bad in their consistency—with the exception of Lane Johnson and Eric Fisher (kind of), the entire top 10 was one big bust. Chance Warmack was no exception. He started all 16 games in 2013 and 2014 but has just 19 starts since and was out of the league in 2019.
Like Travis Frederick, Kyle Long’s NFL career didn’t last especially long. The 6’6″, 332-pounder retired in January after it became clear the Chicago Bears weren’t interested in bringing Long back after mounting injuries cut short his 2019 season.
But when Long was healthy and on top of his game, he was one of the best interior linemen in the league. He made three consecutive Pro Bowls in his first three seasons in the league and was named one of the 100 greatest Bears of all time by Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times.
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Charlie Riedel/Associated Press
Original Pick: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
New Pick: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
In fairness, D.J. Fluker’s professional career hasn’t been a complete wash. Over four years with the Chargers, Fluker made 59 starts at tackle and guard. He’s played for two teams since (three if you count the Baltimore Ravens, who recently signed the 29-year-old) and made 14 starts in Seattle last season.
But Fluker has been an average lineman at best over his career. Eric Fisher may not be the elite blindside protector the Chiefs wanted when they drafted him first overall in 2013, but he’s definitely a sizable step up.
Over seven seasons in Kansas City, Fisher has made 98 starts, including eight in last year’s Super Bowl run. In just over 1,500 offensive snaps over the past two years, Fisher has surrendered just five sacks—including only one in 2019.
The 6’7″, 317-pounder also earned an invitation to the Pro Bowl two years ago.
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Steven Senne/Associated Press
Original Pick: D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston (by Oakland Raiders)
New Pick: Jamie Collins, OLB, Southern Miss
As mentioned before, the Dolphins traded up in Round 1 in 2013 to roll the dice on Oregon edge-rusher Dion Jordan. Those dice came up snake eyes.
In retrospect, that isn’t a huge surprise. The class of 2013 wasn’t a good one where edge-rushers are concerned.
Jamie Collins isn’t a true edge-rusher, but he has shown some aptitude for bringing down quarterbacks. Over seven seasons with the New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns, Collins has amassed 24.5 career sacks—including a career-high seven with the Patriots a year ago.
What he really brings to the table is versatility. He can play the run—the 6’3″, 255-pounder has topped 100 total tackles three times. He can hold his own in coverage—he tallied a career-high three interceptions last year as well. And Collins can play any linebacker spot in a three- or four-man front.
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Bill Kostroun/Associated Press
Original Pick: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
New Pick: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
The New York Jets picked up this second bite at the Round 1 apple in the predraft trade that sent star cornerback Darrelle Revis to Tampa—a trade that wound up being a massive mistake for the Buccaneers.
The Jets, on the other hand, made good use of the 13th overall pick they obtained, selecting Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson.
There’s no reason to change that pick in this re-draft.
In his first NFL season, Richardson was a force against the run, racking up 78 total tackles and winning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. In his second season, he upped his game—eight sacks and a trip to the Pro Bowl.
Those first two years were the highlight of Richardson’s time in New York (the Jets traded him to the Seattle Seahawks in 2017), but the 6’3″, 294-pounder remains a quality NFL starter to this day.
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Brett Carlsen/Getty Images
Original Pick: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
New Pick: Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
In 2013, the Carolina Panthers used their first two picks on defensive tackles. The picks were well spent—Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short were key members of the Panthers defense that helped the team get to Super Bowl 50.
However, in this do-over, we’re flipping the order in which these tackles were drafted—because only one of them is still cashing checks in Charlotte.
In that Super Bowl season in 2015, Short established himself as one of the better 3-tech tackles in the game. That season, he rolled up 55 tackles, 11 sacks and three forced fumbles—numbers that got him the first of two trips to the Pro Bowl. He also became the first defensive tackle in NFL history to win Defensive Player of the Month twice in the same season.
That success earned Short an $80 million contract extension in 2017.
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Original Pick: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
New Pick: Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
The New Orleans Saints actually did well with their first pick in the 2013 draft. Over five seasons with the team, safety Kenny Vaccaro made 68 starts and piled up 385 tackles. Vaccaro has shown to be a fine box safety in the pros.
However, the Saints did quite a bit better on the draft’s second day.
After playing collegiately at tiny Arkansas-Pine Bluff, it took Terron Armstead a little while to work his way into the starting lineup in the Big Easy. But by the 2014 season, Armstead was a 14-game starter on Drew Brees’ blind side. He’s had some issues with injuries (27 missed games over the last six seasons), but when he’s been on the field, he’s been one of the best tackles in the game.
First round, third round, whatever—you don’t pass on a Pro Bowl left tackle.
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Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images
Original Pick: EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State (by Buffalo Bills)
New Pick: Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota State
This pick is an object lesson in how wrong NFL teams can be.
It’s not just the Rams who are going under the bus here, though they did botch Round 1 of the 2013 draft. It cost them a considerable amount of draft capital to move up and select a player in Tavon Austin whose impact at the NFL level was minimal.
But there were 254 picks made by all 32 teams in that year’s draft—and none of those picks was Adam Thielen.
Thielen spent the 2013 campaign on Minnesota’s practice squad and wasn’t a factor for the Vikings over the following two seasons, making just 20 catches total. But in 2016, he blew up for 69 catches, almost 1,000 yards and five scores.
The next season, he one-upped that, making 91 grabs for 1,276 yards and earning his first Pro Bowl invite. But 2018 was his best season to date with 113 catches for 1,373 yards and nine touchdowns while setting an NFL record with eight games of 100 or more yards to open the year.
The Rams mortgaged their future in 2013 looking for a No. 1 receiver.
Thielen is exactly that.
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Don Wright/Associated Press
Original Pick: Jarvis Jones, EDGE, Georgia
New Pick: Le’Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State
The Steelers have historically done well in the NFL draft. But in the first round in 2013, that wasn’t the case—Jarvis Jones managed just half a dozen sacks over four seasons in the Steel City.
Pittsburgh’s next pick worked out quite a bit better—at least in the early going.
As a rookie in 2013, Le’Veon Bell racked up over 1,200 scrimmage yards on 289 touches. The next year, he erupted—4.7 yards per carry, 1,361 rushing yards and over 2,200 yards from scrimmage. Bell missed 10 games in 2015, but in both 2016 and 2017, he posted at least 1,800 scrimmage yards and 4.8 yards per touch. He then missed the 2018 season in a contract dispute with the Steelers.
Bell’s tenure in Pittsburgh didn’t end especially well, but over a four-year stretch from 2014 to 2017, there wasn’t a more dangerous running back in the league.
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Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press
Original Pick: Eric Reid, S, LSU (by San Francisco 49ers)
New Pick: Larry Warford, OG, Kentucky
The Dallas Cowboys got hit with a double whammy in this do-over of the 2013 draft. First, the trade with the San Francisco 49ers that netted the team a Day 2 pick was flushed. Then the Cowboys missed out on Wisconsin center Travis Frederick.
That latter one is a real gut punch, but there’s still a player available who would help the Cowboys improve the interior of the offensive line.
Larry Warford didn’t take long to make an impact with the Detroit Lions—he started 16 games as a rookie and didn’t allow a sack. After four years with the Lions, Warford signed a four-year, $34 million free-agent deal with the New Orleans Saints.
Warford really came into his own in the Big Easy, earning Pro Bowl nods in all three of his seasons with the Saints.
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Julio Cortez/Associated Press
Original Pick: Justin Pugh, OT, Syracuse
New Pick: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
It’s nowhere close to fair to call Justin Pugh a bust as a professional. He has battled some injury issues and hasn’t made a Pro Bowl, but he has made 86 career starts at guard and tackle over seven seasons—including all 16 games in 2019 for the Arizona Cardinals.
But while Pugh has been good, Zach Ertz has been great.
In each of the last five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, Ertz has topped 70 receptions and 800 receiving yards. That includes a 2018 season in which Ertz set a new high-water mark in NFL history for receptions in a season by a tight end with 116.
In 2013, the depth chart at tight end for the Giants featured Larry Donnell, Brandon Myers, Bear Pascoe and Adrien Robinson.
It’s not a stretch to say Ertz would be a massive improvement over that motley crew.
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Butch Dill/Associated Press
Original Pick: Kyle Long, OG, Oregon
New Pick: Eric Reid, S, LSU
The Chicago Bears made an excellent choice back in 2013 with the selection of offensive guard Kyle Long. But Long isn’t an option for the team in this re-draft, and the impact offensive linemen are off the board.
Given that, the wise course of action for the Bears is to address the other side of the ball.
With Julius Peppers up front, Lance Briggs at linebacker and Charles Tillman at cornerback, the 2013 Bears had cornerstone players in three spots defensively. Their safeties, on the other hand, were less impressive.
As a rookie with the San Francisco 49ers in 2013, Eric Reid made 77 tackles, intercepted four passes and earned Pro Bowl honors. In 2019 with the Carolina Panthers, Reid set new career highs with 130 total tackles and four sacks.
In the years in between, there was plenty of hard-hitting, quality play.
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Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press
Original Pick: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
New Pick: Micah Hyde, DB, Iowa
The Cincinnati Bengals did pretty well in the 2013 draft—even if the results don’t totally indicate that. Talent was never the issue with tight end Tyler Eifert, who scored 13 touchdowns in 2015. He just couldn’t stay on the field.
The Bengals also added running backs Gio Bernard and Rex Burkhead and safety Shawn Williams in the same class. Bernard and Williams are still with the team seven years later.
Williams is a tempting call, but there’s another player available with more versatility and a Pro Bowl on his resume.
Over his four seasons with the Green Bay Packers, Hyde played every position on the back end—and played them well. In his first season with the Buffalo Bills in 2017, Hyde racked up a career-high five interceptions, added a career-high 82 total tackles and earned a trip to Orlando.
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Julio Cortez/Associated Press
Original Pick: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington (by Atlanta Falcons)
New Pick: Brandon Williams, DT, Missouri Southern State
The Jeff Fisher era in St. Louis was…depressing. It was neither exceedingly good nor exceedingly bad, but year after year of mediocrity can wear one’s spirit down.
However, the defensive line for the Rams at the time was just as stacked (if not more so) than it is now. The team had William Hayes, Chris Long and Robert Quinn at defensive end and Michael Brockers at 3-technique.
All that was missing was a big-bodied 1-technique to clog rushing lanes and stuff the run.
Over his time with the Baltimore Ravens, Brandon Williams has excelled at that. The 6’1″, 336-pounder only has 6.5 sacks in seven years, but he’s topped 45 total tackles three times and hit the 50-stop mark twice. He was also named to the Pro Bowl following the 2018 season.
Nose tackles may not be sexy. But they are important.
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John Bazemore/Associated Press
Original Pick: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
New Pick: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
The Minnesota Vikings drafted a cornerback in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft in Xavier Rhodes who went on to play seven seasons with the team. But by this point in this draft-day do-over, Rhodes has already been selected.
There is, however, another corner who has had a similar career to date.
Like Xavier Rhodes, Desmond Trufant has demonstrated that he’s not averse to getting dirty against the run. He piled up 70 total tackles as a rookie and has made 50 or more solo stops three times in his career. Like Rhodes, Trufant can also hold his own in coverage—he’s intercepted 13 passes.
And like Rhodes, Trufant has earned a trip to the Pro Bowl—for the 6’0″, 190-pounder, it came after the 2015 season.
Acquiring Trufant would take a lot of the sting out of missing on Rhodes.
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Paul Sancya/Associated Press
Original Pick: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
New Pick: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
There was a time when the Indianapolis Colts had maybe the best one-two punch among edge-rushers in the NFL in Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. But by 2013, those days were over—Freeney left the team that year in free agency, and the team sent Jerry Hughes packing in a trade with the Buffalo Bills.
The Colts needed help on the edge in a big way. But that spurred them to make a massive mistake by selecting Bjoern Werner 24th overall. Werner played just three seasons in the pros and logged only 6.5 sacks.
“Ziggy” Ansah’s career hasn’t been without speed bumps as well. In seven seasons with the Detroit Lions and Seattle Seahawks, he has missed 21 games. But Ansah also has 50.5 sacks over his career and has two seasons with 12 or more sacks—including a 14.5-sack Pro Bowl season in 2015.
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Rick Scuteri/Associated Press
Original Pick: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
New Pick: Robert Woods, WR, USC
The Vikings obtained this pick in the predraft trade that sent wide receiver Percy Harvin to Seattle. Back in 2013, a few picks later the Vikings traded for a third first-rounder to use on a wideout to replace him in Cordarrelle Patterson.
In this redo, the Vikings get a chance to rectify that mistake and add a receiver who is more than a dangerous kick returner.
For a time, it didn’t appear Robert Woods was going to be much of an impact player either. In four years with the Buffalo Bills, he never topped 700 receiving yards. But in Woods’ defense, the quarterback play in Buffalo over that span was…let’s go with poo.
Over the last two years with the Los Angeles Rams, it’s been a different story. Playing in Sean McVay’s high-octane offense, Woods has caught 176 passes the past two seasons, topping 1,100 yards both times.
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Rick Scuteri/Associated Press
Original Pick: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
New Pick: JC Tretter, C, Cornell
The 2013 draft was not a good one to be looking for help on the edge. That was true of UCLA’s Datone Jones—after six years spent on half a dozen teams, Jones was out of the NFL altogether in 2019.
However, later in that same draft, the Packers found a Day 3 gem—even if said gem also worked his way out of town.
Over his four seasons with the Packers, center JC Tretter was mostly buried on the depth chart—he made just 10 starts for the team over that span.
But since the 6’4″, 307-pounder signed with the Cleveland Browns in 2017, he has started all 48 games and developed into one of the game’s better centers. Per PFF, Tretter allowed just a single sack in 1,039 snaps last year. The year before, it was two sacks in 1,091 snaps.
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Andrew Harnik/Associated Press
Original Pick: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
New Pick: Jordan Reed, TE, Florida
There isn’t a team in this re-draft that gets a bigger kick in the, um, pants than the Houston Texans.
Serves Houston right for trading DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals for 25 cents on the dollar a few months ago.
Some salt got rubbed in the wound when a viable plan B (Robert Woods) came off the board just two picks before Houston’s turn, but there’s still some passing-game weaponry left out there.
Well, sort of.
There was a time when it looked like Jordan Reed was destined for stardom. He caught 87 passes for 952 yards and 11 scores in 2015 and made the Pro Bowl the following year.
But a litany of injuries (including multiple concussions) combined to derail his career. All told, Reed has missed a staggering 47 games since entering the NFL—including the entire 2019 season.
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Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Original Pick: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
New Pick: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
The 2013 season was a good one for the Denver Broncos—right up until the last game. Led by Peyton Manning on offense and Von Miller on defense, the Broncos won 13 games and made it all the way to Super Bowl XLVIII, where they were pounded into mush by the Seattle Seahawks.
First-round pick Sylvester Williams didn’t have much of an impact on that Super Bowl run. As a matter of fact, Williams hasn’t made much on an NFL impact at all. He’s still kicking around the league after spending part of last season in Los Angeles, but the Chargers were his sixth team.
Johnathan Hankins has played for three teams in his own right, and he’s never going to be Aaron Donald. But the former Ohio State standout has been a decent NFL starter who put together a 51-tackle, seven-sack effort while a member of the New York Giants in 2014.
He’s the best big ugly on the board.
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Steven Senne/Associated Press
Original Pick: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee (by Minnesota Vikings)
New Pick: Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers
When the 2013 draft originally went down, the New England Patriots pulled off one of their patented draft-day trades, flipping the pick to Minnesota for four picks. One of those picks in the third round was used to select Rutgers cornerback Logan Ryan.
Given the career Ryan has had since, taking him here makes sense.
Ryan spent the first four years of his career with the Patriots. By the third, he had won his first Super Bowl and worked his way into the starting lineup. In 2016, Ryan topped 90 total tackles and picked up his second ring before signing a free-agent deal with the Tennessee Titans.
As it turns out, his steady play on the back end wasn’t just a product of New England’s system. This past season, he tallied 113 total tackles and added 4.5 sacks.
Both stats led all NFL cornerbacks.
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Paul Sancya/Associated Press
Original Pick: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia (by St. Louis Rams)
New Pick: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
I’ve done a handful of these re-drafts over the past several weeks, but this might be a first—a draft-day trade gets undone, but the same player still winds up being selected.
The Atlanta Falcons took a significant step backward in 2013, free-falling from 13-3 and the NFC Championship Game in 2012 to just four wins in 2013. Part of the reason for that plummet was a defense that finished the season 27th in the NFL—and part of the reason that defense struggled was a so-so (at best) cadre of linebackers.
Alec Ogletree was never a Pro Bowler during his seven years with the Rams and Giants. But he logged three 100-tackle seasons, posted two more with at least 90 and chipped in 12 interceptions over his career.
His range and ball skills would have come in handy in Atlanta—at least until Deion Jones arrived in 2016.
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Mark Brown/Getty Images
Original Pick: Travis Frederick, C, Wisconsin (by Dallas Cowboys)
New Pick: Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma
The San Francisco 49ers originally made an aggressive move in the first round of the 2013 draft coming off their Super Bowl loss to the Ravens, moving up to nab hard-hitting safety Eric Reid.
Here, that draft-day trade is out. So is Reid, who came off the board some time ago.
But there is an alternative—a player who had an excellent NFL career despite the fact he never came off the board at all in 2013.
Coming out of Oklahoma, Tony Jefferson wasn’t drafted—he signed with the Arizona Cardinals as a free agent. By his second season, Jefferson was playing a significant role and made 79 stops. By 2016, he was a full-time starter who flirted with 100 tackles and had 13 tackles for loss.
It was enough to earn Jefferson a four-year, $34 million pact with the Ravens—and a big jump in this re-draft.
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Original Pick: Matt Elam, S, Florida
New Pick: Kiko Alonso, LB, Oregon
The 2012 season ended in jubilation for the Baltimore Ravens as confetti rained down at the end of Super Bowl XLVII. But in at least one respect, the win was bittersweet—that game was the last in the Hall of Fame career of Ray Lewis.
The Ravens drafted a potential replacement for Lewis in 2013 in Kansas State’s Arthur Brown, but Brown never amounted to much as a pro. Neither did first-round pick Matt Elam, who managed just 131 total tackles for his career in the NFL.
Kiko Alonso exploded into NFL prominence in 2013, piling up 159 total tackles—third-best in the NFL. He was named the Defensive Rookie of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America.
Alonso has had his share of injury issues. He missed the entire 2014 season with an ACL tear and suffered another last year in New Orleans. He has been around too—four teams in seven seasons.
But Alonso has (when healthy) been a consistent producer with four career 115-tackle seasons. He made a bigger dent in the NFL by himself than Brown and Elam combined.