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Draft redux

It's 20-20 hindsight time, when I get to re-pick the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft with the benefit of 14 weeks of regular season results to guide by. Our sixth annual December NFL re-draft attempts to detail the way things should have unfolded in New York on April 26th, based on how things have gone so far this season. As always, rookie-season production, for the most part, wins out over potential and projection in our re-draft. (React to the re-draft here.)

Don Banks' 2009 Revised NFL Draft
1Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions (Original pick: Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia)
RE-DO PICK: MICHAEL OHER, OT, OLE MISS
I'm not making the case that Stafford was a mistake, only that playing a franchise quarterback before you have an offensive line to protect him is putting the cart before the horse. Stafford has gotten killed this season (24 sacks in 10 games), and it makes more sense for Detroit to have gone for Oher, the draft's top-performing tackle, to protect someone's, uh, Blind Side. Oher has played well at both right and left tackle for Baltimore this season, and scouts say he'd be a consensus top 5 pick if the draft were re-held today.
 
2St. Louis Rams
St. Louis Rams (Original pick: Jason Smith, OT, Baylor)
RE-DO PICK: MATTHEW STAFFORD, QB, GEORGIA
The Rams have passed on at least four first-round quarterbacks in the past two drafts -- Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco in 2008, Mark Sanchez and Josh Freeman in 2009 -- and there's no team in more obvious need of a new starting quarterback for 2010. With that in mind, and Smith having underperformed as a rookie, I'd select Stafford here, with the knowledge that St. Louis could have given him a redshirt season of sorts while Marc Bulger and Kyle Boller served out this long and trying season for the Rams.
 
3Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs (Original pick: Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU)
RE-DO PICK: PERCY HARVIN, WR-KR, FLORIDA
With six receiving touchdowns, two kick return touchdowns, and 13 plays from scrimmage of at least 20 yards, Harvin has been the league's most electrifying rookie play-maker. The Chiefs could sure have used a jolt of offense from their rookie class. They've scored 16 points or fewer in nine of 13 games this season, and their offense ranks 30th overall in yards (272.4), and 28th in points (15.8).
 
4Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks (Original pick: Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest)
RE-DO PICK: BRIAN CUSHING, LB, USC
Curry has been very solid for the Seahawks, but Cushing has been downright spectacular for the Texans and is already one of the league's most effective outside linebackers. He finds the ball consistently, and can rush the passer, play the run, and shows up strong in pass coverage. What else is there? As much as Seattle could have made use of an offensive tackle this year, Cushing has been too good to pass on.
 
5New York Jets
New York Jets (Original pick: Mark Sanchez, QB, USC)
RE-DO PICK: SANCHEZ
Sure, it has been a rollercoaster first season for "the Sanchise" in New York, but that's a fairly typical rookie experience for a quarterback, at least before Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco blew the curve for everyone last year. The Jets needed a quarterback, and they took a quarterback. Now it's time to grow with him. Sanchez showed flashes of brilliance early, but his limited collegiate playing experience eventually caught up with him.
 
6Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals (Original pick: Andre Smith, OT, Alabama)
RE-DO PICK: PHIL LOADHOLT, OT, OKLAHOMA
The juxtaposition must have been a bit obvious Sunday in Minneapolis. The Bengals gave Smith his long-awaited first start at right tackle, and he fared OK against the Vikings defensive line. But Minnesota selected Loadholt toward the end of the second round (54th) and he has excelled at right tackle, starting 12 of 13 games and handling most everything thrown at him.
 
7Oakland Raiders
Oakland Raiders (Original pick: Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland)
RE-DO PICK: MICHAEL CRABTREE, WR, TEXAS TECH
C'mon, we couldn't resist. Crabtree was right. He should have never gotten past the Raiders in April's first round and we're here to right the wrong. Despite the belated start to his rookie season, his half-year of work is pretty impressive. He has 37 catches for 473 yards and a pair of touchdowns in eight games, and if you doubled those numbers, his 16-game production would be the stuff of an Offensive Rookie of the Year winner.
 
8Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars (Original pick: Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia)
RE-DO PICK: SEBASTIAN VOLLMER, OT, HOUSTON
The Jaguars have started their two rookie offensive tackles, Monroe and second-rounder Eben Britton, for most of the season, and both have had their highs and lows. But Vollmer, the 58th overall pick, has been one of the draft's bigger surprises, starting 11 games and playing well enough at left tackle to probably end Matt Light's tenure in New England in the near future. All you really need to know is that Bill Belichick clearly trusts Vollmer to protect Tom Brady's blind side.
 
9Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers (Original pick: B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College)
RE-DO PICK: CLAY MATTHEWS JR., LB, USC
The Packers sure could have used a young offensive tackle to help protect Aaron Rodgers earlier this season, but with the three best ones (Oher, Loadholt and Vollmer) already gone, it's logical to bump the play-making Matthews up to this slot. Because there's no way he'll last until Green Bay's No. 26 pick this time around. Matthews' eight sacks rank second among league rookies, and he continues to improve as the season unfolds.
 
10San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers (Original pick: Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech)
RE-DO PICK: JEREMY MACLIN, WR, MISSOURI
With Crabtree already in Oakland according to our re-draft, the 49ers would be fortunate to find Maclin still available. The Eagles receiver has been among the leading rookie play-makers all season, and before suffering a foot injury Sunday night against the Giants, he had 46 catches for 623 yards and four touchdowns in Philly's explosive offense.
 
11Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills (Original pick: Aaron Maybin, DE-OLB, Penn State)
RE-DO PICK: BRIAN ORAKPO, LB-DE, TEXAS
Orakpo has a whopping 11 sacks to lead all rookie pass rushers, and that's exactly 11 more than the Bills have gotten from Maybin, one of the first round's biggest disappointments. Orakpo dropped Raiders quarterbacks four times on Sunday in Oakland, vaulting himself into strong contention for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
 
12Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos (Original pick: Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia)
RE-DO PICK: MORENO
With the possible exception of having Moreno hold on to the ball as he crossed the goal line a few weeks back against San Diego, I wouldn't change a thing about his rookie season for the Broncos. He leads all rookie rushers with 837 yards and five touchdowns, and has been the picture of consistency, with seven games of at least 75 yards.
 
13Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins (Original pick: Brian Orakpo, OLB-DE, Texas)
RE-DO PICK: LESEAN MCCOY, RB, PITT
With the Redskins' struggles on offense and their lack of healthy running backs (see Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts), they sure could have used McCoy this season. The Eagles rookie has produced 814 yards of combined rushing and receiving, giving Philadelphia yet another play-making weapon in its arsenal.
 
14New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints (Original pick: Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State)
RE-DO PICK: AARON CURRY, LB, WAKE FOREST
The Saints love Jenkins and he has contributed significantly to their storybook season, but Curry's too good to pass on given New Orleans' need for some youth at outside linebacker. Before getting hurt in Houston on Sunday, Curry was putting together a quality rookie season, with 60 tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles.
 
15Houston Texans
Houston Texans (Original pick: Brian Cushing, LB, USC)
RE-DO PICK: JAIRUS BYRD, S, OREGON
Cushing, Matthews and Curry are gone, and James Laurinaitis plays middle linebacker, where the Texans already have DeMeco Ryans. But having to face Peyton Manning and the Colts twice a year, Houston could really use a ball-hawking free safety like Byrd, whose nine interceptions lead the entire NFL, rookies and veterans alike.
 
16San Diego Chargers
San Diego Chargers (Original pick: Larry English, OLB, Northern Illinois)
RE-DO PICK: REY MAUALUGA, LB, USC
We're just subbing in the hyperactive Maualuga for English, because if the Chargers are looking for Shawne Merriman's eventual replacement, they could do worse than the former Trojans linebacker who has been a steady performer this season in starting all 13 games for the Bengals.
 
17Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Original pick: Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State)
RE-DO PICK: FREEMAN
It's a tough call, because the Bucs need help everywhere. But Freeman showed enough promise in the first few games after being inserted into the lineup at midseason to pique our interest, and given the draft slot Tampa Bay is going to own in 2010, you don't want to take a QB at No. 1 or 2 if you can avoid it. Linebacker, safety and receiver all make sense, too, but quarterback is always the top priority if the need is great.
 
18Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos (Original pick: Robert Ayers, DE, Tennessee)
RE-DO PICK: LOUIS DELMAS, S, WESTERN MICHIGAN
Given the age and wealth of experience the Broncos have in their secondary, a young, play-making presence like Delmas would be a great fit for the future. Delmas has been one of the bright spots in Detroit this season, and the undersized hard hitter is reportedly the first rookie in NFL history to notch a safety, a fumble return for a touchdown and an interception in the same season. Works for me.
 
19Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles (Original pick: Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri)
RE-DO PICK: JAMES LAURINAITIS, LB, OHIO STATE
The Eagles have enough offense to win with these days, but where they need help is in the center of their defense, namely the middle linebacker spot that has been a black hole on the injury front. If the Eagles had Laurinaitis, who has been solid as a starter from day one of camp for the Rams, they wouldn't have had to go out and re-sign the likes of Jeremiah Trotter.
 
20Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions (Original pick: Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State)
RE-DO PICK: PETTIGREW
The former Oklahoma State standout was on his way to an impressive rookie season when he suffered a year-ending knee injury on Thanksgiving against Green Bay. Pettigrew had 30 catches for 346 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his 11 games, and had lived up to Detroit's expectations in almost every way. A cornerback like Malcolm Jenkins or Vontae Davis would be the temptation if our choice wasn't Pettigrew.
 
21Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns (Original pick: Alex Mack, C, California)
RE-DO PICK: CHRIS "BEANIE" WELLS, RB, OHIO STATE
Have you seen the Browns running game this season? Me neither. And now, with Jamal Lewis retiring at year's end, Cleveland could use a boost on the ground more than ever. At least with Wells, the popular former Buckeyes star, you'd be throwing the Browns fans a (dog) bone.
 
22Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings (Percy Harvin, WR/KR, Florida)
RE-DO PICK: B.J. RAJI, DT, BOSTON COLLEGE
Let's face it: This year's Vikings don't have a lot of glaring needs. But sometime in the near future they could use some youth at defensive tackle, where the Williams Wall can't play forever. Raji hasn't looked like a top 10 pick this season, but lately he's starting to show flashes of why Green Bay took him at No. 9.
 
23Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens (Original pick: Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi)
RE-DO PICK: VONTAE DAVIS, CB, ILLINOIS
The Ravens haven't gotten the play at cornerback they expected all season, and we have to address that in our re-draft. Baltimore would have plenty of good choices here, including Malcolm Jenkins, Sean Smith and the surprising Jerraud Powers. But Davis has been a big-play maker for Miami, with a team-best three interceptions, including one touchdown return and one pickoff of Tom Brady in the end zone.
 
24Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons (Original pick: Peria Jerry, DT, Mississippi)
RE-DO PICK: MALCOLM JENKINS, CB, OHIO STATE
Between injuries and ineffectiveness, the secondary has been the Falcons' Achilles heel all season, and Atlanta would have many of the same good cornerback choices that Baltimore had just before them. Jenkins has found different ways to contribute to the success in New Orleans, including some strong early season special teams play.
 
25Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins (Original pick: Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois)
RE-DO PICK: SEAN SMITH, CB, UTAH
The Dolphins took Smith 61st overall, in the second round, and he's started all season for them and played well. He'd never linger on the board past the top 30 these days. In a strong year for rookie corners, two more names to know are Jacksonville's Derek Cox and Indy's undrafted find, Jacob Lacey.
 
26Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers (Original pick: Clay Matthews Jr., LB, USC)
RE-DO PICK: AUSTIN COLLIE, WR, BYU
The Packers offensive line still needs help, but I'm not giving Green Bay Jason Smith, Andre Smith or Eugene Monroe just because they wore a first-round grade last April. The Packers would be lucky to have Collie fall to them, and he'd make a fine replacement for Donald Driver whenever the veteran calls it a career. Collie leads all rookie receivers with 50 catches, with 540 yards and six touchdowns.
 
27Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts (Original pick: Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut)
RE-DO PICK: HAKEEM NICKS, WR, NORTH CAROLINA
The Colts probably would take Brown all over again, but I'm giving them Nicks, the Giants receiver who has worked his way into New York's starting lineup this month. Nicks' 685 yards leads all rookie receivers, and six of his 38 grabs have gone for touchdowns. With 11 catches of at least 20 yards, only Percy Harvin (12) has more among rookie receivers.
 
28Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills (Original pick: Eric Wood, G, Louisville)
RE-DO PICK: KENNY BRITT, WR, RUTGERS
The Bills had offensive line issues they never solved this season, but we can't overlook Britt, who has been right there in an almost unprecedented group of productive first-year receivers. With Britt filling the big-receiver role in the future, Buffalo can make its Terrell Owens era just the one-year experiment it looked to be all along.
 
29New York Giants
New York Giants (Original pick: Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina)
RE-DO PICK: LOUIS MURPHY, WR, FLORIDA
Without Hicks to nab at No. 29, the G-Men would have some good choices between Murphy, the fourth-round pick of the Raiders, Mike Wallace, who went in the third round to Pittsburgh, and Johnny Knox, the speedster who Chicago took in the fifth round. We opted for Murphy, because he's a big receiver who seems to have a knack for coming up with the clutch catch. Just ask the Steelers.
 
30Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans (Original pick: Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers)
RE-DO PICK: DEANDRE LEVY, LB, WISCONSIN
Having missed out on Britt, the Titans could have easily continued the late-round run on receivers by taking either Wallace or Knox (Nashville could have been Knox-ville in that case). But if Keith Bulluck's days in Tennessee are nearing an end, Levy would be a good replacement. Detroit's third-round pick has been a solid, steady contributor this season, starting eight games for a Detroit defense that has nowhere to go but up.
 
31Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals (Original pick: Chris "Beanie'' Wells, RB, Ohio State)
RE-DO PICK: SHONN GREENE, RB, IOWA
The Jets have relied quite a bit on Greene in the season's second half, after Leon Washington's injury, and the former Hawkeye has responded with a 5.0 average carry, a couple of touchdowns, and one huge 144-yard rushing day in a win at Oakland. The third-rounder is a decent substitute for Wells, who didn't last until the bottom of the first round in our draft redux.
 
32Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers (Original pick: (Evander Hood, DT, Missouri)
RE-DO PICK: MIKE WALLACE, WR, OLE MISS
The Steelers took Wallace in the middle of the third round in April, but they'd have no such luxury at this point. As disappointing as Pittsburgh's title defense season has been, Wallace is an exception to the rule. He has more than replaced third receiver Nate Washington, and his 16.6-yard average catch highlights a rookie season that so far has produced 32 receptions for 530 yards and three touchdowns.
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