Don Banks Takes an NFL Draft Do-Over
If we knew then what we know now, the NFL's 2004 draft would look oh so different. Call it revisionist history, but we're doing the picking all over again today. This is the way things should have gone on April 24.
1. Giants, Ben Roethlisberger, QB We're starting with a trade, but not the one from draft day. We've got the No. 1 Chargers and No. 4 Giants swapping places for this reason: If San Diego knew quarterback Drew Brees was going to play as well as he has, it wouldn't have sunk that money into Philip Rivers. Give the Giants Roethlisberger (left), who's doing it now, and let someone else roll the dice on Eli Manning.
2. Raiders, Roy Williams, WR Tackle Robert Gallery is fine, but the Raiders love speed guys, and Williams has been the draft's most impressive receiver. With him, Oakland would be loaded at a position that would allow the vertical passing game Al Davis loves.
November 29, 2004
3. Cardinals, Eli Manning, QB Dennis Green didn't want to take a franchise quarterback at No. 3 the first time around. But considering how much he had to pay receiver Larry Fitzgerald, he should have.
4. Chargers, Robert Gallery, OT With Brees holding the fort, the Chargers can afford to address their sorry state of affairs at offensive tackle. Gallery hasn't wowed people in Oakland yet, but he's going to be a 10-year starter for somebody.
5. Redskins, Philip Rivers, QB Have you seen Mark Brunell and Patrick Ramsey's less-than-passing impressions of a quarterback? If the Redskins chose Rivers, he could've faced Philadelphia last Sunday.
6. Browns, Jonathan Vilma, LB We'll let the Browns trade places with the Lions again. Given Cleveland's situation at linebacker, Vilma, who has been a man in the middle for the Jets, is too good to pass up.
• Read Don Banks's NFL Insider, Mailbag and Banks' Shots every week at SI.com/nfl.
Luke Winn's Updated Heisman Watch
1. Jason White, QB, Oklahoma It was White's to lose heading into the weekend. And he didn't lose it--he still hasn't thrown an interception since Oct. 16--but his grip has loosened.
2. Alex Smith, QB, Utah He's too selfless to want this award anyway. "This team was so prepared for this moment," Smith told The Salt Lake Tribune after beating BYU. "Total team effort."
3. Cedric Benson, RB, Texas Can you really penalize a guy for his team being idle--especially when he's five spots ahead of a certain OU freshman in the national rushing standings?
4. Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma With his 10th 100-yard game of the season, Peterson tied the record held by Wisconsin's Anthony Davis for most games over the century mark as a freshman.
• College sports editor Luke Winn posts his Heisman Watch every Sunday at SI.com/football/ncaa.