How might history have been different if Calvin Johnson was the No. 1 overall pick in 2007 and the Detroit Lions drafted Adrian Peterson?
The Detroit Lions really lucked out with the Oakland Raiders picking ahead of them in the 2007 NFL Draft. The Raiders went with quarterback JaMarcus Russell first overall, giving the Lions the chance to select wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Russell has been out of football for a couple years now, whereas Johnson is now among the very best in all of the NFL.
If the Raiders could go back in time to 2007, they certainly would not select Russell, and it's likely that Johnson would instead be the No. 1 overall pick. In Mel Kiper's re-draft of what happened in 2007, this is how the scenario goes.
In what direction would the Lions have gone without Johnson on the board? Kiper thinks they would have taken running back Adrian Peterson. He, of course, was picked by the Minnesota Vikings with the seventh overall pick in reality, and the NFC North now has arguably the best running back and the best wide receiver in the NFL as a result.
It's really hard to even fathom how history might have been different had the Lions ended up with Peterson instead of Johnson. On the one hand, it's entirely possible that Peterson and an actual running game could have been just what the Lions needed to get things moving in the right direction. Then again, it's probably even more likely that the Lions would be exactly where they are right now in terms of struggling to sustain success. The only difference is that they would likely have an outstanding running game instead of an explosive passing attack.
How do you think history would have been different had the Lions ended up with Peterson? And if you could go back in time to 2007, would you actually want them to draft Peterson instead of Johnson? Both players are great, but would you prefer to have a dominant running back or a dominant wide receiver?