We are already three years removed from the 2017 NFL Draft. Now three years away from the draft, teams will be forced to look back upon their 2017 first-round selections and decide whether or not they want to keep them around for an extra year by exercising their fifth=year option.
While a majority of the teams will exercise the option, many will probably want a do-over on their pick. Hindsight is 2020, and there are teams whose entire franchise changed based on what happened on that day.
Today, we give every team that do-over. We will redraft the first round in a scenario where every single team knows how good every prospect will play over their first three NFL years. The lottery aspect of the draft is removed, and teams can draft purely based off of who became the best player.
There are some changes, though. The draft order will stay the same EXCEPT we will undo any trades that were made on draft day. Trades made before the draft still count, but with a fully clairvoyant draft board it is impossible to imagine that any team will want to ever trade back.
(2017 pick: DE Myles Garrett)
Who else? The Browns land one of the most talented players of all time and almost instantly change their franchise trajectory. The addition of Mahomes helps them avoid an 0-16 2017 season and maybe even become playoff contenders.
It would be interesting to see how the quarterback’s career trajectory changes. He will not get a year to sit behind a veteran like Alex Smith. He will not get to play in an offense designed by the genius on Andy Reid. He will not have the fastest receivers alive to throw too. He would still be a great player, but things may look a little different for him.
(2017 pick: Traded down to 3, DE Solomon Thomas)
San Francisco does not trade back in this scenario, and instead solve their need at quarterback. They nab Deshaun Watson, leading to them not needing to trade for Jimmy Garoppolo in the coming season. They also avoid wasting a top draft pick on Solomon Thomas.
3. Chicago Bears - Myles Garrett (EDGE - Texas A&M)
(2017 pick: Traded up to 2, QB Mitchell Trubisky)
Chicago gets a two for one here—maybe even a three for one. First, they get to undo the Mitch Trubisky draft selection. Second, they land a generation pass rusher in Garrett, who could anchor one side of their defense for the next decade. Third, they get an elite pass rusher without having to send away two first-round draft picks, like they did in 2018 for Khalil Mack. While that all seems great, it also means that Mike Glennon is the team's starting quarterback for the near future.
(2017 pick: RB Leonard Fournette)
Jacksonville trades one skill position player for another here, but get a huge boost. Instead of the disappointing Leonard Fournette, they instead get a potential Hall of Fame talent in George Kittle at tight end. The addition of Kittle also probably does more for the team’s run game than the addition of Fournette did. Giving Blake Bortles a safe offensive weapon like Kittle could even be what the team needed to end their 2017 playoff run with a Super Bowl appearance.
5. Tennessee Titans - Tre’Davious White (CB -LSU)
(2017 pick: WR Corey Davis)
Tennessee had a serious need at corner in 2017, and even added Adoree Jackson late in the first round. In this scenario they instead take a corner with their early draft pick—which they received from the Los Angeles Rams in the Jared Goff trade—and get an elite talent in Tre’Davious White.
6. New York Jets - T.J. Watt (EDGE - Wisconsin)
(2017 pick: S Jamal Adams)
The Jets were an absolute mess at this point, so they just straight up go best player available at the position of most value. T.J. Watt has developed into one of the best defensive players in the league in Pittsburgh and helped turn around a disaster of a Steelers defense. The Jets will hope he can do the same.
7. Los Angeles Chargers - Chris Godwin (WR - Penn State)
(2017 pick: WR Mike Williams)
Back in 2017, Los Angeles went receiver, adding Mike Williams. This time around they do the same, just upgrade with Penn State’s Chris Godwin, who has developed into one of the league's best receivers a few years later. Godwin and Keenan Allen would combine to give the Chargers the best route-running duo in the league.
8. Carolina Panthers - Ryan Ramczyk (T - Wisconsin)
(2017 pick: RB Christian McCaffrey)
Carolina is obviously happy with their selection of Christian McCaffrey here, but adding Ramczyk seems like the better move. Tackle is obviously a much more valuable position than running back. On top of that, the instant boost to the offensive line will definitely help quarterback Cam Newton stay healthy.
9. Cincinnati Bengals - Zach Cunningham (LB - Vanderbilt)
(2017 pick: WR John Ross)
The Bengals get to undo the terrible draft selection of John Ross and give a boost to their defense. Cunningham has developed into one of the league’s best linebackers and even got some All-Pro attention in 2019. A Bengals team that needed help almost everywhere gets a huge defensive boost.
10. Buffalo Bills - Jamal Adams (S - LSU)
(2017 pick: Traded down to 27, CB Tre’Davious White)
Buffalo’s secondary becomes the best in the NFL with this pick. They had already added Micah Hyde earlier in the offseason in free agency, and now add another elite defensive back in Jamal Adams. Adams, Hyde and Jordan Poyer would be the most talented three safety set the league has even seen.
11. New Orleans Saints - Marlon Humphrey (CB - Alabama)
(2017 pick: CB Marshon Lattimore)
New Orleans knocked it out of the park with Marshon Lattimore here, but they get a slight upgrade at corner by adding Marlon Humphrey instead. Humphrey is one of the best corners in the league only three years in, and was a first-team All Pro in 2019.
12. Cleveland Browns - Eddie Jackson (S - Alabama)
(2017 pick: Traded down to 25, S Jabrill Peppers)
Alabama defensive backs go back-to-back here as the Browns do not trade their pick to the Texans this time around. Cleveland gives their defensive backfield with human endzone magnet Eddie Jackson. It also fills their need at safety, which they filled later on with Jabrill Peppers in 2017.
13. Arizona Cardinals - Budda Baker (S - Washington)
(2017 pick: LB Haason Reddick)
The Cardinals whiffed here with Haason Reddick, but nailed their second-round pick in Budda Baker. This time around they just take Baker with their first pick as they delve into the incredibly deep safety class. Baker landed himself an All-Pro nod in his rookie season and should have received some All-Pro attention one again in 2019.
14. Philadelphia Eagles - Marshon Lattimore (CB - Ohio State)
(2017 pick: DE Derek Barnett)
Lattimore becomes the fifth-straight defensive back off the board, and the sixth in the first 14 picks. Philadelphia's secondary has been a problem for years, and the addition of Lattimore makes an elite defense somehow even better for the eventual Super Bowl champions.
15. Indianapolis Colts - Christian McCaffrey (RB - Stanford)
(2017 pick: S Malik Hooker)
Indianapolis landed a star at running back later in the draft in Marlon Mack, but here they get Andrew Luck another elite offensive weapon in the first. McCaffery gives an offense in desperate need for a player to take some attention away from T.Y. Hilton exactly what it needed.
16. Baltimore Ravens - Kenny Golladay (WR - Northern Illinois)
(2017 pick: CB Marlon Humphrey)
Baltimore has always had trouble building a strong group of receivers but they land a star here. Kenny Golladay needs no introduction here. He is one of the league’s best receivers and would be the perfect target for the jump-ball happy Joe Flacco.
17. Washington - Dalvin Cook (RB - Florida State)
(2017 pick: DE Jonathan Allen)
Washington’s intense commitment to old school ground-and-pound football gets exactly what it needs. While durability has been a concern for Cook over his first few NFL seasons, he has arguably been the best between the tackles runner in the league when healthy.
18. Tennessee Titans - JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR - Southern Cal)
(2017 pick: CB Adoree’ Jackson)
Tennessee went corner here in 2017, but they already nabbed Tre’Davious White at pick 5 in this redraft. In reality at pick 5, they went receiver in Corey Davis, and now they fill that need here. JuJu Smith-Schuster gives Marcus Mariota the WR1 he never had until A.J. Brown came around in 2019 and may alter the quarterbacks career entirely.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Alvin Kamara (RB - Tennessee)
(2017 pick: TE O.J. Howard)
Tampa Bay missed out on all of the defensive back talent at this point, but still needed some skill position help. While O.J. Howard has been fine, they instead land Alvin Kamara here and get Jameis Winston another target to throw to and a guy to carry the ball out of the backfield.
20. Denver Broncos - Garett Bolles (T - Utah)
(2017 pick: OT Garett Bolles)
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. The Broncos hit with Garett Bolles here in 2017 and filled a need at tackle. They make the same choice here.
(2017 pick: LB Jarrad Davis)
With Anquan Boldin out the door, the Lions needed a third receiver, and specifically someone to play out of the slot. While the addition of Kenny Golladay in the third round inevitably let Golden Tate move to the slot, Golladay is off the board. Instead, they go for Cooper Kupp.
Kupp was an instant hit for the Los Angeles Rams and should be even better in the Lions offense. He gets to play alongside better receivers in Tate and Marvin Jones Jr. and a better quarterback in Matthew Stafford. Detroit also gets to undo a whiff on Jarrad Davis.
22. Miami Dolphins - Adoree Jackson (CB - Southern Cal)
(2017 pick: DE Charles Harris)
Miami needed help all over their defense entering 2017. They managed to steal a playoff spot in 2016 but still had needs almost everywhere. Jackson gives them a high-ceiling player at a valuable position.
23. New York Giants - Dion Dawkins (T - Temple)
(2017 pick: TE Evan Engram)
If you know anything about the Giants, it’s that their offensive line has been terrible over the years. Dawkins gives them a cornerstone piece at tackle that can protect Eli Manning and help build for the eventual arrival of Saquon Barkley.
24. Las Vegas Raiders - Chidobe Awuzie (CB - Colorado)
(2017 pick: CB Gareon Conley)
The Raiders went with Ohio State’s Gareon Conley here. Conley had a great start to his career but quickly fell off and was soon traded to the Houston Texans. Las Vegas (or Oakland) goes the same direction, but upgrades here with Awuzie.
25. Houston Texans - Taylor Moton (T - Western Michigan)
(2017 pick: Traded up to 12, QB Deshaun Watson)
Houston does not trade up in this scenario, but they do help fill a long-time need by adding a great talent at offensive tackle.
26. Seattle Seahawks - Desmond King (CB - Iowa)
(2017 pick: Traded down to 31, then traded out of first round)
The Seahawks hold on to their pick here, and add a star corner to play across from Richard Sherman for his final years in Seattle. The upgrade probably keeps them in Super Bowl contention and helps cushion the eventual loss of Sherman.
27. Kansas City Chiefs - Xavier Woods (S - Louisiana Tech)
(2017 pick: Traded up to 10, QB Patrick Mahomes)
The Chiefs defense had a lot of problems in 2017 and many of them came because their star safety Eric Berry was injured for virtually the entire year. While Woods does not fully make up for the loss, he does give them a huge boost in their long time defensive back’s absence.
(2017 pick: DE Taco Charlton)
With both Dez Bryant and Jason Witten’s careers slowly winding down, the Cowboys get Dak Prescott a much needed weapon. Engram is essentially a wide receiver and gives the team a huge boost. This pick also may affect their eventual decision to trade for Amari Cooper in 2018.
29. Green Bay Packers - Shaquill Griffin (CB - Central Florida)
(2017 pick: Traded out of first round)
Green Bay traded this pick back, and then selected corner Kevin King with the first pick in the second round. This time around they just fill their need at corner by adding Shaquill Griffin out of Central Florida.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers - Mike Williams (WR - Clemson)
(2017 pick: LB T.J. Watt)
The Steelers miss out on both Watt and Smith-Schuster—who proved to be stars out of this draft class—but still get a solid WR2 in Clemson’s Mike Williams.
31. Atlanta Falcons - Derek Barnett (EDGE - Tennessee)
(2017 pick: Traded up to 26, DE Takkarist McKinley)
Atlanta traded up for Takk McKinley in 2017. While the edge rusher was great to start his career, off-the-field issues eventually damned him. They fill their need at edge rusher with Derek Barnett here, who may not have the same peaks as McKinley but is a more consistent, reliable player for the future.
32. New Orleans Saints - Marcus Maye (S - Florida)
(2017 pick: OT Ryan Ramczyk)
New Orleans made huge upgrades to their defensive backfield with Lattimore and Marcus Williams in the 2017 draft. While they miss out on Lattimore here, they still get an upgrade in the secondary with Marcus Maye, who has proven to be a star for the Jets thus far.