Loss of Rivers Is Latest Blow to Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals' disastrous season had one thing go right: First-round draft pick Keith Rivers, who has started every game at linebacker and is second on the team in tackles. Then Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward crushed Rivers on a block Sunday, breaking his jaw and ending his season.
We here at Redraft Headquarters have to believe that with the season lost, the Bengals, in hindsight, would still have drafted Rivers. After all, he'll be back in 2009 and could be a fixture on the defense. But what do you think? Does a season-ending injury to a first-round pick automatically mean the pick was a failure? Do you have to see how the rehab goes? Does the answer differ if a team is in contention? As always, your Redrafts are welcome in the comments below.
2008 Pick: OT Jake Long. He's playing well but the Dolphins need a quarterback.
Redraft: QB Matt Ryan. Was spotted during bye weekend at Boston College-Virginia Tech game. Hope he didn't pick up any bad habits.
2. St. Louis
2008 Pick: DT Chris Long. Rams have 11 sacks in last three games; Coach Jim Haslett told reporters Long is playing better, "not thinking; he's just reacting now."
Redraft: OT Jake Long. Chris Long still has a ways to go to beat his namesake.
2008 Pick: QB Matt Ryan. Taken by Dolphins in Redraft at No. 1.
Redraft: WR DeSean Jackson. The Eagles' second-round pick (49th) took 29 catches for 433 yards into the bye week; will return of Kevin Curtis decrease his stats?
2008 Pick: RB Darren McFadden. Sharing carries with Justin Fargas. That's not good enough with this monster class of rookie running backs.
Redraft: RB Matt Forte. Forte (Chicago, second round, 44th) isn't the rookie rushing leader anymore, but his 29 receptions keep him here.
5. Kansas City
2008 Pick: DE Glenn Dorsey. Did you see those Titans running backs slicing untouched through the Chiefs' line Sunday? Who do you think is being paid millions to help keep that from happening?
Redraft: WR Eddie Royal. The former Hokie (Denver, second round, 42nd) has 10 more catches than DeSean Jackson and one more touchdown.
6. New York Jets
2008 Pick: DE Vernon Gholston. Still learning. The world waits.
Redraft: Chris Long. Drops here from No. 2 while Gholston fiddles.
7. New Orleans
2008 Pick: DT Sedrick Ellis. Out after surgery on a torn meniscus. Still not back at practice.
Redraft: LB Jerod Mayo. Leads all rookies in tackles for the Patriots, who took Mayo 10th.
2008 Pick: DE Derrick Harvey. Bye week gives Jaguars fans a break from moaning about his lack of production.
Redraft: LB Curtis Lofton. The Oklahoma product (Atlanta, second round, 37th) leads the surprising Falcons in total tackles with 39.
2008 Pick: LB Keith Rivers. Out for the season because of a broken jaw.
Redraft: Rivers. We say he's a keeper for a rebuilding team even after the injury.
10. New England
2008 Pick: LB Jerod Mayo. Taken by Saints in Redraft at No. 7.
Redraft: RB Chris Johnson. With Laurence Maroney out for the season, Patriots grab this great pick by the Titans (17th overall). Johnson leads all rookies with 549 yards rushing and is averaging 5.3 yards a carry.
2008 Pick: CB Leodis McKelvin. Forced into the lineup Sunday because of injuries, he was beaten on both Chargers touchdowns. At least San Diego had only 191 net yards passing and lost.
Redraft: RB Steve Slaton. The Mountaineer (Houston, third round, 89th) has 423 yards rushing and 20 receptions and would help spell Marshawn Lynch.
2008 Pick: T Ryan Clady. That was an ugly beating the Broncos took against the Patriots.
Redraft: OT Sam Baker. Falcons made trade with Redskins and grabbed USC star at No. 21. Atlanta's stats have him having giving up only a half-sack at left tackle for a line that has only allowed seven sacks.
2008 Pick: RB Jonathan Stewart. Scored his fifth touchdown of a very solid season in 30-7 win over Saints.
2008 Pick: OT Chris Williams. Might finally put on uniform for Nov. 2 game against Detroit after back surgery.
Redraft: McFadden. Drops here from No. 4.
15. Kansas City
2008 Pick: OG Branden Albert. Before Sunday's game against Titans, Albert said of protecting quarterback Brodie Croyle: "My ultimate goal is to make sure Brodie doesn't get hit at all." Croyle lasted 14 plays. He got hit by two Titans, his knee was mangled and he's done for the season.
Redraft: Clady. Drops here from No. 12 in hopes Pats game was an aberration.
2008 Pick: CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Not doing much on defense but has been good on special teams.
Redraft: S Chris Horton. The product from UCLA (Redskins, seventh round, 249) should be making a lot more money this season.
2008 Pick: OT Gosder Cherilus. Redskins will be drawing a big fat target on his head on Sunday, looking to exploit his struggles.
Redraft: CB Antoine Cason. The 27th pick, by the Chargers, is the best rookie corner from this draft, which isn't saying much.
2008 Pick: QB Joe Flacco. Played well enough to not lose game against Dolphins.
Redraft: Flacco. We'll move him up again if he strings together a couple good games.
2008 Pick: OT Jeff Otah. Ankle injury kept him out of past three games.
20. Tampa Bay
2008 Pick: CB Aqib Talib. Had second solid game in a row by intercepting pass and returning it 19 yards in victory over Seattle.
Redraft: Talib. We've been down on him until now.
2008 Pick: Traded pick to Atlanta, which took OT Sam Baker.
Redraft: WR Donnie Avery. After helping beat Redskins, the Houston product (St. Louis, second round, 33rd) continued strong play with 42-yard touchdown catch against Cowboys.
2008 Pick: RB Felix Jones. Sidelined because of a torn hamstring.
Redraft: Jones. He's shown plenty.
2008 Pick: RB Rashard Mendenhall. Out for season because of fractured shoulder.
Redraft: Ellis. He drops here from No. 7 because he'll be back eventually.
2008 Pick: RB Chris Johnson. Redrafted to New England at No. 10.
Redraft: Harvey. He drops here from No. 8 so Gregg Williams's pal Jeff Fisher can give it a try.
2008 Pick: CB Mike Jenkins. With Adam Jones and Terence Newman out, he started Sunday. He got beat for two touchdowns (one was called back because of a penalty) and Cowboys got crushed.
Redraft: McKelvin. He drops here from No. 11.
2008 Pick: OT Duane Brown. Does helping to beat the Lions count?
27. San Diego
2008 Pick: CB Antoine Cason. Redrafted to Detroit at 17.
Redraft: Rodgers-Cromartie. Drops here from No. 16.
2008 Pick: DE Lawrence Jackson. Poor play cost him his starting spot in Sunday's loss to Tampa Bay.
Redraft: Dorsey. He drops here from No. 5 because we're feeling generous.
29. San Francisco
2008 Pick: DT Kentwan Balmer. Mike Nolan's job security wasn't helped by this poor first-round pick.
Redraft: DE Phillip Merling. At least the former Clemson star (Miami, second round, 32nd) is part of regular Dolphins' rotation.
30. New York Jets
2008 Pick: TE Dustin Keller. Only has seven receptions.
Redraft: TE John Carlson. The Notre Dame product (Seattle, second round, 38th) has 19 catches with two touchdowns.
31. New York Giants
2008 Pick: S Kenny Phillips. We're just not impressed.
Redraft: S Tyrell Johnson. The Arkansas State product (Minnesota, second round, 43rd), has been a fine replacement for the injured Madieu Williams.
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