The League

Redraft

No Defense for '08 NFL Draft

Gil Brandt wrote this week that he thinks 2008 might be the best NFL draft class since 1983. We know he wrote this because we re-read the sentence about 15 times to make sure we weren't hallucinating.

We here at Redraft Headquarters have long trusted Brandt's judgment but after weeks of analyzing every first-round pick's performance we just don't agree. Yes, the running back and wide receiver classes have been great, but what about defense?

Other than linebackers Jerod Mayo and Curtis Lofton, we struggle to find any defensive players who make a weekly difference. Four of the first five picks on defense have been major disappointments. Chris Long has been so-so. The defensive backs have been brutal. All these players may develop eventually, but with what first-round picks are paid, shouldn't teams be getting something now for their money?

As always, your Redrafts are welcome in the comments below.


Pick Team
1. Miami Dolphins
Redraft: QB Matt Ryan.
Was 17-of-22 for 220 yards in crushing Raiders on Sunday, outplaying JaMarcus Russell and keeping the Falcons in the playoff hunt.
2008 Pick: OT Jake Long.

2. St. Louis
Redraft: OT Jake Long.
Big reason for Dolphins' resurgence, has been solid on left side.
2008 Pick: DT Chris Long. Rams gave up 510 totals yards in 34-13 loss to Cardinals. Five hundred and ten yards. To Arizona. Long had three tackles for a loss. Congrats.

3. Atlanta
Redraft: WR DeSean Jackson.
Just two receptions for 20 yards Sunday in 26-7 victory over Seattle for the Eagles' suddenly human second-round pick (49th overall).
2008 Pick: QB Matt Ryan. Taken by Dolphins in Redraft at No. 1.

4. Oakland
Redraft: RB Matt Forte.
Forte (Chicago, second round, 44th) had 22 carries for 126 yards in 27-23 victory over Lions.
2008 Pick: RB Darren McFadden. Sidelined on Sunday because of turf toe.

5. KC Chiefs
Redraft: WR Eddie Royal.
The former Hokie (Denver, second round, 42nd) had a 95-yard kickoff return that set up his own touchdown catch and six other receptions in loss to Miami.
2008 Pick: DE Glenn Dorsey. Mr. Dorsey, on playing in the NFL: "Everybody's fast, everybody's big, everybody's strong and everybody is one of the best at what they do. That's a big adjustment." It is, when you are no good.

6. NY Jets
Redraft: LB Jerod Mayo.
Leads the Patriots, who took him 10th, with 65 tackles and has played on 84 percent of defensive snaps, according to the Boston Globe. Ladies and gentlemen, THAT'S a first-round pick.
2008 Pick: DE Vernon Gholston. He's a late bloomer. Yeah, that's it. A late bloomer.

7. New Orleans
Redraft: DT Chris Long.
Drops here from No. 2.
2008 Pick: DT Sedrick Ellis. Bye week should have helped in recuperation from knee surgery.

8. Jacksonville
Redraft: LB Curtis Lofton.
The Oklahoma product (Atlanta, second round, 37th) is second among rookies in tackles with 47.
2008 Pick: DE Derrick Harvey. Still no sacks and things might be imploding for 3-5 Jaguars.

9. Cincinnati
Redraft: LB Keith Rivers.
Out for the season because of a broken jaw but played well enough for horrible Bengals team to keep spot.
2008 Pick: Rivers.

10. New England
Redraft: RB Chris Johnson.
Johnson (Tennessee, first round, 24th) carried the Titans on overtime drive that beat Packers Sunday.
2008 Pick: LB Jerod Mayo. Taken by Jets in Redraft at No. 6.

11. Buffalo
Redraft: RB Steve Slaton.
The Mountaineer (Houston, third round, 89th) had 62 yards rushing and eight more catches in 28-21 loss to Vikings Sunday.
2008 Pick: CB Leodis McKelvin. He can't get playing time despite $12.6 million in guaranteed money?

12. Denver
Redraft: T Ryan Clady.
Clady is a keeper but 14 total rushing yards for Broncos in 26-17 loss to Miami?
2008 Pick: Clady.

13. Carolina
Redraft: RB Jonathan Stewart.
Has 362 rushing yards and five touchdowns for 6-2 Panthers.
2008 pick: Stewart.

14. Chicago
Redraft: McFadden.
Drops here from No. 4 to replace Forte, who has zoomed from second round to top of first.
2008 Pick: OT Chris Williams. Made his 2008 debut after back surgery by playing special teams Sunday against Detroit.

15. Kansas City
Redraft: OT Sam Baker.
Falcons traded up for USC star at No. 21 but he is out indefinitely after lower back surgery.
2008 Pick: OG Branden Albert. Overtime loss to Tampa Bay the latest blow to woeful Chiefs.

16. Arizona
Redraft: S Chris Horton.
The product from UCLA (Redskins, seventh round, 249) did not have one of his better games in loss to Steelers.
2008 Pick: CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Cardinals are winning but it's not because of him.

17. Detroit
Redraft: CB Brandon Flowers.
The Hokie (Kansas City, second round, 35th) has hamstring issues but had played okay until then.
2008 Pick: OT Gosder Cherilus. A mediocre right tackle on a far-worse-than-mediocre team.

18. Baltimore
Redraft: QB Joe Flacco.
Threw two touchdown passes in comeback victory over Cleveland. Do you believe?
2008 Pick: Flacco.

19. Carolina
Redraft: OT Jeff Otah.
Ankle injury could sideline him again Sunday, but it's only the Raiders.
2008 Pick: Otah.

20. Tampa Bay
Redraft: CB Aqib Talib.
Inconsistent as can be. Sunday, he was beaten for a touchdown because he gave way too much cushion to middling wide receiver Dwayne Bowe of Chiefs.
2008 Pick: Talib.

21. Washington
Redraft: WR Donnie Avery.
The Houston product (St. Louis, second round, 33rd) has 23 catches for 363 yards for Rams and sure would have been nice to have when Santana Moss was hobbled Monday night.
2008 Pick: Traded pick to Atlanta, which took OT Sam Baker.

22. Dallas
Redraft: RB Felix Jones.
Still unsure if he'll be back to face Redskins on Nov. 16 because of hamstring issues.
2008 pick: Jones. He'll move up once he's healthy.

23. Pittsburgh
Redraft: Ellis.
He drops here from No. 7.
2008 Pick: RB Rashard Mendenhall. Out for season because of fractured shoulder.

24. Tennessee
Redraft: CB Antoine Cason.
The 27th pick, by the Chargers, is a nice nickel back, which is about as good as it gets on defense in this draft.
2008 Pick: RB Chris Johnson. Redrafted to New England at No. 10.

25. Dallas
Redraft: CB Dwight Lowery.
The Jets' fourth-round pick (112th) makes a lot of tackles and has recovered two fumbles but has been beaten too often in coverage.
2008 Pick: CB Mike Jenkins. Don't care about his gift interception TD off Eli Manning. Someone explain what he was doing on the Giants' final touchdown. Did you see it? He was in position to make the tackle and did not move. Derrick Ward ran right by him. Then he stumbled and fell over a prone teammate. Summed up the Cowboys' day.

26. Houston
Redraft: OT Duane Brown.
Was beaten by Vikings defensive end Jared Allen on sack that resulted in quarterback Matt Schaub's knee injury.
2008 Pick: Brown.

27. San Diego
Redraft: S Charles Godfrey.
The Iowa product (Carolina, third round, 67th) has started all eight games for the Panthers at free safety.
2008 Pick: CB Antoine Cason. Redrafted to Tennessee at 24.

28. Seattle
Redraft: G Jamey Richard.
The Colts' seventh-round pick (226th overall) has been forced into the starting lineup and has been serviceable at guard and center.
2008 Pick: DE Lawrence Jackson. With Patrick Kerney out, now would be the time for Jackson to prove he belongs. Don't think he can.

29. San Francisco
Redraft: DE Phillip Merling.
The former Clemson star (Miami, second round, 32nd) has tailed off a bit after strong start.
2008 Pick: DT Kentwan Balmer. Has five tackles all season. Five.

30. NY Jets
Redraft: TE John Carlson.
The Notre Dame product (Seattle, second round, 38th) has 22 catches with two touchdowns.
2008 Pick: TE Dustin Keller. Held to two catches for 19 yards by struggling Bills.

31. NY Giants
Redraft: S Tyrell Johnson.
The Arkansas State product (Minnesota, second round, 43rd) will be playing mainly special teams now that Madieu Williams is healthy.
2008 Pick: S Kenny Phillips. Giants are playing so well he isn't needed to do much.

By Emilio Garcia Ruiz  |  November 5, 2008; 6:20 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Dorsey, Gholston Proving Unworthy | Next: Falcons' Ryan Outclassing the Field

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Don't forget DB Chris Horton!

Posted by: charlie | November 12, 2008 2:08 PM

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