Analysis

Redrafting the First Round of the 2018 NFL Draft

Redrafting the First Round of the 2018 NFL Draft

With many members of the 2018 draft class nearing their second contract it has been long enough to re-evaluate this class thoroughly and skeptically. Redrafting a class several years later is an evocative thought experiment that creates a rough power ranking of the players originally drafted that year. The 2018 class turned out to be a fantastic one, featuring deep groups at running back, linebacker, and cornerback. There were also five quarterbacks drafted in the first round, and their draft slots shifted dramatically here.

Some of these players merely slid up and down in the first round from their original spots, while some are new to the first round entirely. The Browns held two picks in the top four, including the first overall pick where they picked Baker Mayfield. This time around, they right the ship.

#1 – Cleveland Browns

Previous Pick: Baker Mayfield

Re-Draft Pick: Josh Allen

Here, Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson contended for the first-overall spot. Both are All-Pro level quarterbacks who bring dynamism to the gridiron for their clubs, but Allen edges out Jackson for the top spot.

Allen is the only quarterback with 4,500 passing yards, 35 passing touchdowns, and five rushing touchdowns in a single season. That kind of single-handed offensive acceleration is something that the Browns would gladly inherit with the top choice.

Allen boasts a passing-yardage total of 14,114, passing-touchdown total of 103, and rushing-touchdown total of 31 (second in the entire draft class). Add to the fact that the only other quarterback with more rushing yards since 2018 is Lamar Jackson.

Allen takes the cake for the first-overall pick in this re-draft because his skillset is perfect for generating explosive passing plays and efficient scramble opportunities: two themes that are surging throughout the league. The question here would be whether Hue Jackson and Freddie Kitchens could develop Allen’s talent the way Buffalo did.

#2 – New York Giants 

Previous Pick: Saquon Barkley

Re-Draft Pick: Lamar Jackson

The former NFL MVP, Jackson, is the easy pick here. He has an All-Pro First Team selection to his name and The Giants were looking for their Eli Manning replacement, which they supposedly solved with Daniel Jones’s selection at the fifth-overall spot a year later. In this redraft, they bypass the trials and tribulations of Daniel Jones and opt with the Heisman-winning Louisville Cardinal.

Jackson is the best rushing quarterback ever, and he has not yet turned 26. In 2019 and 2020, Jackson broke the 1,000-yard rushing threshold and added more than 2,750 through the air in each season. The 2019 performance, in which Jackson rushed for seven touchdowns and threw a league-high 36 touchdowns, is a reminder of what Jackson brings to the table. Astonishingly, Jackson’s AV of 25 in 2019 is tied for second highest in a single season behind only LaDainian Tomlinson’s record-breaking 2006 season and tied with Marshall Faulk’s 1999 season and O.J. Simpson’s 1975 season.

This past season Jackson was on pace for another top-notch performance: 4,082 passing yards (career high), 23 passing touchdowns, 1,086 rushing yards, and four rushing touchdowns.

As one of the league’s premier quarterbacks, Jackson would provide the Giants with much-needed juice on offense. Pairing Jackson’s lightning-in-a-bottle play style with a younger Odell Beckham Jr. is tantalizing.

#3 – New York Jets (via Indianapolis)

Previous Pick: Sam Darnold 

Re-Draft Pick: Darius Leonard

Leonard was one of the best-value picks in this draft class. Initially, the 36th-overall pick, Leonard rises to the third-overall slot because of the unprecedented beginning of his career. In Leonard’s first season, he broke the Colts franchise record for most tackles in a single season (his 163 combined tackles ranked first in the NFL), and his overall grade of 80.3 by Pro Football Focus was ranked ninth among all linebackers in 2018.

For his efforts, the media and coaches selected him for the All-Pro First Team and Defensive Rookie of the Year Award. Leonard has made the All-Pro First Team twice and the All-Pro second team once while also receiving three Pro Bowl selections. Darius Leonard is a run-stuffing machine but provides plenty in pass coverage as well. He has intercepted 11 passes since 2018 — the most by a linebacker. Furthermore, Leonard has forced the third-most fumbles since 2018 (17) behind only Chandler Jones and T.J. Watt.

Leonard is one of, if not the best off-ball linebacker in the NFL today. In an era of unmatched passing volume, it is vital to have a ‘backer such as Leonard who can halt the run and cause turnovers in the passing game. While the Jets were looking to select a quarterback with this pick, Leonard still gets the nod.

#4 – Cleveland Browns (via Houston)

Previous Pick: Denzel Ward

Re-Draft Pick: Quenton Nelson

Since joining the NFL in 2018, no offensive lineman has performed as well as Nelson — evidenced by Nelson’s league-leading Approximate Value of 53 among all offensive linemen. While the original pick of Denzel Ward was beneficial, the Browns probably could not pass up a chance to add Nelson to their elite offensive line (although in this universe, they will miss out on Wyatt Teller).

Nelson has received a Pro Bowl nod in all four of his pro seasons and an All-Pro First Team selection in all but one. Nelson is a franchise anchor in the trenches and is one of the few game changers from an OL spot.

 #5 – Denver Broncos

Previous Pick: Bradley Chubb

Re-Draft Pick: Orlando Brown Jr.

Orlando Brown Jr. panned out as the best offensive tackle from this class. Brown’s career weighted Approximate Value of 41 ranks seventh in this class. While Bradley Chubb has not quite lived up to the lofty expectations bestowed upon him, he has performed adequately. The problem is that Chubb has missed 25 out of a possible 65 games. Brown has not missed a game in his four-year career, has been called for only 15 penalties in 64 games, and Brown’s total Approximate Value since his first entire season as a starter (2019) ranks 10th among all tackles with 26 — tied with Duane Brown and one spot ahead of Terron Armstead.

While Garrett Bolles has been more than serviceable for the Broncos since 2018, their next best offensive tackle has been Graham Glasgow. Selecting Brown instead of Chubb would provide the Broncos with a reliable stalwart to complement Bolles. This would have likely eased the pressure (literally) on some of the Broncos’ passers who have struggled to produce truly viable seasons in Colorado.

#6 – Indianapolis Colts

Previous Pick: Quenton Nelson 

Re-Draft Pick: Fred Warner

With two of the Colts’ original selections gone before just the sixth-overall pick, the Colts opt to replace Darius Leonard with a dominant linebacker in his own right: Fred Warner.

Warner’s weighted Approximate Value of 42 ranks sixth best in this class. Warner has 504 combined tackles to his name (fifth-most since 2018 among all linebackers), 332 solo tackles (fourth-most since 2018 among all linebackers), 25 passes defended (tied for seventh-most since 2018 among all linebackers), and six forced fumbles (ninth-most among all off-ball linebackers since 2018).

Warner is one of nine players to receive an All-Pro First Team selection in his draft class, and Warner added a Pro Bowl selection to his trophy case as well.

 #7 – Buffalo Bills (via Tampa Bay) 

Previous Pick: Josh Allen

Re-Draft Pick: Jaire Alexander

With Wyoming’s Allen gone at this pick, the Bills go best available with Alexander. Alexander is one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL right now and the 10th-ranked player 25 and under in The 33rd Team’s Top 25 Under 25. In the 2019 and 2020 NFL Seasons, only Stephon Gilmore, Marlon Humphrey, Jalen Ramsey, and Xavien Howard generated a higher Approximate Value than Alexander.

Alexander allowed just 337 yards in coverage in 2020 while earning the fourth highest PFF-coverage grade among players with at least 300 coverage snaps and the highest among corners. While the interception production is not there, Alexander broke up 13 passes in 2019 and 2020. Alexander also allowed the fourth-lowest NFL Passer Rating among corners with at least 450 coverage snaps behind only Xavien Howard, Darious Williams, and J.C. Jackson.

While Alexander only played in four games this past season, Alexander remains one of the best cover corners in the NFL and is a solid selection at the seventh-overall spot. Although Denzel Ward and J.C. Jackson push for the title of “first cornerback taken,” all three players are so good that choosing over the other becomes arbitrary. Alexander is likely the best in denying his opponent the ball, Jackson provides the best ball production, and Denzel Ward is somewhere in the middle.

It would also be fun to watch Alexander and Tre’Davious White play together on the league’s best defense.

#8 – Chicago Bears

Previous Pick: Roquan Smith

Re-Draft Pick: Roquan Smith

Smith, the former Georgia Bulldog, has been one of the best off-ball linebackers in the league since 2018. The do-it-all linebacker has garnered two back-to-back Second-Team All-Pro selections in 2021 and 2020. Smith’s 84.0 PFF-coverage grade in 2020 was the best among off-ball linebackers with at least 1,000 snaps. Additionally, Smith’s five sacks tied for fourth among all linebackers.

Smith is a heat-seeking missile in run-defense and pass-rush scenarios, and he is athletic enough to cover big tight ends and shifty slot receivers. Since 2018, Smith’s Approximate Value of 41 ranks fourth best among all middle linebackers (trailing Tremaine Edmunds, Fred Warner, and Bobby Wagner). Furthermore, only Devin White has more sacks than Roquan Smith among middle linebackers since 2018. Smith also edges out Fred Warner in combined tackles since their being drafted (524:504).

#9 – San Francisco 49ers 

Previous Pick: Mike McGlinchey

Re-Draft Pick: Minkah Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick, initially drafted by the Miami Dolphins with the eleventh overall pick in 2018, and subsequently dealt to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a first-round pick, among others, as a part of their rebuilding process. Fitzpatrick’s weighted Approximate Value of 38 ranks ninth best in this class, and it should only be fitting that Fitzpatrick is selected ninth overall.

Fitzpatrick is a playmaking machine that can roam in the secondary to choke deep passes or come up and make stops in run defense. Since 2018, Fitzpatrick has intercepted 13 passes (fourth among all safeties), defended 36 passes (third among all safeties), and allowed an average of only 272 yards in coverage. In 2020, Fitzpatrick posted the sixth highest PFF-season grade among safeties with at least 600 snaps. In 2021, Fitzpatrick logged the fourth highest PFF run-defense grade.

 #10 – Arizona Cardinals (via Las Vegas)

Previous Pick: Josh Rosen 

Re-Draft Pick: Denzel Ward

Ward, the original fourth-overall selection, claims the highest weighted Approximate Value among all cornerbacks in this draft class (24). Ward’s ten interceptions since 2018 tie for eight most, and Ward’s 50 passes defended since 2018 ranks sixth. Bringing in Ward instead of UCLA’s Josh Rosen should be a no-brainer for the Cardinals here, as Ward would likely still be on the roster, and Rosen has been gone for years. Furthermore, the Cardinals have struggled to fill the void that descending Patrick Peterson left.

#11 – Miami Dolphins

Previous Pick: Minkah Fitzpatrick

Re-Draft Pick: Derwin James

The Miami Dolphins go with James to replace their original pick of Minkah Fitzpatrick. Both are stellar safeties. As a rookie, James intercepted three passes (tied for tenth among safeties), broke up 13 (second-most among safeties), collected 105 total tackles (tied for sixth among safeties), and sacked the QB 3.5 times (most among safeties). James’s rookie season earned him an All-Pro First Team and Pro Bowl selection. While James missed most of the 2019 season and the entirety of 2020, he returned to a high level of play in 2021, garnering his second Pro Bowl selection.

 #12 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (via Buffalo & Cincinnati)

Previous Pick: Vita Vea

Re-Draft Pick: Tremaine Edmunds

The Bucs mix it up here, drafting an off-ball linebacker instead of defensive anchor Vita Vea. Edmunds has lived up to his first-round draft pedigree. Edmunds’s 463 combined tackles are good for seventh-most among all middle linebackers since 2018. Edmunds also cracks the top five in tackles-for-a-loss (TFLs) with 26 since 2018: the most TFLs in his draft class. Edmunds also leads his draft class in passes defended (28 [third since 2018]) and ranks seventh with four interceptions over the same period. Edmunds is another premier off-ball backer in this draft class, and the twelfth-overall selection reflects that.

#13 – Washington Commanders

Previous Pick: Daron Payne

Re-Draft Pick: J.C. Jackson

Initially an undrafted free agent acquisition after the 2018 NFL Draft, no one will wait that long to secure his services knowing what we know now. While Jackson’s weighted Approximate Value is lower than both Jaire Alexander and Denzel Ward’s performance for the Patriots over the last few years has been undeniably impressive. Since 2019, no NFL player has more interceptions (22) than Jackson, and Jackson’s 37 passes defended since 2020 ranks first among all cornerbacks.

#14 – New Orleans Saints (via Green Bay)

Previous Pick: Marcus Davenport

Re-Draft Pick: Baker Mayfield

This is a controversial choice, particularly with last week’s trade. However, at this point, the Saints knew that Drew Brees was going quickly and have struggled to find a replacement. Mayfield surprisingly holds the fifth-highest weighted Approximate Value in this class, scoring 42. While Mayfield did not “wow” anyone during his Cleveland tenure, he performed better than most give him credit for.

Mayfield has more passing yards (14,125) than Josh Allen and more passing touchdowns (92) than Lamar Jackson. Both ranked near the top ten (12th and 11th, respectively) since 2018. Mayfield’s biggest issue has been interceptions, a category he has led since being drafted. T

The Saints’ willingness to bring in Jameis Winston should show that they do not mind the interceptions as much as other teams would, making this a match in heaven. And, unlike in Cleveland, Mayfield would be able to sit behind one of the all-time greats before taking the reins.

 #15 – Las Vegas Raiders (via Arizona)

Previous Pick: Kolton Miller

Re-Draft Pick: Kolton Miller

Miller, originally the 15th-overall pick, is a practical selection here. Miller can handle either tackle spot, and their offensive line performance has benefited greatly from Miller’s presence since 2018.

Miller’s weighted Approximate Value of 27 is 17th in the draft class, and to nab a tackle of his stature in the middle of the first round is a safe choice for the Raiders who just lost Pro Bowl left tackle Donald Penn at this stage. Derek Carr is coming off of his third straight Pro Bowl and protecting him is priority No. 1. Miller has allowed just six sacks over the past two seasons on over 1,300 pass-blocking snaps. Further, Miller’s 85.1 PFF pass-blocking grade ranked third among all offensive linemen in 2021.

 

#16 – Buffalo Bills (via Baltimore) 

Previous Pick: Tremaine Edmunds

Re-Draft Pick: Saquon Barkley

With their franchise linebacker off the board, they turn to a position they have struggled with since LeSean McCoy’s departure. Barkley, the original second-overall pick, does not escape the first round. His talent, once considered generational, is too rare to ignore despite the injury history. Barkley led the league in scrimmage yards as a rookie but has been troubled with injuries following his Offensive Rookie of Year campaign. In 2018, Barkley’s overall PFF grade of 85.2 ranked behind only Nick Chubb and Derrick Henry. Barkley is dangerous in space, evidenced by his league-high breakaway % of 54% (percentage of designed runs that gain 15 yards or more) and top-four PFF elusive rating. Considering 2018 was Barkley’s rookie season, that shows us his floor as a player so long as he can surmount the injuries.

#17 – Los Angeles Chargers

Previous Pick: Derwin James

Re-Draft Pick: Mark Andrews

Since 2018, only Travis Kelce and George Kittle have more receiving yards than Andrews, and his weighted Approximate Value of 32 is the tenth highest in the draft class. Although the Chargers drafted Hunter Henry in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, they swing on Andrews here because Henry did not top 675 yards or nine touchdowns in a Chargers uniform.

The Chargers are struggling at the tight end position right now, and this selection would have gone a long way in fixing it long-term, especially with franchise QB Justin Herbert at the helm. Andrews has eclipsed 700 yards three out of his four seasons and has scored an average of nine touchdowns a season since 2019. Andrews’s performance in 2021 earned him his second Pro Bowl nod and first All-Pro First Team selection.

#18 – Green Bay Packers (via Seattle)

Previous Pick: Jaire Alexander 

Re-Draft Pick: Nick Chubb

With most elite defensive backs off the board, the Packers select running back Nick Chubb with the fourteenth-overall pick. Chubb’s weighted Approximate Value of 35 is the tenth-highest figure in this class, and Chubb is likely the best back to come out of this draft. Only Derrick Henry accumulated more rushing yards (5,563) than Chubb (4,816) since 2018. Chubb’s 83.0 rushing yards per game and 5.3 yards per carry are the highest in the class and top five among all running backs with at least 200 carries. Chubb gives the Packers all they could ever dream A.J. Dillon could be, bringing an elite combination of size, speed, vision, and contact balance.

#19 – Dallas Cowboys 

Previous Pick: Leighton Vander Esch 

Re-Draft Pick: Jessie Bates III

Although Leighton Vander Esch received a Pro Bowl selection during his rookie year, he has not received another. Vander Esch missed time in ’19 and ’20 before logging a whole season in 2021, but he was not the same player he once was. On the other hand, Bates led a defensive unit to the Super Bowl this year and snagged a pick at the end of the first half in Super Bowl LVI.

Bates would bolster a Dallas secondary that would soon go through a dismal few years. Bates’s weighted Approximate Value of 25 ties for 21st in this class and second among safeties behind only Minkah Fitzpatrick. Bates’ 10 interceptions ties for tenth-most since 2018, one more than All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu, and his 35 passes defended is good for fourth-most during the same period, behind only Minkah Fitzpatrick, Kevin Byard, and Justin Simmons.

#20 – Detroit Lions

Previous Pick: Frank Ragnow

Re-Draft Pick: D.J. Moore

Although Ragnow has done nothing to drop lower on this list, it is more of a testament to how strong this draft class was overall. Moore has benefitted from the increased value of wide receivers, even in the past few years. Since 2018, Moore has racked up the eighth-most receiving yards, more than Julio Jones.

In the past four seasons, Moore has surpassed 1,000 yards receiving — no small feat, especially considering the level of play he dealt with at quarterback. Moore’s weakness has been touchdown production, from which his eighth-ranked receiving mark drops to a 46th-ranked touchdown mark since 2018.

This could be due to many factors, such as the overall feeble nature of the offense when McCaffrey is missing action or McCaffrey’s tendency to gobble up red zone opportunities when healthy. Either way, touchdown production can be spotty, and Moore has a knack for moving the chains. Something the Lions missed since Calvin Johnson retired in 2016.

 

#21 – Cincinnati Bengals (via Buffalo)

Previous Pick: Billy Price 

Re-Draft Pick: Wyatt Teller

Teller, a former fifth-round selection, vaults into the first round due to his run-blocking power and pass-blocking know-how. Although Teller’s ’18 and ’19 seasons were not much to remember, Teller, graded out as the best offensive guard in the league in 2020, ahead of Zack Martin and Quenton Nelson. The Bengals have been weak across the offensive line in recent years and choosing Teller here would benefit the franchise’s future.

Teller’s 18 total pressures in 2020 were tied for the sixth fewest with David DeCastro, Joel Bitonio, and Roger Saffold. Most impressively, though, Teller’s run-block grade of 93.6 was more than seven points higher than the next guard (Quenton Nelson). Overall, Teller’s timeline would gel perfectly with the Bengals’ window of contention, much more than Billy Price’s at least.

#22 – Tennessee Titans (via Buffalo & Kansas City)

Previous Pick: Rashaan Evans

Re-Draft Pick: Harold Landry III

Although Landry ultimately landed on the Titans in the second round, they are not taking their chances this time. Landry is coming off a career year in which he notched 12 sacks and took a trip to the Pro Bowl. This offseason, the Titans awarded Landry with a five-year deal worth $87.5M. Landry’s weighted Approximate Value of 28 ranks in the top 15 of this draft class and is the best edge rusher available.

Since 2019, only four outside linebackers have more sacks than Landry (Matt Judon, Chandler Jones, Shaq Barrett, T.J. Watt). Landry also has the fourth-most TFLs among OLBs since 2019, with 36. Put together, not only is Landry one of the best rushers in this class but one of the best outside linebackers in the NFL.

#23 – New England Patriots

Previous Pick: Isaiah Wynn

Re-Draft Pick: Daron Payne

Although the Patriots are not sticking with Wynn, they are still building up the trenches—albeit on the other side of the ball. Payne, originally the 13th-overall pick, holds the 16th-highest weighted Approximate Value in the draft class. The Patriots tend to choose the best player available (at least in their eyes; See Cole Strange), and Payne fits that bill.

Payne has played in all but one game in his four-year career while topping 50 tackles in each. Payne’s 22 TFLs tied for ninth-most in the NFL since 2018, one spot behind Kenny Clark. Meanwhile, Payne’s 227 combined tackles in the same span rank second behind only DeForest Buckner.

#24 – Carolina Panthers

Previous Pick: D.J. Moore

Re-Draft Pick: Frank Ragnow

Ragnow is one of the league’s best centers, and he has done little to drop in this redraft outside of falling victim to positional value and overall draft depth. Still, Ragnow has made a Pro Bowl and allowed just six sacks in his career.

In 2021 and 2020, Ragnow did not allow a single sack, and he graded out in the top three at his position both years. Moreover, Ragnow has posted a pass-blocking efficiency of 98.0 or higher since his rookie season.

Ragnow is an underrated IOL who is worthy of a first-round selection in this redraft. Further, the Panthers could have used some help on the interior of their offensive line these past few years considering they have allowed 178 sacks since 2018 (tied for most sacks allowed in 2019 with 58). 

#25 – Baltimore Ravens

Previous Pick: Hayden Hurst 

Re-Draft Pick: Calvin Ridley

Although Ridley’s future is up in the air, mainly because Ridley is slated to miss the entire 2022 season, he is still one of the best route-runners in the league. Moreover, Ridley’s weighted Approximate Value ranked 20th best in this class despite missing significant time in 2021.

Further, Ridley ranked in the top 15 in receiving yards between 2018-2020 and, surprisingly, had more touchdowns (26) than DeAndre Hopkins during the same span. The Ravens have been hurting at wide receiver and did not have a receiver top 750 yards in 2018. Ridley would usher in an era of vertical capability.

#26 – Atlanta Falcons

Previous Pick: Calvin Ridley

Re-Draft Pick: Courtland Sutton

With their original pick leaving the board one pick earlier than scheduled, the Falcons stick with receiver. Sutton, who was originally picked with the 40th spot, is one of the better deep threats in the NFL. In 2019, Sutton received his first Pro Bowl selection after registering a 72-1112-6 stat line. Moreover, Sutton’s weighted Approximate Value of 14 ties with Ridley, although their play style differs significantly.

#27 – Seattle Seahawks (via New Orleans)

Previous Pick: Rashaad Penny

Re-Draft Pick: Mike McGlinchey

McGlinchey, previously the ninth-overall pick, slides down to No. 27. McGlinchey’s weighted Approximate Value of 23 ties for 29th in this draft class, and he would provide run-blocking prowess that the Seahawks would be thrilled with. McGlinchey’s 91.3 PFF run-blocking grade in 2020 ranked fourth among all offensive linemen, just behind Trent Williams, Zack Martin, and Wyatt Teller. McGlinchey must improve in pass protection before joining the elite tackles in the NFL. Otherwise, McGlinchey is a plus starter that juices up the run game.

#28 – Pittsburgh Steelers

Previous Pick: Terrell Edmunds

Re-Draft Pick: Rashaan Evans

Edmunds was far from a bad selection at this spot, but Rashaan Evans would contribute more to the Steelers’ defense in a way they have been missing since Ryan Shazier’s tragic injury. Since 2019, Evans has put himself in the top 15 in combined tackles and QB hits. Evans’s weighted Approximate Value of 25 ranks 21st in this draft class and would be a value at this pick. 

#29 – Jacksonville Jaguars

Previous Pick: Taven Bryan

Re-Draft Pick: Brian O’Neill

O’Neill is the pick here, considering the Jaguars were looking to improve their offensive line, and O’Neill provides the most value at this spot. O’Neill’s weighted Approximate Value of 30 is the 13th-highest mark in this draft class. O’Neill has allowed just six sacks on 2,397 pass-blocking snaps for a pass-blocking efficiency of 97.6. In 2021, O’Neill tied with Taylor Moton and Trent Williams for the fewest sacks allowed (1) while posting a higher pass-blocking efficiency than both. Not to mention, O’Neill allowed the third-least pressures behind only Andrew Whitworth and Tristan Wirfs. While O’Neill has traditionally played on the right side, it fits well with their plan of developing 2017 second-round pick and current starting left tackle, Cam Robinson.

#30 – Minnesota Vikings

Previous Pick: Mike Hughes 

Re-Draft Pick: Vita Vea

Vea, selected initially at 12, slips to the 30th pick because of his inability to affect the passing game. Vea has only notched 11.5 sacks since 2018. For reference, New York Giants IDL Leonard Williams logged 18 sacks in half the time.

Regardless, Vea’s contribution does not appear on the stat sheet, per se. Vea’s role is to prevent the offensive line from generating any push on rushing plays, and he has excelled in that role for the Bucs since being drafted in 2018. The Vikings have had a stout run defense in recent memory, and the acquisition of Vea would further strengthen the defensive side of the trenches.

#31 – New England Patriots

Previous Pick: Sony Michel

Re-Draft Pick: Carlton Davis

Davis is the pick here, especially seeing as they will no longer have J.C. Jackson moving forward. Unlike Jackson, Davis is a big, physical cornerback that thrives in disrupting passes at the catch point. Davis’s 14 PBUs in 2020 ranked second among all cornerbacks, and his four interceptions tied for third most. Further, Davis allowed a lower NFL Passer Rating than Tre’Davious White and a higher forced-incompletion percentage than Jalen Ramsey in 2020. However, Davis has not played a full season yet in his career, missing at least three games in each of the past four years. Still, Davis has the chops to play CB1 for an NFL team.

#32 – Baltimore Ravens (via Philadelphia)

Previous Pick: Lamar Jackson

Re-Draft Pick: Braden Smith

Smith, the previous 37th-overall pick, slides up the draft board and sneaks into the first round. Smith’s weighted Approximate Value of 29 ties Kolton Miller for 17th-highest in the class. It also ties current Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley. The former Auburn Tiger posted the fourth highest PFF run-block grade among all tackles in 2019, behind only La’el Collins, Ryan Ramczyk, and Lane Johnson. In 2021, Smith ranked in the top 20 of all tackles with at least 700 snaps in fewest sacks allowed. Smith is a mauler in the run game, and his pass-blocking is catching up.