Imagine the excitement (and disappointment) of an NFL draft where every player from every team is thrown into the mix, and the teams can pick anyone from any roster.
Well, that is exactly what we did. This draft was conducted by Ryan Thyer @bignoahd05 (even numbered picks) and Jackson Lee (odd numbered picks), who currently resides in San Francisco and is a huge Niners fan (no Twitter yet).
We used the premise that every NFL roster was completely empty and they were re-building teams from scratch, with GMs and coaches able to draft anyone they wanted. Interestingly, many picks were made based off of what other teams in the division did, and some picks were made based on head coaching styles. A quick breakdown of players drafted shows the following:
Quarterbacks – 13 | Defensive Ends – 7 | Offensive Tackles – 5 | Defensive Tackles – 6 | Wide Receivers – 12
Cornerbacks – 6 | Running Backs – 3 | Linebackers – 9 | Tight Ends – 1 | Safeties – 2 | Offensive Guards and Centers - 0
For the purposes of this draft we used the current draft order of the 2015 NFL draft. The first round was so much fun that we decided to go an additional round! I look forward to feedback – tell me who we missed, who went too high, and who went too low!
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Andrew Luck – QB
Luck is six years younger than Aaron Rodgers with just as much potential if not more. It's only a matter of time before he becomes THE BEST quarterback in the NFL.
2. Tennessee Titans: Aaron Rodgers - QB
The Titans were excited to see Luck go first, as they coveted Aaron Rodgers. Still in his prime, Rodgers should make the Titans a perennial AFC Super Bowl contender.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: JJ Watt - DE
The Jags desperately need a franchise QB. But they 'settle' for snagging the top pass rusher/quarterback terrorizer/defensive player in his prime.
4. Oakland Raiders: Russell Wilson - QB
With Watt, Luck, and Rodgers off the board, the Raiders decide to go QB. Wilson is young and a winner, something this franchise has not had in a long time. They know that after Wilson the QBs are not as young and elite. Wilson is a dream pick for this franchise both on the field and in having a marketable player.
5. Washington Redskins: Odell Beckham Jr. - WR
Dan Snyder loves fast, flashy wide-outs. Beckham Jr. was unstoppable last year. With the current top NFL wide-outs being 26 years or older or with some injury history, the Skins take the talented Beckham Jr.
6. New York Jets: Ndamukong Suh - DT
With one pick, the Jets have decided that teams in the AFC East are not going to run on them. Suh is the elite DT in this draft and the Jets can now build a defense around his skill set.
7. Chicago Bears: Luke Kuechly – LB
At only 23 years of age, Kuechly is already the top linebacker in the NFL. He's a complete player and a team leader. The Bears have themselves yet another great middle linebacker.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Richard Sherman – CB
Playing against Luck twice a year, the Falcons know they need to get pressure and a shutdown corner to stop him. In Sherman they have arguably the best CB in football and can shut down half the field against him when they play. Sherman allows them to generate pressure in several ways.
9. New York Giants: Tyron Smith - OT
The New York Giants are thrilled to be able to snag the NFL's best left tackle under the age of 25. The foundation for a championship caliber team has been laid.
10. St. Louis Rams: Justin Houston - OLB
Jeff Fisher wants to build a tough defense that gets after quarterbacks, and not many do that better than Justin Houston. Still only 26, and coming off of three consecutive seasons of generating double digit sacks, Houston gives Fisher the corner presence he needs in his defensive scheme.
11. Minnesota Vikings: Robert Quinn - DE
Quinn is an elite pass rusher and the best defensive end not named JJ Watt. At only 24 years of age, he will anchor the Vikings defense for years to come.
12. Cleveland Browns: Cam Newton - QB
With the perfect luck of having two picks in the first round this year, the Browns go QB with their first pick. A young proven QB that has produced in the league is something that this team and fan base is not used to, but will love. Newton will quickly become the face of the franchise.
13. New Orleans Saints: Lavonte David - MLB
David is a tackling machine. He finished the season 3rd in total tackles in 2014 despite missing a couple of games. There are very few who are better than this 25 year old phenom.
14. Miami Dolphins: Gerald McCoy - DT
In an attempt to build a strong defensive line, the Fins take the 27 year old McCoy. McCoy should anchor the defensive line for years to come in Miami, and give them a presence against both the run and the pass.
15. San Francisco 49ers: Trent Williams - OT
GM Trent Baalke likes to build his team from the inside out. Williams is arguably the best left tackle in the NFL. At 26 years of age, the pro bowl lineman is still young enough for the 49ers to build their offense around
16. Houston Texans: Marcell Dareus - DT
Building a strong line, whether offensive or defensive, is a popular path to follow in the draft, and the Texans jump on the young lineman trend with Dareus. A force in the middle of the line, Dareus will eat up double teams to help the rush from the outside in Bill O'Brien's defense.
17. San Diego Chargers: Patrick Peterson - CB
Elite cornerbacks possessing Peterson's attributes are rare. Would you take a DB who is 6'1" with sub 4.4 speed at this point in the draft? Duh!!!
18. Kansas City Chiefs: Le'Veon Bell - RB
Andy Reid will be the first to take a RB in this scenario. Reid loves to build his offense around a RB that can not only run, but is a great receiver out of the backfield, and Bell fits that mold. With 85 receptions last year, Bell can do it all for a Reid offense.
19. Cleveland Browns: Julio Jones - WR
The Browns are always desperate for elite playmakers. After taking a quarterback a few rounds earlier, they now have a complement to their franchise QB. Browns fans are so excited they're literally pinching themselves.
20. Philadelphia Eagles: Antonio Brown - WR
OH how easy it would be to make a crazy pick here with the off-season that Chip Kelly has had, but I will restrain myself. In Chip Kelly's high-octane offense, there may be no better weapon than Antonio Brown. Extremely fast, reliable, and durable, he would be a terror on tired defenses.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Cameron Jordan - DE
Getting pass rushers is always a good thing. After achieving 12.5 sacks last season, Jordan proves he's one of the best. At age 25 and preparing for his fourth season, Jordan has never missed an NFL game.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers: Earl Thomas - S
Mike Tomlin knows how to build a defense around a safety with special skills - Thomas has special skills. Thomas is the best safety in the NFL right now, and will allow Tomlin to get back to his smash mouth defensive days. The football loving fans in Pittsburgh will love watching him make plays all over the field.
23. Detroit Lions: AJ Green - WR
How in the world did AJ Green last this long before getting drafted??? He's an elite playmaker in his prime!!!
24. Arizona Cardinals: Dez Bryant - WR. The Cardinals best years have come with dominant WRs in the offense, and Bruce Arians knows that he has an elite weapon in Dez Bryant. A true weapon from all over the field, Bryant is a true red zone weapon that will also open up the run game for the Cardinals offense.
25. Carolina Panthers: Bobby Wagner - LB
Playmaker - check. Pro-Bowler - check. Team leader - check. Super Bowl Champion - check. Panthers got themselves a steal here.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Aaron Donald - DT
As the NFL's defensive rookie of the year, and a Pro Bowler in his rookie year, Donald is a wrecking ball in the middle of a defense. John Harbaugh has built his success around great defensive schemes, and Donald gives him the presence in the middle to build another great defense.
27. Dallas Cowboys: Demaryius Thomas - WR
Asking Jerry Jones not to draft superstar playmakers is like asking Justin Bieber to put on a shirt. It ain't happening. At 27 years old, he still has a few elite years left in him. The Cowboys are not drafting for the future here. They're going all in right now.
28. Denver Broncos: Tom Brady - QB
John Elway is a win now kind of guy, not a build it from the bottom up kind of guy. There is no other QB in the NFL that is more accustomed to winning than Brady, and even though he is 37, Elway knows that he can still get a couple good years out of him, and worry about the future later.
29. Indianapolis Colts: Dontari Poe - DT
The Colts decide to put a mass of a run stopper in the middle of their defensive line. He is one of the top nose tackles in the league and he's only 24 years old.
30. Green Bay Packers: Matt Ryan - QB
If the Packers have had anything over the last 20 plus years it has been consistency at the QB position, and management goes for it again. Of the remaining QBs Ryan has proven the most and has the most experience. Whether or not he can win in the playoffs is a question, but he will get the Packers there.
31. New Orleans Saints: Matthew Stafford - QB
Franchise quarterbacks are hard to find. In Stafford, the Saints will remain competitive and lessen the shock of moving on from their all-time greatest QB.
32. New England Patriots: Ryan Tannehill - QB
Although Belichick was furious that someone took Brady, and tried to boycott the draft, the Patriots decided to take a QB here. The choice was between 26 year old Ryan Tannehill and 27 year old Matthew Stafford, but the Saints jumped in on Stafford and made the decision for them. A young QB, still coming into his own, Belichick can help Tannehill in his development, and have his new franchise QB. After taking positive steps the last two years, expect big things out of Tannehill under the Patriots regime.
33. Tennessee: Brandin Cooks - WR
34. Tampa Bay: Ryan Clady - OT
35. Oakland: Kam Chancellor - S
36. Jacksonville: Sheldon Richardson - DT
37. NY Jets: Khalil Mack - LB
38. Washington: Joe Haden - CB
39. Chicago: Nate Solder - OT
40. NY Giants: Darell Revis - CB
41. St. Louis: Jason Pierre-Paul - DE
42. Atlanta: Von Miller - DE
43. Cleveland: Jeremy Hill - RB
44. New Orleans: Alshon Jeffrey - WR
45. Minnesota: Randall Cobb - WR
46. San Francisco : Fletcher Cox - DE
47. Miami: Rob Gronkowski - TE
48. San Diego: Teddy Bridgewater - QB
49. Kansas City: CJ Moseley - LB
50. Buffalo: Chris Harris - CB
51. Houston: Derek Carr - QB
52. Philadelphia: Joe Thomas - OT
53. Cincinnati: Mike Evans - WR
54. Detroit: Ben Roethlisberger - QB
55. Arizona: Derrick Johnson - LB
56. Pittsburgh: Adrian Peterson - RB
57. Carolina: Vontaze Burfict - LB
58. Baltimore: Joe Flacco - QB
59. Denver: Vontae Davis - CB
60. Dallas: Clay Matthews - LB
61. Indianapolis: Sammy Watkins - WR
62. Green Bay: TY Hilton - WR
63. Seattle: Colin Kaepernick - QB
64. New England: Mario Williams – DE
This column was written by Ryan Thyer. Follow him on Twitter @bignoahd05