2013 NFL Re-Draft

The 2013 NFL draft was one of the worst in memory. It has been five years since that fateful first round, and of the 32 players selected, just nine of them are still on the team that drafted them. There was some hidden talent later in the draft. Not a single quarterback appears in this redraft, which is pretty much unheard of. Overall, it was a solid draft class, the first round just really did not pan out as expected.

  1. Kansas City Chiefs
    Original Selection: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
    New Selection: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
    Fisher has put together a solid career in Kansas City, but not quite deserving of the top overall pick. He will still go later in this redraft, but instead, the Chiefs nab potentially the best right tackle in the whole league at this point.
  2. Jacksonville Jaguars
    Original Selection: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
    New Selection: Le’Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State
    It was assumed there was three elite tackle prospects in this draft. Joeckel proved that wrong. He is currently out of the league and never really managed to solidify a spot in Jacksonville. The Jags take potentially the best player in the draft who fills a need and makes the Blaine Gabbert years a little more bearable.
  3. Oakland Raiders
    Original Selection: D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston
    New Selection: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
    In 2013, the Raiders traded down with Miami and took the speedy Hayden. Instead, they keep their third overall selection and take a game changing receiver in Hopkins. Even with Terrelle Pyror as his quarterback, Hopkins would still emerge as a top flight receiver.
  4. Philadelphia Eagles
    Original Selection: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
    New Selection: David Bakhtari, T, Colorado
    I debated this back and forth for a while, because Bakhtari might be one of the three best left tackles in the league. I basically would have switched Bakhtari with Johnson, but ultimately decided that Bakhtari needed a little more development right out of school. He still fills a need very nicely for the Eagles.
  5. Detroit Lions
    Original Selection: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
    New Selection: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
    One of the few selections, that goes to the same team, Ansah was an athletic freak who panned out really well for the Lions. No reason to change the pick with him still on the board.
  6. Cleveland Browns
    Original Selection: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
    New Selection: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
    This was a tough choice between Rhodes and A.J. Bouye for Cleveland, who desperately needed another corner to start alongside Joe Hayden in his prime. Rhodes was just a bit more pro ready, which is exactly what the Browns needed.
  7. Arizona Cardinals
    Original Selection: Johnathan Cooper, G, North Carolina
    New Selection: Travis Fredrick, C, Wisconsin
    Arguably the best player in the draft, he just doesn’t play a position that teams value as highly. Still, Fredrick warrants a top 10 selection and looks like a future Hall of Famer at center in Dallas. Arizona would prefer that to the uneven play of Cooper.
  8. Buffalo Bills
    Original Selection: E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida State
    New Selection: Keenan Allen, WR, California
    Buffalo actually traded back with the Rams and took the first of many quarterback busts. This time around, they nail this pick by taking the dynamic Allen. He may have some injury concerns, but his upside is still massive.
  9. New York Jets
    Original Selection: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
    New Selection: A.J. Bouye, CB, UCF
    Needless to say the Jets were hoping for a game-changing corner when they drafted Milliner. Here, New York selects Bouye and steals a player who might now be the best corner in football. He took a year or two to truly take hold in Houston, but makes the massive jump from undrafted to top 10 pick.
  10. Tennessee Titans
    Original Selection: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
    New Selection: Kyle Long, G, Oregon
    Right position, wrong player for Tennessee as Chance Warmack never lived up to the hype. Kyle Long has been a stud in Chicago since day one. He might even keep Jack Locker healthy for a few more years.
  11. San Diego Chargers
    Original Selection: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
    New Selection: Tyrann Mathieu, DB, LSU
    With many of the top linemen gone in the past few picks, San Diego finds themselves taking the best player available, which at this point is undoubtedly Mathieu. The Honey Badger is a versatile playmaker. His injury issues are still a concern, but his talent alone makes him worth the selection.
  12. Miami Dolphins
    Original Selection: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
    New Selection: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
    Out of all of the bad moves mad in this draft, Miami might own the worst one. Dion Jordan registered two sacks as a rookie, then served three different suspensions, including one that lasted 15 months. Trufant on the other hand was an integral part of a Falcons defense that made it to the Super Bowl in 2017.
  13. New York Jets
    Original Selection: Sheldon Richardson, DE, Missouri
    New Selection: Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati
    While Richardson was no doubt productive in New York, this was not the right team for him as his off the field issues and lack of a true scheme fit caused him to flame out. The Jets haven’t had a good tight end since maybe Chris Baker. Kelce no doubt solves that problem.
  14. Carolina Panthers
    Original Selection: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
    New Selection: Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
    The Panthers actually landed Short in the second round of this draft. He has developed into one of the best pass rushing tackles in the league. It would be foolish to let him hang around.
  15. New Orleans Saints
    Original Selection: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
    New Selection: Darius Slay, CB, Mississippi State
    Slay is often over looked after spending years on bad Lions’ defenses, but his play has been one of the lone bright spots. New Orleans desperately needed improved secondary play for several years without finding much until recently.
  16. St. Louis Rams
    Original Selection: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
    New Selection: Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota State
    I’m not buying for a second that Tavon Austin is worth a first round pick, much less trading up into the top 10. I would rather take Thielen, who took a few years to develop. Over the past two seasons, Thielen racked up 160 receptions for 2,243 yards and nine touchdowns. Austin has 71 catches for 556 yards and three scores.
  17. Pittsburgh Steelers
    Original Selection: Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia
    New Selection: Jamie Collins, LB, Southern Miss
    Jones never panned out so Pittsburgh takes Collins, which helps them and hurts the rival Patriots. Collins did a lot well in New England and even more recently in Cleveland to deserve this pick.
  18. Dallas Cowboys
    Original Selection: Travis Fredrick, C, Wisconsin
    New Selection: Larry Warford, G, Kentucky
    With Fredricks long gone, Dallas opts for another big body in the middle of the line. Warford started all 16 games as a rookie and made a Pro Bowl in 2017. He might have extended Tony Romo’s career a little bit.
  19. New York Giants
    Original Selection: Justin Pugh, OT, Syracuse
    New Selection: Sheldon Richardson, DE, Missouri
    The other New York team gambles on the talent that Richardson brings to the table. The Giants had an aging defensive core including Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka. Richardson bridges the gap.
  20. Chicago Bears
    Original Selection: Kyle Long, G, Oregon
    New Selection: Micah Hyde, DB, Iowa
    Long is off the board, so the Bears tab Hyde, who has proven his versatility over the years in Green Bay and now Buffalo. Chicago’s defense fell apart over the past few seasons and could have used a productive player like Hyde.
  21. Cincinnati Bengals
    Original Selection: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
    New Selection: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
    Another example of right position, wrong player. Eifert had his moments, but fell off over the past few seasons. Ertz on the other hand has developed into one of the best all around tight ends in the NFL. He would do wonders for Andy Dalton.
  22. St. Louis Rams
    Original Selection: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
    New Selection: Eric Reid, S, LSU
    Ogletree just left the Rams via a trade, so instead St. Louis grabs Reid. A hard hitter and solid cover man, Reid would make an immediate impact for a team that needed some new blood at safety. The team selected T.J. McDonald in the third round.
  23. Minnesota Vikings
    Original Selection: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
    New Selection: Brandon Williams, DT, Missouri Southern State
    Floyd never made the impact expected of him at the pro level. Williams has turned into a monster in the middle of Baltimore’s defense, eating up blocks and stuffing run plays. Minnesota could use a bit of that down the line.
  24. Indianapolis Colts
    Original Selection: Bjorn Werner, DE, Florida State
    New Selection: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
    The first overall pick drops 23 spots, but eventually lands in Indy, where keeping Andrew Luck upright must be the priority. Fisher gives the Colts a right tackle opposite Anthony Castonzo, but more importantly a building block to reshape the line.
  25. Minnesota Vikings
    Original Selection: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
    New Selection: Robert Woods, WR, USC
    Rhodes has been off the board for while now. Instead, the Vikings opt for a speedy playmaker who has proven to be a great chess piece when used correctly. Woods’ speed alone makes him valuable and might even make Christain Ponder watchable.
  26. Green Bay Packers
    Original Selection: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
    New Selection: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
    Jones became the latest Packer to fail at providing a pass rush. Ogletree has some baggage, but if anyone could iron it out, it would be Green Bay. He would give the Packers another roaming linebacker to pair with Clay Matthews.
  27. Houston Texans
    Original Selection: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
    New Selection: Kenny Vaccarro, S, Texas
    Obviously, it is wishful thinking for Hopkins to still be here. The Texans go with Kenny Vaccaro, who has been solid if unspectacular in New Orleans. He showed flashes of potential that Wade Phillips and Vance Joseph (both on the Houston staff at the time) could have pulled out of him.
  28. Denver Broncos
    Original Selection: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
    New Selection: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
    Williams was not the big man Denver thought it was getting. Lotulelei drops a bit but still finds a home as a pass rusher on one of the best offensive teams ever built.
  29. New England Patroits
    Original Selection: Jamie Collins, LB, Southern Miss
    New Selection: Kiko Alonso, LB, Oregon
    If there was anyone who was going to turn Kiko Alonso into a star, it was Bill Belichick. Odds are the Patriots would still trade down from here, but Alonso offered a lot of potential despite the injury risk the New England is almost always willing to take.
  30. Atlanta Falcons
    Original Selection: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
    New Selection: Jordan Reed, TE, Florida
    Trufant is off the board way before the Falcons can think about trading up for him. Instead, Atlanta takes a pass catching stud to pair with Julio Jones and aid Matt Ryan. Tony Gonzales was in his final year. Reed fills that void about as well as anyone could hope to.
  31. San Francisco 49ers
    Original Selection: Eric Reid, S, LSU
    New Selection: Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma
    Reid is gone, so the 49ers take another roaming safety in Jefferson. He has developed into a better than average corner who can press at the line and tackle. He would be a nice consolation prize for San Francisco with Reid already gone.
  32. Baltimore Ravens
    Original Selection: Matt Elam, S, Florida
    New Selection: J.C. Tretter, G, Cornell
    Fast forward five years and Tretter is the starting center for the Browns. He is one of the better ones in the league and would help keep newly paid Joe Flacco clean after his stunning Super Bowl performance.
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NFL Playoff Predictions: Wildcard Round

I wish I had a rooting interest in this year’s playoffs, but all the same, this is going to be a year to remember. There are tons of great storylines and some incredible games to be played and that starts today with Wildcard Weekend. Let’s start predicting some matchups.

Kansas City vs. Houston
2014 NFL Pro BowlFar from the sexiest matchup of the wildcard round. In fact, I would go as far as to say it is the least exciting. Still well worth watching though, which lets you know how great these playoffs will be. This projects to be more of a defensive struggle. Duane Brown’s injury is already a big blow to the Texans offense. Houston overall was lucky to make the playoffs. I think Alex Smith will show everyone his ability to handle the pressure of a playoff game. Charcandrick West and Stephen Ware should also help wear down a stout Texans defensive front. Mixing a mediocre Houston offense and the league’s third best scoring defense sounds like a recipe for disaster. I think the Chiefs will win this comfortably, 24-10.

Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati
DeAngelo_WilliamsNothing beats a divisional battle in the playoffs. If it couldn’t be Steelers-Ravens, (one of the best rivalries in NFL history) then I’m happy it could at least be Steelers-Bengals. These two split the season series, with the road team winning each matchup. I don’t think we are going to see that trend continue. I know Cincy is still without Andy Dalton but an even bigger blow comes on the other side. Pittsburgh will be without DeAngelo Williams, meaning that Fitzgerald Toussaint and Jordan Todman will be carrying the load for the Steelers. For as much as this team relies on Ben Roethlisberger, I think they are going to be too one-dimensional. Throwing the ball constantly doesn’t allow you to control the game offensively and I don’t think the Steelers will be able to close it out late. A.J. McCarron has had a few weeks to learn the offense. Hue Jackson is one of the best offensive coordinators in the league and I think he will have a plan to upend the rival Steelers. Final score, Bengals 31 – Steelers 27

Seattle vs. Minnesota
Russell_WilsonMany are pointing at the midseason meeting between these two teams as the reason for why Seattle will win again. I don’t think it means anything how these two previously played. The Seahawks rode Thomas Rawls for a good portion of that victory. Rawls will not be playing on Sunday and neither will Marshawn Lynch. Russell Wilson is truly going to have no running game to support him in this one. Christine Michael will be the starting running back for the Hawks. Going up against a defense like Minnesota’s, that doesn’t bode well. That being said, this defense knows how to bottle up Adrian Peterson and will force Teddy Bridgewater to beat them with his arm. Bridgewater does not have a ton of weapons of his own in the passing game that will likely win one-on-matchups with this Seattle secondary. If this is a duel between Bridgewater and Wilson, I am taking Wilson every time. Seattle wins this blizzard bowl 21-10.

Green Bay vs. Washington
Kirk_CousinsThis is not a game many would have predicted at the beginning of the year. I for one though Washington would not come anywhere near the playoffs. I doubt many would have guessed that Green Bay would be on the road either. As much as I like Aaron Rodgers, especially in the playoffs, I don’t think he will be leaving the nation’s capital with a win. The Packers have failed to find any consistency on offense, whether it be running or passing. On the flip side, Kirk Cousins has been on fire for Washington. He’s been yelling, “You like that!” a lot, which is good news for this DC team. I think Washington’s passing attack will prove too much for an underwhelming Packers’ secondary to handle. Momentum has a lot to do with this one. Washington has won four straight while Green Bay has dropped its last two.  It will be close but I think Washington will win its first playoff game in 10 years, 27-24.

Counting down the most successful sports city

So following the Super Bowl and now starting the long four-month lull until another championship game is played, I thought it might be interesting to reflect back on the last 15 years of sports champions. More specifically, I am ranking the top ten sports cities in the US since 2000. This includes the five largest sports leagues in America, NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS. The rankings will mainly rely on championships won by a single city but I will also take into account appearances in the finals as well. Let’s see if your city makes the list.

The cities just missing the cut are Houston, Philadelphia and Baltimore. Houston has two titles, both coming from their MLS club the Dynamo. The Astros made a World Series run in 2005 but got swept. The Texans haven’t helped. Philly has four appearances in the big game but only one victory. The Phillies won the World Series in 2008 but then lost the next year. The Eagles lost in 2005 as did the Flyers in 2010. Baltimore has two titles but both came from the Ravens. The Orioles did not do enough to really pad Baltimore’s resume.

#10 Kansas City 2 total titles in 4 total appearances
Not exactly a massive market but Kansas City has been a pretty solid sports city since 2000 when it comes to success. The forgotten team here will be the MLS club. The Kansas City Wizards, who is now Sporting KC, won the MLS Cup in 2000 and later made it to the 2004 final. 13 years later, Sporting KC left its mark with a MLS Cup victory. Then just this past year, the Royals made a shocking run to the World Series, eventually losing to San Francisco. The Kansas City NFL team, the Chiefs, could have boosted this city up the list some but they have had very little playoff success since 2000, not coming anywhere near the Super Bowl.

#9 St. Louis: 3 total titles in 5 total appearances
The St. Louis Rams were actually the first team to win a sports championship in the new millennium, taking home the 2000 Lombardi Trophy (which I ranked as my most exciting Super Bowl game of all time). The baseball team in St. Louis has done most of the heavy lifting though as the Cardinals have been among baseball’s best in the past 15 years. The Cards have two World Series titles from the 2006 and 2011 campaigns. This MLB team also came up just short in both 2004 and 2013, at the hands of the Boston Red Sox on each occasion. A little help from the Blues in the NHL could’ve pushed St. Louis above the next few cities on this list.

#8 San Francisco: 3 total titles in 5 total appearances
The San Francisco Giants have been baseball royalty over the past five years. In that time span, they have nailed down three World Series titles. San Francisco also made a trip to the Series in 2002, eventually losing in Game 7 to the Anaheim Angeles. The football team in San Francisco is pretty good as well. The 49ers came close for years to making it back to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1995. They finally accomplished that goal in 2013, but came up short against the Baltimore Ravens. Close, but no cigar. That Super Bowl victory could have vaulted San Francisco past the number seven city on the list.

#7 Pittsburgh: 3 total titles in 5 total appearances
If this were an all-time list, Pittsburgh would have to be higher up on it. As it is only since the year of 2000, the city takes a drop. This has still been a successful city though when it comes to sports titles. The Steelers have earned two of them, in 2006 and 2009. They also came up a touchdown short in 2011 of winning another one against the Packers. On the ice, the Penguins have been one of the top teams in the NHL for some time now. They are perennial contenders and managed to make a Stanley Cup run in 2008, losing to the Detroit Red Wings, before returning the following year to beat those same Red Wings. Unfortunately, the Pirates haven’t been much help to the Pittsburgh cause in a while. Pittsburgh has been good, just not as good as…

#6 San Antonio: 4 total titles in 5 appearances
Amazing that a city with only one professional sports team can make the list. Well that’s what happens when the San Antonio Spurs are that one team. After a win in the NBA Finals in 1999, the Spurs watched as the Lakers won three consecutive titles to open the 21st century. The Spurs retaliated by winning three out of the next five. After an eight-year finals drought, San Antonio got another shot at a ring in 2013, eventually losing in Game 7 to the Heat. The rematch the following year though fell the other way giving the Spurs their fourth title since 2000.

That is the bottom half of the list. Check back in tomorrow for the top half of the countdown.

AFC playoff scenarios

Week 17 in the NFL is approaching quickly and while the playoff picture is beginning to take shape, there is still a lot of shuffling around that can occur. I am going to take some time here to explain all of the scenarios and then tell you which I think is the most likely.

Here is what we already know: New England has secured the number one seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Even if they lose this weekend to Buffalo and Denver wins against Oakland, the Patriots have the advantage with a victory over Denver earlier this season. Outside of that, the Broncos, Steelers, Colts and Bengals have all also earned playoff berths. The only one cemented into a spot is Indianapolis who has grabbed the fourth seed.

Here is what is still undetermined, the seeding for numbers two, three, five and six, not to mention who will be the sixth seed. I will start from the top and work my way down. First, Denver can clinch a first round bye with either a win over the Raiders or a loss or tie by the Bengals against the Steelers. This is probably how things shake out. Oakland has played better recently but I don’t think the Broncos will lose to a division rival at home with so much on the line.

Cincinnati can nail down the third seed if they beat Pittsburgh on the road this Sunday. A Bengals loss would mean a drop to the fifth seed and a trip to Indianapolis rather than hosting the eventual sixth seed. I think it’s likely for Cincy to come up short based on the last match up between these two teams, where Pittsburgh ran away with it late. That being said, if the Steelers win as I think, Pittsburgh would be the third seed and play host to the eventual sixth seed. If the Black and Gold fall however, their fate is a road trip to play Andrew Luck. Neither Pittsburgh nor Cincinnati can be caught by another team and drop lower than the fifth seed.

The sixth seed is an absolute toss-up. There are four teams alive for the final spot including San Diego, Baltimore, Kansas City and Houston. For the Charges, a win means a playoff berth. It is as simple as that. If the Bolts can knock off the Chiefs in Kansas City than San Diego will be heading to either Pittsburgh or Cincinnati for a wild card match up. I think this is the most likely scenario to play out. The Chargers have been a good team down the stretch while the Chiefs have struggled to find an offense outside of Jamal Charles. The Chiefs could make it with a win over San Diego and losses by both the Ravens and Texans. Seeing as Kansas City needs the most outside help, I don’t see a playoff appearance happening.

Those Texans are still alive and have a tiebreaker over the Ravens after beating them this past weekend. But Houston needs help from Cleveland, who must defeat Baltimore for that tiebreaker to mean anything. The Texans also need to make sure not to slip up against division rival Jacksonville. Meanwhile, Ravens fans will be rooting for both their team and the Chiefs this weekend, as that is their team’s recipe for playoff life. I think the Ravens will win at home versus the Browns but I just don’t see the Chargers losing meaning Baltimore will be kept out of the playoffs for the second year running.

That’s all the possible scenarios here. So my wild card round matchups would be the Steelers hosting the Chargers and Cincinnati trekking out to Indianapolis to play. Keep an eye for first round predictions once the playoff field is set. To see the NFC playoff scenarios, click here. Hope you enjoy this final week of regular season football.