2007 NFL Draft Reset: Patriots Take Safety But Not Brandon Meriweather

Brandon Meriweather, Todd HeapThe Oakland Raiders would love to take a mulligan on the 2007 NFL draft.

The Raiders obviously wouldn’t take LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell if they had a second chance at the 2007 No. 1 overall pick. Russell started just 25 games over three seasons before washing out of the league with drug and weight issues.

The 2007 draft was top heavy, with some of the league’s best players, but top-tier talent runs out fast.

Check out how the 2007 draft should have gone down.

1. Oakland Raiders: Calvin Johnson, wide receiver, Georgia Tech (drafted No. 2 overall)
Actual pick: JaMarcus Russell, quarterback, LSU

The pick would come down to Megatron and Darrelle Revis today. Since Johnson has been more consistent, he’s the pick. He has 9,328 yards and 66 touchdowns in seven seasons with the Detroit Lions.

2. Detroit Lions: Darrelle Revis, cornerback, Pittsburgh (No. 14)
Actual pick: Johnson

Since the Lions missed out on Johnson this time around, they’ll “settle” for Revis. He has been one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL since he slipped to No. 14 in the 2007 draft.

3. Cleveland Browns: Adrian Peterson, running back, Oklahoma (No. 7)
Actual pick: Joe Thomas, offensive tackle, Wisconsin

Typically, running backs don’t deserve to be selected in the top five picks of the draft, but Peterson isn’t a typical running back.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Patrick Willis, linebacker, Ole Miss (No. 11)
Actual pick: Gaines Adams, defensive end, Clemson

It’s a testament to the top talent of the 2007 draft that Willis drops all the way to No. 4. He’s a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and six-time All-Pro.

5. Arizona Cardinals: Joe Thomas, offensive tackle, Wisconsin (No. 3)
Actual pick: Levi Brown, offensive tackle, Penn State

Thomas probably is the best left tackle in football right now. He was a first-team All-Pro in 2013.

6. Washington Redskins: Eric Weddle, safety, Utah (No. 37)
Actual pick: LaRon Landry, safety, LSU

Landry has been injury-prone and inconsistent since being taken No. 6 overall. Weddle has become one of the NFL’s top safeties.

7. Minnesota Vikings: Marshawn Lynch, running back, California (No. 12)
Actual pick: Peterson

The Vikings miss out on Peterson, but they get a great consolation prize in Lynch, who seems to be improving as he ages.

8. Houston Texans: LaMarr Woodley, pass rusher, Michigan (No. 46)
Actual pick: Texans traded selection to Atlanta Falcons, who took Arkansas defensive end Jamaal Anderson

Every team could use more help rushing the passer. Woodley has 57 sacks since coming into the league as a second-round pick.

9. Miami Dolphins: Charles Johnson, defensive end, Georgia (No. 83)
Actual pick: Ted Ginn Jr., wide receiver, Ohio State

Johnson’s the next-best pass rusher in the 2007 draft class. He would have made a much better No. 9 pick than Ginn.

10. Atlanta Falcons: Leon Hall, cornerback, Michigan (No. 18)
Actual pick: Falcons traded selection to Texans, who took Louisville defensive tackle Amobi Okoye

Hall has outperformed his No. 18 selection status since coming into the league. Okoye didn’t last long after being a 19-year-old top-10 pick.

11. San Francisco 49ers: Joe Staley, offensive tackle, Central Michigan (No. 28)
Actual pick: Willis

The 49ers still wind up with Staley — they just have to take him 17 picks earlier. Franchise left tackles don’t come around too often.

12. Buffalo Bills: Ben Grubbs, offensive guard, Auburn (No. 29)
Actual pick: Lynch

It seems that guards are the position most likely to outperform their actual draft slot. Grubbs has been one of the best players to come out of the 2007 draft, but since he’s a guard, he drops to No. 12.

13. St. Louis Rams: Brandon Mebane, defensive tackle, California (No. 85)
Actual pick: Adam Carriker, defensive tackle, Nebraska

Mebane is the rare nose tackle who can get some pressure on the quarterback. He’s not the most well-known player in this draft, but he had a fantastic 2013 season.

14. Carolina Panthers: Anthony Spencer, outside linebacker, Purdue (No. 26)
Actual pick: Panthers traded selection to Jets, who took Revis

Spencer isn’t a great fit for the Panthers, but he’s been one of the best pass rushers in the draft class. He has 32.5 sacks since being taken No. 26 overall.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Lawrence Timmons, linebacker, Florida State (No. 15)
Actual pick: Timmons

The Steelers get to stick with Timmons, who’s been a versatile inside linebacker in Pittsburgh’s 3-4.

16. Green Bay Packers: Dwayne Bowe, wide receiver, LSU (No. 23)
Actual pick: Justin Harrell, defensive tackle, Tennessee

Back and knee injuries forced the Packers to release Harrell before the 2011 season. Green Bay would have been much better off selecting Bowe.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ryan Kalil, center, USC (No. 59)
Actual pick: Jaguars traded selection to Denver Broncos, who selected Florida defensive end Jarvis Moss

The Jaguars haven’t done much right through the draft recently. Kalil is a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

18. Cincinnati Bengals: Jermon Bushrod, offensive tackle, Towson (No. 125)
Actual pick: Hall

The Bengals miss out on Hall this time, but they get a consistent starting tackle. Bushrod was a steal for the Saints in the fourth round.

19. Tennessee Titans: Michael Griffin, safety, Texas (No. 19)
Actual pick: Griffin

The Titans get to keep Griffin, who has been consistent but not spectacular in his seven-year career.

20. New York Giants: Jon Beason, linebacker, Miami (No. 25)
Actual pick: Aaron Ross, cornerback, Texas

The Giants wind up with Beason through his good, non-injury years. Beason was a tough player to slot, since the beginning of his career went so well and the end has gone so poorly. He did have a bounce-back season in 2013 with the Giants.

21. Denver Broncos: Paul Soliai, defensive tackle, Utah (No. 108)
Actual pick: Broncos traded selection to Jaguars, who took Florida safety Reggie Nelson

Soliai’s been a consistent presence at nose tackle for the Dolphins over the last seven years. He even earned a Pro Bowl selection in 2012.

22. Dallas Cowboys: Brian Robison, defensive end, Texas (No. 102)
Actual pick: Cowboys traded selection to Cleveland Browns, who took Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn

Robison’s been underrated while playing across the line from All-Pro defensive end Jared Allen, but the seven-year pro has put together a consistent career as a fourth-round pick.

23. Kansas City Chiefs: Marshal Yanda, offensive tackle, Iowa (No. 86)
Actual pick: Bowe

The Chiefs get a two-time All-Pro in Yanda as they miss out on Bowe in the redraft.

24. Seattle Seahawks: Justin Blalock, guard, Texas (No. 39)
Actual pick: Seahawks traded selection to New England Patriots, who took Miami safety Brandon Meriweather

Blalock’s been a consistent performer at guard for the Falcons since being a second-round pick. The Seahawks consistently have needed offensive line help.

25. New York Jets: David Harris, linebacker, Michigan (No. 47)
Actual pick: Jets traded selection to Panthers, who took Beason

The Jets still wind up with Harris, whom they deemed worthy of the franchise tag in 2011.

26. Philadelphia Eagles: Dashon Goldson, safety, Washington (No. 126)
Actual pick: Eagles traded selection to Cowboys, who took Spencer

Goldson has been a physical presence since being taken late in the fourth round. He signed a massive five-year, $41.25 million contract last season to join the Buccaneers.

27. New Orleans Saints: Greg Olsen, tight end, Miami (No. 31)
Actual pick: Robert Meachem, wide receiver, Tennessee

Before the Saints grabbed Jimmy Graham in the 2010 draft, they could have had a better blocking tight end out of Miami in the 2007 class.

28. New England Patriots: LaRon Landry, safety, LSU (No. 6)
Actual pick: Patriots traded selection to 49ers, who took Staley

Landry has been a disappointing top-10 pick because of injuries and inconsistent play, but he would have been a much better pick than Brandon Meriweather, who was cut by the Patriots before the 2011 season. Landry made the Pro Bowl with the Jets in 2012.

29. Baltimore Ravens: Sidney Rice, wide receiver, South Carolina (No. 44)
Actual pick: Grubbs

The Ravens can’t get Grubbs in the redraft, so they’ll take Rice, a solid but injury-prone wide receiver. Rice is a free agent now if the Ravens want to grab him.

30. San Diego Chargers: Paul Posluszny, linebacker, Penn State (No. 34)
Actual pick: Buster Davis, wide receiver, LSU

The Chargers definitely wouldn’t draft Davis if they could take a mulligan on the 2007 class. Posluszny was a Pro Bowl selection in 2013.

31. Chicago Bears: Zach Miller, tight end, Arizona State (No. 38)
Actual pick: Olsen

Since the Bears missed out on Olsen in the redraft, they can take a similar tight end in Miller, who just won a Super Bowl with the Seahawks. Miller has 3,728 career yards and 20 touchdowns in seven seasons.

32. Indianapolis Colts: James Jones, wide receiver, San Jose State (No. 78)
Actual pick: Anthony Gonzalez, wide receiver, Ohio State

Gonzalez hasn’t caught a pass since 2010, while Jones could be a high-priced free agent this offseason. The Packers found a steal in Jones in the third round.

Over the next six weeks, we’ll reset every draft class leading up to the 2014 NFL draft. Check out the 2006 redraft.

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