It is still way too early to make concrete judgments on any player from the 2018 NFL draft, but at least we now have a greater understanding of the potential of each of these players. While I am sure most of these teams are not ready for a "redo" on this draft class quite yet, I think it's fascinating to go through this kind of scenario, one year removed.
So without further ado, here's what that scenario could look like if this class were reshuffled:
1. Cleveland Browns: Baker Mayfield, QB
2018 Pick - Baker Mayfield, QB
This is a no-brainer. The Cleveland Browns gambled on Baker Mayfield last year, and it looks like they finally hit it out of the park. He has clearly shown the ability to become a top NFL quarterback in a couple of years.
2. New York Giants: Sam Darnold, QB
2018 Pick - Saquon Barkley, RB
While Saquon Barkley is a game breaker at running back and has already cemented himself near the top of the position group, Sam Darnold should have been the pick all along. I get that Barkley is a bonafide stud, but the bottom line is that finding a superstar running back comes nowhere close to the value of finding a potential franchise quarterback. Darnold showed just that for the Jets last season, and I think he's in line for a big step up in 2019.
3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, QB
2017 Pick - Sam Darnold, QB
Like Darnold, Josh Allen took steps last year that showed he can become exactly what the Buffalo Bills drafted him to be: Their franchise quarterback. We all knew about his arm talent and athleticism, but I think what surprised us all was how quickly he picked up the pace of the NFL game. The learning curve wasn't as big as expected for Allen, and I think he will continue to just get better and better.
4. Cleveland Browns: Saquon Barkley, RB
2018 Pick - Denzel Ward, CB
COULD YOU IMAGINE. Baker Mayfield and Saquon Barkley together would be insanely fun to watch. The explosiveness of this offense would be incredibly difficult to contain, and you want to know the crazy part? If the Giants actually decided to pass on Barkley, this would have 100% happened. While the Browns did nail this pick with Denzel Ward, the addition of Barkley would take this offense to another level.
5. Denver Broncos: Quenton Nelson, OG
2018 Pick - Bradley Chubb, EDGE
It was difficult to move Bradley Chubb off of this spot because of how good I think he will be for the Denver Broncos going forward, but with Quenton Nelson still on the board, this just makes too much sense. Nelson is already making his claim as one of the best guards in football, and I think he is on the Zack Martin path of being a perennial All-Pro.
6. Indianapolis Colts: Derwin James, SAF
2018 Pick - Quenton Nelson, OG
Miss out one All-Pro? Bring in another: Enter Derwin James. Pairing Malik Hooker with an explosive presence like Derwin James could elevate this defense to another level. James will be one of the league's top safeties for a decade.
7. Buffalo Bills: Leighton Vander Esch, LB
2018 Pick - Josh Allen, QB
This was a tough call between Leighton Vander Esch and Darius Leonard, as both had outstanding rookie years as All-Pro linebackers. However, I think Vander Esch has just a little more upside, considering his length, athleticism, and the fact that he is still young in linebacker years (only three full years as a starting linebacker). The Cowboys were killed for calling him a Brian Urlacher-like linebacker, but after what we saw in 2018, they hit a home run. His peak may not be that high, but Vander Esch has perennial All-Pro potential.
8. Chicago Bears: Darius Leonard, LB
2018 Pick - Roquan Smith, LB
This is not a knock on Roquan Smith at all because I still think he is going to be an absolute stud, but this is more about how good Darius Leonard is. He put up a spectacular rookie campaign, and the jump from South Carolina State to the NFL looked seamless. In no way did I believe Leonard was going to be able to pick up the pace of NFL offenses as quickly as he did, but he proved me wrong big time. He's going to be the anchor for the Colts defense for a long time.
9. San Francisco 49ers: Bradley Chubb, EDGE
2018 Pick - Mike McGlinchey, OT
The San Francisco 49ers desperately needed outside pass rushers at this time, as this was a year before they acquired Dee Ford and drafted Nick Bosa. In this scenario, they luckily get Bradley Chubb to fall right in their lap as a plug and play starter with double-digit sack potential going forward. McGlinchey had a solid rookie campaign, but I think Chubb's upside makes the difference here.
10. Arizona Cardinals: Denzel Ward, CB
2018 Pick - Josh Rosen, QB
What a disaster 2018 was for the Arizona Cardinals as a whole. I still believe in Josh Rosen, but man, it just did not work out for several reasons. The team was not equipped for Rosen to step in and lead this roster, as the holes on offense, defense, and the coaching staff were abundant. The mindset should have been to get the best player possible at this spot, which appears to be cornerback Denzel Ward. Pairing him opposite of Patrick Peterson on the outside would be a great start towards rebuilding this barren roster.
11. Miami Dolphins: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB
2018 Pick - Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB
There is no need to change this pick. The Miami Dolphins got it right by drafting the best player on their board in Minkah Fitzpatrick. With a Fitzpatrick and Xavien Howard pairing in the defensive backfield, there is an argument to be made that the Dolphins have two of the best young DB assets in the league.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jaire Alexander, CB
2018 Pick - Vita Vea, DL
Vita Vea's career to this point has been slowed by injuries, but I'm nowhere near close to saying this pick was a mistake, As we all know though, the Tampa Bay depth chart at cornerback has been an absolute struggle the last couple of seasons. Jaire Alexander looks like a future shutdown cornerback in this league, and I could not believe the Bucs ignored defensive back in the first round last year with Derwin James and Alexander still on the board.
13. Washington Redskins: Roquan Smith, LB
2018 Pick - Da'Ron Payne, DL
Da'Ron Payne is a stud. I need to make that clear because the thought process of this pick change is more about the Redskins' need at linebacker than anything else. Roquan Smith did not have the rookie season of someone like Vander Esch or Leonard, but make no mistake, his upside is still elite, and the Redskins NEED someone to take charge in the middle of their defense.
14. New Orleans Saints: Harold Landry, EDGE
2018 Pick - Marcus Davenport, EDGE
The Saints traded two first-round picks to make this selection for Marcus Davenport, and while I don't knock the idea of finding an elite pass rusher, I think they just drafted the wrong guy. The pass rusher they should have drafted was Boston College's Harold Landry. During his rookie season with the Titans, Landry showed the burst and explosiveness of a potential double-digit sack guy in this league for years to come.
15. Oakland Raiders: Mike McGlinchey, OT
2018 Pick - Kolton Miller, OT
If the San Francisco 49ers went in another direction with the ninth overall pick, the Oakland Raiders don't trade down to 15, and instead, take Mike McGlinchey with the 10th overall pick. In this scenario though, they still get their guy at 15. The Kolton Miller selection seemed like a "panic need" pick if anything else, and it unfortunately showed last year for Oakland.
16. Buffalo Bills: Josh Rosen, QB
2018 Pick - Tremaine Edmunds, LB
Again, I'm not giving up on the potential of Josh Rosen yet. The Arizona Cardinals, during his rookie season, were an absolute dumpster fire at all levels of the organization. With the right coaching staff and pieces around him, I think Rosen can still develop into a quality starter at quarterback. So for the Bills, the haul becomes Leighton Vander Esch and Josh Rosen, instead of Josh Allen and Tremaine Edmunds. Not bad at all.
17. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Reid, SAF
2018 Pick - Derwin James, SAF
Derwin James was such a no-brainer pick in real time, primarily because of the fit with Gus Bradley and the void left by Eric Weddle. In this scenario, however, the Chargers are going to have to go with a different safety in Justin Reid, who also had a spectacular rookie season, specifically as a playmaker in deep zone.
18. Green Bay Packers: Donte Jackson, CB
2018 Pick - Jaire Alexander, CB
The Green Bay Packers traded up and nailed this Jaire Alexander pick, but with his name already selected in this scenario, I'm going to stick with cornerback here. Donte Jackson was another cornerback who showed a ton of upside his rookie season, especially in terms of man coverage. His speed and ball skills allow to compete on the outside against top receivers consistently, and I believe he is only going to get better and better.
19. Dallas Cowboys: Da'Ron Payne, DL
2018 Pick - Leighton Vander Esch, LB
I hope Dallas Cowboys fans are happy that they get their draft day wish of not selecting Leighton Vander Esch! Instead, the Cowboys are forced to pivot elsewhere, and I can't think of a better player who gives this team value at a position of need than Da'Ron Payne. The team has been searching for defensive tackle help since Rod Marinelli arrived, and Payne can give this team position flex at both the nose and under tackle spots.
20. Detroit Lions: Tremaine Edmunds, LB
2018 Pick - Frank Ragnow, C
Frank Ragnow was a solid selection for Detroit, but the value of Tremaine Edmunds at this spot, especially at the Lions biggest position of need, linebacker, is too much to pass up. While Edmunds is still a work in progress, we expected that going into last year, and I believe this best is yet to come for this athletic monster.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Lamar Jackson, QB
2018 Pick - Billy Price, C
Andy Dalton is not a starting-caliber quarterback in the NFL. Period. The Bengals need to find their future signal caller, and having Dalton serve as the bridge for Lamar Jackson in this scenario makes too much sense. This offense has a chance to be explosive with the right quarterback under center, and I think Jackson could have been the guy to unlock it.
22. Tennessee Titans: DJ Moore, WR
2018 Pick - Rashaan Evans, LB
The Titans have failed to surround Marcus Mariota with weapons on the outside, and the investment of Corey Davis in 2017 has not yet paid off. I still believe in Davis, but adding a second guy like DJ Moore would give Mariota more speed and explosiveness at the receiver position. If the Titans want to see what Mariota can truly become, then they must invest in playmakers.
23. New England Patriots: Dallas Goedert, TE
2018 Pick - Isaiah Wynn, OT
I was floored that the Patriots did not draft one of the tight ends in this class. This is a team that loves using multiple tight ends and big slots, and Dallas Goedert would have made a ton of sense here, especially with Rob Gronkowski's 2019 retirement. Goedert is a budding star, and I think he would have fit in perfectly with Tom Brady in New England.
24. Carolina Panthers: Jessie Bates, SAF
2018 Pick - DJ Moore, WR
Heading into the 2018 season, the Carolina Panthers arguably had the worst secondary in the league. With Donte Jackson off the board, I thought about taking Isaiah Oliver here, but free safety Jessie Bates proved more during his rookie campaign with the Bengals. Bates is a true ball-hawking centerfielder with range and instincts. I'm not sure if Bates will ever be a star, but I am confident he will be a productive starter in this league for a long time.
25. Baltimore Ravens: Calvin Ridley, WR
2018 Pick - Hayden Hurst, TE
As indicated by the selection of Hollywood Brown in the first round of the 2019 NFL draft, the Baltimore Ravens sorely needed a primary target on the outside last year. Their identity on offense was the running game, but they were in a shortage of playmakers on that side of the ball. Calvin Ridley is going to a productive starter for many years.
26. Atlanta Falcons: Braden Smith, OG
2018 Pick - Calvin Ridley, WR
The Atlanta Falcons invested two 2019 first-round selections on offensive line for this specific reason: Protect Matt Ryan. They obviously failed to do that in 2018, and Braden Smith was a plug-and-play starter for the Indianapolis Colts during his rookie season.
27. Seattle Seahawks: Nick Chubb, RB
2018 Pick - Rashaad Penny, RB
It is clear that Seattle wants to get back the "ground and pound" offense as its identity, so I don't knock the idea of going for a running back here in the late first round, especially with the fifth-year option on the table. They just picked the wrong guy here, and Nick Chubb has proven to be a force to be reckoned with, heading into year two for the Cleveland Browns.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Fred Warner, LB
2018 Pick - Terrell Edmunds, SAF
As evidenced by their 2019 first-round selection of Devin Bush, the Pittsburgh Steelers sorely lacked talent at the linebacker position in 2018. Specifically, speed and cover skills in the middle, and that is exactly what Fred Warner was able to provide to the 49ers during his rookie season.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Courtland Sutton, WR
2018 Pick - Taven Bryan, DL
The Jaguars went with a luxury pick in Taven Bryan last year, who is developing much slower than his 2018 first-round counterparts. Without one of the top quarterbacks available, the best course of action is to try and replace Allen Robinson with Courtland Sutton, who shares a similar skill set and upside as a starter on the outside.
30. Minnesota Vikings: Frank Ragnow, C
2018 Pick - Mike Hughes, CB
For years, one of the biggest needs for the Minnesota Vikings has been the interior of its offensive line. The Vikings addressed it in 2019 by using a first-round pick on NC State's Garrett Bradbury, but in this scenario, they do it a year earlier with Arkansas' Frank Ragnow.
31. New England Patriots: Isaiah Wynn, OT
2018 Pick - Sony Michel, RB
Isaiah Wynn missed his entire rookie season due to injury, but he is primed to be the left tackle of the future for the New England Patriots. Luckily for the Patriots, they get him at a discount this time.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Rashaan Evans, LB
2018 Pick - Lamar Jackson, QB
With CJ Mosley's departure in free agency this year, it makes me wonder why Baltimore did not pull the trigger on one of these inside linebackers from the 2018 NFL draft class. Rashaan Evans is a perfect example, as his physicality and block destruction consistency exactly fits the identity of the Baltimore Ravens defense.