2004 NFL Re-Draft: 1st Round Edition
A look back at the Legendary 2004 NFL Draft class.
The 2004 NFL Draft will be remembered for its Legendary Quarterbacks who may well be on their way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In a world where NFL Quarterback is arguably the most important position in sports, does one go number 1 in this 2004 NFL Re-Draft?
In this article, we’ll look back at each pick in the 1st Round of the historically great 2004 NFL Draft and redo all 32 picks. Team needs and the best players available will be taken into consideration as we analyze and break down each pick.
Let’s have some fun with this Re-Draft!
1. San Diego Chargers: Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Pittsburgh
Career Stats: 1,432 Receptions, 17,492 Receiving Yards, 121 TD
Chargers Original Pick: Eli Manning
Fitzgerald’s Original Draft Slot: Arizona Cardinals, 1st Round (3rd Overall)
At the time of the 2004 NFL Draft, the Chargers had the Legendary Drew Brees on the roster. Brees had been inconsistent with the Chargers, thus why they were interested in drafting a Quarterback here. The Chargers initially had their sights set on Ole Miss Quarterback Eli Manning.
Manning infamously let the Chargers know he would not sign with the Chargers if they drafted him. Eventually, the Chargers were able to make a draft-day trade with the Giants to acquire Philip Rivers. Rivers would go on to sit behind an improving, Pro-Bowl Drew Brees. But what if the Chargers could do it all over?
If the Chargers could do it all over, the logical pick would be Larry Fitzgerald. Let's not forget, the Chargers had future Hall of Famers, LaDainian Tomlinson, Antonio Gates, and Drew Brees at Quarterback. Imagine adding another future Hall of Famer in Larry Fitzgerald. That would be a record-breaking offense and one that I could not, and would not pass up. Fitzgerald has been a possession-style receiver who could make catches in traffic, attracts double teams, and opens up the field for his Quarterback and teammates.
2. Oakland Raiders: Eli Manning, QB, Ole Miss
Career Stats: 117–117 QB Record, 60.3 Cmp.%, 57,023 Passing Yards, 366 TD, 244 INT, 84.1 Rate
Raiders Original Pick: Robert Gallery
Manning’s Original Draft Slot: San Diego Chargers, 1st Round (1st Overall)
With the Chargers passing on one of the Top 3 Quarterback Prospects, the Raiders get their pick of the bunch. It’s hard to see the Raiders passing up on Eli Manning. Manning had a prolific career while playing in a media market like New York, which isn’t easy.
Also, Mannings career stats are impressive considering he played in Kevin Gilbride's Wide Receiver option offense, which isn’t an easy offense and its elements compromise a Quarterback’s completion percentage because of the many down-field attempts for big plays. Add to that, Manning played in cold weather, and his numbers are even more impressive.
Imagine Manning in the sunshine state of beautiful California rocking the Silver and Black. The Raiders to this day, are still looking for a true Franchise Quarterback. Who knows, with the right pieces around him, Eli Manning might still be playing today.
3. Arizona Cardinals: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Miami (OH)
Career Stats: 156–74–1 QB Record, 64.4 Cmp.%, 60,348 Passing Yards, 396 TD, 201 INT, 94.0 Rate
Cardinals Original Pick: Larry Fitzgerald
Roethlisberger’s Original Draft Slot: Pittsburgh Steelers, 1st Round (11th Overall)
Ben Roethlisberger is a big reason the Cardinals don’t have a Super Bowl Championship. His famous game-winning Touchdown pass in Super Bowl 43 to Santonio Holmes was heartbreaking for Arizona. In this Re-Draft however, that doesn’t happen because the Cardinals take Roethlisberger here.
Roethlisberger is one of the best Quarterbacks of All-Time and is the last Quarterback of the “big 3” (himself, Manning, and Rivers) still active. Roethlisberger is still with the team that originally drafted him, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Arizona didn’t have much talent at the time of this Draft, but getting a Franchise Quarterback is the most important position to have stabilized as you build your roster. Roethlisberger has been to 3 Super Bowls in his career and it’s not a stretch to believe that he could do the same for Arizona.
4. New York Giants: Philip Rivers, QB, N.C. State
Career Stats: 134–106 QB Record, 64.9 Cmp%, 63,440 Passing Yards, 421 TD, 209 INT, 95.2 Rate
Giants Original Pick: Philip Rivers
Rivers’ Original Draft Slot: New York Giants, 1st Round (4th Overall)
Ernie Accorsi, the Giants General manager at the time, has said several times over the years, that he only selected Philip Rivers because that’s who the Chargers were interested in for a trade. Rivers was not highly thought of or considered for the 4th Overall pick.
The Giants at the time were trying to get a trade with the Chargers for Eli Manning. However, had the Chargers not been interested in trading Manning to the Giants, the Giants' backup plan was to select Ben Roethlisberger, who they had rated higher than Rivers.
In this Re-Draft both Manning and Roethlisberger are off the board, so the Giants take the Quarterback that they technically drafted 4th Overall on the day of the 2004 NFL draft. It’s hard to say how Rivers’ career would have turned out in New York.
He has an outgoing personality and doesn’t hold back his thoughts. In New York, when times are rough, and the team isn’t playing good that might not be the best fit from a marketability standpoint. This is why Eli Manning’s even-keeled personality was perfect for New York. He was never too high and never too low.
Still, of the Top 3 Quarterbacks in this Class, Rivers without question was the most consistent throughout the Regular Season. His lack of post-season success has put an asterisk on his impressive Hall of Fame-caliber resume, but on a team like the Giants, and coach Tom Coughlin, I’d bet Rivers gets to at least 1 Super Bowl and still puts up prolific numbers.
5. Washington Football Team: Jared Allen, DE, Idaho State
Career Stats: 136.0 Sacks, 648 Combined Tackles, 171 Tackles for Loss, 32 Forced Fumbles
Washington’s Original Pick: Sean Taylor
Allen’s Original Draft Slot: Kansas City Chiefs, 4th Round (126th Overall)
MAY SEAN TAYLOR REST IN PEACE! Bless his soul! The man was on his way to a Hall of Fame-caliber career. Taylor played 4 seasons with Washington before tragically being shot and killed in his Miami home in November 2007. His impact on the field, while brief, was very impactful.
In this Re-Draft, Washington respectfully passes on Taylor for longevity purposes. Jared Allen was a “diamond-in-the-rough” pass rusher who somehow fell to the 4th round of the 2004 NFL Draft. Washington didn’t have a double-digit sack artist like Allen on the roster at the time.
Allen is a 5-time Pro-Bowler who has led the NFL in Sacks twice. In his 12 seasons in the League, Allen had double-digit Sacks 8 times. That is great production. Not to mention, Allen was a great leader and locker room guy.
6. Cleveland Browns: Wes Welker, WR, Texas Tech
Career Stats: 903 Receptions, 9,924 Receiving Yards, 50 TD
Browns Original Pick: Kellen Winslow II
Welker’s Original Draft Slot: Undrafted
The Browns desperately needed a Quarterback at the time of the 2004 NFL Draft. They just didn’t know it yet. Their Jeff Garcia signing at the Quarterback position in March of 2004 would be a disaster. Garcia was released after the 2004 NFL Season, and the Browns once again would need a Quarterback. With Matt Schaub still on the Board, Cleveland thinks long and hard about taking him here.
Ultimately, I think the Browns pass on Schaub and instead bolster up their horrible Receiving core. While Jeff Garcia was underwhelming at Quarterback in 2004, it’s hardly all his fault. The Browns had absolutely no number one caliber receiver in 2004. Their leading Receiver was Dennis Northcutt, which is a player most of you have never heard of.
Here, the Browns take a receiver that should have been Drafted. Wes Welker is one of the best players in NFL history to not have been selected in the NFL Draft. His resilience, effort, attention to detail, work ethic, and determination eventually opened the door for him to show-case his Pro-Bowl caliber talent.
Welker was a crucial and reliable target for the Legendary Tom Brady in his time with the Patriots. He would later play for the Broncos and Peyton Manning and further proved that his consistent top-level production was no fluke.
7. Detroit Lions: Jonathan Vilma, LB, Miami (FL)
Career Stats: 879 Combined Tackles, 12 INT, 10.5 Sacks
Lions Original Pick: Roy Williams
Vilma’s Original Draft Slot: New York Jets, 1st Round (12th Overall)
Matt Millen had an affinity for Drafting Wide Receivers in the 1st Round in his time as General Manager. At the time of the 2004 NFL Draft, Roy Williams would be the 2nd of what would later become 4 1st Round Wide Receivers taken from 2003–2007. As we now know, the only one who was a “hit”, was Calvin “Megatron” Johnson. Sure, Roy Williams was a good Receiver, but Detroit needed a major upgrade at the Middle Linebacker position.
Enter Jonathan Vilma, a Linebacker with great hands, and one who could keep up with Tight Ends, Slot Receivers and played well in man coverage. Vilma was aggressive at the point of attack towards the ball carrier and would go on to record triple-digit Combined Tackle totals 6 times in his 10 years career.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Lee Evans, WR, Wisconsin
Career Stats: 381 Receptions, 6,008 Receiving Yards, 43 TD
Falcons Original Pick: DeAngelo Hall
Evans’ Original Draft Slot: Buffalo Bills, 1st Round (13th Overall)
Lee Evans endured some horrible Quarterback play during his time with the Buffalo Bills and still put up very respectable numbers. Imagine if he were catching passes from a young Michael Vick. Vick, likewise, was doing more with less during his time with Atlanta.
Lee Evans was a reliable deep-threat Receiver in his prime and managed to produce two 1,000 yard receiving Seasons. In an alternate world where Evans plays with a more capable Quarterback, the Falcons take a chance on Evans here and assume Vick will maximize Evans's true potential as a Number one Receiver.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Roy Williams, WR, Texas
Career Stats: 393 Receiving Yards, 5,715 Receiving Yards, 44 TD
Jaguars Original Pick: Reggie Williams
Williams’ Original Draft Slot: Detroit Lions, 1st Round (7th Overall)
Jacksonville had the right idea when they chose to Draft Wide Receiver with the last name Williams. They just took the wrong Williams, and thus the wrong Wide Receiver. In this Re-draft, the Jaguars take Roy Williams, a 6'3 possession Receiver, with speed (ran a 4.36 40 Yard Dash) out of Texas.
Roy Williams had an up and down 8-year career in the NFL. The latter part of his career was not good. It wasn't all his fault though. Williams played for the dysfunctional, but talented Cowboys team for 3 seasons. Part of the problem with Williams’ time as a Cowboy, was the Franchise's unwillingness to commit to him being their Number one Receiver. Williams struggled to find a role in their system and his production dropped as a result.
In this Re-Draft, Williams is unquestionably the Number one Target for the Jaguars and they don’t trade him. Williams maximizes his track like speed, athleticism, size, skill, and physical tools to become a more consistent performer and player for the Jaguars.
10. Houston Texans: Jason Peters, TE/OT, Arkansas
Career Stats: 213 Games Played, 203 Starts
Texans Original Pick: Dunta Robinson
Peters’ Original Draft Slot: Undrafted
David Carr was still the Texans Quarterback at the time of the 2004 NFL Draft. He was the 1st Overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft, and would later be known as one of the biggest Draft busts of All-Time. It wasn’t all his fault though. Carr had been drafted by the Texans who were a new Expansion Franchise.
During his time in Houston, Carr was constantly being pummeled by opposing defenses because of the lack of Offensive Line talent and Protection. Carr had a strong arm, was accurate when he had time and had good talent. If the Texans had the foresight to build a better Offensive Line around Carr, maybe things turn out differently.
Jason Peters, a Tight End turned Offensive Lineman, would have immensely helped Carr and the Texans Offense. He was a 9-time Pro-Bowler, 2-time All-Pro, and played at a sustained high level for the entirety of his career, without much of a drop-off in his older years. Peters was also selected into the 2010s All-decade team. You couldn’t ask for a better return on investment, if you’re the Texans here, with a young talented Quarterback like David Carr on the roster.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers: Matt Schaub, QB, Virginia
Career Stats: 47–46 QB Record, 64.2 Cmp.%, 25,467 Passing Yards, 136 TD, 91 INT, 89.5 Rate
Steelers Original Pick: Ben Roethlisberger
Schaub’s Original Draft Slot: Atlanta Falcons, 3rd Round (90th Overall)
Not exactly what the Steelers were hoping for here with their pick. After selecting a future Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger (who is still playing for them at Quarterback), on the actual day of the Draft, the Steelers settle for the serviceable and capable Matt Schaub.
Not all is lost though. Sure Schaub is a tremendous drop-off from the Top 3 Quarterbacks taken ahead of him, but Schaub is the forgotten Quarterback of the bunch, who otherwise, had a very solid career.
Schaub is the Ken O’Brien of the 2004 NFL Draft Class. Looking back in comparison to the Legendary 1983 NFL Draft, we all remember John Elway, Jim Kelly, and Dan Marino. We forget Ken O’Brien. It’s only when you compare Ken O’Brien to his three Hall of Fame Draftmates, that he’s not viewed in the same light. However, when looking at O'Brien's career and production alone, he was well worth a 1st round pick. That perfectly describes Matt Schaub.
The Pittsburgh Steelers had one of the best all-around rosters, and Coach (Bill Cowher) at the time of the 2004 NFL Draft. Schaub was an accurate passer with good footwork, arm strength, and the ability to manage a game. On a stacked Pittsburgh Steelers team that would go on to make multiple Super-Bowl Appearances, it’s not hard to envision Schaub being serviceable and reliable enough to help Pittsburgh win at least one Super Bowl.
Let's not forget, Ben Roethlisberger had the worst Passer Rating (22.6) ever for a Quarterback that won a Super Bowl. In fact, in his 3 Super Bowl appearances, Roethlisberger was never named the MVP for any of them.
I say all that, not to downplay Roethlisberger’s accomplishments, but rather show and prove that the Steelers had an all-around great team that was perfectly built for a young Quarterback to thrive in. Schaub, while not as talented, would have done the same. Those great Steeler teams that won Super Bowls, were because of a great team effort.
12. New York Jets: Vince Wilfork, DT, Miami (FL)
Career Stats: 560 Combined Tackles, 16.0 Sacks, 5 Forced fumbles, 12 Fumble Recoveries
Jets Original Pick: Jonathan Vilma
Wilfork’s Original Draft Slot: New England Patriots, 1st Round (21st Overall)
The Jets got it right on Draft day 2004. However, their original pick, Jonathan Vilma, is no longer available here. Instead, they take the next best guy, Vince Wilfork. Wilfork wreaked havoc with the rival Patriots throughout his career, against the New York Jets twice a year.
In this Re-draft, the Jets gladly return the favor. Wilfork was a run-stuffing Defensive tackle who opened up the Edge for his teammates to get to the Quarterback. He was an instrumental part of the Patriots' two Super Bowl wins in 2004 and 2014. Wilfork had longevity as well and had a long 13-year career.
13. Buffalo Bills: Sean Taylor, S, Miami (FL)
Career Stats: 12 INT, 8 Forced Fumbles, 305 Combined Tackles
Bills Original Pick: Lee Evans
Taylor’s Original Draft Slot: Washington Football Team, 1st Round (5th Overall)
As previously mentioned, Sean Taylor was on his way to having a Hall of Famer caliber career before his passing. He played just 4 seasons in the NFL, but even still, knowing what we know now if you could have him for just 4 seasons, he’d be worth the pick. Taylor did it all.
Taylor made hard-hitting tackles all over the field against the run game, and defended well against the pass too, as he was able to record 12 Career Interceptions. Taylor would have been a massive upgrade for the Bills at the Safety position even if it would be for just 4 seasons. He was a 2-time Pro-Bowler and a Fan Favorite in Washington.
14. Chicago Bears: Darnell Dockett, DT, Florida State
Career Stats: 40.5 Sacks, 472 Combined Tackles, 113 QB Hits, 90 Tackles For Loss
Bears Original Pick: Tommie Harris
Dockett’s Original Draft Slot: Arizona Cardinals, 3rd Round (64th Overall)
Tommie Harris was a really good player for Chicago. He was not as good and didn’t have the longevity that Darnell Dockett had though. In his 10 full NFL Seasons Dockett missed just 1 game. The best ability is availability.
When you combine availability with talent and production, you’ve got yourself a great player. A defense manned by Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, and Darnell Dockett would have been lethal.
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Steven Jackson, RB, Oregon State
Career Stats: 11,438 Rushing Yards, 69 Rushing TD, 461 Receptions, 3,683 Receiving Yards, 9 Receiving TD
Buccaneers Original Pick: Michael Clayton
Jackson’s Original Draft Slot: St. Louis Rams, 1st Round (24th Overall)
Initially, it looked like Michael Clayton was going to be a great pick for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He had 1,193 Receiving Yards and 7 Touchdowns in his rookie campaign with Tampa. Unfortunately for the Bucs, that was the highlight of his run in the NFL. Clayton never again had a season in which he produced at least 500 Receiving Yards. He was a tease.
Drafting Steven Jackson here would not have been a tease. Jackson was one of the most productive Running Backs of the 2000s. He wasn’t the fastest Running back, but Jackson was a workhorse with great athleticism, size (6'2), and strength. His prime lasted longer than most Running Backs do and was a 3-time Pro-Bowler who played on some bad St Louis teams. Playing on a team like the Buccaneers, who were a winning Franchise at the time, could have been more beneficial for his career.
16. Philadelphia Eagles: Chris Snee, OG, Boston College
Career Stats: 141 Games Played, 141 Games Started
Eagles Original Pick: Shawn Andrews
Snee’s Original Draft Slot: New York Giants, 2nd Round (34th Overall)
Sure, Shawn Andrews was an All-Pro Tackle for the Eagles. However, he played just 3 full seasons in the NFL. His career was mired by constant injury issues. So why not go with a Super Bowl-winning Lineman who had a durable and productive career? Snee lasted 10 very productive seasons in the NFL and was a 4-time Pro-Bowler and 1-time All-Pro.
17. Denver Broncos: Karlos Dansby, LB, Auburn
Career Stats: 43 Sacks, 1,422 Combined Tackles, 20 Forced Fumbles, 12 Fumble Recoveries, 127 Tackles for Loss, 20 INT
Broncos Original Pick: D. J. Williams
Dansby’s Original Draft Slot: Arizona Cardinals, 2nd Round (33rd Overall)
Denver had the right idea when they Drafted a Linebacker, but there was a better one by the name of Karlos Dansby who was still on the Board. Dansby is one of the more underrated players in NFL history. For someone who was able to produce the way he did on a consistent year-in and year-out basis, to not have ever been named to a Pro-Bowl, was a travesty.
Dansby was a versatile Inside Linebacker who was great in coverage and getting to the ball carrier. He plays all over the field and could also get to the Quarterback. Getting him here is great value for the Broncos.
18. New Orleans Saints: Shaun Phillips, DE, Purdue
Career Stats: 81.5 Sacks, 22 Forced Fumbles, 10 Fumble Recoveries, 537 Combined Tackles, 93 Tackles for Loss, 100 QB Hits
Saints Original Pick: Will Smith
Phillips’ Original Draft Slot: San Diego Chargers, 4th Round (98th Overall)
Will Smith was a solid choice for the Saints but Shaun Phillips is an even better one. Phillips was more physical, impactful, and productive. He also played a little longer than Smith did. Smith helped the Saints win a Super Bowl in the 2009 Season, but it’s hard to imagine that Phillips wouldn’t have been even better in the same role for a Championship caliber team. Playing on a consistently good team could have made him even more productive than he was throughout his career on a small-market mediocre San Diego Chargers team.
19. Miami Dolphins: Michael Turner, RB, Northern Illinois
Career Stats: 7,338 Rushing Yards, 66 Rushing TD
Dolphins Original Pick: Vernon Carey
Turner’s Original Draft Slot: San Diego Chargers, 5th Round (154th Overall)
Typically you don’t want to take Running Backs in the first round in today’s NFL. 15 Years ago though, it was a different league. Franchises valued Running Backs more.
Michael Turner was a 5th Round Draft pick who blossomed into stardom after breaking away from the Chargers and getting an opportunity to start with the Atlanta Falcons. When Turner was with the Chargers, he played behind the Legendary LaDainian Tomlinson, and still put up great numbers as a backup. When Turner was let loose and got his opportunity to start he took full advantage.
Turner became a 2-time Pro-Bowler and 1-time All-Pro with the Falcons. In 5 seasons with the Franchise, he had 3 seasons with at least 1,000 yards. Had he not been playing behind a future Hall of Famer for the first 4 seasons of his career, Turner himself may have carved out a Hall of Famer caliber career.
20. Minnesota Vikings: Will Smith, DE, Ohio State
Career Stats: 67.5 Sacks, 20 Forced Fumbles, 463 Combined Tackles, 112 QB Hits
Vikings Original Pick: Kenechi Udeze
Smiths Original Draft Slot: New Orleans Saints, 1st Round (18th Overall)
Minnesota made a mistake on Draft night 2004 when they took Kenechi Udeze. Udeze was a highly touted pass rusher coming out of USC who was only able to produce 11.0 Sacks in his short 4-year career. By contrast, a fellow pass rusher out of Ohio State, Will Smith, surpassed Udeze's career Sack's total mid-way through his 2nd season in the NFL.
The Vikings had the right idea and could have used a pass rusher, they just took the wrong one. In this Re-draft, Smith falls down the Board from his original Draft Slot, but he’s still one of the better players available here and fits the Vikings' need for an Edge Rusher at the time.
21. New England Patriots: Tommie Harris, DT, Oklahoma
Career Stats: 231 Combined Tackles, 31.5 Sacks, 6 Forced Fumbles, 56 Tackles for Loss
Patriots Original Pick: Vince Wilfork
Harris’s Original Draft Slot: Chicago Bears, 1st Round (14th Overall)
Boo-hoo! The Patriots miss out on Vince Wilfork but they’re not too upset because Tommie Harris is still on the board after sliding past his original Draft slot. Tommie Harris, at the time, was one of the youngest players drafted, and his 8-year career was done by the time he was only 28 years old.
Harris was a really good player in his 8 seasons. While it's hard to say whether or not he’d have had the same impact as Wilfork did for the Patriots, it’s not hard to say that he would not have been a major downgrade. Harris was a 3-time Pro-Bowler and Inside D-Lineman who could get pressure on the Quarterback.
22. Buffalo Bills: Chris Cooley, TE, Utah State
Career Stats: 429 Receptions, 4,711 Receiving Yards, 33 TD
Bills Original Pick: J.P. Losman
Cooley’s Original Draft Slot: Washington Football Team, 3rd Round (81st Overall)
The Tight End room was atrocious for the Bills in the early 2000s. They had marginal talent and production at best when it came to the Tight End position. Enter Chris Cooley, a great run and pass blocker who was also a solid receiving option.
Cooley wasn’t the flashiest Tight End or most exciting to watch, but he was a rough-rider who did the “little things” to help his team put points up on the board. He could be counted on to help protect his Quarterback as a blocker and someone who could give you about 700 receiving yards at the Tight End Position.
23. Seattle Seahawks: Bob Sanders, S, Iowa
Career Stats: 307 Combined Tackles, 6 INT, 16 Passes Defended
Seahawks Original Pick: Marcus Tubbs
Sanders Original Draft Slot: Indianapolis Colts, 2nd Round (44th Overall)
It’s a shame how short Bob Sanders’s career was. He player for 8 seasons but only had 2 in which he played in double-digit games. Aside from 2005 and 2007, Sanders never played more than 6 games in any other of his 6 NFL seasons. Sanders was hit with the “injury bug” consistently throughout his career.
Still, this late in the 1st round, it’s worth taking a gamble on Sanders again and hoping he can stay healthy. After all, Sanders was an All-Pro Safety and Super Bowl Champion. He delivered in the regular season and the postseason for his team. Seattle did not have a Safety on their roster with nearly half the talent that Sanders had.
24. St. Louis Rams: DeAngelo Hall, CB, Virginia Tech
Career Stats: 10 Defensive TD, 43 INT, 141 Passes Defended, 11 Forced Fumbles, 15 Fumble Recoveries, 814 Combined Tackles
Rams Original Pick: Steven Jackson
Hall’s Original Draft Slot: Atlanta Falcons, 1st Round (8th Overall)
DeAngelo Hall takes a major slide in this Re-draft, but it's not because of a lack of talent. The 2004 Draft class was just that loaded and good. For a team that was heading in the wrong direction, talent-wise, soon after 2004 and 2005, taking a young quarterback to develop behind talented veteran Marc Bulger would have been nice. Unfortunately, the top Quarterbacks from this class are off the board so the next best thing would be to upgrade their secondary.
DeAngelo Hall had some of the best hands in the NFL and consistently had multiple high interception seasons. With Hall’s high number of interceptions, you’d think teams would not target his side of the field, but they did and Hall more often than not made them pay.
25. Green Bay Packers: Randy Starks, DT/DE, Maryland
Career Stats: 42.0 Sacks, 422 Combined Tackles, 70 Tackles for Loss, 77 QB Hits
Packers Original Pick: Ahmad Carroll
Starks’s Original Draft Slot: Tennessee Titans, 3rd Round (71st Overall)
Rather than taking a below-average Corner as they did on the actual day of the 2004 NFL Draft, the Packers instead take a disrupting and productive inside Defensive Lineman to wreak Havoc on the NFC North for many years to come. More than anything, Green Bay needed help on the inside of their Defensive Line. Getting a Pro Bowl-caliber Lineman like Starks this late in the 1st Round is a great value.
26. Cincinnati Bengals: Mike Adams, S, Delaware
Career Stats: 30 INT, 90 Passes Defended, 13 Forced Fumbles, 16 Fumble Recoveries, 935 Combined Tackles
Bengals Original Pick: Chris Perry
Adams’s Original Draft Slot: Undrafted
Mike Adams was a versatile Defensive Back who could play Safety or Corner. Throughout most of his career, he played Safety and was a 2–time Pro Bowler. The Bengals had marginal talent at the Safety position in 2004 and Adams no doubt, would have been a much-needed upgrade.
Adams had an impressive and long 16-year career. He had a knack for getting the ball back for his team. Adams had back-to-back seasons in which he had 5 interceptions, both seasons he made the Pro Bowl.
27. Houston Texans: Nick Hardwick, C, Purdue
Career Stats: 136 Games Played, 136 Games Started
Texans Original Pick: Jason Babin
Hardwick’s Original Draft Slot: San Diego Chargers, 3rd Round (66th Overall)
Once again, the Texans go with another Offensive Lineman. As previously stated, the Texans had a lot invested into their Franchise Quarterback at the time, David Carr. To ensure Carr doesn’t become a bust in this Re-draft, Houston takes the opportunity to do what they should have done in the first place.
Nick Hardwick was a Pro-Bowl Center who commanded and dominated his position. He was a well-respected guy in the locker room and someone who could have helped prolong the unfortunate career of David Carr in Houston.
28. Carolina Panthers: Jason Babin, DE/LB, Western Michigan
Career Stats: 64.5 Sacks, 374 Combined Tackles, 14 Forced Fumbles, 22 Fumble Recoveries, 86 Tackles for Loss, 127 QB Hits
Panthers Original Pick: Chris Gamble
Babin’s Original Draft Slot: Houston Texans, 1st Round (27th Overall)
Chris Gamble had a good tenure with the Carolina Panthers, however, the Franchise aside from Julius Peppers didn’t have any other viable pass-rushing options. Peppers led the Panthers in 2004 with an impressive 11.0 Sacks. After him, the next highest Sack total on the team came from Linebacker Mark Fields with a “whooping” 4.0.
Imagine a Defensive Line with Babin on one side and Peppers on the other side. That would have been a dynamic duo. Babin at his peak showed what he could do if surrounded by other talents on the Defensive Line. He had an astounding career-high 18.5 Sacks for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011.
29. Atlanta Falcons: Jabari Greer, CB, Tennessee
Career Stats: 13 INT, 4 Defensive TD, 96 Passes Defended, 412 Combined Tackles
Falcons Original pick: Michael Jenkins
Greer’s Original Draft Slot: Undrafted
Jabari Greer is remembered most for being on the 2009 Super Bowl-winning New Orleans Saints team that ranked 3rd in the NFL for Interceptions. Greer had a pick-6 for the Saints that season and was a key part in the Saints winning the Super Bowl with his steady play at Corner.
After passing on DeAngelo Hall with their first pick in this Re-Draft, the Falcons address their need for a corner with the reliable and steady producing Greer.
30. Detroit Lions: Scott Wells, OC/OG, Tennessee
Career Stats: 146 Games played, 135 Starts
Lions Original Pick: Kevin Jones
Wells’s Original Draft Slot: Green Bay Packers, 7th Round (251st Overall)
Kevin Jones was a decent Running Back for about 3–4 years but in this go-around, the Lions opt to take some help on the Inside of their Offensive Line. Joey “sunshine” Harrington was most likely going to become a bust either way, but at least Detroit could start building a foundation for their next Quarterback.
Scott Wells was one of the last 5 players taken in the 2004 NFL Draft, and he beat the odds to become a good, reliable, and durable inside Offensive Lineman for a decade.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Malcom Floyd, WR, Wyoming
Career Stats: 321 Receptions, 5550 Receiving Yards, 34 TD
49ers Original Pick: Rashaun Woods
Floyd’s Original Draft Slot: Undrafted
While Malcom Floyd wasn’t exactly a Superstar talent at the Receiver position, he did have a very solid NFL career for someone who was undrafted. On the actual day of the Draft, the 49ers were looking for a Wide Receiver and they took Draft bust, Rashaun Woods.
Malcom Floyd never reached the 1,000 Receiving Yard plateau for any single season, but he was a very good number 2 and 3 Receiver. He could be counted on to do his part and was a great and tall (6'5) RedZone target.
32. New England Patriots: Tyson Clabo, OT, Wake Forest
Career Stats: 132 Games Played, 116 Starts
Patriots Original Pick: Ben Watson
Clabo’s Original Draft Slot: Undrafted
Ben Watson had a long and successful career worthy of a 1st round pick. He amassed over 6,000 Career Receiving Yards which is good for a Tight End. However, Clabo is the better long-term option here for the Patriots because he provides steady protection for Legendary Quarterback Tom Brady. Clabo had a decade worth of solid play, mostly at Right Tackle, and made a well-deserved Pro Bowl appearance in 2010.