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NFL Draft What Ifs

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Teams that don't draft a particular player at times have come to regret it.

In 1983, the Steelers chose not to draft area native and Pitt QB Dan Marino (in spite of the fact that Terry Bradshaw was nearing the end of his career). They chose Gabe Rivera instead, and while he had a promising start, his career came to an abrupt halt when he was involved in a car accident in his rookie year. Meanwhile, over 17 years with the Dolphins, Marino put up amazing numbers, leading many Steelers fans to wonder "what if?". However, Marino never won a Super Bowl title. He lost in his lone appearance, Super Bowl XIX, to the 49ers and Joe Montana.

Ironically, another team's passing on a local QB would benefit the Steelers in 2004. The Cleveland Browns chose not to draft Ohio native and Miami U QB Ben Rothlisberger. It would come back to haunt them in the coming years, as the Steelers ended up taking him, and the Browns have lost at least one game to the Steelers every year since that draft - a streak which actually dates back to 1989. Of all the divisional sweeps possible today, Browns over Steelers is the only one that hasn't happened in my lifetime. The failure to draft Big Ben was a huge contributor to the Browns having the longest active playoff drought in the NFL as of 2020, being the only team never to make the playoffs during the Goodell era. But that could change this year. Of course, all of Cleveland's wins over Big Ben have come in Cleveland.

What are some other what ifs that you could think of in the NFL Draft?

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I’ve always been curious what would’ve happened if Jax had drafted Tebow in 2010 instead of Alualu.

Probably would’ve been a disaster but the Jags were going through some real dark times (still are). Think it would’ve been a fun disaster and the Jags would’ve got some eyes on them for a change.

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On 10/24/2020 at 8:32 PM, pf9 said:

What are some other what ifs that you could think of in the NFL Draft?

The WFT traded with the Broncos in the 2005 draft to select Jason Campbell ahead of the draft. But what no one knew was that Aaron Rodgers would fall. What if the Packers didn't select him and the WFT did instead? How ruined would he have been?

The WFT wasted 3 second rounders in 2008 on Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly and Fred Davis when they could have walked away with Jordy Nelson, DeSean Jackson, and Martellus Bennett. I wonder how that would have changed the team?

RG3 - what if the WFT had stayed put instead of drafting RG3 and rolled with Kirk Cousins from the start along with Luke Kuechly, DeAndre Hopkins, and Khalil Mack ... OR they took Ryan Tannehill at #6 in 2012?

What if the WFT had taken Mike Thomas instead of Josh Doctson in 2016 like the forum wanted them to?

What if the WFT didn't reach for Dwayne Haskins (took Sweat there instead), stayed at their 2nd rounder got Greedy Williams, and then had a 2nd in 2020 to take Michael Pittman or something?

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I'd like to see the alternate timeline, where SF takes Aaron Rodgers #1 in 2005.  Does he still develop into the same player we know today? 

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Chicago takes Mahomes at 3 instead of trading up for Trubisky @#2 is probably the one most Chicagoians obsess over now... 

But being honest, we've been such a train wreck offensively than I'm extremely skeptical Mahomes would currently be Mahomes, if he had started his career under John Fox, and now Nagy, with our dumpster fire of an offensive line, complete lack of a running game, and relative lack of weapons (Robinson being the only one most people would acknowledge) 

 

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On 10/26/2020 at 1:45 PM, OkeyDoke21 said:

I'd like to see the alternate timeline, where SF takes Aaron Rodgers #1 in 2005.  Does he still develop into the same player we know today? 

I wonder that all the time as a fan and defender of Alex Smith. 

SF was a mess back then. There's really no telling. Fun to think about for sure. 

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How different would history have been had the Bucs, who needed WR help, had taken Jerry Rice with the 8th overall pick in 1985? They took Steve Young with the first pick in the supplemental draft of USFL players in 1984. 

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I always wonder what would happen if certain QBs came out early instead of staying and how that would of changed everything. A few off the top of my head...

-Peyton Manning coming out in 97 instead of 98(If the Jets draft him in 97, does Belichick stay as Jets coach instead of going to New England, Also Ryan Leaf most likely to Colts)

-Matt Leinart coming out in 2005 instead of 2006(Leinart to 49ers in 2005? Where does that leave Alex Smith. Does he suffer Aaron Rodgers type fall? Does Rodgers still land in GB or fall even further?)

-Sam Bradford coming out in 2009 instead of 2010(Bradford to Detroit? Stafford to Rams or Jets? How do the Rams solve their QB woes if they don’t draft a QB in 09)

-Andrew Luck coming out in 2011, instead of 2012(Luck to Carolina. Does Cam fall to Titans pick at 8 or does Buffalo or another team take him? Also RG3 lands in Indy.)

The domino effect of big time QB prospects deciding not to  jump into the draft has always fascinated me.

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I’ve thought once or twice about Adrian Peterson on that Cards SB team.  He probably extends Warner’s career by 2-3 years as well.  There were a few teams that passed on all three of AP, Revis and Willis with nothing to show for it that year. 

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On 10/26/2020 at 8:51 AM, MikeT14 said:

The WFT traded with the Broncos in the 2005 draft to select Jason Campbell ahead of the draft. But what no one knew was that Aaron Rodgers would fall. What if the Packers didn't select him and the WFT did instead? How ruined would he have been?

 

On 10/27/2020 at 7:45 PM, TitanSlim said:

-Matt Leinart coming out in 2005 instead of 2006(Leinart to 49ers in 2005? Where does that leave Alex Smith. Does he suffer Aaron Rodgers type fall? Does Rodgers still land in GB or fall even further?)

I have no way to prove this, but I read it on Packers boards at the time, take it for what it is worth...

The Packers were very interested in Jason Campbell at the time, and didn't think there was a way that Rodgers would have fallen to them.  Campbell may have been the Packers pick anyway, had Rodgers (who was reportedly the Packers' #1 player) not been there.  I also recall reading that had Rodgers gone first in the draft, many other teams liked Alex Smith more than Rodgers, and it wouldn't have been like a straight up swap.  Apparently, Rodgers' demeanor rubbed a lot of the people wrong, he is cocky, and he does act as if he is the smartest guy in the room and part of that led to the free-fall.  If Leinart entered the draft in 05, I think he probably ends up a 49er.  But I doubt that Smith falls all the way to 24.  

The order was: 1. SF 2. MIA 3. CLE 4. CHI

Their starting QBs in 04 were  (05 starter in parenthesis) :  1.  Tim Rattay (Alex Smith) 2.  AJ Feeley (Gus Frerotte) 3. Jeff Garcia (Trent Dilfer) 4.  4starters (Kyle Orton, draftee)

2,3,4 selections were Ronnie Brown, Braylon Edwards, Cedric Benson.  My guess is any of those teams would have jumped on Smith at the time.  

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I still don't get why the Patriots passed on Lamar Jackson (twice).

Edited by Dan33185

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On 10/24/2020 at 5:32 PM, pf9 said:

In 1983, the Steelers chose not to draft area native and Pitt QB Dan Marino (in spite of the fact that Terry Bradshaw was nearing the end of his career). They chose Gabe Rivera instead, and while he had a promising start, his career came to an abrupt halt when he was involved in a car accident in his rookie year. Meanwhile, over 17 years with the Dolphins, Marino put up amazing numbers, leading many Steelers fans to wonder "what if?". However, Marino never won a Super Bowl title. He lost in his lone appearance, Super Bowl XIX, to the 49ers and Joe Montana.

Fun offshoot of this- 

There was a point where there was talk of montana for elway

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what if brian gutekunst didn't draft players with high RAS scores and awful college tape 

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On 11/11/2020 at 6:09 PM, Dan33185 said:

I still don't get why the Patriots passed on Lamar Jackson (twice).

I thought when the Saints traded up for Devonport it was for Lamar. Probably should have been. 

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8 hours ago, FinneasGage said:

what if brian gutekunst didn't draft players with high RAS scores and awful college tape 

The reincarnated Al Davis

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