There's nothing like looking back at a draft armed with information and insight on how players and teams have developed since that point. In 2010, the debate at the top of the board centered on the whether Sam Bradford was worthy of being the No. 1 overall pick despite barely playing his final season at Oklahoma due to an injury. Although he exhibited qualities that convinced the overwhelming majority of scouts that he was worthy of being considered a franchise quarterback, the dominant performance of Ndamukong Suh put the St. Louis Rams in an awkward position of deciding between the best player available in the draft or the top quarterback in a weak class.
With every decision creating a domino effect on the draft board, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the 2010 draft and see what could've transpired if the St. Louis Rams made a different decision at the top of the board. Here's how it shook out in my mind:
1. St. Louis Rams
Comment: The Rams desperately needed a franchise quarterback in 2010, but Bradford has certainly underwhelmed team officials with his performance as a starter. Thus, the Rams' brass would likely nab the meanest and most disruptive defensive tackle in football in a do-over scenario.
2. Detroit Lions
Comment: Imagine if Calvin Johnson had a legitimate weapon on the opposite of the field to command coverage. Graham would not only draw extra attention in the middle, but he would feast on the one-on-one matchups with his superior size, speed and athleticism. More important, the Graham would team with Johnson to give Matthew Stafford a pair of big-bodied pass catchers to target on the perimeter.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Comment: It took McCoy a few seasons to blossom into a Pro Bowl-caliber playmaker, but the Buccaneers defense has certainly benefitted from the presence of a disruptive force in the middle.
4. Washington Redskins
Comment: It's hard to express dissatisfaction with a two-time Pro Bowler, but the Redskins would certainly welcome a freakish pass rusher like Pierre-Paul on a defense that's struggled in recent years.
5. Kansas City Chiefs
Comment: Safeties weren't viewed as marquee defenders in 2010, but the pass-centric nature of the current NFL has made it imperative to have a playmaker in the middle of the field. Berry has certainly been an impact player since stepping into the lineup as a ball-hawking safety with corner-like cover skills.
6. Seattle Seahawks
Comment: Thomas is the diminutive member of the "Legion of Boom", but astute observers view him as the linchpin of the defense with his exceptional instincts, awareness and leadership skills.
7. Cleveland Browns
Comment: The Browns' quarterback woes have kept the team from seriously competing for the AFC North title since the franchise's reincarnation in 1999. Although Bradford has his flaws as a quarterback, he is certainly an upgrade over the duds that have manned the position over the past decade.
8. Oakland Raiders
Pick: Rolando McClain
Comment: The late Al Davis would've loved to add a passionate playmaker like Bryant in a 2010 re-do. Although Bryant has shown questionable maturity at times, there is no disputing his production or potential as a No. 1 receiver in a system designed to feature his dynamic skills as a pass catcher.
9. Buffalo Bills
Comment: The Bills could use a dominant pass catcher on the perimeter with the size, speed and physicality to overwhelm defenders in one-on-one matchups. Thomas has quietly developed into one of the top players at his position, exhibiting a game that is extremely polished and refined for a young player.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars
Comment: Former GM Gene Smith shocked the football world with the selection of Alualu. The Cal standout has been solid for the Jaguars, but a swap for Gronkowski would give the team a supreme playmaker to build the passing game around.
11. San Francisco 49ers
Comment: Davis has been an integral part of the 49ers' offensive dominance at the point of attack, but Williams is a superior athlete and player on the edge. His presence would take the 49ers offense to another level.
12. San Diego Chargers
Comment: Mathews was drafted to replace the legendary LaDainian Tomlinson, but he hasn't played up to expectations. Haden would give the team a playmaking cover corner to matchup with the elite receivers running roughshod over opponents in the AFC.
13. Philadelphia Eagles
Comment: "The Kracken" wouldn't make it out of the first round in a draft do-over due to his explosive pass-rush skills and disruptive potential. Hardy would've teamed with Trent Cole to form a devastating pass-rush tandem in Philly.
14. Seattle Seahawks
Comment: The Seahawks double-dipped in the safety market to create the "Legion of Boom" in 2010. In a do-over scenario, I can envision Pete Carroll grabbing his enforcer in the first round to dissuade opponents from taking shots down the middle of the field.
15. New York Giants
Comment: The G-Men could use Spiller's speed and explosiveness in an offense that's struggled mustering a consistent running game over the past few seasons.
16. Tennessee Titans
Comment: Bowman has quietly become one of the top players at his position. The Pro Bowler is an instinctive defender with strong hands and a knack for finding the ball at the point of attack.
17. San Francisco 49ers
Comment:Jim Harbaugh's impressive work with the offense started with the careful construction of dominant frontline that features hard-nosed blockers at every position. Iupati pummels defenders at the line of scrimmage, creating big holes for Frank Gore and others on power runs between the tackles.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers
Comment: Pouncey has been the Steelers' top offensive lineman since stepping into the starting lineup as a rookie starter. I'm sure Mike Tomlin wouldn't change a thing if given a chance to reshuffle the deck.
19. Atlanta Falcons
Comment: Weatherspoon has been extremely productive for the Falcons, but Washington has been a disruptive force as a second-level defender. He specializes in creating turnovers, which is desperately needed by a Falcons defense that struggled generating stops or takeaways last season.
20. Houston Texans
Comment: Saffold isn't a sexy pick for the Texans, but he is a solid starting offensive tackle ideally suited to play in the zone-based scheme that's helped the unit rank as one of the top rushing attacks with Arian Foster in the backfield.
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Comment:Marvin Lewis' defensive background would lead him to take a teeth-rattling hitter in the backend to fortify a defense built on grit, toughness and intimidation.
22. Denver Broncos
Comment: The loss of Thomas would weaken the Broncos' offense under Peyton Manning, but Davis' insertion into the line up would give the team more toughness and physicality at the point of attack. After watching the Seahawks bully the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, the move to acquire Davis would help the unit matchup better with an NFC heavyweight.
23. Green Bay Packers
Comment: A knee injury kept Lee out of the first round in the original draft, but his production and instincts would make him hard to ignore at this point.
24. Dallas Cowboys
Comment: Jerry Jones made a bold move to grab Bryant in 2010, but he would have to settle for Weatherspoon in this do-over. The loquacious defender has been on the cusp of earning all-star recognition throughout his career. More important, Weatherspoon's leadership skills would be a welcome addition to a Cowboys' defense in desperate need of an identity.
25. Denver Broncos
Comment: It's easy to dismiss Tebow's success as a winning quarterback in the NFL, but coaches pay close attention to guys who win big games in the postseason. Tebow captured a pair of BCS titles as collegian and helped the Broncos win a division crown as a young player, so it's possible Fox would strongly consider the former Heisman Trophy winner in a re-do.
26. Arizona Cardinals
Comment: The Cardinals have traditionally played with big-bodied receivers on the perimeter, but Brown's speed and quickness as a slot receiver would give opponents problems with Larry Fitzgerald on the outside.
27. New England Patriots
Comment: McCourty has been one of Bill Belichick's best defenders since his arrival in 2010. He has shown the ability to thrive at corner or safety, which makes him a valuable asset on a defense that uses multiple packages on nickel downs.
28. Miami Dolphins
Comment: Odrick has been a solid player for the Dolphins, but the team would've benefitted from the presence of a hard-nosed cover corner like Verner. The Pro Bowl selection is a polished technician with outstanding ball skills and awareness.
29. New York Jets
Comment:Rex Ryan loves pass rushers with speed, quickness and athleticism. Houston's versatility and body control would make him a perfect fit in Ryan's hybrid schemes.
30. Detroit Lions
Pick: Jahvid Best
Comment: Best showed a big-time playmaking ability prior to a series of concussions prematurely ended his career. In hindsight, the Lions would nab a running back with a nice blend of skills to complement Matthew Stafford in the backfield.
31. Indianapolis Colts
Comment:Reggie Wayne is firmly entrenched as the Colts' No. 1 receiver, but he needs a complementary playmaker to open up the field for Andrew Luck. Decker has shined as a side dish for most of his career and I would expect him to post big numbers opposite Wayne in Indy.
32. New Orleans Saints
Comment:Sean Payton turned Jimmy Graham into a bona fide superstar in his offense. Although Gresham is not nearly an athlete of Gresham's character, he is a polished route runner with a knack for getting open down the field. Given Payton's exceptional skills as a play designer, it is possible Gresham would thrive as the Queen of the chessboard in the Saints offense.