It’s been a decade since the 2010 NFL draft so at this point, we pretty much know how players’ careers have turned out. We know who was drafted too high and who was drafted too low. We know who went on to have All-Pro level careers and who washed out of the league a few years in. Because of all this, we can now say with 100% certainty who should have been drafted in the first round all those years ago. So today we’ll take a look back at the first round of the 2010 draft and decide where players should’ve gone and before we get into it, I’ll give a quick rundown of what to expect. First, there are ZERO quarterbacks being taken in this re-draft. This might seem crazy, but this is the rare draft in which there was almost zero quarterback success at the NFL level. There were only two taken in the first round 10 years ago and this draft did not produce any late round finds at the position. The only two taken were Sam Bradford and Tim Tebow and well…. neither of those teams would repeat those picks. So here we give the Rams and Broncos a chance at redemption, let’s see what happens. Secondly, there were 16 players who managed to stay as first-round picks, so half of the players drafted managed to jump into the first round from being later round picks. Lastly, no player ended up on the same team as they were originally drafted, this was not intentional but how it panned out. Let me know what you think of your team’s new selection over on twitter @jscott022
1.1. St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams
The pick: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
Here the Rams decide to go with the best defensive lineman in the draft. Suh has had his up and downs during his career but when it comes to judging strictly on his production and his play on the field it is hard to argue with this pick. Maybe in St. Louis/Los Angeles Suh sticks around longer than his rookie contract. But the Rams are willing to take that chance, they are willing to take a chance on 3 first-team All-Pro seasons and 5 pro-bowls. Suh has spent each of his 10 seasons as a full-time primary starter on his teams’ defensive lines. Suh’s peak came in 2014 when he had 8.5 sacks and 21 tackles for losses.
Suh’s Original Draft Position: 1.02
Rams’ Original Selection: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
1.2 Detroit Lions
The pick: Geno Atkins, DT, Georgia
Unfortunately for the Lions, the pick they made in 2010 is already off the board even at the 1.02 spot. They’ll be glad to know they made the right choice 10 years ago but will have to look elsewhere this time around. But there were really 3 players in the running for the first 3 selections, 2 of them play along the DL so we’ll go back to the DL with this pick too. Atkins is the selection here as the Lions will happily take 75.5 sacks over 9 full seasons. Atkins has been slightly less productive than Suh but has also managed to cause a little less drama during his career which has meant he has spent his whole career with his drafting franchise. Congratulations to Atkins on making one of the biggest jumps in draft positions.
Atkins’ Original Draft Position: 4.120
Lions’ Original Selection: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
1.3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The pick: Antonio Brown, WR, Central Michigan
The best offensive player comes off the board here with the 3rd pick. The “Tom Brady of WRs” was passed on by teams again and again before the Steelers pulled the trigger in the 6th round of 2010. But it’s not like the Steelers knew what they had either, Brown broke out in his 2nd season in the league and would go on to rack up over 11,000 yards in 10 seasons, 7 spent as a full-time starter. At his peak, Brown has been a consensus top 3 WR in the game, at his worst he’s argued and complained his way out of two different teams. But the Buccaneers will take his production any day of the week and are ecstatic that he fell to them at three overall. Brown was easily the best “hit” in the draft and the best possible value you could ask for in the 6th round, well besides Brady.
Brown’s Original Draft Position: 6.195
Buccaneers’ Original Selection: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
1.4 Washington Redskins
The pick: Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida
While Trent Williams did provide the Redskins with 10 years of great play at LT, Washington decides to change it up here by selecting Maurkice Pouncey out of Florida. Pouncey, already a first-round pick, goes 14 selections earlier. Pouncey has spent the past decade starting at center for the Steelers. He has been an All-Pro twice and been to the pro-bowl 8 times, which is every year that he played a full season. Trent Williams will not fall far in this draft, but recent events have made the Redskins reconsider their selection and they go with Pouncey here.
Pouncey’s Original Draft Position: 1.18
Redskins’ Original Selection: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
1.5 Kansas City Chiefs
The pick: Earl Thomas III, S, Texas
Here the Chiefs decided to go with the same position they selected back in 2010. Originally the pick of Eric Berry was looking like a solid choice. But unfortunately, Berry would be diagnosed with cancer essentially ending his career in 2017. Thomas has gone on to be one of the best safeties from the past decade and was a leader of the Legion of Boom. The Chiefs would happily take the career of Thomas as he was still turning in production seasons just last year.
Thomas’ Original Draft Position: 1.14
Chiefs’ Original Selection: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
1.6 Seattle Seahawks
The pick: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
The Seahawks still felt like they needed to fill the LT hole in their OL, so they selected Trent Williams, happy the Redskins decided to pass this time around. Williams has spent 7 years playing at a pro-bowl level all for the team that drafted him. While Okung has maybe been underrated in his career Williams is still an upgrade. And who knows, maybe if Williams has ended up in Seattle originally this past two years would have played out much differently.
Williams’ Original Draft Position: 1.04
Seahawks Original Selection: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
1.7 Cleveland Browns
The pick: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
The second skill position player comes off the board here at number seven overall. Thomas has been one of the most consistent players out of the 2010 draft. He broke 1000 yards receiving 5 seasons in a row from 2012-2016. While his peak did not last as long as some in this draft class, Thomas’ consistency and his peak seasons place him as an easy top 10 selection even after his past two years of decline. With the pick of Thomas here the Browns more than likely would not have taken Greg Little in the following years draft, saving Browns fans everywhere loads of headaches.
Thomas’ Original Draft Position: 1.22
Browns’ Original Selection: Joe Haden, CB, Florida
1.8 Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders
The pick: NaVorro Bowman, LB, Penn State
The Raiders are deciding to go from one troubled LB to a different one, though for many different reasons. Bowman’s issues come from injuries that really cut his career short, but he did enough during his five years as a starter, for the 49ers, to be considered a San Francisco legend. The Raiders happily take 5 years of elite play from Bowman over the almost yearly legal issues of McClain. Bowman was one of the biggest bargains in the original draft, and more appropriately slots in as a top 10 pick here.
Bowman’s Original Draft Position: 3.91
Raiders’ Original Selection: Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
1.9 Buffalo Bills
The pick: Rob Gronkowski, TE, Arizona
Just as we lost both of the QBs originally selected in the first round, we also lost all three of the RBs. This should’ve been a sign of the changing of the times, but the Browns and Jaguars did not get the message years later. Here, the Bills decide against taking an RB in the top 10 and instead select arguably the best TE of all time. While there’s a chance Gronk’s statistical success would not have been quite the same if he had not played every snap of his career with Tom Brady, there is no denying his talent would’ve played anywhere. And come on, is there anybody in their right mind that would have hated to see the embrace of Gronk by the Bills mafia over 9 seasons.
Gronkowski’s Original Draft Position: 2.42
Bills’ Original Selection: CJ Spiller, RB, Clemson
1.10 Jacksonville Jaguars
The pick: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
McCoy’s fall from third overall did not last too long as he comes off the board to the Jags here at tenth overall. McCoy has had a long consistent career racking up 54.5 sacks for the Buccaneers over 9 years with the team. Which he also managed to add 5 too last season, in his first year with a new team in the Panthers. McCoy is a ten-year starter and peaked with an all-pro selection in 2013. This is a just a stacked draft class at the DT position, but McCoy only fell from the 2nd to 3rd drafted at his position, still a great pick for Duval.
McCoy’s Original Draft Position: 1.03
Jaguars’ Original Selection: Tyson Alualu, DT, California
1.11 San Francisco 49ers
The pick: Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
The 49ers liked what they got the first time around, but Iupati’s play also worried them that they would not be able to get him at 17. But Iupati was one of the most consistent players in the NFL over his first 5 years in the league playing in San Francisco. Iupati missed only 4 games over his first 5 years before moving on to play in Arizona with the Cardinals. He spent last season with the Seahawks, one again starting 15 games. When play resumes he’ll be back at it again and the 9ers hope he’ll stick around after his rookie deal this time.
Iupati’s Original Draft Position: 1.17
49ers Original Draft Selection: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
1.12 San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers
The pick: Linval Joseph, DT, East Carolina
The Chargers are the second team to decide against their original pick of a running back. While Mathews did manage to put together a good career in San Diego and Philadelphia the Chargers decide to go BPA with their pick here at 12. They take Linval Joseph here who has had 24 sacks to go with 71 QB hits over his career. He has also gained 2 pro-bowl invites since drafted.
Joseph’s Original Draft Position: 2.46
Chargers’ Original Selection: Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State
1.13 Philadelphia Eagles
The pick: Everson Griffen, DE, USC
While Graham has gotten some flak from Eagles fans over the years he will still come out of this draft as a first-round pick, but Philly does decide to go with the slightly more productive DE in Griffen. Everything that Graham has done for the Eagles Griffen would have done slightly better. In four of Griffen’s six seasons as a full-time starter, he has reached the double-digit sack line. He peaked with 13 sacks in 2017.
Griffen’s Original Draft Position: 4.100
Eagles’ Original Selection: Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan
1.14 Seattle Seahawks
The pick: Devin McCourty, DB, Rutgers
The Seahawks would love to be able to take Earl Thomas here, but he went off the board much earlier this time around. They will “settle” for McCourty this time around. McCourty has been a two-time pro-bowler, 3-time super bowl champ, a full-time starter since his rookie season. While his interception numbers peaked during his rookie season, he played his first few years as a cornerback before switching to safety, so a slight drop in those numbers was not unexpected. He has averaged 77 tackles for his career which the Seahawks will happily take after missing out of Thomas this time around.
McCourty’s Original Draft Position: 1.27
Seahawks’ Original Selection: Earl Thomas, S, Texas
1.15 New York Giants
The pick: Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
While this may seem like a strange pick, switching from JPP to Dunlap while JPP is still on the board. But, over the course of their careers, Dunlap has actually gotten to the QB more often than JPP. Dunlap has been the more consistent force off the edge while JPP had much higher peak seasons. Dunlap’s worst season came when he put up 4.5 sacks in 2011, while JPP has matched or been lower than that total 3 times. Yes, JPP had a season with 16.5 sacks but has also been much more inconsistent. Here the Giants take the consistency over a couple of great seasons.
Dunlap’s Original Draft Position: 2.54
Giants’ Original Selection: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
1.16 Tennessee Titans
The pick: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
So, while the Giants decided to pass of JPP for Dunlap the Titans are ecstatic JPP falls to them a pick later. Morgan was a solid DE for the Titans for 9 years but never broke that double-digit sack mark in a season. So, Pierre-Paul being there for them at 16 was a dream come true. They are still able to take their DE they wanted but they get a huge upgrade. JPP getting 16.5 sacks his second year in the league was one of the more impressive feats on the defensive side of the ball from the past decade.
Pierre-Paul’s Original Draft Position: 1.15
Titans’ Original Selection: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
1.17 San Francisco 49ers
The pick: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
Okung’s fall from six overall stop here at 17. This is probably the dream draft for the 49ers as they were still able to nag Iupati at 11 overall and they are able to snag Okung here at 17. Okung replaces Anthony Davis as their OT took in this class. Okung has put in 8 years as a full-time starter, much more than the four that Davis put in. The 49ers are coming out of this first round with Iupati and Okung to hold down to OL for years to come.
Okung’s Original Draft Position: 1.06
49ers Original Selection: Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
1.18 Pittsburgh Steelers
The pick: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
Unfortunately for the Steelers their selection the first time around was so good he was not there to be picked in this re-draft. But they decide to bolster the OL anyway with the addition of Bulaga. Bulaga has been blocking for one of the best QBs of the past decade in Aaron Rodgers. So, the Steelers happily slide Bulaga in at RT along their line to assist in the passing game of Ben Roethlisberger and the rushing attack of LeVeon Bell. While Bulaga is not quite the game changer the Pouncey has been he is the best OL on the board, so the Steelers take him here, a few picks before he originally came off the board.
Bulaga’s Original Draft Position: 1.23
Steelers’ Original Selection: Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida
1.19 Atlanta Falcons
The pick: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
The Falcons have shown they are willing to go after the WR position in the first round and they do so here in a franchise-changing move. A fall this far for Dez might surprise a few folks but Dez really only had a peak 3 years in his 8-year career. But those 3 years make him easily a first-round pick. This would be a franchise-changing move for the Falcons, as they more than likely would not be trading up to select Julio Jones in 2011 after selecting Dez here. So, while Dez would prove to be nowhere near the WR Julio ended up as, the Falcons have no way to know this and so they make this move in the 2010 draft.
Bryant’s Original Draft Position: 1.24
Falcons’ Original Selection: Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
1.20 Houston Texans
The pick: Joe Haden, CB, Florida
This might be the team that is the happiest with their upgrade at the same position they took back in 2010. While Kareem Jackson has put up a solid career, he is still playing in 2019, he has never made the jump to an elite CB. Haden, on the other hand, has put up seasons of 5 and 6 interceptions. In fact, he has not shown too many signs of aging either as he put in one of his best seasons of his career last year at the age of 31. The Texans will gladly take Haden’s 27 career picks over the 18 Jackson has managed.
Haden’s Original Draft Position: 1.07
Texans’ Original Selection: Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama
1.21 Cincinnati Bengals
The pick: Jimmy Graham, TE, Miami
The Bengals know what position they needed but they select the right TE this time around. Graham has not aged particularly well but his peak seasons make him easily the number two TE behind Gronk from this drat class. There were times from the 2011-2013 years when there were thoughts, he might be the best TE in the league. Now, catching passes from Drew Brees over Andy Dalton might have something to do with the stats Graham was able to put up, but the Bengals are going to take that risk over the TE they know will be nothing more than a contributing player in Gresham.
Graham’s Original Draft Position: 3.95
Bengals’ Original Selection: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
1.22 Denver Broncos
The pick: Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
We have already seen 3 WRs come off the board and the Broncos were disappointed to see Thomas go earlier this time around. But they had a solid fall back plan and select Tate here at 22. While Thomas put up a more productive career, Tate is providing more in 2019/2020. Tate has never broken the double-digit TDs in a season mark, but he has managed 44 over his career while never going below 4 in a season he was a starter. So, while the top 3 WRs from this class are not available to be taken the Broncos have no complaints with Tate being available.
Tate’s Original Draft Position: 2.60
Broncos’ Original Selection: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
1.23 Green Bay Packers
The pick: Rodger Saffold, OT, Indiana
This will not be the most exciting selection in this re-draft, but the Packers can’t take their original selection thanks to the Steelers taking Bulaga at 18. So, the Packers go with the best OT available because they still feel the need to fill that OT position. Although Saffold has turned into a guard after a few years in the league he still would have been able to provide the protection the Packers were looking for. He does not quite provide the talent/production that Bulaga has but Saffold is still plenty worthy of being a first-round pick this time.
Saffold’s Original Draft Position: 2.33
Packers’ Original Selection: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
1.24 Dallas Cowboys
The pick: Emmanuel Sanders, WR, SMU
A draft of WRs continues here as the Cowboys dive back into the WR pool and take the 5th one off the board. First, let’s give a shout out to the Steelers for taking Sanders in the 3rd and Antonio Brown in the 6th round of this draft. I’m not sure who was in charge of scouting WRs that year for them, but I’m sure they’ve only risen in the organization since then. But here the Cowboys cannot take Bryant, so they look for the best remaining WR and take Sanders. He has been a constant force over his career. Sanders has 3 years of over 1000 yards receiving while still getting after it last year gaining 869 yards last year with five TD catches. So, while Bryant has not seen the field in a couple of years, Sanders is still grinding.
Sanders’ Original Draft Position: 3.82
Cowboys’ Original Selection: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
1.25 Denver Broncos
The pick: Sean Lee, LB, Penn State
Well, here is the second QB we’ll be passing on this time around. Sam Bradford was the clear best QB taken in this class but still was not worthy of a team using a first-round pick on him, so the Broncos pass on Bradford here. The second-best QB from the 2010 class is a tossup between Tebow and Colt McCoy, so it should be apparent that no QB was worth a first in this class. So instead of taking a QB, the Broncos decide to go with the best defensive player on the board with Sean Lee. While Lee has gained a reputation as being a little fragile, which is warranted, when he is on the field, he is one of the more productive LBs in the league. After missing his 2014 season with a torn ACL Lee came back the next two years with the best of his career. 2015-2017 Lee tallied over 100 tackles, peaking with 145 in 2016 and an all-pro nod.
Lee’s Original Draft Position: 2.55
Broncos’ Original Selection: Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
1.26 Arizona Cardinals
The pick: Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU
The Cardinals selection of Dan Williams the first time around as he never broke out in any meaningful way during his 7 years in the league. So, the Cardinals decide to go with a different defensive lineman here. They’ll take Jerry Hughes here, who was originally selected by the Colts. Hughes has had an interesting career as he looked like he might be headed the way of Williams while he was still in Indianapolis, but after moving to Buffalo for his fourth season he has had a career resurgence. So hopefully the Cards will be willing to stick with Hughes for more than 3 years. He had 5 sacks combined over his first 3 years with the Colts but followed that up with 10 sacks in each of the next two years. Hughes has averaged 6.6 sacks a season in his 7 years in Buffalo.
Hughes’ Original Draft Position: 1.31
Cardinals’ Original Selection: Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
1.27 New England Patriots
The pick: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
Though Berry was well on his way to being worth the 5th overall pick, health issues have knocked him back to the end of the first round. Berry only played five full seasons but in those 5 seasons he was selected as an all-pro three times and made the pro bowl in all five of those seasons. Though he is no longer playing and only put in 5 full seasons, the Patriots spent the past 10 years contending for super bowl titles and Berry would have filled a crucial role for some of those super bowl contending teams over the past 10 years.
Berry’s Original Draft Position: 1.05
Patriots’ Original Selection: Devin McCourty, DB, Rutgers
1.28 Miami Dolphins
The pick: Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan
While Graham was ultimately not worth the 13th overall pick the Eagles spent on him the Dolphins will take him off the board here at 28th overall. Graham has never had a breakout season that one would expect from an early first round pick, but he has also managed 51 sacks in his career. If a team was guaranteed that production from their late first rounder, they would take that every time. So, while Graham is not a game changing talent, he is one that has provided a consistent production off the edge.
Graham’s Original Draft Position: 1.13
Dolphins’ Original Selection: Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State
1.29 New York Jets
The pick: Kam Chancellor, SS, Virginia Tech
Chancellor was one of the more difficult players to place in this re-draft. He clearly is worth the first-round pick but finding a fit and taking his counting stats into consideration all made it a difficult placement. But he lands here with the Jets and will be the heart and soul of the Jets defense for 8 seasons. While Chancellor’s stats might not reflect those of a truly elite player, anyone who watched him play knows he was the heart and soul of the Legion of Boom defense that patrolled the Seahawks defensive backfield for years. In New York Chancellor would provide those same qualities and give the Jets defense and attitude that they seem to have been lacking for the past decade.
Chancellor’s Original Draft Position: 5.133
Jets’ Original Selection: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
1.30 Detroit Lions
The pick: Zane Beadles, OG, Utah
This selection won’t be the most exciting one of the re-draft. But it will turn out much better than the Lions’ pick the first time around. Back in 2010 the Lions went with Jahvid Best a running back out of California. Best was the 3rd (!!!) RB taken in the first round that year. Here, we have zero being taken so the Lions switch it up as well. Beadles played for 9 years in the NFL and was a starting guard for 7 of them. I’m not sure who the Lions running back would have ended up being without taking Best here, but Beadles would have no doubt provided a bigger impact on the run game than their first round running back did. Best lasted 2 years in the NFL before injuries cut his career way too short.
Beadles’ Original Draft Position: 2.45
Lions’ Original Selection: Jahvid Best, RB, California
1.31 Indianapolis Colts
The pick: Jared Veldheer, OT, Hillsdale
Veldheer is a similar selection to Beadles, while he has never been an all-pro talent or even a pro bowler, Veldheer has been a steady presence for years. Unfortunately for the Colts their original selection of Jerry Hughes is now off the board before they could select him again. Hughes would have been the selection here if still on the board. But, Veldheer is not a bad fall back plan and would have been and attempt to keep Peyton Manning on the field for a little longer. The Colts were long criticized for their lack of building an OL in the front of Manning and then Andrew Luck, this pick would have been a start towards that.
Veldheer’s Original Draft Position: 3.69
Colts’ Original Selection: Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU
1.32 New Orleans Saints
The pick: Eric Decker, WR, Minnesota
With eyes on back-to-back Super Bowl trips here the Saints find Drew Brees a very solid weapon on offense. Decker is now the 6th(!) WR taken in this draft. Decker was a steady WR for years for the likes of Peyton Manning. He put up 3 seasons of over 1000 yards and along with Demaryius Thomas spent a season catching passes from Manning during his record-breaking touchdown season. Decker peaked with 13 touchdowns in 2012 and one has to wonder how often he could have met that mark with a slightly young Drew Brees throwing to him for his whole career.
Decker’s Original Draft Position: 3.87
Saints’ Original Selection: Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State