If you want to define this draft by anything, try length! The first round was six-plus hours. As for the picks, it gets some obvious historical demerits because of the quarterbacks -- or total lack thereof. It's almost a comically bad QB class. The leading passer, through six seasons? Try Trent Edwards. So as you start seeing non-stars among the first-rounders, blame the QBs. As we re-draft, however, you have to consider the parameters:
1. This order doesn't just reflect what players have done, but what they still have left.
2. I'm not concerned at all with need, or an attempt to rewrite history. It's about performance.
3. Positional value still matters. So a good tackle could edge a star guard, for instance.
It should be noted that 2007 No. 4 overall pick Gaines Adams would almost certainly have a place here. He passed away in 2010.
Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech
It's really the past two years over which Megatron has become something of an all-world star. But he rises this high because after six years he appears to be just reaching his peak, and he was always a brilliant physical specimen. He could ostensibly reach 1,000 catches and 14,000 yards in his career if he stays healthy.
Previous draft spot: No. 2
'07 pick: JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU
Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma
He now has 8,849 yards, is coming off a brilliant 2,097-yard season, has a 5.0-yard per carry average for his career and doesn't seem bound by earthly limitations of the human body. Peterson only drops based on positional value and future expectations of health compared to Megatron, but I never expect to be disappointed. Awesome player.
Previous draft spot: No. 7
'07 pick: Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech
Darrelle Revis, CB, Pittsburgh
Mike Tannenbaum got fired, and Eric Mangini is no longer around, but the Jets made one of the great trade-up moves of all time in moving to No. 14 overall to draft Revis, who came out of Pitt after his junior year. When healthy, he is the best pure cover corner in football.
Previous draft spot: No. 14
'07 pick: Joe Thomas, T, Wisconsin
Patrick Willis, LB, Ole Miss
He has over 150 more tackles than any other player in the draft class, has been to the Pro Bowl every year he has been in the league and is the heart and soul of arguably the best defense (and easily the best group of linebackers) in the NFL. Great pick by the Niners at No. 11.
Previous draft spot: No. 11
'07 pick: Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson