2009 NFL Redraft: Does Matthew Stafford still go first overall?

As he prepares to lead the Rams into the Super Bowl, would Matthew Stafford still be the first overall pick in a 2009 NFL Redraft?

As Matthew Stafford prepares to lead the Los Angeles Rams into Super Bowl 56, would he still be the first overall pick in a redraft of the 2009 NFL Draft? We turn back the clock more than a dozen years and rework the entire first round with the benefit of hindsight!

2009 NFL Redraft | Picks 1-16

Before we dive into this 2009 NFL Redraft, a few ground rules. Well actually, just one. We’ve taken the order from before the Detroit Lions were on the clock, ruling out any trades that were made on the day. However, we have kept trades made prior to the draft. As a result, the Lions and Buffalo Bills both still have two first-round picks.

1) Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia

It says a lot that there has been an outpouring of support for Matthew Stafford from Lions fans ahead of Super Bowl 56. Stafford was a faithful servant in Detroit. His “failure” to lead Detroit to the promised land was less about his ability and more about the surrounding parts. There’s really no other pick that the Lions could make in this 2009 NFL Redraft.

2) St. Louis Rams: Brian Orakpo, LB, Texas

The then-St. Louis Ram’s biggest need heading into the 2009 NFL Draft was at offensive tackle, and they struck for need when selecting Baylor’s Jason Smith. Multiple concussions cut his NFL career short, but he never lived up to expectations regardless. Meanwhile, Brian Orakpo was an All-Rookie performer in 2009. He also racked up nearly 400 tackles and 66 sacks in his career. Orakpo would have slid straight in at strongside LB for the Rams.

3) Kansas City Chiefs: Clay Matthews III, LB, USC

519 tackles. 91.5 sacks. 17 forced fumbles. Two-time All-Pro. Six-time Pro Bowler. Super Bowl Champion. Magnificent hair. Clay Matthews’ list of achievements during his NFL career is astonishing. A formidable linebacker, he lands with the Kansas City Chiefs in this 2009 NFL Redraft, replacing original third overall pick Tyson Jackson. The LSU product tallied just 9 sacks in his eight-year career.

4) Seattle Seahawks: Malcolm Jenkins, S, Ohio State

Great things were expected from Wake Forest’s Aaron Curry when he was selected fourth overall in 2009. But by 2013, he was out of the NFL with just 5.5 sacks to his name. Although Malcolm Jenkins played cornerback at Ohio State, he’s developed into one of the NFL’s best safeties. Given the Seattle Seahawks needed help at both positions, he makes too much sense to pass up in this 2009 NFL Redraft.

5) Cleveland Browns: Alex Mack, C, California

The Cleveland Browns traded out of the fifth pick in 2009, leading to the New York Jets’ selection of Mark Sanchez. Extremely active in the first round, they were involved in multiple trades until selecting Alex Mack with the 21st overall selection. Mack developed into one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL. He also earned a spot on the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team.

6) Cincinnati Bengals: LeSean McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh

While original selection Andre Smith played six years in Cincinnati before bouncing around the NFL, the Bengals veer away from the Alabama offensive tackle in this 2009 NFL Redraft following the success of Andrew Whitworth’s transition to left tackle. LeSean McCoy would go on to lead the NFL in touchdowns in 2011, rushing yards in 2013, and become a two-time All-Pro and Super Bowl champion.

7) Oakland Raiders: Mike Wallace, WR, Ole Miss

The now-Las Vegas Raiders seem to be in a never-ending cycle of trying to add a speedy pass catcher to their receiving ranks. Back in 2009, they swooped for Darrius Heyward-Bey after he clocked a 4.3-second 40-yard dash. By 2013, he was off the Raiders’ roster. Meanwhile, Mike Wallace was negligibly slower than Heyward-Bey but went on to snag over 8,000 yards and 57 touchdowns as a third-round selection of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

8) Jacksonville Jaguars: Max Unger, C, Oregon

As we prepare for a 2022 NFL Draft where the Jacksonville Jaguars’ biggest need is offensive tackle, things have barely changed since 2009. While they selected OT Eugene Monroe, they had needs at essentially every spot on the line.

Oregon center Max Unger slipped to the second round originally. Following an All-Pro career that included a Super Bowl ring, Unger goes significantly higher in this 2009 NFL Redraft.

9) Green Bay Packers: B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College

While not the most glamorous of selections, B.J. Raji became a pivotal piece of the Green Bay Packers defensive line. During his six-year NFL career, he helped guide the Packers to a Super Bowl win. Green Bay’s other needs in the class included defensive end, outside linebacker, and offensive tackle. Those positions weren’t rife with talent, especially with Clay Matthews off the board in this 2009 NFL Redraft.

10) San Francisco 49ers: Arian Foster, RB, Tennessee

Although original selection Michael Crabtree developed into a productive receiver in the NFL, his time in San Francisco wasn’t without turmoil. As a result, the 49ers take a different direction in this 2009 NFL Redraft.

Imagine a double-headed backfield bonanza featuring Frank Gore and Arian Foster. It would be practically unstoppable. Looking back at Foster’s three-time All-Pro career that saw him twice lead the NFL in rushing yards, it’s incredulous that he went undrafted out of Tennessee.

11) Buffalo Bills: Michael Bennett, DT, Texas A&M

Another undrafted player makes the first round of this 2009 NFL Redraft. Michael Bennett went on to tally 69.5 sacks and win a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks despite not being selected during the draft. His ability to play both defensive end and tackle make him an alluring fit for the Buffalo Bills who had a need for both. Original selection Aaron Maybin was released after just two seasons in Buffalo.

12) Denver Broncos: Jairus Byrd, S, Oregon

The Denver Broncos added Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno with the 12th overall pick in 2009. Two ACL tears meant it would take five years before he cracked 1,000 yards in Denver, ironically in his final campaign with the Broncos. Meanwhile, the secondary was screaming out for an injection of youth and talent. They get that in this 2009 NFL Redraft with Oregon safety Jairus Byrd, who led the league in interceptions as a rookie.

13) Washington: Brian Cushing, LB, USC

A versatile linebacker capable of playing inside and out, Brian Cushing would have fit Washington’s scheme as it evolved from a base 4-3 to a 3-4 in 2010. Although his career was beset with incidents, on his day, Cushing was as ferocious as they come from the linebacker position. He was named the 2009 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and twice earned All-Pro honors.

14) New Orleans Saints: Glover Quin, S, New Mexico

With original selection Jenkins long gone, the New Orleans Saints replace him with Glover Quin in this 2009 NFL Redraft. The former New Mexico defensive back was a fourth-round pick but developed into a disruptive playmaking force. Quin tallied 85 pass deflections and 24 interceptions across a 10-year career. He earned second-team All-Pro honors in 2014 after leading the NFL in interceptions.

15) Houston Texans: Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech

Although the Houston Texans had Andre Johnson as a pass-catching threat, adding Michael Crabtree into the offense would give then-QB Matt Schaub an embarrassment of riches at wide receiver. Original selection Cushing is already gone, and while cornerback was considered the biggest position of need, there isn’t a standout prospect at the position available.

16) San Diego Chargers: T.J. Lang, G, Eastern Michigan

The San Diego Chargers are another team for whom offensive line is seemingly always a need in the draft. In this 2009 NFL Redraft, they land T.J. Lang, a longtime Packer who made 113 starts in the NFL and won a Super Bowl with Green Bay. Meanwhile, original selection Larry English is more famous for his appearances in the Madden video game franchise than for his prowess on the field.

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