17) Cincinnati Bengals: Bruce Irvin, DE, West Virginia
The Cincinnati Bengals originally selected Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. Although Kirkpatrick stayed with the Bengals until 2019, they instead address what was seen as a bigger need at defensive end.
Despite Bruce Irvin playing most of his career at outside linebacker, he was part of the PFWA All-Rookie Team in 2012 at defensive end. The Bengals strike for him here, whereas he was gone at this point in the original 2012 NFL Draft.
18) San Diego Chargers: Mitchell Schwartz, OT, California
With Melvin Ingram already gone, the now Los Angeles Chargers take the opportunity to address an issue that blighted Philip Rivers’ career in its later stages.
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Originally a second-round selection of the Cleveland Browns, offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz has gone on to be one of the best in the game. He earned All-Rookie Team honors in 2012 before embarking on a Super Bowl-winning career that includes a 2018 first-team All-Pro honor.
19) Chicago Bears: Whitney Mercilus, LB, Illinois
There were high hopes for Boise State defensive end Shea McClellin, but ultimately, he failed to produce in the NFL. Meanwhile, Whitney Mercilus has racked up 54 sacks as one of the most disruptive outside linebackers in the NFL.
Although some of his success can be attributed to the opposition’s attention on J.J. Watt, he still brings a more productive pass rush to the Chicago Bears in this 2012 NFL Draft redraft.
20) Tennessee Titans: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Despite it not being considered an area of need, the Tennessee Titans used the 20th overall pick on Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright. Although he had a 1,000-yard season in his second year, he never replicated that production. Injury impacted the end of his time in Tennessee, and after six seasons, he was out of the league.
In this 2012 NFL Draft redraft, they replace Wright with North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins. The playmaking corner featured on the All-Rookie team before earning second-team All-Pro honors in 2016. With 26 career interceptions, Jenkins would have provided a productive pass disruptor for a Titans secondary in need.
21) Cincinnati Bengals: Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State
Although Vontaze Burfict was an undrafted free agent in 2012, the Bengals use their second first-round pick to ensure he stays in Cincinnati. With Burfict and Bruce Irvin as the two first-round picks, the Bengals would have had a ferocious — if not a little troubled — defensive unit.
22) Cleveland Browns: Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
Having secured their new face of the franchise — Ryan Tannehill — earlier in this 2012 NFL Draft redraft, the Browns surround him with some talent to ensure success.
A lot of the credit for Tannehill’s performance in Tennessee is focused on Derrick Henry’s ability to distract opposing defenses as a genuine running threat. Now, I’m not saying Doug Martin is the new Derrick Henry in this scenario, but the “Muscle Hamster” would give the Browns a running game to use as a decoy. At his best, Martin was an absolute force, with two 1,400-yard seasons.
23) Detroit Lions: Kelechi Osemele, G, Iowa State
Offensive line improvement was the name of the game for the Detroit Lions in the 2012 NFL Draft. They opted to take a first-round offensive tackle in Riley Reiff, who would make 120 appearances for the Lions and then the Minnesota Vikings. In this redraft of the 2012 NFL Draft, they instead focus on the interior offensive line.
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Originally a late second-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens, Kelechi Osemele played both tackle and guard as a rookie. A first-team All-Pro in 2016, a two-time Pro Bowler, and a crucial part of the Baltimore Ravens’ Super Bowl XLVII-winning team, Osemele presents an upgrade for the Detroit offensive line.
24) Pittsburgh Steelers: Brandon Brooks, G, Miami (OH)
With original selection David DeCastro long gone in this 2012 NFL Draft redraft, the Pittsburgh Steelers turn to the next best available guard prospect.
A third-round selection of the Houston Texans out of Miami (OH), Brandon Brooks had the best days of his playing career in Philadelphia. A three-time Pro Bowler for the Eagles, the right guard helped anchor an offensive line that led the Eagles to the Super Bowl.
25) Denver Broncos: Akiem Hicks, DT, Regina
The Denver Broncos actually traded out of the 25th selection, allowing the New England Patriots to jump up and select Dont’a Hightower. Denver then used the 36th pick to select defensive tackle Derek Wolfe. Here, they keep the position the same, but they select Akiem Hicks out of Regina. Hicks has spent time with the New Orleans Saints and the Patriots but is best known for his exploits at the heart of the Chicago Bears’ defensive line.
Hicks isn’t flashy, but he gets the job done. A second-team All-Pro in 2018, he was voted as one of the 100 Greatest Chicago Bears of All-Time.
26) Houston Texans: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
Another team that finds their original selection gone in this 2012 NFL Draft redraft, the Houston Texans head to the opposite side of the ball. Although they had Andre Johnson, they add Alshon Jeffery to provide an additional pass-catching threat.
Jeffery had two 1,000-yard seasons in his first three seasons in the NFL.
27) New England Patriots: Zach Brown, LB, UNC
The New England Patriots hit a home run in the first round back in 2012. With their two original picks going on to produce All-Pro careers, a redraft will always be something of a disappointment.
However, with the 27th pick, they select Zach Brown out of UNC to fill their linebacker need. A second-round pick of the Tennessee Titans, Smith had an All-Pro season of his own for the Buffalo Bills in 2016. The Patriots were on the receiving end of a dominant performance, as Smith racked up a career-high 17 tackles and a sack as the Bills won 16-0.
28) Green Bay Packers: Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame
Harrison Smith crosses the barricades of this NFC North rivalry, bypassing the Minnesota Vikings for the Green Bay Packers. Despite appearing on the All-Rookie Team in 2012, Smith was at his best in 2017. He earned first-team All-Pro honors in the middle of a run of five consecutive Pro Bowl appearances.
A disruptive athlete, Smith would fill the need for a midfield playmaker that still exists to some degree today.
29) Baltimore Ravens: Kevin Zeitler, G, Wisconsin
The Baltimore Ravens had needs across the offensive line, and they address them in this 2012 NFL Draft redraft with Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler.
An impressive run blocker, Zeitler would be perfect for the modern Ravens offense. His performances as a rookie for the Cincinnati Bengals earned him All-Rookie Team honors.
30) San Francisco 49ers: Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt
Illinois wide receiver A.J. Jenkins was selected with the 30th overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft to address the San Francisco 49ers’ biggest need. Probably the biggest bust of the first round, Jenkins had just 17 career receptions for 223 yards. Instead, they turn to the cornerback position — another big area of need — and select Vanderbilt corner Casey Hayward.
Hayward was originally selected by the Green Bay Packers but did his best work for the now Los Angeles Chargers. A two-time second-team All-Pro between 2016 and 2017, Hayward is credited with 100 pass deflections and 23 interceptions.
31) New England Patriots: Damon Harrison, DT, William Penn
Is Damon Harrison the best story of the 2012 NFL Draft? Undrafted out of William Penn, Harrison was a second-team All-Pro for the New York Jets in 2015 before earning first-team All-Pro honors for the New York Giants.
In this 2012 NFL Draft redraft, he anchors the New England Patriots’ defensive line alongside nose tackle Vince Wilfork, becoming the defensive leader once Wilfork departs for the Houston Texans.
32) New York Giants: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
With the final pick of this 2012 NFL Draft redraft, the New York Giants select Dontari Poe out of Memphis.
Although the Giants addressed the offense with the original 32nd selection — tight end and running back were the biggest needs coming in — there isn’t an offensive player that is better than Poe. Originally the 11th pick of the Kansas City Chiefs, Poe was a second-team All-Pro in 2013 while also rushing for a touchdown and throwing a touchdown pass.
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Oliver Hodgkinson is a staff writer for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter at @ojhodgkinson.