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Khalil Mack, Not Jadeveon Clowney, Tops A Re-Ranked 2014 NFL Draft Class

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The four letter network recently re-ranked the 2014 draft class, and, of course, the eternal debate (though not as eternal as the war waged over Hill and Fleener) is rearing its ugly, tedious, soul-crushing, mind-numbing head.

We could have had this guy. But we don't, and that's going to have to be okay.
We could have had this guy. But we don't, and that's going to have to be okay.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Sando, one of the writers over at ESPN, gathered the intelligence of several veteran NFL talent evaluators to help him re-draft the first 25 picks of the 2014 NFL Draft.

The opening salvo is fired with the first sentence, where Sando states, boldly, baldly:

Knowing what they know now, the Houston Texans could not feel as good about making Jadeveon Clowney the first pick in the 2014 NFL draft.

Of course, no one connected to the Texans who likes being employed has come out and said such a thing--nor will they, because people have bills to pay and the cost of living in Houston isn't getting any lower.  But let's allow this line of thinking. Sando continues with a suggestion that the Rams would have swapped the order of their selections, going Aaron Donald second overall and Greg Robinson thirteenth, which I, personally, can't find fault with.

In Sando's re-drafted Top 25 (not sure why they didn't go ahead and do a Top 32, since there are--last I checked--32 draft picks in the first round, but it's BSPN and that's how they roll), three QBs are selected in the first, and "Jimmy Garoppolo -- trailed nearby despite not playing (or perhaps because of it)."

According to Sando and his unnamed talent evaluators, three OLBs should have been drafted in the first 25 draft picks, the aforementioned Khalil Mack, currently plying his trade in the Silver and Black with Charles Woodson, but now drafted first overall in the spot held by the Texans; Anthony Barr, in reality selected by the Vikings at 9th overall, but in this re-draft selected in the 6th spot held by the Falcons; and Clowney, picked 10th, where the Lions selected.

Of course, no re-visitation of the 2014 NFL Draft class is complete without revisiting the trauma caused by the infernal QB debates (especially over Derek Carr and Teddy Bridgewater). While real-life Carr went in the second round to the Raiders, this re-draft selects him 11th overall, where the Titans picked. Considering the state of the Titans' QB room, that might not have been a bad idea. Teddy B, he of the gloves, small frame, and small hands, went at 32 to Norv Turner's offense; this re-draft has him going 12th overall to Giants, who are hoping Eli Manning can recapture his Super Bowl-winning form before they have to make a decision on extending his contract (currently set to expire at the end of the 2015 season) and whether to bring back Tom Coughlin (nominally not a lame duck coach, but he only got a one-year extension for a reason, y'all). Instead of going third overall to the Jaguars, Blake Bortles would have gone 25th overall to the Chargers, where he would have benefited from sitting behind Philip Rivers (who is threatening to leave if the team moves and refuses to sign a new contract) for a year instead of being thrown on one of the worst teams in the NFL, where he's now learning his second offense in as many seasons.

With that said, let the Battle of the 2014 NFL Draft re-commence, folks! (Of course, those of us who read the comments know that it never really died; it just went from open warfare to guerrilla warfare waged in comments for the past year and a half).