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Redoing The 2015 NFL Draft

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If you could change anything, would you change anything at all?

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, ESPN Insider had a piece where they joined hands with PFF and redid the 2015 NFL Draft with the benefit of three years having passed since the blessed event:

With three years of data on the NFL draft class of 2015, it’s time to look back at which picks we would keep and which ones should have been changed, using the benefit of hindsight, PFF grades and our new PFF value system, which adds another layer to our already-unique play-by-play grading.

Hell, yeah. What an introduction. In case you forgot, this was the draft when the Texans selected Kevin Johnson with the 16th overall pick. Of course, we don’t get to go back and make the same decision over again with new information. If you could do such a thing, this is what they recommend Texans do with the sixteenth pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft:

Actual pick: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest

New Pick: Ronald Darby, CB, Florida State

Houston filled a need with the addition of Johnson, but hindsight shows that Darby would have been a cleaner pick. Darby has improved his ability to make plays on the ball (24 pass breakups on 262 career targets) since entering the league, and his speed and athleticism allow him to stay with the shiftiest of route runners.

Now, I don’t think Johnson was the wrong pick at the time, and Johnson was great during his rookie year. Since then, however, because of injuries or I don’t know what, Kevin Johnson has turned into a shoddy cornerback. Last season, even when he came back from injury and was supposedly fully healthy, K-Jo struggled. He argued with referees. He held. He didn’t turn for the ball. Overall, he was one of the worst cornerbacks in football last season. Hopefully it was all because of rust and injuries; hopefully, this year Johnson will be back to the form he flashed as as ookie

Overall, I have no qualms with Darby being re-selected over Johnson in this exercise. Darby has been the better player. However, Johnson was a fine selection back in 2015; he has simply turned sour.