Re-Drafting the 2003 Class

Kwame Harris is, quite possibly, one of the 49ers worst first-round picks of all time. You can debate that if you want, but it is pretty hard to name someone who was expected to do more and wound up actually doing less. This class also included gems such as Anthony Adams, Andrew Williams and Arnaz Battle. What makes this especially disappointing is the number of undrafted players from this class that went on to make a major difference for other teams.

How would this draft play out now, ten years later? Sure, some of the players have retired, but who knows who would be where now (whether players or teams) if this draft had come out differently?

Without further ado:

Pick#1: Cincinnati Bengals

Original Pick: Carson Palmer

New Pick: Carson Palmer. Can you name a better QB in this draft class? Seneca Wallace? Ken Dorsey? Gibran Hamdan? The Bengals were (by far), the worst team in the NFL, and they needed a leader to help them win. Sure, Palmer isn't so great now, but, after a devastating knee injury, who would be?

Pick#2: Detroit Lions

Original Pick: Charles Rogers

New Pick: Andre Johnson (Originally #3). Can you imagine how different the world would be if this pick had been made? Matt Millen might still have a job in the Lions' front office. OK, maybe not...

Pick#3: Houston Texans

Original Pick: Andre Johnson

New Pick: Kevin Williams (Originally #9). For a team that desperately needs a lot of things, what is the best direction to go? Unless there is a potential HOF QB on the board, HOF defensive lineman is a great place to start.

Pick#4: NY Jets

Original Pick: DeWayne Robertson

New Pick: Nnamdi Asomugha (Originally #31). Let's just overlook the fact that the Jets actually TRADED UP to get DeWayne Robertson. Asomugha would help the Jets to just avoid the whole Darelle Revis fiasco.

Pick#5: Dallas Cowboys

Original Pick: Terrence Newman

New Pick: Tony Romo (Originally undrafted). Maybe not the best player on the board, but I'm assuming that Jerry Jones is still the owner, coach, president, CEO and GM of the Cowboys, and NOBODY is going to tell him what to do. Just be happy that they don't take a center here.

Pick#6: NO Saints

Original Pick: Jonathan Sullivan

New Pick: Jordan Gross (#8). Again, a team TRADED UP to take someone that did not make a single Pro Bowl during their career? The Saints have had a porous offensive line for quite a while now, and I'm sure that they would be more than happy to add Jordan Gross to their list of allies.

Pick#7: Jacksonville Jaguars

Original Pick: Byron Leftwich

New Pick: Troy Polamalu (#16). How do the Jaguars wind up getting robbed in every single draft? Why does any almost any player they touch turn to garbage? (No disrespect to MJD intended) They need an identity. What better identity can you have than a player who makes more money doing shampoo commercials than actually playing football?

Pick#8: Carolina Panthers

Original Pick: Jordan Gross

New Pick: David Diehl (#160). One great offensive lineman to replace another.

Pick#9: Minnesota Vikings

Original Pick: Kevin Williams

New Pick: Larry Johnson (#27). In the future, let's try and keep AP AWAY from the Vikings, shall we? I'm totally ignoring the fact that the Vikings originally had the #7 pick, let the clock run out, and dropped all the way to #9. Maybe with Kevin Williams already gone, they would ave just let the clock keep running until 2010?

Pick#10: Baltimore Ravens

Original Pick: Terrell Suggs

New Pick: Terrell Suggs. The Ravens stick with their defensive mainstay.

Pick#11: Seattle Seahawks

Original Pick: Marcus Trufant

New Pick: Asante Samuel (#120). Call me what you like; I think this pick is really a matter of semantics. I simply like Samuel better as a player than Trufant.

Pick#12: STL Rams

Original Pick: Jimmy Kennedy

New Pick: Osi Umenyiora (#56) Jimmy who? Jimmy Fallon? No, Osi.

Pick#13: NE Patriots

Original Pick: Ty Warren

New Pick: Antonio Gates (Undrafted) This pick got traded between 4 different teams; I guess that no one wanted to take the next best TE not named Tony Gonzalez to play in the last decade. With this pick, the Patriots no longer need to pick up Gronkowski and his 4 arm surgeries either.

Pick#14: Chicago Bears

Original Pick: Michael Haynes

New Pick: Anquan Boldin (#54). There was a run on really mediocre defensive ends at the beginning of this draft. Who can deny that the Bears could have used (and can use) a real play-making wide receiver?

Pick#15: PHI Eagles

Original Pick: Jerome McDougle

New Pick: Robert Mathis (#138). Another mediocre end. This time replaced by a really good one.

Pick#16: PITT Steelers

Original Pick: Troy Polamalu

New Pick: Marcus Trufant (#11)

Pick#17: Arizona Cardinals

Original Pick: Bryant Johnson

New Pick: Willis McGahee (#23). The first of two semi-blown picks in a row for the Cardinals. McGahee would let the Cardinals avoid the embarrassing Beanie Wells era (and whatever is to follow).

Pick#18: Arizona Cardinals

Original Pick: Calvin Pace

New Pick: Lance Briggs (#68). Pace was not a bad player; Briggs is a great one, as long as he can stay healthy.

Pick#19: BAL Ravens

Original Pick: Kyle Boller

New Pick: Byron Leftwich (#7) Could Leftwich have succeeded in a different system? Maybe. Let's see.

Pick#20: Denver Broncos

Original Pick: George Foster

New Pick: John Stinchcomb (#37)

Pick#21: CLE Browns

Original Pick: Jeff Faine

New Pick: Kris Dielman (Undrafted). Faine is a Pro-Bowler. I think, given the chance to do it over, the Browns would have taken the first guard in the draft instead of the first center here.

Pick#22: CHI Bears

Original Pick: Rex Grossman

New Pick: Charles Tillman (#35). Again, REALLY reaching for a lame QB. The Bears had 3 picks in the first 35, and totally whiffed on the first two. Tillman wound up being the best player that the drafted in the first two rounds of this draft. Lance Briggs was probably the best pick overall, but he is gone already.

Pick#23: Buffalo Bills

Original Pick: Willis McGahee

New Pick: Terrance Newman (#5). What do you get a team that needs everything? Anything...

Pick#24: Indianapolis Colts

Original Pick: Dallas Clark

New Pick: Jason Witten (#69). Sorry to offend any Colts fans. Witten is a potential HOF TE. I'd be surprised if ANYONE took Dallas Clark over him now. Clark is really good, but not as versatile as Witten.

Pick#25: NY Giants

Original Pick: William Joseph

New Pick: Brandon Lloyd (#124). Brandon Lloyd. Hmmm. Maybe he could have been a Pro-Bowler from the start of his career if he had someone other than Tim Rattay throwing to him?

Pick#26: SF 49ers

Original Pick: Kwame Harris

New Pick: Wade Smith (#78). Would anyone even take Kwame in this draft now? Maybe someone dysfunctional, like Cleveland or Oakland... Didn't Oakland wind up having him for a minute?

Pick#27: KC Chiefs

Original Pick: Larry Johnson

New Pick: EJ Henderson (#40)

Pick#28: TENN Titans

Original Pick: Andre Wolfolk

New Pick: Rashean Mathis (#39)

Pick#29: GB Packers

Original Pick: Nick Barnett

New Pick: Cato June (#198)

Pick#30: SD Chargers

Original Pick: Sammy Davis

New Pick: Terrence McGee (#111)

Pick#31: OAK Raiders

Original Pick: Nnamdi Asomugha

New Pick: Ken Hamlin (#42)

Pick#32: OAK Raiders

Original Pick: Tyler Brayton

New Pick: Dan Koppen (#164)

So ends the first round. At least the 49ers got someone who can block halfway decently. Hopefully Jeff Faine, Kassim Osgood, and Quintin Mikell all fall to them. Maybe they avoid the dark ages that way. It would also help a lot if they don't let Jeff Garcia walk.

In an interesting twist, EVERY player taken in this mock was a Pro-Bowler. Some draft classes barely have enough Pro-Bowlers to fill out the Top 10, but this draft had a whole bunch of gems just waiting to be picked. Seven of them went undrafted.

Two of the Pro-Bowlers made it as long-snappers. Both of them played on the side of the AFC, so apparently, we do have the best long-snapper in the league; we probably will for the next 10 years. That was one position where we have been lucky for a long time now. Thank goodness for Brian Jennings.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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