The 2016 NFL Draft is almost here, which means everything that happens between now and then is just a pointless endeavor to pass the time while we await
disappointment the next obvious San Francisco 49ers superstar. And as far as pointless endeavors go, I'm quite partial to taking a look at previous NFL Drafts and, specifically, re-drafts.
Over at NFL.com, they put together a 2014 re-draft and the differences are obvious right out of the gate. They have the Houston Texans going from taking Jadeveon Clowney, a disappointing defender with injury concerns, to taking Derek Carr, a very promising franchise quarterback that will dig the Oakland Raiders out of the whole they're in if it costs him his life.
Teddy Bridgewater then goes to the Los Angeles Rams, the Jacksonville Jaguars actually stick with Blake Bortles, while both the Buffalo Bills and Raiders also pick the same players in Sammy Watkins and Khalil Mack. Let's jump ahead a bit, to pick No. 29, where the New England Patriots went from taking Dominique Easley to taking ... running back Carlos Hyde.
The Patriots are looking for a young power back, so it's no surprise they would seek out Hyde. The Patriots released Easley this week.
The 49ers picked after that. Previously, they selected Jimmie Ward, a player I think we all have sudden hope in after he went from doing absolutely nothing to looking like an above-average cornerback last year. He may have redeemed himself but the jury is still out on him.
This re-draft, though, doesn't do anything particularly sexy when it comes to the 49ers. In fact, it has them eschewing Ward in favor of a player they took ... four rounds later in the actual draft: outside linebacker Aaron Lynch.
Ward had injury issues in his rookie year, but flashed talent as a nickel back for San Francisco in 2015. Still, Lynch's ability to set the edge and rush the passer is more valued as of today, so I'll have the Niners moving their fifth-round selection into the first round, where many thought he could be drafted as a freshman All-American at Notre Dame. Scouts soured on him during his time at USF and the pre-draft process, but the talent was always there.
Again, it's not necessarily a sexy pick given the 49ers already have both players. In that way, it makes it something of a boring recap. But if you look at the fact that Joel Bitonio and Jimmy Garoppolo are the kinds of players going after them, I don't think the 49ers are screwed here or anything. In fact, I could see Lynch going sooner in a re-draft scenario, so perhaps they're lucky if anything.