"Umm, can we have a redo?"
A question I'm sure each NFL team, at one point or another, wishes they could realistically ask. Ahh, if only.
As they say, "hindsight is 20/20." Well, when discussing the NFL Draft, hindsight is even clearer. It's Lasik on top of glasses on top of contact lenses. It's x-ray vision. You know, being able to see through walls, being able to spot future studs and future duds.
This year, though only in Week 6, several teams are presumably already second-guessing their first-round picks. Here are four such teams and who they shoulda—the dreaded woulda, coulda, shoulda—selected.
Jacksonville Jaguars: WR Justin Blackmon, No. 5 Overall
Drafting Blackmon this high was wrong for two major reasons: Quality wide receivers can be found throughout the entire draft, and most importantly, Blaine Gabbert is the quarterback. That's like buying a baby an iPad. It's a fun gadget, sure, but a baby cannot use it to its full capacity.
Blackmon himself has underwhelmed, too. Through five games, the rookie has been targeted only 31 times, which ranks 33rd in the league. Of those 31 targets, he has 13 receptions for 119 yards, three drops and has yet to reach the end zone. A far cry from his days at Oklahoma State, where he scored 40 touchdowns in three seasons.
Shoulda Been: CB Morris Claiborne
The No. 6 overall pick—the Cowboys moved up eight slots in the draft to select him—has looked the part early on. He has started each game and been targeted just 14 times, a number that highlights his coverage skills.
Cleveland Browns: QB Brandon Weeden, No. 22 Overall
Maybe he does really get it now. Maybe he will turn things around. Maybe he was the right pick for the Browns.
Notice a trend here?
Too many "maybes" surround the 29-year-old rookie passer. He was supposed to be mature, accurate and ready to contribute in Week 1. Instead, he had a four-interception performance (5.1 rating) in the opener and has had six more picks since then—compared to seven total touchdowns. At the worst, Weeden was supposed to be an upgrade over former starter Colt McCoy, but that has hardly been the case. He's 1-5 as a starter with his lone win over the Bengals on Sunday.
Shoulda Been: DE Chandler Jones
Guarantee: A lot of teams, possibly every team, are slapping themselves for passing on this physical (and uber-productive) specimen. Jones has already racked up 21 tackles, five sacks and three forced fumbles.
San Francisco 49ers: WR A.J. Jenkins, No. 30 Overall
To be fair, Jenkins has yet to play a single snap of regular-season action. For all we know, he could be the next Jerry Rice—after all, the legend has publicly expressed an interest in training with the young rookie.
I call this a "rainy-day pick" because the 49ers, already stacked at the position, just don't need Jenkins now. In the meantime, he's getting the bulk of his reps for the scout team, imitating other receivers until he gets a chance.
Shoulda Been: CB Janoris Jenkins
The other Jenkins was viewed as a top-10 talent but slid into the second round due to character concerns. So far, he's played like a top-10 talent on the field—24 total tackles, one interception and seven passes defended—while avoiding issues off of it.
Buffalo Bills: CB Stephon Gilmore, No. 10 Overall
Gilmore is hardly to blame for a pass defense that allows 256.3 yards per game, but he is hardly the solution. The defense as a whole is falling short, way short, of expectations—heck, the entire team top to bottom is.
Gilmore has been targeted (and torched) often this season. He does have 25 tackles, eight passes defended and one forced fumble. The potential is there. It just may take a while before it is fulfilled.
Shoulda Been: QB Russell Wilson
Let me explain before you shut your laptop in disgust. While Gilmore has struggled, this is more about the ongoing struggles of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Wilson, though undersized, is the natural leader and gritty winner this team is missing. Plus, a backfield of Wilson, C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson sounds very lethal.
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