1996 Draft Redo - What Should've Happened
USC WR Keyshawn Johnson
USC WR Keyshawn Johnson
Posted Apr 23, 2009

What should each team have done in the first round of the 1996 NFL Draft?

Draft Redo ... 1996

How should the drafts have gone?

By Pete Fiutak 

2006 Draft Redo | 2005 Draft Redo | 2004 Draft Redo | 2003 Draft Redo
2002 Draft Redo | 2001 Draft Redo | 2000 Draft Redo | 1999 Draft Redo
1998 Draft Redo | 1997 Draft Redo | 1996 Draft Redo | 1995 Draft Redo  
1994 Draft Redo | 1993 Draft Redo | 1992 Draft Redo | 1991 Draft Redo
1990 Draft Redo | 1989 Draft Redo

Here's a look at past NFL drafts looking to see what each team needed, who they all took in the first round, and in hindsight, who should've gone based on how their pro careers turned out (forgetting about proper coaching and other circumstances).

If each team could draft knowing what we all know now and not taking future drafts into account, this is how the first round should've gone.  There were 30 picks in the first round of the 1996 draft.

Who Went

How the Draft Should've Gone

1. New York Jets
Keyshawn Johnson, WR USC

LB Ray Lewis (1st), Miami
Baltimore Ravens

The 1995 Jets had league's 30th best offense out of 30. It's hard to say the Keyshawn pick didn't work out as he made an instant impact for the Jets, but he's gone. They should've taken one of the greatest linebackers to ever play the game.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars
Kevin Hardy, LB Illinois

RB Eddie George (1st), Ohio State
Houston Oilers

Jacksonville was a young team with a lot of inexperienced talent. This would've been the perfect situation for Eddie George as he wouldn't be as worn down later in his career with James Stewart splitting the carries for several years. Stewart might not have been as injury-prone with George handling the bulk of the workload.

3. Arizona Cardinals
Simeon Rice, LB/DE Illinois

WR Marvin Harrison (1st), Syracuse
Indianapolis Colts

Rice never developed into the superstar pass rusher many envisioned he'd be with the Cardinals. With Mr. Small Hands Dave Krieg, Mike Buck and Stoney Case, the Cards needed a quarterback. Since there isn't one worth a third round pick, much less the third pick overall, Harrison would be the selection just barley over Terrell Owens as the last thing this franchise needed was a head case. 

4. Baltimore Ravens
Jonathan Ogden, OT UCLA

OT Jonathan Ogden (1st), UCLA
Baltimore Ravens

Ogden never quite earned the "best lineman in the game" status, but he hasn't been far off as a mainstay of the Raven offensive line.

5. New York Giants
Cedric Jones, LB Oklahoma

WR Terrell Owens (3rd), UT Chattanooga
San Francisco 49ers

Jones was considered a bit of a reach at the fifth pick and injuries and inconsistent play did nothing to justify the selection. With a receiving corps of Chris Calloway, Mike Sherrard and Arthur Marshall, a receiver is a must and Owens is just too great a talent to pass up. Now if only Danger Dave Brown and Tommy Maddox can get him the ball. 

6. Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams
Lawrence Phillips, RB Nebraska

WR Keyshawn Johnson (1st), USC
New York Jets

Phillips had all the talent in the world with a rare combination of quickness and power, but had the mental makeup of a four-year-old. The Rams should stick with Jerome Bettis at running back and give Isaac Bruce some receiving help while bunkering down for the whine-fest from the ridiculously overrated Keyshawn after the move of the Rams from L.A. to St. Louis. Johnson would've eventually thrived with Kurt Warner throwing him the damn ball.

7. New England Patriots
Terry Glenn, WR Ohio State

DB Lawyer Milloy (2nd), Washington
New England Patriots

At this point in the retro-mock draft, there's much weeping and gnashing of teeth in the Patriot front office as they desperately need a receiver and the three best just flew off the board. Milloy turned out to be one of the top hitting safeties in football and a leader of the New England defense. 

8. Carolina Panthers
Tim Biakabatuka, RB Michigan

RB Stephen Davis (4th), Auburn
Washington Redskins

Biakabatuka might have had the upper hand in his final matchup with Eddie George in college, but the Panthers blew it by taking him over the Buckeye star. Davis might have taken a while to get rolling, but he would've turned into the consistent player the Panthers were hoping for, and eventually got. 

9. Oakland Raiders
Rickey Dudley, TE Ohio State

LB Zach Thomas (5th), Texas Tech
Miami Dolphins

Dudley had a body made of granite coming out of college. Unfortunately, that included his hands. While the Raiders could've used more help on offense, how great would Thomas have looked, and played, in a Raider uniform? He never, ever, ever would've been a Raider as he lacked the speed and pizzazz coming out of college that Al Davis holds so dear.

10. Cincinnati Bengals
Willie Anderson, OT Auburn

OT Willie Anderson (1st), Auburn
Cincinnati Bengals

I know ... the Bengals didn't exactly set the world on fire after taking Anderson in 1996. While this is a boring pick for a boring team, you can't argue with his production turning into a consistent fixture on the line.

11. New Orleans Saints
Alex Molden, DB Oregon

OG Jeff Hartings (1st), Penn State
Detroit Lions

Molden was humongous bust for the Saints rarely cracking the starting lineup. Add Hartings to the line along with Willie Roaf and the Saints would've had one of the league's strongest front walls for the next ten years. Hartings was a 2004 Pro Bowl performer. 

12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Regan Upshaw, DE California

DE/LB Simeon Rice (1st), Illinois
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rice didn't quite live up to third-overall-pick status, but after turning out to be a star with Tampa Bay, he would've been a good pick for the Bucs. 

13. Chicago Bears
Walt Harris, DB Mississippi State

FS Brian Dawkins (2nd), Clemson
Philadelphia Eagles

Harris hurt the Bears more than he helped them never developing into the player they needed.  Dawkins would've given Chicago's poor pass defense more consistency and far more production.

14. Houston Oilers
Eddie George, RB Ohio State

WR Eric Moulds (1st), Mississippi State
Buffalo Bills

Every year Moulds appeared to be just-this-close to breaking into the elite level of receivers. Even though he hadn't turned into the elite receiver many thought he'd be, he'd be a nice piece to the Oiler/Titan puzzle helping out a young Steve McNair.

15. Denver Broncos
John Mobley, LB Kutztown State

LB Tedy Bruschi (3rd), Arizona
New England Patriots

How can you argue with the heart-and-soul leadership Bruschi provided for three Super Bowl defenses? He'd have been a key piece to the Denver defensive puzzle for years.

16. Minnesota Vikings
Duane Clemons, DE California

DT La'Roi Glover, (5th), San Diego State
Oakland Raiders

With John Randle eating up most of the attention on the Viking defensive line, Glover would've racked up even more than the 71.5 sacks he had by 2004.

17. Detroit Lions
Reggie Brown, LB Texas A&M

LB Kevin Hardy (1st), Illinois
Jacksonville Jaguars

Brown was turning into a solid player before he was injured. Hardy really shouldn't slide any further than this.

18. Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams
Eddie Kennison, WR LSU

WR Joe Horn (5th), Itawamba CC
Kansas City Chiefs

The Rams already took Keyshawn with the sixth pick and by taking Horn, the Rams will have one of the league's most frightening receiving corps with two big wideouts working the seams and the Reverend Ike Bruce flying by on the outside. I hear there's this guy in the Arena League who's seems to have a nice touch on the ball who can throw to their young stars. (note: I'm not dealing with the Kurt Warner situation until the 1997 season even though he technically could've been drafted in 1994. He wouldn't have been the same player had he not played in the Arena League.)

19. Indianapolis Colts
Marvin Harrison, WR Syracuse

G Marco Rivera (6th), Penn State
Green Bay Packers

WRs Sean Dawkins and Floyd Turner aren't scaring anyone and they'd consider taking Mushin Muhammad or Joe Horn, but they'll take the steady Rivera instead to help open holes for Marshall Faulk.

20. Miami Dolphins
Daryl Gardner, DT Baylor

WR Amani Toomer (2nd), Michigan
New York Giants

This is a they-have-to-win-now pick as Dan Marino doesn't have a lot of throws left. With Randal Hill not working out, O.J. McDuffie merely average and Irving Fryar and Gary Clark ready for the Senior Tour, they'll take the speed of Toomer hoping beyond all hope that he's the missing piece the Dolphins need. 

21. Seattle Seahawks
Pete Kendall, OG Boston College 

OG Pete Kendall (1st), Boston College
Seattle Seahawks

Placing a premium on consistency for offensive linemen, Kendall is the pick even though he jumped ship to Arizona in 2001. He gave the Seahawks 75 straight starts. 

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
Marcus Jones, DT North Carolina

RB Mike Alstott (2nd), Purdue
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Jones took a while to turn into the player Tampa Bay thought it was getting with the 22nd pick. Not wanting to wait five rounds, they're taking Alstott now before anyone else grabs him.

23. Detroit Lions
Jeff Hartings, OG Penn State

LB Donnie Edwards (4th), UCLA
Kansas City Chiefs

Detroit got a total steal getting Kevin Hardy at the 17 in the redo draft and had another gift fall into it's lap getting Edwards here to help make linebacker a position of strength for the Lions.

24. Buffalo Bills
Eric Moulds, WR Mississippi State

WR Terry Glenn (1st), Ohio State
New England Patriots

Moulds was a nice player for the Bills who helped carry the passing game for years. Glenn would be a bit more explosive and a good receiver to plug in for ten years.

25. Philadelphia Eagles
Jermane Mayberry, OG Texas A&M-Kingsville

OL Chris Villarrial (5th), Indiana PA
Chicago Bears

This is a truly boring pick, but Villarrial will give Philadelphia the offensive lineman it needs for the next several seasons.

26. Baltimore Ravens
Ray Lewis, LB Miami

DB Jerome Woods (1st), Memphis
Kansas City Chiefs

Woods isn't spectacular, but he has been a steady starter for the Chiefs and I'm not waiting for Tory James to be a playmaker several years down the road. Even though Muhsin Muhammad is still on the board, Cleveland/Baltimore had Andre Rison, Keenan McCardell, Michael Dyson/Jackson and Derrick Alexander.

27. Green Bay Packers
John Michels, OT USC

WR Muhsin Muhammad (2nd), Michigan State
Carolina Panthers

With Robert Brooks and Antonio Freeman the Pack didn't really need Muhammad, but you can't give Mr. Favre enough weapons to work with.

28. Kansas City Chiefs
Jerome Woods, DB Memphis

LB Earl Holmes (4th), Florida A&M
Pittsburgh Steelers

Fine, so Holmes likely would've never, ever lasted this long. Over 11 years he cranked out 678 tackles in 140 games.

29. Pittsburgh Steelers
Jamain Stephens, OT North Carolina A&T

TE Jay Riemersma (7th), Michigan
Buffalo Bills

Stephens was nothing more than mediocre. Riemersma would've helped the receiving corps of Yancey Thigpen, Andre Hastings, Charles Johnson and Ernie Mills. 

30. Washington Redskins
Andre Johnson, OT Penn State

DB Tory James (2nd), LSU
Denver Broncos

James would turn into a Pro Bowl player after a while and would've been a great pick, eventually, late in the first round.