1998 Draft Redo - What Should've Happened
Tennessee QB Peyton Manning
Tennessee QB Peyton Manning
Posted Apr 23, 2009

What should each team have done in the first round of the 1998 NFL Draft?

Draft Redo ... 1998

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 1998 draft. It starts to get really fun now as this draft is recent enough that it's time to call players out for being busts.

Who Went

How the Draft Should've Gone

1. Indianapolis Colts
Peyton Manning, QB Tennessee

QB Peyton Manning (1st), Tennessee
Indianapolis Colts

While Manning has yet to win a really, really big game and gives the ball away in pressure games like he was playing Florida every week, he's still one of the league's best quarterbacks. I'd consider taking Randy Moss with the number one. You could pick a fan out of the stands and he'd throw 35 touchdowns a year with Moss and Marvin Harrison to throw to.

2. San Diego Chargers
Ryan Leaf, QB Washington State

WR Randy Moss (1st), Marshall
Minnesota Vikings

When he decides to play and is really on, Moss is one of best players in the NFL. As sacrilegious as this may sound considering how great Jerry Rice was, Moss might be the most dangerous receiver to ever play the game. Yeah, the Leaf pick is an all-timer, but he has been to just as many Super Bowls as Manning.

3. Arizona Cardinals
Andre Wadsworth, DE Florida State

CB Charles Woodson (1st), Michigan
Oakland Raiders

Wadsworth looked like a lock to go to several Pro Bowls and reverse Arizona's draft luck. He held out way too long, looked lost when he reported, then got injured. Woodson, when healthy, is one of the NFL's premier corners. 

4. Oakland Raiders
Charles Woodson, CB Michigan

RB Ahman Green (3rd), Nebraska
Green Bay Packers

The Raiders needed an all-purpose running back and even though it took him a little while to shine, Green turned into a top NFL back. 

5. Chicago Bears
Curtis Enis, RB Penn State

DE Grant Wistrom (1st), Nebraska
St. Louis Rams

Enis was weird, slow, weird, unproductive, goofy and weird from the second he came to Chicago. There are better defensive linemen in the NFL than Wistrom, but few turned out to have his heart.

6. St. Louis Rams
Grant Wistrom, DE Nebraska

QB Brian Griese (3rd), Michigan
Denver Broncos

In 1998, I still don't know Kurt Warner is Kurt Warner yet and Griese is a major reach at the six. Even though he was hurt too much and took a giant leap backwards in 2001, the Rams needed a QB to replace Mark Rypien and Tony Banks. Wouldn't Griese shine under Mike Martz?

7. New Orleans Saints
Kyle Turley, OT San Diego State

OT Kyle Turley (1st), San Diego State
New Orleans Saints

Turley might be a bit of a reach with the seventh pick, but you don't find fiery tackles who start every game. 

8. Dallas Cowboys
Greg Ellis, DE North Carolina

LB Takeo Spikes (1st), Auburn
Cincinnati Bengals

Ellis wasn't a bad pick. Spikes is just a far better playmaker and would've been great on the turf of Texas Stadium.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars
Fred Taylor, RB Florida

OT Flozell Adams (2nd), Michigan State
Dallas Cowboys

When healthy, Fred Taylor was the NFL's second best running back behind Marshall Faulk. Taylor's inability to stay on the field has killed the Jaguars as they spend year after year trying to work around his injuries. Paired with Tony Boselli, taking Flozell the Hotel (a 2004 Pro Bowl performer) here and his consistent starting ability would give the Jaguars the league's best tackles.

10. Baltimore Ravens
Duane Starks, CB MIami

LB Keith Brooking (1st), Georgia Tech
Atlanta Falcons

Starks was a wonderful player for the Ravens picking off twenty passes, but he left for Arizona after four years and they want a player who might stick around longer. Brooking paired with Ray Lewis would form a lethal linebacking corps and would allow the Ravens to play Peter Boulware at DE full-time.

11. Philadelphia Eagles
Tra Thomas, OT Florida State

OT Tra Thomas (1st), Florida State
Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles have gotten several years of starts and some Pro Bowls from Thomas as he got better and better. No need to mess with the pick.

12. Atlanta Falcons
Keith Brooking, LB Georgia Tech

QB Matt Hasselbeck (6th), Boston College
Green Bay Packers

Atlanta doesn't have Michael Vick yet and needs a quarterback to work with. Would Hasselbeck be Hasselbeck without Mike Holmgren coaching him? It's worth taking the chance.

13. Cincinnati Bengals
Takeo Spikes, LB Auburn

QB Jake Delhomme (undrafted), UL Lafayette
Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati doesn't have Carson Palmer yet and could've used Delhomme right away for his fire and leadership.

14. Carolina Panthers
Jason Peter, DT Nebraska

DE Vonnie Holliday (1st), North Carolina
Green Bay Packers

Peter stuck with the Panthers, but he was a bust. Holliday would've been the better pick as a good pass rusher after moving to end.

15. Seattle Seahawks
Anthony Simmons, LB Clemson

LB Jeremiah Trotter (3rd), Stephen F. Austin
Philadelphia Eagles

Simmons hasn't been a star, but he was a nice pick. Trotter would've been better.

16. Houston Oilers
Kevin Dyson, WR Utah

WR Hines Ward (3rd), Georgia
Pittsburgh Steelers

I'm not taking Dyson here on principle alone as the receiver-challenged Oilers choice to wuss out on Randy Moss cost them at least one Super Bowl. Ward turned into a top target after a few years finally breaking out in 2002. He probably deserves to go higher.

17. Cincinnati Bengals
Brian Simmons, LB North Carolina

LB Sam Cowart (2nd), Florida State
Buffalo Bills

Even though he became a Jet, Cowart was a huge pick for the Bills in the second round and would've been a better pick than Simmons. 

18. New England Patriots
Robert Edwards, RB Georgia

RB Fred Taylor (1st), Florida
Jacksonville Jaguars

Edwards was one of the league's best young running backs before an NFL sanctioned game of beach football tore up his knee almost costing him his leg. Taylor, injuries and all, would've been a better fit had he lasted this long.

19. Green Bay Packers
Vonnie Holliday, DT North Carolina

OL Jeremy Newberry (2nd), California
San Francisco 49ers

Newberry is a versatile and steady player going to a Green Bay line that needed both. Alan Faneca wouldn't be a bad pick, either.

20. Detroit Lions
Terry Fair, CB Tennessee

DE Greg Ellis (1st), North Carolina
Dallas Cowboys

Fair was, well, a fair pick considering he went one pick before Moss. Ellis turned into a better pass rusher as his career went on.

21. Minnesota Vikings
Randy Moss, WR Marshall 

WR Az-Zahir Hakim (4th), San Diego State
St. Louis Rams

With his speed and return ability, Hakim would've fit in nicely as a number three receiver next to Cris Carter and Jake Reed.

22. New England Patriots
Tebucky Jones, DB Syracuse

DB Donovin Darius (1st), Syracuse
Jacksonville Jaguars

Jones was a good pick, but Darius became a fixture in the Jacksonville secondary for years and probably should've gone higher.

23. Oakland Raiders
Mo Collins, OT Florida

OG Alan Faneca (1st), LSU
Pittsburgh Steelers

Faneca isn't flashy, but Pittsburgh won't argue with having a guard who has started for several straight years and made the 2004 Pro Bowl.

24. New York Giants
Shaun Williams, DB UCLA

DB Patrick Surtain (2nd), Southern Miss
Miami Dolphins 

The light finally went on for Williams who turned into a solid all-around player for New York after a painful and totally unproductive first two seasons. Surtain would've been the far better defensive back for the Giants.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars
Donovin Darius, DB Syracuse

CB Duane Starks (1st), Miami 
Baltimore Ravens

Starks turned out to be far too productive right off the bat to slide any further than this for a team that needed secondary help.

26. Pittsburgh Steelers
Alan Faneca, OG LSU

OT Mo Collins (1st), Florida
Oakland Raiders

Tackles are hard to find and Collins turned into a steady fixture on the Raider line.

27. Kansas City Chiefs
Victor Riley, OT Auburn

OT Victor Riley (1st), Auburn
Kansas City Chiefs

Injuries slowed Riley down a little bit and the Chiefs lost him to New Orleans. It's probably not fair to punish a player in this draft exercise when he leaves for free agency, but it is a factor and that's why he slipped.

28. San Francisco 49ers
R.W. McQuarters, DB Oklahoma State

LB Brian Simmons (1st), North Carolina
Cincinnati Bengals

Isn't R.W. McQuarters the mid-priced restaurant by the mall next to T.G.I. Friday's, Bennigan's and Chili's? The Niners gave up on McQuarters too early and he's turned out to be a decent player for Chicago. Simmons might have slipped way too far in this draft.

29. Miami Dolphins
John Avery, RB Mississippi

LB Anthony Simmons (1st), Clemson
Seattle Seahawks

The Avery experiment just didn't work. Simmons is a good enough taclker to have fit in well in the Miami defense.

30. Denver Broncos
Marcus Nash, WR Tennessee

WR Kevin Dyson (1st), Utah
Tennessee Titans

Through 2002, Dyson had 18 touchdown catches. Randy Moss had 17 touchdowns in 1998 alone. While Dyson was hardly a star and probably isn't worth a first round pick, Denver needed a WR to complement Rod Smith and Ed McCaffrey.