The team at Pro Football Focus attempted to answer that question and more on Friday during an NFL re-draft exercise, inspired by the four-round re-draft put on by ESPN’s NFL Nation reporters earlier this week.
In laying parameters for the 32-team re-draft, PFF set the following rules:
All current NFL players are available, and the order is the same as the 2020 NFL Draft The goal for each team is to compete for a Super Bowl within a five-year window Only one quarterback is allowed per team Contracts do not matter
With those in mind, four PFF analysts and a pair of outside contributors, Evan Silva and Josh Hermsmeyer, completed the draft’s first two rounds on Friday, with the final two rounds scheduled to be published on Monday, June 15.
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Aaron Donald to Kansas City?
Unsurprisingly, Chiefs superstar Patrick Mahomes was the top overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals. While the Super Bowl MVP was the only Kansas City representative selected in Round 1, teammates TE Travis Kelce (Seahawks; No. 38) and S Tyrann Mathieu (Jaguars; No. 56) were picked shortly thereafter in Round 2.
When it came to the defending champions’ No. 32 overall pick, Hermsmeyer, a writer and football analyst at FiveThirtyEight.com, selected Los Angeles Rams five-time All Pro DT Aaron Donald before immediately following up with Washington Redskins DE Chase Young at the top of the second round.
With the majority of the league’s top passers off the board, Hermsmeyer took a different team-building approach:
“I love the idea of beefing up a secondary, but I’m at the turn here, and even two stud cornerbacks is leaving me at least one — and probably two — links short of having a dominant secondary. What I can do at this turn is make a devastating front line — an incredible D-line. And so what do you do? You take the best current defensive lineman in all the NFL in Aaron Donald, and then on the way back you take one of the best prospects that we’ve seen on the edge in whoever knows how long in youngster Chase Young.” – Josh Hermsmeyer
A.D. Named PFF’s No. 1 Overall Player For 2020
Earlier this month, PFF named Donald the league’s No. 1 overall player on its annual list of the NFL’s 50 best players — one spot ahead of Mahomes. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year is arguably the NFL’s most intimidating defensive threat with 72.0 sacks and 15 forced fumbles in six seasons as a starter.
The 13th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the 29-year-old Donald was selected 10 spots ahead of Kansas City’s No. 23 choice, Auburn DE/OLB Dee Ford.
While the Chiefs were rumored to be considering a first-round quarterback to eventually replace then-QB Alex Smith, the front office elected to go defense with Blake Bortles (Jaguars; No. 3) and Johnny Manziel (Browns; No. 22) off the board. K.C. would later welcome former Georgia QB Aaron Murray into the fold in Round 5.