Earlier this week, ESPN published an NFL redraft that got a lot of attention in cyberspace, in part because many of the selections seemed completely nonsensical, as in Denver Broncos QB Drew Lock getting drafted ahead of Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan, and Terry Bridgewater going to the Pittsburgh Steelers at pick No. 18.
But it inspired Pro Football Focus to do a four-round NFL redraft of its own, with “some of the brightest minds in football analytics along for the ride.”
The NFL analysts who participated have a twisted sense of humor, though, as Timo Riske, the PFF analyst who drafted for the Steelers, passed on a still-available Ben Roethlisberger and chose Tom Brady at No. 18 overall.
Then, later in round one, Evan Silva, drafting for the Baltimore Ravens, chose Roethlisberger at No. 28, which figures to make Ravens fans seethe, even though this is nothing more than an exercise.
Silva could have chosen Marquise Brown for the Ravens in round two, but alas, Antonio Brown’s cousin will not be Big Ben’s top target in this alternate universe, as Silva went with A.J. Brown of the Tennessee Titans.
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Rules for Pro Football Focus’ NFL Redraft
Before we go any further, it’s worth noting that the analysts used the same draft order as the 2020 NFL Draft. The stated goal for each team? To win a Super Bowl within five years. Only one quarterback allowed, and contracts were not considered as a factor.
3 Steelers Selected in the First Two Rounds of the Redraft
To date only two of the four rounds of the redraft have been completed, but a pair of other Steelers have already been picked.
JuJu Smith-Schuster went to the Carolina Panthers in round two at #58, and T.J. Watt went to the Los Angeles Chargers one pick later. It has to be somewhat of a surprise that Smith-Schuster would go ahead of Watt, and even more of a surprise that Watt would last until pick #59, as he was recently named the 28th-best player in the NFL by Pro Football Focus.
In the second round, Riske chose wide receiver Davante Adams for the Steelers at pick #47.
The quarterbacks who were selected ahead of Roethlisberger include: Kirk Cousins, Jared Goff, Cam Newton, Josh Allen, Daniel Jones, Philip Rivers, Sam Darnold, Dwayne Haskins and Jameis Winston, the latter still a potential long-term replacement for Roethlisberger in real-life.
One non-QB was drafted ahead of Roethlisberger, that being wide receiver Chris Godwin, who went to the Seattle Seahawks at No. 27 overall.
Never mind that PFF has Roethlisberger rated as one of the ten best quarterbacks in the NFL entering 2020.
Naturally, Patrick Mahomes went first overall in the draft to the Cincinnati Bengals, with Lamar Jackson going to the Washington Redskins second overall and Russell Wilson third overall to the Detroit Lions.
PFF plans to complete and post the broadcast of rounds three and four by Monday June 12.