Redrafting the entire NFL, Part 3: Teams seek value as rosters are finalized
Imagine this: An error is discovered in the legal language of the NFL's rulebook that immediately renders all player contracts null and void. To restart the league, a draft is planned. All players are eligible to be selected.
In this four-part series, theScore's NFL editors draft on behalf of the league's 32 teams, with each employing a unique roster-building strategy, explaining their picks as they go.
If you're just joining us now, we suggest going back to the beginning to see the rules, Monday's Round 1 selections, and then Tuesday's Rounds 2-10. Today, we're completing the draft with Rounds 11-25.
We wrap up Friday with a Madden simulation.
Got all that? Let's find out how our initial 25-man squads came together. Final rosters for every team are available here.
Rounds 11-25 👇
The Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos were the only teams to enter Day 3 without a quarterback. The Lions doubled down on their belief in Jared Goff in Round 11 before taking Marcus Mariota as an insurance policy 12 rounds later. Meanwhile, Denver took Ben Roethlisberger in Round 14 and Taylor Heinicke in Round 24. Both could be looking for answers under center as soon as 2022. Elsewhere, the Buffalo Bills set up a competition between Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton, while Drew Lock couldn't sniff a starting job after ending up with the Cleveland Browns as a backup to Aaron Rodgers.
As the draft entered the middle rounds, it was clear one position was being valued above all (aside from quarterback): wide receiver. After teams scooped up all the high-end starters early (37 wideouts were taken from Rounds 2 to 6) the talent had all but run out by Round 15. Some clubs were therefore forced to turn to an assortment of unproven youngsters and over-the-hill veterans to round out their receiving corps. The massive variance in receiving talent on some teams compared to others is one of the biggest takeaways from the redraft.
Similar to wide receiver, some teams saw the talent at offensive line evaporate quickly and had some work to do entering Day 3. Sixty-eight offensive linemen were taken over the last 10 rounds and few of whom you'd feel comfortable with protecting a franchise quarterback. It was a foreseeable problem, considering the NFL has shown it doesn't have enough quality linemen to go around. Teams like the Eagles, Bears, and Lions picked up at least two star offensive linemen early in the draft and are in a far more stable position than the likes of the Giants, Colts, and Chargers, who all opted to wait to reinforce the unit.
The two positions that were clearly deemed the least valuable were linebacker and running back. Only 20 linebackers were taken in the opening 10 rounds, leaving a ton of depth for teams to exploit in the final 25 rounds. Meanwhile, teams that passed on running backs in the first 320 picks were seemingly rewarded for their patience. Players capable of leading a backfield such as Austin Ekeler, James Robinson, Nyheim Hines, Tony Pollard, and D'Andre Swift were picked up from Round 17 onward.
Check back Thursday to find out how these teams fared in a Madden simulation!