Second chances
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - We'd all like to redo some of our draft picks, especially the important selections from rounds 1-3.

That can never happen -- once the names are called the picks are set in stone -- but it's still fun to wonder what we would do differently with a second chance. After all, hindsight is 20-20.

Here are 10 changes I think we would see with a re-draft.

Second quarterback selected: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints over Tom Brady, New England Patriots - Brees was taken after Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady in most drafts since owners didn't know what to expect from New Orleans without Sean Payton. While Brees' completion percentage is down 10.4 percent, he's averaged more yards and touchdowns per game than during his record setting 2011-12 season. Brady, meanwhile, has been solid but far less prolific than Brees due to New England's successful attempts to establish a strong running game.

Fourth quarterback selected: Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins over Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers - Griffin has followed in Newton's footsteps and made a huge splash in fantasy as a rookie. Unfortunately, Newton has regressed a bit while Griffin has been one of the top scorers.

Fifth quarterback selected: Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons over Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions - Stafford was the fifth quarterback selected on average according to but Ryan has far exceeded his numbers. The two aren't far apart in yardage per game but Ryan has 14 passing touchdowns in six games to Stafford's four in five.

Sixth quarterback selected: Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos over Eli Manning, New York Giants - If we re-drafted we probably would see the top six QBs go Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Robert Griffin III, Matt Ryan and Peyton Manning in some order followed by Eli Manning, Cam Newton and Matthew Stafford. The elder Manning has been tremendous after missing all of last season, averaging 301.3 yards per game and tossing 14 TDs. Manning has thrown for three touchdowns in three straight games and 300-plus yards in four.

Fourth running back selected: Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings over Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders - The reasoning behind drafting Peterson after McFadden was never sound. Peterson was coming off an ACL tear so owners were wary about selecting him but McFadden has never played 16 games in a season. The risk in taking either player was about equal. Both running backs have been healthy this season but Peterson has been the better player by far, averaging 93.1 yards and 4.8 yards per carry to McFadden's 54.0 and 3.1.

Fifth running back selected: Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs over Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans - Johnson's Week 7 performance -- 195 yards, two TDs -- aside, Charles is the running back I'd rather have. He's bested Johnson's yardage total by 95 yards and equaled his rushing TD total despite playing one less game.

Seventh running back selected: Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers over DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys - Amid rumors that his role would be reduced, Gore fell dramatically in drafts. Those rumors have been proven true -- Gore is only averaging 14.7 carries per game compared to 17.6 last season -- but the running back has done more with less. Gore has a ridiculous 5.8 yards per carry average through seven games, up from 4.3 in 2011-12. Murray missed Week 7 but even before that he wasn't measuring up to Gore due to Dallas' offensive line woes. In five games, the second-year back is only averaging 66.0 yards per game and 4.4 ypc.

Second receiver selected: A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals over Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons - These two will forever be linked since they were drafted within two picks of each other in 2011. Fantasy owners should have followed that blueprint, especially because Green was considered the better prospect prior to the draft and had a better rookie year than Jones. Green has bested Jones again this season, averaging 6.3 receptions, 90.9 yards and one TD per game to Jones' 5, 62.7 and 0.7.

Third receiver selected: Brandon Marshall, WR, Chicago Bears over Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals - Marshall has found solace with a familiar face while Fitzgerald has been terrorized by the same recurring nightmares as last season. Marshall's reunion with former Broncos teammate Jay Cutler in Chicago this season has resulted in 7 receptions and 99.2 yards per game with three TDs. Fitzgerald has had to play with Kevin Kolb and John Skelton again and as a result has only recorded one 100-yard game in seven weeks.

Third tight end selected: Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons over Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers - Gates seemed like a great choice as the first TE off the board after Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski, but he's been a massive disappointment, catching just 19 passes in five games. He also left many owners without another option after being scratched from Week 2 shortly before game time despite reports that he would play. Gonzalez has benefited from the outside attention Julio Jones and Roddy White have attracted this season, catching 43 passes for 430 yards and four TDs in six games.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at

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