Now, after a season is in the books, SI's Don Banks has redrafted the players of the 2013 class. Where would they be drafted now?
For the Arizona Cardinals, it means that they would not have taken Cooper with the seventh overall pick. Banks believes that it would be tackle Lane Johnson, who was drafted by the Eagles in real life.
The Cardinals' sub-par offensive line got the attention in April, and it gets our attempt at re-address here as well. Cooper suffered a broken leg in preseason and didn't even make it to September. Johnson had a very solid first season in Philadelphia and excelled in run-blocking at right tackle. He needs to improve in pass-blocking, but he got better at it as the season unfolded and used his athleticism to great advantage as the Eagles' run game led Chip Kelly's team to the playoffs.
While the Cardinals likely would have loved to have taken Johnson, the fact that he played right tackle would not have been much help. He does project to be a left tackle, but he didn't play there this year. That would not have been as helpful. Of course, putting him on the left side would have given us a picture of what he can do.
Another Arizona Cardinals player makes it into the redrafted first round -- Tyrann Mathieu, who was the Cardinals' third round selection. He would have landed with the Carolina Panthers, rather than Star Lotulelei.
Mathieu went down with a torn ACL and LCL in Week 14, otherwise he'd be even higher in our re-drafted first round. The Cardinals used their third-round pick perfectly, shifting him between slot cornerback and free safety, with great results. With Carolina just out of the money in terms of the draft's three best defensive tackles, adding a playmaking force to its sometimes suspect secondary would be a valuable consolation prize. And can you imagine the practice-field battles between Steve Smith and Mathieu?
Would you have rather had Johnson or the injured Cooper? Would Johnson have been the cure for the left tackle ills the team has had almost every season since the team came to Arizona? What do you think of the rest of Banks' redrafting?
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