If we knew then:Two SI experts construct the best and worst possible 2007 drafts
O.K. , WE'RE ONthe clock—Salvador Dalí's melting clock, which persistently bends time andwhich also has allowed David Sabino and Adam Duerson to go back and, withbrilliant hindsight, construct what would have turned out to be the perfectdraft, and also the perfectly nightmarish draft, for 2007.
The rules:Players were to be "selected" around the time they might have gone inreal drafts; thus Tom Brady goes here in the third round, not the first. Ourdrafters were given middle-of-the-pack selection positions, where the firstpicks were less obvious. The nightmare draft could not be a mere injury report,a parade of limping Steven Jacksons and Laurence Maroneys. Finally, we imbuedthe nightmare draft with a modicum of football smarts and misguidedconventional wisdom; the first overall pick is not Brodie Croyle.
In fact, bothdrafts are, in their way, a testament to how many false assumptions werefloating around last summer and to what an unpredictable season this has been.The fictional commentary is written from the naive perspective of late August,when so many of us, it turns out, knew so little.
If the nightmaredraft looks distressingly familiar to you, our apologies for reopening thosewounds. After all, you've been through enough already.
At this pick thebest that's left is the multipurpose Westbrook.
So close togetting Reggie Bush. Instead, here's a guy in the Dolphins' doghouse. Woof.
32 Tom Brady
Would havepreferred Palmer or Brees; hard to mesh with three new WRs at once.
Without a ChesterTaylor handcuff, this pick could really backfire.
After all thesedodgy choices, it's time to make one safe pick.
He's been indecline lately, but he's one of the few starting RBs left on the board.
80 Randy Moss
He won't beMinnesota Moss; just hoping he's not Raider Randy.
Why is he goingto blossom? Two words: Brady Quinn.
RB He won't getevery touch, but those goal line carries will be nice.
113 Tony Romo
Just hope he canget over botching that hold in the playoffs last year.
He should get atleast some of the third-down/goal line work behind Tatum Bell.
The ex-Ram shouldbe a solid possession receiver to play off Reggie Brown.
He's the Mosssafety plan. One or the other should work out, then cut the lesser of thetwo.
Talented yetinjury prone, but he'll come in handy during San Diego's bye week.
Everything'sconnected. If the Pats' offense doesn't gel, their LBs will keep gamesclose.
185 Nick Folk
If this rookiedoesn't pan out, it's easy enough to find another kicker.
He's back tobeing the healthy player who scored 28 TDs in 2005.
He's gone over1,100 yards receiving and 10 TDs every year since 1999.
With Thomas Jonesnow a Jet, 2005's fourth overall pick will dominate.
Two Pro Bowlreceivers, a top back and a blue-chip left tackle? Money in the bank!
53 Tatum Bell
The scatback willfill the old Marshall Faulk role in Mike Martz's offense.
Exit one Nebraskaback (Ahman Green), enter a younger model.
Davis, healthyand hooking up with Alex Smith, should book tickets for Honolulu.
Heck, Young couldoutrush some of the RBs still available, like LaMont Jordan.
Betts ran for1,154 yards last year, and Clinton Portis is injury prone.
Turnovers plusDevin Hester? Hey, opponents can't possibly kick away from him every singletime.
He's been thebest receiver named Moss for three straight years.
How does a guywho led the NFC last season with 98 catches drop this far?
Gould has beengold for the NFC champs, whose offense will be even better this year.
The rookie fromUSC is the next Keyshawn johnson.
173 Joe Horn
The veteran deepthreat will produce, even with Joey Harrington at QB.
He should bereeling in half of Vince Young's touchdown tosses.
J.C. RIDLEY/CAL SPORTS MEDIA (ROMO)
Romo has 21 TDs this year; Bulger (below) has three.
TOM HAUCK /GETTY IMAGES (BULGER)