If the 2012 draft was held today, the Patriots wouldn't be selecting defensive end Chandler Jones. The reason: He wouldn't be available.
At least that's the way former scout and current NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks sees it.
Brooks has been going through past drafts and "re-drafting" as a way to determine which teams hit on their picks and which teams would be better off with a "re-do." In his 2012 analysis, Brooks bumps Jones up from the 21st pick to the 15th overall to the Seahawks (who had actually selected Bruce Irvin that year).
"Irvin flashed pass-rush skills during his rookie season, but Jones is a superior player on the edge," Brooks writes. "More important, he is a natural defensive end capable of staying on the field in every situation."
Brooks also sees the Patriots doing the same thing with the 25th overall pick and selecting linebacker Dont'a Hightower.
"Hightower has been a great fit in Bill Belichick's defense -- a big-bodied, versatile second-level defender with rush skills," Brooks writes.
The Patriots seem to be happy with both Jones and Hightower. It's also interesting to consider how Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith (29th overall, Vikings) might have fit here in New England.
In other "re-do's", Brooks gives the Patriots running back Matt Forte over linebacker Jerod Mayo in 2008 (Mayo goes three picks later at No. 13), while running back Brandon Jacobs gets the nod in 2005 at No. 32 because guard Logan Mankins went earlier at No. 23 to Oakland.