NFL re-mock drafts have become increasingly popular in recent years. Re-imagining landing spots for today’s elite players not only metaphorically shakes up the league’s landscape, but it also attempts to course-correct previous mistakes made by general managers while analyzing their decision-making process.
NFL.com’s Chad Reuter recently completed a seven-round NFL re-draft while focusing on building a win-now team from active players for the 2022 season. With a concept in mind that doesn’t take age or future outlooks into account, legendary Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady should be the first player selected in such a scenario.
Brady went second overall in Reuter’s scenario, with reigning back-to-back MVP winner Aaron Rodgers as the No. 1 overall selection. Although it’s difficult to build a legitimate argument against a current-day Rodgers, I’d hedge my bet on Brady if my franchise needed to win an NFL game tomorrow.
Brady showed absolutely no signs of slowing down throughout the 2021 campaign despite his advancing age. The seven-time Super Bowl winner completed a career-high (!) 485 passes for a career-best 5,316 passing yards while throwing 43 regular-season touchdowns. It qualified as the second-most touchdown throws of Brady’s career, only trailing his historic 2007 season that saw him reach 50 touchdowns before the league became as pass-happy as it is today (an accomplishment he deserves more credit for). Brady accomplished all of this while completing 67.5% of his passing attempts, which also only trails his 2007 mark of 68.9% completion percentage.
Brady’s short-lived retirement kept him away from the game just 40 days before his itch to return to the NFL ended his hiatus. Brady is still at the top of his game and it would have been unfortunate to witness him walk away while he still has so much to offer an NFL offense.
The 2022 version of Brady may be even better despite the Canton-bound signal-caller turning 45 years of age prior to the season. Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht has spent his offseason surrounding Brady with even more offensive weapons. Re-signing Chris Godwin to a three-year contract arguably keeps Brady’s most reliable target in the fold. Brady and the Buccaneers undeniably missed Godwin down the stretch of last season and his eventual return from a torn ACL injury will provide their offense with a much-needed boost.
The always underrated Mike Evans returns in 2022 on a quest to complete his ninth consecutive 1,000-plus yard receiving season. Brady and Evans have showcased terrific chemistry. The free-agent acquisition of Russell Gage should provide Tampa’s high-octane passing attack a much-needed third option, something they badly missed in the wake of Godwin’s injury and Antonio Brown‘s controversial departure.
We feel confident predicting that Brady is about to reach new heights with this dangerous supporting cast at his disposal. Brady will miss the retired Rob Gronkowski, but Tampa Bay has stocked the cupboard with more than enough weapons to keep Brady at his most efficient self in 2022. What Brady’s about to achieve throughout the upcoming campaign will appropriately showcase why the former Michigan attendee is still the correct No. 1 overall selection in a re-draft scenario.
The Buccaneers remain Super Bowl contenders as long Brady remains in the fold. The 2022 season may represent his final hurrah (actually this time), but the 15-time Pro Bowler is still the most reliable quarterback playing professional football today. The rest of the league keeps waiting impatiently for Brady to hang up his cleats, but Brady will continue to terrorize opposing defenses in 2022. If an NFL squad was playing in a must-win contest tomorrow, Brady would be the correct choice to employ under center.
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