One of the things football fans like to do in our endless cycle of speculation, teeth-gnashing, and speculative teeth-gnashing is to look back and revisit everything, given the spectacular powers of hindsight and current NFL production since then - which kind of defeats the purpose of the NFL draft, in a way.
Either way, NFL.com took a look back at the 2009 through 2011 drafts and redrafted the first round. Since the Bears didn't have their first round picks in 2009 and 2010, this becomes largely moot to us, but there's a 2011 pick for us to dissect.
29) Chicago Bears
Pick: Gabe Carimi, OT
Do-over: Nick Fairley, DT
The Bears' defense is built from the inside out, with tremendous emphasis placed on the defensive tackle positions. Henry Melton has developed into a Pro Bowl three-technique, but Fairley could be a game changer in a scheme that encourages defenders to shoot the gaps.
Keep in mind that at the time of the draft, Henry Melton hadn't yet taken hold of the defensive tackle position, and the Bears spend a second-round pick on Stephen Paea. I'm not sure if Fairley would have been as productive as Melton turned out to be, or if Melton would get the opportunity with Fairley on the roster.
Feel free to ignore that the Chiefs in this draft bump T.J. Yates, a fifth-rounder, into a first-round pick.
How much different would the Bears' roster have been had the 2011 draft fallen this way instead? And revisit the 2009 and 2010 drafts - if the Bears retain their first-rounders, how much different would the rosters be? What would you have done instead?