Well, lets not forget that in 2012 we were also transitioning to a 3-4 under Pagano. And knowing that Ballard goes for value rather than need, and his liking for building the trenches, I think something like this maybe.
1st: Luck, obvs.
2nd: Mitchell Schwartz - The name that stands out to me is the big OT from California. He originally went to KC 2 picks later. He was widely looked at as a fringe 1st rounder and getting that level of talent at a premium position would make sense philosophically as well as bolstering a sorry looking line.
3rd: Dwayne Allen - I think is a very Ballard pick. Good all-around TE talent playing in the SEC.
4th: Alameda Ta'amu - The big nose tackle that a 3-4 can't operate without. Building the trenches.
1st: Xavier Rhodes - Hindsight. I know. But he fits what Ballard loves. Rhodes was falling in the draft and was widely mocked in the teens. He's a tall boundary corner from Florida. Remind you of anyone else Ballard drafted? Not to mention he signed him as FA so we know he's a fan.
2nd: Larry Warford - This pick was originally traded for Vontae. Ballard isn't a big trader other than up or down in the draft, so I'm saying that we keep this pick. In keeping with the philosophy, build the trenches. Warford was the next trenches player taken IRL. He has a similar stature to Braden Smith, albeit shorter.
3rd: Brian Schwenke - The new centre for the line. He was a Ballard signee as a FA in his first offseason. Building the line for his young QB to operate behind.
4th: Quinton Patton - Small-school WR to add to the armoury
1st: DeMarcus Lawrence - The infamous Trent Richardson pick. Looking at who is available for me it would be between DeMarcus Lawrence and Kelvin Benjamin. I think Kelvin had too many weight issues for Ballard so I would go with Lawrence. Freeney would likely be done by now and Mathis is starting to age.
2nd: Allen Robinson - A WR to help Luck. Tall and well built rather than than the flashy but smaller Jarvis Landry.
3rd: DaQuan Jones - Another big body along the D-line.
4th: Pierre Desir - Tall corner that Ballard was a fan of. Coincidentally was taken by Cleveland with this pick after we traded back.
1st: Malcolm Brown - I know people will be clamoring for Landon Collins. But Brown fits the mold as a big-bodied rough and tumble D-lineman.
2nd: Tyler Lockett - Speed demon receiver and return-man. Opens up the offense.
3rd: Clayton Geathers - Well-built strong safety. He had a captain's badge slapped on his chest so Ballard must have liked him. He would come in and compete for a starting safety spot and be a ST demon.
4th: Jay Ajayi - A new RB to compliment whoever we had previously.
1st: Darron Lee - We would in this version have centre covered so Ryan Kelly wouldn't be the pick. Lee was a productive, athletic and smart LB coming out of a successful programme.
2nd: Mackensie Alexander - Fringe first round talent in the late 2nd. High value position. Rhodes would be coming towards his contract year.
3rd: Le'Raven Clark - Drafted at this position, still on the team as a 6th man O-lineman. Tall with long arms.
4th: Blake Martinez - LB to add to the mix.
Definitely interesting to look back!