Version 1.0 out of 1.0
Unlike the rest of you, I’ve been studying the draft since October—selfishly, of course (I’m a Browns fan). So while the rest of the fans league-wide were concerning themselves with trifles like the playoffs or wild card spots, I was focusing on the future, mostly because the then-present was unbearable, but that’s not the point. As a self-proclaimed draft expert (I have access to the internet, Youtube, and Wikipedia, right?), I’m unveiling my highly researched, highly insightful Mock Draft version 1.0 out of 1.0.
But who, really, am I kidding? While deception and posturing are, within sports circles anyway, in vogue, I like to be upfront and, in doing so, I’d like to say that I have no idea what is going to happen tonight. In fact, this took me about forty-five minutes with bathroom breaks. The evidence: the following mock draft.
But don’t take my word for it; it is, after all, a smokescreen. Or is it?
The 2014 NFL Draft is now open.
1. Houston Texans: Khalil Mack. A last minute bait and switch with Clowney available makes sense in the way only the NFL can make sense (this is also the “mock draft” obligatory surprise pick).
2. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins): Sammy Watkins. They make this pick in order to salvage any respectability after, for the most part, squandering the bounty of picks Washington gave them for RGIII. Side note: In five years, the RGIII trade will turn out to be viewed as bad for all parties involved (ask Mike Shanahan).
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Los Angeles. You read that correctly. The Jags will move to LA because Florida is a crapola sports state, and they will take Jadeveon Clowney with them.
4. Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel. If they do draft Manziel, they may not win, but losing will be a lot more exciting, even fun, perhaps. Losing can be fun for everyone (“mock draft” obligatory No-Way-That’s-Happening pick).
5. Oakland Raiders: Greg Robinson or Usain Bolt. But seriously. Robinson is so not a Raiders’ pick, it only makes sense to make it the Raiders’ pick.
6. Atlanta Falcons: Jake Matthews. But does it really matter? I, for one, think not. They couldn’t manage to win last year and this year will be no different. Jake Matthews, Clay Matthews, Shmake Jackews? Whatever. Atlanta’s fifteen minutes of relevancy is over.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Evans. Why? I have no idea. And neither do you. But they will still wear the creamsicle (Tinkerbell barf) throwbacks, which is really what this is all about.
8. Minnesota Vikings: Blake Bortles. Norval loves himself some Blake Bortles, which is great for Bortles and bad for the Vikings: Built like Roethlisberger, but will play like Gabbert.
9. Buffalo Bills: Eric Ebron. To be fair, though, I’m pretty sure the Buffalo fans are just hoping the new ownership group drafts up a new lease on Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Toronto Bills doesn’t really roll off the tongue.
10.Detroit Lions:Anthony Barr. Detroit is like Atlanta. Their pick this year may not matter. If they couldn’t win with the team they had last year, they aren’t going to win with a new rookie, especially if it’s a rookie from UCLA. Donkey Kong Suh will unsportsmanlike conduct-them right out of playoff contention.
11. Tennessee Titans: Taylor Lewan. The Titans will draft Lewan, who will treat the opposition like drunk Buckeye fans and start cold-cocking dudes. Unfortunately, the Titans will forget that he’s protecting Jake Locker and finish 4-11.
12. New York Giants: Zach Martin. Ask me what I know about Zach Martin. Go ahead, do it. The answer: Nothing. But I do know it’s going to take more than one member of the Fightin’ Irish to get Eli to stop throwing gift wrapped interceptions.
13. St. Louis Rams: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Just look at his name. Why wouldn’t you want to draft this guy; he’s a walking punchline. And I know Coach Fisher, with his sweet, sweet moustache, has a sense of humor.
14. Chicago Bears: Calvin Pryor. Is Cutler still the QB? Yeah. So . . .
15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Justin Gilbert. They’re the Steelers. They draft defense. Gilbert plays defense. The dots are connected.
16. Dallas Cowboys: A new owner. But the Dallas fans and the rest of America aren’t making the pick so: Darqueze Dennard.
17. Baltimore Ravens: Odell Beckham Jr. Since Joe Flacco takes up 99.9 percent of the salary cap, the Ravens need a rookie, offensive weapon on the cheap. Enter: Odell Beckham Jr.
18. New York Jets: Marquise Lee. Do the Jets have any other wide receivers? Oh, yeah, Stephen Hill, who may or may not have hands.
19. Miami Dolphins: Did Ryan Tannihill survive the season or are we in most-mortem? Will he be playing posthumously this year? Either way, the Dolphins select: Richie Incognito, I mean, Xavier Su’a-Filo.
20. Arizona Cardinals: Derek Carr. Carson Palmer is old. That is all.
21. Green Bay Packers: C.J. Mosely. He played at Alabama, so he has to be good, right? And, I assume, the Packers like good players, right? This is one of those moments in any mock draft, where the drafter (moi), really has no idea and starts throwing things against the wall to see what sticks. At this point in time, Mosely sticks (“mock draft” obligatory guess pick).
22. Philadelphia Eagles: I would like to take a moment to pontificate on DeSean Jackson, who was cut this offseason for being a giant douche. I mean, you need to really be a raging, unapologetic douche to be cut—in Philly, of all places—when you have as much talent as Jackson. It’s a good thing the NFL doesn’t have its players fill-out job applications, because Jackson’s would read like this: “Previous employer: Philadelphia Eagles Reason for Leaving: I’m an asshole May we contact this employer: No!!!.” Philly grabs Brandin Cooks to replace Jackson.
23. Kansas City Chiefs: Kyle Fuller. After losing to Indy in what can only be described as suicidally embarrassing, the Chiefs turn to the defensive side of the ball with their pick, even though Alex Smith is still the quarterback, which means the Chiefs still won’t be making a deep playoff run.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: Andy Dalton’s replacement, Teddy Bridgewater. The ceiling in the Nati isn’t getting any higher and Andy Dalton isn’t getting any better. Blaze on, fire crotch.
25. San Diego Chargers: Dee Ford. I don’t really have any idea what SD needs or wants or lacks. I’m just swinging at anything near the strike zone with this pick (“mock draft” obligatory I-Don’t-Even-Care-Who-They-Pick pick).
26. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis Colts): Jason Verrett. The Browns would make this pick, because it’s a Browns’ sort-of pick. Make the big splash at four and then underwhelm the rest of the way. It’s what the Browns do: they make things interesting and then underperform. Nothing against Verrett; he could walk up and punch me in the face (& maybe he will one day) and I wouldn’t be able to identify him by name.
27. New Orleans Saints: Ryan Shazier. Is Rob Ryan still in Nawlins? Because, sure, this makes sense then. The Saints love Buckeye prospects and they need some defensive help, so this will be the pick or maybe it won’t.
28. Carolina Panthers: Kelvin Benjamin. Since Cam Newton can’t throw the ball and then catch the ball and then block for himself, the Panthers will go with Benjamin, who has B-U-S-T written all over him.
29. New England Patriots: Jimmy Garroppolo. Tom Brady is more talented than you. Tom Brady is better looking than you. Tom Brady has a more perfect life than you. So on and so on. However, Tom Brady is not immortal. Tom Brady is not a Greek God (to my knowledge). And Tom Brady is getting old and the Patriots need to snag a young buck to develop and Jimmy G is the heir apparent.
30. San Francisco 49ers: Jordan Matthews. For Jim Harbaugh’s last season in San Fran, the team is going to add some firepower and then, in the next few years, return to mediocrity.
31. Denver Broncos: A neck transfusion. Seriously. Once Peyton is gone, they’re screwed. Who’s going to QB the Broncos? Brock Jacob Osenheimer Schmidt? In all likelihood, they’ll trade down. Or, perhaps, they use Carlos Hyde’s neck.
32. Seattle Seahawks: Kony Ealy. Not that they need any additional defensive help, but the smarmy and slimy Pete Carroll may look to bolster the front seven because over the next couple of seasons, the rest of the league will be vulturing the Seahawks’ roster (“mock draft” obligatory Pete Carroll smack talk).
Drop the curtain. Day one is in the books and rookie hold-outs may commence. But wait. I project a trade . . . and Mel Kiper’s head explodes.