|"Just when you think you know the|
answers, I change the questions."
So to bridge the gap between now and Augusta, I present Part I of the FGR's first annual NFL Mock Draft. I need to preface this by confessing that I have been obsessed with the NFL Draft since ESPN started televising it in 1980. As part of its promotion for that first draft, you could write to them and request a free draft kit with a list of prospects, the draft order and sheets where you could write down the picks for each team. I of course sent away for it and, to my mild amazement, it showed-up a few days before the draft. (If you're a younger reader, you need to understand that we used to "send away" for crap we saw on TV all of the time but only about half of it would actually show-up, even if we paid for it. When it didn't, we'd usually just say "whatever" and move on. If this sounds kind of half-assed, remember we were living in a world run by adults who saw no potential harm in loading-up a sedan with 8 kids, 100 cubic feet of second hand smoke, cranking-up Howard Stern and driving to elementary school. It was a simpler time).
|You had me at "good morning."|
|"This is not about whether the Colts|
tanked to get the top pick. They did."
1. Colts - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford: I still can't believe the Colts fell into this situation and, not to wish ill on young Mr. Luck, but I hope it comes back to haunt them for dumping the man who made their franchise. If you're like me, and you're looking for a sign that this could happen, consider that HBO recently had to cancel its latest big time attempt at original programming, a show about horse racing and gambling, because three horses (colts) died during production. The name of the show? "Luck."
|"You're everyone's problem Snyder|
. . . because you're an a-hole."
3. Vikings - Matt Kalil, OT, USC: When you're being chased by bounty hunters, it's good to surround yourself with large people.
4. Browns - Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St.: They have so many holes to fill on their roster that what they should do is trade down two spots and grab one of the picks the Rams landed from the Redskins. But they'll probably stay in this spot and take the best receiver in the draft so Colt McCoy can spend next season under throwing him until he inevitably gets injured and they bring in Seneca Wallace to over throw him.
5. Buccaneers - Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama: The Bucs are exploring any and all alternatives to having Josh Freeman throw the ball this season after he threw 22 interceptions last year. In addition to drafting a stud running back, other adjustments include instructing the center not to snap the ball under any circumstances when Freeman audibles out of a running play and keeping a pass rushing linebacker in the backfield to sack him in the event he goes rogue.
6. Rams - Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU: You've got to hand it to the Rams. Instead of doing something risky like drafting potentially the most dynamic quarterback to enter the league since . . . well . . . ever, they decided to trade the pick and build around an overpaid quarterback who missed almost his entire final season in college with an injury and then suited-up for only ten games last year. In those ten games he threw six touchdown passes and six interceptions but that was because he didn't have any receivers (except of course for the last five games when he had Brandon Loyd who will have 1,400+ yards and 12+ touchdowns catching passes from Tom Brady in 2012). The more I look at this, the more I'm convinced that the owner is trying to replicate the formula from Major League in an effort to move the team back to Los Angeles (everyone in St. Louis just muttered "that's not funny").
7. Jaguars - Quinton Coples, DE North Carolina: I have no idea who Quinton Coples** is but I'm guessing that since he never played a down of quarterback in college, the Jags are not drafting him to play that position for them which means they are going to give Blaine Gabbert the chance to solidify the fact that he was a bad pick even if it means wasting 16 more games of Maurice Jones-Drew's prime. I've got two words for you Jacksonville: "Kyle Boller" followed by two more words, "move on."
|"What can I tell you Miami? |
He just wasn't my type."
9. Panthers - Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis: The Panthers will primarily be focusing on defense because they were the 5th highest scoring team in the league last year thanks to Cam Newton's 21 TD passes and 14 TD runs. Not to belabor a point, but Robert Griffin, III is considered a better passer and is significantly faster than Cam Newton and the Rams said no thanks, we're good with Sam "Greg Oden" Bradford. To illustrate part of my point, check this out (Rams fans may want to avert their eyes) - Griffin v. Newton in the 40.
|So it turns out Ashley Judd|
went to Harvard. Who knew?
11. Chiefs - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M: Despite the fact that Matt Cassell missed seven games last year, threw for 10 touchdowns and 9 picks in the games he did play and had a quarterback rating of 20.4 when the Chiefs got clobbered by the Ravens in the 2010 playoffs, Mel Kiper has them passing on Tannehill and taking a linebacker from Boston College. I think the Chiefs take a look at their situation and ask themselves the most important question this time of year (everyone together) "do we have a quarterback who can get us to the Super Bowl?" When they look at Cassel and recently signed Brady Quinn, the answer has to be "no" right? Then again, they did hire former Browns head coach Romeo Crennel and they signed former Browns quarterback Quinn so, considering that they're stocking-up on cast-offs from one of the worst franchises in the league, maybe they do believe they're just one linebacker away from greatness. Sorry K.C. fans, at least you have the Royals.
12. Seattle Seahawks - David DeCastro, OG, Stanford: If you're drafting outside of the Top Ten and you want to guarantee that everyone will say you made a smart pick, take a guard. If you can get one from Stanford, even better, because everyone will talk about how smart he is and how smart you are for taking him. Unless of course you're the Browns, in which case everyone will just assume that the guy you drafted has a wooden leg that your doctors missed during the physical.
|"Like I always said Phil, you can't spell |
Citrus Bowl without a "u" and a "t".
14. Cowboys - Mark Barron, S, Alabama: With all of the chatter surrounding Manning, Tebow, Luck and RG, III, it's been eerily quiet around Dallas this off season. It almost makes you wonder if Dez Bryant started doing all of his shopping on line.
15. Eagles - Michael Brockers, DT, LSU: You can never have too many defensive lineman so this pick makes sense in the first round but at some point the Eagles are going to have to address their clock management issues and draft a kid from M.I.T. or Cal Tech who can explain to Andy Reid the downside of running a 7 second play when you're down by 3 with 6 seconds left on the clock.
16. Jets - Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama: Ah those kooky lovable Jets. I just watched the ESPN lead-up to the Tim Tebow press conference and one of the commentators posed the question, "do you think the presence of Tebow will impact the development of Mark Sanchez as a quarterback?" At first, that seems like a ridiculous question but let's apply an analogy to see if we can make it sound even more ridiculous.
|"Am I going to take Sanchez's job?|
Hold on . . . I'm sorry you got me,
that was a really good one."
Look for Part II next week.
|"Wait a minute, you're that guy from|
Nighthawks without the beard!"
*** This is about the point when my mock draft starts to look very similar to Mel Kiper's mock draft.
**** I'm assuming he meant it was "desolate" before his ego got there.