Thursday, April 25, 2013

The 2nd Annual FGR NFL Mock Draft

I've been carrying my iPad around trying to cobble this thing together in 20 minute spurts for the better part of a week. Parts of this have been written in my car, my kitchen, a locker room and a Chick-fil-A and even with all of that, I still ran out of time because at 5:30 last night I heard those words that every man fears, "it's time to leave for the Rihanna concert." At that point, I had completed the "analysis" of 22 of the 32 picks and I would say that about 14 of those were worth publishing. I had fully intended on completing the assignment when I got home but that went out the window when I woke-up on the couch at 3:15 a.m. snuggling a half-eaten bag of Tostitos.* When I woke-up the second time at 5:45 a.m., I was not exactly "shining bright like a diamond."**

The Santa Claus of April.
Cut to 9:30 a.m. on the day of the draft and it didn't make much sense to publish a mock draft after the fact so I was going to have to take a few short-cuts. Fortunately, the picks were already done courtesy of a sampling from Todd McShay and Mel Kiper's work with a couple of FGR audibles thrown in for good measure. The problem was finding something to put in the voids next to some of those names and then I remembered that I had spent the better part of the previous night's concert entertaining myself by tweeting my observations and, since no one who reads the FGR has a Twitter account, all of that material would be fresh. Upon review, I had generated 14 tweets before my phone died and most of them were better than the crap I'd written for the mock draft so they made the cut. You'll recognize the tweets by the #.

1. Kansas City Chiefs - Luke Joeckel: The Chiefs appear to have solved the quarterback problem they created by trading a high second round draft pick to the Patriots' for back-up Matt Cassel by trading a high second round draft pick to the 49ers for back-up Alex Smith. (At this point, it just seems appropriate to write the words "institutional memory" and let them dangle there). The good news for the Chiefs is that they have positioned themselves to keep picking at the top of the draft until they hit one with a franchise quarterback. In the meantime, they'll take the best offensive tackle to ensure that Alex Smith hits his projected stats of 3,200 yards with 19 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars - Dion Jordan (DE/OLB): When addressing a dire quarterback situation in the face of a weak free agent market and an even weaker draft, there are two approaches: (1) The Chiefs' approach (see above) and (2) the Jags approach which apparently goes something like, "sometimes the best move is the one you don't make" which would be ok unless the move you weren't making was replacing Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne as your starting quarterbacks.

3. Oakland Raiders - Dee Milliner (CB): "Last three shows I've seen in this venue: Rush, The Wiggles and Rihanna." -
"Like I said, I'm not here
to talk about the past."

4. Philadelphia Eagles - Star Lotulelei (DT): The Eagles are banking on Chip Kelly being the next Pete Carroll and it's looking good so far as Kelly followed Carroll's exit strategy to perfection by staying one step ahead of the NCAA posse. In fact, Kelly may have taken it to a new level by moving all the way across the country making his denials seem that much more plausible ("how am I supposed to know? I'm 3,000 miles away").

5. Detroit Lions - Ezekiel Ansah (DE): After exceeding expectations in 2012, the Lions reverted back to the Millen mean in 2012 highlighted by coach Jim Schwartz's conniption fit at the end of the 49ers game. In their ongoing effort to tongue tie the offensive line coach's of their opponents, the Lions will start defensive lineman Ezekiel Ansah alongside Ndamakong Suh.

6. Cleveland Browns - Sharrif Floyd (DT): "Sharrif don't like it . . . Rock the Casbah, Rock the Casbah" (sorry). Here's a tweet to make-up for that: "The security guard for our section is no fun." -  

7. Arizona Cardinals - Eric Fisher (OT): When you trade for Carson Palmer, you better start drafting offensive linemen in bunches because you're going to need a nine man wall to protect him while Larry Fitzgeral tries to get open against quadruple coverage.

8. Buffalo Bills - Ryan Nassib (QB): I had to go to the fourth Google search result for "Bills Depth Chart" before I could find one that had a quarterback and the name in that slot was T. Jackson which I am assuming is Tavaris Jackson who might (and I stress the word "might") be one of the fifteen best BACKUP quarterbacks in the league. That can't be acceptable, even by Bills' standards. There will be at least one quarterback taken in the top ten and I'm guessing it's Nassib here because he played for new Bills coach Doug Marrone at Syracuse and that seems like the kind of logic the Bills would use to make their first round pick.

9. New York Jets - Barkevious Mingo (DE/OLB): "Judging by the body language, there are at least 35 rappers in this Rihanna crowd who think they're better than the opening act." -

10. Tennessee Titans - Chance Warmack (OG): Drafting a run blocking guard might be enough to push Chris Johnson back into the first round of some fantasy drafts this year. It won't be a problem for me, however, as I've already hired someone to shoot me with Taser gun if I even mention the words "Chris Johnson" within 72 hours of the draft.

11. San Diego Chargers - Jonathan Cooper (OG): You basically pick a guard if you were considered one of the most disappointing teams of 2012 and you (a) don't really know why, (b) don't know who to pick and (c) just hired a new coach and general manager who don't want to answer a lot of tough questions on draft day. Picking a guard is like ordering the chicken. No one ever asks you why you ordered the chicken (except Alan Arkin . . . "every night it's the fuckin' chicken!).
Hey, don't say Tannehill
unless you got some.

12. Miami Dolphins - Tavon Austin (WR):  And so begins five wasted years for the Dolphins as they try to assemble a team around Ryan Tannehill. This is your fate when you spend a first round pick on a more likable version of Jay Cutler.

13. New York Jets - Matt Barkley (QB): This is the pick the Jets received from Tampa Bay in exchange for one of the greatest cornerbacks of all-time who could still be in his prime. The only way it could elicit more boos from the crowd is if they picked another USC quarterback so, it may be wishful thinking, but here you go. Speaking of the Bucs, the clock is ticking on head coach Greg Schiano who may have one season left before his players pull a Niedermeyer on him which begs the question, "has Rutgers ever hired a coach who wasn't a chafing asshole?"

14. Carolina Panthers - Sheldon Richardson (DT): The Panthers are owned by Jerry Richardson so I assume this is his son. Holy nepotisim. Let's supplement that with a tweet: "The FGW just asked if I know any of these songs. Really?" -

15. New Orleans Saints - Jarvis Jones (LB): Most experts agree that the Saints' position of greatest need is "anyone who can play defense" so this is a logical choice.

16. St. Louis Rams - Cordarrelll Patterson (WR): Todd McShay notes that, "his route-running, like the rest of his game, is raw." Sounds like the perfect guy to draft when your relatively immobile quarterback is on his way to being the next David Carr.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers - Tyler Eifert (TE): Eifert is a big white tight end who can play opposite Heath Miller thereby creating match-up problems for defenses that have never seen an NFL team start two big white tight ends before (a/k/a "The Notre Dame Package").

18. Dallas Cowboys - Sylvester Williams (DT): For years I have been a proponent of teams with turnover prone quarterbacks putting a defensive lineman next to him in the 4th quarter to tackle him anytime he tries to do something like throw off his back foot or across his body. No one throws more soul-crushing interceptions than Tony Romo so if the Cowboys use this pick on a defensive tackle, I'll know someone finally listened.

19. New York Giants - Desmond Trufant (CB): This is a no-brainer because guys named Desmond and Dezi and Dez are always fun to be around and, when your starting quarterback is Captain Poopy Pants, you're always looking for guys who can brighten-up the locker room. Think about it. When was the last time you said, "oh no, Desmond is here." Never right? There you have it.
"Yeah, I was saying 'Fluker'
you stupid mutherf-ckers."

20. Chicago Bears - D.J. Fluker (OT): Another prudent chemistry move. Now when Jay Cutler is calling his linemen "mutherf-ckers," the coach can say, "no, no, no . . . he was saying 'Fluker.'"

21. Cincinnati Bengals - Alec Ogletree (LB): "Ogletree is less reliable off the field as he was suspended for the first four games of the 2012 season for a violation of team rules." - NFL.com. Alec Ogletree . . . meet the Cincinnati Bengals.

22. St. Louis Rams - Kenny Vaccaro (S): This is one of the picks the Rams received when the Redskins traded-up to get RG, III last year. To make matters worse, Rams coach Jeff Fisher felt so good about the move at the time that he ended the call by telling Mike Shanahan, "black jack no trade back" meaning that it now can't be undone. It just goes to show, NEVER use "black jack no trade back" unless you are 100% sure that you won the trade.

23. Minnesota Vikings - Bjoern Werner (DE): First the Desmond thing, then Fluker followed by the suspended kid to the Bengals and here the Vikings have a shot to draft a guy named "Bjoern?" This is the easiest mock draft ever. I'm going to be very disappointed if they don't hand him a helmet with horns on it as he walks to the podium.

24. Indianapolis Colts - Xavier Rhodes (CB): "There is at least a 30 percent lower chance I will get in a fight here v. a Coldplay concert." - #stabbing #nowitnesses

25. Minnesota Vikings - Manti Te'o (LB): I just hope someone picks him before the Ravens are up. Let's bulk this one up with a tweet as I'm running out of steam: "Rihanna just said 'Baltimore' for the 8th time and 'fuck' for the 4th time." -

26. Green Bay Packers - Menelik Watson (OT): "I just yelled 'Fuck yes Question 6' and got three free Daiquiris." -

27. Houston Texans - Robert Woods (WR): "I feel underdressed." -

28. Denver Broncos - D.J. Hayden (CB): Mel Kiper, Jr. notes that "Champ Bailey can't play forever." Judging by his performance against Torry Smith in the playoffs last year, Mel might want to change "forever" to "anymore." 

29. New England Patriots - Justin Hunter (WR): "The FGW just lamented her diminutive booty." -
In hindsight, the Tri-Lams
didn't make-out too badly.

30. Atlanta Falcons - Cornellius Carradine (DE): I'm assuming that Cornellius is one of the Kung Fu Carradines and not a Lambda Lambda Lambda Carradine. Tweet time: "David Coverdale's back-up band just played some inspired solos." -

31. San Francisco 49ers - John Jenkins (DT): Jenkins weighs 346 pounds which means an opposing coach or player would need very long arms to land a punch on Jim Harbaugh's jaw with Jenkins standing between them.

32. Baltimore Ravens - Jonatahn Cyprien (S): "Holy crap the keyboard player just ripped-off the rif from Baba O'Reilly." -  #timetogo

That's about when my phone ran out of gas so I wasn't able to comment on (1) "the lack of partitions between the urinals." - #stayclassyBaltimore; and (2) "half the crowd bailing before the encore and then rushing back to their seats when it started." - #bushleaguemove. All in all, not an entirely unenjoyable concert experience but it was no Wiggles show. Then again, what is? Toot toot chugga chugga big red car . . .***

Endnotes

* Truly a "someone call the SPCA because there's a cat in my mouth" situation.

** This is the song Rihanna closed with. I think the words "shine bright like a diamond" were the only ones she didn't lip-sync. 

*** I wrote that from memory.