Of course, mock drafts - all 150,000 of them - are exercises in futility. One pick goes wrong, and the dominoes of dumbass fall, one-by-one, until you're left with only 10 of 64 picks on-the-nose (that's me, folks). So this year, in an increasing attempt to not make myself look like a Down's baby, I've abandoned the conceit.
So last year I refused to create a mock draft in an attempt to avoid looking stupid, opting instead to make myself look like a doucheram by using phrases like "abandoned the conceit." And then I proceeded to type this:
- "The Falcons freak out - this has been their nightmare scenario - and take Matt Ryan."
- "...Ryan (a buster waiting to happen)..."
- "If I were running the (Falcons') draft, and this will probably be a good reason I'm not, I'm not necessarily taking a QB at all."
- "Avoid Matt Ryan and Brian Brohm."
So mission accomplished, right? I mean, goddamn - I didn't sound stupid at all.
I pride myself on being a pretty good judge of QB talent. In 2007, I thought JaMarcus Russell was a wasted #1 pick. In 2006, I liked Jay Cutler over Vince Young. In 2005, Aaron Rodgers would have been my pick before Alex Smith. In 2004, I remember being apoplectic that Eli Manning was getting all the press, when Ben Roethlisberger just seemed so much more dominant to me (granted, all I knew of Roehtlisberger was what I saw in one bowl game, but the dude had been on fire). And as I love to remind my buddy Dave, I think I can finally claim victory in our long-ago Peyton Manning vs. Ryan Leaf argument.
In 2008, though, I not only pooped the bed, but I stuck my finger in it and drew a curly-stank moustache on my face. My entire post seemed to revolve around the idea that OH NOES, MATT RYAN IZ THE DEVIL! I based everything around his interception numbers at Boston College, and obviously couldn't have been more wrong in my assessment. Twelve months later, and he's a guy who I wouldn't trade straight-up for any other player in the NFL. Seriously.
So fuck, why not go back to the well? Yes, mock drafts are lame because of their overabundance. Yes, mock drafts are pointless because draft day trades are bound to be made. Yes, mock drafts are generally spouted out of buttholes, because, hey, it's not like I've been studying these individual players, watching film late into the night. Half of the following picks were made with all the insight of, "That dude just sounds like he'd play for that team."
Unlike two years ago, however, I won't be making individual commentary for most players. You don't care, I don't have the time, and the only real value in this won't show its face until Monday, when you can see how much of a fucktard I turned out to be.
1) Detroit Lions - Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia.
As I'm typing this, ESPN is reporting a contract between Detroit and Stafford could be done by tonight. And with that, Stafford becomes the first UGA player to be picked first overall since 1953, when end Harry Babcock was taken by the San Francisco 49ers. Previously, more recognizable names Frank Sinkwich (1943, Detroit Lions) and Charley Trippi (1945, Chicago Cardinals) had gone first.
2) St. Louis Rams - Jason Smith, OT, Baylor.
3) Kansas City Chiefs - Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia.
My favorite rumor of the week, naturally, included the Falcons. Atlanta would send its first, second and fifth round picks to the Chiefs, in exchange for TE Tony Gonzalez and DT Glenn Dorsey. For the record, I'd do this faster than a church fart. Of course, there's only a 99.999% chance it's internet bullcrap.
4) Seattle Seahawks - Mark Sanchez, QB, USC.
Sanchez should go here, but I'm not sure it's Seattle who takes him. The Seahawks have been a little too desperate sending out smoke signals about the USC QB. It probably means they're fishing for a trade partner, somebody who wants to grab him before Cleveland can.
5) Cleveland Browns - Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest.
6) Cincinnati Bengals - B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College.
7) Oakland Raiders - Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU.
If my mock draft hasn't already fallen apart, this is where it will crumble. Who the hell knows what Al Davis will do? I hear there are even odds he takes a player who doesn't exist. "And with the seventh pick of the 2009 NFL draft, the Oakland Raiders select - Drywall McVolvo, quarterstuff from Shimmertown."
8) Jacksonville Jaguars - Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech.
9) Green Bay Packers - Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas.
10) San Francisco 49ers - Michael Oher, OT, Missouri.
11) Buffalo Bills - Robert Ayers, DE, Tennessee.
12) Denver Broncos - Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State.
This is earlier than practically everybody is slotting Freeman, but Denver might have to grab him now, fearful of the Jets snatching him up at pick #17.
13) Washington Redskins - Andre Smith, OT, Alabama.
14) New Orleans Saints - Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State.
If nothing else convinces the Falcons to focus on a run-stuffing defense, this should. Atlanta would have to face the two-headed monster of Reggie Bush and Beanie Wells twice a year for the foreseeable future. I've heard the Saints have a decent QB as well.
15) Houston Texans - Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State.
16) San Diego Chargers - Everette Brown, DE, Florida State.
17) New York Jets - Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri.
18) Denver Broncos - Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois.
19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Brian Cushing, LB, USC.
Cushing is my first choice for the Falcons, so I'm hoping rumors are true and Tampa trades up in search of Josh Freeman (or, hell, Freeman falls to them). That might be the only way Cushing drops to #24.
20) Detroit Lions - Peria Jerry, DT, Ole Miss.
21) Philadelphia Eagles - Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia.
In Philadelphia, Moreno joins former UGA standouts Reggie Brown, Chris Clemons, Max Jean-Gilles and Sean Jones. I still don't like the Eagles.
22) Minnesota Vikings - Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland.
23) New England Patriots - Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut.
24) Atlanta Falcons - Clay Matthews, LB, USC.
Nine out of 10 mock drafts have Atlanta taking TE Brandon Pettigrew, and I'd be fine with that choice. But if either Matthews or Brian Cushing are still available, I think GM Thomas Dimitroff would be wise to replace the nerd-shaped hole left by Keith Brooking. Again, Cushing is my first choice, and I'll probably be a little taken aback if the choice isn't one of those three names. All of that said, there's a hella-good chance Atlanta trades this pick, probably to move down. 3:30 p.m. update: Obviously Pettigrew is off Atlanta's board, with
their our 2010 draft pick going to Kansas City for Tony Gonzalez (official verdict: AWE-some). So while every Tom, Dick and Face who slotted Pettigrew is lookin' foolish, I'm already bringin' the brains.
25) Miami Dolphins - Rey Maualuga, LB, USC.
26) Baltimore Ravens - Percy Harvin, WR, Florida.
As much as I want Harvin to fall into the second round - purely out of spite - the Ravens may take the troubled Gator here. Give Harvin a couple years of Ray Lewis's kung-fu grip on his shoulders, and the line may be towed.
27) Indianapolis Colts - Ebon Britton, OT, Arizona.
28) Philadelphia Eagles - Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State.
29) New York Giants - Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina.
30) Tennessee Titans - Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest.
31) Arizona Cardinals - Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut.
32) Pittsburgh Steelers - Alex Mack, C, California.
I wonder how many "hey man, where's your secret world?" jokes this guy has heard over the years. And I wonder how I even knew that reference.
Well, I did a little more commentary than I intended. You're welcome, plebes. Oh, and if I bat .218 (seven out of 32), I'll consider it a huge success. I feel like Andruw Jones.