Why should anyone be excited for the NFL Draft? Mel Kiper Jr. has already told us exactly what will happen in the first four rounds, and if you sweet talk him he’ll probably tell you the final three.
So has Kiper — known as “Commander Hairgel” to the three people who don’t yet think my quips are the bane of the universe — sucked the fun out of the draft? If so, then this mock draft may be the appropriate vaccine.
There’s only one criterion for this draft: The player picked is he whose last name is the first guy alphabetically after the team’s mascot.
Hey, I could have been crazier. Coulda used Scrabble values.
1 — Texans: Mike Thaler, Defensive Tackle, Bowling Green (Rated 82nd in his position)
Analysis: Even though I remember watching him play in college, I still don’t know how you pronounce the “a” in his last name. Hopefully when Houston negotiates his contract they’ll bring it up.
2 — Saints: John Saldi, Outside Linebacker, Texas Tech (Rated 70th)
Analysis: Seems like no matter what New Orleans does in the first round, the pick always ends up pouring Saldi on their wounds.
3 — Titans: Albert Toeaina, Offensive Tackle, Tennessee (Rated 27th)
Analysis: A product of Volunteer football, the big strike against him is the number of consecutive non-repeating vowels in his name. Maybe they can trade one of those superfluous “a”s to the Patriots’ Gene Mruczkowski in exchange for a sixth round draft pick.
4 — Jets: Brandon Johnson, Outside Linebacker, Louisville (Rated 10th)
Analysis: By drafting a Louisville player, somewhere Tom Jackson and Lee Corso are smiling. Actually Tom Jackson is smiling and Lee Corso is making wacky sound effects.
5 — Packers: Chase Page, Defensive Tackle, North Carolina (Rated 52nd)
Analysis: When the Packers time runs out, I hope they make this pick and decide not to have press conference after press conference saying that they’re not sure who to pick, and to ask the NFL for as much time as they need until they decide whether or not they want to pick Chase Page. Please note that this punch line was written before Wednesday morning. It was funnier then.
6 — 49ers: Brady Fosmark, Defensive End, Weber State (Rated 72nd)
Analysis: He will be a good fit in San Fran’s Week 2 matchup vs. the Rams, where Fosmark will be able to sack fellow Weber State alum Jamie Martin, all the while people wonder why “Weber” is pronounced with a long “E.”
7 — Raiders: Donovan Raiola, Center, Wisconsin (Rated 10th)
Analysis: Sadly, Raiola only has three consecutive non-repeating vowels in his last name, but that’s what happens when you draft seventh and someone else already takes Albert Toeaina off the board.
8 — Bills: Albert Bimper, Center, Colorado State (Rated 27th)
Analysis: Heh. “Bimper.”
9 — Lions: Aaron Lips, Offensive Guard, Louisiana Tech (Rated 38th)
Analysis: I don’t know much about the guy, but there’s a very good chance he could be the next Reggie Tongue.
10 — Cardinals: Kaloma Cardwell, Safety, Lehigh (Rated 81st)
Analysis: A team with several needs on defense wouldn’t normally take a defensive back from the Patriot League, but Kaloma Cardwell could energize the team with his famous touchdown celebration, the Kaloma Mudslide.
11 — Rams: LaJuan Ramsey, Defensive Tackle, USC (Rated 28th)
Analysis: He’s still LaJuan who makes me laugh. Still LaJuan who’s my better half. We’re still havin’ fun, and he’s still LaJuan.
12 — Browns: Copeland Bryan, Defensive End, Arizona (Rated 34th)
Analysis: Cleveland fans were with me until this pick, when they said, “Another defensive lineman in the first round? Don’t make me laugh!” Did they not see the name “Bimper?”
13 — Ravens: Clint Ray, Offensive Tackle, William Penn (Rated 58th)
Analysis: It’s not every day an NAIA football player is taken in the first round, but then again it’s not every day the Ravens have a chance in the AFC North.
14 — Eagles: Shomari Earls, Outside Linebacker, Florida Atlantic (Rated 82nd)
Analysis: ESPN says Shomari Earls played for Iowa Wesleyan, but in honesty he played for FAU. Who of us hasn’t made that mistake?
15 — Broncos: Adam Brooks, Punter, Wyoming (Rated 24th)
Analysis: It looks like a punter, but this pick is an attention getter. Wyoming, after all, is the setting of the acclaimed yet controversial Oscar winner Brookback Puntin’.
16 — Dolphins: Marques Colston, Wide Receiver, Hofstra (Rated 100th)
Analysis: Hofstra’s bio of him says he’s a “Solid pro prospect.” The 16th pick in the first round, despite being the 100th best wideout? They proved all of us — especially that shampoo lovin’ Kiper — wrong.
17 — Vikings: Brandon Villarreal, Defensive Tackle, Purdue (Rated 44th)
Analysis: Since “Villa” means “house” in French (I think), the name “Villarreal” must mean, um, “a house that isn’t a fake.” Great nickname for a tackle, I suppose.
18 — Cowboys: Michael Craven, Inside Linebacker, Stanford (Rated 26th)
Analysis: Seems like a normal guy and a good player. So let’s use this time instead to reflect on how hilarious it will be Terrell Owens will begin a rift in the locker room, and what it will involve.
19 — Chargers: Jeff Charleston, Defensive End, Idaho State (Rated 84th)
Analysis: Overlooked by most teams but highly touted by San Diego scout, Lindy Hop.
20 — Chiefs: Lavon Chisley, Defensive End, Penn State (Rated 57th)
Analysis: This one’s interesting. There’s a story behind Chisley:
Chisley, who missed his senior season in 2005 for academic reasons, was charged with a misdemeanor. According to a criminal complaint, Chisley advised a man identified as Mr. Frask that he was “going to get a gun and kill him.”
Paydirt. Why didn’t the Cowboys snag him when they did?
21 — Patriots: Sam Paulescu, Punter, Oregon State (Rated 5th)
Analysis: If it were me every draft pick would be a punter. Now that’d be a fun league to watch.
22 — 49ers: Vichael Foxx, Defensive Tackle, VMI (Rated 67th)
Analysis: Getting their coveted pass rusher, Vichael “No, it’s Vichael, not Michael” Foxx was the star of the hit ’80s movie Vack to the Future.
23 — Buccaneers: William Buchanon, Wide Receiver, USC (Rated 48th)
Analysis: With Reggie Bush still on the table, the Bucs have the Heisman winner on their sights, likely with their seventh round pick. But for now, they’ll take his teammate who has 15 receiving yards in college — 1286 yards fewer than Bush.
24 — Bengals: Evan Benjamin, Outside Linebacker, Washington (Rated 45th)
Analysis: Are Bengals fans still happy they made the playoffs? Now Cincy has to pick late in the first round. They’re being limited to boring names like Evan Benjamin, with people like Toeaina and Bimper already drafted.
25 — Giants: Ryan Gibbons, Offensive Tackle, Northeastern (Rated 28th)
Analysis: Ooh, uh, yeah. I’m going to have to go ahead and sort of … disagree with you there. Yeah. Uh, he’s been real flaky lately and I’m not sure that he’s the caliber person you want for an offensive line. He’s been having some problems with his TPS reports.
26 — Bears: Taylor Begley, Kicker, Kentucky (Rated 17th)
Analysis: The Bears need to seriously improve their offense, and while it may work down the road I don’t think it’s in their best interest this year to draft the guy from St. Elsewhere.
27 — Panthers: Kai Parham, Inside Linebacker, Virginia (Rated 7th, 146th overall)
Analysis: Of all these first rounders, this is probably the first person that will actually be drafted first, according to your “paid experts.” But none of them have him in the first round, and that’s O-Kai with me.
28 — Jaguars: Shannon James, Safety, UMass (Rated 43rd)
Analysis: Shannon’s a girl’s name.
29 — Jets: Cephus Johnson, Defensive End, Iowa State (Rated 89th)
Analysis: Cephus is Biblical for “stone.” Johnson is Biblical for … um, we won’t say. But imagine the giggles from New Yorkers when Johnson lines up at defensive end alongside teammate Dave Ball.
30 — Colts: Chris Colvin, Cornerback, Rocky Mountain College (Rated 115th)
Analysis: You know what’s nice about his school: Usually these obscure NAIA teams elicit a “Where the heck is that?” from even the most adept fan. Not this school. He’ll fit in just fine.
31 — Seahawks: Mark Setterstrom, Offensive Guard, Minnesota (Rated 9th)
Analysis: It’s only fair that when the Vikings lured away Seahawks All-star guard Steve Hutchinson, Seattle should be able to take the Gophers’ coveted lineman, dontchya know.
32 — Steelers: Joe Stelly, Punter, Louisiana-Monroe (Rated 3rd)
Analysis: This Sun Belt product gives us three punters in the first round. I’d like to see Mel Kiper argue himself with this one. Then again he could probably write a 2,500 word dossier of any of these people on command. But at the end of the draft he’ll get locked back up into ESPN’s “Way Too Informed Seasonal Analyst Cryogenic Chamber” right next to Joe Lunardi.Powered by Sidelines