You'll need more than "Luck" to get back to the top Colts fans (crosses "Make Andrew Luck to the Colts Pun" off bucket list).
Since I recently took some precious space on this blog to shit on the mock drafts put together by the big boys, I thought I would return the favor and put together my own mock draft for them to shit on. Seriously, Kiper reads this blog every day. He loves dick jokes.
Anyhoot, like last year I have provided a full first round mock draft. Also like last year, I have tried my best to predict trades. We all know because of my crack journalism that most prognosticators don’t get that many first round selections correct so I believe it is my duty as a blogger to whip it out and make predictions I should have no business making because if I happen to be right on a third of this shit I might be hailed as a genius. With that in mind, please enjoy and let me know what you think:
1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford – I’m pretty sure I’ll be one for one on mock drafting after this pick. Everyone on the planet has known that Luck would be the top pick in the 2012 NFL Draft since February of 2011. (Pats self on back)
2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor – Again, I’m not really rolling the dice with this selection. If you’d like to find out why I think the Redskins’ trade to get RGIII is a good one, please click here. My only hope with this selection is that Mike Shanahan is so fucking crazy that he really wanted Ryan Tannehill all along and as soon as the pick is announced cameras cut to the Redskins’ war room where Dan Snyder rips off his jacket and shirt NWO-style to reveal a Tannehill jersey (FN 1). Tannehill on the Redskins would be a fantastic unification of my hatreds, simultaneously insuring that the Redskins would suck for several years and that Tannehill would be sent to chafe under that asshole in football purgatory. I suppose a boy can dream.
All I'm saying is think about it Shanahan. He sure looks like a winner that has never, ever, had sex with a sheep.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers trade their 5th overall selection and the 36th overall selection (2nd round) to the Minnesota Vikings for their 3rd overall selection: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama – If my mock draft is to violently unravel, it will probably start here. Minnesota needs help in the secondary and at wide receiver, and Morris Claiborne and Justin Blackmon are just sitting there staring at Leslie Frazier with their doe eyes. How can he take it? The Vikings could also use a franchise left tackle like Matt Kalil. The beauty of this trade is that it allows Minnesota to pick up an extra early pick (because they need lots of help) and it still allows them to get one of these three guys for sure.
For the Buccaneers, this is a solid, calculated gamble. This team has made LeGarrette Blount look like a productive back, so imagine what they could do with a complete back that doesn’t have a penchant for violent outbursts. Although I do not believe in any way that Richardson will be as good as Adrian “Judas” Peterson, he is a player that could put the Bucs over the top in the division.
Do you think I’m huffing gas again with that last statement? Remember, the Bucs are only a year removed from a 10 win season and will need some offensive firepower in a division with the Saints, Falcons and Panthers. I know you’re thinking, “wow, what a tough division”, but allow me to ask the hard hitting question: is it? Who knows what will happen with the Saints this year with the circus surrounding them and their seeming refusal to quickly sign the one guy that could get that ship in order (Drew Brees). As for the Falcons, in your heart of hearts, do you really believe in those guys? They made the ballsy draft day trade a year ago and all it got for them was 10 wins and a first round trucking by the Giants. I’m not sure that unit has the stomach for the fight. The Panthers look like a future force to be reckoned with, but they are missing more parts than the Bucs and are probably another year away. If the Buccaneers want to step up and win this division, this is probably their best chance. Richardson gets them a lot closer to this goal than waiting at five and getting Matt Kalil or Luke Kuechly.
Another scenario is that some poor schmuck, like Miami, trades up and picks Ryan Tannehill. If you believe the Browns want to continue their downward spiral into NFL irrelevance by drafting Tannehill, you know you need to trade up to this spot to get him. But Miami would have to unload more than the Bucs and I think they’ll get comfortable that Tannehill will be available at eight. My friendly advice to any other teams interested in trading up to get Tannehill – avoid that trade like a rat with a hypodermic needle in its mouth.
4. Buffalo Bills trade their 10th overall selection, their 2013 first round pick and a bottle of cyanide pills (FN 2) to the Cleveland Browns for their 4th overall selection: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State – This is another example of a team who had a great offseason continuing to stockpile weapons in order to make a playoff push. The Bills don’t really have any major issues on either side of the ball, so they are another team that can afford to trade up and get an impact player now. I’ve seen a lot of talk about the Bills needing a left tackle, but there isn’t a left tackle at ten that you can expect to play at that position in 2012. Matt Kalil will be gone and Riley Reiff is going to have to start on the right side. That does not make this team, one that wants to compete with the Patriots right now, any better this year. Also, I was shocked to find out the following: “Buffalo last year led the league in fewest sacks allowed with 23 and its average of 4.9 yards per carry the Bills’ best since 1975 when O.J. Simpson was in the lineup.” So the line is not as big of a concern as you would think. Also, there is no guarantee that Michael Floyd will be available at ten and even if he is, he’s not as good as Blackmon. Therefore, I think the Bills get Blackmon, the best receiver in the draft, to pair with Stevie Johnson and try to make their high-powered offense ridiculous, thus allowing their freshly minted bad-ass defensive line to be even better knowing that teams will have to throw a lot to keep up with the points the Bills’ offense is scoring.
For the Browns, the cyanide pills will help them get over the pain of losing Richardson. They also need help at basically every position except left tackle and the secondary so this trade nets them extra picks to fill their various needs after losing out on their true love Trent Richardson. The alternative is either (A) drafting Morris Claiborne and pairing him with Joe Haden to create a pair of lockdown corners that frees up the front seven to blitz at will, or (2) drafting Matt Kalil to form potentially the best pair of tackles in football with Joe Thomas. Both of those options have some appeal but the Browns are not in a position to draft like the Giants or Eagles sometimes do (i.e., drafting to a position that is already strong to make an elite unit because the rest of the team is at least “good”) because the rest of their team sucks. I have a feeling this team is trying to build up as much as it can in what will probably be another disastrous year so that the quarterback they select next year (Matt Barkley anyone?) will have some talent around him.
5. Minnesota Vikings (via trade with Tampa Bay Buccaneers): Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU – Well that worked out nicely, didn’t it Minnesota fans? Your team wanted Claiborne at three and a series of trades bailed you out so that you got your preferred pick while still stockpiling extra selections. This is not the type of karma I would expect for a team that literally sold its soul by signing Brett Favre a few years ago.
There has been a lot of speculation about that the Vikings will do with their pick at three, but someone in the organization should wake up and realize that a stud left tackle is more valuable, and less easy to find or cover up for, than a corner. You can cover bad corner play with an outstanding defensive line or playing a lot of zone. If your left tackle sucks you might as well trade your quarterback in for a life-sized Jay Cutler piñata. (FN 2).
I hope you like Cleveland buddy. It's just like USC, but with less talent and more blight.
6. St. Louis Rams: Matt Kalil, OT, USC – I’ve seen a lot of chatter about Fletcher Cox going to the Rams at this pick (FN 4), which makes sense because the interior of the Rams D-line is crap and they could put together an elite unit with a guy (who) like(s) Cox. But if the Rams want to know exactly what they have in Sam Bradford, they have to give Mr. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome someone to throw to and someone to protect him. Their defense is promising and has talent. Their receiving corps really misses Danny Amendola (a sentence that should never have been written in the history of mankind). The offensive line gave up 55 sacks last year and that can’t help Bradford’s already fragile shoulder and mental inability to grasp abstract concepts. With Blackmon gone, the Rams should use the pick on Kalil, who they probably would have drafted at two if they hadn’t traded with the Redskins, and then get a poor man’s Justin Blackmon for Mr. Crazy Eyes early in the second round. I’d say that if the draft plays out like this for the Rams they should be considered the luckiest bastards on Earth. I can’t wait to see how Jeff Fisher will turn all of this good fortune into a string of 8-8′s.
Also, if there is not a trade for Tannehill at three, then this is the next logical place for someone to trade up to get him. This would happen because either (1) the Dolphins think Jacksonville will take Tannehill and perform an operation to physically combine him with Blaine Gabbert to make one subpar professional quarterback, or (2) the Dolphins think the Bills, Chiefs or Seahawks will move up to take him because each team wants to create a suicide epidemic amongst their local fan base.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame – I don’t think this is a pick most other mocks are predicting, but I’d say after the second pick there are about two other predictions I feel confident about in the rest of the first round. I’ve seen some people (like Mel) predicting a trade up by someone to get Fletcher Cox at this spot, but a team who might want to do that (e.g., the Eagles) would have to give up something like a second and fifth rounder this year, or a first next year, to move up this far and if Cox glides
in past the Rams at six, the Eagles can probably look at the board and feel good that they’ll either grab ahold of Cox or Michael Brockers at fifteen. Interest in Mark Barron also seems to be peaking for several teams, but I don’t see anyone who really needs a safety (e.g., the Eagles or Cowboys) giving up enough to move up to number seven to get him. Therefore, I think Jacksonville is stuck with the pick.
Here’s my case for the Jags drafting Floyd: Jacksonville needs a wide receiver and they have a new owner with an awesome mustache and he probably wants to do something sexier than drafting a defensive end (e.g., Melvin Ingram) or a corner (e.g., Stephon Gilmore, the consensus pick I’m seeing in mocks) or trading down (which I don’t think they’ll be able to do anyways). He’ll probably say something in a pre-draft meeting like, “Hey, I didn’t show up in America with $50 in my pocket and turn it into $2.5 billion so I could buy a football team and watch you draft another fucking defensive end that probably won’t be any good. Touchdowns make chicks want to take a mustache ride and do coke on my yacht. I also need someone to party with, so take Michael Floyd.” More realistically, the Jags need to do something to help out their terrible offense. They also have a terrible history of drafting defensive linemen. Or just a terrible history of drafting period. Mustache joke.
8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M Sheepfuckers – This is one of the two post number two selections I am confident about. It may not happen at eight, but there has been way too much discussion about Tannehill going to Miami for me not to believe it will happen. The Dolphins will regret it for years. (FN 5)
Based only on the mustache, I believe this is a recent photo of Shahid Khan.
9. Carolina Panthers: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State – The Panthers need a wide receiver to give Cam Newton another weapon and to eventually fill the void that will be left when Steve Smith becomes human and ages, so this could be a place for Michael Floyd if he is not taken by the Jaguars as I guaranteed earlier (fart noise). Cox, however, can be brought in to plug a gaping hole (for the Panthers on the defensive line you sick bastard) and is a great value at this spot. Also, you have to think Ron Rivera is going to be more concerned with creating a dominant defensive line when he already has one stud receiver and a potentially devastating run game in place.
10. Philadelphia Eagles trade the 15th overall selection and the 46th overall selection (2nd round) to the Cleveland Browns for the 10th overall selection acquired via an earlier trade with Buffalo Bills: Mark Barron, SS, Alabama – The Eagles need a safety who makes big plays, can help in run support and can be the replacement for Brian Dawkins the organization has been trying to find for years. Barron fits each one of those needs. The Eagles know they have to get in front of the Cowboys to get Barron and this is probably their best trading partner. The Browns, already crushed from losing out on Trent Richardson, now just resign themselves to stockpiling other draft picks in hopes of finding any marginal talent upgrades and killing the clock on the 2012 season so they can take a quarterback in 2013. Being a Browns fan must be awesome.
11. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Keuchly, ILB, Boston College –Inside linebacker is a need for the Chiefs (as is nose tackle and just about anywhere on the offensive line), but Keuchly seems to be regarded as the most “can’t miss” prospect in this draft. The problem is he plays a very un-sexy position. The alternatives for the Chiefs are (1) getting Dontari Poe to play the nose, which is not a sure thing, or (2) taking Riley Reiff and really hoping that he can step in at left tackle immediately. The Chiefs need a more sure thing at eleven and Keuchly represents that.
12. Seattle Seahawks: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina – The Seahawks are quietly putting together something pretty good up in the Northwest and I think Peyton Manning made a mistake not giving Seattle a closer look. Ingram would represent an excellent value at this point and it would make Seattle’s already good defensive line even better. If Ingram is gone when the Seahawks pick (which most mocks predict), then I think they take Chandler Jones (a guy who most mock drafts have the Seahawks selecting, but F those other mock drafts).
I'm curious why big 'ol Cox is smiling here.
13. Arizona Cardinals: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa – Unlike with Buffalo, the Fartinals taking Riley Reiff probably makes them better this year while he plays right tackle (because their line sucks in general) and in the future when he moves over to the left side (because Levi Brown sucks specifically). I could also see them shooting the wheels off the draft and reaching for Courtney Upshaw or Whitney Mercilus because they need more out of their outside pass rush, but let’s pretend for a moment that the Cardinals make good personnel choices.
14. Dallas Cowboys: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford – I have probably constructed my entire mock draft as a wish fulfillment exercise, because this is the one guy that I really want the Cowboys to get who could possibly be available. I also wouldn’t cry if we took Dontari Poe, but he does present some risk. DeCastro, on the other hand, seems to be mentioned with Keuchly as one of the “can’t miss” guys of the draft. Which is good, because we have learned over the years that the Cowboys are fully capable of missing with high draft picks. Putting DeCastro next to Doug Free probably makes Free better and solidifies the right side of the line for the next five to eight years. In fact, the line should be awesome just in time for Tony Romo to start going downhill in a couple of years.
The mock draftosphere will grade this as a crushing defeat for the Cowboys since they didn’t get Mark Barron because “their secondary was awful.” Agreed. However, I still believe that most of the problems with the Cowboys’ defense stem from their inability to generate a pass rush of any kind with their defensive line. A secondary of Deion Sanders, Champ Bailey, Ed Reed and Rod Woodson would look like shit if it had to cover receivers for 8 seconds on every play. As someone who watches the Cowboys with a keen interest, I am certain that their biggest need is on the defensive line and not in the secondary. How can the Cowboys’ defensive line be helped the most? They can either draft Poe, stick him in the middle and let Jay Ratliff move back to defensive end (I would be perfectly happy with this) or they can do as I have suggested and just focus on making the offense so good that the other team has to become one dimensional, thus making the defenses’ job easier. I honestly think the latter tactic is the only way to make the Cowboys a playoff contender this season.
15. Cleveland Browns (via trade with the Philadelphia Eagles): Michael Brockers, DT, LSU – So at this point the Browns have missed on some of the game changers they wanted, but they also now have the 22nd, 37th and 46th picks in the 2012 draft and another first rounder in 2013. The Browns need a running back, a tackle, a receiver and an outside linebacker. But Cleveland should be able to address those needs later without reaching here. Instead, I think the Browns take the best guy left on the board and that is Brockers. Pairing Brockers with Michelin Man impersonator Philip Taylor would give the Browns an impressive set of defensive tackles to anchor the defense for several years.
16. New York Jets: Courtney Upshaw, OLB/DE, Alabama – Rex Ryan needs to retool the defense with some youth on the edge and Upshaw is dude that probably doesn’t have a set position in the NFL, but a dude like Ryan will find a way to get the most out of his skill set. Also, I don’t really give a shit if people don’t think he has a natural position. He is an ass kicker (said with Brock Lesnar’s Midwestern hick accent). Be happy Jets fans and don’t boo like a-holes.
Half-time of the mock draft hot lady picture from a nerd flick I'm excited about break!
17. Tennessee Titans trade the 20th overall selection, the 115th overall selection (4th round) and a 3rd round pick in the 2013 draft to the Cincinnati Bengals for the 17th overall selection: Quinton Couples, DE, North Carolina – I just looked at my board and realized Couples had not been taken yet. I think that makes Couples this year’s “holy shit, look what fell in my lap pick” (i.e., the “Nick Fairley Memorial Pick”). Tennessee has adequate starters at corner, and they could probably stay at 20 and get a good corner, but they also need defensive end help in a big way. Couples is arguably the best defensive end in the draft and the Titans know that he probably still won’t be around after the Charges and Bears pick.
The Bengals need help on the interior offensive line and in the secondary. There are no safeties to draft at this spot and there are a couple of good cornerback and line prospects on the board so they can probably still solve multiple problems even when they move down a few spots.
18. San Diego Chargers: Chandler Jones, DE/OLB, Syracuse – The Chargers could use help on the offensive line, but they have all five starters returning from the end of the season and there are no lineman worth taking at this spot that would be surefire upgrades. They could also use this pick on Dontari Poe and make him the center of their 3-4 for years to come. But the Chargers need a big play guy on the edge and this pick does that.
19. Detroit Lions trade the 23rd overall selection and the 85th overall selection (3rd round) to the Chicago Bears for the 19th overall selection, the 111th overall selection (4th round) (FN 7), and the 150th overall selection (5th round): Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina – With the Bengals picking at 20 and 21, the Lions know that Gilmore will be gone in one of the next two picks. The Lions need a number one corner and Gilmore is more likely to be that than Kirkpatrick. The Lions also need an offensive tackle, but if they don’t do something to shore up the back seven they will be playing a never ending string of 45-42 games in 2012. The Lions fill a need with a better player here and hope that a decent right tackle slides to them later.
20. Cincinnati Bengals (via trade with the Tennessee Titans): Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama – The Bengals have the next pick so we’ll discuss them together.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Cordy Glenn, OG, Georgia – All goes according to plan for the Bengals (FN 6). If the Bengals can get one of the top offensive guards (DeCastro or Glenn) and one of the top two corners after Claiborne (Gilmore or Kirkpatrick) then Cincinnati fans should pretend they don’t live in the dying remains of a racist, uptight, hell hole for one night and celebrate.
Spending all of those years being a horrible executive really makes your good moves seem that much better now. Way to set the bar low for two decades Mike.
22. Cleveland Browns: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor – I would not be surprised at all to see the Browns get Jonathan Martin and form a solid set of tackles for the next several years, but the Browns need playmakers. Wright seems to fit better with what the Browns want to do than other receivers (e.g., Stephen Hill) and there are some good offensive tackles that will be available when the Browns pick early in round 2. Bonus selections! (guitar wail and flashing lights) – look for the Browns to get David Wilson from Virgina Tech at 37 to fill their need at running back and noted pot head Mike Adams in the second round at 46 to fill their need for an offensive tackle, thus earning an “A” from all of the draft graders, myself included. 2012 will suck Cleveland, but this draft paired with a lot of high round picks in 2013 will be put you on the road to being competitive soon.
23. Chicago Bears (via a trade with the Detroit Lions): Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford – I know, you think I’m crazy for predicting that the Bears would do business with the Lions on draft day, but I think it makes sense for both parties. Everyone in the world is predicting that the Bears will use their first round pick on a defensive end, but I disagree. The promotion of Mike Tice to offensive coordinator was meant to signal a greater reliance on the running game. It better, because Jay Cutler has taken a brutal fucking beating for two years. Lovie Smith can find guys to fit his defense in later rounds (he always does), but the Bears need a better offense to compete in a division with the Packers and Lions. Getting Brandon Marshall was a great first step, but he won’t get the ball if Cutler is constantly on his ass. Martin projects to be a solid pro and seems like a no-brainer pick here.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis – Fuck you Steelers. This is the perfect situation for Poe to come into, serve an apprenticeship behind Casey Hampton, and then become a monster in the middle of the Steelers defense for 10 years. The only problem with this pick for the Steelers is that if they don’t get some more help on the offensive line Ben Roethlisberger is going to get injured and then who will be the rape leader on the team? WHO? If Martin or Glenn slides for any reason then I think the Steelers take one of them here.
25. Denver Broncos: Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State – The Broncos need a defensive lineman and there will probably be heart palpitations all across Denver when the Steelers’ pick is announced, with everyone in the Rockies praying to Jesus that Dontari Poe will fall to Denver. Well bad news Broncos fans – Jesus left town when you traded Megachurch to New York so don’t expect any more special favors. Just take Jerel Worthy and focus on the fact you won the Peyton Manning sweepstakes.
You better draft well Broncos because your biggest fan and, let's face it, your best player probably left with Tebow to go to the Jets.
26. Houston Texans: Rueben Randle, WR, LSU – Not seeing an offensive lineman they want to draft at this point, the Texans get a receiver to pair with Andre Johnson (and to serve as a threat when Johnson is injured). At this point it’s Randle or Stephen Hill and Houston, who is certainly in win now mode, is more likely to go with the more finished product in Randle.
27. Jacksonville Jaguars trade the 38th overall selection (2nd round), the 101st overall selection (4th round) and a third round pick in the 2013 draft to the New England Patriots for the 27th overall selection: Whitney Mercilis, DE, Illinois – At this point in the draft there will be a few decent edge rushers left on the board, which New England needs, but Bill won’t be able to resist the opportunity to trade down, load up on more picks that he will trade down with later, and let the media discuss how he is the master of getting value out of his picks. Here is some value I’ll provide to you Patriots fans – your defense sucks. You need impact players and it would be nice if one day Belichick made a trade up to get a real impact player on the defensive side of the ball instead of constantly turning fourth round rookies into starting cornerbacks that people think are good because the Patriots are winning, but in reality suck because Tom Brady is a fucking Jedi and constantly bails this team out.
Having issued a mustache veto at the seventh pick, Khan leaves to celebrate with Floyd on his yacht and the front office cobbles this trade together to address a major area of concern for the Jags. The trade allows Jacksonville to jump ahead of a string of teams about to draft edge players and get one of the more intriguing prospects in the draft.
28. Green Bay Packers: Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC – The Packers need a pass rusher to compliment Clay Matthews and Perry is probably the best player left to be an attacking guy off the edge. The Packers could use help all along the front seven, but Perry gives them the immediate threat they need to hopefully upgrade their defense from “God awful” to “almost adequate”, which combined with the Packers offense might as well be called “Super Bowl worthy.”
29. St. Louis Rams trade the 39th overall selection, the 96th overall selection (4th round) and the 171st overall selection (6th round) to the Baltimore Ravens for the 29th overall selection: Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech - I see a lot of discussion about the Ravens taking Dont’a Hightower here, but the great Ozzie Newsome knows that he has several holes to fill on this roster and getting a guard/center is probably more important than finding an inside linebacker this year. This trade probably allows the Ravens to get someone like Peter Konz (G/C, Wisconsin) who can play guard and fill an immediate need next to Matt Birk while also being groomed to be his replacement. It also gives Ozzie the first pick in the fourth round which allows him to spend all night Friday shopping it to the highest bidder so he can get more picks. And I don’t know about you, but for some reason I have the sneaking suspicion that Baltimore will be drafting this year’s top overall fuck up Vontaze Burficut late in the draft and that Ray, Terrell and Ed will straighten his shit out real quick and make him into a very good pro.
As for the Rams, in case you hadn’t heard, they kind of have valuable draft picks falling out of their ass for the next couple of years, so if a guy as highly regarded as Hill (who also fills a need) is still sitting on the board at this point you can secure him while still having the first pick in the second round to get another offensive lineman or the best defensive tackle on the board at that point.
Don't worry Bill. Your inability to upgrade your defense won't be questioned as long as you keep trading around a lot in the draft. People will just assume your getting good value because Tom Brady is dragging your teams to Super Bowls that you lose.
30. San Francisco 49ers: Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin – Um, so, people keep saying that guard is the biggest need for the 49ers and since I can’t really figure out how they played so well last year I think I just have to believe what I read. I do know that the 49ers like to run a lot and that their starting right guard, who was the worst guy on their line, left for Arizona (funny). So I guess this pick makes sense. I don’t really care. The real Alex Smith is going to show up in 2012 and all of the guards in the world won’t keep this team from being .500.
31. New England Patriots: Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State – I think the Patriots would want to trade down again just to prove they can make a Super Bowl with no first round picks, but I don’t know why a team would jump to this spot given where the board is at. I don’t think a team (e.g., the Colts or Vikings) will jump up to take one of the remaining offensive tackles because there are two fairly good prospects left (Mike “4:20″ Adams and Bobby Massie) unless they were absolutely convinced that the Giants are taking a tackle. A team might really want Coby Fleener, but I don’t see a team at the top of the second round that will want to move up for him. Bill should just sit still and take this guy. He is exactly the type of hustling white guy that pans out for the Patriots.
32. New York Giants: Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford – The Giants need another offensive weapon to replace Mario Manningham and Fleener does that while become the legitimate tight end this team has needed since Jeremy Shockey left. If he doesn’t go here, I think he may go to the Colts with the second pick of the next round to make Luck more comfortable. The Giants also need offensive line and linebacker help, but they won the Super Bowl last year with a decimated back seven. As long as the front four keeps up the pressure, this team just needs to score enough points to make the other team one dimensional. Also, his name rhymes with wiener so in my book he’s a can’t miss selection for the Giants.
Well that was fun. If you have made it through all 6,400+ words someone should send you a cookie. Please provide any commentary you have below and be prepared to discuss at the Draft Party.
"I'm sorry Coby, you said it is pronounced 'flea-ner'?"
FN 1 – This is currently my second favorite non-sexual surprise jersey reveal scenario. Number one is Obama winning re-election and then ripping open his shirt during the inaugural address to reveal a bejeweled t-shirt that says, “I’m a Kenyan Muslim.” If he did that I would give up eating bacon until his second term was up, which I consider to be a greater sacrifice than death.
FN 2 – In a slight modification of the deal posed above, I can also see the Bills trading the 10th overall pick, the 41st overall selection (2nd round), the 144th overall selection (5th round) to get the 4th overall selection from the Browns, but I think the trade in the text above makes more sense for both teams. The Bills want to keep picks in this draft to make their team better this year and the Browns want an additional first round pick to use next year, probably as ammo to trade up for Matt Barkley.
FN 3 - I’m going to take a moment for a brief aside that may merit further explanation later, but I have a counter to the concept of building teams “from the inside out” that you hear so much about at this time of year. I think for a defense, it is more appropriate to imagine the shape of Ionic Roman Columns instead of a blast zone centered around the ball. In today’s NFL you need guys who can come off of and defend the edge (defensive ends or outside linebackers in a 3-4), but I will concede that it is best to have a dominant defensive tackle or two. So, assuming a 4-3 defense, I think you want to radiate straight down the line from the ball (tackle, end and then corner), loop up and to get the safeties and then get your middle linebacker followed by your outside linebackers. On offense you have to take away the quarterback from fun time shape/draft making (because we all know he’s the most important) and then I would be inclined to argue, against what I have said in other parts of this post, that you start at receiver, move to the tackles, the interior line and then up to the running backs. Wide receivers and tight ends today are freaks of nature. Passing games in the league have really evolved to take advantage of the full space around a potential receiving target (think of the back shoulder throws made by Aaron Rodgers or the vertical windows Drew Brees throws to on seam routes for Jimmy Graham to jump up and catch) in a way not seen in previous generations. If you want a high-powered offense, you need guys on the edge that can make all of those catches. And although you can find guys who make great receivers in the later rounds (e.g., Victor Cruz), the guy you expect to man up and get ten catches for you in the Super Bowl is probably a first rounder (e.g., Hakeem Nicks). You may not necessarily prioritize your draft around this concept because general managers in the NFL still seem to be uncertain about what makes a quality receiver in this league so you can get some good guys late, but you can get a lot further in this league with a great QB, really good receivers and an average line (e.g., 2010 Packers, just about every Colts team for the last decade plus) than you can with a great QB, average receivers and a really good line.
FN 4 – Fletcher Cox wins my “Best Name of the First Round” Award. There are sooooooooo many jokes just oozing out of the end of that name.
FN 5 – A quick aside about high school football. There may still be a legitimate debate about which state, Texas or Florida, produces the most overall football talent, but the case is closed when it comes to producing quarterbacks. Three of likely top eight picks in this draft (Luck, Griffin and Tannehill) all played high school football in Texas. After this draft, assuming all three of these guys start the majority of their team’s games, of the assumed 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL, 10 will have played their high school football in Texas (Luck, Griffin, Tannehill, Matthew Stafford, Christian Ponder, Drew Brees, Matt Flynn, Kevin Kolb, Andy Dalton, and Colt McCoy). In case you were wondering, an impressive six starting quarterbacks played their high school ball in California (Tom Brady, Mark Sanchez, Matt Cassel, Carson Palmer, Aaron Rodgers, and Alex Smith).
FN 6 – How often do you read that sentence about the Cincinnati Bengals?
FN 7 – Please read the comments section for a revision to this sure to be accurate prediction. I was starting to get tired head around this pick.