Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal in action
Greetings, glorious members of Raider Nation! It is I, your paragon of virtue, the main event, the People's Champion, and the World's Freshest Man. I come to you today after months of seclusion, to reveal to you portents I have been shown regarding the third most popular sport in this country; the NFL Draft.
One thing I can promise you is that unlike my visions regarding the actual Raider games, this mock draft will not be anywhere close to correct. No mock draft ever is because if most front offices in football were good at evaluating talent, their teams wouldn't suck. So we write about who they should draft, and they draft who they have unnatural infatuations with. But so it goes! After the jump, the first round of my mock shall be revealed, with commentary regarding each selection.
1. Colts- QB Andrew Luck, Stanford. This is the most obvious and easy choice in the draft since the Bears took Jay Berwanger first overall in 1936. It is more obvious than Terry Bradshaw, John Elway, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, or Cam Newton. This is because Andrew Luck is a golden god. He wakes up every morning and pisses excellence. As long as men have voices, there will be songs sung to his glory. Too bad he now has to live in Indiana rather than the Bay Area. Sorry, Andrew!
2. Redskins- QB Robert Griffin III, Baylor. The Redskins haven't had a decent quarterback since Mark Rypien. According to my calculations, that's a full twenty years of abject failure. Geez, even the Cubs were good more recently than the Redskins. Griffin will help them suck less, but "the Redskins suck" is one of the cardinal rules of football and my only regret thereof is that it makes Cowboy fans happy.
3. Vikings- OT Matt Kalil, USC. The Vikings have a lot of work to do if they want to be respectable again. Step one is drafting a franchise left tackle. Matt Kalil is a franchise left tackle. Now, to the Vikings, "respectable" means "getting trounced by the Chiefs and the Raiders in the Super Bowl" so, if they want to be respectable again, God bless them. Except for that whole "Chiefs win the Super Bowl" business, screw that.
4. Browns- RB Trent Richardson, Alabama. When the Browns are good it is because they have a good running game. This has happened exactly twice, first with Jim Brown and then with Mack and Byner. Is Trent Richardson as good as Jim Brown? No, because Richardson is not the greatest lacrosse player who ever lived like Jim Brown is, but Richardson is good enough to be successful behind a surprisingly decent Browns offensive line. The Browns are not stupid enough to take a quarterback here. He would get slaughtered just like Colt McCoy does so they might as well stick to the guy who's used to the punishment.
5. Buccaneers- CB Morris Claiborne, LSU. The Bucs have a problem with their secondary, namely that Aqib Talib is a criminal and Ronde Barber was born in the Truman administration. Morris Claiborne was the best player on the best defense in college football last year and he is the clear choice here. Tyrann Mathieu had the better nickname and got more attention than Claiborne because Mathieu is a loudmouth, but make no mistake, Claiborne is a vastly superior football player.
6. Rams- WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State. This really couldn't have worked out better for the Rams, as they get a king's ransom from the Redskins and they get the best WR prospect since Calvin Johnson. Ever since Donnie Avery went down with a pulled leg or the gout or whatever the hell is wrong with him, Sam Bradford has had nobody whatsoever to throw the ball to. That changes with the addition of Blackmon. With any luck, the Rams will still be so terrible that they'll draft Robert Woods next year.
7. Jaguars- DE Melvin Ingram, South Carolina. The Jaguars' pass rush sucks. That's why two years ago they decided as a franchise that, rather than making a bunch of money and drawing lots of fans to their stadium by drafting Tim Tebow, they would "bolster" their "pass rush" by taking Tyson Alualu. Well that worked out super well, because they are drafting in the top ten once again. Ingram is the best defensive lineman available, with a high motor and plenty of versatility. If you watch the draft you will hear that word 'versatility' a lot. It's code for "we don't know what the heck to do with this player, but wow whee he sure is fast."
8. Dolphins- QB Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M. Now here is where the proverbial waste hits the fan. The Dolphins have a perfectly good quarterback in Matt Moore. They do not need Ryan Tannehill. However, the Dolphins are a popular choice for him because #1 the Dolphins are stupid, #2 former Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman is now with the Dolphins staff, and #3 the legacy of Dan Marino forces the Dolphins to try to find the Next Great Quarterback even though they are never quite awful enough to be able to draft him. The Dolphins aren't getting Donovan McNabb here, they're getting Cade McNown. Watching the Dolphins draft is like watching Toonces drive over a cliff. You know what's coming, but there's nothing you can do or say to stop it.
9. Panthers- Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis. So, is this guy Kevin Williams or DeWayne Robertson? Is he a young Albert Haynesworth or a young Ryan Sims? I have no idea. But I do know that some idiot team is going to fall in love with this guy's size and athleticism and totally ignore his utter lack of compelling game tape. Might as well be the team that needs a defensive tackle.
10. Bills- Biley Reiff, OT, Iowa. The last time the Bills took a tackle in the first round, it was Mike Williams. That was.... poorly handled. Reiff is a better prospect and should be fine. Ryan Fitzpatrick will appreciate the help.
11. Chiefs- David DeCastro, OG, Stanford. The Chiefs need a guard and a linebacker. They can find linebackers later, but they won't find a guard on the same planet as David DeCastro anywhere else in the draft.
12. Seahawks- Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College. The Seahawks have a long tradition of linebacker play, from Lofa Tatupu and Julian Peterson and Leroy Hill all the way back to the great Brian Bosworth. Kuechly is extremely fast, strong, instinctual, and he hits like a truck. He is what Bosworth ought to have been, if Bosworth wasn't such a bleach-blonde roided out douchebag who makes terrible movies and whose career highlight is getting run over by Bo Jackson on national television.
13. Cardinals- Cordy Glenn, T, Georgia. Cordy Glenn probably doesn't have the footwork to be a left tackle at the pro level, but the Cardinals line is so bad they will take whatever help they can get at any spot. Glenn will make a perfectly reasonable right tackle.
14. Cowboys- Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama. Many analysts disagree whether Stephon Gilmore or Kirkpatrick is the second best CB behind Morris Claiborne. I think it's a toss-up, but I think the Cowboys will prefer Kirkpatrick's superior size and physicality to Gilmore's speed and cover skills.
15. Eagles- Fletcher Cox, DT, Ole Miss. One thing that made the Eagles successful in the past was drafting a lineman in the first round at nearly every opportunity. They don't really need any skill position players, and they don't need any secondary players. There's no linebackers worth taking here, even though they do need one of those. Cox will almost certainly be the highest rated player on their board and he will be good value here.
16. Jets- Courtney Upshaw, ???, Alabama. Mel Kiper and Todd McShay think that Upshaw's stock is dropping rapidly because teams don't know if he is a defensive end or a linebacker. Rex Ryan doesn't know if Todd McShay or Mel Kiper have worse hair, and he will simply laugh and put Upshaw at the "TS" position, which stands for "Terrell Suggs".
17. Bengals- Janoris Jenkins, CB, "North Alabama". When I mentioned earlier that analysts were torn between Kirkpatrick and Gilmore, that's because they forgot that when Jenkins was at Florida he was better than either of them and still is.
18. Chargers- Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois. "Mercilus" is a good name for a football player. "Whitney" is not. But that's okay because while "Turner" is a fine last name for a young man, "Norvell" will get you nothing but swirlies and atomic wedgies in the boy's bathroom every day in high school.
19. Bears- Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame. Michael Floyd is a superstar. He probably wants to get out of Indiana. Well, he gets his wish, but now he has to live in Illinois. Sorry, Mike! In any case, this is great news for Jay Cutler, or whoever plays for the Bears when Cutler suffers a debilitating hangnail.
20. Titans- Devon Still, DT, Penn State. The Titans have been looking for a DT ever since Albert Haynesworth lost his marbles. So the most boring franchise in pro football takes a player at the most boring position in football from the most boring college football program of all time. It's a perfect fit.
21. Bengals- Mark Barron, S, Alabama. Boy, that Nick Saban sure does know how to recruit. I bet Antonio Cromartie's kids are gonna get scholarship offers any day now.
22. Browns- Jonathan Martin, T, Stanford. If the Browns ever hope to turn Trent Richardson into a Pro Bowler they need to make sure he has holes to run through. With Joe Thomas on one side and Martin on the other, that shouldn't be a problem.
23. Lions- Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina. If Jonathan Martin somehow slides to the Lions, they will take him to replace Jeff Backus, who is currently held together with duct tape and prayer. If not, they will take a CB. Gilmore is the best one on the board.
24. Steelers- Michael Brockers, DT, LSU. Brockers, Ziggy Hood, and Cam Heyward makes for a pretty formidable young defensive line. Guys like him are why the Browns have to keep drafting offensive linemen.
25. Broncos- Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor. If Tim Tebow's receivers hadn't dropped so many passes last year, his completion percentage would have been approximately 137%. Peyton Manning will not abide that sort of nonsense, so the Broncos will have to provide him with some new weapons.
27. Patriots- Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama. This isn't real, don't believe it. There is no way on God's green earth the Patriots are actually going to keep this pick. They will trade down and take some guy we've never heard of from a junior college in Saskatchewan.
28. Packers- Nick Perry, DE, USC. The Packers are set at LB and DT, but they could use a good pass-rushing DE. Perry fits the bill. They haven't had a good rush DE since Reggie White.
29. Ravens- Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina. Do I really think Coples will fall this far? Not really, but if the Ravens do get him then Terrell Suggs will most definitely get the single-season sack record, as he will never be double-teamed again.
30. Niners- Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State. The only reason the Niners didn't win the Super Bowl last year was Kyle Williams. As he is no longer employed by the team, there isn't much of a need to address here. The Niners build on their strength, which is stopping the run. Worthy is the best player available.
31. Patriots- Kendall Reyes, DT, Connecticut. Mock drafting the Patriots is the hardest thing to do in sports journalism. It's like predicting what Ozzie Guillen will say tomorrow.