Mock drafts. Those two words alone make some cringe while exciting others. Mock drafts have become a cottage industry in recent years. Even when over-saturated with them, we still can't get enough. Admit it, you've already read at least two mock drafts today. But who to trust? How does one know who is the best mock drafter? Sure, we could score mock drafts after the draft is over and objectively determine who was the most accurate. But that goes against the true spirit of mock drafts: to give the hottest takes possible.
Even the most plugged in mock drafter only knows a fraction of a single team's draft day strategy, and certainly not the entire league's. So they must fill the massive gaps of their lack of knowledge with takes that set them apart from the pack, lest they be forgotten. Which they will anyway, because no one holds them accountable and no one cares to remember what they said. Until today.
Today we give you the 2nd Annual Mock Draft Mock Draft, a seven round--because seven round mock drafts are a hilarious waste of time--chronicle of mock drafters, their hot takes and hot takes on them. To fill out the expanded Mock Draft Mock Draft, we recruited three of the finest hot take connoisseurs we know. Holding the first overall selection is one our first of three new contestants, @OhWowHmm, followed by @Philatticus, then @KeeepSwinging, returning runner up BGN's own @JeromesFriend and finally our defending champion, @PhillyJordo. Now would be the time to put on a welding mask if you have one. It's going to get hot in here.
1. Matt (@OhWowHmm)
Alright lets get this fire started. Hot hot hot!!!
For those of you who know me, this might not come as a huge shock to you all, but this is a prospect I have been banging the table for for some time now. This is a guy here and when you look at this guy you see a guy who is a Mock Drafter in the National Mock Draft League. You put on the tape on this guy (which is great, because he’s never been anywhere near tape in his life) and you see a guy who really phones it in day in and day out, often not bothering to update anything on his site except the "last updated" date. I am of course referring to Walter Cherepinsky.
In this guy you get a guy who for some reason refuses to refer to some players by name, instead calling them by position and number. Not only that, you get a real high effort guy who can’t be bothered to update the names in blurbs when he copies them from one prospect to another, or to remember which player he has a team taking in the first round. Combine this all with his bilious and unfunny snark, and his plus plus tool to generate scorching white hot takes when grading things. For all these reasons and more I cannot think of a better guy to headline this years class. His broad reaching appeal in spite of his callousness and lack of professionalism represent everything that the Mock Draft community stands for, and I am proud to have him on my team for the next 10 years or more.
2. Dylan (@Philatticus)
Several teams ascribe to newfound philosophies like "science," "reason," and "logic" as a path to winning in the modern NFL. Arguably, only one "science" team--the Seattle Seahawks--has ever actually won. Clearly, the weight of NFL history is against such idiocy; why bother with "science" and "skill positions" when the tried and true ways of yesteryear work predominantly better? Who cares about flash, speed, or general athletic ability when you can buy a road-grader for Cadillac prices?!
That's why I'm drafting Pete Prisco with the second overall pick. While ol’ Petey might be the only person on Earth to have been burned by both Deadspin and Keith Olbermann, his inability to adapt to anything occurring after 1995 will take my team to the promised land. He doesn't want to reinvent the game -- he just wants to play it like we all did back in the day, with a ton of defense and maybe an athlete. I want nothing but orthodoxy, and with that, Pete's my boy.
But don't let his conservatism and questionable logic fool you. He's also a scrappy little fella, taking on such mental luminaries like Mike Freeman (who "left" CBS to prepare slideshows) in frequent displays of unwavering heart and courage. His constant ability to pick himself up after taking blow after blow bodes well for my team, particularly when you pair that courage with the strong confidence Petey displays on an hourly basis. I'll take his attitude, his heart, and by golly, his questionably inflated self-worth over a mock drafter with pure ability (and intellect) any day of the week.
3. Anthony (@KeeepSwinging)
What you want in a mock drafter is someone who doesn't recycle old garbage but instead brings fresh new ideas (the city of Philadelphia will sell out of D batteries the week DeSean Jackson returns to play against the Eagles), someone with their finger on the pulse of NFL teams and their intended moves (text I received from a scout this morning: Matt Barkley will not get past the Arizona #Cardinals at No. 7 overall.), someone with the courage to say that Matt Schaub is the sixth best quarterback in the NFL, even better than Peyton Manning.
Obviously I'm talking about the NFL Draft Scout himself, Matt Miller. When the world tells him to cool off, he cranks up the heat until his takes actually burn your flesh going down. With his original ideas, insider info, and understanding of the game he's a guy who you can count on getting you to 4-12 year after year, no winless seasons with this guy at the helm! He won't conform to things like "an article on just one page" or "not just blatantly making crap up." He even seems to be a Philly fan at heart, having the Eagles pick SAFETY Calvin Pryor in his latest mock. It's about damn time someone mocked us Calvin Pryor in the first!
4. James (@JeromesFriend)
With the fourth pick, I select Mel Kiper. Actually, Kiper projected Earl Thomas as a second rounder. According to him, "Thomas has the kind of size for which people wonder if he's even a legit 5-10 -- he could be a little shorter -- or anything more than 195 pounds. Bottom line: that concerns scouts." And how right he was (small wonder the Eagles opted for stud Brandon Graham).
Obviously, Kiper has become synonymous with mock drafting. He's accumulated thirty years of mock drafting experience, yet only recently, for the first time, conducted a mock draft as if he were the GM, taking into account team needs and player availability. Even with his sage experience, Kiper has proven to be an excellent tactician who is open to new, radical concepts, which he has the ability to execute flawlessly. For example, when asked about the Eagles' first pick in the 2014 Draft, Kiper said, "They're in an excellent and unique position. I'm 100% certain Roseman and Kelly will select...
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5. Jordo (@PhillyJordo)
With my first pick, I have to make a groundbreaking pick. One that’s been around for awhile. A pioneer of sorts for the game. Gil Brandt is just the man for that job. He has done great work in the past, but just like everyone who has been doing their job for a long time, they start to fall off. Now, Brandt has been driving the hype train for quite some time. And it was looking really, really dumb. Now it seems like the entire NFL has jumped on it, which is even more dumb! Groupthink at its finest, people! Anyway, some of his other hot takes have cooled off tremendously. Like the one where he said, "Someone will take Clowney very high in this draft. I’m not sure I’d ever be completely comfortable drafting him." Wooooo not only isn’t he that high on Clowney, but he may not even take him in the seventh round. I think my favorite is when describing Blake Bortles, he says, "Big Ben in the body, Leinart in the face." Could only imagine how he looks at women. I’ll leave you with this gem: When asked why LT is so much more important than RT, he responds with "Have you seen The Blind Side?" Yes, a movie with Sandra Bullock can perfectly sum up the NFL.
With the first pick in round 2 of the Mock Draft Mock Draft, I will select Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com. This guy is great, he has the credentials and the appearance of knowing what he’s talking about, especially when listening to him talk. All he does on twitter is drop nuggets and takes, he’s like a machine! So why wasn’t he a first round pick? Well, you read his finished product, and you realize where the shortcomings are in his game. Look at his latest mock draft. Where are the takes? Where are the nuggets? Aaron Donald is small but explosive? The Bucs are thin at receiver? These takes are ICE COLD, just thinking about these tepid takes is making my blood boil. All that talent and this is what you bring on gameday? His takes are coasting by on "Bridgewater at 26". But I’ve watched him practice, I know he can do better, where is the production? Bottom line is that were taking a gamble that this guy is a Mock Draft superstar who needs coaching and not just another Mock Draft Workout Warrior.
Matt's pick is truly inspiring and has significantly changed my big board. Raw potential can pay dividends on the Mock Draft battlefield, if only because these pieces of unvarnished brass lack the stench of discontent and continuous failure that older warhorses know all too well. So why not take a flyer? For that reason, and really, that reason alone, I select Todd McShay with my second round pick. Now, I know what you are thinking: "We know him! He works for the four letter! His takes are hotter than the surface of Venus!" However, he is coming off an injury-plagued year where he not only set new standards for abject failure, but he also displayed Carnac-like foresight to correctly predict Ryan Nassib to the Bills for the 8th overall pick. Really, with that type of raw, unquestioned psychosis, McShay has the potential to be a veritable agent of chaos for years to come.
But, let us not forget his true strengths. Namely, his ongoing battles with the creature living beneath Mel Kiper, Jr.'s wig. These battles provide endless hilarity for those forced to watch ESPN 24/7 under a continuous threat of water-boarding. For me, that elevates the pick from "risky" to "I get it after a few Wild Turkeys." Heck, maybe he will rebound in 2014 and perform his job to a level only slightly below "satisfactory." He probably won't, but hey, you gotta crack a few eggs to make an omelette.
What happens when the football world and TMZ collide? What happens when this abomination is ran by a scummy lawyer with no actual football background? You get the hottest takes possible, flash fried so they come up burning hot in a matter of seconds without any regard for accuracy or integrity. I'm thrilled to announce that I'm drafting Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk and probably some bad 90's lawyer commercials.
Florio might not run a 40 faster than Chris Johnson but he can spew some garbage into WordPress and press publish faster than any human alive. His takes will keep the furnace in the basement of our franchise burning until the end of time. Florio has shown his intimate knowledge of the NFL with shocking mock picks such as the Texans taking a tackle with the first overall pick. Sure, they have nothing at QB, an incredible pass rush prospect also available, and a great left tackle on their roster but if you give him any guff he'll tie you down and force you to read the comments on his website so you better like it!
If there is one key element that must be present within a mock drafter, it's consistency. A moment of indecision, a second guess, a lack of purpose and conviction may cost a media outlet billions, in both dollars and page views. For this reason I select SI's Don Banks. Look at the consistency of Top 5 picks in his three mock drafts:
Johnny Manziel, QB
Blake Bortles, QB
Jadeveon Clowney, DE
Jake Matthews, OT
Greg Robinson, OT
Jake Matthews, OT
Jadeveon Clowney, DE
Jadeveon Clowney, DE
Sammy Watkins, WR
Teddy Bridgewater, QB
Johnny Manziel, QB
Johnny Manziel, QB
Blake Bortles, QB
Jake Matthews, OT
Greg Robinson, OT
Johnny Football is in every one of them! This kind of consistency is simply not coachable; it's inherent. Wait... I didn't want to take Banks here... Wait... did I... no... shit…
This next pick is a little obscure in the "draft analysts" department, but I just couldn’t resist, it’s too easy. Eagles fans who liked Chip Kelly from the jump spent every win this past season having a laugh and RTing every dumb thing that was ever said about Chip Kelly or Howie Roseman. Peter King and Jason LaCanfora received much of the (well deserved) barbs from other fellow fans. But one guy got away with an insanely stupid comment because he didn't put it on Twitter and I just can't stand for it any longer. Yes, I’m talking about the one and only, Heath Evans. Heath "vampire" Evans wrote that dumb dumb dumb dumb article about how he thinks "Chip Kelly could be the worst hire ever" EVER. His three reasons were 1) no recruiting advantage in the NFL 2) he was out-coached by Stanford and 3) his QBs are exposed to injury. What the hell is that??? That might not even be the worst part. He then ends it with this little number: "Sure, Oregon kept it close against Auburn in the 2010 title game, and the Ducks didn't do so badly against LSU in 2011 either. But "keeping it close" and "not so bad" will only get you one thing in the NFL, fired." WOO my hands are on fire from that HOT (so dead wrong) take. What makes Dracula better is when confronted about it, he gave some stupid BS answer that he was talking about if Chip Kelly coached the Browns. So an idiot AND a coward, that’s the type of guy I need with Brandt so Brandt can run wild and free picking Tom freaking Savage with the first pick.
Man, that take is slow roasted to perfection, so tender it falls right off the bone. A really savory, melt-in-your-mouth kind of take.
For my pick, I might be reaching but I have to go with my gut on this. I select Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports. I’ve listened to Pat for a while on Sirius XM Radio, and he’s always got a good story to throw in there. Whether it’s about the time he met some guy, or one of the four times he got fired, PK is always bringing it. He also fills the all important "salt and pepper mustache" quota that my team has a huge need for.
Nothing brings a smile to my face quite like failed NFLers masquerading as intelligent social creatures. Of these lost souls, few rival my third round pick, Shaun King.
He-who-lost-his-job-to-Brad-flipping-Johnson willingly bases his mock draftery on a combination of (i) a prospect's pro day music selections and (ii) copying and pasting nuggets mined from the bowels of the deep web. Check out this completely plausible and logically sound take regarding the next failed Cleveland Brown, Johnny Manziel:
"At Manziel's pro day last week, I found the majority of decision makers there were uncomfortable with the language of the music that played during the workout and with Manziel going against the grain by wearing a helmet and shoulder pads.
Team front offices want to know if Manziel can conform and be just one of the guys. His pro day outfit wasn't Texas A&M gear – it was Johnny Manziel gear. Teams have a concern on whether the pursuit of perfecting his QB skills will ever be first on Manziel's mind.
These are the reasons I don't think Manziel gets taken in Round 1."
So help him if he ever gets invited to Camp Kelly 2014. Which he probably won't, because Brad Johnson.
I did a lot of mock draft reading before we did this, and one thing I noticed is that all the great and accurate mock drafters talk about watching the tape a lot. I assume that some of these guys live in an old, abandoned dollar movie theatre just cutting up reels of tape into the morning. I wanted to bring that kind of dedication to my mock game, so I scoured my living room until I finally found a VHS -- it was the movie Baseketball. Dan Patrick was in that movie, so that's who I'll pick. Does he actually even do mock drafts? I have no idea, but how much do mock drafters know about guys after the second round anyways?
Successful NFL coaches practice various game day situations in order to be better prepared. NFL Mock Drafters should do the same. For example, what would happen if there are no quarterbacks drafted in the first round? Against Brent Cohen's better judgment, NFL.com's Bucky Brooks has you covered. In his Mock Draft 4.0, Brooks projects zero quarterbacks taken in the first round because, well, why take a developmental QB in lieu of more pro-ready talent? This isn't a senseless exercise at all. It could happen! You know what else could happen? Jacksonville could select Johnny Manziel third overall. This, according to Bucky Brooks’ Mock Draft 5.0. If Brooks were an NFL head coach, his team would be prepared to defend an onside kick on every play. He's ready for any and all possibilities!
When talking about a draft prospect, there is only one thing that matters. And that’s winning. Tim Tebow was a winner. A.J. McCarron was a winner. I want winners, who cares if they might not be all that good and that dozens of other players on a team contributed to winning a game, I only care about winning QBs. That’s why my next pick is Jon Gruden. Yes, Chuckie picks winners. You all have probably watched his Gruden Camp where he talks shop with QBs (and some non QBs) from the NFL Draft. BUT did you know that out of the 34 QBs he’s interviewed, a whopping 14 of them started on NFL teams last year? In an age where the draft is a crapshoot, if Gruden even breathes on a QB prospect then there is almost a 50% chance that he’ll start. I don’t know about you but I like them odds. Does he know a lot about the Draft? HELL NO. But, again, who cares because at the end of the way Jon Gruden has a ring and you know else who does too? Russell Wilson. Yup, your Super Bowl winning QB was also interview by Jonny boy. I’m sold. Maybe he should be the Eagles head coach!
Guys, we are crushing this. Walter Football has given us all A’s except for one team which he gave an F-. That team? I don’t know, let’s say it’s Dylan’s. Sorry, Dylan.
For my next pick I felt like I needed to make a return to my roots. You know the old saying: Polemics win championships. With that in mind, I rush to the podium, my hands trembling as I hand in my card. I was hoping he would still be here and he was! Praise the ghost of Al Davis, my next pick is Nolan Nawrocki. That’s right. America’s favorite race-baiter is back and he is ready to get out there and write in vague, sweeping terms that make him sound like that one uncle no one likes. Has three kids. Whether he’s talking about how smart Blaine Gabbert is or discussing Cam Newton’s uncanny ability to know whether he’s on camera in a building full of cameras during a televised football game, he can really sling whistles at a wall and see what dogs show up. Geno Smith? Useless. Sam Bradford? Unbelievable talent. Blaine Gabbert? Can’t-miss prospect. But what really stands out is how Nawrocki can talk about prospects without ever mentioning which sport they play. It’s what makes him truly special in this league, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have him on my team.
First, I am honored by the Walter Football grade. That's high praise. In fact, there could be no greater honor than being judged by a man who pairs late '90s Geocities design philosophies with astute and cogent analysis of RealPlayer highlight clips. Truly a blessing. Thanks, Walter!
That being said, for my fourth round pick I select CBS drone pilot Rob Rang. While not the greatest of "writers," what Robert lacks in grammatical clarity, he makes up with a personality completely devoid of human emotion. He's basically the #TwitterGM spirit animal, ignoring everything and everyone so as to not blaspheme the sanctity of The Mock Draft. I've seen many a Bleacher Reporter mimic this style, and while I appreciate their efforts, I want the Real McCoy. I mean, really, when push comes to shove, nothing says serious business quite like a Twitter Bot using an avatar stolen from vaunted thespian Josh Gad's senior class yearbook. Pair that with relatively safe and benign analysis, and I'll have a mock drafter providing me with stunning mediocrity year in and year out. What more could you possibly ask for? A soul? Maybe in the first three rounds...
These rapid fire hot takes are melting my ethernet cables, guys.
For my next pick I decided to go with someone from Division II, aka Draft Twitter. I'm picking Lance Zierlein. You might best know Lance as the guy on Twitter who used Walter White as his avatar for about a year after the show ended. You can just imagine this guy looking at himself in the mirror and repeating over and over, "I'm the one who mocks." Lance isn't afraid to throw out some hot picks that the filthy casuals wouldn't get but that Draft Twitter would just love. In his latest mock, he has a guy name Joel Bitonio going to the Seahawks in the first round. I have no idea who that is, but if I toss out some hashtags about him I'm sure a lot of pro-style scouts living in their mom's basements will be able to tell me about how wonderful his feet are.
Ugh... I'm bitter about losing Zierlein. So I'm going to take Bleacher Report's Dan Hope because I need a 40-slide slideshow. He ranks in the 99th percentile in hot takes per slide and 80th percentile in the hot take 3-cone drill. So there's that.
My thing with analysts is if they hate a prospect they’ll pounce on every bad thing about that player so they can scream from their lungs, "I TOLD YOU SO." But if that prospect does something great, they won’t even acknowledge it. Take Benjamin Albright for example. During Foles’ first Cowboys game of 2013, he was torching Foles, saying, "I knew it blah blah blah." During #7TDFOLES, he was oddly silent. Here are some tweets I find hilarious:
Just don't think Foles is a starter in this league from what I've seen on him. Was low on him during draft process too #FolesGold— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) August 15, 2013
Foles was so good, that Andy Reid would rather pay two 2nd rounders for Alex Smith. -Told you guys it'd be Vick & not the overhyped Foles.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) August 20, 2013
Foles simply isn't NFL starting QB material. That Reid didn't lift a finger to make a move for him this off-season is all you need to know.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) October 20, 2013
A lot of people anointing Foles the same way they did Flynn after both beat up on some mediocre defenses. Give it a few weeks.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) November 4, 2013
I think Philly's love/hate relationship w/ Reid is funny. On 1 hand he's responsible for all Eagles woes, then they tout Foles, his player.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) November 18, 2013
And while I can’t find the tweets, there are several about how the Texans should go with CASE KEENUM next year, and Allbright compared him to "good" Alex Smith… I just cant. But anyway, a guy who so boldly defends an UDFA and is so down on a guy who threw 27TDs/2INTs pretty much is a perfect picture of the average draft analyst/mock drafter. An elite game changer.
My next pick is outside the box, but I think in a few years you’ll all be wondering why you slept on this guy. My next pick is "The guy on a message board who is a fan of a prospect’s college team." I cannot tell you how stoked I am that I was able to grab this guy. He does it all, he wears his bias proudly on his sleeve. He watched this player all through college because he is a huge college fan, and he can tell you that this player will be a beast! "Why?" you may ask? Well, for one, he played at this guys favorite college, where he had a few memorable games. Whether this guy is talking up Allen Robinson and Kelvin Benjamin, or Ollie Ogbu and Myron Rolle, it doesn’t matter, he knows that the key to being successful in the NFL is whether or not he went to this specific college, and he is proud to check that box for these players. That is why I felt The guy on a message board who is a fan of a prospect’s college team was too good to pass up here.
Coming to the podium to represent all college homers is Albert Breer.
Matt: His overall grade hinges on this, his 5th round pick.
My latest pick is the Contrarian Twitterist. Often times, this paramour of knowledge and scouting ability takes the form of a current high school student who, during breaks between merit geometry and wood shop, takes to YouTube and "analyzes" standard definition highlight cut ups of UDFA prospects in order to propel such talent higher in the Mock Draft of Life. These cut ups are entirely scientific in nature, as evidenced by the frequent inclusion of poorly synced background music from fledgling underground EDM artists.
The Contrarian Twitterist hates the mainstream, but instead of going to Hot Topic and listening to Insane Clown Posse B-Sides like many other disenfranchised youths, he takes to social media and decries popular college players because one time, somewhere, he saw some guy from a New York private school make a tackle in the backfield. "Teddy Bridgewater, a first round talent? Well brah, let me show you a 2 minute 47 second clip of this dude who went to Vassar College and once completed 14 passes in one quarter of flag football. Now THAT is unheralded value!" he proclaimed loudly in his parents’ kitchenette. One can only hope that the Contrarian Twitterist develops into the next Bleacher Report Featured Columnist, but, sadly, his parentally mandated business degree may put those dreams permanently on hold.
Coming to the podium to represent Contrarian Twitterist is Jayson Braddock.
I'm taking Community Mock Drafts with this pick. 32+ super fans all come together and play draft. "Steal" "Wow huge get!" "HOW DID I GET THIS GUY" are all things you might be able to hear over the sound of everyone patting themselves on that back after every pick they make. Non-stop bickering, self reassuring, and hot takes will overflow from your IRC window. Punch your desk after every player you like is picked to simulate a real war room, Jeff Fisher style. "Why would you pick a (insert any position)? I live in (state with team that just picked) and I KNOW what they need after listening to sports radio while praying for death in afternoon traffic" is something another pro GM might tell you. If there's anything better than one under-informed draftnik, it’s dozens of them.
Representing Community Mock Drafts are the posters on the non-football message board you frequent that made a mock draft.
I shall not submit to this run on abstract, pluralistic mock drafters. No, I need to fill the gaping holes on my big board (that sounds a bit dirty), and there is one guy I must select: Dan Shonka from Ourlads. If Mel Kiper is the King of mock drafters, then Shonka is "The Godfather." He is as well-rounded a selection as exists in this year's draft. In fact, Mock Draft Mock Draft pundits may exclaim that Shonka is the most well-rounded mock drafter in mock draft history! But they may simply be part of the *cough* family. Shonka has risen through the ranks with hard work, dedication, and, who knows, perhaps a murder or two (I kid, he's probably a nice guy... Just don't ask him about his business).
Appropriately, Ourlads boasts his diversity. Shonka is the only NFL Draft Analyst to have played the game (high school), coached the game (community college), recruited (college), and scouted (Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, and Kansas City Chiefs). Well-rounded, indeed. Further illustrative, Shonka just released Ourlads annual Draft Guide, a mega feature that includes a list of the 900 most draftable college football players this year. 900! The man is as savvy as he is tireless.
Shonka also has a legion of loyalists in his camp. Gus "Luca Brasi" Schrader, Sports Editor for the Cedar Rapids Gazette, says of Shonka, "Dan goes 100 different directions, 100 miles per hour." He later added, "I'd kill for that man."
With all the out-of-the-box thinking, I almost rushed my pick to make one I wasn’t quite so comfortable with in the fifth round. But, thankfully, something special happened to me. More specifically, MERRIL HOGE happened to me. I woke up and saw all the things he was saying about Jadeveon Clowney, how his fundamentals are atrocious, how he gets trucked and that he’s just not that good of a football player. Now that’s not a new theory. Several people have also thought the same thing so I just chalk it up to the "Andrew Luck" effect. When someone is rated as a number one prospect for years, eventually they’ll end up getting torn down. But it got me thinking. Merril Hoge has said so many stupid things. Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we? Speaking of Andrew Luck, in the 2012 draft Hoge also said he would take RG3 over Luck. We’re seeing how that’s working out. He also said this year he would take MICHAEL SAM over Clowney. Now, we don’t have the benefit of seeing into the future, but I’m going to go out on a huge limb here and guess Sam won’t make more of an impact than Clowney. And who can forget when he said, "Joe Flacco is the best QB in the NFL, WITHOUT QUESTION." Without question! He doesn’t even want your thoughts on the matter, that’s how sure he is. (BTW Flacco threw 22 INTs last year but shhhh Hoge doesn’t want to heat that). And to make it a bit more personal for us, we all remember him saying that Chip had the most vanilla offense last year and also other awful things . So, yes, my pick is Merril Hoge because I like my takes hot and I like them wrong.
Well, since Anthony plucked community mock drafts out from under me, we’re over here at HQ scrambling to fill out a new card. With my next pick, I select
Dave: Don Banks was taken in the 2nd round.
Matt: Deal with it. Mock Draft Mock Drafts are tough, and this is meant to be a guideline anyway. Keep this up and I’ll make you jerk of the week.
James: My grade for the second Don Banks selection is an A-.
(First one was a C+, FWIW.)
[The next day] Dave: Matt, you're still on the clock.
Matt: You’re not buying my "deal with it"? Fine, I’ll take one of the sacks of sawdust over at CBS. Let’s say Dane Brugler. Same blurb.
Anthony: His last pick was the perfect representation of mocks. You sound just like Goodell, Dave smh
Matt: "No more celebrating your mock draft mock draft selections" - Dave
Anthony: "I think an 18 game mock draft would be great for the players" - Dave
Dave: Next year we're looking to expand to London.
When researching mock drafters, it became obvious that most (if not all) mock drafters take leaps of faith because they play with house money. Having no risk turns a man (or a 16-year-old HS sophomore) into a savage beast. They can screw up repeatedly and no one seems to care. However, one human exists that should have plenty of risk but still operates without any, probably because he is the boss until a comet crash lands into the middle of the country. This man lives in a fever dream of inexorable American Exceptionalism, and no one will tell him what to do because by golly he was one heck of an oil man. With my sixth round pick, I select Jerry Jones, mock draft avatar, owner/GM of the Dallas Cowboys, and immortal vampire prince.
Now, I get it, he is technically "not" a mock drafter. But look at his recent drafts, where he picks based on desire, passion, and complete chaos, just like all the notable draftniks. If he completely screws up, he just tries again next year, a process he has repeated for the past two decades to absolutely zero success. Jerry is Norman Schwarzkopf, but instead of riding a tank into Kuwait, he charges into Radio City Music Hall on the backs of nepotistic yes men and with a fervent desire to forget Jimmy Johnson. Remember Morris Claiborne? The Cowboys traded up to seize this shutdown corner in the 2012 draft. Jerry fell in love and Morris climbed that draft board quicker than Andy Reid can sprint through a Sizzler. And Jerry was right! Claiborne is an absolute monster, recording no less than two interceptions and one forced fumble in 25 career games. Good thing Jerry only gave up his first and second rounder to get him, but hey, when you play the mock draft of life, sometimes you kill half your draft board to satiate America’s bloodlust.
It gets better. Currently, rumors are swirling that Jerry wants to draft none other than Johnny Manziel. "Hey, how many picks do we really need in this draft? I mean, can’t we just trade them all so we can get the surefire QB prospect who will assuredly be a Pro Bowler for 3 decades?" Jerry’s best player is his $400 million QB Tony Romo, and yet despite the fact that his 4-3 defense (run by Lord of the Rings extra Monte Kiffin) has maybe one competent lineman, Jerry wants Johnny freaking Football. And yet, no one will even bat an eye. That is true mock draft talent in my book.
Jerry Jones, what a pick! Now you have someone to get wasted with on a Tuesday afternoon.
Self scouting is a big deal on real NFL teams so I decided to take a page out of their playbook (football pun enjoy) and do some self scouting. That's when I learned that one of the best picks on the board has been with me the whole time. With my pick I select Me. My blatant homerism and lack of football knowledge shine through in every nugget I violently type after a few beers on a message board. "Jake Locker's going to be way better than Cam Newton" because screw Auburn. "Danny Watkins is going to be great at protecting Vick!" I still miss you, Andy. "Vontaze Burfict won't even make a team." I know it's the Bengals, but he's still a starter. I spend so much time ironically tweeting hot takes, I don't even know what I do and don't mean anymore. I'll be sure to load my franchise with players I liked in random UGA games for the foreseeable future. It worked out with Brandon Boykin, so maybe I'll be a better GM than Matt Millen.
Before we start a run on guys picking themselves, I'm selecting Matt. He of amorphous Twitter handle fame, /r/Eagles, and master of his red.hottak.es domain. Don't get too close, you might burn yourself:
[This pick was then traded to Dylan for a 2015 5th rounder and some scotch.]
Matt: I don’t know how to feel, except for "oh"
[Picks 30 and 31 were then traded for each other. It was deemed a terrible deal by the Mock Draft Mock Draft trade value chart James had made using random values.]
30. Matt (via Jordo)
*ESPN music plays*
Boomer - Ok and welcome back to our Mock Draft Draft coverage here on ESPN.
Steve Young - I tell you what, Boomer, Matt Dering has had a heck of a draft, and with this last trade he can really cement something special for his mock draft squad.
Mel Kiper - Agreed all around, he’s on the clock and so far it’s been pretty quiet.
Boomer - Well as you recall there are no time limits here, and — wait, our producer is telling me that one of our home feeds has something, can we put it up?
(Artwork Courtesy of Jimmy Kempski, LLC)
AND THERE IT IS. It looks like with his final pick in this year’s draft, Matt Dering has selected Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com!
Steve Young - Wow.
Mel Kiper - Wow.
Jaws - Wow, just wow.
Boomer - Wow, really says it all. We’ll be right back with the beginning of round 7.
31. Jordo (via Matt)
This is a long one...
I had already chosen my next pick. Had it all laid out nice and neat. Then I take a look at the ol’ Google Machine this morning and saw something that, and I am not exaggerating here, literally made my blood boil. It was an article written by this guy who I never even heard of before. Needless to say, he became an instantaneous riser and now I must have him on my squad. I am talking about Andrew Perloff. Yeah, I know, WHO???
Did you all know that there are RULES to make a ‘respectable’ mock draft. RULES and GUIDELINES that just suck the fun out of everything. RULES that contradict its own RULES. I’ll summarize the rules for you guys in a couple sentences on how I personally took each and every rule, and you will see why this may be the steal of the draft.
Rule 1: It’s all about relationships. Basically make friends with agents, teams, other media members, exchange info, listen to them yadda yadda yadda.
Rule 2: Don’t trust anyone. FORGET RULE 1.
Rule 3: Character Study. Scouts/GMs/Coaches have all the avenues to find out a prospect’s character, but YOU as a mock drafter have no chance at getting that info SO WHY EVEN BOTHER.
Rule 4: Beware of workouts. Maybe he should tell this rule to everyone dropping Teddy because of his pro day. Actual line for this rule... "In this year's draft, the central focus of this debate is Clowney. His April 4 pro day workout was impressive enough to vault him to No. 1 in many mock drafts. But he had only 3.5 sacks last season." How is that not going against the damn title for this rule.
Rule 5: Write what you know. Good call here. Don’t write what you don’t know. Like writing about mock drafts.
Rule 6: History doesn’t always repeat itself. Just because the Giants haven’t drafted a lineman in 13 years doesn’t mean they won't this year. Yes, yes anything can happen. Again, kind of a ‘well duh’ rule.
Rule 7: Take a stand. In this rule Andrew uses Russ Lande as an example of standing your ground. Lande had Nassib as a top 5 pick and as we know Nassib went in the fourth round. So this rule is to have a crappy mock draft and be a terrible talent evaluator. Seems like almost the exact opposite of what we want, right?
Rule 8: Spread the word. We get a surprise mention from our number one overall pick here as Walter Football is brought up on how to market your mock and become a top 3 Google result. I guess that’s better than actually being good at what you do.
Rule 9: You don’t have to quit your day job. Yes, please don’t do that.
Rule 10: Develop thick skin. Your mocks are going to suck and intelligent people will make fun of you.
Rule 11: Be responsible. This rule has to do more with all the underclassmen declaring for the draft when they shouldn’t. Don’t know how that applies to me but OKAY.
Rule 12: Have fun. These last two sound like they are for a beer commercial.
I apologize for writing so much, but like I said, my BLOOD IS STILL BOILING. What the heck is all that?! Luckily we didn’t read that before we started this or we would have never come far. So, I thank Andrew (insert last name here) for that.
I was two Wild Turkeys in to one heck of a little Sunday evening when I happened upon the mock draft to end mock drafts: The Brothers Swartz "all time mock draft." This mock draft is, based upon my estimation, the most flagrant and meaningless mock draft ever conducted by humans.
The concept: each team drafts an "all time great player" with its current 2014 draft position. Here are the results of the first two rounds (I am unsure if they went further, but really, I did not care to find out):
Now, allegedly, the Swartzii made these picks with a team’s current needs in mind. Cool. Fine. Whatever. But what does this say about America? It says, quite bluntly, that folks love mock drafting so much that even when they run out of "actual" mock drafts, they will create new, inexplicable ways to mock draft something—anything—just to pass the time. Hell, I am half expecting to see an all time Star Wars cast mock draft any minute now. And for their efforts in furthering the mockery, I select with my final pick in the Mock Draft Mock Draft the Bleacher Report Featured Columnists, the Brothers Swartz. Carry on you wayward sons, carry on.
I really wasn't sure who I was going to pick here but then something came across my timeline that moved me, truly moved me. /daps
NFL wants to blame draft twitter and the media for hyping mediocre QBs when they’re drafting Lockers and Gabberts in the top 10.— E (@JayErictronica) April 30, 2014
How dare you NFL. How dare you persecute draft twitter. These hard working souls deserve your praise and some jobs, not to be blamed for bad draft choices. I'm choosing Eric Stoner, freedom fighter. Eric uses a lot of 'street slang' in his tweets which probably helps him get into the minds of the thug prospects to better understand their upside. /daps
There is one man left with more mock draft football knowledge/hot take ability in his left pinky nail than all of us have combined: Bleacher Report’s Michael Schottey. An aspiring pastor, he majored in Biblical Languages and minored in Confessional Languages, experience that has served him well as a featured NFL writer for Bleacher Report (and card-carrying member of the Pro Football Writers of America!). Michael used his God-given talent to project Clinton-Dix to the Eagles, because, "[Malcolm] Jenkins hasn't been that good in the NFL and is more suitable for a nickelback/hybrid-safety role." Whoah... that's it. Trade [the] Boykin(g)! But don't mistake my selection of Michael Schottey as filling a need for a hot take preacher. Quite the contrary. In modeling my squad after the Eagles, I place particular value in sports science. Schottey muses often about cooking and dieting, offering his readers the occasional recipe (twice-baked Mexican sweet potatoes!) and dieting challenges (Advocare!). Compared to Schottey, Shaun Huls ain't got jack. Fin.
Since 1976, the final selection in the NFL Draft is bestowed the prestigious title "Mr. Irrelevant" and is celebrated for being deemed a marginally better draft prospect than an undrafted free agent. Mr. Irrelevant is given the Lowsman Trophy, a parade, a roast, a free round of golf and in most cases a career selling commercial real estate. It is presented by its founder, former NFL bit player Paul Salata. Presenting this year's Mock Draft Mock Draft Mr. Irrelevant is the master of the hot takes and someone who is also irrelevant, Skip Bayless.
Mr. Irrelevant. This term couldn’t describe the last pick, #DraftTwitter, any better. #DraftTwitter started off well enough as a bunch of normal guys scouting players, talking about what they see and whatnot. Then, slowly, as their follower counts started to rise, you could see the egos growing each and every day. It went from talking about scouting players to talking about which Kanye song is the best and who has the worst tweets. The special quality about #DraftTwitter is the sense of entitlement everyone has. The smugness you can just feel crawl all over your skin when you read the worst words ever put into a sentence, "Do you even watch tape?" Gross.
Perhaps the most alarming thing in #DraftTwitter is the overwhelming #GroupThink phenomenon that has taken over. A prime example of this is what I like to call: Teddy’s Fall From Grace. Up until a couple days ago Bridgewater was #DraftTwitter’s top QB. Now, DAYS before the draft it miraculously changes. What changed??? Hmmmm I wonder, could it be that Kiper, McShay, or every other TV draft analyst has dropped Teddy into the second round?? Going back and changing your evaluations ten days before the draft reminds me of DRAFT DAY, when Kevin Costner asks his scouts what they like about the top QB a mere hours before the draft starts. They’ll snort and ask if you watch tape (i.e. draftbreakdown.com), completely ignoring the fact that they’re not even that good at watching tape. How is just now that all Teddy’s flaws are being recognized and exposed? Where was this months ago? Did they not see it when they were watching it by themselves and touting Teddy? But now it’s all so easy to see. KIPER HAS SHOWN US THE LIGHT. I know what must have happened, Tom Savage spliced clips of himself playing into Bridgewater’s games and re-sent it to all the analysts!
Bridgewater had been the top QB for months and months and sure fire first rounder but not now. Nope, sorry, Mr. Teddy, but a couple TV draft analysts don’t like you and you pissed off #DraftTwitter, now you’re not even going to get drafted. Might as well not even play football. There is no way you can even begin to compete with Tom Savage. Why would I want UDFA Teddy Bridgewater when I can have Tom Savage first overall?
What is even stranger about this fascinating #DraftTwitter species is these are the same guys who will pound the table for Joe Swanson from North Connecticut Tech. You see, #DraftTwitter cannot miss out conforming on a well-known prospect, but, boy, do they love being the only ones to know about guy they scouted at a small school using the parents’ video footage. It’s almost like #DraftTwitter wants to be #HipsterTwitter.
But this is why #DraftTwitter is perfect for my team. I can change the opinions of dozens of draft analysts just by putting Mel Kiper on their TV? Gil Brandt, while mocking Tom Savage to the Texans at 1, nods in approval.
There it is -------------> The 2014 Mock Draft Mock Draft. Let's review the selections:
Matt - Walter Football, Daniel Jeremiah, Pat Kirwan, Nolan Nawrocki, College Homer, Dane Brugler, Jimmy Kempski.
Dylan - Pete Prisco, Todd McShay, Shaun King, Rob Rang, Contrarian Twitterist, Jerry Jones, Matt, The Swartz Brothers.
Anthony - Matt Miller, Mike Florio, Dan Patrick, Lance Zierlein, Community Mock Drafts, Himself, Eric Stoner.
James - Mel Kiper, Don Banks, Bucky Brooks, Dan Hope, Dan Shonka, a bottle of scotch, Michael Schottey.
Jordo - Gil Brandt, Heath Evans, Jon Gruden, Benjamin Albright, MERRIL HOGE, Andrew Perloff, #DraftTwitter.