It’s finally here, the NFL Draft is upon us. What does that mean for the people for whom Draft Day One is their New Year? It means a complete, new show on Fox-like crappy reboot, where last year’s takes no longer matter and this year’s eventually won’t either.
But somebody has to watch the watchers. It’s the 5th annual Mock Draft Mock Draft, the mock draft of mock drafters and other various media members. Once again joining me in this trip down bad take memory lane are @Philatticus, @Hegelbon, @OhWowHmm, @TheMikes_, @log__off, and @Mikelennial.
The year is 2042. The human genome has been fully mapped. Draft Twitter forms bad takes about quarterbacks two months before their birth— John Shaw (@chainshaw511) December 9, 2016
1 Browns - Bill Barnwell
The Browns have been copying Bill Barnwell for years, even if Barnwell didn't know it. If they’re the geniuses some think they are, eventually the league will catch up to Cleveland. Like drafting Mitchell Trubinsky, grabbing Barnwell at 1 is a reach, but they’ve got to ensure their unoriginal ideas like passing on Carson Wentz or making a salary dump trade doesn’t get picked up by the rest of the league. Fear not Bill, you’ll be free in a couple of years when Jimmy Haslam blows it all up again. Again.
2 49ers - Derrik Klassen
The Niners are a franchise mired by stunning, top-to-bottom incompetence. In dire need of a QB and an education, they select “guru” Derrik “QBKlass” Klassen, who has yet to evaluate a QB correctly in his 16 months of scouting for a bevy of miscellaneous GoDaddy-hosted football websites. But maybe he and the Niners will strike gold, just like Vernon Adams did as a backup quarterback for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.
3 Bears - Pro Football Focus
Like all of the Bears free agent signings, PFF was thought to be good back in 2013, but is now just a waste of time. Do you need an indecipherable and unverifiable statistical measure to tell you that Mike Glennon is actually good (not bad)? You don't, but PFF can do this easily. We grade this pick a 52.3. What does that mean? No one knows.
4 Jaguars - David Chao
Change is in the air in Jacksonville. After giving up on What Gus Bradley Was Building Down There™, they have turned to Tom Coughlin, the creator of the Jaguars’ first successes and practitioner of quack medicine, like putting leeches on wounds and telling players to just get on with it rather than take advantage of tremendous improvements in modern medicine. That makes David Chao the perfect fit.
5 Titans (from STL) - Joe Banner
Despite years of cataclysmic failure, this year the Titans are near the top of the draft through no fault of their own. Smart maneuvering, the acquisition of 6 running backs, and a young franchise QB guided the Titans to the best season no one cared about since Jeff Fisher moved the team from Houston. Sterling irrelevancy is a page from Joe Banner’s 478-page rulebook, making him the perfect choice at number 5.
6 Jets - Pete Prisco
Me: Hackenberg > Winston for NFL— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) January 7, 2014
Welcome to the Jets Pete, New Jersey’s finest tomato farm.
7 Chargers - Don Banks
The Chargers are the most forgettable franchise in professional North American sports. They are moving to a fair weather sports town somehow shared with another franchise and will, within 5 years, disappear into oblivion. The Chargers select Don Banks, who is still writing somewhere, we think.
8 Panthers - Skip Bayless
Carolina’s favorite pastime is trying to get Cam Newton killed behind the offensive line. Skip Bayless figuratively kills him each week, so this is a natural fit.
9 Bengals - Gil Brandt
The Bengals have employed Marvin Lewis for the better part of 6 decades. Why not add another century of football experience with Gil Brandt?
10 Bills - Adam Schefter
After the wholly uninspiring hire of Rex Ryan that predictably flamed out, the Bills turned to another completely uninspiring coach in Sean McDermott, previously known as “the guy who got credit for Ron Rivera’s defense.” Here they combine the two with Adam Schefter, who is a big name for just repeating what other people tell him.
11 Saints - Charles Barkley
No one in the Saints organization has the slightest idea how to run a football organization outside of Drew Brees and Sean Payton immediately after a bacchanal. It’s only fitting they select Charles Barkley, who’s never actually watched a game of football, and even if he’s just a hologram beamed from a cave somewhere north of Tucson.
12 Browns - Awful White QBs
The Browns are breaking new ground. The standard NFL front office approach is a tired act and the Browns want to bring a “woke” new approach to conventional NFL strategy. Taking a white QB early in the draft is the old NFL way. The Browns are above all that, at least until they’re on the clock with the 1st overall pick and take Mitchell Trubisky. Oh well. Together, the Browns and AWQB share a vision of building a contender and exposing flawed thinking, and their commitment to unorthodox approaches is totally genuine and in no way just an act to get attention.
13 Cardinals - Mike Florio
The Cardinals undisputed leader is Bruce Arians, whose frequent temper tantrums and unfiltered public statements have drawn the admiration of the NFL media. To complement this passion, the Cardinals take ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio. Like Arians, Florio has been known to fill his diaper on a regular basis. With this pick, Arizona is going all in on emotion.
14 Eagles - Cian Fahey
Cian Fahey is the perfect pick for a team with grit, determination, and a dogged overestimation of one’s abilities and value. Armed with opinions forged in the heart of the Sun and tempered in a cold European basement, Cian instantly bolsters an offense led by second year quarterback Carson Wentz. Jeff Lurie, always one to covet the new new thing, assuredly approves of Cian’s diamond-cutting persona.
15 Colts - Michael Irvin
Since drafting Andrew Luck in 2012, the Colts haven’t shown much interest in building a strong team around him. Perhaps owner Jim Irsay, who has had a franchise QB for the past 20 years, has become distracted by other interests.
With the 15th pick, Indianapolis selects the NFL Network’s Michael Irvin. He brings nothing to the table from a football perspective, but will be a valuable addition to Irsay’s weekend binges.
16 Ravens - Todd McShay
Never one to pass up surefire value, Ozzie Newsome does it again (!!) and selects Todd McShay, or the other draft guy at ESPN. Like Newsome, McShay is living off a reputation earned years ago that has had no tangible results in recent seasons, but no one has noticed.
17 Redskins - Peter King
It is clear by this point that the title of “GM” in Washington is meaningless. Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen run the show. Peter King is a perfect selection to fill this need. King has made his career out of being a shameless mouthpiece for the NFL no matter how bad the situation seems, transitioning into this role for the Washington [redacted] should be seamless.
18 Titans - Chris Berman
Chris Berman had his best year in a long time because it was his last. The Titans similarly had a resurgence and like Berman, no one will miss them if they’re gone.
19 Buccaneers - Walter Football
Last year, the Buccaneers shocked the world and took a kicker in the second round… and it didn’t work out. Not one to let almost certain failure stand in the way of success, Jason Licht is at it again, drafting the mock drafter no one wanted or needed in Walter Football at 19. Superfluous and redundant in every way, Walter seems a tremendous fit in Tampa Bay.
20 Broncos - Mel Kiper, Jr.
John Elway. Big name. Big hair. Mel Kiper, Jr. Big name. Big hair. Neither were ever as good as advertised--but don’t tell them that!
21 Lions - Jon Gruden
Matt Stafford is finally old enough for Jon Gruden to coach him, and gee golly, Gruden’s coming in hot to Old Motor town. Armed with a playbook from 1997 and a freshly-peeled face, Gruden is an instant upgrade for the veteran Lions.
22 Dolphins - Daniel Jeremiah
Miami put together a fairly competent season and also nailed their head coach hire by swiping Adam Gase from the Bears. This would normally be a shocking turn of events, but you can’t shock people if they’re not watching; and no one watches the Dolphins. Looking to build on this sense of promise and dull irrelevancy, Miami selects Daniel Jeremiah, the mock drafter who best represents competence and bland anonymity. Miami celebrates by drinking a glass of skim milk and enjoying one slice of white bread.
23 Giants - Don Cherry
To our chagrin, the Giants have fewer holes than expected coming into the 2017 campaign. One of those holes? A tailor for Ben McAdoo’s wardrobe. Have no fear, hockey’s Don Cherry will bring McAdoo decades of suits and a priceless lifeline to 21st century fashions.
24 Raiders - Louis Riddick
Oakland (Vegas?) for years functioned as the home for misfit players of all sorts. Louis Riddick, once a contender on Game of Thrones: Eagles, knows this all too well. Fitting in perfectly with the Raider’s penchant for speed and flash, Riddick will become an asset to a franchise destined to move to America’s worst city.
25 Texans - Tony Romo
Bill O’Brien finally gets a good QB. Fresh off the failure of the Brock Osweiler experiment, the Texans look to accomplish another 1st round playoff exit and look towards the booth at CBS with the selection of
Phil Simms Tony Romo. Quite familiar with early playoff exits from his days in Dallas, his experience will be invaluable to the Texans franchise.
26 Seahawks - Justis Mosqueda
The Seahawks have gotten to where they are with a steadfast commitment to one thing: a terrible attitude. Knowing this core belief is more important than any measurable element, coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider finally let out a breath of relief when Justis Mosqueda drops to 26. As one scout noted prior to the draft, “Mosqueda is braggy, obsessed with testing, and makes more than most of us; he’s Seahawks material.”
27 Chiefs - Reuben Frank
Now CSNPhilly’s Reuben Frank can finally live out his lifelong wish of covering Andy Reid, the only good football coach in the history of football coaching.
28 Cowboys - Andy Benoit
Andy Benoit is the Assistant to the Regional Manager of MMQB, Jeff Fisher’s several-year-old money laundering operation run out of the scorched husk of Sports Illustrated. Now he will get the opportunity to run for 1,500 yards behind the Cowboys’ OL. However, without Peter King to protect him (yet again), who knows if Benoit will be the Cowboys’ 53rd first round pick or a Mo Claiborne-esque waste of a paycheck.
29 Packers - Marshall Faulk
Ted Thompson is a general managing wizard, known for wasting the prime of one of the best quarterbacks to ever walk the planet and being completely unable to draft or otherwise acquire a running back better than a converted free safety. He corrects years of wrongs here by selecting Marshall Faulk, who last played 12 years ago but still runs a faster 40-yard dash than Eddie Lacy.
30 Steelers - Scott Kacsmar
Much like Google’s Adsense ad network, no one’s quite sure how the Steelers function internally. There’s a lot of discussion, a lot of speculation, but no concrete understanding. In these situations, it’s best to simply make stuff up and breathlessly defend the imagined; Football Outsiders’ Scott Kacsmar is the best pick here.
31 Falcons - Brett Kollmann
Unfortunately for Falcons fans, their franchise is defined by blowing a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl. For that reason, the Falcons select Brett Kollmann, owner of the “blowing a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl” of draft takes:
32 Saints (from Patriots) - Albert Breer
The Saints acquired this pick from the Patriots, so it is only fitting they pick a true Bostonian--Albert Breer--with the 32nd and final pick of the MDMD. It’s foolish to expect much from Breer, as he is from Boston, but he’ll sure as heck let you know he’s trying. Sure, the Saints can just barely afford his salary with their remaining $10 of cap space, but in a draft deep with Ohio State alums, New Orleans gets the most vocal of them all.