My seemingly successful approach of avoiding doing my own mock by hiding
mock draft muncher - a strategy which has worked fine for seven years
- has now crumbled due thanks to John's idea of doing a mock week and the
relentless peer pressure of the site's writers. I am now exposed more than ever
to post-draft pointing-and-laughing, so a big thanks goes out the OBR gang. I
hate you all.
Remember, as always, the difference between a mock drafts and a science fiction novel are, at best, somewhat tenuous. Here goes:
- Houston Texans - Reggie Bush, RB, USC
This is the time of year when a couple of mock drafts will take it upon themselves to do something weird at the top of their mocks out of sheer boredom. Still, we all know that nothing odd will happen here unless the entire Texans front office is turned into emotionless zombies by vegetable-like parasitic aliens. The outer space invasion would probably still go unnoticed, though, because even pod people from outer space know that Bush is the obvious pick (see: Kiper, Mel).
- New Orleans Saints - D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OT, Virginia
Ferguson has been nothing but a pest. Reason #1 to hate D'Brick: He didn't declare last year when we (Browns fans) could have busied ourselves with our yearly obsession about finally getting a franchise left tackle. Reason #2 to hate D'Brick: He'll be protecting Drew Brees' backside in week one of the regular season, and that could be somewhat annoying. The Saints would love to extort multiple picks from a team that wants to swipe Leinart from the Titans, but it likely won't happen with Young and Cutler available.
- Tennessee Titans - Matt Leinart, QB, USC
This is a slam dunk for the Titans, although they will take Young if the Saints manage to sucker someone into a deal. Like many seemingly "sure things", the selection of Leinart will turn out to be a tragic misfire. The QB's downfall will begin one day this summer as he drives all over Nashville looking for a nice avocado yogurt, and has to settle a deep-fried banana. Five more hours of driving around town results in the sudden realization that there's absolutely no beach to speak of, and that omnipresent green turtle sandboxes containing standing rainwater lack both surf and bikini babes. Desperate for relief, the ex-Trojan QB turns on the radio to find some hip-hop to work out his angst. After a twenty minute frenzy of button-pushing, the killing spree begins.
- New York Jets - Mario Williams, DE, North Carolina State
Williams is a freak. He's 6' 7" and 295 pounds and heads to the QB like a freight train. If I was a quarterback looking downfield for a receiver, and this guy came after me, I would instantly throw the ball away. Actually, no. I would drop the ball, squeal "eek!" at the top of my lungs like a woman spotting a mouse in a 50s sitcom, and run screaming to the sidelines. Then I would get in my car and drive away from the Stadium as quickly as possible until I could find a place to stop and change my underwear. He's that scary, and I'm that easily frightened.
- Green Bay Packers - A.J. Hawk, LB, Ohio State
Hawk's is in the gym right now, hitting the bench press after four hours on an exercise bike. The future Packer knows he'll have to head off a determined charge by the recently-signed Ben "The Running Back Rider" Taylor to snag a starting spot, and there's no margin for error. When Tagliabue declares Hawk's name after fifteen tense minutes in Cleveland, over 1,000 Browns and Buckeyes fans will break down weeping. I will be among them, but that's just because Draft (Junkin) Day (Powell) has (Charlton) always (Vardell) been so (Couch) tragic for me.
NOTE: In the next five draft slots, we have the Niners, Raiders, Bills, Millens, and Bidwells. Someone is going to do something stupid, it's just a matter of when, who, and what the tortured rationalization will be. This will hopelessly screw up every mock draft on the 'net.
- San Francisco 49ers - Haloti Ngata, NT, Oregon
Vernon Davis has been a fashionable pick here, and so has Michael Huff, but if I'm Baltimore's ex-defensive coordinator and I'm running the 3-4, I snag Haloti Ngata in a heartbeat. There are still good opportunities to pick up a much-needed tight end and a right tackle later in day one, but Ngata is the sole decent choice at the nose. Playing perhaps the most important position in the 3-4, Ngata would enable Anthony Adams to move into a rotation at DE where he belongs. This pick makes the Niners line scary, and improves them fast. If Nolan picks Davis, that looks to me like trying to save last year's pick with this one, and it will be the start of his decline in San Fran. Book it.
- Oakland Raiders - Michael Huff, S, Texas
The Raiders are always difficult to read, but that's only because Al Davis is insane and his hair gel repels the FoxSports.com brain scanner. Vince Young seems like a logical pick for Davis, but they've already got one QB-of-the-future (Andrew Walter) and Aaron Brooks just rode into town. Meanwhile, the team has lots of problems elsewhere, including TE, LT, and the defensive backfield. I think the Raidahs look to Davis, Justice, Williams or Huff to fill the void, with Huff being the pick.
- Buffalo Bills - Vince Young, QB, Texas
The Bills, like the two teams before them, have a massive number of holes to fill, and could look at Justice, Bunkley, and a couple of other players to fill them. Still, I have a theory that if a team has five mediocre players on the roster at any position, it means they secretly know that they're just kidding themselves. Well, the Bills are currently carrying five quarterbacks on the roster, with one perhaps headed elsewhere (Losman) and another one whose brain catches on fire whenever he's given the starting job. Vince Young won't have that problem, and Marv Levy remembers that Dan Marino didn't have them book smarts, or even Wonderlic smarts. But he had talent, and so does Vince Young.
- Detroit Lions - Jay Cutler, QB, Vanderbilt
When predicting what the Lions will do, it's important to remember that Matt Millen is a moron. It's also important to recall that Jay Cutler is this year's Couch/Harrington/McNown/Losman, but with a different name and a two-year honeymoon waiting for him in the Motor City. With no Butch Davis to swindle, Millen is forced to pick another signal caller as part of his elaborate ten-year plan to average more than 200 yards-per-game passing. The smart pick here would be Winston Justice, but Millen, well, he's no Vince Young.
- Arizona Cardinals - Vernon Davis, TE, Maryland
Hopefully for the Cardinals, every Bidwell in the state will be be busy sucking down martinis or whatever they do, and will leave their hired football people to make the decision. Otherwise, you'll see the Cards move up to snag Young and burn up their future to fill their stadium in 2006. If they stay here, however, Denny Green has an easy call to make, as he snags the tight end from Maryland to replace the five-man crew of sub-mediocrity currently pulling down Cardinal paychecks at tight end.
- St. Louis Rams - Jimmy Williams, DB, Virginia Tech
Here's a team with an unreadable new head coach and a roster situation which doesn't dictate an obvious pick. Bunkley is a possibility here, since the Rams are suddenly thin at defensive tackle despite the addition of LaRoi Glover. Taking a look at their roster, though, Williams seems the best fit for them right now given the selections made earlier in the draft.
- Cleveland Browns - Brodrick Bunkley, DL, Florida State
As nice as Wimbley, Lawson or a couple of others would look in the Browns linebacking corps, the Browns take the lineman out of FSU with an eye to playing him at defensive end this year and perhaps moving him inside later if none of the youngsters backing up Washington show enough promise. Savage would have loved Ngata to fall, or to be in a position to deal down with a team wanting a QB or RB, but draft day will be a tragic reminder that we're still the Cleveland Browns, and the Cavs have already used up Cleveland's once-a-century draft day miracle.
- Baltimore Ravens - Winston Justice, OT, USC
Brian Billick has a right tackle fall into his lap and will consider himself brilliant beyond compare for noticing it.
- Philadelphia Eagles - Chad Jackson, WR, Florida
Every year, a wide receiver who times well in the forty will rise up in the draft beyond where he should. This year it's Chad Jackson, and this is where he lands. The Eagles would have preferred Bunkley, so they again curse the Browns.
- Denver Broncos - Santonio Holmes, WR, Ohio State
Like the Vikings, the Broncos are a bit of a wild card with extra picks, and might be eyeing one of the QBs at the top of the draft. If they stay put, however, they can grab the best WR available this year.
- Miami Dolphins - Tye Hill, CB, Clemson
I'm bored with Nick Saban, Ricky Williams, Duante Culpepper and the rest of 'em. I really don't care what the Dolphins do here. I just don't. I try to care, and I can't. Sorry.
- Minnesota Vikings - Chad Greenway, OLB, Iowa
Not right for the Browns, but a nice fit in Minnesota. If the Vikings stay put, they'll snare themselves the best coverage linebacker in the draft.
- Dallas Cowboys - Kamerion Wimbley, DE/OLB, Florida State
Of the players seeming to capture the Cowboys interest, I suspect Wimbley would be the best value at this spot.
- San Diego - Sinorice Moss, WR, Miami
The Chargers take the best wide receiver left on the board.
NOTE: Testing results of past years' mock drafts vs. the real thing shows that the odds of my getting any pick after twenty correct are about the same as finding a Steelers fan with a full set of teeth. I'm not going to waste my time or yours by offering an rationale for these near-random guesses. On a related note, two-round mock drafts are written by complete loons, and anyone doing a complete seven-round mock should be locked up without trial.
- Kansas City - Tamba Hali, DE, Penn State
- New England - DeAngelo Williams, RB, Memphis State
- Denver Broncos - Leonard Pope, TE, Georgia
- Tampa Bay - Eric Winston, OT, Miami
- Cincinnati - Gabe Watson, DT, Michigan
- New York Giants - Ernie Sims, LB, Florida State
- Chicago Bears - Marcedes Lewis, TE, UCLA
- Carolina Panther - Lendale White, RB, USC
- Jacksonville Jaguars - Manny Lawson, DE, North Carolina State
- Denver Broncos - Ashton Youboty, DB, Ohio State
- Indianapolis Colts - Maurice Drew, RB, UCLA
- Seattle Seahawks - Max Jean-Gilles, OG, Georgia
- Pittsburgh Steelers - Bobby Carpenter, LB, Ohio State