Mock drafts are like strippers--occasionally entertaining, inherently frustrating, and generally useless. Once the draft order is set, every basement-dweller with a computer and an opinion puts together his version of how the draft is going to shake out. And the fact is, no one is ever right. You'd think such a galling rate of failure would keep people from coming back for more, but nope...the number of mock drafts multiplies every year. And I'm nothing if not prone to peer pressure and bad decisions. Thus, I give you The Answer Key--one idiot's completely random and sure to be incorrect look at what's going to happen this afternoon from the first pick to when your Houston Texans go on the clock (which is likely to be sometime between 4:30 p.m and 4:45 p.m.):
- Miami--Jake Long, OT. I feel really good about this prediction.
- St. Louis--Glenn Dorsey, DT. In a close race over Chris Long.
- Atlanta--Matt Ryan, QB. I hear he's more of a cat person.
- Oakland--Chris Long, DE. If Darren McFadden is the choice here, Al Davis will have boldly decided that he desperately wants the top pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.
- Kansas City--Ryan Clady, OT. Now that KC is awash in picks, they realize they can likely get a better DE than OT at No. 17.
- New York--Vernon Gholston, DE. I know, I know. Everyone says McFadden. But they ponied up $12,000,000.00 in guaranteed money for Thomas Jones last year, and I don't see them wanting to commit that kind of cash to another RB a year later. Plus, DE is more of a need than RB. If I get this one right, I demand my own draft show on ESPN and CMT.
- Dallas (from New England)--Darren McFadden, RB. Remember all that talk about Jerry Jones wanting to trade up to get his hands on McFadden? I believe it. And once he sees McFadden falling, he can't help himself.
- New Orleans (from Baltimore)--Sedrick Ellis, DT. It ain't Dorsey, but the Saints jump ahead of the Bengals to get the second most highly regarded DT in the draft.
- Cincinnatti--Keith Rivers, LB. With Sedrick Ellis cruelly yanked away from them, they take the best LB in the draft.
- Baltimore--Branden Albert, OT/OG. Because Jonathan Ogden will not live forever.
- Buffalo--Devin Thomas, WR. They desperately need a WR, and he's allegedly the best in the class (though I'm partial to Limas "Beans" Sweed).
- Denver--Chris Williams, OT. Damn it.
- Carolina--Derrick Harvey, DE. In case they decide they don't want to give Julius Peppers the deed to every acre of land in North Carolina next season.
- Chicago--Jeff Otah, OT. Somewhere in Texas, Cedric Benson smiles.
- Detroit--Jerod Mayo, LB. I thought about giving them a CB here, but Sean seems pretty sure it's going to be Mayo. And who am I to question him?
- Arizona--Leodis McKelvin, CB. And they are effing THRILLED. Matt Leinart celebrates his team's good fortune by doing tequila shots off an iceblock with a mature-looking twelve year old girl.
- Kansas City--Phillip Merling, DE. Perhaps a bit of a reach, but I like the guy.
I can't believe I'm writing this, but...you make the trade. You can get a solid DB later in the draft, and there are still so many holes on this team. More picks means more opportunities to plug those holes. So when it comes right down to it, I'll go on record and predict that the Texans do not make someone a new object of our affections with the eighteenth pick.
Feel free to mock my ineptitude in the Comments. I deserve it.