By this time this year, I had planned to delve deep into Brock Oswelier's soul. I was also going regurgitate game-breaking Lamar Miller cutbacks, jukes and dekes for you to flap and flop around in. But I have not. This doesn't mean I have not been doing anything football related, though. I've been catching up on the draft.
See, I don't watch college football. I think I watched a half of an Ole Miss game because their powder blue helmets are gorgeous. Other than that, I spent my Saturdays doing many other things. I love football. Yet I can only devote so much of my life and time to it. I can spend one day of the week letting the television rot my brain, but Saturday and Sunday is too much.
To make up for this, I've been binge watching the draft prospects like the people on this planet trying to gorge on every episode of Game of Thrones so they can fit in once the new season starts. I've been reading the experts and watching the videos at Draft Breakdown. With a week until the big show on Thursday, the lesser show on Friday and the leftovers on Saturday, I am ready to go. The thing to do when you write about football and watch draft videos is to write a mock draft. Here is mine.
1.) Los Angeles Rams: Carson Wentz (QB--North Dakota State)
Needing a quarterback is a hell of a drug. The Rams gave up their entire draft next year to move up and take one. I can't hate them too much for it. A team can't really go into a season with Case Keenum as its starting quarterback and actually be called a NFL franchise. Wentz has the highest upside between him and Jared Goff. He's big, agile, athletic and has a better arm. There may be a little bit of a learning curve going from North Dakota to the NFL, but if Axel Rose can make the leap from the small town to the jungle, so can Wentz.
2.) Philadelphia Eagles: Jared Goff (QB--California)
The Browns are geniuses for this haul. They electrocuted their rebuild, can take their chance with RGIII, still pick at number eight, and if it doesn't work out, they can just take a quarterback early next year while having all those picks to gather young, cheap talent with. Sam Bradford is a hack that somehow made tons of money because of his pre-draft allotment; being injured every year led to him tricking teams into thinking he has upside. The Eagles will trade him to Denver or New York, pick up an extra pick and roll with Goff.
That's a good thing, even though they did mortgage their future and will have to rely on free agency to fill the holes. My favorite thing to watch a quarterback do is manage the pocket. Goff is a warlock in that respect. He poofs and reappears and zips passes down the field. He's safer than Wentz after producing against D1 competition, has great mechanics, poise and is good enough at everything else to succeed. He will be the better professional quarterback.
3.) San Diego Chargers: DeForest Buckner (DE--Oregon)
San Diego had the worst run defense in the NFL last season with a DVOA of 4.2%. They can plug this mountain-sized monster at the three technique in their base defense and have him rush on the interior or the exterior on passing downs. He's the best defensive lineman in this draft and can immediately improve what the Chargers were the worst in the league at. Look for him to turn into Calais Campbell. The world needs more Calais Campbells.
4.) Dallas Cowboys: Jalen Ramsey (CB--Florida State)
It would be beautiful if they just cut Doug Free and drafted Laremy Tunsil. Then the Cowboys could become the first team in NFL history with five Hall of Famers playing on the same offensive line at the same time. This would be overkill, however, and not a good use of resources. With Ramsey, they will add talent to a below average secondary, as well as someone who can do a whole bunch of different things that Rod Marinelli will know exactly what to do with.
5.) Jacksonville Jaguars: Myles Jack (OLB--UCLA)
The Jaguars have three solid tackles on their roster who will compete for the two starting spots. The best offensive lineman in this class isn't going to stop Blake Bortles from throwing into double coverage and tossing it once he runs past the line of scrimmage. Jacksonville will instead look to try and build their first top twenty defense since 2011. They'll do this by taking another defensive player. Hopefully this one plays a snap for them during his rookie season.
6.) Baltimore Ravens: Laremy Tunsil (OT--Ole Miss)
My gurgling gut tells me the Ravens will trade down and pick up more picks to add depth across their team, but I'm anti-mock draft trades. So, somehow, some way, Laremy Tunsil, the possible number one overall pick when the Titans were at the top, falls to six to Baltimore. They'll move Eugene Monroe to the right side, play Tunsil at left tackle, and not have to worry about exterior rushing for a long time.
7.) San Francisco 49ers: Joey Bosa (DE--Ohio State)
He dominated at Ohio State because he knows how to play the game, but I'm worried about his lack of top athleticism hurting him in the future. However, San Francisco needs talent and Bosa has that. Chip Kelly should be happy the other teams moved up to take those quarterbacks. Blaine Gabbert is a good quarterback nowadays and it is worth giving him a full season of running and throwing quick passes in Kelly's offense before they make an enormous investment.
8.) Cleveland Browns: Vernon Hargreaves (CB--Florida)
I bet the Browns trade down again because "analytics". In this reality I have created that doesn't have trades, they will take a defensive player. They couldn't stop the run or pass. Really, anyone who tackles people for a living will be beneficial for them. Here, they'll take the best cornerback in the draft and accept Justin Gilbert as a sunk cost.
9.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ronnie Stanley (OT--Notre Dame)
Gosder Cherilus is a bad football player.
10.) New York Giants: Shaq Lawson (DE--Clemson)
The Giants went all in on their defensive line, but only have one pass rusher. Until JPP shows he can do something with THE CLAW, the Giants need to continue to invest in what they are trying to make their core competency.
11.) Chicago Bears: Sheldon Rankins (DT--Louisville)
John Fox wants to win in the trenches because he's a real man who coaches real football teams.
12.) New Orleans Saints: Jaraan Reed (DT--Alabama)
The Saints had one of the worst defenses of all time last season. They need defensive players no matter who or what it is.
13.) Miami Dolphins: Ezekiel Elliot (RB--Ohio State)
Lamar who? Miami drafts the best running back in this class that they won't give more than 200 carries to. Ryan Tannehill taking sacks for a ten yard loss is the staple of this offense.
14.) Oakland Raiders: Corey Coleman (WR--Baylor)
Football Outsiders; Play Maker Score loves him and so do I. He's a speed demon and short threat who does nothing other than catch touchdowns. Oakland is set on the offensive line and on the outside. The last thing Derek Carr needs is someone he can feed short who can YAC, YAC, YAC.
15.) Tennessee Titans: William Jackson III (CB--Houston)
They should have the talent to be in games this year. In order for this to happen, they can't get blown out in the first half because they can't cover anyone. Their two cornerbacks are miserable. Jason McCourty is bad and Brice McCain...I'm not going to waste my time or yours with frivolous words. The first step is to improve the secondary so the pass rush with the highest adjusted sack rate in the league can get to work. This is the first pick of many that will lead to the Titans becoming a good football team in two years.
16.) Detroit Lions: Laquon Treadwell (WR--Ole Miss)
Detroit replaced Calvin Johnson with Marvin Jones. That isn't good enough, and Jones is too similar to Golden Tate III anyways. Treadwell offers something different and can grow into a number one receiver, something that Tate and Jones aren't.
17.) Atlanta Falcons: Darron Lee (OLB--Ohio State)
Atlanta's offense is great despite the midseason slump, and it will be better with Mohamud Sanu playing on the other side of Julio Jones instead of the ghost of Roddy White. Like last year, they still need versatile pass rushing talent who can play multiple positions in a defense that uses multiple fronts.
18.) Indianapolis Colts: Jack Conklin (OT--Michigan State)
This pick doesn't matter if Andrew Luck doesn't learn how to slide. Even Frankemstein isn't immortal. It should help the run game at least!
19.) Buffalo Bills: Kevin Dodd (DE--Clemson)
As much as I want to see another deep threat for Tyrod Taylor to drop bombs into a bucket to, the Bills need a pass rusher for Rex Ryan to ruin. I'll hate that man forever for imposing his scheme and destroying that amazing defensive line. This guy should help that out somewhat. Yet nothing can make up for how Ryan bastardized a top five defense that would have made the Bills a Super Bowl contender if it was combined with their offense from last year.
20.) New York Jets: Leonard Floyd (OLB--Georgia)
The Jets need players with speed who can blitz. Floyd is exactly this, with the potential to be able to beat offensive tackles on his own as he grows into a MAN and learns how to play the game. It sucks that he can't play for the 2015 Jets.
21.) Washington Redskins: Eli Apple (CB--Ohio State)
The Redskins were 28th in the league at covering a team's number one receiver and 30th at covering a team's number two receiver. This needs to change, and so does the DeAngelo Hall era. Apple works hard, plays hard, and should be a good professional football player in a professional football league.
22.) Houston Texans: Josh Doctson (WR--TCU)
SPEED. SPEED. SPEED. The Brontosaurus they signed needs to be surrounded with a full arsenal so there are no excuses for him to make when he doesn't live up to his contract and is cut in two seasons, all leading to Phillip Rivers winning a Super Bowl in Houston.
23.) Minnesota Vikings: Will Fuller (WR--Notre Dame)
The Vikings upgraded their offensive line with spare parts, Adrian Peterson still exists, and that defense is a behemoth. Teddy Bridgewater needs receivers. Will Fuller is a receiver.
24.) Cincinnati Bengals: Reggie Ragland (LB--Alabama)
Vontaze Burfict is suspended for the beginning of the season. Ragland should be able to fill the void and take A.J. Hawk and Rey Maualuga off the field when he gets back, which is a very good thing.
25.) Pittsburgh Steelers: Artie Burns (CB--Miami)
The best cornerback left will help a team that had trouble covering the opponent's top two receivers.
26.) Seattle Seahawks: Taylor Decker (OT--Ohio State)
With Russell Wilson and Thomas Rawls, who was the best back in the NFL last year when he was healthy, the Seahawks don't need an offensive line to succeed. But they need five bodies who are something more than wispy specters. Russell Okung wasn't good last year and Decker will make this team better.
27.) Green Bay Packers: Andrew Billings (DT--Baylor)
They lost B.J. Raji to retirement. Billings will be able to hold down double teams and penetrate the gap when he's asked to.
28.) Kansas City Chiefs: Cody Whitehair (G--Kansas State)
The best guard in this class can replace Jeff Allen. Also, he's the hometown kid from Kansas State. Football teams do take this in account when they draft players.
29.) Arizona Cardinals: Paxton Lynch (QB--Memphis)
Carson Palmer is getting old. He looked frail and miserable in the playoffs last year. It's better to take a young quarterback sooner rather than later. Lynch can learn for a bit and then unleash his rocket/cannon/laser arm and chunk it down field for Bruce Arians.
30.) Carolina Panthers: Emmanuel Ogbah (DE--Oklahoma State)
You don't need a great secondary when you can rush the passer. With Josh Norman getting out of here and the top cornerbacks already selected, Carolina adds even more to one of the best front sevens in the NFL.
31.) Denver Broncos: A'Shawn Robinson (DE/DT Alabama)
Brian Hoyer? Colin Kaepernick? Sam Bradford? Who knows? So many possibilities. Denver's offense is screwed next year no matter what. The Broncos should invest more in their defense to try and keep it the best in the league, and make up for the free agent losses they had.
Mock drafts are silly and pointless. Nobody reads the whole thing. I'm sure you didn't read this one either. The reader clicks, scrolls down to their favorite team's pick and thinks to themselves, "I'd be okay with that" or "This writer is an idiot", and then scrolls further down to the comments.
If they do read it, every pick is meek on analysis and not worth their precious, finite time they have on this planet. Each mock selection is followed by a one sentence cliche that offers nothing to educate the reader. That's the cycle of it. There's not much to gleam from it. All of the analysis and soothsaying is better saved until after the draft when fit can be found, holes are filled, the roster is completed, and the reactionary grades that are always very smart and right can be handed out.
So like somebody actually being dead the whole time, or finding a head in a box, or a highway laying beyond the trees, or the Statue of Liberty passed out in the sand, I too have a twist. I haven't watched or read anything. I made this whole thing up. Mock drafts are pointless and this one is just as pointless as all the rest.