Mock It Up To Mock It Down
By: Tim Fletcher
Grab your nearest recording device, it’s time to mockument the sports season in full swing now that The Masters, March Madness and MLB’s Opening Day have come to pass (as soon as Jordan Spieth finishes the drill this afternoon). Throw on your airiest, lightest mock turtleneck; add some ham mocks to that bean soup; let that Mockingbird sing… its Mock Draft Season!
Many, many years ago, when Mel Kiper, Jr.’s hairline started at the tip of his nose, there were only a handful of NFL draft experts who tried to forecast the 1st round in advance of the actual event. These people were called, “nerds.” You know them now as, “experts.” Whereas before, you would find “nerds” congregating in packs, similar to a group I ran around with (coincidence, I’m sure), you now will find “experts” on the draft on anything that features a .com, .org, .edu, or .polka.
Not only do these draft experts have to file a “Mock Draft” to keep the white apple on their laptops lit, they also must adjust their content more than a big league pitcher on a humid, summer evening. This is why you will see such headlines as, “Mock Draft 1.1” or “Mock Draft 2 Electric Boogaloo”. By the time the NFL stages the 1st round of the draft in Chicago’s “Auditorium Theatre” (as opposed to the run-down Theatre Auditorium) on April 30th, the draft “experts” will have more versions of the draft than a list of Jay Z’s biggest problems.
Not wanting that ‘left-out’ feeling I get at family reunions, I present to you, “Tim Fletcher Mock Draft 0.00,” an ode to my fifth-semester GPA at then-Northeast Louisiana University.
1. Tampa Bay-Jameis Winston, Florida State. QB and meme sensation for his starring role in “Oregon fumble.”
2. Tennessee-Marcus Mariota, Oregon. QB and most likely to carry Zach Mettenberger’s mustache clippings in a glad bag as part of rookie rituals.
3. Jacksonville-Leonard Williams, Southern Cal. DE stands 6’5” and weighs a steak or two over 300 pounds. Played every position on Trojans d-line and replaces Polamalu as most noted hair in NFL.
4. Oakland-Kevin White, West Virginia. WR with the thing that Raiders brass loves most: speed to track down defensive backs after interceptions.
5. Washington-Dante Fowler, Florida. DE and pass rush specialist. Some burgundy and gold fans would like to see him test his skills to the utmost in practice.
6. NY Jets- Shane Ray, Missouri, DE/LB was all-everything at Missouri, which churns out SEC defensive players of the year regularly (at least last two years).
7. Chicago-Amari Cooper, Alabama. The Best WR in the draft will need to work on his reaction time (not in terms of how DB’s play him, but how quickly he responds to Jay Cutler calling him out).
8. Atlanta-Vic Beasley, Clemson. DE who powered through 35 reps in the bench press at combine. Scouts question his lack of alpha-dog mentality. However, his beta-tape usage is off the charts.
9. NY Giants-Brandon Scherff, Iowa. Interior OL is everything last year’s 1st round pick, Odell Beckham, Jr. is---but opposite.
10. St. Louis-Trae Waynes, Michigan State. CB who is more handsy than a pick-pocket. Penalized 9 times in college. NFL receivers are just like those at Purdue and Indiana, so he should be fine!
11. Minnesota-DeVante Parker, Louisville. WR gives his old college teammate a reliable target… in the city that serves as HQ for Target!
12. Cleveland-Danny Shelton, Washington. DT who stands 6’2” and weighs 332 pounds. Will not be recognized walking around with other Browns fans.
13. SAINTS-La’El Collins, LSU. OT from LSU. Saints rarely look to BR for help and why should they? Name 15 LSU alums who have turned out great in last 4 years.
14. Miami-Marcus Peters, Washington. CB who was suspended a game last year for throwing a sideline tantrum.
15. SF- Randy Gregory, Nebraska. DE who stands 6’6” and tips the scales at 255. Just missed out on playing for Bo Pelini and Jim Harbaugh.
16. TEXANS-Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri. Can’t count Oklahoma since he never played there. Most talented wide-out comes with more baggage than George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
17. SD-Todd Gurley, Georgia. RB coming off knee surgery. If he pans out, Phillip Rivers may name his 8th, 9th, or 10th child after Gurley.
18. KC-Cameron Erving, Fla.State. OL who can do it all. Kept Winston out of trouble. On the field.
19. Cleveland-Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin. RB who specializes in big plays but was held to 1 yd. or less nearly 20% of his carries last year. Boom or bust? Sounds familiar w/their draft picks.
20. Philadelphia-Landon Collins, Alabama. S who goes from Saban’s “my way or highway” style to Chip Kelly’s “my way or highway,” style.
21. Cincy- Arik Armstead, Oregon. DL who spells Eric completely wro…he’s how big? Spell it like you want, big man!
22. Pittsburgh-Shaq Thompson, Washington. S who steps into Polamalu’s shoes at safety. Can also fill in for Le’veon Bell at RB (Shaq ran for 456 yards last year).
23. Detroit-Jalen Collins, LSU. CB is most recent product of DBU.
24. Arizona- Malcom Brown, Texas. DT who is accustomed to knocking the “L” out of things, including his name.
25. Carolina-D.J. Humphries, Florida. OL who was NOT one of three Gators who blocked their own teammate in last two seasons.
26. Baltimore-Duke Johnson, Miami. RB who we saw in between Duck Commander BBQ sauce commercials in Independence Bowl.
27. COWBOYS-Eddie Goldman, Florida State. DL who “plays the run like a full-grown man,” according to NFL.com. I’m a full-grown man. Hopefully he’s better than me.
28. Denver-Eric Kendricks, UCLA. LB who is high character. Hey! Something “else” in Denver that’s high!
29. Indy-Andrus Peat, Stanford. OL continues to make Indianapolis the “Palo Alto of the Midwest”.
30. Green Bay-Maxx Williams, Minnesota. TE whose first name already looks like it’s been double-checked.
31. SAINTS- Bud Dupree, Kentucky. LB is only guy named, “Bud” who weighs 270 pounds and runs a 4.56 40-yard dash.
32. New England-Byron Jones, UConn. CB who will fill a role and be let go five years from now before he become too expensive.
With just 18 days separating us from the 1st Round of the draft, I have just enough time to roll out enough Mocks to number all the way from 0-to-turtlenecks.