Tuesday, March 27, 2007

NFL Execs, Your Job Is Over: The TANBR Mock Half-Draft

Now that ESPN and CNNSI are releasing updated mock first rounds everyday after exhausting every storyline featuring a "borrowed" pair of shoes, I figure TANBR might want to provide its unbiased opinion. OK, biased-- JaMarcus is involved. But there's no TANBRine praise necessary when Todd McShay doles it out for you: "I can't remember being in such awe of a quarterback in my decade of attending combines and pro days." It warrants mentioning that ESPN will not need Mel Kiper, Jr. in a few years. I've watched so much forcefed draft coverage on the Worldwide Leader, Toddy Mac appeared in a dream last night. It's time for TANBR's take.

With the first pick, the Oakland Raiders select JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU.
Was there ever any doubt? Kid's played two full seasons and has improved about 900% in his accuracy and decision making. And he's still learning. Sure, he won't be able to do the go-go-gadget-arms, let-me-lift-the-ball-way-over-a-D-lineman's-head move anymore, but let's hope Lane Kiffin addresses that early. Also, Oughties Doug Williams, you can't palm the football anymore when you're scrambling. And I'd love to be a fly on the wall when 'Maicus and Al Davis sit down to lunch for the first time. Needless to say, Lane will come prepared with a list of about 20 icebreakers.

The rare #4 college jersey's value sees no limit. Bonus points if the swoosh is pink from Katrina.

With the second pick, the Detroit Lions select Joe Thomas, LT, Wisconsin.
I've always considered drafting linemen here rather conservative and safe-- top-five linemen are like the mutual funds to Adrian Peterson's internet stock. Can't say I know much about Joe Thomas, but if you're a top-five linemen, and your name is not Robert Gallery, you've got twelve or thirteen meaningful years in the league. That alone is sometimes enough to base your franchise around unathletic, unattractive white dudes.

With the third pick, the Cleveland Browns select Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech.
Does this almost make too much sense? You have to wonder with the Browns. Right now, they're pacing Braylon Edwards, Travis Wilson, Joe Jurevicius, and Den-nis North-cutt at the wide receiver position. For better or for worse, and much to the delight of Charlie's Fryes, they've kinda promised to stick with Chuck for awhile. No Brady Quinn here. CJ's such a special player; it will be nice in six or seven years when the Browns contend for titles and I act like they've been my second favorite team all along (which I still say).

BALLIN! Seriously check the link; these dudes have a pretty slick, organized website for an ill-punned fan club. And there are so many dudes still pimping authentic Courtney Brown jerseys sincerely... I love sports. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the Bills and the Browns have the best fanbases in football.

With the fourth pick, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame.
Kind of going against the grain here, I know. But really, Chris Simms? Isn't he still in a hospital bed? There's always Bruce Gradkowski. Brady Quinn's stock has risen, then fallen, and is now rising again. Maybe working in a "pro" "system" for two years has prepared him to start immediately. Maybe he can bench more than half the lineman in the draft. Maybe Laura Quinn goes in the second day.

With the fifth pick, the Arizona Cardinals select Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson.
The Wisenhunt-led Cards definitely take a defensive lineman here, and it helps that he's a carbon copy of Julius Peppers. And from the highlight below, I'd invest in Gaines (love the name) for the next decade. This was the Pontiac game-changing play this season, not some Auburn-Florida special teams pooh-pooh involving a white dude somersaulting into the endzone (with no personal foul called, mind you). I'm not bitter.

I'm telling you, Gaines Adams = Julius Peppers.

With the sixth pick, the Washington Redskins select Jamaal Anderson, DE Arkansas.
When the Cards pace Gaines at five, one collective expletive should come from the nation's capital. I often forget about how talented the SEC is, but I still don't remember this dude's name called in the past few years. He'll be worth his weight in gold if he sports a Dirty Bird after his first professional sack.

With the seventh pick, the Minnesota Vikings select Leon Hall, CB, Michigan.
This dude's stock is rising about as fast as Justin Vincent's stock is "falling." He had a great combine, started for four years at nearby Michigan, and is not likely to rent a yacht on the Minnetonka. That's pretty much all the mustachioed Brad Childress is looking for these days. Adrian Peterson could go here, but he's mysteriously slipped into the teens. Also, Chester Taylor. And TANBR's personally excited for the Tavares Jackson Era to continue.

With the eighth pick (acquired from Houston), the Atlanta Falcons select LaRon Landry, FS, LSU.
Allll-riiiiight. Way to go, LaRon. Wait a second-- I fucking hate the Falcons (who are due for a terrabull 2007. I am giddy just typing about Bobby Petrino's NFL future.) Which is kind of fortunate, because LaRon's one of those Sean Taylor, Roy Williams, Troy Polamalu types that hit first and play the ball second. This could work with DeAngelo in the same backfield, but Williams and Polamalu particularly succeed simply because they are surrounded by top-eight defenses. Good luck, LaRon.

I'm thinking that's a pineapple and vodka. I love how he still has the helmet mark on his forehead. Hey, he might have even beaten Justin Vincent to Reggie's on this particular night.

With the ninth pick, the Miami Dolphins select Amobi Okoye, DT, Louisville.
Dude's 19 with a college degree. With Jason Taylor's and his brother-in-law's imminent retirements, Miami's pretty weak up front in a few years. Per wikipedia: "A bright kid, he tested into the 9th grade. He first started playing football as a Sophomore, knowing virtually nothing about the game. By the time he was a Senior, he won first-team All-State honors as both a defensive lineman and offensive lineman."

With the tenth pick (acquired from Atlanta), the Houston Texans select Levi Brown, OT, Penn State.
Houston's had offensive line problems for their entire existence. Not unlike Shaq's free throw shooting, the Texan's paperbag pass protection has not gone unnoticed nor been critiqued. It's just kind of been a joke all these years. I have a feeling David Carr's not laughing very much.

With the eleventh pick, the San Francisco 49ers select Patrick Willis, LB, Mississippi.
Back on November 17, 2006, before angering the football gods with a 48-10 prediction over Ole Miss, I wrote
"Pat Willis is removing that one really good mix CD you made like a few months ago from the visor of your totaled car. Personified." The Niners have the skill positions to win the NFC West next season, and very well might be one defensive playmaker away.

Remember this one. I remember we won something like 40-7, but preserved a 2-0 lead real early in the game. It's the little victories, Rebs-- hence the CD analogy.

With the twelfth pick, the Buffalo Bills select Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma.
A major stretch for Peterson to drop this far. But I've been reading bits and pieces on how Peterson's fallen out of favor with the Browns, and certainly the Jamal Lewis signing doesn't help. But how this guy drops below Minnesota is beyond me. Think of him as this year's Matt Leinart; likewise, he'll instantly contribute.

With the thirteenth pick, the St. Louis Rams select Alan Branch, DT, Michigan.
It's too early for the Rams to take a wide receiver, and in no man's land in terms of trading down the pick. With La'Roi Glover entering his 29th season, nabbing a future franchise run stopper would be prudent. Branch's less-than-impressive workouts could mean a further drop out of the top ten, but I like Branch here.

Surprised the NCAA's not investigating this "Carr" wash. Lloyd Carr's the Tom Coughlin of college football, by the way. My own practicality and logic erase them from coaching before their actual employers do. Then Google Image reminds me.

With the fourteenth pick, the Carolina Panthers select Greg Olsen, TE, Miami.
Looking at the Panthers' depth chart, they're pacing Michael Gaines at tight end, he of fifteen catches last season. With Olsen's impressive pro day, the sluggish Carolina offense could use a versatile run blocker/pass catcher.

With the fifteenth pick, the Pittsburgh Steelers select Marshawn Lynch, RB, California.
This probably won't happen. But if the Steelers think they can get 16 games and 1400+ yards from Willie Parker for multiple seasons, they've let Joey Porter rub off on them a little too much (Gotta keep the devil/ Way down in the LOL). The trend in football, and the Steelers obviously know this, is a dual running back system.

With the sixteenth pick, the Green Bay Packers select Robert Meachem, WR, Tennessee.
Gone are the days of Ruvell Martin and Greg Jennings. The Pack save face after a surprising Lynch pickup (yeah, right) and add the second-best receiver in the draft. You're still my boy, D-Bowe. Totally missed you in the Waffle House parking lot.

Bonus: With the twenty-seventh pick, the New Orleans Saints select Aaron Ross, CB, Texas.
We're definitely adding someone in the defensive backfield... wait a second... that's Roger Goodell's music!

With the seventeenth pick (acquired from Jacksonville), the New Orleans Saints select Reggie Nelson, FS, Florida.
Cross your fingers, Saints fans. We've got four picks in the first two rounds. That kind of trade ammunition could get us the Football Chris Paul. I can switch allegiances easily, and am already logging onto facebook to join the 75% of the world is covered by water... the rest is covered by Reggie Nelson group.

Yeah, you looked down there. If the Saints have manhood like this guy, he'll be frequenting The Boot in June.

I don't feel like doing the rest. I'm not going to pretend to know what Tony Ugoh's forty time is, or what Tanard Jackson's favorite cereal was as a kid. That's what the second-to-last weekend of April is for.

- P.T.

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