The NFL draft is coming up this weekend, which makes this the time of year that everybody and his cousin puts up "mock drafts" attempting to predict which players each NFL team will pick in the first round. To me, since each pick after #1 is in some ways affected by each of the picks that came before it, this is kind of like trying to pick which presidential candidate will win each state's primary . . . in August. And it's basically just a big opportunity for people to look stupid (though in defense of many of the mainstream media's pro-football commentators, that's nothing that appears to have ever bothered them before).
So instead of doing that, I'm doing a Mock Un-Draft -- an opportunity for each NFL team to get rid of someone they never should've signed in the first place. After all, for every player that gets drafted, some other poor schmuck has to get cut to make room on the roster. Everybody ready? OK, Miami, you're on the clock.
1. MIAMI DOLPHINS
The pick: PR/KR Ted Ginn Jr., Ohio State. Really, Miami's at a point where they could un-draft their entire roster except for Ronnie Brown and be a better team for it, but dumping Ginn, taken with the ninth overall pick of 2007, would be a symbolic break with an annus horribilis that began with a head-slapper of a first-round draft pick and somehow only got worse from there. They can wait until the second round to unload Ricky Williams, who will be so high on Acapulco Gold by that point he won't even notice.
2. ST. LOUIS RAMS
The pick: QB Brock Berlin, Miami (Fla.). What the fuck is this guy doing on an NFL roster? According to Wikipedia, he doesn't even have a jersey number at the moment, which is just as well; cut him loose and be done with it. At this point, even a concussed, body-casted Trent Green is probably more likely to lead the Rams to a win than Berlin is.
3. ATLANTA FALCONS
The pick: QB Joey Harrington, Oregon. For the sole reason that the longer this guy stays on the Falcons' roster, the longer it's going to take for D.J. Shockley to earn his rightful place as the starting quarterback.
4. OAKLAND RAIDERS
The pick: PRES Al Davis, Syracuse. Yes, we all loved his antics and his oh-so-quotable quotes once upon a time, but let's get real here -- Al's gone crazier than a whole Airbus A380 full of shithouse rats, and at the moment is an even bigger impediment to the Raiders' future success than Bill Callahan was. Send him and his collection of silk Starter jackets off to the best sanitarium money can buy and put the team under the protection of the NFL or the U.S. government until such time as a sane ownership consortium can be assembled.
5. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
The pick: QB Brodie Croyle, Alabama. I know that to somebody, at some point in the indefinite past, making the oft-injured Croyle the starting quarterback of an NFL team seemed like a good idea; I'm just having trouble twisting my brain into the Möbius strip it would take to produce that kind of logic. Was Damon Huard really that bad?
6. NEW YORK JETS
The pick: HC Eric Mangini, Wesleyan. It's all well and good that Mangini took the Jets to a 10-6 record and a first-round playoff win in his first year with the Jets, but after Spygate, does anyone seriously doubt that Mangini is owned by his former boss? Bill Belichick is in the guy's head now, to the point where the Jets can basically make two automatic marks in their "Division Losses" column every season. Bring back Al Groh; at least he's too dense to be intimidated like that.
7. SAN FRANCISCO 49ers
The pick: OC Mike Martz, Fresno State. Hiring Mike Martz has become the NFL equivalent of the old horror-movie cliché where the stranded motorists go into the creepy, dilapidated old mansion for help. It looks like a bad idea, it feels like a bad idea, and yet they can't stop themselves from doing it.
8. BALTIMORE RAVENS
The pick: QB Kyle Boller, California. He's a quarterback who was tutored by Jeff Tedford; strike one. He has a career 71.9 QB rating in the pros; strike two. He once dated Tara Reid; strike three, you're out. Bring on the Troy Smith Era!
9. CINCINNATI BENGALS
The pick: WR Chad Johnson, Oregon State. Obviously, he doesn't want to be there. Cut him so the Redskins can sign him. I mean, so that your team morale improves. That's what I meant to say, team morale.
10. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
The pick: TE Jeremy Shockey, Miami (Fla.). No, they haven't actually signed the poster child for repressed homosexuality yet, but you just know they're gonna. Saints, I'm begging you to stop this danse macabre by pre-emptively un-signing this overrated thimbledick, thereby preventing him from douching up what otherwise looks like it could be a reasonably solid team going into 2008. Haven't the people of New Orleans suffered enough?
11. DETROIT LIONS (from Buffalo)
The pick: WR Reggie Ball, Georgia Tech. Lions CEO Matt Millen makes what appears to be the first blockbuster deal of the 2008 Un-Draft by trading their second-, fourth, and fifth-round drops, as well as a second-round drop in 2009, to Buffalo for the Bills' first-rounder -- before realizing that this isn't like the original draft and there's no advantage whatsoever to picking earlier. Why does he do this? Because he’s Matt Millen and that’s just the kind of thing he does. The obvious drop here would be Millen himself, but be honest, what's more embarrassing -- being the team that's run by Matt Millen, or being the team that actually looked at Reggie Ball and said, "Yes, we think this guy's worthy of a roster position"? Yup, that's what I thought.
12. DENVER BRONCOS
The pick: RB Travis Henry, Tennessee. If the Broncos' RB system is so good that any schlub can get dropped into it and succeed, as some have suggested, then why have this dicklick sitting around on your roster? Nine illegitimate children by nine different women doesn't exactly reflect well on the franchise, particularly in a family-values state like Colorado. And if Trav hasn't figured out how to put on a condom in nearly 30 years on this planet, you've got to concede the very real possibility that he's going to do something really stupid like stick his dick in an electrical outlet or accidentally back the team bus over himself in the near future. And then where will you be? Might as well un-draft his ass now.
13. CAROLINA PANTHERS
The pick: WR Dwayne Jarrett, Southern Cal. I was really pissed when the Panthers drafted him last year rather than his USC teammate -- come on, Panthers, you're afraid of having two Steve Smiths on the roster? That could've been the source of some of the greatest misdirection plays in league history if only you'd given it a chance.
14. CHICAGO BEARS
The pick: RB Cedric Benson, Texas. The easy choice, clearly, would be to unload either of their unproductive quarterbacks, Rex Grossman or Kyle Orton. The problem, however, is that they only have two QBs on the roster at the moment, meaning that if they dump one then they're stuck with the other. So the obvious Plan B is to unload this waste of space. The downside to this pick is that it’ll leave them with a big hole at the RB position; fortunately, that’s really no different from the situation they’re in now.
15. DETROIT LIONS
The pick: CEO Matt Millen, Penn State. OK, yeah, they really do have to get rid of this guy.
16. ARIZONA CARDINALS
The pick: WR Jerheme Urban, Trinity University. Look, we've already got tons of Jeremys in the NFL, at least one Jeremi, and a Jeraime on top of that. How many stupid, pretentious alternate spellings of "Jeremy" do we have to endure before someone finally admits this has gotten out of hand? Better to slam the brakes on it now before someone signs this guy.
17. MINNESOTA VIKINGS
The pick: OT Bryant McKinnie, Miami (Fla.). Along with strong safety Darren Sharper, McKinnie represents the franchise's last remaining link to the 2005 scandal in which dozens of Vikings players basically orchestrated a seagoing orgy on Lake Minnetonka. (A Seagoing Orgy on Lake Minnetonka is going to be the subtitle of my autobiography, by the way.) Sharper, by virtue of not being completely worthless, gets to retain his roster spot; McKinnie gets the ax.
18. ARIZONA CARDINALS (from Houston)
The pick: QB Matt Leinart, Southern Cal. Remember this? Or this? Or, hell, this? Matt Leinart doesn’t belong on ESPN, he belongs on hotchickswithdouchebags.com. Anyone who doesn’t see him by now as merely a slightly more charming Ryan Leaf is kidding themselves.
19. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
The pick: RB Reno Mahe, Brigham Young. The Iggles have already cut him twice; what's one more?
20. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
The pick: QB Chris Simms, Texas. Just put the kid out of his misery already.
21. WASHINGTON REDSKINS
The pick: CEO Daniel Snyder. We've got to get rid of him now, because if past experience is any guide, he'll have traded away our second- through fifth-round picks in exchange for geriatric free agents and we won't be able to drop anyone again until the sixth round.
22. CLEVELAND BROWNS
The pick: QB Brady Quinn, Notre Dame. Everyone who thinks Brady Quinn will ever take a meaningful snap for the Browns, raise your hand. (Put your hand down, Brady.)
23. PITTSBURGH STEELERS
The pick: RB Najeh Davenport, Miami (Fla.). Yes, I know it probably looks like I'm picking an unfair number of former 'Canes here, and I don't want anyone to think I have anything against The U. I do, however, have something against people who poop in closets.
24. TENNESSEE TITANS
The pick: WR Paul Williams, Fresno State. The Titans have three Williamses in their receiving corps alone — Mike, Roydell, and Paul. Paul arguably contributed the least last season, so he gets shown the door. Hopefully the Titans organization will replace him with a Smith or a Johnson or a Wojciechowski to cut down on some of the confusion.
25. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
The pick: ASST/SC Jim Mora Jr., Washington. This is just fucking sad. Mora, a University of Washington alum, got in trouble during his stint as the Falcons’ head coach for telling a radio audience his real dream job was head coach of the Huskies — and when he gets his walking papers a short time later, where does he go? Seattle. That’s like having a crush on a hot chick you don’t really have a shot with and then dating her best friend just to get close to her, and trust me, that never works. Just end this charade and cut Mora loose already; it’s not like Tyrone Willingham is gonna be around a whole lot longer anyway.
26. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
The pick: FS Reggie Nelson, Florida. No real reason, I just fucking hate Reggie Nelson.
27. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
The pick: HC Norv Turner, Oregon. Yeah, y’all won a resolutely godawful division last year and made it to the AFC title game. Seriously, how long do you think Norv is gonna be able to keep this going?
28. DALLAS COWBOYS
The pick: QBGF Jessica Simpson, J.J. Pearce High School. Yes, this is the obvious joke, but we all know Tony Romo’s brain barely has enough RAM to hold down simple tasks like handling a field-goal snap; even the most blinkered Cowboys fan out there can’t honestly think Chuckles is ever gonna win a playoff game as long as he’s got the added distraction of blond hair and an (admittedly spectacular) pair of tits following him around wherever he goes. Give J-Simp the heave-ho, set Romes up with a chick who looks more like Peter King, and give him a chance to spread his wings and fly, dammit!
29. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
The pick: QB Josh Betts, Miami (Ohio). Let’s face it, being the backup quarterback for the Colts is kind of like being a Maytag repairman or the fact-checker for the Rush Limbaugh show. It’s bad enough that they signed Jim Sorgi to do nothing more than get dragged out onto the field for victory-formation kneeldowns; having a third QB on the payroll is just gratuitously cruel.
30. GREEN BAY PACKERS
The pick: QB Aaron Rodgers, California. We all know how this story ends. Rodgers stands, at best, about a 4-to-1 chance of ever having any kind of success in the NFL, and even if he turns out OK, the fans are gonna hate him because he’s committed the unpardonable sin of not being Brett Favre. Let’s just fast-forward past this inevitable soap opera, skip the middleman, and ship Rodgers directly to the Saskatchewan Roughriders or something. He’s already used to the climate.
31. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
The pick: QB Tom Brady, Michigan; WR Wes Welker, Texas Tech; LB Tedy Bruschi, Arizona. As punishment for Spygate, the Pats’ control over the 31st overall pick is taken away and handed over to a three-judge panel consisting of Roger Goodell, me, and my friend Joe who’s a rabid Colts fan; the Patriots also get an additional first-round player taken away from them (and a third taken away solely because of Bill Simmons). These three players are dismissed as part of a tough-love social experiment to see if the Patriots’ legions of suspiciously recent fans will still support them if they don’t have any white players to cheer for.
32. NEW YORK GIANTS
The pick: QB David Carr, Fresno State. I don’t understand why teams do shit like this. It’s almost as if the Giants said, “Well, we’ve just won the Super Bowl, we have an extra roster spot . . . hell, just throw a dart at the waiver wire so we can all start our off-season vacations.” Tom Coughlin's plane to St. Bart's is leaving in 15 minutes, dammit! Just pick somebody! I imagine that similarly careless logic was also behind the decision to design red alternate home jerseys, but that’s just speculation on my part.