I don’t care about the NFL Draft.
It’s not like I’m not a football fan. I AM a football fan. And that’s the problem. First of all, I’m a Falcons fan. We’re not going to draft Andrew Luck or RGIII. We’re not getting Trent Richardson or Morris Claiborne. Justin Blackmon, Ryan Tannehill, Quinton Coples, or Stephon Gilmore? Not coming to the ATL. Unless there’s a draft day trade, we don’t even have a pick until the second round (#55).
And even if we did have an earlier pick, it’s not like the fans have any say in who a team drafts. You don’t think Jacksonville fans weren’t pleading with God to force the front offices to draft Tim Tebow in 2010? Fans do this for a lot of pick choices. And unless you’re in the top 10 (or top 13 for the NBA), then you’re probably looking more like this while watching the draft.
Part of the reason is politics. What if the Falcons had a top-2 pick? We would end up trading it because we wouldn’t draft a QB with the pick. Matt Ryan is our guy (for at least 2 more years… assuming we don’t make the Super Bowl during that time… if we do, he’s our franchise guy). We’re not going to trade down and pick up Richardson because we have a running back too. And we have receivers.
Part of the reason is business. Those financial guys are crunching numbers and doing crazy math to find out how much their draft pick is worth. Trading up, trading down. Draft and trades. Teams aren’t drafting the popular pick if it doesn’t make good business. Consider the draft day coup de gras of last year. The Cleveland Browns held the #6 pick. They decided giving up the pick (Julio Jones) was worth Atlanta’s first, second, and fourth round picks last year; plus Atlanta’s first and fourth round picks this year. That’s turning one pick into four. Yeah, the Browns would probably have still sucked with Julio Jones because Colt McCoy isn’t a playoff-caliber QB. But why waste the pick on a player that will underachieve when they can turn it into 4 players that might fit better needs?
But what if the shot-callers drafted what was best for their fans? Let’s take a peek at the first round of this year’s draft.
The People’s NFL Draft.
COLTS: Roger Goodell gets the call and walks to the stage. Who did the Colts office draft with the number one pick? Peyton muh-effing Manning. Again. This one’s for the fans indeed. But then Peyton follows in the footsteps of his brother Eli and requests an immediate trade. So the Redskins pounce. And since Jim Irsay is an idiot, he blindly makes the trade.
REDSKINS: After a few minutes of research… and knowing that they’re trading the pick to the Colts… the Redskins draft Graham Wilbert out of FAU. Never heard of him? Get your head out of your butt. This is a guy who threw for 219 in his BEST game of the 2011-12 college season. He led his team to a 1-11 record. An incredible 15 INTs and 7 TDs. Suck it, Colts!
VIKINGS: Fresh off a 3-13 season, the Vikings are thinking QB. And they draft one. Named Daunte Culpepper. Because winning is important. But so is having fun.
BROWNS: The Browns are feeling a little frisky… So they decide to bring the fun back to Cleveland and draft Lebron James. Lebron, always the trend-setter, immediately asks the draft to pause so he can have an ESPN Draft Jersey special. As he is about to raise the Browns jersey, he declares that he has demanded a trade and is taking his talents to South Beach. Again. So the Browns trade him to the Dolphins.
BUCCANEERS: Realizing that they are a young team, the Bucs decide they need someone people will recognize. Someone hip. Someone like… Captain Jack Sparrow. And the fans go crazy. Despite the fact that Jack Sparrow is a fictional character. With no football experience.
RAMS: The Rams draft what they need the most: Kurt Warner. They’re bring the Greatest Show On Turf back to the NFL. As he raises his jersey, Kurt Warner gives Brett Favre the finger. Because people wouldn’t mind if Warner came back.
JAGUARS: Making the first rational pick of the draft, the Jags take Robert Griffin III. Griffin and Jones-Drew. Cameras show Andrew Luck at his house, disappointed. As repo men remove several expensive things that only a #1 pick’s contract can afford.
DOLPHINS: After the trick the Redskins pulled off, the Dolphins promise to make a good draft pick to send to the Browns. And the Dolphins draft Ryan Tannehill for the Browns. Which shouldn’t surprise anyone after they traded Brandon Marshall while pursuing Peyton. Cameras show Andrew Luck again. But now he’s outside on the curb. And his house has a For Sale sign. Also, cameras go off-stage as Lebron James signs his contract. As he signs the last quarter portion of his name, Lebron quits. Guess there was a provision that said he has to take any and all game-tying/game-winning field goal kicks. And you know he don’t want no part of that.
PANTHERS: The Panthers draft a medical research facility that specializes in cloning. Because Cam Newton was amazing. And they wonder: what if they had an entire team of Cams?
BILLS: Desperate to get back to the Super Bowl, the Bills draft Jim Kelly. He refuses to promise a Super Bowl victory. And the Bills fan nod in understanding.
CHIEFS: Kansas City trades their pick to New England. Under the terms of the trade, the Chiefs get a refund of the money they paid Matt Cassel. Bill Belichick tells the execs that he has a plan and they let the clock run out. No pick.
SEAHAWKS: In need of a QB in case Matt Flynn isn’t the answer, the Seahawks ask Trent Dilfer for advice. He tells them to draft the best QB on the board: Brandon Weeden. Because you need an older, mature QB to run an offense. Matt Hasselbeck nods in approval. Cameras go back to Andrew Luck. Who is now wearing a trashbag and standing under a freeway.
CARDINALS: The Cardinals draft Justin Blackmon to line up opposite of Larry Fitzgerald. The 2012-13 NFC West championship certificate is handed to the Cardinals.
COWBOYS: Tired of losing, Jerry Jones makes drafts a proven winner: Chuck Norris. First thing on the agenda for Mr. Norris: roundhouse kicking Jerry Jones in the face. Because only Chuck Norris drafts Chuck Norris.
EAGLES: The Eagles play it safe and draft Robert Shapiro. Because if he can successfully defend OJ Simpson, he should be able to defend the Eagles. Because I’m sure Magic, Larry, MJ, Stockton, and Malone have a class action lawsuit pending about how the 2011-12 Eagles defiled the “Dream Team” name.
JETS: No strangers to controversy and attention, the Jets draft Charlie Sheen. Plus: winning.
BENGALS: Since the Bengals have two first round picks, they are in a position to make some big moves. First move: drafting Matt Kalil from USC. This should help buy Andy Dalton some extra time to find AJ Green downfield. Bengals fans boo. Because drafting linemen is boring.
CHARGERS: The Chargers are a very talented team. But I don’t get the feeling that they’re a very close team. Chemistry is lacking. And GM AJ Smith agrees. So they fix that and draft Vinny Guadagnino from Jersey Shore. Philip Rivers is a bro. And now he has a bro to build a bromance with.
BEARS: Having already acquired Brandon Marshall to address the passing game, the Bears look to address the rushing game. Matt Forte is a great running back. But he wants a lot of money. So the Bears draft Trent Richardson. Because every year, a team drafts someone at a position they already have filled. And immediately give Richardson a maximum deal with incentives built in. Forte also gets the new contract he was looking for. Except his incentives are different: for every yard he rushes for, Richardson gets paid extra. Because sometimes you gotta humble someone.
TITANS: After a disappointing season from CJ2K, the Titans are quickly becoming forgotten. So the Titans draft: Denzel Washington, star of Remember the Titans. Besides, they had to replace Jeff Fisher.
BENGALS: After Reggie Nelson led the team with 4 INTs last season, the Bengals decide to be aggressive and use their other first round pick on Morris Claiborne. And the Bengals fans boo again. The Bengals front office is making too much sense.
BROWNS: This is one of those picks from the Julio Jones trade. They already struck out when they drafted Lebron because he bolted to Miami (and quit). But they landed Tannehill. Instead of Julio Jones, they get the combination of Phil Taylor/Greg Little/Owen Marecic. Plus added Tannehill earlier in this draft. Not bad. So this pick is big… and they draft a new name. Yes, the Cleveland Browns decide to become the Cleveland Electric Yellows! Because brown is a depressing color. But you can’t be depressed if you’re wearing ELECTRIC YELLOW!!
LIONS: The Lions made a big splash last year, as Megatron and Matt Stafford led them to the playoffs for the first time since 1999-2000. Afraid that no one takes them seriously enough, the Lions draft Clint Eastwood. Because Clint knows how to get the fans behind you. U-S-A!! U-S-A!!
STEELERS: Pittsburgh had a pretty good season last year. Unless you count how they lost both games to their biggest rivals. Or that whole overtime in Denver thing. So this year they’re coming for revenge! And what better way, than to make your enemies look like fools. So the Steelers draft a whole pack of honey badgers. Because they don’t give a shit.
BRONCOS: A big decision for John Elway. Fans wanted Tim Tebow to start and they got it. They were ravenous during that run to the playoffs. And the whole world heard Denver when Tebow made that overtime pass. But when they found out Peyton was a possibility, the fans turned quick. And they got it. But what if someone big comes around. Might they turn on Peyton? They might. And that’s why the Broncos draft this kid. And Elway says Peyton will have to earn the starting spot.
TEXANS: They’ve got Matt Schaub. They’ve got Andre Johnson. And Adrian Foster. Defense is good, even without Mario Williams. What else could they possibly need? Well, they need to overtake the Cowboys in popularity. Become THE team in Texas. With the 25th pick of the draft, the Texans select Bruce Lee. Because Chuck Norris beats everyone and everything. Unless you’re Bruce Lee.
PATRIOTS: The Patriots are on the clock again. And once again, Belichick tells everyone to trust him. And the clock runs out again.
PACKERS: The Packers had so much momentum last year. And then they started appearing in those State Farm commercials and they never had a chance. So the Packers draft an entire cast of drugged-up former child stars. To remind them that they don’t want to go into acting. Just play football. I’m talking to you, Rodgers.
**However, the two sides are never able to work out an agreement because Beckham declares fashionable men don’t wear purple. And the Ravens do.
49ERS: This team is a QB away from being elite. So the Niners get the best QB on the board: Kirk Cousins, from Michigan State. Alex Smith nods in agreement. Cameras show Andrew Luck, offering to wash windshields for spare change.
PATRIOTS: For the third time in the first round, the Patriots have the clock. And it’s time for Belichick to unveil his master plan. He has traded all remaining Patriots draft picks for 7th round choices. Forever. Except this one. Which he then just stares smugly and waits for the clock to run out.
GIANTS: The Giants draft Andrew Luck. And he cries. Instead of replacing Peyton Manning, he gets to hold the clipboard for Eli. Irony.