After the response I got from last night’s Draft to Mock, apparently there’s a side to many of you that have also grown a little bored of mock drafts. So here’s Part II of My Draft to Mock. For those of you with the scanning virus, this is not a real mock.
Carolina Panthers select DT Fletcher Cox, Ole Mississippi: “Fletcher” is just a good, old-fashioned name. Big Band leader Fletcher Henderson was born in Cuthbert, Ga., which gives him and Fletcher Cox names befitting southern gentleman. Fletcher Low was a Yankee from Essex Massachusetts, who played for the Boston Braves. Not southern, but unlikely to have tattoos during that era – so he’s okay. Fletcher Smith was a safety from Texas with 15 career interceptions. He played for the Chiefs of the AFL and the Bengals of the NFL. He had a hair cut befitting a man.
You don’t care. Hell, I don’t care. Neither does Ron Rivera.
But apparently his big boss does. Panthers owner Jerry Richardson puts his first-round picks through the old-fashioned eye-ball test. Just ask Cam Newton. I wouldn’t be surprised if he tells his national scout to create a section on team evaluation reports that lists visible tattoos and piercings, or long hair on its athletes. Why it doesn’t matter for the remaining 86 percent of the team’s draft and its bevy of free agents is beyond me. My only guess is that there must be remnants of the old plantation mentality in the NFL. Except on this new plantation, I guess those that work in the field (Jeremy Shockey and Steve Smith – as you can see race isn’t as big of a factor on the new plantation) can look however, but the ones Massa Richardson wants to have work at the big house need to be “presentable.”
Well, the short-haired, tattoo-free Cox (except for that rumored butterfly near his bikini line) passes Richardson’s eye-ball test for a first rounder. Like I said yesterday, these owners are far more fascinating than the players. At least he doesn’t have his players stand up and sing Dixie. I guess that’s progress…All I know is that the only thing former Chicago Bear linebacker Rivera cares about is that a linebacker’s best friend in the 4-3 is a good defensive tackle. That’s what he hopes he gets from Cox.
Buffalo Bills select OLB Melvin Ingram, South Carolina: What? No offensive lineman? No wide receiver? Hell no. You think Chan Gailey appreciated Buddy Nix signing Ryan Fitzpatrick to that fat contract a third of the way through the season only to watch the journeyman’s performance take a long walk off a short pier for the second year in a row? That’s the problem with the way employer’s regard miracle workers. They come to expect a miracle every time and then consistently put their employee in situations where they have to do it at the drop of the hat. When they fail to produce, the “magic wore off,” and they’re sent packing. Next thing you know Nix is hiring Bobby Petrino, the coach has an affair with a defensive tackle’s wife, and we learn the rolling stone of football “men,” (I use that term loosely) is laid up in a hospital only capable of consuming liquids through a straw.
However, Coach Gailey has one more trick up his sleeve to prevent this apocalyptic scenario for Bills fans. He got an intern (without sex involved) to switch the draft cards. While Nix thought they were taking Cordy Glenn, the Bills actually select the dynamic outside linebacker from South Carolina capable of rushing the passer. Nix, is clearly confused and angry, but manages to crack a smile for the cameras when he is credited for picking the next Greg Lloyd at the press conference.
Gailey’s first bounty assignment for Ingram will be Ryan Fitzpatrick. Yes, you heard right. Do you really think the NFL is really getting rid of this time-honored practice? Just like any institution in this country (government, corporation, fraternity, sports team), they’re just going to get trickier at hiding it. Don’t be surprised if Russell Wilson is the beneficiary. Or, perhaps Gailey’s not-so-secret love child, Tyler Thigpen. Wait a minute, you thought sex wasn’t involved in this situation. Yeah, and Al Davis liked the color red. Stay tuned.
Kansas City Chiefs select DE Courtney Upshaw, Alabama: Stanford guard David DeCastro was the slam-dunk pick according to mock drafts from expert analysts and tape grinders. Folks that watch more games than two unnamed scouts that use Internet reports as cliff notes for their own. Unfortunately one of them fell asleep while reading the Robert Griffin III analysis and labeled the Baylor QB nothing more than Michael Vick with less passing skill. In Abbott’s defense, Costello argued that Griffin was nothing but a little, selfish bastard, and 50 percent of first-round QBs with weird hair and socks don’t make it in the league.
An unnamed source has told me that both scouts are affiliated with the Chiefs organization. Apparently once former Chiefs scout Matt Littlefield was jettisoned, the quality of the department has gone down hill. It was also leaked that Stanford guard David DeCastro ultimately was not picked because once the Kansas City organization heard that he reminded the football world of Raiders guard Steve Wisniewski, all they could see was silver and black. Despite efforts by coach Romeo Crennell to resuscitate the organization from its draft day death spiral, he was forced to improvise and opt for Upshaw. The Alabama defensive end should be a nice consolation price for a team playing a scheme that’s not a match for its current linemen. Of course, the Chiefs have been the AFC West’s consolation prize since they got rid of Marty Schottenheimer.
Seattle Seahawks select DE Quinton Coples, UNC: Mike Mayock wouldn’t take Coples if he were sitting on the board and the remaining choices were the Octomom, Rae Carruth, and George Zimmerman. I have to admit, Zimmerman sure has a relentless motor – just not sure about his decision-making and his ability to tell which players are actually on the same team as him. Good thing Pete “Dr. Drew” Carroll has a say in the Seahawks warroom. The Seahawks coach gives Coples the playbook, Joseph Campbell’s audio series on thePower of Myth, some healing crystals, and sends the defensive end to a sweat lodge near the OIympic Peninsula. Coples wreaks havoc in camp and has a 14-sack rookie year. However, upon hearing Mike Mayock is calling the team’s NFC wildcard match up, Coples refuses to leave the locker room. Mayock 2 – Coples 0.
Part III? Don’t hold your breath. Waiting for the a call from my attorney that we’re in the clear from Richardson. For real analysis (and my impending legal defense) download the 2012 Rookie Scouting Portfolio for analysis of over 151 prospects at QB, RB, WR, and TE.