Editor's Note: This article should probably be in The Belly Check, but TBC is still hibernating... and if it's possible for a blog to go to bed angry, that's how we nap here at Team Monponsett. We'll let Belly sleep until August or so, when it can gorge on salmon and rut like a sailor with a fresh paycheck. Until then, High Above Courtside can handle business here.
I don't watch a lot of college football. I can narrow my viewership of it this year down to a pair of games- BC/somebody and the Texas/USC game. That was enough for me. Once the superstar aspect is gone, it's a lot like watching a high school soccer game... not that many steps above "aren't they cute?" on the food chain.
Therefore, I'm the perfect person to tell you how the NFL draft will go this weekend. I'm distanced enough. Mel Kiper Jr. does this exclusively- I've never seen him speak of sport in any other context than of the NFL potential of a college kid. He no doubt does months of scouting, detailed analysis of each team, background research about who some tailback was banging in high school... and he puts so much thought into it, he out-thinks himself. While I can't say for sure How, his hairdo alone is proof.
I've played or coached basketball for most of my life. While I was never that good from the outside, I saw a lot of people who were very good at it. One thing I noticed watching them... they never put a lot of thought into shooting. Catch-and-shoot. Whenever I see someone in the NBA catch the ball and pause before shooting- even if no one is within 20 feet of him- he misses.
The good ones just gun it when they get it. It's a combination of instinct and pure belief-in-self. That's how I run my drafts, and see if I don't kick Don Banks' punk ass this weekend.
Now, Don and Mel could school me on these kids. I wouldn't know Haloti Ngata (pronounced "Ngata") if I were sitting in his lap. I can't tell you what school Mario Williams went to without looking at my notes. I'm pretty sure it's "Jay Cutler," but it might be "James." Doesn't matta.
I go by hype and team needs. Hype handles itself- a few weeks of mock drafts show me which players are regarded highly by the most writers. I watch and read enough NFL so that I generally have an idea of where a team's great deficiency lies. I know who's getting old, who hasn't worked out, and who is returning from injury. From there, it's Catch-And-Shoot.
Mel Kiper has no doubt thought about this for months, and he's probably changed his mind about what Houston will do with the #1 overall pick dozens of times. I may have thought about it for 30 seconds before I kick off my Rough Draft, and I'll probably think less about each succeeding pick.
Houston: Mario Williams, DE
Mario signs before the draft, killing mine from the start. Reggie Bush must be asking for the sky, the moon , and the stars. Williams is the guy gorilla-ing that poor QB
New York Jets: Reggie Bush, RB
There are two basketball teams in LA. One is the Lakers, who have ruled the town since 1964 or so. The other are the Clippers, who are sort of like a JV squad. The Lakers get Jack Nicholson in the stands for their games, while the Clippers try to make do with Billy Crystal and the girl from Laverne and Shirley. The reason for this is that the Lakers have had Kareem, Magic, Shaq and Kobe playing for them in the last 25 years, while the Clippers have had... well.... God help me, I don't know who.
While a nice tackle is handy to have, they need to come out of this draft with a star. They'll move up to do so.
Tennessee: Matt Leinart, QB
The guy they want falls into their laps now, unless Oakland gets aggressive... which will probably happen, as Aaron Brooks just aint that butter.
New Orleans: D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OT
The Saints made a bad move signing the badly-injured Drew Brees to a mega-deal when they could have used that money to pay Young or Leinart. Now, they need to protect Brees... so they may as well draft this mammoth blocker with the name so silly, you know he's a tough guy.
Green Bay: AJ Hawk, LB
There will be a lot of cheese-eating grins in Wisconsin when this brute falls into their laps with the 5th pick. Maybe the Packers won't start next season o-for-Favre, like they did last season.
San Francisco: Vernon Davis, TE
Every year, there's a guy in the draft who is "the best tight end prospect in 10 years." Two drafts ago, it was Kellen Winslow's son. This year, it's VD. He should serve to alter ta lot of 14 point losses into 12 point losses for the pitiful 49ers, crushing a lot of organized crime point spreads. It's funny that the Mafia employs people to think about stuff like this.
Oakland: Vince Young, QB
Why not? If he works out, you'll have a superstar QB throwing bombs to Randy Moss. It won't matter how bad the rest of the team is.
Buff: Brodrick Bunkley, DT
Buffy loses a defensive tackle every year, once they realize how much it friggin snows in Buffalo. This kid should solve that problem for 6 years (the standard first round rookie contract length).
9) Detroit: Jay Cutler, QB
Ready the Millen Man March, because someone is looking to salvage his reputation with a QB who never won ditka in college. If he takes another WR with this pick, look for his own staff to execute him before the note gets to Tagliabue. It's such a bad pick, you know he's gonna make it.... it's like watching a mongoloid play with the fuse box. Schadenfreude, kids... it becomes entertaining after you start looking for it.
10) Arid-zona: Winston Justice, OT
Coach Green was up front about how he felt Larry Fitzgerald was a great kid, and he chose him. He was raving about Justice the other day, and it's about time that man got some Justice.
11) St.Louis: Michael Huff, DB
I got yelled at in IM by someone about a month ago, over a disparaging remark I made about Mike Martz that I can't remember making. He ended up hitting on me once he calmed down. I bet this kind of stuff never happens to Dr. Z.
12) Cleveland: Kamerion Wimbley DE/LB
I just like sending FSU guys to teams who play outdoors in miserable climates. I bet God does, too.
13) Baltimore: Haloti Ngata, DT
Ray Lewis needs some big huge guy to hide behind and lay hits on runners. This young man is Yokozuna-sized.
14) Philadelphia: Chad Jackson, WR
This kid outran a cheetah at the scouting combine, and the team needs a good WR almost as badly as Donovan McNabb does.
15) Denver: Ernie Sims, LB
May as well send all 3 of them north...
16) Miami: Chad Greenway, LB
Taking a guy named "Chad" is among the best ways to ensure that you don't end up with a stoned Nepalese mystic ruining your team twice in 3 years.
17) Minnesota: Jimmy Williams, DB
As long as he doesn't like boats...
18) Dallas: Donte Whitner, DB
Tuna should trade up and get one of those QBs, but this kid fills a need.
19) San Diego: Santonio Holmes, WR
The GM just gambled his job on Phillip Rivers. Sandy will trade up if they have to, in order to provide Phillatio with a weapon.
20) Kansas City: Johnathan Joseph, DB
Will spend August wondering to himself why Kansas City isn't in Kansas.
21) New England: Tye Hill, DB
Ty Law, Ty Pool, Tye Hill... it's ty chi out there, kids.
22) San Francisco: Manny Lawson, LB
If the draft fell into place differently, they'd have Super Mario and SuperManny.
23) Tampa Bay: Ashton Youboty DB
I love this kid's name.
24) Cincy: Jason Allen, DB
JA has a bum hip, but he's a top-flight talent.
25) NY Giants: Darnell Bing, DB
Could come in handy if they need to sign Reggie Bush someday.
26) Chicago: Antonio Cromartie, DB
Their recent DB signee just beat someone at a Denny's, so....
27) Carolina: DeAngelo Williams, RB
They need someone who isn't injured. If he turns out to be a player, all the better.
28) Jacksonville: Laurence Maroney, RB
Fred Taylor ain't gettin' no younger, and this kid has a chance to be special.
29) NY Jets: Nick Mangold, C
The Jets need to build a huge wall in front of Leinart.
30) Indianapolis: Lendale White, RB
The dropoff from Edge is HUGE. I can see them trading this pick to Houston for the suddenly obsolete Domenack(?) Davis.
31) Seattle: Max Jean Gilles, OG
They just got looted for their franchise guard, so they may as well take a 350 pound guy.
32) Pittsburgh: Demetrius Williams, WR
I never shut a mock draft down until someone named Demetrius is selected.