We are less than two weeks away from the start of the 2017 NFL Draft. As Titans fans, this is a particularly exciting draft. We have a competent GM, two 1st round picks, a budding franchise quarterback, and a young roster already on the verge of becoming an perennial playoff contender. However, I wanted to take a break from all of the analysis to take a not-so-serious look in to the future and hand out some awards.
Without further ado, let’s get started with the inaugural presentation of The Mockscars on MCM!
The Jared Goff Award for Rookie Most Likely to Contribute to his Coach Getting Fired
We are starting out with an award near and dear to the hearts of Titans fans. Last year, the Rams decided to hand their future to the Titans in exchange for the rights to draft Jared Goff. Goff had a disastrous rookie year and his performance contributed to the Rams decision to fire Jeff Fisher at the end of the year. This award pretty much has to go to a quarterback since that position is the one most tied to the head coach’s job security. Combining a shaky rookie quarterback with a coach who has at least one cheek on the hot seat is the goal here.
Mitchell Trubisky and Hue Jackson - Hue is not currently on the hot seat. After all, no one expected him to win anything with the likes of Cody Kessler and Clipboard Jesus behind center. But another 1-15 year with his hand-picked “QB of the Future” on board? That could get it done. Alas, the Browns end up quadrupling their win total and going 4-12 to keep Jackson employed for a Browns record 3rd straight season with the team (don’t fact check that) and costing them the 2017 Goff Award.
DeShone Kizer and Todd Bowles - Bowles is on the hot seat and Kizer has all the earmarks of a future coach killer. Big arm talent that tantalizes scouts? Check. History of making bad decisions with the football? Check. Former college coach publicly criticizing him while other coaches compare their QBs to Michael freaking Jordan? Check. These two should be the runaway favorites for this award, but picking chalk is no fun. Bowles and Kizer put together a stunningly mediocre season to earn another year together.
...and the Mockscar goes to...
Patrick Mahomes II and Bill O’Brien - The Texans take Mahomes with their first round pick ignoring the fact that he plays in the Texas Tech Air Raid system which has produced exactly zero successful NFL QB’s. They also ignore the fact that scouts say things like “Mahomes never stays on script”, but hey, at least Rick Smith let’s Bill O’Brien meet Mahomes before they draft him. Progress. Mahomes beats out Tom Savage heading in to the season because if Case Keenum and Brandon Weeden can do it, anyone can. Texans fans are excited, but Mahomes struggles and the defense regresses due to the return of J.J. Watt’s insufferable personality to the huddle. The Texans limp to a 3-13 season and Bill O’Brien gets canned at the end of the year.
The Pete Prisco Award for Worst Mock Draft by a National Media Member
This is Titans specific, but you get bonus points if you have some really dumb picks for other teams.
Daniel Jeremiah Mock 4.0 - As you may know, I love DJ. He’s my favorite draft analyst so it pains me to put him on this list, but his most recent mock draft had the Titans taking Mike Williams at #5 and Tre’Davious White at #18. Williams at #5 is terrible value in my opinion and its made even worse in this case due to studs like Jonathan Allen, Jamal Adams, and Malik Hooker all being on the board at that pick. At #18, I don’t hate Tre White as a player, but he’s not my favorite option either. This is the “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed” draft for me.
Lance Zierlein Mock 3.0 - Zierlein gets an A for creativity on this one. He gave the Titans Haason Reddick at #5 and then Forrest Lamp at #18. In a land of mocks giving the Titans DBs and WRs, that certainly stands out. I don’t hate the players, but I do hate the idea of the Titans leaving Round 1 without a new defensive back or weapon for Mariota to throw to. Lance gets bonus dumdum points for having Derek Barnett fall to the Cowboys at #28, but he still falls short of the winner.
...and the Mockscar goes to...
Bucky Brooks Mock 1.0 - Bucky gets a little discount off his dumdum score thanks to the fact that this was his first mock of the season and it came before the combine and team interviews and all the good information that comes out of that process, but dude...Jabrill Peppers at #5 and Marlon Humphrey at #18? Come on man. If the Titans take Jabrill Peppers over Malik Hooker at #5, as Bucky had them doing in this mock, I’m setting my TV on fire and sobbing in a corner for the rest of the night.
The Zeke Elliott Award for Most Outlandish Suit at the Draft
The NFL has released a list of 22 players who will be attending the draft this year. One of my favorite things about the NFL Draft is checking out the ridiculous suits that some of these guys wear for the evening. Last year, Zeke Elliott took it to a new level with his crop top suit. Check this thing out.
I’m just shocked that three teams were able to pass him up after seeing him in that. So who could one up Zeke this year? You know someone is going to try. Note: I did an embarrassing amount of research to come up with the reasoning behind the nominees here.
Deshaun Watson - Watson’s suit for the 2015 Heisman Trophy ceremony stands as evidence that he’s not afraid of working a little flash and color in to his suit repertoire.
However, Watson went much more conservative with the suit game for the 2016 Heisman ceremony.
So Watson is trending in the wrong direction for the purposes of this award. Let’s hope he regains some of that early form in time for the draft.
Corey Davis - Wide receiver has to be represented on any list involving flashy clothes. There will only be two WRs in attendance for us to choose from: Corey Davis and John Ross. I was tempted to go Ross here since it is quite possible he shows up wearing gold Nike cleats with his suit after missing out on his own island due to not wearing Adidas cleats at the combine. However, Davis gets the edge here since he has put his suit game on tape (or Twitter, whatever).
If I can be serious for a minute, Corey Davis should be the 1.01 based on that suit / tie combo pic.twitter.com/XwDsfbLn2c— Kevin Maher (@ProtectYaFlex) April 7, 2017
Expect Davis to represent wide receivers well, but there’s no way anyone is topping our winner.
...and the Mockscar goes to...
Adoree Jackson - Jackson is going to be the runaway winner in this category. I mean...
There is no way that Adoree shows up in Philadelphia wearing a navy or black suit. I just hope he ends up going all in. One-upping the Zeke crop top is a tall task, but I think Jackson is up to the challenge. I’m rooting for you Adoree.
The Aaron Rodgers Award for Player Most Likely to Spend an Awkward Amount of Time in the Green Room
The number of players attending the draft has changed a lot since the 2005 NFL Draft when Aaron Rodgers sat in the green room for over 4 hours. When Rodgers acquired the chip that has permanently been affixed to his shoulder ever since, there were only 5 other players invited to the NFL Draft. All reports indicated that the 49ers were torn between Alex Smith and Rodgers for the 1st overall pick, so when Rodgers fell all the way to the Packers at #24, that was legitimately shocking and became THE story line of the first round. If you want a quick trip down memory lane, check out this video. This year, there will be 22 players participating at the draft live in Philly making the likelihood of someone falling out of the 1st round altogether pretty high, but also decreasing the odds of it becoming a major storyline. For someone to win this award, they have to be the guy that the camera cuts to every time another pick is made. There have to be exasperated eye rolls, horrible body language, and with any luck, a crying relative. Basically I am wanting to see the guy that gets so mad about the draft that he dedicates his whole career to proving people wrong. Again, you can reference the official list here to see who all of the options here were.
Malik McDowell - McDowell is one of the most mysterious players in the 2017 draft. He’s got all the natural talent in the world, but there are constant grumblings about his lack of motivation and bad attitude. After a combine performance that didn’t exactly blow anyone away there is a pretty good chance that he falls all the way out of the 1st round. He’s one of the few guys in the draft that I am actively rooting for the Titans NOT to draft.
DeShone Kizer - Kizer is another polarizing figure. You could tell me that he goes 6th to the Jets and I’d believe it. You could tell me that he falls in to the 3rd round and I’d say “sure, why not”. When your college coach comes out and says that you should have come back to school and you’re not ready for the NFL, that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement. By the way, have you heard that Deshaun Watson is the Michael Jordan of football? Kizer falls just short of winning this category simply because its too predictable.
...and the Mockscar goes to...
Jonathan Allen - Allen checks all the boxes here. You could see Allen going as high as #2 overall thanks to his ultra-productive college career. But there is just enough whispers out there about his arthritic shoulders and the idea that maybe his physical ability is already maxed out that a drop is possible. Allen also strikes me as the type of guy that would get very upset about dropping in the draft, which is a good thing. A long fall for Allen would definitely qualify as a major story too. Totally unbiased prediction: Allen slides all the way down to the Titans pick at #18 and then turns in to John Randle 2.0 as a pro.
The 2003 Minnesota Vikings Award for Biggest Draft Screw Up
Remember the 2003 NFL Draft? Some of you probably don’t. This draft was one of my favorites for two reasons. The first has nothing to do with this award, but Carson Palmer showed up for the draft dressed like a prohibition era gangster, complete with an uncut stogie stashed in the breast pocket.
I mean, what the hell is going on with this picture?
The second reason I loved this draft was the Minnesota Vikings getting jumped by, not one, but two teams as their time expired while they were on the clock. The story goes like this. The Vikings were drafting 7th overall and looking to trade down. They were in negotiations with the Jaguars, Ravens, and Patriots, but ultimately settled on the Ravens offer as their 15 minute clock was about to hit zeroes. Minnesota claims they turned the trade card in on time, but apparently the NFL could not get confirmation of the trade from the Ravens. With no confirmation and their time over, the Panthers (the next team on the clock) rushed their pick to the podium and managed to select Jordan Gross before the Vikings could do anything. The Jaguars, who had been trying to trade up to get Byron Leftwich, were next and they too managed to get their pick in before the Vikings could react. The Ravens had also been trying to trade up to get Leftwich apparently, so with their deal blown up the Vikings finally just sent their card in to take Kevin Williams, who somehow still ended up being the best player involved in the whole scenario. There is a weird alternate universe out there where the Ravens traded up for Leftwich instead of taking Kyle Boller, and maybe the Jaguars end up taking Rex Grossman. The great thing about this alternate universe is that almost nothing is different since all of those QBs sucked in the NFL. So what are some potential scenarios that could make the 2017 draft as memorable as 2003?
Roger Goodell Gets Assaulted by Philly Crowd, Assailant Gets Drafted - This year the draft is being hosted in Philadelphia, the city which once famously threw batteries at Santa Claus. Roger Goodell is not exactly a popular figure in NFL fan circles. He gets booed everywhere. This seems like a bad combination. Goodell goes to the podium to announce the opening of the draft and in the midst of the merciless booing, an Eagles fan, probably this guy:
Eagles fans at the 1999 NFL Draft waiting for the Ricky Williams pick that never came pic.twitter.com/CCMJDhul4c— SI Vault (@si_vault) May 8, 2014
throws a battery with a tight spiral from the back of the crowd, hitting Goodell in the chest. The Browns rip up their draft card and pick the fan to play quarterback.
Draft Streaker - I don’t think the NFL Draft has ever had a streaker. With much of the event this year being held outdoors, this possibility has never been more on the table. I just hope that NFL Network or ESPN has Kevin Harlan on standby to give us the play by play if it happens.
Kevin Harlan is a national treasure.
...and the Mockscar goes to...
Jaguars Trade 4th Pick for Eli Manning, Eli Immediately Retires - I could completely see this happening. Tom Coughlin won two Super Bowls with Eli in New York and clearly wants to win now so he tries to reunite with Manning. The Giants, having seen Eli start to regress over the past couple years readily agree to it. The Giants get to reset their franchise and build around Odell Beckham and a great defense, while the Jags get to rid themselves of Blake Bortles and truly contend for a playoff spot. Only problem is no one ran this by Eli. In a move that ends his career the same way it began, he publicly refuses to play for the Sparkle Kitties and retires effective immediately to join forces with his brother, Peyton, and Jon Bon Jovi as they continue to prank Jason La Canfora with reports that they are close to buying the Titans. After all we know Eli loves a good prank.
Feel free to leave your own pre-draft superlative predictions in the comments.