The NFL draft is an extremely important part of the NFL calendar. It is the chance for every team to change their fortunes in a heartbeat. Remember when the Pats took Tom Brady in the 6th round? Or when the Seahawks took Russell Wilson in the 3rd? A great pick like that can change everything, and every GM knows it. They put all of their available resources into selecting the best possible option, scouting, studying, evaluating, considering (and other various synonyms such as this) and so on. You know what teams care about though? Sports writers. Especially NFL teams. That is why each team is going to pick the most interesting player for their sports writers. This is exactly how it is going down.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Justin Fields QB OSU
Really anyone but Trevor Lawrence would be fantastic here, just because of the gripping analysis of the pick and follow up articles for the life of whoever would be chosen over him, comparing them to him. Fields is the most interesting of all the options because he played for OSU, where Meyer last coached and it would immediately lead to cries of tribalism or school based nepotism (alumnatism?). Meyer loves picking people he already knows, and he has already complained about the limited access to players, so if you think this is impossible, you are crazy.
New York Jets: Trevor Lawrence QB Clemson
My God, can you imagine the furor and uproar over the draft in New York if Lawrence fell here? Jets fans would be out of their mind. Nothing good ever happens to the Jets (their fans insist). So what would be more wild than the best possible thing happening. This probably won’t happen to the Jets since they deliberately lost a game last year, and the football gods frown on tanking, but it would make Jets fans so happy. Just writing this allowed me to get their hopes up just so it can hurt a tiny bit more when it doesn’t work out.
San Francisco 49ers: Kyle Pitts TE Florida
The 49ers have put all their chips in the middle of the table to take a… tight end? That’s what they are going to do here, so they can have the most dominant tight end duo ever in George Kittle and Pitts. Imagine the Patriots with TWO Gronks? Or the Chiefs with TWO Travis Kelces. Crazy stuff. I’m sure Jimmy Garoppolo is good enough to make this work.
Atlanta Falcons: Ja’Marr Chase WR LSU
Imagine if the Falcons put him out there with Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones. You can play this game with Kyle Pitts too, but what if they just said, listen, we know you can’t cover all three of these guys. Matt, just chuck it to the one who has single coverage each play and see what happens. He could throw for 6000 yards in a season (and they would go 5-11 with their defense).
Cincinnati Bengals: Patrick Surtain II CB Alabama
After ignoring offensive line help on the first few days of free agency, the Bengals would be expected to prioritize getting Joe Burrow help by taking a top lineman here. So, like a high school bully relentlessly needling their prey till they explode, the Bengals would continue by picking a cornerback and ignore Burrow completely here. I wonder how long it will take for Burrow’s head to metaphorically (or literally) explode if they keep doing this. I’m not sure, but we are all enjoying the waiting game.
Miami Dolphins: Trey Lance QB North Dakota State
Wouldn’t it be hilarious, if after all the talk, all the draft finagling, all the resources pushed in, if the Dolphins just said, meh, let’s just bail on the Tua thing. Dolphins fans would be so confused and angry… you know… like usual.
Detroit Lions: Mac Jones QB Alabama
What does misery love? COMPANY! The Bengals could have some company here as Lions fans hearts could be ripped out anew as the Lions could pass up a more physically gifted and higher ranked QBs to take one that is very similar to the one they already have. Further more, there would be an opportunity cost, as you could easily trade down for him, which of course they would fail to do, just like they didn’t trade down last year for a player that would have been there. The Lions need to stick to their script.
Carolina Panthers: Micah Parsons LB Penn State
After completely alienating their quarterback, I really am looking forward to them addressing their terrible defense (on which they spent EVERY pick last year, to no avail), then having to go back to Teddy Bridgewater, hat in hand, and apologize for wanting someone better, despite not meaning it at all. Then we could get the awkward social media posts pretending he was their guy all along. Teddy would go through the motions, seething the whole time. It’s like cheating on your girlfriend, dumping her, then getting dumped by your mistress and still having to share a lease with the former girlfriend for another 11 months. SO. MUCH. SIDE EYE.
Denver Broncos: Zach Wilson QB BYU
Another big white quarterback for their collection, Wilson perfectly fits their model of getting QBs from second level colleges that put up good stats in lesser conferences. I can’t begin to tell you how perfect this combination is. It’s like when someone tells you they don’t have a type but everyone they date is the same height, weight, hair/eye color and demeanor. And they are all terrible at football.
Jerry Jones: Devonta Smith WR Alabama
I love the idea of Jerry just quadrupling down on WR. Jerry: “We have to take him, he’s so good.” His “GM” : “Jerry, we already have 3 great wide receivers. We allowed 40 points a game last season.” Jerry: “But he won the Heisman, person I employ to say yes to what I want.” “GM”: Yes.
New York Giants Penei Sewell OT Oregon
Imagine a world where Dave Gettleman makes a smart pick that makes his team demonstrably better. I know I can’t. This would make my head explode. Just typing that sentence caused an error message (PC load letter? What the F*$@ does that mean).
Philadelphia Eagles: Alijah Vera-Tucker OL USC
The only interesting Philadelphia is a booing Philadelphia, so this pick has to really screw with them. First, you don’t take a skill piece for a team that DESPERATELY needs skill pieces. Second, you take no-name player from a no-name conference. Third, you take a player ahead of multiple other players widely viewed to be better. Put it all together, and you have a world class boo-burger that we can all sumptuously devour with glee.
Los Angeles Chargers: Jaylen Waddle WR Alabama
We just want to keep seeing Justin Herbert keep throwing those beautiful deep balls. The more fast players they have the better for all of us. Their best move would be back to San Diego, but I don’t think we (or they) are going to be so fortunate.
Minnesota Vikings: Christian Darrisaw OT Virginia Tech
This would be a good test case to find out if the GM is trying to drive head coach Mike Zimmer completely out of his damn mind. If he has to go another year without any good defensive players, he may not make it through with all of his faculties. You know what is easier than paying a coach a buyout? Paying for an extended stay at the Betty Ford Clinic.
New England Patriots: Rashod Bateman WR Minnesota
Another big physical receiver for their collection. Nothing would aggravate Pats fans more than another reach WR pick they won’t use and will cut or trade for pennies on the dollar. Bill Belichick is mostly a genius, but drafting bad wide receivers is like his equivalent of short-selling Gamestop. The rest of the portfolio might be pretty good, but he just can’t help himself. The rest of us get real pleasure watching him continue to walk in the glass WR door over and over.
Arizona Cardinals: Travis Etienne RB Clemson
One year after franchise tagging a multi-talented, elusive tailback so they could run him straight into the line 150 times, they draft a multi-talented, elusive tailback to replace him so they can run him straight into the line 150 times this coming year. It was that or trade this pick for a player who’s best days are already well behind them like JJ Watt, Malcom Butler or AJ Green. Oh, no, I see they already got those players. Is Jadeveon Clowney available?
Los Angeles Raiders: Caleb Farley CB Virginia Tech
Imagine if they just took a good player, who was widely valued with their pick. And that pick actually made their team better. Because that player was good at football. I don’t even know what I would say about it. I’m getting uncomfortable talking about it. Let’s move on.
Miami Dolphins: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB/S Notre Dame
This was my pick for the Dolphins in the first draft, and it just makes so much sense, it would be the most interesting in this one too. I really want to see what this dude could do in the Dolphins weird hybrid schemes where they are all just milling around before the snap. This guy is just born to mill around before the snap and then do unexpected stuff.
Washington Football Team: Gregory Rosseau Edge Miami
This is a second straight pick I am leaving from the first one, because the most interesting pick would also just be a good regular pick. Having their defensive line become just an all world wrecking crew would be awesome. I miss the days of an overwhelming defensive line like the ‘86 Bears, or the Eli Manning Giants, or the ‘70s Steelers. I want to see quarterbacks just running for their lives every week.
Chicago Bears: Kyle Trask QB Florida
Don’t tell the Bears there are only 5 good QBs in this draft. How wonderful and amazing would it be to see them reach so far out of this pick to take a quarterback, cup their ears to listen to the applause of everyone who demanded they get a QB in free agency, then drown in the avalanche and rage from Bears fans young and old as they realize the Bears just chained themselves to another 4 years of bad QB play. I don’t have any idea how good Kyle Trask might be, but we know he won’t be good if he goes to the Bears.
Indianapolis Colts: Rondale Moore
Another unchanged pick here, seeing Moore stay in-state with the Colts would be a good story, and the Colts need another player for Carson Wentz to overthrow. Honestly, the Colts might be the most boring team from a writing standpoint now that Rivers is gone. They are competent but not great across the board. I don’t even think Wentz will be interesting there, because I think he will be fine. Not great. Fine.
Tennessee Titans: Najee Harris RB Alabama
How funny would it be for a team with holes all over the place to draft a replacement for the one great player they have. It would be like the Packers wasting a first round pick on a back up cornerback. That would never happen. I’d imagine Derrick Henry would run over to the GMs home and stiff arm him two McMansion’s over.
New York Jets: Kellen Mond QB Texas A&M
If you are the Jets, you can never be too sure. This would be like the time the WFT drafted Robert Griffin III and immediately drafted his replacement a few rounds later. Imagine getting a quarterback controversy right out of the box.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Kwity Paye Edge Michigan
The Steelers are the most fun when they have the Steel Curtain. Drafting another top edge rusher to put opposite TJ Watt would make them one step closer to getting back to the Steelers we all grew up watching. The current iteration isn’t bad, but I want them out here knocking people around.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Christian Barmore DT Alabama
Honestly, I don’t want to have to watch Jags football or care about them when they are on every other Thursday. I would just as soon have them take the least interesting players to keep the interesting ones available for the teams I want to watch, on the weekend, when I like to watch football.
Cleveland Browns Rashawn Slater OT Virginia Tech
I want the Browns to be the 49ers east where they just pummel the living hell out of teams, running over them over and over and over. They have the backs already, keep stocking the pond with overwhelming lineman and grind teams down to nothing.
Baltimore Ravens: Terrace Marshall Jr. WR LSU
Please, give Lamar Jackson a big fast target to throw the ball to. I miss seeing him whip the ball down the field to a guy. Last year, they just snapped the ball sideways and all of his teammates just kept dropping short passes. At least drop the ball 20 yards down the field if you are going to.
New Orleans Saints: Kadarius Toney WR Florida
I really want to see Sean Payton dial up plays for this hybrid speedster. It would really help balance from their dink and dunk style 5 yards and out game. Hopefully this would coincide with them freeing Jameis to let it rip too. That would be the most interesting outcome for all of us.
Green Bay Packers: Elijah Moore WR Ole Miss
I really want to see Aaron Rodgers just checking the ball all over the place to a never ending string of talented WRs who create separation. Why do we have to live with check-downs to anonymous 4th round picks? Let’s go. Open it up Green Bay. Let’s be honest, nothing I could write here would be better than what they already did last year, so I am pretty much at their mercy.
Buffalo Bills: Wyatt Davis OSU G
Another repeat from the last column. The only thing holding the Bills back from a truly elite offense is moving the ball on the ground. There aren’t really any great running backs here, so lets push the line forward.
Kansas City Chiefs: Teven Jenkins OL Texas
For all of our sakes, let’s make sure Patrick Mahomes stays healthy and safe. We need to be able to keep watching that for a long, long time.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jaelen Phillips
Let’s make that terrifying defense just a little bit more scary than it already was. This would be a great bargain here, and it would certainly make them more fun to watch scare the hell out of QBs all year.