The Game of Thrones season six premiere airs Sunday, and the NFL draft is less than a week away. Why not combine the two for a twist on the usual mock draft?
So ... wait, hold on ... oh ...
O.K., I’m now being told this post was unnecessary and the premise nonsensical. Nevertheless, we hope you enjoy.
Four members of the SI family—Ben Glicksman, Tom Mantzouranis, Andrew Perloff and I—matched wits to see who could put together the best fantasy football-style roster made up entirely of Game of Thrones characters. Each team owner drafted a QB, RB, WR, TE and kicker, with explanations for each pick (and each character’s position, hopefully) required.
This was based on the TV show only. Sorry, A Song of Fire and Ice devotees. The only other caveat: Any character selected had to be “alive,” so to speak, at the start of this season. Team Perloff took a significant gamble on that front, as you’ll see in the third round.
A quick warning that if you are not caught up on the show, it might be best to turn back now. No season six spoilers lie ahead, but there’s definitely some information that could ruin seasons 1–5 for you.
With that, let’s begin. And remember, when you play the Game of Thrones mock draft, you win or you die.
Glicksman: The Night’s King, QB
I was going to go with a character more people could rally behind, but anonymous NFL scout loves the intangibles of the blue-eyed, all-powerful leader who can bring players back from the dead. If he can lift an entire army up like this, just imagine what he can do for my offense. Ice in his veins, literally.
Mantzouranis: Tyrion Lannister, QB
What’s the first thing you look for when you build a football team? A quarterback. Sure, Tyrion doesn’t have the measurables you typically look for at the position, but height didn’t stop Drew Brees and Russell Wilson from becoming stars, and small hands won’t keep Jared Goff from being drafted. Tyrion has the brains to play chess against defenses, and his inspirational speech in the Battle of Blackwater proved the imp could be an excellent leader of men.
Perloff: Ser Robert Strong, TE
Aka Gregor Clegane, aka The Mountain that Rides or the Mountain. Huge upside after being resurrected by Qyburn following seemingly fatal showdown with Oberyn Martell. A bit of Conrad Dobler in him … not afraid to eye gouge an opponent. Speed and power similar to Rob Gronkowski. Already working on off-season cruise … similar to the Gronk cruise except Strong kills everybody aboard. Don’t compare him to Tony Mandarich or he will kill you. He’s probably gonna kill you anyway.
Burke: Daario Naharis, WR
A captain for the Second Sons, so we don’t have to waste time with all those questions about his locker-room presence. We will have to dig a little deeper into his background, given that he was literally a different person in Season 3 than in Seasons 4 and beyond. I assume his hand-to-hand fighting experience would translate into allowing him to beat press coverage. Moved him up a round because he was able to get the Mother of Dragons to fall for him.
Burke: Brienne of Tarth, TE
Strong, loyal to a fault and determined. Oh, and just ask The Hound what she can do in the open field. A little worried about the lack of awareness she displayed toward the end of last season (Sansa lit the candle!!), but we’ll work on it.
Perloff: Bronn, WR
Assassin on and off the field. Excellent speed with sword and one-liners. Risen from low birth to being knight of House of Stokeworth. Can be counted on to deliver sarcastic comment with head cocked at any given moment. What he lacks in size he makes up for with particularly angular chin.
Mantzouranis: Jaqen H’ghar, WR
If a man can change faces, surely a man can disguise his routes.
Glicksman: Daenerys Targaryen, WR
I can’t believe Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen—Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons—fell to me at the end of the second round. I’m assuming she can invoke Drogon as she goes out for passes, because this is football in Westeros, and what official is going to flag a freaking dragon? I do have concerns about said dragon melting my quarterback, but screw it, that’s a risk I’m willing to take.
Glicksman: Tormund Giantsbane, TE
Tormund has all the makings of a great tight end: He’s big, he’s a capable blocker and he has the endurance to climb 700-foot walls. Plus, do you really want to tackle this dude in the open field?
Mantzouranis: Ramsay Bolton, RB
Sure, he doesn’t have the build you look for in a RB, but you want your backs to inflict punishment on would-be tacklers, and we know well that no one enjoys inflicting punishment on others like Ramsay.
Perloff: Jon Snow, QB
Snow didn’t throw at the combine while still recovering from likely fatal stab wounds. If he can return to his pre-stabbing form, he’d be a great value in this round. Like another third-round QB, Russell Wilson, Snow is a great leader, with speed, intelligence, competitive instincts. Plays with a chip on his shoulder—à la Tom Brady—because he’s a bastard. May not be alive for Week 1 … we’ll find out soon.
Burke: Jorah Mormont, RB
A bit of a developmental pick for our roster here. Ser Jorah is well past the 30-year old cutoff where running backs tend to drop off in production. But we’re taking him with the hope that his advancing greyscale turns him into a full-on stone man. Tough to tackle someone you can’t touch.
Burke: Bran Stark, QB
The plan here fell apart a bit when Tom nabbed Hodor two picks later—really needed to sign him as an undrafted free agent to be Bran’s fullback. Mobility is an obvious issue since, ya know, he can’t walk. He may not even need to be on the field, though, so long as he can warg his way into the opposition’s cornerbacks and make them move out of the way.
Perloff: Melisandre, K
Will never lack in confidence thanks to faith in Lord of Light. Ability to give birth to deadly shadow could be very effective on kickoffs. May cause friction in locker room for decision to have Stannis’s daughter burned alive … but hey, we all make mistakes.
Mantzouranis: Hodor, TE
He’s not going to offer you anything in route-running between the 20s, but he’ll be a blocking machine and excellent red-zone target.
Glicksman: Grey Worm, RB
Grey Worm is an injury risk, sure—damn you, Sons of the Harpy—but he’s a fierce soldier who can dominate in the trenches. He might have trouble grasping certain Westerosi play calls, but it’s hard to go wrong with a member of the Unsullied in the backfield. Let’s just hope Missandei isn’t bathing on any nearby sidelines to distract him.
Glicksman: Jaime Lannister, K
The Kingslayer doesn’t have a functional hand, but he certainly has a working foot!
Mantzouranis: Podrick Payne, K
Why Podrick, of all people, as a kicker? According to the ladies, he’s got a third leg.
Perloff: Davos Seaworthy, RB
Displayed ability to sneak through small holes when delivering supplies to Storm’s End through Targaryen blockade. Great backstory: born in Flea Bottom, lost some fingers, learned to read as an adult. (Am I allowed to make a JPP reference? Did Glicksman go there with Jaiee Lannister?)
Burke: Samwell Tarly, K
And you thought fans loved Sebastian Janikowski? Just wait until they get a load of this guy. Hopefully, he can stand to be away from Gilly long enough to practice and show up for games.