By John Rolfe
April 29, 2008
With the dust from the 2008 Draft barely settling and everyone's thoughts feverishly turning to who is going where with what pick next year and beyond, I figured I'd run to daylight and project the field for a little further down the line. Yes, many of these Top 10 picks do not yet exist (they are, pardon the medical jargon, still "under construction" or"fresh out of the oven") or completing kindergarten for the third time, but their bloodlines and Apgar scores have scouts and Division I recruiters drooling on their Van Heusens. And even with the NFL's inherent parity, it's not hard to project who'll be picking where. Hell, trades will always screw up a mock draft before the ink dries, anyway. So take these to the bank (and be prepared for the teller to look at you strangely.) Next week: Analyzing the winners and losers.
1 QB Contents of Test Tube 3578 Michigan Sr. 6-7 349
Currently redshirted in the In-Vitro Lab of Smithers-Nattering Fertility Clinic in East Lansing. According to the joint's janitor, the father is a member of the NFL Couch family and the mother is a Vegas showgirl. Thus the final product is sure to have the kind of arm and legs you find only on the finest upholstered chairs. Taking the tube and trading down for an end table is the route Lions GM Matt Millen will take while scrambling to rebound from that unfortunate fire Lions fans set at Ford Field after the previous year's draft fiasco.
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2 LB Mungo Belichick Boston College Sr. 6-3 285
*PROJECTED TRADE WITH THE SAINTS* Quite a coup by GM Tom Brady who will masterfully slip the Saints a package of second-rounders (which New Orleans later discovers are in the NHL Draft) in order to grab quiet, glowering presence with an uncanny knack for knowing which play is coming.
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3 QB Buster Gutkowski Penn State Sr. 6-1 240
*PROJECTED TRADE WITH THE JETS* Word is a Penn State recruiter disguised as a surgical tech got into the delivery room and secured the kid's signature on a letter of intent. Proud papa Gus, who played for Nittany Lions and presently toils as a Packers bird dog, was dead set on his bristle-headed boy playing for JoePa, even if the iconic coach will be 100 years old by the time the kid arrives at University Park. The Pack has to believe this kid's pedigree means he'll be the one to push Brett Favre into retirement for good. Either that, or it'll be done at gunpoint.
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4 RB McNamee Clemens Arkansas Jr. 6-2 212
Al Davis, celebrating his centennial and as feisty as ever, has vowed not to leave this mortal coil until the Raiders return to their former glory. They'll come painfully close with this pick. Even though their running back depth chart is four deep, the thinking in Oakland is still to get crumbling QB JaMarcus Russell some help for carrying the offensive burden, even if it means using a five-running back set (Clemens and four McFadden offspring) with two down linemen.
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5 CB Chitch Croker Kansas-Leavenworth Jr. 6-4 255
Patience with Herm Edwards is wearing a tad thin, so KC goes for broke. This is a no-brainer, though age is a concern as Croker is currently in first grade and, at his rate of academic progression, will be 30 by draft day. Still, hands like these only come along every 5-15 years according to circuit court judge Madeleine Parchman-Farmer. Croker's cat burglar ability to purloin the pigskin will prove too hard to resist. If the Chiefs stay at No. 5, with Croker going to No. 4 Oakland, they'll grab Idaho's shake-and-bake wideout Spud Russet. If not, Croker goes to San Quentin on a firearms rap.
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6 QB Benchley Phinney-Feeney IV Oxford Sr. 5-7 167
The NFL's decades-long courtship of England finally bears some fruit in the form of the British signal-caller. Jets fans will surely boo, but with Test Tube 3578 and Gutkowski already taken, a classical lit major is the obvious guy to make everyone instantly recall Chad Pennington. The wily Jets will try to get the No. 3 Packers all hot and bothered about trading back down, but sources tell me Green Bay will say, "Don't make us laugh, our lips are chapped."
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7 * S Blintz Kleinbottle Culinary Institute Sr. 4-11 368
*PROJECTED TRADE WITH THE REDSKINS* The Bengals and Saints are hungry and the Skins are itching to vacate this slot after taking a good look at the kid's height and weight. The Saints will offer Washington more than Cincinnati does (a carton of Camels, three yellowing back issues of The Watchtower and a small can of moustache wax) thereby landing the draft's most unorthodox safety. You read it here first.
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8 DE Typhoidus Williamson Miami Sr. 6-4 301
*PROJECTED TRADE WITH THE DOLPHINS* The eye patch and wooden leg will give them pause, same for the post-Combine hernia surgery, but in the end, the Bills are enamored with Williams' gutsy refusal to quit, which they find symbolic of the scrappy, struggling city in Western New York that the NFL has been steadily boxing and shipping to Toronto. Giggling like loons, the Fish take Buffalo's second-round pick and turn it into a planter.
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9 LB Baby Crump Arizona State Jr. 5-10 235
With Art and Angelina Crump of Mordant Outlook, AZ vowing to produce their first child by the fall of '09, the Cardinals are likely to believe their pass rush will be at least somewhat better with whatever the Crumps can squeeze out manning the outside spot.
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10 * QB Quincy Wagstaff Huxley College Jr. 5-6 160
With Ocho-Cinco still sulking and refusing to report, coach/GM Marvin Lewis welcomes Wagstaff to the el-fold-o. The Bengals would have been thrilled with either Phinney-Feeney IV or the Punt, Pass & Kick Competition winner falling to them, especially after they learn that Wagstaff is merely a character played by Groucho Marx in the classic college football spoof Horsefeathers. Still, they have to think Wagstaff will be special, particularly after he engineered that huge upset of Darwin after ringers Mullin and McCarty stole Huxley's signals in a bit of chicanery that preceded Spygate by 75 years. Cincy later trades down to grab backfield tandem Pinkie and Baravelli while Congress launches hearings into the Horsefeathers scandal.
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