- DJ Gallo, ESPN.com
- 0 Shares
America’s pastime, the NBA playoffs and the NHL’s playoff push are all nice, but they don’t compare to a real sport that is about to happen: the NFL draft.
Hundreds of players are draft prospects, but every year there are really only 10 players who are available for teams to take in the first round.
Here are those 10 players.
He has almost no football experience. Maybe he’s from another country, maybe he picked up the sport late. But he’s only been on a football field somewhere between the past 24 hours and the past five years. What he lacks in polish or knowing which direction to run or what a football is, he more than makes up for in raw athletic ability.
Why you draft The Project: What potential! Surely some practice time with your team’s crack squad of coaches -- men who are known for their great patience! -- will teach this young man the intricacies of football and in no time he will be an unstoppable force unlike any that has ever been seen before in the NFL!
Why you don’t draft The Project: There are many football players with raw athletic ability. It’s one of the major requirements for the job. Maybe picking someone who is athletic and already knows how to put on a football helmet is the way to go. By the time The Project becomes a football expert five years from now, his athleticism will be on the decline and your project will be finding a new job.
The Baggage Guy
He’s a top-level prospect who could immediately step in and help any team. On the downside, he has a few felonies on his record and smokes weed between plays.
Why you draft The Baggage Guy: See that first sentence? About how he’s a top-level prospect who could immediately step in and help any team? Anything that comes after that sentence is irrelevant. This is a professional football team. The goal is to win the Super Bowl, not pile up NFL Man of the Year awards. Plus, with all the money on the line, there’s a 50-50 chance he cuts back on the felonies from here on out.
Why you don’t draft The Baggage Guy: You have plenty of Baggage Guys already. Or, you will, as soon as they get out of prison next year.
The Character Guy
What he may lack in football ability, he makes up for in leadership in morality. He will be a cornerstone in the community for as many years as he can keep a roster spot.
Why you draft The Character Guy: You need someone to keep an eye on The Baggage Guy.
Why you don’t draft The Character Guy: You need to win now or you’re out of a job.
The Damaged Goods
He would be one of the top picks in the draft ... if not for the fact that he has six torn ACLs, a heart condition, ringworm, athlete’s foot, polio and randomly bleeds from his eyes.
Why you draft The Damaged Goods: If he can ever get healthy, he would be SO GOOD! This might be a risk worth taking. Your team’s physical revealed he’s still alive, so that’s promising.
Why you don’t draft The Damaged Goods: What if he passes away between the time you draft him and the start of the season? Then he will have completely screwed you out of a draft pick (may he rest in peace).
The Big-Name College Star
This guy was a productive, name player at a big-time college program. Will that success translate to the pros, though? Scouts say this guy has some issues that could prevent him from making it in the NFL.
Why you draft The Big-Name College Star: Scouts get it wrong sometimes. I mean, you’ve heard this guy’s name on TV for years! Therefore, he has to be pretty good, right? Sure. And just think of all the jerseys your fans will buy with his name on it.
Why you don’t draft The Big-Name College Star: There are just too many red flags, up to and including him having a fake online girlfriend.
The Small-School Wonder
This guy played at a small, no-name college program. While he didn’t play against top talent in college, he dominated most everyone he faced.
Why you draft The Small-School Wonder: It’s not this guy’s fault he was under-recruited out of high school. Talent is talent. And he has it. Plus, if he pans out and becomes a star, you’ll forever be hailed as a genius.
Why you don’t draft The Small-School Wonder: Maybe five sacks in one game against Northeastern Biotechnical State University-Springfield isn’t all that hard to do. You’re making a big gamble on the competency of the NBSU-S offensive line.
The NFL Combine Star
Unlike The Big-Name College Star, this guy wasn’t remotely productive in college. You can easily make the case he’s not even good at football. But he jumps so high!
Why you draft The NFL Combine Star: What a specimen. How can you not draft someone who looks that good in tight Under Armour? And did you see his time in the shuttle run? Wow.
Why you don’t draft The NFL Combine Star: All recorded draft history and you’re not drunk on draft day.
The Value Pick
He’s not going to blow anyone away, he doesn’t project to have a ton of potential beyond what he’s already shown, and he’ll never lead the NFL in jersey sales, but he’s a solid football player who can help your team win.
Why you draft The Value Pick: Because he fell to your spot in the draft.
Why you don’t draft The Value Pick: Wait. Why has he fallen to our spot in the draft? Does everyone know something we don’t? Abort! Abort! Abort! Pick The Project or The Baggage Guy!
The Luxury Item
This guy is a kicker, punter or kick returner deemed to have talent that sets him far apart from everyone else at his position. No team is led to a Super Bowl by a kicker, punter or kick returner, but having a really good one sure is a nice luxury and can give a team an edge over the opposition.
Why you draft The Luxury Item: Look at the Raiders. They drafted Sebastian Janikowski in the first round in 2000 and they’ve been set at kicker for 14 years!
Why you don’t draft The Luxury Item: Look at the Raiders.
The Best Player Available
He’s the best player available.
Why you draft The Best Player Available: He’s the best player available.
Why you don’t draft The Best Player Available: I have no idea. But failing to draft The Best Player Available always ends up with people getting fired.