There's nothing quite as ridiculous as mock drafts, so this week, the Toy Department has decided to make a mockery of mock drafts by conducting our own three-part draft. But instead of limiting the pool to players who have actually entered the draft, we've placed no such limits on anything. The people do not even have to be real. They just have to be able to help the franchise in some way.
21. Philadelphia Eagles
Selection: Santa Claus, toymaker; deliverer of good cheer
Analysis: It's about time Philly and jolly old Saint Nick put their long-running feud to rest. Sure, maybe a handful of Eagles fans did boo Santa Claus at some point, besmirching the entire city's character for years to come, but it's time for bygones to be bygones, right? Think of all the good that could occur if this relationship was mended. Santa could unload a bunch of unread Rush Limbaugh books on Donovan McNabb as a way to break the ice, and then hand out his real presents, like a membership to the Ham of the Month club for coach Andy Reid and a first-aid kit for Brian Westbrook.
22. Minnesota Vikings
Selection: Doc Brown, scientist
Analysis: This one is simple. The Vikings hook up with Doc Brown and his flux capacitor and go back in time and trade a couple draft picks for Jay Cutler. Or, if they prefer, they can go even farther back in time and simply draft a real quarterback. Seriously, you have the best running back the NFL has seen in 10 years and you want to waste the best parts of his career with Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels as your quarterback? The team is lucky Rep. Michelle Bachman hasn't tried to have owner Zygi Wilf deported yet. Instead of organizing boat orgies, the Vikings should look inside Brad Childress' garage to see if he has an old DeLorean they can get up to 88 mph. It probably also wouldn't hurt to use the flux capacitor to go back in time and figure out a way to properly count votes for the U.S. Senate election either, now that I think about it. (Seriously, how long does Minnesota plan to go with just one vote in the U.S. Senate? Obama's second term?) Even Al Franken and Rush Limbaugh can agree that asking Adrian Peterson to play with Sage Rosenfels is a criminal offense.
23. New England Patriots
Selection: David Addington, lawyer,
treasonous criminal, rule-bender
: When Addington was the legal council (and eventually chief of staff) for former Vice President Dick Cheney, he earned a well-deserved reputation for waltzing all over the Constitution to justify whatever the administration wanted. It's a skill that should come in handy in the Patriots' front office, which has never seen a rule it didn't want to ruthlessly dodge. Dive at Tom Brady's knees this year? After the game, you may find yourself dragged off to a window-less room and waterboarded deep inside the bowels of Gillette Stadium, regardless of whether or not you were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. Addington might argue that Bill Belichick has unlimited powers if he feels his quarterback has been threatened. If Brady's Brazilian bride seems like a distraction and she doesn't have her papers in order, she might be in trouble too, citizenship or no.
24. Atlanta Falcons
Selection: Gunnery Sgt. Hartman, drill instructor, Full Metal Jacket
Analysis: It was somewhat inspiring to see the way Atlanta put its franchise back together after Mike Vick and his Bad Newz Kennels crew nearly burned the whole thing to the ground. But the problem with Hot-lanta is that trouble lurks around every corner. What the Falcons need is a no-nonsense drill sergeant like the one portrayed by R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket to constantly remind them of their larger purpose. Thinking about starting a fight in a nightclub? Gunnery Sgt. Hartman will be there to make you choke yourself using his hand. Contemplating taking a young lady home for the evening and possibly impregnating her? Sgt. Hartman will have you doing push-ups and cleaning latrines until the Virgin Mary herself would feel comfortable sitting on them. And sure, maybe Matt Ryan snaps and shoots the drill sergeant in the chest, but that's OK because the Marine Corps lives on forever.
25. Miami Dolphins
Selection: Jimmy Buffett, singer/songwriter, professional drunk
Analysis: No real deep thought required here. Even though Miami made the playoffs with Chad Pennington under center last year, he's not a long-term solution to the Curse of Dan Marino. You have to be wasted on margaritas to believe Pennington's arm is going to hold up another year, and while you're at it, you might as well listen to some tunes about nostalgia, beach life and public intoxication. Over the years, Jimmy's made enough money to buy the Dolphins, but he's also probably pissed it away so fast (really, it was never meant to last) so he'll be happy to help out in whatever way he can.
26. Baltimore Ravens
Selection: Jesus, son of God, true teammate
Analysis: Ray Lewis and Matt Stover have frequently mentioned how God is using the Ravens to spread His message throughout the world, so why not go ahead and make the partnership official? What Would Jesus Do? Well, Jesus would do pretty much whatever the team needed, to be honest. Jesus could prepare the pre-game meal (Mark 6:41). He could help with contract negotiations, reminding players camels will sooner fit through the eye of a needle than rich men will get into Heaven (Luke 18:24-25). He could -- at least for believers -- heal everything from groin injuries to torn hammys and blown out ACLs (Mark 5:2-41). You can even make the case that Jesus would totally approve of Ray Lewis' pre-game dance routine (Psalm 149). One thing is for certain though: If Jesus covered kicks, he'd be the first guy reaching down to help up the person he just tackled, even if he was a member of the Steelers. (Matthew 5:44). (You're supposed to love your enemies, you know?) And if one of Jesus' teammates tries to throw him under the bus, which happens all the time on Ravens' radio shows, well, he saw it coming (Matthew 26:21). He's likely to forgive anyway.
27. Indianapolis Colts
Selection: Michael Phelps, swimmer, imbiber
Analysis: Everyone acts like Peyton Manning totally figured everything out when he won his Super Bowl ring two years ago, but you know what the truth is? Manning is still a frenetic head case, spazzing out before every play, calling fake audibles to show how smart he is, dancing around with his happy feet in the pocket. If only there was someone who could help Manning learn to mellow out. Someone who could ... I don't know ... teach him to just chillax the (bleep) out and just let life come at him, bro. Someone who could just hang out with him and be like, Peyton, dude, be serious with me for like one second, OK? Tell the truth: Do you ever look at the big blue horseshoe on the side of your helmet and wonder if it's not really a horseshoe, but like ... one of those giant cartoon magnets Wile E. Coyote was always using to try and catch the Road Runner? The Road Runner was awesome, wasn't he? He was always like "Meep meep!" which was so hilarious.
28. Philadelphia Eagles
Selection: Gaston, man's man, spitting/fighting/drinking village champion, Beauty and the Beast
Analysis: Since the Eagles have two first-round picks, they should roll the dice here and select a Frenchman, even though the country's NFL track record is a little spotty. As much as Donovan McNabb has done for the franchise over the years, it's obvious he has major self-confidence issues he's just never going to get over, and Gaston -- who is so manly he uses antlers in all of his decorations -- has no such hangups. Sometimes you need to be an arrogant jerk to succeed at sports, and while McNabb is busy sulking that people don't like him enough or might be saying mean things behind his back, Gaston will be spitting in the face of linebackers and leading game-winning drives. Seriously, Philly, we dare you to throw batteries at this guy. He will just catch them, probably with his teeth, and chew them into a paste and then spit it on your steak sandwich.
29. New York Giants
Selection: Scott Scanlon, nerdy handgun novice, 90210
Analysis: It's unclear whether or not the Giants learned any lessons about gun safety from Plaxico Burress' nightclub shooting incident -- other than don't wear sweatpants with a loose waistband if you're going to carry a concealed, unlicensed handgun in New York City -- but professional athletes are sometimes a bit slow on the uptake, so there are no guarantees. This is where Scanlon comes in. His accidental shooting death on 90210 remains one of the most out-of-left-field moments in teen soap drama history, so repeating it in the Giants locker room would definitely help the message hit home. You can also totally imagine Eli Manning telling the media that Scanlon was a great guy whom everyone loved, and that he was a really important member of the team, even though he and Eli probably would have spent about three minutes together total because Scott could never get in with the cool crowd.
30. Tennessee Titans
Selection: Carrie Underwood, country crooner, Romo-dumpee
Analysis: Tennessee, even without Albert Haynesworth, is a pretty complete team. They should be a threat to contend for the AFC championship once again. In all likelihood, they'll have an excellent regular season and probably go into the playoffs as the No. 1 seed. And of course, just like they always do, they'll blow it, probably by losing a playoff game at home. You know why? The dirty secret is that Jeff Fisher is an incredibly average big-game coach. During the regular season, he's one of the best in the NFL, but when it really matters, he suddenly becomes Norv Turner. The only thing Nashville's hometown team can do is sign up country music's cutest crooner and ask her to document the inevitable collapse with a sad song about heartbreak, betrayal and alcohol, which is where Ms. Underwood comes in. (Who wouldn't want Jesus to take the wheel if Kerry Collins and Jeff Fisher were driving?) She's even familiar with those who fold in big moments, having briefly dated Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo before he ditched her for Jessica Simpson and her mom jeans. By the way, has anyone ever made worse decisions under pressure than Romo?
31. Arizona Cardinals
Selection: Phil Mickelson, professional golfer, professional headcase
Analysis: Phil Mickelson has made a career out of dazzling his supporters, and then confounding them, which is exactly what the Cardinals did last season during their run to the Super Bowl. So, it makes sense that this former Arizona State Sun Devil would want to come on as a consultant. Kurt Warner is going to be really upset that Jesus was picked by the Ravens, and probably demand a trade, so it's even possible Mickelson could see time at quarterback, where he'd likely excel at throwing short passes but really struggle with the long ball. On off days, Matt Leinart can carry his golf bag, since the Cardinals need to pay Leinart to do something -- other than take hits from a beer bong.
32. Pittsburgh Steelers
Selection: A pair of Bad Idea Jeans
Analysis: The Steelers don't need much in terms of help. Right now, they're the most complete team in the NFL. But it would be nice if they had something their quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, could put on before he goes out on the town to remind him that he doesn't have the best judgment away from the football field. Want to ride your motorcycle without a helmet in downtown Pittsburgh? Check the label and ask yourself: Bad idea? Want to do shots with a bunch of random strangers and get food stuck in your beard? Again, consult the label and think about it: Bad idea? It's like having a babysitter or mentor in the form of a garment. It's a way to make certain that your All-Pro quarterback can still be himself, but that he doesn't endanger others (or his team's shot at repeating) just because he's not the brightest bulb in the room.
That concludes our mockery of mock drafts, folks. Enjoy the real thing. Keep your fingers crossed that the Ravens phone lines don't get cut this year, but remember, some things are also best left up to fate. As long as they're not left up to Brian Billick, it's all good.
- Baltimore Ravens
- Peyton Manning
- New York Giants
- Philadelphia Eagles
- Donovan McNabb
- Phil Mickelson
- Arizona Cardinals
- Minnesota Vikings
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- Rush Limbaugh
- Carrie Underwood
- Jeff Fisher
- Sage Rosenfels
- Ray Lewis
- Arizona State Sun Devils
- Atlanta Falcons
- Dallas Cowboys
- New England Patriots
- Jessica Simpson