What would happen if the AFL both had a draft, and held it before the NFL’s? Clint Dolezel would be living in Ryan Leaf’s shadow.
Draft order was determined by overall record as of last week, ties were broken by total points scored and allowed over the season. This is a terrible idea. Let’s just go:
(1 – Las Vegas Gladiators) TC: With the first pick in the draft, the Las Vegas Gladiators select JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU.The team with the most disastrous situation on offense in the AFL says “Screw Shaun King and that other guy,” and picks Russell. Who will proceed to roll out, just so linebackers can come after him, and he can stiff-arm them and then throw the ball.
The New York Dragons are on the clock.
(2 – New York Dragons) J Fizzle: Oh sweet Jesus.
With the second pick, the New York Dragons select Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech.
He’s such a monstrous target that even Rohan “Reverse Kurt Warner B” Davey should be able to hit him in the endzone, and Johnson, running in motion prior to the snap on offense and laying hits in the open field while on D, will be nicknamed “The Motherfucking Bulldozer”, as pretty much everyone on the field would be completely raped by him. He’ll play out his four-year contract at New York before getting signed by the Detroit Lions, then traded to the NY Giants, and disappearing into obscurity as Jon Kitna and Eli Manning struggle to hit receivers on a non-make-believe-sized football field.
Tampa Bay Storm Arizona Rattlers) TC: Can we make a trade? I have a delightful scenario that involves Tampa Bay and Arizona switching draft picks. Arizona gives Sherdrick Bonner and the 4th pick to Tampa Bay for the 3rd pick. Feel free to counter my offer.
J Fizzle: So be it.
TC: Excellent. Perhaps it’s questionable, but I like it. Maybe. So: Arizona gives Sherdrick Bonner and the 4th pick to Tampa Bay for the 3rd pick.
With the third pick, the Arizona Rattlers choose Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame. Who cares what Quinn does on the field? Of greater import is that Quinn will play wingman for Matt Leinart, where the two of them will plow through all eligible co-eds at ASU, the Scottsdale Community College Artichokes, and the University of Phoenix. This’d be a great TV show: “Brady Quinn: Wingman.” Tell me you wouldn’t watch that. On the field, both Arizona teams will be competing for their respective Bowls, and be the toast of the Greater Phoenix area. That’s why Brady will shock the world and not opt out of his Rattlers contract when offered a spot with the Seahawks when Matt Hasselbeck finally falls apart. Who cares how much the AFL pays him – he’ll get bank from endorsements.
Tampa Bay is on the clock.
Arizona Rattlers Tampa Bay Storm) J Fizzle: With the 4th pick, Tampa Bay, now in possession of a QB that can actually pass the ball, selects Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin. Thomas is very successful on both sides of the ball, recording 7 sacks and 29 pancakes his rookie season, along with 4 rushing TDs as Tampa Bay occasionally lines him up at FB in third and goal situations. Thomas is suspended for 8 games in his second season after he blindsides newly-recovered Philly QB Tony Graziani, breaking his left arm and leg, and, in a fit of adrenaline-fueled hunger, eats Graziani’s right foot and ankle.
(5 – Grand Rapids Rampage) TC: I applaud you – I completely predicted this sequence of events. Well, with the exception of the Graziani-mangling.
With the 5th pick, Grand Rapids drafts Ted Ginn, Jr., WR/DB Ohio State University. They are the second lowest-scoring team in the AFL. That needs to change. He’s superduperfast, and probably will have a step or two on the other DBs off the line. Plus, I think he’d play both ways. So, that’s good. Plus, I get to exile an OSU grad to Grand Rapids, which is enjoyable. He and Calvin Johnson are going to fight to lead the league in scoring, what with the kickoff TDs likely from both of them (Ginn by being shifty, Johnson by running people over), as well as an INT return or two. He’s going to get all pouty after a year or so, though, and he’ll either get picked up by the Lions/Packers, or teach PE at some high school in the Michigan boonies. Unless the Johnson/Ginn rivalry actually comes to fruition, and they challenge each other for years and years.
(6 – Austin Wranglers) J Fizzle: The Johnson/Ginn rivalry is solved promptly when disgruntled Wolverine fans spot a drunken Ginn Jr. on the streets of Detroit and angrily throw him into the strait connecting Lake St. Clair with Lake Erie in the dead of winter.
With the 6th pick, the Austin Wranglers select Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma. Motivated almost purely by the marketing potential of “The Adrians: McPherson and Peterson”, Austin selects Heisman-candidate-until-he-got-jacked Peterson, who has a standout rookie year, running for 14 TDs and catching 28 more. However, Austin loses in the first round of the playoffs after the Adrians mysteriously disappear; their bodies are discovered after Arena Bowl XXII; the “Austin Wrangler Strangler” is never found.
(7 – Los Angeles Avengers) TC: You’ve been saving that Austin Wrangler Strangler joke for ages, haven’t you?
With the seventh pick, Los Angeles Avengers select Dwayne Jarrett, WR, University of Southern California. Benefits: Sonny Cumbie can keep throwing up prayers, and Jarrett’s going to come down with them. He also doesn’t have to move from LA, which is convenient. Detriment: Sonny Cumbie is still throwing up prayers, and there are really too many holes to fill here. I almost went offensive line or (egh) QB on this one but I decided against it. Jarrett’s going to put up workmanlike numbers in the NFL, but they’d be garish in the AFL. So, I think he’d enjoy that. In a couple years, he blows out his ACL and PCL, and makes a reality show out of his rehab. No one watches, and the humiliation is equal to my humiliation in making this pick.
(8 – New Orleans Voo Doo) J Fizzle: Actually the Austin Wrangler Strangler came to me in a vision as I made the pick. Dwayne Jarrett? Do we really need to bring up, say, Mike Williams?
With the 8th pick, the perplexedly mediocre New Orleans Voo Doo (drop easy games, win the occasional tough one, just like Detroit!) select Greg Olsen, TE, Miami.
He’s big. He’s got great hands. He’s speedy for a guy his size. Imagine him lining up at either WR, FB, or the LB that can actually move around. Domination. Aside from catching TD after TD from Steve Bellisari, Olsen heads down to the levees and personally deflects 6 hurricanes from striking the Big Easy. Deuce and Reggie can only stand and watch in awe.
(9 – Nashville Kats) TC: Damn. Say what you will, Jarrett can jump. Nice Olsen pick. I think the TE is underrated.
With the 9th Pick, the Nashville Kats select Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson. I’ve been waiting to pick a defensive player for the last 4 hours, and Nashville is sound enough offensively that if they can KEEP people from scoring points on them, I suddenly like their odds. Plus, he’d just push people over if they made him play offensive line. In Arena Bowl Something, he lines up as a fullback and scores a touchdown, Fridge-style. Rar. He kills quarterbacks.
(10 – Orlando Predators) J Fizzle: How did I know you’d like the Olsen pick? Gaines Adams is awesome because his name is ‘Gaines’, as in, ‘Gaines a little more intensity every time he mauls an opposing quarterback’.
With the 10th pick, Orlando follows suit from Nashville (good O, need some D) and takes Amobi Okoye, DT, Louisville. He’s just like Alan Branch, but he isn’t Greg Oden-age, and he has ‘a lot of upside’ and he’s ready to take names and kick ass. As John Madden would say, “Wow, this guy, he’s a big guy.”
(11 – Kansas City Brigade) TC: I was torn between Okoye and Adams. Everybody on the planet has Adams ahead of Okoye, so I went that direction.
Kansas City, with the 11th pick, selects LaRon Landry, S, LSU. This was really difficult, because Kansas City is so near-crappy all-around, but they stay in a lot of games. The question is which hole needs the most patching. They don’t score a lot of points, but Philyaw is one of the most efficient QBs in the league, and has a reasonable, if not flashy, corps of recievers (Sam Simmons). I could go Marshawn Lynch with this pick, just to give them some speed out of the backfield, but I think that Kansas City can really cause some trouble if they go with LaRon Landry, S, LSU. Ball hawk. Ballhawkballhawkballhawk. KC will start holding opponents under 40 points consistently with this guy roving. He’s quick, his instincts are stupid-good, and – most importantly – the field’s smaller. He’s going to be everywhere at once.
(12 – Philadelphia Soul) J Fizzle: Ballhawkballhawkballhawk indeed.
To somewhat follow suit once again, with the 12th pick Philly takes Leon Hall, CB, Michigan. He’ll be a weapon on defense as well as a formidable WR, and with Graziani only out temporarily it doesn’t make sense to waste the pick on a QB. Leon Hall will be the Troy Brown of the AFL – not the flashiest guy you’ll see, but solid. Until, of course, he’s 35 years old.
(13 – Columbus Destroyers) TC: I’m tempted to propose some more trades, but that’s only because I don’t want to deal with Columbus’ pick. Matt Nagy is not good, but not awful-awful. Their receivers are okay. They have this year’s sack leader. So, I’m going to go crazy, actually skip over Levi Brown, and make a kind of wild selection.
With the 13th pick, Columbus selects Joe Staley, OT/TE, Central Michigan. Columbus drafts for upside – they’re going to be better next year than this year, even without the draft. So, it makes sense to me to pick a lineman who’s more of a speedster. Plus, he played TE for a while, so maybe he can catch some passes. Stick him on DE, maybe he can get around some people. I don’t know. Weird pick, I feel, but it’s what my gut says. Who knows what he’s doing in 5 years – selling real estate like Craig Krenzel?
(14 – San Jose SaberCats) J Fizzle: Selling real estate like Craig Krenzel AND Matt Nagy in the off-season.
San Jose likewise is a better team than their overall record indicates, they have a good QB in Mark Grieb and some solid receivers. That’s why this ‘eh, whatever’ pick goes to Michael Griffin, SS, Texas. In the AFL, everyone can get in the end zone, but a team that can keep the opposing offense off the field is solid. Griffin is quick and a hard hitter, and although not the biggest guy at 6’0″, he’s got good hands and netted nearly 150 tackles, along with 4 picks, in his senior season. Plus, he’s from Texas. So he MUST be great at football.
EMAIL DELAY: From TC, received by J Fiz after the 14th pick: “Wow, that was a miserable pick. Nagy’s terrible. I really mis-read the Columbus stats. Jesus. I’m rectifying this with the Colorado pick, depending on who you choose.”
J Fizzle: “Nagy is not so good, he has been playing better as the season’s progressed, but ask yourself this – would Drew Stanton or Jared ZebranskaNCAA08CoverBoy be any better? Actually, probably.”
(15 – Colorado Crush) TC: Since I screwed the Columbus pick up spectacularly, I propose the following:
Colorado, with the 15th pick, selects Trent Edwards, QB, Stanford, and immediately trades him to Columbus for the aforementioned Joe Staley and… what, cash considerations? A salary cap thinghy? I don’t know. I’ll let commissioner Fizzle decide whether this is reasonable or not. Edwards gets picked before Stanton because a) Trent Edwards sounds like an AFL quarterback’s name and b) a scouting report says “Will exhibit some bad habits at times but that may be a byproduct of playing with inferior talent all around him.” Sounds like an AFL quarterback to me! Also, I can’t figure out why Drew Stanton is rated as highly as he is – I saw Drew Stanton play, and was never terribly impressed by what he did more than I was by, say, John Stocco. Or am I totally full of crap? I’m just making random decisions now. So, the result of this pick is:
Columbus gets Trent Edwards, in a Matt Nagy upgrade.
Colorado gets Joe Staley, who fits better in Columbus’ arsenal anyway.
In other news, Colorado’s backup is Brandon Kirsch, who completely quailed in Kyle Orton’s shadow at Purdue, so… there’s that. Just a side note. Also, my sister said he had fewer bad habits (chaw) than Orton, but was kind of a diva. Which he had no business being.
(16 – Utah Blaze) J Fizzle: Verily, Stanton is not the #3 QB everyone’s making him out to be. Granted, we’re a little biased.
This trade goes through only because Commissioner Fizzle gets some serious kick backs, and it wouldn’t surprise me if an AFL war-room looked at their board, their pick, and their roster, and said, “Oh wait. Our QB sucks. FUCK! We fucked that one up more than Joe Theismann’s femur!”
Utah, with the 16th pick, selects Antonio Pittman, RB, Ohio State, as their only offensive weakness is (surprise!) a lack of a running game. Yes, he’s not as big as Brian Leonard or even Marshawn Lynch, but he’s fast and has ‘quickness’, and played in the Big Ten which means he knows how to play the Spread. He enjoys a lucrative AFL career in Utah and a satisfying home life with his six trophy wives.
(17 – Chicago Rush) TC: With the 17th selection, Chicago picks Jamaal Anderson, DE, Arkansas. They don’t need a QB, they clearly don’t need a WR, and though I was theeeeeese close to picking Paul Pozluzny and absolutely wasting him in the AFL, where linebackers are USELESS, I didn’t. I also had Marshawn Lynch in this spot, and was giddy about him falling this far, and typed “I also almost picked Jamaal Anderson so he could be the other side of the D-line that currently features E.J. Burt, a sack master in his own right,” before saying (out loud) “Almost? Am I crazy?” So, sorry Marshawn, you fall at least one more slot, because Chicago feels like having two lunatics on the D-line is more valuable than adding a different kind of offensive weapon. We’ll continue to throw it Sippio’s way, thank you.
(18 – Dallas Desperados) J Fizzle: Marshawn sadly will fall another round undrafted, because frankly Dallas has the whole package and just needs a playmaker in the secondary. His size and speed are identical to Marshawn’s, but he’s played the position, so with the 18th pick, Dallas selects Reggie Nelson, FS, Florida. Really, they are the same player – a little inexperienced, immature, questions about their big league potential, one dances too much in the backfield, one misses tackles looking for the big hit – but in the secondary, advantage Nelson. Let the record show, however, that Gator Nation can lick my nuts.
(19 – Georgia Force) TC: Great. So. Georgia. I’m going to pick Daniel Sepulveda, P, Baylor… wait, what, you don’t punt in the Arena League? Shit. I’ll be right back.
With the 19th and final pick in the first round, the Georgia Force selects … Levi Brown, OT, Penn State. Sorry Marshawn, but we don’t run much in this here league. Brown played some defensive line in high school, so he can play both lines, which you know, they do from time to time in the Arena League. Plus, he’s really good, and if Griesen continues to get top-notch protection, he’ll be good enough to be the next Regular-Direction Kurt Warner, and end up replacing Mark Bulger or Alex Smith or whatever corpse Washington is throwing out there this year. Hey, Joe, who’s quarterbacking for the Vikings now?
Fiz: Shit. Probably Brady Quinn. At least that’s what Madden ’07 predicted.
So there you have it. Not a single LB was drafted, Marshawn Lynch stayed on the board, and with the first pick in the NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select… Drew Stanton.