Welcome back to the second day of the MNFL Draft where we will cover picks 17-32 of the upcoming first round. I’ll waste no time with useless intros except to say that if you missed part one where we covered picks 1-16, you can start with that here
Peyton: “Welcome back, as we begin day two which should have aired yesterday but Eli got lost in a fast food play area ball pit for 12 hours so we had to postpone. Good news is we have him back now and we’ve got a tracker inserted into his body so this sort of thing doesn’t happen again”
Eli: “My neck hurts.”
Peyton: “I might still have some HGH that should help with that”
The GM for the Washington Redskins, Caleb Edelman, walks up to the stage
With the 17th pick of the MNFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
What’s that? I do believe I hear Kirk Cousin’s agent on the phone saying he’ll happily play another year in Washington. Christian McCaffrey is the best “dual threat” of any running back in this year’s class as he has the capacity to make an immediate impact in both the running and passing game. He will be a perfect fit for Washington’s offense and the immediate #1 RB atop the depth chart. McCaffrey is not a bruiser at the line, but he’s smart and can get a yard when needed. It’s likely he’ll end up with a high number of yards per carry, and if he does, a 1,000 rushing and 500 receiving yard season is well within reach. While many argue he is undersized, at 5’11 and 202lbs, he can still be very effective. McCaffrey broke Barry Sanders’ (another undersized RB) single-season NCAA record for all-purpose yardage as a sophomore. McCaffrey of course is no Barry Sanders, but he has the potential to be an elite running back in the NFL and at 17th overall, a total steal.
Peyton: “A team led by Kirk and Christian might be the whitest thing I’ve ever seen. And yes, I’ve watched my own Papa Johns commercials”
The GM for the Tennessee Titans, Alex Cannata, walks up to the stage
With the 18th pick in the MNFL Draft, the Tennessee Titans select: Gaeron Conley, CB, Ohio State
Filling the WR hole with Mike Williams with the 5th pick was huge. Now the Titans have set starters across the board on offense. I’d like another WR and a backup TE, but that can wait until later or be done in free agency. With the front 7 in good shape on defense, this pick was clearly about the secondary for me.
There are still lots of solid options available here, but I went with Gareon Conley. He’s big, fast, and has quick feet. He can play in a man scheme, a zone scheme, and can even move into the slot if needed. In the chess-like NFL that we are currently seeing, cornerbacks like Conley are key to being able to adjust to react to the offense. When offenses use players in multiple spots, Conley is someone that the Titans will be able to move around to cover a variety of skill sets in a variety of places. He likely will step in as an immediate starter along with Logan Ryan.
The GM for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Weston Mills, walks up to the stage
With the 19th pick in the MNFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select: Obi Melifonwu, S, Uconn
The Bucs are finally reaching a win-now window and they must address the safety position that is currently looking at starting J.J. Wilcox and Ryan Smith. They let former Jayhawk Bradley McDougald walk in free agency, who started all 16 games last year at Safety which tells me they will be addressing the position in the draft. Obi Melifonwu has been rising up draft boards since his impressive performance at the Senior Bowl and gaudy like numbers at Combine. The main reason I like this pick for the Bucs is that Obi is an absolute athletic freak and thus can be creatively used all over the field. With his 4.4 40 speed he can roam the secondary or keep up with slot wide receivers. At 6’4 225lbs, he can be up in the box and won’t get bullied by any tight end. He is a pretty raw talent but I think his draft hype will be too much for the Bucs to pass. Other possible picks if they were on the board: Dalvin Cook (RB Florida St.) or Christian McCaffrey (RB, Stanford). I think the Bucs really want Dalvin Cook but he went 14 to the Eagles in our Mock Draft.
Eli: “That has got to be a typo, Peyton, I do not understand that kid’s name”
Peyton: “I don’t know how you pronounce that first name but if it’s Obi like Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi then holy hippo balls that guy is going to have some good nicknames. On the other hand, I’m already sick of the references to him using the force.”
The GM for the Denver Broncos, Colin Chiles, walks up to the stage
With the 20th pick in the MNFL Draft, The Denver Broncos select: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
Despite missing the playoffs last year, this is still a very talented Broncos team, especially on the defensive side of the ball. The offense however, does have a lot of problems, beginning with some very inexperienced QB play from both Trevor Siemian and Pirate Paxton Lynch. No matter which guy they end up going with, they are going to need to protect their young QB’s, and last year they gave up the 9th most sacks per game in the league. As others have mentioned in this mock draft, it’s an unusually shallow talent pool for offensive linemen. Cam Robinson is arguably the best of the bunch and since no one has taken an O Lineman yet, this seems like the right fit.
By the way, Paxton Lynch is destined to end up with some eye injury forcing him to wear his eye patch. As fans, we deserve this. I think we’ve earned it. And if you think me wishing an eye injury on him is harsh, please realize that it’s either that or he has to lose a leg and go peg-leg. Only one of these two things can happen but one of them MUST happen or I will lose all faith in humans as a species.
Eli: “This is the first offensive lineman taken in the draft so far which is pretty surprising and highlights the odd lack of talent we have at that position. Some people will still say this was too high to take someone from this class from the O-Line”
Peyton: “Was that actual analysis, Eli?? Don’t do that. They’ll start expecting it out of you.”
The GM for the Detroit Lions, Steve Knowles, walks up to the stage
With the 21st pick in the MNFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
Lions have a lot of ways they can go here. Despite coming off a 9-7 year and Wildcard berth in 2016, they finished 18th in total yards allowed defense and 21st in total yards gained on offense. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them try to bolster their offensive line here, as they had a surprisingly decent receiving core step up in the absence of Calvin Johnson last year as Golden Tate (1077 Rec. yards), Marvin Jones (930 Rec. yards), and Eric Ebron (711 Rec. yards) all had respectable seasons. Running back is also a need, as their leading rusher last year, Theo Riddick, had 357 yards at 3.9 YPC. However there’s really no one in this draft to reach for in the first round, especially with the value teams are finding in later rounds at that position.
That leaves the defensive side of the ball as the area to focus on for the Lions. They finished 19th in pass defense and 18th in rush defense, so they were equally mediocre at both. The one way they could improve both of those stats in one pick would be adding an elite pass-rushing defensive end, in this case, Taco Charlton from Michigan.
Was the main reason I chose him here because his name is Taco? Well, yes, but can you blame me? In addition to being named Taco, he had 9.5 sacks last year, with 3.5 of those coming in the Wolverines two biggest games of the year: at Ohio State and against Florida State in the Orange Bowl. While his play against the run definitely has room to improve, it’s nice to have the pass-rushing skill-set already installed, as it’s much easier to adapt to being a run-stopper rather than vice-versa.
The GM for the Miami Dolphins, Ryan Knoblauch, walks up to the stage
With the 22nd pick in the MNFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select: OJ Howard, TE, Alabama
The Dolphins badly need a pass rusher. However with the way this mock draft fell, there really wasn’t one available I would have felt comfortable taking. Taco Charton would have been a great get but he went one ahead. (Thanks Steve. Asshole.) If this had happened in the real draft room you can bet the Dolphins would probably be breaking chairs and wishing horrible things on Steve’s mother (sorry mama Knowles, you got caught up in the game).
However ending up with OJ Howard is a really great consolation prize. Howard is an athletic specimen to behold and will be a mismatch nightmare for opposing defenses at 6’6″ 255 lbs with 4.51 speed. He would add another weapon to help the endless development of Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins offense started to show quite a punch at the end of last season. Maybe Howard is the weapon the need to outscore the Patriots.
Peyton: “Eli. Did we just go Taco and then OJ? It took everything I had to resist a food joke after Taco was picked but come on. What’s a guy supposed to do?”
Eli: “Go ahead, Peyton, you deserve it. Let’s hear that joke”
Peyton: “I…I… don’t actually have one.”
Eli: “This has been a spectacular broadcast.”
The GM of the New York Giants, Andy Foote, walks up to the stage
With the 23rd pick in the MNFL Draft, the New York Giants select: Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
Historically, the New York football Giants, the favorite team of Carl Brutananadilewski, have gone for flashy, skilled players in the early rounds of the Draft. This has led to some success with Odell Beckham Junior and Sterling Shephard. Unfortunately for Jerry Reese, Ben McAdoo, and the ghost of Tom Coughlin, this draft is much deeper at the “unskilled” positions, and the Giants are in dire need of defensive players with all ten fingers. Enter Malk Mcdowell who, according to NFL.com, is, no shit, “slippery and long.” You just can’t make this stuff up. Malik McDowell to the Giants is my stone cold lock of the century of the week.
Peyton: “Finally a GM with some charisma! I like that he’s taking shots at one of his own players for maiming a hand and that he might follow an Aqua Teen Hunger Force character’s predictions more closely than his actual team. This guy has leadership qualities, you can just smell it.”
Eli: “I legit would vote for Mr. Foote for president as soon as he could run.”
The GM for the Oakland “trying to slip to Vegas without the people the care about them noticing” Raiders, Jon Brogan, walks up to the stage.
With the 24th pick in the MNFL Draft, the Oakland Rrrrrraiders select: Jaleel Johnson, DT, Iowa
I picked Jaleel Johnson because excluding Khalil Mack, the Raiders were terrible at getting to the quarterback in 2016. The worst part was our inside linemen who could not provide any pressure at all. This resulted in letting go of Dan Williams after only his second year of his contract. Jaleel may not start in his first year but adding a young guy next to Khalil Mack could make our line an opposing force for the next 4-5 years.
Eli: “Peyton, is having a team in Las Vegas really a good idea?”
Peyton: “A good idea for who? Because what I see is a fantastic home field advantage rivaled only by Miami in terms of guys “feeling under the weather” at game time. “
The GM for the Houston Texans, Jake Bruch, walks up to the stage
With the 25th pick in the MNFL Draft, the Houston Texans select: Pat Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
The Texans have hit their ceiling unless they can find a Quarterback. They are in a very winnable division and just need a reliable signal caller to take them deep into the playoffs. They have a top five defense and pretty solid weapons on the offensive end. Mahommes has a giant arm and Brett Favre like ability to improvise. With the right development he could be a great player in the NFL if you can handle the occasional 4 interception game. Best Case scenario the Texans play Tom savage until Pat has the time to develop, but few teams have Qbs wait these days. Overall I think this is a big reach for a project QB, but if you think he can be the guy then you have to take him.
Eli: “Wait…is there something wrong with 4 interception games?”
The GM for the Seattle Seahawks, Andy Foote, walks up to the stage
With the 26th pick in the MNFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select: Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
2017 is the year the Seattle Seahawks finally attempt to take the whole “12th man” thing a little too far (you know, that thing they did not invent, and are still paying Texas A&M for). This year, Cheatin Pete Carrol tries to draft Ed Hoculi, officially putting the referees on the payroll of Seattle so they can avoid “under-the-table” transactions. Roge Goodell, not knowing any of the rules in the NFL, gives the OK, and is immediately beaten to death by Tom Brady’s body guards with a bunch of deflated footballs. The Seahawks are returned their draft pick, and not knowing what the team really needs (offensive line), they decide to draft Tre’Davius White in order to bolster the Legion Of Boom. White was a beast in college, but expect to see him verbally abused by Richard Sherman to the point that he stops showing up to practice.
Eli: “Wow, that’s some pretty brutal analysis there from the team’s own GM, Peyton, what do you think of that?”
Peyton: “It’s refreshing to hear someone go out on a limb for once. That is one hell of a prediction”
The GM for the Kansas City Chiefs, Weston Mills, walks up to the stage
With the 27th pick in the MNFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
Kansas City and General Manager John Dorsey are very outspoken about believing in the “best player available” draft strategy. However, I do think this year the Chiefs want to draft the heir to Alex Smith and I truly think they would like to take Patrick Mahomes (as I have previously suggested). However, my concern with predicting Mahomes is that he will already be gone by 27. That is exactly what happened in The Dive 35 Mock Draft with Mahomes going 25 to the Texans. This brings me to my current pick: Sidney Jones. Yes, I know he tore his achilles at his pro day but this would be such a Dorsey pick. Jones was projected as a top 10 pick until his injury and doctors are saying he could be fully recovered as soon as September.
The Chiefs do not have any glaring holes so they can afford to be patient with a cornerback who did not allow a single touchdown in coverage last year at Washington. The interesting thing about this pick is that Sidney Jones has been getting comparisons to Marcus Peters coming out of college but without the attitude problems. John Dorsey will not pass up a top 10 cornerback to pair with Marcus Peters. Other possible picks: Zach Cunningham (ILB Vanderbilt); Teez Tabor (CB Florida); or possibly McCaffrey or Dalvin Cook if they were to fall. I really expect this pick to be a quarterback or cornerback.
Peyton: “I sense interest piquing in this section of the broadcast…I can feel eyeballs on this section….the vibes…they are strong here”
Eli: “You really gotta get out of Denver. I think you’ve been living that green gold life a little too strongly.”
Peyton: “No Eli. You need to move out here with me. The pizza business is boooooming with this many stoners in one place.”
The GM of the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry “Amir Moghaddami” Jones, walks up to the stage
With the 28th pick in the MNFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select: Charles Harris, OLB, Missouri
Charles Harris is a great fit to address the weak defense for the Cowboys at 28. He’s listed as OLB, but played a lot of DE with his hands down at Missouri. He’s fast, and can explode off his stance. He could play both positions, which offers a lot of flexibility to the Cowboys defense. The only thing that may give the Cowboys pause is his size. While he did do well in the SEC, he will need more strength if he is going to move NFL tackles. His speed will help but that can’t be his only advantage. Overall, Harris has been a late-comer to the late first round, early second round scene. It’ll be interesting to see if the Cowboys take a chance, or if the DE will be gone before Jerry can get his hands on him.
Peyton: “This guy is going to pick you off once this year Eli.”
Peyton: “My bad. This guy will pick you off at least three times this year.”
Eli “I retract my bet.”
The GM for the Green Bay Packers, Jake Schoenberger, walks up to the stage.
With the 29th pick in the MNFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select: Zach Cunningham, ILB, Vanderbilt
With the selection of Zach Cunningham, the Green Bay packers can address a need at middle linebacker. Zach Cunningham provides playmaking abilities at an important position in the defense, where the ability to make plays has been lacking for Green Bay. I also considered taking Takkarist McKinley at the same spot. But due to the more experience Zach Cunningham brings, I decided to go with him. The Packers will almost definitely be targeting someone to reinforce their defense at this spot with one exception being RB Dalvin Cook. If Cook were to fall, I would take him, as he is a proven playmaker at an important position for the packers.
The GM for the Pittsburg Steelers, Weston Mills, walks up to the stage
With the 30th pick in the MNFL Draft, the Pittsburg Steelers select: Takkarist McKinley, OLB, UCLA
The Steelers are solid. This is a team that went 11-5 in the regular season and then went on to lose in the AFC Championship to the eventual Super Bowl champion Patriots. They do not have any glaring holes except replacing the aging James Harrison (but is he really aging?) and lackluster Bud Dupree on the outside. The Steelers are getting an absolute steal at 30 with Takkarist McKinley. “Tak” as he is called, had 10 sacks in his senior season at UCLA and earned all first team Pac 12 honors. Other possible picks: David Njoku (TE Miami).
Eli: “Tak Sacks. Another nickname slash newspaper headline you could see or hear this year.”
Peyton: “Tak’s Sack. A headline you could see attached to a revealing picture in TMZ this year.”
The GM for the Atlanta Falcons, Seth Slayden, walks up to the stage.
With the 31st pick in the MNFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons select: Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky
It’s not often that a team picking at the end of the first round has the opportunity to draft the best player at his position, especially at a position of need, but that’s exactly what the Falcons get with Forrest Lamp. Lamp is an NFL starter from day one and fills a position of need for the Falcons with Chris Chester retiring and Andy Levitre potentially being a cap casualty. I expect Lamp to be the first interior lineman taken in the draft, and when he was available to the Falcons at 31 he was too good to pass up.
Lamp’s athleticism will help him translate to NFL, where he will be asked to pull around the edge and handle complex twists and stunts from athletic defensive linemen. He was a four-year starter at left tackle for the Hilltoppers, but his lack of arm size will probably prevent him from ever playing tackle in the NFL. That said, if he can learn to snap, he might be able to play all three interior lineman positions, which only increases his value. He ran a 5.00 second 40-yard dash and put up 34 reps at the NFL combine, so the athleticism and raw strength are there. Lamp is an easy choice for the Falcons if he falls to them at 31. Other than his arm length, the only knock on Lamp is the level of competition he faced in Conference USA. Guards, however, are one of the easier positions to grade so I would not expect that to hurt his draft stock.
If Lamp is not available, which is likely, look for the Falcons to draft a pass rusher to help take some of the pressure of Vic Beasley. Derek Willis and Malik McDowell would be good fits for the Falcons’ defensive scheme.
Peyton: “I’d say the Falcon’s main focus this season should be not blowing 25 point leads”
Eli: “Hard to argue with that.”
The GM for the New Orleans Saints, Colin Chiles, walks up to the stage.
With the 32nd and final pick in the MNFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints select: Kevin King, CB, Washington
As I stated with the 11th pick, the Saints D has been a well known tire fire the last few years. Las year specifically they had a ton of trouble with having talented or even healthy corners. I’m pretty sure in the second half of the season we were using a scarecrow in a Tracy Porter jersey to cover the right side of the field. It doesn’t look like they are going to go through with a trade for Malcolm Butler (at this point they’d have to give up the 11th pick to which I say nooooooooooooooo). Since corner is a fairly talented group in this year’s draft, I’d honestly be cool with any number of guys who may end up being drafted in this spot.
For King specifically, he has size and if drafted he’d instantly be the best corner on the Saints roster…which is still a problem. I wouldn’t be surprised to see New Orleans go after another corner later in the draft.
Peyton: “We did it folks! We completed the First Annual Dive 35 First Round Mock NFL Draft Smorgasbord! In all honesty I want to sincerely thank anyone who made it this far in the article and anyone who read any of one or both of the articles we posted this week.”
Eli: “Uhh Peyton, who’s we? Who are you talking to and what are you talking about posting articles?”
Peyton: “If you enjoyed what we did this week, that’s great, let the fake GM’s know! Everyone did a really great job of researching and putting thought into their picks. We will be doing some post-draft analysis of what actually happened, so be on the lookout for that. Otherwise we’d love to have any and all feedback you might be able to provide, either by commenting on this article or just letting us know through Facebook or however.”