It’s Easy to Make a Mockery of the NFL Draft

Seven rounds of madness get underway this weekend. Seven rounds that will make instant millionaires out of a few young 20-somethings, prolong the gridiron dreams of a few hundred more, and further prove that Mel Kiper is the king of worthless information.

What else could it be but the NFL Draft?

And so what else could this be but my own bit of genius? The Official 2002 Wally’s NFL Mock Draft.

1. Houston Texans

The expansion franchise with perhaps the most unoriginal nickname in the history of organized sports already has a deal signed, sealed and delivered with Fresno QB David Carr.

2. Carolina Panthers

After losing their final 15 games last year (that’s in a 16-game schedule for you Trekkies who mistakenly tuned in expecting a Deep Space Nine re-run), they could pretty much use help anywhere. A good place to start is with North Carolina DE Julius Peppers.

3. Detroit Lions

They really ought to go for a certain Oregon signal-caller, given that second-year QB Mike McMahon has the talent of neither Jim McMahon, nor even Ed McMahon, but Texas CB Quentin Jammer will be nice.

4. Buffalo Bills

Remember when The Fridge was the most loathsome thing on the planet because he went about 320? Well Texas OT Mike Williams goes at least 370. And he’s a lottery pick. Let that be a lesson to all you young’uns?start eating cheeseburgers. For breakfast.

5. San Diego Chargers

After getting a starting RB and QB in last year’s Draft, the Bolts will select Miami OT Bryant McKinnie?who has never allowed a sack on any level?to protect them this year.

6. Dallas Cowboys

Owner Jerry Jones would trade a roster full of Walker, Texas Rangers to get Jammer. He’ll be plenty pleased with the consolation prize, Oklahoma S Roy Williams, who’s being called the best safety since Ronnie Lott.

7. Minnesota Vikings

They’d like to get one of the massive OTs, but as the Stones so wisely said, you can’t always get what you want. What they can get is Tennessee DT Albert Haynesworth, who has the most upside of the four top DTs.

8. Kansas City Chiefs

Ownership will lose out on the QB argument, but North Carolina DT Ryan Sims will make everyone happy when he equals instant impact.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars

What the Jags need is bulk on the defensive front, and they’ll get plenty of it in 6-foot-7 inch, 307-pound Tennessee DT John Henderson.

10. Cincinnati Bengals

Scott Mitchell? Umm, no. Jon Kitna? Umm, no. Akili Smith? Umm, no. Oregon QB Joey Harrington? Umm? Yes?

11. Indianapolis Colts

New coach Tony Dungy has plenty of offensive weaponry for the first time in his life. Now, he’ll get busy with the D, starting with Miami CB Phillip Buchanon.

12. Arizona Cardinals

They once boasted the most formidable front four, but injuries sent all the old guys packing. Wisconsin DT Wendell Bryant gets the tradition going again. (Did I seriously just mention the word “tradition” with the Cardinals?)

13. New Orleans Saints

Erratic as QB Aaron Brooks is, he could use an extra athletic wideout. Tennessee WR Dont Stallworth fits the bill, and possesses more speed than Kurt Cobain ever did to boot.

14. Tennessee Titans

Think they regret taking Kevin Dyson over Randy Moss? Yeah, me too. That’s why they won’t pass up Hawaii WR Ashley Lelie.

15. New York Giants

They need a tight end, and Miami TE Jeremy Shockey is the best there is.

16. Cleveland Browns

They finally figure out that to run the ball, you have to have a good RB. Michigan State’s T.J. Duckett is good. Very good.

17. Atlanta Falcons

Messianic QB Michael Vick needs weapons, and in spite of attitude and off-field problems, Pitt WR Antonio Bryant is plenty dangerous on the field.

18. Washington R*dsk*ns

Owner Daniel Snyder certainly won’t think it’s a sexy pick, but nabbing Nebraska G Toniu Funoti brings in a guy who’s guaranteed to see more pancakes than Mrs. Butterworth.

19. Denver Broncos

With Romo hitting the road, Northwestern LB Napoleon Harris makes for a nice replacement.

20. Seattle Seahawks

New uniforms, same commitment to making the West Coast offense work, and Colorado TE Daniel Graham can make it happen.

21. Oakland Raiders

Georgia DE Charles Grant had five of his six sacks in just one game, but has the physical tools.

22. New York Jets

Their corners went bye-bye in the Expansion Draft, so Florida CB Lito Sheppard goes to Broadway.

23. Oakland Raiders

Taking Boston College RB William Green doesn’t really fill a need, but who ever said Al Davis knows what he’s doing?

24. Baltimore Ravens

How ’bout someone from Donna Karen to give fashion tips to Ray Lewis? No? Well then, I guess it has to be Arizona State OT Levi Jones.

25. New Orleans Saints

With Joe Johnson bolting to the frozen tundra, Syracuse DE Dwight Freeney becomes a necessity.

26. Philadelphia Eagles

Though improving depth on the D-line and getting a WCO RB whose knee isn’t shot will be tempting, Colorado G Andre Gurode will bolster a sometimes suspect interior O line.

27. San Francisco 49ers

A young, killer defense gets younger and killerer (uhh, yeah?) with Miami CB Mike Rumph.

28. Green Bay Packers

Adding Florida WR Jabar Gaffney will make Brett Favre happier than a truckload of tranquilizers ever could.

29. Chicago Bears

They get some pure edge speed in South Carolina DE Kalimba Edwards, whose biggest knock is that he’s a tweener.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers

I know absolutely zero about Alabama-Birmingham DE Bryan Thomas other than he’s a DE and the Steelers want one. Cool how that works out, huh?

31. St. Louis Rams

Exit the Wizard of Az, enter NCAA’s top yardage receiver, LSU WR Josh Reed, who’ll be great if he loses the thunder thighs.

32. New England Patriots

Going from one champion to another is not a bad gig for Miami RB Clinton Portis. Hope he can get me an Adam Vinatieri autograph.

Eric welcomes feedback at: [email protected].