Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

For Fans Only: The Essential Socially Distanced NFL Mock Draft

Gilbert Brink
Apr 16, 2020 at 9:28 AM

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Mock drafts are meaningless. During a pandemic and living in a state with a stay at home order, you find yourself doing plenty of meaningless things.

Just three months ago I sat shoulder to shoulder in a packed bar watching Raheem Mostert score 4 touchdowns and catapult the San Francisco 49ers into the Super Bowl. Ordering pint after pint I enjoyed scanning the crowd and seeing the reactions of my fellow fans, some elated, some disgusted, some just looking to order a dozen hot wings. I, like many of you, deeply miss experiences like this.

During tragedy and darkness, we must laugh. Every day we are provided with hundreds of reasons to be terrified, it is important in these times to search for a dozen reasons to smile. With this in mind, I called upon 3 of my very best friends. Men who I've known for over 20 years, at whose sides I stood for their weddings and who I lifted off dive bar floors. As I knew I would, I found much more than a couple of laughs.

The NFL Draft has always been an event we have shared. I recall the long Saturdays of beers and barbecue watching the multiple round, day-long event that was the NFL Draft of yesteryear. Recently the NFL made the draft a singular round, prime-time viewing event. Sports have been put on pause due to the current pandemic and the NFL has adapted this year's draft to take place through the Zoom app.

This week the NFL is doing a mock draft test run using Zoom and I decided to get a jump on them and try it out with my 3 best friends. Last Monday we held a Zoom Mock Draft, sponsored by a variety of alcoholic beverages. What followed was a great time. Don't look to this mock draft for any serious analysis. This is a mock draft by fans, and we completed it under 3 hours. The ball's in your court Goodell.

Each person drew a number, and he picked for the team in the spot. GM 1,2,3,4 and the picks would keep rotating back to 1,2,3,4. A brief insight to the minds behind the madness:

Gilbert Brink (GB) – A die hard 49ers fan for the past thirty years. 36-year old husband and father of 4 living in Hudson Valley, NY. Trains people to work with individuals with special needs for a living. Author of this article, and once debated buying a J.T. O'Sullivan jersey. Also, named a mixed drink after J.T. O'Sullivan which consisted of Jameson, Tequila and Orange Soda. Disgusting.

David D (DD) – A Life long Jets fan and Jets hater. You name a Jets player, he probably hates him. 37-year-old husband, father of 4, also living in the Hudson Valley. Military Vet, who once asked to borrow someone else's shoes to get into a bar because he had Tims (Timberland boots for non New-Yorkers") on. Director of a program servicing the migrant youth population. Former defensive coordinator for New Paltz High School and really wants you to listen to Joyner Lucas

Michael A (MA) – A long-suffering Jets fan who isn't too fond of Sam Darnold, mainly because the size of his head. 37-year-old LMSW currently residing around Hasbrouck Heights, NJ. Michael works with under-served youth populations, hopefully he guides them to avoid being a Jets fan. In 2010, he bought a Jets jersey only to rip it off his chest in a bar days later when the Packers beat the Jets 9-0. Coaches youth basketball in his spare time and like myself has an outstanding ticket in Canada for reasons not to be named here.

Steven D (SD) – The least insane one of the bunch, but still a weirdo. Steve is 36 years old and newly married living Hudson Valley, NY. Life-long Jets, Nets and Mets fan, Steve has become deeply connected to losing. Owner of great local breakfast stop Bagels & Bites in Highland, NY. SteveyD, as he is more commonly known, can throw down in the kitchen. Steve brings the most insight to this draft process as he watches long-snappers form Eastern Wichita Agricultural and Agrarian University's game tape on YouTube.

Now that you have a better idea of the goofs playing the GM, know that all of us were drinking significantly and were still more qualified for this job than Bill O'Brien or Dave Gettleman.

1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow QB LSU

"He will be a bust. Reminds me of former Cardinals QB Matt Leinart. You got a stacked offense, stacked team and you play great." – GM GB

2. Washington Redskins – Chase Young EDGE Ohio St.

"Ron Rivera looks to build the defense. A Shaq Barret type of player, could be one of those 'I made it'-type of guys, I don't know if he'll be willing to put in the work." – GM DD

3. Detroit Lions – Jeff Okudah CB Ohio St.

"I think they will trade down, but if not, he's one of the better CB prospects to come out in the last 5 years. He's going to be good." – GM SD

4. New York Giants – Tua Tagavoiloa QB Alabama

"The Giants will draft Tua and trade Daniel Jones, the Giants can get in the playoffs with Tua and im'a star GM baby. He's going to shock New York." – GM MA

* Blame this pick on the booze, or sheer hatred for the NYG. Mike throws a monkey wrench in all draft plans. Very Gettleman-ish.

5. Miami Dolphins – Justin Herbert QB Oregon

"Flores needs a QB, and Herbert fits the look of a first round QB." – GM GB

6. LA Chargers – Mekhi Becton OT Louisville

"Chargers will trade for a QB or sign Cam Newton, they're going to try to rebuild through the line with 3 QBs gone before they pick. Only the Jets have a worse line than the Chargers so Mekhi Becton T is the choice." – GM DD

7. Carolina Panthers – Derrick Brown DT Auburn

"It's either Brown or Isiah Simmons here. I'm going with Brown this kid is supposed to be a beast." – GM SD

8. Arizona Cardinals – Jedrick Wills OT Alabama

"We got to protect both sides of Kyler Murray." – GM MA

9. Jacksonville Jaguars – Henry Ruggs III WR Alabama

"Jaguars are a hot mess, so they're going to do something crazy. They're going to pick Henry Ruggs. They believe in Minshew, Ruggs runs a 4.27 and that speed makes people go crazy. He'll catch their eye enough, and they'll take a chance. Crazy management does crazy things." – GM GB

10. Cleveland Browns – Tristan Wirfs OT Iowa

"Browns have everything they need but offensive lineman. They take Tristan Wirfs. He can play guard as well, a versatile player." – GM DD

11. New York Jets – Andrew Thomas OT Georgia

"He didn't test as well as the other top OL, he is the 4th of the top OL but he's the most experienced and the most well-rounded." – GM SD

12. Las Vegas Raiders – CeeDee Lamb WR Oklahoma

"I don't trust the QB, and CeeDee Lamb should make him more comfortable." – GM MA

13. San Francisco 49ers – Jerry Jeudy WR Alabama

"Kyle Shanahan finds his Julio Jones/Antonio Brown hybrid. He completes the offense. They won't be the same team as they were last year, they're going to have to score a lot more points to win games. The offense is missing that one extra piece to make them unstoppable; I don't know if Jeudy is that guy, but he's worth the shot." – GM GB

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – DeAndre Swift RB Georgia

"A good pass-catching running back, who can catch the ball and run inside and outside the tackles." - GM DD

15. Denver Broncos – Isiah Simmons LB Clemson

"He is too good to not pick up here." – GM SD

16. Atlanta Falcons – K'lavon Chaisson EDGE LSU

"Here I want someone who hits, and LSU always hits." – GM MA

17. Dallas Cowboys – C.J. Henderson CB Florida

"Dallas lost Byron Jones in free-agency and here they find his replacement." – GM GB

18. Miami Dolphins – Xavier McKinney S Alabama

"They got this pick for Minkah Fitzpatrick, their coach is heavy on D-backs, and McKinney fits their scheme. He is someone you want to build your defense around." – GM DD

19. Las Vegas Raiders – Kenneth Murray LB Oklahoma

"I know they signed a LB in free agency. This is Keith Murray from the Def Squad's baby's momma's brother." – GM SD

* No word on if Raiders Coach Jon Gruden has visited the pro-days of Erick Sermon or Redman

20. Jacksonville Jaguars – Yetur Gross-Matos EDGE Penn State

"He's big, and he can be moved all around the line. Edge just makes sense here." – GM MA

21. Philadelphia Eagles – Javon Kinlaw DT South Carolina

"He drops far here, he's supposedly a top 10 talent. He grew up homeless, and if you grow up homeless you know how to play football, it's a basic need in the streets." – GM GB

* This draft has been brought to you by Miller High Life "Even a Low-Life can live the High Life", Dominican Brugal Liquor "Looks like it's working on Dave", a whole lot of whatever Mike was on and Blue Moon Mango Wheat; "Cause i'm trying to be healthy with that wheat but I need that flavor with the mango" says SteveyD.

22. Minnesota Vikings

A drunken freestyle session broke out at this point, and the Minnesota Vikings got forgotten, like they tend to do in life. No pick for you Minnesota, you like that?

23. New England Patriots – Kristian Fulton CB LSU

"The Pats always excel with top corners, they get another one here." – GM MA

24. New Orleans Saints – Zach Baun LB Wisconsin

GM DD freestyle rapped this pick, it had absolutely nothing to do with football and everything to do with Dominican Brugal.

25. Minnesota Vikings – AJ Epenesa EDGE Iowa

"Vikings will need a lot of help rebuilding that defense, they replace Everson Griffen with AJ Epenesa."

* MA passed out live on camera here. It could have been from booze, boredom or freestyle exhaustion. Either way, our draft has it's first casualty.

26. Miami Dolphins – Travon Diggs CB Alabama

GM DD continued to freestyle his picks here. Key line being "I'm picking Travon Diggs from Alabama, because they were good when I was a little Bama."

27. Seattle Seahawks – Jonathan Taylor RB Wisconsin

"All their running backs keep getting hurt, he'll be the replacement for Chris Carson. Taylor averaged 2,000 yards the last 3 seasons." – GM SD

28. Baltimore Ravens – Laviska Shenault WR Colorado

"The Ravens try and find their Deebo Samuel as Shenault excels after the catch." – GM GB

*Dave has also now disappeared; at this pace we might not make it through the night. I could always sell the screenplay to be used as a sequel to that movie Unfriended

29. Tennessee Titans – Joshua Jones OL Houston

"Let's speed this up it's damn near 1 in the morning." – GM SD

* Since I never know when to shut up, a sidebar conversation is started by me with SD about how Aaron Rodgers really ain't that great, Notable quotes "If Rodgers has been regarded one of the best QBs for so long, why has he only been to one Super Bowl? The NFC hasn't had the powerhouse teams to go through like the AFC had Manning and Brady. He's lost to Garoppolo, Kaepernick, Ryan, Palmer, Wilson and Eli in the playoffs. If he's so great, why isn't he great in the playoffs?" True. Indeed, Rodgers sucks when it counts.

*Dave rises from the grave like Altered Beast, Brugal still in hand.

30. Green Bay Packers – Jalen Reagor WR TCU

"A bum dude." – GM DD

31. San Francisco 49ers – Antoine Winfield Jr. S Minnesota

"There's not a single chance they use this pick, they're definitely trading this pick. But if they don't, they pick Winfield, He is kind of like Jimmie Ward, as he fits the mold as a versatile DB." – GM GB

32. Kansas City Chiefs – Jeff Gladney CB TCU

"This is a spot someone might trade up to get one of the QBs, but if they do take the pick they'll take Jeff Gladney to bolster the pass defense." – GM SD

Such concluded a fantastic time with some of the best guys I've ever known. The draft is a week away. Here's a tip from me to you: grab whatever you enjoy sipping/snacking on and organize a draft night virtual hangout with some old friends. Be safe, and hopefully when these guys take the field, we can all share a beer in and a laugh in person.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.

1 Comment

  • Jos
    Apr 16, 2020 at 9:40 AM

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