The NFL draft is just a day away and our college football expert took a stab at a mock draft, with a twist. We decided to create a full first round mock draft and took the liberty of assigning every player in the first round a Superhero which we feel suits their personality and playing style. We will roll out full descriptions up until the draft for every player projected to go in the first round, and today you can enjoy #1-#5.
#1 Pick – Andrew Luck = Professor X
If the theme for the 2012 NFL Draft focused onHollywoodsuperhero reboots, the Indianapolis Colts are ready for the next generation of talent with the messy departure of Peyton Manning. Having watched Andrew Luck first hand at the BCS Fiesta Bowl, it is easy to see how Luck is a perfect match as “Professor X”. Luck brings his superior intelligence and overall dedication to the position, much like the good professor in the X-Men series. Luck’s ability to manage a game and dissect defenses make him the perfect choice for the new look Colts. While the media wants to stir up drama of RG3 vs. Andrew Luck as the overall #1 pick, having seen both play first hand, there is no contest that Luck is the crown jewel of QB’s in this year’s draft and more than worthy for the overall top selection.
#2 Pick – RG3 = Superman
It’s good to be a Baylor Bear. Baylor athletics is having an unprecedented run of success. A strong performance in March Madness (pay no attention to those violations), the Women’s Basketball National Championship (um…yeah, more violations), and currently red-hot in college baseball as well as their 10-3 football season capped off with a historic Heisman Trophy for Robert Griffin III. However, while there is no disputing RG3 is a world class athlete, he is potentially the most overrated prospect entering the 2012 NFL Draft. And it can only be destiny that the Washington Redskins will be the team to realize this revelation. Having watched RG3 and Andrew Luck in person this past season, there is no contest that Professor X is the man to beat as #1. Need a measuring stick? Both quarterbacks playedOklahomaStatethis past season. Luck did everything he could as he nearly single handedly carried the Cardinal over the Cowboys, up until the point the Stanford kicking game and defense imploded. Whereas, the Bears were blanked 35-0 in the first half versus OSU and never were even that close. Maybe it was just the match-ups versus the Pokes, as the previous year RG3 also trailed them 24-0 at the break. However, the fear for the Redskins is the likelihood that this man of steel draft pick will look more like Superman Returns than Superman II when all is said and done.
#3 Pick – Matt Kalil = Robin
Forgoing his senior season, the 2011 Lombardi finalist is the perfect sidekick (a.k.a. Robin) to Christian Ponder and the Minnesota Vikings. While the Vikings have recently struggled as they assembled top talent and getting all the pieces together for the past several years to compliment superstar Adrian Peterson, the future is starting to look quite bright with Ponder getting thrown into the fire early last season. If Kalil comes along for the ride and quickly matures, he should be able to protect Ponder and help the Vikings achieve the balance of a strong run-pass attack and establishMinnesotaas a NFC power sooner rather than later with all the talent finally assembled in place.
#4 Pick – Justin Blackmon = Mr. Fantastic
One of the best commentator phrases I’ve heard over the past few years in college football broadcasting is Matt Millen’s “kinesthetic sense”. And the perfect superhero character to compliment that statement is “Mr. Fantastic”, a.k.a. Justin Blackmon ofOklahomaState. Aside from a “momentary lapse in judgment” more than two years ago when Blackmon was pulled over for misdemeanor DUI heading to a Dallas Cowboys game to visit former teammate (and troubled WR) Dez Bryant, the two-time Biletnikoff Award Winner is a physical freak with his ability to adjust in the air and make the unbelievable catch. What will ultimate separate Justin Blackmon from previous OSU wide receiver draft busts (jury is still out on Bryant), is his ability to read and study secondary coverages as well as stay grounded emotionally at the next level.
#5 Pick – Trent Richardson = Iron Man
While it will be interesting to see how the first five picks play out in this year’s NFL Draft, there is no doubt Trent Richardson will be an outstanding compliment to any offense that wants to pound the rock. An amazing combination of power, moves (I’m still seeing visions of that stutter back-step from last season) and overall speed, it is almost as if Tony Stark himself created the 5-11’, 224 pound Iron Man for the BCS National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide in some secret laboratory. Additionally Tampa Bay needs support as they finished 30th last season in total rushing yards so the pairing of the powerful back is a perfect partnership to greatly improve upon that standing.
#6 Pick – Morris Claiborne = The Flash
Whether you’re talking about Morris Claiborne’s coverage speed or his standardized testing skills, “The Flash” will be entertaining to watch at the next level. Playing in the defensive backfield relies heavily on instincts and the ability to break to the ball with intense speed and reckless abandon, something that Claiborne has excelled at. Based on his pure ability, the concerns over his Wonderlic should be put to rest on draft day. “The Flash” is critical at turning other teams over and also has been speculated to go much higher in the 2012 Draft. His selection on draft day will be interchangeable between “Mr. Fantastic” and “Iron Man” as one of the picks to follow “Superman”.
#7 Pick – Melvin Ingram = The Punisher
These next two picks have had similar, yet very different types of media criticisms about their elevation up the boards in the 2012 NFL Draft. While we’ll chronicle Ryan Tannehill in a moment, a feel good story of the mock draft boards is Melvin Ingram, also known as “The Punisher”. When it comes to the evaluation of Ingram, it is one of being a playmaker. With a chip on his shoulder, Ingram is much like the misunderstood crime fighting vigilante hero we’ve dubbed as his moniker. He’s been criticized for not fitting the stereotype for the next level, yet the best example of his amazing ability was when Ingram and his South Carolina Gamecocks took on the reigning BCS National Champions, the Auburn Tigers. Let’s say it together, “Play-mak-er”, his stat line: 11 tackles, 8 solo, 3 assists and 3.5 sacks!!!
#8 Pick – Ryan Tannehill = Astro Boy
I swear Todd McShay has an unhealthy man crush on this guy. I just don’t get it. Sure, Tannehill is an amazing athlete and all around swell guy, but the stock is way too high on this “Astro Boy”. A lot of the buzz behind Tannehill stems from his “potential”, but the reality is this is a quarterback who was unable to beat out Jerrod Johnson head-to-head back in his A&M days. So instead, Tannehill was shifted over and regulated to catching passes. The only reason this didn’t last was because his QB, Johnson, was throwing too many passes to the other team, like the 27 he threw against Oklahoma State in 2010 (really it was only 4). This turn of events quickly promoted the boy phenom to the starting role where he finished an impressive 12-7 as a starter over the past two seasons. Hopefully this project pans out a few years down the road, however in the meantime, enjoy your first pick Dolphin fans, enjoy…
#9 Pick – Michael Brockers = The Hulk
If there was a Superhero named “The Prototype”, we’d actually prefer to associate Michael Brockers with that name, however at press time, and in addition to our truly limited knowledge of comic book heroes, we’ve opted to go with another classic character that is just as appropriate in pure stature. “The Hulk” is a young and freakishly gifted athlete out ofLouisianaStateUniversitywho is skipping his last two years of eligibility because he’d likely destroyDeath Valleywith his 6-6, 322lb frame running yo-yos during two-a-days. Also, this guy knows when to rise to the occasion, his best performance was arguably at the most critical point for the Bayou Bengals as he racked up a season high 7 tackles and 4 assists in the BCS National Championship earlier this year against Alabama.
#10 Pick – Riley Reiff = The Thing
Riley Reiff is an offensive lineman…which is all we really know about him that is relevant at this point in time. O-lineman are considered a different breed, often misunderstood creatures that can be either fierce bumbling loaners or seen running in packs in areas such as Thunderdome. We’re pegging Reiff as the former and coupling him with another misunderstood hero known as “The Thing”. Based on Reiff’sIowabackground, where he started every game in his career, and based on the assessment that the Hawkeyes are still playing football in the Hayden Fry era, “The Thing” is likely one of the best first round options available for run blocking.
Here is the full NFL Mock Draft including the appropriate Comic Book Heroes.Team Record Player Comic Book Heroes Colts Indianapolis (2-14) Andrew Luck Professor X Redskins Washington – from St. Louis (2-14) RG3 Superman Vikings Minnesota (3-13) Matt Kalil Robin Browns Cleveland (4-12) Justin Blackmon* Mr. Fantastic Buccaneers Tampa Bay (4-12) Trent Richardson* Iron Man Rams St. Louis – from Washington (5-11) Morris Claiborne* The Flash Jaguars Jacksonville (5-11) Melvin Ingram The Punisher Dolphins Miami (6-10) Ryan Tannehill Astro Boy Panthers Carolina (6-10) Michael Brockers* The Hulk Bills Buffalo (6-10) Riley Reiff* The Thing Chiefs Kansas City (7-9) Quinton Coples Judge Dredd Seahawks Seattle (7-9) Luke Kuechly* Aquaman Cardinals Arizona (8-8) Fletcher Cox* Hellboy Cowboys Dallas (8-8) Mark Barron Captain America Eagles Philadelphia (8-8) Cordy Glenn Green Lantern Jets New York Jets (8-8) Dontari Poe Batman Raiders-x Cincinnati – from Oakland (8-8) Janoris Jenkins Venom Chargers San Diego (8-8) David DeCastro* Silver Surfer Bears Chicago (8-8) Michael Floyd The Green Hornet Titans Tennessee (9-7) Courtney Upshaw Daredevil Bengals Cincinnati* (9-7) Kendall Wright Spider Man Falcons-y Cleveland – from Atlanta* (10-6) Brandon Weeden Hawkeye Lions Detroit* (10-6) Dre Kirkpatrick* Deadpool Steelers Pittsburgh* (12-4) Dont’a Hightower* Blade Broncos Denver* (8-8) Jonathan Martin* Dr. Strange Texans Houston* (10-6) Rueben Randle Cyclops Saints-z New England – from New Orleans* (13-3) Andre Branch Wolverine Packers Green Bay* (15-1) Mike Adams Thor Ravens Baltimore* (12-4) Jerel Worthy* Swamp Thing 49ers San Francisco* (13-3) Stephen Hill War Machine Patriots New England* (13-3) Devon Still Scott Pilgram Giants New York Giants* (9-7) Chandler Jones* Green Arrow
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