The Pac-12 Conference is clearly the best in all of college sports at everything, including and especially football. Year in and year out, #Pac12AfterDark churns out national title contenders that are filled to the brim with top-flight NFL talent. In this very special and very serious mock draft, Jack (odds) and Sam (evens) see what the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft would look like if only Pac-12 players were draft-eligible.
1. Cleveland Browns — Zane Gonzalez, Kicker, Arizona State
With the first pick in the draft, the Browns are in an enviable position. They saddle up to the podium, ready to take the top talent available, only to have Kevin Costner, in make up from Draft Day, storm the stage. He yanks the mic away from Goodell and shouts, “Browns trade all current players for Zane Gonzalez!” Not a viable trade, but he said a name, so they’re bound to it.
2. San Francisco 49ers — Davis Webb, QB, Not Colorado
San Francisco is rumored to be in pursuit of a Quarterback For The Future™. It would be very Chip Kelly™ to pursue a Pac-12 quarterback susceptible to eye-popping stats and back-breaking interceptions.
3. Chicago Bears — Elijah Qualls, DT, Washington
GM Jay Cutler was smart for this move, as it would cause Phil Simms to say the word Qualls. However, he didn’t anticipate that Tony Romo would replace Phil Simms, despite the fact that it already happened. Now we just get to hear Chicagoans try to say Elijah Qualls.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars — Taylor Rapp, DB, Washington
Taylor Rapp isn’t technically eligible for the draft — he’s only a redshirt freshman — but the Jaguars are able to rapture him from college football. The Huskies are distraught, but everyone else in the Pac-12 cheers joyfully.
5. Tennessee Titans — Pharaoh Brown, TE/Demigod, Oregon
Tennessee makes a smart move here and locks up the eternal ruler, Pharaoh. His measurables aren’t great, but he does have the power to control the sun and moon, as well as the Nile River, so a worthwhile risk.
6. New York Jets — Chidobe Awuzie, CB/God, Colorado
New York is hoping to draft a versatile defender capable of jetting all around the field wrecking havoc throughout. Chidobe Awuzie is perfect for them, especially considering he’s immortal and can realistically play slot corner in New York until the end of time.
7. L.A. Chargers — Takkarist McKinley, DE/Baller, UCLA
Chargers make the smart pick here and choose McKinley, the hometown hero. McKinley is a physical freak who has loads of upside. He would be a perfect pairing to Joey Bosa. Unfortunately, he does have some baggage with him, as any team who drafts him has to officially change all versions of the word “tackle” to “takkle.”
8. Carolina Panthers — Adoree’ Jackson, CB/Olympian, USC
As far as I can tell, Adoree’ Jackson can do literally anything on a football field. By drafting Jackson, Carolina is getting a shutdown corner, a deadly returner, a playmaking receiver, a clutch kicker, a dependable backup QB, a savvy head coach, a gifted physical trainer, an expert groundskeeper, and a Hall of Fame-caliber Twitter account.
9. Cincinatti Bengals — Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
One of the most versatile players in the draft. As both the owner and proprietor of a temple AND a tank engine, Solomon Thomas functions at a high level. Truly an all-around great prospect. The only red flags are the fact that his friend Percy is a loudmouth and he might own the Ark of the Covenant, which has its own problems.
10. Buffalo Bills — Budda Baker, S, Washington
The Buffalo Bills struggled against the pass quite a bit last year because their coverage was so porous. If they draft Budda Baker, their secondary will go from holey to holy.
11. New Orleans Saints — John Ross, WR/Hermes, Washington
The run on early mythological gods continues with John Ross going to New Orleans. Really a perfect fit here with Drew Brees at QB and an immediate need for messages to delivered very fast between Mount Olympus and this mortal coil.
12. Cleveland Browns — Diego Gonzalez, K, Colorado
Cleveland Kevin Costner just drafted ASU kicker Zane Gonzalez with the first pick, but they immediately forget, can’t find Z. Gonzalez in the available player pool, and settle for D. Gonzalez. Everyone in the draft and at home laughs and laughs and laughs, but Diego overtakes Zane as starting kicker and eventually retires as the NFL’s all-time leading scorer.
13. Arizona Cardinals — Paul Magloire, Jr., LB, Arizona
Paul Magloire played just up the road in Tuscon, was the best player on D for the beat-up Wildcats last year, and best of all, is just retired NBA veteran Jamaal Magloire in disguise trying a new sport. His 6’11, 270-lbs. frame really makes him tough to block.
14. Philadelphia Eagles — Chad Hansen, WR, California
I wasn’t allowed to give the Eagles former Arizona quarterback Nick Foles, so I’ll go with the second most Eagles™ type of player and select a large white receiver from a spread offense.
15. Indianapolis Colts — JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR/LB, USC
The Colts love their positional versatility. First they draft Andrew Luck, who plays linebacker and QB, and next they draft JuJu, who plays LB and WR at the same time. Truly a special Pac-12 connection.
16. Baltimore Ravens — Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado
Athletic freak Akhello Witherspoon is drafted to star at cornerback opposite Forever Buffalo Jimmy Smith; they form the football’s best Buff combo since Kordell and Salaam.
17. Washington Huskies — Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA
In a strange twist of fate, Roger Goodell makes a pick for Chris Peterson at UDub rather than Jay Gruden in Washington, D.C., making the mistake that so many grade-schoolers do. The mixed up Washington debacle continues when Peterson drafts Moreau to lock down the best receiver, and he also an avid fan of H.G. Wells and The Island of Dr. Moreau.
18. Tennessee Titans — Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
Sidney Jones tore his Achilles in the last drill of his Senior Day, so we’re hoping for a successful recovery for the elite corner. And hopefully Jones will pick off Marcus Mariota everyday in practice.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
This pick was made entirely to save the league from the “Denver’s own Christian McCaffrey” narrative that everyone would have heard every time he touched the ball.
20. Denver Broncos — Sefo Liufau, QB/Warrior, Colorado
McCaffrey is off the board, so the Broncos decide to fill their hole at quarterback. Sefo Liufau isn’t much better than Trevor Semien or Paxton Lynch, but dammit, John Elway wants a proven winner starting under center. (Happy birthday, John!)
21. Detroit Lions — Kevin King, CB, Washington
The Lions solved a lot of problems with this pick. They found the impact defender they need, but they also dissolved their current front-office structure in favor of a player monarchy. Great value pick.
22. Miami Dolphins — Eddie Vanderdoes, DE, UCLA
Eddie Vanderdoes what Eddie Vanderwants.
23. New Yorks Giants — Hunter Dimick, DE/Predator, Utah
Here, Hunter can live up to his namesake. Unlike the uncivilized and barren wilds of Utah, there is plenty of the world’s most dangerous game in the Big Apple.
Quarterbacks. The most dangerous game is quarterbacks.
24. Oakland (Las Vegas?) Raiders — Josh Tupou, NT/Black Hole, Colorado
The Oakland Raiders are about to move to Las Vegas and when they do, they may lose the infamous Black Hole, which is basically the student section at the Oakland Coliseum, but even drunker and rowdier. The Raiders can solve that problem by drafting Josh Tupou, the space-eating, all-consuming nose tackle from CU.
25. Houston Texans — Garrett Boles, OT, Utah
Gotta protect future HOF-er and former Sun Devil Brock Osweiler.
26. Seattle Seahawks — Isaac Asiata, OG, Utah
The logic here is that Isaac Asiata is very good at blocking and the Seattle Seahawks are not. Maybe if the Seahawks pick Asiata, their line will improve.
27. Kansas City Chiefs — Damien Mama, OG/KC BBQ Tester, USC
Great move by the Chiefs here. Mama has experience at guard and tackle, but it’s pretty obvious that he made to play this position.
28. Dallas Cowboys — Jayon Brown, OLB, UCLA
The logic here is that Jayon Brown is very good at defense and the Dallas Cowboys are not. Maybe if the Cowboys pick Brown, their defense will improve.
29. Green Bay Packers — Tedric Thompson, S, Colorado
This move is a double-whammy for the Packers. They lock up one of the best safeties in the draft, and they also ensure that Mason Crosby, the best Packers player ever, stays in Green Bay by giving him a roommate that he can reminisce with.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers — Jimmie Gilbert, OLB, Colorado
Ralphie Report editor Jon Woods is a crazed Steelers fan and he promised to buy the entire writing staff authentic Steelers jerseys if Pittsburgh drafts any CU player. Additionally, Gilbert lands in the perfect defense for him to exhibit his hyper-athletic pass rushing skills.
31. Atlanta Falcons — Vernon Adams, QB, Oregon
Falcons wanted more clutch players after they blew a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl, so they got Adams, who led the Ducks to victory after being down 31-0 in the 2016 Alamo Bowl. Oh wait, that’s backwards. The cycle continues for Atlanta.
32. New Orleans Saints — Sean Harlow, OG, Oregon State
New Orleans traded Brandin Cooks to the New England Patriots for this pick, but if they somehow believe they can draft anyone near Cooks’ quality here, they’ll have to return to Oregon State to find another diamond in the rough.