You’ve seen that old Key & Peele sketch, the one where they’re college football All-Americans with names like Jackmerius Tacktheritrix and Xmus Jaxon Flaxon-Waxon (and Dan Smith, BYU). It’s always funny perusing the 255 or so NFL draft selections and sorting through the best names of the bunch, the ones that sound worthy of being in this sketch.
To determine which names were merely funny and which names made this All-Name team, ran each name through a rigorous algorithm, which was saying them aloud and seeing if my brother laughed. I did sort it by position, and there are some weaker positions, so that’s why quarterback Jake Fromm made the list over defensive back Kamren Curl, for example.
QB: Jake Fromm, Georgia
Jake Fromm isn’t a good name at all, not by these lofty standards, but it’s the best we have for the quarterbacks in this class. Nate Stanley was considered too, mostly because it’s such a boring name that it’s funny.
RB: DeeJay Dallas, Miami
It’s so easy to imagine a D.J. from Texas screaming “DEEJAYYYY DAALLLASSS” so that gets the nod here.
Honorable mention: D’Andre Swift, the perfect name for a running back.
WR: Quintez Cephus, Wisconsin; Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty
Quintez Cephus is possibly the most Key & Peele name in the draft. There’s something about the ridiculous first name, but not too ridiculous, with the last name that’s just as absurd. The rhythm of the name is amazing because it doesn’t flow; Quintez Cephus just stops when it wants to. Absolutely remarkable name.
As for the second slot, it was difficult choosing between Antonio Gandy-Golden and other stellar names like CeeDee Lamb and Laviska Shenault. Part of me thinks the latter two are less funny because we’re so familiar with them (like how we’ve accepted Wolf Blitzer is just a CNN news anchor), but also Antonio Gandy-Golden is so much fun to say outloud.
TE: Dalton Keene, Virginia Tech
Tight end is quite thin, but Dalton Keene stood out because the name is soooo rural Colorado. I then went to check where he’s from (Littleton, Colorado) and his family history (his brother Trey Keene played baseball at Northern Colorado), and yeah, it all makes sense.
Honorable mention: Joey Magnifico, who was unfortunatley undrafted.
OT: Arlington Hambright, Colorado; Colton McKivitz, West Virginia
Even if I’m a Colorado homer, Arlington Hambright is easily the best name of the tackles in this draft. It’s kind of a down year for a class that produced D’Brickashaw Ferguson, so Colton McKivitz makes the team because his wild surname is some combination of Irish and German that’s rare to find.
IOL: Lloyd Cushenberry III, LSU; Jon Runyan, Michigan; Danny Pinter, Ball State
All great names for various reason. Lloyd Cushenberry III is so very 18th Century English nobility. Jon Runyan is the exact name of a Michigan offensive guard whose preferred exercise is chopping wood. Danny Pinter is a name with terrific comedic timing.
DL: McTelvin Agim, Arkansas; Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma
McTelvin is an absolutely insane first name, although he goes by Sosa instead. Neville Gallimore is so fun because you don’t expect a Neville to be a freaky athletic 300-pounder who throws people around.
EDGE: Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State; K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU
Yetur Gross-Matos rolls off the tongue despite having so much going on phonetically. K’Lavon Chaisson has unique names that happen to rhyme. These are both easy picks.
LB: Justin Strnad, Wake Forest; Cassh Maluia, Wyoming
Linebacker is admittedly a weaker position, so Justin Strnad shines because of his lack of vowels and Cassh Maluia is easy to harmonize.
CB: Kindle Vildor, Georgia Southern; Stantley Thomas-Oliver III, Florida International
The name Kindle Vildor is amazing because there’s no telling where it comes from. It sounds more like a Star Trek villain than it does an NFL defensive back. For Stantley Thomas-Oliver III, please note the extra ‘t’ in Stantley and that there have been two prior Stantley Thomas-Olivers. This name has so much character.
S: L’Jarius Sneed, Louisiana Tech; Thakarius Keyes, Tulane
L’Jarius Sneed is another name that has so much momentum rolling off the tongue after L’Jarius, but ends suddenly and violently at Sneed. There isn’t a single first name that fits with Sneed, so you may as well go crazy. As for Thakarius Keyes, it’s the alliteration of Karius Keyes that makes this name sing.
Honorable mention: Kamren Curl, the spelling of which makes me chuckle.
ST: Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia
It’s a damn shame that no one drafted Rodrigo Blankenship, who is an amazing kicker with a history of clutch plays, is named Rodrigo Blankenship, and looks like this: