Author’s note: what follows is best taken like breaking news from Jay Glazer, which is to say, not very seriously.
Welcome to the second half of the world’s worst draft! In case you’re learning new hobbies that have consumed your attention, it should be noted that the first problem we listed in part one ACTUALLY HAPPENED in the real dress rehearsal for the NFL.
Maybe what follows isn’t so far fetched after all....
Ok it is. Regardless, enjoy.
The Mock Draft where everything goes wrong
Pick 17, Dallas Cowboys. Somehow the long arm of Jerry Jones includes the NFL Network, and Jones appears on screen, shamelessly grinning like a man who just stole cookies that you’ve already stolen, knowing full well you can’t do a thing about it.
Turns out Jones has deemed this an appropriate moment to announce his own choice - K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU. But only on NFL Network. The ABC / ESPN broadcasts move forward from Goodell’s home as though no nonsense was afoot. It’s a moment that stands above all the turmoil, as it becomes one of the litmus tests for the 2020 draft for years to come. Were you on the Jerry Jones broadcast or the other one?
Pick 18, Miami Dolphins. The cameras next turn their attention to the home of Chris Grier. He’s staring blankly at his phone, shaking his head. He looks off to the left, then back to his phone. To the left; to his phone again. Slowly and deliberately he makes a couple of taps and swipes on his phone, then shoves it away in disgust.
Grier returns to his laptop and sends in Miami’s pick by email. It’s OT Josh Jones from Houston. Ironic, because of what follows.
In the post-draft interview, Grier is asked about the unusual exchange. I’ll spare you the series of expletives, but Grier had been receiving a stream of offers for the 18th slot from “Bill”, offering a very enticing package. It turns out, it was not - as Grier had been led to believe - Bill O’Brien offering four seasons of second-round picks. It was none other than Bill Belichick on a burner phone, in his never-ceasing attempt to unsettle his AFC East rivals.
Pick 19, Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders pick was largely uneventful, marred only by every single graphic displaying the “Oakland” Raiders instead. Trey Wingo and Mel Kuiper also make multiple references to Oakland by mistake. Las Vegas takes Kristian Fulton out of LSU.
Pick 20, Jacksonville Jaguars. No man is invincible to stress. Everyone breaks eventually, even (especially?) the NFL commissioner. Goodell’s clearly had a few too many at this point. He walks up to his podium wearing aviators and a fake Minshew Mania moustache to announce the Jags second pick of the evening - safety Xavier McKinney.
Pick 21, Philadelphia Eagles. General Manager Howie Roseman seems to have taken it as a personal challenge of cuteness from the Browns’ Andrew Berry. All four of his children can be seen on screen as the broadcast shifts to the Eagles whilst on the clock. This time, however, the feed has not been muted, and you can hear the little Rosemans (Rosemen?) arguing amongst themselves.
It’s less of an argument, really, and more of a campaign of awesome. The kids are holding a piece of paper like its the Arc of the Covenant; taking turns trying to pronounce Brandon Aiyuk’s name from Arizona State. Ayyyuk! Eyuk! Hey-yoo-k!
Elder Roseman receives a call on screen - someone’s told him that the feed has audio, and he awkwardly ushers his kids out of the room, unclear as to the punishment for naming their own selection before the commissioner has a chance.
Minnesota Vikings Seattle Seahawks. In a move that will come to shake the PNW for nearly a decade, John Schneider accidentally trades up five spots with the Vikings to acquire Justin Jefferson, WR from LSU.
Sources reveal after the draft that this was unintentional on the part of Schneider. As one can imagine, draft day is a harrowing experience, and I don’t just mean the questionable 2014 Kevin Costner film.
If stories are to be believed, what happened was an incomplete email accidentally sent by Schneider to Vikings GM Rick Spielman. Seattle had been in talks about moving down for Minnesota’s second-round pick, as they’ve been good trade partners in the past. In all the confusion of 173 open tabs at the same time, Schneider hit send before he could add “in the second round” to what had been written “We like your next pick.”
Confused, Spielman called in to confirm the trade. Schneider took the call but put it on speaker phone. One of the interns was in the back watching Russell Wilson and Ciara’s gender reveal video. Spielman heard “Yeahhh!” on the line and considered it a done deal.
The Vikings submitted the trade to the league office, who thought there was no way that the Vikings would make up a story about Seattle trading up. It was accepted immediately.
At the end of the day WR is the only position Seattle moves up to acquire with any consistency, so at least there’s hope for their overpaid WR3.
Pick 23, New England Patriots. The 15 minutes have elapsed. A confused Roger Goodell walks slowly to the podium, grinning nervously. He clears his throat. “The New England Patriots have failed to submit a —” suddenly there’s a light noise behind camera, in front of Goodell, and he looks up and to the left, bewildered. He quickly takes a step backwards and throws his left arm over his face, as a small, winged creature alights on the podium and settles in.
Bill Belichick has just submitted his 2020 pick via carrier pigeon.
Someone from camera crew runs awkwardly on screen, removes the tiny note from the birds leg, gives it to Goodell and dashes away.
With the twenty-third pick of the 2020 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots select somebody other than Jordan Love, and that’s all that matters.
New Orleans Saints Jacksonville Jaguars. Saints GM Mickey Loomis trades away the pick for Yannick Ngakoue straight up. Ngakoue’s been calling the shots the entire time; and it turns out he’s currently live-tweeting the draft from Louis Armstrong International airport in New Orleans. The Jags are so tired of the social media headache, not to mention the frustration that the rest of the league have seen their rankings, that they accept a late-first for Ngakoue and call it good. They take LB Patrick Queen because their defense is bad.
Pick 25, Minnesota Vikings. Let’s take a short break from made-up tech problems to celebrate a very real one. Remember this?
Pick 26, Miami Dolphins. Chris Grier is staring blankly again. This time at his computer, not his phone. The NFL camera crew has been painstakingly avoiding getting any GM’s monitor on screen, since the Jacksonville debacle. But Grier looks up and flips his screen around to show the display to the national viewers.
It’s a Word document entitled “My 2021 Super Bowl Team”, with columns and numbers that clearly indicated it’s his working draft board.
It’s also entirely in Wingdings font. Except for a small signature at the bottom in size 10 Comic Sans that reads:
One does not need to work hard to imagine Belichick’s gravelly chuckle in the distance.
Seattle Seahawks Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings take combine RB star Jonathan Taylor. It makes no sense, but they do it anyway to spite the Seahawks. In fact, GM Rick Spielman “accidentally” calls John Schneider first instead of Taylor, and subtly rubs in it Schneider’s face on the way out. The fact that the skeleton camera crew have no idea what the general managers are doing until it happens has proved to be quite the headache.
Pick 28, Baltimore Ravens. Fifteen minutes have elapsed, and there’s no word yet. Sixteen. Seventeen. Wingo tells us that the pick is not in yet, and that Goodell will be making an announcement from the podium.
Just as he arrives, he receives a text message and looks down.
It reads: “Hey Rog, sorry for the delay. It’s been so long that my computer went to sleep and it logged us out of the Zoom call. Can’t seem to remember the password. Mark came over and tried so many versions of !ngram21 that it’s locked us out. Can we have Kenneth Murray please?
- Eric DeCosta”
Tennessee Titans Houston Texans. Bill O’Brien trades away multiple 2021 selections to grab this slot here. I’m not even sure what they have left to offer, but he found a way. ESPN manages to call in for an interview while the next team is on the clock, and what ensues is as unsurprising as it is nonsensical.
“I am excited that we were able to make the move here, because we knew we wanted as many guys this year as possible. See, no one’s even sure if there’s going to be a college season this year, and so we don’t know what those players will look like next year. So I figured, why waste picks on next season when we can get rid of them all and get more guys for right now? After all, they just actually played football, so they’re in better shape, more prepared, all that.”
Wingo begins to reply, “Um, Bill, you do realize....you know what never mind thank you for your response we wish you the best of luck” and then laughs for thirty seconds straight before passing it to Mel Kiper to talk about Houston’s selection of RB D’Andre Swift.
Pick 30, Green Bay Packers. Goodell comes on screen again, looking a two shades more perplexed than usual. “With the thirtieth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select Jacob Eason, quarterback, from the University of Washington.”
A stunned silence follows the announcement for a solid seven seconds before someone can find the tape on Eason, and Mel Kiper clumsily works his way through some commentary about his strong arm or something.
The hacker group known as OurMine has gained control of the Green Bay Packers inner workings - for the second time. They are neither fans of the Packers nor Aaron Rodgers in particular, and decided to bring balance to the force by bringing in a quarterback whose sole purpose should be to drive Rodgers crazy.
Pick 31, San Francisco 49ers. To be honest I went to the fridge to get a drink. It’s the Niners.
Pick 32, Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs select defensive end DJ Epenesa from Iowa in the only move of the night that carried no drama. Roger Goodell visibly slumps in relief after making the announcement, quickly shuffling off stage, mumbling “never again” before the engineer could mute his microphone.
The NFL draft will begin on Thursday April 23rd at 5pm PST, on NFL Network, ESPN, and ABC. Be sure to tune in and watch all these things definitely happen.