“Black Panther” is one of the most highly anticipated movie releases in recent memory. On Thursday, I hinted at the next version of my latest first-round mock draft, but I decided to lighten the mood and switch it up this time around. In honor of the historic movie releasing this weekend, here’s an entertaining first-round mock draft of fictional football movie characters.
Happy Friday and I hope you enjoy!
1. Cleveland Browns
QB — Bo Callahan — Draft Day
Needs: QB, CB, RB
This time around, the Browns peg Callahan as their guy at the top of the draft. We all know that the Browns are terrible at drafting QBs. Why should we expect them to get it right this time around? Callahan would be the perfect Browns type of pick. The guy who had all the talent in the world, but lacked every type of intangible imaginable. A clear bust like Callahan would fit in perfectly to the Browns storied history of failed attempts at drafting signal callers.
2. New York Giants
QB — “Steamin” Willie Beamen — Any Given Sunday
Needs: OT, QB, RB
It’s no secret that the Giants need an alternative route to Eli Manning. There isn’t a better option than Beamen. He’s shown to embrace the bright lights, star studded lifestyle and without question would be able to handle the pressure of the New York media. Beamen gives the Giants their QB of the future once they decide to move on from Manning
LB — Bobby Boucher — The Waterboy
Needs: OT, EDGE, ILB
Yes, I know, the Colts have a lot of holes on their roster and they desperately need offensive lineman to protect Andrew Luck, but Boucher was clearly the best player available on their board. The franchise sorely needs an identity on defense. While there’s obvious concern about Boucher learning the playbook as well as getting plenty of unnecessary roughness penalties throughout games, general manager Chris Ballard is willing to live with it because the “Waterboy” is an absolute stud.
4. Cleveland Browns (from HOU)
RB — Earl Megget — The Longest Yard
Needs: QB, CB, RB
Having already “secured” their QB, now John Dorsey wants to surround his new prized possession with some instant impact play-makers. Megget comes with plenty of off the field baggage that even included imprisonment, but Dorsey felt as if the gain outweighed the risk when deciding to draft the running back.
5. Denver Broncos
QB — Shane Falco — The Replacements
Needs: QB, OT, S
John Elway was unsuccessful at signing a QB in free agency. He now has no choice but to wait until the draft to address a need that has been present since Peyton Manning rode off into the sunset after their Super Bowl victory. We all know he loves big QBs that can sling it. They felt as if getting Falco here is what best suited their needs and they elected to draft the talented lefty thrower.
6. New York Jets
QB — Ronnie “Sunshine” Bass — Remember The Titans
Needs: QB, EDGE, RB
The franchise hasn’t had a headliner QB in what has seemed like forever. Arguably since the days of Joe Namath. Although his career got off to an unexpected start, Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan feel as if “Sunshine” could be their franchise QB as soon as they call his name on draft day.
7.Tampa Bay Buccaneers
EDGE — Julius Campbell — Remember the Titans
Needs: EDGE, S, RB
The Bucs really need help at edge rusher. After generating a league low 22 sacks last season, getting Campbell here was the best outcome for them. Not only does he give the team a boost off of the edge, but he is also a tremendous leader. Adding Campbell with Gerald McCoy and Noah Spence makes their defensive line more respectable next season.
8. Chicago Bears
WR — Rod Tidwell — Jerry Maguire
Needs: WR, CB, ILB
This was an easy choice for Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy. Mitchell Trubisky needs to be surrounded with weapons. Getting Tidwell’s rookie deal done so he can report to training camp on time will be a pain because he wants to be shown the money, but he would help out their young QB immediately. If Tidwell has success as a rookie, they better get ready to rip up his contract and fulfill his demands of being among the highest paid receivers in the NFL.
9. San Francisco 49ers (*coin flip)
ATH — Forrest Gump — Forrest Gump
Needs: WR, OG, CB
This was considered a reach by many, but after breaking John Ross’ 40-yard dash record at the NFL Combine, John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan became enamored with his straight line speed, value as a returner, and potential on offense. It’s unclear what position Gump will play, but he brings a weapon to the table for newly paid QB Jimmy Garoppolo.
10. Oakland Raiders (*coin flip)
LB — Luther “Shark” Lavay — Any Given Sunday
Needs: ILB, CB, OT
He comes with plenty of off the field issues, but Jon Gruden is looking for a tone setter in the middle of his defense. Lavay brings that. I mean it is Lawrence friggin’ Taylor! They get a guy that can play multiple positions and brings the attitude that the silver and black are looking for moving into the new Gruden era.
11. Miami Dolphins
OG — Louie Lastik — Remember the Titans
Needs: OG, ILB, CB
The Dolphins need help at guard and Lastik could provide that. Known for his loving and upbeat personality, it was easy for scouts to gravitate towards him. The biggest question is controlling his weight and mobility, but it’s clear that he’s best suited in a man blocking scheme, opposed to a zone blocking scheme where his lack of athleticism could rear its ugly head.
12. Cincinnati Bengals
LB — Alvin Mack — The Program
Needs: LB, OT, QB
Looking at the Bengals linebacker depth chart, it is really bad. They need another playmaker there. There’s injury risks with Mack, but he exemplifies everything a Bengals linebacker stands for. He’s a perfect fit alongside Vontaze Burfict. This gives them an ideal 1-2 punch in the middle of their defense.
13. Green Bay Packers (*coin flip)
DB — Petey Jones — Remember the Titans
Needs: EDGE, CB, TE
As they’ve shown with Ty Montgomery, the Packers have no problems with converting running backs to other positions. After being asked to switch from running back to the secondary, Jones quickly became a staple for Coach Herman Boone’s defense. The Packers are hoping that he can fill Morgan Burnett’s void or even help at corner in a secondary that desperately needs help.
14. Washington Redskins (*coin flip)
RB — Darnell Jefferson — The Program
Needs: LB, S, RB
Despite being known for having his mind elsewhere and with some fumbling issues, the Redskins feel like they can correct his deficiencies and he can become the bell-cow rusher in their backfield. Alex Smith is use to having solid running games behind him and Jefferson is just the next RB to fall in line with Smith.
QB — Paul “Wrecking” Crewe — The Longest Yard
Needs: QB, OT, C
Of course there’s plenty of red flags there and one of the biggest reasons why he slipped to this point, but without any QBs currently under contract for 2018, the Cardinals have to take a risk. Krewe has the on the field leadership skills to potentially be the centerpiece of Steve Wilks rebuilding Arizona team.
16. Baltimore Ravens
WR — Charlie Tweeder — Varsity Blues
Needs: WR, OG, ILB
Tweeder clearly loves the off-the-field party lifestyle, but on-the-field, he was the clear primary target no matter who the QB was. His stature is a bit small, but Joe Flacco hates throwing the ball farther than 10 yards anyway. He needs all the weapons he can get at this point.
17. Los Angeles Chargers
DT — Andre Krimm — Necessary Roughness
Needs: DT, ILB, QB
The Chargers have solid pieces on their defensive line in Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa, but they lack consistency up the middle. They need a piece that could be an immediate contributor. Krimm would be a dominant force up the middle and he could potentially help supplement the already rich talent on Anthony Lynn’s defensive line.
18. Seattle Seahawks
OG — Billy Bob — Varsity Blues
Needs: OT, RB, CB
Russell Wilson needs some protection up front and it’s well documented that the Seahawks offensive line is very bad. They are use to seeing offensive lineman who are turnstiles and give up sacks that injure QBs, so there’s clear interest in Bob, but they feel like they can hopefully improve his technique and help him become a reliable contributor. If not, then they’ll keep starting him anyway even if he is terrible.
19. Dallas Cowboys
LB — Steve Lattimer — The Program
Needs: DT, WR, CB
The Cowboys go a bit off script here because they see a player that they really love. He checks the boxes for off-the-field issues, which they love and is sure to be a repeat offender of the leagues substance abuse policy as he has frequent steroid rages. Not only should ball carriers be aware of where he is on the field at all times, but all of the nice windows in Jerry’s World better watch out for him as well as he loves to smash his head through glass when he gets overly excited.
20. Detroit Lions
RB — Julian Washington — Any Given Sunday
Needs: EDGE, DT, RB
Let’s face it. The Lions running game has been pathetic. They haven’t had a 100-yard rusher in a single game since Reggie Bush ran for 117 yards against the Packers during Week 13 of the 2013 season. A fascinating stat, and Washington provides them with a clear upgrade and No. 1 primary option in their backfield behind Matthew Stafford. Maybe the new offense won’t take emphasis off of him this time so he can reach the bonuses in his contract and help his team win.
21. Buffalo Bills
EDGE — Vontae Mack — Draft Day
Needs: DT, LB, QB
The Bills should be jumping for joy here. Arguably the steal of the first-round was Mack. With Sean McDermott being a defensive minded head coach, he is always looking for ways to improve his unit. Mack provides versatility at linebacker and edge rusher, which are clear needs in Buffalo.
22. Buffalo Bills (from KC)
LB — Ivory Christian — Friday Night Lights
Needs: DT, LB, QB
The Bills need a QB, but their just isn’t any worth taking here. McDermott continues adding weapons to his defense. The only reason Christian slipped to this point is because of his initial questionable love for the game, but his leadership and heroic locker room speeches saved his draft status as a first-round pick. Adding Mack and now Christian, the Bills defense has a bright future for the foreseeable future.
23. Los Angeles Rams
OT — Bud-Lite Kaminski — The Program
Needs: CB, OG, EDGE
The Rams didn’t want to reach for a player here that they felt like wasn’t worthy or an immediate need. Instead, they decided to find the heir apparent to Andrew Whitworth at left tackle. Kaminski was without a doubt a goofy individual, but the Rams believe that shadowing Whitworth for a few years will help him grow up because the talent is one of the easiest traits to notice about him.
WR— Deacon Moss — The Longest Yard
Needs: EDGE, WR, CB
The Panthers made it an emphasis to get Cam Newton some help on the perimeter. We’re not sure how the personalities between Moss and Newton will co-exist, but there’s no doubt about Moss’ talent. He, like many others in this brutal draft class, come with lots of character issues. His attitude, toughness and alpha mentality makes it too tough for Ron Rivera to pass him up though. Oh yeah, and it is Michael Irvin. One of the top NFL receivers ever.
25. Tennessee Titans
WR — Clifford Franklin — The Replacements
Needs: EDGE, OG, S
By far considered the biggest reach of the first-round was the Titans selection of Franklin. Mike Vrabel felt as if the newly revolutionized offense needed a deep threat for Marcus Mariota. Franklin provides that. Known for his famous stickum laced hands, which the NFL will allow him to wear since Jerry Rice did it, he is clearly one of the biggest boom or bust prospects of this entire draft class.
26. Atlanta Falcons
SS — Spike Hammersmith — Little Giants
Needs: OG, DT, S
Hammersmith is the exact type of player Dan Quinn loves. He doesn’t take any junk talk from anyone and believes he’s the best player on the field no matter what. Pairing Spike alongside Keanu Neal potentially gives them one of the better young safety tandems in the entire NFL. Hammersmith is expected to fill the Kam Chancellor type of role in their defense.
27. New Orleans Saints
QB — Lance Harbor — Varsity Blues
Needs: ILB, S, DT
The franchise once took a chance on a QB that got injured and eventually got his spot filled by a younger QB before and they opt to do it again with another signal-caller in a similar situation. Drew Brees is obviously on the back-end of his career. With Harbor suffering a horrible knee injury, he has time to be patient in his rehab because the Saints don’t necessarily need him at least for another couple of seasons. This pick makes all the sense in the world for both sides.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers
LB — Danny Bateman — The Replacements
Needs: ILB, OT, S
Whenever you think of the old school Pittsburgh Steelers and the Steel Curtain, you imagine a tough, hard hitting defense. Mike Tomlin wants to get back to those roots. Bateman clearly establishes that as he is a linebacker that literally hits anything that moves. The maniac and tone-setter that this defense clearly lacks. There’s concerns about Bateman’s ability to grasp the playbook terminology, which is an issue that the Steelers will have to address in rookie mini-camp.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars
TE — Brian Murphy — The Replacements
Needs: QB, TE, OG
This was a tough decision for the Jaguars brass. They have needs at QB and Guard. Despite Murphy being born deaf, his play-making abilities convinced the franchise to selected him with this pick. He’s unable to hear, but no one goes to Jaguars home games anyway, so crowd noise is rarely ever a factor. The coaching staff will have to implement extra signals in their offense to accommodate Murphy, but they’re willing to do it for their first-round selection.
30. Minnesota Vikings
K — Nigel Gruff — The Replacements
Needs: DT, OG, QB
What? A kicker? Yes. Gruff is labeled as the next Sebastian Janikowksi, and he ends up being a first-round selection similar to the former Raiders kicker. With their storied history of heartbreaking missed field goal attempts in big moments, Gruff is a logical pick here. The “wiry” kicker has shown that he can make kicks from 65-yards out easily. He should put the franchise at ease, even though he does have a questionable off the field lifestyle and disturbing cigarette addiction.
31. New England Patriots
ATH — Daniel Eugene “Rudy” Ruettiger — Rudy
Needs: CB, EDGE, QB
One thing is certain, Bill Belichick loves drafting or finding prospects that are underdogs and have redemption stories. Rudy was finally accepted to be a walk-on, non-scholarship player on Notre Dame’s practice squad. Finally convincing head coach Devine to put him in the game on the final play, Rudy quickly sacked the QB. Rudy checks all the boxes and is a prime example of a player that exemplifies the “Patriot Way”.
32. Philadelphia Eagles
RB — Boobie Miles — Friday Night Lights
Needs: OT, ILB, CB
The Eagles have zero problems with taking running backs with knee issues. With the final pick in the draft and an already loaded roster, Howie Roseman can afford to take a risk here. Miles’ knee issues are well documented, but if they are able to get him in his pre-injury form, this is a steal for the reigning Super Bowl champions. The trio of Ajayi, Clement and now Miles gives the Eagles the three-headed monster similar to what helped them take home the Lombardi Trophy a season ago.
For more NFL Draft news and analysis, follow J.R. on Twitter @JReidDraftScout.