You know that guy with the hair and the glasses that’s always on ESPN, talking about which teams should take what players in the NFL Draft, even when it’s like, half a calendar year or so off from actually going down? Well that guy’s name is Mel Kiper Jr., and I met him one time.
I was working as bartender at Catch 54, the old Catch 54 with the Tiki Bar and everything right before it burned down, which contrary to belief, I had nothing to do with, and it was during the day, and the bar was kind of understandably slow because of, so I walked outside to the docks and sure enough there he was, Ol’ Mel Kiper J. himself, standing right there next to the big shark that used to be there, smoothing down his infamously mighty mane in the mid-summer wind.
[Editor’s Note: These run-on sentences are exactly why our editor has no hair.]
“Hey aren’t you that guy with the hair and the glasses that’s always on ESPN?” I said to him, and he said that as a matter of fact, that yeah, that was him, and so we got to talking while he was waiting for his daughters to return from a parasailing trip and while I was waiting for an appropriate enough time of day for potential bar patrons to feel alright enough about getting properly blanked on a mid-summer day such as that one.
I remember being pretty impressed with myself for not bringing up football even one time during the whole back-and-forth thing, figuring that most people probably went right to that kind of conversation when they recognized Mel from him always being on the television, and that he might not be too keen on it considering the fact that currently he was on vacation with the family, and all.
After we were finished getting more than a little loquacious in a totally-non-leather-egg-ball-pertaining way, I walked my way back to the Tiki Bar with the pre-conceived closing line of, “Alright Mel, I’ll be seein’ ya on the television sometime then,” which I thought was about as smooth as Mel’s hair on my part and not in the least bit cheese sandwich, so to speak.
So, anyway, that particular interaction being the case, and with the NFL Draft about a week or so off from actually going down, I figured I’d put together my own personal list of some of the players Ol’ Mel and his colleagues over at ESPN may not have yet considered, and that list goes something like this:
1. Cleveland Browns: Steamin’ Willie Beamen QB (Miami Sharks)
Despite a break out season with the Sharks in “Any Given Sunday,” using the first pick to select the prolific yet controversial Steamin’ Willie Beamen could just as easily end up Peyton Manning as it could Ryan Leaf in the real non-fictional NFL. But the Browns gotta keep rolling the dice on potential franchise oval-slingers if they have any hope to get out from this spot.
Considering Beamen’s Rob Gronkowski-type extracurriculars, which include but are by no means limited to a pretty sweet rap music video, let’s hope that Cleveland’s PR team is a heck of a lot better than their football one.
2. San Fransisco 49ers: Forest Gump KR (University of Alabama)
Speaking of public relations, and no matter your stance on the subject, former national anthem non-stander Colin Kaepernick was a bit of a media liability for the 49ers’ front office, to say the least.
The solution? Take the most patriotic player there is. Forest Gump may not be the sharpest chocolate in the box, so to speak, but he’s still a Vietnam war hero, ping pong champion, shrimp boat captain extraordinaire, and one of the fastest players there is on two-IQ points. Not to mention, he sure can Run Forest Run.
3. Chicago Bears: Mike Ditka HC (The Tigers)
Alright so he may have been coaching youth futbol and not professional football while portraying himself in the 2005 soccer-cult classic “Kicking and Screaming” featuring a striped jumpsuit-clad Will Ferrell, and he may not even be inclined to sign his rookie contract if his nemesis from the movie, Robert Duvall, isn’t in the mix to get some neighborly revenge on for blowing leaves into his yard, but former Chicago Bears Super Bowl winning coach Mike Ditka has got to be Da Bears best shot at collecting another potential ring.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Earl Megget RB (Allenville Federal Penitentiary)
The rap artist best known as Nelly sure was one heck of a running back playing for the inmate team and portraying the speed-shifty Earl Megget in the 2005 remake of “The Longest Yard.” That considered, if Megget could somehow manage to make the likes of Adam Sandler not look terrible on the screen, just imagine what he could do for the struggling Jags.
5. Los Angeles Rams: Danny Bateman MLB (Michigan State)
Considering all the future “Iron Man” movies in pre-production and sure to need a director, Jon Favreau’s probably gonna need to stay close to Tinsel Town until either the franchise fizzles somewhere around “Iron Man 13” or Robert Downey Jr. eventually dies of natural causes, whatever comes first. Lucky for the now-based-in-L.A. Rams, they sure could use a linebacker along the lines of Favreau’s PTSD-driven fictional Purple Heart awardee, Danny Bateman, in “The Replacements.”
6. New York Jets: Doug “Hefferlegs” Heffernan RB (half semester at Nassau Community College)
Believe it or not, the now hilariously round Kevin James was actually a pretty good running back at SUNY Cortland back in his glory days, much like James’ alter ego, Doug “Hefferlegs” Heffernan, from television’s “The King of Queens.” While I doubt the NFL allows the use of Segways on the field, “Paul Blart Mall Cop” is still one of the biggest Jets fans there is, aside from that naked cowboy guy.
7. Los Angeles Chargers: Jamal and Andre “Action” Jackson OL (Washington Sentinels)
Set to make the move to LA, the Chargers should give some strong consideration to this pair of twin brother bouncers turned impenetrable offensive linemen from the movie “The Replacements” after ranking 31st in pass protection last season.
As long as their taking twins, they might want to also consider Indian River High School’s own Haden sisters, who are better known for field hockey, swimming, and lacrosse, but who put on a serious show in this year’s Powder Puff game.
8: Carolina Panthers: Michael Oher OT (Ole Miss)
They picked up the real life Michael Oher in 2015, but the Panthers might as well go ahead and pick up “The Blindside” Oscar-nominated movie version too…so long as Sandy Bullock doesn’t march her way onto the field and try to take over the team again.
9. Cincinnati Bengals: Boobie Miles RB (Permian High School)
Honestly, I don’t know a lot about the Bengals, just wanted to be able to say Boobie in print.
10. Buffalo Bills: Shane Falco QB (The Ohio State University)
The Bills can take their pick here seeing as how Keanu Reeves has played not one but two former superstar QB’s from the “The” during his career. That being said, Shane Falco from “The Replacements” is probably less inclined to ditch the game in favor of charging an incoming swell with Patrick Swayze than Johnny Utah is from “Point Break.” Not only that, but Falco shows some slight resemblance to former Bills QB and breakfast-cereal mogul Doug Flutie. Could be nostalgic for the fans from Almost Canada.
11. New Orleans Saints: Bobby Boucher LB (South Central Louisiana State University Mud Dogs)
Even Mel Kiper Jr. himself couldn’t have seen this talented young water boy turned fooseball savior of the SCLSU Mud Dogs coming in the last movie made by Adam Sandler that was actually A-OK. Good thing for the keen eye for unorthodox talent of former Fonz and down-on-his-luck Mud Dogs’ HC Henry Wrinkler. Let’s just hope the Saints keep plenty of Gatorade on the sideline to keep Bobby Boucher good and fired up.
12. Philadelphia Eagles: Mark Whalberg WR (No College)
The Birds could take a shot at the very real Vince Papale here, but considering that Papale recently celebrated his 71st birthday, they might be wiser to go for Whalberg instead, who played Papale in the 2006 biopic “Invinceable.” Potential free movie passes to the next “Transformers” release could make for a nice added bonus.
13. Arizona Cardinals: Rod Tidwell Jr. WR (Arizona State University)
If you’ve seen “Jerry McGuire,” then you're well aware that Sir Rod Jr. wants to stay put in the Big Cactus. Let’s just hope for the Cards sake that Tom Cruise isn’t too busy with weird scientology stuff now to be able to “show him the money.”
14. Minnesota Vikings: Prison Guard Dunham DE (Allenville Federal Penitentiary)
Pretty simple explanation on this one. The prison guard played by “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in the 2005 version of “The Longest” already looks pretty much exactly like an actual Viking.
15. Indianapolis Colts: Rudy, special teams (Notre Dame)
The true story of Rudy Ruettiger is emblematic of pride of the University of Notre Dame. Which is based in Indiana. And so is Indianapolis. Which is the only reason for this pick.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Deacon Moss WR (Allenville Federal Penitentiary)
Since their inception in 1996, the Ravens haven’t really been able to land a true No.1 wide out in their respective prime. Adding in the franchise’s familiarity with criminal records, and the Michael Irvin-esque (mostly because he’s played by Michael Irvin) Deacon Moss from “The Longest Yard” seems like a pretty logical fit.
17. Washington Redskins: Tim Riggins FB (Dillon High School)
Pretty obviously inspired by former Redskins’ running back John Riggins, tough-as-nails running back Tim Riggins from the television version of “Friday Night Lights” could just give Washington their first 1,000-year rusher since 2007, and loyal Skins fans good reason to break out their Riggins jerseys once again.
18. Tennessee Titans: Paul “Wrecking” Crewe QB (Allenville Federal Penitentiary)
The Burt Reynolds version from the original version of “The Longest Yard” and not the Adam Sandler version of course, considering Sandler’s already been mentioned like 12 times and the character’s affinity for Tennessee rye that ended up landing him in Allenville in the first place.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Matt Saracen QB (Dillon High School)
Just in case Jameis Winston gets busted lifting crab legs at Publix again.
20. Denver Broncos: Frank Cushman QB (SMU)
After snubbing the Baltimore Colts in the 1983 NFL draft by threatening to play baseball if they took him No.1, let’s see how John Elway likes dealing with prima donna signal callers now that he’s heading up the Broncos front office as their General Manager when he goes into contract negotiations with SMU superstar Frank Cushman from “Jerry McGuire.”
21. Detroit Lions: Happy Gilmore, golfer (PGA Tour)
With the whole water situation in Flint apparently still in dire need of fixing, the Lions were probably hoping to land “The Water Boy” version of Adam Sandler here. But considering the time President Trump has been spending on the links lately, instead of like, doing President stuff, the “Happy Gilmore” Sandler is the next best option and pretty likely to run into old Donald J. the next time he plays Mar-a-Lago.
22. Miami Dolphins: Radio, place holder (T.L. Hanna High School)
Cuba Gooding Jr. may have already been selected by the Cardinals as Rod Tidwell, but Radio from the movie “Radio” is the best placeholder their is. Given the whole Ray Finkle fiasco for Miami in the movie “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” keeping the laces faced the right way is crucial for both the Dolphins, and Dan Marino’s own personal well being.
23. New York Giants: Becky “The Icebox” O’Shea MLB (The Little Giants)
After being passed up by the Cowboys on account of being a girl in Disney’s 1994 masterpiece, “The Little Giants,” Becky “The Icebox” O’Shea went on to wreak havoc at middle linebacker for the Giants as the 90’s greatest feminist and as my own personal first crush aside from Kelly Kapowski from “Saved By the Bell”…and Winnie Cooper from “The Wonder Years”…April O’Neil from “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”…the Pink Power Ranger…Posh Spice…etc. etc. the list goes on.
If O’Shea can take the G-men (and women) from worst to first with the wacky Rick Moranis as a head coach and with plays including “the annexation of Puerto Rico,” imagine what she can do in the NFL.
24. Oakland Raiders: Nigel “The Leg” Gruff (somewhere in the UK probably)
Set to make the move to Las Vegas, gambling-prone Welshman Nigel “The Leg” Gruff from “The Replacements” may not be the safest pick, but could pay off big in more ways than one.
25. Houston Texans: Goldberg, goalie (The Mighty Ducks)
I’m running out of movie characters who played football here, and have somehow yet managed to make a Ducks reference.
26. Seattle Seahawks: Billy Bob OG (West Canaan High School)
Ranking dead last just behind the Chargers as the worst offensive line in the NFL last season, according to everyone aside from Coastal Point Tech Director/the biggest Seahawks fan ever/infamous Eskimo Shaun M. Lambert, Seattle would be wise to pick up some protection from Russell Wilson here and there’s no one better than Billy Bob (no known last name) from “Varsity Blues.”
Seattle better wait for the CAT scan to comeback on this one before sending in the card, considering the baker’s dozen or so odd concussions Billy Bob took throughout the movie.
27. Kansas City Chiefs: Gordon Ramsey, insane chef (Hell’s Kitchen)
Just in case the Chiefs accidentally leave out the “I” in the end zone like they did in that Snickers commercial (again, running out of both movie characters and reference points here).
28. Dallas Cowboys: Uncle Rico, QB of sorts (Apparently a van)
Sure the Cowboys have Dak Prescott, but with Romo on his way out, there’s some impressive tape of Uncle Rico from “Napolean Dynamite” throwing footballs to apparently no one in an empty field that could make him a hard backup option to pass up.
29. Green Bay Packers: Jumbo Fumiko C (Washington Sentinels)
He’s best known for losing his pre-game meal in the middle of the huddle, so let’s hope for the sake of Cheese Heads everywhere that this former sumo-wrestler turned lineman in “The Replacements” isn’t lactose intolerant.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Luther “Shark” Lavay LB (Miami Sharks)
Luther “Shark” Lavay played by real-life linebacker Lawrence “LT” Taylor may have been even meaner than former Pittsburgh linebacker “Mean Joe” Green in yet another “Any Given Sunday.” Maybe even mean enough for Kendall Jenner to hand him a post-game Pepsi while he limps his way into the locker room.
31. Atlanta Falcons: Air Bud WR (The Timberwolves)
Former Falcons’ QB and semi-profession dog fighter Michael Vick may be single-handedly to blame for the bad reputation of pit bulls and all those Sarah McLachlan SPCA infomercials that for some reason last for like six minutes and only come on when you can’t find the remote. That being said, Atlanta would be wise to take a page out of the 49ers book here, PR-wise, and select the best four-legged golden receiver to ever lace paws on the gridiron.
32. New England Patriots: Charlie Tweeder WR (West Canaan High School)
Since Tom Brady seems to being going the Brett Favre route in terms of never retiring, Bill Belichick and co. might as well get him a few more weapons before he’s reduced to mud-filled slow-motion Wrangler commercial touch football.
Not only does Charlie Tweeter from “Varsity Blues” fit the mold of scrappy white wide outs such as Wes Welker and Super Bowl LI hero Julian Edelman, but he rarely wears sleeves throughout the entire movie. Sounds like a Belichick guy to me.