Crystal Ball Time: The Top Ten Picks

As a general rule, the uglier the gypsy the more accurate she is

You might be asking yourself, “why should I be reading this?”

After all, we have never played professional football.  We have never coached football at any level.  Much like you, the reader, we only watch games on television and digest the information accordingly.  We’re just another bunch of bloggers saying snide things and swearing too much about football on the internet.  All these things are true.

Well the answer is simple, fellow Footbawl Blog writer Chris Dorsey was raised by gypsies* and he tells us the future all the time.  Glad we cleared that up.  Now that we have suspended your disbelief, let’s look at our guaranteed 100% or your money back (in the future you will pay us) projections for the careers of the top ten draft picks.  Will they be a superstar, a bust, or somewhere in-between?    

(* = not verified)

1. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck, QB

Ben: Whether or not you believe that Luck is the best QB prospect since Elway, it’s hard to find a legitimate source that has anything but glowing things to say about him.  Barring injury or a horrible job by the Colts front office, this is a QB that is going to win a lot of games in this league.  Indy fans going through Peyton withdrawal will be happy to know that Andrew likes to call a bunch of audibles at the line of scrimmage.  He will make his first all-pro team in his third year, and get his first GQ cover NEVER.  Seriously, what a weird looking dude.

Nate: Andrew Luck is going to be great, but I feel like he’s facing a big disadvantage when it comes to intimidation. The fact that he has to wear a helmet that obscures most of his face is a problem for him, because with a grin like that, he could easily just stare Kareem Jenkins into submission. Luck will take some time to take off, but when he does, Indy fans will have even more reasons to be insufferable. 

Have fun wearing these for...FOR NOW

2. Washington Redskins – Robert Griffin III, QB

Ben: Perhaps the only football related hex comparable to the Madden curse is the one that follows the Heisman trophy around, and if there’s one thing that gypsies believe in its curses.  I don’t believe that RGIII is going to be a bust per se, but I think his transition to a pro offense is going to be rougher than a lot of people think.  He will be an all-star eventually, but he isn’t going to step in and knock your socks off right away.  And speaking of socks, in a future dystopian society his crazy socks will become illegal.  So there’s that.

Nate: Yeah, my grandson is on the board meeting that banned those socks. Anyway, I hate to sound like Donovan McNabb here, but RGIII will only be as dangerous as Shanahan lets him. With some new weapons at WR and a decent committee of running backs, Griffin should be able to win a few games and turn a few heads. But in the future, the Redskins are even more laughable than they are now. Also in the future, Daniel Synder has to sell the team because a photo surfaces showing him eating a puppy and using the Bill of Rights as a napkin.

3. Cleveland Browns – Trent Richardson, RB

Ben: In an appearance on the Scott Van Pelt Show on ESPN radio, hall of fame running back Jim Brown said that Richardson had ordinary size and ordinary speed.  He wasn’t all that impressed with Trent.  While I think Richardson is better than Brown’s appraisal, Jim is onto something here.  The crop of running backs was quite subpar this year and I think in a lot of other drafts he is not drafted nearly this high.  Just the same he will have a solid career until mid-way through his second contract when he suffers the same fate as many physical running back and has to deal with a series of nagging injuries.  This just got really morbid.

Nate: It’s morbid but it’s true. Running backs grow on trees, and it’s a position where you can always get value later in the draft. I like Richardson probably more than most, but I do think there are some concerns of drafting a running back that early. But with the offensive line being what it is in Cleveland, I think he’ll be pretty good for a little while. 1100 yards, 8 TDs sounds like a legitimate goal a few years into his career.

4. Minnesota Vikings – Matt Kalil, OL

Ben: Kudos to Vikings GM Rick Spielman who managed to trade down, get some extra picks, and still draft the exact same player he wanted to in the first place.  As for Kalil, I said it on the Outside the Squared Circle podcast and I still believe it: in my opinion this is the most can’t miss prospect in the entire draft.  Even Andrew Luck has more variance simply because of the position he plays.  Kalil will be an all-pro for a long time.

Nate: I begged Spielman not to be a dummy. I told him to just go with Kalil. And he made me look stupid by getting some picks and still getting Kalil in the process. So because he made me look stupid, I see a bad future for Minnesota. Kalil will help prevent Ponder from getting sacked. Now Ponder has all the time in the world to throw it to players on the other team!

5. Jacksonville Jaguars – Justin Blackmon, WR

Ben: People have come out of the woodwork lately to say that Blackmon is over valued, but in time these people will be proven wrong.  He won’t be in the class of a Fitzgerald or Megatron, but he has the work ethic and physical tools to be a great NFL receiver for a long time.  Also, in the future ancient monsters will actually come out of the woodwork if you say their names.  Good luck with that.

Nate: This trade was great. Blackmon is pretty much what you need in Jacksonville, and in the future he’ll thrive there. It might not always be Gabbard throwing him the ball (STARTCHADHENNE.COM), but Blackmon is going to be a stud. People will inevitably compare him to Michael Floyd since they were part of the same class, but in the end Blackmon has the better career, especially after the Jags move to Los Angeles! Sorry, it’s going to happen. It’s the future, and it’s never wrong, except when people predicted Armageddon was going to be the best movie of all time.

6. Dallas Cowboys – Morris Claiborne, CB

Ben: The Wonderlic test will prove prophetic as Morris will intercept five passes in one game…and promptly run into the wrong end zone every time.

Nate: Morris Claiborne wins DROY and then thanks his third grade teacher for doing all of his homework for him all the way through college.

Fact: Barron can hit someone so hard their entire body falls off.
(photo credit:

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mark Barron, S

Ben: Mark was more or less the quarterback of Alabama’s incredible National Championship defense.  If Nick Saban trusts him this much, that’s good enough for me.  Durability is a concern as he has had a torn pectoral muscle and double hernia surgery during his college career.  Add that to the fact that he is a brutal hitter and his career will not be as long as he’d like it to be.  But during that time he will have a five year stretch as one of the best safeties in football.

Nate: When I had the Bengals draft Barron with pick 17, everyone pretty much said you shouldn’t get a safety in the first round. Well, apparently no GMs listened to our podcast (I sent an email to Mickey Loomis to listen to it, but he was too busy listening to some other broadcast). The Bucs get a good safety who will hug Ronde Barber at least six times next year.

8. Miami Dolphins – Ryan Tannehill, QB

Ben: The Dolphins are in the middle of an abysmal offseason, and it only got worse on the opening night of the draft.  This is a bust.  For more of my thoughts on Ryan, just read this.

Nate: So now you have David Garrard, Matt Moore, and Ryan Tannehil. See, in the future this would work splendidly, thanks to the 2037 invention of the QB Merge Machine, where you could put the third together, add their strengths and take out their weaknesses, and make a quarterback that can actually win football games. Alas, this is 2012, so the Dolphins will still be terrible.

9. Carolina Panthers – Luke Kuechly, LB

Ben: Luke lead the country in tackles in his junior season, and had 117 more tackles than anyone else on his team.  Yeah, that’s fucking insane.  But one of the biggest criticisms he has received is that he is not good at taking on blocks and was the beneficiary of a defensive scheme that allowed him to roam free.  In the pros he will struggle and his career will not be worthy of a top ten pick.

Nate: Good linebackers seem to get hurt when playing for the Panthers. Jon Beason last year, Thomas Davis the year before, and Dan Morgan before that – it just seems really talented linebackers can’t stay healthy in Carolina. We find out in 19 years that there is indeed a curse on the Panthers 6 by the ghost of Lamar Lathon’s career, but in the meantime we will scratch our heads as Kuechly struggles with performance and injuries.

10. Buffalo Bills – Stephen Gilmore, CB

Ben: I’m a huge fan of this pick, one of my favorites of the first round.  This is one of the only corners I have ever heard of that has a background as a quarterback, and I think this experience is somewhat relevant.  He is still a little raw but his combination of size, speed, and strength will eventually turn him into an elite corner in the NFL.

Nate: He might be one of my favorite players in the draft, too. The Bills are slowly building towards their 1990s AFC days, with Mario Williams playing Bruce Smith, Gilmore playing Nate Odomes, and Ryan Fitzpatrick’s beard playing Don Beebe.

What did you think about the first round?  Will you help Ben write his “Monsters in the Woodwork” screenplay?  Will you join the fight against Nate’s power hungry grandson before he is born?  Let us know in the comments section.

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One response to “Crystal Ball Time: The Top Ten Picks

  1. every time i hear justin blackmon’s name it’s in dave chappelle jamaican voice