The way the 2010 NFL draft should be

Mock drafts are humorous attempts to satisfy our constant need to predict things. If you want to know how much value they hold, you should not overlook the presence of the word “mock.”

Last year I ran a running diary for the first day of the NFL draft. Because I have the Thursday column this year, I’ll try to outline what should happen in tonight’s first round. Of course, this is not a mock draft since I have no expertise, no inside information and no intent to get any of this right. But if we wanted the most entertaining version of the draft, it would look something like this. And since it’s my version of the draft, we get to fast forward through the boring parts.

Pick 1: St. Louis predictably takes Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford to give the organization some sense of excitement. Of course, knowing the Rams’ luck, Bradford will somehow reinjure his throwing shoulder when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell gives him a vice-grip handshake. Goodell giveth, and Goodell taketh away.

Pick 2: Despite having every intention of messing this pick up, the Detroit Lions take Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who becomes the best thing to happen to the city since MoTown. Ford even introduces the new “Ndamukong” model that sells well because everyone thinks it’s a foreign car.

Pick 4: After the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan wants to take Notre Dame player Jimmy Clausen as his quarterback of the future. He is talked out of it when he is assured that he can follow USC’s lead by tabbing a 13-year-old as his “future quarterback of the future.” ESPN microphones inadvertently pick up the sound of Clausen grinding his teeth.

Pick 6: Pete Carroll is ready to make his first draft pick and he demands Washington quarterback Jake Locker, despite the somewhat significant obstacle of Locker not being in this draft. Carroll calls up his old buddy Steve Sarkisian to see if he can make it happen, but the Huskies coach politely declines. Carroll has to settle for Oklahoma tackle Trent Williams.

Pick 7: Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini rushes into the war room at the last second, demanding to know when they changed the start of the draft to Thursday night. At the last second, the Browns pick Tennessee safety Eric Berry.

Pick 8: Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would be a member of the Oakland Raiders in a perfect world, but that probably won’t happen. Because we’re not bound by the silly limitations of reality here, let’s say Oakland owner Al Davis trades this pick and a blank check to Pittsburgh for Roethlisberger. The Steelers immediately select Oklahoma wide receiver Dez Bryant to fill their quota of malcontents.

Pick 9: The Buffalo Bills take Tennessee defensive tackle Dan Williams, who is obviously conflicted about playing in Buffalo. He has a look on his face that says, “The sun still comes out in Buffalo, right guys? Guys?”

Pick 10: Unable to take local legend Tim Tebow this early but still needing to get more fans, the Jacksonville Jaguars take Clemson running back C.J. Spiller. But the Jaguars’ average home attendance next year will still resemble that of a badminton game.

Pick 11: Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels is ecstatic to land Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain. He notes that he looks forward to developing McClain into a Pro Bowl talent before McClain becomes alienated from the team and is traded, just like the rest of the Broncos.

Pick 17: Sending Florida quarterback and colossal conservative Tim Tebow to San Francisco is one of the funniest things I can picture, so let’s do that here. It won’t happen, but the image of Tebow driving a Toyota Prius to the 49ers facility and then having a clam chowder bread bowl for lunch is so very satisfying.

Pick 18: With their other first round pick, Pittsburgh takes Jimmy Clausen to lead a team in dire straits. Welcome back to your first two years at Notre Dame, Jimmy.

Pick 24: Taylor Mays finally comes off the board when the Philadelphia Eagles take him here to a chorus of their fans’ boos. Eagles fans started booing once they heard the phrase “The Philadelphia Eagles select,” so Mays shouldn’t take it personally. He still gives one last call to see if he can find another year of eligibility at USC.

Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

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