@Mason Curry Thanks Mason. I'll try and take that into account on my next version. I wish Walter would expand the player database and add more rounds. Oh well, I guess the draft is like 10 months away. :)
Minnesota Vikings (3-13) - Previously: 31. MAY 4 UPDATE: R.I.P. Rick Spielman kielbasa jokes. You would have been very funny.
On a serious note, it's very difficult to rank the Vikings because Adrian Peterson's status is unknown. He's already running sprints with the team, but it all depends on when he can cut well. I still have my doubts; the Vikings are choosing first in my 2013 NFL Mock Draft. If Peterson's not healthy, they're the worst team in the NFL. If he is, I'll move Minnesota up these rankings during the summer.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: As I wrote in my 2012 NFL Draft Rumor Mill page, if Rick Spielman doesn't trade down and passes on Matt Kalil, he should be fired on the spot. Why draft a quarterback so high if you're not going to build around him with the best prospects on the board? It doesn't make sense.
If the Vikings draft Justin Blackmon or Morris Claiborne, Ponder's bust rate will increase. On a positive note, perhaps Ponder, Sam Bradford and David Carr will be able to share a room at a mental health facility after they retire.
MARCH 9 UPDATE: It's a slight concern that Christian Ponder regressed throughout his rookie season, prompting many Viking fans to chant for Joe Webb. It's a major concern that Adrian Peterson may not be available until Halloween coming off a torn ACL. Poor Vikes.
Miami Dolphins (6-10) - Previously: 30. MAY 4 UPDATE: Will the 2012 Dolphins have the worst receiving corps in NFL history? Brian Hartline, Davone Bess, Clyde Gates, B.J. Cunningham and Rishard Matthews won't exactly give opposing defensive coordinators nightmares leading up to the game.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: I totally believe the rumors that say no one wants to play for the Dolphins because of Jeff Ireland. When you ask one player if his mother is a whore, everyone else takes notice. I don't care if she gives head for $1.75 in the Whiskey Tango parking lot; it's just something you don't ask anyone.
MARCH 9 UPDATE: Defense certainly wasn't the problem for the Dolphins last season. So, why are they switching schemes? It makes no sense. Hiring Joe Philbin at this moment was a mistake, in my opinion, and it doesn't look like he's off to a good start. We'll see though. Maybe he's the right guy for the job, but I have my doubts.
St. Louis Rams (2-14) - Previously: 29. MAY 4 UPDATE: I think the Rams will regret passing on Morris Claiborne and David DeCastro - especially the latter when Sam Bradford shatters into a million pieces as he's sacked by the great Bruce Irvin.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: St. Louis couldn't get Jason Jones, but it settled for Kendall Langford in addition to Finnegan and Scott Wells. The Rams are better, but they still need to focus on improving Sam Bradford's supporting cast before the young quarterback becomes David Carr. I highly doubt that Bradford wants to wake up in a cold sweat every night screaming, "AHHHHH HE'S GOING TO SACK ME, WHY DIDN'T YOU DRAFT ANY TALENTED LINEMEN, AHHHH!?!?!"
MARCH 9 UPDATE: The Rams had so many injuries last year. With Jeff Fisher on the sidelines and the talent he'll be able to bring in (Cortland Finnegan, Jason Jones?), St. Louis could be a bit of a sleeper to win four, maybe five games in 2012.
Oakland Raiders (8-8) - Previously: 27. MAY 4 UPDATE: I don't know what's going on. Did the Raiders draft without a coach? Or was the cardboard cutout of Al Davis in the war room? I'm so confused about Oakland's coaching situation.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: I'm still not sure who Oakland's head coach is. They might as well get a cardboard cutout of Al Davis and put it on the sidelines. What does it matter? The real coach is just going to be fired in a few weeks anyway.
MARCH 9 UPDATE: The Raiders are going to be terrible next year. They're changing defensive schemes, getting rid of key players and preparing for another season of Carson Palmer. And why do they keep switching coaches every two seconds? I don't even know who the coach is anymore. Is it still Art Shell?
Cleveland Browns (4-12) - Previously: 32. MAY 4 UPDATE: Brandon Weeden says his age is an advantage. It is. He can get the senior-citizen discount at the movie theater and sneak all of his teammates in.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: E-mailer Jon S. asked why I hate the Browns. My response? "I don't hate the Browns. I just point out that they suck because, well, they suck." I currently have them selecting first in my 2013 NFL Mock Draft.
MARCH 9 UPDATE: The Browns have to get Robert Griffin. They just have to. I'd laugh at them if they manage to screw this up, but their fans deserve much better than this. I mean, seriously, look at what one Cleveland fan wrote on GameCenter: "Browns are going too score...... BEST DAY IN MY LIFE!!!!"
Indianapolis Colts (2-14) - Previously: 28. MAY 4 UPDATE: It's a good thing Andrew Luck can't report to the Colts until June. He has major architectural work he needs to accomplish. Besides, Jim Irsay would just have him rank his top 20 favorite cereals in order.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: I found the following Jim Irsay tweet amusing: "Tannehill is a hidden gem in this draft,a quiet secret who was always sneaking up to #3..you want him,you better talk to Zigi The Biggie!"
Why? Because I reported that Irsay loves Tannehill a couple of weeks ago. But Pro Football Talk and Rotoworld ignored my groundbreaking news. Fools!
MARCH 9 UPDATE: Is it a coincidence that the Colts' next quarterback is named Andrew Luck? I wonder what Taton has to say about this...
colt need draft r.griffit insted of a.lock. a.lock will not quit throw imcomplete. r.griffit can run ball not throw inturcepcion and impcomplete. best thing p.maning go he was wash up. and byebye cach caswell he lick penas in showor with jim isray!!!
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12) - Previously: 26. MAY 4 UPDATE: Mark Barron could be good for the Buccaneers, but I have trouble seeing how he suddenly became the second coming of Ed Reed during Draft Week. He was once considered by many to be a fringe first-round prospect. I don't think the history of players rising that quickly prior to the draft is very good.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: Though I didn't give the Vincent Jackson signing a good grade in my 2012 NFL Free Agent Grades page, I'm going to move the Buccaneers up a bit because of that and some of the other moves they made. I don't think Tampa has improved as much as most people think it has, but the Bucs aren't the worst team in the NFL anymore.
MARCH 9 UPDATE: The star running back didn't work hard. The star receiver fell asleep during meetings. The head coach didn't put enough time into film prep. The top cornerback could be heading to prison. The first-round quarterback will be learning a new system. The Buccaneers are the worst team in the NFL.
Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11) - Previously: 25. MAY 4 UPDATE: General managers love to complement their young quarterbacks with weapons. For instance, the Rams added two receivers for Sam Bradford. The Colts found a pair of tight ends for Andrew Luck. And the Jaguars snagged a punter for Blaine Gabbert - perhaps the most natural fit of the bunch.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: Once in a while, I'll hear someone say on TV or write to me in an e-mail: "How can you say that Blaine Gabbert is a bust? He was only a rookie, and he didn't have any receivers!" Umm... you can call a quarterback a bust if he's too scared to play the position. He closes his eyes when he throws the ball. Here's proof:
That's pretty bad. What's worse is that I can't put the Jaguars atop my 2013 NFL Mock Draft because their defense and running game are really stout. FML.
MARCH 9 UPDATE: Jacksonville's defense was solid last year, but the unit will be losing some players to free agency. Plus, it's unlikely that Maurice Jones-Drew will be fully effective again, given the workload he shouldered. Oh, and then there's Blaine Gabbert being a lost cause.
But cheer up, Jag fans - you can attack former players like Hugh Douglas! Check out this heated exchange between Douglas and someone on Twitter:
I found this amusing, so I tweeted (@walterfootball) at Hugh: "@Bighugh53 Hugh, why didn't you get 40 sacks like you promised when you signed with the Dolphins!? Everyone was expecting you to!"
Seattle Seahawks (7-9) - Previously: 23. MAY 4 UPDATE: It's a good thing that Bazuzu, the dark spirit controlling Pete Carroll (and formerly Al Davis) is obsessed with 40 times and not, let's say, destroying the entire universe. Otherwise, we'd all be in trouble.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: Guess Seattle managed to land its franchise quarterback. Maybe. Seahawk fans weren't happy that I said this, but I think it's a huge concern that the Dolphins were willing to pay Matt Flynn half as much as Seattle was. Does Joe Philbin think that Flynn is just a mediocre signal-callers? Is Jeff Ireland concerned that Flynn's mom might be a whore? Or is Stephen Ross saving up his money so he can go clubbing with Emilio Estevez? Seahawk fans better hope it's not the former.
MARCH 9 UPDATE: I have no idea what the Seahawks are going to do. They're in that tough spot, where they're not good enough to make the playoffs (not happening since the 49ers are great), but they're not bad enough to land a franchise quarterback. Seattle has gone 7-9 two years in a row now, and I don't see its win total changing dramatically in the next couple of years.
New York Jets (8-8) - Previously: 19. MAY 4 UPDATE: Tim Tebow thrived with a Georgia Tech receiver in Denver. He'll do so again in New York. Nice Stephen Hill pick.
By the way, I need to say something about the idiots on TV whining that the Tebow trade will ruin Mark Sanchez's confidence. If Sanchez's confidence is so fragile that it can be rattled by some competition, then he shouldn't be a starting quarterback in the NFL.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: I can't believe people don't think that Tim Tebow will eventually overtake Mark Sanchez at quarterback. Sanchez pretty much cried when the move was made. Real quarterbacks don't cry. They pray to God, preach at Easter sermons and circumcise babies. Sanchez doesn't do any of that, and that's exactly why he'll be benched by Halloween.
MARCH 9 UPDATE: The Jets are kind of screwed. Their defense is declining, while Mark Sanchez has inexplicably regressed. Oh, and they're keeping the malcontent receiver who was partly to blame for last year's late-season implosion. It wouldn't surprise me to see New York take a major tumble down the standings.
Meanwhile, Rex Ryan attempted to comfort his fans with good news. Suraj L. sent over Ryan's recent quote to me:
"Holmes and Sanchez are getting together this offseason to work on their relationship."
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Arizona Cardinals (8-8) - Previously: 24. MAY 4 UPDATE: Larry Fitzgerald wanted Kevin Kolb. He got him. Larry Fitzgerald wanted Michael Floyd. He got him. What will he want next? Perhaps next year he should go to management and say, "Trade our first-round pick for a boat full of 200 hot chicks wearing bikinis." I guarantee that deal would go down.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: So much for Peyton Manning. Time for more Kevin Kolb until he's benched for John Skelton. It's just a shame that Larry Fitzgerald will have to deal with mediocre quarterbacking for the third straight year. Manning to Fitzgerald would have been pretty sweet.
MARCH 9 UPDATE: The Cardinals will soar up these rankings if they land Peyton Manning. Yes, they'll be instant Super Bowl contenders if he's at least 80 percent of what he once was.
San Diego Chargers (8-8) - Previously: 22. MAY 4 UPDATE: RIP Junior Seau. It's insane that he's the eighth member of the 1994 Chargers Super Bowl team to pass away already. I'd chalk it up to a coincidence, but when you hear that one player was struck by lightning twice, it makes you think.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: I'd write something clever and funny, but I just saw "He should try whacking off and splooging into the owner's cereal" written below and nearly gagged.
MARCH 9 UPDATE: I'm now convinced that Norv Turner can do anything and not get fired. He should try whacking off and splooging into the owner's cereal one morning. He'll still be the coach of the Chargers if he does that - guaranteed.
I don't get it. Why is San Diego content with constant underachievement and mediocrity? If I rooted for the Chargers, I'd be losing my mind right now.
Denver Broncos (8-8) - Previously: 11. MAY 4 UPDATE: My proudest moment this weekend was correctly guessing that the Broncos would draft Brock Osweiler. Why? Because this allowed me to tweet at Woody Paige: "I totally nailed that pick!" Unfortunately, Woody was probably busy buying senior-citizen-discounted movie tickets with Brandon Weeden to check his Twitter account.
If you're wondering, I've moved the Broncos down so much because I'm much less confident that Peyton Manning is ready to play after John Elway's ridiculous antics during Draft Weekend. He's clearly building toward the future. I mean, think about it, Manning was already declining in 2010, pre-neck surgery. Getting rid of Tebow could really blow up in Elway's stubborn face.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: I'm not sure how high to rank the Broncos. On one hand, they just signed Peyton Manning. On the other hand, Manning is coming off a serious neck procedure and looked like he was slowing down at the end of the 2010 season. He's no sure thing. Oh, and you better believe that God will smite John Elway for getting rid of Tebow.
MARCH 9 UPDATE: Some may say that I have the Broncos too high. I say that you can enjoy your eternal stay with Satan for rooting against Tim Tebow.
Cincinnati Bengals (9-7) - Previously: 20. MAY 4 UPDATE: I received some hate mail for giving the Bengals a B in my 2012 NFL Draft Grades. An excerpt:
APRIL 17 UPDATE: I've written this ad nauseum, but the Bengals need to use the 21st-overall pick to sign Mike Wallace. He's better than anyone available at that spot, and he's only 26. Cincinnati would be hurting its arch rival, and the team has enough cap space to pay Wallace the money he's asking for. The question is, why wouldn't the Bengals steal Wallace from the Steelers?
MARCH 9 UPDATE: The Bengals were 9-0 against non-playoff teams and 0-7 versus postseason opponents last year. That tells you that they were overrated. The good news is that Andy Dalton, A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham will each be more experienced in 2012. Perhaps they'll achieve a quality victory.
Tennessee Titans (9-7) - Previously: 18. MAY 4 UPDATE: I don't agree with the Titans passing on David DeCastro at No. 20, but Mike Munchak said it earlier in the draft process - he would not take a lineman in the first round. Penn Staters, like myself and Munchak, do not lie.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: It's a shame that the Titans can't acquire atomic bombs with the 20th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Making Peyton Manning pay with his "contract for life" would be the sweetest revenge possible for Bud Adams. Oh well.
I'm actually glad the Titans didn't sign Manning because I want to see Jake Locker play. He looked great in relief of Matt Hasselbeck last year. I'm eager to see what sort of quarterback he can evolve into.
MARCH 9 UPDATE: Jake Locker better have the starting job next season. Matt Hasselbeck isn't nearly as good, and I don't think I can handle another year of Chris Berman exclaining, "THE BEST FREE AGENT SIGNING OF LAST SPRING - AND NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS - IS MATT HASSELBECK. AMIRITE GUYS!?" And then the other analysts have to nod and agree, or else they'll get fired. Ugh.
Speaking of the Titans, I forgot about a segment I used to run called Stupid Vince and Senile Bud. Here's the most recent episode:
Vince Young: Derrr, hey old guy owner ha, your name Bud is the same name as a beer I have.
Bud Adams: Weh? Who are you? You seem like you could be a good quarterback. Why don't you come play for my team?
Vince Young: Derrr, but mister old guy ha, you tolded me I cannot play for your team no more.
Bud Adams: Weh? Team? I don't have a team.
Vince Young: Derrr, it's the one with the big letter T on a circle with blue fire comin on the back even though fire only have orange and red colors ha.
Bud Adams: Weh? What T? You look like you can play quarterback son. Why don't you come play for my team?
Dallas Cowboys (8-8) - Previously: 21. MAY 4 UPDATE: I really liked trading up for Morris Claiborne. I liked it even more when I heard Dallas was planning on taking Bobby Wagner with the second-round pick it dealt to the Rams. Sorry, Jerry, but teams don't need 5,000 inside linebackers on the roster.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: I love how Jerry Jones believes that his guard problems are solved by signing Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau. That's like some high school dweeb solving his no-prom date issue by asking out the 300-pound chick with the mustache.
MARCH 9 UPDATE: Great in November, crappy in December, coaches do something stupid, Tony Romo struggles in biggest game, Cowboy fans deny Romo struggles in biggest game, blah blah blah...
New Orleans Saints (13-3) - Previously: 17. MAY 4 UPDATE: My thoughts on Jonathan Vilma's suspension and the rest of the player penalties in Bountygate.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: Maybe I'm stupid, but I don't understand this whole Joe Vitt thing. Why are the Saints planning on him being the head coach during Sean Payton's absence? Isn't he suspended for six games? Doesn't that mean they'll have to find an interim coach for the interim coach? Why not just declare one guy to be the interim head coach for the whole year?
The Saints are a mess. They made some nice moves in free agency, but the suspensions to the coaching staff and players are really going to hurt.
MARCH 9 UPDATE: I would have written this before Bountygate:
Can we stop it with this "The Saints have a chance to be the first Super Bowl host in NFL history" crap? It's not happening. Every year, the team hosting the Super Bowl has a chance to be the home team for the NFL's final game, and every year, that team disappoints for one reason or another. Drew Brees will suffer an injury or get kidnapped by aliens. Book it.
Well, we now know what that reason is. Considering Brees' contract situation and the fact that multiple suspensions will be handed down, I don't think the Saints will be in the playoffs next year.
Washington Redskins (5-11) - Previously: 16. MAY 4 UPDATE: Call me crazy, but I don't think the Redskins did enough to build around Kirk Cousins in the 2012 NFL Draft.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: The Redskins move way up because of Robert Griffin. If they had a competent quarterback last year, they would have contended for a playoff spot. They'll do just that in 2012.
MARCH 9 UPDATE: If the Redskins walk away from this offseason without Peyton Manning or Robert Griffin, it'll be deemed a failure.
E-mailer Yaser A. lamented giving up too much for Griffin: "It sucks because if we don't get anyone in free agency, we may have to give up the farm for RG3. It'll suck to watch the draft in 2013 if we don't have first- or second-round picks."
An easy reply: "It'll be worth it though - and who cares if you don't have a pick if you're selecting in the late teens or 20s because you finally have a franchise quarterback?"
San Francisco 49ers (13-3) - Previously: 13. MAY 4 UPDATE: Bold (and perhaps stupid) prediction - the 49ers will not win the NFC West this year. A preview to my 2012 NFL Season Previews, coming sometime in June.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: I'm moving the 49ers down because they signed Randy Moss and Perrish Cox. I think you can live with one scumbag in the locker room, but two? Is Moss going to lazily stand around and do nothing while Cox takes advantage of hot chicks in the stands? No? Oh, that's right, because there are no chicks in San Francisco. At least that's what I read on the Internet.
MARCH 9 UPDATE: Stupid Kyle Williams. The 49ers will be scary if they add legitimate offensive firepower, but they better be careful because free-agent receivers have a high bust rate.
Oh, and for the Niner fans who want to jettison Alex Smith, perhaps you should consider this GameCenter quote from the great Migelini:
"i no i no breez is good but who all theinks is bettir breez or smith for 49s. what all you theink."
See? It's a close call between Smith and Drew Breez.
Carolina Panthers (6-10) - Previously: 14. MAY 4 UPDATE: My sources told me that the Panthers were zeroing in on either Quinton Coples or Luke Kuechly with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft (they told me to stay away from Fletcher Cox). I'd say they made the right decision. Kuechly is going to be a stud. I can't believe Pro Football Talk thought he'd fall all the way to the Giants at No. 32. I've said my fair share of dumb things over the years, but that was just ridiculous.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: I thought about downgrading the Panthers because of that annoying Cam Newon Under Armour commercial. Just look at all the fanboys in the comments section:
you go cam!!!!!!!!!
Forget RG3 and Luck. It's all about CAM!
The Future of the NFL. KILLA CAM!!!
When do these cleats come out ???!
Get a life, losers.
MARCH 9 UPDATE: I have high hopes for the Panthers next year. Their defense can't be any worse, while Cam Newton should be able to develop as a passer. There's always a chance for a sophomore slump, but he was so great last season that it's difficult to imagine that.
Speaking of Newton, I found it preposterous that the NCAA couldn't find any wrongdoing during his stay at Auburn. Umm... how about checking his bank statements for a $180,000 deposit? I love how the NCAA all of a sudden can't find anything when it doesn't want to. They're such hypocrites.
Atlanta Falcons (10-6) - Previously: 10. MAY 4 UPDATE: I wonder whom the Falcons would have chosen at No. 22 if they kept their pick. Riley Reiff? David DeCastro? Coby Fleener? I like Julio Jones a lot, but I wouldn't have made that trade last year. Atlanta gave up way too much.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: I was worried the Falcons would lose some free agents this offseason, but the only major departure they've seen is Curtis Lofton. They replaced him with Lofa Tatupu, more commonly known on GameCenter as Taptua, beest defenceman.
MARCH 9 UPDATE: Perhaps the ugly, 2-point performance at the Giants was predictable. Someone on GameCenter called it:
"all im saying is falcons will fall on their faces as usaul.are dont you remember last year?"
To be fair though, the Falcons have lost to the previous two Super Bowl champions in the postseason. They just need to play a team that isn't going to make an incredible run.
Buffalo Bills (6-10) - Previously: 15. MAY 4 UPDATE: I liked Buffalo's draft, but I think Buddy Nix should have obtained a young quarterback in the middle rounds (Russell Wilson?) so he can use him when Ryan Fitzpatrick suffers his annual injury/late-season meltdown. Hopefully the Bills can win enough early on to sneak into the playoffs.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: I love how Mario Williams had to be convinced that Buffalo is an "OK place to live" prior to signing with the Bills. I wonder what they said to him? "Hey Mario, our Applebee's is awesome, and our Dave & Buster's is brand new, and the women... well, let's just say that it's a good thing you have a fiancee because the women... well..."
MARCH 9 UPDATE: If the Bills couldn't make the playoffs last year with their easy schedule and roster continuity helping them in a lockout season, they're never going to make it. They're cursed. Just give up, Buffalo fans.
I guess the good news, if you want to call it that, is Ryan Fitzpatrick's late-season regression was the product of rib injuries, apparently. That's fine, but more players are just going to get hurt next year. Like I said, the Bills are cursed.
Baltimore Ravens (12-4) - Previously: 9. MAY 4 UPDATE: No surprise that the Ravens eschewed taking a receiver in the first round. The best quarterback in the NFL can succeed with lesser talents around him.
By the way, I'm dropping the Ravens because of Terrell Suggs' torn Achilles. That was very unfortunate.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: I'm moving the Ravens down because they lost some key personnel in free agency like Ben Grubbs, Jarrett Johnson and Cory Redding. You'd think this would be augmented by the fact that Baltimore has the best quarterback in the NFL playing for them, but it surprisingly is not.
MARCH 9 UPDATE: Who's Joe Flacco to demand to get paid like a top-five NFL quarterback? If he can do that, then perhaps I should demand that FOX pay me as a top-five sports writer when my contract's up. That's right - I want some Bill Simmons/Peter King/Rick Reilly money, pronto!
At any rate, I have some concern here. The key Baltimore defenders will be a year older, and you never know what you're going to get with Flacco.
Kansas City Chiefs (7-9) - Previously: 7. MAY 4 UPDATE: I go on to praise the Chiefs, and they return the favor by drafting Dontari Poe over David DeCastro? Ugh! Last time I'll ever do that, Pioli. Have fun with your 350-pound player who couldn't get any sacks against Conference USA offensive linemen.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: The Chiefs have the best roster in the NFL if you exclude the quarterback position. They're stacked everywhere, excluding interior offensive line and nose tackle. Luckily, they can go David DeCastro-Alameda Ta'amu or Dontari Poe-Kevin Zeitler.
By the way, I have to say that I'm impressed with Kansas City's tactics of luring in right tackle Eric Winston. From Winston's own Twitter account just hours prior to signing with the Chiefs: "Just ate lunch at Jack's Stack. Whoa. That was impressive."
Feeding awesome barbeque to an offensive lineman? That's almost unfair. In fact, I think the NCAA has a rule against this.
MARCH 9 UPDATE: I'm high on the Chiefs. Their defense was amazing down the stretch, and it didn't even have Eric Berry in the secondary. Jamaal Charles will also be back. The best news, meanwhile, is that Todd Haley is no longer the head coach. He was too much of an ego-maniac who clashed with too many players. Plus, he did creepy things like this:
Philadelphia Eagles (8-8) - Previously: 8. MAY 4 UPDATE: My dad is so pissed that the Eagles didn't trade up for Ryan Tannehill. He's even angrier about Nick Foles:
Dad: Who is this Nick Folds idiot? I wanted Ryan Tannehilly! He's the next Peyton Manning!
Me: You've never even watched either Tannehill or Foles play.
Dad: I don't care! Anyone is better than that idiot they have now. He raped dogs!
APRIL 17 UPDATE: My dad is depressed that the Eagles didn't sign Peyton Manning, but he now wants Ryan Tannehill even though he has never heard of him prior to this week. I quote:
"Can the Eagles get this Brian Tannehilly guy? He reminds me of Peyton Manning."
Caleb Hanie would remind my dad of Peyton Manning. That's how much he wants to get rid of QB Dog Killer.
MARCH 9 UPDATE: My dad wants the Eagles to sign Peyton Manning...
Dad: The Eagles will sign Peyton Manning. I heard it on the news.
Me: What? They're not signing Manning. What are they going to do with QB Dog Killer?
Dad: Trade him. Cut him. I don't care. He's horrible!
Me: They can't get rid of him because he's guaranteed like $14 million this year. If they cut him, they'll take such a big cap penalty that they won't be able to sign Manning.
Dad: I don't care! I want the Eagles to sign Manning!
Me: But it's not possible...
Dad: I. Don't. Care!!!!!!
My dad's going to be sad when Manning signs elsewhere, but as the President of the Tim Tebow fan club, he'll still be able to cheer for the Broncos.
Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4) - Previously: 12. MAY 4 UPDATE: There's a reason why the same handful of teams make the playoffs every year. The teams drafting near the top pick crappy players or prospects with high bust rates like Bruce Irvin and Michael Brockers, which allows great talents like David DeCastro to fall to the bottom of the first round. There shouldn't even be a draft order because the results are always the same.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: Successful teams usually build through the draft; not free agency. The Steelers have signed one free agent this offseason. That would be Leonard Pope, and only because he and Todd Haley are secret man-lovers. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
MARCH 9 UPDATE: Something's seriously wrong in Pittsburgh. Owner Art Rooney II is saying that Mike Tomlin wanted Todd Haley. Tomlin is saying that Haley was Rooney's idea. Big Ben's pissed off. Haley, meanwhile, will spend most of his times checking for bugs and microphones in his office. Add in the fact that some key players were released, and the Steelers could very easily slide down the standings in 2012.
Chicago Bears (8-8) - Previously: 6. MAY 4 UPDATE: I can only imagine Mike Martz's expression when the Bears drafted tight end Evan Rodriguez. He must have been sitting in his den, watching the draft on TV, taking occasional glances at the Brandon Manumaleuna Fathead poster on his wall when he saw the pick. He then probably shouted:
"WHAT!? WHY WOULD ANY TEAM DRAFT A TIGHT END WHO CAN CATCH THE BALL!? TIGHT ENDS NEED TO BLOCK AND DO RANDOM THINGS ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD LIKE MY BRANDON MANUMALEUNA. OH, BRANDON, HOW I MISS YOU SO! I PROMISE THAT WHEN I TRICK THE NEXT TEAM INTO HIRING ME, I'LL SIGN YOU ASAP!"
APRIL 17 UPDATE: Just Mike Martz's luck. The Bears finally land a legitimate No. 1 receiver in Brandon Marshall just months after Martz "resigned." I can only imagine the conversation...
Mike Martz: Hey Lovie, I heard you guys got this like super-awesome receiver. I want to unresign now.
Lovie Smith: Fine. Then you're fired.
Mike Martz: But Lovie, can you imagine all the super-awesome things I can do with a super-awesome receiver?
Lovie Smith: Yeah. I can imagine Jay Cutler in a wheelchair by Thanksgiving because of his 21-step drops.
Mike Martz: No no no no no! Mike, I swear. Only 17-step drops. Max! I swears!
MARCH 9 UPDATE: Hopefully the entire team doesn't get injured after Thanksgiving again. By the way, I love how Mike Martz resigned because of "personal differences."
Lovie Smith: Mike, for the love of God, stop having the quarterback take 17-step drops in the pocket. Our offensive line isn't good enough.
Mike Martz: No 17-step drops? You're kidding me, right? The key to success is dropping back 20 yards and then throwing it as deep as possible!
Lovie Smith: No. I want short, quick stuff.
Mike Martz: You monster! That's it - I quit! I can't work under these conditions!
Detroit Lions (10-6) - Previously: 4. MAY 4 UPDATE: Ugh. I was ready to pick the Lions to win the Super Bowl, but Calvin Johnson had to go ahead and win the Madden 2013 cover. Guess I'll have to drop Megatron in my 2012 Fantasy Football Rankings.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: I thought the Lions would lose either Cliff Avril or Stephen Tulloch, but they somehow managed to keep both. In fact, the best player who left the team in free agency was Eric Wright, a crappy corner who signed a $37.5 million contract with the Buccaneers.
I can't imagine how confused the Lions must have been when news broke about that deal. Imagine running a photo shoot with 20 hot Victoria's Secret models and one 400-pound Rosie O'Donnell look-alike, and seeing some dude walk in and ask the fat chick out to a fancy restaurant. That would be less befuddling than the Wright signing.
MARCH 9 UPDATE: Now that the Lions have some postseason experience, I think they can make a deep run next January. It'll be interesting though to see what happens with their free agents. Can they retain Stephen Tulloch? It's a shame that this team might have to break apart after finally snapping its playoff drought.
Houston Texans (10-6) - Previously: 5. MAY 4 UPDATE: It would have been interesting to see what the Texans would have done if Kendall Wright were on the board at No. 26. I was told the Texans would not draft a receiver in the first round because that player would have been fourth on the depth chart. I completely disagreed with that. Who would have been ahead of Wright besides Andre Johnson? Kevin Walter? Jacoby Jones, who was just cut? Lestar Jean?
APRIL 17 UPDATE: I'm moving the Texans down a bit because they lost a few key players like DeMeco Ryans, Eric Winston and Mike Brisiel. The good news is that they're still the best team in their division by far, and they're a Super Bowl contender despite those departures.
I had them winning the Super Bowl in my recent 2013 NFL Mock Draft prompting some people to point out that Matt Schaub would just choke in the playoffs again. That could happen, but remember that we all once considered both Peyton and Eli Manning to be chokers before they won it all. Schaub is talented enough to win a Lombardi trophy.
MARCH 9 UPDATE: The Texans would have been the overwhelming favorites to win the Super Bowl if they had Matt Schaub for the playoffs last year. Even without him, they almost beat the team that almost beat the team that almost beat the team that won it all. I just got a headache reading that sentence.
New England Patriots (13-3) - Previously: 3. MAY 4 UPDATE: Shame on the Patriots for going for it all now with Tom Brady. They should look at what the Broncos are doing - building for the future with Peyton Manning. All of those draft picks the Broncos stockpiled will come in handy when Manning is entering his prime at the age of 45.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: As if New England's offense wasn't dynamic enough, Bill Belichick added Donte' Stallworth and Anthony Gonzalez to the receiving corps. Those guys are going to really open things up underneath for the two tight ends. Oh, and then there was the whole Brandon Lloyd signing. He's OK.
Having said that, the Patriots will be in the mix like they always are. But they really need to do something about that atrocious defense.
Green Bay Packers (15-1) - Previously: 2. MAY 4 UPDATE: Second-round pick Jerel Worthy admitted that he took plays off in college. This really amazes me. Do you know how many American males would kill to play football at the highest collegiate level and then the NFL? It's ridiculous that bums like Worthy take this for granted. Ted Thompson better make sure that Worthy takes his professional career seriously.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: Is anyone else upset that State Farm scraped those awesome Aaron Rodgers Discount Double Check commercials in favor of the Jessica State Farm campaign? Jessica's good-looking, but she sounds so robotic when she talks. In fact, hearing her is bad enough to turn me off from going with State Farm - unless, of course, State Farm announces that Jessica will give out a free hand job with every new policy. That would be better than any commercial.
MARCH 9 UPDATE: If the Packers fix their defense - Nick Collins coming would really help - then they'll be much better next year, which is pretty scary. Still, I have to rank the Giants ahead of Green Bay because of the beatdown they were able to put on the Packers at Lambeau. Besides, you can't be No. 1 if you recently lost to Kyle Orton.
New York Giants (9-7) - Previously: 1. MAY 4 UPDATE: Eli Manning will be on Saturday Night Live tomorrow. If I still watched that, I'd care. But here's a preview:
Alex Trebek: Welcome to Celebrity Jeopardy. As usual, our contestants are in negative digits.
Sean Connery: I'll show you a digit, Trebek!
Alex Trebek: That's very flattering. Burt Reynolds, you have the highest low score. It's your turn to choose a category.
Burt Reynolds: Yeah. I'll take TV Time Sluts for $80,000.
Alex Trebek: That's TV Time Slots.
Sean Connery: I know some TV Time Sluts, Trebek. There was this one actress in the 60s... well... I don't need to tell you because you like men. OHHH HOHOHOHOHO!
Alex Trebek: ...TV Time Slots. For $400. This long-lasting animated TV series debuted in the same time slot as the Cosby Show. Yes, Burt?
Burt Reynolds: Yeah. Audrey Hepburn. Haha.
Alex Trebek: TV Time SLOTS. SLOTS! Yes, Eli?
Eli Manning: Hi, I'm Eli Manning, my dad wouldn't let me watch the show when I was growing up I was like 9 years old when it came on he said I needed to work on football so when he said that I went outside and threw the ball once then I threw it again then I threw it again then Peyton said I sucked and that made me want to win more Super Bowl rings than him then he won one Super Bowl and I didn't play well and people hated me but I never gave up and then I won the first Super Bowl and people said I was lucky because of David Tyree and then I got mad and I tried harder and people asked me if I'm elite and I said I'm elite and then I...
*** BEEP, BEEP, BEEP!!! ***
Alex Trebek: I'm sorry, Eli, but you've run out of time. Again.
Sean Connery: Trebek, your mother said she ran out of time when we were having sex last night! OHHH HOHOHOHOHO!
Alex Trebek: ...And it's time for Final Jeopardy.
I'm suddenly in the mood to watch Saturday Night Live.
APRIL 17 UPDATE: The Giants made a great addition with... with... umm... uhh... Keith... umm... sorry, I'm distracted because I'm thinking about Jessica's hand jobs. Does anyone have the number for State Farm?
MARCH 9 UPDATE: When Peyton Manning hoisted the Lombardi Trophy after a victory over the Bears, who in their right mind would have thought that Eli Manning would have more Super Bowl rings than Peyton in five years?
That's why the NFL is so great. Anything can happen. Well, except for the Bills and Browns making the playoffs.