Mallet or Locker? Jones or Green? Quinn or Heyward?
The 2011 NFL Draft is teeming with tough decisions. Everyone from experts like Mel Kiper and Todd Mcshay to hacks like me will make their predictions on who's going where and who's the next NFL star. And we’ll all be wrong—because we as humans suck at predicting the outcome of sporting events.
Know who doesn’t? Marine life. That’s who.
Case in point: Mel Kiper, a draft expert, said JaMarcus Russell would be an elite quarterback. Conversely, Paul, an octopus, correctly predicted the result of eight straight World Cup matches this past summer.
So while putting together my 2011 NFL Mock Draft, I skipped over the prognostications of the so-called ‘draft gurus’ and decided to play the percentages by consulting with our seafood friends. On a recent trip home to Maine, I decided to see who my family's lobster supper would pick (just before I picked it of its claw and tail meet).
Because if a German octopus can foretell the results of a bunch of random soccer matches, a Maine lobster would surely be able to give me the Top 10 NFL Draft picks.
With photos of top NFL prospects to show the lobsters in the holding tank (and my parents sneaking suspicion I was on drugs), I hurried over to the store in search of succulent soft shell lobster and some insider info on the 2011 NFL Draft—and I wasn’t disappointed—on either front. From his claws to your monitor—the official 2011 NFL Mock Draft from Hank, one of the most delicious and telekinetic lobsters ever to be hauled in from the coast of Maine.
Believe me, the irony of having a creature pick a player who shares the name of an item used for crushing said creature for the sake of consumption was not lost on me. But this lobster didn’t allow a simple name cloud his judgment. Mallet is the strong armed, pocket-passer that tends to be successful in today’s NFL.
Mallet has been knocked in the past for character issues, passing inaccuracy, and even folding in big games. However, those problems seemed to be resolved in 2008 with one very simple and smart decision—leaving the sinking ship that is the University of Michigan.
Being that Hank spent his entire existence in Maine, handled by lobstermen and dock folk, it’s quite possible he had never seen a black person before, was curious, and scuttled over to check out Heyward’s picture.
But I think he knew that Heyward is a defensive stud, has an NFL pedigree (he’s the son of former running back Craig ‘Ironhead’ Heyward), and will benefit from another year of seasoning at the pro-football factory of Ohio State—expect to see Heyward’s stock skyrocket come Draft Day.
Out of the multitude of talented receivers in 2011 Draft class, AJ Green—according to both lobster and human alike—will most likely be the first taken. At 6’4”, his superior height not only gives him an advantage in jump ball situations; it also makes him visible to the maximum amount of reporters and TV cameras following him during his inevitable rookie hold-out.
Locker seems to be the consensus No. 1 in next year’s draft, or at least the best in a QB rich class. But apparently, he isn’t getting as much love under the sea. I can only assume he doesn’t take the top spot because of his tendency to lock on to receivers, a flaw that will be mercilessly exploited by NFL secondaries and can lead to an abridged NFL career (See: Russell, JaMarcus, Plummer, Jake, and Leaf, Ryan).
I can’t say I agree with this pick. When Hank directed his claw to Jones' picture, I immediately held up a note reading "Julio Jones is Grossly Overrated!" to which Hank seemed none too pleased. You would think a species known for their tight grip would be critical of a player who has trouble holding onto passes from time to time. But perhaps Hank is more impressed with Jones' athleticism and ability to rack up yards after the catch.
And in case you were wondering—yes, I carry a piece of paper that says "Julio Jones Grossly Overrated" everywhere I go. Not only does it serve as a daily affirmation, it comes in handy should I ever need to communicate this fact with any deaf people I happen across.
Much like my delectable meal, Quinn may not be the biggest lobster in the tank, but there’s little debate on his being one of the best.
At an "undersized" 270 lbs, Quinn will probably have to bulk up to become a dominant pass rusher in the NFL—but another year of college and a good combine showing should take care of any lingering doubts concerning his ability to perform on the pro level.
No lobster wants to be lined up on the other side of my gaping maw. Just as no receiver felt like facing off against Peterson last season, where he was constantly shutting down the SEC’s receivers.
Peterson is by far the best corner in college football, and shutdown corners are a coveted item in the NFL. So it’s a no-brainer that Peterson goes in the Top 10—even for a creature that has nearly no brain.
Running backs are to the NFL Draft what coleslaw is to a lobster supper. Not the greatest thing available, but tradition dictates that it be on the table with all the really good stuff anyway.
Ingram is the best available option at running back this year, so inevitably a team will take him in the Top 10, even if he’s more deserving of a spot between No. 15-25. I know that. You know that. Hank the Lobster knows that. Hell, Mark Ingram knows that.
As a tall jump ball receiver with great body control, Floyd often draws comparisons to Georgia’s AJ Green or Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald.
With a more pass-oriented coach in Brian Kelly now in charge of the Irish, Floyd will likely get more balls thrown his way, increasing his exposure and hype even more—which Notre Dame players never seem to get their fair share of.
With millions of dollars and the hopes of a franchise riding on a quarterback, teams have to invest in protection for their high priced assets. That's why talented O-linemen, who hardly get any press in college, often find themselves getting picked high in the draft.
Between Costanzo and Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi, the two top OL in the 2011 NFL Draft, Hank likes BC’s Costanzo. Maybe because Costanzo is East Coast guy. Maybe because he’s a 6’7”, 300 lb, All-ACC beast of a man. Or maybe because Carimi’s home state of Wisconsin is responsible for the production of millions of pounds of butter—or as lobsters refer to it, “death juice.”