NFL Draft 2011: Ranking the 25 Sweetest Names of the Draft

Ethan NovakAnalyst IIApril 10, 2011

NFL Draft 2011: Ranking the 25 Sweetest Names of the Draft

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    Over the duration of the 2011 NFL Draft, we're going to hear 254 names called. 

    A large portion of these names will be boring, unimaginative names that sound more like a businessman than a linebacker. 

    Ah, but that isn't what this article is for.  This article is for all the diamonds in the rough out there.  The ones whose parents were masters of thinking up a name. 

    Some of these names are unusual.  Some of these names are downright suave.  Some of these names sound so NFL-like that they're clearly destined to play football.

    There are more than a few of these names in this draft, but here are the 25 best of them. 

25. Demarcus Van Dyke, DB, Miami

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    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Good way to kick off this list Van Dyke.  His name is almost melodious. 

    I can't help but feel the name "Van Dyke" belongs in the movies.  Hmm.

24. Daniel Kilgore, OL, App State

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    Any giant lineman that has a misspelled version of "Kill" in his name is intimidating. 

23. Titus Young, WR, Boise State

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    This is probably the most epic sounding name in the draft.  I feel like watching a fast-paced action movie now. 

22. Jah Reid, OL, Central Florida

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    Short, sweet, to the point.  If said fast enough, it can sound like a single name, "Jareed."

21. Shiloh Keo, DB, Idaho

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    You have to love when your names rhyme.  It makes coming up with cheers so much easier. 

20. Buster Skrine, DB, UTC

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    This defensive back from Tennessee-Chattanooga is as fast as his name is catchy. 

    A projected late-round pick, chances are when you're looking over your team's picks, he'll stick out more than a "David Sims" or "Lee Smith."

19. Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

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    The greatest thing Newton ever did was choose to go by "Cam" rather than "Cameron."  The name switch alone solidified his destiny as an NFL quarterback. 

18. Chykie Brown, DB, Texas

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    If he ever turns out to be a good pro, I can't wait to see all the puns the ESPN writers come up with for Chykie. 

17. Ugo Chinasa, DL, Oklahoma State

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    Oh man, the puns Chris Berman could come up with for a guy with the first name "Ugo."  I'm getting excited just thinking about it. 

16. Dane Sanzenbacher, WR, Ohio State

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    That is just an awesome last name.  Look at it, it belongs on the back of an NFL jersey. 

15. Josh Jasper, K, LSU

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    I'm a big fan of alliteration.  Therefore, Jasper earns a spot with a name that belongs in either the NFL or a Hollywood movie. 

14. Sione Fua, DL, Stanford

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    The defensive tackle dominated the Pac-10, but I was too busy trying to figure out how to pronounce his name to notice.

13. Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    When he exploded onto the national scene a couple years ago, a large part of it was how catchy his name was.  I remember watching SportsCenter once, and they actually talked about how great of a name he had for about 30 seconds. 

    He was born for this list.

12. Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada

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    There is one major concern I have about Kaepernick at the next level.  Will the name plate on his jersey consisting of 10 letters weigh him down? 

11. Vai Taua, RB, Nevada

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    Were you not allowed to be in Nevada's offense unless you had an unusal name? 

10. Cheta Ozougwu, DL, Rice

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    This guy's name would dominate in scrabble.  Or Words With Friends, whichever you prefer.

9. Tyrod Taylor, QB, Virginia Tech

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    Tyrod Taylor is the Colt McCoy of 2011. 

    Not in terms of skills, just that they both had one of the most NFL-ready names in the draft. 

    In terms of perfect NFL names in this class, I'd rank Taylor second to...

8. Blaine Gabbert, QB, Mizzou

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Gabbert's name just screams NFL quarterback.

    This is, by far, the most solid name in this draft.  His parents knew they were signing him up for the NFL the second they named him.

7. Ladi Ajiboye, DL, South Carolina

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    The first time he makes a big play in the NFL, I guarantee the announcers will have a lot of emphasis on his name.  Here is how it goes:

    Announcer 1: "Here is...Ladi...AJIYOBE with the sack."

    Announcer 2: "You handled that name nicely."

    Announcer 3: "Oh, it was a mouthful."


6. Jerrel Jernigan, WR, Troy

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    I guarantee that if Jernigan ever messes up during a game, his coach will scream at him using his full name.

    It is just that joyous to say.


    Jerrel: "Yeah coach?"

    Coach: "Ah nevermind, I can't stay mad at you."

5. Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

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    This guy's name is as good as his game. 

4. Kealoha Pilares, WR, Hawaii

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    I love Hawaiian names.  They're creative, difficult to pronounce and run an incredible spread offense.  

3. Will Hill, FS, Florida

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    I can't tell if I love the name for how catchy it is or how solid it is.  Regardless, Will Hill, that is a great name.

2. Schuylar Oordt, TE, Northern Iowa

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    Take a quick scan at Oordt's name and then try to type it elsewhere.  See how many tries it takes you. 

    Difficult right?

1. Chimdi Chekwa, DB, Ohio State

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    Go ahead and say that five times fast.  Can't do it?  That is how you know you have an awesome name on your hands!

    You have to love names that are that much fun to say. 

Dishonorable Mentions...

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    Oh, the dishonorable mentions.  These are the guys that sound more like your accountant than your star playmaker:


    Keith Smith, WR, Purdue

    David Sims, DB, Iowa State

    John Clay, RB, Wisconsin

    Alex Green, RB, Hawaii

    Greg Little, WR, North Carolina

    Justin Rodgers, DB, Richmond

Closing Statement

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    Any players I missed?

    Was it unjustifiable to leave Ricky Stanzi and Randall Cobb off the list?  How do these names stack up to the crazy names of last year's draft? 

    Leave a comment and let's get a discussion going!