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2015 Mock Drafts: An Exercise in Antique Vase-Smashing

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George Santayana is the only Spanish-American philosopher who has made any advancement into the American consciousness. ‘Any,’ of course, is the operative word in that sentence, given that he’s known for precisely one (1) sentence(s). “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” blithely repeat political analysts. Given that shows involving Charles Krauthammer and others like him are frequently as entertaining as they are incisive, said analysts frequently forget that they had uttered that same phrase only several seconds previous. “Those who do not remember what they said only several seconds previous are doomed to repeat it,” George Santayana never said.

Mock draftists have taken to heart Santayana’s words. With the memory of the 2014 NFL draft vividly implanted in the hearts and minds of America and now formally part of The Past, draft personages wish to ensure that we not only remember the past, but also apply its lessons to the future. Primary among these lessons: “The Draft happened.” Secondary: “The Draft will happen again.”

The burden of preserving the lessons of the past has prompted Celebrity Dane Brugler to create a 2015 Mock Draft. Brugler understands the vanity of gazing into the hazy future to see the unknown, so he does not predict where teams will select – merely whom they might select, slotting teams based on their 2014 draft slots. Thus, he slots the Browns’ selections at #4 and #9 – not the most offensive slotting in the world, merely moderately offensive. ‘Whom might the Browns select?’ ask particularly despair-ridden Browns fans.

4. Cleveland Browns – Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford

Joel Bitonio and Mitchell Schwartz are both guards in my opinion, making right tackle a need area. Peat can fill that spot as a rookie and eventually be the Browns’ left tackle.

‘Gotta win the war of the trenches,’ goes an argument in favor of drafting offensive linemen high in the draft. As a relevant bit of factformation, this proverb originates from the trench warfare of the first World War, wherein Western Europe was partitioned by a series of trenches, trenches themselves separated by wastelands.

The Cleveland Browns firmly agree with the aforementioned sentiment. Their offensive line, presently, is comprised of two first-round picks in Joe Thomas and Alex Mack and two second-round picks in Mitchell Schwartz and Joel Bitonio. The Browns have made massive investments of both dollars and draft picks in the line already, even going so far as to put one of their second-round picks at guard. At present, the Browns have perhaps overcommited to the line. Adding another top-five pick to the line would certainly win the war of the trenches.

As another relevant bit of factformation, ‘winning the war of the trenches’ cost over 15 million lives, and it resulted in one of the bloodiest, most disastrous episodes in human history.

A small price to pay to block the ever-loving Virtue out of opponents, evidently.

9. Cleveland Browns (from BUF) – Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

Cleveland’s wide receiver situation is somewhat of a concern right now and while there isn’t an A.J. Green type of prospect next year, Cooper is an exciting pass catcher.

It’s incisive and correct to say that Cleveland’s wide receiver situation is very much a concern at present. Josh Gordon, according to both widespread reports and Agenda-Setting Theory, faces a stiff suspension during the 2014 season; according to both, moreover, Nate Burleson may also miss time due to a fractured arm. Losing one or more of one’s Wide Receivers during the 2014 season bodes great ill for the 2014 season.

The suggestion, then, that the Browns the Browns draft a pass-catcher at the top of the 2015 draft suggests the unique opportunity of time-traveling draft selections. If the Browns are capable of drafting Wide Receivers to play in seasons before they’re drafted, the Browns’ world is opened to an entire realm of possibilities hitherto neglected. Imagine the potency of the 2002 Cleveland Browns with a 19-year-old Braylon Edwards! Consider the terror stricken into Denver’s defense by the thought of the 1987 Cleveland Browns with a negative-four-year-old Josh Gordon!

You see, this ain’t your grandfather’s Cleveland Browns. Predominantly because you killed your grandfather while time-travelling. Surprisingly, no paradox was triggered – Hitler merely shot you. Spacetime Continuum mistakes take care of Spacetime Continuum problems, it seems.

To keep perspective, however, the Browns’ selections are of primary concern only to Browns/Bills/Texas A&M fans, however. To the rest of the league, draft prospects of high-profile Quarterbacks are what define the draft. This group, at present, is comprised of a certain #FamousJameis as well as a certain quarterback named Marcus

1. Houston Texans — Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

 The Texans didn’t draft a quarterback until the fourth round this year, but if Mariota had declared, I think he would have been their No. 1 selection over Jadeveon Clowney.

The Socratic Method is popularly defined as a method of inducing learning by asking questions of one’s students. In reality, the Socratic method as employed by The Actual Socrates was the method of education by which Socrates would ask questions, shred the answers given, then disregard these answers and proceed to lecture at length about whatever Plato believed was the nature of Virtue.

In Plato’s Republic, Socrates did precisely this, lecturing at length about the Philosopher King. In Plato’s/Socrates’s view, the Philosopher King avoided the pratfalls of democratic mob rule as well as the violence and oppression of tyranny – enlightened rule by an enlightened autocrat. During the Roman Empire, the emperors Marcus Aurelius and Julian would realize Plato’s dream.

What is lesser known about Plato’s Republic is that he also extolled the virtues of the Philosopher Quarterback, a dream that would be realized, not by Marcus Aurelius, but by Marcus Mariota. Avoiding the pratfalls of QB-by-committee and the potentially tyrannical actions of hereditary Quarterbacking (such as the Manning dynasty), the Philosopher Quarterback acts like a sentence out of Messrs Hansen and Quinn’s Ancient Greek Textbook: Marcus Mariota shall, on one hand, have an excellent Touchdown-to-INT ratio, and on the other, teach the Wide Receivers in the country about virtue.

Such a situation, Symposedly, would be extremely beneficial for Houston.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State

 Winston has the skills to be the No. 1 overall pick, but he has room to grow on the field and needs to keep his nose clean off the field.

The issue I have with Jameis going 7th is that it’s just such a ‘he-said she-said’ situation when it comes to his mechanics. There’s just no investigative techniques we can use to determine what really happened on his interceptions – so, unfortunately, the only conclusion is that his footwork is Pryor-like and that he should drop to the 3rd. I have all the sympathy in the world for his mechanics and all that they allegedly went through, but there’s not enough evidence to convince a grand jury of NFL talent evaluators that he’s actually worth a top-ten pick.

As the Browns approach the 2015 draft, we are likely to internalize the importance of empathy, particularly with teenage boys. Frequently, when one is a member of this demographic, one feels a vehement hatred of the world and feels the need to smash antique vases as a result of perceived injustices.

The existence of a 2015 mock draft that has the Cleveland Browns drafting a tackle at #4 is one such injustice. Let us all smash antique vases – once and repeatedly – as a result of its cursed, cursed existence.


Author: The Zach Walters Appreciation Guild


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