Josh Gunnels and I have the same first names.
The similarities end there. We don’t even pronounce our name the same (Joshua vs. Josh). And when I woke up Thursday morning, I realized that Gunnels had submitted a cheerful and overly optimistic “dream draft” for the Titans. Ironically, I had been putting the final touches on a mock draft with the exact opposite philosophy—a “nightmare draft.”
What is the worst possible—yet realistic—draft that the Tennessee Titans could put together in 2013? To define realistic, that means drafting players who are projected to get drafted around a certain round. These picks must meet a reasonable team need. The only exception comes at No. 70. Anything goes there. Even one of our readers could get drafted with that pick.
Let’s take a look at a 2013 NFL mock draft that few Titans fans would approve of. Why was this named “Inferno”? With nine picks in the 2013 NFL Draft, each one is like its own circle of Hell. For anyone who’s unfamiliar with Dante’s “Inferno,” Hell is depicted as nine circles of suffering located within the Earth.
Round 1 (Pick 10): Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
There’s a difference between invincibility (unbeatable) and invisibility (can’t see me). Which trait will Bjoern Werner offer more of? Some mock drafters have Werner going with the No. 2 pick. Others have him going in the second round. That stems from his inconsistency and what some consider a questionable motor.
Just check his 2012 stat line. Werner starts the season with 6.5 sacks in his first three games (Murray State, Savannah State, Wake Forest). He follows that up with no sacks in six of the next seven games. Out of nowhere, Werner has five sacks in his next two games (3.5 sacks came against Florida). He finished the last two games with three tackles and zero sacks.
I don’t watch much Florida State football. But when I did, Werner loved to play hide-and-seek. Since I’m a terrible seeker, Werner stayed hidden throughout the entire game. It was as if he disappeared. And if Werner comes to Nashville, he won’t pad his stat sheet with four sacks against Murray State.
Round 2 (Pick 40): Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
There are so many red flags surrounding Manti Te’o. Will nervousness or trash talk affect his NFL career? How will Te’o respond if his opponents never let him live down that catfish incident?
Round 3 (Pick 70): Ryan Allen, P, Louisiana Tech
You know who won’t draft a punter at No. 70 in this draft? The Jacksonville Jaguars.
For a backup plan, I nominate myself at No. 70. This is the same team who interviewed a blogger for one of their coaching positions. How about a quality water control assistant?
Round 3 (Pick 97, Compensatory): Da’Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee Tech
Another wide receiver with character concerns? No thanks to that.
Round 4 (Pick 107): William Gholston, DE, Michigan State
This pick came down to Tyler Bray and the brother of Vernon Gholston. In 45 career games, the No. 6 pick in the 2008 NFL Draft has 42 tackles and zero sacks. Not only does William share similar genes, but he’s also very weak as a pass-rusher.
Round 5 (Pick 142): Garrett Gilkey, G, Chadron State
This has nothing to do with Garrett Gilkey. But imagine the Chance Warmack bandwagon and the mass horror that would ensue if the Titans tried to fix their guard deficiency with a fifth-round pick out of Chadron State.
Round 6 (Pick 202, Compensatory): Zeke Motta, S, Notre Dame
Let’s welcome the second entrant from the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. If the National Championship Game wasn’t enough, Zeke Motta ran a 40-yard dash at the NFL combine (4.83 seconds) that was slower than Te’o’s.
Round 7 (Pick 216): Greg Reid, CB, Valdosta State
Spending most of his career at Florida State, Greg Reid was dismissed after a 2011-12 run after he was arrested on allegations that included avoiding arrest, perjury and marijuana possession. Reid transferred to Valdosta State before the 2012 season. He never played because he tore his ACL. Furthermore, Reid is 5-8 and has little-to-no chance of developing into an outside cornerback.
If you’re a Middle Tennessee State University supporter, then your nightmare may include Vernon Kearney. There’s nothing wrong with Kearney—but after MTSU had an 8-4 season with a 21-point road win at Georgia Tech, it’d look rather foolish if Lane College (Jackson, Tennessee) had more players drafted than a Division I school.
Round 7 (Pick 248, Compensatory): Jordan Rodgers, QB, Vanderbilt
Many fans are heartbroken when Jordan Rodgers beats Rusty Smith for the No. 3 job.
Smith joins the Jaguars—and that’s where I’ll let you write the end to this fairytale.
That concludes this 2013 NFL mock draft. Did you find this as a pleasurable—even successful draft? Let us know why.