Photo via Gordon DeLoach, TexasHSFootball.com

 

With the upcoming combine and draft, I was tasked by our editorial team to compile a list of all Texas talent, if they were selected in the first round.

You read that right.

Imagine you’ve awoken in an alternative universe where Texas has seceded and the NFL is only drafting high school and collegiate Lonestar boys.

The following is picks 1-10 in that reality.

Disclaimer: This is a mock draft for Texas talent only. If you don’t like Lonestar State football, read no further. I acknowledge that most of these competitors are second-third round picks. There are obviously more qualified and better fits for the following teams, but as a Southern Friday Night Light enthusiast, I don’t care.

1. Cleveland Browns (1-15)

Myles Garrett DE (Arlington Martin, Texas A&M)

In my second consecutive no football hangover on Sunday, I woke up depressed and exhausted, accidentally heating a mug without any liquid. When I burnt my hand on the hot porcelain, I instantly realized what Cleveland fans feel every year they watch their Browns on the gridiron.

Obviously, one draft isn’t going to change the fate of this team, but two picks in the first round reasonably could result in a season better than the last year’s lone win affair.

Defensive end isn’t Cleveland’s primary need, but they will select Myles Garrett because he is the best player in the draft. The A&M product is more athletic than Emmanuel Ogbah – who lead the Browns with 5.5 sacks last season – and will make an immediate impact on the starting roster.

2. San Francisco 49ers (2-14)

Dede Westbrook, WR (Cameron Yoe, Oklahoma)

Colin Kaepernick spent more time protesting in the news to cover up how dreadful the San Francisco offense was last year, ranking 27th in points scored and dead last in passing. The 49ers will plunder the draft for every single position on the offense.

Besides Torrey Smith – who has seen back-to-back career lows – there is zero depth at the receiver position. Dede Westbrook totaled 80 receptions for 1,524 yards and 17 touchdowns with Oklahoma. As a slot receiver, he could expose mismatches in the middle of the field. Or he could just stand near the 50 yard line awkwardly waiting for something to happen, since he won’t have a quarterback throwing to him; he’s too busy kneeling.

3. Chicago Bears (3-13)

Patrick Mahomes QB (Texas Tech, Whitehouse)

With all the hoopla surrounding Romo being replaced by talented Rayne Dakota Prescott (can we make Rayne Man an official nickname for the rookie yet?), there’s been virtually no talk on Jay Cutler being replaced by anyone.

Here comes the draft to rectify that glaring omission. Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes may be one of the most talented gunslingers in the draft, his marksmanship made Red Raider fans practically salivate. As a senior, Mahomes lead the FBS with 421 passing yards per game and 41 touchdowns.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13)

Noble Nwachukwu OLB (West Virginia, Wylie)

There’s a policy at TexasHSFootball hidden somewhere in the list of rules that goes like this:

1. Don’t Plagiarize

2. Don’t be mean to student athletes

3. Respect your elders

4. Don’t talk smack about the Jags

The fourth rule looks like it was written in with a Sharpie marker, but we all obey it anyway in respect of our boss, former Jacksonville OL Brian DeMarco.

(A photo of Brian and I about to throw down on The Hype)

For the sake of our CEO, let’s go with the offensive line on this one. The Jaguars have ranked in the middle in terms of efficiency; they are currently 20th in quarterback hits and 19th in sacks allowed. As the Cowboys proved last season, a good o-line can only make your team better.

Noble Nwachukwu has a really fun name that would look great on a jersey and could sound even better when a native Jacksonville announcer tries to say it. The West Virginia alum has explosiveness and urgency that could spark the so-so offensive front.

 

5. Tennessee Titans (from LA Rams) (9-7)

Jamal Adams, S (Lewisville Hebron, LSU)

The irony that the Titans received this pick from the Rams (aka the team that bested Tennessee in the goal-line Super Bowl game) means that whoever is picked here will be a superstar. Or, a loser in the most heartbreaking way.

The offense seems pretty solid behind Mariota (aka the draft quarterback that DIDN’T steal crab legs), so the focus should be on a Titans secondary that allowed the third-most passing yards in the league.

Tigers safety Jamal Adams makes quick reads and is a strong finisher, finishing his junior campaign responsible for 76 tackles with 7.5 for loss, one interception and four pass break-ups. NFL scouts called him the “natural-born leader of men”; the chosen one should be able to turn around a sluggish defensive unit.

(This needs to be the anthem blasting when the Titans run through the tunnel).

6. New York Jets (5-11)

Jermaine Eluemanor OL (Texas A&M)

Call it the curse of the Buttfumble. Ever since Mark left the team, the Jets have been pretty lousy, flipping through a revolving door of quarterbacks in the hopes that Geno Smith will one day play as advertised. That’s clearly not going to happen.

If the Jets don’t pick up a quarterback here, they’ll likely invest in an offensive line that allowed 32 sacks. Initiating a big body starter will insure the safety of the quarterback alongside Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. With a large frame and powerful core strength, A&M’s Jermaine Eluemanor could be an able starter, handling blocking responsibilities for whoever is calling the snaps next season.

My bet is the return of Sanchez.

(This will never go old and will be seen by our children. And our children’s children’s children)

7. LA Chargers (5-11)

Josh Reynolds, WR (A&M)

With the Keenan Allen injury, and an injury to pretty much every single Charger player over the past several years, the newly anointed Los Angeles squad could use another receiver for league leader in passing and interceptions Philip Rivers.

(His legend will never die)

Josh Reynolds is one of numerous Aggies looking to make an impact on a team’s draft boards. SEC media honored him with second-team all-conference honors, finishing the year with 61 catches for 1,039 yards and 12 scores. At 6’3”, his long frame should be an easy target for Rivers, especially with his tendency to lob the deep ball.

(A man of many emotions… and turnovers.)

8. Carolina Panthers (6-10)

D’Onta Foreman RB (Texas City High, UT)

(And here I thought Yeezy had bad fashion tastes)

When I typed in “Panthers” on this document, it autocorrected to “Pandemonium”, which is exactly how retail stores acted when they overstocked on Carolina merchandise following Super Bowl 50, and put most of the jerseys in the bargain bin during Cam Newton’s losing season. Jonathan Stewart’s jersey is at the top of the heap, an injury prone mess of fantasy football potential that hasn’t played a full season since 2011. By cutting the vet, Carolina will save $4.75 million in cap space. D’Onta Foreman finished last season second in the country in rushing and third in attempts, rushing for a record 12 straight 100-yard games.

9. Cincinnati Bengals (6-9- 1)

Tyus Bowser LB (Tyler John Tyler, Houston)

There are somethings in this world I don’t understand: War – two places disagree on an issue and kill each other. Famine – people don’t have access to food and starve. Marvin Lewis – a losing coach keeps getting an extension despite making zero progress with his team.

Cincy needs a spark at the linebacker position, allowing the fourth-worst run defense in the game. Tyus Bowser has some off-the-field antics that he has atoned for (a teammate broke his orbital bone) and his last name sounds like a Mario character, but he could make an instant impact. Last season, he tallied 50 tackles at 6.5 for loss and 5.5 sacks.

(At least he did one thing right)

10. Buffalo Bills (7-9)

Zay Jones, WR (Stephen F. Austin, East Carolina)

The Bills should have a more successful outing, now that they’ve rid themselves of coach Rex Ryan. It’s not going to help that four receivers are free agents this offseason and Sammy Watkins’ health has been questionable at best. Someone will get a nice check for the upcoming year, but anticipate an insurance policy with this pick.

With Stephen F. Austin, Zay Jones set the NCAA record for most ever receptions in a career (399), hauling in 158 catches his senior year for 1,746 yards and eight touchdowns. The Cowboys are already salivating for his service; Jones’s father was a 3x Super Bowl winning linebacker with Dallas. Jerry Jones could trade up.

 

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