With the upcoming combine and draft, I was tasked by our editor 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 21-32 in that reality.
Disclaimer: This is a mock draft for Texas talent only. If you don’t like Lone Star 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!
21. Detroit Lions (9-7)
Howard Wilson, CB (DeSoto, Houston)
In 51 years, the Lions have never won a Super Bowl. During that time span, here is what the city has accomplished: Every professional team in the city made a championship run; Kid Rock and Eminem both released #1 albums; Michael Moore made documentaries; GM opened and closed their doors; Megatron evolved into the best player Detroit ever drafted, but retired without coming within spitting distance of a Lombardi.
(Detroit – known for their eclectic talent and awkward high-fives)
After a better-than-expected year, the Lions only have one reliable cornerback in Darius Slay on the roster, resulting in a league-leading 106.5 passer rating against their defense. Howard Wilson lead the Cougars last season with five interceptions, including 54 tackles and five pass breakups.
The only reason he’s this low on my draft board is because I forgot to add his name on my comprehensive list of Texas talent. Oh well, distrust of media is at its highest level (14%) in the history of the world, so I’ll attribute my failures to that statistic.
— Nicola Burt-Skinner (@NBSkinner) February 3, 2012
22. Miami Dolphins (10-6)
Aviante Collins, OT (Fort Bend Willowridge, TCU)
The Miami Dolphins became a household name the past few years because of their drama on HBO’s Ballers. Forget Hard Knocks; The Rock fronted series is a much more accurate portrayal of all the glitz and glam of life inside/outside the gridiron. Nothing convinces me more than Battleship director Peter Berg at the helm of the team – a much more suitable leader than former coach Cam Cameron.
— Nate (@Nate_DrDieLess) February 22, 2017
(There were a lot of raised eyebrows when Dwayne came to set dressed like this.)
Miami will keep handsome Big Spring HS graduate Ryan Tannehill as their quarterback, and will need more protection to preserve his chiseled jawline – the team marketing heads definitely need something to sell those hideous jerseys.
Branden Albert will likely be cut or traded and Laremy Tunsil is expected to move to left tackle, allowing TCU’s Aviante Collins a shot at the right tackle position.
— Miami Dolphins Store (@Miami_Dolphins3) February 16, 2017
(Looks like someone just got slimed at the Teen Choice Awards.)
23. New York Giants (11-5)
Aaron Jones, RB (El Paso Burges, UTEP)
I wish I loved my parents as much as the Giants love boat parties. In preparation for their Wild Card test against the Packers, the party-loving New Yorkers went out to venture on a sea of debauchery, with Eli Manning looking like the embarrassed chaperone that didn’t really want to be on the trip in the first place, but needed to keep an eye on his kids.
— Justin W (@jrw_thirdeye) January 2, 2017
(The New York Loveboats.)
NYG needs a consistent rusher to escape from the fun-loving offense, improving on a unit that ran for a mere 3.5 yards per carry and scored a league-low six touchdowns on the ground. El Paso doesn’t scream party central, so choosing Burges grad Aaron Jones is a wise move for a roster whose blue color scheme used to represent winning, but is now the more suitable shade of a Carnival Cruise.
Jones accumulated 8,000 yards of offense in his career with the Miners and ranked fourth in the FBS his redshirt junior season in rushing (1,773 yards) – numbers you don’t exactly get while bellowing for Manning to take a shirtless picture of you standing on the bow of a yacht.
(Some prefer Migos, I prefer Mannings.)
24. Oakland Raiders (12-4)
Josh Carraway, OLB (Flower Mound, TCU)
Oakland’s chances of playing in Las Vegas are shrinking and they’ll continue to be paraded around the country by bowl-cut loving owner Mark Davis, like a show dog that doesn’t necessarily want to compete in the pageants. Whether they’re in California next year or Gaylordsville, Connecticut (it’s worth a Google), the Raiders have improved considerably, regardless of their location.
I'll never get over Mark Davis and his creepy Uncle Fester haircut pic.twitter.com/kTQDCnaK8A
— vaccine haver (@kerrence) September 18, 2016
The defense is currently the ugliest dog of the competition – a filthy little animal that a blind pet owner got attached to and decided to enter it in dog shows for a moral booster. The D surrendered 375 yard per game – 26th in the NFL.
Josh Carraway was a positive standout amongst a Horned Frogs team that was a disappointment to the Big 12, losing six straight while their star linebacker tallied a team-leading eight sacks.
(The golden retriever should win all the awards for acting like a dog should.)
25. Houston Texans (9-7)
Avery Gennesy, OT (Texas A&M)
Bob McNair said they need “much better” for the position over Crock Ballsweiler. Lets not forget, Ballsweiler – Brock Osweiler’s interception prone alter ego – is a Super Bowl champion, going 5-2 during the regular season of the Denver Broncos championship campaign. The sophomore Texan may not be the Houston’s long-term solution, but his fat contract (four-year, $72 million), Wild Card victory and better than expected performance against the Patriots will likely see him on the field next season.
We hope Brock Osweiler shows up and not his interception prone alter ego Crock Ballsweiler pic.twitter.com/bvdyXeoqYF
— Texas HS Football (@texashsfootball) January 7, 2017
(I’m so funny on Twitter.)
The Texans will focus on a line that saw injuries to starters Duane Brown and Derek Newton, hindering Osweiler’s development behind the snap and failing to get acclimated to the new system. Avery Gennesy took a leadership role in his last season with the Aggies, commanding an inexperienced offensive front that had less combined starts than the second year starter. College Station is a breeding ground for raising o-line livestock; the Aggies have produced first-round picks from the line in the past four drafts.
26. Seattle Seahawks (10-5-1)
Orion Stewart, S (Waco Midway, Baylor)
Despite the wants of Future, Russell Wilson will be a mainstay starter for years to come. To quote the frequent Drake collaborator, “Jumpman (x3) them boys up to something.” Those “boys” are the ‘Hawks and that “something” means rejuvenating the team for a deeper postseason run. If you’re like me, and took way too many English classes in college, you’ll always try to find the true meaning in something. Pete Carroll’s boys haven’t been the same since an upset loss at the hands of the Pats in Super Bowl XLIX, but they could easily turn the (“ahem”) future of the team around.
(No one ever said rap was a skill of pronunciation.)
Safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas have endured more damage to their bodies than sizzurp has had on Future’s brain. Orion Stewart could provide some depth, managing 76 total tackles and six interceptions last season with the Bears.
27. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4)
Steven Taylor, ILB (Cedar Hill, Houston)
Coach Andy “I am the Walrus” Reid seems cursed to never win a Super Bowl, content with being a Pop Warner team that always does just enough to win a consolation trophy. Derrick Johnson is on his way out, leaving obvious need in the middle of the field. Steven Taylor accounted for 74 tackles and 8.5 sacks; the Cougars moved him to different parts of the field last year to show-off his versatility.
(“Cool” and “Reid” are synonymous with each other.)
28. Dallas Cowboys (13-3)
Hayden Plinke, TE (UTEP)
The Cowboys selecting a quarterback would bring chaos to the world of sports reporting as we know it. The Cowboys selecting a TE would bring chaos to Dallas, but considerable support everywhere else; the future HOF’er Jason Witten is in his mid-30s and approaching the tail end of his career. Fellow TE Gavin Escobar sounds more like the name of a character in Narcos, and will likely be cut so he can pursue a Netflix career.
Buzzing for the new season of Narcos pic.twitter.com/s7WSFBGAkc
— gary morgan (@GaryMorgan__) February 16, 2017
(The most hated program by Escobars everywhere.)
Hayden Plinke has the most non-threatening name in the history of the game, but was feared on the field, hauling in 38 receptions for 456 yards and eight scores. The former Miner has transferred three times, proving that he can adapt to whatever system he plays in.
29. Green Bay Packers (10-6)
BJ Singleton, DE (Houston)
At this point, Mel Kiper Jr. pipes up, “How is this happening?” Journalists begin scrambling through their notes, trying to figure out how athletes from only the Lone Star State are being drafted. Goodell steps up to the mic and announces, “with the 29th pick of the NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers selects…”
When the name is called, there is chaos: 49 other states with numerous universities dissolve into anarchy, the landscape of America resembles a Walking Dead episode and order dies in a bloodbath of vexation at how the NFL turned into the TXFL.
(I’ll never hear the name “Carl” pronounced the same way.)
BJ Singleton’s name will ring loud and clear for this selection, the proverbial call to arms for the rest of the country. The Houston defensive end will come in handy considering edge rushers Julius Peppers, Nick Perry and Datone Jones are all in the final years of their contract.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5)
Jerod Evans, QB (Mansfield, Virginia Tech)
Most pundits are clamoring for a linebacker or running back – an insurance policy in case Le’Veon Bell vacates his post in Pittsburgh. I’m pleading for the Steelers to draft a quarterback here. Charlie Batch didn’t cut it. Landry Jones is likely gone, and for good reason. The depth has been compromised behind a quarterback held together by tightly wrapped tape and those wooden planks doctors put down your throat. It’s time for the black and gold to prepare for the future.
— Funny Clone (@funnyclone) February 22, 2017
(So does every hipster in Austin.)
As Big Ben pushes 35 (AKA 126 in quarterback years), Pittsburgh will choose Jerod Evans, who accounted for 3,546 yards and 29 touchdowns in his lone season with Virginia Tech. If Charlie Batch can win a game, his victory gives hope to the hopeless, and potential for a prospect that tore his ACL in 2013.
(Still a better performance than Steel.)
31. Atlanta Falcons (11-5)
Devonte Fields, DE (Arlington Martin, Louisville)
I guess offensive coordinator can’t go in this category, but that position should be the chief focus of the worst meltdown since Chernobyl. With Kyle Shanahan shipped to the 49ers, and all the 2017 Super Bowl LI Falcons Champions shirts shipped to underprivileged villages in Sudan, Atlanta will nurse their wounds from the most heartbreaking loss in SB history.
A defense that ranked in the bottom ten in total yards and points allowed will be addressed with the acquisition of Devonte Fields. Vic Beasley is a solid pass rusher and needs some help for a unit that’s likely still laying in a hotel bed somewhere in Houston, moping about what could have been and emptying out the mini fridge. The floor is littered with small liquor bottles, a sad analogy for the confetti spilled in favor of the Patriots just a few weeks before.
32. New England Patriots (14-2)
Greg Ward Jr., WR (Tyler John Tyler, Houston)
Doesn’t really matter who the Pats draft here, they’ll turn him into a star. Coach Belichick will mumble something in his ear, and he’ll wake up the morning after twenty pounds heavier in muscle mass, akin to a buff Spider-Man, if Peter Parker were an athletic recruit about to pulverize whoever, whenever and at all times. New England is the City of Misfit Toys, a gathering of the undersized or underutilized that coach Belichick experiments with like a football Dr. Moreau.
— GRMBK71 ☠️😎🤘😈🖤🦇 (@GibsonMenace77) February 9, 2017
Greg Ward Jr. made the jump from quarterback to wide receiver for the draft – a role he’s played off-and-on since his high school days at Tyler John Tyler. Belichick will mold Ward Jr. like a flexible Beast Wars Transformer found in a child’s bedroom, flipping his athlete from animal to machine whenever the veteran coach pleases.
Finally watched the remake of Island of Dr. Moreau last night. My bucket list is getting too short I'm scared pic.twitter.com/tmqJ5HR5lZ
— Laura Stevenson (@laurastevenson) February 7, 2017
(Money was really scarce for Brando in the 90s.)
The move seemed to work with Julian Edelman – another qb turned receiver that is currently listed at fourth on the team’s depth chart.
— Mike Luck (@MikeLuck1991) February 7, 2017
(I imagine everyday at New England practice is like this.)
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