The Superbowl is here. Which means just about everyone in the country, whether you love football or you think a quarterback is a discount at a dollar store, will be watching. So I thought I would try to mix a little football into my typical topic, the Marvel Universe.
We’re going to look past the big game, and move on to the draft. We know the guys that our favorite teams are looking to add in the spring. But what if those guys were replaced, by... well... some guys that are much better. Imagine being able to draft superheroes and villains to your football team. No? Too ridiculous? Well, I’m doing it anyway, so roll with it. If it helps, just read it in Mel Kiper’s voice.
I present to you my 2015 Marvel Universe NFL Mock Draft:
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Steve “Captain America” Rogers, QB, American University
Rogers isn’t your prototypical NFL quarterback. At only 6’2”, he is shorter than most pro QB’s. But his athleticism and arm strength are second to none. And perhaps his greatest strength, can not be measured by any statistic. His leadership skills make him the perfect on-field... general. With the Buccaneers struggling greatly on the offensive side of the ball in 2014, Rogers will be called upon to take the wheel and right the ship.
Pros: Incredible leadership qualities, elite arm strength
Cons: Age, he’s north of 80 years old
2. Tennessee Titans - James Logan “Wolverine” Howlett, OLB, Michigan University
There are rumors that the Titans are considering Iowa QB Clint Barton with the second pick, but they seem to be holding firm on committing to Mettenberger. Look for the titans to bolster their defense with perhaps the most pro-ready talent in the draft. Howlett has an uncanny talent for sniffing out any deception an offense tries. Not to mention, he packs a lot of weight into a small frame (5’3”, 300 lbs). That allows him to really deliver some devastating hits. Opposing offenses will think twice before running his way. His best trait however is by far his durability. Howlett didn’t miss a snap in his career. and is even said to have recovered from a torn ACL between plays without ever leaving the field.
Pros: Uncanny on-field instincts
Cons: Will not be permitted to travel with the team as he cannot get through airport security
3. Jacksonville Jaguars - Fred “The Blob” Dukes, DT, Texas University
The rest of the NFL can forget about running up the middle against the Jags next year. At 5’10”, 510 lbs, Dukes is the definition of a run-stopper. Not only did the Longhorns allow no rushing touchdowns in the middle of the field, they didn’t allow a yard. That can all be accredited to Dukes as he never loses the battle in the trenches. There are questions surrounding his motivation, but this guy can be an all-pro on talent alone.
Pros: Unmovable on the line of scrimmage
Cons: Struggles to stay in shape
4. Oakland Raiders - Cain “The Juggernaut” Marko, RB, UCLA
The Raiders have committed to Derek Carr. If they are going to build him up as their franchise quarterback, they have to put some weapons around him. The best way to start with that is by establishing a running game. Enter Cain Marko. The 9’5” running back is... erm... taller than most at his position. But he also inexplicably weighs just under a ton. Good luck bringing that to the ground. Handing the ball to Marko will make Carr’s job much easier.
Pros: He’s an unstoppable touchdown machine
Cons: Off field issues and a bizarre refusal to wear a regulation helmet
5. Washington Redskins - Reed “Mr. Fantastic” Richards, DE, Harvard University
Never has a player been able to eliminate half of a football field the way that Richards can. Mr. Fantastic batted down 132 balls for Harvard last season. All of which, came in the first 6 games. After that, teams simply stopped throwing the ball his way. He became more of a stipulation than a player on defense, so the Crimson also put him on special teams. No field goals were kicked against them from that point on. The Redskins will take advantage of the game-changer for sure.
Pros: Completely changes the way an opponent plays the game
Cons: Extreme intelligence serves as more of a distraction than anything
6. New York Jets - Peter “Spider-Man” Parker, WR, Richmond University
Parker is perhaps the greatest WR prospect in NFL draft history. This is not apparent from his stature as he stands at only 5’10”. But his athleticism and instincts are second to none. Parker made an estimated 43 catches last season, without getting his head around to locate the ball. This kind of sixth sense allows him to sell his routes and make a catch before the defender even knows the ball is in the air. Not to mention, he has the best hands of any college WR ever: zero drops in four seasons at Richmond.
Pros: Great instincts, even better hands
Cons: Frequently flagged for taunting and excessive celebration
7. Chicago Bears - Ben “The Thing” Grimm, MLB, Syracuse University
The Bears could use a bit of help against the run. Grimm would do that. They could also use some help defending intermediate passes in the middle of the field. Grimm does that. This guy changes game plans on reputation alone. He put three tight ends and six wide receivers in the hospital last season, all off of clean hits. An opposing receiver runs a short rout over the middle, ball comes in and... it’s clobberin’ time. Grimm will solidify the Bears defense.
Pros: Clobbers opponents in the middle of the field
Cons: He can get to be a bit stationery late in the game
8. Atlanta Falcons - Kurt “Nightcrawler” Wagner, CB, Xavier University
Despite not playing football in his final year of college, Wagner is such a natural talent that every team would be shocked to see him fall out of the top 10. Seeing him at the combine, no WR was able to separate from him. Or, they were, but... then they weren’t. Wagner’s ability to show up wherever the ball does makes him a big time playmaker.
Pros: Makes plays all over the field
Cons: He tends to disappear in crunch time
9. New York Giants - Bruce “The Hulk” Banner, OT, North Texas University
Banner is probably the most raw talent in the draft. He is almost completely uncontrollable from a coaching perspective. He was flagged an NCAA record 248 times and was ejected from 7 different games last season. Unnecessary roughness, ineligible receiver down field, false start, you name it, Banner was called for it. Still, he is worth taking a shot on because the plays that he can pull it all together for end up in points. Banner can make a living out of eliminating entire defenses in this league. Unfortunately, he will probably eliminate some offensive coordinators on the way.
Pros: Enough talent to be the best ever at his position, or any position
Cons: Last time he was in New York he kind of broke... Harlem
10. St. Louis Rams - Nova Corps, OL, Xandar College
It’s not often that you get to remake your entire offensive line with one draft pick. But due to some... weird... intergalactic... rule, the NFL is allowing the Nova Corps to be selected as a unit. Their ability to lock down as a team makes them nearly impenetrable. Sure, their most memorable bit of film sees the Dark Astor break through them, but not before they held their ground for a considerable amount of time. They cannot be blamed for the Xandarians’ QB failure to get rid of the orb in time. The Rams can use some help on the O line and this is as good as it gets.
Pros: Ability to play together exceeds that of any other offensive line
Cons: There’s a chance their people could be wiped out as a result of intergalactic war
Sorry, but you only get the top 10 picks unless you’re an ESPN Insider.