29. Tennessee Flaming Thumbtacks. Hillary Clinton, U.S. Senate. Wasn't Al Gore going to "go home and mend some fences"? So what's he doing in New York City? Bet he doesn't even know which city the Tennessee franchise plays in.
30. New Jersey Giants. Frustrated that Kournikova and Crawford are already off the board, the Giants "reach" and select Jennifer Lopez, to more boos from Garden draftniks. They know Lopez is already washed up—this year's Oscar dress was borderline tasteful.
31. Atlanta Falcons (from Baltimore). Dominic Raiola, C, Nebraska. Actual possible pick thrown in for variety.
Mel Kiper Watch: Readers should check out Slate's recent piece on this king of the draftniks. The article, by Bryan Curtis, was totally unfair since it labored under the assumption that people take Kiper seriously! There, Mel—now you can say, "Slate admits its article about me was 'totally unfair.' "
To appreciate Kiper's true nuttiness, bear in mind that he has already published no fewer than five mock drafts, with at least one more expected, and all the mock drafts have different players going to different teams. In his dueling projections, Kiper has Carolina taking Leonard Davis, or Steve Hutchinson, or Michael Bennett, or Dan Morgan, or trading up for LaDainian Tomlinson. He's got New England taking Todd Heap, or Kenyatta Walker, or Deuce McAllister, or Koren Robinson. He's got Kansas City taking Richard Seymour, or Fred Smoot, or Nate Clements, or McAllister. He's got Heap going as high as sixth and as low as 28th, with several other possibilities in between. He's got Bennett going as high as eighth or falling out of the first round completely, with other possibilities in between. He's got Bennett, an RB, going 17 picks ahead of fellow RB Tomlinson or 15 picks behind him, with other possibilities in between. It's a veritable festival of wild guesses! So far, Kiper has offered 155 possible selections for the 31 picks of the first round, and more Kiper guesses are due before the draft. By sheer random chance, one of these many manifold mock drafts will have some correct match between team and player, and Kiper will then claim to have "predicted" what happened.
Midway Point Warning: The draft marks the midpoint in that cold, empty period known as the NFL offseason. Ye gods, can we really be halfway back to the resumption of this ritualized nonsense? Waitress, I need a blueberry-almond martini quick!
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