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Ridiculing the NFL draft: It’s as easy as 1, 2, 5 (traded from 3)

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There was “Bacon Mayfield” and “Honor Landry”, racist tweets, free advertising for TMZ, more Cowboy fan trolling than a ad, and Mel Kiper wore aviators on Day 3. It’s the NFL’s Unintentional Comedy Extravaganza!

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NFL: NFL Draft-Red Carpet Arrivals Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to the NFL Draft, I’m a born rubbernecker. I live for the blunders, the fashion faux pas, the cringe-worthy moments. While most others love the draft’s highlights -- the great pick, the savvy trade, the diamond in the rough -- I prefer the lowlights: the unveiling of Laremy Tunsil’s cutting edge bong technology, the Vikings sleeping through their pick, and Aaron Rodgers sweating in the green room.

I savor the mispronounced names, the awkward Commissioner hugs, the Cleveland Browns. My favorite all-time draft moment is probably Mel Kiper Jr. calling someone an idiot for not drafting Trent Dilfer. My favorite segment every year is ESPN’s montage of the Jets draft fiascos over the years -- making bad picks while their fans become suicidal. That’s entertainment!

So now that Kiper is being powered down and stored in an electrical shed in the bowels of the ESPN mothership in Bristol until the 2019 draft -- and hopefully upgraded with a fix that will keep him from losing his temper every time a human outsmarts him -- I wanted to take a look back at this year’s sideshow.

Anti-Social Media

The fun started early on Thursday, hours before the first round even commenced, with the Josh Allen controversy. Anybody familiar with sort of thing realizes nothing ages worse than old tweets (with a few exceptions). Even after being drafted, during a time when the player and team usually only say nice things about each other, the Bills team captain had to acknowledge Allen might be some ‘splaining to do. So much for the honeymoon.

Coverage Corner

Once the actual coverage started, it didn’t take long for the first cringe-worthy moment of the night. Less than two minutes into ESPN’s telecast, host Trey Wingo asked Kiper about his concerns regarding the cluster of QBs at the top of the draft and Kiper just stared back for a few tense seconds, unable to hear him. They quickly cut to commercial. When they returned, Roger Goodell took the stage with three beloved Cowboy legends acting as human shields in hopes of protecting him from boos. The Dallas crowd refused to comply, greeting Goodell the way you’d expect a woman’s group to greet Bill Cosby. Welcome to the NFL Draft everybody!

As the night wore on, it became clear that watching the draft just isn’t the same without Chris Berman and Jon Gruden. ESPN tapered Berman down over the years — from the whole damn thing, to just the first round, to nothing — but the loss of Gruden was sudden and devastating. Just ask Adam Schefter — last year, he only needed nine 5-hour energy drinks to make it through the weekend because Gruden has a caffeine-like effect on anyone within 500 feet of him. But while Gruden may have been gone, he still provided unintentional comedy on Day 1 — when the Raiders traded for Martavis Bryant. Bryant is a talent, but also a head-case, and if Gruden couldn’t get along with Keyshawn Johnson, imagining him trying to deal with Bryant is worth a laugh. A Gruden Grinder he is not.

Replacing Gruden was Kirk Herbstreit, who showed his inexperience right away when asked for his impressions. He mentioned teams trading up to get a QB: “I don’t know if that’s normal.” Wingo: “It is.” Alrighty then, good talk. But maybe next time do it off-camera.

Herbstreit was gone for Day 2, replaced by Todd McShay on the main panel. Why? Kiper emits a strong, sulfuric odor, which takes some getting used to, and Herbstreit wanted out after three-plus hours seated next to him. McShay, on the other hand, has inhaled so much toxic Kiper fumes over the years, he’s completely lost his sense of smell. But as a safety precaution for the fans, ESPN moved the set outside for Day 3.

Thankfully, even old hands make flubs on live TV. Schefter called the first pick of the draft “Bacon Mayfield,” might have gone unnoticed if Wingo didn’t repeat it just to screw with him. On the downside, Berman wasn’t there to make one of his patented dad jokes (sample: “His name might not be Bacon, but he can sure throw the pigskin”).

Mr. Irrelevant

The announcer who added the least value was the NFL Network’s Deion Sanders, who interviewed draftees as they left the stage. The lowlight came when he learned Tremaine Edmunds would turn 20 next week. Deion asked which was better, his birthday or being selected in the first round of the draft. Seriously? What’s better, something that happens to just about everybody on earth just by not dying for a couple decades, or a tremendously rare honor earned through hard work and exceptional fortune? Hmm, can I have minute to think about that one, Primetime?

QB Roulette

Going into the draft, it was clear the QB cluster would be the lead story of Day 1. The narratives were simply too varied and strong. None of that changed for the five QB’s who went on Day 1.

Baker Mayfield

Pre-Draft Narrative: A “6-foot jerk”. If only there were room in the NFL for jerks.

Post-Draft Narrative: John Dorsey is well-respected, but when the Browns take a QB most people had as the fourth and fifth best with the #1 overall pick, the odds of #BrownsFail skyroket. The Browns pretty clearly could’ve had Mayfield at #4, and when they doubled down on that reach with the Denzel Ward pick, it started to look like “Draft Day 2: We Couldn’t Get Costner Back”. I actually had to make sure it was Ward coming up on stage, and not Chadwick Boseman. If they liked Ward, I’m not sure why they didn’t trade back. Maybe they couldn’t find a partner who wanted Chubb or a QB, but I think Costner could’ve pulled it off.

Sam Darnold

Pre-Draft Narrative: Bad face”. Sure, but have you seen his hair? Seriously, though, if faces mattered, the Manning Bros would’ve been undrafted free agents.

Post-Draft Narrative: The Jets finally catch a break. What could possibly go wrong when the Jets trade up to take a USC QB in the top five?

Josh Allen

Pre-Draft Narrative: Never threw for 60% completions in college. Or high school. I’m pretty sure my high school’s QB threw for 60%, and he’s a house painter now. Super accurate at it though.

Post-Draft Narrative: The Bills are a great fit for Josh Allen -- there are pretty much only white people in Buffalo, and it snows so heavily, a lot of people won’t even be able to see his inaccurate passes.

Josh Rosen

Pre-Draft Narrative: A spoiled rich kid who’s also really into humanitarian work somehow. He was also a tennis player, which is good because it means he’s so athletic. But he was also a tennis player, which means he was alone all the time, making him selfish and narcissistic.

Post-Draft Narrative: Rosen said he was “pissed off” to go 10th, and that nine teams made mistakes in not drafting him. SPOILER ALERT: The Niners did not make a mistake in not drafting him. I liked the moxie he showed by saying he was dedicating himself to making them regret not taking him, even if I don’t think that’s going to happen. Well, maybe Cleveland will, but only because Cleveland regrets everything.

Lamar Jackson

Pre-Draft Narrative: Too athletic (aka too black). If you think I’m insinuating football evaluators can be racist, I’m not -- I’m outright saying it.

Post-Draft Narrative: Jackson waited in the green room all night, and came one pick from having to go home without a ridiculous baseball cap. He slid enough that he was less celebrating when he got taken, than he was visibly upset. It’s a look we’ve seen before -- on the faces of Aaron Rodgers (should’ve gone higher) and Brady Quinn (should still be waiting). The question is, which will he more resemble?

Slip ‘N Slide

Watching Jackson slip was good TV, and will provide entertainment into next season, and possibly for years to come, but he came so close to slipping out the first round entirely, all I could see was a missed opportunity. Imagine the drama and controversy had the story lingered overnight -- all day Friday, we would’ve been treated to outraged takes about the NFL being stuck in old paradigms. In a post-Kaepernick league, maybe the world would be a better place if we were forced to have that conversation while the NFL was dancing on such a big stage. But if you care at all about Jackson, you should be glad he didn’t have to go to sleep that night still not knowing his fate. Plus now we can can say “RG3 LOL”.

Harold Landry’s slide from Day 1 to Day 2 wasn’t entertaining, but his selection was. Vince Young announced him as “Honor Landry” -- or was it “Arnold Landry?” In his defense, “Harold” is a hard name to pronounce. If the Titans had any heart, they would’ve drafted Ogbonnia Okoronkwo to make it easier on him. In any case, it reminded me of the rumors Young scored a mind-blowing 6 on his Wonderlic test. In hindsight, it’s probably not a good idea to bet on someone’s ability to read a defense when they can’t read the word “Harold”. If you think I’m being too hard on Vince, and this might hurt his feelings, look on the bright side: He probably can’t read this anyway.

But the Slip of the Draft had to be Derrius Guice. Not just because he fell a full round, and had to wait overnight to get picked, but because of all the mystery, controversy, rumors and denials. which flew around while he waited. Was there big story about to drop. Did he test positive for something? Did he murder somebody? Did someone ask him if he liked men?

Fashion Police

Usually it’s the players choices in fashion and style that stand out, but the one that will stick with me -- and possibly haunt my dreams -- was Mike Mayock’s facial hair. I’ve never looked at Mayock and thought to myself “You know what that dude needs? To grow a Van Dyke.” I’m not sure what he was going for -- “tortured artist”, “aging barista”, “cool dad” -- but he did not get there. The only thing that could’ve brought that look home was a beret.

While some concentrated on the UFO’s inside Lamar Jackson’s jacket, I found the color more interesting. I didn’t know they made them in that of shade of green. There are really only two good reasons for wearing a suit jacket that color: 1) You’re confident the Jets are drafting you. 2) You have to attend a wedding and then a Milwaukee Bucks home game without time to change in-between. By the end of the first round, when Lamar was eyeing the possibility of spending a second day in the green room, he was probably hoping the Bucks would trade up to draft him.

Are we really supposed to look at Minkah Fitzpatrick’s white suit and think he didn’t know he was going to Miami? Rich Eisen said he didn’t know if he was supposed to be Crockett or Tubbs, I was thinking he was taking a page out of Jackson’s book and heading to go to a Miami Heat playoff game afterward -- even though their season ended last weekend.

But I thought the draft’s best outfit went to Vita Vea, and his massive lei, which was heavy enough to crush Dante Pettis. You know you’ve accomplished something when Deion Sanders, owner of the most gaudy outfit in draft history, thinks your draft attire is remarkable.

Did I miss anything watching the draft -- besides fresh air and human contact, I mean? What made you laugh -- a pick, an outfit, or something else?