Welcome to the 2020 NFL / PGA Draft!

This week, the NFL will conduct the 2020 Draft, where all teams select fresh young players to help their franchises take the next step, whether that’s out of the cellar or to bolster a championship-ready squad. I’ve always been a bit of an NFL Draft nerd, though for fairly obvious reasons this year things are quite different. (Because of this little ‘ol global pandemic, in case you were wondering.)

So, I thought I’d make it even MORE different, and project what might happen if the NFL Draft happened in the same order, but each team had to take a professional golfer. I used the same order as the first round (at least, what it is today, barring any trades) and then added in the six teams that don’t have first round picks at the end, just for fun.

You might be asking … wait, what purpose will this golfer serve on an NFL team? Are they playing offense or defense? Coaching? Cheerleader? What? And the answer is … wait, are you serious? This is just for fun. But it’s an attempt to match a golfer and his personality/flair/background with a team. Sometimes it feels right, and other times I may have gone off the deep end. In the end, I only need to note that Brooks Koepka will NOT play linebacker for his team. (For all who say this, note that an NFL linebacker would steamroll Brooksy.)

Remember, this is just an exercise in fun and stupidity. But if I make too much fun of your team, don’t be a stranger and let us hear it, either in the comments below or at @talkingtoafade on Twitter or Instagram.

Don’t worry, Jason Day ALWAYS looks this sad. It has nothing to do with being a Bengal.
1Cincinnati BengalsJason Day
2Washington RedskinsPatrick Reed
3Detroit LionsRory McIlroy
4New York GiantsShane Lowry
5Miami DolphinsBrooks Koepka

The draft kicks off with a bang. Rumor quickly spreads that the Bengals (historically known for eschewing scouts, technology and over-valuing local players) first looked at Columbus local Jack Nicklaus, until realizing that his prime was too far behind him. A quick scramble while trying not to look panicked on Zoom has them take Ohio resident Jason Day. (This is … still a terrible pick. We love J-Day, but he might as well reserve time on the IR now while he can.) While Detroit and Miami (with the first of it’s THREE first round picks) went chalk with Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka, the Washington franchise chose to double down on people you love to hate with Patrick Reed, while New York Giants found their “Hog Molly” with thicc boi Shane Lowry. GM Dave Gettleman values getting the reigning Open Champion and leaves the analytics for “those kids in the basement.

Patrick Reed doesn’t care if you don’t like the Redskins name or mascot, and he certainly doesn’t care if you think he cheats. Just stay away from his caddie.
6Los Angeles ChargersTiger Woods
7Carolina PanthersDustin Johnson
8Arizona CardinalsJon Rahm
9Jacksonville JaguarsJustin Rose
10Cleveland BrownsJustin Thomas

The Chargers, DESPERATE to put butts in seats, use a high pick on a guy towards the end of his career – but mission accomplished. Folks will show up for Tiger Woods, no matter what. The Panthers and Cardinals take guys with a lot of familiarity with the locality, with Dustin Johnson (Carolina Coastal) and Jon Rahm (Arizona State) having each gone to college close by, and the Jaguars essentially do the same with Justin Rose as they are almost a local London team at this point. Though Browns owner Jimmy Haslam AGAIN asked a homeless man who to draft and that man screamed DUFFFFFFFNERRRRRR!, the team this time ignores this advice to draft a Cleveland local, and finds big value at #10 by taking Justin Thomas, one of the top five golfers in the world.

11New York JetsBryson DeChambeau
12Las Vegas RaidersTony Finau
13 San Francisco 49ersXander Schauffele
14Tampa Bay BuccaneersAdam Scott
15Denver BroncosRickie Fowler

The Browns aren’t the only team with some bad management of late. Take the New York Jets. This team is starved of talent. They look at both talent and age, and dive in to take Bryson DeChambeau. While it can’t be debatable that he’s one of the best young golfers in the world, this pick feels doomed from the start. Imagining Bryson getting lit up by the New York media feels like we should envisioning back page headlines for the Post about him being a crybaby. (Suggestions welcome.) The Raiders stay away from sizzle and instead take a relatively local guy in Tony Finau and also know they have someone who will keep his nose clean while smashing drives 350-yards. He will need to learn how to win in order to be truly adored by Vegas. The 49ers bring in a quiet killer in Xander Schauffele, while Bryson quietly seethes about losing access to the great minds of Silicon Valley. TOM-pa Bay brings in another tall, handsome athlete near the end of his prime in Adam Scott as they make an all-in play to win with Brady behind QB, while the Broncos get a great brand ambassador, full of marketing activations who ALSO loves wearing orange. Rickie Fowler in Denver is a fit made in heaven.

Born to be a Bronco.
16Atlanta FalconsMatt Kuchar
17Dallas CowboysJordan Spieth
18Miami DolphinsPatrick Cantlay
19Las Vegas RaidersCameron Champ
20Jacksonville JaguarsTommy Fleetwood

The Falcons find a guy in Matt Kuchar who is known for his backdoor top-5 finishes to help cure them of … well, the exact opposite behavior. In Dallas, folks can hear a primal scream from Jerry Jones shouting, “I KNOW JORDAN’S DADDY!!!!” about Jordan Spieth before passing out on a couch full of empty bottles of Johnnie Walker Blue. The next three picks are from teams with multiple first round picks – the Dolphins add Patrick Cantlay to go with Brooks Koepka, while the Raiders scratch that “great young talent” itch by selecting Cameron Champ. Coach Jon Gruden can’t help but talk about how “Vegas is all about Champs!” in his post-draft interviews. Meanwhile, the Jags double down on Brits by signing Tommy Fleetwood and his magnificent head of hair.

21Philadelphia EaglesWebb Simpson
22Minnesota VikingsViktor Hovland
23New England PatriotsSung Jae Im
24New Orleans SaintsEddie Pepperell
25Minnesota VikingsTyrrell Hatton

The Eagles need stability, and they get one of the steadiest players on tour. Fun fact, “Webb” is actually named James Frederick Webb Simpson, and his wife Dowd is named Taylor Dowd Simpson. Not sure what’s going on here, but we’re looking into it. In Minnesota, they first hit the jackpot by getting an actual Norwegian in Viktor Hovland, who also happens to be one of the best young golfers in the world, and adding Tyrrell Hatton a few picks later as one of the best players on the board. In New England, eyes roll everywhere as everyone asks how in the world Sung Jae Im was still available (even if they didn’t take him), while in New Orleans … well, we realize it’s not great value. But, honestly, who DOESN’T want to see Eddie Pepperell on Bourbon Street?

Eddie Pepperell knows his way around a glass of wine. He’ll fit right in.
26Miami DolphinsMatthew Wolff
27Seattle SeahawksHideki Matsuyama
28Baltimore RavensMax Homa
29Tennessee TitansPaul Casey
30Green Bay PackersKevin Kisner
31San Francisco 49ersCollin Morikawa
32Kansas City ChiefsGary Woodland

The Dolphins go for youth and power with Matthew Wolff, while Seattle maybe goes to stereotype by taking the best Japanese player in Hideki Matsuyama, who history will NOT record was the early leader in this years cancelled THE PLAYERS Championship. Baltimore gets tremendous value in a great young player (and podcaster) Max Homa, who will have to adjust to life on the East Coast. The Titans find a guy who feels right at home in a bland, nondescript white and hugely talented sort of way in Paul Casey. Conversely, while Kevin Kisner is not a geographical fit for Green Bay, his blue-collar THIS AIN’T NO HOBBY, BOYS! attitude will fit right in like a glove. The 49ers snag one of the very best young players and a local Cal grad in Collin Morikawa, while the Super Bowl Champions reload with U.S. Open winner and Kansas local Gary Woodland.

Of course, six other teams don’t currently have a first round pick, but why keep them out of the fun? In order of their next picks, here they are:

Indianapolis ColtsMatthew Fitzpatrick
Houston TexansPhil Mickelson
Chicago BearsZach Johnson
Pittsburgh SteelersMarc Leishman
Los Angeles RamsAbraham Ancer
Buffalo BillsScottie Scheffler

Quite a mixed bag here. Colts GM Chris Ballard sees big time value in Matthew Fitzpatrick (who despite being a Brit went to Northwestern for school), while Bill O’Brien gambles again by just going for a big name in almost 50-year old Phil Mickelson. Reportedly, BoB tried to use TWO picks on Phil until being told that wasn’t possible. Instead, he signed Mickelson immediately to a 10-year no-trade contract. Not to be out done, Bears GM Ryan Pace lost his draft magazine en route to the draft and scrambled to take Iowa native Zach Johnson, someone he met at a fundraiser and was honestly the only name he recognized on the available player list. The Steelers swipe Aussie Marc Leishman, who is a personal favorite of mine and deserves to be on the list. Plus, he’s a bit of a big fella and should do nicely next to Big Ben. The Rams, meanwhile find a great young player in Abraham Ancer who will also appeal to the Latinx population of Los Angeles, while the Bills find a young, talented player who hasn’t quite reached his potential (just like the Bills) in Scottie Scheffler.

The NFL Draft always ends with the last player being drafted garnering the nickname “Mr. Irrelevant.” Quite honestly, this is demeaning and really condescending. A guy just got drafted to play in the NFL, and you’re calling him irrelevant? How rude! But, we should note, in this draft, Mr. Irrelevant is Kelly Kraft. Sorry, Kelly, but deep down, you’re probably just glad to get a mention here.

Kelly Kraft is just happy to be part of the conversation.

Stay safe, and please leave your thoughts in the comments or on social!

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