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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Mock Draft Fantasy Land #2

    It's draft day and the draft has gone this way with us now on the clock. So far, Phil Emery is shocked at how the draft has played out. Despite rumors of QBs dropping, 4 go in the top 8 picks. In his position of need list, not a single DT or DB is off the board yet and only one S. Plus, the best MLB is still on the board. This is a tailor made trade down scenario and Phil listens to all offers.

    Cleveland was thrilled to take Johnny football with the 4th pick. But they desperately covet another target for their new franchise QB. Typical thinking suggests that they go for another WR to line up opposite Josh Gordon. But Kyle Shanahan tosses out another idea that nobody considered. Sure, they can wait and take whichever WR falls to them and get maybe the 3rd best in this draft. Or they can make a bold move for TE Eric Ebron, the best receiving TE prospect in years and go with more of a 2 TE approach, putting him opposite the already productive Jordan Cameron. "Look at what the Patriots did with Gronk and Hernandez," he points out convincingly.

    Cleveland rings the Bears and won't take NO for an answer, offering #26, #71 and #83 to move up. But even with the plethora of desirable players still available, dropping 12 spots isn't what they are looking to do under the circumstances. Phil doesn't budge, hangs up and starts completing his selection form to pick Aaron Donald.

    But following some briefly raised voices in Cleveland, the phone rings again and this time they offer #26 and #35 for #14. Phil considers this and asks the war room if they think they could get 2 of the R1 coveted players in those 2 spots. After a lightning quick debate with some spirited dissent, Phil figures it's a chance worth taking and pulls the trigger with some heads still shaking.

    The Bears/Browns trade announcement initiates pundit questions regarding why Aaron Donald is still on the board. With the subsequent selections of Jernigan and Nix, discussion burns about why the 285# DT is now officially falling. Kiper has no idea why this is happening, but that doesn't stop him from expertly tossing out a couple of potential explanations. As the next couple of picks come off the board, Donald gets the sad camera treatment. The Pack's choice of Hageman at #21 pours gasoline on the fire and every war room buzzes about the sinking Pitt Panther.

    As pick #26 approaches, a silent, thoughtful Emery watches all of this unfold while the rest of the Bears scouting staff frantically contacting everyone they know who might be able to unravel the mystery.

    In a sudden move that most of his staff finds head scratching, Phil contacts the Bengals about moving up 2 spots. As expected, they inquire if his interest is in Donald. "Damaged goods", he responds, refusing to get into it any further. But he only offers a 6th rounder, an offer they flatly reject. He argues that the level talent field currently on the board makes it silly to offer more. But Cincy disagrees, probably not wanting to create a reputation for accepting underpayment. As Emery's phone clicks, a wry smile emerges.

    With Donald still on the board as the clock starts on pick #26, Phil sits and waits. About 2 minutes in, he takes the first of several trade up calls. He continues to field questions about the plummetting DT and consistently responds to them with short, detail free answers. "Can't take the risk." "Our doctors say NO." "Not gonna take that gamble."

    At the 3 minute mark, the 49ers text in an unusual offer, but one not really so crazy for a team with their SB aspirations. They want to deal #56 and #61 for #26, giving them 2 #1s. Phil instinctively knows that this is a low ball offer and after some quick calculations, figures that an additional mid-high 4th is needed to make it fair. Phil chides Trent Baalke for not coming in with his best offer with the clock this late in the game and counters asking for their 3rd, but throwing in our 4th. "We're almost at 2:00. Final offer, yes or no?" After a 10 second discussion, SF gives the deal the thumbs up.

    Phil announces the move and instructs his staff to write it up and send it in. "NOOOOOOOOOOOO" says DC Mel Tucker and DL coach Paul Pasqualoni in unison. They begin arguing with Emery, who pivots away to pursue a soda. They reflexively turn and start waving their arms at Marc Trestman, who lets them vent, but preaches calm. They storm out of the room.

    The Bears now have the following picks in the first 4 rounds:
    R2... #35, #51, #56, #61... R3... #82, #94... R4... nothing

    The GM instructs his staff to begin preparing for tomorrow, stating in certain terms that he plans no move ups back into R1. Low volumed grumbling ensues, some louder than others. "Hey!", Phil yells. "Anyone who would like to leave is free to go now. But if you're staying, quit complaining and do your jobs! If you want to bitch, take it home to your wife." The room got eerily still for a few seconds before normal work typing sounds began spilling out.

    While R1 continued on, Phil initiated no calls, but did take a couple. He smoothly rejected all offers and maintained his short answer strategy when Aaron Donald's name came up.

    When the day's picks concluded with Donald still available, Phil joined his staff to discuss R2 targets for about an hour. After that, he decided to go get a small bite from the restaurant downstairs with Marc Trestman before calling it a night. Trestman didn't eat, but made his case defending his coaches point of view. Emery smiled and reminded the coach that he has their desires in mind, but he's in the player pursuit business, while they're job is to coach. But he urged him not to worry.

    As Phil finished his key lime pie, Trestman decided to go share this fairly uninspiring information with his staff. But Emery ordered a beer, deciding to ponder his thoughts for a bit longer. He was starting to wonder if he didn't err in not taking Donald at #26. He knew that was the safe, logical move. He understood the coaching staff's displeasure and was beginning to think they were right. Still, they are where they are and he figured that either Houston would take him or trade their pick to someone else who would. He considered giving Houston a call, but he knew he'd have to overpay to move up 2 spots and he didn't have a 4th round pick that it would probably require, which is as much as he'd sacrifice to make that move. All he could hope for now is that he planted enough seeds of doubt in NFL minds to allow him to fall to #35.

    As he tipped his Heineken the final time, Lovie Smith walked up and greeted Emery warmly.
    Lovie: How've you been Phil?
    Phil: Great! How's everything in Tampa?
    Lovie (with a chuckle): That's my kinda weather!
    Phil: I'm glad there's no hard feelings, Lovie. You really got quite the deal in Tampa, man.
    Lovie: It's just business, Phil. I'm very pleased to be in Tampa now. But I have some unexpected issues.
    Phil: What's that, Lovie?
    Lovie: I've met with every player on my defense. Only a very few of them have that winning attitude. Some are money guys. Some are fame guys. And a few are posse guys. None of the leaders are winners.
    Phil: So why are you telling me this?
    Lovie: I want some of my old leaders off your team.
    Phil: What?!? Who do you want?
    Lovie: Briggs and Tillman. God if I'd have known the boat I was in, I would never have let you sign Tillman.
    Phil: But those guys are both in their contract year and have had some injuries. And that would put us in a position to have to find 2 starters. I'm not sure this is doable.
    Lovie: But you would also suddenly have about $8M in cap space.
    Phil: And there's nobody worth a crap out there to spend it on. I just don't see this happening, Lovie.
    Lovie: You haven't even heard my offer yet.
    Phil: Your offer? Your name isn't Jason Licht.
    Lovie (smiling): I guess you don't understand how I roll Phil, since you guys were nudging me out of Chicago. I make way more money than Jason does. That gives me a looooooot of pull.
    Phil: OK, what's your offer?
    Lovie: I'll offer you a 3rd round pick or next year's #2 for those two guys. That's fair market value for 2 quality starters in their mid-30's.
    Phil: I agree that it's fair value. But this whole thing is problematic. First, I need to come up with 2 quality starters. Second, I get a sports car full of cap dollars and no place to race. Third, you don't have a 3rd round pick and next year's picks don't help me get a starter now. And fourth, I still haven't discussed this with your GM. So I don't know why we're even having this conversation.
    Lovie: OK, that was my mistake. How about if I offer you a 2 instead and you give me back a 3, don't you have 2 of them now?
    Phil: You want me to suddenly have to find 2 starters, but you want me to take a quality pick and give you one back?!? You're out of your mind, Lovie.
    Lovie: Make it our #2 then.
    Phil: Lovie, that's a high 2! No way is it worth it, particularly for players approaching the end of their careers.
    Lovie: But that pick will get you one of the starters you want, don't you think? And you'll have more than enough cap money to rent another starter for a year.
    Phil: Sure, pick #38 would hopefully get me one starter. But I don't know. The free agent market is slim pickins. Besides, how do I know that Jason is on board with this?

    Lovie turns away and starts tapping his phone. He spends the next minute in a quiet discussion before handing his android to Phil, who listens to Licht's agreement with Lovie's proposal. He thanks the Bucs GM and hands Lovie's phone back.

    Phil: I need to sleep on this. Can I get back to you in the morning, say 10am?
    Lovie (with his customary toothy grin): No problem, Phil. Call me in the morning.


    (continued next post)
    Wouldn't it be great if we booted the 200 lawyers from the House and Senate and replaced them with economists? That way, we'd stop harming our economy with laws that would apply to the politicians, too.

  2. #2
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    Phil heads for his hotel room, head spinning. There's absolutely no question that the Bucs are overpaying to get those two guys. And on some level, getting rid of "Lovie's guys" has value as Briggs wasn't the happiest camper last year and the defense needs to get younger. There's no question that getting a R2 pick for 2 guys who are going to walk at season's end is a major plus. He knows Mel would be OK with it, provided he gets similar quality in return. But that's not going to happen in this case and he's already pissed off the defensive staff. Of course, we are talking about 2 older guys with injury histories--Tillman in particular--who aren't expected to play all season. It's a simple deal with complex ramifications, both positive and negative. Emery plops down on his bed in deep contemplation until he falls asleep in his suit a couple hours later.
    In the morning, Phil showers and goes to breakfast. On the way there, he texts Cliff Stein, who was given time off for the draft, but was on call, just in case. "Go into the office. I'll call you in an hour." Emery tries to eat and relax. He even calls his wife and they chat for a while. But he can't keep his mind free from the potential Lovie deal for very long.

    Cliff Stein's office is a nerdy ultimate. It resembles a Progressive commercial set, complete with profuse lighting, screens in odd places and other weird paraphernalia. But Cliff has earned the right to have just the kind of office he likes.

    When the boss calls, Cliff is ready to roll. Phil shares the offer along with his views on it, including the plusses and minuses. "I'm looking for a fresh, outside the box perspective on whether this deal is a good one or a bad one for us," Emery shares earnestly. Cliff's mind starts churning and he makes no audible reaction. Phil asks if Cliff is still there. "Give me a sec," Stein responds as he presses the "bundle" button.

    Lights flash, screens blink and bells ring as Cliff's computer crunches 1's and zeroes. About 20 seconds later, something that looks like a gas station receipt printer spits out a piece of paper. The cap guru yanks the tiny page and studies it.

    "Make the deal", he tells Phil.

    The Bears GM is one of the first Chicago staff members to arrive at Radio City. He completes his trade paperwork and faxes it into NFL headquarters. Then he reviews the players available in light of the additional pick. Once most of his team had arrived, Emery stands up and announces, "I've made another deal. We now have pick #38 from the Bucs." Immediately, the room fills with a dozen sudden versions of the same unintelligible question. Phil raises a hand as a call for silence. "We gave up Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman" to get that pick.

    Most of the room sat in silent thought trying to imagine the ramifications of this new information. But the defensive coaches blared four letter words, loudly slamming their folders shut. A few things were thrown and a mug crashes against a wall. "Did you trade up with Houston, so we can get Aaron Donald?" a single voice cried out. "No," Emery firmly replied. "How did I know that?!?" Tucker lashed back, followed by "you don't give a damn about the defense!"

    "ENOUGH!" the GM barked. "We have another pick to consider and two starter openings. "Go to work!" he ordered, directing Pro Personnel Director Kevin Turks to scour the market for available starters.

    About 20 minutes later, Turks brought Emery bad news. "There's next to nothing out there other than injury prone or aged out guys," he shared dejectedly. The GM thanked Turks and called Stein back, complaining that the FA options are bad ones. Cliff told Phil that he would figure something out.

    Day 2 of the draft begins with the announcement of the Bears-Bucs trade. Somewhat surprisingly, Houston didn't deal pick #33. And shockingly, they didn't pick Donald, either. The Bears faithful lets out a mini roar as Phil does a fist pump.

    Phil phones Redskins GM Bruce Allen who is now on the clock. He offers a 6th round pick to move up one spot. "Donald?" Allen asks. "We just traded away 2 starters, so we have lots of needs," Phil replies honestly while slickly avoiding the question. Allen asks for some time and lets Emery go. But lacking another blockbuster offer and not wanting to move down much, the Redskins accept Phil's offer.

    Roger Goodell announces, "There has been a trade. The Redskins have traded the 34th pick to the Bears for the 35th and their last pick in the 6th round. With the 34th pick in the 2014 NFL draft, the Chicago Bears select Aaron Donald, DT Pittsburgh." The Bears war room erupts.

    Emery sits tight, waiting for the next 3 picks to go by. When it's their turn again, he takes no calls, sending his card in immediately.

    "With the 38th pick in the 2014 NFL draft, the Chicago Bears select Ryan Shazier, LB from Ohio State". At this point, the defensive coaching staff considers talking to Phil Emery again.

    But Phil doesn't rest. He immediately rings the Jags, offering them #61 and #82 for pick #39, knowing their short a 4th on their offer. They want our other 3rd or a higher 2nd. Phil refuses. He continues with the same offers to each successive team. Eventually, the Rams bite.

    "With the 44th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears select Kyle Fuller CB Virginia Tech." Mel Tucker and Jon Hoke smile and shake hands.

    Calvin Pryor is the next falling player the media buzzes about. But this time, Phil has nothing to do with it. He doesn't have the ammo that he's willing to part with this time. So he waits. And waits. And waits some more. And gets lucky.

    "With the 51st pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears select Calvin Pryor S Louisville." Phil Emery exchanges handshakes with the defensive staff.

    "With the 56th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears select Jimmie Ward S Northern Illinois." Jon Hoke thinks it's Christmas.

    Once the Bears got Ward, there are almost 40 picks before the Bears pick again. So Phil Emery gives up a deep, satisfied sigh and goes to get something to nibble on. After a few relaxing minutes reconnecting with the members of the coaching staff that he thought might give him the silent treatment for some time, his phone rings unexpectedly.

    Phil makes a face, but then chills when he sees that it's Cliff Stein. "What are you still doing at work, Cliff?" "I've been meeting with Brandon Marshall's agent. We've just agreed on a 2-year contract extension, front loaded with the $8M we got from the Briggs and Tillman trade. The deal makes sense for everyone and we lowered the cap numbers by $4M/year over what we were going to have to pay the next 2 years." Emery has Cliff FAX over the contract and the paperwork is filed with the league within minutes.

    Phil is surprised when pick #94 snuck up on him, at which point, he takes the top player left on his board.

    "With the 94th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears select Joel Bitonio OL Nevada." The offense finally gets some help.

    How'd we do?
    Wouldn't it be great if we booted the 200 lawyers from the House and Senate and replaced them with economists? That way, we'd stop harming our economy with laws that would apply to the politicians, too.

  3. #3
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    Your nuts Fiver Love the out of the box thinking though.This definitely is Fantasy Land. But to answer your question....we did just fine :)
    Last edited by Bearmagic; 05-02-2014 at 11:25 PM.

  4. #4
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    Sooo....if I read this right, what you're saying here is:

    "I desperately need help with my insomnia, guys!"
    The word "hero" is frequently abused badly. This is a real hero.

  5. #5
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    I like it.

    Although I have to say somewhere around My Dinner with Lovie, I got like Nuke LaLoosh and thought "Is somebody gonna sleep with somebody or what?"....or what Moriarty said.
    Basic, yes, but it was something we rarely saw under former Bears coordinator Ron Turner. Turner's idea of in-game adjustments involved his boxer shorts. -Rick Morrissey.

  6. #6
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    So basically you killed two birds with one stone. Firstly, you got that 1,000 word essay out of the way for the creative writing correspondence course you have finally signed up for. Secondly, you have been day dreaming of a way to get all your favorite prospects in one draft.

    Yep, a single haul of Aaron Donald, Ryazn Shazier, Kyle Fuller, Calvin Pryor and Jimmie Ward would be pretty impressive. Hope you enjoyed writing it. The time spent on this is akin to the $1 spent on a lotto ticket-- it affords you the chance to dream of what could be and completely shuts out any sense of what reality really is....

  7. #7
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    What a great read! Thanks M5.

    P.S. - for the next version, please see if we can get Clowney also.

  8. #8
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    Glad you liked it, sal. I enjoyed writing it.
    Wouldn't it be great if we booted the 200 lawyers from the House and Senate and replaced them with economists? That way, we'd stop harming our economy with laws that would apply to the politicians, too.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by saljilael View Post
    What a great read! Thanks M5.

    P.S. - for the next version, please see if we can get Clowney also.
    You'll be probably disappointed to know that I spent about an hour last night working on another "fantasy land". Eventually, I decided it would require too much research, but I'll give you some hints. It starts days before the draft with us trading Alshon and #14 for #1 plus Houston's R3 pick. I said disappointed because we wouldn't take Clowney. Instead, we'd keep trading down until we assembled a pile of 2s 3s and 4s, even more picks than this one did. Somebody also gave us a 3 for SheaMac. (I decided to start the "SheaMac current value" thread instead.) I was going to use a more realistic mock for the picks, too. Oh well. Maybe next year.
    Wouldn't it be great if we booted the 200 lawyers from the House and Senate and replaced them with economists? That way, we'd stop harming our economy with laws that would apply to the politicians, too.

  10. #10
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    I'm not sure what kind of fantasy land you live in, Fiver....it's just funny to me that all 6 of those picks could very well all go in R1.

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