For every Keyshawn Johnson, there is a Mike Williams.
1996 bookmarked the last time a wide receiver has been selected No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft, and it was Mr. 7-Eleven from the always skeptically wide-open USC campus. Johnson served, at worst, a respectable professional career, but his most bewildering achievement is undoubtedly the appraisal he received from roughly two-thirds of the miserable Hudson-diving Jets fans at Radio City Music Hall. Even still, he only played in New York for three seasons.
A Charles Rogers, Roy Williams, and nearly a decade of defecation later in 2005, the Lions wasted their third and final contraceptive on Mike Williams, the Trojan that swept them out of their panties at Coachella. He "shockingly" went back on his promise to stay with them forever and ever, buck trends or live up to haughty expectations, and Detroit took a pledge of abstinence. Of course, Megatron wasn't too far behind, thus verifying how no one really knows what is going on, and that it's rarely easy being cardinal n' gold these days.
Wide receivers have always been glorified crapshoots in the first round, let alone the top ten. For every Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, there are Ted Ginn Jr. and Darrius Heyward-Bey. Of course, Heyward-Bey is Jerry Rice in the hot tub of Matt Leinart, Mark Sanchez, and their plentiful other Row-mates.
Regardless of USC's lack of recent NFL success in a vacuum, and despite the inexact science of bipolar Draft stocks, one thing is can't-miss in Marqise Lee's predestined future - unlike Matt Barkley, no more pencils or books after junior year.
Barkley sacrificed millions of dollars and Wikipedia brownie points for the sake of completing his education and chasing an unsanctioned 7-6 record (a decision I still firmly support). A Max Wittek-led 2013 campaign can easily burst the Biletnikoff Awardee's bubble screen yet, but this total prematurely assessed package of quickness, hands, route-running, versatility, and intangible effort is already being cast as a potential Keyshawn Johnson or Mike Williams.
Lee won't repeat the hind-sighted mistake of his former quarterback, and I'll believe he'll be drafted high until he actually plummets to Day Three RoJo status. In the meantime, franchises that have already given up on this season shall begin to line up. That being said, who can we expect to win the upcoming Auction of Troy?
It's never too early to scout in advance. On to the bracket:
AFC West Standings
1) Oakland Raiders - Staying close to home is most often a solid start in recruiting...and I'm referring to Oakland landing a top-three pick.
2) Kansas City Chiefs - In the case that they are in fact bad enough, can Alex Smith (or Andy Reid, for that matter) even handle a target of his caliber?
3) San Diego Chargers - The Bolts haven't gone wideout this early since Craig Davis in 2007 (who survived the league as long as Manti Te'o's girlfriend...sorry bro), but they don't usually need to, nor have they warranted such a luxury lately.
4) Denver Broncos - I suppose there's room for Lee at halfback or tight end...hold on a second, I think I hear Tebow clawing around in the garbage...
NFC West Standings
I can't put it past either Pete Carroll or Jim Harbaugh to whimsically trade up in the BCS standings, and my undying perception is that the former's real estate prowess would ultimately prevail.
AFC South Standings
Justin Blackmon and Kenny Britt. That is all for now.
3) Indianapolis Colts - Contrary to 2012's indications, Reggie Wayne's days are in fact numbered, but the sophomore tandem that is LuckStrong shouldn't slump significantly enough.
NFC South Standings
3) Atlanta Falcons - Another Julio Jones is out of the question...right? Are there any draft picks left? Will the deed to the Georgia Dome suffice?
4) New Orleans Saints - "Dear Marqise, We regret to inform you that you do not pose the necessary off-field concerns at this time. Thank you for your interest in our bounty program and we hope you use this rejection as motivation to improve upon your resume apply again in the future. Sincerely, Reggie Bush and Sedrick Ellis".
AFC North Standings
1) Cleveland Browns - Name two pass catchers on this roster and win unlimited EVK meals for a whole semester!
4) Cincinnati Bengals - Either the fountain run water still hasn't escaped my system or the Mayans have finally rescheduled their debut tour, because this is a sentence: A.J. Green and the Bungles will be too good.
NFC North Standings
1) Detroit Lions - We're going for best five out of nine by now.
AFC East Standings
3) Miami Dolphins - Wallace could revert solely to playing deep threat.
4) New England Patriots - Should Lee suffer an unprecedented fall, I'd deem Bill Belichick the front-running beneficiary...if it weren't for how no one ever knows who or when he's drafting.
NFC East Standings
1) Philadelphia Eagles - Barkley's stock immediately rises, they redo the 2013 Draft, and Chip Kelly does something illegal.
Two owners in Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder, respectively, that are impossible to predict - except adequacy in Dallas is predictably impossible, while Washington is busy washing St. Louis' dishes from the RG3 deal.
AFC Playoff Picture
1) New York Jets
2) Oakland Raiders
3) Cleveland Browns
4) Jacksonville Jaguars
5) Buffalo Bills
6) Baltimore Ravens
NFC Playoff Picture
1) Philadelphia Eagles
2) Detroit Lions
3) Carolina Panthers
4) Arizona Cardinals
5) Minnesota Vikings
6) Seattle Seahawks
(5) Minnesota Vikings at (4) Arizona Cardinals - The Purple People Eaters just went all-in on Cordarrelle Patterson, but with Fitz still leading the club, Arizona will settle upon the Michael Floyds of the Big Board before Minnesota is content with, say, Michael Jenkins. Minnesota Vikings
(6) Baltimore Ravens at (3) Cleveland Browns - I giggle every time Cleveland hosts one of these hypothetical postseason match-ups. They've improved enough to just miss out. Baltimore Ravens
(5) Buffalo Bills at (4) Jacksonville Jaguars - Shahid Khan will be too preoccupied managing the Tebow fansite and the clock expires on them. Buffalo Bills
(6) Seattle Seahawks at (3) Carolina Panthers - Cam Newton desperately needs positive contributions both on the field and in the locker room, and Steve Smith would accept the No. 2 role throughout the fading years of his career. Carolina Panthers
Buffalo Bills at Oakland Raiders - Lee's 40 time would have to be under 4.2. Buffalo Bills
Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles - According to Governor Mark Dayton, Harvin's locker is still too warm and the franchise should stop to Ponder their rude approach as of late. Philadelphia Eagles
Carolina Panthers at Detroit Lions - Between Dwayne Jarrett and Keary Colbert, Motown isn't the only bluesy source of USC wide receiver heartbreak ballads (or something correct in regards to music. Detroit Lions
Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets - Ozzie Newsome is elite during Draft weekend, but there's no competing with disciple Rex Ryan and this level of mediocrity. New York Jets
Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles - Such an acquisition would allow Barkley's awkward fit in Coach Kelly's offense to make increasingly better sense, but if they can be persuaded to believing that Lee will be around for another fourth-round steal, then Michael Vick might as well run for president. Detroit Lions
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets - In the midst of Lee's 2012 Heisman candidacy, Woods' numbers indirectly yet assuredly saw a decline, and if Barkley couldn't win with that formula, nothing in the Manuel suggests that E.J. should. New York Jets
Super Bowl (*Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum) - New York Jets vs. Detroit Lions
All signs point to the big rotting apples of Seacaucus securing the No. 1 overall selection by Week 11, meaning that they can draft literally anyone they want...no, not Vinny Testaverde, but barring a Marcus Lattimore-esque fate, Jadeveon Clowney is the superior prospect in this class. Make no mistake, though - the Jets evade another Trojan but Marqise Lee dodges a larger bullet, and it is still harder to be green than cardinal n' gold.
From a Madden Curse layover to Nick Fairley's February Follies (Ryan Kalil got in his ear) and them cutting ties with the Titus touch, the planets are aligned for the Lions and their next Calvin Johnson...or Mike Williams.