In 1994, the National Football League reduced the number of rounds in the draft from 12 to 7. Nowadays, NFL teams draft with the intention of securing players who can actually make their roster. But it wasn’t always like that.
Prior to 1994, those late 12th round picks were practically throwaways, so teams might make speculative picks on multi-sport athletes intending to play other non-pro football sports.
Instead of just “Mr. Irrelevant” (the last player chosen in each year’s draft), teams could practically waste a late-round draft pick on a “Mr. Speculative” (guys with no real intention to play in the NFL, but if they ever changed their minds, some NFL team would already own their rights.)
For example, did you know these late NFL draft picks?
Kirk Gibson was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 7th round.
Dave Winfield was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the 17th round.
Pat Riley was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 11th round.
Burt Reynolds was even drafted late by the Baltimore Colts!
Flaming Bag of Poo wondered: Among all the great sport movies of all time, which actors and fictional movie characters might have performed well in the NFL?
OK, let’s automatically disqualify any actor or fictional movie character in a movie about football. Because it’s too easy to imagine them playing football since we’ve already seen them win on-screen.
Thus, for the sake of this Hollywood Fantasy Mock Draft, you could not choose from: Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire), Keanu Reeves (The Replacements), Jamie Foxx (Any Given Sunday), Warren Beatty (Heaven Can Wait), Billy Dee Williams or James Caan (Brian’s Song), or Sean Astin (Rudy).
Even in a supplemental draft, Flaming Bag of Poo could not even draft Kathy Ireland (Necessary Roughness) or Keira Knightley (Bend It Like Beckham) just for kicks to see them shower in the men’s locker room.
After watching tons of videotape, here are the Top 15 actors and fictional movie characters atop Flaming Bag of Poo’s Big Board.
#15 – Tom Cruise (The Color of Money, All The Right Moves)
Yes, believe it or not, Tom Cruise only makes #15 on this list. We don’t count the gay volleyball scene in Top Gun, because when he jumps to spike, it looks like he’s spiking over a ping-pong table net. And in The Color of Money, it’s the pool where you don’t get wet and win gold medals. Few people actually remember his role as the football stud in All The Right Moves, but Flaming Bag of Poo remembers the movie because of Lea Thompson’s pre-Back To The Future hotness.
#14 – Jackie Earle Haley (Bad News Bears, Breaking Away)
How does a child actor go from playing the coolest stud on the Bad News Bears, to the runt on the Cutters cycling team in Breaking Away? I’m thinking cigarettes!
#13 – Kevin Costner (Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, Tin Cup)
Costner has starred in plenty of sports movies. But given his demeanor in all of them, he’s more of a punter than a running back.
#12 – Robert Redford (The Natural)
Redford was like the Jim Brown of his sports movie era. He doesn’t look like much compared to today’s muscular actors, but back in the day, he was a stud. He could play Aaron Rodgers in the story of his life.
#11 – Joshua Jackson (The Mighty Ducks trilogy)
Sometimes, you have to draft them young based on their potential. Would anyone ever guess that this star of the three Mighty Ducks movies would have sex with Katie Holmes before Tom Cruise would?
#10 – Charlie Sheen (Eight Men Out, Major League)
Charlie Sheen lacks in strength and speed, he brings the intangibles akin to Rodney Harrison or Warren Sapp. Dirty player with a motor mouth. Sounds like the defensive player that running backs and quarterbacks hate most.
#9 – Matt Damon (The Legend of Bagger Vance, Invictus)
Did you see Matt Damon bulk up for the soccer movie Invictus? Good thing that steroids aren’t illegal in Hollywood.
#8 – Sylvester Stallone (Rocky)
Stallone has inside linebacker written all over him. Bring his lunch pail to the movie set every day. Even if it’s filled with fried chicken sandwiches from his failed Planet Hollywood restaurant chain.
#7 – Dennis Quaid (Breaking Away, The Rookie, Everybody’s All American, The Express, Any Given Sunday)
Quaid is Costner, except Quaid looks like he could withstand a tackle without crying. Fearless and reliable, put Quaid in the slot, like Wes Welker.
#6 – Wesley Snipes (White Men Can’t Jump, Major League)
Snipes is the prototypical NFL CB…super fast and destined to get in trouble with the law. That’s why he would be a high draft pick. Snipes is Hollywood’s version of Pac Man Jones.
#5 – Scott Summers (Hoosiers)
You might know him by his movie character name “Strap”. Or better yet, you know him as the brawny guy who prays. Obviously, if Hickory could barely could field a team for a basketball, they weren’t going to field enough guys for a football team. But Strap would make the ideal LB/FB.
#4 – Will Smith (The Legend of Bagger Vance, Ali)
When you think of the overused draft expression, “Take the best player available regardless of need”, Will Smith’s name just leaps off everyone’s draft board.
#3 – Denzel Washington (The Hurricane, Remember The Titans)
Nobody would ever mess with Denzel. Although I always think he’s more of a defensive player than an offensive player. The guy that would rather hit, than be hit. Denzel Washington and Ronnie Lott could be brothers.
#2 – Dwayne Johnson (Gridiron Gang)
People actually think “The Rock” got drafted after he graduated at “The U”. Nope. “Gridiron Gang” is a football movie, but he makes this list only because it’s more of a movie than pro wrestling is a real sport.
#1 – Steve Carlson, Jeff Carlson, David Hanson (Slap Shot)
Yes, it’s three guys. But you really always think of them as one. THE HANSON BROTHERS!!! It’s a little known fact, but in real life, only one of the actors was really named Hanson (David Hanson). The other two were Carlsons (Jeff & Steve Carlson). Imagine this trio as your starting linebacking corp in a 4-3 defense for the Kansas City Chiefs. (Yes, I know they played for the Chiefs in the movie, too.)
Let the 2013 NFL Draft officially start!
The Hollywood Stars, you are now officially on the clock.
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