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Kansas City Chiefs' Travis Kelce hoists the trophy after defeating the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Mock draft, revisionist history

Todd McShay — The Toddfather of draft projections — presented his second mock draft Tuesday. I love the draft. You know this.

The top five has been pretty consistent, not only from McShay but from all the experts. Joe Burrow is a universal No. 1 to Cincinnati. Chase Young is a universal No. 2 to Washington. Tua Tagovailoa is a universal No. 5 to Miami.

Sure trades happen. Teams will fall in love with certain prospects over the next 11-plus weeks. And that's not even discussing Tua's hip.

So, as the Bulls told Larry Hockett on his visit to the mound, "We're dealing with a lot of (bleep)."

"OK, well, uh... candlesticks always make a nice gift, and uh, maybe you could find out where she's registered and maybe a place-setting or maybe a silverware pattern. OK, let's get two. Go get 'em."

So throwing pegs at a draft board right now — even for someone as dialed in as the Toddfather — seems like a tall task.

What is not is a look back at the 2015 draft, which had a first round of players who had moments but have been shuffled across multiple teams at a fairly alarming rate.

It also is noteworthy to pick 2015 because the first-round guys are now officially through that first contract, a fact that was punctuated with the news that the Falcons will not extend a new contract to Vic Beasley, who was picked No. 8 overall in that draft.

Let's look at the top five from that draft, what the future holds for them and the other guys who have been top-10 worthy after the draft.

1 — Jameis Winston. He will be a free agent after five turnover-filled years in Tampa.

2 — Marcus Mariota. He will be a free agent after an up-and-down time in Nashville.

3 — Dante Fowler. He will be a free agent after time with the Rams and the Jags.

4 — Amari Cooper. He will be a free agent after time with the Cowboys and the Raiders.

5 — Brandon Scherff. He will be a free agent after a strong five years in Washington.

You have to believe that Scherff is the only one of that top five who will resign with the team that drafted him. (The only guy in the top 10 that year that has already signed an extension with the team that drafted him is Todd Gurley, and that deal is already being questioned.)

In fact, the lack of true franchise difference-makers from that draft — there are only two multiple, All-Pro players through five years and that's Gurley and Marcus Peters, who is already on his second team as well — are quite telling for the teams who picked in the top 10.     

 

QB generation

If you are new to the gathering, well, we have shared the commonly accepted knowledge around these parts that I love the draft. Everyone knows this.

I also have embraced the analytics of NFL roster building that jettisons mediocre to good quarterbacks and trying to find a replacement rather than paying them monster salaries, wrecking your cap space and your talent advantages in multiple places for a guy who has a high end of Matt Stafford.

Several teams have already pushed chips into those second deals for QBs and they are staring into the abyss wondering if Jared Goff or Carson Wentz or Jimmy G can be worth $25-plus million.

This question at the end of the season lands on the doorstep of two franchises not listed above.  

First, there is the saga with Dak Prescott, who was not a first-round pick, so his four-year rookie contract is up now without a team option for that fifth year.

Prescott could be franchise-tagged (and he likely will be) but whether the team extends the former Mississippi State star is not the question I am most interested in. It's should they?

The other one that is still under contract but whenever the time comes for an extension will be the best-paid player in the history of the NFL.

Ladies and gentleman, Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes enters year four in 2020, and here's an argument that the Chiefs should break from conventional wisdom and extend him now.

In some ways, it would be looking at what the Braves did with Ronald Acuña Jr. by identifying a future super-duper-star, getting in front of the contract cycle and getting a team-friendly angle by offering money sooner.

So, with Mahomes the face of the league and one more super-affordable year on that contract — he will make $2.7 million next year — and a championship window as open as the Waffle House you can understand the Chiefs pushing a ton of chips in on free agents, waiting a year on Mahomes and loading that roster to the hilt.

But what if they called in Mahomes, offered a 10-year, $250 million deal with a huge part of that — like $200 million — guaranteed?

That's a win-win for team and player and guards against injury and come 2027, when Mahomes is 32 and still slinging it, at roughly $25 million, he would be almost as big a bargain then as he would be this fall at $2.7 million.

 

What was that Iowa?

OK, it's hard to come up with something that makes the impeachment coverage seem like an Olympic ice dancing routine.

But the overwhelming embarrassment that was the Iowa caucus was down right unbelievable last night.

One AP story details the long-standing complaints about the dated style of the Iowa caucus. Read it here. And Monday night's issues with tabulating the show of hands — hey, who runs that process? The Count from Sesame Street "One, two, three, four hands where was I let's start over. One, two, three" — magnifies those complaints.

Plus, it comes after the long-standing laments of Russian interference with the last presidential election, and forced the Democratic leaders in the state to say there was not a "hack or an intrusion," but the looks are for the Dems in their first national step toward naming a challenger for Donald Trump are at best bad or silly and at worst conspiratorial.

And that conspiracy includes the Clintons, because you really can't have a conspiracy in the Democratic Party without the Clintons. But hey, the good news is no one has been killed. At least not yet. Or that we know about.

And that conspiracy has also swept up Mayor Pete, who has been trending on social media as #PetetheCheat and #MayorCheat.

At a time when Iowa needs to run smoothly and the Democrats need to look as prepared and ready as possible, well, it looks like the only winner Monday night was Donald Trump.

       

This and that

— Remember friends, we are offering a 30-day free run for folks who sign-up for the morning 5-at-10 email newsletter. If you are a regular and not signed up, please give it a shot. If you know some folks who are not subscribers but may like our morning conversations, point them to the sign-up page at timesfreepress.com/pressrow. Thanks as always for your loyal support gang.

— You know the drill. David Paschall writes about college football, so we are going to read what David Paschall has to say about college football. Here's the TFP college football whiz's report on the five best signing classes since 2000. And while we're here, if you are a non-subscriber who is signed up for the 5-at-10 newsletter then all the TFP links in the 5-at-10 are free for the next 30 days too. So, we got that going for us, which is nice.

— We talked about the bad beat that was Patrick Mahomes' rushing total in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday. Well, at the opposite end of bad beats is the wondrous wins. Like this one. Yes, that is a pro bettor putting $10K on the Chiefs to score exactly 31 points and $3,500 on the 49ers to score exactly 20 points. His clairvoyance (or luck) turned that $13,500 into $230,000. Maybe we should ask him how the 2020 election will turn out.

— Speaking of gambling, well, here's today's A2 column on the state of legalized betting in Tennessee, the challenges before those trying to make it happen, and the monstrous mounds of moola missed out on by not getting gambling going during football season. Want to guess how much the state missed on? Well, expert analysis has the annual revenue — that's money made by the state — in the neighborhood of $50 million. And friends, that's a really nice neighborhood.

— We were pickless Monday — or to paraphrase Dr. Vinkman from Ghostbusters — "Yes, this man has no pick." The way Sunday played out, that was likely a good thing. As for tonight, give me UK minus-6 at home against Mississippi State and Arkansas minus-1 over Auburn.  

— And the chips start to fall. If you are a Mississippi State fan, you have to love this transfer portal edition. Mike Leach's pass-first, pass-next, pass-always offense could get a serious lift from KJ Costello's transfer to Starkville from Stanford, two college locales that frequently get confused in almost every way, from education to culture to political leanings. More cowbell indeed, Coach Leach.  

— I never expected to type this sentence: Oregon absolutely worked UConn in women's hoops. Worked them.

— One other side point: Will Cain filled in for Trey Wingo on Golic or Wingo on Tuesday morning. Cain will be in that role for the rest of the week. Here's hoping the powers that be are looking at making this permanent.  

 

Today's questions

True or false Tuesday. True.

True or false, Tom Brady will be a Patriot in 2020.

True or false, Dak Prescott should get a five-year, $150 million extension.

True or false, if you could have bet easily and legally on the Super Bowl in Tennessee you would have.

As for today, it's Feb. 4, so let's discuss.

On this day 16 years ago, Facebook was launched.

On this day 50 years ago, Patton premiered.

Rushmore of biopics. Go.

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