Why go the safe route when you can imagine clandestine backroom meetings and top secret discussions worthy of the TV show 'Scandal' focused on who is going to be selected in tonight's first round of the 2014 NFL draft?
We begin with NFL Commissioner Roger S. Goodell calmly coming to the podium and announcing the No. 1 selection is defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, but the unexpected twist is the Houston Texans traded the pick for the No. 6 spot just minutes before the draft began in New York City's Radio City Music Hall.
Atlanta, anxious to battle New Orleans and Carolina for the NFC South division crown or at least a playoff spot, has just bolstered their defense with the selection of Clowney and it is St. Louis' turn. The Rams are disappointingly rational and select offensive tackle Greg Robinson with the No. 2 pick.
Jacksonville decides they have done the predictable for too long and uses the No. 3 pick to select quarterback Blake Bortles. (It's a trick everyone.) The Jaguars need a quarterback and the selection of Bortles makes sense, but in a trade-happy spirit they are either going to trade him later to Minnesota or swap draft positions with the Vikings.
Now the Cleveland Browns are perplexed. Do they take the third best player in the draft, linebacker Khalil Mack, or go after quarterback Johnny "Football" Manziel with the No. 4 pick?
They pass on both options and select Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins to complement All-Pro Josh Gordon. (They "borrowed" the idea from the Detroit Lions.)
The renegade Raiders are amused by the first four picks and decide to join in by selecting Manziel with the No. 5 pick. Oakland has tried a variety of quarterbacks. Why not see what the Heisman Trophy winner can do on the left coast?
Houston is now on the clock with the No. 6 selection and they milk the time and select linebacker Khalil Mack. They address a defensive need, save a bunch of cash and can still select a quarterback in the second round of the draft.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, like the Rams, immediately select wide receiver Mike Evans with the No. 7 pick, They recognize that it gives them two productive wide receivers in Evans and Vincent Jackson.
Now the Vikings validate Jacksonville's earlier selection of Bortles by selecting defensive tackle Aaron Donald with the No. 8 pick. It is a "win-win" situation for both teams. Jacksonville either keeps Bortles or swaps him to Minnesota for Donald to strengthen the defensive line. If the Vikes don't get Bortles, they can leverage the selection of Arnold in a possible deal later in the first round to get a quarterback.
Buffalo's challenge at No. 9 is do they pick an offensive lineman or a tight end? Tackle Jake Matthews has managed to slide down the draft list and the Bills cannot pass him up. Matthews will shuffle off to Buffalo.
The Detroit Lions have holes on defense. They use the No. 10 pick to select Justin Gilbert or Darqueze Dennard. It will be a cornerback who will hopefully eliminate Detroit's vulnerability to big-play pass receptions.
A somber, manageable attitude tales hold of the people in Radio City Musical Hall and in the war rooms of every NFL team. The teams make sensible and predictable selections for the rest of the first round with two exceptions.
Tennessee selects safety Hasean Clinton-Dix with the No. 11 pick and then trades him to the St. Louis Rams for their No. 13 selection, cornerback Darqueze Dennard. or Justin Gilbert. The Titans also get either an additional pick or a player to be named later.
The second exception is the Cleveland Browns must decide whether to select quarterback Derek Carr or Teddy Bridgewater with the No. 26 pick.
Here is the absolutely crazy, trade-happy, first round 2014 NFL mock draft.
No. NFL Team - Player, Position, College
1. Atlanta Falcons- Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
2. St. Louis Rams - Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
3. Jacksonville Jaguars - Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
4. Cleveland Browns - Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
5. Oakland Raiders - Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A & M
6. Houston Texans - Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Mike Evans, WR, Texas A & M
8. Minnesota Vikings - Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
9. Buffalo Bills - Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A & M
10. Detroit Lions - Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State or Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
11. Tennessee Titans - Hasean Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
12. New York Giants - Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
13. St. Louis Rams - Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State or Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
14. Chicago Bears - Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
15. Pittsburgh Steelers - Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU
16. Dallas Cowboys - Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA
17. Baltimore Ravens - Zack Martin, OG/OT, Notre Dame
18. New York Jets - Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
19. Miami Dolphins - Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
20. Arizona Cardinals - Kyle Fuller, CB/S, Virginia Tech
21. Green Bay Packers - C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
22. Philadelphia Eagles - Bradl;ey Roby, CB, Ohio State
23. Kansas City Chiefs - Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
24. Cincinnati Bengals - Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
25. San Diego Chargers - Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame
26. Cleveland Browns - Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State or Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
27. New Orleans Saints - Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
28. Carolina Panthers - Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia
29. New England Patriots - Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
30. San Francisco 49ers - Marqise Lee, WR, USC
31. Denver Broncos - Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana
32. Seattle Seahawks - Xavier Su'a-Filo, OG, UCLA