The NFL Draft isn’t just a chance for teams to restock on talent: It’s an opportunity for the league to appropriate some cool new names. From legends like Bronko Nagurski to announcing nightmares like Kabeer Gbaja Biamila to 16-character jersey-busters like LaRod Stephens-Howling, the NFL has a long and proud history of players with heroic, unusual, and hilarious names (saying Dick Butkus aloud is still never not funny).
The 2014 NFL Draft is loaded with athletes whose monikers will be a welcome addition to the football lexicon and it starts at the top with the player most experts predict will be picked first overall by the Houston Texans, Jadeveon Clowney. Just as his play combines overwhelming pass-rushing speed with crushing size, Jadeveon’s first name is wonderfully original, while his surname is easy to clowney on. It’s a tremendous addition to a galaxy of stars that includes Darnell Dockett, Drayton Florence, Bear Pascoe, Haloti Ngata, Pierre Gar[squiggly-C]on, Pat Angerer, and many, many others.
Those names are each compelling in their own way and the players they belong to are of varying skill. That’s also the case here: Culled from the CBS Sports list of the top 1,000 draft prospects, many of the players cited in this list won’t hear their awesome names called at the draft, much less play a single down in the NFL. But even if a career in professional football doesn’t pan out for Jestin Love, Osahon Irabor, or JaQuez Jenkins, they can still go through life knowing that their kickass names will help them succeed in other facets of life. Just like Max Power.