The mock draft is a favorite pastime of the NFL offseason. Sure, other sports have mock drafts too, but hardly anyone craves them the way they do for the NFL.
NBA mock drafts come closest, but sometimes there's very little impactful talent available past the lottery. As for baseball and hockey, baseball's is incredibly long and hockey's hasn't broken into the mainstream. Those two sports also have legitimate minor league systems that can delay the top pick's first appearance in MLB or the NHL for years.
So here we are in NFL mock draft season, the greatest one of all. This season, Louisville fans will have an eye on DeVante Parker throughout the process, despite the fact that up to 11 Cardinals may be drafted (11 were invited to next week's scouting combine). Parker is the only one unanimously projected to go in the first round.
To feed the mock draft fever that everyone most certainly has (why would anyone hate mock drafts?), Card Chronicle has scoured the internet to put together a list of where Parker could end up going. Buckle up, because if these folks have an educated idea as to where players will end up, the only conclusion you can come to at the end of this is that nobody really knows anything for certain.
Potential destinations are listed in order of frequency with links to all of the mocks that picked them there.
Let's start overreacting to some mock drafts!
Vikings (No. 11) - NFL Draft Countdown, NFL.com (Daniel Jeremiah), CBS Sports, ESPN's Kiper and McShay ($)
Alright, so nobody here is going to overreact with this option, unless it's in a celebratory way.
It would make sense for every reason imaginable if the Vikings went with Parker at No. 11. For starters, he was a college teammate of the greatest man on earth (Ted), who happens to be the starting quarterback in Minnesota.
On the football field, Parker would give the Vikes a physically dominant receiver on the outside that they desperately need. His explosiveness and ability to be productive on both short and deep routes would help Bridgewater tremendously. Outside of Greg Jennings, Minnesota really doesn't have a receiver that has proven to be reliable. Parker can be that guy.
Browns (No. 12) - SB Nation, Bleacher Report, Sporting News
There you are, "NO, PLEASE DON'T DRAG DEVANTE INTO THIS" team! As a Browns die-hard, I'd be ecstatic with this pick. As a Louisville alum and human being, I understand that this probably isn't ideal for Parker's career. The Browns are a perpetual factory of sadness. If Cleveland's on the clock with DeVante sitting there, I'll fully expect them to pick an offensive lineman or a position that isn't an immediate need.
(2014 draft-night flashbacks setting in... Just draft Teddy, this is so easy... WAIT...)
We need to move on.
Giants (No. 9) - FOX Sports
It will be shocking if Parker makes it past Minnesota and Cleveland, unless he goes even earlier! How terrifying would a Odell Beckham Jr./DeVante Parker look be? Of course, the Giants also employ Victor Cruz and Reuben Randle, which is why New York seems like an unlikely destination for Parker. Still, it's kind of cool to think about.
For what it's worth, according to a majority of the mock drafts polled here, the Giants will likely address the offensive line with their first round pick.
Dolphins (No. 14) - NFL.com (Lance Zierlein)
Miami's two top receivers, Mike Wallace and Jarvis Landry, are both shorter than 6-feet. This wasn't a patently bad thing last season, as the Dolphins finished around the middle of the NFL in most passing categories. If Parker somehow gets to Miami at No. 14, he'd add another dimension to Ryan Tannehill's arsenal and complement Wallace and Landry nicely.
Texans (No. 16) - NFL.com (Bucky Brooks)
DeAndre Hopkins was promising for fantasy owners last season, and while he may be a good long-term option for Houston, Andre Johnson isn't getting any younger. Parker would be a nice fit for the future. Besides, who hasn't dreamed of DeVante catching passes from Case Keenum?
Panthers (No. 25) - SI.com
The idea of Kelvin Benjamin and DeVante Parker on opposite sides of the field for Carolina is pretty fun, but it's probably not going to happen. If Parker's still on the board at 25, expect the Browns to trade up to the spot and reach for a defensive back.
As the weeks go on and the NFL Draft nears, we'll take a look at these mock drafts again and how they change without any new game film or sound reasoning. The next edition will probably come shortly post-combine.
(Read: When scouts discover in a couple of weeks that DeVante Parker's clavicle isn't the ideal size for NFL receivers, we'll be there to document his precipitous fall down the draft boards.)
We'll also be there when he's a Rookie of the Year candidate in 2016.