The 2016 NFL draft is nigh upon us, and the Arizona Cardinals are looking to capitalize on a successful season by making an explosive pick with the 29th overall selection in the first round. There is a lot of talent for the Cardinals to choose from when the clock starts ticking on April 28, but it’s important to analyze their needs and weaknesses, as well as the most talented individuals available when they make their pick.
It’s also important to keep in mind the impending premiere of the Netflix revival of Gilmore Girls. While it’s only natural to speculate where these players might land on issues like whom Rory belongs with or whether Lorelai and Luke got back together, unfortunately, at this point it’s impossible to say how much Gilmore Girls curriculum was involved behind closed doors at the Combine.
Until those results are released, we can only imagine how these players might fit in at both the Cardinals locker room and a marathon sesh. Still, let’s play some fantasy football and find out who we’d like to get Gilmore’d out with.
Center from Alabama
6’4”, 311 lbs.
Aside from the local buzz mounting around the stalwart Alabama center, Kelly achieved national acclaim after forcefully making lanes for Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry and helping the Crimson Tide roll to their first National Championship in the playoff era.
The Cardinals could use support on the offensive line, especially at the center position, with Steve Keim and Co. allowing Lyle Sendlein to hit free agency. An impressive effort at the Combine showed he possesses the speed to make it in a versatile offense, which is becoming more important in today’s NFL, potentially making Kelly a great fit in Bruce Arians’s scheme. Imagine Kelly learning from greats like Evan Mathis and Mike Iupati — it’d be a boon for the Cardinals.
And while Kelly may have difficulty with quicker interior defenders, he possesses brute strength and a gritty resolve that surely makes it easy for him to relate and connect with one Paris Geller, Rory Gilmore’s best frenemy. Paris’s feisty and fiery demeanor earned her no friends in the Yale Daily Newsroom, traits that Kelly shares when he’s unleashed on the football field.
While it might not seem like the sexiest pick, Arizona would do well to select a talent like Ryan Kelly, who probably hates Liza Weil’s character on How to Get Away With Murder. He’d likely appreciate Paris as a foil to Rory, always challenging her to be her best self.
Defensive End/Defensive Tackle from Ole Miss
6’3”, 294 lbs.
Nkemdiche put on a limited display at the Combine this year, but his 4.87 40-yard dash and 35-inch vertical placed him above his peers at the DT position in those categories. He truly is a versatile talent at both the DT and DE positions.
But one cannot mention Nkemdiche without bringing up his issues off the field that saw him fall out of a window and get arrested for possession of marijuana, all in the same incident. He was suspended for Ole Miss’ appearance in the Sugar Bowl and declared for the NFL draft after, ending his college career with disappointment. Does the rebellious streak sound familiar?
While his talent might be a valuable addition to the Cardinals, there’s no denying the similarities to the bad boy who broke young Rory’s heart. We're talking about that asshole Jess Mariano, of course, played to dickheaded perfection by Milo Ventimiglia. Can the Cardinals afford to take on their own Scourge of Stars Hollow? Well, if Luke Duanes couldn’t handle Jess, what hope would Arians have of controlling Nkemdiche?
If Robert is going to be able to enjoy the upcoming Gilmore Girls: Seasons resurgence on Netflix, he will have to do some growing up. Just like Jess should have in the years since we last saw these characters.
Quarterback from Memphis
6’7”, 244 lbs.
While the Los Angeles Rams gave up a lot to the Tennessee Titans for their chance at either QBs Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, it’s not difficult to see that this year’s draft class lacks a clear standout talent like years past, when we saw Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Jameis Winston, and Marcus Mariota.
However, that doesn't mean this year’s class of signal-callers lacks in prospective talent. Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch might see an uptick in value in the fallout of the Rams trade up. The QB position, by virtue of need alone, will be subject to market over-evaluation — which might land Lynch a position as the heir apparent to Carson Palmer.
Could Lynch thrive under such pressure? Or would he crumble under the weight of expectations? Rory and Lorelai both endured their own crucibles: Rory as she debated whether to leave home for Harvard, and Lorelai facing closure of the Independence Inn. Both Gilmore girls bounced back: Lorelai opened the Dragonfly Inn with her best friend, Sookie, and Rory got accepted to Yale — just a short drive from Stars Hollow.
Should Lynch be unsure of his ability to persevere, we’d love to sit down and binge-watch these pivotal episode arcs with him, if only to provide illumination of the same inner strength both Rory and Lorelai possessed through such tumultuous times.
Cornerback from Ohio State
6’9”, 199 lbs.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Apple had the sixth-best 40-yard-dash time at the Combine, and is known for sealing Marcus Mariota’s collegiate career with an interception in the 2015 College Football Championship game. His impressive size and speed have put him above others playing the same position.
We wonder who he likes more: Kirk or Michel?
It’s clear that more talented DBs like Jalen Ramsey and Vernon Hargreaves won’t be available when the Cardinals make their first selection, but they might be hard-pressed to pass up Apple if he’s still on the board. But before they do, we wouldn’t be hesitant to find out if he prefers Michel’s sardonic quips or Kirk’s oddball futility. Not that it matters. Just for personal research.
He might even prefer Lorelai’s quirky neighbor Babette, deftly portrayed by TV legend Sally Struthers. Who knows? We haven’t had the chance to sit down with Apple and crack out three or four eps like most pro scouts and coaches at the Combine — really get Gilmore'd out, y’know. Maybe we'll get that chance if the Cardinals draft him, but by that point it might be too late. He might like Jess. Or, even worse, Dean. And then we’ll be stuck with him.