Twelve NFL experts took part in an All-Time Draft for Peter King’s MMQB. It’s the perfect evergreen mid-July content. The possibilities were endless and the GMs for a day held in their hands remarkable power. The best players in the history of the game could be theirs, all theirs.
And though things started off fairly routine with the selections of Lawrence Taylor, Joe Greene andJohnny Unitas, CBS’ Dan Fouts went so far off the board with the fourth overall selection that it requires a double-take.
Instead of snagging Walter Payton, Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, Barry Sanders or Reggie White (or embarking on a Peyton Manning versus Tom Brady debate) Fouts went full Big Ten noon game and picked punter Ray Guy.
Fouts explains why he selected Guy, the only full-time punter to make it into the Hall of Fame, thusly:
“I really wanted Unitas,” Fouts said afterward. “But he was taken. So I thought I would shock the world. Not that many punters had the impact Ray Guy did on a game. He came into the league the same year as me , and I watched him affect games for so many years. He was such a weapon. And I thought I could get a great quarterback down the road, and I did [Terry Bradshaw, in round five].”
There are two schools of thought here. One is that Fouts found a way to spice up the piece by going against the grain. If he doesn’t, we’re likely not discussing the draft, as interesting and thorough as it is. The second — and one that has to have the bigger student body — is that it’s a patently ridiculous idea.
Guy was fantastic and his enshrinement gives hope to field position specialists everywhere. But his 42.4 yard career averages puts him tied for 69th on the all-time list, behind names like Chris Gardocki and Josh Miller. And that’s not even mentioning the sure availability of Guy in a much, much later round.
Look, it’s just a mock exercise with no large consequence. The question that should be asked is one of cost-benefit. Fouts is not the one being rewarded in pageviews in exchange for his trip to Fantasyland. It’s not a total reach to think some will think significantly less of his football opinions after seeing this — fair or otherwise.
If nothing else, Fouts has given all fantasy football players a helpful reminder as draft season comes up. Kickers are people, too, but they’ll still be people in much later rounds.