A big thanks to all the outside experts who participated, a full list of which with appropriate kudos appears in our site wide Mock Review coming later this week. In the interim, just check the results here.
I wound up with Alfred Morris at pick nine. After the top six picks I was feeling like I’d get a player I coveted, however, McCoy went to Meaney at seven and Spiller went to the guys from Apex at pick eight leaving me with a choice between Morris and Richardson (Calvin Johnson was draftable at this point, but, I told myself I’d stick to the RB/RB strategy early in this draft). Morris is coming off a top five season, so there is reason to think that I got some value here, but without knowing how Robert Griffin III will fare in his return I’m not entirely thrilled about being tied to the Redskins offense in the first round.
I added my second RB coming back in round two. Steven Jackson would have been nice here, but Clifford picked him up at the 2.01 turn. Ridley will work just fine, with New England’s run game expected to shoulder a bigger share of the load for the team and Ridley maintaining goal line duties coming off a strong 2012, he has a fairly high floor.
Through the first two rounds I wound up with a reasonably strong pair of starting running backs, but, knowing that we can start a flex in this league I should have done more to address the position. I did get my hands on Montee Ball in the 5th round as the 28th overall back taken – a value by my ranks. If he starts, I’m golden. If he is limited in carries, I’m not thrilled with the depth I have at the position. LeShoure will score TDs for Detroit but is hard to rely on as an every week starter and I missed out on guys I like as sleepers (i.e. Joseph Randle selected by Neil in the 11th). Again, if Ball gets 250 touches in the Denver offense I’ll be quite pleased. If not, this mock team would be looking to deal from a depth position as the season moves along. I wanted to handcuff him with Ronnie Hillman, who Andrew Reid drafted in round 11, I waited one pick too long and this mock team will have to wait until August, at least, to know if the gamble will be an issue or not.
Speaking of depth, I think the WR position went well for me, with four players inside my top-36 ranked players and two that I have ranked as WR1s in 12 team leagues. Randall Cobb has an impressive ceiling and Roddy White has been an incredibly consistent option in a high powered offense. Jeremy Maclin went one round and eight receivers (to Mike Omelan) ahead of where I took DeSean Jackson. Heading into the draft Maclin was my preferred Eagles pass catcher this season, but, with Jackson as my fourth WR I was happy to have someone catching balls in what could be an interesting offense… Now with the injury to Maclin this mock team is happy they don’t own him, and the Jackson pick looks all the better. Check the numbers on Miles Austin, he’s a safer play than most remember and I’ve got a couple of nice fliers at the position as well. I went a little earlier than perhaps I needed to on Aaron Dobson, but, as the WR selection number 46 there wasn’t an incredible amount of upside around outside of the rookies/younger guys. Dobson is in prime position to contribute in New England. As long as he has a productive camp and builds trust with Brady, the sky is the limit as the X position for the Pats. Dig Brandon Lloyd’s production from that spot last year… he was billed as a disappointment, but, those numbers pay big time in round ten. Michael Floyd and to a lesser extent Donnie Avery both have a good chance to return production above their draft position, too. The context shapes up much better for Floyd in his second season with Carson Palmer playing QB.
I reached a bit on quarterback taking Matthew Stafford in the 6th. I have him ranked as a top five play at the position, but few others do, and he may have been available for the taking with the next pick. That said, the board told me to go QB in round six if I hadn’t already and I’m happy to have the Lion. His touchdown numbers were freakishly low last year – to the point that its hard to imagine that being repeated – and the Lions offense is still going to air it out plenty. Still, with Matty Ice going four picks after Stafford and the four youngsters going in rounds seven and eight (plus, Romo who I’m high on with the last pick of round eight) I likely could have waited.
I didn’t address the TE position until quite late, but, Martellus Bennett produced for the Giants last year and it looks like they can plug in Brandon Myers coming off a nice season in Oakland and expect the same. In general, if you’re not getting one of the top 5ish at this position at a great value, I see no reason not to wait. Myers, Bennett, Cameron, Housler and others are all available to be had late in the draft.
Lastly, I’ll address the elephant in the room. I took the Seattle DST with my 11th round pick. This was an autopick/mistake made by trying to coordinate the draft room and missing my selection, plain and simple. Still, if you are the type to draft a DST, you can’t go wrong with Seattle. Aside from their general consensus as the top fantasy unit, they don’t have a bye until week 12. I am 99% sure that I will never carry two DSTs barring a weird situation of roster flexibility, but, the great thing about the game’s best fantasy unit having their bye three months into the season is you don’t have to worry about streaming/wasting roster space. I was not happy with the pick, but, in hindsight it could have gone much worse.