Jul 17, 2009
With the Guru on vacation, he asked me to take his place in an expert mock draft taking place on NFL.com. It was a standard scoring league (Non-PPR) with a starting lineup of 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, Flex (RB/WR/TE), 1 K, and 1 DST. 12 teams, 16 rounds, and no limitations on number of reserves per position. Let’s take a look at my picks. The draft order was as follows:
1. Adam Caplan (FantasyGuru/Sirius Radio)
2. Nicholas Minnix (KFFL)
3. Greg Ambrosius (Krause Publications)
4. Mike Doria (Rotowire)
5. Matt Camp (Fantasy Guru)
6. Scott Engel (RotoExperts)
7. Michael Fabiano (NFL.com)
8. Gregg Rosenthal (Rotoworld)
9. Craig Ellenport (NFL.com)
10. Roger Rotter (FOX Sports)
11. David Ganos (OPEN Sports)
12. David Sabino (Sports Illustrated)
Check out the draft results here to follow along.
1.05 Steven Jackson – I was torn between Jackson and LT here, but with Jackson being the only legit weapon in the Rams offense, and this not being a PPR league, I felt I made the right call. Side note – I was baffled to see DeAngelo Williams go right after me considering his situation in Carolina. Way too early, in my opinion.
2.08 Greg Jennings – This was going a little off from our rankings, but I just don’t have a good feeling about the situation in Carolina, so I wanted nothing to do with Steve Smith. I like everything about the Packers offense this year, and I expect Jennings to have another big year.
3.05 Roddy White – If this was a PPR, I probably would have gone with Dwayne Bowe here, but I had no problem taking White. With Tony Gonzalez drawing some of the coverage away from White plus Matt Ryan looking like he is ready to improve upon his rookie year, I like White to have another Pro Bowl year and possibly even improve on his numbers from last year. Side note – Ray Rice went at 3.12 to end the round, which I think is ridiculously too high. I won’t believe the hype and neither should you.
4.08 Reggie Bush – I’d feel better about this pick if it was a PPR league, but I still think Bush and the Saints have finally figured out how to use Bush. Most people are worried about Pierre Thomas cutting into Bush’s numbers, while I am thinking quite the opposite. Bush can now be lined up anywhere on the field, and can’t be keyed on as much because you have to respect the ability of Thomas. Also, I obviously needed a RB here, and he was the best available, although I still would have taken him over Thomas Jones.
5.05 Eddie Royal – There was no chance I was taking Roy Williams with this pick, and to call him a steal here is a bit farfetched. Caplan grabbed Santonio Holmes at 5.01, but I still would have taken Royal if he fell to me here. My RBs and WRs are now set, and I felt good about them.
6.08 Jonathan Stewart – It would have been very easy to take a QB here, but I felt confident enough that the one I wanted would be there in the next round, and I was correct. Stewart becomes my flex guy, and if his role in the Carolina offense increases like we expect it to then he will turn out to be much better than just a flex player.
7.05 Jay Cutler – As we have been preaching on the site and in our podcasts, you do not need to draft a QB early because the position is so deep this year. I hoped Cutler would fall to me and he did. Over 8000 yards and 45 TDs the last two seasons was just sitting there for the taking in the 7th round after I had already taken care of my RBs and WRs. I know some of you believe these numbers will drop because of the caliber of WRs he has in Chicago, but I think Cutler makes everyone around him better. Also, there was no chance I am taking Tony Romo, and to think he is better than his draft position (7.06) is just wrong considering we have not seen much out of his receivers either. I’m looking at you Roy Williams.
8.08 Owen Daniels - Once again, my strategy of not going after one of the big name TEs because there is depth in the position worked just as it did with the QBs. We have not tried to hide our love for Daniels, and to get him here was the value pick I expected. His catches and yards have risen every year, and the Texans offense is primed for a huge season. Really really like this pick.
9.05 Jamaal Charles – With my starting lineup set and pretty solid, I felt that I could reach a little with Charles here. He is a definitely sleeper candidate, and with a new regime in Kansas City, Larry Johnson will not be able to screw around like he has the last few seasons. If Charles is given opportunities and produces, they will continue to use him, so this pick could end up being one of value.
10.08 Chris Chambers – My least favorite pick of the draft for no other reason than I just don’t like the guy. He has the talent of a #1 WR, but has never been able to put it together for a long stretch of time. Vincent Jackson is definitely ahead of him as one of Philip Rivers’ favorite targets, but once again, because I was set at the position, I figured that a guy in a good offense has a chance to put up the numbers. It was either him or Miles Austin at this point, but I feel less confident about the Dallas offense, so Chambers won out.
11.05 Ahmad Bradshaw – While he may be backing up Brandon Jacobs, we know that Jacobs needs a breather now and then because of his smash-mouth style of running. Bradshaw steps into the role that Derrick Ward filled last season, and it has already been said by GM Jerry Reese that he would be the starter if Jacobs were to go down. There is nothing but upside with this pick, and he can easily fill the flex role even as the #2 back in the Giant offense. Jerious Norwood went a spot ahead, and I don’t think he will see nearly the amount of opportunities that Bradshaw will. Another pick that I really like.
12.08 Le’Ron McClain – In a Non-PPR formet, McClain still has some value no matter what is being said about McGahee and Rice. He outscored both of them last year and was the most consistent back on the team. I know he shifts back the FB role, but he was too good last year to not use at the goal line this year. A TD machine that is the only RB on the Ravens to have proven his worth.
13.05 Mike Walker - Here’s a guy that has been getting all kinds of love on “In the Loop” and rightfully so. Walker has been getting first-team reps during the off-season, is playing with a consummate profession in Torry Holt, and is no longer being pushed by Dennis Northcutt thanks to his trade to Detroit. Walker obviously has an injury history, but this is his chance to make people forget all that and become the receiver everyone has been waiting to see. Very little risk considering this was such a late pick, but tons of upside. Could be the steal of my draft.
14.08 Jason Campbell – I needed a backup QB, and he was the best one remaining. He is in a contract year and has a lot to prove considering that he was almost replaced TWICE this off-season. This will be his first time in his career that he’ll play under the same system in back to back years. Just a backup for me, so no big deal.
15.05 Cowboys D/ST - Can’t really complain here since they get their sacks, but would like to see more INTs from the secondary. A few return TDs from Felix Jones wouldn’t hurt either.
16.08 Kris Brown – A good kicker in a better offense that plays in a controlled environment is good for me anytime. That’s as far as I will analyze the last pick of a draft.
All in all, I was really happy with how it worked out considering this mock was against the highest competition I have gone against so far. Guru saw my team and said I “smoked them”, so I got that going for me, which is nice.
Before I go, I just wanted to add that you can now send in your questions to “In the Loop” at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will try to answer them each week.
Have a great weekend everyone.