When I started writing commentary for the recent mock draft I participated
in, I got sidetracked into the rankings
vs. projections discussion. And now, on to the mock draft commentary.
The format is the same as the previous
mock draft. Twelve teams, the scoring is standard performance
plus 1 point per reception. There are 16 rounds with a starting
lineup of 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 K and 1 DEF. I managed to
snag the 2nd overall pick. Check the draft
report to review all of the picks.
1.02 - RB
Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC - Pocket Hercules, come on down to
kick off this mock draft for Team FF Today. Iím more than happy
with either the #1 or #2 spot this year, as we see a drop-off
after MJD and Adrian Peterson as the top tier RB this season.
MJD is actually projected #1 for us in this scoring system thanks
mainly to a projected 54 receptions versus only 19 for AP. The
54 may be slightly conservative, considering he earned 36 in just
the final 8 games of 2008 and David Garrard lost every WR he had
any rapport with.
2.11 - WR
Marques Colston, NO - Back at the 2.07 I pre-selected Colston,
Roddy White, Steve Smith, Anquan Boldin and Marion Barber. Thankfully
Colston got here as he, White and Smith were the last of my tier
2 WR group. Colston missed 5 games last year but his 2nd half
was spectacular, a 42-678-5 line in 8 games, and of course he
benefits from working with the reigning top QB in fantasy football.
Not a lot to worry about with Colston as my WR1.
Ronnie Brown: Moving up draft boards with
each passing day.
3.02 - RB
Ronnie Brown, MIA - Ronnie Brown is certainly getting more
love since we kicked off the start of fantasy football season
in early June. That gets me worried when the value is lost on
a player because everyone is hyping him up as a value play. But
as an early 3rd round pick, and RB2, Iím still buying. Things
are aligning nicely for Brown - youth/experience, length of time
since injury, increased opportunity, system - and the talent is
certainly there for a player who had nearly 1,000 combined yards
through his first 7 games of 2007 prior to his ACL injury.
4.11 - TE
Tony Gonzalez, ATL - Some really good fantasy players were
drafted prior to this pick (Witten, Gates, Rodgers, Grant), but
it still left me with a tough decision at this pick between a
top QB like Phillip Rivers, an excellent WR2 such as Chad Ochocinco
or Vincent Jackson or the last of the top tier TE. I went with
the TE, which is a position you can really make a difference at
in a PPR scoring league. It is going to be odd seeing Gonzo in
a Falcons uniform, but Matt Ryan looks like the real deal and
should learn quickly to use his new TE early and often so we still
end up with a typical, Tony Gonzalez year.
5.02 - QB
Donovan McNabb, PHI - I was really hoping for Rivers here,
and in fact KFFL grabbed 2 of the guys I was considering at the
last pick. If I had a re-do, I probably take Rivers at 4.11 and
see if Gonzalez would slide into the 5th round. Still, that is
not a knock on McNabb, who when healthy is a consistent top QB,
especially with the Eagles propensity (or necessity) to throw
the ball into the end zone rather than run it. The potential problem
is the ďwhen healthyĒ caveat. McNabb didnít miss any games last
year due to injury for the first time since 2004.
Vincent Jackson was also a strong consideration here to shore
up the WR2 and wait at QB. It sure seems like fewer people are
waiting on QB in recent years though, leaving a lot of dog QB
candidates if you do decide to wait too long. Sometimes you go
against the grain, and sometimes you have to go with the flow.
Difference makers are what win championships, and getting that
potential difference maker at QB is a more important piece in
the championship puzzle than it once was. In this instance, I
think it is best to go with the flow.
6.11 - WR
Donnie Avery, STL - This is hang onto your hats time. Drafting
Avery as a starter and WR2 makes me a little nervous, but we are
certainly bullish on his potential for a breakout season in his
second year. He ascends into the primary receiver role on the
Rams with the departure of Torry Holt, and showed some excellent
skills a year ago. The concern is just how poor the Rams are as
a team overall, and whether Avery is ready to be a consistent
threat against the oppositionís top defensive backs. Iíll be coming
back to the WR well in fairly short order.
7.02 - WR
Bernard Berrian, MIN - Following up the Avery pick, Berrian
fits the bill as a good WR2/WR3 with nice potential to outperform
his draft position. He hasnít topped 1,000 yards in his career,
but considering the quarterbacks heís been working with, his stats
look very good. Last year, he didnít catch a lot of passes but
turned only 48 of them into 964 yards and 7 TD. That is a 20.1
yard per catch average. One has to wonder how much he could benefit
if/when Brett Favre comes to town.
8.11 - RB
LenDale White, TEN - Youíre right, he catches hardly any passes,
but coming off a 15 TD season, now reportedly more fit and with
an improved attitude towards his work, weíre looking at some good
value here in the late 8th round. I like Chris Johnson well enough,
but do I really see him taking on a lot more workload than he
got last year? Not really, or heíll be bowing out of more games
like the Divisional Playoff game against the Ravens. White is
still integral to the Titans success.
9.02 - WR
Kevin Walter, HOU - Since I grabbed Tony Gonzalez early Iím
a little weaker at WR than other positions with Donnie Avery and
Bernard Berrian manning the WR2 spot. It doesnít hurt to throw
another name into that rotation, especially an established vet
who has been a decent PPR contributor each of the past 2 seasons.
10.11 - QB
David Garrard, JAC - Iím not overly excited picking Garrard,
but he is a safe pick at this point, mitigating the risk of Donovan
McNabb going down to injury. I do see a clear drop-off between
him and the remaining QB available, while I can save my longer
shot RB and WR depth picks for later in the draft.
Interesting to note I picked Garrard at 11.09 in the prior mock
draft. He was the 18th QB selected in both drafts. I guess Iím
in the camp that Garrard is underrated this year.
11.02 - WR
Domenik Hixon, NYG - Similar to the Josh Morgan pick just
before at 11.01, someone has to catch the ball some of the time
on the Giants. The question here is, will it be Hixon generating
the most fantasy points? For this season, I think so.
Hixon is another player I drafted in both mocks, although last
time was somewhat earlier at 9.09. The FF
Today projections definitely put Hixon in the sleeper category,
and it would seem not many others share those thoughts, preferring
to wait longer for Steve Smith or even rookie Hakeem Nicks.
12.11 - DEF Chicago Bears - This defense has an uncanny knack
for turnovers and taking it to the house. This doesnít lead to
the most consistent scoring around, but hey, it is fun to watch
and Iím game to roll the dice those points show up on the weeks
I need them.
13.02 - RB
Ricky Williams, MIA - Some better WR prospects are on the
board at this pick than RB prospects, but I have more need for
RB depth. Ricky represents some cheap insurance on Ronnie Brown
at this point.
14.11 - RB
Glen Coffee, SF - Taking a stab here at a rookie who should
be active and involved given the shallow RB depth chart in San
15.02 - K
Mason Crosby, GB - The more I think about the Green Bay Packers,
I think their offense is ready for really big things this year.
Crosby is a very good kicker, playing in a good offense. Iíll
take him now instead of waiting and grabbing a leftover with the
next to last pick in the draft.
16.11 - TE
Vernon Davis, SF - Mr. Next To Mr. Irrelevant for this draft,
and new member of How the Mighty Have Fallen Club, Vernon Davis.
Sure, heís fallen, but his NFL and FF claim to fame was all hype
and no substance. Great athlete, but not and maybe never will
be, a ďfootball playerĒ. At this point though Iíll take a longshot
on him getting his act together in a new offense.