I learned last season not to get too excited about draft results. It’s very easy to see a grade from the computerized draft manager and start rosterbating (thanks “The League” for that delightfully smutty expression), but your team may look a lot different after Week One than it does before it.
Of course this is a mock, so I’ll let it say whatever it wants, but I honestly was more impressed with my previous mock draft than with this one, and look at the grade I got. This one was a 10-Team league on Yahoo with 3 WR and no Flex, and I picked 9th.
1. DeAndre Hopkins (Hou – WR)
2. Adrian Peterson (Min – RB)
3. Devonta Freeman (Atl – RB)
4. Demaryius Thomas (Den – WR)
5. Julian Edelman (NE – WR)
6. Carson Palmer (Ari – QB)
7. Denver (Den – DEF)
8. Jeremy Hill (Cin – RB)
9. Gary Barnidge (Cle – TE)
10. Blake Bortles (Jax – QB)
11. Kevin White (Chi – WR)
12. Zach Ertz (Phi – TE)
13. Jay Ajayi (Mia – RB)
14. Laquon Treadwell (Min – WR)
15. Robbie Gould (Chi – K)
I guess I have a thing for DeAndre Hopkins and Adrian Peterson, both of whom I think are reliable, veteran guys who maybe won’t always win your league week to week but certainly won’t help you lose it. I also like the combo of going WR and RB for the first two picks; it gives me a lot more freedom in the next few rounds to avoid thinking I MUST draft a WR or RB. It allows me to reach for a stud QB or maybe even a TE or defense later, as I did here by being the first person to take a defense Denver in the 7th round.
When to draft a defense is an interesting question. If you read any analysts, they’ll tell you don’t do it period until your 2nd to last round, and yet a lot of people often do reach. Because when the first one goes, they all tend to start flying off the board. And unlike a kicker, there is a big difference between the top 3 defenses and the ones you’ll find on waivers after the top 10. I only do it though if I don’t like any of the other options around me when it’s my turn to draft. In this case, I was still able to snag Jeremy Hill at the top of Round 8 (waayyy too late for a full time workhorse back with a lot of red zone carries and big bounce back potential), and my choices otherwise would’ve been reaching early on a 2nd QB or backup running back like Duke Johnson Jr. or DeAngelo Williams. And in fact Seattle, Carolina, Arizona and Houston all flew off the board during Round 8. When your next best option is Minnesota, I think you make that move.
It’s the middle rounds I’m not crazy about. Round 3 is about the right spot I think for Devonta Freeman, who could easily finish as one of the best running backs in the league again, or he could be a total bust and lose his job to Tevin Coleman. Maybe one week he goes off for 3 TDs, and another week he barely gets the ball and Julio Jones gets all the looks. I’ve seen him go at the tail end of Round 1, and I’d be pretty nervous if I had to settle for him as my #1 player or running back. Demariyus Thomas is another guy who, now without even a confirmed QB in Denver, could be real disappointing as a #2 WR. That’s not to belittle his talent, and even when he had Brock Osweiler as his QB for much of last season, he still finished within the Top 20.
I love Gary Barnidge (Barnkowski I mean) in the 9th. He looked good with RGIII in the recent preseason game, and that’s great value considering that Travis Kelce, Delanie Walker and Coby Fleener all went two rounds earlier. Blake Bortles also feels like good value. I maybe could’ve waited and grabbed Marcus Mariota or a different QB2, but seeing as some people have Bortles as their QB1, even in a 10 team league, snagging him in the 10th is pretty great.
The tail end of my draft, I like Kevin White a lot as a lottery ticket, post-hype guy who the Bears have been working with throughout a whole season but has never seen any playing time. Could he be injury prone? Maybe, but not more so than Alshon Jeffrey, right? Ertz could be a serviceable TE2 in a bye week, but he could also easily be waiver fodder. Laquon Treadwell could be interesting, but not more so than other rookie WRs like White, Sterling Shepard of New York or Tyler Boyd of Cincinatti, or for that matter Stefon Diggs, his teammate in Minnesota. And who knows what to think with Jay Ajayi? But at Round 13, I’m willing to think whatever you want.
How did I do? Let me know in the comments.