His team picked seventh:
RB Ray Rice
QB Aaron Rodgers
RB David Wilson
WR Wes Welker
WR Jordy Nelson
WR DeSean Jackson
RB Fred Jackson
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis
WR Emmanuel Sanders
K Greg Zuerlein
TE Fred Davis
With the starting running back talent dramatically thinner this season, I believe that the RB position is a “must pick” in the first round. Choosing at number seven, I made the selection of Ray Rice. Obviously, I hope Rice builds on his championship season of last year. He’s also a PPR monster.
With my second round pick, I chose quarterback Aaron Rodgers. I contemplated taking Rodgers with my first choice, as that has served me well in the past. Having the top QB fall to me in the second at #18, regardless of the quality at that position available in later rounds, was a steal. I prefer getting the top position players and defenses whenever possible … even if that means reaching a bit. Hence my seventh round selection of the San Francisco Defense as the first defense taken off the board.
My running backs, excluding Rice, are all in time-shares with other backs: New York’s David Wilson, Cincinnati’s BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and Buffalo’s Fred Jackson. I’ll have to be very diligent during the season to stay with the hot hand at RB2. I was surprised to land Green Bay wideout Jordy Nelson in the fifth round. His recent surgery surely scared off some of the other teams. But with Greg Jennings now in Minnesota, Nelson should get more looks this season when he returns. My other wideouts include Denver’s Wes Welker, Philadelphia’s DeSean Jackson and Pittsburgh’s’ Emmanuel Sanders. I’m hoping Welker becomes Peyton Manning’s new favorite target. Jackson’s value goes up with counterpart Jeremy Maclin now out for the season. And Sanders should help fill the hole left by Mike Wallace’s absence in Pittsburgh. I rounded out the draft going with tight end Fred Davis from Washington and kicker Greg Zuerlein from St. Louis. I always believe great value can be found at both of these positions in the very last rounds of any draft.
Overall Draft: I believe the two strongest teams, outside of my own of course, are the Canal Street Chronicles and the Bears Backers. CSC has a strong lineup with Drew Brees, Arian Foster, Maurice Jones-Drew, and Julio Jones. The BB have Matt Stafford, Doug Martin, and Larry Fitzgerald,.
Draft Surprises: Tight end Jimmy Graham going #13 overall. And New England’s third-string running back, LeGarrette Blount, taken in the ninth round.
Wideout Dez Bryant taken #14 overall.
This will be the year of Dez Bryant. The fourth year wideout is looking better than ever. He is also saying and doing all the right things, on and off-the-field. The predicted 2,000 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns might be a stretch, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Bryant came pretty darn close.
Running back DeMarco Murray taken #35 overall.
For me, Murray has yet to prove himself as a top, or even second-tier running back. And to take him in the third round is a big risk. The second-year back has yet to play an entire season with the Cowboys due to injury. Combine that with the fact he’s only hit pay-dirt six times in his career, and you have the makings for a fantasy bust. Although he’s promised a big season, I think I’d want more proof before splashing on him this high.
Tight End Jason Witten taken #48 overall.
This is a good spot for Witten in a PPR league. I’m fairly certain he will not have 110 receptions again, but he’s averaged 94 catches for the past three seasons. And Witten is the most reliable tight end in the NFL.
Wide Receiver Miles Austin taken #76 overall.
Austin hasn’t been a top tier wideout since his breakout year in 2009. But he is a solid WR3 or flex. Most people don’t realize Austin posted almost identical numbers with former Baltimore Ravens wideout Anquan Boldin last season. He is a good pick here, but I wouldn’t reach any higher. The Dallas Cowboys have plenty of options to throw too…and Austin is not even in the top two!
Quarterback Tony Romo taken #94 overall.
Romo should have a better season this year than in his past two. Romo has a slightly better offensive line, a better wide receiver corps and strong group of running backs. And with offensive coordinator Bill Callahan now calling the plays, expect a stronger focus on the running game. In most cases, that would be bad for a quarterback’s numbers. But in this case, I think it takes the pressure off Romo and makes him more effective in the pocket. I’d expect an above average year from him. And getting him this late in the draft would be a moderate steal.
For an analysis of the entire mock draft, click here.