Tim’s Mock Draft 1.0

I feel like I have to make a stand against 99% of all the other mock drafts. I am by no means an expert, but I can’t be having Kyler Murray to the Cardinals at #1 overall. More importantly, I hate to see people taking the easy way out for the first 2 picks in the draft.

Going straight in at the deep end with trades too because let’s face it, it is actually quite pointless to do a mock draft with everyone selecting from their current positions. It’s more likely that a Brexit deal gets through parliament than no trades happening in the first round of the 2019 draft.

Here is my uneducated opinion on what the draft can look like outside the narrow-visioned experts.

#1 – *TRADE* – Giants (from Cardinals) – KYLER MURRAY (QB) – Oklahoma

Although I did say that the Murray to Arizona was boring, I didn’t say that I thought both Murray and the Cardinals wouldn’t be at the #1 spot. I think come draft night, the Giants could give up pick 6 and Browns pick (17) from the OBJ trade. Considering 2nd round picks are being discussed at the moment for Rosen, I can’t see the Cardinals pulling the trigger on that one and it pays off as on the eve of the draft, one team comes in with a decent offer to trade back. From the Cardinals point of view, dropping to 6 is a perfect back stop. The only other team I can see doing something similar is the Raiders from the pick 4, but that can be for another time.

#2 – San Francisco – NICK BOSA (EDGE) – Ohio State

Unfortunately, I revert to the general consensus type here. Obvious, yes. One of the best talents in the draft, yes. So why wouldn’t San Francisco take Bosa? If Raiders are to take a QB, they wont need to give up much to move up 2 spots. San Francisco would be very open to offers too I think.

#3 – New York Jets – JOSH ALLEN (EDGE) – Kentucky

Jets need a pass rush and whilst like San Francisco, would like to trade back to make up for last years sacrifice, in this mock I have them taking the SEC Defensive Player of the year in Josh Allen.

#4 – Oakland Raiders – QUINNEN WILLIAMS (DT) – Alabama

Arguably one of the more surer talents in the draft, Oakland begin their Draft war by starting on defence and picking up DT Williams.

#5 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – DEVIN WHITE (LB) – LSU

After seeing Kwon Alexander head for the exit door, another Louisiana State Linebacker joins the team to help elevate this defence that played under itself last year.

#6 – Arizona Cardinals (from NYG) – JAWAAN TAYLOR (OT) – Florida

Seeing as though the Cardinals made more moves in FA on the defence, I think they’ll use their 1st of 2 1st rounders to patch up the offensive line that gave Rosen absolutely no time at all in 2018.

#7 – *TRADE* – Denver Broncos (from Jaguars) – DREW LOCK (QB) – Missouri

John Elway will get itchy feet as their pick approaches and I can see them giving up 1.10 and 2.09 to move up 3 spots to get another Quarterback.

#8 – Detroit Lions – RASHAAN GARY (DE) – Michigan

Rashaan Gary stays in the state he played for in college. Arguably the rusher in the class with the biggest upside will help cover the void either through injury or otherwise of Ziggy Ansah

#9 – Buffalo Bills – ANDRE DILLARD (OT) – Washington St.

Buffalo still need to repair the holes on the offensive line. Especially more so now that Josh Allen has some people to throw to.

#10 – Jacksonville Jaguars (from Denver) – TJ HOCKENSON (TE) -Iowa

Jacksonville give Nick Foles someone in the mould of Zach Ertz to be a go to guy on the field.

He can also pass block effectively, which will help add to what they tried to implement last year in terms of the running game.

#11 – *TRADE* Miami Dolphins (from Cincinatti Bengals) – DWAYNE HASKINS (QB) – Ohio St.

Bit of a curveball here, with Cincinatti arguably needing a QB trade out of the position and allow Miami to take their quarterback and give up 13, 78 and a 2020 4th Rounder.

#12 – Green Bay Packers – ED OLIVER (DT) – Houston

Green Bay beef up their interior defensive line with the rest of the defence covered by Free agency acquisitions.

#13 – Cincinatti Bengals (from Miami) – JONAH WILLIAMS (G) – Alabama

Zac Taylor will look to tighten up the offensive line to add to the pick of Billy Price last year and fill one of many holes in the roster. Williams can play Tackle or Guard and that versatility is the reason why the Bengals take him.

#14 – Atlanta Falcons – MONTEZ SWEAT (DE) – Mississippi

Atlanta add depth to their roster which was decimated with injury last year. Touted as a top 5 talent before medical history information came to the surface, Atlanta gamble on that not being an issue.

#15 – Washington Redskins – MARQISE BROWN (WR) – Oklahoma

Brown is the first WR off the board and not DK Metcalf. After losing Crowder in FA and only having Doctson, Jordan Reed as their pass catching options, Brown can fill both slot and outside the hash roles.

#16 – Carolina Panthers – CLELIN FERRELL (EDGE) – Clemson

After losing Peppers this offseason, edge rush becomes a top priority and they fill it with the guy from Clemson.

#17 – Arizona Cardinals (from NYG) – DEVIN BUSH (LB) – Michigan

Arizona start to fill out their roster on defence in the draft, getting Bush gives them a good start to that.

#18 – Minnesota Vikings – GARRETT BRADBURY (C) – N.C. State

Minnesota need to protect their $84m guaranteed quarterback. Bradbury can start anywhere on the line and is solid in both run blocking and pass protection.

#19 – Tennessee Titans – NOAH FANT (TE) – Iowa

It doesn’t take too long for the other Iowa Tight End to find a home. Delanie Walker can’t be trusted health wise and Arthur Smith (a former TE coach) goes with a pick on a position he knows very well.

#20 – Pittsburgh Steelers – BYRON MURPHY (CB) – Washington

Arguably the best CB in the class, Murphy bolsters the back end of the Pittsburgh defence after an impressive combine.

#21 – Seattle Seahawks – BRIAN BURNS (EDGE) – Florida St.

Burns brings explosiveness, which is what the Seattle D is all about. Another that had a good combine.

#22 – Baltimore Ravens – DK METCALF (WR) – Mississippi

Baltimore take a flier on a potential big play guy. Yes, this is a run heavy offence in 2019, but that could give Metcalf 1 on 1 looks fairly often. Baltimore aren’t afraid to take WR in the first round with the most recent (failure) being Breshad Perriman

#23 – Houston Texans – GREG LITTLE (T) – Mississippi

Houston could trade back here to accumulate picks, something they’ve not had too many of comparatively to most teams over the last few years. Left Tackle is a gaping hole though and Little plugs in that need.

#24 Oakland Raiders (from Chicago) – DEANDRE BAKER (CB) – Georgia

The Raiders use their second pick of the 1st round to help the back end of the defence who can contribute from day 1.

#25 – Philadelphia Eagles – CODY FORD (G) – Oklahoma

Prior to the Jordan Howard trade, everyone thought that this is where Josh Jacobs ended up.

Very surprised if that is the case now and therefore the Eagles turn their attention to offensive line.

#26 – Indianapolis Colts – DEXTER LAWRENCE (DT) – Clemson

Chris Ballard and Frank Reich have turned everything they touch into gold so far and Lawrence can be a powerhouse up the middle.

#27 Oakland Raiders (from Dallas) – DALTON RISNER (OT) – Kansas St.

It could be easy to put in N’Keal Harry or a WR here as it’s the pick traded to them for Amari Cooper. I think they’ll address offensive line with this pick seeing as though Kolton Miller has struggle thus far. Risner could potentially play both sides of Center.

#28 *TRADE* Washington Redskins (from LA Chargers) – DANIEL JONES (QB) – Duke

Washington give up pick 46, 96 and a 2020 2nd rounder to the Chargers to take Daniel Jones. Whilst they could try and get Rosen for pick 46 in real life, that wouldn’t be happening here with the Cardinals not going for Murray so Washington try and trade up for a QB.

#29 – Kansas City Chiefs – GREEDY WILLIAMS (CB) – LSU

Kansas immediately get a playmaker on defence for a team that have lost a few pieces in free agency including Eric Berry and Justin Houston. They could trade back and get a few more picks to fill all the holes on defence.

#30 – Green Bay (from New Orleans) – AJ BROWN (WR) – MIssissipi

After Randall Cobb left for Dallas, Green Bay uses it’s extra 1st rounder to replace him. AJ Brown could be a great fit for Aaron Rodgers in the slot.

#31 – Los Angeles Rams – CHRISTIAN WILKINS (DT)

Not too many holes to fill for Los Angeles but the void left from Suh can be filled by Wilkins, who is the type Wade Phillips likes: a guy that can get through the gaps.

#32 – New England Patriots – D’ANDRE WALKER (EDGE) – Georgia

New England could do anything from trade out of the first round to either side of the ball. Jachai Polite was another option, but seeing as though Belichick seems to like Georgia, why fix something that isn’t broken?

Podcast 34 – Final Mock Draft

In this episode, we do a final mock draft ahead of the season starting next week.

This weekend sees the majority of drafts taking place so we got Richard King (@excelgeek) , writer for Rotoballer, NFLGirlUK and acrossthefantasypond to join us as we go HEAD TO HEAD in the draft.

We give you some last minute tips throughout the mock draft and point you in the direction of people to target for. I also adopt a half zero RB approach. let us know which team you like most by voting on the social media poll!

Next week, WEEK 1 PREVIEW! As Ric Flair would say…..WOOOO!

2018 Fantasy Football Industry Mockstravaganza – 5.01

If you want to go back and see our 4.12 pick, you can do so by clicking here.

Obviously, it’s us again with the pick and we literally mulled for about an hour what to do with it.

Our current roster is Todd Gurley, Mark Ingram, Mike Evans and Stefon Diggs. The same players are in consideration for our next pick and we though that WR may be the best shout because when it’s circles back round to us in 22 picks time, the depth gets a bit thin at both WR and RB. If we pick a RB or WR here, they would fill our flex spot. We are still not interested in a Tight End until the likes of Olsen, Engram, Graham, etc have gone so that makes the decision a bit easier.

But wait! Aaron Rodgers is still sitting there and its the frickin’ 5th round!

Industry drafts usually see QBs go later because everyone waits on them on the premise that there isn’t a big gap in scoring between QBs and the positional value is not the greatest. That said, taking Rodgers gives us the best player at the position, which will go nicely alongside Todd Gurley.

With the 1st pick of the 5th round, the Full10Yards podcast select Aaron Rodgers.

rodgers

Aaron Rodgers when healthy, is always at least the 2nd best QB in fantasy football. Considered by many as the GOAT (pretty much everyone except Brady fans), Rodgers is a difference maker at the QB position both for the packers and fantasy football teams.

That said, Broken Collarbones currently is ahead of Superbowl wins 2-1 and missed the majority of last season after going down injured. So that is a risk going in to 2018 but it’s just a pick I couldn’t pass up and this is just too good a value to give to someone else.

I am very much a last round QB selector and it’s not the first time I have drafted Rodgers this offseason. Hopefully it pays off.

Each season he has been healthy, you can bet your bottom dollar on 4000+ pass yards, 30+ TD throws and single digit interceptions. Not many in the game can offer that as a minimum. Rodgers makes all WR relevant, it’s the only reason people are considering Geronimo Allison this year in drafts! Jordy Nelson has gone, but they have replaced him with Jimmy Graham and a couple of guys in the draft. Davante Adams is the clear number 1 WR and I think he could easily be a top 5 WR with Rodgers at the helm.

The saving grace if he does miss any time this season with injury is that in a 12 team league, you can stream the position pretty easily.

Give me A-Rod. You can take your DeShaun Watson love and take it elsewhere, he wont even be in the top 8 QBs this season in our opinion.

Time to find out who went after us, which you can find out here…

2018 Fantasy Football Industry Mockstravaganza – 3.01

After our last pick of Mike Evans, we are up again with the same players to choose from.

Before we make our pick, remember that when picking on the turn, Average Draft Position (ADP) value kind of goes out the window.

We wont have another pick now for 22 picks after this, so the landscape of the player pool will change dramatically. The one thing in our favour though at this point is that we could start seeing some Quarterbacks  or Tight Ends come off the board. Hopefully this means for us that we are able to nab a WR/RB at the 4.12 that is at the end of a tier break. By tier break we mean where there is a drop off in level at a position.

The good thing about picking on the turn is that you can address multiple positions in one go or bolster a whole skills position in the 2 picks so it has it’s advantages.

Take this turn for example, we took Todd Gurley first up and now have the opportunity to take 2 WR or bolster our RB duo and take a decent WR. Taking Mike Evans gives us a solid RB1 and shall we say a tier 2 WR with tier 1 upside.

With this being the case I think it’s best to go WR again to ensure we have a decent duo to start each week.

With the 1st pick of the 3rd round, The Full10Yards podcast select….Stefon Diggs

diggs

This may be considered a reach considering injuries history for Diggs and that over his career in the NFL is very much a boom or bust guy.

However, I am all in on Diggs this year.

One of the cleanest route runners in the game today, great speed and elusivity along with great catching ability, we expect Diggs to take off this year and be the No.1 in Minnesota. Adam Thielen’s breakout year last year was mainly because Diggs wasnt there and let’s not forget it took Thielen a while to get in amongst the Touchdowns. Despite injury niggles, Diggs still scored 8TDs from 64 receptions totalling 849 yards. I put the case forward that the Keenum to Thielen combination was an anomaly and it’s no guarantee that Cousins has the same rapport with Thielen. Yes Thielen is as good as the best at getting open (kind of reminds me of Doug Baldwin) and will likely see his fair share of targets too, I’m just not willing to reinvest that last season is replicated for Thielen.

You could call Diggs a Tyreek Hill lite but with Cousins there now at Quarterback, I think the signs all point to Diggs having a 1000 yard season (which would be his first), potential for 10+ TDs in what could be a high scoring offence (debate as to whether it needs to be is for another time).

It can be debated whether both WR can be supported as WR1/2 this year with the defence being as good as it is and Dalvin Cook coming back. The offensive line is not the greatest so Diggs, who thrives on post routes (88% success rate in 2017 according to Matt Harmon’s Reception Perception) will be relying on Cousins being upright for long enough to make those deeper throws.

You’ll see both Thielen and Diggs go in the same rounds in drafts this year as Thielen’s ADP has risen from last year (was around a 6th/7th/8th round pick last year) and if you want a piece of this offence, you’ll have to pick the splinters off and get up off of that fence you’ve been sitting on because the likelihood is that you’ll only be able to get one piece of this offence.

We are taking a stand and going Diggs with our 3rd round pick, giving us a roster so far of Todd Gurley at RB, Mike Evans and Stefon Diggs at WR.

Very happy. Over to Van Buren’s Boys at 3.02…

2018 Fantasy Football Industry Mockstravaganza – 1.01

Welcome to the Mockstravaganza!

You are reading this because you love draft season and you love fantasy football or you follow interesting people on social media…

Our podcast is part of a deep group of fantasy experts and podcasters pitting our wits against one another to be able to call themselves the cream of the crop.

Details of the league and the background to the draft can be found here.

We are a 12 team league and I have the honour of picking the 1.01. Joys!

You can follow our draft through the links which will take you through all the wonderful podcasts that are involved in this jolly jaunt and they can be found at the beginning and end of our posts.

In another league I had the 1.01 this year and drafted Zeke because I wanted to be different. This time, I followed the sheep.

todd_gurley_rams

Pick #1 – Todd Gurley, RB – LA Rams

Todd Gurley is as safe as they come in fantasy football this season; High scoring offence, focal point of attack and a mastermind at the head coach position.

Gurley managed to obtain over 2000 scrimmage yards last season and 19 total touchdowns. Same again? Probably not, but should get fairly close.

Yes, a lot more attention will be given to Gurley after last season’s performance and yes I don’t expect the long screen pass touchdowns to be as effective for Gurley and the Rams this season but Gurley truly has it all.

To give you insight in to why Gurley is the consensus number one pick this season, let’s take a look at the dominance that was Gurley in 2017…

In half PPR format leagues, Gurley finished as a top 10 RB  in 12 out of the 15 games played last year (didn’t play week 17 and neither should your fantasy league!). Furthermore he finished in the top 3 SIX times! That’s almost half of your fantasy season. To reiterate, chances are I don’t see him replicating his 2017 performance but he sure as hell isn’t going to fall through the floor, Sean McVay is too talented and creative a Head Coach. He’ll find new ways of getting Gurley the ball in space and in to the endzone. The LA Rams defence will be stellar meaning that they’ll chew the clock in some games and positive gamescript is important for running backs.

I don’t think you can make the wrong decision at #1 and the only thing stopping them from performing is an injury, just ask David Johnson fans from 2017.  But seriously, all players can get injured and you shouldn’t be playing fantasy football if you don’t pick a player because they may get injured (fair enough if they are already injured, but I am not picking Rashad Penny here…).

I could have taken Zeke again at 1, but it’s nice to have different shares of players in the 50 different fantasy leagues you’re in…right?

Your first round pick should have the least concerns, the highest floors and the biggest ceilings. Todd Gurley ticks all of those boxes. So I choose you, Todd!

Who went pick #2? You can find out by clicking here.

Over to you, number 2…

Enjoy the ride!

 

In a Different League

As I have just come to the end of my first dynasty mock draft with pretty much a bunch of people I don’t anything about, I found the draft much more difficult to complete and be happy with my team. There were various reasons for this so I thought I would do a quick post on do’s and dont’s for anyone either new to fantasy football or maybe trying a different format of league. Some handy hints when doing drafts, prepping and general in season guidelines to follow to help you get the most out of your fantasy football.

Rule 1 – No Regrets

I can absolutely guarantee that at some point every season in every league you play in, you’ll have a decision to make (get paid the big bucks, me).

You’ll ponder over a trade decision, you’ll wonder how much FAB to spend on a player on waivers and you’ll definitely weigh up who to play in your flex spots each week.

Sometimes it will keep you (me) up at night trying to figure out what is the best decision to make and more often that not, they become rash decisions and consequently wrong ones.

When mulling over these types of decisions in your leagues, trust your gut instinct. If you don’t, luckily the Internet was invented so that you can go and find some information to try and make a more informed decision.

Whatever decision you make in the end, be happy with it. Have no regrets that the decision you made was the best one you could have made with the information you had available to you. You can have regrets about not having enough information or not researching enough but never have any regrets about making the decision. It’s the best way to learn from the wrong decisions. It stops you hating players further on down the line, it stops you from making subsequent wrong decisions about that player that may have let you down previously (we’ve all been there, right?).

Another good example is your league’s yearly draft:

You are in the middle of Round 4 and you are thinking of reaching for a player (I don’t know, lets say Golden Tate) but you are afraid of the reaction of your league mates or you aren’t sure if it’s the right decision. If your gut says to you you want that player, then select him, but don’t be mad at the decision if it doesn’t turn out to be as fruitful as you’d have hoped. Be mad that you didn’t do enough mock drafts and see that the player you want regularly went a round or 2 later. Be mad that you didn’t go to a website that charts Average Draft Position (ADP) and look at data detailing the player’s trends leading up to the draft. Don’t be mad at the decision when you selected him, because that’s what you wanted to do and felt it was right.

Again, if it turned out to be a bad decision, make sure understand why it was a bad decision and put steps in place to make sure it doesn’t happen in subsequent drafts.

Other examples include trading with league mates:

If you trade CJ Anderson for Odell Beckham Jr, dont be made at the decision to click the accept button (or offer button for that matter), be mad that you didn’t think to explore scenarios that could’ve played out and seen that this was a knee jerk reaction and a rash decision. Don’t be mad at CJ Anderson and Odell Beckham from a fantasy perspective either, it’s not their fault.

At the end of the season, if you can say hand on heart you had no regrets, then you’ll find that even if your season didn’t end with a playoff run, you’ll have a lot more fun with it and be at ease that you sucked.

Rule 2 – Prep, Prep Prep

If you want to trust other peoples opinions and put polls on Twitter to help you with your starting lineup, go right ahead. You’ll regret it (usually), and that breaks the first rule of Fantasy Football (see above). If you cant be bothered to put the time in to look at players match-ups, stats, news throughout the week on injuries and previous game footage to help you make an informed decision about next week’s lineup, you’re destined to fail at some point, usually the playoffs. (unless your opponent has done less of it than you or he forgets to set his team).

For the more casual fan, this is fine. It’s a bit of fun, no money is exchanging hands and bragging rights are not of utmost importance (to which you then go and set your Premier League fantasy team captain…smh). But to most, they are in leagues now where there is a small (to large) monetary buy in to ensure people continue throughout the season and don’t lose interest. If you are in one of these leagues and don’t apply yourself to the rule above, you are a fool.

Now I’m not saying quit your day job and be a full time NFL nerd. But have an app that gives you the latest news, maybe put an hour aside at the weekend to take a look at match-ups, player performances and stats to help you analyse best what team to put out on a Sunday. Trust me, you’ll find rule 1 a lot easier to adhere to.

Rule 3 – Know your league, Know your opponents

This one has multiple aspects to it.

Knowing your league is simply knowing all the different scoring nuances in it.

Do you know what the points system is for your defence and special teams? Do you know how many points your QB gets for a passing touchdown? Do any of your players get extra points for a 100 yard game?

If you don’t know the answer to these questions, your draft can go horribly wrong and you may well be scuppering chances at winning championships before the season has started.  This mainly applies to leagues that are either standard scoring or PPR to be honest, which most of you will know but I bet there are a staggering amount of GMs out there that don’t even know which type of league they are in. The same comments apply for your team. Know how many players at each position are starters and what your flex positions are comprised of. Some leagues go 1 RB, some leagues go 2 QBs, most league will have a flex position, but can vary on what type. If you are in a 3 WR league, the value of WR are going to rise and are going to be taken a lot earlier in drafts. Don’t get caught out by this and leave yourself with a depth of TY Hilton, Emmanuel Sanders, Nelson Agholor and John Ross when you have to play 3 of them each week. It’s not going to end well.

An extension of that is to try and know how your opponents operate and play the game:

What players/teams do your opponents like to have on their teams? Does one person much prefer having running back depth or do they stream QBs?

Knowing these little nuggets can help you get the most out of trade deals and can also help you to “one up” them in your drafts, provided you stick to your principles of course. Don’t go and select someone purely because the person after you in the draft probably wants them. Only select them if they will make a useful addition to your team, or a good trade piece if you are getting great value from the pick.

(Just as an extra note, know that if you are in a dynasty league, GMs usually place a lot more value on youth than in normal redraft/keeper leagues so take advantage by drafting a mixture of the top end talents for the older players as well as youth. You’re welcome)

Rule 4 – Don’t try too hard accounting for bye weeks

Lots of players always worry about bye weeks in squad composition (I use to be one of them) and whilst this definitely applies to BestBall leagues, all other leagues, don’t worry about it so much.

Even after weeks 2 or 3, your team could look a lot different. Either through trading or the waivers, what may have been a sticky situation for week 4 or week 8 may no longer be the case after a few games have been played. Injuries, depth chart clarity (or even lack of clarity) can mould the look of your team from the outset so when drafting, don’t worry too much if your team is quite lopsided. You should never shy away from drafting the best player for your team because of a bye week.

 

These 4 rules should help you become more competitive in leagues but more importantly, enjoy the game more. At the end of the day, it’s all about socialising with friends and having a good back and forth whilst the games are playing. If you aren’t, you’re breaking one of the above rules.

Start the article again.

Mock Draft 3.0 w/Lee Wakefield

Lee Wakefield here, back again for Mock Draft 3.0 for The Full 10 Yards and this time we’re going to get a little wild! I’ve drawn up something that’s a little bit alternative and thrown in a few players who could go in the first round but who I don’t necessarily feel will have their name called next Thursday night. This also gives you an insight into more players, as opposed to it being the same 32 players each time just in a different order. Also, trades are included and there are a few… So let’s go! I hope you think it’s more “Philly Special” than that weird fake punt that The Colts tried to run against The Patriots a few years ago.

#1. Cleveland Browns – Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

This would put the cat amongst the pigeons, wouldn’t it? Everyone seems to be of the opinion that The Browns are choosing between Sam Darnold and Josh Allen here. The Browns are going to pick Darnold but in this alternative reality, Cleveland picks Mayfield, the most accurate QB in the class. The fact that Mayfield seemingly isn’t even in the conversation to be the first overall pick, despite completing 70% of his passes in both of his final two years as a Sooner, is kind of weird to me. Allen, who is very much in the conversation, has never hit 60% in any season in Wyoming. To me this shows how much value fans, writers and General Managers place in measurables like height, weight and “arm strength”. Allen looks like a quarterback dressed in his uniform or in shorts and a t-shirt but last time I checked the job of the quarterback in the throw the ball to your guys, not throw it really far. Mayfield isn’t perfect but if he was 6”2 or 3, he’d be the consensus number 1 pick. No doubt.

#2. New York Giants – Bradley Chubb, Edge, N.C. State

This pick could go multiple ways, including The Giants trading back. I think New York and Dave Gettleman still believe in Eli Manning as a starting calibre QB and earlier in the off season, they were complimentary about Davis Webb as a player, so they may feel like they have a capable backup and possible future bridge QB who already has experience in their system. Quenton Nelson is going to be a great player for many years but #2 overall is probably going to be too rich for any guard, even if the position has become more valuable in recent years. So for me, it’s come down to Saquon Barkley or Bradley Chubb here. Chubb is the bigger need due to the trade of Jason Pierre-Paul and the draft class is much deeper at running back in comparison to pass rusher. New York also has a history of great pass rushers to continue, so Chubb heads to The Big Apple.

#3. New York Jets – Sam Darnold, QB, USC

 As a result of Mayfield being taken first overall, The Jets have the choice of Darnold, Rosen or Allen at 3. I know this is a slightly alternative mock but there’s really no point in considering any other position here, even with the presence of Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown on the roster. Darnold needs to work on his ball security but The Jets have Bridgewater who was a very capable player before his devastating knee injury and essentially a player/QB Coach in McCown, so bringing Darnold in and having him learn from both of them could be the ideal scenario. They’ve already seemingly given up on their last project QB, in Christian Hackenberg, without any success, so I don’t see Allen being the pick here as he’s essentially the same player.

#4. Cleveland Browns – Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn. State

 The Browns are back on the clock and with two of the big four QB’s still on the board, they’ll be taking some calls from teams in need of a signal caller. However they resist all offers and take Barkley to complete the offence as they are in “win now” mode after years of production by the factory of sadness. They also have lots more picks to fill their other areas of need so adding blue chip talent at the top of the draft is the smart thing to do. The Browns are often the butt of jokes in the NFL but to me, their roster really isn’t that far away from being really competitive. Mayfield or Tyrod Taylor, Barkley, Carlos Hyde, Josh Gordon, Jarvis Landry, David Njoku and a decent offensive line looks like a unit that can put up points in Todd Haley’s system. Cleveland have a good front seven, headlined by Myles Garrett, Jamie Collins and Pro Bowler, Joe Schobert. They need a cornerback and some more depth pieces but Cleveland are coming.

#5. Denver Broncos – Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

 John Elway could take another swing from the fences in an attempt to find Denver’s next franchise QB but chose to select the best player available instead. They brought in Case Keenum to pilot the offence, which to me, says they’re probably going to play it safe on offence via the pass and run the ball often. I think that they would love to pick up Barkley to support this way of playing and make him the focal point of the offence and I believe there could be a chance of Denver calling The Giants to try to move up to the second overall pick so that they get ahead of Cleveland at four. I seriously considered this scenario for this but I think they’d prefer Chubb over Nelson so want to stay put. As I mentioned above, the draft class is deep at running back this year so Elway and The Broncos take Nelson to keep Keenum upright and to open up holes for a new rookie or one of their other young guns in the back field. The release of C.J Anderson is a little puzzling given he just topped 1,000 yards for the first time in his career and played a full 16 game slate, this past year. Maybe Denver are looking at a potential second round selection at the position and Anderson is a couple of years away from hitting the dreaded 30 years old mark, which usually marks a decline in production. Another reason why Nelson is the pick here, as he makes their running backs better.

#6. [TRADE] Buffalo Bills – Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA [Colts receive 2018 first round picks, 12th and 22nd overall]

 Still two QB’s on the board and this may represent a little bit of a slide for Rosen, whom many consider the best quarterback available this year. The reason for the slide is down to the fact that Rosen has already had some serious wear and tear despite not having taken an NFL snap as of yet. Shoulder injuries and concussions are pretty serious concerns for a young QB as well. In addition to this, there are reports that Rosen can be difficult to coach and may rub coaches and teammates up the wrong way and the dreaded question of, “does he really love football?” has been mentioned. Rosen is evidently at least a little bit of a polarizing character, topped off by the fact that his college Head Coach, Jim Mora, said in an interview that he would pick Sam Darnold over Rosen if he was an NFL GM. Concerning at least, outright damming at worst. He’s also the worst athlete of the so-called big four, which closes some doors (although definitely not all) as some schemes and OC’s want at least a certain level of athletic agility under centre. Fortunately for Rosen, he’s still a good quarterback and there are QB needy teams aplenty, so he’ll still be selected high. The Bills would almost certainly be delighted in this scenario.

#7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Derwin James, S, Florida State

 If this pick went in, I feel like Derwin James has a chance at being John Lynch reincarnated for The Bucs. James is an alpha male who can be take over the defensive back room and become a leader of the defence, along with Lavonte David and Gerald McCoy. I feel that wherever he lands, the fire and passion for the game that James has, combines with his skill set as a safety, will raise the level of those around him. He reminds me a little bit of fellow ex-FSU DB, Jalen Ramsey, in the sense that he’s chippy and plays with a point to prove and I’m sure practices against another FSU alumnus, Jameis Winston would be very interesting!

#8. Chicago Bears – Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

 I’m almost certain that Chicago will take a linebacker at 8. Edmunds has been compared with Bears great, Brian Urlacher, Vic Fangio has coached linebacking gods like Patrick Willis and Ray Lewis… this all makes far too much sense. Chicago have lost Parnell McPhee and Jurrell Freeman too, so they need to fill a couple of spots on their roster and Edmunds has the versatility to fill one or both of those roles. I like him next to Danny Trevathan in the centre of The Bears 3-4 base defence but in sub packages, he could be used as a pass rusher alongside Leonard Floyd and Aaron Lynch.

#9. San Francisco 49ers – Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

 As I said in my last mock, Reuben Foster is not going to see a football field as a professional, for a long time and nor should he. With this in mind, I now can’t see anyone here aside from either Tremaine Edmunds or Roquan Smith. Due to more ideal size, length and also since he’s younger, I see Edmunds probably going first bit if I’m right, Smith isn’t a bad consolation prize. He’s going play in the league for a long time at a high level, despite concerns that he is undersized. Smith is a top 5 player in this draft class so to get him at 9 and immediately replace a problem on your team is a good pick.

#10. Oakland Raiders – Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan

 After the last two picks that I see as close to being locks, I’m going to drop a bombshell. If he didn’t have a heart scare at the combine, this is where Maurice Hurst would be being mocked on the regular. Based on talent alone, Hurst is a top 10 player and here, he just about sneaks into the top 10 with Oakland taking the plunge, especially given that Oakland are switching to a base 4-3 defence. Oakland do have bigger needs but they could go for BPA at this point. The D line could use a boost with both tackle spots being manned by mid round picks from the past few years. Hurst gives The Raiders a top talent who should give them some interior pass rush and help to give Mario Edwards and Khalil Mack some help when trying to get to the QB.

 

#11. Miami Dolphins – Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

 So to a lot of people this would be a big shock. To me, this is still too high but I’ll roll with it anyway. Miami needs a quarterback, despite having Ryan Tannehill under contract as don’t believe they see him as the long term solution at the sport’s most important position since he’s 30 years old and coming off an ACL tear. Obviously in Tannehill, Miami do have a capable starter and could be used as a bridge QB whilst they develop Allen and as I have expressed a lot over these mock drafts, Allen needs to be given time, and I mean years, before he gets on the field. If he gets thrown in the deep end in year 1, it could ruin the team’s season, Allen as a player and the career of the General Manager who picks him.

#12. [TRADE] Indianapolis Colts – Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

 So after trading back again in the first, Indy finally makes a pick and what a pick this is. This is an absolute bargain. The top corner in the whole class has dropped right into their laps at 12th overall! It fills a big need for The Colts and gives them another blue chip prospect in the defensive backfield alongside Malik Hooker and this continues the rebuild on that side of the ball for Indianapolis. Ward could go as high as 4 in my opinion, depending on whether The Browns stay there or trade back and also how the rest of the top 5-10 picks pan out. As I have mentioned previously, the real value of a team like The Browns or Colts trading back with a QB need squad, is that they get to gather more picks and possibly more first round picks to fill out their roster with top end players.

#13. Washington Redskins – Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

 Derrius Guice could go this high if someone out there really believes in him. There are plenty of people out there who do believe a hell of lot in him, some even think he’s a better prospect than Saquon Barkley. The ‘Skins need a running back because they need to spread the load and give Alex Smith an outlet, as everyone knows he’s not a world beater through the air and is very much a dink-and-dunk QB. Guice would give great balance to Jay Gruden’s offence and is much better than anyone on their depth chart and has a higher ceiling, despite them recently drafting Samaje Perine last year. The Redskins have pretty good offensive line to open up the holes for Guice too, which could mean they can control the clock on offence and therefore control the game, especially when they have Alex Smith a QB to manage the game for them.

#14. Green Bay Packers – Harold Landry, Edge, Boston College

 I feel like this is Harold Landry’s floor, I cannot see Green Bay letting the second ranked pass rusher in the class slide by. They need freshen up on edge players and on defence as a whole. Corner is a possibility here too but pass rusher is more valuable in the league nowadays and I would personally rank Landry above the cornerbacks in the tier below Denzel Ward, especially since Green Bay could be hoping that at least one of those guys will be around for them to pick in the second. I think this will also be seen as a bargain pick in years to come too, as I said in my last mock, Landry has had big production in college and still no one is talking about those Von Miller esque combine numbers.

On a side note; I have seen Green Bay mocked as a possible trade back in a few mocks that I have come across but I really don’t see it as they already own 12 picks in the draft, so therefore don’t need any more. However, they could use some of those later round selections to move up in the mid rounds, should a player they really like be falling towards them at some point.

#15. Arizona Cardinals – Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

 Entering the top 15 is an alternative WR1 for this class and in comparison to my guy, Anthony Miller, Ridley is probably a player you’ve heard more about. He played at a top, Power 5 college programme and has had national title success in a pro style offensive system. Ridley possesses rare speed and impeccable route running for a player who hasn’t played in the NFL yet. His drawbacks are his age, he’ll be 23 when he enters the league and due to both the nature of Alabama’s offence being run heavy and below average quarterback play, Ridley’s college production doesn’t jump off the page at you. The Cardinals need to fill a lot of holes and need players to hit the ground running and this is part of the reason why I feel like this is a nice fit. Ridley is safe. He’s not going to take as much time to adjust to the pros as players who have come from lesser colleges, like Anthony Miller. Ridley can come in and learn what he can from Larry Fitzgerald and then take over from him once The Cards legend hangs them up.

#16. Baltimore Ravens – Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

 Long time Ravens General Manager, Ozzy Newsome is retiring after this season. One thing Ozzy Newsome has done for a long time is select players from his old college, Alabama. In this scenario, Newsome gets his final draft off to the perfect start, in that Alabama defensive back, Minkah Fitzpatrick drops right into his bread basket at 16. Not only is he delighted about which school Fitzpatrick attended but also that this is another absolute bargain pick in this mock draft. He would be a chess piece that new DC, Wink Martindale would have fun moving all over his defence and he could form a nice trio of safeties with Tony Jefferson and Eric Weddle. Weddle came out recently saying that he likes what Martindale is bringing to the table and that the defence looks to be more aggressive. Fitzpatrick’s playmaking abilities will help that and boost a defence which had a nasty habit of blowing leads and giving up yards a year ago.

#17. Los Angeles Chargers – Mike McGlinchley, OT, Notre Dame

 This pick would complete the offensive line for The Bolts and probably make it one of the best units in the game today. A sneaky stat from last year was that Los Angeles actually gave up the least sacks of any team in the league and that was with Spencer Pulley at the pivot, no Forest Lamp all year and a bit of turnover at the right tackle position. Now The Chargers have Mike Pouncey on board, Lamp back from injury and with this pick, McGlinchley locking down the right side of Philip Rivers’ line. The protection should be even better which is dangerous for The Chargers opponents as it gives Rivers more time to pick his pass. However the main reason it will benefit the team will be that the line will be far more better equipped to open up holes in the running game as they are now comprised of better blockers and better athletes. This is how HC, Anthony Lynn wants his offence to operate and is further aided by the free agent signing of Virgil Green, an excellent blocking tight end. This is evidence that The Charges want to go this way and why they select the best offensive tackle in the draft here.

#18. Seattle Seahawks – Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn

 This could be considered as a big reach here. This could also be Seattle replacing Richard Sherman with Richard Sherman 2.0. Davis is a big, physical cover man with excellent traits to play the position at a high level for a long time. He is used to going toe to toe with the best wide receivers in the SEC, the best conference in college football, which gives him a lead start compared to other guys in this class. It is said that in practice, Auburn QB, Jarrett Stidham shied away from throwing the ball to Davis’ side of the field because he knew it had a higher chance of being an incomplete pass…Sounds a little bit like another corner who didn’t get targeted often and had the ability to lock down one half of the field, doesn’t it? This is another great fit for Seattle who I figure to draft heavily on the defensive side of the the ball next Thursday night.

#19. Dallas Cowboys – Vita Vea, DT, Washington

 Dallas don’t have a bad roster at all and could be a position to just take the best player available. Now, they obviously have a big need at wide receiver after Dez Bryant was cut at the back end of last week and players like Anthony Miller, D.J. Moore and Christian Kirk are definitely in play here but it may be considered it to be too rich for any wide receiver to be taken at 19 and I wouldn’t be shocked at all if we didn’t see a wideout taken on Thursday night, at all, as it’s a class which generally lacks star power. Although I do think there are some good pass catchers in the draft. Dallas also has a hole at safety but when your division rivals are the current Superbowl champions and two other teams who want to get better quickly, you have to match that ambition. Hence why Vea is the pick here as BPA. Like I’ve mentioned with other interior D linemen, he will make the pass rushers in the team better as a man of his size and athletic ability will command double teams, thus taking away attention from other players.

#20. Detroit Lions – Sony Michel, RB, Georgia

 As I’ve mentioned in previous mocks, Detroit hasn’t had a ball carrier of note for a long, long time and that needs to change if they’re ever going to make any noise in a crowded NFC North and if they aren’t going to waste Matt Stafford’s career. Michel is definitely RB3 in a strong class and will provide The Lions with a hard running back to take the strain off Stafford and the passing attack. Jim-Bob Cooter could also use Michel as a pass catcher out of the back field and get creative in that way, as he has shown evidence in college of having soft hands and being a capable receiver during his time at Georgia. I mention this a lot with running backs and about when an offence has a capable one paired with a good quarterback, it adds balance and the ability for that offence to control the game clock. Always useful when you play up north, in cold weather against other teams who rely on running the ball well and keeping the ball out of your hands. Especially if that means keeping that Aaron Rodgers bloke from getting on the field as much.

#21. Cincinnati Bengals – Connor Williams, OT, Texas

 Much Like the fact I’ve mentioned about the Lions needing a running back before, I am going to keep saying that The Bengals need to revamp their offensive line. Williams is a player I haven’t mocked here before but I’ve previously gone for Isaiah Wynn and Mike McGlinchley – One guard and one tackle, now I’m going for a player who could in theory play either of those positions, giving Cincinnati an element of flexibility moving forward as they surely add more players to their offensive line. I would play Williams at right tackle opposite Cordy Glenn to start with, giving The Bengals two good bookends. If I was them I would also double down, adding a guard or centre prospect in rounds 2 or 3. They have to give Joe Mixon some running lanes and keep Andy Dalton clean if they are to have any chance moving forward.

#22. [TRADE] Indianapolis Colts – Ronald Jones II, RB, USC

 The Colts used their trade down from 6 to enable themselves to really pick up a greater number of top prospects to really refresh their roster quickly. Earlier on they picked up a defensive player and now they flip over to the other side of the ball and take their running back of the future. Ronald Jones is another of the top backs in the class, he isn’t quite Saquon Barkley but he is going to be a very useful back and is in the second tier of runners alongside the likes of Derrius Guice and Sony Michel. All four have a big chance to go in the first round, especially if a couple are off the board early on and it creates and bit of a rush for players at that position. Frank Gore has been pretty decent for Indy since he came over from San Francisco a few years back and still managed over 950 yards at the age of 34, last season and did crack the 1,000 yard mark the year before last. In doing so however, he has been a massive anomaly in terms of doing so at his age. Jones will take the pressure of Andrew Luck or Jacoby Brissett and be a reliable runner who should delivery more yards per attempt score than Gore did, which was only 3.7.

#23. New England Patriots – Rashaan Evans – LB, Alabama

 I’m going back here again with Evans ending up is New England as it just makes too much sense should the board end up falling like this. There are plenty of linebacker needy teams who will be waiting to pounce before the 31st pick, should The Patriots be silly enough to wait and when do New England do silly things? (Throwing a pass to Tom Brady perhaps? I hear you say), not very often, so this has to happen now. Evans has the big time and big game experience to work well in The New England defence and he also possesses enough versatility to cope at different spots in this complex and multifaceted defence.

#24. Carolina Panthers – Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

 Here’s another new name for you and another wide receiver. Christian Kirk is a player I really like. I feel like he’s a good fit for the Carolina offence too as he’s a little bit different to Devin Funchess and he’s less of a running back than Curtis Samuel. Kirk is a solidly built and sturdy looking receiver, who has good hands, speed and can also help the team he lands on as a punt and kick returner, where he had good success as an Aggie. 24, and maybe the whole first round is possibly a little bit rich for him but I wanted to include him in this alternative setting to get his name out there for those who maybe haven’t heard of him and as a way of recognising how highly I rate him. He’s another one of this class’s smaller, quicker pass catchers who I feel will contribute from very early on in his career.

#25. Tennessee Titans – Josh Sweat, Edge, Florida State

 Another new name for my mocks is Josh Sweat. To some the FSU pass rusher could have been a top 5, if not top 1, player in this class had it not been for a devastating knee injury in his senior year of high school, which resulted in a dislocation of the knee and the rupturing of all the major ligaments of the knee. At one point it looked like Sweat’s leg may have had to have a below knee amputation as it was first feared that there would be artery damage. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case and Sweat is working his way back to having the explosiveness that had him being compared to Jadeveon Clowney. Sweat has ideal length and is talked about as a very coachable as a player, these aspects help him out massively…probably not enough to get him drafted this highly but someone will take a flier on someone with huge upside potential like Sweat. Sometimes they work (Myles Jack), sometime they don’t (Malik McDowell).

#26. [TRADE] Indianapolis Colts – Marcus Davenport, Edge, UTSA [Atlanta receives 2018, 2nd round pick, 36th overall and 3rd round pick, 67th overall]

 This would make things interesting for Indy as they flip back to the defensive side of the ball. As a team with a lot of high value picks they are well armed to either take a lot of quality players or pull something like this. Here The Colts trade back into the back of the first round, targeting one of the squads with stacked rosters as a trade partner, to pick up another high upside player in Marcus Davenport. Trading back into the first round gives Indianapolis the 5th year option, so it gives players more time to develop under their first contract. As I’ve previously stated, Davenport needs some work and needs to be in a situation where he can come in and play as a situational rusher, rather than a full time starter right away. The Colts don’t possess a bevy of top edge rushers but they have a group of guys who rotate and could use a boost. Davenport would come in and learn from good pros like Jabaal Sheard and John Simon, who have been around the league a little bit and he could possibly be joined by another edge rusher or defensive tackle later in the draft as Indy looks to revamp both the back and front of it’s defence. As I’ve also said, Davenport has the ingredients but it’s really up to him to soak it all in and learn as much as he can, as quickly as he can. If he is successful in doing so, he can be a beast coming off the edge.

#27. New Orleans Saints – Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama 

The Saints don’t have a lot of holes in their roster so are a prime candidate to trade as they did in my last mock draft. This could be to trade up, mortgaging their future in order to get a QB to take over from Drew Brees in future or trading back to accumulate more picks so they can do so in future. I think The Saints are going to be good for a while with the roster that they possess, so I doubt they will be picking in the top 10 any time soon, so are likely to need to make a move to find their next long term QB. However, if a team like Atlanta beats them to the trade back and they don’t have a partner, I can see them picking a tackle like Payne or Taven Bryan. Payne is the better player so they go in that direction here and the strong get stronger. Trading away multiple picks is always a little scary and New Orleans have a Superbowl window open the whole time Brees lines up under centre so they’re in “win now” mode.

#28. Pittsburgh Steelers – Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State 

One of the top four linebackers is available and Pittsburgh have to take him to safeguard their possible post-Ryan Shazier future. As I’ve said, I personally hope we see Shazier back on the field again but the signing of Jon Bostic was another safeguarding move from the front office. Vander Esch does need work but I am a big fan of how he can affect the game in multiple ways. He’ll be an asset for whoever he joins when he gets on the field but this situation where he joins a good team where the pressure isn’t on his shoulders immediately may be best for him, as he isn’t a complete player yet.

#29. Jacksonville Jaguars – Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville 

What if the Jags don’t want to make a pick to protect Blake Bortles but want to keep an eye on the future should he not blossom into the player they want him to be? Blake was great in the playoffs last year but throughout the season defences began to figure it out and load the box to guard Leonard Fournette and dared the offensive play caller to let Bortles throw it against them. Jacksonville can’t harbour Superbowl ambitions if they are going to allow that to happen again. Jackson is a good quarterback and an electric athlete who can always make a play with his legs, who if coupled with Fournette would be very fun to watch (unless they’re playing against your team). Get the Jags some pass catchers and add in the outrageous defence and Duval could be bringing home the Lombardi soon.

#30. [TRADE] Cleveland Browns – Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa [Vikings receive 2018, 2nd round pick, 33rd overall and 4th Round pick, 114th overall] 

We have another trade. Cleveland address another need and use some of the draft capital they’ve stockpiled to get back into the first round. This trade is almost identical to the one they pulled off last year in order to go up and get David Njoku. Jackson is a longer, more physical corner who Gregg Williams should love and should match his aggressive style of coaching. Jackson should play opposite from E.J. Gaines and match up with the bigger wide receivers in the AFC  North. Like I’ve mentioned previously with this kind of trade, this is worthwhile because it gives the team a 5th year option on the player. This means they aren’t a unrestricted free agent until they’re into their 7th year, should the team exercise the option. That’s the majority of the player’s career in most cases which is a lot of control and time to develop a prospect.

  #31. New England Patriots – Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville 

Everyone knows The Patriots have three major needs; right tackle, corner and linebacker. The earlier pick of Rashaan Evans fills one need so it comes down to a tackle or a corner here. Since there’s been a run on corners, especially with Cleveland trading up for one and teams like Green Bay probably looking to pick one up in the second round, New England look to jump in and take one whilst there are still really good players available. Alexander fits The Patriots physical, press-man corner style as well so this should be a great fit for both the player and the team.

 

#32. Philadelphia Eagles – Mike Hughes, CB, UCF

Philadelphia, as the Superbowl champion, have not got a lot of holes in their roster. So with this in mind, they have a lot of freedom with the 32nd pick. They’re pretty deep at cornerback already but with Hughes they get a super athlete who can help both on defence and in the return game. Hughes only started one year at UCF so he isn’t the most experienced of players but like a few players, he has the physical ingredients to be a great player. Also like a few players in the first round, he is best suited to landing on a good team, who don’t necessarily need him to contribute immediately. This pick also fills the spot of Daryl Worley who was released this last weekend after his DUI and weapons possession arrest and thinking further ahead, Hughes and last year’s first rounder Sidney Jones, could form a nice cornerback tandem for a long time.

 

So there we are, that’s another mock draft in the books from me on behalf of The Full 10 Yards. I hope you enjoyed reading about a few alternative scenarios. With that in mind please take certain picks with a pinch of salt but as always, hit me up with comments and criticism on Twitter (@Wakefield90) or on Facebook. I’ll be appearing on the next Full 10 Yards podcast that will be recorded and released very soon, which I’m very  excited about. So keep an eye out for that one for more draft content, it should be a lot of fun.

Mock Draft Monday – Draft 1.0

It’s Monday….*sigh* so what’s a good remedy to brighten up a Monday?

No, not a beer. A mock draft of course!

It’s never too early to mock draft unless its Week 2 of the regular season and seeing as though it isn’t Week 2 right now, it seems like a perfect time to mock draft.

This week we will be doing our draft with the following setup:

12 team, 1pt PPR , 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX (RB/WR/TE) and 1 DEF with 6 Bench spots (there is not point doing kickers). The rookies coming in from the 2018 draft will be included in this draft.

As it’s the first one in this series, we shall go easy on ourselves and we will be picking from the number 3 spot. We are drafting on FantasyPros mock draft simulator. A very good tool to use to get comfortable in drafting.

There will be a post or podcast in the very near future on draft strategies so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Right, so we are picking from the 3 seed. I know for a fact that we will be going RB in this first round as i am such an advocate for getting the RB1 locked in and with the 3 spot, you can guarantee that you’ll get a volume type elite back. With it being a PPR league, I am hoping for either LeVeon Bell, Todd Gurley, Zeke or David Johnson types.

Todd Gurley went #1 off the board followed by Antonio Brown.

This leaves us with a decision to make; and whilst no pick here is necessarily a bad one, don’t overthink it. It’s likely that you’ll have your preferences however it comes to you, and for me it’s a coin toss between Lev Bell and Zeke.

I will go Lev Bell, purely on the passing down work that he gets.

So we start off with Lev Bell and as our pick is not until the 10th pick of the 2nd round, I would hope that someone like a Davantae Adams drops this far, although unlikely. Anyone that is a funnelled target monster would be great.

Now, the important thing when drafting, is remember where you are in the draft order. If you are in the middle of the draft order then this doesn’t apply so much but as we are pretty much at one of the book ends, it is vital that you look at the teams picking next to you in between your 2 quick picks (i.e the teams that selected 1st and 2nd overall. This way you can try and identify their moves and stay one step ahead. You have to consider their roster construction to see what positions they may try and fill or are in need of.

in the round 2-3 change around, it’s likely that the 2 teams will have at least 1 RB and 1 WR so in this change around, you should go with who you want and not worry too much about the other 2 teams as its likely 2 WR and 2 RBs go in those 4 picks between your next one in round 3. Therefore, in my mind, I want to look at tiers of players.

Are there any players here that I can grab before these other guys that represent a higher tier than the next guy. Also, looking at the draft board on the whole, 2 teams went double WR and 1 team went double RB. Full list as below:

2018-04-16

Here is what is currently available to me:

QBs: All

RBs: Dalvin Cook, Devonta Freeman, Christian McCaffrey, Mark Ingram & Jordan Howard

WR: Adam Thielen, Tyreek Hill, Doug Baldwin, TY Hilton, Stefon Diggs & Brandin Cooks

TE: Everyone but Gronkowski (went 2.5)

When picking in the spot we are, you should always try and pick the players you like but also taking in to consideration which ones may not get back to you when the 3rd pick comes back round. I would put my house on Dalvin Cook being selected, and any other 3 from the list above. If is had to take a guess – Cook, Freeman, Thielen, Baldwin & maybe Kelce.

To me, this is an easy choice, but only because our turn comes back around very quickly and we will still be able to get the same tier of player when that happens. I am going to take Dalvin Cook, here. Purely because he could be a tier above the rest of the guys. I don’t feel overly comfortable taking a 2nd round pick on any of the WR but I will still be able to take one in the 3rd round (assuming 4 WR don’t go off the board).

So I have taken Dalvin Cook and that gives me 2 RBs to start (one note: if you would guarantee me that Joe Mixon fell to me in the 4th round, I would have gone WR most likely).

The next 4 picks are as follows: Rodgers (QB), Hill(WR),Kelce(TE), Baldwin(WR).

So we have had a bit of luck here as the 2 teams in between us reached a tad on Rodgers and Kelce (in my opinion). You’ll find picking at either end of the draft, that you feel that you may have to reach in order to get the players you want. Don’t be afraid to do that, especially if you think they are going to have a good year. Fantasy Football is all about opinions and it’s ok to make a wrong decision, as long as you learn from it.

So as we have 2 RBs already, it makes sense to go WR. We have Thielen, Hilton, Diggs, Cooks, Fitzgerald, Landry, Robinson. Like I said earlier with my round 2 pick, I want someone that will have targets funnelled to them as its a 1pt PPR. Whilst Thielen and Diggs will get plenty of receptions in this offence, my eyes are drawn towards Larry Fitzgerald – a PPR monster for god knows how long, and Allen Robinson, the new WR at Chicago who will be the focal point of the attack. whilst i don’t mind which WR anyone would go in this situation, for me it’s all about volume and opportunity so I will go with Larry Fitzgerald. Here’s one reason why: Larry fitz is around 90 or so catches from overtaking Tony Gonzalez and making it to No.2 on the all time list. Larry would not have come back unless the coaching staff said to him that we will get you to 2nd. As long Bradford stays healthy,  this will happen(even Mike Glennon can force feed WR, or the opposing Defence…).So with that in mind that’s 90 pts right off the bat for Larry Fitzgerald. The red flags here are injury or hitting the veteran wall (unlikely) and David Johnson. But in effect, this team has no WR apart from Fitzgerald as John Brown has been shown the exit door in free agency, as has Jaron Brown. Leaving just Fitz , FA Brice Butler and JJ Nelson so I am confident if healthy, Fitz gets the receptions record and then sets off into the Sonoran desert.

I take Fitzgerald and wait for a while before it comes back round to my pick at 4.10. On reflection, Larry Fitz as your no.1 WR seems a bit underwhelming, but you just have to trust on the production he will produce, especially in PPR leagues this year. In standard, I would have gone Thielen or Robinson.

So when the pick comes back to me in the 4th Round, here is the draft board:

2018-04-16-1.png

As you can see, most teams are pretty even in terms of roster construction. Team 1 does not have a running back yet so you can bet your bottom dollar that’s where he goes for at least 1 of his two picks that shortly follow mine and it’s hard to know what team 2 will do, having a RB, WR and QB on the board. Whilst Jordan Howard is VERY tempting here and likely will be picked up by team 1 if not team 2 and does represent a tier above the other RBs, there are some good PPR RBs that will still be there when it comes back to me in round 5 (Dion Lewis, Duke Johnson, etc) and i would rather have those than Howard, whose receiving is not the greatest. The WR available to me are: D.Thomas, M.Crabtree, J Smith-Schuster, Sammy Watkins, Pierre Garcon and Robert Woods. Easy choice for me here and it’s Thomas. Mr dependable in PPR for Denver, he is still their no.1 guy there (despite age getting scary for him but the same can be said for Sanders and they now have Case Keenum, who helped Thielen and Diggs have good years so I am really happy to get Thomas here.

The next 4 picks where Howard (gut wrenching stuff for Team 1 there), Russell Wilson (wayyyy too early) and Alex Collins for team 1, followed by Crabtree for Team 2.

So back to me in the 5th Round, I have Bell and Cook as my RBs paired with Larry Fitz and Demaryius Thomas at WR. I feel like this is an important pick here as from round 6, it could start to get a bit dicey. So essentially, this pick will go in to my flex spot and there are plenty of options. Could go QB with Tom Brady, could go TE with Engram or Olsen whereas the RB options are Duke Johnson, Dion Lewis, Derrick Henry, Chris Thompson and Jay Ajayi. My WR options are the same as Round 4 minus Crabtree. As this is a PPR league and RB in PPR are easy to come by, I am going to make a play for WR. As things stand and no big news of 49ers WR signings, I will go for Pierre Garcon here. He is getting on a bit with age, and has not yet played with Jimmy G but he was the focal point of the attack last year and again, I will go for the volume and possession receivers. Did consider Sammy Watkins at the value but he will be too boom or bust for me this year and I don’t want the headache of trying to get him right.

Back round to me in the 6th and we have the following draft board:

2018-04-16-2.png

Bit of a QB run in Round 6 and 4 TEs also went between my picks. So the good news is the WR and RB positions were not as decimated as they could have been. As I have gone 3 straight WR, I want to secure my third RB here. Dion Lewis is still available, but so is his former teammate, Rex Burkhead. Rex has just signed a new 3 year deal with the Patriots and seems to be entrusted with the backfield a bit. Tevin Coleman is also there so I am tempted to take Lewis as he is the fancier name with the Free Agency move and I will hope that one of Burkhead or Coleman come back round to me in 5 picks time.

They do indeed come back round and only Carlos Hyde was selected from an RB perspective. Woods, Shepherd and Edelman also were drafted before my 7.03 selection. There are not a lot of WR shouting out at me, with the best 3 options being Sanders, Kupp and Hogan. As I am an advocate of a late QB and late TE pick, I will go back to an RB. Jay Ajayi could be worth a go here, but I am going with Rex Burkhead.

So to recap, my team is currently Bell, Cook, Lewis and Burkhead at RB. Larry Fitz, D.Thomas and Pierre Garcon at WR. 5QBs and 8RBs went in the next 18 picks which is quite astonishing. I am the only team left needing a first QB, meaning i can probably wait until people start taking their 2nd (if at all), giving me great value filling up the other positions (4 teams still need a TE). I feel like i have to go either TE or WR here. TEs available are Delanie Walker, Jack Doyle, Jordan Reed and Trey Burton. As I am looking at Trey Burton as my TE, I think he wont go for another 2 or 3 rounds so can wait for him. WR available are Kupp, Hogan, Agholor, Benjamin and Lee. I think here is where i can go for a boom or bust player as my team is pretty stable as it is at the moment and I don’t need a QB. Considering how good the Rams were last year, I take the possession receiver Kupp as I want a part of that offence, in a division where defences are poor. He isn’t the boom or bust type, but there will be weeks where he scores big but has a safe floor. 3RBs and Delanie Walker were drafted in between my picks leaving us as follows:

2018-04-16-3.png

You could argue that I should have taken Walker and then a WR as Kupp may have been available which is fair. I’m regretting it already. I would say that now is the time for a TE or QB, but simply not many teams need a TE and none need a QB so i am going to risk the long wait for round 10 to take a TE and then my QB in round 11. I am going to pile in on another receiver. It’s either Agholor or Hogan for me here as they are in the more powerful offences and would rather them than someone like Kelvin Benjamin. I think Hogan was an integral part of the offence prior to injury last year so will take him here.

SPOILER: I wont be taking any rookies here unless its a 15th round flyer. I like to see it first before i draft it.

The Good news is, when it gets to me at 10.10, only 1 TE went. Annoyingly, it was Trey Burton. Seeing as that plan backfired, I feel like I will end up taking 2 TE now and playing them with the matchups. So I immediately take Jordan Reed, who has massive upside if healthy. This will force my hand in taking 2 TE but I am happy with that as my WR and RB are good in depth. Perhaps should take Jack Doyle in a PPR but the signing of Eric Ebron scares me and that Colts offence….yuk.

Jack Doyle is still there in round 11 but I am going to take my QB here. The best QB on the board at the moment is Kirk Cousins. Others available are Big Ben, Dak Prescott, Phillip Rivers, Jameis Winston and Matt Ryan. I am a bit scared of taking Cousins due to the Vikings not necessarily needing much from him with Dalvin Cook and that Defence. Big Ben is very up and down and that’s the case for all of these QBs at this point. But as there are a lot of weapons for Cousins, I will take him and change from my usual take Phillip Rivers ploy.

My team is as follows:

QB: Cousins

RB: Bell, Cook, Lewis, Burkhead

WR: Fitzgerald, D.Thomas, Garcon, Kupp, Hogan

TE: Reed

Options available to me now are TY Montgomery who has potential upside in the GB offence, Desean Jackson, Mohammed Sanu and Ted Ginn, boom or bust WR. However I am going to pick my backup TE to Jordan Reed in George Kittle. Probably not advisable to have players from the same passing attack, but I like Kittle a lot this season coming in to his second year. Could have gone Cameron Brate or Austin Seferian-Jenkins here also.

The turn saw Jacksonville defence come off the board (1st defence to be drafted) and as I am picking late in the last round, I do not want to be left with a middle of the road defence. It’s a take your pick from Minnesota, Philadelphia and for me, Los Angeles Rams. I am going to be controversial and take the Rams before the Vikings and Eagles defences. Don’t @ me. It’s a division where they could feast on the Seattle offence twice a year along with Arizona, one of the worst for giving up sacks last year.

My last pick could be absolutely anyone. RBs on the board are not inspiring: Abdullah, Martin , Breida and Robert Kelley. WRs are Desean Jackson, Corey Coleman, Mike Wallace,  Danny Amendola and Mo Sanu. I don’t need a TE and there is not point taking another defence or QB. So I plump for Sanu, who had some good weeks last year and is the No.1 in Atlanta, if Julio goes down.

So that’s my draft! The good thing about fantasyPros is that they grade your draft and here’s how I did:

2018-04-16-4.png

On reflection, there were probably one or two players I could have waited on a bit longer but this is why you practice drafts. to see what players are in which parts of the draft and get comfortable in predicting who you can get where. I love the RBs on this team and if it was real, i would look to trade one to an RB needy team. Not overly enthused about my TE but if Reed plays 16 games, then I perhaps have the steal of the draft.

Hope you enjoyed the ride! We will do another one soon. perhaps over a podcast as this was very painful to do as a blog and has taken almost 2 or 3 hours.

Love to hear your thoughts on my team or which team won in this draft. For reference, here are the final rosters below:

2018-04-16 (5)

Please get in touch on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram and let us know your thoughts! Don’t forget our #raceto500 giveaway. When we have 500 followers we will give a prize away (likely an NFL jersey!). Please show some support on our website full10yards.com and look at some of the articles and mock drafts that are on there.

Finally, our podcast will be back later in the week where we will be looking at the 2018 NFL draft with our guest mock draft writer, Lee Wakefield.