The “Day After the Super Bowl” fantasy football mock draft organized by Smitty at FFXtreme is complete. It wrapped up Monday the 19th with me making the final pick in this 14 round exercise, K Stephen Gostkowski. Check the draft report (click League Info > Draft Board), and here is how Team FF Today ended up:
- QB Matt Leinart (8.12)
- QB Byron Leftwich (12.12)
- RB LaDainian Tomlinson (1.01)
- RB Julius Jones (4.12)
- RB Fred Taylor (6.12)
- RB Chris Brown (11.01)
- WR Larry Fitzgerald (2.12)
- WR Torry Holt (3.01)
- WR Chris Chambers (7.01)
- WR Kevin Curtis (10.12)
- TE Kellen Winslow, Jr. (5.01)
- TE Vernon Davis (9.01)
- K Stephen Gostkowski (14.12)
- DEF Green Bay Packers (13.01)
I decided to leave off the team affiliation for each player, because a few of these guys have very tenuous situations which will likely land them somewhere else for opening day 2007 (hopefully not at home on their couch). Chris Brown almost definitely exists stage left from the Titans. Fred Taylor and Byron Leftwich may both be heading out of Jacksonville, although its hard to believe a playoff aspiring Jaguars team could think they’d be better off without these guys, particularly Leftwich.
I did commentary through the first 3 rounds of the draft, but had to drop it the middle of last week due to two other important events. One was a family emergency which I won’t get into here, other than to say it involved my 1.5 year old son rushed in an ambulance to SickKids Hospital. He is fine, but mark Valentine’s Day 2007 as the scariest day of my life. The second less significant but more “normal” event was finishing the Baseball Cheatsheet Compiler and Draft Buddy (after we knew Alex was fine).
In the meantime, Smitty sent along some questions for participants to complete about the mock draft. Instead of going back to round-by-round commentary, lets jump into those.
Q1. Who are the steals of the draft (if forced to decide now, pick 4)?
Obviously I like my picks or I wouldn’t have made them. Steering clear of those, I thought the best bang for your buck picks were the following:
a. Steven Jackson, FFToolbox at 1.05 – It isn’t easy getting a big value pick in the 1st round, but I think that is what happened here. I have Jackson and Larry Johnson somewhat interchangeable in the #2 overall spot, and I lean more to Jackson at this point.
b. Tom Brady, CBS Sportsline at 6.11 – I like my team, but it would be remarkably better in my opinion if CBS Sportsline hadn’t swiped players just one pick in front of me, twice, grabbing Antonio Gates at 4.11 and Tom Brady. Brady as the 7th QB off the board, and over a full round after Marc Bulger and Vince Young is good value. What he lacks in upside potential to hit the elite fantasy QB tier, he makes up for in reliability. I love having a “just plug him in” option at QB instead of screwing around predicting matchups each week for what can be a volatile position.
c. Jeremy Shockey, FantasyFootball.com #2 at 8.01 – Shockey comes off the board as the 7th TE. Sure, people aren’t crazy about the Giants prospects under lame duck coach Tom Coughlin, but come on people. I’m “shocked” that all of Tony Gonzalez (5.11), Alge Crumpler (6.09) and … huh? … Dallas Clark (7.06) all went in front, and this far in front of, Shockey. Once Kellen Winslow went off the board at 5.01 I expected Shockey to follow soon after, not 3 full rounds later.
d. Deion Branch, FantasyFootball.com #1 at 9.08 – Deion Branch is better than Darrell Jackson. At least that is what I used to think. After Branch went to Seattle I was somewhat disappointed in his production. I really thought he was an exception to the rule that Tom Brady makes receivers look better than they are, and I felt Branch would flourish in Seattle. Maybe it was the weather. Maybe Brady throws a more catchable ball. Maybe… At any rate, I’m still not convinced of Darrell Jackson’s lock on the #1 WR position in Seattle, especially considering he has missed games each of the past 2 years. I call it closer to a 1A-1B situation, in which case Branch is great value falling all the way to the 9th round.
Q2. Who are the likely busts of the draft?
a. Kevin Jones, Footballguys at 2.06 – I hate to pile on Sigmund Bloom, but Kevin Jones at 2.06 was too high a risk for the return. He did acquire the likely backup Brian Calhoun later. If all health reports come back positive on Jones then this pick is justified. His ’07 outlook is just too cloudy right now though.
b. Brandon Jacobs, FantasyFootball.com #2 at 4.01 – Jacobs is shooting up what few ranking boards there are right now because he is the only option we know about on the Giants. It won’t or shouldn’t last though. I don’t believe Jacobs is capable of duplicating all the goalline work he did last year and then also grabbing a significant portion of Tiki Barber’s production, to justify picking him this early. Jacobs even faded as a goalline runner down the stretch in ’06.
c. Tatum Bell, FFXtreme at 6.03 plus Mike Bell, FFToolbox at 6.08 – In one respect, I guess, why not try to grab the Denver RB for a 6th round pick? Once reality sets in though, you realize the Denver RB situation is more of a headache than its worth, especially if these two return to the fold. Bell and Bell are subpar talents, which allows the continuing turnstile of potential free agent RB options / opinions / reports to Denver to keep on turning. I believe these will end up being wasted picks.
d. Ron Dayne, XPertSports at 9.03 – Three teams, including one great rushing system and marginal competition for a starting job the past 2 seasons, I think we’ve seen enough of Dayne to seriously discount him at this point. 9th round pick? I’m thinking 14th+ round flier – maybe.
Q3. Of all the picks you made, which one do you think everyone will wish they had made when they look back at season’s end?
Kevin Curtis, Chris Brown and Byron Leftwich, drafted in the 10th, 11th and 12th rounds all have the potential to far exceed their draft position if the opportunity breaks right for them, which means a different team for Curtis and Brown, possibly Leftwich.
I’m going to pick Kevin Curtis, who is an unrestricted free agent with a possible (probable?) destination of landing in Detroit. If he reunites with Mike Martz as a starter over Mike Furrey, we can pretty much lock in 90 catches for Curtis.
Q4. Rank the top 4 teams in this draft.
Again, I’m excluding my team out of this answer. I rank the top 4 as #1 CBS Sportsline, #2 FantasyFootball.com #1 (Craig Davis), #3 Coachbox and #4 Junkyard Jake.
If you’re interested in additional commentary on the draft, check responses to these questions from the other participants. I see FF Today got ranked amongst the Top 4 teams by everyone who has submitted comments so far. Nice, now I’m blushing ;)