Back for the third installment of the FF Toolbox summer of mock drafts. Commentary can be found for the May and June mocks, and while this one took place mostly in August, it started late July and shall be known as the July mock. The plan last I heard was to run another draft in August but run that as a draft-and-go league, meaning we draft the teams but don’t do any in-season team management. Just let it run on its own and see who ends up at the top of heap through 16 weeks. More on that when the time comes.
For now, let’s check out the July mock draft. Again, this is point-per-reception scoring, starting 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 K and 1 DEF. The draft is 16 rounds, and this time I got the 11th pick in the draft. With the top starters I accumulated through the first 6 rounds, I have to tell you, I love the 11th pick. If only I could guarantee it would go this way every draft. Check the full draft report and my pick commentary below.
1.11 RB Frank Gore, SF – I know a lot of people drafting near the end of Round 1 this year are tempted to go WR-WR, but I think it makes more sense to go with a RB-WR combo to stay flexible through the 3rd/4th. If you go RB-RB, then you somewhat force your hand to draft at least one WR in the next two rounds, or vice versa. You may not get good options or value at that position with your next set of picks. This is a particularly important consideration at this draft spot because once you say goodbye after your 2nd round pick, there are a lot of picks – 20 – before it gets back to your 3rd round pick.
As for picking Gore, he does it all well, particularly catching the ball. It would be nice if he scored a little more, but wear-and-tear on Brian Westbrook and the age difference between them have me leaning to Gore. Of course all the “player looks great” reports from training camp need to be taken with an oversized grain of salt this time of year, but current reports are that Gore, “is tearing up training camp.”
2.02 WR Calvin Johnson, DET – “Okee-dokee, I did not expect Calvin to make it back to me. I was ready to go off the reservation with a non-consensus pick which would surely put me at the bottom of MFL’s draft recap ratings, but my other guy is a dwarf next to CJ’s 6’5″ 235 lbs. Yep, I’ve got to take him.”
That was my exact comment from the MyFantasyLeague.com draft report at the time I made the pick. I stayed quiet on just who that non-consensus pick might be, and part of the reason I went with Gore in the 1st was because I was going to be more okay taking this other WR instead of Johnson, than taking RB options like Westbrook, DeAngelo Williams, Steve Slaton, Marion Barber over Gore. Now I can finally say who that WR was – the Packers’ Greg Jennings. Jennings’ ADP is about a half round lower than Johnson. I have a really strong feeling about Jennings and the Packers offense this season. I’ll have to make up for that later in my draft.
3.11 RB Pierre Thomas, NO – Thomas in one of those players who has and continues to slowly creep up average draft position rankings. The reason for that is because the more you look at this guy, the more there is to like. Reggie Bush‘s role does not interfere with Thomas’ role. Thomas had a monster 2nd half in 2008 and looks to build off that in 2009.
4.02 QB Aaron Rodgers, GB – Here is where I try to make up not taking Greg Jennings earlier (2.02) even though I’m very bullish on the Packers offense. Check the receivers Rodgers has to work with – Jennings, Donald Driver, James Jones and Jordy Nelson, plus a new TE in Jermichael Finley creating some buzz. It is often those 3rd, 4th and 5th receiving options who, while not studs by any stretch, are very good allowing the QB to spread the ball around and vault from good to great fantasy status. Not to mention Jennings is on the cusp of stud-dom. Ryan Grant comes back healthy. This is only Rodgers’ second year as the starter and he impressed me right out of the gate last year. After riding pine for 3 years behind Mr. Favre, you know he must have soaked in a ton of experience in 2008, which puts him in prime position for a great 2009.
5.11 WR DeSean Jackson, PHI – I am pretty much in shock that, in a PPR league starting only 2 RB and 2 WR, that Tony Gonzalez is still sitting here as an available option. This is after Jason Witten already went over 20 picks ago, plus Antonio Gates in the early 4th and Dallas Clark in the early 5th. Why is Gonzo still here? Oh wait, this pick commentary is about DeSean Jackson. Yep, well I checked, as you most definitely should when drafting near the turn on either end of the draft, and Witten was drafted by FansFF, picking right after me. They won’t be picking Gonzo. I can get him at my next pick. And I did.
6.02 TE Tony Gonzalez, KC – In fairness to DeSean Jackson, I spent my entire 5.11 pick commentary on Gonzo, so turnabout is fair play. Jackson was my best option at that pick, and I did expect FansFF to pull at least one if not two WR on the turn. Jackson was great as a rookie last season. You can see the natural talent bubbling over in this kid. The Eagles bolstered their offensive line like nobody’s business in the off-season, giving Donovan McNabb lots of time to pick and choose his receiving options. Whether the Eagles plan to ratchet down Westbrook’s workload or not, Jackson is entrenched as the Eagles’ top wideout.
Check out that lineup six picks in: Rodgers, Gore, Thomas, Johnson, Jackson, Gonzalez. It is times like these I wish this wasn’t a mock draft. That is a good breaking point for Part 1 of the mock draft commentary. The final 10 picks will be posted later in the week.