So I'm here with a real draft, one that can serve as a mock for anyone else to see where players are landing. Is Brandon Marshall rising again? Is Derrick Ward falling? Well, here's an opportunity to take a gander.
I'll be updating during the draft as much as possible. 10-team league, 2 RB, 3 WR. I believe this means you need to grab wide receivers even higher than if your league uses 2 RB/2 WR/1 Flex, with a finite amount of top-tier receivers out there this year.
Pre-Draft: I enter the draft room about 10 minutes early, and I've got the No. 6 overall pick. Not exactly where I want to be. Where's Al Davis to trade when I need him? If everyone takes guys according to my rankings, I land Steven Jackson there.
2:02, 1st Round: With the option of Chris Johnson or LT, I decide to Ride the Lightning and go with Tomlinson, who I have ranked No. 4 overall. A lot of Packers fans in this draft, and some cheesehead with the team name Rodgers Pack takes the Green Bay QB at the end of the first round. Hm.
2:05, 2nd Round: Middle of the pack, I yank Megatron off the board with the 16th overall pick; he's the fourth overall receiver to go off the board. There's a few elite RB's still left, but you've gotta stick to your strategy at this point. Passing on the RB will pay off later.
2:14, 4th Round: A little delay, as I start scratching off guys on my rankings to keep better track. Going against my rankings, I take Marques Colston over Roddy White, who I have one spot higher. Hopefully not a regret I have later. In the fourth round, with the last of the No. 2 RB's that I want available, I go with Pierre Thomas over Kevin Smith, even with the knowledge he probably doesn't play in Week 1. With only two running back slots, you figure some good value will be available to plug in as a replacement.
2:18, 5th Round: With no one left I really prefer on the board, I go with Braylon Edwards, with Berrian, Housh, and a few other guys out there. I have Edwards No. 15 overall at the position, but I worry about his production. Him holding onto balls is like Michael Jackson holding babies out a window. Sure, he probably won't drop them, but you can't help but wonder.
2:22, 6th Round: I make what might be my first mistake of the draft, going with Chris Cooley over Matt Schaub, who's promptly taken with the next pick. I was deciding between those two, and it always makes you second guess when that happens. Now my quarterback spot is a question mark, possibly.
2:26, 7th Round: Left out there in the rain like Owen Wilson in You, Me and Dupree is Donovan McNabb, who I thought was already picked. My QB problem is solved and my starting lineup almost totally filled out. Waiting on quarterback is always dicey. I'll probably pair him with a decent backup after about four more rounds, though.
2:37, 10th Round: Guys in the default rankings on this site are buried deeper than the national debt, leaving me to loose track of Devin Hester, although I pick the not-so-sexy Derrick Mason as my No. 5 WR. I grabbed Coles in the 8th Round, and Willie Parker in the 9th Round is a STEAL, 2 RB slots or not. The Matthew Barry man-crushes Visanthe Shancoe and Joe Flacco goe back-to-back in the 9th Round, earlier than I anticipated.
2:45, 13th Round: Ray Rice, 11th Round. Steal of the draft. I pass up picking one of the better No. 1 D's left, or handcuff Sproles, to pick David Garrard. If anything happens to McNabb, he's an absolutely solid fill-in. With three picks to go, I select my first defense in the 13th, the Jets, who I've gotten now in nearly every draft. Rex Ryan, I'm a believer, baby.
2:55, 15th Round: Draft is finished, and I close up shop with a Pats D and the ever-reliable Elam to seal the deal. Some quick notes otherwise:
- Brandon Marshall - 39th overall
- NYG Defense - 61st overall (First defense taken)
- Eddie Royal - 65th overall
- Marshawn Lynch - 79th overall
- Willie Parker, Darren McFadden - 86th and 89th overall, respectively. Great value in 9th round.
- Derrick Ward - 98th overall.
A quick look at my team post-draft:
QB - Donovan McNabb
RB - LaDanian Tomlinson
RB - Pierre Thomas
WR - Calvin Johnson
WR - Marques Colston
WR - Braylon Edwards
TE - Chris Cooley
K - Jason Elam
DEF - New York Jets
Bench - QB - Garrard; RB - Rice, Parker; WR - Coles, Mason; Def. - New England
This is a team you put money on if you know you're going to come out of it looking like this. The only position I'm without a top option at is defense, but playing the matchups with 2 No. 1's is a good way to get good value in the earlier rounds. I have good depth or backups at every position in case of injuries as well.
Ideally, if you get to the point where you can nearly do a draft without your rankings, and it's all in your head, that's when you know you're a step ahead of the game. Provided those rankings you've lodged up there are superb like mine, that is. Jokes aside, don't go into your draft looking like Lindsay Lohan at a movie shoot. Be prepared, through the myriad of avenues there is to do that. The information above can just be one of them.