There is a lot of hype for this year’s first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday. It feels more like the buzzing that happens in August and September for fantasy drafts. With the lockout last year putting a dampened mood on the festivities, there seems to be even more interest in this years draft from even the average sports fan. Certainly the talent pool is filled to the brim this year and there are plenty of interesting storylines, but don’t ignore the undertones of what is really happening. We’ll all size up the fantasy players of the future with each pick, watching as much coverage as we can.
There will be the standard 1,350 “thank you’s” to God or Jesus or Him. And numerous awkward Roger Goodell “Welcome to the NFL” greetings with a huge bear hug and follow up groping. JETS fans will do their job and lower the bar for accepted behavior on national television. Too much McShay, way too much Kiper, and not enough Beadle. The NFL sensed the viewers at home deserved an improved experience. So in an attempt to try to make up for the excessive and slightly erotic guido muscle flexing, ESPN and NFL Network have agreed to not show any players answering phones to talk to teams before Mr. Goodell announces their name. Grown men will piss themselves from suspense. It has to be a good move or no way ESPN and NFLN would be on board. Plus, they will just fill that air time with more Kiper. But what Mel gains, others lose. Like watch companies. They are losing primetime ad space every time one of those giant hands picks up a phone and slowly and precisely brings it to his ear so that the light reflects just right and blinds the shit out of everyone. How am I supposed to know what watches to rent now? Eventually the cameras will get to the tears and smiles, they’ll put their fingers up to the sky, put the team hat on and roll up to the to the podium for a big man squeeze and the eventual paycheck to pay for all that swag you got in NYC this weekend.
They will do that 32 times.
In a row.
I couldn’t be more excited.
It’s not the the over-analysis of every pick before its made or the numbing repetition of “great football size”. I love fresh meat. Fresh fantasy meat. So I’m carving up the 2012 NFL Mock Fantasy Draft. This mock draft will be conducted as if each drafted player would become a keeper on a dynasty team in a league that each year only drafts rookies entering the NFL. I’ve heard of people who are in leagues like this with 12 teams, IDP and 40 roster spots so let’s see how that could play out. League breakdown and scoring are below.
- Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
- Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
- Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
- Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
- Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
- Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
- Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College
- Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
- David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech
- Kendall Wright, WR/KR, Baylor
- Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State
- Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
*Luck and RGIII will be top scoring QBs for this years draft class by a landslide, but will they get even close to what Cam Newton? Even though RGIII will have more weapons with a established coaching staff, I think Luck puts up bigger numbers this year based on the divisions alone. NFC East will be a uphill battle for the Skins. Almost all the top tier WRs go in this round with the few RBs that might get a chance to contribute. Luke Kuechly goes Patrick Willis style, a little early, but will have his share of 100 tackle season to show for it.
- Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama
- LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
- Mark Barron, SS, Alabama
- Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
- Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
- Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin
- Melvin Ingram, OLB, South Carolina
- Reuben Randle, WR, LSU
- Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State
- Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State
- Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
- Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
*Damn that Mark Barron is so hot right now. All the reports are that he is a day one starter, molded from Sean Taylor putty, making him hard to pass on him at a tough position to get consistent play from. Claiborne goes a little later than the real draft, but might have solid tackle numbers if opposing teams try to test his skills early in the year. There are only so many QBs entering the league each year, so even though they may be a long term project like Osweiler, their value stays high as an investment (or trade bait next year).
- Harrison Smith, SS, Notre Dame
- Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State
- Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson
- Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
- Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati
- A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois
- Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State
- T.Y. Hilton, WR, Florida International
- Nick Toon, WR, Wisconsin
- Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt
- Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
- Brandon Taylor, SS, LSU
*And there go all the second tier wideouts. Being that you can start up to 4 WRs, you need to keep the stables full. Some of these guys will be a surprise factor this year like Dougie Baldwin and others will never bear fruit and disappear like Golden Tate.
- Tommy Streeter, WR, Miami
- Whitney Mercilus, OLB, Illinois
- Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse
- Juron Criner, WR, Arizona
- Ryan Broyles, WR/PR, Oklahoma
- Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
- Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati
- Orson Charles, TE, Georgia
- Lavonte David, OLB, Nebraska
- Chris Polk, RB, Washington
- DeQuan Menzie, FS, Alabama
- Courtney Upshaw, DE, Alabama
*A DE will not win you the ‘Ship, but you can’t even get close unless you have 2 solid started. 3 big boy DEs come off the board and will be great additions to any team. JPP was tied with the 5th most points for all defensive players last year. If they join a team with some depth at D-line, you could see an immediate impact as they will avoid constant double teams in their first or two.
- Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple
- Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
- Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida
- Andre Branch, OLB, Clemson
- Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
- Mychal Kendricks, ILB, California
- Marvin Jones, WR, California
- Chris Polk, RB, Washington
- Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State
- Ronnell Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma
- Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall
- Demario Davis, OLB, Arkansas State
*In the fifth round, the last of the potentially viable RBs get picked where they will sit on the bench and hope to stay off the practice squad by beating out a veteran for his job or wait for them to break down. NFL teams are using more and more running backs in the game plan which means more chances for young backs. They also want to pay them with peanuts so there will be plenty of running back carousels going around in the future.
Scoring is mostly standard. No PPR. OP can be any offensive player including a QB. All TDs are 6 points.
Tackles are worth 1 point, Assist .5 points. Sacks, forced fumbles are worth 3 points, and all TDs are 6 points.