With the season nearly upon us, we felt it was important to go through the rookies one more time for those people playing in leagues featuring late rookie drafts. This is a two-man mock draft with Jeff Haverlack (DLF Jeff) and Ken Kelly (DLF KenK) making the selections. We’ll take it through the third round, with 36 total selections being made.
Before we get started, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, picks are made on a “best player available” basis, with no regard to specific depth on a team (for example, one team may end up with five WRs and no RBs if that’s the way the draft fell).
Second, selections will also likely not match our rankings on the site or in the Dynasty Essentials Guide because those are created on a system that weighs the average rankings from everyone here at DLF – this exercise is simply an updated two-man mock draft.
Finally, the draft was created with a standard scoring system in place, including PPR (points per reception) and no IDP consideration. While the selections wouldn’t change dramatically with PPR not included, it is something important to consider.
With all that in mind, here are the selections with appropriate commentary:
1. Mark Ingram, RB NO
With Reggie Bush jettisoned to Miami and only Pierre Thomas to realistically stand in his way, Ingram looks poised to be a future RB1 in dynasty leagues.
2. AJ Green, WR CIN
Receivers taken in the first five picks of the draft almost always become fantasy studs. Green has all the natural ability to be elite at the next level.
3. Julio Jones, WR ATL
If early indications mean anything, the Falcons were more than justified in moving up on draft day to grab Jones. He looks like a future WR1.
NOTE: Tier one seems to be clearly picks 1-3 in this year’s draft, with a visible drop-off starting now.
4. Ryan Williams, RB ARI
Williams has an undeniable dynamic as a back and being that I’m not a believe in Beanie Wells’ long term future, Williams gets the nod here over Daniel Thomas.
5. Daniel Thomas, RB MIA
If you believe Reggie Bush is Miami’s long term option at running back, you’re fooling yourself. Thomas and Williams each make a nice consolation prize if you’re out of the top three.
NOTE: Tier two seems to be Thomas and Williams and neither are exactly the safest picks in rookie draft history. After the top five, it’s time to start rolling the dice.
6. Cam Newton, QB CAR
Talk about a drop-off after the top five are off the board. Not willing to dip into the second tier of the other positions here. Newton will be starting early.
7. Blaine Gabbert, QB JAX
The Greg Little hype train screams “draft me,” but it’s tough to justify here. Gabbert is the most NFL ready quarterback and is progressing well in camp with Garrard nursing injuries.
8. Kendall Hunter, RB SF
Hunter runs much bigger than his size would suggest and with Gore aging rapidly, he could get his shot sooner rather than later.
9. Greg Little, WR CLE
This pick is more about what I don’t like on the board compared to what I do. Braylon Edwards was the last relevant Cleveland receiver and this team is constantly rebuilding.
10. Jake Locker, QB TEN
He’ll hold a clipboard for his first year, but Hasselbeck isn’t known for his durability. It’s a great situation for the strong armed quarterback.
11. Randall Cobb, WR GB
It would have helped had James Jones left, but you can see this kid’s ability already. He’s a long term prospect, but has really great upside in a dynamic offense.
12. Torrey Smith, WR BAL
The addition of Lee Evans hurts his chances as a rookie, but the dynamic Smith will see the field in 2011.
13. Denarius Moore, WR OAK
This lack of depth and quality in this draft almost forces you to take chances. Let’s take a stab at the camp darling of 2011.
14. Andy Dalton, QB CIN
Looks like Dalton is your starter in CIN. He has a good young set of receivers and expectations are low. Has as good a shot as any of the 2011 quarterbacks.
15. Roy Helu, Jr., RB WAS
The revolving door of Mike Shanahan makes you think he has a chance here soon, but he needs to get healthy and hold off Evan Royster just to back up Tim Hightower.
16. Delone Carter, RB IND
We’re not nearly as high on him as most are, but concede that in a backfield with Addai and Brown, Carter could produce.
17. Mikel Leshoure, RB DET
The list of players who come back from his type of injury is short, but so is the list of other players we really want at this point.
18. Colin Kaepernick, QB SF
Truth be told, he’s Jeff’s favorite QB in the draft as far as upside and it’s looking like he could be starting sooner rather than later.
19. Shane Vereen, RB NE
He needs to get healthy quickly in order to make an impact this season. He has long-term upside, but that depth chart is daunting.
20. DeMarco Murray, RB DAL
Marion Barber has been moved and Tashard Choice appears to be on the outs. This leaves Felix Jones and Murray for the bulk of the work.
21. Jonathan Baldwin, WR KC
His value is sliding due to a very slow start in camp. It’s awfully tough not to like his situation in the end, though.
22. Stevan Ridley, RB NE
The star of week one of the preseason, Ridley showed that he was somewhat capable in all phases of the offense. Only time will tell what his role will be.
23. Lance Kendricks, TE STL
It’s a tough call at Tight End between Kendricks, Julius Thomas and Rudolph, but this guy really looks the part.
24. Kyle Rudolph, TE MIN
Shiancoe is not getting any younger or faster and Rudolph could see significant action late in the season or in 2012. Still the best true TE in the draft either way.
25. Christian Ponder, QB MIN
McNabb is keeping his seat warm for a while – that’s a really good thing for his development.
26. Johnny White, RB BUF
Has been a surprise in camp thus far. Taken off the field during preseason week 2 on a stretcher but is fine. Hard-nosed runner.
27. Leonard Hankerson, WR WAS
He’s been slow to develop thus far and his impact chances as a rookie seems to be fading quickly.
28. Cecil Shorts, WR JAX
He’s been making plays in camp and in the preseason. Good value late in the third round here.
29. Ryan Mallett, QB NE
He won’t be pushing Tom Brady out the door, but he’s looked spectacular thus far.
30. Bilal Powell, RB NYJ
Not as high as many on Powell but he’s got talent and is shiftier than Greene. Could be an every down back if he gets an opportunity.
31. Jacquizz Rodgers, RB ATL
He’d be higher on this list if Snelling had moved on. This looks very much like a redshirt year, so we don’t know exactly how his game will translate quite yet.
32. Tandon Doss, WR BAL
He’s a bit buried on the roster, but he’s a playmaker and has an NFL game.
33. Titus Young, WR DET
Burleson and Megatron are locked in as the best receiver options in Detroit for now. Keep an eye on Young for the future, though.
34. Darren Evans, RB IND
Evans has largely been forgotten and he’s a capable back within an underwhelming RB situation.
35. Julius Thomas, TE DEN
Virgil Green was supposed to be the rookie Tight End to own in Denver, but Thomas is stealing the show.
36. Alex Green, RB GB
He’s got the size and versatility to stick. If he gets a chance, he could surprise.