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Final 2011 Rookie Mock Draft (In Progress)

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:

ROUND ONE

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.

ROUND TWO

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.

ROUND THREE

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.

Ken Kelly
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Drew
11 years ago

Seems like the QB’s here are going higher than most drafts, any particular reason? Newton at 6 seems really high, I took him in the 4th round of my draft, where do you his upside?

DLF_Jeff
Reply to  Drew
11 years ago

I can’t disagree with your assessment, but once out of the top 5, this draft gets painfully thin and the tiers are low quality. To that end, if we’re only judging rookies to other rookies, then that spins the draft. I got Newton in the 3rd round myself but understand that most teams already have 2-3 QBs when a rookie draft is done … so they will tend to fall.

In a “naked” rookie draft where no teams are formed, then you have to look at rookie values for potential impact and Newton is a clear top 8 selection in my mind unless you like Gabbert or Greg Little more on talent. I’d rather have the first QB off the board in that case because there’s a greater likelihood of impact.

DLF_KenK
11 years ago

For both of us, we really view this as an incredibly shallow draft, with very few sure things. Instead of reaching for the second tier of position players, we both leaned towards going the QB route in hopes that we get a player who can pan out.

For example, I’d rather take a shot on a guy like Newton or Gabbert who I think have a 50%-60% chance of being a really good franchise quarterback over players like Roy Helu, Delone Carter or Bilal Powell who have a higher chance of being total busts.

It’s all a matter of risk and reward, but we’ve been through these all too often to know that many of these quarterbacks will be given every opportunity possible to succeed over a span of years…much more than position players taken in the middle rounds.

I remember last year when everyone was reaching for Jonathan Dwyer in the late first and early second round. He’s a prime example of why that strategy of overvaluing the position players and avoiding the quarterbacks is risky.

In the end, we see this draft as a total crapshoot after the top 5, and possibly after the top 3. Take your shots and hope for the best. There are bunch of players you could make a case for from #6-#20.

Coach
11 years ago

i think you guys are being kind of tough on Williams. Id be willing to bet Williams is going to be the most successful back in this draft.

DLF_Jeff
Reply to  Coach
11 years ago

I’m not sure where you get that we’re being hard on Williams. Ultimately, he’s my favorite RB in the draft for true RB qualities … but Ingram I think is the clear cut choice at #1 for RBs.

Coach
Reply to  DLF_Jeff
11 years ago

NOTE: Tier one seems to be clearly picks 1-3 in this year’s draft, with a visible drop-off starting now.

NOTE: Tier two seems to be Thomas and Williams and neither are exactly the safest picks in rookie draft history.

Those were the two comments i was looking at. I think williams deserves to be in the top 4.

Coach
Reply to  Coach
11 years ago

top tier not top 4… sorry.

Wallace's Warriors
Reply to  Coach
11 years ago

That didn’t work out very good did it.

11 years ago

Torrey Smith has shown me that he is at least a year away from fantasy production. That might be OK for some of us in dynasty leagues. Lee Evans has still got it. As a Buffalo fan I’m willing to admit that as much as I like Fitzpatrick he has a weak deep ball. Flacco has got a gun, like him or not. I think you reached on Smith.

Jeremy
11 years ago

I have a rookie/free agent draft on Monday and have the 4th pick.
Im sure Ingram, Green & Julio will be gone. I could pick Thomas, Williams or Little for rooks or Jordy Nelson & Jerome Simpson. Who would you use the 4th pick on in a ppr format?

ester michalek
Reply to  Jeremy
11 years ago

Ryan Williams is the clear cut pick at 4.

Drew
Reply to  Jeremy
11 years ago

Definitley not Nelson or Simpson, I agree that Williams is probably your pick

DLF_Jeff
Reply to  Jeremy
11 years ago

I do like Simpson and Nelson but not until the late first. Williams is the choice in my opinion. Thomas would be my 2nd choice but I’m not a big fan of Thomas myself.

Jeremy
Reply to  DLF_Jeff
11 years ago

Would you take R.Williams over Thomas, Nelson, Simpson & Little now?

Wallace's Warriors
Reply to  Jeremy
11 years ago

If you didn’t here the news Williams received a season ending injury 2 days ago.

Matt
11 years ago

I have rookie picks 1.3-1.5 this year. One of my league mates has put forth several offers for the 1.3. Here are several of the offers, looking for your thoughts?

10 team dynasty, no ppr

Dwayne Bowe and Rookie 2.8 for 1.3

Manningham, 1.9 and 2.8 for 1.3.

AJ Green will be going #1 overall and Ingram likely at #2.

Thanks

Chad
Reply to  Matt
11 years ago

Dwayne Bowe and Rookie 2.8 4 me

DLF_Jeff
Reply to  Matt
11 years ago

Depends on what your feelings are about Bowe and how deep you are at receiver. Essentially you’re looking at Bowe for Julio Jones. On paper that looks very good and Bowe’s value is all over the map. I own Bowe in my main league and there is just something that scares me about him. Call me crazy, but I lean towards taking Jones and calling it good. If you’re high on Bowe, it’s not a bad offer. For me, I think I stand pat and take Jones.

Jim
11 years ago

Denarius Moore as first pick of the second round? A reach, or are you all-in on the preseason camp hype?

Coach
11 years ago

apparently baldwin hurt his wrist fighting with thomas jones and is out for the preseason. adjust accordingly

DLF_Jeff
Reply to  Coach
11 years ago

Yes, crazy development but I thought Baldwin was a head case coming into the league and wanted nothing to do with him. Maybe this will help right his ship.

DLF_Jeff
11 years ago

Yes, crazy development but I thought Baldwin was a head case coming into the league and wanted nothing to do with him. Maybe this will help right his ship.

Coach
11 years ago

and now my argument for Williams is moot… out for the year. rough development.

ester michalek
Reply to  Coach
11 years ago

With both Williams and Leshoure out for the year, and the huge fall off after the top 3, i am considering drafting one or the other for next year. We have 2 IR spots in our dynasty league. No one really jumps out as a guy I should take at 6 or 11. Any thoughts on the recovering time for either of these guys. I am questioning their upside for next year vs. some of the other rookies this year.

DLF_KenK
Reply to  ester michalek
11 years ago

Sadly, I think #11 is too high for either. As mentioned by one of our great forum members, the injury Williams seems to have is the same one that destroyed Cadillac Williams career. Leshoure’s is also a brutal one to come back from.

At best, they could be ready for training camp next season. However, “ready” is a relative term. It’s hard to say just what kind of ability they’ll have when they return.

I’d take my chances on other prospects instead and wouldn’t consider either until the mid-2nd round at best.

Again, we learn a valuable lesson on the dangers of building through the draft (injury risk is the same with any player, but when you combine it with the bust rate of rookies, it’s pretty dangerous) and are reminded about how fragile a running back’s career can be.

Unfortunate.

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