Mock Draft Review: Part One

Ryan McDowell


As part of the June DLF dynasty mock draft series, I put together one mock filled only with DLF writers. With the blessing of the other participants, I dissected their drafts and the starting lineups each team could potentially send out in 2014. Each team has been assessed and ranked, mostly based on the first halves of their draft, while also noting some potentially significant later picks. Hopefully, you’ll see a few different strategies and find the one you prefer.

Here are the first four teams, in reverse order of predicted finish in 2014.

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Ryan McDowell:

1.06     Julio Jones, WR ATL
2.07    Sammy Watkins, WR BUF
3.06    Percy Harvin, WR SEA
4.07    Trent Richardson, RB IND
5.06    Justin Hunter, WR TEN
6.07    Nick Foles, QB PHI
7.06    Zach Ertz, TE PHI
8.07    Tre Mason, RB STL
9.06    Ka’Deem Carey, RB CHI
10.07  Donte Moncrief, WR IND

Other picks of note: Teddy Bridgewater, Jace Amaro, Mark Ingram

Draft Analysis: Clearly I am biased, not necessarily with the evaluation of my draft, but by the fact I know what my plan was entering the draft, while I can only guess about what others were attempting to accomplish. As with every startup draft I take part in, I focused on acquiring very young players and chose to wait as long as possible on most running backs. I clearly made wide receivers the cornerstone of my team, spending my first three and four of my top five picks on the position. I think a pair of rookies chosen towards the middle of my draft may have offered the best value. Running back Tre Mason could end up getting a nice share of carries in the Rams backfield, while Donte Moncrief was chosen well after some of his rookie wide receiver cohorts.

Potential Starting Lineup:

QB       Nick Foles
RB        Trent Richardson
WR       Julio Jones
TE        Zach Ertz
FLEX    Sammy Watkins
FLEX    Justin Hunter
FLEX    Percy Harvin
FLEX    Tre Mason

2014 Outlook: Well, it isn’t good for the league’s inaugural year. This lineup features a pair of rookies, two second year player who had fairly quiet rookie seasons and last season’s most disappointing player, Trent Richardson. There’s little chance this team will compete in 2014, although that is typically the result in year one of my startup drafts and it’s somewhat by design (more on this in an upcoming article). With the youth and some other issues, I wouldn’t be surprised if my team landed the 1.01 rookie pick in the 2015 draft.

Predicted Finish: 12th of 12

Long-Term Potential: Despite the lack of hope in 2014, I really like this team in the big picture. With two top ten wide receivers in Julio Jones and Sammy Watkins and plenty of youth to go around, this team should be a long-term contender, if the injury big can be avoided. Each player making up my current starting lineup has the potential to be a starter for the next three years, at least, not to mention other younger players riding the bench, like Moncrief and Teddy Bridgewater.

Leo Paciga:

1.11    Eddie Lacy, RB GB
2.02    Randall Cobb, WR GB
3.11    Torrey Smith, WR BAL
4.02    CJ Spiller, RB BUF
5.11    Cam Newton, QB CAR
6.02    Odell Beckham, WR NYG
7.11    Eric Ebron, TE DET
8.02    Aaron Dobson, WR NE
9.11    Markus Wheaton, WR PIT
10.02   Kyle Rudolph, TE MIN

Other picks of note: Knowshon Moreno, Lamar Miller

Draft Analysis: When it comes to dynasty fantasy football, Leo and I agree on a great deal of topics, so it came as little surprise to me to see his team built in similar fashion to mine. After grabbing a running back in Eddie Lacy with his first pick, the majority of his other top picks were young, high upside pass catchers, including two rookies and two second year players who did very little in their opening season. Sound familiar?

Potential Starting Lineup:

QB       Cam Newton
RB       Eddie Lacy
WR      Randall Cobb
TE       Kyle Rudolph
FLEX   Torrey Smith
FLEX   CJ Spiller
FLEX   Lamar Miller
FLEX   Odell Beckham

2014 Outlook: Despite our similarities, I do like Leo’s short-term outlook a little better than mine, mostly due to his expected advantage at the running back position. Not only is Lacy a top three back, but Leo also added CJ Spiller and Lamar Miller. I expect both to have bounce back seasons in 2014. If rookie receiver Odell Beckham can produce from day one, Leo has a good chance to outdo my expectations of his team.

Predicted Finish: 11th of 12

Long-Term Potential: Again, much like mine, I like Leo’s squad as a perennial contender thanks to the youth on his team. Also like mine, all of his current starters should be hanging around as fantasy starter level players for the foreseeable future, meaning any other players he acquires through trades or rookie drafts will.

Jarrett Behar:

1.05    LeSean McCoy, RB PHI
2.08    Antonio Brown, WR PIT
3.05    Cordarrelle Patterson, WR MIN
4.08    Larry Fitzgerald, WR ARI
5.05    Christine Michael, RB SEA
6.08    Terrance Williams, WR DAL
7.05    Ladarius Green, TE SD
8.08    Devonta Freeman, RB ATL
9.05    Colin Kaepernick, QB SF
10.08  Marvin Jones, WR CIN

Other picks of note: Darren McFadden, Ben Roethlisberger

Draft Analysis: Jarrett had a nice mix of solid and safe picks early on, along with some risky, but high upside plays like Cordarrelle Patterson, Christine Michael and Ladarius Green. Those are three of the most hyped players of the off-season thus far. As far as team makeup, Jarrett has a nice balance between all four positions in the top half of the draft, grabbing his quarterback and tight end, along with a trio of running backs.

Potential Starting Lineup:

QB      Colin Kaepernick
RB      LeSean McCoy
WR     Antonio Brown
TE      Ladarius Green
FLEX   Larry Fitzgerald
FLEX   Terrance Williams
FLEX   Cordarrelle Patterson
FLEX   Darren McFadden

2014 Outlook: Starting a draft with LeSean McCoy is always a good move, but as I mentioned before, many of Jarrett’s later picks were risk plays, and those may not pay off in 2014. Green is still evidently playing behind Antonio Gates in San Diego, while Patterson looked raw in his rookie season. Expect both to improve and see increased playing time, but expecting starter’s points from either is a gamble. If both do enjoy breakout campaigns, and the Marshawn Lynch retirement rumors somehow come true, this is a team that could be a surprise in 2014.

Predicted Finish: 10th of 12

Long-Term Potential: I love love love this team for the long haul. I’ve already mentioned the trio of Patterson, Green and Michael and I am a big believer in all three. Adding a young quarterback, along with the solid wideouts Antonio Brown and Terrance Williams and this team is in great shape for 2015 and beyond.

Jaron Foster:

1.08    Demaryius Thomas, WR DEN
2.05    Brandon Marshall, WR CHI
3.08    Brandin Cooks, WR NO
4.05    Matthew Stafford, QB DET
5.08    Josh Gordon, WR CLE
6.05    Jordan Reed, TE WAS
7.08    Reggie Bush, RB DET
8.05    Marqise Lee, WR JAX
9.08    Khiry Robinson, RB NO
10.05  Isaiah Crowell, RB CLE

Other picks of note: Jason Witten, Jay Cutler, Travis Kelce

Draft Analysis: Jaron continued with a similar theme as a few other teams and went wide receiver heavy with his top picks. In fact, four of his first five picks came from the wide receiver position, with two of those being among the most interesting picks of the draft. Rookie Brandin Cooks is one of the fastest rising players since May’s draft which saw him land with Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints and here Jaron deemed him worthy of a third round startup pick. Just a couple of weeks ago, that seemed crazy to me, but I think it will become the norm as the off-season continues. The other wide receiver pick of note is of course troubled and soon to be suspended Brown Josh Gordon and Jaron grabbed him right around where his June ADP landed across all six drafts. At this point, Gordon is the ultimate boom or bust player. We all saw last year what he can do on the field and now we’re seeing the repercussions of his off field behavior.

Potential Starting Lineup:

QB     Matthew Stafford
RB     Reggie Bush
WR     Demaryius Thomas
TE      Jordan Reed
FLEX   Brandon Marshall
FLEX   Brandin Cooks
FLEX   Jason Witten
FLEX   Josh Gordon

2014 Outlook: Let’s be honest, much of Jaron’s hopes ride on Gordon and the outcome of his rumored suspension and appeal. Even without Gordon, Jaron has a very impressive lineup which will have him in most games, but with Gordon likely out of action, the next man up for this team would be Khiry Robinson or Marqise Lee and I don’t see either being reliable starters in 2014. If Gordon does somehow avoid a suspension, Jaron’s team would vault to near the top of the standings.

Predicted Finish: 9th of 12

Long-Term Potential: Operating under the assumption that Gordon can beat his habit and return to the team, even if we have to wait to 2015, Jaron has a team full of upside for the long-term. I’ve already mentioned the appeal of Cooks and Demaryius Thomas, Jordan Reed and Matthew Stafford should give this team another three to five years of top end production. While he does have some older pieces like Jason Witten and Reggie Bush, Jaron also has some youth on his bench that could easily take over those openings.

Check back soon for the next installment of this series. Here’s the link to the entire draft as well.

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