Twelve enthusiastic Cafe users completed a Cafe mock draft during the NFL lockout. The group started on Saturday, June 18 and finished on Monday, July 25, just as the lockout was coming to a close. The 16-round mock required drafting a full lineup of one QB, two RBs, three WRs, one TE, one K and one DF, as well as seven bench players. It was a non-PPR mock draft, with standard scoring otherwise. Also remember that the wild week of free agency and trading has altered the fantasy value of many players, some significantly. We will be posting another mock (or two) before the season starts.
Thanks to Indibuck, Dan Lambskin, Stelly, petedog9, The Lung, Guru13, aaawall91, WaCougMBS, Venom, u_fig_eater, Kareighuis and thriftyrocker for donating their time and expertise to the proceedings, as well as for submitting final thoughts about the mock draft upon completion. Without further ado …
|1.02||Dan Lambskin||Chris Johnson||RB||TEN|
|1.05||The Lung||Ray Rice||RB||BAL|
My shakiest pick was … Chris Johnson. I’m starting to wonder if I would have been better off taking Foster. As a CJ owner last year, I remember all too well how the Titans’ (lack of) offense let me down several weeks. – Dan Lambskin
|2.08||The Lung||Matt Forte||RB||CHI|
|2.11||Dan Lambskin||Reggie Wayne||WR||IND|
My best pick was … Larry Fitzgerald. At 18th overall (2.06), very few have super stud status. – aaawall91
My best pick was … Frank Gore (and Mike Wallace). Getting Gore that late and then drafting Mike Wallace on the flip made me smile. I have both of them inside the top 10 at their given positions and I think both fell further then they should have. With Gore as my No. 2 RB behind Charles, it gives me a potent 1-2 punch. – petedog9
|3.02||Dan Lambskin||Dwayne Bowe||WR||KC|
|3.05||The Lung||DeSean Jackson||WR||PHI|
My best pick was … Aaron Rodgers (and Vincent Jackson). Picking V-Jax and Aaron Rodgers at the second and third round swing picks to go with Adrian Peterson gives me an outside shot to have the No. 1 producers at QB, RB, and WR, especially if Jackson stays in SD. – Indibuck
My shakiest pick was … Dez Bryant. He’s a younger guy who may fall back from last year before his Year 3 breakout. Let’s hope he and Romo can develop some chemistry; otherwise, it may be the Miles Austin Show for another year. – aaawall91
My shakiest pick was … Peyton Hillis. After starting QB-RB, I was hoping to get my hands on a WR like Dez Bryant, so when he was gone I decided to go RB2 in Hillis and kind of regretted it after the fact. I have enough depth in Thomas and Leshoure to where I wouldn’t feel too badly if Hillis fell off badly or is part of a true time-split, but it’s definitely the pick that I felt was the shakiest, and it certainly dictated the direction of the rest of my draft considering I started Vick-Turner. – WaCougMBS
|4.08||The Lung||Wes Welker||WR||NE|
|4.11||Dan Lambskin||Anquan Boldin||WR||BAL|
My shakiest pick was … Antonio Gates. He was by far the No. 1 TE on my board, and I hoped to jump start a TE run with that pick, but Vernon Davis was still available at 5.12. 20/20 hindsight lets me have Davis and Jonathan Stewart, giving me much more respectable RBs (Ed. note — Dodged a bullet there!). – thriftyrocker
My best pick was … Philip Rivers. He was a guy I was targeting, and I landed him. Last year, everything that could go wrong for him, did. He lost McNeil, V-Jax, Mathews, and Gates for various periods, and still rocked. He had a better YPA than all the quarterbacks taken before him. I really can’t think of a reason not to take Rivers here, other than if you prefer Brady. – u_fig_eater
My best pick was … DeAngelo Williams. Almost regardless of where he ends up, I think he’s worth it in the fourth. I’ve seen him go later, but this year being a bit shallow at RB I like locking up a guy that has an enormous ceiling and to me is reasonably safe. – Guru13
|5.02||Dan Lambskin||Jason Witten||TE||DAL|
|5.05||The Lung||Knowshon Moreno||RB||DEN|
My best pick was … Tony Romo. The one guy I feel like I will be targeting in a lot of drafts this year given his situation and ADP is Romo. I think he can be a top-five QB this year given the talent around him in the passing game. Getting that in the fifth is pretty good value in my opinion. – Stelly
My shakiest pick was … Sidney Rice. Losing out on Brandon Lloyd (5.09) hurt, a lot. Austin Collie or Vernon Davis could have been better picks here. There’s uncertainty about Rice’s hip, and his QB. If I can get anything close to the 1,300 / 8 numbers he put up two years ago, this pick works. I also am crossing my fingers that the Vikings sign a good QB, or Rice goes to a potent offense. There’s also the pipe dream he ends up with the Pats. I don’t think that will happen, but hey, it’s out there. – u_fig_eater
My best pick was … Austin Collie. I’ll take the risk for top-five upside. Makes my lineup unstoppable if you ignore that pesky RB position. – thriftyrocker
|6.08||The Lung||Matt Schaub||QB||HOU|
|6.11||Dan Lambskin||Felix Jones||RB||DAL|
My shakiest pick was … Santana Moss. Taking him at 6.04 was a bit of a reach, even though he posted a career high in catches in 2010. What concerns me are two things: Anthony Armstrong and Leonard Hankerson. I am certain he won’t be targeted 145 times like he was last year. Fingers crossed for one more WR2 type season from my WR3. – Venom
My shakiest pick was … Julio Jones. He’s plenty talented and could end up being a good WR3 for me but a lack of OTCs, etc. that are concerns for all rookies this year worries me a bit. Not sure I’d make that pick if given the opportunity again. That being said, I really like Jordy Nelson and Jacoby Jones to be able to pick up the slack. – Guru13
|7.02||Dan Lambskin||Marshawn Lynch||RB||SEA|
|7.05||The Lung||Matt Stafford||QB||DET|
My shakiest pick was … Jacoby Ford. The bad part of drafting at the swing picks is that you eventually have to make some reaches in order to fill your roster. Jacoby Ford at 7.01 is a good example of that. I badly needed a third WR and I knew that, 23 picks later, the pickings would be slim. Ford was my best available WR and I had to “reach” (from an ADP standpoint) to take him. I could also make the argument that I should have taken my AP handcuff, Toby Gerhart, in the 15th round instead of a backup TE. – Indibuck
My shakiest pick was … Mike Sims-Walker. This one is easy. I regretted it almost immediately. There were plenty of better choices at that spot, I just dropped the ball. I remember making this pick in a hurry…I knew I was going to be away from a computer for a bit, so wanted to get my pick in on time. Maybe would have been better to miss it, and let a alternate pick that one for me! – Stelly
My best pick was … Daniel Thomas (7.08). Considering some of the RBs that went right before and after him, I was ecstatic to get Thomas in this spot. Would much rather have him than the Lynchs, Addais, Jacksons and Law Firms of the world. – WaCougMBS
|8.08||The Lung||Owen Daniels||TE||HOU|
|8.11||Dan Lambskin||Matt Ryan||QB||ATL|
(Ed. note — No responses were given on eighth round players. In particular, I like the Owen Daniels and Matt Ryan picks. I think Braylon Edwards was the big reach.)
|9.02||Dan Lambskin||Brandon Jacobs||RB||NYG|
|9.05||The Lung||Ryan Torain||RB||WAS|
My shakiest pick was … PIT Steelers defense. I really thought the defenses would start to fall around the 9th or 10th round and I wouldn’t have much left to pick from when my turn came back. That wasn’t the case in hindsight. I could have waited a round or two and probably still got them. – petedog9
The pick in the second-half of the draft that caught my attention was … Delone Carter. At first blush, it seems awfully early to take a third string RB in a passing offense. But latest word is that Addai may be a salary cap casualty, and Donald Brown has done nothing to impress so far. The door is wide open for the tough, between the tackles rookie RB on a team that needs that presence to keep the passing game honest. And there could be a whole lot of touchdowns for Carter, even if the yardage isn’t there. The more I thought about it, the more I liked the pick. – Indibuck
|10.08||The Lung||Rob Gronkowski||TE||NE|
|10.11||Dan Lambskin||Steve Smith||WR||NYG|
The pick in the second-half of the draft that caught my attention was … Montario Hardesty (and Randy Moss and Dustin Keller). – aaawall91
My best pick was … A.J. Green. His ADP is hovering at about the seventh round, so to snag the top rookie of the year three rounds later is a steal in my opinion. I am mildly concerned about who will be throwing him the football, but with his talent, all a QB has to do is get it close. He’ll make plays. – Venom
The pick in the second-half of the draft that caught my attention was … Ronnie Brown. He is a FA and could land in a great spot and be a super value for where he was taken. I also liked Hines Ward in the 11th, who fell way too far. I would have taken him in the 10th, but I already had Wallace. – petedog9
My late round sleeper pick that I love is … Chad Ochocinco (and Randy Moss). This is a roll of the dice here and I am playing the odds that one of my bench WRs between Moss and Ochocinco will have a major bounce back year with whatever new team that they land with. These guys were not too long ago top tier WRs and could, given the right circumstances, see a major jump in production from last year. – petedog9
|11.02||Dan Lambskin||Nate Burleson||WR||DET|
|11.05||The Lung||Hines Ward||WR||PIT|
My late round sleeper pick that I love is … Mark Clayton. Clayton and Bradford showed great chemistry last year until Clayton got hurt early. If he comes back healthy and the young STL offense takes another step forward, Clayton has WR2 upside. – Indibuck
The pick in the second-half of the draft that caught my attention was … Tim Tebow. While Tebow is a risk, at 11.6 it is a great pick, and Guru13 used a great strategy to pair him with Eli the previous round, allowing him to spend his first nine picks on position players while still getting both safety and upside at QB. Really, the upside of the pair is as high as any QB outside of Vick. The worst case is you start Eli every week, but that is still a low QB1 and not a substantial deficit compared to your competition. – thriftyrocker
|12.08||The Lung||Jerome Simpson||WR||CIN|
|12.11||Dan Lambskin||Pierre Thomas||RB||NO|
My late round sleeper pick that I love is … Emmanuel Sanders. He had only eight less targets than Hines Ward over the second half of last season. If Mike Wallace gets double covered, it could open things up for Sanders. – u_fig_eater
My late round sleeper pick that I love is … Jacoby Jones. He could show up this year… or he could not. Again. Last year was the best season of his career and he caught 22 passes in the last four games — I think there’s a fair amount of upside here. – Guru13
The pick in the second-half of the draft that caught my attention was … Jerome Simpson. He could be a real diamond in the rough, and at this late in the draft when he probably could have been taken 18-20 picks earlier considering the WRs going in the early 11th, I think he could be one of the real steals of the draft. And if not? Just a 12th-rounder at the end of your draft. – WaCougMBS
My best pick was … Pierre Thomas. For as late as he lasted, I think that’s excellent value. There’s a chance he doesn’t contribute much, but for the potential reward, spending a 12th round pick on him was a no-brainer. – Dan Lambskin
|13.02||Dan Lambskin||Ben Tate||RB||HOU|
|13.05||The Lung||Danny Woodhead||RB||NE|
My late round sleeper pick that I love is … Ben Tate. If something does happen to Foster, Tate has a chance to step in and give me a top 10 RB. – Dan Lambskin
My late round sleeper pick that I love is … Earl Bennett (and Jacquizz Rodgers). Bennett is nothing spectacular, but Martz has said he wants to increase his role in the offense, so that should give him some upside. Rodgers needs some things to happen for my pick to have any value, but Turner getting injured or needing a breather here and there aren’t out of the realm of possibility. – Stelly
The pick in the second-half of the draft that caught my attention was … Randy Moss. Going this late in the draft, he could be a diamond in the dirt. It’s also shocking how much he’s fallen in one year, without getting injured, and without a huge drop in ability. – u_fig_eater
My late round sleeper pick that I love is … Steve Breaston. He’s either boom or bust depending on what Arizona does to remedy its QB situation, but assuming they solve said issue and Breaston can be re-signed for a reasonable amount of money, I like him to hold down a WR2 role that could get him some PT as a WR3 on fantasy teams. Should one of these things not come to fruition before the season starts (Ed. note — One thing did not.), I can cut him and it was just my 13th rounder.
|14.08||The Lung||Willis McGahee||RB||BAL|
|14.11||Dan Lambskin||Chad Henne||QB||MIA|
My late round sleeper pick that I love is … Donnie Avery. Best match to Brandon Lloyd on the STL roster. Seems to be ready to go. Wouldn’t be surprised if he has a top-25 year. – thriftyrocker
My late round sleeper pick that I love is … Donald Brown. Most would argue he is done with Addai most likely back and Carter drafted, but if Manning isn’t playing for whatever reason (due to his neck injury), I don’t expect the Colts to be the dominant force through the air we know them as. While I don’t think any of the Indy backs will be overly effective, they all will get tons of carries if Manning has to miss time, I expect. – aaawall91
The pick in the second-half of the draft that caught my attention was … Willis McGahee. This could end up being a steal. If Baltimore cuts him, he could end up a starter somewhere else. He doesn’t have a ton of tread on his tires, and he has a nose for the end-zone. Love the pick. – Stelly
The pick in the second-half of the draft that caught my attention was … Tony Gonzalez. I was surprised to see him fall as far as he did. He isn’t what he once was, but I think he’s better than some of the TEs drafted much earlier. – Dan Lambskin
The pick in the second-half of the draft that caught my attention was … Jacquizz Rodgers. Had I been paying attention when my pick came around in the 13th, I probably would have taken him; if Turner is dinged up or they need a quick change of pace back, Rodgers is going to be their guy. Maybe he’ll come in and pull somewhat of a poor man’s MJD. – Guru13
|15.02||Dan Lambskin||DET Lions||DF||DET|
|15.05||The Lung||PHI Eagles||DF||PHI|
The pick in the second-half of the draft that caught my attention was … Bilal Powell. Definitely. In a redraft, he won’t be drafted … but in a dynasty he is worth a snag and stash. – Venom
|16.08||The Lung||Rob Bironas||K||TEN|
|16.11||Dan Lambskin||Robbie Gould||K||CHI|
(Ed. note — Nice gamble on Plaxico Burress at the end of the draft.)
Teams also provided their thoughts on the following questions. What need to happen for your team to win a league championship? Excluding your own team, who had the best draft and the shakiest draft? Were there any quality undrafted free agents left?
My team would win the league championship if I can get production at the RB2 and WR3 slots while my studs stay healthy. While not ideal, I think the combo of the rookie Ingram and the rehabbed Ryan Grant can deliver. And hopefully one of Ford, Clayton, or Mike Thomas would produce above their ADP.
I would say Venom has the team to beat. There’s solid talent across the starting lineup. MJD was a steal at the 1.09 spot.
When you have a 12 person mock draft with owners that know what they are doing, everyone is going to have a hole or two in their starting lineup. But since I have been asked to name a shaky team, I would say WaCoug’s. You could call it the “All-Potential-Bust” Team, as his starting lineup is filled with quality players, but they all seem to have at least one question mark coming into 2011. From Vick (can he replicate his 2010 numbers?) to Hillis (seems destined to split carries with Hardesty) to Turner (how much is left in the tank and does ATL shift to more of a passing attack with their offseason upgrades?) to Marshall (can MIA find a QB and running game to take pressure off the pass) to Sims-Walker (where does he end up?) to Britt (when does he get arrested again?) Again, I’m not disputing the talent, but there’s too much risk across the board for my liking.
My team would win the league championship if everyone plays to their full potential. I think the key will be getting reliable production from my RB2 slot. Between Felix, Lynch, Jacobs and (Pierre) Thomas, there should be a juicy match-up each week.
I really like Petedog’s team. The starters have the capability to be explosive and there is a good amount of depth as well. It’s definitely a team that could challenge for the points title.
Guru13’s team is pretty shaky. Eli is a borderline starter (he’s good but he can’t carry a team like some QBs) and the WR corps could be a huge bust. His RBs are OK nothing special (although DeAngelo could make them pretty good depending on where he lands).
The note-worthy undrafted player I see is Cam Newton. The guy was the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft.
My team would win the league championship if the J-E-T-S, JETS! JETS! JETS offense steps it up. Greene and Holmes are very talented players. The Jets want Greene to be their bell cow, and in that offense, he could really produce. Same with Holmes — he put up nice numbers when he got off suspension last season, and he could turn into a great WR2.
The best team drafted (besides my own) was petedog9 — his RBs are fantastic. Landing Charles and Gore is robbery. We should be ashamed to have let Gore fall to him in the second. Match that with Brady, Wallace, and Finley, and he’s going to be tough to beat. I like to blame him to stealing some of my picks right in front of me, thus weakening my team.
The shakiest team drafted (besides my own) was aaawall91. I think everyone has a solid team, but I don’t like his QB situation, and his WRs scare me a bit as well. He does have some nice depth that could fill in for some of the players that I don’t like though.
My team would win the league championship if one of those WRs pans out. I am content at the QB / RB / TE positions overall. I really think Steve Smith will surprise if he gets out of Carolina, and I think he will get his wish and be traded to a contender. I have always been a big Steve Smith fan as I beleive he is one of the toughest guys playing. I have read San Diego may trade Vincent Jackson this year and look to replace him with Steve Smith. If he goes to SD, he could be huge.
All the teams are pretty damn solid and overall everyone did a great job. I really like two teams as they have alot of “my guys” which are guys I would have targeted myself. That’s Dan Lambskin and The Lung. I like Dan’s overall balance and his bench is full of guys with upside. Witten is due for a bounce back and if Matty Ice can pull his weight, he would be tough to beat. I think Lung’s team has that same potential; it all hinges on Matt Forte and whether he has the year people think he is gonna have. Lung would then be rock solid from top to bottom. I like his QB tandem as well.
The shakiest team is a tough call as I think everyone did a solid job. If I have to pick one, I am gonna say Venom’s squad and the main reason I have for this is I just do not like his two starting RBs. I believe this is the year MJD falls off the cliff. They have already come out and said that they will lessen his workload and give more to Jennings. I also do not like Bradshaw. Just too much uncertainty with the NYG backfield and the front office was looking to draft Ingram if Prince didn’t fall to them. They are still shopping for a No. 1 RB. I have heard Ronnie Brown rumors to NYG already.
The note-worthy undrafted players I see are Terrell Owens and Kyle Orton.
My team would win the league championship if Brandon Pettigrew shows up like I think he could this year. It seems a lot of people think Stafford hurts his value, but I don’t see any reason why he can’t add to his 71 catches from last year.
The best team drafted (besides my own) was Kareighuis. The only hole I can think up right now would be depth, but the receivers on his bench are all guys that have potential. James Jones’s value hinges on where he ends up, but I really like Danario Alexander and Arrelious Benn — excellent late picks.
The shakiest team drafted (besides my own) was: Lambskin’s. Mostly because I don’t like Bowe or Boldin as much as most folks do, but the RB2 spot is likely to be a revolving door for this team I suspect.
My team would win the league championship if my players stay healthy and my running backs take on key roles.
Dan Lambskin’s starters (with the exception of Witten), u_fig_eater, WaCougs (with the exception of his last six picks), Guru13 (if free agency moves work out like I think they will) and The Lung (if Hines Ward can return back to normal) all have potential top of the division teams. And thriftyrocker has a very well put together roster; I’d expect it to be the runner up to the championship (if this were a real league).
The shakiest team drafted (besides my own) was Venom. With the exception of Hakeem and Brees (great picks), the rest of the team is on my “don’t draft” list, unless it’s good value for the most part.
My team would win the league championship if Michael Vick stays healthy, one of Hillis, Thomas or Leshoure plays as a viable RB2 and two of my six WRs at least play like starters. Quite a bit of boom or bust on this team with guys like Marshall and Britt headlining my WRs, but if both of them could hit and everyone else plays around their expected level of production, I think this team could be in there in Week 15.
I really like aaawall91’s team. He’s a tad weak at QB if Bradford is his starter, but he’ll be usable, and he has the upside of Kolb landing in a dream situation through trade and making his team really a beast. Solid at RB1 and all WR slots, and adding in Dallas Clark and a slew of RBs like Spiller, Carter and Murray and he doesn’t need a lot of luck other than avoiding injuries to have a great title shot with a squad like this.
I don’t hate anyone’s team, and I honestly think everyone did a pretty good job of limiting their weaknesses, but if I have to pick it’s Stelly. This mostly centers around the fact that his depth leaves much to be desired as far as upside with guys like Evans, LT, Bennett on the bench and the fact that his Holmes-MSW combo as WR2 and WR3 is pretty weak compared to the corps across the league. With a TE a bit more elite than Miller I’d look past this a tad, but this team is really kind of stars and scrubs with Foster, Austin, Romo and “the rest.”
The note-worthy undrafted players I see are Jordan Todman, Jamie Harper and Deji Karim.
My team would win the league championship if, most importantly, I don’t catch the injury bug and secondly, if my veterans stay productive. MJD and Bradshaw aren’t exactly known for durability, which is why I went RB/RB again in the seventh and eighth. If they can both stay on the field all season, Brandon Lloyd puts up at least 80 percent of his 2010 numbers and Santana Moss doesn’t fall off the map due to new talent, I have a playoff team.
I like petedog9s team. Charles and Gore are a great tandem at RB. Add Tom Brady and newly knighted stud WR Wallace and that equals a ton-o-points.
I would have to say Stelly’s team was the shakiest. If Arian Foster doesn’t match his 2010 season, I think he may be in trouble.
My team is built to be boom or bust. I basically need guys to play up to their potential. S-Jax has always gotten the touches and yardage, he just needs the TDs to be elite. Mathews has everything to gain as the feature back in the league’s #1 offense. And I’m hoping Jimmy Graham can become a red zone target for Drew Brees. There’s no clear #1 weapon in New Orleans, and Graham could become that guy. Knox is the best receiver on the Bears, and with Martz going into this second year in Chicago, I’m hoping he develops into a Desean Jackson / Mike Wallace type of deep threat. There’s a lot of hope, for better or for worse.
The best team drafted (besides my own) was Petedog9’s team. It’s sick how he landed Jamaal Charles and Frank Gore. Then he follows up with Brady, Finley, and Mike Wallace? Wow. I guess the only questions are at WR2 and WR3, but he’s shored it up with some late round fliers. He just needs one of the other WRs to emerge, and then play the match-ups at WR3.
The note-worthy undrafted players I see are T.O., Torrey Smith, Devin Hester, Dexter McCluster.
My team would win the league championship if I find two RBs by October. The 11 deep RB run to start the draft pretty much forced a top down strategy filling in all my other positions with studs, and then trusting the NFL’s history of extreme turnover at RB to get me enough bodies at RB. I ended up with four home run swings (Wells, Hardesty, Helu, Scott) and one sac fly (Addai). I don’t see any Arian Fosters in this group, but it should be enough to compete.
Kareighuis had the best draft. He benefited from guys reaching for upside at QB (Bradford/Stafford), leaving Roethlisberger for him to snatch at the end of the 7th, as well as somehow Vernon Davis sticking around for half a round after the TE run was over. I liked some of his upside picks too in Rashad Jennings, Danario Alexander, etc. Weakest spot is WR3, and the only pick I didn’t get was James Jones in the 10th.
There’s nothing bad about Guru13’s roster, but it just seems to lack punch. To have a good year, he needs 2008 DeAngelo Williams to show up, and he needs Tebow to start all year and run wild like in his three-game stint last year.
Blair White will be a great pickup for this team if somehow I did a 2-for-1 trade to upgrade one of my RBs. Having White to pair with Collie mitigates a lot of the risk in owning Collie.
R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe, writes for FanDuel and Razzball and has previously written for FanHouse. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
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