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NFL Draft Kit: Experts Standard Mock Draft


This 14-team draft took place on May 12th - the week following the NFL draft. We used standard scoring (4/6, 20/10) and typical roster requirements (1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 FLEX (RB/WR/TE), 1 TE, 1 K, 1 D, 3 reserves). The results - and a brief Q&A with the participants - are below.

Andrew Fiorentino Chris Liss Joe Dolan Kevin Payne Rick Wolf Mario Puig Andy Behrens
RD RotoWire RotoWire Fantasy Guru RotoWire Fantasy Alarm RotoWire Yahoo! Sports
1 Jamaal Charles LeSean McCoy Adrian Peterson Calvin Johnson Matt Forte Jimmy Graham Marshawn Lynch
2 Ray Rice Jordy Nelson Julius Thomas C.J. Spiller Alfred Morris Aaron Rodgers Drew Brees
3 Alshon Jeffery Keenan Allen Antonio Brown Larry Fitzgerald Reggie Bush Vincent Jackson Andre Ellington
4 Cam Newton Jeremy Maclin T.Y. Hilton Rob Gronkowski Cordarrelle Patterson Michael Floyd Roddy White
5 Bishop Sankey Percy Harvin Shane Vereen Matthew Stafford Vernon Davis Frank Gore Jordan Cameron
6 Kenny Stills Colin Kaepernick Robert Griffin Stevan Ridley Tony Romo Terrance Williams Emmanuel Sanders
7 Sammy Watkins David Wilson Pierre Thomas Josh Gordon Mike Wallace Terrance West Steven Jackson
8 Hakeem Nicks Zach Ertz Marvin Jones Rueben Randle Cecil Shorts Jeremy Hill Kendall Wright
9 Mark Ingram Aaron Dobson Devonta Freeman Carlos Hyde Tre Mason Kelvin Benjamin Danny Amendola
10 Marcus Lattimore Odell Beckham Greg Jennings Andre Williams Panthers D Ben Roethlisberger James Jones
11 Heath Miller Texans D Jordan Matthews Johnny Manziel Justin Hunter Jerricho Cotchery Donald Brown
12 Blair Walsh Phil Dawson Saints D NY Jets D Eddie Royal Browns D Bengals D
13 Steelers D Stepfan Taylor Matt Bryant Sebastian Janikowski Dan Bailey Steven Hauschka Robbie Gould

Ian Allan Jason Sablich Ray Flowers Aaron Schatz Greg Ambrosius Tristan Cockcroft Luke Hoover
RD Fantasy Football Index NYTimes Fantasy Alarm Football Outsiders NFFC ESPN RotoWire
1 Eddie Lacy Montee Ball Arian Foster Le'Veon Bell Demaryius Thomas A.J. Green Doug Martin
2 Zac Stacy Julio Jones Dez Bryant Brandon Marshall DeMarco Murray Giovani Bernard Peyton Manning
3 Randall Cobb Pierre Garcon Victor Cruz Chris Johnson Wes Welker Andre Johnson Michael Crabtree
4 Julian Edelman Joique Bell Ben Tate DeSean Jackson Rashad Jennings Ryan Mathews Toby Gerhart
5 Tom Brady Knowshon Moreno Torrey Smith Fred Jackson Jason Witten Dennis Pitta Trent Richardson
6 Matt Ryan Jordan Reed Marques Colston Philip Rivers Nick Foles Andrew Luck Golden Tate
7 Greg Olsen Russell Wilson Maurice-Jones Drew Brandin Cooks Anquan Boldin Reggie Wayne Kyle Rudolph
8 DeAndre Hopkins Mike Evans Darren McFadden Riley Cooper Dwayne Bowe Darren Sproles Eric Decker
9 Tavon Austin Danny Woodhead Jay Cutler DeAngelo Williams Khiry Robinson Bernard Pierce LeGarrette Blount
10 Markus Wheaton C.J. Anderson Martellus Bennett Charles Clay Antonio Gates Seahawks D Jarrett Boykin
11 Stephen Gostkowski Brian Hartline Jonathan Stewart Matt Prater Justin Tucker Robert Woods Rams D
12 Brandon Bolden Cardinals D Bills D Patriots D 49ers D Latavius Murray Denarius Moore
13 Broncos D Nick Novak Adam Vinatieri Eric Ebron Andy Dalton Mason Crosby Alex Henery


MOCK DRAFT Q&A

Andrew Fiorentino, RotoWire
Despite not liking the No. 1 draftposition in this format, I like how things turned out. My team is reliant on a Ray Rice turnaround, but I'm buying the offseason hype, and I'm happy with my depth at both RB and WR. I also got great value with Cam Newton and Heath Miller, so my roster is well-rounded.

STEAL OF THE DRAFT (SOD): I liked Ian Allen's pick of Markus Wheaton in round 10 he has a good chance to be the No. 2 receiver in Pittsburgh.

REACH OF THE DRAFT (ROD): Jeremy Maclin seemed like a stretch for Liss in round 4; while it's good he's shaping up to be the Eagles' No. 1, he's been heavily targeted before in his career and still never exceeded 1,000 yards in a year and is coming off a major knee injury.

Chris Liss, RotoWire
I like this team in a 14-team league. I have a lot of depth at WR with Percy Harvin being my No. 4, and I have the No. 1 RB in my opinion with LeSean McCoy. I'll have to mix and match at the No. 2 RB spot unless David Wilson miraculously pans out, but I'm happy to make that my weak spot and tinker until I finder a keeper.

SOD: I like Dez Bryant a lot at No. 19 with Scott Linehan in Dallas, Bryant could catch 15 TDs. Dwayne Bowe in Round 8 was also a good pick. I expect better numbers in Year 2 with Alex Smith and Andy Reid.

ROD: I'm not a fan of Le'Veon Bell in the first round of a non-PPR too inefficient and slow, and the Steelers haven't been a good run blocking team in quite a while. I also thought Ray Rice was too early there's a good chance he gets suspended.

Joe Dolan, Fantasy Guru
I went into this draft knowing my position could lead me to a specific strategy: picking Julius Thomas in the second round. All in all, I think this worked out pretty well. If I nitpick, I have some concern with mostly PPR guys behind Adrian Peterson in a non-PPR draft, but I'm just scraping for touches from my No. 2 RB this year.

SOD: Jarrett Boykin in the 10th intrigues me. I know Green Bay drafted three WRs, but their rookie WRs rarely outproduce the vets.

ROD: After last year, I want no part of Tom Brady as one of the top six QBs off the board, and if I had Brady, I wouldn't follow him with Matt Ryan.


Kevin Payne, RotoWire
I like my team. I have the best wide receiver in the league coupled with potentially the top tight end. C.J. Spiller could be the top running back, and if a fresh Josh Gordon comes back Week 9, Larry Fitzgerald is my third wide receiver. I don't mind matching up Matthew Stafford with Calvin Johnson, and while Stafford is coming off a three-year low for passing yards, it was still good for third-most in the league. Stevan Ridley is two years removed from a 1,263-yard, 12-touchdown season, and if he doesn't pan out, Andre Williams or Carlos Hyde could. With the presence of Odell Beckham for the Giants, the Rueben Randle pick is my only regret.

SOD: I loved Bishop Sankey with the first pick in the fifth round. A talented player with no mileage and a pretty clear path to being a workhorse unless you think Shonn Greene is good.

ROD: I don't like Ray Rice in the second round, though to be fair it was the 28th pick. He's likely to face some sort of suspension, costing him about four games, and it's tough to ignore his drastic decline last season. Rice has 1,799 touches on his resume and would have been there a couple of rounds later, in my opinion.

Rick Wolf, Fantasy Alarm
I got three RBs early, solid TE/QB in fifth/sixth and took big upside shots at WR with Cordarrelle Patterson, Mike Wallace, Cecil Shorts, Justin Hunter and Eddie Royal. I made some mistakes: Tony Romo was a round too early; Reggie Bush in a non-PPR is risky; I took Tre Mason and Panthers defense two rounds too early. It's all good. This team can be in the hunt.

SOD: I like Ben Tate in the fourth, Matthew Stafford in the fifth and two rookies who went before I could grab them: Devonta Freeman (9th) and Brandin Cooks (7th).

ROD: Josh Gordon (7th): his suspension should be at least eight games. Romo, as Robert Griffin and Colin Kaepernick were still there, but I wanted Romo more.

Mario Puig, RotoWire
I like a lot about my team. Aaron Rodgers and Jimmy Graham provide me with a high floor most weeks, and both are good bets to rank first at their positions. My top-three WRs are all red-zone threats at 6-2 or taller, which is important in non-PPR. My RBs are unproven, but West is the backup to an injury-prone starter in a run-heavy offense, and Hill might be Cincinnati's rushing TD leader. I would prefer Robert Griffin in the sixth over Rodgers in the second, in hindsight.

SOD: Danny Woodhead probably won't catch 76 passes or score eight TDs again, but the ninth round seems awfully cheap.

ROD: Rashad Jennings is an injury prone one-hit wonder with two talented younger runners (David Wilson and Andre Williams) looming as carry thieves.

Andy Behrens, Yahoo! Sports
It's not possible to remove risk from a draft, but I felt my two opening picks were two of the safest elite players in the game. Marshawn Lynch is 28, and he's been a 1,200-yard, 12-TD back for three straight seasons, showing zero signs of decline. Brees has been a 5,000-yard quarterback in three consecutive years, which is absurd. After that pair, I did nothin' fancy simply took the best skill player from my ranks. It's probably clear I prefer players with respectable track records. I'd happily play out this league.

SOD: Zac Stacy had a long, curious fall to the mid-second round. Tre Mason is legit, but the Rams aren't going to run a committee. Stacy is safe.

ROD: Really, there are no reaches in a football draft. The NFL constantly surprises us. But for this exercise I'll say Ray Rice, who I honestly would not have drafted within six rounds of his landing spot.

Ian Allen, Fantasy Football Index
In today's NFL, a couple of quarterbacks push for 40-plus touchdowns every year, so I thought about selecting Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers in the second round. But I think Zac Stacy makes more sense. I ended up with Tom Brady in the fifth round; I think he'll bounce back and finish about 30 points behind those top quarterbacks. The running back I would have selected in the fifth projects to come in 53 points behind Stacy.

SOD: Andy Dalton was the 12th quarterback on my board; can't believe he made it to the last round. And I thought Steven Jackson and Maurice Jones-Drew would go three rounds earlier.

ROD: Jordan Reed, David Wilson, Darren Sproles, Darren McFadden and Hakeem Nicks weren't even on my board, and they went in the first eight rounds.

Jason Sablich, New York Times
Taking the 14-team, flex-roster format into consideration, as well as a thin field of running backs, I was dead set on landing three solid RB options within the first five rounds. I also entered this draft hoping to score breakout-favorite Jordan Reed at tight end, as well as my top-ranked rookie receiver Mike Evans, so I am certainly pleased. Normally, I like to pair up a low-end QB1 option like Russell Wilson with another quarterback, but seeing as we were limited to three bench spots, I decided it was more important to round out the other positions.

SOD: A unique talent with top-10 upside at the receiver position, Percy Harvin in the fifth round of a 14-team draft offers outstanding value.

ROD: Ray Rice was taken a couple of rounds too soon for me considering last season's 29th-ranked finish at running back and a possible suspension pending.

Ray Flowers, Fantasy Alarm
With all the uncertainty in backfields, and, let's face it, we need a minesweeper to make it through the carnage uninjured, I was determined to add depth. Mission accomplished. Out wide Marques Colston is the best WR4 in this draft, but taking him caused me to miss out on the QB run. I like Jay Cutler, but he's seemingly always hurt and often sporadic. If I had it to do over again I'd likely have gone QB in the sixth, maybe TE in the seventh and then picked up my fourth wideout.

SOD: James Jones in the 10th could lead to 10 scores. Eric Ebron in the 13th. The yards may not be there, but he could flirt with double-digit scores.

ROD: Cam Newton in the fourth. I'm better than half the receivers to whom he has to throw. Julian Edelman in the fourth round of a non-PPR was also too early.

Aaron Schatz, Football Outsiders
The first thing I wish I had done differently is arrange my time so I could have had actual projections ready by mid-May! I was sort of drafting half-blind here, which is a particular problem given the rapid turnover in running back situations around the league the last couple years. You better pay attention to which players now have starting jobs (Montee Ball), which rookies are going to put up stats (Bishop Sankey), which players are in new cities (MJD, Chris Johnson), and which players are in new cities with much worse offenses (Knowshon Moreno).

SOD: I thought both Philip Rivers and Robert Griffin (expect better performance with more passing than 2012) lasted too long. Props to Joe Dolan for snagging Griffin after I decided on Rivers.

ROD: I don't see the Baltimore offensive line with huge improvement, and Rice himself was part of the problem last year with few broken tackles and poor performance on receptions. Also, the seventh round was too early to risk Josh Gordon won't be suspended for the whole year.

Greg Ambrosius, NFFC
Drafting 12th in a 14-team serpentine standard league is never any fun, but I was happy to get a TD machine like Demaryius Thomas first as my foundation. DeMarco Murray is always risky, but you can't go WR-WR in this format. I went with players who should score a lot of TDs this year and hopefully with some upside. Tristan Cockcroft sniped me on several picks, and I should have grabbed Darren Sproles in Round 7 rather than taking Anquan Boldin.

SOD: Eddie Lacy, eighth overall; Darren Sproles, eighth Round. Both should have huge seasons in different ways.

ROD: Ray Rice, 28th overall. He has a lot to prove on and off the field. I'm staying away this season.

Tristan Cockcroft, ESPN
I'd call the strengths of this team balance and consistent receiving production. No one spot is particularly weak though I'm perhaps one wide receiver short and with A.J. Green, Giovani Bernard, Dennis Pitta, Reggie Wayne and Darren Sproles on the squad I feel pretty good about my weekly floor. The one thing I wish I had done differently would've been spreading the risk by avoiding back-to-back Bengals to kick things off. I probably should've just taken DeMarco Murray in the second.

SOD: I couldn't believe Reggie Bush lasted until the 33rd pick.

ROD: Either Philip Rivers or Matt Ryan in the sixth. Consistent players, yes, but neither provides quite the weekly punch required at QB nowadays.

Luke Hoover, RotoWire
I never intended to take a QB so early, but Peyton Manning at 15 was too good to pass up. Of course, I would have been nearly as pleased to have landed a great value like Nick Foles, Matt Ryan or Andrew Luck in the sixth. Overall, I was thrilled to secure three RBs that should combine for more than 800 touches if healthy and like the value/upside I added at WR and TE.

SOD: Matthew Stafford and the 5,000 yards for which he's headed make a great grab in the fifth. Darren Sproles, Zach Ertz and Jordan Matthews as chess pieces in an elite offense are nice deals as well.

ROD: Rob Gronkowski coming off the ACL tear and with a plethora of other injuries the last two years is far too high for my taste in the fourth.
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