So I guess it's about time we get some college football coverage going on the blog.
Me and a bunch of other writers were a part of an "expert" draft last night, with the draft pool being all 120 Division I teams. The draft was held with 11 participants, but two failed to show on time and so the computer made some wacky picks on their behalf.
I picked 11th. The last spot in the order probably isn't the greatest, but it wasn't bad. The best is obviously the 1st pick given the ridiculous stats Case Keenum seems destined to put up this year.
Here's what I ended up with. You can view the full results here.
1 (11). Vincent Brown, WR, San Diego State
With this pick, I made Brown the first wide receiver taken. This went against my official rankings, where I had Aldrick Robinson (SMU) listed first, but that was because I thought Robinson would fall to my next picks. Unfortunately, I guessed wrong. But still, Brown was incredibly consistent before his injury last year, and I'm biased towards players who produce on a week-to-week basis.
2 (12). Jordan Todman, RB, Connecticut
I had Todman ranked as the No. 2 back in the nation before USC transfer D.J. Shoemate showed up, and I think I'll keep him there. There are three reasons for that.
(2) Shoemate was recruited as a receiver out of high school, and Connecticut has no wideout talent to speak of. I wouldn't be surprised at all if UConn moves Shoemate to receiver, where he could quite probably be their best at the position.
(3) Todman is just that good. He's gone for the NFL after this year, and if Connecticut wants to get the most of him, they'll have to give him as much work as possible in 2010.
3 (33). Lance Kendricks, TE, Wisconsin
This might be considered a reach by some, but the quarterback and running back positions had thinned out a bit and Kendricks offered blue-chip production at a position that's much more hit-or-miss than in recent years. Furthermore, he wouldn't make it to my next two picks. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Kendricks puts up bigger numbers than Travis Beckum did.
4 (34). Dwayne Harris, WR, East Carolina
Harris is one of the nation's most overlooked superstars. He scored 15 times in 14 games last year while posting 1,127 yards from scrimmage. The team's new head coach and former Texas Tech defensive coordinator, Ruffin McNeill, plans to implement the 'Air Raid' offense that made stars out of players like Danny Amendola, Joel Filani, Robert Johnson and Jarrett Hicks at Texas Tech.
Harris is more talented than all of those players, and I think he's a lock for double-digit touchdowns again, but probably with more yardage points than in 2009. Given that I have Harris ranked 14th overall, I obviously thought this was a steal.
5 (45). Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State
I was really surprised to see Weeden fall this far, as I have him ranked 8th overall. Oklahoma State's new offensive coordinator is Dana Holgorsen, who was running the offense in Houston last year.
Houston threw the ball 53 times per game in 2009. If Holgorsen calls for just 40 passes per game for Weeden and Weeden averages 8.5 yards per attempt (he averaged 10.3 last year), that still projects to 4,080 yards. Given that Weeden threw a touchdown for every six pass attempts last year, there's reason to believe he'll get it to paydirt frequently, too
6 (46). Kyle Padron, QB, SMU
I was also surprised to see Padron available this late. I have him ranked 30th overall at the moment. He was brilliant as a freshman last year, and he gave a glimpse of what's to come in 2010 when he torched Nevada in SMU's bowl game for 460 yards and two touchdowns.
Padron averaged 9.63 yards per attempt as a starter last year, and coach June Jones recently said he plans on calling more pass plays for Padron in 2010. Given that the SMU offense averaged 36 passes per game last year, that should mean really, really big numbers for Padron.
7 (57). Michael Smith, RB, Utah State
I though it was absurd that Smith was available this late. The latest news on superstar Utah State running back Robert Turbin (knee) is that he'll probably miss the entire 2010 season, Turbin totaled 1,714 yards from scrimmage and 18 touchdowns in 12 games last year, so whoever starts in his place this year inherits perhaps the most fantasy-friendly running back offense in the country.
That person is expected to be Smith. As the Aggies' top backup runner last year, he posted 610 yards from scrimmage and scored six times despite touching the ball just 5.43 times per game. Smith is an excellent big-play threat and I fully expect him to be a top-10 running back producer this year.
8 (58). Bobby Rainey, RB, Western Kentucky
Not many people know who Bobby Rainey is, but I think he'll be mentioned along with the other top producers in the country after this year. He was underutilized in Western Kentucky's ill-fated spread offense last year, but new coach Willie Taggart will bring in a Stanford-style pro system to the Hilltoppers in 2010.
Taggart was previously the running backs coach for Stanford and, given the results he saw from Toby Gerhart, I think he'll be constantly be calling Rainey's number this year. Rainey ran for 939 yards and six touchdowns on just 12 carries per game in 2009, and he should do much more in an offense built by Taggart. The only issue with Rainey is ball security, as he fumbled too much last season, but he's easily Western Kentucky's best player and they have no choice but to get him involved as much as possible.
9 (69). Florida Defense/Special Teams
The big names from 2009 are gone, but there's a whole bunch more waiting among the latest recruits waiting to terrorize the SEC.
10 (70). Boise State Defense/Special Teams
This is something I'll probably be talking about more than once, but I always draft two good defenses. Always. I know people tend to marginalize the DST spot, but having an ideal defensive matchup every week makes a huge difference.
11 (71). Donavon Kemp, WR, UTEP
This was actually an error, as I thought I was drafting Missouri wideout Wes Kemp. Whoops.
But it's okay, because I like Donavon, too. He took his 11 catches from last year for 262 yards and four touchdowns, so his big-play rivals that of any receiver in the country. He's a very good bet to be the team's second wideout, so he should be worth some solid production this year. I just probably wouldn't draft him in a 12-team, all-120 league. He's a great sleeper to keep an eye on, though.
12 (72). Malcolm Williams, WR, Texas
The No. 1 Texas receiver almost always puts up big numbers. Williams won't be as good as Jordan Shipley and maybe not even as good as Quan Cosby was, but he has the physical talent to be very good in his own way.
He was the team's best big-play threat in the short-pass spread last year, averaging 14.1 yards per catch as he went for 550 yards and two touchdowns. I think he'll breakout this year, and probably post at least 800 and 8.
13 (83). Tracy Moore, WR, Oklahoma State
Not only is Dana Holgorsen the new offensive coordinator for Oklahoma State, but when he was at Houston, the Cougars were one of the teams trying the hardest to recruit Moore.
Although he's considered a tight end tweener, Moore led Oklahoma State with a 16.64 yards per catch average as a true freshman last year. His 11 catches went for 183 yards and three touchdowns, and he's in line for a much bigger workload in 2010 given that Oklahoma State will start four receivers.
14 (84). Steven Sheffield, QB, Texas Tech
Most people are too worried about Taylor Potts to approach Sheffield at this point. But this late in the draft, Potts doesn't seem too scary to me.
Potts wasn't just outperformed by Sheffield last year--he was embarrassed. Potts took 470 attempts to throw 22 touchdowns. Sheffield needed 136 to throw 14. In other words, Sheffield threw a touchdown 2.5 times as often as Potts did. Furthermore, Sheffield completed 8.6 percent more of his passes and averaged 1.7 more yards per attempt.
15 (95). Derrick Locke, RB, Kentucky
Locke was very impressive last year, especially when you consider he was playing in the SEC. Locke proved to be dangerous as both a runner and receiver, totaling 1,192 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns. He also threw a 41-yard pass and returned a kickoff for a score for the second year in a row.
As a fourth running back, I think he's a very good value.
16 (96). Caleb Sturgis, K, Florida
Sturgis has range and is in an unstoppable offense. I like his odds, and he's my top rated fantasy kicker.
If I hadn't accidentally picked Donavon Kemp, I would have used another pick on either a quarterback (Sheffield is injury prone) or another runner. But if I came out of a draft with this roster, I think things would be easy to patch up with a little waiver wire work.
The team I'd be most worried about playing is Vince Mullins'. He was awarded Keenum on the first pick, and created a brilliant running back/wide receiver lineup by adding Daniel Thomas, Bryce Beall, Derrick Washington, Ryan Broyles, James Rodgers and Wes Kemp.
Michael Hurcomb's team also looks really tough. He's the one who stole Aldrick Robinson, and he also ended up with my No. 2 quarterback in Zach Collaros. That's not even mentioning elite picks like Donald Buckram (1st round), Eric Page (4th round), Anthony Allen (5th round) and TCU (9th round).