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Football Draft Kit: 2012 Standard Mock Draft

Chris Liss

Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.

2012 Standard Mock Draft

Link to PPR Mock Draft

It was a 14-team, standard scoring league with 1 QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1 FLEX, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 D, and 5 reserves. Results are below:

RD Luke Hoover Mike Doria Scott Pianowski Ray Flowers Brad Evans
1 Arian Foster LeSean McCoy Ray Rice Maurice Jones-Drew Ryan Mathews
2 Peyton Manning DeMarco Murray Greg Jennings Mike Wallace Matthew Stafford
3 Jamaal Charles Wes Welker Roddy White Dez Bryant Brandon Marshall
4 Percy Harvin Dwayne Bowe Antonio Brown Chris Wells Doug Martin
5 Eric Decker Eli Manning Vernon Davis Antonio Gates Kenny Britt
6 Mikel Leshoure Brandon Pettigrew DeAngelo Williams Jonathan Stewart Fred Davis
7 Darrius Heyward-Bey David Wilson Donald Brown Denarius Moore Peyton Hillis
8 LeGarrette Blount Michael Floyd Matt Schaub Ben Roethlisberger Greg Little
9 Jared Cook James Starks Robert Griffin Daniel Thomas Ronnie Hillman
10 Evan Royster Kendall Wright Brian Hartline Titus Young Davone Bess
11 Earl Bennett Austin Collie Joe McKnight Joe Flacco Jake Locker
12 Randall Cobb Jonathan Baldwin Jacoby Ford Knowshon Moreno Danny Amendola
13 Ryan Grant Sam Bradford Pittsburgh Steelers Baltimore Ravens Robert Turbin
14 Kansas City Chiefs New England Patriots Andre Caldwell Mason Crosby Seattle Seahawks
15 Matt Bryant Alex Henery Robbie Gould Damian Williams Neil Rackers

RD Chris Liss Mark Stopa Griffin Lowmaster Tom Kessenich Jeff Erickson
1 Calvin Johnson Aaron Rodgers Drew Brees Tom Brady Andre Johnson
2 Hakeem Nicks Jimmy Graham Victor Cruz Marshawn Lynch Rob Gronkowski
3 A.J. Green Jordy Nelson Steven Jackson Vincent Jackson Fred Jackson
4 Roy Helu Marques Colston Reggie Bush BenJarvus Green-Ellis Ahmad Bradshaw
5 C.J. Spiller Brandon Lloyd Aaron Hernandez DeSean Jackson Willis McGahee
6 Mark Ingram Stevan Ridley Sidney Rice Jermichael Finley Michael Crabtree
7 Michael Bush Vincent Brown Laurent Robinson Robert Meachem Malcom Floyd
8 Mike Williams Shane Vereen Anquan Boldin Pierre Thomas James Jones
9 Matt Ryan Kevin Smith Mike Tolbert Lance Moore Jay Cutler
10 Kendall Hunter Ryan Williams Plaxico Burress Alex Green Lamar Miller
11 Tony Gonzalez San Francisco 49ers Andrew Luck Josh Freeman Ryan Fitzpatrick
12 Andy Dalton Stephen Gostkowski Josh Cribbs Green Bay Packers Nate Washington
13 David Akers Tim Tebow Jason Avant Brian Quick Isaiah Pead
14 Philadelphia Eagles Kellen Winslow Sebastian Janikowski Dustin Keller Houston Texans
15 Martellus Bennett Buffalo Bills Cincinnati Bengals Garrett Hartley Mike Nugent

RD Dalton DelDon Jason Thornbury Keith Goldner Peter Schoenke
1 Chris Johnson Cam Newton Adrian Peterson Larry Fitzgerald
2 Trent Richardson Matt Forte Michael Turner Darren McFadden
3 Julio Jones Frank Gore Steve Smith Michael Vick
4 Demaryius Thomas Jeremy Maclin Darren Sproles Miles Austin
5 Steve Johnson Pierre Garcon Reggie Wayne Jason Witten
6 Isaac Redman Santonio Holmes Philip Rivers Shonn Greene
7 Tony Romo Mario Manningham Torrey Smith Jahvid Best
8 Ben Tate Jermaine Gresham Santana Moss Justin Blackmon
9 Carson Palmer Brandon Jacobs Toby Gerhart Felix Jones
10 Brent Celek Doug Baldwin Danny Woodhead Randy Moss
11 Rashard Mendenhall Chris Ivory Owen Daniels Delone Carter
12 Golden Tate Devery Henderson David Nelson Jerome Simpson
13 New York Giants Alex Smith Chicago Bears Taiwan Jones
14 Dion Lewis Detroit Lions Matt Hasselbeck New York Jets
15 Matt Prater Nick Novak Jason Hanson Randy Bullock

Luke Hoover,

Strategy: I'm a firm believer that in leagues of 12 or more teams an elite passer, at least a top 3-5 QBs, gives you the best shot for a championship. So my top priority was to make sure I landed one. Next on the checklist was to secure three running backs I could start weekly. I don't do four-WR/two-RB lineups and felt confident enough in the depth at receiver and tight end to land quality in the middle rounds.

Execution: When I saw I had the first pick I had a tough choice. I genuinely considered Aaron Rodgers at 1.1. To me he's the most consistent, productive fantasy player and generates the most titles. But ultimately I couldn't pass up Arian Foster when I saw his last four games are New England, Minnesota and Indianapolis (twice). That playoff schedule is just too sweet. Making Manning my next pick then became a must, because after him I didn't feel confident in any remaining quarterbacks posting elite numbers. Getting Jamaal Charles where I did made me feel good about my second priority and feel comfortable with my overall strategy.

Steal of the Draft (SOD): If Kenny Britt returns to himself after his ACL recovery, he's easily the steal of the draft at 5.5. His upside rivals anyone at the position not nicknamed after a transformer. I also like Shonn Greene in the sixth as a good value, given the strong second half he had in 2011 and his lack of threatening competition.

Reach of the Draft (ROD): As far as reaches, it's tougher to put that label on a pick prior to training camp or the preseason, but I can throw out a few names I'll stay away from given where they'd need to be taken: DeSean Jackson, Santonio Holmes, Vincent Jackson, Beanie Wells and Reggie Bush.

Mike Doria,

Strategy: I had a pretty good idea I'd be left out of the elite QB run by the time I drafted again in Round 2, so I wanted to come out of the first four rounds with two workhorse backs (check) and a pair of reliable wideouts (check). Picking second, I had to let logic prevent me from taking Trent Richardson, but if my turn were later in the round, I'll probably target him because he'll be a very busy and exciting player out of the gate. I made sure I took one upside rookie back - David Wilson - who could be a steal if Ahmad Bradshaw breaks down. My No. 3 wideout slot is unsettled, but one of the four wideouts I took after Round 4 figures to work out and I'm hoping it's Michael Floyd.

Execution: Things went pretty well. As always, there were a couple of times a player I had queued up was snagged right before my pick, but nothing especially maddening. Note to self: reserve last pick for a positional dart and look to address team D and kicker in the preceding two rounds. If I had done that, I would have ended up with a more high-percentage defense, though I suspect the Patriots will turn things around on that end this season.

SOD: Chris Johnson/Trent Richardson RB duo is a nice bounce-back/high-upside combo. Roy Helu and Demaryius Thomas were nice Round 4 values. I also liked Peyton Hillis and Torrey Smith in Round 7.

ROD: Four QBs in the fist round seems a little excessive in a one-QB format. Also Adrian Peterson at 1.13, Jamaal Charles at 3.1 and Kenny Britt at 5.5 coming back from injuries.

Scott Pianowski, Yahoo! Sports

Strategy: I wanted six-point scorers up front, and I'd worry about quarterback later. And if I were ever between a running back and a wide receiver early, I was prepared to take the back - I hate the league-wide RB depth at the moment.

Execution: Ray Rice fell to me in the first round, which is nice, and I can live with the QBs I got through waiting. But the middle of my receiver depth has a lot of questions. Maybe that's not a bad thing given the shape of the league these days.

SOD: Tony Romo went a solid round or two later than I felt he should have. Nice value for Dalton there. I also liked David Nelson and Jacoby Ford, two upside picks from the 12th round.

ROD: Peyton Manning shouldn't be a second-round pick at this stage of the game - the position is too deep, there's too much uncertainty about his physical condition and ability to adapt to a new club, and the skill players in Denver look ordinary, at best, to me. And there was probably a strong chance he would have lasted until the fourth or fifth round anyway. (And if he doesn't, so what - there are plenty of QBs in his class that will be on the board.)

Ray Flowers,

Strategy: I look to add "young veterans" whenever possible. Being that it's a non PPR, I'd like to roster a group of receivers with big-play potential, guys that also aren't shy about doing an end-zone boogie or two would be nice.

Execution: In the first seven rounds my two old guys ended up being MJD and Antonio Gates. I have no worries that either will fail to produce. I feel exceedingly confident in my top-2 wideouts (Mike Wallace and Dez Bryant), and think that Denarius Moore could be one of this season's breakout stars after tantalizing us at times last year. I like my running back talent, but the final four I drafted all have something to prove.

SOD: I don't know if Matt Ryan is a steal in the ninth round, or if he has another level in his game, but he's a pretty strong option in this format, rounds after others took their starting quarterbacks.

ROD: Michael Vick in the third round was a reach. We all know he can be elite, but the guy has only two 20-TD seasons, and he's never, not once, thrown for 3,400 yards. He's also appeared in 15 or more games just four times in a career than began in 2001. Also not a huge fan of BJGE in the fourth round. He'll score, but he's just not a dynamic talent.

Brad Evans, Yahoo! Sports

Strategy: Because I'm more of the "gut guy" variety when it comes to standard drafts, there was no specific strategy followed, with the exception of Round 1. Since I had the fifth overall pick and workhorse rushers are an endangered species, it was imperative to grab a legitimate every-down back out of the gate. Other than that, the portfolio was diversified in the following rounds strictly based on value/need. Entering the exercise, I wasn't set on going RB-QB-WR-RB, but it happened that way.

Execution: Many would throw a head of rotten cabbage at the Ryan Mathews pick, particularly with CJ2Lame, Calvin Johnson and every QB still available, but with Mike Tolbert now toiling in Carolina, Mathews has all the makings of a banner season. It wouldn't be a surprise if he flirts with the top spot overall, provided he stays healthy.

SOD: Roy Helu, Round 4, Pick 9 - Sure, Lucifer Shanahan's treachery is legendary, but Helu was a top-10 rusher as a starter last year, averaging 15.1 points per game in standard formats. RGIII may poach TDs, but Helu is expected to open the season as the starter and should benefit greatly from an improved offense and solid line. He's terribly underrated.

ROD: Michael Turner, Round 2, Pick 2 - Mike Smith said early in the offseason Jacquizz Rodgers' role is set to expand. That coupled with Turner's ancient age and high carries volume arrows to a career demise of Shaun Alexander proportions. No way he's a top-10 RB in '12.

Chris Liss,
Strategy: I was looking to draft for one-part value and two-parts upside, and make the pieces fit. I was likely going to wait on a quarterback, though I wasn't committed to that. If I didn't get a running back early, I was going to go with volume in the middle rounds.

Execution: It panned out as well as I could have expected. I didn't think Calvin Johnson would slip to me at No. 6, and I was happy to get A.J. Green, arguably the No. 2 WR, in the third round. As I went WR-WR-WR with my first three picks, I loaded up on backs like Roy Helu, C.J. Spiller, Mark Ingram, Michael Bush and Kendall Hunter in the middle rounds. That I was able to nab a 30-TD QB in Matt Ryan in the ninth was also good.

SOD: A.J. Green at 3.6 - he's the No. 2 receiver on my board. Big, fast, athletic and the only game in town.

ROD: Matt Forte at 2.3. With Michael Bush around in a non-PPR, his upside is limited. Peyton Manning at 2.14 was pretty early, too.

Mark Stopa,

Strategy: The days of RB/RB at the start of fantasy drafts are over. The NFL is as pass-friendly as ever, and with so many RBs getting hurt and several teams employing committees, fantasy owners have to adjust. Personally, I want known, guaranteed studs in the early rounds, regardless of position. I won't avoid RBs early, but the top QBs, WRs and, yes, TEs (Gronkowski and Graham) have a higher floor than similarly ranked RBs.

Execution: With that strategy in mind, I wasn't surprised at all my first five picks were Aaron Rodgers, Jimmy Graham, Jordy Nelson, Marques Colston and Brandon Lloyd. Though my RBs are obviously weak, every team in a 14-team expert league will have weaknesses. I know my weakness is RB, so I'd aggressively target RBs in free agency, knowing they emerge in the NFL every season - more so than any other position. For instance, one of my Patriots RBs will probably emerge, and the cost was low. And if I'm going to have some scrubs on my bench anyway, I might as well get the best kicker and defense I could, slightly before everyone else started picking those positions.

SOD: Tony Romo at 7.11

ROD: Ryan Mathews at 1.5, Brandon Marshall at 3.5

Griffin Lowmaster,

Strategy: I'm not an expert, so my whole goal was to draft who I thought was the best proven player available at each turn.

Execution: I think I did a good job of taking players that were safe because of past performance. In retrospect with it being a mock, there are a few things I would have been more comfortable doing. I wish I had taken Richardson early and waited on a value QB like Vick.

SOD: Jamaal Charles was a steal at 3.1.

ROD: Peyton Manning at 2.14 seems like a big reach after a year away.

Tom Kessenich, LLC

Strategy: It was pretty simple - compile as much top-end or potential top-end talent as possible. I was confident my first two picks would be top players. But in a 14-team league it's all about getting good value and making sharp picks after that.

Execution: Picking ninth and in non-PPR, I was only interested in one WR in the first round (Calvin Johnson), and I knew he'd be gone. The top RBs I liked would also be gone, so I wanted to get a stud QB in the first and a quality RB in the second to anchor my team, and I got both with Tom Brady and Marshawn Lynch. My WRs have a lot of upside but questions as well. I'll need some stars to align for them to come through as expected. I'm really strong at TE, though, and I think my RB depth is solid and could be terrific if Alex Green is the player the Packers envision him to be. He's one of my top sleeper RB picks for this season. SOD: Austin Collie in the 11th round has nice sleeper potential if he can replace Reggie Wayne as the No. 1 WR in Indy.

ROD: Michael Turner at 16 was a reach, especially with Matt Forte, Trent Richardson and Lynch still on the board. He'll get his carries, but you have to be concerned that he's wearing down.

Jeff Erickson,

Strategy: This time of year, my feel for the player pool isn't as strong as it's going to be in the summer. Simply, I'm immersed in baseball. So I try to keep it simple - avoid guys I don't want to own, be willing to reach a round early on players I like, and wait excruciatingly long on quarterbacks. The latter aspect of that plan is in reaction to the fantasy world deciding it's advisable to take QBs early again. I figure it's probably profitable to go in the opposite direction of the crowd.

Execution: It went reasonably well, given that I wasn't tied into any rigid strategy. The consequence is I'm light on running backs. But I really wanted to avoid Matt Forte in a non-PPR league, for instance, at least at the cost it was going to take to grab him. My biggest reservation is that this draft was chock-full of card carrying members of the wait-on-the-quarterbacks club - I waited until the ninth round to grab Jay Cutler, but Chris Liss also waited until the ninth round, Scott Pianowski and Ray Flowers took their first quarterbacks in the eighth, and Dalton Del Don took his first QB in the seventh round.

With the caveat that "biggest reach" and "biggest steal" responses are usually wrong, often comically so, especially in May:
SOD: Tony Romo, 7.11. He was sitting there on the top of the default list for at least 2-3 rounds, and I should have taken him. I think that the narrative on Romo (chokes in the clutch, turnover prone) overshadows his fantasy value.

ROD: Peyton Manning, 2.14. That's a pretty big leap of faith that all the variables with Manning (health, age, supporting cast, schedule) will work in Manning's direction. That said, it's not as if he was coming back to Luke Hoover at 4.14, so if he feels strongly about him, I can see it.

Dalton Del Don,

Strategy: As always, my strategy was to wait on the quarterback position, likely not even thinking about drafting one until I had at least three backs and three wide receivers. Execution: I felt I executed it well and was surprised I was able to land Tony Romo at the end of Round 7. But even had he been taken, I'd have been perfectly comfortable going with Matt Schaub, Matt Ryan, Jay Cutler, Carson Palmer, etc.

SOD: The biggest steals were DeMarco Murray, who lasted until the 27th pick, and Aaron Hernandez in Round 5.

ROD: I thought the biggest reaches were Peyton Manning in Round 2 and BenJarvus Green-Ellis in Round 4.

Jason Thornbury,

Strategy: My strategy was to get two players in the first two rounds who could carry my team, regardless of position. If I couldn't get one of the top-four QBs, then I'd wait a long while for a QB and go with a WR-RB combo in the first two rounds. From there, I generally looked for players whose playing situation gives them upside.

Execution: Generally, it went OK. Cam Newton came to me at No. 12 in the first round, so I was content to take him. He probably won't rush for 14 touchdowns again, but it's also reasonable to expect his passing touchdowns to increase in Year 2. I took Matt Forte in the second round, which could end up being a good value assuming he doesn't hold out. But that of course left me to fill my WR corps with mediocre middle-rounders. In hindsight, perhaps I'd go a different route to minimize the risk that both Newton and Forte bring, but I'm not sweating it. The rest of the draft, for the most part, I think I got players who are in position to provide value.

SOD: Philip Rivers - Getting a QB who's good for 4,500-plus yards and 27-30 TDs in the sixth round qualifies as a steal in my book. After struggling early in the season with INTs, he reverted to his normal self in the second half. Doubtful he'll have another INT-plagued season this year.

ROD: Adrian Peterson - First-round picks should be near locks for elite production. Peterson is far from that with his knee injury. He likely won't even make it back for Week 1. Peterson could pay off, of course, but there's too much risk there for me to take him in Round 1.

Keith Goldner,

Strategy: I was stuck in the No. 13 spot so I was not in a great position to begin with. I wanted to make sure I got one of the Top 4 QBs (Rodgers, Brees, Brady, Newton) or be able to snag Peyton Manning or Philip Rivers late in the hope that their projected value would be lower than where I believe they will perform. Since it is a 14-team league, the top QBs and RBs are even more valuable. Everyone is loving the power of the top TEs so I planned on staying away and not overpaying for the position.

Execution: Executed it well, though not too happy with the risk profile of my wide receivers. Top-4 QB were all gone by my first pick and Peyton was gone by the third round, so I waited as long as I could before taking Rivers and took top-tier RBs with my first two selections.

SOD: Jamaal Charles in the third, Jeremy Maclin in the fourth, Roddy White in third.

ROD: Ryan Mathews No. 5 overall, DeMarco Murray in the second, Trent Richardson in the second.

Peter Schoenke,

Strategy: I was prepared to take two WRs at the wheel (since I had the 14th pick), but Jeff Erickson took Andre Johnson earlier than I anticipated.

Strategy: As a result, I switched gears, gathered upside RBs and WRs and found value in last year's bums (Michael Vick, Darren McFadden, Miles Austin) with upside to be the top players at their respective positions. I'm not sure which will pan out at this point, but I just need one or two to rebound to have a strong team.

ROD: I'm not sold on Rob Gronkowski as a top 19 pick. He'll get his yardage, but I just don't see 15-plus touchdowns again with the upgrade in New England's receivers and with opposing defenses likely to overemphasize shutting him down in offseason game plans (NFL teams can never seem to adjust in-season). Plus the TE pool is deep, so I don't know that you're getting enough separation from the rest of the TE pack for the price at that spot given the steep drop-off at RB this year.

SOD: The best value will undoubtedly be from any of the players with health concerns that pan out. I particularly liked the price on Vick. He was the No. 1 overall pick in many drafts last season and was the No. 1 overall player on a per game basis in 2010. I'm usually a guy who picks a quarterback last, but at 42 overall, it was too much upside to pass over.