Fantasy Football: Expert Mock Draft (Standard Scoring)
Throughout this off-season, us here at FantasyPros have tried to continue to bring in the best analysts in the business to our podcast, as well as getting them to participate in mock drafts. We got some titans of the industry to do a rookie mock draft back at the end of March (read here), and again after the NFL Draft in May (read here). The support on the podcast and those articles was amazing, so we went out and gathered some of the best in the industry for a standard redraft mock draft.
It was a 12-man cast that went a total of 15 rounds, leaving out the 16th round that would’ve gone to kickers in a traditional league. This will be a good measuring stick of where a player’s ADP might be in a month, because analysts are typically out in front of the curve, influencing the public’s perception of what a player’s value actually is. The starting requirements were pretty typical: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 W/R/T, 1 D/ST. If you’d like to find any of the analysts that took part in this mock draft, I’ll include their Twitter handles at the bottom of this article.
|1.01||Patrick||RB David Johnson||2.01||Tagliere||WR T.Y. Hilton|
|1.02||Cummins||RB Le’Veon Bell||2.02||Thorman||RB Jay Ajayi|
|1.03||Waziak||RB Ezekiel Elliott||2.03||Summerlin||RB Jordan Howard|
|1.04||Ciely||WR Antonio Brown||2.04||Harris||WR Jordy Nelson|
|1.05||Hamilton||WR Odell Beckham Jr.||2.05||Bloom||RB Demarco Murray|
|1.06||Pianowski||WR Julio Jones||2.06||Evans||WR Amari Cooper|
|1.07||Evans||WR Mike Evans||2.07||Pianowski||RB Leonard Fournette|
|1.08||Bloom||RB Melvin Gordon||2.08||Hamilton||RB Todd Gurley|
|1.09||Harris||RB LeSean McCoy||2.09||Ciely||RB Marshawn Lynch|
|1.10||Summerlin||WR Michael Thomas||2.10||Waziak||WR Dez Bryant|
|1.11||Thorman||WR A.J. Green||2.11||Cummins||TE Rob Gronkowski|
|1.12||Tagliere||RB Devonta Freeman||2.12||Patrick||WR Demaryius Thomas|
It’s to the point where we pretty much know who’ll be selected in the first two rounds, though you may be torn at the end of the second round when deciding between players like Rob Gronkowski and Doug Baldwin. I’ll attempt to give my best pick from each round, as well as the one that I believe may have been too early.
From the first round, my favorite pick was Michael Thomas going to Ray Summerlin. While some say that he’s yet to prove worthy of a first round pick, I’d disagree and say that Thomas didn’t even start until Week 3, missed Week 14, yet still finished as the No. 9 wide receiver with Brandin Cooks on the roster. It’s picks like Summerlin’s that show why he’s among the best in the business. You need to be bold when in drafts such as this one. My least favorite pick from the first round would probably be my own of Devonta Freeman, as he feels more like a second-rounder to me.
More expected picks come off the board in the second round, but there were two that I felt came way too early. Jake Ciely taking Marshawn Lynch at the end of the second, over guys like Baldwin, Dez Bryant, and Gronkowski took some stones. I’m not concerned with Lynch’s role, but rather his ability to handle a large workload at his advanced age. Curtis Patrick’s pick of Demaryius Thomas at 2.12 was also a bit early for my taste, as he’s still working with either Trevor Siemian or first-year-starter Paxton Lynch. My favorite pick of the round went to Rob Waziak, who stole Bryant at 2.10. His schedule is concerning (as I pointed out here), but that’s baked into his ADP.
|3.01||Patrick||WR Doug Baldwin||4.01||Tagliere||WR Davante Adams|
|3.02||Cummins||WR DeAndre Hopkins||4.02||Thorman||TE Jordan Reed|
|3.03||Waziak||RB Lamar Miller||4.03||Summerlin||RB Eddie Lacy|
|3.04||Ciely||RB Joe Mixon||4.04||Harris||RB Dalvin Cook|
|3.05||Hamilton||RB Isaiah Crowell||4.05||Bloom||RB Doug Martin|
|3.06||Pianowski||WR Allen Robinson||4.06||Evans||RB Christian McCaffrey|
|3.07||Evans||QB Aaron Rodgers||4.07||Pianowski||WR Michael Crabtree|
|3.08||Bloom||QB Tom Brady||4.08||Hamilton||QB Andrew Luck|
|3.09||Harris||WR Sammy Watkins||4.09||Ciely||WR Alshon Jeffery|
|3.10||Summerlin||TE Travis Kelce||4.10||Waziak||WR Terrelle Pryor|
|3.11||Thorman||RB Carlos Hyde||4.11||Cummins||RB Mike Gillislee|
|3.12||Tagliere||WR Brandin Cooks||4.12||Patrick||RB C.J. Anderson|
There were a few picks that were stolen from me in the third round, as Dan Harris took Sammy Watkins at 3.09 and Pat Thorman took Carlos Hyde one pick in front of me at 3.12. Seeing that I consider them second-round talents, those were my favorite picks of the round. Meanwhile, Summerlin made what was my least favorite pick of the round. Despite the fact that Kelce has room to grow on his 2016 campaign, he actually needs to in order to live up to a third-round draft pick. I’d prefer him in the mid-to-late fourth round.
The fourth round seems to be the one where things get mixed up a tad, as there were a few polarizing players taken off the board, starting with Mike Gillislee. Ben Cummins is obviously sold on the fact that Gillislee will be taking over LeGarrette Blount’s role, but the weekly inconsistency of the Patriots running backs is tough to swallow with a fourth-round pick. Meanwhile, Patrick stole C.J. Anderson at the end of the fourth, my favorite pick of the round. He’s going much later than he should in early drafts, and I believe there’s a good chance he winds up as an early second-round pick next year.
|5.01||Patrick||WR Jarvis Landry||6.01||Tagliere||WR Donte Moncrief|
|5.02||Cummins||WR Martavis Bryant||6.02||Thorman||RB Paul Perkins|
|5.03||Waziak||TE Greg Olsen||6.03||Summerlin||WR Emmanuel Sanders|
|5.04||Ciely||WR Keenan Allen||6.04||Harris||WR Golden Tate|
|5.05||Hamilton||RB Ty Montgomery||6.05||Bloom||WR Jamison Crowder|
|5.06||Pianowski||RB Tevin Coleman||6.06||Evans||RB Mark Ingram|
|5.07||Evans||WR Corey Davis||6.07||Pianowski||WR Willie Snead|
|5.08||Bloom||RB Frank Gore||6.08||Hamilton||RB Derrick Henry|
|5.09||Harris||RB Spencer Ware||6.09||Ciely||RB Bilal Powell|
|5.10||Summerlin||WR Tyreek Hill||6.10||Waziak||WR Brandon Marshall|
|5.11||Thorman||WR Stefon Diggs||6.11||Cummins||QB Jameis Winston|
|5.12||Tagliere||RB Ameer Abdullah||6.12||Patrick||QB Drew Brees|
The biggest surprise of these rounds was most definitely Cummins’ pick of Jameis Winston at 6.11 in front of Drew Brees. Not only is that going on a limb, but he snagged him much earlier than his ADP of 8.09 in public drafts. Traditionally, you’ll see writer/analyst leagues wait on quarterback longer than most public leagues, but this draft went in a different direction, with five quarterbacks coming off the board in the first six rounds. Not that Winston isn’t an up-and-coming stud that has been surrounded by great weapons, but looking at everything, he probably could’ve gotten him in the 10th round of this draft.
My favorite pick of these rounds went to Thorman, as he snagged Stefon Diggs as the 26th wide receiver off the board at the end of the fifth round. One year removed from an injury-plagued season in which he was the No. 14 wide receiver in PPR leagues and No. 23 in standard leagues, there is room to grow as he scored just three touchdowns in 2016. I also felt lucky to land Donte Moncrief as the 27th wide receiver off the board. He’s someone whose downside is built into his price, but has legitimate has top-12 upside.
|7.01||Patrick||RB LeGarrette Blount||8.01||Tagliere||TE Martellus Bennett|
|7.02||Cummins||RB Samaje Perine||8.02||Thorman||WR DeSean Jackson|
|7.03||Waziak||QB Russell Wilson||8.03||Summerlin||WR Jeremy Maclin|
|7.04||Ciely||WR Larry Fitzgerald||8.04||Harris||TE Kyle Rudolph|
|7.05||Hamilton||WR Julian Edelman||8.05||Bloom||WR John Brown|
|7.06||Pianowski||TE Jimmy Graham||8.06||Evans||TE Hunter Henry|
|7.07||Evans||RB Kareem Hunt||8.07||Pianowski||WR DeVante Parker|
|7.08||Bloom||TE Tyler Eifert||8.08||Hamilton||WR Kelvin Benjamin|
|7.09||Harris||WR Pierre Garcon||8.09||Ciely||RB Jamaal Williams|
|7.10||Summerlin||RB Danny Woodhead||8.10||Waziak||WR Corey Coleman|
|7.11||Thorman||RB Adrian Peterson||8.11||Cummins||WR Randall Cobb|
|7.12||Tagliere||RB Kenneth Dixon||8.12||Patrick||WR Eric Decker|
In the seventh and eighth rounds, we saw Cummins select Samaje Perine and Ciely select Jamaal Williams, two rookie running backs vying for starting jobs in high-scoring offenses. This is the kind of boldness that can win leagues, but it can also cost you, considering you’re still drafting starters at this point. Sigmund Bloom made my favorite pick of this area, taking John Brown at 8.05.
|9.01||Patrick||TE Eric Ebron||10.01||Tagliere||WR Jordan Matthews|
|9.02||Cummins||WR Josh Doctson||10.02||Thorman||WR Tyrell Williams|
|9.03||Waziak||RB Matt Forte||10.03||Summerlin||RB Theo Riddick|
|9.04||Ciely||TE Delanie Walker||10.04||Harris||RB Rob Kelley|
|9.05||Hamilton||TE Zach Ertz||10.05||Bloom||WR Ted Ginn|
|9.06||Pianowski||RB C.J. Prosise||10.06||Evans||WR Breshad Perriman|
|9.07||Evans||WR Cameron Meredith||10.07||Pianowski||WR Adam Thielen|
|9.08||Bloom||WR Marvin Jones||10.08||Hamilton||TE O.J. Howard|
|9.09||Harris||RB Jonathan Stewart||10.09||Ciely||RB D’Onta Foreman|
|9.10||Summerlin||WR Kenny Britt||10.10||Waziak||RB Jamaal Charles|
|9.11||Thorman||WR Mike Wallace||10.11||Cummins||TE Jack Doyle|
|9.12||Tagliere||QB Matt Ryan||10.12||Patrick||WR Quincy Enunwa|
|11.01||Patrick||RB Alvin Kamara||12.01||Tagliere||TB James White|
|11.02||Cummins||RB Marlon Mack||12.02||Thorman||QB Kirk Cousins|
|11.03||Waziak||WR J.J. Nelson||12.03||Summerlin||QB Matthew Stafford|
|11.04||Ciely||WR Kevin White||12.04||Harris||QB Cam Newton|
|11.05||Hamilton||WR Mike Williams||12.05||Bloom||QB Ben Roethlisberger|
|11.06||Pianowski||QB Marcus Mariota||12.06||Evans||RB Latavius Murray|
|11.07||Evans||RB Duke Johnson||12.07||Pianowski||QB Philip Rivers|
|11.08||Bloom||WR Tyler Lockett||12.08||Hamilton||WR John Ross|
|11.09||Harris||WR Rishard Matthews||12.09||Ciely||RB Jonathan Williams|
|11.10||Summerlin||WR Robert Woods||12.10||Waziak||RB Terrance West|
|11.11||Thorman||WR Kenny Golladay||12.11||Cummins||RB James Conner|
|11.12||Tagliere||RB Thomas Rawls||12.12||Patrick||TE David Njoku|
|13.01||Patrick||D/ST Broncos||14.01||Tagliere||TE Coby Fleener|
|13.02||Cummins||RB Rex Burkhead||14.02||Thorman||WR Chris Hogan|
|13.03||Waziak||WR Kenny Stills||14.03||Summerlin||RB Darren Sproles|
|13.04||Ciely||QB Tyrod Taylor||14.04||Harris||RB Joe Williams|
|13.05||Hamilton||QB Derek Carr||14.05||Bloom||WR Taylor Gabriel|
|13.06||Pianowski||TE Austin Hooper||14.06||Evans||TE Julius Thomas|
|13.07||Evans||WR Curtis Samuel||14.07||Pianowski||TE C.J. Fiedorowicz|
|13.08||Bloom||RB Jacquizz Rodgers||14.08||Hamilton||WR Zay Jones|
|13.09||Harris||QB Dak Prescott||14.09||Ciely||WR Mohamed Sanu|
|13.10||Summerlin||WR Will Fuller||14.10||Waziak||D/ST Texans|
|13.11||Thorman||RB DeAndre Washington||14.11||Cummins||WR Malcolm Mitchell|
|13.12||Tagliere||WR Sterling Shepard||14.12||Patrick||QB Carson Wentz|
|15.01||Patrick||QB Andy Dalton|
|15.03||Waziak||QB Eli Manning|
|15.06||Pianowski||RB Jalen Richard|
Throughout the remainder of the draft, there were a few head-scratching picks, but when you spend as much time as these guys do covering the NFL, you need to at least consider where they’re coming from. The one that stands out to me was Harris’ pick of Jonathan Stewart in the ninth round, as he’s someone who I probably wouldn’t draft at this point. Between Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey, and Curtis Samuel stealing carries, it’s hard to find a role for him. My current projections have him at just over 600 total yards and five touchdowns, and I thought that was generous.
The biggest value over the final few rounds had to be Ciely’s pick of Kevin White. This is not me saying that White is going to be a steal, but rather that Ciely got the projected No. 1 wide receiver of an offense in the 11th round. White hasn’t shown much in the NFL yet, but he’s the former No. 7 pick from two years ago. The Bears are going to give him every opportunity to succeed, and it just so happens that he will not face any top-tier cornerbacks outside of (maybe) Xavier Rhodes this season. Small price to pay for the upside he could be getting. I was also a fan of Patrick’s pick of Quincy Enunwa in the 10th round and Thorman’s DeAndre Washington pick in the 13th round.
What We Learned
The biggest surprise from this draft was that there were 19 quarterbacks taken in the 15 rounds, which shows the pendulum swinging the opposite direction of previous years. Despite that being the case, there was still value to be had with Dak Prescott going in the 13th round to Harris, and Andy Dalton going to Patrick in the 15th round. I’m usually one of the writers to swing first on a quarterback, but in this one, I wish I’d waited longer, even though I got Matt Ryan in the ninth round.
Surprisingly, running backs and wide receivers were coming off the board at almost an even rate, which has a lot to do with this being a standard league, but it’s still noteworthy. I think it’s that way because of all the uncertainty in certain backfields. Once we know more about the depth charts and who is starting, you’ll likely see running backs start to tumble down draft boards. Now go and practice your own mock drafts for free, right here: Complete a mock draft in minutes with our free Draft Simulator >>
Things are going to change as the season approaches and we’ll have your covered throughout the entirety of the off-season, bringing in amazing analysts like the ones here in this draft. If you’d like to ask them any questions, follow any of them on Twitter by just clicking on their name below.