As organized team activities kick off this season let us try to remember one simple thing, R-E-L-A-X. Now, I am not saying that you shouldn’t be filled with overwhelming joy that we are at this point in the off-season. I am also not saying that is ignorant or foolish to be enamored with your team’s draft picks or even second year players that showed some promise in their respective rookie seasons. No, what I am saying is that we should all listen to Aaron Rodger’s advice and not allow ourselves to be pulled into ignorant bliss of accomplishments in OTAs.
It seems as though each season there are a handful of players that catch the eye of the media world and set the mainstream on fire, I am looking at you “next” Odell Beckham inTajae Sharpe. We will hear about players that are blowing past defensive backs as if they were scarecrows, running backs that are basically Tecmo Bowling the defense like Bo Jackson with excellent health and destroying their psyches at practice, and quarterbacks who can throw a football through a tire from space. While it is somewhat of an indoctrination into the NFL for these young players let’s stay focused and realize that quarterbacks wear no contact jerseys,there is no tackling and overall limited contact all together, and players were helmets, shoulder pads, and shorts. Basically it is a walk through practice at “full” speed. Of course that running back is going to look elusive, that wide receiver is going to blow past people, and that quarterback is going to complete passes. If they didn’t do these things they wouldn’t be NFL caliber players.
Then come the comparisons! Those ignorant fucking comparisons we have to endure each and every year. While running around the practice field with zero contact some idiot somewhere will say that this guy or that guy reminds me of Jim Brown or Jerry Rice. They will say he could be the next Tom Brady or Adrian Peterson. Or we will hear how this is the cousin of a so and so. Being an Eagles fan I know that Jordan Matthews is the cousin of Jerry Rice and I also know that Jordan Matthews is an average wide receiver with an ability to drop open passes, have no idea where the sideline is, and is limited to the slot. Him being the cousin of Jerry Rice means absolutely nothing in terms of his abilities on a football field. Their is no next Jim Brown or Jerry Rice. Please stop this. For the love of all that is holy stop this.
Look, I am not trying to rain on your parade. If you really believe that the 5th round wide receiver your team drafted is going to blossom into the greatest at his position the world has ever seen more power to you. There have been exceptions like Antonio Brown or Dick LeBeau. All I am saying is that history is against it. Being a life long Eagles fan I have learned to temper expectations and limit my excitement. Our alleged super hero this season comes in the form of a 5ft 8in 176lb running back by the name of Donnell Pumphrey. I would love for him to have the career of a similar sized and skilled player in Warrick Dunn or to a lesser extent Darren Sproles but history is not on his side. While I am excited about the prospects of his contributions this and coming seasons I understand that he has limitations and lasted as long as he did in the draft for a reason. Last season I heard all about the greatness of of 6th round pick Blake Countess. How we stole him the draft and got a 1st round talent. Yep, he didn’t make the roster and we had corner backs that essentially equated to parking cones that opposing receivers ran drills with so what does that tell you? It tells you to slow your roll and R-E-L-A-X.
Enjoy OTAs but please keep your head about it.
In doing this I wanted to go against what most consider the best in the business in Mike Mayock. This being our first mock draft I have to be honest and say that a lot of work, reading, fact finding, and preparation goes into mock drafts which is something I used to take for granted. Just to make things interesting I also added Mel Kiper’s results. Yes him of speed talking and pompadour Mel Kiper. (His pompadour was much more tamed this year) I am not sure if anyone considers him a solid mock drafter but he has been at ESPN for a lifetime and even survived the recent sadness of cut backs they dished out.
In grading I did it two ways. First, how many exact picks were made. Second, how many picks went to the correct teams outside of those perfect picks. We did well I am pleasantly surprised to say.
Mike Mayock’s Exact Picks
- Myles Garrett – 1st
- Leonard Fournette – 4th
- Christian McCaffery – 8th
- Adoree Jackson – 18th
Mike Mayock’s Correct Team Picks
- DeShaun Watson – Texans (The Texans moved up to 12th overall Mayock had them taking him at 25.)
Total Mayock Accuracy – 16%
Mel Kiper’s Exact Picks
- Leonard Fournette – 4th
- Christian McCaffery – 8th
- Jarrad Davis – 21st
Mel Kiper’s Correct Team Picks
Total Kiper Accuracy – 9%
Fantasy Schmuck Exact Picks
- Myles Garrett – 1st
- Leonard Fournette – 4th
- Christian McCaffery – 8th
- Jonathan Allen – 17th
- T.J. Watt – 30th
Fantasy Schmuck Correct Team Picks
- Corey Davis ( The Titans took him 5th overall and Fantasy Schmuck had him going to them at 18th overall.)
Total Fantasy Schmuck Accuracy – 19%
OK, I beat both Mayock and Kiper but at still only a 19% accuracy score so it isn’t too much to gloat about. I will take it for my first mock draft ever.
Welcome to our inaugural mock draft. Yes, I am aware that using the word inaugural when this is our blogs first posting seems superfluous but, if I am being honest I just wanted to use the word inaugural. In fact, I may use it on every post this year so gear up for that.
Unlike most I do not feel the compulsory need to do mock draft after mock draft. I much rather prefer to wait until things settle down and we can get a better picture of what the rumblings behind the potential draft picks are, any late free agency signings, or any injuries that the players may have succumbed to. Or in the case of Gareon Conley waiting to see if the rape kit comes back with my DNA on it. I am not saying that my method is any better or more accurate as I am nearly certain I will, like anyone else who does a mock draft, be nearly entirely incorrect. But it is still fun.
- Cleveland Browns – Myles Garrett – DE – I like the Browns. I want the Browns to succeed, I truly do. That’s why if they had any sense at all they would have written the name Myles Garrett in all capital letters on a piece of paper, sealed that piece of paper in an envelope, and then handed that envelope into the commissioner’s hand with strict instructions that told him when and where to open it two months ago. Myles Garrett is the best player in this draft and the Browns desperately need help with a pass rush.
- San Francisco 49ners – Jamal Adams – S – I have a feeling the 49ners are going to trade rape one of the more idiotic franchises that believe that one of these QB prospects is worthy of the 2nd overall pick. (Like after school special bad, where little Judy or John wonders if all kids Uncles play like that)I think the 49ners have holes in so many places they should take the best player available that fills a need. Eric Reid has not developed into the player they had hoped and Antoine Bethea is in decline at 32 years old. Adams gives them another play maker on defense.
- Chicago Bears – Marshon Lattimore – CB – When you live in a division with Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford defensive backs is what you need. The Bears signed Prince Amukamara to a one year deal which shows their level of confidence in him and Kyle Fuller has not lived up to the hopes they had for him partly due to injuries. If anyone says that signing Marcus Cooper fills void I am not sure what I will do but it will be bad. Lattimore gives the Bears a solid and technically sound DB. Concerns are that he used his size to muscle opponents in college and that won’t work in the NFL. He is also a one year starter. Those issues aside he is a technically sound player.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Leonard Fournette – RB – How do you help your passing game achieve new heights? Dak raises his hand eagerly in the air with one arm up and the other nestled behind his head holding his raised arm so it doesn’t tire. Yes Dak? Draft a beast RB that keeps defenses honest and often focusing so heavy on stopping the run the other team forgets we can pass too. Correct!!!! Dak threw to a collection of scrubs minus Dez Bryant and a very old future HOF in Jason Witten. Imagine what a RB that runs possessed between the tackles, possesses home run speed, and can help in the passing game like Fournette could do for Blake Bortles, Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee, and Allen Hurns. Makes you warm inside doesn’t it?
- Tennessee Titans – Solomon Thomas – DE – I think this is another spot teams could to try to trade up to for one the QB prospects. The Titans did well in upgrading their secondary by signing Logan Ryan and John Cyprien. What better way to help them even more by drafting a premier talent pass rusher like Thomas to go with Jurell Casey, Derrick Morgan, and Brian Orakpo? None. Thomas can play all positions along the defensive line and offers a versatile 3-down player.
- New York Jets – Gareon Conley – CB – Conley’s stock may plummet due the recent sexual assault allegations. Conley is vehemently denying them but he wouldn’t be the first person to deny raping someone. The Jets signed oft-injured and perennial underachiever Morris Claiborne. While he is no CB1 there is almost no way he could be statistically worse than future HOF Darrelle Revis was in 2016 and playing in a division with the Tom Brady the Jets could use the versatile Conley who can line up on both the slot and outside receivers.
- San Diego Chargers – Malik Hooker – S – Yes, I am aware that I called them the San Diego Chargers. I am sorry San Diego, I know what a loyal fan base you were to the Chargers. Combining ball hawking Malik Hooker with Jason Verrett and 2016 breakout player Casey Heyward only makes Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram more dangerous and harder to scheme against.
- Carolina Panthers – Christian McCaffery – RB – Yes, he is the white RB and I know that it is more common to see a unicorn than a white RB but I assure you this kid can play. He ran faster forty times than both Cook and Fournette and his three-cone drill was record setting. McCaffery provides the big play potential in every aspect of the game but would really provide Cam Newton and his shit offensive line a valuable option for quick outlet passes. While I don’t think he can handle a starting RB workload I do believe between rushing, receiving, and returning he could handle 15 to 20 touches a game. The Panthers still have Jonathan Stewart for the short yardage, grind it out dirty work.
- Cincinnati Bengals – Reuben Foster – LB – The Bengals obviously don’t mind possible character flaws employing on field antagonist Vontaze Burfict and career criminal (Although his rant last season about Terrell Pryor was brilliant) Adam Jones. Why not add another nut to bunch? Maybe this way the Bengals can get a group rate for therapy classes. Pairing Foster with stud LB Burfict is the kind of scenario that keeps defensive coordinators awake at night. FOster is solid against the run and strong in pass coverage and even provides a pass rush element.
- Buffalo Bills – Mike Williams – WR – Sammy Watkins and Tyrod Taylor want this so bad you could talk them into doing terrible things for it. What Williams lacks in explosiveness he makes up for with aggression towards the football. My man does not wait for the ball to come to him, he just goes and gets it. He provides Sammy Watkins with a grunt to handle short to intermediate throws while he runs 9-routes like he likes to do and Tyrod Taylor gets a red zone weapon with reliable hands and nice catch radius.
- New Orleans Saints – Derek Barnett – DE – The Saints could go WR here after trading Brandin Cooks for another first round pick but they signed Ted Ginn to add the speed dimension to their receiver core. I think the lure of a talented pass rusher is a void they they have needed to fill for far too long. Barnett gives them a versatile player that can stay on the field all three downs by allowing the team to move him along the line and even stand him him up at OLB
- Cleveland Browns – Mitchell Trubisky – QB – The Browns may sacrifice picks to move up and draft Trubisky but I feel that he will slide to them here. Trubisky is allegedly the most pro ready QB in this class which says a lot about the options if a guy that only started 13 collegiate games is the best option. Trubisky comes from a system that had multiple one read passes and he struggled against coverage variations as evidenced by Stanford taking him out the Sun Bowl. Hey, at least it isn’t the 22nd pick right Browns fans?
- Arizona Cardinals – Marlon Humphrey – CB – When you have Patrick Peterson on one side of the field or shadowing the other teams best WR you need another strong CB on the other side. The book on Humphrey is that although he possesses recovery speed he gets beat deep to often and lacks the ball skills necessary to make plays. I say that those deficiencies can be coached out of him and he gives the Cardinals a solid option of opposite of Peterson.
- Philadelphia Eagles – Dalvin Cook – RB – Here it is, my disclaimer, I am an Eagles Fan and I dislike the Giants and Cowboys. I promised my wife that if I was going to do this I would be unbiased in regards to writing but I didn’t tell her anything about my brother being my voice of distaste on the forum. (Ha, genius level shit right there) I bleed Kelley green and I am hoping with every inch of my Eagles filled soul that we take Cook here. He is versatile, he is a play maker, and he can carry a starters workload. The only concerns about him are his fumbling issues and past shoulder injuries but Ezekial Elliott had ball security issues coming out as well. Carson Wentz needs a solid and consistent element in his run game to further develop as a passer. Please read above about Leonard Fournette. Remember, Dak says.
- Indianapolis Colts – Dion Dawkins – OG – Andrew Luck needs offensive lineman like Pepe Le Pew needed to be tried as a sex offender, desperately. The Colts line play improved slightly last year and they still have solid but aging left tackle Costanzo. Dawkins offers upside with versatility as he is able to play both guard positions and right tackle. Jonathan Allen could go here as well but the Colts signed Jonathan Hankins to fill that gap.
- Baltimore Ravens – Haasan Reddick – OLB – I am sad that Steve Smith is gone. He was in the shit talkers HOF and backed it up on the field. Amazing competitor that will be missed. The Ravens could use another pass rusher to add to their already stout defense. Reddick can provide consistent pressure but he can also get lost at times. Having a mentor like T-Sizzle their to help him develop will go a long way.
- Washington Redskins – Jonathan Allen – DT – Allen most likely won’t make it this far but I believe his shoulder issues and poor showing at the combine hurt his stock. The Redskins have solid pass rushers from the edges but their interior lineman were bad at everything. The Redskins could also use a solid MLB but Allen’s talent can’t be overlooked this low.
- Tennessee Titans – Corey Davis – WR – Marcus Mariota came alive last season for a good stretch before his injury showing a glimpse of what the Titans may have in their young signal caller. Giving Mariota a weapon like Davis would greatly help his development. I know he didn’t go to a bigger school but he put up monster numbers. Rishard Matthews looked solid and while Tajae Sharpe did not blow up like the world thought he would he had a solid rookie season to build on. Davis adds another dimension to the passing game. The knock on Davis is that he did not perform well against bigger schools but a WR can’t throw the ball to himself.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jabrill Peppers – S – Pepper’s stock is falling due to a dilute sample of urine. He insists it was because he was over hydrated. Who cares? This kid is a play maker from the safety position and he fits the fold created by the great Troy Polamalu in he can play all over the field. Some think he is best when closer to the line of scrimmage and he will need to develop better cover skills. They said the same thing about Landon Collins.
- Denver Broncos – Ryan Ramczyk – OT – A January hip surgery could delay his return to the field and create a bit of a learning curve but he should be able to step in from day one and play. The Broncos had made it a point to address the offensive line after making it a point to address their offensive line last off season as well. Leary and Ramczyk are nice upgrades.
- Detroit Lions – John Ross – WR – The Lions have needs on the defensive side of the ball but they have a need for a defense stretching WR as well. Enter the man that broke the combine’s forty time record yet somehow did not win the island Reebok promised. Marvin Jones proved to be efficient and Golden Tate is a great possession type WR. Ross stretches the filed and would open it up for Tate, Eric Ebron, and Theo Riddick.
- Miami Dolphins – Taco Charlton – DE – The Dolphins could go LB here as well. Cameron Wake is approaching the end although he remained effective last season and Ndamukong Suh is a monster. Taco Charlton weighs in at 270lbs and possesses a first quick step that will help limit double teams along the defensive line. He needs to improve against the run and limit his susceptibility to cut blocks.
- New York Giants – O.J. Howard – TE – Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard, and Brandon Marshall with O.J. Howard in the mix? Wow. Howard blocks exceptionally well in the run game and provides another huge frame for Eli Manning in the red zone. Howard is the most complete prospect at TE in a long time. Not sure he makes it this far but if he does the Giants will snatch him up.
- Oakland Raiders – Adoree Jackson – CB – The Raiders solved their RB issue by bringing on of my favorites, Marshawn Lynch. Dude wore his helmet out of the building today. Adoree Jackson’s size is his only concern. His athleticism is off the charts. He may be better suited to line up in the slot but with the way the NFL is going a slot corner is a starter. He played the run exceptionally well in college for someone of his size and he may be able to get walled off in the pros by bigger bodies on the next level. His ball skills are amazing and he is an instant contributor on a Super Bowl contender.
- Houston Texans – Patrick Mahomes – QB – The Texans need a QB like a chubby kid needs more cake. Mahomes is strong armed, mobile, and durable. However, he played in a system that provided huge windows to throw the ball into, he didn’t have to make reads, and he can get sloppy with his mechanics. He most assuredly be a backup his rookie season while he learns the nuances of the pro game. The talent is there, O’Brien just needs to to pull it out of him.
- Seattle Seahawks – Cam Robinson – OT – The Seahawks offensive line is a tire fire. Germain Ifedi, last seasons first round pick, played poorly and the rest of the offensive line was not much better. Robinson the the best talent at tackle in the draft and should be able to step in a start right away. He possesses the physical gifts to be special but sometimes loses focus and gets lazy in his technique. The NFL can fix that.
- Kansas City Chiefs – DeShaun Watson – QB – Alex Smith is that guy at the office that does his job efficiently everyday but never really stands out. You know, that guy who’s name you draw from a hat for your Secret Santa gift and you ask people who the hell that is. Smith is consistent and does not turn the ball over but he rarely takes risks needed to be great or get your team over the hump in the playoffs. Watson is a big game QB that has limitations in his game right now. Some of those limitations can be fixed with a year of sitting on the sideline learning.
- Dallas Cowboys – Quincy Wilson – CB – I promised I would be impartial. I am not sure what the Cowboys plan is on the defensive side of the ball. They overachieved last season with some suspect parts in place and I am not certain that will happen again this year. Gone are Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne, and Barry Church out of the secondary. I am not sure why you invest so much time in Claiborne to just let him walk after he finally showed some potential after years of nothing. Wilson is a big strong corner that plays the run and pass equally well. A solid press corner that could take players like Odell Beckham out of his game. His issue is keeping up with shifty moves as he lacks that close range quickness. A sure tackler with good ball skills that makes the Cowboys defense better. See, Impartial. Fly Eagles Fly!!!!!! (Most likely to an 8-8 record. You learn to adapt)
- Green Bay Packers – Takkarist McKinley – OLB – McKinley is a little raw but has the talent to become something special. Nick Perry finally showed promise last season and the Packers feel the need to move Clay Matthews inside every year for some reason. McKinley provides them some athleticism and ability to create problems in opponents back fields giving the Packers the flexibility to keep moving around Clay Matthews.
- Pittsburgh Steelers – T.J. Watt – OLB – The loss of Larwence Timmons hurts in the middle but Vince Williams showed he is a capable fill in. Watt brings the level of intensity and football focus that makes your football team better from top to bottom. He may never be a dominant force at OLB but a solid player is what he is. I would take a chance on the Watt lineage anytime seeing how focused and team oriented his brother J.J. has been.
- Atlanta Falcons – Tim Williams – OLB – As evidenced by their second half defensive meltdown in the Super Bowl the Falcons need pass rush help. Williams is a burner off the edge that has good lean to get to the QB. He does play a little hot in that he seems to be hyper-focused on getting up the field and can be fooled by draws and bootlegs. He has some off the field issues as well in the form of multiple failed drug tests and a gun charge. His talent and the Falcons desperate need for difference maker in the pass rush overcomes those early life issues.
- New Orleans Saints – DeShone Kizer – QB – Drew Brees is a marvel and shows no signs of slowing down. Neither did Peyton Manning until he looked like he was 105 years old and still playing football. This is the pick the Saints got for Brandin Cooks and they may trade this one to accumulate more picks. I think taking what could be the most promising QB of the draft in Kizer to groom behind Brees makes a lot of sense. Kizer is strong armed and physically gifted. I know that his team had a losing record but this kid owned it and didn’t throw anyone under the bus. The red flag is that even his college coach said he needed 2 more years to develop. I think Kizer could be the steal of this draft in the years to come.
There it is. Our inaugural mock draft. I told you I would use that word liberally. Tomorrow I will dissect how piss poorly I did. Enjoy the draft this evening and good luck to all of your teams.
Welcome to Fantasy Schmucks. Our goal is to both educate and entertain on topics and issues from both the National Football League and the mega-maniacal world of fantasy football. Whether you have been playing fantasy football since the days of filling in score sheets on Monday mornings out of the USA Today or are just beginning your journey into the time consuming and wife angering world of fantasy football we hope to provide you with something you can use to improve upon the perfection that you are as a fantasy football player or, at the very least, help you not be an embarrassment in your league that the other owners view as a mere bye week each time they play against you. Once again, welcome and enjoy.