Mock draft analysis: QBs rule Round One

Posted Aug. 21, 2012 @ 5:57 p.m.
Posted By Mike Wilkening

The Pro Football Weekly staff took part in a standard 10-team mock draft on Tuesday morning. Owners were required to take one QB, two RBs, three WRs, one TE, one D/ST and one PK. In addition, owners had seven other roster spots to fill any other way they chose.

Here's how the draft went, with analysis from PFW senior editor/fantasy expert Mike Wilkening.

Round One

  1. Senior editor Mike Wilkening — Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
  2. Fantasy Doctor — Texans RB Arian Foster
  3. Associate editor Kevin Fishbain — Ravens RB Ray Rice 
  4. Associate editor Dan Parr — Saints QB Drew Brees
  5. General manager Mike Waters — Eagles RB LeSean McCoy
  6. PFW video producer Mark Schoeck — Lions WR Calvin Johnson
  7. Senior editor Eric Edholm — Patriots QB Tom Brady
  8. Executive editor Dan Arkush — Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald
  9. Editor-in-chief Keith Schleiden — Panthers QB Cam Newton
  10. Associate editor Arthur Arkush — Lions QB Matthew Stafford

Depending upon your vantage point, the major story line in this round was the rush to get one of the top five quarterbacks (Rodgers, Brees, Brady, Newton, Stafford) or to stay away from taking any major RB risk right off the bat. Rodgers was a slam dunk for me — he's the best player in football, end of story. Once Waters took McCoy, that was it for running backs in Round One, as owners looked to the WR and QB positions for their foundation players.

Round Two

  1. Arthur Arkush — Titans RB Chris Johnson
  2. Keith Schleiden — Bears RB Matt Forté
  3. Dan Arkush — Falcons RB Michael Turner
  4. Eric Edholm — Raiders RB Darren McFadden
  5. Mark Schoeck — Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski
  6. Mike Waters — Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew
  7. Dan Parr — Saints TE Jimmy Graham
  8. Kevin Fishbain — Texans WR Andre Johnson
  9. Fantasy Doctor — Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray
  10. Mike Wilkening — Browns RB Trent Richardson

Running backs had to dominate this round, what with each owner required to select two starters. Turner looks like a safer and safer pick with so much other uncertainty at the position, doesn’t he? Waters, after some contemplation, took Jones-Drew at No. 16, which isn’t an unreasonable risk, considering he already had McCoy in the fold. I rolled the dice on Richardson at No. 20 with the hope he quickly recovers after knee surgery.

Round Three

  1. Mike Wilkening — Bills RB Fred Jackson
  2. Fantasy Doctor — Bengals WR A.J. Green
  3. Kevin Fishbain — Vikings RB Adrian Peterson
  4. Dan Parr — Chargers RB Ryan Mathews
  5. Mike Waters — Patriots WR Wes Welker
  6. Mark Schoeck — Falcons WR Roddy White
  7. Eric Edholm — Giants WR Victor Cruz
  8. Dan Arkush — Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch
  9. Keith Schleiden — Packers WR Greg Jennings
  10. Arthur Arkush — Steelers WR Mike Wallace

With Peterson cleared to return to practice, it’s no surprise he didn’t last long in Round Three. Mathews could be a steal for Parr if the Chargers back proves a quick healer. Overall, though, wideouts were the story here, with six coming off the board. The three-WR format really drives up the value of top-caliber pass catchers.

Round Four

  1. Arthur Arkush — 49ers RB Frank Gore
  2. Keith Schleiden — Buccaneers RB Doug Martin
  3. Dan Arkush — Giants WR Hakeem Nicks
  4. Eric Edholm — Bears WR Brandon Marshall
  5. Mark Schoeck — Rams RB Steven Jackson
  6. Mike Waters — Eagles QB Michael Vick
  7. Dan Parr — Packers WR Jordy Nelson
  8. Kevin Fishbain — Falcons WR Julio Jones 
  9. Fantasy Doctor — Saints WR Marques Colston
  10. Mike Wilkening — Panthers WR Steve Smith

Once again, the focus turned to filling out the WR spots, and by round’s end, half of the clubs had selected two wideouts. I was surprised Parr passed on Jones, but Nelson was a solid pick at that spot, too.

Round Five

  1. Mike Wilkening — Vikings WR Percy Harvin
  2. Fantasy Doctor — Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson
  3. Kevin Fishbain — Chargers TE Antonio Gates
  4. Dan Parr — Cowboys WR Miles Austin
  5. Mike Waters — Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe
  6. Mark Schoeck — Broncos RB Willis McGahee
  7. Eric Edholm — Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles
  8. Dan Arkush — Packers TE Jermichael Finley
  9. Keith Schleiden — 49ers TE Vernon Davis
  10. Arthur Arkush — Saints RB Darren Sproles

After a big WR run ended at the beginning of the round, teams started to look at the RB and TE lineup spots. Sproles, whom Arthur Arkush took No. 50 overall, will appeal to many fantasy owners because of his steadiness. Gates, Finley and Davis look like the second tier of TE options behind Graham and Gronkowski.

Round Six

  1. Arthur Arkush — Eagles WR DeSean Jackson
  2. Keith Schleiden — Bills WR Stevie Johnson
  3. Dan Arkush — Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas
  4. Eric Edholm — Steelers WR Antonio Brown
  5. Mark Schoeck — Giants QB Eli Manning
  6. Mike Waters — Patriots WR Brandon Lloyd
  7. Dan Parr — Bengals RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis
  8. Kevin Fishbain — Broncos QB Peyton Manning
  9. Fantasy Doctor — Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw
  10. Mike Wilkening — Cowboys WR Dez Bryant

What’s this — another WR run? Such is life in the three-wideout format and with passing all the rage. Fishbain took the plunge and selected Peyton Manning. Owners in 10-team leagues can more easily take such risk at quarterback, considering a strong backup is more readily available for the taking in the later rounds. 

Round Seven

  1. Mike Wilkening — Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez
  2. Fantasy Doctor — Chargers QB Philip Rivers
  3. Kevin Fishbain — Dolphins RB Reggie Bush
  4. Dan Parr — Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin
  5. Mike Waters — Jets RB Shonn Greene
  6. Mark Schoeck — Ravens WR Torrey Smith
  7. Eric Edholm — Broncos WR Eric Decker
  8. Dan Arkush — Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart
  9. Keith Schleiden — Raiders WR Darrius Heyward-Bey
  10. Arthur Arkush — Redskins WR Pierre Garcon

I’ve taken Hernandez in every league. He was the third-most productive fantasy tight end a season ago, according to PFW's scoring system. The Eric Decker vs. Demaryius Thomas question is an interesting one; I believe both will be starter-caliber in three-WR leagues, so nice work by Edholm. One pick later, Dan Arkush did well to select Stewart, an outstanding talent. Dan has never put together a bad team in all of my years drafting with him.

Round Eight

  1. Arthur Arkush — Bills RB C.J. Spiller
  2. Keith Schleiden — Chiefs RB Peyton Hillis
  3. Dan Arkush — Bears QB Jay Cutler
  4. Eric Edholm — Redskins TE Fred Davis
  5. Mark Schoeck — Raiders WR Denarius Moore
  6. Mike Waters — Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez
  7. Dan Parr — Saints RB Mark Ingram
  8. Kevin Fishbain — Colts WR Reggie Wayne
  9. Fantasy Doctor — Patriots RB Stevan Ridley 
  10. Mike Wilkening — Giants RB David Wilson 

I thought I heard Schleiden groan ever so slightly when he took Hillis, but I believe he’s an excellent choice at this point. What’s the risk? Parr also did well to take Ingram, whom I had designs on selecting. In 10-team leagues, value is still abundant in the middle rounds.

Round Nine

  1. Mike Wilkening — Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams
  2. Fantasy Doctor — Chargers WR Robert Meachem
  3. Kevin Fishbain — Cowboys QB Tony Romo
  4. Dan Parr — Cardinals RB Beanie Wells
  5. Mike Waters — Redskins RB Roy Helu
  6. Mark Schoeck — Colts RB Donald Brown
  7. Eric Edholm — Steelers RB Isaac Redman
  8. Dan Arkush — Bears RB Michael Bush
  9. Keith Schleiden — Vikings RB Toby Gerhart
  10. Arthur Arkush — Falcons QB Matt Ryan

Good work by Fishbain to take Romo. Then came a six-RB run. Waters asked Edholm, the NFC East expert, for a briefing on Helu’s health before making the pick. That’s one of the perks of the PFW draft — the medical reports. Arthur Arkush ended the round with the outright steal of Ryan, who could be an elite fantasy performer this season, in my view.

Round 10

  1. Arthur Arkush — Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon
  2. Keith Schleiden — Titans WR Kenny Britt
  3. Dan Arkush — 49ers WR Mario Manningham
  4. Eric Edholm — Redskins QB Robert Griffin III
  5. Mark Schoeck — Cowboys TE Jason Witten
  6. Mike Waters — Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger
  7. Dan Parr — Ravens WR Anquan Boldin
  8. Kevin Fishbain — Saints WR Lance Moore
  9. Fantasy Doctor — Colts QB Andrew Luck
  10. Mike Wilkening — Jets WR Santonio Holmes

Have to give Schleiden credit once again — if Britt has a couple of huge games, he will merit the 10th-round investment. Schoeck also did well here, selecting the dependable Witten. The Fantasy Doctor was pleased to get Luck, whose stock figures to rise throughout the summer.

Round 11

  1. Mike Wilkening — Lions WR Titus Young
  2. Fantasy Doctor — Titans TE Jared Cook
  3. Kevin Fishbain — Jaguars RB Rashad Jennings
  4. Dan Parr — 49ers defense
  5. Mike Waters — Seahawks WR Sidney Rice
  6. Mark Schoeck — Rams RB Isaiah Pead
  7. Eric Edholm — Cardinals RB Ryan Williams
  8. Dan Arkush — Eagles TE Brent Celek
  9. Keith Schleiden — Packers RB James Starks
  10. Arthur Arkush — Colts TE Coby Fleener

Parr stuck for the first defense/special-teams unit, and it’s hard to have qualms with his selection of San Francisco. I respect when owners have the confidence to take defenses early, even if it’s a strategy I don’t often use. Waters was not happy that Fishbain took Rashad Jennings.

Round 12

  1. Arthur Arkush — Chiefs WR Jon Baldwin
  2. Keith Schleiden — Packers RB Cedric Benson
  3. Dan Arkush — Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman
  4. Eric Edholm — Buccaneers WR Mike Williams
  5. Mark Schoeck — Eagles defense
  6. Mike Waters — Bears defense
  7. Dan Parr — Chargers WR Malcom Floyd
  8. Kevin Fishbain — Browns WR Greg Little
  9. Fantasy Doctor — Cardinals WR Michael Floyd
  10. Mike Wilkening — Texans RB Ben Tate

The Fantasy Doctor regrets not taking Tate, who would have been most valuable to him, considering he took Foster No. 2 overall. Schleiden did well to get Benson after taking Starks; seems like he's done well to cover his bases in the Green Bay backfield. Baldwin was a nice value for Arthur Arkush, I thought.

Round 13

  1. Mike Wilkening — Lions RB Kevin Smith
  2. Fantasy Doctor — Patriots RB Shane Vereen
  3. Kevin Fishbain — Steelers defense
  4. Dan Parr — Texans QB Matt Schaub
  5. Mike Waters — 49ers WR Michael Crabtree
  6. Mark Schoeck — Titans WR Nate Washington
  7. Eric Edholm — Falcons RB Jacquizz Rodgers
  8. Dan Arkush — Rams WR Danny Amendola
  9. Keith Schleiden — 49ers WR Randy Moss
  10. Arthur Arkush — Bills defense

Two Niners wideouts — Crabtree and Moss — came off the board in this stanza. However, Dan Arkush, our NFC West maven, took Manningham three rounds earlier. Hmmm. Dan’s usually right about these things. Don’t think I didn’t notice what you did here, Dan.

Round 14

  1. Arthur Arkush — Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph
  2. Keith Schleiden — Bears WR Alshon Jeffery
  3. Dan Arkush — Seahawks RB Robert Turbin
  4. Eric Edholm — Lions TE Brandon Pettigrew
  5. Mark Schoeck — Panthers WR Brandon LaFell
  6. Mike Waters — Packers WR Randall Cobb
  7. Dan Parr — Texans TE Owen Daniels
  8. Kevin Fishbain — Panthers TE Greg Olsen
  9. Fantasy Doctor — Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall
  10. Mike Wilkening — Raiders QB Carson Palmer

Edholm liked Arthur’s selection of Rudolph, the Vikings’ second-year tight end. Dan Arkush, pro he is, took Turbin to backup Lynch. Waters did well to get Cobb this late. And I wasn’t unpleased to get Mendenhall here now that he’s off the PUP list.

Round 15

  1. Mike Wilkening — Texans defense
  2. Fantasy Doctor — Giants defense
  3. Kevin Fishbain — Buccaneers RB LeGarrette Blount
  4. Dan Parr — Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin
  5. Mike Waters — Raiders RB Taiwan Jones
  6. Mark Schoeck — Jets QB Mark Sanchez
  7. Eric Edholm — Ravens defense
  8. Dan Arkush — Seahawks defense
  9. Keith Schleiden — 49ers PK David Akers
  10. Arthur Arkush — Patriots PK Stephen Gostkowski

We’ve reached the defense and placekicker portion of our program, so it’s time to say thanks to everyone who made this possible. The technical director of the Pro Football Weekly mock draft is …. wait, where we? Ah, yes — Round 15. Parr may have gotten a steal in Baldwin. Schoeck wanted Jake Locker but settled for Sanchez due to bye week issues. Schoeck, prepared as always, noted that Sanchez was one of the higher-scoring QBs a season ago. Good point, sir. Akers was the first kicker off the board.

Round 16

  1. Arthur Arkush — 49ers RB Kendall Hunter
  2. Keith Schleiden — Lions defense
  3. Dan Arkush — Raiders PK Sebastian Janikowski
  4. Eric Edholm — Eagles PK Alex Henery
  5. Mark Schoeck — Packers PK Mason Crosby
  6. Mike Waters — Falcons PK Matt Bryant
  7. Dan Parr — Cowboys PK Dan Bailey
  8. Kevin Fishbain — Dolphins PK Dan Carpenter
  9. Fantasy Doctor — Titans PK Rob Bironas
  10. Mike Wilkening — Bears PK Robbie Gould

Kickers, kickers and more kickers. Arthur Arkush took the last position player, siding with Hunter over James on the advice of Dan Arkush. I closed out the proceedings with the ultra-consistent Gould.