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Offseason Extra: Our first mock draft of 2012

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Question: Is it ever too early to do a mock draft?

Answer: Never!

Check out our Fantasy Football podcast!
There is no better source for entertaining Fantasy advice than our Fantasy Football Today podcast. Dave Richard, Jamey Eisenberg and Adam Aizer will help you pass the time as you anticipate Draft Day 2014!
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With the playoffs in full swing and Super Bowl XLVI still several weeks away and free agency and the draft several months away, we can't help ourselves. We drafted our first 12-team standard mock league with the intent to get a first-hand look on what a draft might look like this summer.

As always, we ask you to share your thoughts. Take advantage of our Fantasy Football Twitter feed (@CBSFantasyFB) and post your comments there or share your thoughts on our Fantasy Football Facebook page.

In this league, all touchdowns are worth six points, and we award one point for every 10 yards rushing and receiving and one point for every 25 yards passing. We feature a starting lineup of QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, TE, K, DST and a FLEX (RB/WR/TE). There will also be five reserve spots for a 14-round draft. This lineup reflects our CBSSports.com free Fantasy Football game.

Our draft order is as follows:

Pick
Owner
Pick
Owner
1 Adam Moore, Fantasy Writer 7 Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
2 Michael Hurcomb, Editor 8 Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
3 Kevin Goodwin, Fantasy Writer 9 Ed Gauna, Fantasy Writer
4 Jeff Tobin, Associate Managing Editor 10 Al Melchior, Data Analyst
5 Jeff Lippman, Fantasy Writer 11 Scott White, Senior Fantasy Writer
6 Peter Madden, Editorial Director, Fantasy Sports 12 Bill Passonno, Fantasy Writer

Editor's Note: Our Dave Richard shares his take on every round and every team post draft.

Round by Round
Round 1
Pick Owner Player
1 Moore Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB
2 Hurcomb Arian Foster, RB, HOU
3 Goodwin Ray Rice, RB, BAL
4 Tobin Drew Brees, QB, NO
5 Lippman LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI
6 Madden Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC
7 Eisenberg Calvin Johnson, WR, DET
8 Richard Matt Forte, RB, CHI
9 Gauna Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA
10 Melchior Michael Turner, RB, ATL
11 White Tom Brady, QB, NE
12 Passonno Chris Johnson, RB, TEN
The debate over which position should be taken in Round 1 will go on all summer long and ultimately vary from league to league and owner to owner. Some leagues it will be Rodgers, others it will be a running back. As for the back of Round 1, seeing Chris Johnson taken in spite of his awful 2011 campaign is something that might not last come August.
Round 2
Pick Owner Player
13 Passonno Roddy White, WR, ATL
14 White Ryan Mathews, RB, SD
15 Melchior Wes Welker, WR, NE
16 Gauna Cam Newton, QB, CAR
17 Richard Matthew Stafford, QB, DET
18 Eisenberg Darren McFadden, RB, OAK
19 Madden Andre Johnson, WR, HOU
20 Lippman Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE
21 Tobin Jamaal Charles, RB, KC
22 Goodwin Greg Jennings, WR, GB
23 Hurcomb Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN
24 Moore Fred Jackson, RB, BUF
We have never seen a Round 2 with this much diversity. Gronkowski taken this early might be an overreaction to his record-setting 2011, but when you consider his production over two seasons, he's a huge asset given the options at tight end. Peterson and Charles are locks to be reached for between 20th and 30th overall in every draft as owners hope they come back from their torn ACLs without issue.
Round 3
Pick Owner Player
25 Moore Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG
26 Hurcomb DeMarco Murray, RB, DAL
27 Goodwin Steven Jackson, RB, STL
28 Tobin Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI
29 Lippman Jordy Nelson, WR, GB
30 Madden Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, NYG
31 Eisenberg Jimmy Graham, TE, NO
32 Richard Michael Bush, RB, OAK
33 Gauna Victor Cruz, WR, NYG
34 Melchior Frank Gore, RB, SF
35 White A.J. Green, WR, CIN
36 Passonno Shonn Greene, RB, NYJ
This was fascinating -- no quarterbacks were taken and there was an even split between receivers/tight ends and running backs. The decision most owners made here was to take either the best available running back or land a stud wide receiver. This could clinch the argument for taking running backs early as you can still land at least one stud receiver after the initial (and only) run on reliable running backs. Don't count on quarterbacks getting skipped in Round 3 regularly.
Round 4
Pick Owner Player
37 Passonno Brandon Marshall, WR, MIA
38 White Reggie Bush, RB, MIA
39 Melchior Mike Wallace, WR, PIT
40 Gauna Darren Sproles, RB, NO
41 Richard Marques Colston, WR, NO
42 Eisenberg Roy Helu, RB, WAS
43 Madden Beanie Wells, RB, ARI
44 Lippman Michael Vick, QB, PHI
45 Tobin LeGarrette Blount, RB, TB
46 Goodwin Peyton Manning, QB, IND
47 Hurcomb Julio Jones, WR, ATL
48 Moore Vincent Jackson, WR, SD
Can't argue with some of the picks here -- Bush, Sproles and pretty much every wide receiver taken can be viewed as a "safe" choice, which is typical of Round 4. Some risky picks here: Helu, Wells, Blount and both quarterbacks including Peyton Manning. Obviously it's early in the offseason and we don't know if or where he'll be playing, but for now it's probably safe to expect Manning to land between 40th and 50th overall in drafts. Running backs started to get ugly here.
Round 5
Pick Owner Player
49 Moore Willis McGahee, RB, DEN
50 Hurcomb Eli Manning, QB, NYG
51 Goodwin Miles Austin, WR, DAL
52 Tobin Jeremy Maclin, WR, PHI
53 Lippman Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
54 Madden Daniel Thomas, RB, MIA
55 Eisenberg Percy Harvin, WR, MIN
56 Richard Steve Smith, WR, CAR
57 Gauna Antonio Gates, TE, SD
58 Melchior Tony Romo, QB, DAL
59 White Dwayne Bowe, WR, KC
60 Passonno Rashard Mendenhall, RB, PIT
Plenty of safe picks with lots of value, but one pick shines above them all: Romo at 58th overall. With an offense consistently in position to throw 500-plus times a season and plenty of targets surrounding him, the pick by Melchior was among the best in the draft, especially considering that a guy who didn't throw a pass at all in 2011 went 12 picks earlier. Save for a quick recovery, expect Mendenhall to settle around late Round 5/early Round 6 this summer.
Round 6
Pick Owner Player
61 Passonno Philip Rivers, QB, SD
62 White Aaron Hernandez, TE, NE
63 Melchior DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI
64 Gauna Kenny Britt, WR, TEN
65 Richard Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR
66 Eisenberg Matt Ryan, QB, ATL
67 Madden Brandon Lloyd, WR, STL
68 Lippman DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR
69 Tobin Jason Witten, TE, DAL
70 Goodwin Jahvid Best, RB, DET
71 Hurcomb Malcom Floyd, WR, SD
72 Moore C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF
If the pick of Romo in Round 5 was excellent, then Rivers in Round 6 is better, underscoring the depth at quarterback in 2012. A lot of interesting names otherwise: Hernandez could be a gem if he can stay healthy; the same goes for Britt. Lloyd is expected to find greener pastures; Best says he'll play and would be a higher pick if he didn't have the concussion issues. Floyd -- entering a contract year -- might be the Chargers best receiver if Vincent Jackson leaves.
Round 7
Pick Owner Player
73 Moore Jermichael Finley, TE, GB
74 Hurcomb Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN
75 Goodwin Matt Schaub, QB, HOU
76 Tobin Steve Johnson, WR, BUF
77 Lippman Mark Ingram, RB, NO
78 Madden Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
79 Eisenberg Ben Tate, RB, HOU
80 Richard Isaac Redman, RB, PIT
81 Gauna Montario Hardesty, RB, CLE
82 Melchior Vernon Davis, TE, SF
83 White Antonio Brown, WR, PIT
84 Passonno Anquan Boldin, WR, BAL
How about three players who totaled over 1,000 yards each available between 75th and 85th overall? Johnson and Brown are tremendous values while Tate is an obvious high-upside pick. Schaub and Big Ben continue the parade of value-choice quarterbacks while our owners began taking some risks with Thomas, Ingram, Redman and Hardesty.
Round 8
Pick Owner Player
85 Passonno Reggie Wayne, WR, IND
86 White Stevan Ridley, RB, NE
87 Melchior Cedric Benson, RB, CIN
88 Gauna Santana Moss, WR, WAS
89 Richard Michael Crabtree, WR, SF
90 Eisenberg Toby Gerhart, RB, MIN
91 Madden Tim Tebow, QB, DEN
92 Lippman Santonio Holmes, WR, NYJ
93 Tobin Mike Tolbert, RB, SD
94 Goodwin Mario Manningham, WR, NYG
95 Hurcomb Brandon Jacobs, RB, NYG
96 Moore Peyton Hillis, RB, CLE
Round 8 was Tebow Time, and it's a safe bet that he'll be taken as a high-end No. 2 quarterback in every single draft. Round 8 is the right place for him. Several veterans settled into this round -- not too soon to be considered risky but not too late to be considered steals. This might be the only mock draft this offseason where Crabtree (72 catches, 874 yards, four touchdowns) lasts this long. Benson's slide is related to speculation that he's lost a step and won't be a 20-touch running back in 2012.
Round 9
Pick Owner Player
97 Moore Sidney Rice, WR, SEA
98 Hurcomb Brent Celek, TE, PHI
99 Goodwin Tony Gonzalez, TE, ATL
100 Tobin Mike Williams, WR, TB
101 Lippman Tim Hightower, RB, WAS
102 Madden Laurent Robinson, WR, DAL
103 Eisenberg Torrey Smith, WR, BAL
104 Richard Mikel Leshoure, RB, DET
105 Gauna Felix Jones, RB, DAL
106 Melchior Pierre Garcon, WR, IND
107 White Kevin Smith, RB, DET
108 Passonno Brandon Pettigrew, TE, DET
I absolutely love the value choices in this round compared to last round. In fact, you might be better served taking most of these guys a round sooner and players from the previous group one round later. Obvious upside picks in Robinson, Torrey Smith and Leshoure. Solid value choices in Rice, Celek, Gonzalez (wow!) and Jones. Hightower is another back coming off of a torn ACL who could find himself in a position to put up some stats, though his upside is limited because he himself might be limited.
Round 10
Pick Owner Player
109 Passonno Kendall Hunter, RB, SF
110 White Fred Davis, TE, WAS
111 Melchior Joe Flacco, QB, BAL
112 Gauna Knowshon Moreno, RB, DEN
113 Richard Ryan Williams, RB, ARI
114 Eisenberg Denarius Moore, WR, OAK
115 Madden Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, OAK
116 Lippman Nate Washington, WR, TEN
117 Tobin Pierre Thomas, RB, NO
118 Goodwin BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, NE
119 Hurcomb Titus Young, WR, DET
120 Moore Lance Moore, WR, NO
Five guys stand out here as potential movers by this summer: Ryan Williams (yet another rusher coming back from injury), Titus Young, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and both Raiders receivers. If anything, all five of these guys could prove to be ridiculous steals. Fred Davis is an excellent value pick up, especially considering that he could be the main tight end in Washington.
Round 11
Pick Owner Player
121 Moore Owen Daniels, TE, HOU
122 Hurcomb Ravens, DST
123 Goodwin Dallas Clark, TE, IND
124 Tobin Jabar Gaffney, WR, WAS
125 Lippman Carson Palmer, QB, OAK
126 Madden Jermaine Gresham, TE, CIN
127 Eisenberg Evan Royster, RB, WAS
128 Richard Jared Cook, TE, TEN
129 Gauna Austin Collie, WR, IND
130 Melchior Kellen Winslow, TE, TB
131 White Donald Brown, RB, IND
132 Passonno James Starks, RB, GB
More value choices as teams continue to add quality depth. The first DST, Baltimore, was taken here, which is about right for an elite DST. Note that five tight ends were selected as teams that didn't reach for one early settled on one, and that they all have potential to be capable starters. Palmer's selection signals the run on backup quarterbacks which continues into the next round.
Round 12
Pick Owner Player
133 Passonno Steelers, DST
134 White 49ers, DST
135 Melchior Bears, DST
136 Gauna Packers, DST
137 Richard Matt Flynn, QB, GB
138 Eisenberg Bernard Scott, RB, CIN
139 Madden Danny Amendola, WR, STL
140 Lippman Cowboys, DST
141 Tobin Andy Dalton, QB, CIN
142 Goodwin Jets, DST
143 Hurcomb Jay Cutler, QB, CHI
144 Moore Josh Freeman, QB, TB
In this draft, Round 12 was when the backup quarterbacks flew off the board, and it's no surprise that it happened before the final two rounds when owners typically pick up their kickers and DSTs. Count on this being the case in your drafts as the quarterback position is valuable and any owner who strikes gold with two passers can swing a hot deal fairly early on in their Fantasy seasons. Flynn, Dalton and Cutler are locks to be in every single backup quarterback run.
Round 13
Pick Owner Player
145 Moore Eagles, DST
146 Hurcomb Dustin Keller, TE, NYJ
147 Goodwin Giants, DST
148 Tobin Dolphins, DST
149 Lippman Sebastian Janikowski, K, OAK
150 Madden Texans, DST
151 Eisenberg Broncos, DST
152 Richard Patriots, DST
153 Gauna Mark Sanchez, QB, NYJ
154 Melchior Danny Woodhead, RB, NE
155 White Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, BUF
156 Passonno Kevin Kolb, QB, ARI
Round 14
Pick Owner Player
157 Passonno Mason Crosby, K, GB
158 White Stephen Gostkowski, K, NE
159 Melchior Neil Rackers, K, HOU
160 Gauna David Akers, K, SF
161 Richard Garrett Hartley, K, NO
162 Eisenberg Nate Kaeding, K, SD
163 Madden Shaun Suisham, K, PIT
164 Lippman Chris Cooley, TE, WAS
165 Tobin Robbie Gould, K, CHI
166 Goodwin Rob Bironas, K, TEN
167 Hurcomb Dan Bailey, K, DAL
168 Moore Matt Bryant, K, ATL
 
Team by Team
Moore
Rd.Pk Player
1.1 Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB
2.12 Fred Jackson, RB, BUF
3.1 Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG
4.12 Vincent Jackson, WR, SD
5.1 Willis McGahee, RB, DEN
6.12 C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF
7.1 Jermichael Finley, TE, GB
8.12 Peyton Hillis, RB, CLE
9.1 Sidney Rice, WR, SEA
10.12 Lance Moore, WR, NO
11.1 Owen Daniels, TE, HOU
12.12 Josh Freeman, QB, TB
13.1 Eagles DST
14.12 Matt Bryant, K, ATL
Check out the team formed by the owner who spent the top pick of the draft on Aaron Rodgers. There's no arguing Moore's receivers or tight ends but his running backs aren't as staunch as other teams. You'll have to decide if it's worth that price to draft the best quarterback in Fantasy. Then again, if draft averages suggest that two solid starting running backs can be taken in the swing picks at Rounds 2 and 3, then surely quality receivers can be found in Rounds 4 and 5 and a team's foundation can be built with confidence (example: Fred Jackson and Steven Jackson in 2/3, Vincent Jackson and Miles Austin in 4/5).
Melchior
Rd.Pk Player
1.10 Michael Turner, RB, ATL
2.3 Wes Welker, WR, NE
3.10 Frank Gore, RB, SF
4.3 Mike Wallace, WR, PIT
5.10 Tony Romo, QB, DAL
6.3 DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI
7.10 Vernon Davis, TE, SF
8.3 Cedric Benson, RB, CIN
9.10 Pierre Garcon, WR, IND
10.3 Joe Flacco, QB, BAL
11.10 Kellen Winslow, TE, TB
12.3 Bears DST
13.10 Danny Woodhead, RB, NE
14.3 Neil Rackers, K, HOU
Here's an example of a team that waited for a quarterback. In theory, the strategy was marvelous as Melchior was able to lock in two running backs and two stud receivers before getting his quarterback in Round 5. The picks he made at running back -- older players -- are suspect, but it doesn't change the successful results of his strategy. The catch: Will a stud passer like Romo be there in Round 5? Ultimately I think there's too much age on this team, but the receivers are pretty fantastic.
Passonno
Rd.Pk Player
1.12 Chris Johnson, RB, TEN
2.1 Roddy White, WR, ATL
3.12 Shonn Greene, RB, NYJ
4.1 Brandon Marshall, WR, MIA
5.12 Rashard Mendenhall, RB, PIT
6.1 Philip Rivers, QB, SD
7.12 Anquan Boldin, WR, BAL
8.1 Reggie Wayne, WR, IND
9.12 Brandon Pettigrew, TE, DET
10.1 Kendall Hunter, RB, SF
11.12 James Starks, RB, GB
12.1 Steelers DST
13.12 Kevin Kolb, QB, ARI
14.1 Mason Crosby, K, GB
Passonno's team will hinge on his running backs, a common theme among several teams in our mock. Shonn Greene and Rashard Mendenhall seem like a great combination on paper but Greene's been a disappointment over the last two years and Mendenhall is no lock to start the season on time. The rest of the team is pretty good, and Passonno is yet another owner who corralled plenty of receivers for his cause. Rivers was a steal in Round 6 and Wayne could be one in Round 8.
Richard
Rd.Pk Player
1.8 Matt Forte, RB, CHI
2.5 Matthew Stafford, QB, DET
3.8 Michael Bush, RB, OAK
4.5 Marques Colston, WR, NO
5.8 Steve Smith, WR, CAR
6.5 Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR
7.8 Isaac Redman, RB, PIT
8.5 Michael Crabtree, WR, SF
9.8 Mikel Leshoure, RB, DET
10.5 Ryan Williams, RB, ARI
11.8 Jared Cook, TE, TEN
12.5 Matt Flynn, QB, GB
13.8 Patriots DST
14.5 Garrett Hartley, K, NO
I went with Bush in Round 3 as I am banking on him landing a prominent role away from Oakland in 2012 (he's a free agent this offseason). Obviously if he stays with the Raiders then he doesn't belong anywhere near Round 3. As my usual M.O., I loaded up on running backs in an effort to cash in on them via trade. Hence my three receivers and one tight end, though I am fine with what I wound up with there. I also was forward-thinking on Flynn, who I expect to compete for a starting job somewhere other than Green Bay in 2012.
Gauna
Rd.Pk Player
1.9 Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA
2.4 Cam Newton, QB, CAR
3.9 Victor Cruz, WR, NYG
4.4 Darren Sproles, RB, NO
5.9 Antonio Gates, TE, SD
6.4 Kenny Britt, WR, TEN
7.9 Montario Hardesty, RB, CLE
8.4 Santana Moss, WR, WAS
9.9 Felix Jones, RB, DAL
10.4 Knowshon Moreno, RB, DEN
11.9 Austin Collie, WR, IND
12.4 Packers DST
13.9 Mark Sanchez, QB, NYJ
14.4 David Akers, K, SF
The first seven picks Gauna made have fantastic potential, but there's obviously some uncertainty. Can Lynch keep up his great play (and will he stay in Seattle)? Is Cam for real? What about Cruz? Will Britt and Moreno be healthy and can Hardesty, Jones and Collie stay healthy? There's risk with every pick you take in a draft but it seems like this team could fluctuate the most among all of the teams built in our mock.
Eisenberg
Rd.Pk Player
1.7 Calvin Johnson, WR, DET
2.6 Darren McFadden, RB, OAK
3.7 Jimmy Graham, TE, NO
4.6 Roy Helu, RB, WAS
5.7 Percy Harvin, WR, MIN
6.6 Matt Ryan, QB, ATL
7.7 Ben Tate, RB, HOU
8.6 Toby Gerhart, RB, MIN
9.7 Torrey Smith, WR, BAL
10.6 Denarius Moore, WR, OAK
11.7 Evan Royster, RB, WAS
12.6 Bernard Scott, RB, CIN
13.7 Broncos DST
14.6 Nate Kaeding, K, SD
Eisenberg's team followed the path of several others in that he built his starters at other positions before getting a quarterback. It worked well -- having Johnson, McFadden, Graham and Harvin along with Ryan makes for a dynamite roster. The running back depth has its perks; Gerhart might begin the season as the Vikings' primary back until Adrian Peterson gets healthy while Tate, Royster and Scott all could see their roles improve from backups. Eisenberg especially hit the gong with Smith and Moore in Rounds 9-10; chances are those receivers will drift higher as the season nears.
Lippman
Rd.Pk Player
1.5 LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI
2.8 Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE
3.5 Jordy Nelson, WR, GB
4.8 Michael Vick, QB, PHI
5.5 Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
6.8 DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR
7.5 Mark Ingram, RB, NO
8.8 Santonio Holmes, WR, NYJ
9.5 Tim Hightower, RB, WAS
10.8 Nate Washington, WR, TEN
11.5 Carson Palmer, QB, OAK
12.8 Cowboys DST
13.5 Sebastian Janikowski, K, OAK
14.8 Chris Cooley, TE, WAS
You could argue either way that Gronkowski was worth the second-round pick as Lippman's team has plenty of productive players but serious questions at running back. Maybe Lippman might have been better served waiting on his quarterback like other owners did since he splurged on Gronk; going for McGahee or Blount might have been a better way to go in Round 4 followed by Philip Rivers in Round 5 and a receiver in Round 6 (Dez might have been there).
Tobin
Rd.Pk Player
1.4 Drew Brees, QB, NO
2.9 Jamaal Charles, RB, KC
3.4 Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI
4.9 LeGarrette Blount, RB, TB
5.4 Jeremy Maclin, WR, PHI
6.9 Jason Witten, TE, DAL
7.4 Steve Johnson, WR, BUF
8.9 Mike Tolbert, RB, SD
9.4 Mike Williams, WR, TB
10.9 Pierre Thomas, RB, NO
11.4 Jabar Gaffney, WR, WAS
12.9 Andy Dalton, QB, CIN
13.4 Dolphins DST
14.9 Robbie Gould, K, CHI
Going with Charles and Blount as his top two running backs could backfire on Tobin, but you can't argue with any of his other picks. He got great value in Tolbert, Williams, Thomas and Gaffney, and if Dalton can take a big step in 2012 he can deal him off for a running back. If assurances were made that Charles would be fine and that both he and Blount would see at least 15 touches per week, this team would be the best in our mock.
Goodwin
Rd.Pk Player
1.3 Ray Rice, RB, BAL
2.10 Greg Jennings, WR, GB
3.3 Steven Jackson, RB, STL
4.10 Peyton Manning, QB, IND
5.3 Miles Austin, WR, DAL
6.10 Jahvid Best, RB, DET
7.3 Matt Schaub, QB, HOU
8.10 Mario Manningham, WR, NYG
9.3 Tony Gonzalez, TE, ATL
10.10 BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, NE
11.3 Dallas Clark, TE, IND
12.10 Jets DST
13.3 Giants DST
14.10 Rob Bironas, K, TEN
The best way to describe Goodwin's team is prepared: If Manning isn't ready, he has Schaub. If Gonzalez shuts it down for whatever reason, he's got Clark. He's got two DSTs. Maybe that cost him some potential sleeper picks, but at least Goodwin's depth cannot be questioned. And save for Peyton his first five picks were all solid.
Hurcomb
Rd.Pk Player
1.2 Arian Foster, RB, HOU
2.11 Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN
3.2 DeMarco Murray, RB, DAL
4.11 Julio Jones, WR, ATL
5.2 Eli Manning, QB, NYG
6.11 Malcom Floyd, WR, SD
7.2 Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN
8.11 Brandon Jacobs, RB, NYG
9.2 Brent Celek, TE, PHI
10.11 Titus Young, WR, DET
11.2 Ravens DST
12.11 Jay Cutler, QB, CHI
13.2 Dustin Keller, TE, NYJ
14.11 Dan Bailey, K, DAL
Anytime you can pair Foster and Peterson together you're looking good but obviously Peterson fell to Hurcomb because of his knee. If AP can come back strong then his selection will be golden no matter where he's taken. It would have been better if Gerhart had fallen to him in Round 8 to lock up the Vikings backfield, but the depth he has with Murray and Jacobs should suffice. The downside to loading up at running back with his first three picks: His receivers are high-risk, high-reward and could be a nightmare for him to deal with.
Madden
Rd.Pk Player
1.6 Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC
2.7 Andre Johnson, WR, HOU
3.6 Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, NYG
4.7 Beanie Wells, RB, ARI
5.6 Daniel Thomas, RB, MIA
6.7 Brandon Lloyd, WR, STL
7.6 Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
8.7 Tim Tebow, QB, DEN
9.6 Laurent Robinson, WR, DAL
10.7 Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, OAK
11.6 Jermaine Gresham, TE, CIN
12.7 Danny Amendola, WR, STL
13.6 Texans DST
14.7 Shaun Suisham, K, PIT
Looks like Madden followed our strategy from 2011 and waited a while to draft two quarterbacks with mid-round picks. If Big Ben can stay healthy and/or if Tebow can keep up his magic, it'll be great for him. You can't argue with the number of running backs he got early and sleeper receivers he picked up after his first four rushers.
White
Rd.Pk Player
1.11 Tom Brady, QB, NE
2.2 Ryan Mathews, RB, SD
3.11 A.J. Green, WR, CIN
4.2 Reggie Bush, RB, MIA
5.11 Dwayne Bowe, WR, KC
6.2 Aaron Hernandez, TE, NE
7.11 Antonio Brown, WR, PIT
8.2 Stevan Ridley, RB, NE
9.11 Kevin Smith, RB, DET
10.2 Fred Davis, TE, WAS
11.11 Donald Brown, RB, IND
12.2 49ers DST
13.11 Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, BUF
14.2 Stephen Gostkowski, K, NE
White's running back depth is nice; if Mathews and Bush can pick up where they left off then he'll be in phenomenal shape. Note that White didn't reach for a rusher or receiver in Round 1, he "settled" for Brady knowing he could get a good talent coming back in Round 2. Don't be shocked to see Green hit Round 3 in your drafts; Hernandez and Brown might end up going a round higher than where White got them here. The pick of Davis in Round 10 is icing on the cake.

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Player News
Texans' O'Brien: WR DeAndre Hopkins can 'be one of the best'
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(12:28 am ET) Texans head coach Bill O'Brien is very encouraged by the performance of wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins last season, per ESPN. O'Brien went as far as to say that Hopkins can be one of the best.

"He had a really productive year," Texans coach Bill O'Brien said. "The thing that we really like about Hop and that we want him to continue to do is his work ethic. He’s a hungry player. He works every single day. He came into the spring a year ago and he was learning the offense and thinking out there, then all of a sudden you could see all the work he put in and learning, he just took off."

Due to the departure of wide receiver Andre Johnson, the progression of Hopkins will be under the microscope as he is now the focal point of the passing offense.

"We just want to see him continue and progress," O'Brien said. "We think he can be one of the best, we think he is one of the best. We have a lot of confidence in him and we’re looking forward to seeing him progress when the offseason program starts."

In two years with the Texans, Hopkins has reeled in 128 receptions for 2012 yards and eight touchdowns.


Giants won't rush WR Victor Cruz back to the field
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(12:12 am ET) Although Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is hopeful that wide receiver Victor Cruz will be ready by training camp, the team will not rush him back, reports ESPN.

"I shouldn't say this, because medically I really don't have a definite answer, but by training camp hopefully, even if it's just to bring him," Coughlin said. "We're not going to just throw him to the wind. He'll work his way through. But I hope that would be the target."

Cruz tore his patellar tendon in week six of the 2014 season, causing him to miss the rest of the year. Coughlin is hopeful that he'll return to be the player that he was before the injury.

"I think he'll be the player that he was, and hopefully better," Coughlin said of Cruz. "But as far as when, I would be careful of what I would say there. Hopefully it's the first game. But if it isn't, you know we've done that one before. We just went through it. But I'm hoping it would be."

The former undrafted free agent has tallied 264 receptions for 3,963 yards and 24 touchdowns.


Lions QB Matthew Stafford to take more chances through the air
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was in new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi's system for the first time last season. The team plans on taking more chances down the field in Stafford's second season in the new offense, Lombardi said, according to the team's official website.

“In his second year (in the offense) he’s going to be that much more comfortable,” Lombardi said.

“We’ll be able to tailor the offense a little bit more to what he likes and what he’s good at. I thought he played smart football and sometimes to a fault. We’ll look for him to maybe take a few more chances this year with the football.”

Although Stafford didn't take many shots down the field, he did throw a career-low 12 interceptions in 2014. 

The former first overall draft pick has thrown for 21,714 yards with 131 touchdowns and 85 interceptions during his six-year career.


Colts OLB Robert Mathis plans to be ready for training camp
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis is not ready to run yet, he told Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL. Mathis added that he plans to be ready for the start of training camp.

“It’s not going as fast as I would like to, but we are getting well and we should be clicking in camp,” Mathis told Sirius.

Mathis was suspended for the first four games of last season due to violating the league's substance abuse policy. He then suffered a torn achilles, forcing him to miss all 16 games of the 2014 season.

During his 11-year career with the Colts, Mathis has collected 487 total tackles, 111.0 sacks, 15 passes defensed and 48 forced fumbles.


Lions TE Eric Ebron has been working out with Matthew Stafford
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said that tight end Eric Ebron has been working out with quarterback Matthew Stafford in Atlanta this offseason, reports the Detroit News. Lombardi also said that the plan is to have Ebron be the No. 3 weapon in the passing game this year.

Ebron, 21, finished his rookie season with 25 catches for 248 yards and one touchdown. 


Cowboys' Tony Romo: DeMarco Murray asked me to take a pay cut
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) Eagles running back DeMarco Murray was really hoping to remain with the Cowboys this offseason. So much so, he asked quarterback Tony Romo to take a pay cut to remain with the team, Romo said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Tuesday, per the Dallas Morning News.

"DeMarco ended up asking me, 'Why don't you take a pay cut?' I said, 'I will. I would take a pay cut to go do this,'" Romo said. "I was like, 'They're going to restructure me.' That's the same thing in some ways, just for the salary cap purposes. He was like, 'OK, now we're back to being friends again.' I would take $5 million less if meant getting him back.

"He knew that. It was just funny how he was literally worried about that part of it for a week. I'm like, 'That's not the reason.' I'm like, 'Obviously I'll restructure. I would even take a pay cut.' He was like, 'OK, we can be friends again.' It's amazing what you think about in those moments."


Giants QB Eli Manning wants to take offense 'to another level'
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) Giants quarterback Eli Manning is entering the second year in offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo's system. Manning is ready to take the next step now that he is familiar with the system, reports the NY Daily News.

““This year will be a much easier transition, knowing that we have been through so much of it already,” said Manning, who recently had been working out at Ole Miss with some of their receivers and alumni. “It’s definitely a different starting point. I feel good about it. I feel that I have a good understanding of it.

“But there is still room to grow and that is why I try to keep it as fresh in my mind as possible. Looking at old game-plan sheets and calling plays in my head – throwing routes with receivers trying to call out plays to myself, so you don’t let it slip away. It was new last year and it wasn’t something I have been doing for 10 years, so you want to keep it fresh and go through your reminders and all your checks. So when we come back I haven’t taken a step backwards and have to re-learn things. It is still all there. There will be new stuff and we will be taking it to another level.”

Manning has started all 16 games in each season since 2005, throwing for 39,755 yards with 259 touchdowns and 185 interceptions.


Saints TE Josh Hill wants to grow into new role
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) After trading trading Jimmy Graham to the Seahawks, tight end Josh Hill is ready to step into his new role with the Saints, according to the team's offical website.

“I think it might open a few opportunities for me as I continue to grow in my role and just do everything they ask me to do,” Hill said when asked about the trade of Graham to the Seahawks.

Hill recognized that Graham helped him transition from college to the professional level.

“It’s a big difference, especially coming from a smaller school and a smaller city," Hill said. "He was always there for me. We became pretty good friends over the past few years so it will definitely be different without him.”

Head coach Sean Payton believes that Hill is ready to step up.

“Josh Hill is a player that we value a lot," Payton said last week at the NFL annual meeting. "He’s not on anyone’s fantasy first three rounds, I promise you, but he’s a real good tight end. He’s versatile in the running game, in the pass receiving game, a special teams player.”

Hill, heading into his third year in the NFL, has recorded 20 receptions for 220 yards and six touchdowns. 


Cowboys QB Tony Romo excited about this offseason
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is excited about what the offseason holds for him, according to ESPN.

“This is the first offseason where I’ve been able to kind of get after it this early and be able to kind of improve in a lot of different areas that I think you aren’t able to until you get healthy enough to attack it,” Romo said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Tuesday. “I’m just excited about that, really.”

Romo, 34, is encouraged by the fact that he is able to do a lot of different things during the offseason process while working out.

“Now I’m able to do that while actually doing functional strength training through different versions of squats,” Romo said. “I’m not putting anything on my back and doing stuff like that but you are doing a lot of single-leg stuff and different things that I started getting into during the season that helped a lot. Now it’s nice to be able to do that in the offseason.”

Romo has thrown for 33,270 yards with 242 touchdowns and 110 interceptions in his 12-year career. 


WR Dwayne Bowe looks to revitalize himself with Browns
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe is looking to revitalize his career now that he has joined the Browns, reports ESPN. Bowe was cut by the Chiefs in the middle of March.

"I have a chance to revitalize myself," Bowe, 30, told ESPN.com via telephone Tuesday. "Just sit back and watch."

Browns general manager Ray Farmer has familiarity with Bowe from their time with the Chiefs. The two sat down and watched tape from the 2010 season when he racked up 15 touchdown receptions.

"Him knowing what I can do, seeing me in practice, making crazy plays, splitting the safeties, he knows I still can do that," Bowe said. "I couldn't showcase that last year. He was pulling up old plays, saying, 'We are going to use you just like that.' Moving around, going on motion, trying to hit the deep ball, trying to break plays."

The 30-year-old wideout appreciated his time with the Chiefs and he has no regrets.

"It's been up and down, but it's been fun," Bowe said. "I don't regret nothing. People can talk about the NFL and playing wide receiver -- I feel I still have a good four more years in me."

Over his eight-year career, he has totaled 532 receptions for 7,155 yards and 44 touchdowns.


 
 
 
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