Friday, January 6, 2017

Early NFL Mock Rd 1

Breaking down our first Mock draft of 2017 we started by excluding rookies not knowing yet where those players will be starting their NFL careers.  There are no wrong picks here so the breakdown is merely for entertainment purposes. 
Bolt started the draft by selecting Ezekiel Elliot number one overall.  Hard to argue with taking Zeke here due to mainly his consistency.  The offense revolves around Zeke.  Dak is not a polished downfield passer and that is not going to change much in 2017.  Elliot runs behind a huge line...gets volume and is rarely vultured at the stripe.  With Zeke you get consistency and in the first round you can't ask for more than that. 
DC somehow avoided picking Lev Bell even though he is a big Steeler fan.  I like his David Johnson pick here knowing now that his injury in the last game was simply a meniscus injury and did not involve any ACL or PCL tears.  David Johnson statistically is the best back in the league.  This guy jumps off the screen when watching the Cards play.  Whether it's his burst out of the backfield or his route running ability DJ is a straight up monster.  
Ryan took Leveon Bell 3rd.  The top three picks are set in stone right now as far as I am concerned and should be going into 2017.  Give me pick three and I'll take what's left and pick sooner coming back in a snake draft next year.   Bell can do it all and win you weeks and that is what you want out of this 3 down do it all back.  He stayed healthy this year which is big for his value going forward. 
Wayne took Jordan Howard at #4 thinking a bit outside of the box.  Howard was a real draft steal this past year and those of you who took him and waited for his chance looked like geniuses.  Howard runs hard and looks good at the goal line.  He can run in any weather with his powerful style and should be the bears go to guy next year.  I worry about trusting John Fox. That is the only real worry here.  That and the bears QB situation could change things for me.  You saw in LA what a bad offense can do to a solid fantasy RB looking to improve on a great rookie campaign.  I like the thinking here, but it does come with some risk.  Sometimes you have to take risks to win.
The first WR comes off the board here at pick 5 as Chris chose the big freak Julio Jones.   Julio is a dominant player and if he is on the field he is a threat to score on any play.  That and having a rejuvenated Matty Ice at QB Jones is about as safe as you can get at the WR position.  Jones only downside is he does miss games from time to time.  He does play hurt though so it's not a huge knock on his value. 
At #6 Mark Haskamp takes WR Antonio Brown. Antonio Brown is virtually unstoppable with his speed and route running skills.  He caught two more TD's (12) than he did last year on 40 less targets.  There's no slowing down this elite WR and I have no problem with him going mid round 1 even in a standard league.
At pick #7 I took Devonte Freeman and I mentioned his ferocious running style.  Every time I got to watch AFL this year this guy was just ripping through arm tackles and making moves to get him in the end zone.  Some people don't like the Tevin Coleman factor, but that doesn't bother me at all.  Coleman is going to take catches away from Freeman but he will never take that RB 1 job from him or the goal line work and in a standard league that's enough for me to take Freeman and sleep like a baby at the 7th pick. 
Pick 8 had Mark Burdette grabbing Shady McCoy.  What a year for McCoy who battled some injuries here and there to have a great season.  In a run first offense with limited QB play McCoy looked like a young man ripping off long TD runs in several games and rewarding those who took him early to late second/third round last season.  The new coach and OC will go along way to determine where I rank him in 2017.   
At #9 good ole' JR took Jay Ajayi.  I think many of us either drafted this guy or had him setting on our benches only to drop him before his run as a fantasy RB1.  Out of the gate Ajayi showed me little to think he could be a viable fantasy runner, but as he began to understand the zone blocking schemes of Adam Gase he began to run down hill and bash opponents...especially defenses that did not show gap discipline.  I am not sure this guy is elite, but I can buy this upside pick by JR which is what you are looking for at this point in the first round.  

The #10 pick - Johnny T  - Not a whole lot I can add to what Tinner wrote about Adams.  I really liked his write up and justification for Evans leaping into our first round.  Last year we saw Allen Robinson going around this spot and we saw what a let down he had which was due in large part to the quality of QB play this year in Jags land. I think this will be a popular pick next year with Evans much less likely to disappoint with a QB and team on the rise.  Again nice write up John.  That was exactly what I was looking for.
Pick #11 went to PC who grabbed Odell Beckham Jr.  OBJ set an NFL record for the most catches in his first three years in the NFL.  (he is actually tied with Jarvis Landry for that record, oddly enough)  Beckham may drive you crazy watching his sometimes non-existent stat lines, but with OBJ it only takes one quick slant and a missed tackle and his fantasy day, and yours, is made.  Possibly the most explosive player in the league I see this as a solid pick here.
Pick #12 - Rounding out our first round of our 2017 mock is Chris Porter and his what I would call safe selection of Melvin Gordon RB San Diego/possibly LA Chargers.  Gordon went from no TDs in 2015 to 12 total TDs in 13 games played in 2016. 
This pick is interesting to me...I think it could go either way.  I worry about his durability and lack of huge rushing yardage.  I also worry about many of his TD's coming from goal line opportunities.  He should be the only show in town next year so the 12 TDs should be something he can match, but i would like to see more durability and more games played before I call him a first round talent.  Chris referenced Woodhead in his write up.  I wouldn't worry about him at all.  He's a smaller back who is not built to be in a feature roll plus his durability is in question. 
Not sure there are any real winners or losers in this first round.  With an experienced array of drafters there are no picks that I really question.  The top 3 are set in stone right now mix them up however you want.  In the later part of the draft I do like the Evans pick at 10 and I like Wayne's Howard pick at four and you can't argue with Antonio Brown at 6.  Now we move to Round 2 of our 2017 Fantasy Football email draft.  Stay tuned for more coverage.
Wes "theShow"

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