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Mock Draft Recap

By Jared Smola | Updated on Tue, 23 May 2023 . 1:27 PM EDT
by Jared Smola We do quite a few in-depth recaps of experts drafts we participate in each year.  Like this one. And this one. This isn't that.  Waiting for Lenny, Matt, and Co. to punch holes in my Comeback Pick article (coming to computers near you on July 2nd!), I decided to join a quick mock draft and jot down some notes on each of my picks. Here are the complete draft results. I took the 8 spot - seems like one of the toughest this year.  The 3 stud backs are long gone.  Chris Johnson and Ryan Mathews are usually off the board too.  And you're really screwed if Aaron Rodgers and Calvin Johnson are snatched up.  Plus, there's a chance both Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham are gone at 2.05. 1.08 - Chris Johnson, RB, Titans 6 of the aforementioned 7 went before my turn.  That made CJ an easy call.  I'm on board for a bounce-back, as I've discussed previously. 2.05 - Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots Question marks abound at RB, and none of the WRs really stand out above the rest of the pack.  Give me Gronk by a hair over Jimmy Graham in this non-PPR setup. Matt Stafford and Cam Newton went in the late-2nd, making it 5 QBs in the first 2 rounds.  Sure, it's a passing league... but jeesh! 3.08 - Roddy White, WR, Falcons I love Roddy's safety amid of bunch of RB picks with major question marks (Adrian Peterson, Fred Jackson, Steven Jackson).  He seems undervalued as the 9th WR off the board. 4.05 - Doug Martin, RB, Bucs Maybe a bit early for a guy who has never played a down of NFL football.  But I'm on board with Martin's talent and situation.  Percy Harvin and Hakeem Nicks were difficult to pass on, but I'm comfortable with the depth at WR later on. 5.08 - Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers This middle-round area (Rounds 5, 6, 7ish) looks like the ideal time to load up on WRs.  Plenty of big-time value at the position this round: Austin, Harvin, Maclin, Bowe, and of course, our boy Antonio Brown. 6.05 - Eric Decker, WR, Broncos … And here's one of my other mid-round WR targets.  Decker's route-running, hands, and sneaky athleticism make him a prime candidate to become Peyton Manning's favorite new weapon. 7.08 - Robert Meachem, WR, Chargers One more breakout receiver for good measure.  Meachem has always had the talent.  And now he's in a tasty spot as the #1 WR in a vertical passing game.  Ideally, I'd have snagged C.J. Spiller here, but he was scooped a few picks ahead of me. 8.05 - Mark Ingram, RB, Saints The RBs sure get thin in a hurry!  Ingram feels like a good gamble at this point though.  He was coming off the board a handful of rounds earlier than this last summer.  There's still double-digit TD potential here - if Ingram can stay on the field. 9.08 - Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers How deep is the QB position?  I was the last team to take one and wound up with a guy who has topped 4,000 yards in 2 of the past 3 seasons.  Big Ben was the last guy I'd have felt comfortable with as a starter, though, so I didn't want to wait any longer on the position. 10.05 - Lance Moore, WR, Saints Moore and I have gotten pretty tight over the past few seasons.  The guy always manages to quietly sneak his way into WR3 territory.  Expect more targets and a similar TD output in 2012 with Meachem gone. 11.08 - Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints An Ingram handcuff with standalone RB3 potential.  If I didn't own Ingram, I might have gone Shane Vereen, who, by the way, went more than 5 rounds after teammate Stevan Ridley.  They're gonna finish closer in total touches than most folks expect. 12.05 - Josh Freeman, QB, Bucs His upside might be capped in HC Greg Schiano's run-heavy attack, but Freeman's improved weaponry should help offset that.  And his legs give him added value. 13.08 - Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks Baldwin slapped the other 31 teams who didn't give him a look coming out of Stanford last year with a 51-778-4 rookie campaign.  He could improve upon those totals with better QB play this season. 14.05 - Detroit Lions Defense If they have enough guys out of cuffs, this defense could be pretty good. 15.08 - Rob Bironas, K, Titans A reliable leg on a potentially explosive offense. Thoughts? I'd love to hear them via email ( or Twitter (
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Jared Smola, Lead Analyst
Jared has been with Draft Sharks since 2007. He’s now Lead Analyst, heading up the preseason and weekly projections that fuel your Draft War Room and My Team tools. He currently ranks 1st among 133 analysts in draft rankings accuracy.
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