One of the first discussions I had with my managing editor, Peter Madden, was the irrelevance of an NFL Mock Draft on a Fantasy site.
"The NFL Draft process only has Fantasy relevance once the players are taken," my boss told me (or he told me something like that. I can't remember it was three years ago. I can't remember what my kid's name is but I can tell you anything you want to know about Quentin Griffin).
So doing a mock draft was taboo in the Fantasy department ... until today.
For some reason, Peter is in an amazing mood. Short of winning the lottery or hearing great news about his beloved Boston Red Sox, something must have struck him because he gave me permission to do a mock draft. And without me pestering him, either!
"But if it takes you more than 20 minutes, I'm burying your links," he said. Or something to that effect. I can't remember, it was three hours ago.
So I'm not going to waste any more time. Here's what's on my mind.
The 20-minute clock starts ... NOW!
1. Miami - Jake Long
2. St. Louis - Glenn Dorsey
Best defensive player available.
3. Kansas City (trade w/ Atlanta) - Chris Long
I love this. The ol' Raiders Hall of Famer's son comes to the arch-rival to play in the spot made open by Jared Allen's departure. Chiefs fans will LOVE seeing Howie wearing a Chiefs hat in Radio City Music Hall.
4. Oakland - Vernon Gholston
Darren McFadden is an option, but Gholston is the cherry on top of a much improved defense.
5. Atlanta (trade w/ Kansas City) - Matt Ryan
Figure the Falcons get a second-round pick in addition to the quarterback they would have taken at 3 anyway.
6. New York Jets - Darren McFadden
Finally, a rookie RB whose hype will (almost) match where he gets drafted in Fantasy leagues.
7. New England - Leodis McKelvin
Pats need some youth on defense; McKelvin can play as a cornerback under Belichick's tutelage and work on special teams.
8. New Orleans (trade w/ Baltimore) - Sedrick Ellis
The Ravens move down, pick up a 2 and stick it to the Bengals. Ellis fills a huge need (literally) for the Saints.
9. Cincinnati - Keith Rivers
Drafted a year too late, Rivers will help shore up the Bengals' suddenly plentiful LB corps.
10. Baltimore (trade w/ New Orleans) - Branden Albert
The Ravens need depth and talent along the O-line. Albert fits the bill.
11. Buffalo - Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Bills defense adds more speed, more energy. And now they're formidable.
12. Denver - Ryan Clady
See Baltimore at 10. Clady won't have to change his allegiance -- he's still a Bronco!
13. Detroit (trade w/ Carolina) - Rashard Mendenhall
Fearing that the Bears take Mendenhall, the Lions move up to get their guy. They would also settle for Derrick Harvey.
14. Arizona (trade w/ Chicago) - Derrick Harvey
They need a DE of the future and don't want anyone else to get it.
15. Carolina (trade w/ Detroit) - Jonathan Stewart
The perfect compliment to DeAngelo Williams
16. Chicago (trade w/ Arizona) - Jeff Otah
As much as I think Otah is overrated, the Bears cannot ignore O-line needs.
17. Kansas City - Brian Brohm
Makes too much sense. The Chiefs now have added key players to both sides of the football.
18. Houston - Mike Jenkins
So tempted to give them a RB, but the youthful cornerback helps their defense.
19. Eagles - Devin Thomas
I don't like any of the WRs going this early, but Thomas can help out some now and realy develop into a No. 1 WR later.
Clock's running out on me ...
20. San Francisco (trade w/ Tampa Bay) - Gosder Cherilus
21. Washington Redskins - Philip Merling
22. Dallas - Limas Sweed
23. Pittsburgh - Jerod Mayo
24. Tennessee - Kentwan Balmer
25. N.Y. Giants (trade w/ Seattle involving Shockey) - Kenny Phillips
26. Jacksonville - Calais Campbell
27. San Diego - Chris Williams
28. Dallas - Felix Jones
29. Tampa Bay (trade w/ San Fran) - DeSean Jackson
30. Green Bay - Dustin Keller
31. Seattle (trade w/ New York) - James Hardy
... with 30 seconds to spare!!