I had planned to write up the results of my first mock draft of the season, but I came to the conclusion that it may not be particularly useful to the masses. So instead, here's my thoughts from ESPN's Experts Mock Draft, with the results found here.
Their first and second round choices:
|1||Adrian Peterson||MIN||RB||20||Roddy White||ATL||WR|
|2||Chris Johnson||TEN||RB||19||Miles Austin||DAL||WR|
|3||Maurice Jones-Drew||JAX||RB||18||Reggie Wayne||IND||WR|
|4||Ray Rice||BAL||RB||17||Ryan Grant||GB||RB|
|5||Frank Gore||SF||RB||16||Peyton Manning||IND||QB|
|6||Randy Moss||NE||WR||15||DeAngelo Williams||CAR||RB|
|7||Andre Johnson||HOU||WR||14||Shonn Greene||NYJ||RB|
|8||Michael Turner||ATL||RB||13||Rashard Mendenhall||PIT||RB|
|9||Steven Jackson||STL||RB||12||Aaron Rodgers||GB||QB|
|10||Larry Fitzgerald||ARI||WR||11||Drew Brees||NO||QB|
I thought it was extremely interesting that Randy Moss was taken over Andre Johnson when both were available. It seems like the consensus of what I have read to this point has been that Johnson was ranked higher than Moss, and I would be inclined to agree with the consensus to this point.
It also shows, to me, how unsettled the running back picture is that 3 quarterbacks were drafted in the first 2 rounds. Granted that they are the clear elite group of QBs, but it still seems unusual to me.
The rest of my notes from this mock draft after the jump...
RB Ryan Mathews fell to the 31st pick overall, and I find it interesting considering he seems to be mentioned an awful lot as a top-20 overall player and potentially a top-10 running back. He was the 18th running back off the board here. I think that even though he has a very good offensive line in San Diego and has little competition for the job, I think this spot is the right spot to go get him. He is still a rookie, and I'd rather have proven commodities before the 4th round.
QB Philip Rivers lasted all the way to 47, and Rivers really seems like at worst the end of the top tier quarterbacks. Another QB did not go for 30 more picks, and even 47 seems like it was a bit low for Rivers to go to me.
Ricky Williams (56) and Ronnie Brown (58) both went in the 6th round, and they both seem to me like those are huge upside picks there. I think that both of them could have the potential to play like #1 backs for at least parts of the season, and to finish the season as #2 back value overall. And most likely if you draft them in the 6th round, they would be at best your 3rd running back in most scenarios.
RB Clinton Portis went in the 9th round, at pick #85. The running back situation in Washington scares me to no end, and not just because Mike Shanahan is running things. They also brought in Willie Parker AND Larry Johnson to compete for carries. I want nothing to do with any of them unless it's extremely late, and #85 doesn't seem late enough to me.
WR Wes Welker made it to pick #86, and I really, REALLY like the value of that pick. If Welker comes back and is at, say 80%, that performance is still probably better than the other wide receivers taken in the picks after that (Devin Aromashadu, Chaz Shillens, Robert Meachem).
Quarterback values can be gotten later in the draft it seems, so reaching to get one if you don't get one of the elite guys makes little sense. QBs drafted after the 10th round included Jay Cutler, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, Kevin Kolb, and Donovan McNabb.
Some late round sleeper picks that I really liked: Chad Henne, Toby Gerhart (as the handcuff for AP), and Kevin Walter.