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Rookie Only Dynasty Mock Draft
John Tuvey
Conducted: May 12, 2009
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The NFL Draft is in the rear view mirror, so it’s time to turn full attention to the 2009 fantasy season. And while redraft leagues won’t likely be holding their drafts or auctions until August, those in dynasty leagues are ready to turn what happened in New York on April 25 and 26 into the latest components in their championship-building.

With that in mind, a dedicated group of Huddlers—whose identities have been shielded, since there’s a good chance one or more is in your league and they weren’t too keen on letting you know all their secrets—gathered for a redux of the rookies-only mock draft held just prior to the NFL Draft. That earlier draft will be referenced (and can be found here), but the draft held once first-year players actually had a pro team to call their own is dramatically more relevant; if you need to ask why, perhaps you need to revisit Fantasy Football: The Next Level for a firmer grasp on how critical opportunity is to the fantasy football equation.

In any event, the post-NFL draft mockery can be found here but I’ve also included it below and provide comments after each round. The two drafts featured the same participants, picking in the same order.

ROUND 1

Pick Ovr Franchise Player Team Pos
1.01 1 TEAM A Moreno, Knowshon DEN RB
1.02 2 TEAM B Wells, Chris ARI RB
1.03 3 TEAM C Brown, Donald IND RB
1.04 4 TEAM D Crabtree, Michael SFO WR
1.05 5 TEAM E Maclin, Jeremy PHI WR
1.06 6 TEAM F Greene, Shonn NYJ RB
1.07 7 TEAM G Harvin, Percy MIN WR
1.08 8 TEAM H McCoy, LeSean PHI RB
1.09 9 TEAM I Sanchez, Mark NYJ QB
1.10 10 TEAM J Heyward-Bey, Darrius OAK WR
1.11 11 TEAM K Stafford, Matthew DET QB
1.12 12 TEAM L Nicks, Hakeem NYG WR

When picking in a dynasty league, you usually have specific needs to address; for example, you’re already loaded at receiver but your backs are thin. Because there was no back story to this particular mock dynasty draft, the focus was on best player available—and usually ones whose impact would come sooner rather than later.

It’s interesting to note that the same 12 players selected in the first round of the pre-NFL draft mock were first-rounders in the post-NFL draft mock, though the order changed slightly. Beanie Wells moved up a spot after landing in Arizona, while Donald Brown moved up two now that he’s expected to share carries in Indy. New Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez leap-frogged Matthew Stafford, who actually slid back one spot in the later draft. Of this group Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks saw his stock take the biggest hit; the third receiver and sixth overall selection in the pre-draft mock, Hicks fell behind Percy Harvin and Darrius Heyward-Bey among wideouts and to the last pick in Round One.

ROUND 2

Pick Ovr Franchise Player Team Pos
2.01 13  TEAM A Britt, Kenny TEN WR
2.02 14  TEAM B Robiskie, Brian CLE WR
2.03 15  TEAM C Freeman, Josh TBB QB
2.04 16  TEAM D Iglesias, Juaquin CHI WR
2.05 17  TEAM E Massaquoi, Mohamed CLE WR
2.06 18  TEAM F Davis, James CLE RB
2.07 19  TEAM G Jennings, Rashad JAC RB
2.08 20  TEAM H Pettigrew, Brandon DET TE
2.09 21  TEAM I Ringer, Javon TEN RB
2.10 22  TEAM J Coffman, Chase CIN TE
2.11 23  TEAM K Peerman, Cedric BAL RB
2.12 24  TEAM L Coffee, Glen SFO RB

Here’s where the real shakeup starts. Not a single team picked the same player in the second round of the post-NFL draft mock that they did in the pre-NFL draft mock. In many cases, said player was already off the board; while eight of the 12 players in Round 2 were taken in that round in the first mock, in only three instances did the team who took them in that first draft have a chance to get them back in this one. Cedric Peerman, viewed prior to the draft as one of the better third-down backs in this class, fell from 13th to 23rd overall by virtue of landing in the crowded Baltimore backfield. Kenny Britt moved from 15 to 13, Brian Robiskie from 19 to 14, Josh Freeman from 16 to 15, and Juaquin Iglesias from 24 to 16 before a new player was introduced to the round: Mohamed Massaquoi, a third-round pick in the first draft who climbed thanks to the dearth of wide receivers in front of him in Cleveland. James Davis also ended up in Cleveland and also saw his stock jump a round because of it. Glenn Coffee leapt from 34 to 24, primarily because he’s slated to spell Frank Gore in the 49ers new run-first offense; it certainly didn’t hurt that word out of San Francisco’s minicamp was that Coffee was the most impressive player on the field.

Falling out of the second round were Andre Brown, Derrick Williams, and Pat White—all of whom you’ll see soon enough. Also, Kory Sheets went from a second-round selection in the pre-draft mock to undrafted in the post-draft version; he was also undrafted in the real NFL draft before signing with the 49ers as a free agent.

ROUND 3

Pick Ovr Franchise Player Team Pos
3.01 25  TEAM A Johnson, Gartrell SDC RB
3.02 26  TEAM B Brown, Andre NYG RB
3.03 27  TEAM C Barden, Ramses NYG WR
3.04 28  TEAM D White, Pat MIA QB
3.05 29  TEAM E Cook, Jared TEN TE
3.06 30  TEAM F Brown, Aaron DET RB
3.07 31  TEAM G Tate, Brandon NEP WR
3.08 32  TEAM H Collie, Austin IND WR
3.09 33  TEAM I Williams, Derrick DET WR
3.10 34  TEAM J Turner, Patrick MIA WR
3.11 35  TEAM K Dillard, Jarett JAC WR
3.12 36  TEAM L Nelson, Shawn BUF TE

In addition to the three second-rounders from the previous draft, the third round included five players who were drafted in the same frame in the pre-draft mock and four who jumped from the fourth and fifth rounds of that earlier mock. The fallers included Andre Brown, who will have to go through Ahmad Bradshaw for playing time in New York; Derrick Williams, likely to be the slot man in Detroit’s new run-first attack; and Pat White, who couldn’t have asked for a better pro home than Miami, the NFL home of the Wildcat package.

Gartrell Johnson moved from the end of the round to the beginning, even though he finds himself behind LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles on the depth chart. Conversely, Jarrett Dillard slid from the first pick in Round Three to the next-to-last; it’s not the caliber of competition he’ll find in Jacksonville, more that the Jaguars haven’t produced much in the way of helpful fantasy wideouts since Jimmy Smith called it a career.

Shawn Nelson, who could be the Bills’ starting tight end by the time the regular season rolls around, moved from mid-fourth to the bottom of the third round. Austin Collie, who should claim the slot receiver role in Indy, made an even bigger leap from the last pick in Round Four to the middle of Round Three. Aaron Brown, a possible complement to Kevin Smith in the Detroit backfield, and Patrick Turner, who impressed during minicamp and offers a possession-type receiver to offset Ted Ginn’s speed in Miami, climbed into Round Three from the fifth round in the pre-NFL draft mock.

ROUND 4

Pick Ovr Franchise Player Team Pos
4.01 37  TEAM A Thomas, Mike JAC WR
4.02 38  TEAM B Ingram, Cornelius PHI TE
4.03 39  TEAM C Beckum, Travis NYG TE
4.04 40  TEAM D Murphy, Louis OAK WR
4.05 41  TEAM E Knox, Johnny CHI WR
4.06 42  TEAM F Byrd, Demetrius SDC WR
4.07 43  TEAM G Casey, James HOU TE
4.08 44  TEAM H Scott, Bernard CIN RB
4.09 45  TEAM I Butler, Deon SEA WR
4.10 46  TEAM J Ogbonnaya, Chris STL RB
4.11 47  TEAM K Edison, Dominique TEN WR
4.12 48  TEAM L Wallace, Mike PIT WR

Four fourth-rounders held their position from the pre-draft mock, while three new faces were added. Two fell from the third round—tight end Cornelius Ingram, who if his knee is sound could be a tremendous fit in Philly, and Louis Murphy, who is the second-fasted wideout the Raiders added on Draft Day. And three climbed a round from the fifth frame: Travis Beckum, who could push Kevin Boss for playing time in New York; Chris Ogbonnaya, the odds-on favorite to become Steven Jackson’s handcuff in St. Louis; and Mike Wallace, who has the speed to replace Nate Washington as a downfield threat in the Steelers’ passing game.

The new faces include Demetrius Byrd, who may not contribute immediately after being injured in a car accident just prior to the NFL draft but has the talent to pay long-term dividends for both the Chargers and Team F once healthy; Bernard Scott, a talented running back on a Bengals team that has little besides Cedric Benson at the position who also sports the character concerns all too commonly found on the Cincy roster; and Deon Butler, who will have to fight through traffic to squeeze into the Seattle receiver rotation.

ROUND 5

Pick Ovr Franchise Player Team Pos
5.01 49  TEAM A Bomar, Rhett NYG QB
5.02 50  TEAM B Davis, Nate SFO QB
5.03 51  TEAM C Goodson, Mike CAR RB
5.04 52  TEAM D Gibson, Brandon PHI WR
5.05 53  TEAM E Underwood, Tiquan JAC WR
5.06 54  TEAM F Vakapuna, Fui CIN RB
5.07 55  TEAM G Williams, Javarris KCC RB 
5.08 56  TEAM H Hartline, Brian MIA WR
5.09 57  TEAM I McGee, Stephen DAL QB
5.10 58  TEAM J Lawrence, Quinten KCC WR
5.11 59  TEAM K Boldin, D.J. DET WR
5.12 60  TEAM L Teel, Mike SEA QB

As you might expect, the fifth round featured the most new blood with five players undrafted in the pre-NFL draft mock making the cut this time. Tiquan Underwood could easily contend for a spot in Jacksonville’s receiver rotation, as could Brian Hartline in Miami and Quinten Lawrence in Kansas City. Fui Vakapuna gives the Bengals a 244-pound fullback who might swipe the occasional goal line touch, while Mike Teel could end up being groomed as the successor to Matt Hasselbeck.

That, in a nutshell, sums up the fifth round: guys with enough talent to register on the radar but with just a little too much ahead of them on the depth chart or just too little opportunity to make a big splash. But in a dynasty league, you take fliers on these types of players in case they become the next T.J. Houshmandzadeh or Tony Romo or Pierre Thomas.

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