This past February we once again participated in Athlon Sports' college fantasy football magazine mock draft. You can find the full results here. Over the next few days, I'll be posting some rationale (or lack there of) for my picks.
A few things to keep in mind. First, the draft was done before spring practices were completed and several starting position battles were still up in the air. So you'll notice a few picks that didn't go my way later in the draft. Also, I like to have a little fun with these drafts, be risky and pick some newcomers that are clearly in the sleeper category.
Anyway, on to the picks...
Rounds 1-5 Rounds 6-10 Rounds 11-20 Full Results
Round 11 (Pick 126) - Dewayne Peace, Houston
My assault on the sleeper wide receiver ranks continues with the Houston Z receiver. This is a complete gamble. Houston could spread the ball around negating the fantasy value of Peace, Daniel Spencer, Isaiah Sweeney and Ronnie Williams (projected starters). Or he could be the hot receiver in what should still be a pass heavy offense. This pick was down to Peace, Eric Monette (WMU) and Keenan Davis (Iowa).
Round 12 (Pick 115) - Clint Chelf, QB, Oklahoma State
Of course this pick was made weeks before Wes Lunt was named the starter. The joys of drafting before spring practice is done. I was hoping to wait till round 14 or so to grab a QB4, but I saw four of my top five targets fall off the board since my last pick forcing my hand. Coach Mike Gundy is known to produce fantasy QBs, so it was a calculated risk and I lost. By the time Lunt was named the starter we were in round 19 and I had to draft a TE and a K.
Round 13 (Pick 150) - Eric Monette, WR, Western Michigan
The wide receiver dartboard came with the 6-6 former walk-on in round 13. Like Houston, Western Michigan must replace their starting receiver corps. Monette and Josh Schaffer are the most likely candidates to emerge as Alex Carder's top targets. Monette dominated the spring game (Schaffer was out) with 11 catches for 146 yards and two scores.
Round 14 (Pick 163) - Frankie Jackson, RB, Arkansas State
With the way my luck has been going, Michael Dyer will be declared eligible for the 2012 season. New head coach Gus Malzahn says he wants to have the fastest paced offense in all of college football. The Red Wolves were already among the fastest paced teams last year running over 1000 offensive plays. With Malzahn at the helm, it should only go up. The Red Wolves offense is going to be wicked good. Jackson split first team reps with Michael Dyer in the spring game and assuming Dyer doesn't receive a waiver to play in 2012 -- all accounts suggest that they have't applied for one -- I'm banking on Jackson seeing a boost.
Round 15 (Pick 174) - Michigan State, DEF, Michigan State
I'm usually one of the ones to jump on the defense early, but I decided to wait a bit. I was hoping the Georgia Bulldogs would fall into my lap at this pick, but they went two picks ahead of me. This was one of the few times I openly cursed at my computer when the pick came in. The schedule and talent level set up well for the Bulldogs to be a good fantasy defense in 2012. With options starting to fall off the board, I couldn't wait any longer and grabbed the Spartans. They return nine on what looks like a dominate defense. The schedule is a bit dicey opening up with Boise State though.
Round 16 (Pick 187) - Florida, DEF, Florida
I decided to address the MSU-Boise situation in week one by taking the Gators. Even if LB/DE Ronald Powell doesn't make it back from his spring game knee injury, this looks like a really solid defense on paper. Ten returning starters (including Powell) and November games against Louisiana-Lafeyette ad Jacksonville State. When the Spartans are hosting Boise, they Gators welcome Bowling Green to the Swamp. The Spartans' and Gators' schedules matchup well.
Round 17 (Pick 198) - Sadale Foster, RB, Texas Tech
Ironically Eric Stephens also went in this round. Exiting spring, the news of Stephens' rehab has been encouraging. But so has the play of Foster. At minimum, I see Stephens sitting out the meaningless tilts against Northwestern State and Texas State. Even if Stephens is healthy they could wait till after the bye week to give him more time, giving he JUCO running back three cupcakes to feast on. After that anything can happen and there is still a good chance Stephens doesn't play at all.
Round 18 (Pick 211) - Terrence Owens, QB, Toledo
Turns out Owens was one of my least risky QB picks. Even before Austin Dantin missed several weeks due to a concussion, Owens was starting to take over the Rockets' offense. There is still talk of a platoon in Toledo, and rightfully so, the senior Dantin has earned the right to play. But Owens exited camp as 1A and I suspect the A will be dropped before too long. I'm starring at 0-for-2 for my QB gambles so far, this on is bound to hit.
Round 19 (Pick 222) - Dion Sims, TE, Michigan State
I believe Sims is the lone player that I also picked last year in the Athlon draft. Sims started the year out hot with three touchdowns in the first four games and then a broken wrist limited him and eventually sidelined him for the rest of the year. He still has some work to do, but he's a freak athlete at 6-5 and somewhere north of 270 pounds. With Brian Linthicum, Garrett Celek and the entire receiving corps graduating, Sims is going to counted on to produce.
Round 20 (Pick 235) - Brian Davis, K, Arkansas State
There were more reliable kickers available, but i see Arkansas State's offense putting up insane numbers this fall. Davis handled the first team kicking duties in the spring game and Bobby Zalud - who handled the long FGs last fall - doesn't appear to be on the roster.