More mock draft thoughts

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - We continue our look at and its early season mock drafts to see what is in the minds of fantasy owners around the country.

On Tuesday, we evaluated the Top 10 overall selections. We now take an overview of each position to see what players seem to be out of place - either too high or too low.


Cam Newton, Carolina (ADP 19.8) - Newton finished fourth among quarterbacks in 2011 with 351 fantasy points, which would warrant such a high selection, but looking a little deeper into the numbers shows he threw for 2,393 yards in the first eight games at a 60.6 percent completion rate and 1,658 yards in the second half of the season at a 56.6 percent rate. I'm not saying he will collapse, but he's currently being selected ahead of Matthew Stafford, Michael Vick and both Peyton and Eli Manning. This might be too high for a quarterback who may have to target Brandon LaFell when Steve Smith gets double-teamed.

Philip Rivers, San Diego (72.3) - Rivers is just one year removed from leading the league in passing yards. Yes, he struggled with interceptions in 2011 and Vincent Jackson is gone, but Rivers not getting enough respect as a sixth-round selection.

Matt Schaub, Houston (103.6) - The Schaub-to-Andre Johnson passing combination is as potent a hookup as there is in the league. Plus he'll throw 60 balls to Arian Foster out of the backfield. The injury which cost him six games will have fantasy owners overlooking his consecutive 4,000-yard seasons from 2009-10. Don't pass on him if he's available in the eighth round, he's much more valuable than that.

Tim Tebow, New York Jets (157.5) - Tim Tebow made the list and Mark Sanchez didn't. It tells you all you need to know about the situation in New York. You don't want to have either one of them on your fantasy roster.

Alex Smith, San Francisco (158.2) - The 49ers loaded up on offensive talent in the offseason, yet Smith gets no love from mock draft fantasy owners. Smith's confidence grew in the playoffs and he should be a better quarterback than most think. If Randy Moss wants to play, he, Mario Manningham and rookie A.J. Jenkins could really improve the San Francisco passing game. Smith should be picked three rounds earlier.

Running back

DeMarco Murray, Dallas (14.6) - DeMarco Murray was the best running back in the NFL from weeks 6 to 9, but that doesn't make him a second-round fantasy selection. He also had a few mediocre weeks before getting injured and finishing the season in street clothes. Plus the owner still has a "man-crush" on Felix Jones (123.7), so this is not a workhorse situation. Murray is being selected much too high and Jones too low.

Doug Martin, Tampa Bay (39.1) - Apparently, LeGarrette Blount (100.9) is no longer a factor, according to most fantasy owners. As with all rookie running backs, he must first learn how to block blitzing linebackers before he gets to become a No. 1 back. It remains to be seen how quickly Martin will pick up the offense (read protect his quarterback). In the meantime, I'd rather have Beanie Wells (45.6) or Reggie Bush (51.9).

Roy Helu, Washington (48.7) - Anyone who thinks he knows what's inside the head of Mike Shanahan is fooling himself. The Redskins' running back situation will be a week-to-week issue, and picking Helu this early is foolhardy.

Isaac Redman, Pittsburgh (56.0) - While Rashard Mendenhall could start the season on the PUP list, it's tough to think of Redman as a top fantasy back. His best career game is 19 carries for 92 yards and a touchdown. This is a high-risk pick and you must wait until you see how Mendenhall looks in camp before going this high on Redman.

Mark Ingram, New Orleans (93.5) - With Drew Brees throwing the ball 600-plus times and Darren Sproles taking much of the backfield work, there is an upper limit to how much Ingram can produce. Ingram is being selected too high for what he'll produce.

Wide receiver

Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants (27.8) - Nicks probably won't be the best fantasy receiver on his team. He is the Giants best receiver, but other teams know it and have been willing to take their chances with Victor Cruz rather than Nicks. That won't change in 2012 and Cruz should once again post better numbers than Nicks. Take Cruz at No. 35 or Jordy Nelson at No. 36 instead.

Greg Jennings, Green Bay (28.7) - As with Nicks, Jennings is the most dangerous receiver on the team, but the coverage almost always rolls his way, which is why Nelson exploded onto the scene last season with 1,263 yards and 15 touchdowns. Using the same reasoning as above with Nicks, I'd rather have Nelson in the fourth round than Jennings a round earlier.

DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia (57.2) - Jackson had an attitude problem in 2011 and it showed on the field and in the locker room. Now with a fat new contract, the speedy Eagles wideout should be explosive force he was in 2010 when he scored seven times from outside the 30-yard line. He could be a huge bargain as a sixth-rounder.

Brandon Lloyd, New England (59.5) - I can't see how Lloyd will earn sixth-round statistics when he'll be the Patriots' third or fourth receiving option. Wes Welker will always get his 100-plus catches, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez will certainly see plenty of targets, and Lloyd will have to fight Deion Branch, Jabar Gaffney and Danny Woodhead for the scraps. You can't select Lloyd before the eighth round.

Brian Quick, St. Louis (124.9) - Quick should become Sam Bradford's favorite target very early on and he could easily be the best first-year receiver in the draft, beating out higher selections Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd, Kendall Wright and A.J. Jenkins. He has a better quarterback throwing the ball to him than Blackmon and very little competition. Quick should easily produce 2011 rookie A.J. Green-type statistics (65-1,057-7).

Tight end

Jermichael Finley, Green Bay (68.9) - Finley is a physical specimen, but when you delve into the numbers, he hasn't produced big results. Look at his 2011 statistics (55-767-8) and you'll see that he had one big three-touchdown game (Week 3 against Chicago) and did very little the rest of the season. He should not be the sixth tight end off the board.

Brent Celek, Philadelphia (154.5) - Celek's numbers (62-811-5) were as good as Finley's, yet the Eagles tight end is picked in the 13th round. It's easy to see which tight end would be the better bargain.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at

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