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Are you trying to get ready for your rookie draft?  Yeah I thought so.  Less than a week before the actual NFL Draft held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Jim Day of www.goaheadsports.com and www.twitterfantasyfootball.com and I rounded up three of our contemporaries: Joe Everett of www.rookiedraft.com and www.nfldraftbible.com, Shane P Hallam of www.draftcountdown.com, and Brian Quinlan of www.ffsentinel.com to draft a fantasy rookie draft. 

The draft was held live on Blog Talk Radio on Saturday April 23st.  The scoring was PPR decimal scoring with 1 point per 10 yards of rushing/receiving, 1 point per 20 yards passing, and all touchdowns worth 6 points. Defensive scoring was 1 point per tackle and pass defended with 2 points per sack and turnover.  As there were only five of us participating, we drafted five picks a round and then reversed the draft order for a total of 17 rounds!   The audio version of this draft can be heard here http://www.blogtalkradio.com/mkesportsgeeks/2011/04/24/twitter-roundtable

To shorten up the process, I will refer to everyone by their first name only.

1.1 Brian selected WR AJ Green – This is your safest pick in any PPR draft.  Take Green with confidence.

1.2 Joe selected RB Mark Ingram – He is the consensus number #1 RB.  His documented knee injuries are a concern.

1.3 Shane selected WR Julio Jones – Injuries aside, I believe Jones is the second safest fantasy player to draft.

1.4 Jim selected RB Ryan Williams –  If it weren’t for an injury plagued 2010, he might have been the #1 RB in this draft.

1.5 Andy selected RB Mikel Leshoure – I really wanted Ryan Williams, but Leshoure is rising up draft boards and should be productive.

2.1 Andy selected WR Randall Cobb – This was the first controversial pick as Cobb doesn’t have outstanding size, but he can play anywhere and is a jack of all trades.

2.2 Jim selected WR Torrey Smith – Smith is a great prospect; however, he will need to work on his body catching and overcome DHB comparisons.

2.3 Shane selected RB Kendall Hunter – Shane feels he has the ability to be the “next Ray Rice.”  He is shifty, but I’m not sure as durable as Rice.

2.4 Joe selected QB Blaine Gabbert – This is the best QB in this draft by far.  Joe wanted to make sure he was ahead of the game in a dynasty league with a young QB to develop.

2.5 Brian selected WR Leonard Hankerson – I’m not sure if he will ever be an elite WR, but he can help out your fantasy team as a #2 or #3 WR option.

3.1 Brian selected QB Cam Newton –  Brian said he loves the athlete that Newton is; however, please Buffalo don’t draft him!

3.2 Joe selected WR Jonathan Baldwin – Joe believes he can improve his game and become a dominant WR.

3.3 Shane selected QB Jake Locker – Shane thinks he compares favorably to Farve in his rookie season.

3.4 Jim selected QB Christian Ponder – Jim sees Ponder as the perfect match with Harbaugh in San Fran.

3.5 Andy selected RB DeMarco Murray –  Great value here and will be a monster in PPR leagues, just outside of the top-tier to most, not me.

4.1 Andy selected WR Greg Little – This is the biggest boom or bust pick in this draft. The guy who he reminds me of just got into another domestic situation.  If his former head coach Butch Davis is still praising him, I’ll take the chance on this amazing talent.

4.2 Jim selected RB Jordan Todman – Jim was amazed that he was still available. Here is a guy who didn’t have a passing game to take the edge off.  Todman often got caught up in the wash in the trenches while running the ball.

4.3 Shane selected RB Taiwan Jones – Shane described him as the “next Brian Westbrook.”  I see him as the next Jerious Norwood, a guy who is great a few games in his career.

4.4 Joe selected RB Delone Carter – Joe described him as an explosive brick house.  I concur sir, I concur. 

4.5 Brian selected RB Shane Vereen – Great value here as the 20th pick overall. Vereen won’t start off being more than a cog in a RBBC, but his role can grow.

5.1 Brian selected WR Jerrel Jernigan – The rest of the panel really like Jernigan’s game. I like his athleticism, but his hands are lacking and will need major improvement to find playing time.

5.2 Joe selected WR Titus Young –  Joe had said he was targeting Jernigan here.  Young could be an explosive playmaker in the right system.

5.3 Shane selected WR Edmund Gates –  Shane believes in the blood lines with his cousin Bengal RB Bernard Scott.  Gates is a small school player with huge upside to his game.

5.4 Jim selected OLB/ILB Martez Wilson – Jim is banking on him to be his #1 IDP rookie player this year.

5.5 Andy selected TE Kyle Rudolph – Many are comparing him to Patriot Rob Gronkowski and Steeler Heath Miller.  If you need a TE to get into your starting lineup out of the rookies, he is the only one you can count on.

6.1 Andy selected RB Bilal Powell – Shane started with the hating as he thought Powell might not get drafted. Don’t take his silence as weakness.  Powell plays with great pad level and is better in the passing game than you would expect.

6.2 Jim selected RB Daniel Thomas – A converted RB who runs strong, but very upright.  I worry about his pad level in the NFL.  Think Michael Bush running tall, while leaving his whole body exposed to punishment instead of delivering pain.

6.3 Shane selected LB Mason Foster – In my opinion, Foster is the safest IDP selection.  He will give you tackles, pressure, and some turnovers sprinkled in.

6.4 Joe selected RB Darren Evans – When Ryan Williams was hurt, Evans carried the team.  I don’t see a good athlete, but he runs very determined and will give high effort.

6.5 Brian selected OLB Von Miller – Brian stated that when his Bills take him Miller will have to make a lot of tackles and sacks.  That would be a great situation for him.

7.1 Brian selected RB Dion Lewis – He is great in short spaces and can catch the ball.  I see him as a LeSean McCoy lite and don’t see him lasting terribly long in the NFL.

7.2 Joe selected WR Tandon Doss – Joe believes in him translating into the NFL. Joe is closer to the situation than I am, but I see Doss as a #3 or #4 WR on whatever team selects him.  These type of WRs’ effectiveness is greatly dependant on the team they land on.

7.3 Shane selected QB Ryan Mallett – Shane admitted he was trying to block me as I hadn’t selected a QB yet. I admit the former Wolverine/Razorback was my next selection.  If you draft him, hope for Drew Bledsoe, but count on Derrick Anderson.

7.4 Jim selected WR Terrance Tolliver – Big physical WR who has not put everything together yet.  Tolliver certainly has the skills to succeed in the NFL; unfortunately deep speed isn’t one of those skills.

7.5 Andy selected CB Patrick Peterson – He may end up as a SS, eventually, as he is massive for a CB.  Peterson is also a force with the ball in his hands either returning interceptions or returning on special teams. He has big bonus potential for return yardage leagues.

8.1 Andy selected OLB Bruce Carter – If Carter had a healthy knee, he might be the first or second best LB in the draft.  Carter is very explosive off the ball and shows great athleticism.  Hopefully, he will be recovered fully from his knee injury by the start of the season. 

8.2 Jim selected ILB Quan Sturdivant – A jack of all trades linebacker is a perfect way to describe Sturdivant.  He can cover a TE or RB out of the backfield and stick his nose into the line of scrimmage to find the ball carrier.

8.3 Shane selected TE DJ Williams – He is a move TE in the mold of a Chris Cooley or Dustin Keller.  If he finds himself in an offensive scheme that uses him well, he could move up the boards quickly.  He is not an in-line blocker as he lacks the size and strength to deal with d-linemen.

8.4 Joe selected WR Vincent Brown – He is a good route runner as he is not a burner, but Brown can find seams in a defense to get open.  I envision him as a good #2 WR in the NFL.

8.5 Brian selected ILB Greg Jones – He is an athletic playmaker, but is small to play ILB in the NFL.  Most see him as a part-time contributor, but has a high motor and may overcome.

9.1 Brian selected TE Luke Stocker – He is a massive TE at 6’4″ 258 who possesses great hands, but not much wiggle.  For a man who has size he goes down easily, usually from first contact. 

9.2 Joe selected RB Da’Rel Scott – He had the fastest RB 40 time at the combine at 4.34 seconds. Scott could be one of those backs that didn’t excel in college only to find his calling in the NFL.

9.3 Shane selected RB Jacquizz Rodgers – Shane compared him to a smaller legged MJD. He ran in the 4.7s at the combine; however, due to home cooking in Oregon State, his 40 time dropped to 4.5 during his pro day.  He is somewhere in between.  I am not convinced at 191 lbs he will be able to handle the pounding in the NFL.

9.4 Jim selected RB Stevan Ridley – He is a powerful, hard-nosed runner who possesses little wiggle.  Not sure if he will be a good starting RB, but will be the power part of a RBBC.

9.5 Andy selected DE Aldon Smith – He is a premier rusher either at DE/OLB.  He has a very quick first step with great agility. Smith can get away from most O-linemen unless they get into his body as he needs to improve his strength to disengage.

10.1 Andy selected CB Prince Amukamara – He is an excellent CB, but has shown the ability to get beaten by a lesser WR named Cameron Kenney.  Hopefully he will get mentored by a great CB as he has the skills to succeed.

10.2 Jim selected DE Robert Quinn – He is a dominant DE; however, there are concerns about his missing the 2010 season and lack of a second pass rushing move.  Should he overcome those hurdles, he will be terrorizing QBs and your opponents for years to come.

10.3 Shane selected DE Cameron Jordan – Not to be confused with the TE Jordan Cameron, DE Jordan has the skill set to play any spot on the defensive line and could be used to exploit an o-line’s weakest link.

10.4 Joe selected DE Ryan Kerrigan – He is a mountain of a man who possesses a lot of athletic ability and strength.  I’m not sure he will be more than a DE in a 3-4 defense taking double teams to get his LBs free , but worth a pick at the 49th overall.

10.5 Brian selected ILB Colin McCarthy – He is what you want as an ILB, tough and strong at the point of attack.  McCarthy really is inspired by Ray Lewis as he stated in a recent interview conducted by www.nfldraftbible.com.

As I don’t want this to be a 30 minute read, here are the results of rounds 11-17.

11.1 RB Alex Green (Brian)

11.2 OLB Akeem Ayers (Joe)

11.3  WR Denarius Moore (Shane)

11.4 WR Dane Sanzenbacher (Jim)

11.5 WR Greg Salas (Andy)

12.1 OLB/DE Justin Houston (Andy)

12.2 TE Lance Kendricks (Jim)

12.3 CB/SS Aaron Williams (Shane)

12.4 RB Roy Helu, Jr (Joe)

12.5 CB Jimmy Smith (Brian)

13.1 WR Niles Paul (Brian)

13.2 TE Virgil Green (Joe)

13.3 ILB Kelvin Sheppard (Shane)

13.4 CB Devon House (Jim)

13.5 DE JJ Watt (Andy)

14.1 QB Andy Dalton (Andy)

14.2 QB Colin Kaepernick (Jim)

14.3 RB Derrick Locke (Shane)

14.4 ILB Casey Matthews (Joe)

14.5 DE Da’Quan Bowers (Brian)

15.1 RB Johnny White (Brian)

15.2 SS Tyler Sash (Joe)

15.3 DT Corey Liuget (Shane)

15.4 SS DeAndre McDaniel (Jim)

15.5 TE Julius Thomas (Andy)

16.1 RB Chad Spann (Andy)

16.2 WR Ronald Johnson (Jim)

16.3 SS Jaiquawn Jarrett (Shane)

16.4 DE Jabaal Sheard (Joe)

16.5 SS Ahmad Black (Brian)

17.1 DE Allen Bailey (Brian)

17.2 SS Deunta Williams (Joe)

17.3 WR Stephen Burton (Shane)

17.4 OLB/DE Sam Acho (Jim)

17.5 SS Rahim Moore (Andy)

I hope this will be a useful resource especially a valuation of talent versus team role.  Remember when Steven Jackson and Kevin Jones came out in 2004, Jones had the clear shot at starting and Jackson was behind Marshall Faulk.  Talent prevails, so good luck!

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