Some of the top writers at Rant Sports decided to host their own 2013 Fantasy Football Mock Draft and as expected–the picks were quite interesting to see over the 15 rounds. Here’s a look at the results of the team with the seventh pick in the draft:
Round 1–RB LeSean McCoy–It’s almost a given rule that a first-round pick should be used on one of the top running backs and even though his numbers with the Philadelphia Eagles were down last year, all signs point to McCoy having a bounce-back season in Chip Kelly‘s offense. Last season was nothing but a disappointment for the Eagles as they dealt with injuries all over the place, but keep in mind McCoy 19 total times two years ago. Other running backs like Doug Martin and C.J. Spiller could have been a solid pick here, but McCoy seemed like the safer pick since Kelly is going to do everything in his power to get him involved as much as possible on the offense.
Round 2–WR A.J. Green–As tempting as it was to get another running back in the second round, it was difficult to pass on a wide receiver as talented as Green. Last season, Green emerged as one of the top wide receiver in the league after catching 97 passes for 1,350 yards to go along with 11 touchdowns–which is impressive for a wide receiver in his second season in the league. Green seems like the type of wide receiver that is only going to get better with experience and from a fantasy prospective–he’s a no brainer when it comes to being a No. 1 wideout.
Round 3–WR Julio Jones–There was a reason why the Atlanta Falcons were willing to surrender so many draft picks a couple of years ago to acquire Jones and just like Green–he seems like the type of wide receiver that is only going to get better with experience. There weren’t any running backs that stood out at this point who would be worth investing a third-round pick on–so the decision was made to have a dynamic duo at wide receiver in Jones and Green.
Round 4–RB David Wilson–His numbers may not be as impressive, but when Wilson did receive extended playing time with the New York Giants last year–he did show plenty of potential. With Ahmad Bradshaw out of the picture, there will certainly be room for Wilson to make a name for himself in the ground game and he was certainly worth taking a chance on in the fourth round for a No. 2 running back. With the amount of carries he’s expected to receive, there’s no question Wilson should be able to top the 358 rushing yards and four touchdowns recorded in 2012.
Round 5–TE Rob Gronkowski–Sure, there’s plenty of concern when it comes to Gronkowski’s return after numerous surgeries this offseason, but if he can manage to return in September and return to his dominant playing level–this could turn out to be one of the biggest steals in fantasy football. When healthy, Gronkowski has proven to be the best pass-catching tight end in the NFL and has proven to be a fantasy football monster throughout his career. Plus, when looking at the New England Patriots and all of the weapons they’ve lost on offense–it’s safe to say Tom Brady could be relying on Gronkowski even more once he returns.
Round 6–QB Matthew Stafford–In my mind, it’s always smart to focus on selecting a quarterback in the later rounds and the argument can be made that Stafford has emerged into one of the top quarterbacks in the league. Even if the Detroit Lions finished with a disappointing record last year, it’s difficult to ignore that Stafford has thrown for more than 10,000 yards over the last two seasons. Not to mention he has one of the league’s top wide receivers in Calvin Johnson to throw the ball to–so he should display big numbers once again.
Round 7–RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis–Even if he does lose some carries to Giovani Bernard, to snag Green-Ellis this late in the draft as a No. 3 running back is a great move. Keep in mind Green-Ellis managed to rush for 1,094 yards last year to go along with six touchdowns and still has plenty of potential for a running back his age. The Cincinnati Bengals are loaded with talent on paper and let’s hope Marvin Lewis and company manage to use Green-Ellis to his value–especially from a fantasy perspective.
Round 8–WR Greg Jennings–Despite being limited to just eight games last season while struggling with injuries, there’s no question Jennings is capable of being a top wide receiver in fantasy football. Keep in mind that Jennings caught 21 touchdown passes over the previous two seasons before 2012 and it will be interesting to see how he makes the adjustment to playing with the Minnesota Vikings. For a player that was considered a solid No. 1 or No. 2 wide receiver on most fantasy rosters a couple of years ago, Jennings is a great pick for the eighth round–especially as a backup behind Jones and Green.
Round 9–Defense San Francisco 49ers–The argument can be made the ninth round is too early to select a defense, but it also gives owners an advantage to snag one of the league’s top defenses from a year ago early on before everyone else. The San Francisco 49ers should rank near the top of the league once again when it comes to defense with numerous key players returning to full strength and after falling just short of winning the Super Bowl in February–expect them to do whatever it takes to earn another shot in 2013. For a team that should record plenty of sacks and turnovers, the 49ers’ defense is one any owner would be lucky enough to have on their squad.
Round 10–QB Eli Manning–In the 10th round, Manning should be a no brainer as he’s proven to be a winner throughout his career in the NFL. The New York Giants have one of the league’s top duos at wide receiver in Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz–so Manning has the potential to display big numbers once again in 2013. Even if he doesn’t end up being the No. 1 starter on most fantasy teams, he makes a reliable backup to have on the roster as a safety precaution–in this case to Stafford. Manning fell just shy of throwing for 4,000 yards last year for the fourth-straight season, but don’t be surprised if he bounces right back in 2013.
Round 11–WR Kenny Britt–There have been times over the last couple of years when Britt has shown the potential to be one of the most dangerous wide receivers in the league, but recovering from a torn ACL in 2011 seemed to slow him down a bit last season. Britt may have only caught 45 passes for 589 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games last year, but he could be in for a big year with the Tennessee Titans in 2013.
Round 12–Defense Denver Broncos–Once again, the question is why would anyone consider selecting two defenses in the first 12 rounds? The answer–playing keep away from your opponents during the regular season. The Broncos earned tons of points last year thanks to sacks and turnovers–which means there’s a good chance that will happen once again in 2013. If Denver can emerge as a top-10 defense once again, there may be teams looking for a team like the Broncos. By having Denver’s defense on your bench–it could open the door for a key trade involving other positions in need of improvement.
Round 13–WR Golden Tate–Last season, Tate had his best year in the NFL after catching 45 passes for 688 yards to go along with seven touchdowns. At this point in the offseason, many believe the Seattle Seahawks are the team to beat, but whether or not that happens could fall heavily on the shoulders of Tate. If Percy Harvin‘s hip injury has an impact on keeping him off the field longer than expected, Russell Wilson could be relying on Tate even more–which could mean higher fantasy numbers.
Round 14–RB Ben Tate–Sometimes when it comes to fantasy football, it’s worth selecting backup running backs in case the team’s No. 1 running back suffers an injury. As for the Houston Texans, there’s always the chance of Arian Foster suffering an injury–which is why Tate is worth having on the bench. Tate has proven to display big statistics at times and could be a reliable No. 1 running back if anything were to happen to Foster. Of course, using a pick on Tate is worth the risk this late in the draft considering there aren’t many running backs left–so he’s certainly worth taking a chance on.
Round 15–K David Akers–Anyone who selects a kicker before the final round most likely doesn’t deserve to be playing fantasy football and Akers is a safe pick here as he’s proven to be one of the greatest kickers of all time throughout his career. Akers may have struggled at times with the 49ers, but he’s hoping a fresh start with the Lions will help turn things around. It’s always difficult to rely on kickers considering how often numbers change, but Akers is always a safe bet–so there’s no harm in this selection.