1.1: Adrian Peterson: I was worried there might be a run on QBs in the first round but I believe in going RB in the first round and none is more reliable than Adrian Peterson. This was a no-brainer and, as it would turn out, was the last pick I was happy with in this draft.
2.12: Tom Brady: All the top QBs were gone and I was down to Brady and RG3. I’ve seen Brady put up huge numbers with David Givens as his top receiver (Fact. 2004. David Patten was second with 800 yards. Sad, yet Brady still notched 3,700 yards and 28 TD.) and while I’d love to take a shot at RG3, Brady is a sure thing and I’m not too worried about his lack of proven targets behind Danny Amendola.
3.1: Demariyus Thomas: I really wanted a running back here but Steven Jackson, Stevan Ridley, Chris Johnson, Darren Sproles, DeMarco Murray, and Reggie Bush were the only ones left on the board. I gave Sproles and Bush a look but I couldn’t pass up Demariyus’ value. I probably should have went Sproles. Regret. That’s why you don’t go wide receiver this early.
4.12: DeAngelo Williams: I only had AP at RB and the only other ones on the board were Lamar Miller, Darren McFadden, Gio Bernard, Ryan Mathews, and Montee Ball. I’d rather take the tested and true, although injury prone, Williams. Am I happy about it? No. Will I draft some good backups later to make up for the risk? Also no.
5.1: Eli Manning: The quarterback reserves were depleting and I had a tough choice to make between Eli, Michael Vick, and Andrew Luck. I decided to go with the sure thing even though the two others might have the higher upside and take Eli.
6.12: Montee Ball: He was the best RB left on the board. It was down to Vereen, Mendenhall, and the league backups. I’ll take my chances with a John Fox running back. They may have a running back by committee going but Ball has the highest upside and will emerge as the top threat quickly. He was inconsistent but he put up 78 rushing yards on 24 carries and 26 receiving yards on three receptions in the preseason and I think (desperately hope) the Broncos will look his way often.
7.1: Matt Schaub: I already had two QBs but I’m a big believer in depth. I wish I had some at running back but there was no one worth taking this high in the draft. With plenty of WRs left on the board and none that I was in love with coming up, I felt fine taking Matt Schaub as reinforcements early because I knew there was going to be a run on backup QBs soon and there was.
8.12: Mike Wallace: I’m not in love with this pick but it’s time to start drafting receivers and the other top ones left are Mike Williams, Golden Tate, Chris Givens, Vincent Brown, and Anquan Boldin. I like most of them but I have to go with the only one that’s number one on his team.
9.1: Mike Williams: As with Wallace, I don’t love Williams but I know I can mix-and-match receivers week-to-week. I’m also the only person on earth who believes Josh Freeman can be a fairly good quarterback and there should be plenty of yards to go around behind Vincent Jackson.
10.12: Pierre Thomas: Some drafts just don’t go your way and everyone you like is gone. Danny Woodhead, Bernard Pierce, Fred Jackson, Danny Woodhead, and Bilal Powell are the other top running backs left on the board and I’m not thrilled with any but I feel like Thomas will get more guaranteed touches.
11.1: Michael Floyd: I really liked Floyd coming out last season but I don’t have much faith in rookie receivers. Second season, that’s a different story. Floyd’s 45 REC, 562 YD, and two touchdowns were a promising effort and made me much less worried about Andre Roberts stealing away Floyd’s fantasy potential. It’s a gamble but it’s one I’m comfortable with considering the lack of any real other options on the board.
12.12: Kyle Rudolph: I needed a tight end. Jake Cook and Fred Davis just went and Coby Fleener, Brandon Pettigrew, and Brandon Myers were the only other options on the board. I think Christian Ponder will lean on Rudolph a lot this season and he’s coming off a nine touchdown season so I have no qualms with this pick.
13.1: Vick Ballard: I like Jacquizz Rodgers and Christine Michaels but with the banged up Ahmad Bradshaw behind him, I feel Ballard is going to get the most touches this season. I need running back help and I don’t have many choices.
14.12: Daniel Thomas: With the only other running backs on the board being Jonathan Franklin, Zac Stacy, Kendall hunter, and Ryan Williams, I’m going to take a shot at Lamar Miller not working out too well and Daniel Thomas getting a healthy amount of carries all season. There’s no one left and I’m not thrilled with my RBs, I have to go all or nothing.
15.1: Jacoby Jones: Jones is the only real target behind Torrey Smith so with Boldin gone I think Flacco will look his way often enough to keep him relevant. I liked Robert Woods and Aaron Dobson here too but, again, I have to go with the proven veteran.
16.12: Baltimore D/ST: It’s time to take a defense and if you’re not doing it with your second-to-last pick, you’re doing it wrong. Baltimore has had a great defense for well over a decade so I’m not too worried about the loss of an old Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, nor Dannel Ellerbe. I also like Jacoby Jones coming off a big kick return season.
17.1: Phil Dawson: Dawson was 29 of 31 on field goal attempts last season (13-of-13 on kicks 40+ and perfect on 29 extra points) and will replace David Akers in San Francisco who, while horrible, got 42 field goal tries last season.