If you had the 11th pick out of 12 teams in a standard scoring league, who would you draft? Assuming your league starts two RBs, two WRs, and one flex, here is a sample of picks through four rounds and my analysis (Yahoo ADP, ESPN ADP):
Round 1, Pick 11 – Aaron Rodgers (12.9, 10.7)
Round 2, Pick 14 – Rashard Mendenhall (13.3, 19.6)
Round 3, Pick 35 – Pierre Thomas (36.7, 37.1)
Round 4, Pick 38 – Dallas Clark (34.6, 39.8)
Even though I hate drafting quarterbacks in the first round, I don’t have a problem with drafting Rodgers 11th overall because he’s most likely the best player remaining. He’s the No. 1 quarterback in the draft and will consistently put up big numbers.
I’m not a fan of Mendenhall, to begin with. Remember when he didn’t know the playbook, missed assignments, and subsequently got benched? Yeah. People are convinced that the Pittsburgh Steelers will run the ball more often with Ben Roethlisberger out. While that may be true, running the ball more often doesn’t translate to effective running. We only have to look at Matt Forte’s 2009 season for proof – his 258 rushing attempts ranked eighth in the NFL, but he only managed to gain 929 yards. Until Leftwich proves that he can stretch the defense, defenses will be keyed in on stopping the run and stopping Mendenhall. Recommended choice: Ryan Mathews (13.8, 28.2).
I love Thomas this year. With the departure of Mike Bell and the injury to Lynell Hamilton, only rookie Chris Ivory from Division II Tiffin University stands to take regular touches away from Thomas. Reggie Bush, of course, is the receiving back. However, Thomas will be the featured back, and I can’t see Ivory getting the 172 rushing attempts that Bell had last year with a yards per carry average of 3.8. Thomas had less attempts (147), more yards (793), and the fifth highest average in the NFL (5.4). It’s not hard to figure out who the most effective back is and who should be getting the majority of the workload.
At this point, the roster consists of no wide receivers. I understand that Clark is slated to have a huge year, but having zero wide receivers on the roster by the time you reach the fifth round is just asking for trouble. The tight end class is also very deep this year; I’d rather pass on Clark and take a good wide receiver. Recommended choices: Sidney Rice (31.1, 39.1), Anquan Boldin (36.2, 37.6).