There are unexpected picks in every draft. Some happen sooner than others. Nothing exemplifies that more than what happened in our recent 10-team standard mock draft.
CBSSports.com NFL blogger Josh Katzowitz has a beat on the league as well as anyone. So when he took Steven Jackson with a first-round pick, he didn't blink an eyelash while the rest of the league did a virtual spit-take. Jackson is considered a borderline No. 1 Fantasy running back and a potential second-round pick, but Katzowitz sees something greater.
"I originally thought about taking Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady. With it being a snake draft, I knew I would get one of those guys in the second round," Katzowitz reasoned. "Because of that early running back run, I wasn't sure that Jackson would have still been there. I know Jackson is getting older, kind of getting toward the end of his career, but I still think he's a workhorse who, even when the Rams are bad, he still produces. Obviously, we saw with Sam Bradford struggling last year with a lack of receivers, there's still a question on whether or not Bradford is a franchise quarterback. You bring in Jeff Fisher, who has had success with Eddie George, Chris Johnson and even Travis Henry, and you know the Rams will run the ball. Looking back on it, I'd do the exact same thing."
While you might disagree with his selection, Katzowitz did several things right that every Fantasy owner should take note of:
1. Recognizing that it would have been suicide for the owner picking 10th to take two elite-tier quarterbacks, he knew he could wait until his next pick to take one.
2. Recognizing the first-round running back frenzy he knew that if he was going to take a quarterback with his next pick, he needed a running back before the talent pool thinned out when it was his turn in Round 3.
3. And perhaps most importanly of all, Katzowitz went with his gut. He has his pulse on the news around the NFL, he's no Fantasy rookie and he's got a good eye for talent. Every Fantasy owner will do his or her own research and make their own decisions about who they like and who they don't like before their draft. He didn't listen to the experts, he made his own choice. We applaud that (partially because he can't blame us later for it).
You might find some other unusual picks in this draft, and that's par for the course for 10-team leagues. Quarterbacks and tight ends were devalued quite a bit in our mock, not a surprise given that there's 10 teams and more than 10 quality quarterbacks and tight ends to start on a weekly basis. As a result, several running backs and receivers were either picked where you might expect or a little bit higher -- nearly all the "steals" were at the deeper positions. This should happen in your 10-team drafts this summer, so be ready for it. Not to mention any unexpected draft choices -- be ready for those too.
We'd love to hear your take on our mock draft. Share your thoughts on our Fantasy Football Twitter feed (@CBSFantasyFB) or post more elaborate comments on our Fantasy Football Facebook page. We're always around and will respond to what you have to say.
In this league, all touchdowns are worth six points, and we award one point for every 10 yards rushing and receiving and one point for every 25 yards passing. We feature a starting lineup of QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, TE, K, DST and a FLEX (RB/WR/TE). There will also be five reserve spots for a 14-round draft. This lineup reflects our CBSSports.com free Fantasy Football game.
We also had a special guest join us for this draft as Seth Kolbrenner, a randomly selected reader, was chosen on Twitter to mock with us. This is something we plan to do going forward, so be on the lookout for your chance to draft with us on Twitter @CBSFantasyFB.
Our draft order was as follows ...
1. Nando Di Fino, Senior Fantasy Writer
2. Jeff Tobin, Associate Managing Editor
3. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
4. J. Darin Darst, College Football Production Editor
5. Denny Burkholder, NFL Production Editor
6. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
7. Adam Aizer, Podcast/Video Host
8. Aleese Kopf, Social Media Coordinator
9. Josh Katzowitz, NFL Blogger
10. Seth Kolbrenner, Twitter follower