Mock drafting isn't just a fun thing to do when you're bored. It's actually a useful way to help develop Draft Day philosophies and figure out which players you're into.

That goes double for someone who writes about Fantasy Football. I love using mock drafts as a way to figure out who I want to draft and where to rank them. It's an important part of my job.

Taking it to the next level would be giving you a peek behind the curtain and seeing how my rankings change following a mock draft. After our first one of the 2015 offseason, there are already some changes.


Did I have Russell Wilson too high? When I went quarterback shopping in Round 7, I saw him, Tony Romo and Cam Newton all on the board. Part of me wanted to wait but knew there would be a run and I'd be left to pick someone like Matthew Stafford at the end of Round 8. A year ago I would have been fine with that. Now not so much.

I reminded myself that the reason why I have Wilson ranked as high as I do is because I expect the Seahawks to improve their receiving corps this offseason. By doing so, Wilson should be able to attempt more passes and hopefully raise his yards per attempt and touchdown stats. It's hard to expect him to rush as well as he did in 2014 (849 yards, six touchdowns) -- typically, quarterbacks who are known for their running start to slow down after a few seasons in the league. I'd be shocked if Wilson came close to those numbers again. Even though I took Wilson, I feel as though Newton offers more upside. Cam's receiving corps will also get an addition this offseason and the last three weeks of Cam's year proved that he's still very willing to run the ball. If I could do it again, I would have drafted Cam.

New rankings:

7. Cam Newton
8. Russell Wilson
9. Tony Romo

Running back

I didn't run into any dilemmas with my running back rankings until the middle of the draft when I was grasping for running backs. Dan Herron at 30th seemed too high, especially since I think it's an absolute certainty that the Colts will add someone else to the mix at running back. Herron is destined to be no better than a third-down back, if not a reserve. I'd rather throw a pick at a back who has a chance to be a primary back, so he's moving down.

Also moving down: Steven Jackson. Back in 2004 I was over the moon for him but it's 2015 and he hasn't averaged 3.8 or more yards per carry since 2012. When new Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan mentioned him but ultimately said he hasn't reviewed the running backs in Atlanta, the between-the-line reading was apparent. Jackson wasn't drafted in our mock.

A lot of names are moving up. Rashad Jennings might have gotten a raw deal from me in my first go-round of rankings, being slotted at 41st. Though I believe there's a chance the Giants move on from Jennings, if not stick him with a part-time role, there's some appeal in the event that the Giants don't add a back and that Andre Williams doesn't do well early on. LeGarrette Blount is another one I gave the shaft to. He has another year on his deal with the Patriots and figures to be in that mix. I know I won't rank him highly because I just don't want the headache of owning him, but putting him at 49th makes me regretful. Other backs with a shot to see some decent work/numbers who are getting a rise: Khiry Robinson, Ahmad Bradshaw, Charles Sims, Darren Sproles and Roy Helu.

New rankings:

37. Rashad Jennings
38. Stevan Ridley
39. LeGarrette Blount
40. Khiry Robinson
41. Knile Davis
42. Ronnie Hillman
43. Fred Jackson
44. Charles Sims
45. Darren Sproles
46. Shane Vereen
47. Ahmad Bradshaw
48. Joseph Randle
49. Alfred Blue
50. Reggie Bush
51. Roy Helu
52. Dan Herron
53. Robert Turbin
54. Matt Asiata
55. Chris Ivory

Wide receiver

The only tweaks I wanted to make among my receiver rankings were raising up some guys who will warrant some late-round consideration. One such name? Duron Carter, newly signed Colts receiver. I haven't gotten any film of him from the CFL but highlights on YouTube show a tall guy with nice hands. Not really a shock considering his dad. Anyway, Carter is definitely worth speculating on now -- it doesn't get much better than catching passes from Andrew Luck. Maybe he winds up as a good reserve Fantasy receiver.

The only other receiver I moved was Kendall Wright, who is entering a contract year and reeks of the kind of underachiever who has a stellar season just in time to fetch an expensive new deal. That's the only motivation I have to spend a draft pick on Wright in a standard league.

New rankings:

49. Duron Carter
50. Kendall Wright
51. Marques Colston

Tight End

It wasn't until I was staring down the barrel at Jason Witten in Round 10 that I thought about waiting for a sleeper tight end. Ultimately I went with Witten and the relative safety that comes with that pick (safety compared to other tight ends, anyway). But I danced with the idea of getting Austin Seferian-Jenkins with a pick a round later. I didn't do it, but it made me realize how much I liked ASJ, and by extension, fellow second-year tight end Jace Amaro.

New rankings:

12. Austin Seferian-Jenkins
13. Jace Amaro
14. Delanie Walker
15. Jordan Reed