2016 Mock Draft Peek Preview

2016 Mock Draft Peek Preview by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

In only a short time from now, the Green Bay Packers will face the Indianapolis Colts in Canton, Ohio for the traditional Hall of Fame game. It’s the time of the year that fantasy football fanatics are excited for, because the start of the NFL season is finally in sight.

That means it is time for many fantasy owners to start studying. Fantasy Football magazines will be hitting the bookstore shelves, fantasy websites will be posting their preseason rankings, and one of my favorite fantasy websites, fantasyfootballcalculator.com, will be cranking out a glut of completed mock drafts. You may review the results of recently ended mock drafts at this handy website and you may participate in any of the 8-10-12-14 team mock drafts that are available.

Here are the top 12 rounds of a recently ended 10 team standard league draft that I recent devoured, but did not participate in. These 10 teams were all humans….no computer picks. Let me know if you agree or disagree with any of my round by round observations!

12 Rounds 2016 Mock draft

Round One- If the running back is still a “devalued’ position, you would not know it from Round One ( 4 RBs vs 5 WRs) and you certainly wouldn’t know it from Round Two ( 7 RBs vs 3 WRs). One fantasy owner obviously does not seem to be worried about GB WR Jordy Nelson’s 2015 season-ending injury, drafting him at the end of Round One, and in front of CINN A.J. Green, JACK Allen Robinson and DAL Dez Bryant. I am not sure that I am that confident yet.

Round Two- I’m shocked that DAL RB Zeke Elliott would drop to Round Two, and selected after ATL D Freeman, HOU L Miller and KC J Charles. If Elliott is there for me at the 14th overall pick, I’m doing my happy jig. I’m also drafting TB Doug Martin before BUFF LeSean McCoy.

Round Three- SF Carlos Hyde has reportedly lost weight and wants to play under 220 pounds in Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense, but I’m going to pass on 49er players for the first 6 rounds, at least. SD WR Keenan Allen worries me in 2016, so I am after the other wide outs in this round, and I want WR Travis Benjamin as a sleeper in the later rounds. N.O. RB Mark Ingram was pretty disappointing in the 2nd half of last season, even before his Week 13 injury. He might be the “Alfred Morris” of 2016.

Round Four- Solid selections in Round Four, and although I am not a fan of drafting quarterbacks early, at least these two fantasy football owners waited until Round Four. Running backs are starting to get thin, so TENN RB DeMarco Murray is not bad here, but I am not high on him for 2016.

Round Five- NE WR J Edleman started the Round Five selections, but I would have preferred MIA J Landry or JACK Allen Hurns, available later in this round. I do not like MIA J Ajayi in 2016, and I am wondering why CINN Jeremy Hill is still available ( start of Round 7) so I am drafting him. ( I would have drafted him before TENN RB DeMarco Murray)

Round Six- 3 more QBs drafted, but good ones. ( How many times will Luck be the 4th, 5th or 6th QB drafted this season?) RBs Ryan Mathews and Chris Ivory are interesting backs to roster this season. I want both of them. Most believe that KC J Maclin can match his 2015 numbers ( 1088 yards and 8 TDs) but I am skeptical. I’d still want him in Round Six however.

Round Seven- MIA DeVante Parker is a nice sleeper in 2016, but if CHI Kevin White is there, I’ll be selecting him before Parker. There are too many running backs for me in Detroit, HC Caldwell never sticks with one back for more than two plays and the Lions had the worst average per rush in 2015, so you can draft RB Ameer Abdullah. I won’t be.

Round Eight- Why does everyone automatically think TE Ladarius Green will be a success in Pittsburgh, when he was a flop in a very tight end friendly San Diego offense? RBs Gore, Duke Johnson, and Gio are all decent pick ups in Round 8, but SD Melvin Gordon is way down here for a reason. I like TE Coby Fleener a lot for the 2016 season. He is a terrible blocker and the Saints’ know that, so he is an offensive weapon…period.

Round Nine- SEA WR Tyler Lockett is a huge pick up in Round Nine, and QB Blake Bortles ( #3 QB for 2015) should have been selected earlier than the #9 QB off the boards. I like WASH WR DeSean Jackson in Round Nine very much. Still too early to get a kicker, even NE Gostkowski.

Round Ten- PITT DeAngelo Williams, the #4 RB for 2015 with almost 1300 total yards and 8 TDs, should have been handcuffed in Round 9 by “Lucille Football” instead of drafting Woodhead. PHIL TE Zach Ertz was a monster in the last part of 2015, and if you are going to wait on a tight end, this is how you do it. Don’t particularly want JACK TJ Yeldon on any of my teams, unless I drafted RB C Ivory earlier. BALT Steve Smith still has football in him, for the first 7 weeks. He has a bye Week Eight, so trade him then.

Round Eleven- Both wide receivers Travis Benjamin and Marvin Jones have too much fantasy football value to be still available in Round 11. Like TE Ertz in Round 10, CLEV TE Barnidge is a steal here in Round 11. NE L Blount doesn’t interest me, because he plays for HC Belichick and Tampa Bay’s Charles Sims is still available, as is CLEV’s Isaiah Crowell ( Round 12). I won’t be drafting WR Stefon Diggs, probably not even in Round 11. MINN QB Bridgewater threw for less than 1 TD per game last year.

Round Twelve- QB Kirk Cousins ( #9 QB for 2015) is a steal here in Round 12. Ram’s WR Tavon Austin was the #21 wide receiver in the NFL last season and had 52 carries for 434 yards/ 4 rushing TDS. He should have been selected a couple of rounds before. CLEV WR Corey Coleman selected this late in ANY draft is ridiculous.

There you go. This was fun. I think I’d like to revisit this again, in the upcoming weeks!

Green Bay Packers Team Profile 2016

Green Bay Packers Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Is it a coincidence, that in 4 years with WR Jordy Nelson, the Green Bay Packers won 4 straight division titles, but without him, the Minnesota Vikings enjoyed the honors. ( Nelson tore his left ACL in August 2015.) HC Mike McCarthy probably wouldn’t want anyone to think that one missing player could hurt a season, but when have you seen QB Aaron Rodgers play 16 games and rank 12th among NFL quarterbacks?

2016 Team Outlook–
The Green Bay Packers have dominated the NFC North Division since 2011, but it was Minnesota who took the title in 2015 with an 11-5 season. Green Bay fell just a game short at 10-6. With a healthy Jordy back, Gfreen Bay will again be the team to beat in 2016. The Lions, Bears and Vikings all have good, competitive teams but they can’t put onto the field the caliber of offensive and defensive personnel that Green Bay can.

2016 Fantasy Football Outlook-

QB– Disregarding 2013, when he only played 9 games due to an injury, QB Aaron Rodgers has either been the #1 or #2 quarterback every year since 2008…..until 2015. Last year ended with Rodgers ranking #12 among NFL quarterbacks. He threw for nearly 500 less yards than he did in 2014, with 7 less touchdown passes (31 vs 38). QB Rodgers and the offense clearly missed WR Jordy Nelson’s deep threat abilities, but they still made the post-season.

RBs– Many articles were written about Lacy’s “weight” in 2015, and Green Bay reportedly wants him 30 pounds lighter. In 2015, RB Eddie Lacy was out-played by RB James Starks. Starks ended the year as the #23 running back in the NFL, and RB Lacy as the #24. In the final year of his 2013 rookie deal…this off-season will be an important one for “Spag-Eddie” Lacy.” James Starks is a free agent, but expected to re-sign with the Packers.

WRs– WR Jordy Nelson and WR Randall Cobb were the #2 and #6 wide receivers in the NFL in 2014. In 2015, no Green Bay wide receiver cracked the top 25. The offense wasn’t the same without WR Jordy Nelson and WR Davante Adams disappointed the entire year. ( rumors are WR Adams’ roster spot is in jeopardy.) It wasn’t until the post-season that Green Bay found out what talent had been sitting on the bench all season. WR Jeff Janis went 7 catches for 145 and 2 TDs in the Divisonal Game loss to Arizona. (The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s wrote- “It’s been 25 years or more since a coach in Green Bay made more errors in allocating playing time than Mike McCarthy did this year.”)


TEs–
2011 was the last time a Green Bay Packer ended a season ranking in the top 5 among NFL tight ends. Jermichael Finley was the #5 tight end that year, with 767 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns. Statistically in 2015, TE Richard Rodgers’ numbers ( 520 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns ) weren’t that much different from Finley’s in 2011, which ranked Rodgers #8 last year. With WR Nelson out, TE Rodgers was relied on more, and will be red zone threat again in 2016.

K– Impending free agent K Mason Crosby has been a Packer for 9 seasons, but he doesn’t want to leave Green Bay, nor does Green Bay want him to leave. Expect a new contract in the near future.

DEF– The Green Bay defense enjoyed a much better season in 2015 ( ranked #9) than they did in 2014 ( ranked #16). Tough vs the pass, their defense stepped up in a year where the offense declined. With important free agents impending from the defense, the Packers will need to fill holes to keep the defense trending upward in the NFL.

2015 Green Bay Fantasy Surprises–
Many a fantasy football league was won in 2014 with RB Eddie Lacy on the roster, which is why he was drafted high in 2015. He returned for his 3rd season over-weight and slow, surprising many with only 758 yards rushing yards and 3 rushing TDs at year’s end. WR Jeff Janis was a surprise in the post-season and might have won himself a spot in 2016 in the starting line-up.


2016 Free Agents That Green Bay Needs to Address–
RB James Starks, WR James Jones, K Mason Crosby, FB John Kuhn, TE Andrew Quarless, QB Scott Tolzien, T/G Don Barclay, SS Sean Richardson, CB Casey Hayward, OLB Nick Perry, NT B.J. Raji, DE Letroy Guion, OLB Mike Neal,

2016 NFL Draft–
Green Bay’s first 2 selections in the 2015 NFL Draft addressed their defense ( FS Damarious Randall- 1st round-30th overall and CB Quinten Rollins- 2nd round-62nd overall) and they will likely address it right away again in 2016. Green Bay’s needs include help on their defensive line and talented new inside/ outside linebackers.

Did You Know–
In 1974, in what has become known as one of the worst trades in history, the Green Bay Packers traded two first round draft picks, two second round draft picks, and a third round draft pick to the Los Angeles Rams for 34 year old quarterback John Hadl.

All team reports
can be seen at this link- TEAM REPORTS

Team home page: www.packers.com

Team Profiles- Green Bay Packers

Team Profiles- Green Bay Packers

by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

HC Mike McCarthy is probably a great coach, but let’s face it, his only two quarterbacks in Green Bay for the most part, have been QB Brett Favre and QB Aaron Rodgers. It’s not like he’s had the same kind of QB adversities to deal with as say HC Rex Ryan has. Perhaps his biggest challenge came in 2013, when QB Rodgers broke his collarbone, and HC McCarthy had to struggle to the playoffs with QB Matt Flynn for 5 games. They made it to the playoffs (It didn’t hurt that Detroit had an epic collapse the same time QB Rodgers was out with his injury.)

The 2013 playoffs began with QB Rodgers back in the line up, but Green Bay lost to the 49ers in round one. In 2014, Green Bay again made it to the playoffs, but this time, it was the Packers who had the epic collapse. The Packers were leading Seattle in the Conference Championship 16-0 at halftime, and 19–7 with under three minutes left in the game. One score later by Seattle, a successful onside kick, another score by Seattle and a two point conversion, and the Packers were stunned to be losing 19-22. A quick field goal by Green Bay tied it, but Seattle won the coin toss in over-time and won the game with a touchdown. Fortunately for HC McCarthy, he does have a Superbowl win (2010), or his legacy in Green Bay would be for having successful regular season records, and crumbling in the playoffs.

2015 Team Outlook–
The Green Bay Packers have dominated the NFC North Division since 2011, and they will so again on 2015. The Lions, Bears and Vikings all have good, competitive teams going into the 2015 season, but none of them can put onto the field the caliber of offensive and defensive personnel that Green Bay can. The Packer’s coaching staff, quarterback, running backs and defense either rival or are superior to the the rest of the teams in the NFC North. Even their receiving corps should be considered superior, except the Packers are facing a free agency decision with WR Randall Cobb, who is a key part of that offense. If he leaves, their receiving corps takes a hit. Fullback John Kuhn could also be leaving.

2015 Fantasy Outlook–

QB– It’s hard to believe that it has been nine years, since Aaron Rodgers had to sit and watch as team after team passed him up in the 2005 NFL Draft. QB Rodgers wasn’t selected until the 24th overall pick came in, by the Green Bay Packers. 5 wide receivers were selected before Aaron Rodgers, and none of them are still playing in the NFL. The Cleveland Browns, who have had nothing but quarterback fiascoes for decades, passed up Rodgers and selected WR Braylon Edwards with their 3rd overall pick. Using 1st round picks on college quarterbacks is risky business, that’s a given, but the Browns still have to feel sick looking back on that 2005 draft. Aaron Rodgers is a great, great player. He can do it all, and that’s all there is that needs saying about him.

RBs– Two running backs recently came into the NFL after having played for the Alabama Crimson Tide…RB Trent Richardson and RB Eddie Lacy. RB Richardson is looking like one of the biggest busts to come into the NFL of late. He was the 3rd overall selection in the first round by the Cleveland Browns in 2012, but now sits on the Indianapolis Colts roster. RB Eddie Lacy on the other hand, is looking like a steal from the 2013 draft, having dropped all the way down to the 61st selection of the 2nd round. (Actually, none of the 2012 running backs selected from the first 3 rounds of the 2012 draft have done very well in the NFL, which is a big reason no RB was selected at all in the 1st round of the the 2013 draft.) In 2014, RB Lacy totaled over 1500+ yards from scrimmage and scored 13 TDs (4 were receiving TDs) He’s a strong, durable running back with a trade mark “spin move” that can make defenders miss badly. Powerful at the goal line, and elusive in the passing game. RB Lacy is a top 5 RB going into the 2015 season.

WRs– To go with one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks, the Green Bay Packers just so happen to have the #2 and #6 wide receivers in the league from 2014, catching his passes. WR Jordy Nelson, drafted in the 2nd round of the 2008 NFL draft, was second only to Pittsburgh’s WR Antonio Brown in the receiving yards last season and tied for 2nd in the league with 13 TD receptions. He has great hands, fantastic speed and should easily rank in the top 5 of wide receivers next season. WR Randall Cobb is Green Bay’s other star receiver and he ranked 6th in the NFL with 1324 total yards and 12 TDs, Cobb is a free agent this year, and there are a lot of teams that want him. He may elect to take less, and stay with Green Bay. (Last year WR Eric Decker chased the money to New York, leaving Denver and QB Peyton Manning, and he ended the 2014 season as the 28th ranked WR. He was #8 in 2013.) If WR Cobb does leave, GB has a young wide receiver in WR Davante Adams, one of the talented rookie WRs that came into the league in 2014. WR Adams is a sleeper for the 2015 season, whether Cobb leaves or not. UPDATE: WR Randall Cobb re-signed with GB.

TEs–
Although tight ends aren’t used in the GB offense like they used to be (in the days of Sterling Sharpe, Mark Chmura or Bubba Franks) the Packers still have a couple good ones, who find the end zone now and then. TE Andrew Quarless was the 26th ranked TE in 2014, with 323 yards and 3 TDs. The Packers also have rookie TE Richard Rodgers, no relation to the QB, who ranked #41 in 2014 with 225 yards and 2 TDs. Their only limitations are targets from QB Aaron Rodgers. UPDATE: Waived TE Brandon Bostick. 7/4/2015 interestingly, the Packers have no plans to release TE Andrew Quarless following his July 4 arrest for firing a gun twice in the air during an altercation.

K– Mason Crosby has been with the Packers for the past 8 seasons. He was selected by Green Bay in the sixth round of the 2007 NFL Draft. K Crosby had a rough 2013 season, but HC McCarthy believed him and stuck with him, which paid off in 2014. Crosby ended the season as the 3rd ranked kicker in the NFL, knocking in 34 of his 40 attempts for field goals. With such a potent offense, Crosby is a strong candidate to finish in the top 5 again in 2015.

DEF– The Green Bay staff does a great job selecting players in the NFL drafts, for both their offense and their defense. Although not yet a Pro-bowler, Haha Clinton-Dix played like one at times for the Packers. He was the 1st overall selection in 2014. With names like Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers and Nick Perry leading the way, the Packers have one of the top defenses in the league. The Packers have a lot of players either coming back from injuries or are currently free agents, so they have issues keeping this defense together.

2014 Green Bay Fantasy Surprises–
The Packers offense is a well oiled machine, so there aren’t a lot of surprises. RB Lacy had some durability issues when playing for Alabama, but he’s only missed one game in the NFL since being drafted, perhaps that’s a surprise.

2015 Free Agents That Green Bay Needs to Address–
QB Matt Flynn- FB John Kuhn- WR Randall Cobb (re-signed)- OT Byran Bulaga (re-signed)- DE B J Raji (re-signed)- DT Letroy Guilon (re-signed)- LB Jamari Lattimore- CB Jarrett Bush- CB Davon House- LCB Tramon Williams

2015 NFL Draft–
The immediate needs of Green Bay are on defensive, depth at right tackle, and at the corner back position. The Packer’s have a lot of defensive players possibly heading for free agency, so they need depth on defense everywhere (DT and DE), Byran Bulaga’s contract is up so the Packers need help pass-blocking (OT) and they could easily lose Tramon Williams and House (CB). UPDATE: Green Bay’s entire 2015 NFL Draft can be seen at this link- GREEN BAY’S DRAFT

Did You Know–
The waiting list for Packer season tickets is over 86,000 names long, making the average wait to be 30+ years. With only 90 tickets turned over annually, it would be 955 years before the newest name on the list got a ticket. Typically, new fans to Lambeau Field are the beneficiary of season tickets that have been willed to them by next of kin.

All team reports
can be seen at this link- TEAM REPORTS

Team home page: www.packers.com