The 2008 YFFL draft yielded some fantastic first-year results - will 2009 be as kind? Steve rummages through the stack of mock drafts on his nightside table and here are the results:
Editor's Note - Steve: "When you put up the mock draft, can you date it 7/31/09...things are changing fast!"Don't be modest Matt, Steve has you going #1 to his Merry Men
#1 Ludke's Merry Men: Matthew Stafford QB Detroit Lions
The Merry Men are currently in discussions with both Stafford and Moreno in an effort to get one of them signed before the YFFL draft later this summer. Moreno would make sense as the replacement for Willie Parker as he is phased out of the Merry Men's plans but that is unlikely the route the Merry Men will take. In the end, Brady Quinn is looking like one of those guys who will be better off being a fantasy back-up and never a top ten QB, so the Merry Men would be wise to draft Matt Stafford and see if he can get them back to being a competitive team. Stafford will likely sit the first half of the season for the Lions but he has a lot of upside and will be throwing to one of the top WR in the NFL in Calvin Johnson when he sees the field.
#2 Memphis Brothers: Chris "Beanie" Wells RB Arizona Cardinals
After glancing at the Brothers roster, it seems hard to believe they won only one game last year. With Carson Palmer returning in 2009 the Brothers will have a shot at winning the division if they nail this draft pick. Chris Wells is the pick. He plays in one of the top five offenses in the NFL and Wells should be living in the red zone this season. Wells will have a great shot at 1000 yards rushing and 10+ TDs. If he can reach these targets, the Brothers will be back in business.
#3 Burger Buddies: Knowshon Moreno RB Denver Broncos
The Buddies are going to have a decision to make when their turn comes up later this summer - draft the QB of the future or grab a potential star running back. I think Mike goes for the RB and grabs his future signal caller next year as the 2010 draft is already shaping up to be 4+ QBs deep. In Moreno Mike gets a RB who will likely get 70% of the carries, catch around 50 balls, and plays just down the street from Buddies headquarters. The Buddies would likely be thrilled to land either Moreno or Wells and either player would get them right back into the mix for a division title.
#4 Big Boys: Donald Brown RB Indianapolis Colts
The Big Boys want to know what Brown can do for them. They might not find out right away, but Donald Brown will cut into Joseph Addai's workload more and more as the season wears on. Brown is a complete back with excellent running and receiving skills, so he should be a perfect fit for the Colts offense. The Boys don't usually have very good luck when it comes to drafting RBs early, so we'll have to see if they can finally hit a home run in 2009.
#5 Mexican Humping Beans: Shonn Greene RB NY Jets
Bobby lands the bowling ball of a RB in Shonn Greene with the fifth pick in the draft. Greene enters into a crowded backfield but the Jets have come out and said that they envision using Green in a Marion Barber, closer-type role which should actually be quite productive for the Beans. Bobby will be thrilled to draft a Jet and Greene will be thrilled to be a Humping Bean. The Beans are getting really thin at RB and they will likely jump all over any of the RBs pegged in the first 5 picks. If Greene can run in the NFL the way he did in his YouTube clips of his college days then the Beans will be in real good shape.
#6 Asian Orangutangs: Michael Crabtree WR San Francisco 49ers
Crabtree might be the most talented player in this entire draft and the Orangutangs scoop him up as Jon does a Jess Hancock necker call in celebration. Crabtree is kicking off training camp with a hold-out and the 49ers QB situation doesn't look to improve until 2010 but that will not stop the Orangutangs or Mallards from grabbing him should he make it out of the top 5. Many analysts project Crabtree as a Larry Fitzgerald type talent who might impact the NFL right away or it might just take a year because of the dreadful QB situation in San Francisco. If Crabtree went in the top 3 picks I wouldn't be surprised one bit, but in this mock draft the 'Tangs potentially get their first star receiver since they shipped T.O. out of town.Michael Crabtree starts a run on wide receivers at pick #6
#7 Fightin' Mallards: Percy Harvin WR Minnesota Vikings
The Mallards will have a tough decision deciding between Jeremy Maclin and Percy Harvin in the number 7 slot of the draft but my allegiance to the NFC North prevails and Harvin is the pick. Harvin was a stud at Florida and his skills should translate well to the NFL level. Harvin does come with some red flags; most glaring is that he tested positive for marijuana at the NFL Combine. The Mallards would prefer to land one of the top 3 running backs but are content to draft any one of the above 7 players that drops to them.
#8 Cuban Refugees: Jeremy Maclin WR Philadelphia Eagles
The Refugees are going to have a really tough decision to make at number 8 - draft Sanchez or leave him for the White Guys. Aceto will more than likely leave Sanchez for the White Guys. With that being said, Aceto will draft Jeremy Maclin, the explosive playmaker out of Missouri. Maclin is a great fit on the Eagles but he does have a few spots up the depth chart to climb before he makes an impact in the YFFL. Aceto will need Maclin to climb the depth chart fast because he really needs an impact WR. If Maclin can have a season like DeSean Jackson or Eddie Royal and Jason Campbell keeps his job to go along with the stockpile of star running backs the Refugees have, they will be in business in 2009.
#9 High 5'n White Guys: Mark Sanchez QB NY Jets
After a long twenty minute wait Aceto nabs his guy in Mark Sanchez. Sanchez doesn't have the strongest arm but is a very smart QB and he should have a solid NFL career. The lack of arm strength might prove to be a non-factor when the Jets move into their new stadium since it remains to be seen if wind will be a factor there the way it has been in the Meadowlands. Sanchez is pegged as the starter for the Jets already and if he can put up a consistent 6-12 pts every week Adrian Peterson and Larry Fitzgerald should be able to do the rest of the heavy lifting for the White Guys. If another owner snaps up Sanchez sooner, this pick could be dealt for a QB.
#10 Chunky Chickens: LeSean McCoy RB Philadelphia Eagles
The Chickens have a couple players getting a little long in the tooth at RB and will select McCoy of the Eagles. The Eagles view McCoy as the long term answer to who is going to be running the ball for them as Brian Westbrook's career winds down. McCoy is an elusive back with great pass catching skills and with the projected 200 touches he is slated to receive he could be very useful this season in the YFFL. McCoy is the best player available at this point and could prove a steal at #10 overall.
#11 Mexican Humping Beans: Hakeem Nicks WR NY Giants
We start getting into the boom or bust picks now and first up are the Beans. After getting a RB with his first pick the Beans will pick up a replacement for Plaxico Burress by selecting his actual replacement on the Giants, Hakeem Nicks. Nicks played in a pro-style offense in college, is a solid route runner, and has great hands. There is plenty of opportunity for a rookie WR to play significant snaps on the Giants and if Nicks makes the most of it he could have a solid first year in the YFFL.A tradition unlike any other: Kevin takes Domenik Hixon as the first non-rookie at pick #12
#12 Hoochie Llamas: Domenik Hixon WR NY Giants
The Llamas might be moving to a run-and-shoot offense this season with their solid core of WRs and lack of depth at RB. There isn't a RB worth taking here and Kevin is better off taking the best player available. Hixon has been making some noise in training camp and OTAs and at the moment is penciled in as a starter. With the amount of running the Giants do either the Beans or Llamas are going to be disappointed; Kevin is guessing it won't be him.
#13 Apple Eaters: Brian Robiskie WR Cleveland Browns
The Eaters' roster suddenly doesn't look all that daunting anymore with age and injury risk playing a big factor for many of his players. With that being said, Chris will take the best of what's left. Brian Robiskie is considered the most pro-ready WR in this draft; his father is a WR coach in the league and Robiskie is a terrific route runner and has a starting job in hand. Look for Chris to try and move up in the draft to land the one player that could help his team this year as he tries to make one last title run in what could be Brian Westbrook's last productive season.
#14 UCornn Huskers: Kenny Britt WR Tennessee Titans
Kenny Britt is the pick as the Huskers go back-to-back in the first round. Britt is a tall and physical receiver who should get ample opportunities in the red zone as a first year player. The Titans are hoping he can start from the get-go and 800 yards receiving and 6 TDs would be a good first year for him in that offense.
#15 UCornn Huskers: Andre Brown RB NY Giants
The Huskers get a little insurance for their star running back Brandon Jacobs. Jacobs plays with such a ferocious style that he is bound to miss a game here and there, plus the Giants run so much that Andre Brown stands to get 10 carries a game anyways. Brown might not be the highest ranked player available but he is a good fit for the Huskers.
#16 Snapdragons: Brandon Pettigrew TE Detroit Lions
The Dragons have a solid core of players and opt to go TE with the last pick of the first round. Pettigrew is a terrific player and was handed the starting job the day he was drafted. Pettigrew might have to stay in and do more blocking than most TEs because the Lions offensive line is so bad but that could also lead to a lot of short check-down catches when Culpepper and Stafford get into trouble. Pettigrew has a lot of potential for the long term and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him catch 5 or 6 TDs this season.