After a long lockout and the possibility of a lost year looming over the YFFL offseason, we're now less than 2 weeks away from the 2011 Draft. Who better to preview it than YFFL.com Draft Guru Steve Dugas? With 3 picks in the first round, Steve is keeping his mock drafts to himself this year, but he checks in with each team to see what they might be thinking about as we kick off the 2011 season.
Mexican Humping Beans
The Beans find themselves in the enviable position of having one of the top two picks this year and will be able to grab one of the top players available. Mark Ingram or Julio Jones will be available and Bobby would be thrilled to bring either player aboard. I would say WR is the bigger need between the two players, so Bobby would probably like to see Ingram go #1. If Bobby is able to get Jones with his first draft pick, he will likely spend the rest of the draft taking fliers on RBs and hoping one sticks to his roster long-term. His second round pick is just as valuable as any pick after the 6th overall due to a lack of elite talent in this year's draft."Sorry guys, I gotta take this. It's Chris Davidson again."
The Big Boys land the #3 pick in the draft by being a mere 6 points worse than the Mallards. This will be the Big Boys' 5th top 5 draft pick in the last 4 drafts. The Big Boys finally found a WR they can count on in Steve Johnson when they got him off the waiver wire, but they are still really thin at that position and they will be hoping either A.J. Green or Julio Jones is sitting there for them to jump on. Should both WRs be taken already, then look for the Boys to start working the instant messenger and try to get at WR as the last thing they need is a 7th RB on the roster. In the second round, Chris will try to find a long term backup QB to have on the roster in case Manning should ever need to miss a start.
The Brothers find themselves in a real jam as they move into the dog days of August - they have lots of talent at the RB and WR positions, but no one to throw them the ball. Palmer is retired, Young is backing up Vick, and Matt Moore might get some starts in Miami. The Brothers lack a first round pick (surrendered in the Vince Young trade) and they are going to have a hard time finding one unless they are willing to deal some of the talent they have at other positions. It will be interesting to see if Brian trades one of his lower-end RBs for a fill in at QB or gets aggressive and tosses around Charles or McFadden in an attempt to land a top 12 signal caller.
Burger BuddiesWhat does a guy have to do? Peyton Manning could be on the move again
The Burger Buddies find themselves short on elite talent at the WR/RB positions and picking in the middle of a poor draft class, but boasting a stable of QBs from which to work with. Something tells me Mike can make this work. All three QBs are on the block and one, if not two should be dealt before the conclusion of the first round of the draft. Pulling off a Manning/Freeman for Charles trade and hitting on one of their first two picks would put the Buddies right in the thick of what is expected to be a wide open division race.
The Chickens come to the 2011 Draft looking to add depth all across the board. They still have a solid starting lineup, but they could be in trouble when the bye weeks start coming around. The Chickens will take the best player available regardless of position, but with an eye towards grabbing another RB that can contribute 2-6 points if called upon. In case anyone is interested, any player on this roster except LeSean McCoy is available.
The Dragons' biggest need this offseason is WR. They have a roster full of 40-points-a-season guys. If this were a PPR league Jon would be all set. What's that you say? Brandon Lloyd is on the Dragons, but I just can't see him having another year like 2010 again. Drafting 12th, Jon should have plenty of players to take a chance on at the WR position. Much like most teams in this league, the Dragons also need to add some depth at RB, especially with Frank Gore getting dinged up every year. I'm not sure what type of scraps will be left when the Dragons second round pick comes around, but Jon will get the Dragons what they need to make the playoffs.
Apple EatersWill the Eaters take another Saints running back #1 overall?
5 years ago the Eaters selected a RB from the New Orleans Saints with the first pick of the draft and they now stand poised to do the same thing once again, this time selecting Mark Ingram. Will it work out better this time? Much like in 2007 when the Mallards had to choose between Calvin Johnson and Adrian Peterson, Chris can't go wrong with this pick. Does he take a higher scoring option at RB or go for length of career and take a WR? Or does Chris shock us all and take a TE #1 overall (not really all that much of a shock)? Chris has a lot of options this off-season and could really improve his season's outlook. He could move down a few spots in the draft and pick up some more help, he can deal one of his QBs for a nice return, or he could invest in a strength and conditioning coach and have his team avoid losing someone to IR every single week. The last option might be his best one - I can't remember the last time a team was ravaged by injuries the way this one was last year.
The Huskers will try to come away from the 2011 Draft with a QB that can back up Flacco and perhaps even push him for the starting job. The Huskers have had perhaps the best NFL offseason of any YFFL team - they've got RBs getting starting jobs whether it be by trade or injury, WRs getting paid and getting some job security, players getting stabbed by their girlfriends...really all and all a great offseason. This group might not be the biggest bunch of names outside of Arian Foster, but they've got the depth to contend for a division title and they will have the least amount of work to do at this year's draft.
The Llamas come to the draft with one order of business for their GM: find a RB who will get the ball and stay healthy. Mike Tolbert is a solid RB2 and Addai is a solid bye week fill-in when healthy, but the Llamas really need to find a player they can count on for 8-10 points every week. This is going to be a tough task for Gibbons drafting out of the #11 spot, especially since he will be missing the draft to attend his night classes. If there is nothing worth taking a chance on at #11 for RBs, the Llamas will probably take a look at the remaining QBs to try and get a long term backup for Brees. Also, does any owner have a better tandem of WRs between their two teams than Kevin with Britt and Marshall? Those guys are dealing with the cops every week - Kevin and Gibby must tune into the Miami and Nashville police scanners every night and just keep their fingers crossed.Daniel Thomas was on hand to cheer on Steve during the Clam Festival Classic 5-Mile Race
2010's most disappointing team heads into the draft in dire need of some young blood at the RB position. Jackson and Turner no longer have youth on their side (even though both figure to have one or two good seasons left in the tank), but their replacements need to be brought on board now. The Mallards will likely be selecting from Daniel Thomas and Ryan Williams when they are up at #4. Do they take the more explosive player in Ryan Williams or take the player with a clearer path to carries in Daniel Thomas? Looks like a coin flip at the moment.
Ludke's Merry Men
The Merry Men ended the 2010 season winning 5 of their last 6 games, just missing the playoffs and thought everything was looking up for 2011. They were quickly grounded when the lockout lifted and they endured a terrible NFL offseason: free agents going to bad teams with bad QBs, RBs losing their jobs to draft picks, WRs having mysterious illnesses that no one will talk about, and RBs losing their TD vulture teammate, only to get a new one a week later. Luckily for the Merry Men, they have 4 of the first 26 picks and if they can somehow get lucky and hit on two of those picks they could be right back in business. RB will be a top priority now that there is only one on the roster who will get any playing time. Who that RB is when the #9 or #14 picks roll around is anyone's guess - trading several draft picks to move up in the first round seems like the most logical move to get a player who can make an impact in 2011.
Asian OrangutangsMegan: What are all these checks made out to Cecil Newton? Jon: Uh, I think Miles is crying, gotta go!
This team needs to come out of the draft either by pick or trade with a QB. It's been a few years since Jon could pencil a QB into this team's starting lineup and know that he had the position taken care of for the next 5 years. Jon has been in talks with several teams about their QBs, but nothing has happened yet. Jon could also see Cam Newton and think, "Is this Daunte Culpepper 2.0"? Jon surprised us last year taking Dez Bryant over Ryan Matthews, perhaps he'll surprise us once again.
The Bear Poop's draft will be riding on what the Orangutangs do at #5. Should Jon take a QB, then Bri will jump on the last remaining RB and he'll have a team that will be shaping up to be a Super Bowl contender. The Bear also are going to be targeting a QB with the #16 pick after trading away their Tom Brady insurance policy last season in a trade that helped net them Ryan Grant. The Bear have the pieces in place, they just have a little bit more work to do to get the job done.
The Refugees are an intriguing team. They have a bunch of talented players on their roster, but it just feels like they are in for a down year. They've got a player coming back from injury and no one is sure how he'll perform (Jones-Drew), they've got a WR who is being blocked from the starting lineup even though he is the best WR on his team (Knox), an injury prone mega-talent (Nicks), and their best player is holding out (CJ2K). I'm not sure where Aceto should turn his attention on draft day. Does he grab another QB at #13 to compete with the group he has who are all average at best? Does he get some depth at WR? Does he try and unearth a hidden gem at RB? Does he disappear into the concrete jungle on draft night like in 2010? These are all questions we can't wait to have answered on August 31st.And you thought you were done with this photo...
The defending champion Thugs do not hold a 2011 first round pick and it doesn't even matter. This team returns in 2011 completely intact and ready to defend their title. They've got good depth all around - their biggest weakness is WR4, but with the camp Victor Cruz is having, they probably have that position covered too. Bobby will be spending his draft night focused on the Beans unless a trade offer comes around that he just can't pass up...he does enjoy a little wheeling and dealing on draft night.
High 5'n White Guys
On the White Guys you are either really good or really bad. Aceto has some of the most elite talent in the league in Peterson, White and Fitzgerald. Aceto could also cut 9 guys from this roster and not think twice about it. With the clock ticking on the core of this team, Aceto would be wise to try and trade up from #7 into the top 4 or 5 picks to grab the player he needs that, along with a maturing Sam Bradford, would have this team ready to make some serious noise in 2011.