Revelations in latest staff mock draft

Updated: August 26, 2010, 4:24 PM ET
By Eric Karabell

I've participated in so many mock drafts this summer I'm certainly going to be ready for the drafts that count the most. In truth, I don't really like the term "mock" when describing a draft. I treat all drafts as if they will count and something critical is on the line. I rarely waver on strategy, anyway. My teams are pretty much the same. Still, I was a bit surprised at what went down in our latest mock draft held Tuesday. It was my fourth draft in a 48-hour period, which is awesome. It beats getting a real job, right? Practice makes perfect and by this point, I've practiced plenty. I decided to wait a bit longer on quarterbacks in this particular mock, maybe longer than ever before. By the time I finally chose the Chicago Bears' Jay Cutler, most of the handcuff running backs were gone. A defense went 28 picks prior. Fred Taylor had even been taken!

So if you're wondering what surprised me about the Tuesday mock, which colleague AJ Mass analyzes so well -- and gently rips for me for two of my first four picks (DeAngelo Williams, Steve Smith) -- I'd say the fact I was able to get my No. 8 quarterback with pick 109 -- in Round 11! -- takes the cake. It's not that nobody likes Cutler or that I like him more than others, which I probably do, but if you've got a reliable starting quarterback, don't waste a reasonable pick on the backup. He might play only one week. Three picks after securing Cutler, I chose Ben Roethlisberger, who would be a clear top-10 option if not for the suspension. I have insurance in case Mr. Interception frustrates me, at least after the first four weeks.