Revelations in latest staff mock draft
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.
For Eric's thoughts on where Fred Jackson, Percy Harvin and Brandon Jacobs were taken in the mock draft, you must be an ESPN Insider!