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Thursday 20th Jul 2017

Now, just after the completion of the Stanley Cup (congrats Pittsburgh Penguins!), and a few weeks before the NHL Entry Draft, it is time to look at the football season and participate in a few mock drafts each day just to get a feel for where players are being drafted this early in the summer. 

I do mock draft through numerous sites, and usually draft for my personal preferences, such as PPR as opposed to Standard, but will continue to mix things up this summer so we can all see how the players shake out.

The first mock we can look at is a 12-team snake draft/PPR with 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX, 1 Defense, 1 K, and 6 bench spots. I picked out of the 9th spot, which gives me a chance to possibly land Ezekiel Elliott, the biggest high risk/high reward player in the first round, or a handful of elite wide receivers who have not let us down in the past, such as DeAndre Hopkins or A.J. Green.

1.9 – A.J. Green (WR, Bengals): Todd Gurley went the pick before and ruined my first round dream. I do love Green, and being the only established WR on the Bengals, Green makes a good target all around. Adrian Peterson and Elliott were both available, but AP’s mileage worries me and Green seemed like the safe pick.

2.4 – Lamar Miller (RB, Texans): Miller is a player with a lot to prove. He never got the full reigns in Miami so a new contract with the Texans with the expectation he takes over the lead role means Miller's floor is higher than the ceilings of many other running backs.

3.9 – T.Y. Hilton (WR, Colts): Hilton was a huge egg layer last season, and he and QB Andrew Luck have a huge gap of trust to fill this season. I’m counting on Hilton to do just that and have a huge bounce-back. 

4.4 – Cam Newton (QB, Panthers): I am not an early QB grabber, but the other players available at this point, like Shady McCoy and Golden Tate, didn’t tickle my fancy.  Newton will be playing with a HUGE chip on his shoulder, and he gets back top WR Kelvin Benjamin. 

5.9 – Jay Ajayi (RB, Dolphins): I’m not in love with this pick; I already have one unproven back with Miller and now I have his replacement who also isn’t promised all those carries Miller never got in Miami. 

 6.4 – DeVante Parker (WR, Dolphins): This Dolphin I do love. Parker saw just eight targets prior to Week 12, but he participated in at least 50 snaps in five of six games down the stretch with four games of at least 80 yards. And, with the running game not established, the ball will be flying in the humid Miami air. 

7.9 – Ryan Mathews (RB, Eagles): With all the uncertainties in my backfield, why not add more as misery loves company, right? Mathews should be the starting back in the Eagles backfield to start, so praying for health now. 

8.4 – Duke Johnson (RB, Browns): Another backfield time shate in Cleveland, but Duke has home-run written all over him. Huge receptions RB will bode well as a Flex with all his possible touches. 

9.9 – Corey Coleman (WR, Browns): I hate this part of the draft, filled with either old hanger-on players or young and unproven ones. I chose Coleman over 106-year-old Steve Smith with Coleman having a chance to grab a top spot in Cleveland and keep it considering Josh Gordon’s current state with the league. 

10.4 – Martellus Bennett (TE, Patriots): First, Running Back by committee. Now, Tight End by committee? If there’s a team that loves double Tight Ends, it’s the Pats, who excel in that. Even with a healthy Gronk, I still see Bennett getting at least 50 catches and 8 TD’s this year. I liked him way better than Antonio Gates or Eric Ebron at this point. 

11.9 – Houston Texans (D, Texans): This is a defense I love this season, and I will try to get them everywhere. I’m a drafter who has no problem going early on Defense. The Houston schedule is favorable this season with the AFC West aboard along with visits from Chicago and Detroit.

12.4 – Nelson Agholor (WR, Eagles): This second-year player saw his value jump a bit in my book due to his move to the slot, leaving Jordan Matthews and Rueben Randle on the behind. That should mean more snaps and production, hopefully.  

13.9 – Jordan Howard (RB, Bears): Time to take fliers, and with Matt Forte now plying his trade in New York, I had no problem selecting the future of the Chicago backfield. 

14.4 – Kamar Aiken (WR, Ravens): With Breshad Perriman still dinged up and Steve Smith another year closer to 107, I like Aiken’s upside. Benjamin Watson and Mike Wallace have been brought in to help, but I’ll take youth over age any day. 

15.9 –Adam Vinatieri (K, Colts): Speaking of players who are close to being 100 years old, Vinatieri is already there. "Super Toe" does continue to split uprights, and playing in a dome for at least eight games on a team that will score plenty this season bodes well.

This isn’t the strongest team I feel I could draft, but it’s the first of the season. Do avoid the nine-hole when the big drafts come up this year if you can. There are huge weapons on this team, and upside the size of Mt. Everest. With good health and lots of chances for the rookies, things could work out very well.  

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