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  • Twelve teams go 12 rounds in a standard-scoring league. Who (and when) was the first quarterback taken? Were running backs the overwhelming favorite in the first round? How high was Julio Jones drafted? Let's get to it.
By SI.com Staff
July 04, 2018

As our opening week of fantasy football draft prep marches on, some of SI.com’s best NFL minds got together for a mock draft—12 teams went 12 rounds, drafting for a standard-scoring league. The positions: QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, TE, FLEX, DST, K and three bench spots. A star indicates a rookie player, of which 10 were drafted.

Given the NFL’s penchant for the Friday-afternoon news dump (or, for this week, the pre-Fourth-of-July news dump), some suspensions were announced after this draft took place—most notably, Packers RB Aaron Jones.

We’ll present the draft in its entirety, and then each owner will defend his or her team and explain the decision-making process. So before you start berating an owner for what you might consider to be a questionable choice, read the explanation first. (If you still don’t agree, tweet at us and let us know.)

DRAFT ORDER

1. Ben Eagle, SI.com Director of Digital Projects and Product
2. Mitch Goldich, SI.com Associate Social Media Producer
3. Tom Mantzouranis, SI.com Video Senior Producer
4. Eric Single, SI.com Senior Producer
5. Kalyn Kahler, The MMQB Writer/Producer
6. Conor Orr, The MMQB Staff Writer
7. Michael Beller, SI.com Staff Writer/Fantasy Editor
8. Alex Hampl, SI.com Video Producer
9. Bette Marston, The MMQB Associate Editor
10. Evan Lazar, SI.com Video Producer
11. Gabriel Baumgaertner, SI.com Producer
12. Gary Gramling, The MMQB Senior Editor


ROUND 1

1. Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams—EAGLE
2. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers—GOLDICH
3. David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals—MANTZOURANIS
4. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons—SINGLE
5. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers—KAHLER
6. Saquon Barkley*, RB, New York Giants—ORR
7. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys—BELLER
8. Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs—HAMPL
9. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars—MARSTON
10. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants—LAZAR
11. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints—BAUMGAERTNER
12. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans—GRAMLING

ROUND 2

13. Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers—GRAMLING
14. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers—BAUMGAERTNER
15. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints—LAZAR
16. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings—MARSTON
17. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals—HAMPL
18. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers—BELLER
19. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers—ORR
20. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots—KAHLER
21. LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills—SINGLE
22. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals—MANTZOURANIS
23. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers—GOLDICH
24. Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears—EAGLE

ROUND 3

25. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks—EAGLE
26. Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs—GOLDICH
27. Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons—MANTZOURANIS
28. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts—SINGLE
29. Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings—KAHLER
30. Jerick McKinnon, RB, San Francisco 49ers—ORR
31. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers—BELLER
32. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs—HAMPL
33. Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears—MARSTON
34. Stefon Diggs, RB, Minnesota Vikings—LAZAR
35. Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns—BAUMGARTNER
36. Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders—GRAMLING

Round 4

37. Rashaad Penny*, RB, Seattle Seahawks—GRAMLING
38. Derrius Guice*, RB, Washington Redskins—BAUMGAERTNER
39. Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins—LAZAR
40. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles—MARSTON
41. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals—HAMPL
42. Alex Collins, RB, Baltimore Ravens—BELLER
43. Brandin Cooks, WR, Los Angeles Rams—ORR
44. Jay Ajayi, RB, Philadelphia Eagles—KAHLER
45. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans—SINGLE
46. Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles—MANTZOURANIS
47. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers—GOLDICH
48. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos—EAGLE

Round 5

49. Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans—EAGLE
50. Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints—GOLDICH
51. Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions—MANTZOURANIS
52. Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans—SINGLE
53. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots—KAHLER
54. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles—ORR
55. Marvin Jones, WR, Detroit Lions—BELLER
56. Dion Lewis, RB, Tennessee Titans—HAMPL
57. Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers—MARSTON
58. Sony Michel*, RB, New England Patriots—LAZAR
59. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints—BAUMGAERTNER
60. Jimmy Graham, TE, Green Bay Packers—GRAMLING

Round 6

61. DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins—GRAMLING
62. Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams—BAUMGAERTNER
63. Sammy Watkins, WR, Kansas City Chiefs—LAZAR
64. Ronald Jones II*, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers—MARSTON
65. Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans—HAMPL
66. Royce Freeman*, RB, Denver Broncos—BELLER
67. Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants—ORR
68. Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons—KAHLER
69. Marlon Mack, RB, Colts—SINGLE
70. Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers—MANTZOURANIS
71. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Oakland Raiders—GOLDICH
72. C.J. Anderson, RB, Carolina Panthers—EAGLE

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Round 7

73. Pierre Garçon, WR, San Francisco 49ers—EAGLE
74. Chris Hogan, WR, New England Patriots—GOLDICH
75. Rex Burkhead, RB, New England Patriots—MANTZOURANIS
76. Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings—SINGLE
77. Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams—KAHLER
78. Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles—ORR
79. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks—BELLER
80. Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans—HAMPL
81. Marquise Goodwin, WR, San Francisco 49ers—MARSTON
82. Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears—LAZAR
83. Jamison Crowder, WR, Washington Redskins—BAUMGAERTNER
84. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs—GRAMLING

Round 8

85. Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts—GRAMLING
86. Trey Burton, TE, Chicago Bears—BAUMGAERTNER
87. Nick Chubb*, RB, Cleveland Browns—LAZAR
88. Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions—MARSTON
89. Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots—HAMPL
90. Jarvis Landry, WR, Cleveland Browns—BELLER
91. Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos—ORR
92. Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans—KAHLER
93. Kerryon Johnson*, RB, Detroit Lions—SINGLE
94. Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns—MANTZOURANIS
95. D’Onta Foreman, RB, Houston Texans—GOLDICH
96. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers—EAGLE

Round 9

97. Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins—EAGLE
98. Jaguars DST—GOLDICH
99. Robby Anderson, WR, New York Jets—MANTZOURANIS
100. Michael Crabtree, WR, Baltimore Ravens—SINGLE
101. Jamaal Williams, RB, Green Bay Packers—KAHLER
102. Calvin Ridley*, WR, Atlanta Falcons—ORR
103. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers—BELLER
104. Rishard Matthews, WR, Tennessee Titans—HAMPL
105. Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Buffalo Bills—MARSTON
106. Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings—LAZAR
107. DeSean Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers—BAUMGAERTNER
108. Carlos Hyde, RB, Cleveland Browns—GRAMLING

Round 10

109. Isaiah Crowell, RB, New York Jets—GRAMLING
110. Mitchell Trubisky, QB, Chicago Bears—BAUMGAERTNER
111. George Kittle*, TE, San Francisco 49ers—LAZAR
112. David Njoku, TE, Cleveland Browns—MARSTON
113. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons—HAMPL
114. Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts—BELLER
115. Eagles DST—ORR
116. Vikings DST—KAHLER
117. Texans DST—SINGLE
118. Philip Rivers, QB, Los Angeles Chargers—MANTZOURANIS
119. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers—GOLDICH
120. Kenny Stills, WR, Miami Dolphins—EAGLE

Round 11

121. Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens—EAGLE
122. Stephen Gostkowski, K, New England Patriots—GOLDICH
123. Rams DST—MANTZOURANIS
124. Matt Bryant, K, Atlanta Falcons—SINGLE
125. Greg Zuerlein, K, Los Angeles Rams—KAHLER
126. Wil Lutz, K, New Orleans Saints—ORR
127. Chargers DST—BELLER
128. Broncos DST—HAMPL
129. Patriots DST—MARSTON
130. Ravens DST—LAZAR
131. Seahawks DST—BAUMGAERTNER
132. Panthers DST—GRAMLING

Round 12

133. Ka’imi Fairbairn, K, Houston Texans—GRAMLING
134. Adam Vinatieri, K, Indianapolis Colts—BAUMGAERTNER
135. Dan Bailey, K, Dallas Cowboys—LAZAR
136. Jake Elliott, K, Philadelphia Eagles—MARSTON
137. Chris Boswell, K, Pittsburgh Steelers—HAMPL
138. Matt Prater, K, Detroit Lions—BELLER
139. Ty Montgomery, RB, Green Bay Packers—ORR
140. Cameron Meredith, WR, New Orleans Saints—KAHLER
141. Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams—SINGLE
142. Harrison Butker, K, Kansas City Chiefs—MANTZOURANIS
143. Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals—GOLDICH
144. Saints DST—EAGLE


TEAM EAGLE—QB: Cam Newton; RB: Todd Gurley, Jordan Howard; WR: Doug Baldwin, Demaryius Thomas; TE: Jordan Reed; FLEX: Lamar Miller; DST: Saints; K: Justin Tucker; BENCH: C.J. Anderson, Pierre Garçon, Kenny Stills

Wait on a QB. I advocate for this every season, and every season I’m tempted to break my own rule once the QB run starts (see: Round 5). I held strong here and still ended up with Cam Newton, the No. 2 fantasy QB last season, in the eighth round. I was lucky here—I still have no idea why Patrick Mahomes went before Newton—but the fact remains: the gap between the first, second and third tiers at quarterback are slim.

TEAM GOLDICH—QB: Aaron Rodgers; RB: Le’Veon Bell, Mark Ingram; WR: Tyreek Hill, JuJu Smith-Schuster; TE: Tyler Eifert; FLEX: Marshawn Lynch; DST: Jaguars; K: Steven Gostkowski; BENCH: Chris Hogan, D’Onta Foreman, Ben Roethlisberger

After all of the truly elite wide receivers were taken before my second-round pick, I decided it was worth making Rodgers the first QB off the board early. And I’m still pretty happy with the receivers I drafted in the third and fourth rounds. If Foreman is healthy, he can be a great second-year breakout candidate. I reached on a defense and kicker a round early, drafting both before a tight end—I’d rather wait on the position because I may end up finding an upgrade on the waiver wire anyway.

TEAM MANTZOURANIS—QB: Philip Rivers; RB: David Johnson, Joe Mixon; WR: Golden Tate, Devin Funchess; TE: Zach Ertz; FLEX: Devonta Freeman; DST: Rams; K: Harrison Butker; BENCH: Rex Burkhead, Duke Johnson, Robby Anderson

Just like in the real draft, the best-player-available approach rarely leads you astray in fantasy. That’s how I wound up with a RB corps I LOVE after three rounds. My WRs are a little thin, but I have one reliable standby (Tate) and a couple of high-upside options (Funchess, Anderson) I like. I also have the depth at RB to swing a trade to add another wideout.

TEAM SINGLE—QB: Deshaun Watson; RB: LeSean McCoy, Derrick Henry; WR: Julio Jones, T.Y. Hilton; TE: Kyle Rudolph; FLEX: Marlon Mack; DST: Texans; K: Matt Bryant; FLEX: Kerryon Johnson, Michael Crabtree, Jared Goff

I don’t care what anyone else in this draft thinks: Julio Jones—not Antonio Brown—is my first-choice WR1. As both superstars approach 30, the risk grows that they’ll start to hit the decline phase of their careers, and with the top three running backs off the board in the first three picks, I’m betting on Jones’s size and strength to help keep him as unstoppable as ever. Steve Sarkisian and the rest of the Falcons staff has an entire offseason to figure out how to get the ball to Jones in the red zone; surely they’ll be more creative in year two, right? Right?

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KALYN KAHLER—QB: Tom Brady; RB: Jay Ajayi, Tevin Coleman; WR: Antonio Brown, Adam Thielen; TE: Rob Gronkowski; FLEX: Cooper Kupp; DST: Vikings; K: Greg Zuerlein; BENCH: Delanie Walker, Jamaal Williams, Cameron Meredith

Brady might be 41 years old at the start of this season, but I still trust in him as my quarterback and Gronkowski as one of his favorite weapons. I drafted Brown knowing he’ll do Antonio Brown things and Ajayi knowing the Eagles offense will be potent with either Nick Foles or Carson Wentz at the helm. With Cousins as his quarterback, Thielen will be just as good of a weapon as he was last year, if not better. The Vikings defense—the league’s No. 1 defense in 2017—will be even better next season with the additions of veteran defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson and first round cornerback Mike Hughes.

CONOR ORR—QB: Carson Wentz; RB: Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey; WR: Brandin Cooks, Nelson Agholor; TE: Evan Engram; FLEX: Jerick McKinnon; DST: Eagles; K: Wil Lutz; BENCH: Emmanuel Sanders, Calvin Ridley, Ty Montgomery

This draft was liberating in that, for the first time, I allowed myself to stray from the best available column and truly think about players I enjoy watching who, coincidentally, will probably score a lot of touchdowns this season. The Barkley pick, the McKinnon pick and the Engram pick were my personal favorites, with Ridley as a late-round sleeper with high upside.

MICHAEL BELLER—QB: Russell Wilson; RB: Ezekiel Elliott, Alex Collins; WR: Davante Adams, Mike Evans; TE: Jack Doyle; FLEX: Marvin Jones; DST: Chargers; K: Matt Prater; BENCH: Royce Freeman, Jarvis Landry, Aaron Jones

Where do I sign up to get this team in all my leagues? I’ve got Elliott and Adams as the third and 15th players on my board, respectively, so to get them seventh and 18th was a real treat. Understand, however, that this could be the only draft all summer where Elliott goes as low as seven. After that, great picks kept falling to me. Evans should bounce back, no matter how long Jameis Winston is out. Collins is boring, but effective. Marvin Jones is coming off an 1,100-yard, nine-touchdown season. Freeman and Aaron Jones both have a ton of upside. Wilson at pick No. 79? Landry at No. 90? Yes, please. To top it all off, I got the Chargers defense, which I believe will be the No. 1 fantasy defense this year, thanks largely to Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.

ALEX HAMPL—QB: Matt Ryan; RB: Kareem Hunt, Dion Lewis; WR: A.J. Green, Larry Fitzgerald; TE: Travis Kelce; FLEX: Corey Davis; DST: Broncos; K: Chris Boswell; BENCH: Will Fuller, Julian Edelman, Rishard Matthews

So… the running backs. I misjudged the market a bit here, so obviously if this were a real team, I’d be looking to deal a receiver or two to add a third back. In hindsight, I should have gone for Tevin Coleman or Marshawn Lynch in the sixth round over Davis. But my big-picture strategy remains solid: Grab one of the nine or so stud RBs in the first, fill out the roster with useful pass-catchers, and most importantly, wait on a QB. I got Ryan, who might helm the league’s best passing attack this year, in the third-to-last round.

BETTE MARSTON—QB: Matthew Stafford; RB: Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook; WR: Allen Robinson, Alshon Jeffery; TE: Greg Olsen; FLEX: Ronald Jones; DST: Patriots; K: Jake Elliott; BENCH: Marquise Goodwin, Kelvin Benjamin, David Njoku

The first three picks were a bit risky by my standards, drafting two young RBs—one of whom (Cook) is coming off of a torn ACL—and a WR who’s playing for the first time in a new location. Luckily I rounded out my starting receivers with Greg Olsen who’s fantasy floor hasn’t changed in at least five years. I took a flyer on Bucs rookie RB Ronald Jones, who could emerge as the solution to Tampa Bay’s perennial running back problem. I likely could have waited another round to draft a QB, with Kirk Cousins and Matt Ryan not going until several picks after I took Stafford—the lesson here, as always … wait to draft a quarterback. 

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EVAN LAZAR—QB: Kirk Cousins; RB: Kenyan Drake, Sony Michel; WR: Odell Beckham Jr., Michael Thomas; TE: George Kittle; FLEX: Stefon Diggs; DST: Ravens; K: Dan Bailey; BENCH: Sammy Watkins, Tarik Cohen, Nick Chubb

I didn't go into the draft with a zero-running-back strategy, but I was happy to sit back and take three of the game’s best wide receivers with my first three selections. From there, I had to rethink my running back strategy with most of the top picks off the board. I went with the safest remaining running back in Drake and then some high-upside options for my RB2 spot (Michel, Cohen, and Chubb). With the tenth pick in the first round, I knew I’d have to wait and see who fell to me, and I was more than happy to land a one-two punch of Beckham and Thomas.

GABRIEL BAUMGAERTNER—QB: Drew Brees; RB: Alvin Kamara, Derrius Guice; WR: Keenan Allen, Josh Gordon; TE: Trey Burton; FLEX: Robert Woods; DST: Seahawks; K: Adam Vinatieri; BENCH: Jamison Crowder, DeSean Jackson, Mitchell Trubisky

I’ve got speed to burn, baby. I’m taking significant gambles in rounds three and four by taking the hardly dependable Gordon and Fortnite Fiend Guice, but I’ve got one of fantasy’s most versatile players in Kamara and the (still) unheralded Allen, who is maybe the most precise and complete receiver in football not named Antonio Brown. Brees may be due for a decline, but if that happens, I’ve got Trubisky, who was excellent in his brief stint starting for the Bears last year and is due for a second-year leap. The biggest problem with my team is I drafted one too many players from the same team … I’ll have some waiver wire work to do on weeks when the Saints and Washington are on bye weeks.

GARY GRAMLING—QB: Patrick Mahomes; RB: Melvin Gordon, Rashaad Penny; WR: DeAndre Hopkins, Amari Cooper; TE: Jimmy Graham; FLEX: DeVante Parker; DST: Panthers; K: Ka’imi Fairbairn; BENCH: Andrew Luck, Carlos Hyde, Isaiah Crowell

Wow, drafting 12th really is a terrible spot! I had my fingers crossed for Fournette (standard league scoring and all), but getting two high-floor vets allowed me to roll the dice in Rounds 3 and 4. Penny is the No. 2 rookie after Barkley. I’m not a big Cooper guy but I think if he's going to play primarily out of the slot he's back to 1,200-plus yards with the potential for 8-10 TDs. Ditto for Parker. (This is the definite possible breakout year for DeVante Parker. Maybe.) I'm also taking Luck and Mahomes in every league because they each provide potential top-three upside at the position and you've truly gone mad if you can't see that.

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