Pre-Combine, 5-Round, 12-Team Fantasy Football Mock Draft

It’s mock draft season around the NFL. Draftniks all around are putting out their first round mocks and writers are trying to project what their team will do at their given draft position. With the NFL Combine just around the corner, let’s see what things look like now. I know a lot will change between now and summer, but it is mock draft season after all, so here’s my first 2017 five-round fantasy football mock draft.

We’re going with 12 teams for this five-round fantasy football mock draft, and I’m the manager for all 12 teams. I didn’t just rank the players, I wanted to construct teams. So if I went RB-RB in the first two rounds, odds are I went with a WR in the third. Or if I drafted WR-WR-WR in the first three, I likely went with a RB in the fourth.

Let me know you think @john9williams on Twitter or in the comments below the article.

Pre-Combine, 5-Round, 12-Team Fantasy Football Mock Draft - Le'Veon Bell
RB Le’Veon Bell – Photo by Justin K. Aller / Getty Images

Round 1 Fantasy Football Mock Draft

1.01  Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys (RB1)
1.02  Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (RB2)
1.03  David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals (RB3)
1.04  Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (WR1)
1.05  Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants (WR2)
1.06  Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons (WR3)
1.07  Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (WR4)
1.08  A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals, (WR5)
1.09  LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills (RB4)
1.10  Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers (RB5)
1.11  Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys (WR6)
1.12  Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons (RB6)

Round 1 Mock Draft Notes

– Arguing about the top back heading into 2017 fantasy football drafts is like arguing about the best Rocky movie — unless you say Rocky V or Rocky Balboa, they are all worthy of being viewed as the best. Thus is the case with Ezekiel Elliott, Le’Veon Bell, and David Johnson.

I can see an argument made for each of the top three backs going 1.01, but at the moment I’m leaning toward Ezekiel Elliott. He is the only running back that carried the ball more than 300 times in 2016 and has an opportunity to see his passing game targets increase.

I’m not sure the other two can maintain their ridiculously high touch rates from 2016…

– Until Antonio Brown has a bad season (which may be never), he stays the WR1. Odell Beckham Jr. is closing in on him, but it’s Brown for me.

LeSean McCoy may be leaving Buffalo (as was alluded to in a tweet he sent the other day), and even if he does, he will still be a very effective back, wherever he goes.

– A lot will be made of Melvin Gordon’s 3.9 yards-per-carry, but don’t ignore the fact that he touched the ball more than 20 times a game before going out with an injury and averaged a touchdown a game.

Mike Evans led the league in targets and was tied for second in touchdowns. He may not lead the league in targets again, but his touchdown numbers aren’t going anywhere. He’s the man in that passing game and Jameis Winston is only going to get better.

– Over Devonta Freeman’s last two seasons he’s averaged more than 100 yards-per-game and 11 touchdowns per season. He’s a very underrated running back with that resume; don’t let Tevin Coleman scare you away from RB1 production.

Pre-Combine, 5-Round, 12-Team Fantasy Football Mock Draft - Jordy Nelson
WR Jordy Nelson – Benny Sieu – USA TODAY Sports

Round 2 Fantasy Football Mock Draft

2.01  Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears (RB7)
2.02  Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers (WR7)
2.03  TY Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts (WR8)
2.04  DeMarco Murray, RB, Tennessee Titans (RB8)
2.05  Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams (RB9)
2.06  Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints (WR9)
2.07  DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans (WR10)
2.08  Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (WR11)
2.09  Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders (WR12)
2.10  Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers (RB10)
2.11  Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans (RB11)
2.12  Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins (RB12)

Round 2 Mock Draft Notes

Jordan Howard produced top-10 RB numbers in a very bad offense, dare I say as bad as the Los Angeles Rams. The Chicago Bears have a really good offensive line; you can read more about Howard here.

Jordy Nelson led all wide receivers in standard scoring in 2016, if you can draft him in the second round, you should feel quite satisfied with that.

– I think we can say with confidence that DeMarco Murray likes running in one-cut power running schemes.

Michael Thomas has a much higher cost than Brandin Cooks in 2017 redrafts, but with a full offseason program, we should see his production increase.

– I’m not completely out on DeAndre Hopkins or Allen Robinson in 2017. With a marginal improvement in quarterback play, these two will be back knocking on the elite wide receiver door.

– In the second round, there isn’t a safer pick to me than TY Hilton; 4 straight seasons with 1,000 yards. He only missed one game in the last three seasons, and led the league in 2016. He’s really good.

– I’ve not been a big believer in Carlos Hyde, but if what Kyle Shanahan did with Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman is any indication, we might be on the verge of the Hyde breakout.

– Conversely, I’m not sold on Jay Ajayi yet. I need to see a lot more consistency from him.

Pre-Combine, 5-Round, 12-Team Fantasy Football Mock Draft - Jordan Reed
TE Jordan Reed – Tommy Gilligan – USA TODAY Sports

Round 3 Fantasy Football Mock Draft

3.01  Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks (WR13)
3.02  Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers (WR14)
3.03  Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints (WR 15)
3.04  Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots (TE1)
3.05  C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos (RB13)
3.06  Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills (WR16)
3.07  Alshon Jeffrey, WR, Chicago Bears (WR17)
3.08  Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers (WR18)
3.09  Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos (WR19)
3.10  Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs (TE2)
3.11  Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots (WR20)
3.12  Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins (TE3)

Round 3 Mock Draft Notes

Doug Baldwin is a really good receiver to get at the top of the third round. He always plays and is capable of putting up WR1 numbers throughout a season. In a more pass-heavy offense, we’d be looking at him in a similar light to TY Hilton.

Brandin Cooks‘ value in the third round might make him a more interesting draft target than Michael Thomas in the second round.

Rob Gronkowski’s value won’t be at the back end of the first round this year, and for me anything more than a third round pick for him is too rich.

Keenan Allen and Alshon Jeffrey have a ton of value based on what they can do when they are on the field, the problem is keeping them on the field. They are both players capable of finishing as WR1s if they play a full 16 games.

Travis Kelce and Jordan Reed at the back half of the third round have a lot more intrigue to me than some of the WRs or RBs available.

Pre-Combine, 5-Round, 12-Team Fantasy Football Mock Draft - Stefon Diggs
WR Stefon Diggs

Round 4 Fantasy Football Mock Draft

4.01  Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins (WR21)
4.02  Spencer Ware, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (RB14)
4.03  Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders (WR22)
4.04  Stefon Diggs. WR, Minnesota Vikings (WR23)
4.05  Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos (WR24)
4.06  Rob Kelley, RB, Washington Redskins (RB15)
4.07  Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers (RB16)
4.08  Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers (QB1)
4.09  Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals (WR25)
4.10  Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts (WR26)
4.11  Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions (WR27)
4.12  Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers (TE4)

Round 4 Mock Draft Notes

Jarvis Landry is a PPR machine, but even in standard formats, he is a really good player. He’s a really good player in the fourth, and with better touchdown numbers, he’d be drafted a couple of rounds higher.

Spencer Ware is going to be a curious case all off-season. There is no telling what Kansas City does at the running back position, but if they don’t do anything, I get the feeling he’s the next man to carry the load for Kansas City. Jamaal Charles being released helps Ware’s case.

Michael Crabtree outscored Amari Cooper in total points and in points-per-game in 2016, he may be the more valuable pick up in the fourth round.

Rob Kelley is a back that could see his value fall tremendously based on what Washington does in the draft.

– Keep me away from Eddie Lacy. I’ve had my heart broken way too much by the big man.

Aaron Rodgers is my first quarterback off the board because Green Bay isn’t and won’t be shy about letting their best player throw the ball a ton.

– Until Larry Fitzgerald stops producing 100-catch seasons, I’m gonna keep drafting him in the first five rounds.

– What are we to make of Donte Moncrief? He catches a ton of touchdowns, but there isn’t a lot else to love about him. If he can improve in other areas of the field, he would be a pretty solid pickup in the fourth round.

Pre-Combine, 5-Round, 12-Team Fantasy Football Mock Draft - Andrew Luck
QB Andrew Luck – Photo by Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Round 5 Fantasy Football Mock Draft

5.01  Brandon Marshall, WR, New York Jets (WR28)
5.02  Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (QB2)
5.03  Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts (QB3)
5.04  LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots (RB17)
5.05  Thomas Rawls, RB, Seattle Seahawks (RB18)
5.06  Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots (QB4)
5.07  Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders (RB18)
5.08  Jeremy Hill, RB, Cinncinati Bengals (RB19)
5.09  Terrelle Pryor, WR, Cleveland Browns (WR29)
5.10  Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons (RB20)
5.11  Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns (RB21)
5.12  Eric Decker, WR, New York Jets (WR30)

Round 5 Mock Draft Notes

– I’m seeing a lot of places and people who have Eric Decker ranked in front of Brandon Marshall. I’m not holding 2016 against any New York Jets wide receiver, and therefore still see Marshall as the one to own here.

– The running backs here get awfully iffy, as each has some question marks for sure. Of the bunch, I like Thomas Rawls the best, though there is a possibility that C.J. Prosise takes some of his touches.

Isaiah Crowell if back in Cleveland (he’s a restricted free agent) will be productive once again running behind a very underrated offensive line.

What do you think?


Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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