Mocking my mock drafting

Last weekend, I asked for your advice in a couple mock drafts I would be participating in. I’ve already mentioned I selected Kentwan Balmer in the MVN mock draft, so this post is about the 2008 FO reader mock draft. And in the first round there, I … selected Kentwan Balmer. I know, how shocking. Unlike the MVN mock, though, this meant passing on Limas Sweed. Yes, I really don’t like drafting 1st round wide receivers. Alas for Andrew’s hopes, Philip Merling went to the Redskins with the 21st overall pick. Also off the board, surprisingly, was Malcolm Kelly, whom the Bills took with the 23rd overall pick.
I ended up choosing Virginia Tech WR Eddie Royal in the second round, to provide some speed out wide. I’d been hoping for Houston wideout Donnie Avery, but the Buccaneers took him two slots ahead. Among the next few players selected, there are a couple intriguing names: USC TE Fred Davis, LSU WR Early Doucet, and NC State S DaJuan Morgan. Auburn DT Pat Sims might also have been a possibility had I not selected Balmer with the first round pick. I wasn’t thrilled with Royal as a pick, but I think he’s a reasonable gamble. Admittedly, part of the reason he’s so high is his return skills, which the Titans may not need so much because of the Chris Carr acquisition, but such is the price of speed.
With the third round pick, I was very happy to draft James Jones, DE, Eastern Michigan. For the entire 3rd round, I’d been hoping nobody took him before me, and my patience was rewarded. The only other person who tempted me was Auburn CB Patrick Lee, but I think CB is less of a position of immediate need.
One feature of the draft I didn’t partake in at all was all the trading. There were a couple reasons for this. First, it features too many trades, which in my opinion detracts from the realistic nature of the draft. Part of the reason I participated was to get an idea of what the draft will look like for Mike Reinfeldt and Jeff Fisher this weekend. Second, the place where I see the most value on the draft board is the 35-45 range. And, well, I was at work and busy when those picks were chosen. Not much chance to do anything there. Third, nobody was particularly interested in any of my picks. I was only offered one draft-the Bills GM offered me Lee Evans for the 2008 2nd and 3rd round picks, plus the 2009 2nd round selection. I turned that down for a couple reasons. First, I wanted to actually make those picks. Mock drafts are boring to participate in if you’re not making picks. Second, that’s three shots at potentially getting a one of your key players, and likely getting a decent contributor at a reasonable price for a couple years. While it’s maybe only a push in terms of the draft trade chart, I would have preferred to give up the 1st round pick for Evans, and he was eventually traded to San Francisco for the 29th overall pick.
As I mentioned, I think the best value comes in the first half of the second round. If the Titans are offered a trade like the one they made with the Texans in 2004 (27 for 40, 71, 103), I lean to taking that deal and using the additional picks to move up and get another pick in the top half of the second round. The most likely potential trading partner is the Falcons, who hold 3 2nd round picks, plus the 5th pick in the 3rd round, though of course any team in love with any player could work.