Dec 12, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos outside linebacker
(58) during the second quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Every NFL fan has the dream of taking over an NFL franchise and building it the way they want. Getting the players they want in the schemes they want is the ultimate fantasy football.
I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in the #PSRWP, a Twitter mock draft featuring a group of NFL writers who are redrafting the NFL from scratch to create the best teams possible.
As of the time of writing this article, two rounds are in the books, so I wanted to share my thoughts on the first two times through the draft order, and discuss the plans for my team.
(To follow along with the draft, you can follow the hashtag #PSRWP on Twitter, or go to this link.)
My Team So Far
In the first round, I had the 12th selection, and of the 11 picks ahead of me, nine were quarterbacks. Other than the old, reliable options (Peyton Manning and Tom Brady), every quarterback I felt comfortable with was gone. Matt Ryan went two picks ahead of me, and he was the last young QB I would have taken (Luck, Wilson and Newton being the others).
So since the other teams in the draft were stacking up on great quarterbacks, I decided to go anti-quarterback with my first pick and select Von Miller. Yes, he’s coming off of an ACL and he is also indeed a step away from a long suspension thanks to his drug program status, but if he stays out of trouble, he’s the one player who makes the biggest impact on defense in the NFL, apart from possibly J.J. Watt, who was already taken.
Selecting Miller gave me complete flexibility with my formation and scheme on defense, something that I felt was valuable as I didn’t pick again until outside of the top-50.
To compliment Miller, my next pick was Michael Bennett. Seeing the way he was able to adapt to the Tampa defense and the Seattle defense won me over on a player I previously underrated. He can play inside and out, and is incredibly disruptive against the run and pass. He’ll be a perfect fit in this defense, as he can play opposite of Miller, or kick inside and provide interior pass rush to help make Miller’s job easier.
Obviously my offense won’t be as good as some other teams, but as a Buccaneer fan, I strongly believe in defense, as I’ve seen it work not only for my favorite team, but for other teams over the past 20 years.
Buccaneers in the #PSRWP
Through the first 64 picks, there were a surprising three Buccaneers to go off the board. I admit that I expected a Buccaneer or two to be snubbed, but these writers showed the Bucs’ superstars their proper respect.
The first Buccaneer off the board was Gerald McCoy at pick 27. In a league where 26 teams just had a chance to take a better quarterback, it’s incredibly wise to get a QB’s worst nightmare: an interior pass rusher.
And the third Buccaneer selected was Lavonte David, who went with the 13th pick of the second round. David was selected by Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated, who paired him with Robert Quinn to create my favorite team so far in this draft.
Random Thoughts on the Best and Worst Teams
As I stated above, I believe that Chris Burke is off to the best start in this draft, as his defense has a top-three pass rusher and a top-three linebacker in Quinn and David. Other teams I like at this point include Dylan Bishop’s team, which includes Patrick Peterson and Muhammad Wilkerson, as well as Sigmund Bloom of Football Guys, who has Richard Sherman and Justin Houston.
In an attempt to not be too harsh, I’ll say that one of my “less preferred” teams of the mock so far is the team that features Andy Dalton and Ben Roethlisberger, as I don’t believe either quarterback is that great, and one team certainly doesn’t need both. I also am not a fan of the two teams that started their draft with a running back, although both drafters followed up their running back picks with great second round choices. The team with Adrian Peterson added Joe Thomas, while the team with LeSean McCoy added Greg Hardy in the second round.
I will continue to provide my thoughts and updates from this draft, and I encourage you to follow along and leave comments on what you think of this fascinating mock draft.