As I was growing up, I don’t recall getting a ton of advice from my parents. One piece that I remember is “go with your first instinct”.
When I lucked into the 1.02 rookie pick, I knew it was an opportunity. It was all well and good that I converted Ben Rothlisberger into two first-round rookie picks. If I blew the picks, as the Redskins blew all the picks they got for Ricky Williams, it wouldn’t matter. With last year’s 1.08 pick I took Ray Rice. The verdict is not complete for him yet.
Two years ago I had the number one pick in my college draft. I was about to trade the pick to an owner who wanted freshman sensation Noel Devine. Instead I read on a redshirt freshman wideout for Texas Tech who was dominating. If it wasn’t for academic issues, he would have played as a true freshman. That pick turned into two-time Biletnikoff winner Michael Crabtree.
While Crabtree dominated the Big 12, a foot injury kept him from working out at all prior to the draft. Perhaps that helped him. All the pre-draft hoopla seems to do is confuse issues. Players who didn’t produce in college have great measureables and skyrocket. Players who were All-Americans and Heisman finalists become undrafted free agents due to the results of a tape measure or a stopwatch.
The number two rookie pick almost always goes to a running back. Calvin Johnson went 1.02 in our league a couple of years ago. He was clearly the best player available. Larry Fitzgerald was as heralded when he left school and he was a 1.05 rookie pick, taken behind such luminaries as Julius Jones (by me) and Tatum Bell (owner name changed to protect the innocent).
After studying the other players briefly, it was obvious that Crabtree was the pick. Still, I faltered. I only have two starting-caliber running backs, and Marion Barber is injury-prone. I tried to trade the pick. Sadly, the 1.02 has such a high perceived value that I couldn’t get what I thought was equal value. Actually a lot of the offers were good. I wanted to “win” the trade, and overwhelmingly so. Sadly, the owners of z34 are not that desperate.
In the end I took the player I wanted all along. Crabtree will struggle at first, I think, but in time, he’ll be a star. Either way I’m going to write about it.
Here’s a quick lesson on being thorough. There are three so-called potential stud safeties in this rookie draft. William Moore, Patrick Chung, and Louis Delmas are the guys. I wanted to get one of them in z17. When my fifth round pick came up, I searched under the “S” position. Delmas wasn’t there. Crap. There goes the well thought out plans of men. I started researching other positions. It was a bunch of not much. Who stole my safety? I went to the league draft page and searched under “Delmas”. What do you know, he had not been selected. I went back into the draft page, searched the full list, and found Delmas listed as a cornerback. Thanks, MFL. I got my man. In four years I’m either going to say “wow, that was the All-Pro I snagged in the fifth round” or “wasn’t that the safety listed as corner? What a bust.” There is no in-between in fantasy football.