I joined the Texans by making J.J. Watt my first rookie pick

I have to admit I am like a small child in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory when it comes to making fantasy rookie NFL player picks.  It sends a sugary buzz up to my brain as I pour over the players I want to pick, and for that brief time slot every day I feel like a proper NFL GM.

I know the truth is its all nonsense, but selecting rookies in fantasy leagues where I manage a full squad of 50-55 players is one of the most fun things an NFL fan can be involved in.

Most of the fantasy football game leagues I am in have exclusive rookie player drafts AFTER the real NFL draft, but two leagues I am in (UFL – Utah Football League and the NFL – Not Quite Football League) both conduct the first three rounds of their rookie drafts a week BEFORE the real NFL draft.

This mean you really do become a fully fledged GM as you don’t know which NFL team your drafted player will end up playing for.

In the UFL I had 5 picks in the top 61 (#7, #21 from trade, # 27, #41 from trade, and #61) . Bearing in mind I made all 5 picks a week before the 2011 NFL Draft here are the picks I made…..

#7 – J.J. Watt DE Wisconsin (went to Texans Round 1 #11)
#21 –  Jimmy Smith CB Colorado (went to Ravens Round 1 #27)
#27 –  Corey Liuget DT Illinois (went to Chargers Round 1 #18)
#41 – Phil Taylor DT Baylor (went to Browns Round 1 #21)
#61 – Christian Ponder QB Florida State (went to Vikings Round 1 #12)

So there it was – All 5 of my picks went in the first round of the real NFL Draft 7 days later.  Perhaps the biggest shock was that I managed to get Christian Ponder at #61.

I actually was primed to pick Jonathan Baldwin the Pitt WR at #61 but I made a quick double check on my cheat sheet and then checked the first 60 picks made and realised no-one had pulled the trigger on Ponder.

Yes the Vikings needed a new QB but many so called ‘experts’ didn’t see Ponder getting selected at #12. Their hand was forced after Jake Locker went at #8 to the Titans and then Blaine Gabbert shockingly was selected at #10 by the Jaguars.

I know defensive tackles are not ‘sexy’ picks but my team needed defensive help everywhere. I think getting  Phil Taylor 20 picks later than when he was actually drafted was good value.

What do you people think – how would you have drafted?

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