Eight running backs and four wide receivers went off the board in the third round of our 12-team mock draft. Judging by ADP values, Trent Richardson was the top value pick in this round, going a full round lower than the norm.
Perhaps some are concerned by the recent news that the Browns may clean house in the organization after the team was sold last week. We’ve seen management issues spill over to the field before and while the Browns won’t be moving away this time, it has to be a little concerning if and when the Browns fall out of contention.
Still, the fanbase seems to be encouraged by the young talent they have on offense and defense, so if they show signs of improvement, coaching jobs should be secure.
As a 49ers fan, I’ve watched my team struggle to win (until last year) but one idea remained the same despite coaching changes and that was, “get Frank Gore the football.”
That should be the same in Cleveland with Richardson. Any coach in this league knows the talent this guy has and this offense is built to run through the rookie.
No matter what may or may not be going on in upper management, Richardson is still a worthy second-round pick.
25. Brandon Marshall (ADP 2.11)
A respectable third-round pick, I like Marshall better in PPR leagues at this point in the draft. Marshall is more of a possession receiver and in a standard league I like a receiver who can stretch the field.
Still, Marshall is a good bet for over 1,200 yards receiving, 10 touchdowns and will likely give you consistent production with Jay Cutler throwing him the football.
26. Trent Richardson (ADP 2.02)
A great pick at this point in the draft. As you can see by Richardson’s ADP number above, he’s going as an early second-round pick in most drafts. Landing him in the third round is a steal, so if you nab him up at this point consider yourself a lucky fantasy owner.
27. Marshawn Lynch (ADP 2.12)
Assuming Lynch is only suspended a few games for his recent DUI, this is a fair landing spot for the Seahawks feature back. The offense will run through Lynch and while he may have you pulling your hair out because of his off-field antics, his upside is an RB1 when active.
28. Ahmad Bradshaw (ADP 3.09)
Bradshaw opted to take an injection in his troublesome foot this offseason and it’s only a matter of time before he has problems again. With David Wilson flashing in camp, Bradshaw could lose his starting job at some point.
Expect Bradshaw to have a solid first half of the season. Trading for, or picking up Wilson by the end of October would be a wise move.
29. Wes Welker (ADP 3.06)
Another receiver I would like better in a PPR league at this value. No question Welker will threaten for over 100 receptions but in a standard scoring league you only get points for his yardage.
As for touchdowns, Welker should have at least seven, but his upside is capped because of other quality targets in the passing game.
30. Steven Jackson (ADP 2.09)
Look for Jeff Fisher to ride his veteran tail back for over 350 overall touches. Fisher has a history of overworking his starting backs and Jackson still has enough in the tank for one last top 10 finish.
The Rams may be one of the worst teams in football, but it’s not like their division has juggernaut offenses. Basically, if this team is up for playing like they did in 2010, Jackson shouldn’t have trouble delivering a quality RB2 stat line.
31. Greg Jennings (ADP 2.11)
After Jordy Nelson’s breakout season, it seems some have cooled off on viewing Greg Jennings as an elite receiver. Jennings is still the top man in Green Bay and don’t think Aaron Rodgers has forgotten.
32. Reggie Bush (ADP 4.09)
The Dolphins are ready to use a committee in the backfield as they plan on using Bush in the passing game more often. Bush likely had a career year in 2011, and while he’s earned a bigger role than his time with the Saints, it may not happen as the coaching staff opts to limit his touches to keep him fresh.
33. Darren Sproles (ADP 3.05)
Taking Sproles at this point is fair in a standard league, but I would opt for Isaac Redman. Sproles thrives off of the passing game, and not receiving his reception points really hurts in a standard scoring league.
34. Isaac Redman (ADP 5.02)
Quickly becoming one of my favorite breakout running backs for 2012, the table is set for Redman to go off. The Steelers are bringing a nasty, physical approach to the run-blocking in camp, and Redman is an ideal fit in this offense.
Don’t worry about Rashard Mendenhall. If Redman runs well, he will keep his job when the veteran comes back.
35. BenJarvus Green-Ellis (ADP 4.12)
Nothing exciting about Green-Ellis unless the Bengals decide to commit to him as a three-down back. That could happen as Cincinnati has a history of using one main bell cow in the running game.
36. A.J. Green (ADP 3.05)
One of the better receivers in the game already, Green is clearly a top-five receiver to target in standard scoring leagues. Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden does a terrific job moving Green around to create mismatch opportunities and help him out against press man coverage.
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