We have some interesting names coming off the board in this 10-team standard scoring league mock draft, and three of them involve the New England Patriots.
Tom Brady surprisingly went off the board in the fifth round and I still expect him to fall closer to the seventh or eighth round in most drafts through August and September.
One Patriot who could see his value rise by September is tight end Rob Gronkowski, but that will depend on how he recovers from back surgery this past June. Gronkowski is the top tight end for fantasy leagues when healthy and Brady’s top option in the red zone.
If he has a chance to suit up in September, he’s probably worth a third-round selection but for now consider the fifth round fair value, as he may not return until some time in October.
41. Cam Newton
Don’t be the guy who takes Newton over Peyton Manning. This past year's draft class was one of the deeper groups I can remember at the receiver position and Carolina basically sat on their hands and did nothing to help Newton.
If anything should happen to Steve Smith the Panthers would be in a horrible situation in terms of the passing game.
42. Reggie Wayne
With young emerging talent developing around Wayne, I’m not sure the veteran will catch over 100 passes like he did in Andrew Luck’s rookie season. Still, now that Luck is another year older we should see the Colts star quarterback improve on his passing touchdowns and Wayne should threaten for around eight on the season.
43. Peyton Manning
With Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and a respectable offensive line in Denver, you know Manning is going to have another terrific season. Expect Manning to win another MVP trophy as the best regular season quarterback in NFL history.
44. Rob Gronkowski
Until we hear that Gronkowski has a chance to play early in the season, the fifth round is about the right spot to take a chance on the ultra-talented tight end. Gronkowski is the best option at his position when healthy and is it wouldn't surprise me if he reaches double-digit touchdowns, even if he only plays in ten games.
45. Le'Veon Bell
We need to keep a close eye on the Steelers' running back situation this summer. Bell should be the favorite to win the starting job, but he is a rookie so it will be important to hear if he’s running with the first team and playing well in the preseason.
46. Dwayne Bowe
With Andy Reid and Alex Smith in town Dwayne Bowe suddenly finds himself back in the top 20 receivers for fantasy leagues.
47. Jordy Nelson
Health has been a problem for Nelson and is part of the reason we are seeing Randall Cobb go off the board before him in mock drafts. That doesn't mean Nelson can’t post big numbers as he was one of the better fantasy receivers just two years ago.
48. Wes Welker -
Welker may not reach 100 receptions in Denver, but he will be an active part of the Broncos offense. A durable player, expect Welker to start on your team every week and produce consistent start-worthy numbers.
What Round Would You Take Tom Brady?
49. Tom Brady -
I’m surprised that Brady is still going this early with all the options he’s lost in the passing game. Don’t take Brady this point, rather look to him as a seventh- or eighth-round pick instead.
50. Chris Ivory -
Don’t expect Ivory to stay healthy in New York as staying on the field was an issue in a limited role back in New Orleans. When active for game day, Ivory will produce like a RB2 in standard scoring leagues as the Jets will lean on the running game on offense.