Last year I represented our fair team in an event on the Mocking the Draft SB page. It was a full NFL draft with a clock and trades between GMs. I took Buddy Nixs chair and a year later I have some retrospective on the event.
#8 OT Jonathan Martin(actually taken 2nd round #42)
While Martin was one hell of a reach, I pulled the trigger on what I judged to be our biggest need. He started all 16 games for the fins and managed to do a good job in his rookie season. Ryan Tannehill was kept upright and allowed to make plays on a lack luster roster. Is he better than Cordy Glenn, cant say. However I still think this was a great choice. Consider this, I passed over Justin Blackmon. A player who had a quarter of his season yardage in 1 game
#41 QB Brock Osweiller (actually taken 2nd round #57)
I still like this pick. Osweiller is a QB that needs time to mature, but I still think hes a starting level QB and will be beautifully takeover once Peyton Manning finally hangs it up. I really think his career might be longer and better than RG3s once he gets his shot.
Traded up to #66 WR Brian Quick (actually taken 2nd round #33)
During a run on larger, downfield WRs, I decided to pull off a trade for one of the last ones. Brian Quick. Quick managed just 15 yards and 2TDs in 15 games, however he still has all the tools to become what he can be. A Calvin Johnson/TO type, go up and get the ball downfield WR. Not worth trading the future away for, but a ton of potential. Think of it as the Marcus Easly problem.
Traded up for #77 Trumaine Johnson(actually taken 3rd round #65)
Johnson was the last player I targeted. I traded all of Buffalos late round picks to get back into the 4th and get him. He was exactly the kind of CB teams drool over. Ideal speed and size. After 16 games and 0 starts he racked up 29 tackles and 2 picks. (Stephon Gilmore managed 52 tackles and 1 pick as a starter. Morris Claiborne managed just 43 tackles and 1 pick for the Cowboys)
Looking back, I was trade happy. Maybe I had been deprived of Buffalo movement for so long I had to move up. Maybe I wasnt familiar enough with the late rounds to feel comfortable making picks. Maybe I got my mind set on specific players rather than letting the BPA fall to me. Whatever the reason, I had a REALLY short draft. I targeted the teams 4 biggest needs and actively pursued the players I felt best filled those needs. After a year, I managed 1 actual starter out of the bunch, Buddy Nix managed 3(Gilmore, Glenn and Bradham). I guess thats why hes a professional. One thing I did notice is that my 3rd and 4th round trades were still WELL after the real teams took them. So in 1 respect, I did manage to hold off on lesser known players more than the average GM. In the end, I wish I had kept something around for the late rounds, but I got what I needed and got out. Only time will tell if my draft is boom or bust(probably bust, I aint no Polian!)
Remember. The exercise was not to be realistic(I think we had 30+ trades in the first 2 rounds)but to do what YOU thought would make the team succeed. I had fun, I suppose thats all that really matters