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Mock Draft Monday: Getting out of your comfort zone

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Mock drafts. You know 'em. You love 'em. You probably do too many of them this time of year. But with actual football still being several months away, what's a fantasy football junkie to do? Well ... more mock drafts, obviously.

But what's the point of this exercise but to see how everyone else is doing it? None. There is none point. Good thing for you all out there that we're here to help with our weekly #MockDraftMonday series. Good thing for me that I get to go first, so I can set the rules of engagement for this. At least I think it's a good thing.

Let's get the particulars out of the way. This was a 12-team, PPR mock draft. I was in the third slot. Want to know anything else? Hit me up on the Twitter machine.

In plenty of mock drafts, I've been all about taking a running back in the third slot. For this one, I went a little different by going with Antonio Brown over Le'Veon Bell or David Johnson. Of course, there's no real surprise that a PPR mock would have four receivers in the first round. When you add Keenan Allen and Julio Jones to start Round 2, you're looking at six wideouts in the first 14 picks.

I feel like I got a little lucky in Rounds 2-3. I had targeted Jerick McKinnon in that round, knowing I needed to get a solid RB1 with my second pick. To my surprise, Devonta Freeman fell right into my lap. I was able to grab him and still had McKinnon waiting for me when it came back around in the third frame. At this point, I was feeling myself.

Two of the backs that were taken in the third round give me indigestion -- Joe Mixon and Derrick Henry. The crazy part is that they were two backs that I loved last season. But it looks like Giovani Bernard still has a definite role in Cincy while Dion Lewis threatens to muck up Henry's opportunity in Tennessee.

There were a lot of picks in Round 4 that I really liked -- JuJu Smith-Schuster being chief among them. I wasn't quite as fortunate here since Allen Robinson, whom I had targeted, went one pick ahead of me while Sony Michel didn't quite make it back around the turn. Still, I was pretty pleased with Alshon Jeffery and Golden Tate in those slots.

I'm still baffled by the two tight ends taken at the turn in Rounds 5/6. I'm hoping the person was distracted by a really funny tweet or something bubbling over on the stove and had the second one auto-picked for them.

This was another spot where I strayed from my norm. I tend to wait until the ninth round or later to grab a quarterback but there weren't a lot of skill position players available that excited me at that spot, so I made Kirk Cousins the QB7. Following that with Chris Thompson as my RB3 in the seventh round? Yes, please.

Speaking of Round 7 RBs, Aaron Jones at the end of the frame could end up being a great value if he takes control of the Packers' backfield in training camp. By Round 8, everyone was speculation shopping. Duke Johnson and DeVante Parker might be key roster pieces or potential disappointments but taking a chance on them there doesn't feel wrong.

I've tended to wait until later to chase a tight end in most of the mocks I've done. As a result, I've had heavy shares of David Njoku this offseason. A lot of things are changing with the Browns offense but a young, athletic, pass-catching tight end is a joy forever. Here's hoping that this is the year The Chief ascends to fantasy power.

Because I was feeling so good about my roster, I decided to grab a defense early. This mock has been all about change and growth for me. My therapist would be proud. It's also something you can do when you're confident in the roster you're building and have a plan for the rest of the draft. That's a long way of saying ... Skol, Vikings!

(Though, in fairness, I was eyeing Allen Hurns in that spot but had him sniped from me two picks earlier.)

I'd be remiss not to mention a few picks I really loved in the 10th round. LeGarrette Blount could return ridiculous value in that spot. The same goes for Sterling Shepard, who could see expanded opportunity with a move to an outside receiver position. By the way ... Kelvin Benjamin at the end of Round 10? That's a major fall from fantasy grace after a Round 4 ADP last season.

There was plenty of value to be found in Round 11 with the Chargers, Eagles and Texans defenses all coming off the board. The Corey Clement selection could pay solid dividends if he indeed wrangles some touches away from Jay Ajayi this year.

Andrew Luck comes off the board starting Round 12! I'm not a fan of drafting two quarterbacks but if you're thinking about taking Luck late in your draft, it's mandatory that you have someone you can for sure count on in Week 1. As an aside, nine of the 12 teams in this mock drafted two quarterbacks. I can't tell you all what to do ... but don't do that. With the depth at the position and the fact that (in most leagues) you can only start one, those drafts spots are best saved for skill position players that can better help on a week-to-week basis.

I was all about grabbing Rishard Matthews late in the draft and the decision got a little easier when Kenny Stills went off the board (that Stills pick was solid, by the way). In Round 14, we had a slew of kickers. I had no plans to draft one, so I used the opportunity to draft for upside and took Kenny Golladay. Babytron, transform!

I finished things off with Bilal Powell though I wasn't completely in love with the pick. I'd toyed with taking Kalen Ballage in that spot but instead went with the guy who currently has an easier path toward a decent-sized workload. I might feel differently about that six weeks from now.

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com and a man who is really hoping that Los Angeles can skip that whole "June Gloom" thing and just go right to actual summer. Send him your local weather takes via Twitter @MarcasG. If you read all of that, congrats. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (marcasg9).

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