This "perfect" draft is based on NFL.com's standard 10-team leagues with a basic (non-PPR) scoring system that rewards four points for touchdown passes and six points for all other touchdowns scored. Starting lineups include one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, one flex position (RB/WR), one tight end, one kicker and one defense and special teams unit.
Round 1, Pick No. 6 - Tom Brady, QB, Patriots: This is going to be a tough position to be in. There's no way Aaron Rodgers is going to last until the sixth pick. And the top running backs like LeSean McCoy, Arian Foster and Ray Rice figure to be gone, too. This is going to be a tough call. I'm assuming Drew Brees goes at No. 5 (because people hate Brady and the Patriots). So I'd be happy to take Brady in this spot. If Brady goes No. 5, then I would seriously go Calvin Johnson. But I hope it doesn't come to that.
Round 2, Pick No. 15 - Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seahawks:Saints TE Jimmy Graham would be a fun idea, here. But I'm not going to start my team going QB and TE. So I'm going to take a bit of a risk here with Lynch because he already got his big-money deal. And there are two games against San Francisco where his matchup is terrible. But I kind of like the way Pete Carroll keeps players motivated, so I feel like I'm getting a good value here. If Larry Fitzgerald slips, however, he wouldn't get past me here.
Round 3, Pick No. 26 - DeMarco Murray, RB, Cowboys: I love the talent of Murray and somebody I would have considered in the second round. I'm making a bit of an assumption, thinking guys will fear his injury status, so in a perfect world (which is what we are doing here), I love Murray in this spot. The downfall here is that I've left myself in a hole at receiver and will need to do some work. Plus, I'm going to need a pretty solid backup at running back. But I have a trick up my sleeve for that.
Round 4, Pick No. 35 - Miles Austin, WR, Cowboys: Yes! I don't know why I'm cheering a pick I've made in an imaginary, perfect draft. But doing the research, it looks like Austin will be available in the fourth round. I love him to have a bounce-back season for the Cowboys, and recapture some of those numbers he yielded to Laurent Robinson in 2011. I don't know how I feel about having multiple Cowboys, especially when I'm really high on Jason Witten.
Round 5, Pick No. 46 - Brandon Lloyd, WR, Patriots: I'm really not enamored with Lloyd this season, but if he's still available here in round five, I'm going to jump all over him. He's going to be inconsistent and you have to know that. But he's going to give me double points with Brady and I should be sitting pretty good here.
Round 6, Pick No. 55 - Eric Decker, WR, Broncos: I really love this pick. And again, I know this is an imaginary draft I'm doing, but I've seen Decker going middle of the sixth round. He'll start the season as my third receiver, but it wouldn't surprise me to have him score more points than Lloyd. And really, if Lloyd is gone before I can draft him in the fifth round, I probably make this move a round earlier. I can tell you, I would really be sweating this one out.
Round 7, Pick No. 66 - Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts: Now I'm just piling on. Wayne will be a great ADP steal, and if your league allows a flex spot, I'm feeling rather confident about this pick. Wayne is going to have a similar bounce-back to what Steve Smith had last with Cam Newton. If Wayne is not in this spot, this is a perfect chance to draft Bobby Meachem of the Chargers who is going to have a really good season.
Round 8, Pick No. 75 - Michael Bush, RB, Bears: This is where I jump in to take my third running back. I feel like I'm getting too cute here, because I would like to get the BenJarvus Green-Ellis at this point. The Law Firm might be available here, and if he is, I would certainly grab him right here (making him an ADP machine). But I would imagine Bush is available in the eighth round. If both of those guys are gone, I go with my tight end and pick Jacob Tamme.
Round 9, Pick No. 86 - Greg Little, WR, Browns: I'm pretty pleased with my lineup so far. I could use a tight end, but I have my ideal pick available to me in a few rounds. I would go with Jay Cutler if he was still available at this spot (doubt it), but I play with way too many Bears fans for that to happen. Or maybe it would make it more likely to happen. That said, I like the sleeper appeal of Little who did really well last season and if Brandon Weeden is ready to go, this could be a nice steal here.
Round 10, Pick No. 95 - Josh Freeman, QB, Buccaneers: This pick is likely a round too early. Maybe even two rounds too early, but I feel pretty good about Freeman in 2012. The Buccaneers are one of the picks to click, and Freeman should benefit. Last year was disappointing from Freeman, but one bright spot would be his four rushing touchdowns. He might even serve as trade-bait if he improves this year.
Round 11, Pick No. 106 - Coby Fleener, TE, Colts: All right, time to finally fire in on Fleener. I do fear the buzz for Fleener will grow and inflate his draft stock as the summer goes on. So if we do this exercise in a few months, the Freeman and Fleener picks might be flip-flopped because really, both of these guys should be available in these later rounds. But watch, Fleener is going to have a good year with Andy Luck. If Fleener goes, Jared Cook and Jermaine Gresham are my backup plans.
Round 12, Pick No. 115 - LaMichael James, RB, 49ers: I'm drafting for potential here. This might even be a reach. But look, you know what you're getting from Brandon Jacobs or Pierre Thomas (who should both be available), so why bother? Do you see either one of those guys having a breakout year? James could end up playing a Darren Sproles-type role with the 49ers, so he's a perfect guy to take a chance on in this spot. Jacquizz Rodgers is probably long gone by Round 12, but I would take him over James if he was available.
Round 13, Pick No. 126 - Danny Amendola, WR, Rams: Don't sleep on this guy because of his injury last year. He had a triceps injury; it wasn't like he had his knee rebuilt. So feel good about him. Sam Bradford is a sleeper quarterback I like, too. If I miss on Freeman, Bradford is a guy I would look to add in these later rounds, too. Kendall Wright and Austin Collie are options here, too.
Round 14, Pick No. 135 - Arizona Cardinals defense: I really don't care who my defense is at this point. People are likely taken some of the big-name defenses. But NFL.com leagues require it, so I'm taking the Cardinals because of the return yardage of Patrick Peterson. If you play in a league where you aren't required to take a defense or kicker in the draft, look at Emmanuel Sanders.
Round 15, Pick No. 146 - Matt Prater, K, Broncos: Again, I don't care about my kicker, either. So how about Matt Prater? He was pretty good and Peyton Manning should lead the Broncos to enough points, right? So I'd go with him. Doug Baldwin would be a nice pick if you don't have to fill your roster with kickers or defense.