A pair of Philadelphia receivers go off the board in the sixth round of this 10-team mock draft. While the Eagles had a down year in 2011, expect them to come storming back as upgrades at key spots on defense will make an impact. Jeremy Maclin is a year removed from his illness, and DeSean Jackson seems to be playing well after he singed a new deal this offseason.
Both are firm WR3 additions in and have the upside to perform as solid WR2 in standard scoring leagues.
51. Antonio Gates
Can’t blame anyone for being a little hesitant to select Antonio Gates after his recent years of health problems. Still, I’m on board with the thinking that Gates will stay healthy as he’s already informed us the foot is almost back to 100 percent.
Norv Turner has backed Gates up, commenting on how good Gates has looked in OTAs. Expect a big year from the aging veteran as he still has Turner to set up mismatch opportunities and Rivers will target him as his first option.
52. Roy Helu
A breakout second half has made Roy Helu the favorite to start in Washington to begin the season. I would’ve liked Helu better if Tim Hightower wasn’t re-signed. If you’re willing to gamble on Mike Shanahan sticking with Helu, then it’s reasonable to him at this spot in your draft.
If you’re like me, you will pass on this price tag because of the likeliness of Shanahan switching to another running back at some point.
53. Brandon Lloyd
Going in the sixth round, Brandon Lloyd is a terrific value selection. If offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has been good for anything over recent years, it’s making Lloyd a solid fantasy play.
Now Lloyd will have one of the elite quarterbacks in the game throwing to him, and if you can snag Lloyd as a WR3, consider it a steal.
54. DeSean Jackson
I’m willing to believe DeSean Jackson will bounce back now that he’s signed a new contract. Perhaps conditioning was part of the problem, but I can’t blame owners for passing on him as it appeared he may have quite on his team at times.
Still, look for the Eagles to have a bounce-back year, and believe in Jackson as a solid WR3, especially in standard or performance leagues.
55. Jeremy Maclin
While Jeremy Maclin went just after Jackson in this mock draft, I look to Maclin to have a better year. It's hard to knock a guy for having what appeared to be a serious illness last offseason, as he missed camp time and lost fifteen pounds on his thin frame.
Maclin is looking good this offseason and has put on a little more muscle, so we should expect a big things. I like Maclin as a WR3 on draft day with WR2 production.
56. Shonn Greene
It's hard for me to admit this, but Shonn Greene is actually growing on me as a respectable pick in the sixth round. The Jets are clearly a run-first team, as Mark Sanchez is on the brink of losing his job to Tim Tebow.
Expect Tebow to have the job handed to him in-season, and he may get it before October. Yes, Tebow’s presence will hurt Greene for touchdown opportunities in the red zone, but Tebow brings his benefits.
Willis McGahee enjoyed success from opposing defenses focusing attention on Tebow as a run threat last year, and that will happen again in New York. If teams decide to use a spy on Tebow, it will mean one less defender is focused on Greene, thus helping to open lanes.
This is a heavy run-first team now, and Greene doesn’t have LaDainian Tomlinson as a threat for touches.
We're still waiting to hear any good news about Bilal Powell in camp, but if he fails to flash this summer, don’t look to anyone on this depth chart as a threat to work in a full-blown committee.
57. Aaron Hernandez
Look for Hernandez to remain as a joker tight end in the Patriots' offense as Rob Gronkowski works as more of the traditional inline option.
Hernandez is worth being one of the top-five tight ends off the board, but I’m not sure he will produce that high in standard scoring leagues. Still, he has upside in the Patriots' offense, and that is worth taking at this point in the draft.
58. Brandon Pettigrew
A better PPR option, Brandon Pettigrew will be good for up to 80 receptions again as Matthew Stafford’s security blanket in short to intermediate routes in the middle of the field.
59. Reggie Bush
The clock is ticking on how long Reggie Bush will remain healthy as he takes the starting job from Week 1. Daniel Thomas should be in the mix, but I like Lamar Miller as the eventual replacement as in Miami’s offense.
Miller’s skill set is built perfectly for the Dolphins' new zone blocking scheme, so keep his name in mind if you should draft Bush at this point.
60. Stevie Johnson
I'm not sure what to make of Stevie Johnson this year as he failed to have groin surgery until the spring. Johnson played with a groin problem for most of last year and will remain as the top option in the Bills' passing game.
Johnson is hurt by the Bills not having a coverage tilter on the opposite side of the field, but he should be a solid WR3 option this year.
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