By Shea Carroll 

The newest addition to the Beat Writing Team, Shea Carroll, has jumped straight in at the deep end, penning an article that will promote discussion and light the fire in the belly of ‘debate’. We will have many a Mock Draft over the coming weeks, this being the first. Three writers are focusing on each conference, with others taking on the task of Mock Drafting the first round for all 21 franchises. These are based on Ryan Michaels’ weekly BIG BOARD and the extensive knowledge of the writers about goings on around the SFL. Well, I won’t delay you any further…take it away Shea!

Alaska Storm

The Storm will be the last team to pick in this season’s draft

Alaska’s pick no. = 21
Positions looking for: RB, Defensive players
Prediction: Jack Burton, RB/LB

The Storm produced one heck of a season, winning the first seed in the West, the second seed overall, and eventually becoming your Season 10 SFL Champions; and they did it with no contracted running back. Instead, they opted for a four-pronged receiving attack and chose a more passing-style offense. They only averaged 32 rushing yard per game, but that didn’t stop this electric offense. Seeing that this offense put up over 350 passing YPG, with a back who can stay active or a linebacker who can get solid numbers for this stout defense, and the last pick in the draft, they will have ease fitting Burton into a playoff-bound, championship-defending roster.

Las Vegas Fury

Vegas’ owner, Max Jackson, will be looking to make a splash early in the draft

Las Vegas’ pick no. = 3
Positions looking for: QB, DE, ILB, OLB, CB
Prediction: Thomas Ramen, QB

The Fury are a new team, with a new owner, one who turned around the Sharks after he became their OC. Max Jackson looked like lightning in a bottle for San Fran, but he had plans to make his own name. Seeing as they have a solid offensive coordinator, they would seem to be looking on the defensive end, but they have a gold strong safety on the team as well. As there are only 18 veteran QB’s, I would expect the Fury to snatch up a top signal-caller at the 3 spot, and I don’t see how Kody Hill isn’t the number one pick. They would pick the next best player, likely to be Thomas Ramen at this point. Having a top 3 pick is a blessing, and ‘close-to’ max silver rookie will be crucial to this growing team.

Sioux Falls Sparrows

Many expect Sioux Falls to address the hole left by Robert Redford, in the draft

Sioux Falls’ pick no. = 19
Positions looking for: RB, CB
Prediction: Markus Dunhill, RB

Sioux Falls had a successful season, making it all the way to the semi-finals before falling to the eventual champions, the Alaska Storm. One question on my mind is whether they will be able to get back there. Their former running back, Robert Redford, is listed as a free agent, and they relied on the 112-valued ball-carrier to push through the line with crucial trench battles that he most likely would win. Considering he played against powerhouse run defenses like St. Louis and OKC, he was a vital part of this playoff offense. This Ray Bentley-esque player will be missed dearly, as having a dual-threat over both passing and rushing is what won this team games. Considering they are on the back end of the draft, don’t expect too much value to drop, but getting a skill position will be easy to find amongst rookies looking to be a key role in Sioux Falls. This is where Marcus Dunhill comes in. Seeing there won’t be too many receivers or quarterbacks drafted, and there are 10 ball carriers on the big board, it only seems to fit that Sioux grabs a bronze running back instead of taking the chance in FA and ending up with a base copper.

Denver Nightwings

Jeremy Vega will want this draft to define him as a legit SFL owner. A quality ‘backer will go far towards proving that

Denver’s pick no. = 13
Positions looking for: DE, LB, CB
Prediction: Shaka Hall, LB

Denver is a weird situation. The Season 9 expansion Vaqueros owner resigns after just one season, and a man who went from scout to owner in a season is the new man in charge in a brand new city. To Jeremy Vega’s credit, he has taken on this challenge with full force, but he is untested. This team made the playoffs, finishing 7-5, but succumbed to a quick exit in the first round. If you look at the stats, this team was 16th in rushing YPG, a stat they will need to fix if they want to go far. Thankfully for Denver, their pick is early for the playoff teams, and right in line to land Shaka Hall, a top prospect in the ‘backer department, so they can go deeper without really costing much for a solid active rookie. Being the only team needing a linebacker on this list, there isn’t much competition for Denver to worry about taking the top guy at the position in the draft.

Vancouver Legion

Vancouver have been hit hard over the off-season. Their pass defense is where they should look to strengthen most

Vancouver’s pick no. = 9
Positions looking for: CB, SS, K, DT
Prediction: Achilles Frank, CB

The Vancouver Legion finished below expectations in Season 10 after going to the semi-finals as an expansion team in Season 9. If you are a fan, and are looking for a scapegoat, look no further than the Legion’s defense, specifically their pass defense. They were 17th in PPG, and 18th in YPG, Passing YPG and 3rd down conversion percentage. This defense needs to stop the pass, as this was one of two teams to fall to the worst team in the league last year, Dallas. At home no less. The benefits of Achilles Frank are simple. He’s the top cornerback, and no one else needs a solid player at that position more than the Legion, and if someone does, they are probably going to take J. W. Doyle, as he is open to any position and higher on the rankings. A kicker would just be a waste at pick number 9, and seeing as they never had a problem with the run game, ranking 2nd in the East in rushing YPG, the only answer is the secondary.

Mexico City Aztecs

The Aztecs have stayed solid in the off-season, not requiring any rookies to fill their roster

Mexico City’s pick no. = 15
Positions looking for: N/A
Prediction: N/A

Mexico City, after coming away from a solid playoff push, will be forfeiting their draft pick as their roster is full, according to the team owner.

San Francisco Sharks

The Sharks have stayed fairly quiet over the last few weeks, which makes them hard to predict. After last season’s build, expect something interesting to be flying under the radar

San Francisco’s pick no. = 11
Positions looking for: ?
Prediction: Tank Bennett, SS

San Francisco is coming off of a 5-7 season, not too shabby for a new sfl team, must have had a bittersweet moment when they found out that Max Jackson, their star strong safety and OC, had gotten his own expansion team. The release of Merrick Itera, their cornerback, will also leave a major hole in their struggling defense who finished 16th in passing YPG. Getting Tank Bennett is a steal, for as long as he is drafted, they can choose what part of the secondary he will fill. Securing his services will ‘a) relieve pressure off of the signing period’, and ‘b) make sure there is an active man left’. Although corners and strong safeties have lost some value, I am certain it would do the Sharks good to strengthen their secondary.

Thanks for reading everyone!! Stay active and stay tuned for more content to come soon!