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We have finally reached the end of the NFC Fantasy Football Helpers Draft Grades, and for our final set we travel out to the wild wild west. The Seahawks have dominated the NFC West as of late, winning the division 4 out of the last 5 seasons, and with the recent addition of Jimmy Graham, the Seahawks' offense might finally be take the next step into one of the better overall units in football.
On the other hand, the San Francisco 49ers had a complete disaster of an offseason. It started with the departure of Head Coach Jim Harbaugh to the University of Michigan who was replaced by defensive coordinator Jim Tomsula. Tomsula may very well be a very good coach but anytime you fire a coach, and deal with the roster turnover the 49ers are this offseason it is fair to expect the team to take a step back.
The Cardinals took the league by surprise last season starting the year off 9-0, but after starting quarterback Carson Palmer went down with a torn ACL, so did the Cadinals. With defensive mastermind Todd Bowles now in New York, and the loss of key defensive players like Antonio Cromartie the Cardinals could be in position to take a step back next season.
I feel like the Rams have been an up and coming team around the NFL for the last 5 years. Equipped with arguably the best defensive line in the NFL, the Rams have been unable to take the next step due to a stagnant offense. The hope around St. Louis is that the addition Nick Foles can add some stability to the quarterback position that has seen the likes of Austin Davis, Sam Bradford and Shaun Hill take snaps as the starting quarterback.
So enjoy the last of the NFC Fantasy Football Helpers draft grades for the NFC West:
1(24). D.J. Humphries OT/Florida
2(58). Markus Golden EDGE/Missouri
3(86). David Johnson RB/Northern Iowa
4(116). Rodney Gunter DT/Deleware State
5(158). Shaqulle Riddick EDGE/West Virginia
5(159). J.J. Nelson WR/UAB
7(256). Gerald Christian TE/Louisville
In the first round the Cardinals made it their objective to keep veteran quarterback Carson Palmer as comfortable as possible as he recovers from a torn ACL with the addition of Florida offensive tackle, D.J. Humphries. Although not the heralded name of Peat or Collins, Humphries burst late onto the NFL Draft scene due to his frame (6'5) and above average athletic ability at the combine. While Humphries projects better to the left side of the offensive line due to his dependency on finesse over power, the Cardinals signed veteran Jared Veldheer to a 5 year/$35 million extension last offseason, forcing Humphries to the right side of the line for the foreseeable future. While it may be an odd-fit at first Humphries should be able to add some stability to the offensive line that Pro Football Focus rated as a bottom-10 team in terms of pass-protection.
The player that in my opinion will make the biggest impact for the Cardinals during his rookie season is David Johnson, the Cardinals 3rd round pick out of Northern Iowa. There was a lot of talk last offseason that former 6th-round pick Andre Ellington would be the lead back for the Cardinals offense. Despite having the ability to make an impact in the running and passing game Ellington struggled as a lead back, averaging a mediocre 3.3 yards-per-carry, as well as dealing with a serious ankle injury. With Ellington failing to take the lead in the Cardinals backfield head coach Bruce Arians made it his goal to find a guy he feels can handle to pounding of a 16-game schedule.
Now insert David Johnson, the Cardinals 3rd round selection out of Northern Iowa (FCS) with the size and speed that make me believe that Ellington is in line for a reduction in carries sooner rather than later. Although Johnson played against lower competition than some draft prospects he possesses the frame (6'1", 232 lbs.), and speed (4.44) that have some NFL scouts believing that Johnson has the potential to be a 3-down running back at the NFL level. Aside from being physically gifted Johnson arguably has the most versatile game of any running back in the 2015 NFL Draft class. Along with posting 4,841 rushing yards during his college career Johnson also showed to be one of the most dynamic receivers at the running back position, posting career totals of of 141/1,734/14 during his time in the Panthers program.
The Cardinals draft was one that definitely looks better in the eyes of fans and the coaching staff than fantasy owners. The presence of pass rushers Missouri's Markus Golden and West Virginia's Shaq Riddick should help improve a pass rush that Pro Football ranked as the third-worst pass rush group in all of football. For a defense that is as aggressive and reliant on the blitz that the Cardinals are it is unacceptbale for for that defense to put up only 35.0 sacks, a number that ranks as the 9th fewest in football.
2(63). Frank Clark EDGE/Michigan
3(69). Tyler Lockett WR/Kansas State
4(130). Terry Poole OT/San Diego St.
4(134). Mark Glowinski OG/West Virginia
5(170). Tye Smith CB/Towson
6(209). Obum Gwacham EDGE/Oregon St.
6(214). Kristjan Sokoli EDGE/Buffalo
7(248). Ryan Murphy FS/Oregon State
With Richard Sherman and the rest of the LOB patrolling the skies in Seattle it is easy to overlook what the Seahawks from an offensive standpoint. With no true #1 receiver and a quarterback that is more of a "game-manager", in terms of his statistical output, at this point in his career the Seahawks offense has been hitched to the wagon of All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch. While having a running back of Lynch's caliber would be a major asset to any offense I believe the addition of Jimmy Graham has the potential to open up the Seahawks.
My favorite selection, and the pick that has any sort of fantasy relevance the Seahawks made came when the Seahawks traded the 95th, 112th, 167th, and 181st picks in the 2015 Draft to the Washington Redskins for the opportunity to draft Kansas State wide receiver Tyler Lockett. Despite the lack of prototypical size, and the hefty price tag it took to trade up, I believe Lockett has the opportunity to step in and be the impact wide receiver the Seahawks have been looking for in their passing game.
Back in March I profiled Lockett as part of the dynasty series, and if you had the chance to read that article you will know that I am very high on Lockett's long-term potential. Despite being slightly undersized (5'10') Lockett dominated Big XII competition on his way to becoming one of the top receivers in Kansas State history, setting 17 school records, including receptions, receiving yards, and touchdown receptions. Over the course of his final two seasons in Manhattan, Lockett finished over 180 receptions for 2,777 yards and 22 touchdown receptions. The 2,777 yards were the second highest total in college football over the last two years, trailing only Eastern Carolina's Justin Hardy (2,778).
Despite not having the massive frame that most #1 wide receivers in the NFL have, Lockett fits a skill-set similar to Antonio Brown and T.Y. Hilton that I believe will lead to immediate fantasy success. First and foremost Lockett is a phenomenal route-runner, using very little wasted motion getting in-and-out of breaks. While most scouts believe Hilton will be relegated to the slot due to his thin frame, Lockett does a great job using his quickness to get free from press-coverage.
While you will not see any fantasy production out of these players, the Seahawks clearly made it their objective to address their offensive line. All-pro center Max Unger was traded to the Saints in exchange for tight end Jimmy Graham, and guard James Carpenter signed a 4 year/$19 million deal with the New York Jets, leaving two massive holes along the Seahawks offensive line. Both of the Seahawks 4th round picks, Mark Flowinski and Terry Poole, should battle for the backup jobs, and could potentially see time during their rookie seasons if someone goes down with an injury.
San Francisco 49ers
1(17). Arik Armstead DT/Oregon
2(46). Jaquiski Tartt SS/Samford
3(79). Eli Harold EDGE/Virginia
4(117). Blake Bell TE/Oklahoma
4(126). Mike Davis RB/South Carolina
4(132). DeAndre Smelter WR/Georgia Tech
5(165). Bradley Pinion P/Clemson
6(190). Ian Silberman OT/Boston College
7(244). Trenton Brown OG/Florida
7(254). Rory Anderson TE/South Carolina
As I look at the 2015 draft class for the 49ers there is one word that comes to mind, potential. After a tumultuous offseason dealing with retirements, coaching changes, and a roster overhaul, the 49ers could be dealing with a "re-building" situation for the next couple seasons.
With the loss of linebackers Patrick Willis and Chris Borland and defensive tackle Justin Smith to retirement, the 49ers once stout defense is in need of a face lift on the defensive side of the football. The 49ers did a great job adding three players in Arik Armstead, Jaquiski Tartt, and Eli Harold that have the ability to step in and play meaningful snaps during their rookie seasons.
The most intriguing fantasy option out of the 49ers draft class is Georgia Tech wide receiver, DeAndre Smelter. Despite playing in a triple-option offense Smelter was able to flash traits that have some scouts comparing him to former Yellow Jacket wide receiver, Demariyus Thomas. Smelter tallied a 56/1,060/11 triple slash over the last two years at Georgia Tech, including 715 yards and 7 touchdowns last seasons in an offense that is dominated by a strong running game. From a physical standpoint Smelter has everything you look for in a starting wide receiver at the NFL level. Smelter has the size (6'2, 220 lbs) and speed to be a vertical option in the NFL, but I believe Smelter would make his greatest impact in an offense that implements West Coast principles that rely a WR's ability to make plays after the catch like the 49ers do.
When you flip on the tape of Smelter the first thing that stands out his explosiveness, both off the snap and in and out of breaks. The deterrent to playing in a triple-option offense in college is Smelter never got to refine the intricacies of being a wide receiver. Smelter is still incredibly raw in his route-running ability and will need to learn how to run a complete NFL route tree, but I believe there is a role for Smelter during his rookie season.
The next two players I feel fantasy owners need to keep their radar on are former Oklahoma TE Blake "Belldozer" Bell and South Carolina running back Mike Davis. Bell, a former short-yardage running quarterback, made the switch to becoming a full-time TE during his senior season and flashed some potential for the future. Although Bell lacks great downfield speed (4.9), Bell showed soft hands and the ability to play in-line as a traditional tight end and flex out in the slot as well. Although Bell will not serve any immediate fantasy impact due to the presence of veteran tight end Vernon Davis, he should provide some quality depth and could be an interesting target in Dynasty formats.
When Frank Gore left San Francisco for Indianapolis the thought was that second-year running back Carlos Hyde would be in line for a breakout sophomore. However, after the 49ers invested a 4th round pick on South Carolina running back Mike Davis it has me questioning whether Hyde will see the workload to reach high end fantasy production. Davis was lost in the crowd of talented running back class, but do not let confuse you, Davis can play. During Davis' time at South Carolina he proved to be a versatile option out of the backfield, posting a receiving slash of 70/755/2, to go with his impressive 454/2,440/22 rushing slash during his career. While Davis will still have to battle with the likes of Reggie Bush and Kendall Hunter to get on the field, I expect Davis to move up the depth chart during offseason workouts.
St. Louis Rams
1(10). Todd Gurley RB/Georgia
2(57). Rob Havenstein OT/Wisconsin
3(72). Jamon Brown OT/Louisville
3(89). Sean Mannion QB/Oregon State
4(119). Andrew Donnal OT/Iowa
6(201). Bud Sasser WR/Missouri
6(215). Cody Wichmann OG/Fresno State
7(224). Bryce Hager ILB/Baylor
7(227). Martin Ifedi EDGE/Memphis
Last year's 6th round pick Tre Mason showed flashes of being able to handle the bulk of the carries for the Rams offense, but in my opinion the addition of Georgia running back Todd Gurley gives the Rams one of the best young running back duo's in the NFL. During his three seasons in Athens Gurley solidified himself as one of the premier playmakers in college football, posting a triple slash of 510/3,285/36 (6.4 YPC).
Jeff Fisher and the rest of the Rams front office caught some people by surprise when they invested the 10th overall pick on Georgia running back Todd Gurley. While Gurley will almost certainly be placed on the PUP list while recovering from knee surgery, the talent was too much too pass up. In terms of fantasy production addition of Gurley gives Fisher the bell-cow back that he has been looking for since the days of Eddie George in Tennessee.
The other draft pick for the Rams that I feel could provide some fantasy value down the road is Missouri wide receiver Bud Sasser. I have to admit when I watched Missouri highlights I was watching Dorial Green-Beckham, but Sasser left an impression on me every time I was finished watching Missouri game tape. Although Sasser does not have top-end speed (4.57), he has the frame (6'2") and ball skills that have people believe he could be solid vertical threat at the next level. Sasser is not a quick-twitch athlete and does struggle getting free from press-coverage, but Sasser runs good routes and is very good making the catch with defenders around him. Sasser is currently listed behind guys like Chris Givens, Devon Wylie, Blake Emory, and Damian Williams, but I have no doubts that Sasser should be able to move up the depth chart once OTA's and mini camps roll around.
Catch up on the rest of the Fantasy Football Helpers draft grades below:
Photo Courtesy of Thomson20192
The third installment of the Fantasy Football Helpers Draft Grades makes its way to the most interesting division in all of football. In a division run by Chip Kelly, Jerry Jones, and Dan Schnieder, there is bound to be some offseason storylines. This year the storylines were all about how Chip Kelly was going to make the blockbuster trade and move up from the 20th overall pick and take his former college quarterback — Marcus Mariota. Although those rumors did not come to fruition, the NFC East as a whole did a great job adding quality depth to their rosters, many of which I expect to see make a serious run once the season rolls around.
So, without further ado, here are the draft grades for the NFC East:
1(20). Nelson Agholor WR/USC
2(47). Eric Rowe CB/S/University of Utah
3(84). Jordan Hicks OLB/University of Texas
6(191). JaCorey Sheperd CB/Kansas University
6(196). Randall Evans CB/Kansas State University
7(237). Brian Mihalik DE/Boston College
After all the speculation Chip Kelly was going to mortgage the future of the Eagles to trade up for his former college quarterback Marcus Mariota, it turned out to be more smoke than fire. The Eagles added a couple of my favorite prospects in the 2015 NFL Draft.
After losing Jeremy Maclin to the Kansas City Chiefs in free agency, there was a gaping hole left opposite second-year wide receiver Jordan Matthews as the Eagles starting wide receiver. Chip Kelly wasted no time in finding Maclin's replacement when he invested the team's first-round selection on USC wide receiver Nelson Agholor. While slightly undersized to be a no. 1 wide receiver, Agholor possesses a unique skill-set that should provide a major fantasy impact for the rookie receiver. With Jordan Matthews moving out to the boundary, I expect Agholor to spend a majority of his time in the slot during his rookie season. If Agholor is able to match anything close to the 67/876/8 line Mathews was during his rookie season it would rank the 26th best receiver in ESPN standard scoring leagues, ranking as a high-end WR3.
Last season, the Eagles secondary was one of the worst units in all of football allowing an average of 264.9 yards-per-game on top of the 4th most passing touchdowns in the NFL (30). The Eagles made it clear they intended to improve their lousy secondary when they signed Byron Maxwell, formerly of the Seahawks, and former Giants defensive back Walter Thurmond. The Eagles were obviously not finished adding defensive backs when they invested their second-round pick on Utah's Eric Rowe, a versatile defensive back with the ability to line up at cornerback and safety. While Rowe never totaled high interception numbers at Utah (3 career INT's) Pro Football Focus deem Rowe one of the best DB's in the draft from a coverage perspective. According to PFF's Completion % metrics, in 797 defensive snaps Rowe only saw 63 targets in his direction, allowing a receptions only 27 times (42.9%).
After the Eagles top two picks it was clear they were not done adding young defensive backs, as they drafted Kansas CB JaCorey Sheperd and Kansas State's Randall Evans. Both players are currently buried on the depth chart and not even guaranteed to make the final 53-man roster.
1(27). Byron Jones CB/UCONN
2(60). Randy Gregory EDGE/University of Nebraska
3(91). Chaz Green OT/University of Florida
4(127). Damien Wilson ILB/University of Minnesota
5(163). Ryan Russell DE/Purdue
7(236). Mark Nzeocha OLB/Wyoming
7(243). Laurence Gibson OT/University of Virginia
7(246). Geoff Swaim TE/University of Texas
*UDFA: La'el Collins OT/LSU
We all know that Jerry Jones cannot resist making a big splash when given the opportunity, and despite not being able to land Vikings running back Adrian Peterson through an offseason trade, the Cowboys added two playmakers to the defensive side of the football that should re-establish the D in "Big D".
The Cowboys started off their defensive rebuild by taking Byron Jones, a defensive back from the University of Connecticut, with the 27th overall pick in the 2015 Draft. Jones made headlines late in the draft community, showing elite lower-body explosiveness after posting the top score at the broad jump ("147) and vertical jump ("44). On top of showing some ridiculous explosion, Jones also showed very well in drills made to emphasize change-of-direction skills, finishing in the top three in the 20 yard-shuttle (3.94), 3-cone drill (6.78) and 60 yd shuttle (10.98). These ridiculous measurables put Jones in the 99.9th percentile for all athletes according the Zach Whitman's (@zjwhitman) 3-sigma-athlete measurements.
On top of being a freak athlete, Jones is also a very good football player. Although Jones was forced to miss the majority office senior season due to a shoulder injury, Jones was still able to flash some impressive traits making him stand out to NFL scouts. First, Jones has impressive ball skills, totaling 8 interceptions and 21 total passes defensed during Jones' four-year career at UConn.
Jerruh did not stop there when adding some juice to the defensive side of the football, when he invested the team's second round pick on Nebraska EDGE Randy Gregory. Gregory had a tumultuous time prior to the draft, failing a drug test at the NFL Scouting Combine, showing up late or not showing up at all to some pre-drat visits, resulting in Gregory to fall to the 2nd round. Although the Cowboys invested the 34th overall pick on Boise State defensive end Demarcus Lawrence just last season, the value with Gregory was too much too pass up.
Gregory is often labeled as a "tweener", or someone that fits somewhere between a linebacker and defensive lineman due to his lack of prototypical size, but Gregory possesses some unique traits. When you flip on the tape of Gregory the first thing that stands out is explosiveness as a pass rusher. During his two years at the University of Nebraska, Gregory was a disruptive force in the opposing backfield, totaling 25.5 TFL's and 17.5 career sacks.
The biggest knock I have with Gregory is his inconsistencies at the POA against the run. While Gregory possesses plenty of length (34" arms) his ability to get after the passer masks his deficiencies as a run defender.
The biggest chip of the Cowboys draft class did not come with any of their 9 draft picks. Instead, the Cowboys landed their most high-profile UDFA in recent memory — La'el Collins. Collins was projected by many to be the first or second offensive lineman taken in the 2015 draft, but after police wanted to ask Collins questions in reference to the death of his ex-girlfiend, Collins slid all the way out of the draft. Whether the slide was deserved or not, the Cowboys landed yet another elite talent to add to their stellar offensive line. Going into his rookie season, I expect Collins to win the LG spot from Ronald Leary, who was the "Achilles" heel of the Cowboys offensive line. While Leary was graded out by Pro Football Focus as a superb run blocker (13.0), Leary really struggled in pass protection a pass blocker ranking as the 45th best pass blocking guard in the NFL (-7.8).
1(5). Brandon Scherff OG/Iowa
2(38). Preston Smith EDGE/Mississippi State
3(95). Matt Jones RB/University of Florida
4(105). Jamison Crowder WR/Duke University
4(112). Arie Kouandijo OG/Alabama
5(141). Martell Spaight OLB/Arkansas
6(181). Kyshoen Jarrett SS/Virginia
6(187) Evan Spencer WR/THE Ohio State University
7(222). Austin Reiter C/University of South Florida
Although not flashy, the Washington Redskins had a very good draft, including 5 players that I believe will see time in the starting lineup during their rookie seasons.
While it was not the move that I would have made, especially with USC DE Leonard Williams still on the board, the selection of Iowa OL Brandon Scherff has the ability to impact both the running and pass game. Looking at the depth chart, Scherff should be a plug-and-play option at the right tackle position. Last season, Redskins right tackle Tom Compton was one of the worst lineman in all of football, ranking as the 46th best overall tackle (-16.1) including -9.2 as a pass blocker and -6.3 as a run blocker.
Now insert Scherff, who was ranked by many as the most "pro-ready" O-line prospect in this year's draft to bookend with LT Trent Williams, and the Redskins suddenly have a great core for the future. When you watch Scheff's college tape the biggest thing to stand out is the edge that Scherff plays with. Scherff plays with incredibly heavy hands and when he gets a hold of you, you are not getting free. Although Scherff is at his best when he is going forward and attacking as a run blocker, he is still plenty athletic to be up on an island against a team's LDE in pass protection.
If the Redskins do not want too put too much pressure on their young offensive lineman, there is also the possibility Scherff could kick inside to guard. Many, including myself, believe that Scheff is best suited as a guard where he can work in closed-quarters and rely more on his strength.
In the second round the Redskins were able to land, in my opinion, one of the most under appreciated EDGE prospects in the draft, when they drafted Mississippi St.'s Preston Smith. While I projected Smith to be drafted by a team that runs a 4-3 defensive scheme, the Redskins intended to have Smith fill void Brian Orakpo left at ROLB. I do not recall Smith ever being asked to drop back in to coverage in college, but after posting a 7.07 time in the 3-cone drill at the NFL Combine, Smith should possess the COD skills required to play OLB at the NFL level.
There are two players the Redskins drafted that I believe fantasy owners need to pay particular attention to during offseason workouts. The first is Matt Jones, the Redskins second round pick out of the University of Florida. When Roy Helu left in free agency the thought was incumbent starter Alfred Morris would gain an even greater role within the Redskins offense, however the addition of Jones has some thinking Morris could be out of Washington as soon as next season. As far as Jones' skill-set, Jones is an old-fashioned type of running back, winning with power and the ability to gain yards after contact. The most underrated part of Jones' game, and the part that I believe will allow Jones to get on to the field quicker is his pass-protection capabilities.
The second player fantasy owners should take note of is the Redskins fourth-round pick Jamison Crowder. Currently listed at no. 3 LWR behind Pierre Garcon and Andre Roberts, Crowder possesses a skill-set that I believe will find him playing a regular role from the slot during his rookie season. During his four-years at Duke Crowder was a reception machine, finishing with triple-line slash 283/3,641/23. Although Crowder lacks the prototypical size (5'9", 175 lbs.) Crowder wins his battle with exceptional quickness and the ability to make all of his routes look the same. Although Crowder may struggle with press-coverage at the next level due to his size, I believe the Redskins will try and utilize Crowder's quickness in the slot in order to get him matched up against linebacker's and safeties.
New York Giants
1(9). Eric Flowers OT/University of Miami
2(33)*. Landon Collins SS/Alabama
3(74). Owamagbe Obdighizuwa EDGE/UCLA
5(144). Mykkele Thompson S/University of Texas
6(186). Geremy Davis WR/UCONN
7(226). Bobby Hart OG/Florida State
Although the New York Giants did not do as much to address their sub-par offensive line as I would have liked, I feel the Giants front office did a great job in the middle rounds finding quality depth that could play a role during their rookie season.
The Giants surprised many when they invested the 9th overall pick on Miami OT Ereck Flowers. Many, including myself, question whether or not Flowers has the ability to play left tackle at the NFL level due to his lack of agility which led to struggles against speed rushers. It is likely that the Giants were targeting LSU offensive lineman La'el Collins with the ninth overall pick, but the unknown surrounding the murder of Collins' pregnant ex-girlfriend was too much for a team to invest a top-10 pick on.
The Giants did not wait very long to make there pick on Day 2 of the draft, as the Giants traded there 2nd, 4th, and 7th round picks to the Titans in exchange for the first pick of the 2nd round where the Giants selected Alabama safety Landon Collins. Last season Safety was a major concern for the Giants defense. Although Antrel Rolle continued his incredible durability but proved to be a liability in the run game, grading as one of the worst safeties in the NFL per PFF (-13.9), and ranked in the top-10 of NFL safeties in missed tackles (17).
As bad as Rolle was against the run last season, the addition of Collins should create a great compliment for the Giants secondary. Collins excels when he is allowed to use his physicality and come down in the box in run support. That is not too say that Collins cannot be trusted as a single-high safety, as his coverage deficiencies are overblown in my opinion.
With their third-round selection the Giants took one of, if not my favorite, EDGE prospects in the draft when they took UCLA DE Owamagbe Obdighizuwa. Diggy was red-flagged by numerous NFL teams due to the long-term concerns over a hip injury, but in my opinion the gamble was well worth it. At 6'3", 267 lbs Obdighizuwa has the size and frame of the prototypical RDE in a 4-3 defensive scheme. Starting out I would expect Diggy to be the immediate reserve to Jason Pierre-Paul, and should see time when the Giants go to their NASCAR package.
Perhaps the most intriguing pick for the Giants came from their 6th round pick, UCONN's Geremy Davis. Largely unknown to most people, Davis possesses the size (6'2") and speed (4.49) team's look for in a vertical receiver. Davis is a very physical receiver, both with the ball in the air and after the catch, and does not seem affected catching the ball in traffic. While I do not expect Davis to see a big role in the Giants offense right away, he could see time inside the 20's due to his length and ability to high-point the ball.
While Davis has some impressive physical tools, there is still plenty Davis needs to work on before taking on a heavy role in the Giants offense. First and foremost Davis needs to develop more as a route-runner. With Reuben Randle entering a contract year it would not surprise me at all to see Davis eventually be the full-time starter opposite Odell Beckham Jr, while Victor Cruz will man the slot full time once he recovers from Patella Tendon surgery. Unless you are in a VERY VERY deep league, or a Dynasty/Keeper fantasy league you can wait to add Davis to your fantasy lineup, but definitely keep an eye on his progress.
While the Giants draft picks will likely not serve much of a role in standard fantasy leagues, outside of the impact the defensive players will on their defensive units, the Giants did a great job finding impact players. Collins, Diggy, and Flowers will all see major playing time during their rookie seasons, while Davis and 5th round pick Mykkele Thompson provide quality depth to the Giants roster.
Catch up on how your team, and the rest of the NFL fared in the Fantasy Football Helper's Draft Grades below:
Photo Courtesy of Neon Tommy Flickr Page
My second installment of the Fantasy Football Helpers Draft Grades features one of the more peculiar divisions in the NFL, the NFC South. Like many of you know the NFC South was the only division in football to not have a team finish the season above .500
1 (08). Vic Beasley LEO/Clemson
2 (42). Jalen Collins CB/LSU
3 (73). Tevin Coleman RB/Indiana University
4 (107). Justin Hardy WR/East Carolina
5 (137). Grady Jarrett DT/Clemson
7 (225). Jake Rodgers OT/Eastern Washington
7 (249). Akeem King FS/San Jose State
While the Atlanta Falcons did not do as much to protect franchise quarterback Matt Ryan as I would have liked, I absolutely love what they were able to acquire on the defensive side of the football. With three defensive players selected in the team's first five picks it is clear that former Seahawks defensive coordinator, and new Falcons Head Coach, Dan Quinn has made it his objective to fix one of the league's worst overall units.
There was some hype early on in the week prior to the draft that the Falcons may actually invest a top-10 pick on Georgia running back Todd Gurley. While I believe Gurley is one of, if not the best players, available in the 2015 NFL Draft the Falcons have more pressing needs than running back. Turns out Dan Quinn was awarded a toy for his new defensive scheme when the team selected Clemson EDGE rusher Vic Beasley. While Beasley alone does not possess much value in standard leagues he will add some juice to a group of pass-rushers that managed only 22.0 sacks as a team, ranking 30th in the NFL.
In addition to adding the former Clemson Tiger, the Falcons invested their second round pick on LSU CB Jalen Collins, a personal favorite of mine in this cornerback class. There is no doubt that Collins was inconsistent in his time in Baton Rouge, Collins possesses the size (6'1", 203 lbs) and speed (4.4) that it takes to excel in Quinn's press-man defensive scheme. If Collins is able to overcome a foot injury that will cost him some of the offseason training program, there is the possibility Collins could be starting day 1 as the compliment to third-year cornerback Desmond Trufant.
While the Falcons did a lot too address their putrid excuse for a defense they could not help themselves from investing on some young, offensive talent. Third round selection Tevin Coleman is a player that I expect to have a major impact during his rookie season. With Steven Jackson officially out of town there is a gaping hole in the Falcons that is just waiting to be filled by either the aforementioned Coleman or Devonta Freeman, who the team invested a 4th round pick in last season. If Coleman is able to win the starting running back job during training camp/pre-season I believe he has the ability to reach every week RB2 value in Kyle Shannahan's zone-run scheme.
1 (25). Shaq Thompson OLB/Washington
2 (41). Devin Funchess WR/Michigan
4 (102). Daryl Williams OT/Oklahoma
5 (169). David Mayo ILB/Texas State
5 (174). Cameron Artis-Payne RB/Auburn
While the Panthers did not do lot from a quantity perspective, the Panthers added some very intriguing pieces that possess some sneaky fantasy potential next season. The Panthers made it clear they wanted to add some youth to their linebacking corps, adding Washington Husky S/OLB hybrid Shaq Thompson. While it is unclear how Thompson will be used, he possesses a unique skill-set with the ability to be a major asset in nickel and sub packages.
Second round pick Devin Funchess is one of the most intruiging draft picks in the 2015 NFL Draft. Equipped with a massive frame the thought is that Devin Funchess is going to plug in immediately as the Panthers no. 2 receiver, however I expect the team to find more creative ways to use the athletic playmaker. The former Wolverine was used both inline as a tight end, flexed out in the slot, and out wide as a boundary receiver during his college career. While Funchess was held back by suspect quarterback play, he still displayed improved route-running, the ability to be a red-zone mismatch, as well as improved body control with the ability to make contested catches.
The best pick, and the one that I believe fantasy football owners need to take note of is the Panther's second 5th round pick Cameron Artis-Payne, the running back out of Auburn. While slightly undersize (5'10, 212 lbs), I believe Payne is in a position to see major playing time during his rookie season. However I believe Artis-Payne will be forced into action due to the inability for veteran running back Jonathan Stewart to stay healthy. During Stewart's 7-year career he has only been able to stay healthy for all 16 games four times, and has never carried the ball more than 225 times in any season. For fantasy owner's looking for a late round stash in re-draft formats this is a guy that I would take the gamble on, for the price, over guys like Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon.
While the Carolina Panther's did not make the biggest splashes during the draft, they were able to add some quality pieces that should contribute sooner-rather-than-later. Thompson should fit in immediately next to Thomas Davis as the team's WLB, and should prove to be a major asset in nickel and sub packages in the pass-happy NFC South, while 5th round tackling machine David Mayo should make an impact on special teams. 4th round pick Daryl Williams will likely battle with veteran Mark Remmers for the starting right tackle spot, and could potentially kick inside to guard if needed.
New Orleans Saints
1 (13). Andrus Peat OT/Stanford
1 (31). Stephone Anthony ILB/Clemson
2 (44). Hau'oli Kikaha OLB/Washington
3 (75). Garrett Grayson QB/Colorado State
3 (78). P.J. Williams CB/Florida State
5 (148). Davis Tull OLB/Chattanooga
5 (154). Tyeler Davison DT/Fresno State
7 (230). Marcus Murphy RB/Missouri
This was a very interesting offseason for the Saints. In the middle of "cap hell" the Saints were forced to make some head-scratching moves, including the trade sending All-Pro Jimmy Graham to the Seahawks in exchange for a first-round pick in 2015 and center Max Unger. With Drew Brees getting another year older, and the team making it an emphasis to improve an offensive line unit that was decimated by injuries, the Saints could potentially make the switch to a run-based offense.
In my opinion, the three biggest needs that the Saints needed to address this offseason was the offensive line, defensive back, and linebacker. The Saints started off the draft with the selection of Stanford offensive tackle Andrus Peat, a massive tackle that possesses road-grading run blocking ability that needs to improve as a pass blocker. Peat's outlook is likely protecting a team's blindside, but I believe Peat could supplant veteran Zach Strief as the team's starting tight tackle during his rookie season.
The Saints used their second first-round pick on Stephone Anthony, an athletic middle linebacker out of Clemson University. While Anthony was overlooked by prospects like Paul Dawson and Eric Kendricks, Anthony was considered by some to have the highest ceiling out of the 2015 linebacker class due to his elite athleticism, and ability to stay on the field in nickel and sub packages.
Perhaps the most perplexing pick the Saints made was 3rd round selection of Colorado State quarterback Garrett Grayson. While I like Grayson's skill-set he will likely not see the field unless Brees' suffers an injury, or retires for some reason.
Overall I thought that the Saints had a very good draft. While the selection of Washington Hau'oli Kikaha was perplexing due to his lack of measurables and potential injury red flags, the Saints clearly wanted to add some youth to one of the oldest defensive units in the NFL.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1 (1) Jameis Winston QB/Florida State
2 (34) Donovan Smith OT/Penn State
2 (61). Ali Marpet OG/Hobart
4 (124) Kwon Alexander OLB/LSU
5 (162) Kenny Bell WR/Nebraska
6 (184) Kaelin Clay WR/Utah
7 (231) Joey Iosefa FB/Hawaii
With the number one overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Jameis Winston, the former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback from Florida State University. While Winston possesses some of the most pro-ready talent of a quarterback prospect in recent memory, Winston also come with some interesting off-the-field maturity issues leading people to question whethe or not Winston can be trusted as the face of an NFL franchise.
Aside from adding my no. 1 quarterback prospect, the Buccaneers did a great job adding some talent to one of the worst offensive line units in the NFL. The re-build started when the Buccaneers invested the 34th overall pick on Penn State tackle Donovan Smith. While Smith battled some inconsistencies with pass protection in college, he possesses the frame and athletic ability to be a starting left tackle at the NFL level. The Bucs did not stop their when adding offensive line depth, as they added one of the most popular players for #DraftTwitter in DIII Hobart's Ali Marpet. Although Marpet played his college football against weaker competition then most prospects, Marpet was able to prove himself as one of the top interior lineman prospects during the Reese's Senior Bowl. With the addition's of Marpet and Smith, the Buccaneers offensive line took a positive step in the right direction if they want Winston to develop into the quarterback they envision.
The most underrated draft pick by the Buccaneers, in my opinion, came from the team's 5th round selection Kenny Bell. During Bell's time at Nebraska he was regularly held back by the quarterback play of Taylor "T-Magic" Martinez and Tommy Armstrong, but was still able to flash legitimate deep play ability and an underrated ability to run a full NFL route tree. With the twin towers of Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson drawing the attention of defenses down the field, Bell is in a great position to see single coverage on a weekly basis. If Bell is able to win the job as the team's slot receiver I would not be surprised to see Bell reach low WR3-WR4 value in new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter's pass based offense.
Catch up on all of our NFL Draft Grades by clicking on the links below:
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The 2015 NFL Draft has come and gone, and while fans eagerly wait the start of rookie mini-camps I feel it is the appropriate time to grade how teams fared in the draft. The first edition of the Fantasy Football Helpers draft grades will feature the NFC North, with the rest of the NFC/AFC to come shortly there after.
1. (7) Kevin White WR/West Virginia
2. (39) Eddie Goldman DT/FSU
3. (71) Hroniss Grassu OG/Oregon
4. (106) Jeremy Langford RB/Michigan State
5. (142) Adrian Amos S/Penn State
6. (183) Tayo Fabuluje OT/TCU
New Bears General Manager Ryan Pace was stuck with the task of bringing some ferocity back to the Monsters of the Midway. With the 7th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, and a new coaching staff that is switching from Lovie Smith’s 4-3 Tampa Two defensive scheme, to Vic Fangio’s aggressive 3-4 defense. After trading Brandon Marshall to the Jets in exchange for a 5th round pick the Bears were left with a massive hole at wide receiver opposite Alshon Jeffery. The addition of Kevin White with the 7th overall pick should provide the team with an instant impact player. Although White may not be as refined as Amari Cooper, who ended up getting drafted by the Raiders, White’s blend of size/power/speed make the Bears wide receivers one of the top young units in football.
As far as the defensive side of the football Pace did a great job of adding some meat to the defensive line. Florida State defensive tackle Eddie Goldman should fit in immediately at the 0, or nose tackle position in the Bears 3-4 front. Although Goldman does not possess elite pass rush skills, he is a massive human being that should allow the Bears linebackers to run free to the ball.
The most underrated drat pick for the Bears in my opinion came in the 4th round with the selection of Michigan State running back Jeremy Langford. Despite not showing elite athletic ability on tape, Langford lit up the NFL Scouting Combine after posting the lowest 40-yard dash time out of running backs (4.42). Despite having great long-speed, Langford is a versatile back with the ability to make plays in both the passing and running game. With veteran running back Matt Forte entering the last year of his contract and rumors swirling that Forte could hold-out, Langford could be in a position to take over the bulk of the carries in Chicago as soon as next season.
Overall, the Bears did not make a lot of splash move outside of the selection of Kevin White, but they were able to add some much needed depth along both the offensive and defensive line. While the Bears rebuild was never considered a one-year process, new GM Ryan Pace did a good job adding some quality young talent that has the potential to become starters.
Green Bay Packers
1. (30) Damarious Randall S/Arizona State
2. (62) Quentin Rollins CB/Miami (OH)
3. (94) TY Montgomery OW/Stanford
4. (129) Jake Ryan LB/Michigan
5. (147) Brett Hundley QB/UCLA
6. (206) Aaron Ripkowski FB/Oklahoma
6. (210) Christian Ringo DE/Louisiana-Lafeyette
6. (213) Kennard Backman TE/UAB
As long as Aaron Rodgers is around the Packers should be one of the elite offenses in the NFL, but if they want the Lombardi Trophy to come home again it is essential to improve on the defensive side of the ball.
With the departure of Tramon Williams and Davon House to free agency the Packers were left with a gaping hole in their secondary. With the team’s first round selection the Packers drafted Arizona State safety Damarious Randall, an athletic safety who has the ability play deep as a single-high safety as well as the ability to roll down into coverage against slot WR’s and TE’s. Packers GM Ted Thompson did not stop there when adding young talent to his secondary as he invetsed the team’s 2nd round selection into the intriguing Quentin Rollins, a former 4-year starter on the Miami (OH) basketball team who has played just one year of college football. Despite the lack of experience playing football at a high level Rollins showed great ball skills and impressive instincts.
After the first two picks for the Packers I really started to question the moves the team made. The team drafted Stanford offensive weapon Ty Montgomery with their third round selection. Although Montgomery possesses some unique skills with incredible athleticism, he is extremely raw as a receiver and will most likely be relegated to KOR or PR duties during his rookie season.
Despite the selections of Ty Montgomery and Brett Hundley I feel the Packers had a solid, but not great, draft. Randall and Rollins should be day 1 starters for the Packers, and 4th round selection Jake Ryan could see some playing time during his rookie season now that A.J. Hawk has signed with the Bengals. Although the draft was not as flashy as teams like the Titans, Vikings, or Jaguars, the Packers did add two starting caliber players and should continue to be one of the premier teams in the NFC this season.
1. (28) Laken Tomlinson OG/Duke
2. (54) Ameer Abdullah RB/Nebraska
3. (80) Alex Carter CB/Stanford
4. (113) Gabe Wright DT/Auburn
5. (168) Michael Burton FB/Rutgers
6. (200) Quandre Diggs CB/Texas
7. (240) Corey Robinson OT/South Carolina
As much as I miss the days of Matt Millen being the GM of the Lions and investing in wide receivers year in and year out, the Lions have shed the laughing stock label and become one of the better drafting units under Martin Mayhew.
Under new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi the Lions passing offense took a step back, finishing outside of the top-3 for the first time in three seasons. Part of the issue with the Lions offensive inconsistencies lay within the deficiencies along the offensive line. With the addition of first-round pick Laken Tomlinson the Lions have an immediate upgrade in terms of pass-protection. During Tomlinson’s last season at Duke he established himself as one of the top pass-protecting lineman in the nation, allowing 0 sacks and 0 QB hits during his senior season. If Matthew Stafford is going to make the jump from being an above average quarterback into the upper echelon the addition of Tomlinson to one of the better offensive lines in the NFC North should help immensely.
For all of the dynasty owners that thought the departure of Reggie Bush to the 49ers would mean an increased role for Theo Riddick, those thoughts were quickly put to bed after Lions invested their 2nd round pick on Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah. Despite not having the frame of a typical 3-down running back, Abdullah runs with underrated power between the tackles and is matchup nightmare when used as a receiving option out of the backfield. With Joique Bell struggling to hold onto the ball consistently (11 fumbles lost since 2012) and just one more year left on his current contract, Abdullah could push Bell for the starting job as soon as next season.
While the Lions draft does not possess a lot of fantasy relevant draft picks, they once again filled plenty of needs. The additions of Alex Carter and Quandre Diggs to the secondary should provide some quality depth behind Darius Slay and Rashean Mathis, as the Lions continue to have one of the best defensive units in all of football.
1. (11) Trae Waynes CB/Michigan State
2. (45) Eric Kendricks ILB/UCLA
3. (88) Danielle Hunter DE/LSU
4. (110) T.J. Clemmings OT/Pittsburgh
5. (143) Mycole Pruitt TE/Southern Illinois
5. (146) Stefon Diggs WR/Maryland
6. (185) Tyrus Thompson OT/Oklahoma
6. (193) B.J. Dubose DE/Louisville
7. (228) Austin Shepard OT/Alabama
7. (232) Edmond Robinson OLB/Newberry
Teams of the NFC North beware; Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer is building a juggernaut on the defensive side of the football. After investing in Harrison Smith, Anthony Barr, Xavier Rhodes, and Shariff Floyd in the first round over the last 4 years, the defense is loaded with young talent just waiting to take off.
Although I thought the Vikings would go with wide receiver DeVante Parker or defensive end Bud Dupree in the first round, the team made the wise move and added the physical press-corner Trae Waynes out of Michigan State. Waynes, if all goes well, should fill in immediately as the team’s no. 2 CB this season opposite Xavier Rhodes.
The addition of Waynes was just the start for the Vikings, as they added ILB Eric Kendricks and LSU DE Danielle Hunter with the teams 3rd and 4th round selection. Kendricks, an “undersized” linebacker from UCLA should be an immediate starter for the purple at either WLB or MLB. Despite being a tad bit undersized for an NFL ILB, Kendricks has a nose for the football and is underrated in coverage. Guys like Chris Borland have gotten me to realize that linebackers who are tackling machines in college, translates very well to the NFL game. Hunter is an intriguing defensive end prospect with elite size (6’5”, 252 lbs.), speed (4.57), and incredibly long arms (34 ¼). Despite being raw as a pass rusher Hunter has all the physical tools to be a dominant RDE at the NFL level. If Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer and Defensive Line Coach Andre Patterson Sr. can get Hunter’s physical tools to show up on the field, the Vikings could have one of the steals of the 2015 NFL Draft.
If second year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is going to take the next step into being one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL, the Vikings have to find a way to protect him better. With the additions of Pittsburgh tackle T.J. Clemmings, Oklahoma’s Tyrus Thompson, and Alabama’s Austin Shepard, the Vikings added some much needed depth to the offensive line.
Of all the teams in the NFC North the Vikings had the most impactful draft of any team. With two players that will step in and be day one starters (Waynes, Kendricks), and four players that have the ability to develop into starting caliber players (Clemmings, Hunter, Diggs, Pruitt) the Vikings not only had the top draft in the NFC North, but one of the top in all of football.
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No limit Texas Hold em' is the Cadillac of poker. In fantasy football, the hand a player is dealt can play a big role in his value — at least in the short term. After all the individual analysis of the rookies throughout the offseason. After all yelling and throwing popcorn at the TV during draft day, both the teams and most sought after rookies were finally dealt their hands after Day 1. Several players were dealt better hands than others, including two receivers who you'll likely want to throw your chips into the center of the table on for 2015. One wideout is a sure-fire draftee in redraft and dynasty leagues, the other is stepping into a good situation where he will likely be making an impact a little further down the road as a rookie.
Breshad Perriman , WR (Baltimore Ravens)
Quality of Fantasy hand dealt: Pocket Aces
Why he's fantasy worthy in Year 1: No wide receiver is stepping into a better fantasy situation in Year 1 than the speedy WR out of UCF. The Ravens are in dire need of his services and the franchise has a long history of stability which should help Perriman develop without unnecessary drama getting in the way. Perriman will play on a Baltimore team that emphasizes balance which should keep him and also a canon-armed quarterback in Joe Flacco that can take advantage of his 4.2 speed.
This past offseason, the Ravens lost deep threat Torrey Smith to San Francisco. Smith accrued 93 targets last season, so it's not out of the question that Perriman sees at least 80 looks from quarterback Joe Flacco. Smith saw 95 targets and wound up with 841 yards and 7 touchdowns in his first season with Baltimore, and he was only competing with Anquan Boldin for targets. Perriman, like Smith, will also be competing with veteran Steve Smith Sr. for targets, but he's still an instant WR2/3 candidate in 2015 due to the amount of the targets that will be available to him.
Now, you can have all the targets in the world but if you can't catch a cold than your fantasy value will be rendered useless. Also, it's funny how a team can end up drafting a clones of the player they let go of in the offseason. Perriman, like Smith, is a speedster who also struggles to catch easy passes from time to time. We'll ere on the side of optimism and say he'll make up for it because of his speed.
Fantasy advice: Perriman is a no brainer draft selection if you're drafting in redraft and dynasty leagues. He's got the best possible starting hand of anybody.
Nelson Agholor , WR (Philadelphia Eagles)
Quality of Fantasy hand dealt: Ace-Queen
Why he's fantasy worthy in Year 1: The Eagles now have a job opening that reads '143 targets available' and the resume of rookie Nelson Agholor out of USC is as good a bet as any to fill the team's No. 2 void at wide receiver. At 6'0, 198 lbs, Agholor has drawn comparisons to former Eagle Jeremy Maclin and rightfully so considering Maclin was also 6'0, 198 lbs. Both possess 4.4 speed with Agholor being a bit more explosive out of his breaks than Maclin.
The one thing I've noticed as a difference between the two is their demeanor. Agholor is a much more cerebral player than Maclin, even Chip Kelly has used the term 'growth minset' to describe Agholor's approach to the game. if you watch some of his interviews, Agholor often stresses constantly improving and getting better, but he goes further than that and actually gives concrete examples on how he has improved his game every step of the way. It's impressive to see somebody at his age who can articulate what he's doing on the field to that of a technician, and that's what Agholor brings to the table that we didn't quite see from Maclin.
Jordan Matthews also brought a similar 'get better' mentality throughout his rookie season that really generated buzz during the team's training camp in July and August. reports out of camp were glowing so bright you'd think Matthews would be the best rookie wide receiver of 2014. It didn't quite turn out that way, but Matthews caught at least one pass in 15 out of 16 games as a rookie and finished with a more than respectable 872 yards and 8 touchdowns.
The two downsides to Agholor's potential as a instant fantasy player is the quarterback situation in Philadelphia and his undersized frame. As of right now, it appears Sam Bradford will be their No. 1 quarterback heading into camp. Bradford didn't play a single regular season snap in 2014 and will be learning a new system under Chip Kelly. His reputation for injury (seven games played over last two seasons) has resulted in a 'wait and see' attitude for most and it'll be tough to invest in a guy like Agholor if there's nobody around to throw him the ball. Yes, I know, Tim Tebow is there. Stymie yourselves!
Also at just 6'0, 198, Agholor will likely struggle against bigger corners. We saw how Jeremy Maclin could get shut down at times by Richard Sherman-type corners and Agholor might have a similar problem.
Fantasy advice: You'll need to monitor the quarterback situation in camp and Agholor is more undersized than Perriman which will likely result in some bad games against bigger, more physical cornerbacks. Still, Agholor has big-play ability and is stepping into a situation with plenty of targets available. He's worth a very late-round flier as a bench guy in redraft leagues.
Team Pick Player School Explanation Tampa Bay 1 Jameis Winston FSU Best quarterback in the draft. Tampa Bay hopefully gets the franchise QB they have been searching for Tennessee 2 Marcus Mariota Oregon Ultimately the decision comes down to Mariota or a trade. If they do stay I assume they take Mariota to give the Titans fans a little hope for the future Jacksonville 3 Dante Fowler Florida Gus Bradley needs some young pass rushers to bring some ferocity back to the Jaguars defense. Immediate starter at LEO Oakland 4 Amari Cooper Alabama Most polished recevier in the draft. Immediate starter for the Raiders offense, no. 1 receiver for the future for Carr Washington 5 Leonard Williams USC If Williams fell into the laps of the Redskins I would expect this pick to take all of 20 seconds to be in. Williams is potentially the best overall player in this draft, and would be an immediate impact player for one of the leagues worst defenses New York Jets 6 Vic Beasley Clemson Todd Bowles likes to send pressure from everywhere, and with a freak athlete like Beasley he gets a young chip Chicago 7 Trae Waynes Michigan St. Bears have needs all-over the defensive side of the football. Waynes, although not my favoirte CB will be overdrafted due to his elite long speed Atlanta 8 Brandon Scherff Iowa Atlanta needs to protect Matt Ryan if they want to take the next step in the NFC South. Scherff gives the Falcons a day 1 starter who can play on interior or on an island at tackle New York Giants 9 Kevin White WVU Someone will fall in love with Kevin White's freakish athletic ability. While I rank White as the #3 WR behind Parker and Cooper, the pairing of ODB and White would be enticing St. Louis 10 DeVante Parker Louisville The Rams have a lot of talent, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Parker gives the Rams the no. 1 WR they have been looking for Minnesota 11 Bud Dupree Kentucky Like the Titans I expect the Titans to trade down and accumulate more picks. With Parker off the board and Adrian Peterson still on the roster, the Vikings add another freak pass-rusher. Cleveland 12 Danny Shelton Washington Massive nose tackle that fills the most important position in the 3-4 defense. Should be a starter for the next decade and dramatically improve the Browns putrid rush defense. New Orleans 13 Marcus Peters Washington Back-to-back Huskies go as the Saints add the talented cover corner in Peters. While he does come with some off-field baggage, Peters could potentially be a shut-down corner very soon Miami 14 Todd Gurley Georgia My favorite player in the draft, and without an ACL injury Gurley likely goes in the top-10. Has the skill-set to be a 3-down RB immediately San Francisco 15 Arik Armstead Oregon Probably the most physically gifted player in the draft. Elite movement skills on a 6'7" frame, potential to be the steal of the 1st round. Houston 16 Kevin Johnson Wake Forest Underrated CB in this class w/ plus ball skills, and crazy short area quickness. Improves one of the league's worst secondaries immediately. San Diego 17 Melvin Gordon Wisconsin I doubt SD makes the move to no.2 for Mariota, and with the lack of a running game the Chargers take the gamble on the electric Melvin Gordon. Immediately becomes the focal point of the Chargers running game, and a center-piece for the future. Kansas City 18 Nelson Agholor USC One of the more underapprecaited WR's in this draft. Has a well-rounded game, and the ability to play immediately in the slot, as well as on the boundary. Cleveland (From Buffalo) 19 Maxx Williams Minnesota The best TE in the draft. Has the ability to up and get the football in traffic, as well as make plays after the catch. Not quite Jeremy Shockey athletically, but plays with the same nastiness Philadelphia 20 Byron Jones UCONN Physically gifted athlete w/ glimmering off-field record. Chip Kelly likes these types of players, and should fit in nicely opposite Byron Maxwell Cincinnati 21 Malcolm Brown Texas With Texas football out of the national spotlight many didn’t get the chacne to see Brown play. He has the aggressiveness to fit in behind Geno Atkins and add some depth to a depleted pass rush Pittsburgh 22 Landon Collins Alabama The loss of Polamalu to the Steelers secondary is going to be a major impact, despite Troy not being as physically gifted as he was earlier in his career. Collins would be an immediate replacement, and bring back the tough, hard-nosed attitude associated w/ Steelers football Detroit 23 Cameron Erving FSU Versatile lineman with the ability to play 4 of the 5 spots on the OL. If the Lions want Stafford to succeed they have to add some young depth to the offensive line. Arizona 24 Eric Kendricks UCLA With Daryl Washington's future in limbo the Cardinals add another tackling machine in Kendricks. There have been some reports of a knee issue, but Kendricks has a nose for the football and is underrated from a coverage standpoint Carolina 25 D.J. Humprhries Florida Athletic offensive lineman for a team that desperately needs one. When signing Michael Oher is considered an "upgrade" you still have work to do Baltimore 26 Devin Smith Ohio St The best deep ball receiver in the draft, and with Flacco's big arm this is a match made in heavan. Smith is definitely not a one-trick pony like many portray him as Dallas 27 Owamagbe Odighizuwa UCLA Yes this is a real name folks. Better known as Owa, has the size/strength/athleicsm to play in any defense as a 3-4 DE, or a 4-3 DE. Check out his game tape from USC if you have any questions about his game. It speaks for itself, this kid is legit. Denver 28 Ereck Flowers Miami Peyton Manning is getting older, and likely will not be around much longer. For the best success the team needs to add offensive lineman to help keep Manning upright. Despite not being a great fit for Kubiak's zone-run system the talent was too much to pass up. Indianapolis 29 Eric Rowe Utah One of the most underrated players in the draft. Has the ability to line up at safety as well as CB. Should fit in well opposite Vontae Davis Green Bay 30 Benardrick McKinney Miss St. A.J. Hawk is gone, could go with Stephone Anthony or CB here, but McKinneys potential is too much to pass up for Dom Capers and the Packers defense. New Orleans (from Seattle) 31 Dorial Green-Beckham Oklahoma New Orleans could add a WR earlier and could potentiall add a pass rusher here, but the potential of Green-Beckham is too much to pass up for the Saints offense. If he can stay clean off-field Green-Beckham has the potential to become the no. 1 WR in the class New England 32 Carl Davis Iowa Such a Patriots pick. They could add a WR or add depth to the OL, but instead add the Hawkeyes pass-rusher with loads of potential. Some people may object, but Bellicheck always does the unexpected
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