By: Doug Orth — April 27, 2012 @ 1:21 am
1.32 Giants – RB David Wilson, Virginia Tech
GM Jerry Reese subscribes fully to the “best player available” theory and it is hard to fault him with this pick, in part because Wilson is the closest thing this draft has to Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw may have a bit more burst initially, but Wilson is more durable and has some sleeper fantasy potential in this situation considering the Giants want a back to split carries with Bradshaw. As a result, he should be in line for 8-10 touches/game on a regular basis right away, with the added benefit that he could easily carry the load should Bradshaw miss a game or two. Wilson should be one of the more sought-after handcuffs in fantasy for redraft purposes, but New York wasn’t his best landing spot for dynasty purposes since Bradshaw is under contract through 2014.
By: Doug Orth — @ 1:20 am
1.31 Buccaneers – RB Doug Martin, Boise State
Despite the fact Cleveland likely stole the player they wanted the most at the top of the first round in Trent Richardson, the Bucs recover nicely by trading back into the first by selecting Martin, likely stealing him from the Giants. In the end, the draft’s top two RBs end up in two of the best fantasy situations they could have asked for. The Ray Rice comparison is apt in terms of size, although Rice wins the battle of explosiveness while Martin is slightly more powerful. Martin is a three-down back and should make LeGarrette Blount into nothing more than handcuff for fantasy purposes. Martin’s dynasty value is sky high. His redraft value is certainly on par with Richardson. Given his supporting cast and the division he plays in, one could easily argue Martin is the more desirable fantasy RB in 2012.
By: Doug Orth — @ 1:12 am
1.30 49ers – WR A.J. Jenkins, Illinois
Although he was of my favorite “second-round” WR prospects, I’m having a hard time understand why the Niners used the No. 30 overall pick on him. What this picks suggests is that SF is not counting on much production from Randy Moss at all. Jenkins doesn’t stand out in one particular area, but his best football is probably ahead of him. With Mario Manningham, Moss and Michael Crabtree ahead of him, Jenkins will probably “enjoy” a redshirt year and contribute on a more regular basis in 2013. As a result, he should go undrafted in redraft leagues. His dynasty stock is also very low as the Niners do not figure to throw the ball around a lot anytime soon.
By: Doug Orth — @ 1:10 am
1.22 Browns – QB Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State
Weeden seemed like a lock to end up with the Browns, whether it was at 22 or early in the second round. Ultimately, team president Mike Holmgren played the draft game right and went with the last “pro-ready” QB in the first since the draft is so deep at WR. What the first-round selection on Weeden suggests is that he will have a significant upper hand on Colt McCoy in training camp this summer, especially considering Weeden’s “advanced” age. Weeden has a stronger arm than McCoy and should have significantly more weapons (Stephen Hill?) than McCoy ever did as a Brown. As of this moment, Weeden should probably go undrafted in most 12-team fantasy leagues. However, with Trent Richardson, Greg Little, Evan Moore, Ben Watson and a second-round addition in this draft, he’ll have a chance at being a bye-week fill-in.
By: Doug Orth — @ 1:07 am
1.20 Titans – WR Kendall Wright, Baylor
Due to his lack of ideal size (and his surprisingly slow times at the Combine), there was some thought Wright would fall into the second round. On the surface, the fit isn’t all that great in Tennessee initially because he will be hard-pressed to be anything more than a WR3 for the Titans right away. However, the team wants to give Jake Locker every chance to succeed and protect itself against another Kenny Britt injury. I don’t like Wright’s redraft prospects in redraft leagues, but he should have a long successful future in the NFL in the slot (initially) and as a solid deep-threat complement to Britt once Nate Washington moves on.
By: Doug Orth — @ 1:06 am
1.13 Cardinals – WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
It is hard to argue that Floyd isn’t in position to be the top-producing rookie WR in 2012 as he will operate opposite Larry Fitzgerald. It also should go w/o saying that he will likely be pushed harder than he ever has by one of the hardest-working players in league as well. It is also fairly obvious that Kevin Kolb will also benefit because he should not feel obligated to force throws to Fitzgerald. As it stands right now, Floyd – who was reportedly higher on some draft boards than Justin Blackmon – should also rate higher than his 2012 draft classmate on fantasy draft boards this summer as well. His dynasty value also receives a nice little boost as well from the #42 ranking I gave him a couple of weeks ago. I’ll optimistically project him right now as a high-end WR3 candidate in redraft leagues with 55 catch, 800-yard and six TD upside this season.
By: Doug Orth — @ 12:58 am
1.08 Dolphins – QB Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
Tannehill might as well be this year’s Jake Locker and Christian Ponder – a quarterback currently better outside the pocket than inside (Locker) that gets pushed up in the draft because of the position he plays (Ponder). Although some will say this is a reach (and I won’t disagree), Tannehill couldn’t ask for a better situation in terms of familiarity since new OC Mike Sherman was also his head coach at Texas A&M. People will lazily say he’ll need time to learn the offense, but Tannehill needs to be on the sidelines this season in order to be put in a position to succeed as Miami attempts to secure receiving talent over the next year. Significant fantasy production cannot really be expected from Tannehill until at least 2014 as the Dolphins attempt to find their own version of Greg Jennings’ in this Green Bay-like offensive scheme while also furthering the rookie quarterback’s education after just 19 college starts.
By: Doug Orth — @ 12:52 am
1.05 Jaguars – WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
Blackmon compares more favorably with Hakeem Nicks and Dwayne Bowe – two receivers drafted in the twenties of their respective drafts – than A.J. Green and Julio Jones. Regardless, Jacksonville has now provided Blaine Gabbert with some legitimate weapons with this pick and its free agent signings (Laurent Robinson, Lee Evans). Blackmon is incredible after the catch and could possibly lead the Jags in receptions in his rookie season. Although he takes a statistical hit working with Gabbert (instead of Sam Bradford), it is also way too early to close the book on Gabbert. Blackmon probably deserves low-end WR3 fantasy consideration this summer in 12-team leagues.