Ok, watching the draft is both fun and exciting. And I love having it spread out over three days now. But honestly 4 QB’s off the board in within the first 14 picks? Seriously? Whatever. The only one coming out of that with a win, is the Titans. I think Locker will do well in a system featuring Chris Johnson.
I’m going to attempt a pick by pick analysis focusing on the fantasy not the reality. Lets face it, it’s fun to analyze and predict, but most of these will not pan out. If some do, you better bet your ass I’m bringing them back up in future posts!
PART ONE: Picks 1-16
1. Cam Newton, QB – Carolina Panthers
Umm… what can I say? He has a tremendous amount of talent and could be awesome for the Panthers for years. I just don’t see it. But, he could immediately become the most productive fantasy player for the Panthers. With questions on whether Steve Smith and DeAngelo Williams will be around a lot of the work falls on him. I still love Stewart as the every-down back, but defenses will key on him even more than last year. And we all know how the running backs fared in Carolina in 2010. I’m looking at you DeAngelo and Jonathan!
2. Von Miller, LB – Denver Broncos
This immediately helps the Broncos. He will start day one on a defense that was putrid in 2010. Apart from that, this is still a D to stay away from.
3. Marcell Dareus, DT – Buffalo Bills
The Bills had the worst run defense in the NFL last year. THE WORST! Remember back, a year ago (I know it’s tough), when you would literally plug-in any RB going up against the Bills? Yeah, they just got better. He will also start day one and make them better. We’ll see how much better, but we know the kind of difference one great DT can make, don’t we Lions fans.
4. A.J. Green, WR – Cincinnati Bengals
Now here we go. Some offense to talk about. Who doesn’t this guy help? He automatically gives Carson an upgrade at WR. I know WR’s don’t usually give big production on year one but I believe this guy is the exception. With TO gone and Chad on the rocks, Green will be moving up on draft boards. Could go early in dynasty leagues, but stay away in standards till at least the 4th round.
5. Patrick Peterson, DB – Arizona Cardinals
Do you think the Cards miss Rolle? I think so. And Peterson should be even better. The Cards have a lot of talent on the Defensive side, it just didn’t show well in 2010. If the offense can stay on the field for just a tab bit longer, this defense could surprise a lot of drafters. The Cardinals D is an early sleeper candidate.
6. Julio Jones, WR – Atlanta Falcons
I was shocked to see this pick happen. Trading down 20 spots is a big move and the Falcons must really, REALLY love Jones. I gotta say, this should take away some production from White. His numbers the past two years have been sick! Now with Jones, Matt Ryan’s numbers are going to be sick. I still think the Falcons will be a run-first oriented team, so don’t expect Jones’ numbers to jump off in his first year.
7. Aldon Smith, DE – San Francisco 49ers
I really don’t know much about him. Oh, just read some analysis! Now I’m up to speed. Sounds like a versatile, above average defensive lineman who can also drop back into the linebacker. Moving on…
8. Jake Locker, QB – Tennessee Titans
Jake, Jake, Jake. Wish you would have come out a year sooner? Come out one year earlier, and you would have gone in the top 3. Another year of college ball to round out the skills, sounded good in theory. But for some reason, it just wasn’t there. I believe you will end up being the best QB out of the 2011 draft. And the Titans are a good team to start for. You get a phenomenal coach in Fisher and a stud RB to help alleviate the pain. An up and coming Britt, healthy and ready to show he’s no fluke. An ideal situation, congrats Jake.
UPDATE: Ummm… I’m not sure how I forgot but thanks to Jon for pointing out that the Titans and Fisher parted ways… Suffice it to say, I’m less excited about Jake. But I still like him dumping quick screens to CJ!
9. Tyron Smith, OT – Dallas Cowboys
Immediate line help for the boys. Tony Romo coming back from injury, clearly he will benefit the most. Romo is going to be very high on my board and just may have moved up a notch. This is all of course based on the Cowboys signing Doug Free for 2011.
10. Blaine Gabbert, QB – Jacksonville Jaguars
What? Another shocker. Gabbert was highly thought of, so him sliding to 10 was a little shock but the Jags moving down to snatch him up was a big shock. I would say, this affects David Garrard the most. It could go either way. I like Garrard, but he hasn’t been the consistent threat we all thought he was going to be when Leftwich went away. Gabbert could step in and take over quick. I wouldn’t touch either guy in a standard draft.
11. J.J. Watt, DE – Houston Texans
I feel like the Texans have been searching for the book-end DE for Super Mario since they… drafted Super Mario. Maybe this is the guy? Maybe… time will tell, but I thought they could have done better.
12. Christian Ponder, QB – Minnesota Vikings
If you play in a two QB league and want to take a chance, he may be your man. The new system in Minnesota will emphasize running and dumping short passes. I’m sure Ponder can do that! And with weapons like Peterson, Harvin and Rice, there is a lot to like on offense.
13. Nick Fairley, DT – Detroit Lions
Suh and Fairley with KVB and Avril on the ends? Wow. I really wanted Prince at this spot because our DB’s get beat every game and it’s extremely frustrating but this move could really benefit the Lions offense. If Fairley can match Suh’s intensity this defense is going to create many opportunities for Stafford and Co. I predict the Lions win the Super Bowl!
14. Robert Quinn, DE – St. Louis Rams
Not a pressing need for the Rams, who already had a very good defensive line but Quinn is an excellent prospect and will give them immediate depth on the line.
15. Mike Pouncey, C – Miami Dolphins
He should start right away and give immediate help to whoever is running. Be it, Williams or Brown or someone new. Look for the Dolphins to run even more this year than last.
16. Ryan Kerrigan, DE/LB – Washington Redskins
A motor guy, who will help improve the second level of the Redskins right away. I expect much better play out of the Redskins in year two under Shanahanigans.
Part Two coming…