ARIZONA CARDINALS: B+
The Cardinals made an excellent value pick with defensive tackle Dan Williams
at 26th overall, and linebacker Daryl Washington
(2nd round, 47th overall) has Keith Bulluck
-like potential. If the team had done anything to improve its offensive line, this could have been an ĎAí grade.
Best pick: OíBrien Schofield, (3-4) OLB Wisconsin
Schofield could have been a 2nd round pick if he hadnít torn his ACL during Senior Bowl practice. Although he was known for his athleticism at Wisconsin, he routinely overpowered offensive tackles who were 50-80 pounds heavier than him.
Fantasy potential: Daryl Washington
, (3-4) ILB TCU
Washington really only has Ali Highsmith
and Gerald Hayes
ahead of him on the depth chart, so he could earn a starting job early on in Arizona. If he starts, he has the speed and aggressive mentality necessary to produce as an IDP.
ATLANTA FALCONS: B-
Outside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon
(19th overall) brings a good deal of range and playmaking ability to the Falcons defense. Interior offensive linemen Mike Johnson
(3rd round, 98th overall) and Joe Hawley
(4th round, 117th overall) bring smarts and toughness to a line that badly needed more depth. Still, Weatherspoon is the teamís only high-impact pick.
Best pick: Sean Weatherspoon
, OLB Missouri
Weatherspoon is a prospect with very few flaws and should start right away for Atlanta. His athleticism and aggressiveness is a good complement to middle linebacker Curtis Lofton
ís more plodding style of play.
Fantasy potential: Kerry Meier
, WR Kansas
Meier (5th round, 165th overall) is a long shot to make an impact, but the former quarterback was extremely effective as a possession receiver in the Big 12. If Michael Jenkins
gets injured, Meier is polished enough to potentially step in as a short-route option for the Falcons.
BALTIMORE RAVENS: B-
The Ravens really improved their front seven with the selections of outside linebacker Sergio Kindle
(2nd round, 43rd overall), nose tackle Terrence Cody
(2nd round, 57th overall) and Arthur Jones
(5th round, 157th overall). The team probably went a bit overkill at tight end by drafting Ed Dickson
(3rd round, 70th overall) and Dennis Pitta
(4th round, 114th overall), however.
Best pick: Arthur Jones
, (3-4) NT/DE Syracuse
Jones was very productive at Syracuse and could have been a 2nd or 3rd round pick if it werenít for injury concerns. He gives the team a good eventual replacement option for Trevor Pryce
at the end spot, and he might even be able to play at nose tackle if Cody eats himself out of the league.
Fantasy Impact: David Reed
, WR Utah
Reed (5th round, 156th overall) will have a hard time seeing the field in Baltimore, but all three of Baltimoreís top wideouts are potential injury risks. Derrick Mason
has been durable in his career, but heís 36 years old. Anquan Boldin
and Donte Stallworth
are constantly battling injuries, and Stallworth might even be too rusty to earn playing time.
BUFFALO BILLS: B-
Buffalo acquired good talents in the draft, including the draftís top playmaker in running back C.J. Spiller
(9th overall), but the team largely left its offensive line problems unaddressed. The Bills had needs at most positions, however, so something was going to be overlooked no matter what.
Best pick: C.J. Spiller
, RB Clemson
is certainly an adequate runner for the Buffalo, but it wonít take long for Spiller to show that heís from another world entirely. Marshawn Lynch
isnít talented enough to justify his off-the-field annoyances, so getting rid of him wonít do any harm.
Fantasy impact: C.J. Spiller
, RB Clemson
Look for the Bills to start Fred Jackson
to wear down defenses early, with Spiller providing big plays later on after defenses get a bit winded. If Buffalo makes the decision to use its third-down backs as receiving threats rather than pass blockers, Spiller could earn that job right away because heís an extremely effective receiver out of the backfield.
CAROLINA PANTHERS: C
This grade would be lower if Jimmy Clausen
hadnít miraculously fallen to the 48th pick. Matt Moore
did a nice job in 2009, but Clausen has all the ability you look for in a franchise quarterback. Trading a 2011 2nd rounder to draft Appalachian State QB/WR Armanti Edwards
with the 89th pick was a questionable move, as was taking LSU wideout Brandon LaFell
(3rd round, 78th overall) over more consistent receivers like Emmanuel Sanders
and Eric Decker
Best pick: Jimmy Clausen
, QB Notre Dame
Itís assumed that Clausen fell into the 2nd round because of personality concerns. Itís difficult to read into that concern given that we donít personally know Clausen, but if the concern turns out to be invalid the Panthers absolutely got the steal of the draft.
Fantasy impact: Jimmy Clausen
, QB Notre Dame
deserves to hold the starting job heading into 2010, but if he regresses or gets hurt, Clausen could be a productive replacement. The Carolina running game and the presence of a dominant go-to receiver like Steve Smith
will make Clausenís transition much easier than what most rookies have to work with.
CHICAGO BEARS: D
Itís somewhat unfair to grade a team that didnít pick until the 3rd round, but the Bears still didnít do much with what they had. Safety Major Wright
(3rd round, 75th overall) is a big hitter who could win a starting spot among the teamís weak safety lineup, but that isnít impressive in itself. We think Kansasí Darrell Stuckey
, who went to San Diego with the 110th pick, is a better prospect than Wright.
Best pick: Corey Wootton
, DE Northwestern
Wootton is bigger and slower than most 4-3 ends but lighter and weaker than most 3-4 ends. Still, his huge wingspan and impressive athleticism for his size (6-6, 270) gives him good potential for the Bears down the road. He would have been a 2nd or 3rd round pick if it werenít for injury concerns.
Fantasy impact: Major Wright
, S Florida
Thereís really not much to work with here. Wright almost certainly has to be one of the teamís two best safeties, however, so he could make some plays as an IDP in 2010.
CINCINNATI BENGALS: B-
Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham
was a very good pick at 21st overall and could be the teamís top pass target after Chad Ochocinco
and Antonio Bryant
. Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap
(2nd round, 54th overall) is an underachiever but his high upside means he could start for the Bengals in the near future.
Best pick: Dezmon Briscoe
, WR Kansas
This is assuming Briscoe (6th round, 191st overall) doesnít have some character or work ethic issue that will make it difficult for him to stick with the team. Briscoe is one of the most talented receivers in the draft but didnít impress in off-season workouts. Still, we think heís a better player than Syracuseís Mike Williams
, who the Buccaneers took in the 4th round.
Fantasy impact: Jermaine Gresham
, TE Oklahoma
Gresham is the most impressive tight end prospect since perhaps Jeremy Shockey
in 2002. He has the frame necessary to turn into an every-down tight end in the NFL and should be an effective receiver right away. Some insist the Bengals simply donít throw to tight ends, but that was because of the teamís lack of talent at the position. The Atlanta Falcons threw around 30 passes to their tight ends in 2008, but Tony Gonzalez
alone caught 83 passes in 2009. Gresham has the receiving ability to prompt a milder but still significant shift in play-calling.
CLEVELAND BROWNS: B+
Weíre not as high on Texas quarterback Colt McCoy
(3rd round, 85th overall) as most people, but the Browns did a lot to help themselves in this draft. Florida cornerback Joe Haden
(7th overall), Tennessee running back Montario Hardesty
(2nd round, 59th overall) and Oregon safety T.J. Ward
(2nd round, 38th overall) are all good players who should make an immediate impact. This would be an ĎAí draft if the Browns had found themselves a pass-rusher.
Best pick: Montario Hardesty
, RB Tennessee
Hardesty is a 1st round talent who fell due to injury issues. His all-around game is excellent and heís better at any back in the draft at making the most of every play.
Fantasy impact: Montario Hardesty
, RB Tennessee
and James Davis
both look like good players for Cleveland, but they canít match up to Hardestyís talent. If he can stay healthy, Hardesty should receive a fair amount of carries early on in 2010. If Jerome Harrison
gets hurt at any point, Hardesty could be in line for some big games.
DALLAS COWBOYS: B
The Cowboys landed one of the draftís most polarizing prospects in Oklahoma State wideout Dez Bryant
(24th overall), who should team up with Miles Austin
to give Dallas one of the more potent receiver lineups in the league. Still, itís debatable whether Bryant will serve the team better than a player like South Florida safety Nate Allen
, who the Eagles drafted with the 37th pick.
Best pick: Sean Lee
, ILB Penn State
is overrated and the great Keith Brooking
will be 35 this year, so Dallas needed an inside linebacker. Lee (2nd round, 55th overall) is the draftís most instinctive linebacker and could have a career similar to Brookingís.
Fantasy impact: Dez Bryant
, WR Oklahoma State
ís unscripted style of passing puts a premium on quickness and the ability to make circus catches. Bryantís explosiveness and fantastic hands make him a good fit in this respect. If Roy Williams
continues to underachieve, Bryant could be the teamís second-most productive wide receiver in 2010.
DENVER BRONCOS: C+
The only player in the draft more polarizing than Dez Bryant
is Florida quarterback Tim Tebow
, who the Broncos drafted 25th overall. As much as there is to like about him, we still think the huge amount of faith invested in Tebowís intangibles is superstitious at best. Players who play quarterback like he does donít get drafted anywhere near this high, so taking him 25th overall is the draftís biggest gamble.
Best pick: Eric Decker
, WR Minnesota
Decker (3rd round, 87th overall) runs better routes than probably every receiver in the draft, and his hands are about as good as Dez Bryant
ís. He doesnít have very high upside, but he could turn out to be a T.J. Houshmandzadeh
-type of receiver for Denver.
Fantasy impact: Demaryius Thomas
, WR Georgia Tech
Thomas (22nd overall) is the draftís most physically talented wideout, and he could see the field right away for a Denver squad that has very little receiver talent outside of Eddie Royal
and the underwhelming Jabar Gaffney
. Thomasí size (6-3, 224), huge hands and ability to run after the catch make him this yearís best bet to make a fantasy impact as a rookie receiver.
DETROIT LIONS: B+
We think the Lions got the draftís best player in Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh
(2nd overall), and California running back Jahvid Best
(30th overall) is one of the draftís best playmakers when healthy. Iowa cornerback Amari Spievey
was a good value in the 3rd (66th overall) at a position of need.
Best pick: Ndamukong Suh
, DT Nebraska
If it werenít for mild concerns about Suhís knees, heíd pretty much be the perfect defensive tackle prospect. Heís a hard worker with great character who will get the most out of his incredible athletic ability.
Fantasy impact: Jahvid Best
, RB California
Bestís injury concerns are something to be worried about, but he does have high upside in 2010 because the Lionsí incumbent at running back (Kevin Smith
) is coming off a serious knee injury. In addition, Best is much more talented than Smith.
GREEN BAY PACKERS: B
Iowa tackle Bryan Bulaga
(23rd overall) was an unexpected draft day faller, but we think the 20s is where he should have gone all along. Itís a solid value for Green Bay at a position of need, but we donít think itís much of a steal. Georgia Tech safety Morgan Burnett
is a very good value in the 3rd round (71st overall) at another position of need.
Best pick: C.J. Wilson, (3-4) DE East Carolina
Wilson was highly productive at ECU and brings the athleticism of a 4-3 defensive end despite possessing the size of a 3-4 defensive end (6-3, 290). Wilson could be one of the big steals of the draft, and it shouldnít surprise anyone if he outplays 2nd round end (56th overall) Mike Neal
Fantasy impact: James Starks
, RB Buffalo
Starks (6th round, 193rd overall) really only faces Brandon Jackson
in the competition for the top backup spot to starter Ryan Grant
, and he has a decent shot of winning. Starks is a very good athlete for his size (6-2, 218).
HOUSTON TEXANS: C
Alabama cornerback Kareem Jackson
(20th overall) and Arizona defensive tackle Earl Mitchell (3rd round, 81st overall) were both potential reaches. Still, Jackson should make an immediate impact in a secondary with very little talent. We think selecting Auburn running back Ben Tate
(2nd round, 58th overall) over Montario Hardesty
will prove to be an error.
Best pick: Garrett Graham
, TE Wisconsin
Graham (4th round, 118th overall) is as polished of a route runner as any tight end in the draft, and his hands rank similarly. The problem is the team already has Owen Daniels
and James Casey
, not to mention the fact that they picked Pittsburghís Dorin Dickerson
at the same position in the 7th round (227th overall).
Fantasy impact: Ben Tate
, RB Auburn
Tate is a tough, aggressive and deceptively athletic runner. He could very well earn a lot of carries right away in Houston, but Arian Foster
and Steve Slaton
still pose significant obstacles.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: C
Grading a Colts draft is usually pointless because they routinely pick players no one else wants and make them productive. We think taking TCU defensive end Jerry Hughes
(31st overall) over Indiana offensive lineman Rodger Saffold
was a bad idea, but Hughesí edge-rushing ability is a good fit for their style of defense. The team didnít do much to address its offensive line concerns after passing on Saffold, however.
Best pick: Pat Angerer
, LB Iowa
Angerer (2nd round, 63rd overall) was a great player at Iowa, and heís an excellent fit for the Colts defense. His instincts are on a level similar to Sean Lee
and Alabamaís Rolando McClain
, and heís a better athlete than most expected. He can probably play any linebacker spot for the Colts, but it looks like heíll start out at middle linebacker, behind Gary Brackett
Fantasy impact: Jerry Hughes
, DE TCU
The Colts draft has very little importance in the fantasy world, but Hughes probably stands the best chance of seeing the field anytime soon. Thatís because starting ends Dwight Freeney
and Robert Mathis
have had their share of injury concerns in the past few years. Hughes is a fringe IDP candidate if one of those two gets hurt.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: C-
There canít be a single person outside of the Jaguars organization who thought the team would take California defensive tackle Tyson Alualu
10th overall, but weíre not as down on the pick as most. We think this reach will be forgiven in a year or two, but you have to think Jacksonville could have gotten him after a trade down.
Best pick: Tyson Alualu
, DT/DE California
No one knows for sure where Alualu will play in 2010óhe played defensive tackle at California but his quickness and explosiveness makes him a potential fit at end, as well. Heís a very powerful player who plays with great leverage and a somewhat insane level of aggression. Whichever position he plays, we think heíll be good.
Fantasy impact: Deji Karim
, RB Southern Illinois
Karim (6th round, 180th overall) is a very speedy and explosive back who played against a low level of competition in college. Heís someone to watch in the pre-season as a potential handcuff pickup for Maurice Jones-Drew
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: B+
The Chiefs made the right pick with Tennessee safety Eric Berry
at 5th overall, as he might be the surest thing in the draft. His coverage ability will allow the Kanas City defense to be much more creative with its blitzing schemes, and heíll help limit the big play that has become so common against Chiefs defenses. Alabama cornerback Javier Arenas
(2nd round, 50th overall) was a reach, however, and the team still needs to improve at the offensive tackle position.
Best pick: Eric Berry
, S Tennessee
Berry is the best safety prospect weíve seen in just about forever. He has to be the favorite to win defensive rookie of the year and he might make a stronger immediate impact than any other rookie.
Fantasy impact: Eric Berry
, S Tennessee
Mississippi running back/receiver Dexter McCluster
(2nd round, 36th overall) will only be a role player in 2010, but Berry should be a full-time playmaker. He should be on everyoneís radar for IDP options in the secondary.
MIAMI DOLPHINS: C+
Penn State defensive end Jared Odrick
(28th overall) is a very good 3-4 prospect, but taking him when Kendall Langford
and Randy Starks
already make the end positions the teamís greatest strength is very questionable. We donít think Utah outside linebacker Koa Misi
(2nd round, 40th overall) was productive enough in college to warrant a top-40 selection, but he is a fair pick at a position of need.
Best pick: A.J. Edds
, LB Iowa
Edds (4th round, 119th overall) has the size and athleticism to play any linebacker spot in the 3-4, and he has a good amount of upside for a 4th round selection.
Fantasy impact: A.J. Edds
, LB Iowa
Although Misi is the higher pick, Edds may be the more polished player and his versatility means he could get top dibs at one or more linebacker spots in the event of an injury to a starter. Still, Eddsí chances of producing as an IDP are slim.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS: C-
The Vikings locked onto Virginia cornerback Chris Cook
(2nd round, 34th overall) weeks before the draft and their tunnel vision might have made them miss out on better prospects. Cook is a nice prospect, but heís a corner whose selling point is ďHe can play safety if he isnít any good at cornerback,Ē and usually that means youíre just better off moving them to safety. Stanford running back Toby Gerhart
(2nd round, 51st overall) was a reach and they overpaid in the trade-up it took to get him.
Best pick: Everson Griffen
, DE USC
Griffen (4th round, 100th overall) is an underachiever who lacks a motor, but his measurable are off the charts. The Vikings just have to hope him falling to the 4th round will put a chip on his shoulder.
Fantasy impact: Toby Gerhart
, RB/FB Stanford
Gerhart runs high, but he also runs hard and has good vision. He shouldnít be expected to be particularly productive if Adrian Peterson
gets hurt, but he is worth consideration as a desperation handcuff.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: B-
The Patriots certainly addressed many needs with this draft, but we question the value of a couple of those picks, namely Florida outside linebacker Jermaine Cunningham
(2nd round, 53rd overall) and Florida inside linebacker Brandon Spikes
(2nd round, 62nd overall). Cunningham is stiffer and less fluid than your average outside linebacker, and Spikesí 5.0-second 40-yard speed is a major concern.
Best pick: Devin McCourty
, CB Rutgers
The Patriots donít traditionally draft cornerbacks this high, but this was a good idea. Darius Butler
wasnít particularly impressive in 2009 and the team lacks depth that the position. McCourty (27th overall) should be a starter by the end of the season.
Fantasy impact: Rob Gronkowski
, TE Arizona
If Gronkowskiís back problems are a thing of the past, he should earn a regular role in the New England offense early on in 2010. Heís one of the draftís better blocking tight ends but is a polished and productive receiver as well.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: C+
The Saints generally picked players who were good values, but how those players will be useful isnít as apparent. Jabari Greer
and Tracy Porter
have the starting cornerback spots locked down, so Florida State cornerback Patrick Robinson
(32nd overall) wonít play much unless last yearís 1st round pick (Malcolm Jenkins
) moves to free safety. LSU defensive tackle Al Woods
(4th round, 123rd overall) is major talent, but he was so unproductive in college that we canít see how heís worth drafting.
Best pick: Charles Brown
, OT USC
Brown presumably fell because teams were worried about his demeanor and training habits, because his talent is very evident on film. The only problem with this pick is that heís a weak-side blocker only, which means that the team has a serious logjam at left tackle with Jamaal Brown and Jermon Bushrod
Fantasy impact: Jimmy Graham
, TE Miami
Graham (3rd round, 95th overall) is unlikely to do much in 2010, but he has the raw athleticism necessary to be a decent red-zone target in the event of an injury to Jeremy Shockey
or David Thomas
NEW YORK GIANTS: B-
The teamís obsession with constantly building its defensive line has left the linebacker position largely unaddressed, but preserving the teamís pass-rush abilities should make this a good draft for New York. South Florida defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul
(15th overall) and East Carolina defensive tackle Linval Joseph
(2nd round, 46th overall) are both very raw but have extremely high upsides. The Giants front office was clearly looking down the road with both picks, but the team could have used some instant impact players to keep up with Philadelphia and Dallas.
Best pick: Jason Pierre-Paul
, DE South Florida
The Giants might be looking to get rid of Osi Umenyiora after 2010, and Pierre-Paul should be ready to take over by then. By playing in a situational role this year, Pierre-Paul wonít have any pressure to do too much too soon.
Fantasy impact: Phillip Dillard
, LB Nebraska
The Giants donít have much talent at linebacker, so not much is standing in Dillardís (4th round, 115th overall) way. He could earn a starting job in 2010 and is worth keeping an eye on as an IDP if he emerges as a productive player.
NEW YORK JETS: B
Although the Jets added Antonio Cromartie
in the offseason, he was a major liability in San Diego and might prove to be the same in New York. Lito Sheppard
burned the Jets with his poor play in 2009, so picking Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson
with the 29th overall pick was an easy choice for the Jets. New York also added one of the draftís better guard prospects in Massachusettsí Vladimir Ducasse
(2nd round, 61st overall)
Best pick: Kyle Wilson
, CB Boise State
We thought the talk of Wilson being a better cornerback prospect than Joe Haden
was rubbish, but heís a very good value at the 29th pick. His speed and aggressiveness are a perfect fit for the Jetsí pressure defense. Heís also a very good punt returner.
Fantasy impact: Joe McKnight
, RB USC
McKnight wonít do much in 2010 unless LaDainian Tomlinson
proves to be completely ineffective. In such a situation, however, he becomes an interesting handcuff option in the event that Shonn Greene
OAKLAND RAIDERS: B
We think Alabama inside linebacker Rolando McClain
(8th overall) was a major reach, but Oakland is obviously moving to the 3-4 next year and they needed to get bigger and stronger in the interior. Texas defensive tackle Lamarr Houston
(2nd round, 44th overall) is a good player, but weíre not sure he projects that well into the 3-4. Still, Raiders fans have to feel hopeful about the fact that Al Davis made reasonable picks all the way through this draft.
Best pick: Bruce Campbell
, OT Maryland
Davis must have just about lost his mind when he realized that Campbell was going to fall to his 4th round pick (106th overall). Although Campbell didnít perform that well at Maryland, heís more than worth the gamble in the 4th round.
Fantasy impact: Rolando McClain
, ILB Alabama
McClain should easily win a starting job in Oakland and could make a huge amount of tackles in the middle of what could be a porous Raider run defense. Heís a top IDP sleeper at linebacker.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: A-
The Eagles snagged the most disruptive defender in the draft by taking Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham
(13th overall), and South Florida safety Nate Allen
(2nd round, 37th overall) is an excellent pick, as well. The Eagles got a great value at just about all of their 13 picks, but this would be an ĎAí grade if they had better addressed the cornerback position.
Best pick: Brandon Graham
, DE Michigan
Graham could easily win a starting spot before Week 1 and should be a terror to the rest of the NFC East right away. His ability to wreck plays will make him one of the best from this draft.
Fantasy impact: Charles Scott
, RB LSU
Scott (6th round, 200th pick) could earn the backup running back spot behind LeSean McCoy
, a player who wasnít especially impressive in 2009. If McCoy gets injured or disappoints in 2010, the bruising Scott could emerge as a productive runner for Philadelphia.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS: A-
Florida center Maurkice Pouncey
(18th overall) will really help the interior Pittsburgh offensive line, an important point as the Steelers lean more heavily on the running game while Ben Roethlisberger
is suspended. Virginia Tech outside linebacker Jason Worilds
(2nd round, 52nd overall) and Ohio State outside linebacker Thaddeus Gibson
(4th round, 116th overall) will keep the Pittsburgh pass rush firing at full speed.
Best pick: Maurkice Pouncey
, C Florida
Few players in the draft are as sure to make an instant impact as Pouncey. He provides a rare push in the middle of the field that will make life easier for Dennis Dixon
(or whoever else is under center for Pittsburgh) while he holds down the fort during the Roethlisberger suspension.
Fantasy impact: Emmanuel Sanders
, WR SMU
Sanders is one of the draftís most NFL-ready wideouts, and heís a very good athlete as well. He is ideally more of a slot receiver than a feature receiver, but he could be a good sleeper option at receiver if Hines Ward
or Mike Wallace
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS: A-
The Chargers managed to address most of their biggest needs with good value picks. Between Fresno State running back Ryan Mathews
(12th overall), Washington linebacker Donald Butler
(3rd round, 79th overall), Kansas safety Darrell Stuckey
(4th round, 110th overall) and North Carolina nose tackle Cam Thomas
(5th round, 146th overall), the Chargers could have drafted four starters in this draft.
Best pick: Cam Thomas
, (3-4) DT North Carolina
Thomas is a huge and powerful run stuffer who will have a very good shot at starting right away in San Diego. He wonít make many plays, but heís too powerful for teams to not double-team him.
Fantasy impact: Ryan Mathews
, RB Fresno State
And here is, by far, the top rookie fantasy factor. Mathews has the ability to be a highly productive feature back right away for the Chargers, and he should almost definitely be the top goal-line back in San Diego. In a Norv Turner offense, Mathews could be a rather high pick in fantasy drafts this year.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: B+
The 49ers could have one of the leagueís best offensive lines in 2010 after adding Rutgers tackle Anthony Davis
(11th overall) and Idaho guard Mike Iupati
(17th overall), and Penn State inside linebacker Navorro Bowman
(3rd round, 91st overall) represents a likely upgrade, as well. The problem is that these offensive line improvements wonít do Frank Gore
any good when Alex Smith
canít throw out of any formation but the shotgun. The failure to trade up for Jimmy Clausen
in the 2nd round keeps this from being an ĎA+í draft.
Best pick: Navorro Bowman
, (3-4) ILB Penn State
Bowman is a 1st round athlete with character and durability issues, but Mike Singletary should be able to get the best out of him. Takeo Spikes
did well in 2009, but heís 33 years old and has had some major injury concerns over his career. Bowman will pick up wherever he leaves off.
Fantasy impact: Anthony Dixon
, RB Mississippi State
Dixon (6th round, 173rd overall) is a talented and extremely productive power back with major character issues. Itís entirely possible that he is talented enough to supplant Glen Coffee
, and if he does, he becomes a very interesting handcuff option to the injury-prone Frank Gore
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: A
The Seahawks started off red-hot with their first four picks, but whiffed on pretty much everything from that point. Still, landing Oklahoma State left tackle Russell Okung
with the 6th overall pick was a steal, and players like Texas safety Earl Thomas
(14th overall), Notre Dame wide receiver Golden Tate
(2nd round, 60th overall) and Oregon cornerback Walter Thurmond
(111th overall) are all very good prospects at positions of need. The Seahawks also landed Leon Washington
and LenDale White
for next to nothing in draft-day trades.
Best pick: Walter Thurmond
, CB Oregon
Thurmond is a playmaker on the level of former teammate Jairus Byrd
, but heís a better athlete. If it werenít for injury concerns, Thurmond would have been a 2nd rounder at worst. He also has great potential as a kick and punt returner.
Fantasy impact: Earl Thomas
, S Texas
Thomas should easily win a starting spot right away, and heís a good sleeper option as an IDP at defensive back. He probably wonít rack up a ton of tackles, but heís a huge turnover threat.
ST. LOUIS RAMS: A-
Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford
(1st overall) is obviously the biggest name in the draft, but the Rams did well for themselves in the picks that would follow. Indiana offensive lineman Rodger Saffold
(2nd round, 33rd overall) in particular was a great pick. South Florida cornerback Jerome Murphy
(3rd round, 65th overall) and Cincinnati receiver Mardy Gilyard
(4th round, 99th overall) could also earn playing time right away.
Best pick: Rodger Saffold
, OT/G Indiana
Saffold is best suited as a weak-side blocker, so he might start out at left guard for St. Louis. However, if Jason Smith
and Alex Barron canít perform well enough at left tackle, Saffold is a good prospect for that position, as well.
Fantasy impact: Sam Bradford
, QB Oklahoma
Bradfordís fantasy prospects donít look especially good in 2010, but you never know. Steven Jackson
ís ability to shoulder most of the offense could leave Bradford in a situation similar to where Mark Sanchez
was last year, so he could prove to be productive against lesser defenses.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: B+
Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy
(3rd overall) is a rock solid pick and should instantly make the Buccaneers defense better. UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price
(2nd round, 35th overall) is a very good player, but that pick might have been overkill given Roy Miller
ís presence on the roster. Illinois wide receiver Arrelious Benn
(2nd round, 39th overall) gives Josh Freeman
a much-needed target with No. 1 wideout potential.
Best pick: Myron Lewis
, CB Vanderbilt
Lewis is a big corner with very good ball skills and excellent range. Heís a potential liability in defenses where he needs to turn and run, but in a cover-2 he could prove to be a dangerous ballhawk.
Fantasy impact: Arrelious Benn
, WR Illinois
Benn is a big target with strong hands and is a skilled runner after the catch. Heís almost guaranteed to start for a Tampa Bay receiver lineup thatís downright miserable. His value is limited by however well Josh Freeman
performs in his second season.
TENNESSEE TITANS: B
Georgia Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan
(16th overall) is a polished and productive player who should start very early if not right away in 2010. The Titans added another NFL-ready player who could immediately serve as a possession wideout in USCís Damian Williams
(3rd round, 77th overall). Tennessee landed a very solid draft that suits the teamís needs, but it wasnít spectacular in any respect.
Best pick: Rennie Curran
, OLB Georgia
Curran (3rd round, 97th overall) is undersized, but heís a very instinctive and aggressive player who will be a good fit in Tennesseeís attacking defense. The team lacks any clear replacement for Keith Bulluck
, and the highly productive Curran could emerge as a contributor right away in Tennessee.
Fantasy impact: LeGarrette Blount
, RB Oregon
Blount went undrafted, but heís still the most intriguing fantasy prospect on the team heading into 2010. If Blount can keep his head on straight and make the final roster, his great physical talent should earn him the top backup running back job. Starter Chris Johnson
received 408 touches in 2009, and if that sort of thing keeps up heís likely to get hurt sooner rather than later. If Blount finds himself as starter for a game or two, the results could be explosive.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS: D+
This could wind up being a draft with only one useful player. Oklahoma offensive tackle Trent Williams
(4th overall) is a great talent whose power at the point of attack is well above average. He seems to have heavy feet, however, and to us thereís no way heís a better blindside protector than Russell Okung
. Still, Williams should clear a lot of room for running plays at worst. Other than Williams, the Redskins really did almost nothing noteworthy.
Best pick: Trent Williams
, OT Oklahoma
We still think Williams is best suited to the right side, because his feet are not as light as you would want a left tackleís to be. Almost everyone agreed with that point until he ran a 4.88-second 40-yard dash at the combine. Weíll defer to the film. With that said, Williams is a good left tackle prospect at worst.
Fantasy impact: No one
Thereís no reason to force this one. No Redskins draft picks should be on your fantasy radar in any regard.