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NFL Offseason Watch: Mock Draft - Rounds 1, 2

Mario Puig

Mario is a Senior Writer at RotoWire who primarily writes and projects for the NFL and college football sections.

With the post-Combine rankings finalizing, it's time to start lining the players up and guessing who might end up where. There will be a few more adjustments to be made as pro days come and go, giving us more information on top prospects like Blaine Gabbert, Tyron Smith, Da'Quan Bowers and Kyle Rudolph, but the big picture is starting to shape up already.

The mock draft listed below contains the first two rounds of the draft. Each pick that involves a quarterback, running back, receiver or tight end has a corresponding fantasy impact section listed beneath the mock draft, analyzing how each player would fit with their hypothetical team.

1. Carolina Panthers – Cameron Newton, QB, Auburn (6-5, 248)

Carolina needs a franchise quarterback, and Newton has all the tools to fill that void. Furthermore, Newton could be just the ticket new coach Ron Rivera needs for some job security. If the Panthers go for a veteran like Kyle Orton or Kevin Kolb, fans and media will expect immediate results from Rivera. Taking a quarterback with the first pick means he'll have at least two years to work on Newton before anyone expects Carolina to compete.

2. Denver Broncos – Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU (6-0, 219)

Nick Fairley or Marcell Dareus make plenty of sense for a Broncos defense that lacks talent on the interior line, but they're equally lacking in cornerback talent. Peterson is a Charles Woodson/Champ Bailey type of cornerback prospect, and I think he's a more rare talent at his spot than Fairley or Dareus are at tackle.

3. Buffalo Bills – Von Miller, (3-4) OLB, Texas A&M (6-3, 246)

The Bills have all but publicly stated that they have no faith in Aaron Maybin. If they're serious about transitioning into the 3-4, that means they've got no time to waste in finding an impact disruptor on the weak side. Miller has defensive back speed to go along with a non-stop motor, and he'd bring explosiveness to a Bills defense that currently has none on the edges.

4. Cincinnati Bengals – Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri (6-4, 234)

Carson Palmer is a sane individual, so he's not interested in subjecting himself to the dysfunction of the Bengals organization. Finding a replacement, then, becomes the top objective for Cincinnati. Gabbert has shaky college film, but the belief that he can turn into a franchise NFL quarterback remains somewhat widespread. If the Bengals are a part of that group, then they're all but compelled to take Gabbert here.

5. Arizona Cardinals – Robert Quinn, (3-4) OLB, North Carolina (6-4, 265)

Quinn doesn't have the explosiveness that Miller does, but he brings similar disruptiveness on a much thicker, more pro-ready frame. Outside of O'Brien Schofield, Arizona has absolutely nothing at outside linebacker, and even Schofield is unproven at this point. If Miller, Newton and Gabbert are all gone, I can't imagine how Arizona passes on Quinn.

6. Cleveland Browns – A.J. Green, WR, Georgia (6-4, 211)

Passing on Nick Fairley and Marcell Dareus would be tough for the Browns, but they'd be crazy to let Green slip away from them. It will be difficult for Colt McCoy to grow as a quarterback if he has to continue tolerating Brian Robiskie and Mohamed Massaquoi as his starting receivers. Green would instantly be the team's best receiver and is a remarkably low-risk prospect. If Cleveland is sincerely focused on building around McCoy, Green is the pick, no questions asked.

7. San Francisco 49ers – Marcell Dareus, DL, Alabama (6-3, 319)

While the conventional thought is that Dareus is only a 4-3 tackle or 3-4 end, there's no reason a player of his build and strength can't develop into a 3-4 nose tackle. It could take some work, but it would be worth the investment for San Francisco, who otherwise will have to break the bank on the unexceptional Aubrayo Franklin.

8. Tennessee Titans – Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn (6-4, 291)

Tennessee might be a bit leery of defensive tackles with questionable character, but Fairley is no Albert Haynesworth. He might do something dumb occasionally, but Fairley has a ferocious motor and is extremely competitive. The same can't be said of our good friend Albert.

9. Dallas Cowboys – Tyron Smith, OT, USC (6-5, 307)

Prince Amukamara would almost definitely be the better value here, but Dallas has no insurance at right tackle. If nothing changes, Dallas would start either Marc Colombo or Sam Young on the right side. Neither scenario is acceptable.

10. Washington Redskins – Julio Jones, WR, Alabama (6-3, 220)

Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly were both busts, and Santana Moss is only a short-term option, assuming the Redskins can even convince him to stick around. Jones isn't as dynamic as his stopwatch numbers indicate, but he does possess the skill set and athleticism to turn into a legitimate No. 1 NFL receiver.

11. Houston Texans – Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska (6-0, 206)

If he fell to this point, Houston would be 100 percent crazy to pass on Amukamara. Kareem Jackson should turn into a decent player for the Texans, but he's nowhere near Amukamara's level as a prospect. Combining the two would be Houston's quickest route to fixing its unbearably bad pass defense.

12. Minnesota Vikings – Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson (6-3, 280)

Suggesting that Bowers could fall this far is considered blasphemous at this point, but I just can't see a good fit for him in the first 10 picks. Despite the general narrative that Bowers is an exceptional end prospect, I don't see it. I think he belongs outside of the top 10, as he looks more like a Justin Smith than a Julius Peppers. While Minnesota could be thinking Jake Locker with this pick, it'd be difficult for them to pass on Bowers, who would at the very least solve the Ray Edwards problem.

13. Detroit Lions – Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College (6-7, 311)

Detroit made the right decision in taking Ndamukong Suh over Trent Williams and Russell Okung last year, but that didn't mean a whole lot to Matt Stafford's shoulder. Castonzo isn't a prospect on the level that Williams and Okung were, but he does have the sufficient skill set and athleticism to project as a fine left tackle in the NFL. He'd be a slam-dunk selection for Detroit here.

14. St. Louis Rams – Cameron Jordan, DE, California (6-4, 287)

While Jordan doesn't really have the look of your typical dynamic pass rusher, he would at the very least provide a rock-solid and disruptive strong-side anchor for the St. Louis defensive line. If there's anyone who can turn Jordan into even more than that, though, it's Steve Spagnuolo, who somehow managed to get 10.5 sacks out of the 33-year-old James Hall last year.

15. Miami Dolphins – Jake Locker, QB, Washington (6-3, 231)

Mark Ingram is the assumed target for Miami at this spot, but I think Locker would be far more sensible. Running backs are a dime a dozen, but players with Locker's abilities are rare. Even if they have to let him sit on the bench for most of the season, plugging in the electric Locker for some late season garbage time could be just what Tony Sparano needs to get the Miami fan base energized. It might also be what he needs to convince his superiors that he has a plan for the future. Chad Henne does not qualify as such.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars – J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin (6-5, 290)

Watt is probably most valuable in a 3-4 alignment, but he'd be more than useful as a strong-side defender in any 4-3. The Jaguars seem committed to adding smart, high-motor types on the defensive line, and Watt checks out well in both capacities. With Watt, Tyson Alualu and Aaron Kampman at its disposal, the Jacksonville D-line wouldn't have an ounce of quit in it.

17. New England Patriots (from Oakland) – Justin Houston, (3-4) OLB, Georgia (6-3, 270)

Bill Belichick has only shown a slight interest in adding pass rushers to his defense, but it's still difficult to imagine a justification for passing on Houston at this spot. If Jordan and Watt are gone, Houston would almost definitely be the quickest way for New England to add disruptiveness to its front seven.

18. San Diego Chargers – Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin (6-7, 314)

The Chargers have a solid all-around roster, so it'll take some nitpicking for them to decide which positions to draft at. One area that might work is right tackle, where the unspectacular Jeromey Clary is a free agent. Carimi is probably good enough to displace him even without the cost considerations.

19. New York Giants – Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama (5-9, 215)

Word during last draft was that the Giants were crazy about C.J. Spiller, even with Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw under contract. With Bradshaw likely becoming an unrestricted free agent, landing Ingram here is the most cost-effective means of retaining the team's rushing identity.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue (6-4, 267)

Combining Kerrigan with Gerald McCoy and (hopefully) Brian Price is a nightmarish proposition for opposing offensive lines. If Tampa is going to regain the defensive identity it had in the days of Sapp, Rice and Brooks, completing the assembly of a disruptive defensive line is mandatory.

21. Kansas City Chiefs – Brooks Reed, (3-4) OLB, Arizona (6-3, 263)

While his college production wasn't too great, Reed's performances in workout settings have his stock red-hot right now. The Chiefs have one edge accounted for thanks to Tamba Hali, but they need more talent at the other outside linebacker spot.

22. Indianapolis Colts – Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois (6-0, 227)

If Mark Ingram is gone, Leshoure would still be an excellent pick for Indianapolis. Come to think of it, he's really not that dissimilar to Edgerrin James. They run with a similar lean and are both skilled pass-catchers, though James was a bit lighter and more explosive.

23. Philadelphia Eagles – Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado (6-2, 211)

There seem to be some rather serious character concerns surrounding Smith, but thanks to DeSean Jackson, the Eagles might not be terribly reluctant to play with fire, especially at a position of extreme need. The Eagles could probably use two relatively high picks at cornerback, so a gamble like this might be necessary.

24. New Orleans Saints – Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa (6-3, 281)

If Clayborn had entered the draft after his junior season, he'd have probably gone much earlier than this. While his numbers disappeared in 2010, his intense motor and competitiveness remained on display. An organization like the Saints is fond of players with such traits, and they need help all along the defensive line.

25. Seattle Seahawks – Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State (6-2, 229)

Can't imagine how the game film makes Ponder a first-round quarterback, but apparently his performances at the Senior Bowl and Combine have locked him into the first 40 picks. In any case, his style of play is a good theoretical fit for Seattle's offense.

26. Baltimore Ravens – Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland (6-1, 204)

If Derrick Mason and Anquan Boldin retain the top two receiving roles in 2011, Smith would still be able to make an instant impact as a kick returner. He returned three for scores in college, and his rare explosiveness would provide a big-play threat currently missing from the Baltimore offense.

27. Atlanta Falcons – Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri (6-4, 263)

Smith's athleticism was overestimated by most, but he still represents a good value here for Atlanta, raw as he might be. John Abraham and Kroy Biermann would likely remain starters for the Falcons, giving Smith time to refine his game for the future.

28. New England Patriots – Mike Pouncey, G, Florida (6-5, 303)

The Pats and Logan Mankins aren't best friends at the moment, and Bill Belichick loves him some Gators. This is too good of a fit.

29. Chicago Bears – Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois (6-2, 298)

The Bears could obviously use help on the offensive line, but Liuget might be a better value here than Derek Sherrod would be at offensive tackle. The in-state product has a skill set that fits well with Chicago's attack-style 4-3, and the absence of Tommie Harris would let Liuget compete for a starting spot as a rookie.

30. New York Jets – Phil Taylor, (3-4) NT, Baylor (6-3, 334)

Taylor represents some risk, but he also has a chance to be an ideal starting nose tackle in the 3-4. That potential value makes Taylor an easy choice for the Jets at this spot, as there aren't any great bargains to be had at outside linebacker.

31. Pittsburgh Steelers – Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State (6-5, 321)

While Max Starks and Willie Colon proved to be a decent tackle tandem in the past, their recent durability issues could compel Pittsburgh to reevaluate the arrangement. If Sherrod can start from Day One, it'd allow the Steelers to move Colon to guard, where he might be a better fit.

32. Green Bay Packers – Cameron Heyward (3-4) DE, Ohio State (6-5, 294)

Cullen Jenkins is not expected to be back in Green Bay, making Heyward a great fit here. C.J. Wilson and Mike Neal present a good amount of upside for the future, but Heyward is a better prospect than both and should be ready to contribute right away.


33. New England Patriots (from Carolina) – Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia (6-1, 198)

If Devin McCourty is Bill Belichick's new Ty Law, then Dowling would be Otis Smith. Known as a strong, contact-heavy corner, Dowling surprised by running in the 4.4s at the Combine, despite pulling his hamstring in the process.

34. Buffalo Bills – Nate Solder, OT, Colorado (6-8, 319)

Solder doesn't look like a Day One starter, but beggars can't be choosers. Buffalo needs more offensive line talent, no matter the form it comes in.

35. Cincinnati Bengals – DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma (6-0, 213)

Cedric Benson just isn't that good, and Bernard Scott is an unknown at this point. Transitioning into Jay Gruden's reportedly west coast-style offense, an elite pass-catcher like Murray would be instantly valuable for Cincinnati.

36. Denver Broncos – Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina (6-2, 309)

Speaking strictly in terms of athleticism, Austin is a top-15 pick. But his questionable instincts and dubious off-field behavior of the past year should make him available in this range. He could be John Fox's next Kris Jenkins.

37. Cleveland Browns – Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame (6-6, 259)

Ben Watson is a fine player, but Rudolph has the potential to be better. If Cleveland really is going all-in with Colt McCoy, this would be a good pick.

38. Arizona Cardinals – Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas (6-7, 253)

Mallett could easily be the target of a trade up prior to this spot. If he falls this far, Arizona would be compelled to take him.

39. Tennessee Titans – Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada (6-5, 233)

Kaepernick's rare athleticism would result in obvious Vince Young comparisons, but all indications are that Kaepernick's got a better head on his shoulders.

40. Dallas Cowboys – Stephen Paea, (3-4) NT, Oregon State (6-1, 303)

Dallas seems content with Jay Ratliff and Josh Brent at nose tackle, but Paea's talent is difficult to ignore. The Cowboys need to take him if he falls this far.

41. Washington Redskins – Martez Wilson, (3-4) OLB, Illinois (6-4, 250)

Wilson could definitely go earlier than this after running in the high 4.4s at the Combine, but I think his poor instincts will hurt his final grades. Washington needs an outside linebacker to help Brian Orakpo, and Wilson has the athleticism and size to plug into such a role.

42. Houston Texans – Muhammad Wilkerson, (3-4) DE, Temple (6-4, 315)

There's a growing sentiment that Wilkerson belongs in the first round. I don't see it, but his experience in Temple's 3-4 makes him a great fit for Houston at this spot.

43. Minnesota Vikings – Danny Watkins, G, Baylor (6-3, 310)

Minnesota could use an impact addition on its interior line, and Watkins would be just that. He'd help maximize Adrian Peterson's production.

44. Detroit Lions – Brandon Harris, CB, Miami (FL) (5-10, 191)

While Harris could be the target of a trade up prior to this slot, he'd be an easy pick for Detroit if he should fall this far. Alphonso Smith isn't going to cut it.

45. San Francisco 49ers – Aaron Williams, CB, Texas (6-0, 204)

Jim Harbaugh loves aggressive defenders, and Williams isn't afraid to get in someone's face in press coverage. His upside might be limited, but the 49ers can still use him.

46. Denver Broncos (from Miami) – Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech (5-9, 212)

An indispensable part of John Fox's formula for success in Carolina was a strong running game. Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter are not a sufficient combination for the offense Fox envisions.

47. St. Louis Rams – Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami (FL) (6-2, 209)

Hankerson would be an awesome value for St. Louis at this spot. He doesn't have the measurables that A.J. Green and Julio Jones do, but Hankerson is a natural playmaker.

48. Oakland Raiders – Dontay Moch, DE/LB, Nevada (6-1, 248)

Moch is this year's most notable size/speed freak. Al Davis tends to notice these things.

49. Jacksonville Jaguars – Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky (5-10, 191)

He's not as big as A.J. Green or as fast as Torrey Smith, but Cobb is a player who will get the job done either way. Jacksonville could use a playmaker at wideout, and Cobb fills that role perfectly.

50. San Diego Chargers – Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh (6-4, 230)

Baldwin probably isn't prepared to be much more than a field-stretcher as a rookie, but San Diego has obviously had good luck with their big wideout projects in recent years (Vincent Jackson, Malcom Floyd).

51. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Christian Ballard, DL, Iowa (6-4, 283)

Ballard could easily go earlier than this, so Tampa would do well to add him here. He could either fit at strong-side end or at tackle, where Brian Price's health is uncertain.

52. New York Giants – Stefen Wisniewski, C, Penn State (6-3, 313)

The Giants don't have an urgent need on the O-line, but the foundation they've relied upon is aging. Wisniewski would project as a future starter at center.

53. Indianapolis Colts – Rodney Hudson, G, Florida State (6-2, 299)

The Colts need to remain focused on reestablishing their running identity, and adding an interior blocker like Hudson would help them get there.

54. Philadelphia Eagles – Ben Ijalana, OT/G, Villanova (6-4, 317)

The ‘Nova product might not be pro-ready at the moment, but the Eagles are an organization that does an excellent job of seeing the big picture. Ijalana would be a nice asset going into the future.

55. Kansas City Chiefs – Titus Young, WR, Boise State (5-11, 174)

Dwayne Bowe will remain unchallenged as the Chiefs' workhorse wideout, but Young would make an instant impact as a field-stretcher.

56. New Orleans Saints – Drake Nevis, DT, LSU (6-1, 294)

Just like Clayborn, Nevis is a squatty, high-energy disruptor on the defensive line. The in-state connection would make him an especially welcome addition.

57. Seattle Seahawks – Clint Boling, G, Georgia (6-5, 308)

A star tackle in college, Boling probably is best suited at guard in the NFL. Seattle could use an upgrade at all offensive line spots besides left tackle.

58. Baltimore Ravens – Bruce Carter, ILB, North Carolina (6-1, 241)

The Ravens could use more talent at inside linebacker, and Carter is an intriguing athletic specimen who could pay off as a project.

59. Atlanta Falcons – Jerrel Jernigan, WR, Troy (5-9, 185)

For as efficient as it was last year, the Atlanta offense had a surprising lack of playmakers. Jernigan would add a big-play threat that the Falcons lack.

60. New England Patriots – Allen Bailey, (3-4) DE, Miami (FL) (6-3, 285)

Bailey has the skill set to fit in a wide range of looks for New England, even if he doesn't project as an ideal starter in the 3-4. Schematic versatility is something Bill Belichick is very appreciative of.

61. San Diego Chargers (from Jets) – Curtis Brown, CB, Texas (6-0, 185)

The San Diego defense was tough last year, but they're generally a bit shallow at cornerback, and Quentin Jammer isn't getting any younger.

62. Chicago Bears – Orlando Franklin, OT/G, Miami (FL) (6-6, 316)

Franklin would get a look at right tackle and either guard spot for Chicago. That versatility would be useful as the Bears continue to search for the right combination of players on the O-line.

63. Pittsburgh Steelers – Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville (5-11, 191)

It takes a particular type of cornerback to fit in Pittsburgh's defense, and Patrick should be one of them. He's mean and aggressive.

64. Green Bay Packers – Sam Acho, (3-4) OLB, Texas (6-2, 262)

Acho isn't the most athletically gifted edge rusher in the draft, but his rare intelligence will make him a popular prospect among 3-4 teams.



Cam Newton (Carolina, 1st overall)

If Matt Moore and Jimmy Clausen are both around, Newton will probably have trouble seeing the field right away. As talented as he is, it'll take some work for him to transition from Auburn's one-read option offense into an NFL system. If he does get on the field for whatever reason, Newton would be someone to watch in fantasy leagues. His passing will presumably be shaky, but he has the wheels and the strength to make an impact as a runner. And unlike most running quarterbacks, Newton has the bulk to take NFL hits. While he'll take some big hits from defenders, it'll go both ways with Newton.

Blaine Gabbert (Cincinnati, 4th overall)

If Gabbert is in Cincinnati, it probably means Carson Palmer isn't. And it also probably means Jordan Palmer is his main competition. As much as it wouldn't be ideal for Gabbert to get thrown to the fire right away, it would also be a monumental indictment against him if he can't beat out the younger Palmer. If Gabbert did start, though, he'd have surprisingly decent weapons to use. Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell were highly impressive last year, and Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Gresham were also promising as rookies.

Jake Locker (Miami, 15th overall)

While he has far more potential than Chad Henne, Locker would stand next to no chance at beating him for the starting spot coming out of training camp. The Dolphins would need to fall apart for Locker to get a shot to start. Since that's definitely a possibility, Locker would be someone to watch in Miami, for his running ability alone. If he ended up on the field late in the year, he could be good for a Tim Tebow-like run.

Christian Ponder (Seattle, 25th overall)

If Seattle can't keep Matt Hasselbeck in town, then Ponder would have a good shot at starting as a rookie. Charlie Whitehurst is a comically bad option as a starter, and he wouldn't last more than a few games in that role. Still, Ponder's production and durability were both shaky in college, so it's hard to like his chances of making an immediate impact.

Ryan Mallett (Arizona, 38th overall)

As long as Mallett doesn't step on any toes, there's just no chance that John Skelton or Max Hall can keep up with him. Still, Mallett wouldn't be a guarantee to put up nice numbers in Arizona, because the offensive line is not good and the running backs are similarly unimpressive.

Colin Kaepernick (Tennessee, 39th overall)

Considering his background as a pistol quarterback coming from a low level of competition, it'd be a big upset if Kaepernick could earn the trust of his coaches as a rookie. Still, even if it's just for a game or two, there's reason to think Kaepernick could make a few nice spot starts for fantasy owners. He ran for more than 1,000 yards in each of the past three years, and he has the wheels to badly burn defenses if they don't stick with their containment responsibilities.


Mark Ingram (New York Giants, 19th overall)

If the Giants invested in Ingram, it'd probably come directly at the expense of Ahmad Bradshaw, who likely would draw a hefty contract in the event that he's an unrestricted free agent. If Bradshaw isn't around, Ingram would have a good shot at making a rookie-year impact in New York. Between Brandon Jacobs' age, punishing running style and tendency to land in and out of the doghouse constantly, there's reason to think Ingram would get a significant workload right away.

Mikel Leshoure (Indianapolis, 22nd overall)

If Leshoure landed in Indianapolis, he'd be a potential fantasy goldmine. His presence would likely end any possibility of re-signing Joseph Addai, and Donald Brown simply isn't good enough to keep up with Leshoure. As long as he shows the ability to pick up pass protection, there's no reason Leshoure wouldn't be a great fit in Indy, and a Peyton Manning offense would mean he'd make a fair number of visits to the red zone.

DeMarco Murray (Cincinnati, 35th overall)

Murray's fantasy value would hinge on whether Cedric Benson or another veteran runner is on Cincinnati's 2011 roster. If it's just Bernard Scott we're talking about, Murray has a good chance of being a big deal, especially in PPR leagues. If Murray starts 12 games, he could, conservatively, catch at least 50 passes. He probably wouldn't be wildly successful on the ground, however.

Ryan Williams (Denver, 46th overall)

While Williams is easily a more talented runner than Knowshon Moreno, the presence of one would probably negate the fantasy value of the other. If you're an optimist, you might instead suggest that a DeAngelo Williams/Jonathan Stewart sort of arrangement would surface between the two. But instead of both running for 1,000 yards, it's more likely that they'd both run for 700 or so.


A.J. Green (Cleveland, 6th overall)

Mohamed Massaquoi has had his moments and could ultimately turn into a fine player, but Green would be Cleveland's No. 1 receiver right away. Brian Robiskie would fade into an even bleaker version of irrelevance. Colt McCoy was promising as a rookie, so such prominence in the offense could actually lead to decent numbers for Green.

Julio Jones (Washington, 10th overall)

Even if he were doomed to a year of Rex Grossman, Jones would be in a surprisingly good position to succeed in Washington as a rookie. There's a chance that Santana Moss is gone, and if that happens, Chris Cooley would be Jones' main competition for catches. Anthony Armstrong was promising last year, but he has the look of a deep route specialist and not much more.

Torrey Smith (Baltimore, 26th overall)

Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason would be locked into the top two receiver spots in Baltimore, but both are major injury worries (Boldin for his injury-riddled past, Mason for being 37). For that reason, a rookie-year impact for Smith or whatever other receiver might end up in Baltimore is not out of the question. Even if he starts a few games, however, Smith's numbers would be limited by Baltimore's run-first mentality.

Leonard Hankerson (St. Louis, 47th overall)

If Mark Clayton isn't around, Hankerson would possibly be St. Louis' best receiver right away. Guys like Danny Amendola, Brandon Gibson and Danario Alexander would get their hands on a few passes, but none have the No. 1 wideout potential that Hankerson possesses. Like all eventual Rams wideouts, Hankerson's production in this scenario would also hinge heavily on Sam Bradford's development.

Randall Cobb (Jacksonville, 49th overall)

Mike Sims-Walker doesn't seem likely to return, and Mike Thomas' potential is limited. Even though he doesn't have the profile of your typical feature wideout, it's quite possible that Cobb would be Jacksonville's best receiver from Day One. Furthermore, Cobb might be better suited to make a fantasy impact than most rookie receivers because of the wildcat work he might get. Even if he's not catching passes, Cobb can find other ways to burn defenses.

Jonathan Baldwin (San Diego, 50th overall)

If the trio of Vincent Jackson, Malcom Floyd and Patrick Crayton is around, Baldwin would have a lot of trouble seeing targets in San Diego. Of course, Jackson has a way of not getting along with management, and Floyd didn't display much durability as a starter last year. History says any receiver who gets on Philip Rivers' field is going to get some numbers, so just getting off the bench is the primary obstacle.

Titus Young (Kansas City, 55th overall)

Although they're both big-play threats, no one's ever going to confuse Dwayne Bowe or Dexter McCluster for Mike Wallace or DeSean Jackson. Young represents one of the better big-play threats of recent drafts, particularly as far as deep routes go. A role in that specialty wouldn't be challenged in Kansas City, but it wouldn't necessarily entitle Young to a big role in the Chiefs' offense, which ran more often than any other in the NFL last year.

Jerrel Jernigan (Atlanta, 59th overall)

Atlanta's offense is one of the most run-heavy in the league, and when it does pass, it almost always goes to Roddy White or Tony Gonzalez. For that reason, any rookie wideout would struggle to put up numbers in Atlanta, especially a gadget player like Jernigan.


Kyle Rudolph (Cleveland, 37th overall)

Obviously, a rookie tight end isn't likely to be a fantasy option if he isn't a starter. The Rob Gronkowski/Aaron Hernandez scenario is a weird exception. Ben Watson would have to get out of Rudolph's way for him to make a notable impact in Cleveland. It'd happen eventually, just not necessarily in 2011.