2012 NFL Draft First Round Skill Players: A Fantasy Perspective

Apr 27, 2012


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The first round of the 2012 NFL Draft was a two part story. The first two picks were an absolute certainty. After that is was a flurry of moves that kept your head spinning.
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The Quarterbacks
Andrew Luck and RG3 were the locks. There was a little steam that RG3 could be the number one pick, but that never amounted to anything. I think they will both have great NFL careers, but they could have a bumpy first year.
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The Colts are a bad football team, and that was before the exodus of talent. Luck will have Reggie Wayne to throw to, but after that it’s up in the air. The Redskins added former Colt Pierre Garcon, but he really is better suited to be a number two. If I had to choose between the two, I would consider RG3 the better fantasy option in their first year.
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The Dolphins selected Ryan Tannehill. I don’t expect much from him early on. He’s more of a project than you would think for the eighth pick in the draft. Cleveland’s Brandon Weeden is the opposite. He is an “old” rookie that should be NFL ready. His problem is a lack of weapons in the passing game. I wouldn’t concern myself with either option in re-draft leagues.
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The Running Backs
Trent Richardson has the makings of a great running back. He is probably the most explosive back to enter the league since Adrian Peterson. With a rookie quarterback, they will lean on him heavily. I expect big things from Richardson, perhaps even creeping into top ten fantasy running back value in his rookie year.
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The first round concluded with a pair of running backs. The Bucs, who were hot on Richardson, “settled” for Doug Martin. Meanwhile the Giants added David Wilson. Martin will compliment LeGarrette Blount and Wilson will compliment Ahmad Bradshaw. Martin could win the lead back battle for Blount so he’s one to keep an eye on. If not, neither are more than a handcuff.
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The Receivers
Justin Blackmon came into the draft as the top-rated wide receiver. Unfortunately having Blaine Gabbert throwing to him could stunt his growth. There weren’t many worse landing spots for Blackmon. Maybe he can beat the odds, but fantasy owners had to groan when the Jags traded up for Blackmon.
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Michael Floyd landed in a nice spot despite a questionable quarterback situation as well. He gets to learn from and play opposite of Larry Fitzgerald. For a player with some questionable behavior in the past, he could not have found a better mentor. With his size and speed, he should be a solid option.
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Kendall Wright lands in Tennessee. He also has a top receiver to play off of in Kenny Britt. Unlike the first two receivers taken, he has a little more certainty at quarterback. Whether it is Matt Hasselbeck or Jake Locker, he should be catching passes from a capable QB.
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Finally, A.J. Jenkins was drafted by the 49ers. They are a run-first, smashmouth defensive team. They are looking to become more balanced, and Jenkins is part of that plan. Unfortunately they added Randy Moss and Mario Manningham to go along with Michael Crabtree so he’ll likely see less snaps than his fellow first rounders.
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