Now that we’ve had time to digest the 2010 NFL Draft, it’s time to start thinking of the incoming class in terms of fantasy value. I’ll start by ranking the rookie running backs.


1. Ryan Matthews, San Diego Chargers

Matthews wasn’t the first RB to come off the board, but he found the best home. Norv Turne has already stated that he wants to get Matthews plenty of touches both on the ground and through the air. He’s the feature back in a high-powered offense. He has the size that should get him the red zone carries. He has little competition as Darren Sproles is a change of pace back and third down specialist.


2. C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills

He was the first RB selected and the #2 fantasy prospect for 2010. He is lightning quick with the ability to score any time he touches the ball. Speed backs like Chris Johnson and Jamaal Charles excelled last year with similar skill sets. Competition in the form of Fred Jackson prevents Spiller for being the top rookie prospect. He could actually slide a notch if it looks like it’s going to be a 50-50 split with Jackson.


3. Jahvid Best, Detroit Lions

Best should get plenty of opportunities with the Lions as Kevin Smith recovers from his ACL injury. Best has injury concerns of his own, but possesses a great deal of talent. The Lions have done an outstanding job rebuilding their team. While they aren’t likely to be playoff contenders, they should be more competitive in 2010 meaning a more balanced offensive attack. Best stands to receive the lion’s share (pun intended) of the carries.


4. Ben Tate, Houston Texans

The Texans would have loved to land Matthews, but Tate is a great consolation prize. Not only do he have great speed and size, but he has experience with zone blocking schemes which the Texans use.


5. Toby Gerhart, Minnesota Vikings

I am convinced that the Vikings will rely on the run more in 2010. Adrian Peterson won’t be the only Viking RB to have fantasy relevance. With Chester Taylor in Chicago, Gerhart has an excellent chance of filling his role. If Adrian Peterson’s fumbling woes continue, Gerhart could steal even more carries.

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A look back at the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

1. St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Grade: A
The Rams couldn’t pass up their franchise QB.

2. Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
Grade: A
While protecting Stafford should have been a priority, talents like Suh don’t come along very often. This is a deep class for offensive lineman so Stafford will get his protection later.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
Grade: A
McCoy could be the defensive rookie of the year. Great fit for their defense.

4. Washington Redskins: Trent Williams, T, Oklahoma
Grade: A
Whether it was Okung or Williams, the Skins did the right thing by adding in the trenches. Williams is a better athlete than Okung and fits Washington’s system better.

5. Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Berry, FS, Tennessee
Grade: A
Berry also could be the defensive rookie of the year. He’s a special talent at safety, which has become one of the most important positions on defense in recent years.

6. Seattle Seahawks: Russell Okung, T, Oklahoma State
Grade: A
Out with Walter Jones. In with Okung. I love this pick.

7. Cleveland Browns: Joe Haden, CB, Florida
Grade: A-
The Browns needed to improve their secondary and Haden is a great choice. There was a clear drop-off after the sixth pick.

8. Oakland Raiders: Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
Grade: B+
Should they have gone with an offensive lineman? Perhaps. Inside LBs don’t typically go this high. That said, McClain has the goods. He too could challenge for the defensive rookie of the year. Cut Al some slack after this pick.

9. Buffalo Bills: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
Grade: B-
Sure, he’s an amazing talent and the anti-Marshawn Lynch, but weren’t there other holes to fill? Fred Jackson was adequate and RBs have short shelf lives.

10. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tyson Alualu, DL, California
Grade: D
With the 10th pick of the 2010 NFL Draft Al Davis on behalf of the Jaguars selects Tyson Alualu.

11. San Francisco 49ers: Anthony Davis, T, Rutgers
Grade: B
I love the pick, but I’m not sure they needed to trade up to get him.

12. San Diego Chargers: Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State
Grade: A-
I love the pick, but did they really have to jump up 16 spots? Maybe in order to keep him out of the Texans’ hands. The Chargers got the best every down RB in the draft.

13. Philadelphia Eagles: Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan
Grade: D
I don’t have a problem with the pick, but they gave up a king’s ransom to get him. If they had grabbed Earl Thomas I would have been more understanding.

14. Seattle Seahawks: Earl Thomas, S, Texas
Grade: A
I love what the Seahawks did in the first round. They already got their LT and they added a ball hawking safety a few spots later.

15. New York Giants: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
Grade: C
I guess the G-Men didn’t pay attention to the Vernon Gholston fiasco. Just because you’re a gifted athlete doesn’t mean you can play at this level.

16. Tennessee Titans: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
Grade: A
The Titans hit a HR with Morgan. They needed to bolster their pass rush and got one of the better talents without having to move up.
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2010 NFL Mock Draft #9

20 April 2010

The draft was a wild one. Click here for my Round 1 Grades.

 

Here’s my final mock draft.

1. St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
The Rams could (should) trade down. Either way looks like Sam I Am is the pick.

2. Detroit Lions: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
While I think Suh is a better talent, Okung is a wiser decision. If you saw the Blind Side, you know you have to protect your QB.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneeers: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
Suh will go earlier if there is a trade, but if he’s there I can’t see Suh slipping past three.

4. Washington Redskins: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
Okung is the more likely pick if he’s there. Either way they have to protect McNabb.

5. Kansas City Chiefs: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
The Chiefs need to strengthen their offensive line to give Matt Cassel time and open holes for the dual-headed RB attack.

6. Seattle Seahawks: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
McCoy is too talented to slide past #6.

7. Cleveland Browns: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
Berry could end up being the best defensive player in this class. Plus, he fills a need.

8. Oakland Raiders: Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
I’m a nervous that this pick has stuck in every mock. Al usually avoids the conventional.

9. Buffalo Bills: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
The Bills need Clausen to fall to them.

10. Jacksonville Jaguars: Joe Haden
Jags typically go best player available, which I think is Haden.

11. Denver Broncos: Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
The Broncos have a need at middle linebacker, and McClain has the ability. More importantly he’s a great character guy.

12. Miami Dolphins: Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
I guess we can stop speculating whether Parcels will take a WR in the first round. With Marshall on board, Williams is virtually a no-brainer.

13. San Franciso 49ers: Earl Thomas, S, Texas
Thomas has a ton of ability. He also has some flexibility as he could likely play either safety or corner for the Niners.

14. Seattle Seahawks: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
The Seahawks struck out with T.J. Houshmandzadeh. He’s a possession receiver. He’s not going to stretch defenses. That’s what Bryant will be used for.

15. New York Giants: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
With Osi unhappy, the Giants are smart to add a talented DE to the mix.

16. Tennessee Titans: Jason Paul-Pierre, DE/LB, South Florida
JPP is an absolute beast. They hit a HR with The Freak (Kearse) once upon a time. They look to add another off the charts talented pass rusher.
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Not long after signing his tender Brandon Marshall had a new home. ESPN‘s Adam Schefter broke the news that the petulant wide receiver was traded to the Miami Dolphins for what is believed to be a pair of second round picks (2010, 2011).

Miami gets a major upgrade at WR, but he does come with baggage. While money shouldn’t be an issue after he signs a monster extension, going to South Beach could present its share of problems off-the-field. There are plenty of distractions.

On the field, it’s not a bad place for Marshall to land. While they are a run-heavy team, they do possess a young QB with a strong arm in Chad Henne. The uncertainty of his new home moves him down a couple of notches in my fantasy rankings (click to see), but he remains a top ten WR in my book.  Henne also moves up a few notches.

In Denver, Kyle Orton takes a big hit. Marshall’s departure leaves the Broncos without a legitimate threat in the passing game. Perhaps the move will allow Eddie Royal to rebound from a disastrous 2009 season that featured a 54 catch, 635 yard, and 5 TD drop-off from a solid rookie season.

***Update***
The Dolphins and Brandon Marshall agreed on a four-year extension.

Click here for the FantasyKnuckleheads.com’s take.

Two quarterbacks displayed great accuracy during their recent pro days. Sam Bradford hit 49 of 50 of his passes, showing that his shoulder was just fine. He wasn’t able to prove that it could stand up to a hit, but it was good to see him display great accuracy and arm strength. Bradford remains a strong candidate for the first overall pick.

Colt McCoy went a step further by completing all of his 58 passes during his pro day. He doesn’t have the arm strength of a Bradford or a Jimmy Clausen, but his accuracy is unmatched.  McCoy lacks the prototypical height and arm strength of an NFL quarterback, but is a leader and a winner. McCoy will likely go in the second round.

While Bradford and McCoy seemingly did everything right, wide receiver Dez Bryant did not fare as well. Not only did he forget his cleats, but ran a 4.52 forty time. Bryant needed to be better prepared after already having some character issues. Bryant was suspended for ten games for lying to the NCAA about his relationship with Deion Sanders. Bryant will still likely be the first receiver to come off the board, thanks to his 87 catch, 1480 yard, 19 TD sophomore season. It just appears to be later than originally expected.

2010 NFL Mock Draft #5

12 March 2010

Click here for my most recent 2010 NFL Mock Draft
Updated 4/20/10

Still looking for that right formula.

1.  St. Louis Rams:  Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Is Bradford the best player in the draft? No. Does he make the most sense fiscally? Not really, but for the money they Rams have to land a franchise QB.

2.  Detroit Lions:  Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
Should they take Suh or McCoy? Probably. However, they need to protect the guy that’s sitting on a pile of 2009 Detroit Lions cash.

3.  Tampa Bay Buccaneeers:   Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
McCoy or Suh? Suh or McCoy? After a coin flip, and realizing Suh is the better NFL prospect, the Bucs take Suh.

4.  Washington Redskins:  Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
I had them going Clausen in the last mock, but that pick doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The Skins have really aged at the line so I’m going back to a lineman. This time it’s Bulaga, who continues to climb.

5.  Kansas City Chiefs:  Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
McCoy is too big of a talent for the Chiefs to pass on. Scott Pioli knows the value of a good defensive line.

6.  Seattle Seahawks:  Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
Unless the Seahawks work a trade for McNabb or Kolb, they are going to have to add talent at the position, especially after trading Seneca Wallace.

7.  Cleveland Browns:  Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
I’ve been stuck on Haden the whole time, but with some urging have opened my eyes to Haden’s poor combine. He’s not fast enough to be a top 7 pick.

8.  Oakland Raiders:  Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
This one sticks. He’s huge. He’s fast. He has Al Davis written all over him.

9.  Buffalo Bills:  Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
The Bills need help on their offensive line as much as any position, with the possible exception of quarterback.

10.  Jacksonville Jaguars:  Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
The Jags need to improve their pass rush. Aaron Kampman should help. They could add another one later, but here the pick is to go with hands down the top receiver prospect.

11.  Denver Broncos:  Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
To me this pick makes about as much sense as any in the first round. He just fits their system so perfectly. Plus, there’s an immediate need following the release of Andra Davis.

12.  Miami Dolphins:  Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
Jason Ferguson is on his last legs and facing an 8-game suspension. They need to start thinking about the future.

13.  San Franciso 49ers:  Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
Davis fills a need at Left Tackle. He and Joe Staley will give them a pair of bookends for years to come.

14.  Seattle Seahawks:  Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
The Seahawks need to improve their pass rush. They also need help on the offensive line, but that will wait.

15.  New York Giants:  Joe Haden, CB, Florida
Haden’s fall finally ends. The G-Men added Rolle at safety, but still need to upgrade their secondary. Haden is a steal.

16.  Tennessee Titans:  Brian Price, DT, UCLA
The Titans could use Price to help fill the void that Albert Haynesworth left.
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ESPN is reporting that Tim Tebow scored a 22 on the Wonderlic test. An average score for a quarterback is 24. While there isn’t a true correlation between a Wonderlic score and performance on the field, it’s one more hurdle that Tebow is facing as he tries to make the transition to NFL quarterback. 

If it were his only deficiency it would be easy to overlook. However, Tebow’s footwork and delivery are also issues.  Tebow has been working to improve those shortcomings. The results will be on display next week during his pro day.

I wouldn’t read too far into this test. Tebow did well in school, and has displayed tremendous leadership on and off the field. He is very gifted physically and has all the intangibles needed to succeed at the next level.

2010 NFL Mock Draft #4

10 March 2010

Click here for my most recent 2010 NFL Mock Draft
Updated 4/20/10

 

The free agent signings and trades have changed the complexion of the 2010 NFL draft. Here’s my fourth look at the first round of the draft.

1.  St. Louis Rams:  Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
It appears as if Bradford’s decision to stay in school won’t cost him the #1 overall pick after all. He bulked up for the combine, and as long as his shoulder checks out, he’ll be the #1 pick.

2.  Detroit Lions:  Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
The Lions have added DT Corey Williams and DE Kyle Vanden Bosch making the likelihood of adding another piece to their defensive front slim. They will instead provide protection for Matthew Stafford. Okung had a terrific combine, showing his strength by finishing second with 38 bench press reps.

3.  Tampa Bay Buccaneeers:   Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
Tampa Bay gets the luxury of deciding between Suh and Gerald McCoy. They both had strong showings at the combine, but Suh threw up nine more bench press reps and had a five inch edge in vertical.

4.  Washington Redskins:  Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
While I’m not enamored with either QB, I think they will both go in the top four. Every team feels the pressure to add a franchise QB, and the money allotted to the fourth slot makes it hard to pass on one.

5.  Kansas City Chiefs:  Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
Bulaga has been rising up the rankings like wildfire. The Chiefs need help on their line and Bulaga is a good fit. They’ll need him to protect Matt Cassel and open holes for Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones.

6.  Seattle Seahawks:  Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
McCoy could go #2 to the Lions or he could slide down the Seahawks. While they need help on the line, I believe they’ll address that with their second first round pick. McCoy is too good of a value to pass on here.

7.  Cleveland Browns:  Joe Haden, CB, Florida
The Browns will be tempted to select Eric Berry, but in the end will stick with Joe Haden, who fills a bigger need.

8.  Oakland Raiders:  Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
Bruce Campbell’s 4.85 forty time virtually solidified that Al Davis will take the mammoth tackle.

9.  Buffalo Bills:  Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
While the Bills need help elsewhere, Berry comes at too good of a value to pass on.

10.  Jacksonville Jaguars:  Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
The Jags need a pass rush, but they addressed that by signing Aaron Kampman. They instead turn their attention to the offensive side of the ball. The Torry Holt experiment failed miserably. The Jags will turn to the talented Dez Bryant to play opposite of Mike Sims-Walker.

11.  Denver Broncos:  Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
The Broncos beefed up their defensive line by adding Jamal Williams and Jarvis Green. They’ll continue to build on defense with ILB Rolando McClain to play opposite of D.J. Williams. However, if Bryant is there, he’ll likely be the pick.

12.  Miami Dolphins:  Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
Williams is four for four landing with the Dolphins in my mock drafts. Williams is a great fit and fills a need for the Fins’ defense.

13.  San Franciso 49ers:  Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
Davis didn’t do himself any favors at the combine, but he didn’t drop out of the top 15 either. He fills a need for the Niners.

14.  Seattle Seahawks:  Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
After surprisingly  have McCoy fall in their laps, they add his teammate Trent Williams to solidify their offensive line.

15.  New York Giants:  Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
Now that safety isn’t as big of a need following the acquisition of Antrel Rolle, they can turn their attention to bolstering their defensive front. Morgan, who slid down thanks the to the aforementioned Kampman signing, lands with the G-men.

16.  Tennessee Titans:  Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
Pierre-Paul did not disappoint at the combine, leading the Titans to grab him at the midway point of the first round. They Titans need to improve their pass rush in a big way.
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I had the opportunity to talk with Gil Whiteley on the Sports Nooner on AM 1500 in Denver. We talked mainly about QBs in the 2010 NFL Draft as well as some thoughts on the Broncos’ intentions.

Take a listen

Click here for my 2010 NFL Mock Draft

 | Posted by | Categories: NFL, NFL Draft | Tagged: 2010 NFL Draft, NFL, NFL Draft |

2010 NFL Mock Draft #3

26 February 2010

Click here for my most recent 2010 NFL Mock Draft
Updated 4/20/10

Here’s my third look at the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

1.  St. Louis Rams: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
While I think the Rams should take Suh or McCoy here, I think they’ll fall into the trap of taking a QB. I’m afraid the salary structure of the NFL draft, which desperately needs to be adjusted, plays a huge role in this decision.

2.   Detroit Lions:  Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
I had the Lions taking Okung in my first two mocks, but with Suh coming available, the Lions can’t pass him up.

3.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers:  Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
The Bucs could trade up with St. Louis to ensure they get McCoy, who’s a better fit for their system.

4.  Washington Redskins:  Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
Sam Bradford could be the choice, but I don’t trust his shoulder. Until he shows he’s fine, I can’t have him going in the top four. The Skins have gotten old on the line. Time to inject some youth with Okung.

5.  Kansas City Chiefs:  Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
They’d prefer Okung, but if he’s not there Davis is the pick. The Chiefs need help on the line big time.

6.  Seattle Seahawks: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee 
I’ll all over the place with the Seahawks. First I had them taking Bradford. Then I had them taking Bruce Campbell. With Berry available, they go that direction instead.

7.  Cleveland Browns:  Joe Haden, CB, Florida
Another selection that has not changed since the initial mock.

8.  Oakland Raiders:  Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland 
With the adjustments I made, it brings the Raiders back to the massive Campbell.

9.  Buffalo Bils:  Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
I don’t believe in this QB crop, but the Bills will feel pressured to address the glory position.

10.  Jacksonville Jaguars: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
The Jags need to get to the QB as badly as they need to put butts in their seats. They may address the latter with Tebow in a later round, but Morgan is the perfect choice to do the former.

11.  Denver Broncos:  Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
I had them taking Dez Bryant in my previous two mocks, but that’s because McClain was gone already. If he’s there, he’s the choice.

12.  Miami Dolphins:  Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee 
Another pick that has survived three mocks now. Parcels loves LBs, but if McClain is gone, he’ll go another direction.

13.  San Francisco 49ers:  Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
For a third time I’m marrying the Niners and Bulaga. They’re a budding offense, and adding someone to help in the trenches makes perfect sense.

14. Seattle Seahawks:  Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma 
The Seahawks need to address their offensive line. They went with safety Eric Berry earlier, and grab a talented tackle here.

15.  New York Giants: Earl Thomas, S, Texas
Initially I went with Brian Price. In my second mock I switched to  Thomas because safety represents a bigger need for the G-Men. I’ll stick with that.

16.  Tennessee Titans:  Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
The Titans add Pierre-Paul, who has been terrific pre-draft, to help them get to the QB. 
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