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The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft is in the books and now we can start to breakdown the dynasty impact of the top rookies and their destination in the NFL.

These are my initial quick take on what transpired last night for the offensive players selected:

Pick 1 – QB Cam Newton to Carolina:  Newton is an interesting dynasty prospect because it is tough to compare him to any QBs in recent memory.  I do not feel comparing him to Vince Young is fair, a better comparison might be Daunte Culpepper (pre-injuries).  With his running ability, Newton is a good bet to go at end of round 1 in your rookie draft.

Pick 4 – WR A.J. Green to Cincinnati: Green could not have landed in a better spot for his dynasty value.  The Bengals may have issues at QB if Carson Palmer moves on to greener pastures; however, Green will be a transcendent receiver that can make any QB look better with his catch radius and body control.  Green was my top rookie prospect in any scoring format prior to the draft and that assesment hasn’t changed.

Pick 6 – WR Julio Jones to Atlanta: Many draft pundits slotted Jones for the sixth overall selection to the Browns, but instead it was Atlanta with the huge trade up in the first round to secure their future number 1 wide receiver for QB Matt Ryan.  Roddy White isn’t going anywhere which is very clear.  It is noteworthy that White will be 30 years old this season and the Falcons are restocking the cupboard in advance.  Jones’ early career statistics might suffer because of a reduced role but this guy is a very close in talent level to A.J. Green in my book and should be off the board in the top three rookie picks.

Pick 8 – QB Jake Locker to Tennessee:  One of the first shockers of the first round, especially with Blaine Gabbert still on the board, the Titans selected their new franchise QB in Jake Locker.  Locker had been generating serious buzz in the final weeks of the draft process.  Locker has the tools to succeed if he can put his accuracy issues from college behind him.  He makes for an interesting second round rookie draft pick because of his upside but could be hampered by a conservative run-first offense.

Pick 10 – QB Blaine Gabbert to Jacksonville: The Jaguars picked an excellent time to draft their first quarterback in any round since 2003 and secure a player many thought had a shot to be taken first overall.  I still think Gabbert can be the best QB from this class if he is given the time to develop and playing behind David Garrard for a season or two will accomplish that.  Gabbert is a player I would have said would be a first round rookie pick, may now be available in the second round of your rookie draft because of his draft selection behind Newton and Locker.

Pick 12 – QB Christian Ponder to Minnesota:  Many thought this was the reach of the first round but I have to applaud this selection.  It is cliche to say, but Ponder is the most pro-ready quarterback in this draft class and will have no problem starting from day 1 for the Vikings.  Ponder’s ability to make all the throws and his play-action prowess will only mean good things for the fantasy value of Adrian Peterson.  Ponder could slide to the end of round 2 of your rookie draft and past that point he could be a steal for your team.

Pick 26 – WR Jonathan Baldwin to Kansas City:  I am not thrilled with this selection for Kansas City, but many people I respect liked the move, so I won’t write it off entirely.  If any coach in the NFL can turn around Baldwin’s maturity issues it is Todd Haley.  The Chiefs already have Dwayne Bowe and Dexter McCluster, so Baldwin will man the other outside receiver position as soon as he is ready.  Kansas Ciy is a run-heavy team, and there may not be enough targets to go around to give Baldwin much fantasy value early in his career.

Pick 28 – Mark Ingram to New Orleans:  I love this move for New Orleans and the rich continue to get richer.  Ingram will have to share the football with Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory, but ultimately a shared committee could extend the life of all of their NFL careers.  Ingram may even bring a shift in offensive philosophy and bring the Saints to a more balanced offense.  Ingram should be off the board in the first three rookie picks.

If I had to post rankings on just the first round they would look something like this:

Rk Pos  Name Team Age
1 WR A.J. Green CIN 22.8
2 RB Mark Ingram NO 21.4
3 WR Julio Jones ATL 22.2
4 QB Blaine Gabbert JAX 21.6
5 QB Christian Ponder MIN 23.2
6 QB Cam Newton CAR 22.0
7 QB Jake Locker TEN 22.9
8 WR Jonathan Baldwin KC 21.7
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4 Comments

    • Gary
    • Posted April 29, 2011 at 10:47 AM
    • Permalink

    Bryan, great analysis of the first round of this draft.

    In regards to your rankings, are the rankings just for this upcoming season or for who will be the best player career wise? If it is for this upcoming season, fantasy wise, I totally agree with AJ Green being the top guy. However, I think Gabbert may be too high, as he may not even play in year one, whereas Ponder should start week 1. With the talent that he has around him, Ponder could easily be the #2 ranked offensive rookie for the 2011 season. I like Jones over Ingram, but I think it’s a push due to their current situations. I also think that a guy not even drafted yet could be in the top 5 of 2011 rookies depending on the team that drafts him. Case in point, if the 49ers draft Andy Dalton in round 2 or if Kyle Rudolph gets selected by a team like the Rams or Dolphins, one or both of them could be very productive.

    Keep up the good work Bryan!

    • Thanks for checking out the site Gary. These are dynasty values, over the length of their careers.

    • jake the snake
    • Posted May 1, 2011 at 11:19 AM
    • Permalink

    like the site. good work!

    • dynasty man
    • Posted May 20, 2011 at 12:42 AM
    • Permalink

    Yo – not a bad site – if your readers like this though – they’ll really like NoOffseason.com


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