With the first day of the NFL Draft completed, there are a few complicated positional situations, the Jets defensive front three, the Rams backfield, and the Colts receiving corps. Here are some of my quick observations after five hours of sleep, done in order of selection:
QB Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay
The local signal caller gets a great target situation with Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and Doug Martin/Charles Sims. The problem is their offensive line situation is not in the best shape. With the Bucs defense a bit on the weak side, there should be plenty of opportunities for offensive production for Winston. He is in a great situation to produce from year one on.
QB Marcus Mariota, Tennessee
The Titans went with the only other feasible starting quarterback from day one. Ken Whisenhunt has gotten the most from his quarterbacks, so this should be no different. Delanie Walker and Kendall Wright should see an immediate uptick to their fantasy value. The mobile Mariota might help create space for second year back Bishop Sankey. I’m not as enthusiastic about his situation for his first two seasons.
DE Dante Fowler, Jacksonville
Looks like Gus Bradley finally got his Leo for the modified defense he brought from Seattle a few years ago. The flashy Fowler could apply pressure from the jump on this defense that needs a playmaker considering they face the Andrew Luck-led Colts twice a year.
WR Amari Cooper, Oakland
The Raiders are surrounding Derek Carr with more weapons and they got a smooth, precise route runner in Cooper. Considering the Raiders defensive situation, the young receiver should get a huge amount of targets and be the top red zone threat. The Carr-Cooper connection could be very fruitful for your squad.
DT/DE Leonard Williams, NY Jets
This pick gives new head coach Todd Bowles a multiple front defensive line. It’s just too early to see how they will employ Mo Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, and Williams. I suspect the Jets will use a little more 4-3 schemes to get all three defenders on the field at the same time, because Williams is many things (a nose tackle is not one of them).
WR Kevin White, Chicago
This pick is a bit troubling for me with head coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Adam Gase. Sure they worked wonders with Peyton Manning, but this is Jay Cutler. I’m not convinced that there will be enough targets for White to be an impact receiver with the more talented Alshon Jeffery on the other side.
OLB/DE Vic Beasley, Atlanta
If Beasley stays at defensive end, he should greatly improve the Falcons pass rush. I really don’t see him as a strong side linebacker, but he will need to improve his ability to anchor against the run.
RB Todd Gurley, Rams
This is the best running back of the draft. The Rams had starved for an offensive identity, but not anymore. Sure this displaces the values of Tre Mason, Bennie Cunningham, and the very vocal Zac Stacy (Twitter less). I have a feeling once Gurley is 100% healthy, he might see more carries than former Jeff Fisher back Eddie George.
WR Devante Parker, Miami
The Dolphins have finally gotten their outside, physical receiver. He will compliment last year’s slot man extraordinaire Jarvis Landry and let Kenny Stills be the deep threat. Ryan Tannehill will have a more well-rounded group of receivers and a very dependable on in Parker.
RB Melvin Gordon, San Diego
The Chargers moved up for their man. I’m not sure he is as much Jamaal Charles as many on NFLN thought last night, but he is a speedy talented, slashing back. Gordon should step in day one and be a starting RB2 for any dynasty team.
WR Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia
Will this be the year that the USC receiver curse gets put to rest? Agholor can play on the outside or in the slot. He is dependable and should be an immediate asset to your dynasty team, but do not expect more than WR3 results in his first season.
OLB Bud Dupree, Pittsburgh
The pass-rusher fell a bit in the draft if the hype is to be believed. He should be an immediate upgrade in sack weighted leagues, but needs to play better versus the run.
S/OLB Shaq Thompson, Carolina
It’s not real clear where he will play in the Panthers defense. With Luke Kuechley and Thomas Davis already manning the backer spots, Thompson could be a good safety/line backer tweener in special packages.
WR Breshad Perriman, Ravens
This speedy, talented wide out should slide right into the role vacated by current 49er and former Raven Torrey Smith. He might be one of the few receivers who can out-run a Joe Flacco rainbow toss. Perriman might be more of a deep-threat/red zone threat this season, but could become a true WR1 in time.
WR Phillip Dorsett, Indianapolis
I will admit this one was a head-scratcher. Dorsett has big play ability, but wasn’t the most consistent fight for his target type of receiver at the U. Perhaps the rookie wide out is a hedge against TY Hilton leaving next year, but this makes the entire Colts receiving corps a bit murkier. An owner in your league will simply see Dorsett gets to catch passes from Luck, let them draft him.
ILB Stephone Anthony, New Orleans
The Saints decision to go to a more conservative offense might have led to this pick. I see Anthony as more of a two-down thumper, but he will greatly improve the physical nature of the New Orleans defense.
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