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Sunday, 3 May 2015

2015 NFL Draft 1st Round Recap and Fantasy Football Impact

Quick recap of the 1st Round with an emphasis on the impact these players will have on Fantasy Football. As always, the landing spot for these rookies is just as significant as their talent/ability. We’ll wait until the Draft is complete to publish our initial rookie rankings. Until then, get to know this year’s 1st round picks. 


Jameis Winston, 1st Overall, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 

Despite some serious off the field concerns and maturity issues, the Buccaneers selected the former Florida State QB with the 1st overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft. 

Fantasy Impact: With two super-star wide receivers already on the roster in Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans, Winston won’t have to worry about the lack of weapons. Pegged as the most “Pro-Ready” QB prospect in this year’s draft, it would be a major shock if Winston isn’t starting under-center in Week 1. 


Marcus Mariota, 2nd Overall, Tennessee Titans

So much speculation and rumor based reporting heading into the draft led everyone to believe the Titans were willing to trade away the Number 2 pick to either the Chicago Bears or Philadelphia Eagles. But the Tennessee’s asking price for the 2nd second proved to be to expensive. The result? The Titans take the former Oregon QB and reigning Heisman Trophy Winner.

Fantasy Impact: Coach Ken Whisenhunt has proven to get the most out of his QBs and admitted in the off-season he would cater his offense to suit Mariota’s strengths. That being said, we’d be lying if we didn’t LOVE the idea of Mariota re-joining his former Ducks Coach from a purely selfish Fantasy Football standpoint. With Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter beginning to emerge as solid receivers, Mariota has a good supporting cast of playmakers that he can grow with at the start of his career. Will Mariota beat out the incumbent starter, Zach Mettenberger? Our guess would be a resounding YES!!!!


Running Backs:

Todd Gurley, 10th Overall, St. Louis Rams:

A clear decision to take best player available, the Rams selected former Georgia rusher, Todd Gurley who many consider the second coming of Adrian Peterson with the 10th overall pick. If it wasn’t for a torn ACL last November, Gurley may have very well been a Top 5 pick.

Fantasy Impact: At 6’1, 227 pounds, Gurley has the size of a bruising and punishing rusher but the sblazing peed and shiftiness of a smaller scat back. Plain and simple he’s the total package. The major question of course is the status of his surgically repaired knee. If everything checks out without any set backs over the summer, Gurley will be the starter in Week 1 and certainly has the potential to be a Top 12 RB right out of the gate. Tre Mason will take a back-seat to Gurley and Zac Stacy has already asked to be traded.


Melvin Gordon, 15th Overall, San Diego Chargers:

The Chargers swapped picks with the 49ers and moved up the board to nab the former Wisconsin rusher with the 15th overall pick. Teams were shying away from selecting running backs in the 1st round in the last few years, but Gordon was the 2nd RB taken in the Top 15 picks (Todd Gurley 10th overall).

Fantasy Impact: With the departure of Ryan Mathews, the Chargers needed a new work-horse RB. Danny Woodhead is coming off an ACL tear and once healthy will likely just take on a 3rd down role. Gordon didn’t display his receiving skills a lot during his College career but he sure as hell proved he can tote the rock. Gordon finished on top of all NCAA D1 RBs with an eye popping 2,587 yards.


Wide Receivers:

Amari Cooper, 4th Overall, Oakland Raiders

There were some draft pundits who ranked Kevin White (7th overall Bears) ahead of Amari Cooper, but with the 4th overall pick, the Raiders selected the Alabama standout. Thanks to his precise route running and body control, Cooper is the most “Pro-Ready” receiver in this year’s class and has drawn comparison to Reggie Wayne and former Raiders WR Tim Brown. 

Fantasy Impact: It seems the Raiders found their franchise QB last year with Derek Carr and now pair him up with their franchise WR. Cooper will have an instant impact in the Raiders passing attack which has lacked a few playmakers in recent years. Typically we would be bummed when one of our favorite rookie prospects ends up on a team like the Raiders, but Cooper (like a Sammy Watkins in 2014) should have no problem emerging as a solid WR3 in  Fantasy despite playing for a bad team. 


Kevin White, 7th Overall, Chicago Bears 

After a terrific showing at the NFL Combine and breakout season at West Virginia last year, White’s draft stock skyrocketed. In an effort to fill the void left by Brandon Marshall, the Bears invested their 7th overall selection in the 6’3 wide-out. 

Fantasy Impact: Given his size, strength, and speed, White has drawn comparisons to Terrell Owens. He’s blazing fast (4.35 40 yard dash), 36.5 inch vertical leap, and a solid muscular build (210 pounds) but his route running is a bit unpolished. He’ll join the Bears as the team’s Number 2 wideout behind Alshon Jeffery. Unfortunately a lot of White’s initial success is tied to Jay Cutler, which we aren’t  necessarily thrilled about, but there are much worse QB situations around the league that White could have landed in. 


DeVante Parker, 14th Overall, Miami Dolphins

The glaring need for a true Number 1 wide receiver led the Dolphins to select DeVante Parker with their 1st round pick (14th overall). A big bodied (6’3, 211 pounds) receiver, Parker displayed tremendous toughness at Louisville and consistently showed excellent body control and concentration. Seems Parker always won the “jump ball” over defenders, thanks to strong hands, superior leaping ability, and long frame. Drops won’t be an issue for Ryan Tannehill’s new target

Fantasy Impact: The Dolphins are making serious noise this off-season by bringing in some serious weapons for Ryan Tannehill. Tight End Jordan Cameron and receivers Kenny Stills and Greg Jennings were solid acquisitions. Now add in Parker along with second year PPR stud in the making, Jarvis Landry, and Miami has one of those offenses that may take that next step into the upper echelon in 2015. Parker may not win the starting job right away (seasoned veterans typically get the edge in camp), but likely will emerge as the starter by year’s end. 


Nelson Agholor, 20th Overall, Philadelphia Eagles

Dubbed the second best route runner behind Amari Cooper, the Eagles drafted Nelson Agholor out of USC with the 20th overall pick. Capable of playing in the slot and the outside, Agholor can also contribute on Special Teams as a return man. 

Fantasy Impact; The Eagles lost their leading receiver, Jeremy Maclin, in the off-season and you know dam well Chip Kelly wasn’t going to rely on Riley Cooper to start opposite of Jordan Matthews. So what do the Eagles do? Draft a Jeremy Maclin like clone with the former USC Trojan. Forget about all the trade talk non-sense with Marcus Mariota, the Eagles still have a solid offense even with Sam Bradford at the helm and Agholor will surely benefit from Chip Kelley’s receiver friendly offense. 


Breshad Perriman, 26th Overall, Baltimore Ravens

After missing the NFL Combine due to an injury, UCF’s Breshad Perriman set the NFL world abuzz after an insane 4.24 40 yard dash at his Pro Day. Combine the 40 time with his size (6’2) and a great 2014 season (1st team All-American Athletic Conference), Perriman is the type of receiver prospect NFL GM’s drool over. With an aging Steve Smith and void left by Torrey Smith, the Ravens drafted Perriman with the 26th overall pick.

Fantasy Impact: A bit raw in terms of running routes and a bit maddening with some of his dropped passes, Perriman’s potential outweighs his shortcomings. Great blend of size and speed, the Ravens needed a deep threat to take advantage of Joe Flacco’s big arm. Get ready to watch a lot of deep routes, long bombs, and Perriman blowing past defenders with ease. 


Phillip Dorsett, 29th Overall, Indianapolis Colts

Despite a boat load of talented receivers (TY Hilton, Andre Johnson, Donte Moncfief) the Colts stuck to their guns in the 1st Round and took best player available on their board regardless of positional need. The result? Indy drafts former Miami Hurricane wide receiver Philip Dorsett with the 29th overall pick.

Fantasy Impact: You’ll be hard pressed to find a team with more weapons on Offense than the Colts. They are LOADED!!!! With Hilton entering the final year of his rookie contract, a lot of analysts immediately pegged Dorsett has Hilton’s replacement. After all, the two are very similar in size and ability. Like Hilton, Dorsett is a speedster (4.33 yard dash) and great downfield threat, but at just 5’10, 185 pounds, he’s not a big red-zone target.


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