The first round of the 2010 NFL Draft is in the books and 32 players have new homes with NFL teams. Which of the eight skill position talents drafted in the first round could help your fantasy team next season? Here’s CPR’s list of the best skill players from the opening night of the draft with a look to the 2010 season.
1. Ryan Matthews RB | San Diego
It was clear that the Chargers would be targeting a running back in this year’s draft after parting ways withLaDainian Tomlinson last year, and they did just that by trading up in the first round to select Matthews this season. The former Fresno State Bulldog rushed for over 1,800 yards last season in the Valley and could provide the Bolts with another premier running back by way of the WAC for years to come. Bolt Beat’s Chris Bowen shared the news and his feelings earlier tonight. I don’t see a reason that Matthews can’t contend for a lions’ share of the carries right out of the block. With a talented offense around him and the talent to make plays, Matthews could make an immediate impact on your fantasy squad in 2010.
2010 Knee-Jerk Projection: 215 carries, 1,050 yards, 8 Rush TDs, 25 Receptions
2. Jahvid Best RB | Detroit
Best may well become the best thing to happen to the Lions’ backfield since Barry Sanders hung up his cleats. Best compiled just under 2,700 yards in college at Cal and crossed the goal line 29 times in his career. Joining a developing team in Detroit, Best should be given the opportunity to get on the field and show off his talents right out of the gate, especially with last year’s featured back Kevin Smith still recovering from a torn ACL suffered near the end of last season.
2010 Knee-Jerk Projection: 199 carries, 1,125 yards, 7 Rush TDs, 35 Receptions
3. C.J. Spiller RB | Buffalo
The Bills got one of the most exciting playmakers in the draft when they plucked Spiller out of Clemson with the ninth pick in the first round. Spiller completed his electrifying college career with 51 total touchdowns, through rushing, receiving and his dynamic kick-return ability. Spiller’s durability might be an issue in regards to racking up lots of carries, but his play-making ability will get him on the field quick and give him opportunities to shine. Buffalo Low Down’s Kyle Giunta provides some insight on the pick and what it means for the Bills. At present, Spiller will sit third on backfield depth chart behind the disappointing Marshawn Lynch and the underrated Fred Jackson. If Buffalo decides to move one of those two before the season gets going, and it appears Lynch could be on the move now, Spiller’s value could climb even higher.
2010 Knee-Jerk Projection: 165 carries, 712 yards, 6 Rush TDs, 32 Receptions, 1 Return TD
4. Dez Bryant WR | Dallas
The Cowboys plucked former Oklahoma State receiver Bryant with their first round pick. The Landry Hat has reaction to the pick and echoes Jon Gruden’s statement that Bryant is a “Michael Irvin type” receiver. He certainly is a playmaker and quite possible of making an immediate impact on your fantasy team as early as this fall. I see Bryant slotting in as the Boys’ third best fantasy receiver next year behind Miles Austin and Roy Williams. He’ll get the ball thrown his way and as he showed in college time and again, he can make things happen after he gets it.
2010 Knee-Jerk Projection: 49 Receptions, 833 yards, 5 TDs
5. Demaryuis Thomas WR | Denver
Predominately Orange’s Kim Constantinesco has the spin from Denver on the Broncos first selection in the draft of the explosive Georgia Tech wideout. With Brandon Marshall off to Miami, Thomas could put up some immediate numbers for fantasy owners looking for a receiver in later rounds of their draft. Realisticly Thomas will only sit behind Eddie Royal in the fantasy spectrum amongst Broncos’ receivers.
2010 Knee-Jerk Projection: 45 Receptions, 770 yards, 4 TDs
6. Sam Bradford QB | St. Louis
The Rams made Bradford the first pick of the draft and fully expect the former Sooner to be their quarterback of the future, but also probably “the now” as well. That might not be the best news for fantasy owners. Bradford obviously has the talent to possibly become a perennial pro bowl passer, but things will be rough for him out of the gates as the Rams are likely to give him the keys to the car early and often. Last year Matthew Staffordwas taken first by the Lions and the rookie started ten games with mixed results. Bradford will probably endure the same fate his first season. With a suspect offensive line and a team lacking receiver depth at the moment, Bradford’s fantasy ceiling for 2010 won’t be really high.
2010 Knee-Jerk Projection: 2,160 yards passing, 11 TDs, 21 INTs, 23 sacks
7. Jermaine Gresham TE | Cincinnati
The former Sooner will provide Carson Palmer a big and athletic target over the middle. Don’t be surprised if Gresham can quickly rack up the catches in his rookie campaign. Stripe Hype offers some feelings and surprise over the pick as well as several clips of Gresham in action.
2010 Knee-Jerk Projection: 36 Receptions, 420 yards, 3 TDs
8. Tim Tebow QB | Denver
The answer to the question was yes. Tim Tebow did get drafted in the first round. Tebow got plucked by the Broncos with the 25th pick of the first round. Projections towards Tebow’s future vary greatly amongst analysts and he still remains very much a wild card as to whether his determination and football savvy and skill can translate to the pro game. I think he’ll end up having a fine career whether at quarterback or somewhere else, but fantasy owners shouldn’t expect productive numbers of any kind this season.
2010 Knee-Jerk Projection: 295 yards passing, 335 yards rushing, 3 Rush TDs
What are your projections for these future NFL stars? Share your feelings in the comments.
Topics: Brandon Marshall, C.J. Spiller, Carson Palmer, Demaryuis Thomas, Dez Bryant, Eddie Royal, Fantasy Football, Fred Jackson, Jahvid Best, Jermaine Gresham, Kevin Smith, LaDainian Tomlinson, Marshawn Lynch, Matthew Stafford, Miles Austin, NFL Draft, Roy Williams, Ryan Matthews, Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow