The NFL Combine gave us all plenty of information and data to analyze as we continue deeper into the draft season. With the increased clarity, we’re going to run our first two-round mock draft this week in our draft coverage.
Depending on their opportunities and potential, rookies can have a huge impact both on their NFL teams and on fantasy leagues. It used to be smart to avoid rookie starters but Cam Newton, AJ Green, Julio Jones, and Andy Dalton have gone a long way to changing that perception. Consider your fantasy football team as well as your real team as you watch the prospects and mock drafts leading up to draft day. This week, the analysis will be lighter since most of the prep-time on this was the 2nd round expansion. In the future check back for more analysis and fantasy projection.
Each FantasyCPR mock draft is featured in the mock draft databases at WalterFootball.com, DC Pro Sports Report, Sports Jabber, hailredskins.com and fftoolbox.com. Each site keeps track of a huge number mock drafts all over the web, so if you’re a draft junkie they’re great places to get your fix of info… Clicking the link for the team will take you to the site on the Fansided network dedicated to that particular team and to get daily draft-dedicated coverage visit Fansided brethren nflmocks.com and withthefirstpick.com
1. Indianapolis Colts
Fantasy Impact: The Peyton Manning saga continues, but it’s becoming increasingly apparent that Peyton’s place will be not Indy next year. Luck is an elite prospect and the accolades continue to pile up heading into the draft. I still think drafting Luck to be a #1 fantasy QB would be a risky move since he’s never played an NFL down, but I do see him as a solid #2 option. If you’re in a 1 QB league you might want to pair him with a low-end QB based on matchups. His biggest liability may be that his surrounding team won’t be that good (they did just have the worst record in the NFL)
2. Cleveland Browns (via trade with St. Louis Rams)
Robert Griffin III-QB-Baylor
Fantasy Impact: This pick will be traded and it will be Griffin. If he starts right away he could be almost as dynamic as Cam Newton was this year, but don’t expect to steal him in the draft since everyone will be drooling to get the next Cam. The most obvious and likely trade partner for the Rams is the Browns who own 2 picks in the first round (only Cleveland, Cincinnati, and New England are in that position) and a pick just 2 selections later. The Rams would be fine with Blackmon or Kalil and it’s guaranteed they’d get one of the 2 at 4.
3. Minnesota Vikings
Analysis: Kalil shapes up to be an anchor for the Vikings line for years to come. Although it’s not a flashy skill-position pick, it’s the ideal scenario for Minnesota to pick up a piece they need to protect Christian Ponder going forward.
4. St. Louis Rams (from Cleveland Browns)
Justin Blackmon WR-Oklahoma State
Fantasy Impact: To truly evaluate Sam Bradford, the Rams need some talent at the receiver position. They also need to keep Bradford safe behind their porous O-line, but that is more of a need they can meet through later picks and/or free agency. Dynamic wide-outs with speed and ability to make people miss and pick up big YAC are hard to come by so I think their pick will be Blackmon. If they drop further they’ll probably still try to get Blackmon but could go a different direction since they have so many team needs.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Analysis: The Bucs have to choose whether to grab Trent Richardson from Alabama or go with Claiborne. I think they’ll go with the position of slightly more need since impending free-agent Ronde Barber is nearing the end of his career and Aqib Talib faces off-the field issues. New Head Coach Greg Schiano was a defensive-coordinator in the NFL before he went to the college ranks so I think he’ll prioritize the defensive backfield with this pick.
6. Washington Redskins
Ryan Tannehill-QB-Texas A&M
Analysis: Short-term, I think the ‘Skins will either stick with Rexy or bring in a veteran via free-agency. If they can, they’ll definitely try to land Peyton, but either way they’ll get a “bridge” set up so that Tannehill can be coached up by Mike Shanahan for a year before being thrown into the fire. Tannehill could be a franchise QB, and his tools and potential have him rising up draft boards in a hurry. He now looks to be a guaranteed first rounder and Washington seems like a very likely landing spot. NFL.com’s Gil Brandt says he’ll be top 10, and Brandt’s track-record makes this seem almost certain.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
Melvin Ingram-DE/OLB-South Carolina
Analysis: Ingram had a great combine. His non-stop motor and elite athleticism make him a slightly safer pick than Coples although his ceiling may not be quite as high. With the pressure of a new owner on, Jacksonville can’t afford to miss this one, so I think they’ll go with the safer option with Ingram
8. Miami Dolphins
Fantasy Impact: After winning a coin-flip to get the 8th pick over the Panthers, the Dolphins have lots of options in this scenario. Partnering Richardson with Reggie Bush would give the ‘Phins a potent backfield with whoever they end up as QB. Their D was solid this past year, and I think they’ll compete for the playoffs with an upgrade to their running game here and passing game through free agency.
9. Carolina Panthers
Analysis: Admittedly, Brockers had a tough combine. I still don’t see him plumetting down the first round though due to his big-time upside. He’s projected to be a run-clogging DT who will fit ideally in the middle of the Panthers line. They ranked 25 against the run last year and can become a run/stop-the-run team if they can refortify their line. Brockers can rush the passer up the middle as well and will be a huge asset to the Carolina D.
10. Buffalo Bills
Quinton Coples-DE-North Carolina
Analysis: Buffalo has no pass-rush and needs to adress that in this draft. This is a dream scenerio for Chan Gailey and the Bills as they get the DE with the most upside in the draft at the 10th pick as they convert to the 4-3.
11. Kansas City Chiefs
Analysis: Poe was one of the biggest winners at the combine as noone expected the big man to move as well as he did. His gigantic combine not only solidified his first-round spot but has him rocketing into early to mid first round. Coach Romeo may not be able to pass up an elite defensive piece like this as he begins his tenure in KC. They need help on the O-line as well, but Poe could anchor the Chiefs already quickly-developing D for years to come.
12. Seattle Seahawks
Luke Kuechly-LB-Boston College
Analysis: Everyone and their sister had Kuechly going to Philly and he certainly could, but after a huge combine he may not last that long. Seattle’s secondary is good and they do need a pass-rusher, but Kuechly could be the best fit. Here’s a good look for 12 man rising pre-combine when his speed and size were more of a concern. Kuechly might end up with the Eagles, but I think there’s a good shot he’s not around by their pick.
13. Arizona Cardinals
14. Dallas Cowboys
Analysis: Kirkpatrick’s stock is questionable due to his recent drug arrest, bug the ‘Boys would love it if he’s still around for them at 14.
15. Philadelphia Eagles
16. New York Jets
Analysis: Upshaw is a great value at this point and would bring instant pass rush to Rex Ryan’s defense. They may look WR here, but I don’t think they’ll be able to pass on one of the best pass rushers in the draft.
18. San Diego Chargers
Analysis: Perry is all over the 10-30 range in mock drafts. I think he’ll have a great combine and could go much higher than this, but the Chargers will be glad to add his pass rushing ability and his motor to get into the backfield on any given play. They need playmakers on D, and Perry shapes up to be a good one.
19. Chicago Bears
Michael Floyd-WR-Notre Dame
Fantasy Impact: The Bears have avoided taking a wide-out in the first round since 2001 when the grabbed the ever-popular David Terrell. Floyd greatly helped his stock in the combine and looks like he could have fantasy value as a WR2 if he develops a solid Cutler connection.
20. Tennessee Titans
Analysis: Mercilus can get to the QB and the Titans can use the edge-rush upgrade.
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Fantasy Impact: If the Bengals go RB in the first 2 rounds, whoever they chose will get a shot at entering the Green-Dalton-rookie RB big 3 for the coming year. If it is Miller he could win the job coming out of camp and be a high RB2, or he could be stuck in a time-share. I think it’s worth a late-round flier to find out.
22. St. Louis Rams (from Cleveland in the #2-#4 swap)
Fantasy Impact: For the Rams to get Blackmon and a tackle this good would make them the early favorite for the dreaded “draft winner” of the year. Sometimes that works out great, and other times not-so-much. On paper, though these 2 picks would be quite the first-round haul for St. Louis.
23. Detroit Lions
Janoris Jenkins-CB-Alabama State
Analysis: The Lions need help on D and Jenkins is a very nice value at this point in the draft. He would’ve been a top ten pick if it weren’t for all his previous off-the-field struggles, but he’ll further add to both the reputation and execution of the Lions D. They got torched by the Saints through the air, and playing in the NFC North they get Aaron Rodgers twice a year.
OL-Georgia (good analysis at our fellow fansided site)
25. Denver Broncos
Fletcher Cox-DT-Mississippi State
Analysis: Cox could go much earlier after a very nice week in Indy at the Combine. If he does slip this far, Denver would be thrilled.
27. New England Patriots (from New Orleans)
Stephen Hill-WR-Georgia Tech
Fantasy Impact: Hill’s college numbers are skewed due to the rush-based Yellow Jackets offense. He looked awesome at the combine, and many have him going to the Niners at 30. The Pats need to add a WR to complement their 2 elite TE’s. Brady would make Hill a star and quite possibly a WR2 option right away with the upside of being a WR1 as early as next year.
28. Green Bay Packers
29. Baltimore Ravens
30. San Francisco 49ers
Alshon Jeffery-WR-South Carolina
Fantasy Impact: Jeffery is a steal this late. He was expected to be the best receiver in the class before a tough 2012 where he was limited/derailed by QB issues. He and Crabtree could make the San Fran passing game way more dangerous as they complement Vernon Davis. Jeffery (or another young WR) could help Alex Smith be a solid QB2 again this coming year.
31. New England Patriots
32. New York Giants
Fantasy Impact: The Giants would be thrilled to get a TE to add to Eli’s weapons. They could go lots of different ways here and they have a history of making surprising picks so you never know…