Apr 25, 2009
Here are some quick thoughts so far on the NFL Draft. I’ll be producing a full Post-Draft Stock Watch on Monday, and that will cover all players who’ve seen their stock rise or fall from the draft. Then, late in the week, we’ll bust out our annual Post-Draft Rookie Report. In between, I have the first expert draft of the year on Wednesday, and I’ll be blogging while that’s going on.
Here are some random thoughts:
- We all knew the Eagles were going to take a back, and they did well in LeSean McCoy. He’s probably best used in a complementary role, but that’s fine here for the short-term. He’s a good receiver, is laterally explosive, and has a nose for the goal. He’ll get a chance over the next 1-2 years to prove he can be a lead back. And finally, it looks like Andy Reid will actually play a rookie runner.
- The Browns added another receiver, and an intriguing one in Mohamed Massaquoi. He’s not a burner, but he could be a solid #2 in the NFL – and he’s a high character guy, so he’s needed in Cleveland.
- By the way, some questioned why we had Brian Robiskie so high pre-draft, but in addition to liking him, he’s NFL ready. He’ll start on this team from Day One, that’s a lock. I probably wouldn’t draft him, but he’s someone to watch, as he could surprise with 50-60 catches as a rookie.
- Hey, what better team to take the incredible Pat White than the Dolphins? A perfect wildcat QB, White will help enhance the trickery that defined their offense in 2008. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was worth picking up during the season for some upside, and due to the fact that he’s scoring TDs as a receiver, runner, and quarterback. The Dolphins do need more playmakers.
- We ranked RB Chris Wells 3rd at RB going into the draft, and he was the third back off the board. Still, this was a good value for the Cardinals, and I would imagine he will be given every opportunity to be their guy. Not good for Tim Hightower, who we did warn about in the summer, saying how we did like him, but that he wasn’t special. Wells has some issues, like injuries first and foremost, but he has special qualities. He may overtake Moreno as the consensus #1 fantasy rookie RB.
- We wrote last month the Lions would be crazy to pass on QB Matthew Stafford, so I obviously agree with the pick. I’m not 100% sure he’ll come through, but I think there’s a very good chance he does, and I don’t see much bust potential at all. He’s a franchise-type QB, and he should be able to handle the tough situation he’s in. Actually, with TE Brandon Pettigrew also drafted (surprised they didn’t go defense there), Detroit has the makings of a nice little corps of skill players.
- I was disappointed the Eagles didn’t take RB Donald Brown, but I do still love the Jeremy Maclin pick. Our own Greg Cosell studied him closely on film and really, really liked him. He can be a tough possession receiver over the middle, plus he has speed. He strikes me as the perfect #1 WR on a team that really doesn’t have or need one. Tremendous news for QB Donovan McNabb, of course. Kevin Curtis may be relatively worthless now, but I’m not sure if they won’t put DeSean Jackson in the slot more and move him all over.
- I think the Jets will be disappointed in Mark Sanchez, based in part on what they gave up to move up to take him. He will need time, and with an average or even below average NFL arm, this wasn’t an ideal landing spot. It could be a loooong time before he’s ready to reach his full potential, and even then I don’t see that as being equal to a guy like Matt Hasselbeck, who has been very good, but certainly not great.
- Michael Crabtree to the 49ers doesn’t do much for me, really. It’s not good for Josh Morgan, for sure, as the two are kind of similar. At least QB Shaun Hill should be able to get him the ball, and Ike Bruce can teach him a thing or two. Brandon Jones will be lost in the shuffle.
- Knowshon Moreno to the Broncos is good and bad. Ultimately, he should be their main guy, so that’s good. But he’s not a slam-dunk #1 back in the NFL, so that’s a little bit of a concern with all the other backs here. Still, he’s easily their best back, so he’ll be our top ranked rookie RB.
- Really surprised the Colts took Donald Brown, who we are very high on. He may not be a true feature back, so it makes a little sense for them. But this was not a good team for him to land with on paper based on the opportunity- and I’m going to struggle big time with Joe Addai’s fantasy value now.
- Kind of knew the Vikes would take Percy Harvin. They love explosive plays in the passing game, and he’s arguable the most explosive playmaker at receiver in the draft. He can score any time he touches the ball, and we always knew Sidney Rice probably wasn’t good enough to be a #2 in the NFL. The Vikes have plenty of speed and playmaking ability at receiver now, so that’s good for QB Sage Rosenfels and RB Adrian Peterson. There should be serious rushing lands for AP now.
- Darrius Heyward-Bay goes to the Raiders, so that means he’ll probably be a bust. Sure there is some potential now and they did give JaMarcus Russell an incredible vertical threat, but both guys aren’t quite ready for prime time, so don’t expect much consistency this year. But the Raiders do have some playmakers now in these two and Darren McFadden (who I think they will use like Reggie Bush this year).
- Josh Freeman to the Bucs should be okay news for Luke McCown for this year. I would be shocked if Tampa had designs on playing him right away, which is probably why they added veteran Byron Leftwich, who can tutor him.
- Not sure about Hakeem Nicks to the Giants. I worry about him being too slow and sluggish in the NFL. Not a bad place for him, though, since the Giants need a go-to guy and run the ball first and foremost, anyway. I’ll be fine with him here if they still get Braylon Edwards, but that seems less likely now.
- Kenny Britt to the Titans makes some sense, since he’s a sizable receiver who has physicality. I see him starting eventually over Justin Gage alongside Nate Washington, but he won’t have much fantasy value on this team this year.