202796 650 366 450x253 The Warehouse Rundown: NFL Draft

By: Luke Grilli (@LGrilli88)

Well, NFL weekend draft came and went like a whirlwind. Not only were there surprising landing spots for the NFL rookies, but a Fantasy Stud and NFL Veteran may have been busted for a positive drug test and could be forced to miss the 2014 season.

  • Call me crazy, but I LOVED what Jacksonville did in the draft. Blake Bortles at 3 may have been a reach considering the Jags are thin at WR due to the Justin Blackmon suspension, but they helped themselves (and Bortles) and grabbed Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson in the 2nd round. Along with Cecil Shorts and Ace Sanders, this forms a pretty nice WR corps. I’ve always thought of Shorts as a top end WR2, and he should eventually serve that role. Jax has come out and said that Chad Henne is the starter, so this should give Bortles time to mature and develop into an NFL QB, something I discussed as being positive in my last article for DFW. Also, the Jags made a bit of an “under the radar” move by grabbing RB Storm Johnson in the 7th round. With only Jordan Todman and Toby Gerhart in front of him on the depth chart, he could be this year’s Zac Stacy/Alfred Morris.
  • This has been well documented on this site and other sites, but where is the RB love in the NFL these days? First we see free agent kicker earning the same (or more guaranteed money) than the free agent RB, and now we see a historical drop in the draft where Bishop Sankey was selected as the first RB at #54.
  • To touch a bit more on the RBs that were drafted, are you extremely excited about any of their landing spots, other than Sankey to Tennessee? Above, I mentioned that I liked Storm Johnson’s landing spot in Jacksonville, but he is likely a 2nd or 3rd round pick in rookie drafts. Most of the other RBs have a veteran road block in front of them, or severely impacted the fantasy value of some up and comers. In the past, we have invested Top 5 rookie picks on RBs, but that likely will not be the case in 2014.
    • Carlos Hyde to SF means that he will be splitting time with Frank Gore this year . What about Marcus Lattimore, who some owners invested a late 1st rookie pick last season? It is likely he will be splitting time, at best, with Hyde in 2015 and onward.
    • Tre Mason to St. Louis not only limits his upside, but steals time from DFW favorite Zac Stacy. 
    • The Bengals broke the hearts of Gio Bernard owners everywhere when they took LSU RB Jeremy Hill 55th overall. Gio was in line to receive far more work in 2014, but could lose some early down snaps to Hill.
    • The Bucs decided they needed to take the load off of Doug Martin a bit, and drafted Charles Sims in the 3rd round. Not a killer to Martin’s fantasy value, but I was expecting him to be one of the true RB workhorses this season.
    • Unimpressed with Jacquizz Rodgers and the loss of Jason Snelling, Atlanta decided that FSU Alum Devonta Freeman could be the guy to supplant Steven Jackson in 2015…or even at some point in 2014.
    • Those who were hoping for Rashad Jennings to be the lead back in NY may be disappointed if Andre Williams plays like he did at BC. Those who thought Tom Coughlin didn’t plan on a RBBC are also insane.
    • Finally, pre draft heart throb Ka’Deem Carey faces an up hill battle for playing time behind Matt Forte in Chicago. Great offense for him to go to, but not the best situation for immediate playing time. Forte is known to be one that has been hit by the injury bug, so Carey’s value could skyrocket overnight.
  • The Rookie WR hype train is at an all time high, and it isn’t ending any time soon.
    • While I don’t love Sammy Watkins to Buffalo, I think he will still be a viable fantasy and NFL option. Watkins made Tajh Boyd look like a first round pick during their time at Clemson, so maybe he will make EJ Manuel look like a rosterable QB?
    • Mike Evans to Tampa is a great landing spot. Running alongside Vincent Jackson and having Doug Martin keeping defenses honest, I’d gladly take Evans if I have the 1.01. Josh McCown shows that he can succeed when he is throwing to two big WRs. Hopefully, he can duplicate his Chicago success in Tampa
    • Jordan Matthews is next in line to replace DeSean Jackson in Philly. I was excited for him before he was drafted by Philly. Now that he is there? I’m all in.
    • Speedster Brandin Cooks landed with the perfect team. New Orleans needed to find someone to catch the 71  balls that the departed Darren Sproles grabbed in 2013. Why not Cooks?
    • Kelvin Benjamin immediately steps in and could be the WR1 for the Carolina Panthers by default. With only the unimpressive Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant and Tiquan Underwood in front of him, Benjamin has a real chance to be the most productive rookie WR in 2014.
    • Cody Latimer lands in an intriguing spot in Denver, but how long until he sees the field? With Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Emmanuel Sanders in front of him on the depth chart, it will be tough for him to get Peyton’s attention. Denver has said they will give him a shot to start right away, but all I see is smoke and mirrors until Welker walks away in free agency come 2015.
    • People were high on Rueben Randle as the Giants’ WR2 once Hakeem Nicks moved onto Indianapolis, but then Odell Beckham Jr. heard his name called 12th overall. Randle will likely end up as the WR3, while Beckham should see plenty of playing time in year 1.
  • Big names at QB were taken on Days 1, 2 and 3 of the NFL Draft. With so much uncertainty surrounding the rookie signal callers, it will be interesting to see where each player lands in your rookie draft. The good news is it looks like each respective team will take their time with their new prized possession. The chances of 2011 being repeated where most of the rookie QBs taken in the first round were week 1 starters, seems slim.
    • I touched upon Blake Bortles above. If the Jags are able to groom him correctly, I think Bortles has a real chance to be a perennial QB1 for your fantasy team.
    • When Cleveland passed on Johnny Manziel at 1.04, I was thrilled. I did not want to see him go that early. When Cleveland traded with Minnesota to move up to 8, I thought that Manziel would be the guy there, but nay, they took CB Justin Gilbert. After that pick, Minnesota, Tennessee and St. Louis all passed on the former Aggie and Twitter was ablaze that Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys would nab him at 16. Unfortunately for ESPN (and all the stories they’d run about Manziel to Dallas) Jerry smartened up and drafted OT Zack Martin. Finally, The Browns traded into the 22 spot (a spot they know so well: Brady Quinn 2007, Brandon Weeden 2011) and Manziel was their guy. Cleveland was ecstatic for a mere 24 hours, then it was announced that Josh Gordon could be facing a season long suspension for yet another positive drug test. The loss of Gordon would be a huge hit to Manziel’s fantasy value, but then again, so would Brian Hoyer starting in Week 1. Manizel should have his chance to start and produce as a low end QB1 in 2014, but for now, he is the back up.
    • The Vikings ended Teddy Bridgewater’s bizarre slide when they moved back into the first round and grabbed him with the 32nd pick. Bridgewater, like the aforementioned QBs, is likely to start the season as the QB2 on the Vikings’ depth chart. With only Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder in front of Bridgewater, I’d bet that he is the QB1 in no time.
    • Derek Carr was the first QB taken in Round 2, as the Raiders nabbed him 36th overall. With the pre season trade for Matt Schaub, I highly doubt that Carr starts before mid season.
    • The biggest surprise of the draft was Jimmy Garoppolo to the Patriots. Not that they drafted him, but that they took him with a 2nd round pick. If you can stash a player for 3-5 years, Garoppolo is your guy.
    • Aaron Murray and AJ McCarron are all guys to keep an eye on and stash if you can. Extremely talented players that were drafted to teams that are stable at QB; an injury or poor play from the incumbent starter would mean that these guys will see playing time.
    • Tom Savage and Zach Mettenberger both were drafted to teams with shaky QBs (Houston and Tennessee respectively). If and when they get a chance to play, they may be the hottest thing on the waiver wire all season
  • I like the move of Eric Ebron to the Lions, but have a feeling he will be waaaaay too over drafted in rookie and start up drafts. He’s currently listed as the 6th ranked rookie at DFW and it will be interesting to see his ADP. Anything before 1.10, and I’d personally pass on him
  • While I’m not ready to put together my rookie rankings, I am ready to put them into tiers.  With the tiers, I’m saying that if you took Mike Evans or Sammy Watkins 1.01, I wouldn’t blame you. After those two, it gets muddy for the 1.03 pick and depends on your team need or who you value as the BPA (Best Player Available), but I would vehemently disagree if you took Kelvin Benjamin over Davante Adams…you get the gist.
    • Tier 1
      • Mike Evans
      • Sammy Watkins
    • Tier 2
      • Jordan Matthews
      • Brandin Cooks
      • Davante Adams
      • Bishop Sankey
      • Johnny Manziel
      • Allen Robinson
    • Tier 3
      • Teddy Bridgewater
      • Kelvin Benjamin
      • Carlos Hyde
      • Marqise Lee
      • Eric Ebron
      • Blake Bortles
    • Tier 4
      • Odell Beckham Jr.
      • Jeremy Hill
      • Devonta Freeman
      • Cody Latimer
      • Tre Mason
    • Tier 5

      • Ka’Deem Carey
      • Andre Williams
      • Austin Seferian Jenkins
      • Jace Amaro
      • Terrance West
      • Storm Johnson
      • Derek Carr

OK…and there you have it. Draft weekend was awesome and I’m looking forward to training camp and finally seeing these prospects on the field. As we have learned all to well, we can pour all of this research into who we think will be the perfect player for our squad, and then a preseason injury ruins their first year. What do you think about the draft and each player’s landing spot? Let me know on Twitter or in the comments!