We’ve waited for months and day one and round one of the 2015 NFL Draft is now history. In the days and weeks leading up to the draft, rumors were flying around of big name veterans, such as Adrian Peterson, Philip Rivers and Jay Cutler being shopped. Even though it seemed impossible, no one wanted to give up hope that Chip Kelly and the Eagles could land quarterback Marcus Mariota. Round one came and went pretty quietly though with few trades and no offensive skill vets being dealt.
Despite the calm first round, there are still many ripples being felt by veterans around the league. Some are breathing a sigh of relief as they still sit atop the depth chart for another day, while others are shocked as they now have stiff competition for their playing time. Let’s take a look at some of the veteran winners and losers from day one of the NFL Draft.
Just a reminder, there is plenty of action left in draft weekend and time for some of these winners to become losers and vice versa.
Mike Evans, WR TB
We’ve all been expecting the selection of quarterback Jameis Winston for weeks now, but it became official Thursday night and it can only help the dynasty value for second year wide receiver Mike Evans, along with Vincent Jackson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Evans was able to break out with Josh McCown under center, so I can’t wait to see how this pair works once Winston makes the adjustment to the NFL.
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Derek Carr, QB OAK
The Oakland Raiders selected the first wide receiver off the board in Amari Cooper and there could not have been better news for second year quarterback Derek Carr. Carr struggled with efficiency last season, which should be expected given his rookie status in 2014, along with his below average receiving corps. Now, the team had added Cooper, along with veteran Michael Crabtree. Carr should be much improved in 2015, though he admittedly had a long way to go following his rookie season.
Jay Cutler, QB CHI
The day began with trade rumors that had quarterback Jay Cutler potentially landing in Nashville. Not only did he stay put, but the team made the first step in replacing Brandon Marshall when they selected West Virginia’s Kevin White with the seventh overall pick. White had just one big year in college, so I’m anxious to see how quickly he earns a significant playing time, but should be an upgrade for the Bears.
Sam Bradford, QB PHI
Much like Cutler, there had been many trade rumors surrounding new Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford in the past weeks, but he ends the night as the Eagles’ starter. Also like Cutler, he has a new toy to play with in former USC wideout Nelson Agholor. With Jordan Matthews the top returning receiver, along with veteran Riley Cooper, it would not be a surprise if Agholor started right away.
Joe Flacco, QB BAL
Yet another quarterback who now has a new receiver to throw to is Ravens’ Joe Flacco. Unlike the other, Flacco was not involved in trade rumors, but he might have been the passer most in need of a new target with the departure of Torrey Smith this off-season. The Ravens selected former Central Florida receiver Breshad Perriman and like Agholor, he should quickly ascend the wide receiver depth chart.
Philip Rivers, QB SD
Sometimes a change of scenery can be a good thing, but when it comes to Philip Rivers and a potential trade to the Titans, fantasy owners had the be holding their breath. They were able to exhale as the picks came and went and Rivers remained a Charger. Not only is Rivers a winner thanks to staying in sunny San Diego, but he also picked up a talented new ball carrier in Melvin Gordon. This is also good news for Keenan Allen and Antonio Gates.
Darren McFadden, RB DAL
I hesitate to include Cowboys’ running back Darren McFadden among the “winners” list, not only because Dallas will almost certainly select a ball carrier on the draft’s second day, but also because McFadden is no lock to make the team regardless. If you prefer Joseph Randle to McFadden, I wouldn’t blame you and consider them on equal footing. For now, they have both received a stay of execution, but their dynasty value could die in round two.
Devonta Freeman, RB ATL
Another running back who does not have added competition following round one is Devonta Freeman in Atlanta, though his role is much safer than the current Cowboys. The Falcons are still likely to grab a back on day two and we’ll know more then about the impending value shift for Freeman. One thing is certain, though. Since dynasty owners have been lukewarm regarding Freeman, he’s in for a major change in either direction.
Mark Ingram, RB NO
I had almost forgotten the Saints acquired a new starting center (Max Unger) in the Jimmy Graham trade with the Seahawks and in round one, they drafted another big lineman, Stanford’s Andrus Peat. I like the way they are rebuilding that offensive line and it’s great news for running back Mark Ingram, as the team seems committed to running the ball more than they have in years.
Tre Mason, RB STL
Clearly the biggest dynasty loser of the night was St. Louis Rams running back Zac Sta…I mean Tre Mason. Yes, you might recall a similar thing happened last year as the Rams drafted Mason despite the impressive rookie year of Zac Stacy. That was not a huge surprise as Stacy never looked like a huge talent, though it was a shock to the system of Stacy dynasty owners. I think this gut punch thanks to the selection of Todd Gurley is even worse for Mason owners as he was being drafted in the top 50 of startup drafts and being ranked as a borderline RB1 by many.
Zach Mettenberger, QB TEN
This comes as little surprise since most seemed to expect quarterback Marcus Mariota to be the Titans’ pick if they were unable to move down, but second year man Zach Mettenberger was the night’s first veteran player to land of the loser list. Perhaps what is most disappointing is the rumor that Mettenberger’s camp is asking for a trade out of Tennessee – that’s not exactly the fight and spirit I want to see from my quarterback. Mettenberger was a borderline guy already, but can now be dropped in most dynasty formats.
Adrian Peterson, RB MIN
Yet another trade rumor that didn’t come to fruition was the move of running back Adrian Peterson. This is not a huge surprise based on the most recent reports of the Vikings’ trade demands, but some still were holding out hope Peterson would get to play behind that offensive line in Dallas. This doesn’t mean we can lock Peterson into the Vikings’ starting job in 2015, but it makes a trade much more unlikely.
Marquess Wilson, WR CHI
With the trade of Brandon Marshall to the Jets several weeks ago, the Marquess Wilson fans reemerged from hiding and their expectations for a breakout season as the second wide receiver grew. That was squashed in round one as the Bears grabbed Kevin White. Wilson is still a decent prospect and worth hanging onto in most dynasty leagues, but his upside took a hit.
Colts’ pass catchers
When the Colts selected Miami speedster Phillip Dorsett near the end of the first round, it left many scratching their heads. Yes, the Colts lost Reggie Wayne and Hakeem Nicks from last year’s team, but many would argue those, with respect to Wayne’s amazing career, were not really losses at all. Since then, the team took a flier on Duron Carter and signed away Andre Johnson from Houston. Combine that with an expected role increase for Donte Moncrief and your stud TY Hilton and the wide receiver corps is suddenly very deep. Oh yeah, they also employ two top tight ends in Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen. That depth is a great thing for Colts fans and a potential deep playoff run, but it will likely be maddening for dynasty owners.
Dolphins’ pass catchers
The receiving group is not quite as deep in South Beach, but for a team that has been overhauling their pass catcher group, it might be just as confusing for dynasty players. The Dolphins drafted Louisville’s DeVante Parker in round one, to go along with former Saint Kenny Stills, former Viking Greg Jennings and former Brown tight end Jordan Cameron. While this may be a difficult group to predict on a weekly basis in 2015, its Stills and Parker I want on my dynasty team.
We’ll be back tomorrow following rounds two and three with more veteran winners and losers.
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