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NFL Draft Day One Winners and Losers: Veteran Edition

Mason

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.

Winners

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.

Losers

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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Ryan McDowell

In addition to his role as Senior Staff Writer here at DLF, Ryan is also a husband, father of three and second grade teacher. Ryan is the commissioner of multiple dynasty leagues, most notably the HyperActive Dynasty Leagues. Here at DLF, Ryan’s focus is on identifying, monitoring and analyzing player value. Check out Ryan’s work on the Weekly Impact Events and Dynasty Stock Market, as well as our dynasty ADP data.
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24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Andrew L.

    April 30, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    Ryan, don’t forget Landry in MIA. I think he’s least affected by Parker, as his slot/underneath role is solidified. If anything, Parker will help open that space up for him even more. I’ll take Landry over Stills for sure.

    • Reno M

      May 1, 2015 at 5:05 am

      I agree about Landry. There might be too many mouths to feed, and Tannehill needs a better line to help him stay upright longer, but with Landry in the slot, I like the notion of having better players on the outside to take away coverage.

    • SJ

      May 1, 2015 at 7:02 am

      Also agree – I could see his targets possibly dip some, but Landry is higher efficiency than most. Tannehill has a propensity to throw underneath heavily in that quick-hit offense, and the system pushes that. Landry should still get his, and again be Edleman-lite in MIA.

      • Luke

        May 1, 2015 at 10:50 am

        I would also add Lamar Miller to that list. He won more so because St. Louis took Gurley. Now we’ll never know what they would have done if both Gurley and Parker were there at 14.

    • Ryan McDowell

      May 1, 2015 at 11:56 am

      Thanks, blanked on Landry actually as I was focusing on all the new guys they’ve brought in. I think Landry will be safe for 2015 at least.

  2. SJ

    May 1, 2015 at 6:58 am

    Wow that was fast!

    Great draft work this year guys – this is what DLF is all about

    • Ryan McDowell

      May 1, 2015 at 11:55 am

      Thanks for reading SJ!

  3. SJ

    May 1, 2015 at 7:10 am

    Also kinda feel happy about AP not being traded to say, JAX, ARZ or anywhere. Yeah, DAL would’ve been a nice fit, but they were never really an option. They’ve proven how much they devalue veteran RBs with the lackluster attempt to keep Murray, and you could argue Marray as the best RB going forward. So keeping Peterson in MIN is fine with me. He should come around. I doubt they’ll trade him for a next year pick, or that he will want to protest and sit out another year

    • Geoff

      May 1, 2015 at 7:53 am

      I couldn’t agree with this more! Sure it would have been a better situation for him in Dallas. It is where he wants to be and he would run wild behind that line. To me though the second best place for him to be is Minnesota. He will get his feelings in check and everybody will work things out between now and opening day. That offense will be better with him and as an owner who recently acquired him I was happy for him to stay where he is at as opposed to taking a flyer in one of the places you mentioned above. So yes, he is a draft day loser for not moving to the Cowboys but I think he would have been even worse off had he gone somewhere like Jacksonville and quite honestly even Arizona in my humble opinion.

    • Ryan McDowell

      May 1, 2015 at 11:55 am

      Yeah, that situation is tough to predict of course and there are plenty of teams that would be a downgrade from MIN.

  4. Thomas Bonafair II

    May 1, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Tre Mason is a proud guy and should be motivated by the Gurley pick. If Gurley begins the season on the PUP and it’s looking like he will, that’ll give Tre six games to re-establish his value in the STL backfield. Odds are Gurley won’t be back to his normal, punishing, feature back self until 2016…which leaves the door wide open for Tre to flirt with RB2 stats this season. Then maybe a 1-2 punch going forward, or a trade, or at worst Tre’s got 2 years left on his rookie contract and will be just 25 years old when he hits free agency in 2018. I also see value in backing up Gurley, who’s not exactly been a picture of health so far. Just some thoughts to calm down the panicking Mason owners out there – all is not lost.

    • Ryan McDowell

      May 1, 2015 at 11:54 am

      Great thoughts! Mason’s value takes an undeniable hit, but I will be a buyer. Saw some mentioning last night they’d dump him for a 3rd round rookie pick.

      • Geoff

        May 1, 2015 at 1:12 pm

        I’d give a 3rd to take him back…. He’s a starter for 4-6 weeks at least and Gurley will have to be eased in thereafter. If Mason performs, at worst he will be a part of a RBBC. At best, he’s traded to be a starter somewhere else.

  5. Camperhead

    May 1, 2015 at 9:28 am

    I’m not sure what the point is in listing Freeman and McFadden among the Winners. Neither of those teams was expected to take a RB in the first round, and both players will certainly be in the Loser column by Saturday.

    Also, Carr, Cutler, Bradford and Flacco get bumps for adding new WRs, but not Ryan Tannehill? I’ll leave Andrew Luck off that list, since the Colts drafting of Phillip Dorsett is a complete head-scratcher.

    • Ryan McDowell

      May 1, 2015 at 11:53 am

      Hey Camper,
      I know what you mean on Freeman/DMC, but I did see more than mock projecting Gurley to ATL and while I didn;t see any with Dallas taking a round 1 RB, acquiring Peterson would’ve killed what little value McFadden has. I do expect both teams to add backs soon, but like I said, both RBs get one more day in the sun.

      I didn’t include Tannehill because he’s already being valued very highly, maybe near his ceiling. He was QB7 in April mocks. While I could see him moving ahead of Teddy, I think that’s his max, for now.

      • Camperhead

        May 1, 2015 at 2:05 pm

        Makes sense. Thanks.

      • Freeman

        May 2, 2015 at 3:46 pm

        So much for that, it was fun while it lasted!

  6. Thomas Bonafair II

    May 1, 2015 at 10:37 am

    I was thinking the same thing about Tannehill. His arrow was pointing up as it was, and now even more with the addition of Parker. Clear top 10 QB in dynasty now, with room to climb into the top 6 as soon as this season.

    • Mike

      May 1, 2015 at 11:00 am

      > “…with room to climb into the top 6 as soon as this season.”

      I really can’t get on board with that until Miami does something to address one of the worst offensive lines in the league.

    • SJ

      May 1, 2015 at 11:41 am

      Not putting words in anyones mouth, but the change of M.Wallace to Parker may not even be an upgrade. I know that Parker has talent, but he could take time to develop. He has concerns. I will say on paper that Cameron/Stills is better than Clay/Hartman, but who can say if they will really surpass the latter’s production statistically. Do we expect either to get 1000 yrds? G.Jennings is nothing to get excited about, either. So from that perspective, it could be a wash for Tanehill when its all said and done.

    • Dan Marinio

      May 2, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      Agree, This is the most offensive talent this team has had since I played! And it’s not even close! As for Mike Wallace good riddance to that selfish pig, thank God We found someone to take that salary. Thanks Jeff Ireland, and Bill Parcells the dumb ass who handed you the job, for setting the team back a decade! Worst GM ever!!!

  7. Kory

    May 1, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Wow, I really wish I had traded Moncrief! I tried, and almost pushed one through. However, I did trade Mason for some good picks, though I knew nor expected that either of these draft round 1’s would go down with the Rams and Colts. Such is dynasty life. Win some, lose some 😉

    • Ryan McDowell

      May 1, 2015 at 11:50 am

      Absolutely! That makes it fun.

      For the record, I do still think Moncrief is a valuable player in dynasty leagues.

      • Robert

        May 1, 2015 at 3:28 pm

        Well, if you like Moncrief then now may be the best opportunity to buy low on him and stash him.

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