NFL Draft: Day One Recap

Ryan McDowell

At DLF, we’ve got wall-to-wall rookie coverage all weekend, and for days and weeks to come. With Day One of the NFL Draft in the books, here’s a look back at the dynasty impact of the first thirty-one selections, and a peek at who could be the hot names in Round Two and Three.

1.01 = Jared Goff, QB LA

There was little intrigue at the top of the draft as we’ve essentially known the identity of the top two picks for a week or two. With the likes of Nick Foles and Case Keenum as their options, no team needed to make a move for a quarterback more than the Rams. They gave up a ton of picks to do it, but Goff should start right away and has to be better than last year’s duo, right? Goff won’t be a target of mine until the third round of rookie drafts for a couple of reasons. First, that wide receiver depth chart is ugly. I assume the Rams will try to add a pass catcher or two, but they are now short on picks after making the move for Goff. I also just can’t trust a Jeff Fisher offense. While Goff was the top pick, I don’t think he’s the top quarterback for dynasty players.

1.02 = Carson Wentz, QB PHI

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My top dynasty rookie quarterback is Wentz, whom the Eagles moved up to acquire despite already signing both Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel this off-season. It’s a strange move, but at least the Eagles have a few more weapons for their new signal caller to throw to. There is the danger that Wentz could sit out a year if the Eagles management can calm Bradford and settle the current dispute that has led to his trade demand. Like Goff, I’m not likely considering Wentz, or any rookie quarterback, until the third round of rookie drafts.

1.04 = Ezekiel Elliott, RB DAL

The true headliner of the night for dynasty owners was Elliott, who came off the board with the fourth overall pick to the team we all had hoped for, the Dallas Cowboys. This offensive line made Darren McFadden relevant again and just imagine what a three down back like Elliott could do. I instantly moved Elliott up to my RB3 spot in my overall dynasty rankings behind only Todd Gurley and Le’Veon Bell and I didn’t hesitate doing that. Elliott is the hands down pick at the top of rookie drafts and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him sneak into the first round of some dynasty startup drafts.

1.15 = Corey Coleman, WR CLE

There had been much debate about which wide receiver would be the first selected and in the end, it was former Baylor playmaker Corey Coleman, taken by the Browns after they traded down to the fifteenth pick. I have said many times in recent weeks that I try to avoid all Browns players in dynasty leagues, but I might have to go back on that statement. I’m not sure Cleveland is as bad of a landing spot as it might seem for a wideout. Coleman is automatically the most talented receiver on the team, pending the status of Josh Gordon, and after seeing average talents like Travis Benjamin and Gary Barnidge rack up yards, I don’t see why Coleman can’t do the same. Not to mention, the way the Browns are loading up on draft picks, both this year and 2017, there will be plenty of opportunity for that offense to quickly improve. Prior to the draft, Coleman had established himself as a top four rookie pick in dynasty drafts and I expect him to maintain that status based on what we know now.

1.21 = Will Fuller, WR HOU

A few weeks ago, a surprising report hit the big network pre-draft coverage saying that Fuller, the Notre Dame speedster, could be the top wideout selected. That seemed preposterous at the time, considering many did not project him to even be selected in the first round. While he wasn’t the first receiver, he was second and goes to Houston to play alongside DeAndre Hopkins. The knock on Fuller has been his poor hands and reliance on a deep game. While these can be knocks when scouting a player for the draft process, they may not hinder his fantasy production, depending how bad those drops are, of course. Fuller has his fans and while I am not one of those, I do, in a way, defer to the NFL scouts who obviously see something in Fuller. I expect this early draft position to boost his dynasty value and he should be a mid-first rounder in most rookie drafts.

1.22 = Josh Doctson, WR WAS

Once Fuller was off the board, we all expected to see a run on receivers and that is just how it played out. For the first time in history, three consecutive first round picks were spent on wideouts, the second of those being the Washington Redskins grabbing Doctson formerly of TCU. The Redskins were not a team routinely projected to add a pass catcher early, but with both DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon as 29-year old receivers, the team wanted some youth. They add Doctson, who many considered the most talented receiver in the class and who is locked in as a top four rookie pick. I would not be surprised at all if Doctson quickly begins to eat into Garcon’s snaps and targets.

1.23 = Laquon Treadwell, WR MIN

My favorite receiver in this class was only the fourth wideout taken and while there were concerns about his slower than expected 40 time, the Minnesota Vikings wasted no time in selecting Treadwell to give Teddy Bridgewater another option in the passing game. Just a year ago, the Vikings looked like a promising offense with Bridgewater and a solid running game, plus a receiving corps that included Charles Johnson, Mike Wallace and Cordarrelle Patterson. All three of those players were huge disappointments in 2015 though and it was clear the Vikes needed a WR1. If Treadwell can live up to the expectations so many had for him throughout his college career, he should be able to form a solid duo with Stefon Diggs. While many are doubting Treadwell, he’s still my choice for the 1.02 pick, and should be no later than 1.04 in most drafts.

1.26 = Paxton Lynch, QB DEN

The final dynasty relevant player selected was another quarterback as John Elway and the Broncos get their man, former Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch. The Broncos traded up to ensure they could select the potential successor to future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning and it was worth it. Lynch might not start from day one, considering the team has Mark Sanchez and could even still add another veteran, but he will certainly get his shot at some point to lead this playoff caliber offense. Like the other quarterbacks, I’m not touching Lynch until the third round of rookie drafts.

Best Available Players

While Thursday was the main event, the NFL Draft is far from over and any serious dynasty players must be focused in on all of the selections made in Friday’s second and third round.

Quarterbacks Christian Hackenberg and Connor Cook could jump into the dynasty conversation if they land in the right spot, but more than likely these two will be waiver wire players in most dynasty leagues.

With only Ezekiel Elliott off the board, there are a handful of running backs to keep an eye on, led by Heisman winner Derrick Henry, who could come off the board early in the second round. Other names to look and listen for include Devontae Booker, Kenneth Dixon, Jonathan Williams, Jordan Howard and Paul Perkins.

The top tier of wideouts are off the board, but there are still a handful of potential first round rookie picks to be selected. Expect Michael Thomas of Ohio State to be an early Day Two pick. Sterling Shepard, Leonte Carroo, Tyler Boyd and Braxton Miller are other wide receivers expected to hear their name called on Friday.

Finally, there were no tight ends selected in the first round (which was expected), but Hunter Henry of Arkansas shouldn’t have to wait long before he is scooped up by an NFL team. Austin Hooper and Tyler Higbee could be later round dynasty options to check out as well.

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ryan mcdowell