NFL Draft Day One Winners and Losers: Veteran Edition

Ryan McDowell

Dynasty players have been looking forward to this weekend for weeks, maybe even months. The first round of the NFL Draft was expected to be somewhat of a let-down this season, with fewer offensive skill position players selected. By the end of the night, just three quarterbacks, one running back, two receivers and two tight ends came off the board. If that disappoints you, the landing spots of some of these rookies should be some consolation.

With these talented players entering the league, NFL veterans will feel the impact, some fearing for their respective jobs while others will breathe a sigh of relief, at least for 24 hours. Let’s take a look at some of the players who could see their dynasty value affected by this first round rookie class.



Christian Kirk, WR ARI

David Johnson, RB ARI

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Last year was a disastrous season for the Arizona Cardinals, who were rewarded with the top overall pick for their suffering. As expected, they selected former Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, which should lead to the complete revamp of the offense. While I’m not certain that Murray’s style is a better fit for players like David Johnson or receiver Christian Kirk, things obviously can’t get much worse than what we witnessed a year ago. Murray and head coach Kliff Kingsbury should have this entire offense playing much faster, which will only benefit skill players like Kirk and Johnson.


Matthew Stafford, QB DET

Kerryon Johnson, RB DET

The Lions used their eighth overall pick to select tight end TJ Hockenson. If you’ve read or seen anything about the Iowa product over the past few months, you already know he’s been billed as an elite all-around tight end, capable of breaking a big play up the seam or staying in to run-block. Clearly, this type of player benefits all aspects of the offense. Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford is coming off his worst season in years and needed additional weapons in the passing game. This can also be viewed as another sign of the team’s commitment to establish a running game with second-year back Kerryon Johnson, who should see more openings than he did a season ago.


Andy Dalton, QB CIN

Joe Mixon, RB CIN

The Bengals had many needs to choose from with their first-round pick and they had been rumored to be considering a quarterback. If so, that would’ve likely signaled the end of Andy Dalton’s time with the team. Not only did Cincinnati not draft Dalton’s replacement, they chose a player who could help him the most, versatile offensive lineman Jonah Williams from Alabama. Williams can play multiple spots along the line and he did not allow a sack when pass-blocking during the entire 2018 season. The addition of Williams also helps running back Joe Mixon, whom the Bengals and many dynasty owners are counting on taking the next step towards becoming an elite back in 2019.


Dalvin Cook, RB MIN

The Vikings entered the 2018 season with loads of talent on offense and defense and the only real uncertainty involved their offensive line. That proved to be the team’s downfall and it hurt Cook’s production throughout the season. It is no surprise the Vikes would focus on improving the line, selecting center Garrett Bradbury. Last year, Minnesota ranked 29th in the league in pass-blocking efficiency, per Pro Football Focus. Expect them to continue to make moves to upgrade the line, aiding Cook along the way.


Deshaun Watson, QB HOU

If the Vikings were the most in need of an offensive line upgrade, the Texans were not far behind. Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson led the league last season, taking 61 sacks on the year. Houston was reportedly set to take tackle Andre Dillard before the Eagles did what they do and traded up to snipe a needy team. Instead, the Texans took a chance on another tackle, Tytus Howard from Alabama State. Much like Minnesota, any move here has to help as Houston must protect Watson.


Lamar Jackson, QB BAL

When your receiver corps is led by Willie Snead, you are in desperate need of an upgrade. Everyone knew the Ravens would be drafting a wide receiver, it was only a matter of which one. They settled on Oklahoma speedster Marquise Brown, despite his size and recent injury concerns. Brown is a player who can stretch the defense like few others can and that will have a great impact on the run-heavy Ravens. This pairing might not help Brown’s dynasty stock but consider quarterback Lamar Jackson a winner.


Tom Brady, QB NEP

Jeez, hasn’t this guy won enough already? Even after winning yet another Super Bowl, there were plenty of questions and concerns about the Patriots offense entering the 2019 season. Quarterback Tom Brady had already lost tight end Rob Gronkowski (retirement) and receiver Chris Hogan (Carolina) and had few options remaining outside of veteran Julian Edelman. The Pats likely aren’t done, but the addition of Arizona State receiver N’Keal Harry with the final pick in the opening round is huge. Brady has shown in the past that he doesn’t need superstar pass catchers to perform or win, but it won’t hurt.


Derek Carr, QB OAK

Heading into the draft, rumors were that the Raiders would make a surprise pick with the fourth selection and that could be Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins. Not only did Oakland not replace their current signal-caller Derek Carr, they used a later pick to add running back Josh Jacobs, bolstering the offense and securing Carr’s role as the starter.



Josh Rosen, QB ARI

There is no more obvious loser after round one of the NFL Draft than last year’s tenth overall selection, Arizona’s Josh Rosen. While we all knew this was inevitable, the Cardinals chose to select Kyler Murray and were unable (or unwilling?) to deal Rosen to another team. The odds are good that Rosen still lands with a new team, probably before the weekend concludes, but the fact that they couldn’t get a current year first-rounder for Rosen does not speak well of how other teams value him.


Giants’ Offense

Yes, the entire offense. Where do I begin? The Giants used their sixth-overall draft pick on Duke’s Daniel Jones, who most considered the fourth-best quarterback in this poor class. After that, they traded up into the late first round with a chance to target an offensive lineman or a big receiver to attempt to replace Odell Beckham’s production. Instead, they focused on defense with the latter two picks. There is obviously nothing wrong with that, but it seems that the team’s decision makers feel confident with the offense they’ve put together. With the addition of Jones, the G-Men now have two quarterbacks that can’t make the most of the team’s playmakers.


Alex Smith, QB WAS

Case Keenum, QB WAS

The Redskins enjoyed one of the night’s best drafts. Instead of trading up into the top ten, as had been rumored, they sat in the middle of the draft and their quarterback target fell in their lap. Washington drafted Dwayne Haskins to immediately shore up questions that had surrounded the position since the injury to veteran Alex Smith. It is still unclear if that injury will prove to be career-ending, but this move likely means Smith’s Washington career is done. The pick is also bad news for veteran Case Keenum, whom the Redskins acquired via trade earlier this off-season. Neither Smith nor Keenum had any value outside of super-flex leagues but they can even be dropped in those formats following the addition of Haskins.


Jake Butt, TE DEN

Jeff Heuerman, TE DEN

The Broncos have been trying to find an answer at the tight end position since Julius Thomas left five years ago. They may have finally filled that void with the selection of Iowa’s Noah Fant. Denver’s tight ends include Jake Butt and Jeff Heuerman and while neither player had any real trade value, both can regularly be found on dynasty rosters, serving as a deep sleeper. Time to give up on that idea!



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