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Below are two Dynasty ranking lists.
First, we have players who I have so little interest in/would never take, it would be silly for me to even rank them because they'll be long gone by the time I'd ever think of taking them. I'd rather gamble on a great prospect, and fail...then knowingly take junk on the hunch the computer is wrong. It's just not the way I roll, and I've been pretty fortunate so far. No need to doubt now.
After the 'bad guy' list then we get into the top 100+ Dynasty prospects. I am not advocating you take them in the order I am listing at. Scoring systems are different; lineup requirements are different. Your league vibe is different. This is essentially my "if everything was equal list." You'll have to adjust this mirror accordingly for your devious drafting purposes.
*We will probably produce 7-10 updates to this as the preseason rolls on, so stay tuned as things change.
(2.0): We will mark the +/- on a player when it was the specific player we pushed up or down since the previous rankings.
Big names I have rated so much lower than anyone else, let's not bother listing:
TE Eric Ebron, UNC: For the 1,001st time, he is not the next Jimmy Graham or Vernon Davis. His measurables aren't close, his on-field performance was lacking, and he has problems actually catching the ball...other than that he's a gem. I cannot make this pick. This reminds me of the Coby Fleener hype of 2012...but I'm not sure Ebron is as good a prospect as Fleener.
WR Marqise Lee, Jacksonville: He is not better than Cecil Shorts, and not better than Allen Robinson. If Justin Blackmon returns...then not better than Blackmon either. Why do I want a mediocre WR who is the 4th best on his own team who will work with a crappy QB (unless Stanzi arises)?
RB Devonta Freeman, Atlanta: I could not understand a 2014 NFL Draft pick any less than this one by Atlanta. A slow, 206-pound RB with issues...awesome. He did have three 100+ yard rushing games in 2013...against Nevada, Idaho, and Bethune Cookman...awesome. I don't care how crappy the Falcons backfield is...this is not the answer.
RB Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati: I think Hill is a potential flameout, and he could sit behind BJGE this season (if BJGE kept on a cheaper deal vs. being released)...and if/when he sits...his FF-value will slice quickly. He's big and stiff. Everyone can go crazy for him...not me. He has some value on size, goal-line work, but we see problems here (especially because his power source, FB blocker J.C. Copeland is in Dallas right now).
QB Blake Bortles, Jacksonville: We don't think he has a chance of making it...so why bother?
RB Lache Seastrunk, Washington: RG3-buddy pick. Roy Helu is a far superior RB, but I bet Seastrunk gets special treatment. Even if he does, I want no part of him. He's too small, and can't catch. He's a couple of touch a game guy unless an injury to Morris and Helu pushes him forward.
RB Storm Johnson, Jacksonville: Smaller RB with below-average speed. I'm not interested. I think Gerhart and Todman are far superior. Because of the depth chart, Storm may catch onto the roster, but unless Gerhart goes down, I'm not super-interested.
RB Ka'Deem Carey, Chicago: I have zero interest. Everything points towards a bust.
QB Derek Carr, Oakland: Nice guy, but this is another version of Case Keenum-type of QB prospect. High-volume college passer, who will flop in the NFL. I hope I'm wrong because he is a nice guy.
FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Green Bay: Not interested in this Alabama-hype prospect. Flimsy tackler.
QB Aaron Murray, Kansas City: Kirk Cousins 2.0
DE Dee Ford, Kansas City: I think Ford is highly overrated, and will be a flop as a 3-4 OLB.
RB James White, New England: Not anywhere as good as Vereen-Bolden-Ridley, nor better than UDFA pickupStephen Houston.
QB A.J. McCarron, Cincinnati: He'll never beat out Andy Dalton, ever. McCarron is OK-ish, but the more we learn about his mind...the worse it gets.
The Top-100+ Dynasty Rookie Draft Prospects for 2014 (2.0)
1) OLB Ryan Shazier, Pittsburgh
The best IDP for 2014+, and the best overall prospect in the draft. Every year brings us more talented WRs and more useful RBs, but they don't bring us athletes like this on defense very often.
He's likely to play OLB, and make 100+ tackles per year and defend (and pick-off) passes. He'll also be a great 'sneak attack' blitzer off a blind-side...getting to the QB in warp speed. This is like Jamie Collins last year, only a better athlete. Wherever they play him: OLB, ILB, SS, FS...he's going to produce. He's simply a better athlete than most of the offensive players, and for sure far superior in speed and agility than O-Linemen and TEs...or RBs trying to stop him. He is a video game defender. It's not as 'sexy' a Dynasty prospect as a great QB-RB-WR, but it's a fact...Ryan Shazier is the best all-around talent in this draft.
What position he plays, and how he is used by the Steelers initially could change things, but for now he's sitting as our #1. Early Dynasty Rookie Drafts show Shazier 3rd or 4th off the board among IDPs usually, and rarely in the top-12 players selected. He's a 1.10 pick as the highest we've seen, but more 2.01-2.12 range.
2) WR Brandin Cooks, New Orleans
I began this ranking with Cooks at #3, behind Bishop Sankey, and then switched it a day later. This situation is just too FF-delightful to pass up on. He's the best "small WR" in this draft...a 4.3+ runner who actually is muscular (not frail). He is a phenomenal speed-strength-agility-hands combo weapon. Cooks would be wasted/lost on some teams...but not the Saints. Not with Drew Brees. I would argue no elite QB has a single greater 'small WR' weapon than Brees has with Cooks. Better than Rodgers-Cobb. Better than Brady-Edleman. Better than Luck-Hilton. Better than Foles-DJax/2013.
If Cooks makes a quick splash in the NFL, teams still won't be able to double team him because Graham and Colston will tear teams apart getting single coverage all the time. Cooks may not coverable by one, or even two defenders, due to his speed. This is offensive anarchy at its highest. Because of that, despite the amount of WR prospects available, I cannot pass up on a front row set to watch Cooks rack up video game numbers with Drew Brees.
There is not one threat to Cooks on the Saints roster. The slot/weapon WR role is totally his (example: by contrast, I can see Chris Givens as similar/better than Tavon Austin as a WR...Cooks has nothing like that). You know Brees will exploit Cooks' gifts all season...and defenders will mostly be powerless to stop him. The Saints are going to be unfair this season.
3) RB Bishop Sankey, Tennessee
I came so close to beginning this list with Bishop Sankey, and here's why: If Sankey retired from football tomorrow, who is your top Dynasty Rookie RB from this class? Carlos Hyde...the somewhere between 2nd and 5th best RB on his new team's depth chart? This draft class is weak at RB, and where it was stronger-ish...the RBs got paired up on teams with already stacked RB groups (Gaffney, McKinnon, Mason, Hill, et al). Sankey has additional value because of limited RB options from this draft.
I could not blame anyone for entering the Dynasty Rookie Draft with Sankey as their #1. No RB from this draft class has as clear a path to 15+ carries a game as does Sankey. I may 'like' a few other players better than Sankey, but his talent + situation favors Sankey. If you need a nice WR from this draft, then you have between 3-5+ to choose from. If you need a main-carry RB from this draft...you have only have one clear choice. Because of that, I could get behind Sankey as my #1 to start this process. There may not be another RB in our top-10 (considering IDPs)...and that is completely bizarre. What an odd year for RBs.
The two football things that hold me back from putting Sankey as the #1 rank: (1) Will Tennessee pull him out near the goal-line and let Shonn Greene steal some of the FF-glory? (2) Can Tennessee even get near the goal-line enough to matter for Sankey or Greene for FF-purposes? That Tennessee offense is a cluster. The O-Line is getting awesome, but the passing game stinks. I might waver back & forth with Sankey at #1 as the preseason progresses, but for now he's #3...or '1c'.
4) WR Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia
There is an argument to be had that Matthews should be ranked #1 in this Dynasty Rookie class. He is the most polished WR in the draft (Jarvis Landry could argue), and he brings tremendous athleticism for his size (Jarvis Landry cannot argue that). Matthews goes to a Philadelphia offense that is ready to go to another level, but part of the reason why is their already solid WR corps with Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin. Things could be a bit crowded at first Matthews before he really takes off statistically, but in the end he is a superior WR to both Cooper and Maclin.
Matthews is a top talent going to a progressive offense with an elite QB. I like Matthews long-term over Cooks, but short-term Cooks could be a star instantly...Matthews could be mediocre for a bit (and thus available in trade mid-season if you don't get from the draft) before taking off to a higher-output.
5) DT Aaron Donald, St. Louis (+1 spot)
If you play IDP with a generic 'D-Line' label, and the scoring system favors DEs for sacks/tackles then Donald should be much lower on this list...he is going to be hard-pressed to get double-digit sacks, etc. playing DT in the NFL. If he's lumped in with all D-Linemen in your league, then he should probably not rate this highly. However, if you have to fill the 'DT position' specifically, then he's going to be sensational...an all-time great producer potentially, and possibly the top prospect in this Rookie Draft.
Considering the talent on defense the Rams have already, Donald might actually be a DT that has IDP 'D-Line' value. He could be that rare DT who can punch double-digit sacks/TFLs. That's hard to bet on at DT, but with him the sky is the limit.
6) TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Tampa Bay
This is going to be fun to watch: Three physical monsters on the field at all times in the passing game (Evans, V Jax, and Seferian-Jenkins)...and their lackluster QB: Josh McCown. This will be an interesting case study to see if you can 'get around' having a great QB by just rolling three power forwards out, and chucking it up in their general direction.
Seferian-Jenkins is the Eric Ebron people are looking for. The potential 'next Jimmy Graham'. I think he's a little short of that, but it's on the table. Watching ASJ in college, as compared to Ebron...there is no contest on who is a difference-maker, and who is ordinary.
Elite, TE-lottery tickets are so scarce, that you have to bump up their valuation in a Dynasty Rookie Draft. It's why I still value Tyler Eifert from 2013. It's the same argument I had with Bishop Sankey earlier...you need a great RB from this draft, you have one maybe. You need a great WR...take your pick. Well, with TEs, it's ASJ...or nothing. That has extreme value in a Dynasty Rookie Draft.
Going against ASJ: (1) Rookie TEs start slow, so you could acquire ASJ later when the hubbub dies down. (2) ASJ is not the main 'big guy' target. McCown/Glennon have VJax and Evans to look at. I'm very interested, but I know I can get him mid-season at a much lower price...so that takes his value down a touch.
7) WR Sammy Watkins, Buffalo
I know I must seem like a 'Watkins-hater'. I have been pretty harsh on him all pre-NFL Draft season. I didn't mean to come off that way. What I was railing against was the value of a six-foot WR in the NFL Draft, from an organizational, win-loss valuation perspective. I know he's a good-great prospect, and our computer models rated him very well. He has the individual talent to be the best Dynasty Rookie. However, he did not land in New Orleans with Drew Brees...no. He had a 180-degree opposite situation...and it's what I feared all along. He's stuck in a low-volume passing game with a crappy QB.
Consider Pierre Garcon's career trajectory. He's as good or better than Sammy Watkins, physically and otherwise. You didn't believe me a couple of years ago on Garcon as 'elite', but then you saw him at times last year...and you know he's a great NFL WR. You also know that there are times where it is completely frustrating watching Garcon from a FF-perspective because he gets double-teamed, and RG3 was sloppy a lot last year. Garcon had some incredible games and moments in 2013, as well as a lot of 4 catches for 66 yards and no TD games. E.J. Manuel's best day as a passer is not equal to RG3's worst day. How much heat will Scott Chandler, Mike Williams, and Robert Woods take off for Watkins? Watkins can be double-teamed in that set up...and Manuel is not going to be able to overcome that well.
I want to love Watkins with the rest of society, but I can't. It doesn't add up to me. He's not a bust. I just don't see him head and shoulders above everyone else in this class. If he is an equal talent with Cooks and Matthews (let's argue)...who got the worst QB/offense/organization/climate of the three in the NFL Draft? I know Watkins will have the offense built around him, so that's a plus on his side of the ledger, but working with E.J. Manuel freezes me a little FF-fear.
Swap Watkins and Cooks for where they landed in the NFL Draft, then I'd swap where I am ranking them for the Dynasty Rookie Draft. This has become an E.J. Manuel story more than Watkins' translation to the NFL.
8) SS/FS Deone Bucannon, Arizona
How does 100+ tackles, 10+ PDs, and a few forced fumbles and interceptions sound? If it sounds good for your FF-scoring system purposes, then this is your man. You can find RB and WR gambles in and out of the Dynasty Rookie Draft. You won't find many stud Safeties lying around for the taking.
9) WR Mike Evans, Tampa Bay
I loved Mike Evans for Fantasy Football a lot more until the Bucs snatched Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the 2nd-round. I love Evans getting lesser coverage because of VJax, and making an impact quickly as 'the next Alshon Jeffery' forJosh McCown. The Bears comparisons fall apart when you introduce Seferian-Jenkins, because Martellus Bennett is not 'the next Jimmy Graham', but Seferian-Jenkins has an outside shot that he might be. The ASJ presence makes the Evans outlook a little cloudy. Pre-ASJ, Evans could have been in the #1 overall argument. Post ASJ, now I'm not sure what to think on the red-zone targets, etc. It still looks good, just not as great as pre-ASJ. Evans could be a #1 or a #10 in this draft...I'm really not sure. Plus, there is some nagging scouting data in our system that suggests some 'bust' possibility with Evans.
10) QB Johnny Manziel, Cleveland
He's not among our top-5 or top-20 most talented players in this draft. However, when it comes to Fantasy Football, there is great value in mobile QBs and popular/flashy players. The only reason I draft Manziel is to let the drama build preseason before I trade him off for something. I don't want to be stuck holding the bag when he starts playing as a rookie and gets creamed. His Dynasty value only lies in flipping him preseason. If you don't want to play that poker game, don't make him your pick.
I think Manziel could flame out quickly, and the football world turns on him, and he implodes into a mockery. There is no reason to believe there will be a long career of star-output here. He's not that gifted a passer. He is a size/style that warrants injury. Worst of all, this is Cleveland...and dysfunction finds its way here often. This could be a mess. This is like Tavon Austin last year...buy him to "sell the hype" when it's time.
11) WR Davante Adams, Green Bay (+2 spots)
(2.0): The more I look at this situation, the more I love what's going to happen with Adams. He is the heir apparent to the James Jones output. In 2015, I bet Randall Cobb is gone via free agency, and the 'veteran' WRs on the team will be Jordy and Davante. I like this a lot for 2014. I love this for 2015+.
(1.0): The James Jones-clone...
Whatever your thoughts on Jones, you should feel the same with Adams. He is a very good WR, going to a sensational situation. I'm not sure that you pencil in the identical stats from when Jones was at his best, as it may take a season to work out the rookie kinks, but he'll be useful in 2014, and then possibly good-great for 2015+.
My only hesitation is that the Packers also drafted Jared Abbrederis and Jeff Janis, both of whom have some interesting qualities. The Packers WR pool is a little more crowded then I would liked here.
12) QB Tom Savage, Houston
The path is wide-open for Savage to be the Texans QB for the next decade. My fear was that Savage would fall in the draft, and he would wind up in a Jimmy Garopollo situation...like "we'll see ya' in 3-4 years...maybe." Savage wound up in a perfect situation. The opportunity for Savage is right now.
I see some Nick Foles qualities in Savage, but I do not feel it's an equivalent grade. The possibility is there. I just do not feel as strong as I did with Foles. I might change that thought when I see Savage in the preseason. Savage is Foles-esque, and that puts him in play for the Dynasty Rookie Draft. I may race him up this board once I see him against NFL competition...like we did with Foles in 2012.
My concern is the Texans didn't hotly pursue Savage...he just kinda kept falling to them. I'm not sure if they're as excited as I am...and that does mean something. The commitment the coaches have to the QB means a lot. I'm not sure how Houston's coaches are on Savage. Of course, the Eagles tried to ignore Foles too...so I also know there is 'hope'. Savage's window is now.
13) WR Cody Latimer, Denver (-2 spots)
(2.0): Reports of his foot injury keeping him out of active workouts until training camp...the lapse of time is not going to help the rookie get in sync with Peyton. The more I consider this, the more I feel opposite of Davante Adams...Adams is hitting the perfect window, and Latimer may be approaching a window slamming shut.
(1.0): Arguably, the best all-around WR talent in the 2014 NFL Draft...and when Denver trades up to get you, then you have to have an extra gold star by your name.
You likely have the same fears I do..."Is Latimer the 4th or 5th or 6th option for the Broncos is 2014?" Demaryius Thomas, then Julius Thomas, then Wes Welker lock up the top-3 looks from Peyton. At best, Latimer is the 4th guy. If 2014 is an erratic usage pattern...then what if Peyton retires in 2015? How exciting is Latimer (or Demaryius, et al) without Peyton long-term? I have hope in Brock Osweiler, but he's no Peyton. I love Latimer, but he may have entered the best passing offense in history at the wrong window of time.
I personally like Latimer better than Evans or Watkins, but he enters into a stacked roster as the newbie. His 2014 may be a bit dull, and then Peyton leaves...that's my 'fear'. However, I would not be shocked if he shoved Emmanuel Sanders aside in 2014, and became a better Eric Decker. So for that theory, I have 'hope' for Latimer right away.
14) DE Anthony Barr, Minnesota
Barr is probably going to be known/coveted for his Sack-prowess/potential, and that's true, but Barr has the athleticism of a superstar OLB...a guy who can rack up tackles and get to the QB. Barr wasn't so interested in anything but Sacks in college (to my eye), but Mike Zimmer is the kind of coach who can get through to guys like Barr. I love the upside potential here.
This is a 'boom or bust' pick. There are not many 'boom' IDP guys in a draft, so you have to reach for them when they present themselves.
15) RB Carlos Hyde, San Francisco
I mean...how many RBs are there in San Francisco...including the QB? There have been vultures circling around Frank Gore's body for years in Fantasy Football...and he never gives those birds any satisfaction. Now, I am supposed to believe that the 49ers will make their next great Super Bowl push in 2014, maybe their last push for a while (because I think Harbaugh is leaving after this season), and they'll instantly shelve Gore for Carlos Hyde? Hyde just isn't all that special. He's good, but not great-special. Hyde has to get past Gore-Lattimore-Hunter-James-Kaepernick right now to find FF-relevance. I just don't like those odds.
Gore is a free agent at the end of the year, so this is probably it for him in San Francisco, but what if the 49ers stay on this RB bloodlust path they've been on for the past couple years? What's to stop them from drafting another RB next year, or whenever Gore is declared 'done'? I can see Hyde getting touches in 2014, but hard to see him being 'the man until at least 2015...and even then it's crowded.
Mid-2014 season, Hyde will be on sale like Montee Ball was in 2013 at the same juncture. There is no need to push after Hyde.
16) DE Jadeveon Clowney, Houston
If you're scoring system favors sacks, then move him up higher on the list. He should produce a decent haul of sacks working on a D-Line with J.J. Watt and Louis Nix. If your system favors total tackles and passes-defended, then maybe this isn't your great IDP grab. If Ezekiel Ansah was valuable in your league last year...then so to will Clowney.
17) RB Terrance West, Cleveland
I'm not a gigantic Terrance West fan. I do not see the star potential in my initial research, but I do think he is a decent prospect. I also know he is a heartbeat away from being the Browns' starting RB in 2014, if Ben Tate gets hurt...which is almost a given based on history.
West is 225-pounds and runs a 4.5+ 40-time. He's NFL-worthy, and the rest of the Browns RB depth chart is junk. So, at a minimum, he is your Tate handcuff.
18) CB Justin Gilbert, Cleveland
We'd have to assume that teams are going to avoid Joe Haden, and thus they will absolutely attack the rookie CBJustin Gilbert. That factoid should produce big numbers in passes-defended (PDs) and interceptions...along with getting burned several times as rookies are known to do. If PDs are important to your scoring system, then Gilbert should be great in 2014+. However, if tackles are more important...then shy away, because Gilbert tackles like Deion Sanders.
There is the added bonus that Gilbert is a college superstar return man...one of the best in NCAA history. Cleveland could use him in that capacity, which is terrific if special teams action is bonus scoring for a player in your league.
19) QB Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota (+4 spots)
(2.0): I was watching tape of Dominique Easley again, and was re-watching the Florida-Louisville Bowl game two seasons ago. I really am conflicted. The computer numbers say 'good' with warning signs. My eyes are delighted when I watch him play. He is really a sensational passer. I don't care what happened at the NFL Combine. Bridgewater is going to win the Vikings job sooner rather than later.
(1.0): The QB everyone hates. I started turning on him too. Blame the computer. However, there is still something about watching him on tape that still captivates me--that he might be a really good NFL QB. The thing about that is...he's going to get his chance sooner rather than later. We'll know the outcome here quickly, no waiting around. Besides the fact that he is a better passer than given credit (recently) is that he has a little mobility. He might kick in a point or two with his legs. I'm not doing back-flips here, but I'm willing to see if the tape beats the metrics.
20) RB Andre Williams, NY Giants
OK, I know Williams cannot catch passes out of the backfield. It's OK, because Eli cannot throw them very well anymore either. Was Brandon Jacobs a big pass-game guy? Pass catching aside, Williams is an excellent 'power RB'...which should be right up Tom Coughlin's alley. If you play in a non-PPR, then Williams might be a top 8-10 Dynasty Rookie Draft prospect.
All he has to do is beat out Rashad Jennings, and David Wilson's neck. That's not a crazy scenario to envision in 2014. It's not given, so we can't go much higher with Williams in our rankings.
**I start to dislike this draft's options at this point**
21) OLB Khalil Mack, Oakland
I think Mack is going to be solid-to-good, but we don't necessarily see 'special' as a strong possibility. He's not as fast/quick as Anthony Barr. He's not as big/strong as Jadeveon Clowney. He's not the elite athlete Ryan Shazier is (and no one is). I think we are talking really good football player joins solid NFL Defense. His name is exciting now, but two years from now you might be like, "Weren't we all thrilled with Barkevious Mingo this time last year? What team did he get drafted by again?" Nothing against Mingo, but I'm just trying to convey the name here me be well ahead of the potential FF-output.
22) WR Odell Beckham, NY Giants
Do you realize how awful the Giants passing game has become? Last year, Eli Manning threw for 18 TDs and 27 INTs.Victor Cruz had 4 TDs last year. Cruz was helped by the threat of Hakeem Nicks (who had zero TDs no matter how many times Eli tried, he couldn't connect in the red-zone with Nicks last year...and is was almost all Eli's fault). There is no Nicks-threat anymore (nor any TE threat), and obviously Rueben Randle is not 'that guy'.
The Giants have become a passing game counting on two six-foot, speedy WRs trying to catch passes from a QB constantly under duress, lacking in accuracy, Eli Manning. This will not go well for Beckham as he enters the Giants in that awkward phase of Eli is about done for being at any solid level, but he'll hang on for a couple of years while people deny it. Beckham's FF-output will be a casualty of that war. You'll buy Beckham for .50 on the dollar in late October.
23) RB Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota (+1 spot)
Believe it or not, the former Georgia Southern option QB is now the handcuff to Adrian Peterson. McKinnon has the measurables of a future success at RB. However, he is staring down a potential 2-3+ years of nothing behind AP...just ask Toby Gerhart. Like the player, hate the situation, unless I'm an AP owner, then I have to make a handcuff play here.
24) WR Allen Robinson, Jacksonville
I wish he would have gone elsewhere. I really do. I like Robinson, but unless Ricky Stanzi steps forward, there is little hope here. Chad Henne and Blake Bortles are not who Robinson needs to work with. In addition, with no Justin Blackmon, Robinson is going to be a #1-like weapon, and opposing defenders will take him out. When/if Blackmon returns, then this whole scene is congested. Like the player, but hate the situation.
25) DT Will Sutton, Chicago
Re-read the Aaron Donald commentary above, and apply it to Sutton...only Sutton is probably a grade down from Donald. Boom or bust DT pick here.
26) SS Calvin Pryor, NY Jets (+2 spots)
Pryor is a decent Strong Safety, but more importantly for FF-purposes, he loves to hit people...and he should rack up a decent count tackle totals in IDP. I can see him as a possible 90+ tackle a year candidate.
27) OLB Kevin Pierre-Louis, Seattle
I'm ready to race Pierre-Louis up this ranking board as we get some preseason buzz going. I'm a little worried that the Seahawks are too deep to push him to any forefront in 2014. He is such a talent that I want to be on this train before it leaves without me. I think Pierre-Louis has a chance to be the shock IDP of 2014.
28) CB Bradley Roby, Denver
Unlike Justin Gilbert, Bradley Roby will tackle people. You get a CB here who will be tested on the field right away (therefore, PD counts high early), and he should rack up nice tackle totals for a CB. You also have off-field knucklehead issues that may keep him from playing, but talent won't. Unlike Gilbert, Roby will not be thrown to the wolves right away, I suspect. He'll probably be brought along slowly for most of 2014, whereas Gilbert likely starts day-one.
29) TE C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston
I can foresee Fiedorowicz having that best of the 'next tier' of NFL/FF TEs vibe. He has great hands, and is a nice blocker. However, he is too slow to be one of those high-end TE receiving weapons. He could have a Heath Miller FF-respectability at TE. He can beat out Garrett Graham because he is an every-down TE.
30) WR Robert Herron, Tampa Bay
Somebody has to be the not 6'4"+ tall receiving option on the Bucs...and it's likely Robert Herron. The Bucs nabbed Herron in the 6th-round of the draft because someone needed to be the shooting guard. Herron is actually a very solid, talented WR. A touch on the small size, but athletic, and strong for his size. He is a great compliment to what the Bucs are aiming at with all the 'tall guys'. With all the VJax-Evans-ASJ attention, Herron might steal 70+ catches this year as the speed underneath option.
31) RB Tyler Gaffney, Carolina
Gaffney is our 2nd ranked RB prospect in this class behind Bishop Sankey. He could not have gone to a worse, more RB-congested place than Carolina. Just when you want to write this off, there comes the thought that Jonathan Stewart is always hurt, and DeAngelo Williams isn't getting any younger. There's minor hope for 2014 here, but there are four good RBs on the team already, and Cam Newton typically steals half of the available short-yardage rushing TDs. I want to love Gaffney, but this situation is horrible for him.
Can you believe the Panthers still owe Stewart $18M guaranteed still through 2018?
32) CB Jason Verrett, San Diego
As polished a CB as there is from the 2014 NFL Draft. He's going to start right away, and get tested, which should allow for a decent amount of pass-defenses with some picks.
** Now, we are entering 'garbage time' from a valuation standpoint. Trying to sift through to find someone with talent who can possibly breakthrough their depth chart logjam.**
33) ILB Andrew Jackson, Indianapolis
Jackson could be one of those little-known IDP names, that the next thing you know he is making 8-10 tackles a game out of the blue. He has a middle-linebacker's heart and style, but has had some minor issues off the field.
34) RB Dri Archer, Pittsburgh
You want to get excited here, but here's what I remember...
The last time I got excited about speedy RB-WR-KR weapon with Pittsburgh was Florida Gator Chris Rainey. He had shown some electricity in the preseason, and I got a little excited...then he was barely used in the regular season. You will not find a more boring, unimaginative Offensive Coordinator than Todd Haley. His KC regime took Dexter McCluster, and then Haley gave up on him quickly while Head Coach. He had Chris Rainey a couple years ago, and did little with him in the regular season. They had Markus Wheaton last year, and he was a ghost. Now, I am supposed to believe Haley has found religion, and will immediately use Archer in 2014? I'll predict more throws toAntonio Brown, and continued pursuit of old-school Cardinals/KC players...and a general ignoring of Dri Archer.
On a creative offense, like a New Orleans, Archer would rate much higher, but on Pittsburgh with Haley, I'm a huge skeptic. Haley should not be too much longer for the employment world, so if I think something is here with Archer...I'll wait until mid-season 2014 to make a move at .20 on the dollar.
35) DE Kareem Martin, Arizona
I've got a weird feeling this is Chandler Jones 2.0 about to happen. Our computer keeps kicking me in the shin over this one. I can see a path toward Martin as a 10+ sack guy with a lot of pass knockdowns.
36) WR Mike Campanaro, Baltimore (+3 spots)
Had Campanaro gone to some other teams, I would have him in my Dynasty Rookie top-20. The Ravens were not a great draw for him, per se. There's a lot of WR congestion on the roster right now. It may take him a year or two to break through it. I LOVE this WR, but I do not like this situation.
37) DE/LB Trent Murphy, Washington
I really like Trent Murphy...a do-it-all DE/OLB, who was a great player at Stanford. He might be a touch too slow (4.85 40-time) to be a high impact NFL player, but his agility his high-end, and his on-field results were awesome in college. I liked his tape as well. He's going to produce, but 50-50 whether it will warrant great IDP/Dynasty consideration.
38) ILB Jeremiah George, NY Jets (NEW)
The more we see, the more we like...the more we can foresee George as a potential 100+ tackles per year guy on his talent...and within the Jets scheme. Great instincts, but suspect measurables. Enter at your own risk.
39) WR Jarvis Landry, Miami (+5 spots)
(2.0): The more I think about this situation, the more I see Ryan Tannehill as being gone/under pressure in 2015. His contract ends in 2015, and the Dolphins have a big decision to make this year. I could see Tannehill flopping in 2014, and Miami possibly bringing in a bigger-named free agent. Tannehill is not the QB for Landry; a new QB could do wonders for the talented hands of Landry.
(1.0): Love the tape, hate the measurables. He might be a WR who defies the computer scouting model...and I bet that he does. He's an excellent WR, but it's hard to overlook the fact that he is so slow/non-agile an athlete. He can have the greatest hands in the universe, but he has to get open...and work with a pinpoint QB, and that's not Tannehill. Miami has like a 1,000 WRs on the roster, and a lot of them have talent. There are too many barriers right now to get overly-excited by Landry for FF-purposes.
40) WR T.J. Jones, Detroit
Jones is a solid/'OK' WR prospect, but he goes to a team that might sorely need him as a 3rd-WR if Ryan Broyleskeeps getting hurt. Jones could be the Lions 2nd-best WR by attrition in 2014. I don't see him as a long-term payback, but he might have surprisingly hot 2014 value.
41) WR Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina
I know I am supposed to be excited about his height and reach. It's supposed to be good for Cam Newton, which is a silent acknowledgement that he's not a very accurate passer down-field...and it's true. Benjamin seems like an answer, but he projects to be a little too slow to gain proper separation. He also has suspect hands, even if he is open. I'm not a fan of the receiver or the situation. His big pay-off is supposed to be short, red-zone jump balls. Ummmm...Cam Newton takes most of those short TDs via his feet, so...yeah...
I just re-read this pre-final, and now I am wondering why I didn't put him in the 'players I won't take' section. It's too much hassle to change it now. If he falls this far, I guess then I'd consider him.
42) RB Tre Mason, St. Louis
I'm do not believe that Tre Mason is better than Zac Stacy or Benny Cunningham. At a minimum, they are all equally talented. So how could we foresee Mason doing anything special for FF in 2014? He's not a power runner, so he's likely headed for a lot of 40-60 yard games (at best) with limited TDs (Stacy will get the easy TDs). I just don't see much to love here. I'll avoid this trap door.
I guess, I should have the same disclaimer as I had at the end of the Kelvin Benjamin summary...
43) RB Stephen Houston, New England
I've said it a few times this preseason: There are moments where I watch Houston and wonder if he is the best RB in this class. Other times, I am wondering why he is dancing around in the backfield so much. I would have had Houston in the top-20 if he went to a few other teams, but on the Patriots it pretty much killed his FF-'sleeper' status.
44) WR Paul Richardson, Seattle
I can see why people can get interested here. He is fast, and is a great player. I also see that he is super-thin, and a potential headache on and off the field personality-wise. Richardson has to beat out Percy Harvin and Doug Baldwin for relevance...and that would take a year or two at best.
45) OLB Jeremiah Attaochu, San Diego
He could be another IDP 'sleeper' if you scoring system favors sack totals. Attaochu is a great pass rusher. I liked him going to a 4-3 scheme, but he's going to a 3-4 in San Diego.
46) RB Zurlon Tipton, Indianapolis
My favorite RB deep-sleeper from the 2014 rookie class. However, he has a ton of hurdles: (1) Is coming off injuries. (2) The Colts have a ton of RBs ahead of him on the roster. His best hope is to get released and join a better situation.
47) WR Jeff Janis, Green Bay
I am not a fan based on what I've seen up-close. I didn't like his tape, and didn't like his Senior Bowl week. However, his measurables suggest a Julio Jones comp. For that reason, I'll take a lottery ticket shot at some point.
48) QB Jimmy Garopollo, New England
Tom Brady has to retire someday...and that 'someday' is probably 3-4+ years from now. Outside of being a Brady handcuff (which has value), I cannot get interested. Love the player, and love the football planning, but hate it for FF-purposes...too much waiting.
49) LB C.J. Mosley, Baltimore
Not one of my favorites, but he's going to play, and thus should produce some output to work with. Most value him much higher.
50) QB Connor Shaw, Cleveland
I'm smitten with the notion that Manziel will get hurt, or otherwise flame out, and then Connor Shaw becomes theJohnny Manziel everyone was looking for...and saves the day.
51) LB Kyle Van Noy, Detroit (-12 spots)
Van Noy is a solid player going to a team that needs defensive help ASAP. He might jump right in as an OLB right away, and give quick, decent tackle totals.
52) RB Lorenzo Taliaferro, Baltimore -- Love him, but he's buried here.
53) DE Kony Ealy, Carolina (+4 spots)
54) RB De'Anthony Thomas, Kansas City -- How much did you really use Dexter McCluster in FF?
55) DT Dominique Easley, New England -- If not for the injury risk, he'd be a top-30
56) CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, New Orleans
57) WR Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis -- not as good as Da'Rick Rogers.
58) TE Jace Amaro, NY Jets -- no QB to work with.
59) PK Nate Freese, Detroit (+2 spots) -- Will be Detroit' starting Kicker this year.
60) WR Quincy Enunwa, NY Jets -- no QB to work with.
61) DE Jackson Jeffcoat, Seattle (+14 spots) -- Could move up this list into the top-50 depending on how early training camps go.
62) TE Richard Rogers, Green Bay (+19 spots) -- Someone has to be the Packers TE. What if it is Rogers? I think Andrew Quarless, but maybe Rogers gets a push.
63) WR Jared Abbrederis, Green Bay
64) RB Kapri Bibbs, Denver -- The potential Montee Ball has fumble issues handcuff?
65) QB/TE Logan Thomas, Arizona -- Strictly on the hope he somehow is moved to TE, but on Arizona that doesn't mean much...ask Rob Housler.
66) QB Dustin Vaughan, Dallas -- The possible Romo heir apparent...and with Romo's back, could it happen sooner?
67) WR Bruce Ellington, San Francisco -- Love the player. Hate the situation. Too small a target for the erratic Colin Kaepernick.
68) TE Rob Blanchflower, Pittsburgh -- The Heath Miller handcuff...
69) ILB Chris Borland, San Francisco
70) CB Phillip Gaines, Kansas City -- Tremendous athlete at CB
71) WR Devin Street, Dallas -- Better than Terrence Williams, possibly right away.
72) SS Jimmie Ward, San Francisco
73) RB Tim Cornett, Arizona -- Somebody has to pick up the pieces when Andre Ellington gets hurt...and Arizona's non-Ellington options are all suspect.
74) WR Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh
75) CB Kyle Fuller, Chicago
76) WR John Brown, Arizona
77) DT Ra'Shede Hageman, Atlanta
78) PK Chris Boswell, Houston
79) CB Darqueze Dennard, Cincinnati -- We're not fans. We fear a rough 1st-year, followed by up & down action after that.
XX) RB Charles Ross, unsigned
80) RB/QB Jordan Lynch, Chicago
81) WR Kevin Norwood, Seattle
82) RB Charles Sims, Tampa Bay
83) QB David Fales, Chicago
84) RB Damien Williams, Miami
85) Louis Nix III, Houston (+11 spots)
86) WR Jeremy Gallon, New England
87) WR Josh Huff, Philadelphia
88) WR Cody Hoffman, Washington
89) RB Senorise Perry, Chicago (NEW)
90) QB Kenny Guiton, Buffalo
91) TE/DE Larry Webster, Detroit
92) WR Brandon Coleman, New Orleans
93) SS Brock Vereen, Chicago
94) CB Keith McGill, Oakland
95) WR Ryan Grant, Washington (+12 spots)
96) LB Shayne Skov, San Francisco (+7 spots)
97) QB Jeff Mathews, Atlanta (+8 spots)
98) RB David Fluellen, Philadelphia (+6 spots)
99) LB Trevor Reilly, NY Jets (+2 spots)
100) NT Daniel McCullers, Pittsburgh (new)
101) ILB/DL Nikita Whitlock, Cincinnati (new)
102) WR Damian Copeland, Jacksonville
103) DT Kelcy Quarles, NY Giants
104) WR Shaq Evans, NY Jets
105) DE Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State
106) DE Scott Crichton, Minnesota
107) DT Kerry Hyder, NY Jets
108) LB Morgan Breslin, San Francisco
109) WR Ryan Culbreath, Unsigned
110) SS Greg Heban, Unsigned
111) TE Crockett Gillmore, Baltimore
112) RB Terrance Cobb, Jacksonville
113) TE Troy Niklas, Arizona
114) FB Karl Williams, Oakland