Tag:2008 NFL Draft
Posted on: April 26, 2008 10:06 pm
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DAY 1 DRAFT WINNERS AND LOSERS

A wild, and very, very fast 2008 NFL Draft is 2/7ths of the way over, but we can already identify who the winners and losers are. Here's a quick roundup.

THE BIG WINNER: Jonathan Stewart, who will likely fall into a starting role as the physical, running downs RB in Carolina. He should also see goal-line carries, and he'll work behind a line featuring Jordan Gross and Jeff Otah at the tackles and Travelle Wharton at left guard. I think he's got the best shot at over 1,000 yards and seven TDs as a rookie RB.

OTHER WINNERS:

Jason Campbell, QB, WAS. Adding two big young receivers in Devin Thomas (good size, great speed) and Malcolm Kelly (great size, fair speed), not to mention TE Fred Davis (what are they gonna do with HIM?!), should put Campbell close to 3,750 yards or so passing. If these rookies can assimilate, I like Campbell in that platoon tier of Fantasy QBs. So much talent around him now, it's going to be hard for him not to complete 62 pct. of his passes.

Darren McFadden, RB, OAK. It's a borderline call. McFadden will get a lot of work by virtue of his high draft status and expensive contract. But between him, JaMarcus Russell, the rest of the RBs in Oakland and Javon Walker and Ronald Curry, the Raiders offense has a lot of speed and big-play ability. They'll be fun to watch. McFadden is no lock for any more than 6 TDs, though. He will NOT be this year's Adrian Peterson.

Matt Forte, RB, CHI. The versatile inside runner/outside receiver should push Cedric Benson hard for the starting RB job from day one. Benson's lackadaisical approach is going to cost him as Forte is a go-getter with a good head on his shoulders, and he can block! Forte might out-stat McFadden in 2008. Seriously. That's not any Chicago bias talking, either.

The Jaguars DST for sniping two really solid pass rushers in Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves. It was either draft those two young guys or trade their No. 1 pick for Jason Taylor. Long term, they made a really, really good choice. Very savvy move by them.

The Jets DST for getting Vernon Gholston. They could lead the AFC in sacks this season.

The Saints DST for getting Sedrick Ellis. Brilliant trade up, and now they could also generate sacks with Ellis taking on two offensive linemen.

Keith Rivers will be this year's Patrick Willis in IDP leagues.

THE BIG LOSER: Willie Parker, who now must split his workload with not only rookie RB Rashard Mendenhall, but also Najeh Davenport and potentially Mewelde Moore. I listened to the Sirius NFL Radio broadcast of the draft, and coach Mike Tomlin was ECSTATIC over landing Mendenhall. I got a bad feeling that Parker's days as a Fantasy stud are over.

OTHER LOSERS:

LenDale White, RB, TEN. The Titans' drafting of Chris Johnson reeks of them looking at Combine totals and drooling, much like they did with Chris Henry last year. Henry doesn't fit into their plans (they should trade him to Detroit ASAP), but Johnson will not only be a 1,000-yard candidate, but he'll also help pad Vince Young's stats in the passing game. White has officially gone to a tandem, and while he'll still get TDs, his yardage totals are about to shrivel up.

DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR. Now he's got to share with Stewart. The only way Williams will see a full workload is if Stewart gets hurt or he signs elsewhere when his rookie contract is up. What a waste of amazing talent, and a waste of a first-round pick by the Panthers. I'm not optimistic that Williams will have a solid Fantasy starting status this season.

Michael Turner, RB, ATL. The Falcons' drafting of Matt Ryan waved the flag on the 2008 season, and the move-up to draft Sam Baker was very suspect. Baker will be a good player, but I don't see him grading out at left tackle. Guard maybe. Turner is still without a good O-line and a pass game to take some pressure off him. He'll grind out 1,000 yards still, but won't be as dominant as he could have been elsewhere.

Cedric Benson, RB, CHI. As they say in Chicago: Sha na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, gooooodbye (sorry it's late and I had a long day). Matt Forte is going to give Benson a big-time fight for the starting job. Benson is one dude I am not TOUCHING in Fantasy play this season.

Michael Bush, RB, OAK. McFadden's arrival means he's a long ways from being a premier running back. That broken leg is still costing him.
Fred Davis, TE, WAS. Thought he had 500-yard potential playing in an offense that wanted a nice tight end. Wound up in Washington watching Chris Cooley play in front of him. I like the player, hate the landing spot. Last time that happened was in '04 with Steven Jackson going to St. Louis. That turned out OK.

Willis McGahee, RB, BAL. Just a little bit, because the Ravens did not address the O-line and added Ray Rice to help McGahee in the run game, though I suspect both will be used at the same time. Rice is Cam Cameron's type of running back, though. I don't love this if I'm McGahee, but I am still expecting at least 1,300 total yards and 8 TDs.

I don't get Jerod Mayo at No. 10 overall. Sorry New England, you lost me. And the last time you lost me, you drafted a gem of a lineman in Logan Mankins, so obviously I'm a moron.
Category: NFL
Posted on: April 26, 2008 3:03 pm
Edited on: April 26, 2008 8:48 pm
 

2008 NFL Draft Blog - Day 1

8:46 p.m.: For all of my Round 2 analysis, click here: sportsline.com/nfl/story/10800033

It's been a wild day. The first round went by faster than an OT NFL game, and the second round was a hectic ride (and technically not over). The third round will be interesting after so many guys with late-second and third-round grades went already.

7:34 p.m.:
Love the Matt Forte pick by the Chicago Bears. Not only does he have nice speed and size, but he can also be a huge asset in the passing game. And, he's a very bright person that will play well in Chicago, especially when compared to the surly Cedric Benson. He doesn't have breakaway speed, and injuries are an issue, but he's a really polished pick for the Bears.

The other Round 2 pick I really like so far is James Hardy in Buffalo. Really great pick. Huge red-zone target. Reminds me of Marques Colston, but with better change-of-direction and a smidge more bulk. Trent Edwards' stock goes up with the pick.

6:45 p.m.:
A lot of defense to end Round 1, but Fantasy owners should take note of Dustin Keller going to the Jets. He should add another 300-400 yards to Kellen Clemens' bottom line, and give the Jets a nice red-zone threat. I like the pick a lot.

5:50 p.m.:
Chris Johnson being taken by Tennessee was yet another surprise. Johnson has off-the-charts speed and excellent hands, and my guess is that the Titans, who have taken Combine heroes in the past, couldn't pass on his ability. Now they have the total package of a power runner in LenDale White and a speedster in Johnson. They should trade Chris Henry to a club that will use him, but in the meantime he'll end up being a backup.

5:42 p.m.:
Felix Jones landing in Dallas was one of the worst-kept secrets this offseason. The Cowboys like him a lot as a solid rusher who can complement Marion Barber, not to mention use him as leverage against Barber, who is a restricted free agent. I like the pick a lot.

Rashard Mendenhall is a puzzling pick for the Steelers, but it frees them up to use a two-RB system with him and Parker, killing Najeh Davenport's Fantasy value (Parker's too). Maybe this speaks to the rehab of Parker's broken leg as well. Fantasy fans, we just lost a top-15 Fantasy rusher. But on the flip side, THE TALENT POOL IS DEEPER THAN EVER!!!


5:28 p.m.:
Love the Aqib Talib pick for Tampa Bay, hate the Sam Baker pick for Atlanta. Baker didn't grade out to a first-round pick in a lot of analysts' minds, though I like him as a second-round type.

As for Talib, he's a physical corner who will fit in nicely with the Bucs in their Cover-2 scheme.

5:15 p.m.:
The Carolina Panthers just won the 2008 NFL Draft and the NFC South.

By trading back into Round 1 and landing OT Jeff Otah, they've re-planted their flag as a power-run offense that will complement their should-be impressive pass attack. Otah will give them bookend offensive tackles with Travelle Wharton at left guard. That's an incredibly talented and young O-line.

Now pair that with Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams running the ball, and Jake Delhomme hitting Steve Smith on deep routes and smoke screens, and you've got a very, very potent offense. One that rivals the Saints as the best in the division.

Jonathan Stewart just overtook Darren McFadden as the go-to Fantasy rookie RB in 2008 drafts. You read it here FIRST.

4:48 p.m.:
The Branden Albert pick is a nice one for Kansas City. The hope is that he can play tackle, but even if he's a guard there he'll really help out Larry Johnson's plight.

Chris Williams going to Chicago doesn't make much sense other than he was the only pure left tackle available, and the Bears cannot rely on John Tait to play on the left side any more. Williams will be able to take that left-side job while Tait moves to the right. It helps the Bears' line, but there are questions about Williams' toughness. I don't like the pick much for Cedric Benson's future.

4:38 p.m.:
The run on offensive linemen have begun -- the Broncos took LT Ryan Clady and the Bears took LT Chris Williams -- but nestled in between those behemoths is Jonathan Stewart, who will now share reps with DeAngelo Williams.

Stewart has a toe problem but should be fine. I like him a lot -- probably more than McFadden at this point -- because he'll get a sizable workload in Carolina and have a shot at being their goal-line running back. Moreover, the Panthers prefer a power runner and not a speedster (why did they ever draft DeAngelo Williams??).

So far, Fantasywise, Stewart is the winner with McFadden second. But there's been too many defenders taken to make that even a fair and balanced argument.


4:25 p.m.:
Still swamped, but with Ryan Clady getting drafted I get a breather.

McKelvin and Rivers will be impact defenders for the Bills and Bengals, respectively. I don't understand how the Patriots couldn't trade down and still get Jerrod Mayo.

More coming.

4:01 p.m.:
A lot going on ... I need an offensive lineman to get picked already!

OK, the Saints and Jets' defenses are already on the move on our rank lists with their additions. The Jets might have become the best rags-to-riches defensive story this offseason with the additions of Vernon Gholston, Calvin Pace and Kris Jenkins. Gholston and Pace together should be fun to watch. For the Saints, Ellis will enhance the stats of DEs Will Smith and Charles Grant.

As for Jacksonville jumping up to get Derrick Harvey ... guess they figured he was worth the draft pick moreso than Jason Taylor. Jacksonville was a team I recently dissected and realized they needed a pass rusher. Taylor would have been an option, but so is Harvey, and he'll be around a lot longer than Taylor. True, they're not in the same class, but Harvey is a solid, pure 4-3 pass rusher and he should really help out that Jacksonville defense.

Two trades in the first 10 picks ... one O-lineman, three offensive players in total. Hmmm, methinks this is still a defense-based league.

3:37 p.m.:
Glenn Dorsey to the Chiefs is a big surprise, but only because Dorsey was still available. As Pat Kirwan so eloquently said on Sirius Radio, Herman Edwards has his Warren Sapp on the defensive line. Dorsey is a strong-like-bull run stuffer that should help the Chiefs' run defense from Day 1.

Not nearly as many trades so far as I thought, a possible side-effect of the 10-minute time limit. OR, there are trades coming a la the NBA ... we'll see ...

3:34 p.m.:
Darren McFadden is off to Oakland. I'm a little disappointed that he's not a Jet because that team is ready for a running back to come in and do well, but the Raiders are still a nice spot. He'll be sharing the ball, but as I noted earlier, the Raiders can probably find a way to use multiple rushers effectively.


3:18 p.m.:
Matt Ryan is going to the Falcons. Picked third overall. I don't love this pick very much for Fantasy purposes, but for the Falcons, it's a nice move that sets the tone for the offense for the next several seasons. The difference between Ryan and Glenn Dorsey is that Ryan won't make the impact right away that Dorsey would have. Dorsey would have been a PERFECT fit for that defense. Ryan will be fine for that offense, but not until 2009. Fantasy owners can dismiss Ryan at this juncture.

Now the draft is going to get REALLY interesting ... Oakland's pick has suddenly become very, very attractive.

3:10 p.m.:
The Rams' card is in ... and it's Chris Long.

Great addition for St. Louis. He'll team with Adam Carriker to dominate the left side of offensive lines for awhile, and the NFC West is a little light in that category outside of Seattle. This won't add much Fantasy value to the Rams DST (could be 6-7 more sacks in 2008), but neither would have Glenn Dorsey.



3:04 p.m.:
To no one's surprise, Jake Long goes No. 1 overall. Long will be tried at left tackle and should be fine there. Long will not only help the run game thanks to his expected blocking help (the Dolphins' left side will look like Long, Justin Smiley and center Reagan Mauia), but he'll also make Miami's pass attack a little bit better. That should help Josh McCown a smidge in '08.

Now things will get mildly interesting ...



3:00 p.m.:
Welcome to our live coverage of the 2008 NFL Draft.

You can find live updates on each pick's impact in Fantasy play by clicking here: www.sportsline.com/fantasy/football


You can email me here: dmfantasyfootball@cbs.com. Drop me a line and we'll schmooze about Fantasy.

I am writing from my home in Ft. Lauderdale, loaded with lots of soft beverages and a hi-def TV. The Fantasy Wife is on the couch with The Fantasy Daughter. The Fantasy Son is out playing -- big shout-out to the Smith family for letting my son wreck their house.
Category: NFL
Posted on: April 25, 2008 10:18 am
 

Draft madness this weekend


If there was ever a weekend between February and July for Fantasy owners to wake up and come out of hibernation, this weekend is it -- NFL DRAFT WEEKEND.

By this time Monday, over 250 men will infiltrate the NFL, and at least 85 percent of them will be on final rosters come September. The reality is that nearly every one of them will carry a measure of Fantasy value, whether it's Darren McFadden or Art Carmody.

So we're all over this like the contents of a hair-spray bottle on Mel Kiper's coif. Here's what we're cookin' up here in Fantasy-land for this weekend:

ALREADY ON SITE:
My mock draft, done in 19 minutes, 30 seconds. If you like boring mocks with no trades and no surprises, don't read it.

SATURDAY: I'll be posting Fantasy thoughts and analysis in real-time here in this very blog. I'll also be doing our very own player updates on the site AND I'll also be doing live commentary of the second-round picks for the main media site on CBSSports.com.

SUNDAY: See Saturday, except I'm only doing third round coverage for the media site. Fantasy blog updates and player updates will be sporadic starting in Round 4.

MONDAY: We'll post videos of the draft winners and losers as well as fresh content beefing up the rookie class and what the initial expectations are for them.

GET IN ON THE DRAFT: When a draft selection rives you nuts, or gets you pumped, chime in either in our CBSSports.com community or via email (did I mention we'll be posting emails?) at dmfantasyfootball@cbs.com.

See ya Saturday.

Category: NFL
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com