By The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson
You came back for more? You shouldn’t have. Actually, I’m glad you did. The more eyes that read our stuff, the better for us. I mean you. The better for you. If you missed Part 1, check it out here. But for now, let’s proceed with picks 11-21.
The Chicago Bears select LB Darron Lee
Continuing the trend of linebackers that can cover sideline to sideline, Lee has the quickness and ability to do just that in Chicago. Yes, the Bears need some help on their defensive line, but with the depth of talent on the line in this draft, that is a position where they can find value in rounds two and three. Lee can be a plug and play starter, and HC John Fox surely would not mind that.
Fantasy Implications: Not much to speak of. He is likely to register 100 tackles if he starts right out of the gate, with a few forced fumbles mixed in, but the Bears have a lot of work to do on this defense to make it even respectable. That said, one person wouldn’t move the needle too much.
The New Orleans Saints select CB Vernon Hargreaves III
I wouldn’t be shocked if they went with a wide receiver. I originally had Treadwell here before the Eagles-Browns trade. But in this update, I think they go with defense. They could go with a defensive tackle, but they need so much more help in the secondary. They could take Hargreaves here and double down on maybe Mackensie Alexander in the 2nd round. Sure, they’re a bit on the short side, but you can’t tell me that wouldn’t be a huge get to boost that defense.
Fantasy Implications: Nothing to move the needle of the Saints defense onto the fantasy radar. Their best more was merely jettisoning Rob Ryan.
The Miami Dolphins select LB Myles Jack
Sure, the Dolphins have all their linebacker spots filled. Yes, Jack’s medicals on his knee would need to check out. But he’s the best talent available and great teams succeed when going the route of taking the best player available. They need talent and youth on the defense. Jack checks off both boxes.
Fantasy Implications: He may not start at the outset of the season, but he’s likely to be starting by season’s end. He’ll be the one to help propel the Dolphins’ defense forward, not Ndamukong Suh.
The Oakland Raiders select DT Sheldon Rankins
Most no not see Rankins as the best defensive tackle in this draft. Personally, I don’t either. I see a player who is moody and plays when he wants, but I also see a player that can get after the quarterback. He is arguably the best defensive tackle in this draft at that particular skill. The Raiders like getting after the quarterback. They brought in LB Bruce Irvin to help two time All-Pro Khalil Mack get after the quarterback, so why not add a tackle that helps free them both up for less double teams? Talk about your perfect fits.
Fantasy Implications: Directly for Rankins? Not much. A low-on-the-totem-pole IDP player. But this could significantly boost the value of both Mack and Irvin. If the Raiders can pluck a solid corner and safety in the later rounds, their defense may have some streaming value to it as well.
The Tennessee Titans select WR Josh Doctson
Right here. The best WR in this draft. He can do it all. Get down the field and blow by defenders; can out jump the secondary for the not-so-accurate passes; and runs pretty decent routes for a guy coming from a school that has a limited route tree built into their offense. The Titans need weapons for Mariota. With three 2nd round picks, they can grab some depth for their offensive and defensive lines. But they need a premium receiver, not just a speed demon like Will Fuller who can’t catch the football. Get the guy that can catch the football!
Fantasy Implications: If they fail to protect Mariota, not a whole lot. But with Dorial Green-Beckham emerging, the presence of TE Delanie Walker and RB DeMarco Murray, this could be an offense to keep an eye on. Doctson is likely to play 4th fiddle, maybe even 5th since they signed Rishard Matthews in the offseason to be their number two WR. But by season’s end, he could be worthy of some action that could help a fantasy team as a FLEX in the playoffs. Draft and stash for keeper leagues, and certainly a nice dynasty add if things come together.
The Detroit Lions select OT Taylor Decker
Can you name who is protecting Matthew Stafford right now? Me neither. They spent a 1st round pick on a guard last year, and I think they double down on linemen again this year. Decker is the last premier tackle in this class, and he certainly won’t be passed up by Indianapolis. If they pass on Decker, it’s because they fall in love with a corner.
Fantasy Implications: Much like with any lineman, this affects the skill position players more than anything. Stafford needs times to throw and the running backs need holes to run through. Pretty simple really.
The Atlanta Falcons select DE Shaq Lawson
He may not last this long. Miami could scoop him up at 13. But the Falcons and HC Dan Quinn should be ecstatic if he makes it this far. Lawson gets to the quarterback in a hurry, as shown by his 25.5 tackles for loss last season. With his former teammate, Vic Beasley, already in Atlanta, the Falcons would gladly become Clemson South.
Fantasy Implications: I don’t think he gets more than 5 sacks in his rookie season. That said, not a huge impact. But if you’re in an IDP Dynasty league, he definitely has some promise. Quinn featured aggressive defenses in Seattle, and the Falcons are still trying to accumulate playmakers and talent on that side of the ball. In a few years, they could be a defense that gives Cam Newton and the Panthers a run for their money.
The Indianapolis Colts select OLB Leonard Floyd
Floyd seems like the prototypical 3-4 OLB. He pressures the quarterback and has the quickness to cover a tight end in the middle of the field. The Colts need some talent on defense, especially talented playmakers that can rush the quarterback. And with no lineman worth going this high – unless they fall in love with Alabama C Ryan Kelly – Floyd makes sense as a player at a premium position of need.
Fantasy Implications: Floyd could be a nice compliment to Mathis, not to mention eventual replacement of, on the second level. Mathis isn’t getting any younger, but he still has a little bit left in the tank. Floyd could easily benefit from the double teams Mathis will likely command to produce a solid 8-10 sack season.
The Buffalo Bills select DT Jarran Reed
It’s pretty well known fact that HC Rex Ryan likes big guys. Wars are won in the trenches right? With Marcel Dareus in tow and Kyle Williams in the twilight of his career, there’s a need for a deeper line. Jerel Worthy is on his fifth team so you can bet good linemen are needed. Ryan needs all the help on the defense as he can get.
Fantasy Implications: Unless Reed turns into the second coming of Ndamukong Suh, this defense isn’t even looked at as a streaming option. Reed could help the line in future years, but his job will likely be as a run stuffer. Not a lot of love for those guys in fantasy.
The New York Jets select S Karl Joseph
The Jets, to me, are an absolute wild card. I think this could be a prime landing spot for a QB like Paxton Lynch. But I don’t think the Jets want to take him. They are on the cusp of the playoffs and need someone to help them get over the hump. Lynch won’t be ready for a year or two, and they already have a project on their bench in Bryce Petty. Take a player who can help you now. This could be a prime spot for another team to trade up, possibly the Broncos, who are looking to grab Lynch. Joseph could be had later, but if they stay where they are, I think they take Joseph and be happy to add this ball hawk in their secondary.
Fantasy Implications: As long as Revis is in your secondary, good things are in store. Former 1st round corner Dee Milliner is likely to compete for the spot vacated by recently released Antonio Cromartie, so Joseph and Calvin Pryor will be tasked with manning the back of the field. Revis can cover his side, so two safeties to help a young corner? Advantage: Jets. Already a top 12 fantasy defense.
The Washington Redskins select CB William Jackson III
A lot of teams need help and depth up front on both lines. The Redskins are no different. But with this draft deep on both lines, if I’m a team that needs help at other areas, I’ll look to the later rounds for depth. That said, the Redskins need all kinds of help in their secondary. DeAngelo Hall is old, but more importantly, extremely overrated, and they could stand to add a young talent across from him. Sure, they just signed Josh Norman to a massive contract, but great defenses have great coverage. Jackson III can flat out fly. And with more and more WRs in the league running sub 4.5 40 times, that speed will come in handy.
Fantasy Implications: Maybe in a few years, we’ll be talking about a Redskins defense that is top 12 worthy. It won’t be this year. Jackson III will have some growing pains, but won’t need to start right away. The secondary as a whole will give up big plays, maybe a few less than before now that Norman is in tow.
Come back tomorrow to how I think the 1st round ends with picks 22-31.