NFL Mock Draft with a Side of Fantasy Implications Part 3

club-banner_wpBy The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson

You came back to see how it ends? You guys make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Now comment and share to tell me what you really think. If you missed part 1, it’s here. And if you missed Part 1, you likely missed Part 2.

On to the finish line!

The Houston Texans select WR Corey Coleman

If the board breaks this way and Coleman is the last of the top 3 WRs available, don’t be surprised if the Vikings or Bengals try to leapfrog the Texans. Houston needs a legitimate compliment to breakout star DeAndre Hopkins. They drafted Jaelen strong a year ago, and he could be that #2. But Coleman, with his size and speed, could be the ultimate slot receiver for them. This offseason has been about building the offense with the additions of QB Brock Osweiler and RB Lamar Miller. Add in the selection of Coleman and this offense has the potential for great things.

Fantasy Implications: Any time you have an all world talent at WR, everyone stands to benefit. While I wouldn’t take Coleman before, say, the 11th round, he could be a keeper stash for next year, certainly a dynasty pickup. He’s fast and can actually catch the football. Good things happen with receivers who can do both.

The Minnesota Vikings select Will Fuller

Now I’ve gone on record and said I don’t think Fuller will be a great NFL wide receiver. But if DeSean Jackson can take the top off a defense, I guess Fuller can too. The Vikings need a productive compliment to fantasy’s rookie breakout sensation Stefon Diggs. While I don’t think Fuller is a good compliment – wasn’t Mike Wallace a track star who could get down the field in a hurry? How’d that work out? – the need may outweigh the logic in this sense. Trading back if the board falls this way might be the best course of action, then using their first pick on a safety like Vonn Bell.

Fantasy Implications: More hype than results, in my opinion. Though I do remember Jackson’s rookie year vividly, as an Eagles fan and as a key component in my first Skrip Club championship. If history repeats itself, sign me up to take a flyer on this guy. More of a dynasty stash to see if he’s than just a 40 time.

The Cincinnati Bengals select LB Reggie Ragland

Their linebacker corps is getting up there in age and Burfict will be suspended for the first three games. With little value at wide receiver to be had, the Bengals check off need with value and keep Ragland away from the Packers. Ragland reminds me a lot of Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower. He’s not the fastest, but he as great instincts and has no issue sticking his nose in the pile to take down a ball carrier. Can’t go wrong with that at 24.

Fantasy Implications: If he can break through the starting lineup, he could be in line for solid stats – a few forced fumbles to go with 80+ tackles and a sack or two. Solid numbers for a rookie, but hardly noticeable in IDP play or even on a Bengals D/ST unit that will need lots of sacks and turnovers to remain a playable fantasy defense.

The Pittsburgh Steelers select CB Eli Apple

Their secondary is the weakest part of their team. They should spend all of their early round picks on corners and safeties. Lots of rumors state they are enamored with William Jackson III, so barring a trade up to get him, they select the next best corner in Apple. He’s raw, but he’s big, physical, and has long arms to keep receivers at bay. Could develop into a solid corner for the perennial playoff team.

Fantasy Implications: The Steelers as a unit have not been strong in recent years. They desperately need to infuse some youth and hope some of their young pass rushers make giant strides. Apple likely will have his fair share of ups and downs, but they play the Browns twice a year. That counts for something, right?

The Seattle Seahawks select C Ryan Kelly

They need a LT in the worst way. Almost as bas as the Colts do. But with only developmental prospects available, best to take someone who can help you know. Kelly can start right away and help lessen the blow of dealing Max Unger in the Jimmy Graham trade a year ago. Not only does this help the Seahawks, it takes away a prospect the rival Cardinals are likely to be interested in.

Fantasy Implications: All these write-ups in reference to how an offensive lineman can affect your fantasy team makes me want to start a league where you can draft lineman that get points based on the stats put up by the players they block for. There’s an idea. You steal it, I will hunt you down. But in all seriousness, Russell Wilson and Thomas Rawls need some steady blocking. Good things happen when they get it.

The Green Bay Packers select DT Vernon Butler

Of all the defensive tackles available with high grades, Butler seems to be the best fit as a nose tackle. The Packers need to replace to recently retired B.J. Raji and Butler could slide right in and help clog the lane. Ragland would be a better choice, so don’t be surprised if they decide to trade up for him.

Fantasy Implications: Only if you own Clay Matthews in an IDP fantasy league, because eating up blockers to free him up is likely the job assignment for Butler.

The Kansas City Chiefs select DE Kevin Dodd

After losing Justin Houston for the year, a pass rusher seems like a likely choice to select. While they sure need help in the secondary, you can mask deficiencies there with a strong pass rush. Enter Kevin Dodd.

Fantasy Implications: He’s likely to play 3rd fiddle behind Hali and recent draftee Dee Ford, but Dodd has the motor to make people forget about Ford. Could be a solid situational pass rusher while he learns to cover running backs and tight ends as a 3-4 linebacker.

The Arizona Cardinals select QB Paxton Lynch

Someone had to take him in the 1st round, right? The Cardinals may decide to take a defensive end or someone that can help them right now. Truth is, they’re likely to get as much help from Lynch on day one as they are a project on their line. Carson Palmer isn’t getting any younger. Before last season, he spent a lot of time getting hurt. It’s only a matter of time before he does so again. Lynch is big and has a strong arm, both traits well liked by HC Bruce Arians. This may sting without a 2nd round pick, but for all intents and purposes, Chandler Jones was their 2nd round pick. I’d call that a steal.

Fantasy Implications: None. For at least 2 years, maybe more.

The Carolina Panthers select CB Artie Burns

When they rescinded the franchise tag on CB Josh Norman, cornerback jumped to the forefront of needs. Sure, there are better players available, especially on the defensive line. But as I said before, there’s plenty of depth there in this draft and they can easily find a good one later. Artie Burns is rising on draft boards and has solid measurables. I think he becomes the pick.

Fantasy Implications: Burns won’t replicate everything Norman did for CArolina. He’ll have growing pains, but with a good first and second level in front of him, and solid safeties behind him, his growing pains can be masked more easily. Still a top flight fantasy defense.

The Denver Broncos select DT Chris Jones

They could reach for a 2nd tier quarterback like Connor Cook or Christian Hackenberg, but that’s not John Elway’s style. He’s likely to want to trade back if the board breaks this way, bot if he stays put, he’s likely to add value to his defensive line. Jones is streaky but he has the ability to pressure the quarterback. And with DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller still around to terrorize tackles, Jones could be in line for some solid games, a la Malik Jackson.

Fantasy Implications: It won’t mean much if the Broncos go into the season relying on Mark Sanchez as their starter. But the Broncos D/ST should still be top 12 worthy.

 

And there you have it. The first round is in the books. Check out next week’s podcast for a recap of the draft and which players could have legitimate fantasy upside going into the season.