Bloom Top 100 Part 2
By Sigmund Bloom
April 25th, 2011

The lack of depth at wideout in the top 50 is somewhat compensated for by a good class of very useful wideouts without athletic upside, or tremendous athletes at the position whose games need a lot of work. There is also a good group of late QB/RB picks who aren't flashy, but should hang around the league and possibly get shots to produce by attrition. The fantasy IDP class is one of the weakest in recent memory, even though people will reach for a lot of the names that go in the first round. Just like in the NFL draft, successful fantasy franchises will find a lot of eventually valuable players in the late parts of the selection meeting.

Be sure to listen to all of Cecil Lammey's draft coverage live at Radio City Music Hall for his station 102.3 The Ticket in Denver. Matt Waldman and I will be broadcasting live for two hours from 10 pm eastern to midnight on our normal Thursday night live edition of the The Audible during the first round to give you our thoughts on the night's events.

51) Ronald Johnson, WR, USC - We're used to seeing more attention-getting WR prospects come out of USC, but Johnson's quiet game could go farther in the NFL than some more successful Trojan collegiate wideouts. Johnson runs pro quality routes and finishes with good hands and underrated craftiness and toughness after the catch. His size, speed, and quickness are average and they could keep him from starting, but he'll have a role in the pros for sure.

52) Dwayne Harris, WR, East Carolina - You have to love wideouts who turn into running backs after the catch, and Harris does it with speed to boot. He has a ways to go as a route runner and defeater of press coverage, but Harris is good enough to be a productive starter if he can learn those skills.

53) Virgil Green, TE, Nevada - Green is a good enough blocker to be on the field for every down, and his hands, ball skills, and toughness over the middle will make him a viable target downfield. I don't see quite the speed, explosiveness, or large catch radius to stand out in a class of intriguing pass-catching talents at TE, but he could still be this year's Tony Moeaki.

54) Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson - With no questions about the knee, Bowers would be a premium DE prospect who would likely merit a rating in the third round of fantasy rookie drafts, with the second round being reasonable in sack heavy leagues. Assuming he drops out of the top 10 (or later) as expected, you'll have to take the risk that his knee issues are possibly degenerative. I would be much more willing to take that plunge in leagues that award five points or more for a sack.

55) Jordan Todman, RB, UConn - Few backs had greater buzz coming out of the combine than Todman, but I'm not buying it. I don't think he has true breakaway pad speed, yet he still wants to break everything outside. He can break some ankle tackles and other half-hearted attempts to bring him down, but he doesn't run big or strong enough to break a lot of NFL quality tackles. I will be pleased when he goes off the board long before I would consider him.

56) DeAndre Brown, WR, Southern Miss - Brown is yet another player who was ticketed for the first round of rookie drafts in his freshman year, but failed to live up to expectations since then. He is more than fast, strong, and sudden enough for a 6'6" 230 wideout, but he doesn't use his size to dominate like he should (not to mention his hands are inconsistent). The biggest knock on Brown is his history of leg injuries, including a broken tibia and fibula at the end of his freshman year. He's a perfect 5th round pick because you should know by the end of his first camp whether he was a potential steal or just another player we believe in a little too long because of the promise they flashed in the past.

57) Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri - Smith is a big, rangy pass rusher with more strength and quickness than his long frame would indicate. He is not necessarily a quick-twitch pass rusher, but he is fast, especially for his size, and very combative. His motor and heady play get him involved vs. the run enough to make him a potential #3/#4 as a fantasy LB, and a #1 as a fantasy DE.

58) Quinton Carter, S, Oklahoma - If there is a future fantasy star in this safety class, it is Carter. He is a ballhawk in coverage with the range and willingness to be a force against the run and otherwise get in on a ton of tackles. I don't like to take safeties in my rookie drafts, but I might make an exception for Carter.

59) Cameron Kenney, WR, Oklahoma - Kenney isn't getting much love in the draft community, but I believe Matt Waldman has uncovered another underrated gem. He's a tough hands catcher with speed to burn and a high comfort level in most every aspect of the WR game. Kenney has been pigeonholed as marginal possession receiver, but he's a better prospect than Blair White and I'll be looking to land him in the late rounds of my rookie drafts.

60) Kris Adams, WR, UTEP - Adams is a terrific late-round rookie pick because his long frame, ups, and speed make him a potential big play specialist. He'll need to get stronger and run tighter routes to become a starter in the NFL.

61) Dane Sanzenbacher, WR, Ohio State - The toughness, hands, and sharp routes are all NFL quality, but Sanzenbacher's lack of big play athleticism may cap his fantasy upside. He could make hay in a quick-hitting, efficient passing game and his game speed is underrated.

62) Kris Durham, WR, Georgia - Guys like Durham get overshadowed when they play next to guys like A.J. Green, but Durham would be the top pro prospect in a lot of programs. He's got a long frame, great ups and hands, and enough speed to fly past defensive backs who don't respect it. Durham isn't very sudden, but he has enough swerve to get open downfield, and he'll stick in the NFL, if not start.

63) Johnny White, RB, UNC - White is a strong back with good feet and a good enough initial burst, but his overall explosiveness seems below average to me. He's the kind of back who will toil as a 3rd stringer for a lot of his career, but always impress when injuries strike on the depth chart ahead of him. Some of those guys can turn into Benjarvus Green-Ellis, but most remain anonymous. He's a good value pick in the 4th or later.

64) Lance Kendricks, TE, Wisconsin - If you made a top three list of tight ends in this draft based on eventual likelihood of starting, Kendricks would be on it, but he wouldn't make the top five list of fantasy upside. He got some ups and ball skills and his glide generates some speed, but Kendricks doesn't look like a natural playmaker to me. He's destined to become one of those starting TEs who are just bye week/injury emergency filler.

65) Andy Dalton, QB, TCU - I can buy that Dalton has NFL quality smarts and leadership, but as many have pointed out, he just can't drive the ball the way an NFL QB has to be able to in order to be successful attacking NFL defenses. Yes, his arm strength can improve and the offense will be tailored to his strengths, but his ceiling seems low in a deep class of higher ceiling QB prospects. He ranks better than this in 16+ team leagues with more QB scarcity.

66) Mason Foster, LB, Washington - Foster should stick as an NFL starter and he might even have fantasy relevance if he's playing inside in a 3-4. He's a big instinctive LB but he doesn't move well enough in space for me to believe that he'll be an every-down LB.

67) Niles Paul, WR, Nebraska - Paul looks more like a running back than a wide receiver, but he has the long speed to run under the deep ball. I'm not sure that he has a diverse enough game to start in the NFL, but I do like his toughness and intensity.

68) Jeff Maehl, WR, Oregon - Maehl exhibits top notch hands and body control with a good game in the air. His strength and toughness are surprising and he should have a career similar to Greg Camarillo, with Lance Moore upside.

69) Ricardo Lockette, WR, Fort Valley State - Even though he has the tools to dominate at a Division I level, Lockette never stood out at a lower level of competition - and he's 25. Still, when you run 4.36 in a 6'2" 210 frame, an NFL team will spend the time trying to make a sculpture out of that block of granite.

70) Jeremy Ross, WR, Cal - Ross wasn't a big-time producer at Cal, but he has the speed and athleticism to eventually start in the NFL at WR even though he is very raw at the position. He turns into a hard-nosed RB with relentless leg drive after the catch - so much so that he could get some looks out of the backfield too. He's a high-upside project who is perfect for stashing away in leagues with large taxi squads.

71) Jarred Fayson, WR, Illinois - Fayson did very little in his college career, but his 4.36 40 time at his pro day has the NFL interested because he is a strong 6'0 207. He is a late-round flier for both the NFL and fantasy draft, but the payoff could be big despite Fayson's unheralded past.

72) Jerrod Johnson, QB, Texas A&M - If Joe Webb can get a shot in the NFL, I think Johnson can too. He's a dangerous runner and in 2009, he looked like an NFL starter in the making. He came unraveled this year, but Johnson's fantasy upside as a QB is very high if he can hit, and he is a student of the game who might be able to make a position switch to TE (6'5" 251) and make an impact there if he doesn't.

73) Allen Bradford, RB, USC - Bradford looks the part with a NFL style thick build and powerful running style. I like his pad level and he flashes surprising speed at the second level. He's probably just a committee back at best, but Bradford has resembled an NFL back enough in small doses to be worth a late round pick.

74) Graig Cooper, RB, Miami (FL) - Cooper is thin-hipped for an NFL prospect, but he runs low and has shown an NFL quality game in the past. He is a longshot, but one that has flashed upside in the past. If Cooper can return to pre-knee injury form, he'll have a future in the pros.

75) Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn - Dirty player with a high bust risk? Sure. Still, Fairley has demonstrated Ndamukong Suh fantasy upside at DT, and he's worth a late pick in leagues that use the position.

76) Alex Green, RB, Hawaii - In a vacuum, Green seems like an underrated RB prospect. He's big and fast with good hands, and seemed to always run with a head of steam and a lot of force. I rank him lower than most in this RB class because he is very straight-linish in his style and he has been able to operate in the wide open lanes of the Hawaii offense. He reminds me of Jackie Battle, current KC RB.

77) Ricky Stanzi, QB, Iowa - A lot of Stanzi's attributes make him look like an NFL QB - his size, quick release, work ethic, and improvement each year all point to a shot to start in the future. I still see Stanzi fold under pressure and fail to perform in the clutch a little too much to want to invest more than a very late pick in him.

78) DeAndre McDaniel, S, Clemson - McDaniel is a good late target with his closing speed punctuated by big hits and WR-like ball skills and ups.

79) Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA - It is impressive to see Ayers line up at so many places in the defense and flash the athleticism to be at least adequate in all of those roles. He should notch sacks, but he's not a natural enough pass rusher to be a sack artist. Ayers takes too many bad angles and doesn't show enough stoutness at the point of attack for me to feel good about taking him early enough to secure his services because his high NFL draft status will likely get him picked as early as the 2nd or 3rd in some drafts.

80) Stevan Ridley, RB, LSU - In a typical class, Ridley's thick, low build and hard running would make him one of the better sleepers, but in this class, he is just a last round “lets see if he makes a roster" pick. He just doesn't have the burst or playmaking ability to be more than say, Isaac Redman, in the NFL, but Redman is just a Rashard Mendenhall injury away from fantasy relevance.

81) Tyrod Taylor, QB, Virginia Tech - Taylor is unlikely to stay at QB in the NFL, but he possesses the quickness, speed, and open field creativity to fill a wildcat QB/returner/wide receiver role. He won't go as high as Armanti Edwards did last year, but he has the same kind of potential.

82) Austin Pettis, WR, Boise State - The hands, ups, and ball tracking are all there, but Pettis probably lacks the dynamic physical ability or playmaker's inspiration to be more than a possession receiver who gets on the field in three and four-wide sets.

83) Adam Froman, QB, Louisville - If you take Froman late, you get one of the more athletic QBs outside of the top seven, and you also get a leader who does the little things well. He can definitely become a solid backup, but Froman doesn't throw with much zip, and that will likely keep him from becoming a long-term starter.

84) T.J. Yates, QB, North Carolina - If I take a QB late to stash on my taxi squad, I look for competitive, smart signal callers like Yates. He'll never be an elite NFL or fantasy QB, but I think he's good enough to start in this QB-poor league in time a la Ryan Fitzpatrick.

85) Derrick Locke, RB, Kentucky - In other classes, Locke would stand out as a top speed back, but he is one in a crowd that includes bigger and more explosive runners. I see a lot of Darren Sproles in his willingness to run hard inside and terrific balance, but like Sproles, Locke will probably get overwhelmed running inside in the NFL.

86) Greg McElroy, QB, Alabama - There is nothing special about McElroy's game, but he does have a track record of being a smart winner who makes sound decisions and executes well. He isn't going to challenge a defender with a 50/50 ball or make things happen on his own, and McElroy's fantasy upside as a starter will be modest. Still, in a QB-starved league, he could end up being his team's best option in the next 2-3 years, which is worth something.

87) Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB, Purdue - Kerrigan gets after it and has a nose for the ball, but I prefer quick-twitch pass rushers at DE or 3-4 OLB, and Kerrigan isn't one. He is still worth a later pick, especially if he stays at DE, but he's one of my least favorite fantasy prospects in the deep DE/OLB tweener class.

88) Darvin Adams, WR, Auburn - I see a little of Brandon Lloyd in Adams when he is skying and adjusting to the deep ball in flight, but his hands and strength are subpar. Adams could have value down the line, but he'll take a while to develop and could fizzle out pretty quickly.

89) Keith Smith, WR, Purdue - Smith has to overcome a major knee injury and an already existing lack of speed and explosiveness to make it in the NFL. He has a big frame and strong hands that could make him a trusted target for his QB even if he can't gain consistent separation.

90) Casey Matthews, LB, Oregon - The energy, smarts, and intangibles are all there like his brother Clay, and Clay's success should inflate Casey's draft stock by at least a round. He looks more like a strong safety to me out there, but I don't know if he has the speed to pull that off. He's worth consideration as a late-round LB, but most drafts will see him go before I would take him.

91) Mario Harvey, LB, Marshall - Harvey has the range to be an every-down MLB and occasionally he'll look like a downhill defensive force. Too many other times, he'll misdiagnose the play or hesitate, and Harvey is just not an explosive enough LB to compensate for that. I'll be open to adding him late if he lands in a good situation, but I'm not very high on his pro future.

92) Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU - I rarely cash in rookie picks for corners, but Peterson might be worth it and should rank much higher if your league rewards return yardage. He's a good tackler, active in run support, and a big-time playmaker on defense and special teams.

93) Evan Royster, RB, Penn State - Royster's stock has plummeted after his early college career seemed to portend big things. He has some build-up speed and loose hips, but on the whole he looks like Mike Hart without the extraordinary level of determination in Hart's game - in other words, a guy who is likely to be near the borderline of rosterable in the NFL.

94) Darren Evans, RB, Virginia Tech - Few backs as big as Evans have as good as feet as he does, but many are faster and quicker. He might find an end of the roster as a FB/RB tweener in the NFL, but as a runner, he'll strictly be a plodder.

95) Roy Helu, RB, Nebraska - There might not be a back who runs with more urgency and decisiveness in this class than Helu, but his running style lacks the subtlety to translate to the NFL. His lateral agility and creativity are sorely lacking and I would only take him very late in drafts. He'll be long gone before I would think about pulling the trigger.

96) Aldrick Robinson, WR, SMU - His future might only be as a designated deep threat, but Robinson can make a living doing that with his speed, hands, and 40" vertical. Worth stashing if he lands in a good spot.

97) Stephen Burton, WR, West Texas A&M - Making the circus catch is not a problem for Burton, but the routine play can be. He is a big, strong wideout, but his game is raw and he'll be long term project.

98) Mario Fannin, RB, Auburn - Fannin is a bit of a freak with a 4.4 40 and 37.5" vert carrying 231 pounds on a 5'10" frame. He will likely end up being a Marcel Reese style fullback, but perhaps we haven't seen Reese's fantasy ceiling quite yet.

99) Ahmad Black, S, Florida - The Bob Sanders comparisons are apt as Black is a little stick of dynamite in the secondary who just makes things happen. His lack of elite speed could knock him down in the draft, but I'll give Black a look late if he lands in a good situation.

100) You make the call - If you've read this far, you're either a big fan of the draft or deep fantasy football leagues. I appreciate you giving me your most precious resource - your time and attention - and I want to hear from you. Specifically, tell me the player who wasn't included in this top 100 that you think belongs in any discussion of the top 100 deep IDP league fantasy commodities in the NFL draft. I'll be back with a new edition after the draft next week!

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to bloom@footballguys.com.

  • Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to bloom@footballguys.com.

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