With the NFL Draft just days old, many Dynasty fantasy football team owners are poised to select their own players for their respective teams. This article is just one man's opinion on the Top 40-50 rookies available for your draft.
An important part of any list is to explain how I came up with my rankings. Due to my own time commitments I am usually unable to watch all but a couple of college games a week during the regular season, although I do make time to watch all the Bowl games. So unlike a few fellow FootballGuys staff members like Sigmund Bloom, Matt Waldman and Cecil Lammey, amongst others, I have to rely on information beyond my own two eyes once we start getting a little deeper down the list of players. This is unfortunate for me, because nothing beats a first hand perspective and I always trust what I see. That said, I have used several of FootballGuys' information sources such as the Bloom 100, the Rookie Scouting Portfolio as well as key contributors to the Shark Pool Forum. Reading about the players outside of FootballGuys is also important, so opinions from both radio and pre-draft magazines are also on the "must read" list. Couple that with the NFL Combine and even some web research and you can get a nice compilation of how talented a player is, along with several solid opinions along with your own.
Taking all of that in, I go beyond just talent evaluation. Right or wrong, I believe that fantasy value of players is not 100% based on talent. That will raise the ire of several talent evaluators who insist that the cream always rises to the top, but you cannot ignore a depth chart in my humble opinion. Ryan Mallett is obviously affected by Tom Brady, just like D.J. Williams must deal with Jermichael Finley in Green Bay. I try to balance situation with talent, knowing that teams who draft a player control their rights for the first three or four years of their career - which is the typical NFL career length. Even if a player gets to his second contract, the situation with his drafting team will greatly impact his ability to get on the field and produce.
Enough talk. Here is a list of my Top 50 players in PPR value order with their non-PPR order is in parenthesis. Here we go:
- (2) A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals - AJ Green was on the top of many teams' talent boards, and justifiably so. While some may like Julio Jones and his situation in Atlanta, the talent level of Green approaches several of the top tier NFL Dynasty wide receivers. The only thing likely to hold him back early in his career would be the quarterback situation if Carson Palmer does indeed retire. Even if that happens, Andy Dalton should get this big-time playmaker the ball often. Green should start in Week 1 for the rebuilding Bengals.
- (1) Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints - Mark Ingram won the Heisman and a National Championship in college, and now the son of former NFL veteran Mark Ingram enters the NFL as the first running back selected in the draft. The odd part is that he was the lowest first back taken in the draft in the Super Bowl era, but there is a silver lining - or should I say gold? The New Orleans Saints moved up to snag Ingram late in Round 1, putting the versatile runner and receiver in an ideal offensive situation with Drew Brees. Ingram was the first back off the board last Thursday night, and he should be the first one in your rookie draft.
- (5) Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons - When a team sells half of their draft for 2011 and 2012 to get you, it is a pretty strong sign that you have some real talent. Jones was discussed right along with Green as a debate of which wide receiver was better, but the truth is that Green is more elite than Jones. Both were excellent in college and they should both be capable of strong NFL performances. Jones gets the plus of a better QB situation than Green but the minus of not being the WR1 for his team. Call it a push and be sure to have Jones in your Top 3. I really wanted to keep him in the Top 3 in non-PPR as well, but with Michael Turner, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez in that offense for Atlanta I could not keep the next two backs from passing him on my list. It is very close though and I would not fault any fantasy owner wanting a WR who could last for 10 seasons or more to snag Jones at three in non-PPR.
- (3) Ryan Williams, RB, Arizona Cardinals - As mentioned above, I do not get to watch as much college football as I might like, but one team I do watch quite a bit every year is Virginia Tech. That is both good and bad, as I get to see some players a great deal more than others - but the bad part is that I have to maintain objectivity and not get biased towards a team I like. Ryan Williams is a very solid all-around back who only lacks one element that I can see - a top gear. Williams should not be judged on some of that can be attributed to hamstring issues throughout 2010, and if you go and look at his freshman year videos you will see a much faster and productive runner. I like his landing spot in Arizona where I expect him to quickly move up the depth chart and become the feature back for the Cardinals.
- (4) Mikel Leshoure, RB, Detroit Lions - Here is where it starts to get murky. Leshoure was regarded as one of the Top 3 backs in the draft from a talent perspective, but his landing spot in Detroit muddles things up. Jahvid Best is a talented back who had injury issues (turf toe in both feet). The common thought is that this will be a committee backfield and considering how many weapons there are for a healthy (cross your fingers) Matthew Stafford, there may not be enough fantasy points to go around for Leshoure. The good news in non-PPR leagues is that he is more likely to get goal line work than Best, increasing his scoring chances.
- (7) Greg Little, WR, Cleveland Browns - Not many saw Greg Little last year unless you were watching old game tapes. Little was suspended for all of 2010 at North Carolina, but when he was playing back in 2009 the talent stood out. Cleveland takes him as their clear choice of a both a deep threat and also as a likely starter right out of the box. If Colt McCoy gets it together then Little should be a big fantasy producer even as a rookie.
- (6) Daniel Thomas, RB, Miami Dolphins - Thomas landed in what easily could be the best running back situation for any rookie this year. Ronnie Brown is a free agent and so is Ricky Williams, which makes Thomas the feature back almost by default. The good news is that Thomas was a workhorse at Kansas State (over 300 touches) and can handle that role, but once free agency opens up it would not be a surprise at all for the Dolphins to add a Darren Sproles or Willis McGahee. Long term Thomas has a great chance to dominate the Miami ground attack this year and get a stranglehold on the job for the next several seasons.
- (8) Delone Carter, RB, Indianapolis Colts - Carter is short, stocky back with a good North-South style of one-cut and go rushing. When you think of the ground game for the Colts, you do not think too much of moving the pile, but Carter can get that done. Joseph Addai may not be back in Indianapolis and Donald Brown has not been the answer, so Carter has a great situation to take over the ground game for a top NFL offense. He does have some injury history, but he lands in an ideal location to be a top fantasy contributor in his first season. Considering I always thought that Addai was an average back in a great situation, I think Carter's floor is close to Addai's career path to date.
- (11) Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Kansas City Chiefs - The first of three receivers (Cobb, Hankerson) that are all about the same tier for me. Baldwin is a polarizing player, with great athleticism but many off-the-field issues. The big target with good speed lands in a place where he should start right away but not be asked to be the first target in the passing game. If he can keep his nose clean and just play football, the complimentary pieces surrounding him are all there to make him an eventual fantasy WR3 with some upside. The downside is huge, however, as he is the most likely wideout to implode. Tread cautiously.
- (14) Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers - I did not see too much of Cobb, but you cannot deny that he is well regarded by the rest of the staff and he landed in an ideal spot in Green Bay. The question I have with him is if and when he will start, considering Jordy Nelson's big uptick during the playoffs last year. No team runs four- and five-wide sets more than Green Bay, so Cobb will get his chances. He's very close with our next player....
- (13) Leonard Hankerson, WR, Washington Redskins - While Cobb is a little more about talent than opportunity (at least in the short term), Hankerson falls into a nearly ideal spot in Washington with next to nothing from keeping him for lining up as a starter in Week 1. Hankerson does have some ability as he did set the all-time touchdown reception record at "The U" (Miami, FL), topping Michael Irvin's numbers. Hankerson may struggle in Year 1 without a true quarterback for the Redskins, but that will be a short term problem. He should be the starter for Washington for several seasons to come.
- (9) Shane Vereen, RB, New England Patriots - The times I was able to see Vereen, I saw another running back with great hands and good quickness in space and vision to find a hole and dart through it. Vereen will likely split time with other backs in his first season, but Bill Belichick will put him in situations to succeed. BenJarvus Green-Ellis could be gone in a year, opening the door for Vereen to be a featured runner in a very productive rushing attack.
- (22) Vincent Brown, WR, San Diego Chargers - Brown does not have to move very far as he joins the Chargers, just up the road from his San Diego State University. Brown gets compared to possession receivers like Derrick Mason as he has good ability to go over the middle for catches. That is good and bad all at the same time, since he is basically the opposite value type of Baldwin - lower ceiling but higher floor. He represents a solid if not sexy pick for a strong PPR league play.
- (21) Torrey Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens - Torrey Smith has great, great speed and can stretch a defense, which is something that Joe Flacco and the Ravens have needed for the past two years. Smith will likely be the WR3 at best this year in Baltimore, which will give him time to learn routes better. My concern is that I saw more of a one-dimensional deep threat with a tendency to let the ball get into his body too often. From a fantasy perspective I think he will never be a strong weekly starter but would be a great later pick in survivor leagues with his ability to blow up one long pass each week.
- (15) Blaine Gabbert, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars - Gabbert looks the part of a franchise quarterback, and he walks into a situation where he does not have to start right away and can learn from a veteran starter in David Garrard. The Jaguars are trying to get better in the passing game with TE Marcedes Lewis and wideouts like Mike Thomas, Jason Hill and rookie addition Cecil Shorts. Add in a top rusher in Maurice Jones-Drew and Gabbert could be ready to come strong out of the 2012 gates.
- (17) Kendall Hunter, RB, San Francisco 49ers - Another good spot for a rookie, Hunter lands in San Francisco where he will line up as the third down, change-of-pace back for the 49ers in his rookie season. Think of Brian Westbrook's role last year, but in a bigger capacity. New head coach Jim Harbaugh loves a workhorse feature back, but the NFL is a two back system league and Hunter will fill that second role nicely. If Hunter excels and learns well in his rookie year, the door could be open for a much bigger role with Gore getting closer to the end of his career. Hunter is likely to be too small for a feature back role, however, but he makes for a solid RBBC option.
- (22) Titus Young, WR, Detroit Lions - Titus Young is a very interesting rookie. He comes from Boise State and excelled with the Broncos as a strong route runner, but the questions entering the draft about him were regarding his size. There is nothing he can do to make him any taller (5'11") but he does get the great benefit of being the second round choice of the Detroit Lions, an offense poised to just explode. Calvin Johnson is the unquestioned WR1 and Detroit now has a 1-2 punch in the backfield with Best and Leshoure. They also have two strong tight ends in Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler, and Nate Burleson is not a terrible option at WR2. That leaves Young to be the slot wide receiver in his rookie year, and if he proves that he is capable there to get some targets and touchdowns this season, he could possibly push Burleson off the roster and become the second starter for Detroit. Matthew Stafford may rarely look in his direction first on a passing play, but Young falls right into a perfect situation to put up solid numbers. His upside is probably a notch or two below DeSean Jackson, which is a pretty high level to strive for. Young is a great second round fantasy WR to grab at the end of the tier.
- (16) Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers - I will go ahead and say it - I am not a big fan of Cam Newton. He is that "High ceiling, low floor" type of quarterback that is a great athlete that might become the next big offensive weapon in the league - or he could fizzle out right away. I have nothing against him at all, but it sure seems like he is being set up to fail much like Jimmy Clausen was last year. Who are his receivers if Steve Smith is traded? Plus he must start in Week 1 - do not even try and say Clausen will compete for the job, that will not happen - and it will be a quick trial by fire. I think the Panthers and Newton will get burned.
- (10) DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys - Dallas added a running back in Round 3 in Murray, which likely means that the writing on the wall for Marion Barber is now dry. Murray posted big numbers in Oklahoma but had some injury concerns all four years while he was there. The Cowboys have good ties with the Oklahoma program dating back to Barry Switzer, who helped Dallas evaluate Murray as a solid choice. With Barber likely gone, Murray should be a complimentary back to Felix Jones and if Jones were to get banged up, Murray can definitely step in and start. He also returns some kicks in college, so that may also get him on the field as a rookie.
- (12) Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Atlanta Falcons - This guy is small, but he has a lot of heart and speed. Michael Turner is getting old, so this could be just the right situation for Rodgers to come in and be the third down / passing down back for the Falcons and grow into a great offense. As long as they keep him healthy and coach him to run out of bounds and not take too many big hits, Rodgers could fare well here. The concerns are top end speed and if his big performances in Oregon were aided by some thinner defensive teams in the Pac 10.
- (23) Jake Locker, QB, Tennessee Titans - Considered the top QB prospect last year, Locker went back to Washington and led the Huskies to a successful Bowl game season without very much of a supporting cast. Gets ripped for his accuracy, but when you have targets like Kenny Britt, TE Jared Cook and RB Chris Johnson, that is three big catch radii to throw the ball into for the young signal caller. He likely will red shirt this year which can only add to his long term value as he will not get thrown to the wolves in his first season.
- (24) Christian Ponder, QB, Minnesota Vikings - Considered a reach pick for Minnesota, Ponder was thought highly of by several NFL clubs that believed he was ready to start even as a rookie. Ponder may be losing Sidney Rice as a target, but with Adrian Peterson cementing a ground game and two solid tight ends to compliment Visanthe Shiancoe, Ponder should have a strong enough supporting cast to be successful. His injury history does concern me, but when he is healthy he can move an offense. I do not see a high upside, however, but he is a solid fantasy QB2 or even a starter in 2QB leagues.
- (28) Edmond Gates, WR, Miami Dolphins - Gates lit up the NFL Combine and caught many eyes as a result. Gates is coming from a Division II team (Abilene Christian) which is a concern based on his relatively weak competition as a result. His speed will stretch defenses, but the question in the near term is if his quarterback can get him the ball deep. Long term prospects are high, especially if Brandon Marshall continues to have rough off-seasons.
- (34) Jerrel Jernigan, WR, New York Giants - Jernigan is an interesting pick by the Giants, as this might be a subtle signal that they are not planning on Steve Smith's return. Jernigan is a good receiver after the catch and has great speed, but his route running needs work. He has the ability to contribute as both a kick returner and also as a Wildcat guy, but on offense the slot is where he is most likely to line up. That will be fine for Eli Manning with Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham running the outside routes. Jernigan may not get a ton of work in his first year or two but he could be a poor man's Percy Harvin.
- (18) Roy Helu, RB, Washington Redskins - The Redskins traded up in Round 4 to get Helu, making him the early favorite to be the starting tailback for Washington this year. Now, for the bad news: You know how your kids open up those Christmas toys and play with them for like an hour or two, then move on to the next new, shiny one? That's Mike Shanahan with running backs. Helu could easily be a star back for Washington this year and then fall back into relative obscurity. That's the feeling I get here with Helu. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me a dozen times....then it must be a Shanahan backfield.
- (38) Tandon Doss, WR, Baltimore Ravens - Doss likely would have gone earlier in the draft if not for his off-season surgeries on both groin muscles. Doss is a big target that does not mind going over the middle, so the long term plans for him would likely be as a replacement for Derrick Mason. It is worth noting that QB Joe Flacco requested that the Ravens add him, so that tells me that Flacco will be looking for him over the middle quite often.
- (29) Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers - The 49ers grabbed their quarterback of the future - if not the present - with Kaepernick in the second round. Kaepernick led his Nevada team to winning seasons and strong performances against tough competition, and with San Francisco working hard to trade up for him the signs are there that he is indeed their guy. The four year starter from Nevada fits all the criteria Bill Parcells would love - well over 30 starts (he had 51), over 10,000 yards passing and 4,000 yards rushing with 59 rushing scores and a 82-24 TD:INT ratio. With weapons like Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree along with Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter in the backfield, Kaepernick should be in a position to put up good numbers even in his first season.
- (30) Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals - Dalton is another quarterback from a non-BCS conference (at least in 2010). Dalton led the TCU Horned Frogs for three years and logged over 30 wins as the team was always in National Championship discussions. Dalton does not have the big arm or the big pedigree of the classic franchise quarterback, but the Bengals (and OC Jay Gruden) just loved him and could not wait to grab him. There were rumors between Round 1 and Round two that the Bengals wanted to move up to get him, but they were able to wait and get him early in Round 2. Dalton now gets to throw to the first wideout drafted on Day 1, A.J. Green, who appears to have the ability to make nearly any quarterback look good. Dalton has a chance to start Week 1 with Carson Palmer holding to his retirement plans.
- (19) Johnny White, RB, Buffalo Bills - White was a highly regarded back coming into this draft from a lesser-known program in North Carolina that was more known of late for suspended athletes than for being a strong pool of talent. Butch Davis has made that program much better and it showed this past weekend with so many rookies from UNC. White is a sleeper running back that is well-rounded that can learn from a veteran like Fred Jackson in Buffalo. Jackson's getting up there in years, so he may follow directly in his footsteps as soon as 2012.
- (39) Ryan Mallett, QB, New England Patriots - There is not much question that Mallett has the arm of a big time NFL quarterback, but so have many other QBs that have not lived up to the billing. Mallett has had many off-the-field issues and there are numerous concerns about his character. Landing in New England certainly hurts his short term fantasy prospects but that might be a blessing in disguise. The Patriots might be able to get Mallett in line and make him into another coveted backup quarterback or possibly even Brady's eventual successor.
- (42) Greg Salas, WR, St. Louis Rams - Do the Rams have enough receivers yet? I think they have about a dozen on the roster and Mark Clayton wants to re-sign there. Who knows which ones emerge, but getting drafted by Josh McDaniels has to help. Salas is a good receiver but he played in that pass-happy Hawaii offense where he lined up often in the slot and rarely saw press coverage. Salas has the size to compete with bump and run corners, but he will have to learn it on job while competing with Danny Amendola for PPR value on the roster. If he wins the starting job he has great value, but there are plenty of guys vying for those starting wide receiver spots now in St. Louis.
- (20) Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets - Powell is a good downhill runner, and he was very much the heartbeat of Louisville offense. He is a good receiver out of the backfield and compliments Shonn Greene's skill set well. This year Powell could and should be the third down change-of-pace guy and he could be in a 50/50 committee with Greene next season. If Greene falters, Powell could be the next man up in a run heavy offense.
- (41) Austin Pettis, WR, St. Louis Rams - Hey look! Another wide receiver in St. Louis! Yes, here we go again with another guy fighting for targets and a starting role for the Rams. Pettis was selected sooner than Salas and from a bigger-named program in Boise State, but that does not mean he already has a leg up on him. What does favor Pettis is his versatility to play the X, Y or Z, which should keep him around as no worse than a WR4 this season.
- (25) Jordan Todman, RB, San Diego Chargers - Jordan Todman was considered by some as a possible feature tailback heading into this draft, but he fell all the way to the middle of Round 6 before the Chargers added him. San Diego believes that he will be the replacement for the soon to be departing Darren Sproles, but I do not believe that Todman's game is very much like Sproles' skill set at all. He does have good hands and can receive the ball well and play in space, but he is not much for blocking. I believe his upside is if Ryan Mathews fails to pan out and Todman gets a shot at the feature role. Todman was a workhorse at UCONN and he can handle 300+ touches in a season.
- (36) Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings - Kyle Rudolph is regarded as the best tight end in the class, but this year that is very much like being the prettiest pig in the pen. Rudolph has talent but the class of tight ends this year is not highly regarded, and the situation in Minnesota is murky at both quarterback and on the tight end depth chart. Rudolph has the chance to push Visanthe Shiancoe off of the top spot and grow into a new offense with rookie quarterback Christian Ponder.
- (26) Jamie Harper, RB, Tennessee Titans - Harper really played well at Clemson, but right now he is clearly stuck behind one of the best running backs in the game with Chris Johnson as the feature back for Tennessee. He will fight Javon Ringer for RB2 status and Harper should be the favorite there. Tennessee is already discussing getting Harper some touches to lower the workload for Johnson, but do not expect more than 100 touches as a rookie if he even gets that many. He does have good hands after grabbing 37 catches last year in Clemson and is used to sharing a backfield.
- (43) Niles Paul, WR, Washington Redskins - Niles Paul has a nice mixture of talent with good speed and route running, but there are concerns about his hands and concentration, both on and off the field. Paul has good size and ability to run after the catch and also return kicks with three return TDs at Nebraska. Paul and Hankerson could be your starting 1-2 punch in Washington sooner rather than later, especially if Santana Moss signs elsewhere.
- (44) Lance Kendricks, TE, St. Louis Rams - Kendricks has a good quarterback going for him and a team with no strong starter at tight end. Josh McDaniels speaks highly of him and wants to use him all over the field - which is quite a change from his days in Denver. Maybe he has been talking to New England again. Kendricks will have to battle a few veterans to gain the starting role but it sounds like he has the leg up already.
- (45) Luke Stocker, TE, Buccaneers - Stocker joins the Buccaneers with an aging Kellen Winslow Jr. ahead of him, making the path to starting troublesome for at least for the few seasons. Stocker does have some negative reviews of his game, with several descriptions of his play as too stiff or "high-waisted", which would be a death knell for a running back but also makes Stocker a poor blocker and route runner.
- (31) Dion Lewis, RB, Philadelphia Eagles - Lewis was on Mike Mayock's Top 100 list so you could say that the Eagles got a good value in the fifth round. Lewis now gets to back up fellow Pitt alum LeSean McCoy. Lewis is not a big back (5'7", 195) but does not fear inside runs. The Eagles do not run the ball too often so most likely Lewis is just a replacement for Jerome Harrison as McCoy's understudy. McCoy owners should definitely grab him as the clear fantasy handcuff.
- (32) Da'Rel Scott, RB, New York Giants - The fast tailback from Maryland grabbed attention at the combine with his speedy 40 time, but his upside lies with the fate of Ahmad Bradshaw. If Bradshaw returns to the Giants under a new contract, Scott is just a third back on the depth chart and competing with Danny Ware to make the roster. He is truly a late round flyer as a Bradshaw drop-in replacement style back.
- (33) Taiwan Jones, RB, Oakland Raiders - Another flyer here with the Raiders drafting yet another speedster, this time from a small Division 1-AA (or FCS) school in Eastern Washington. You know them - the guys with the red field that hurts to watch. Odds are that there is very little to see here as he will be well down on the depth chart behind Darren McFadden and probably Michael Bush. At best he might get a few plays called for him, but for fantasy purposes it will not be enough.
- (47) Jordan Cameron, TE, Cleveland Browns - Jordan Cameron (no, not Cameron Jordan, be careful here) is the tight end in waiting for the Browns. Another former basketball player, this raw athlete catches the ball well and will be groomed to take over as the eventual tight end once Ben Watson is done - which could be only a year or two down the road. If you have a TE premium in your league, this offense could be interesting with him.
- (35) Evan Royster, RB, Washington Redskins - Another toy for Shanahan at running back. Royster did put up the numbers at Penn State and should push Helu for the starting job, but the luster will wear off quickly. He might "pop" at some point in the next year or two, but odds are that it will be short lived.
- (37) Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots - Ridley played well at LSU, but nothing really stood out for me when I saw the Tigers run the ball. Could he be the next BenJarvus Green-Ellis? Sure, but how likely is that? Plus the Patriots added Shane Vereen in Round 2. Very odd choice here, but given the offense and their history of scoring a big number of rushing touchdowns, he is worth a late selection.
- (40) Alex Green, RB, Green Bay Packers - I have seen Green going as early as Round 2 in fantasy drafts, and I just do not get it at all. Green is an average back that played in a pass-happy offense in Hawaii, which means that he was the lucky guy to get lots of room to run when they choose to give the ball to their single back. The best case scenario is that Green splits the backfield with James Starks in 2012 with Ryan Grant moving on, but even that seems like a stretch. Most likely Green is Brandon Jackson's replacement, which means very little fantasy value.
- (46) Cecil Shorts, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars - The Jaguars grabbed another prospect from Division III Mount Union college, the same school known for producing Pierre Garcon. Shorts has great hands and speed, but the questions of his competition level and his route execution will be there until he proves otherwise. Shorts does not face a daunting depth chart in Jacksonville, with probably only Mike Thomas entrenched as a starter. Shorts should be the WR3 immediately for the Jaguars and could push Jason Hill for the starting (WR2) spot.
- (49) D.J. Williams, TE, Green Bay Packers - One of my favorite receivers at the tight end position, Williams lands in a great passing offense in Green Bay, but with Jermichael Finley entrenched there his upside is certainly limited. One theory has the Packers letting Finley go at the end of his contract, but that seems like a shot in the dark for Williams's fans. Barring injury Williams has little fantasy value.
- (50) Julius Thomas, TE, Denver Broncos - Thomas will be the in-line tight end for the Broncos, which means that he will be on the field more often than Virgil Green, but that does not imply that he will get many targets in the passing game. The big tight end (6'5", 251) from Portland State does have good hands but it really still learning how to be a tight end (especially in blocking) after starting for just one season. His athleticism does hint strongly at upside after playing four years of basketball before his fifth year in college where focused solely on football.
- (51) Virgil Green, TE, Denver Broncos - Green was a favorite target for Colin Kaepernick at Nevada, but in Denver he will be relegated to the second tight end in an H-back or "move" style tight end, limiting his opportunities on the field. His upside could be Chris Cooley, but he has quite a ways to go and must learn to block better to get Julius Thomas off of the field more often.
Owen Marecic, FB, Cleveland Browns (48) - Just in case you want to take a flyer on a goal line back for the Browns. Marecic was a two-way player in Stanford (fullback and inside linebacker), so if you play in an IDP league he might have a little extra value.
For those in "Start 2QB" leagues, I like Ricky Stanzi next as he learns in Kansas City, followed by T.J. Yates in Houston, who the Texans really like as a younger version of Matt Schaub. Tyrod Taylor is a personal favorite of mine from Virginia Tech, but he is a project for the Ravens to develop. The last QB with value of the selected quarterbacks is Greg McElroy with the Jets.
Good luck everyone and happy drafting. Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to email@example.com.