by Cris Benson
Every NFL draft guru has said the 2013 NFL Draft will not produce the offensive talent of the 2012 NFL Draft. I still believe their is room for NFL draft prospect to make a fantasy football impact come this fall.
Will someone take a quarterback in the first round of the NFL draft? Of course they will. Teams such as the Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, and even maybe the New York Jets just may take a QB with their first overall pick. However the draft is full of maybes at the QB position and some are very overrated.
So should you take a gamble on a rookie QB come your fantasy football draft day? Nope.
Geno Smith has small hands and his playing in a spread offense covered many of his flaws. Matt Barkley played in an NFL style offense calling his own plays but I question his sprained throwing shoulder. Ryan Nassib may be drafted by Buffalo but probably won’t start until mid season and even if he did start I wouldn’t start him in fantasy football.
My point is this 2013 QB class is following in the footsteps of a possible Hall of Fame 2012 QB draft class and that is simply an unfair comparison. This draft class has no immediate impact quarterback that will be capable to do what RG3, Luck, and even Ryan Tannehill had done in 2012.
Last season I told you to take runningback Trent Richardson who did not disappoint in 2012 for fantasy GM’s. I was enthusiastic about the muscle hamster Doug Martin telling you all to draft him as early as the second round and again he didn’t disappoint. Is there a runningback in this draft that can put up these kind of number is 2013? Yes. However the player I think can be the most explosive is a shocker.
In this NFL the runningback has to be able to catch the ball in flat and create space and one player stands out overall and that is Clemson Tiger Andre Ellington. Now with that said is Andre Ellington going to be a mid draft pick? Yes. However if Ellington was to land on the Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, or even the New York Jets his value could be fairly elevated come fantasy draft day.
Is Ellington an injury risk? Yes but most of the injury hype is overblown and future injury could be prevented with a great NFL training staff.
Wisconsin Badger Montee Ball would be a great fit on the Pittsburgh Steelers who need an every down back. Ball has patience and lets the play develop never running ahead of his lead block but instead waiting for the play to develop. Ball could be a perfect number two running back in fantasy football.
If Eddie Lacy was to land on a team on a team with an elite NFL offensive line such as… oh wait Lacy did play on a team with an elite NFL offensive line called Alabama. Lacy is very overrated and is more Mark Ingram then bell cow back Trent Richardson. However Lacy could be a serious scoring threat on team like the Rams, Giants, and especially the 49ers.
No surprise that the best NFL draft prospect at receiver is not a wide-receiver but a tightend. However Notre Dame tightend Tyler Eifert has all the talents to be a red zone threat in the NFL. While his hands are tiny for a TE at only 9 1/8 he still poses a huge catching radius and can go over the middle to attack the ball. If Eifert should land in new Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman’s West Coast offense he could have instant top end fantasy draft value come this fall.
Here is the problem with the wide receivers in this year’s draft and it isn’t the receivers as it is the neediest team at receiver and that is the Minnesota Vikings.
Last season the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted number one receiver prospect Justin Blackmon who is still a great receiver on a very dysfunctional offense. Not that I am comparing the Vikings offense to the Jaguars but they have one thing in common a third year quarterback that is simply unproven. This can also be proven again with the second overall receiving prospect in 2012 Michael Floyd and the awful Arizona quarterback situation.
A bad quarterback can crush a top tier draft prospect. Crush them!
Now will any of these receivers benefit from being picked by a low end team other than St Louis? I don’t think so.
Keep your eyes on rookie receivers who start on teams with a solid NFL quarterback, coach, and system in place to take advantage of that receivers skill set. Rather than hoping a receiver changes the quarterback, coach, and the system.
With all things in this year’s draft we have to simply wait and see what will happen. I can tell you this without any hesitation that nobody knows who, where, when any draft prospect will go. Nobody!
So when the draft is complete I will have my list of ten NFL rookies to snag in this year’s fantasy football draft and I can begin working on my annual fantasy football informer cheat sheet for 2013.
If you have any thoughts, ideas, or simply want to slam my picks feel free to add your comments I will be sure to respond. Enjoy the 2013 NFL draft!