By Des Boodam
There were 32 picks in the first round of the NFL draft this year… just like every year, and out of those 32 picks, 26 of them were either QBs, O-linemen or defensive players. We already know that 5 were QBs making the the ratio of offensive to defensive players 11:21. This is almost a two to one ratio – meaning teams were looking to beef up their defense in the draft, while also not being all that crazy about the offensive draft class coming in… and I can’t blame them. As I break down the six non-QB offensive players there are several glaring issues we need to identify before we can accurately assign fantasy value.
#1. Saquan Barkley – New York Giants (#2 Overall)
Regardless of what I think about the Giants decision to draft Barkley when there were several others who would’ve been a better fit, my goal here is to assess Barkley’s value at the RB position as a rookie. I’m already on record saying that this was a bad choice, but either way Barkley possesses an elite skill set as a back. I had the Giants winning their division last season and they were decimated by injuries, and this year could be much different. Ezekiel Elliot and Leonard Fournette in the past two years have been slated as first round draft picks and performed accordingly. This year I see Barkley as a late 2nd round maybe early third rounder. He’s not going to be a top 10 RB, so I can’t justify drafting him in the first 15 picks with the amount of good WRs out there. He’s still behind a questionable O-line and hasn’t proven that he’s capable of blocking in the backfield. His vision out of the backfield is questionable as well, but we all love his speed and attitude. I’d take him in the third but not sooner… there are some concerns here Barkley won’t look that fast in the pros.
#2. D.J. Moore – Carolina Panthers (#24 Overall)
Moore was the guy for the Panthers and gives Newton yet another legit pass catching option. This offense is going to be good, and Moore will be a daily fantasy dream as some games he will go off, while others he will be pedestrian. There a lot of mouths to feed in Charlotte – but I’m keeping a close eye on his spring. Think a taller Brandin Cooks – very versatile
#3. Hayden Hurst – Baltimore Ravens (#25 Overall)
I can’t get with a guy who averaged 43 yards in his final year in college and only had two TDs. This seems like a horrible pick for the Ravens who should’ve never squandered a first round pick on a TE. Unless a TE is expected to project out to have GRONK type numbers, they probably shouldn’t go in the first round. I’m fading.
#4. Calvin Ridley – Atlanta Falcons (#26 Overall)
Interesting pick here by the Falcons who have Mohammed Sanu, Julio Jones a great running game, and a $30M QB. I think Ridley will be a great pro, just no this year. I’m guessing Julio Jones will for lack of a better word get cut after this season, as he’s a red zone cancer. Once Jones hit’s free agency, look for Ridley to produce starting in year two.
#5. Rashaad Penny – Seattle Seahawks (#27 Overall)
Ummm 25 TDs in his senior year while averaging 215 yds per game rushing … yes please. I think if you see a Penny and pick it up, all season long you’ll have good luck. I do think Seattle should’ve gone defense here, as they’ve ruined every RB that’s taken a snap for them not named Marshawn Lynch. I’m hoping this horrible trend in Seattle stops with Penny, because he’s an elite talent. I trust Russell Wilson but not that O-line. I’m predicting that he has more TDs than Barkley, though Barkley may have more yards from scrimmage and more receptions. He should be drafted just after Barkley… the TD thing is legit though…
#6. Sony Michel – New England Patriots (#31 Overall)
You are outside of your mind, if you’re going to play the RB by committee game in New England. The only thing you can do, is select a RB and hope he’s the guying getting regular carries by mid-season. If there’s one thing we know, it’s that Wild Bill Belichick, if possible, will issue a balanced attack out of the backfield if humanly possible. I love Michel better than Nick Cubb, but that’s about it he’s limited in this offense, no matter how good he is.