Fantasy Football NFL Mock Draft: Top 10 Picks
What if we looked at the upcoming NFL draft as a precursor to the fantasy play we will have before us in the coming season? How about we look at the top ten picks in the NFL Draft which will happen next month on May 8th, and see which players we as fantasy football owners would love to see chosen by each team?
The NFL Draft this year is perhaps more analyzed than any other in history simply due to the fact that it was pushed back almost an entire month later than usual. The argument given for this was to allow more time for teams to prepare, etc. However, the result has been more extended press coverage and analysis on every single player and how they throw, lift, run and even treat their mothers. So in order to bring some lighter contrast to the already clouded coverage, let’s look at each team and their position in the first ten and consider it from a solely fantasy player perspective. Here is the list of what we think would be best for each team from a fantasy perspective to make them better.
Pick #1: Houston Texans
The Texans imploded at many positions on both sides of the ball, and contrary to popular belief it was not strictly the fault of Matt Schaub who was traded this off-season to the Raiders. Pressure situations created by their offensive line were a major cause for their collapse, as well as a weaker game plan on defense which deserves a lot of attention as to why their team has the number one pick this season. The Texans have a new head coach Bill O’Brien, who has already indicated he intends to train any quarterback they draft and make him a producer. So do not expect that they will take a QB as the number one pick. They need to grab a power house on defense as the first pick, and with later rounds strengthen the defensive line with other talent.
Our fantasy football choice has to lean towards defense: DE - Jadeveon Clowney
Pick #2: St. Louis Rams
The Rams are feeling stable with their quarterback Sam Bradford, and his sidekick running back Zac Stacy. They have a talented wide receiver squad, but could use another magic gun in the arsenal. If would be hard for them to not also consider improvement with another sure handed tight-end opposite Jared Cook as a tandem for the short pass. There have been discussions about seeing the Rams grab an offensive tackle, but their offensive line is pretty young and solid.
Our fantasy football choice would be for them to nab: TE – Eric Ebron
Pick #3: Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville began their rebuilding under new head coach Gus Bradley last season. Their pick in the last draft was offensive tackle Luke Joeckel who gave them only five games before going down with a fractured ankle aginst the Rams when he was blocking for Maurice Jones-Drew and a defender fell down and rolled on his leg. Their second round pick was safety John Cyprien, who gave them 15 games and good production in the secondary. However, with their lackluster performance on offense, and with Chad Henne now their best option at quarterback going into the season, one has to think they are going to be looking for a future franchise QB to build offense around for the next decade.
Our fantasy football pick for the Jags, simply because he would be exciting for this franchise is: QB – Johnny Manziel
Pick #4: Cleveland Browns
With the signing of Ben Tate in the off season, Cleveland seems to be taking a wiser approach to selecting running backs from a veteran pool rather than the draft. With a wider receiver corps of Greg Little and Josh Gordon, it makes sense that they will draft a quarterback this year to build the franchise around. However, it is unlikely they will go with a quarterback at the #4 pick when they also have the 26th pick as well, and they will still have some good options on the board with Derek Carr, Teddy Bridgewater or AJ McCarron at least by then. The Browns need to add to their offensive toolbox to really add those wins in close games this season.
So our fantasy football pick for the dog pound is: WR – Sammy Watkins
Pick #5: Oakland Raiders
The Raiders are an enigma in their massive off-season rebuilding approach where they have added almost a dozen veterans on both sides of the ball. Two things stand out for Oakland at this point. One they released Terrelle Pryor this week, which might leave us to believe they will draft a quarterback to hold the clipboard behind veteran Matt Schaub. Two, they might want to expand their receiver corps with a deep threat to hit the field with Denarius Moore and Greg Jenkins. Despite both of these great ideas, we think there is a third option that will be in line with Oakland’s move this off-season to overhaul their defense when they signed veteran defensive ends Justin Tuck and Antonio Smith. They will be looking to add speed to their secondary, and it will be hard for them to pass up the fastest cornerback in this draft class.
So our fantasy football pick for the Raiders is: CB – Justin Gilbert
Pick #6: Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons have an excellent receiver corps with the returning from injury Julio Jones and the talented Roddy White and Harry Douglas. They are also looking pretty solid at running back Steven Jackson on the roster. Quarterback Matt Ryan needs a little more time in the pocket to connect, and a fresh new offensive tackle would likely be the best option of them in the first round.
Our fantasy football pick would be: OT – Greg Robinson
Pick #7: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay under new head coach Lovie Smith is going to be an interesting threat in the NFC South this year. Expect he will bring some smash-mouth ‘monster of the midway’ style of play to the dear old South in his game strategy. He is going to be looking most likely at improving the defense, and searching for talent that can become a game wrecker to interrupt the timing of opposing QBs like Cam Newton and Drew Brees in their division. It would be no surprise they grab the hottest outside linebacker in the draft.
So our fantasy football pick for the Bucs is: OLB – Khalil Mack
Pick #8: Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings are a headless offense under Christian Ponder. Their roster has long been weak at the QB position. Their offense has relied on carrying the bulk of their attack plan on the shoulders of Adrian Peterson in recent years. Expect they will look for a new talent to throw to newly acquired Greg Jennings, and the speedy Cordarrelle Patterson and Jerome Simpson. Look for them to choose a franchise quarterback with their pick.
Our fantasy football choice would be a player who is solid and can endure the defenses in the NFC North: QB – Blake Bortles
Pick #9: Buffalo Bills
Buffalo has long struggled with keeping their running backs in the game due to no protection on the run. They also have an offensive line that allowed their new quarterback EJ Manuel to be sacked 28 times in the ten games he played in 2013, before going down from injury. It would be a wise move for them to solidify their OL.
Our fantasy football pick for them is pretty simple: OT – Jake Matthews
Pick #10: Detroit Lions
Detroit under former head coach Jim Schwartz was in defensive line building mode with the acquisition of DT’s Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley in drafts during his time, and he also signed some talented keys to the offense, including QB – Matthew Stafford. The new head coach Jim Caldwell was brought on to put the emphasis on the offensive front. Although many clamor that Detroit should strengthen their secondary, it is highly unlikely they will do so with their first round pick. Most likely they will look for another talented receiver to go opposite Calvin Johnson.
Our fantasy football pick for the Lions is: WR- Mike Evans
Playing fantasy football gives us all a lot of time for imagining the ‘what if’ scenarios for every team, and there is always a lot of room for speculation going into the draft. What are your perfect top ten picks?