NFL Fantasy QB Review

Peyton Manning
1. Peyton Manning
Expect another great season from him. I don’t think he can repeat last season’s numbers, but has the offensive weapons to be the top quarterback again. He has Emmanuel Sanders now who was very productive in Pittsburgh. He joins Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas as quality pass catchers in Denver. In terms of where to pick him, I’d say lower first round. I’m not passing on an elite fantasy running back for him. The only exception may be if your league counts passing touchdowns as 6 points, then he has the ability to win your league for him and should be chosen top 5.

Aaron Rodgers
2. Aaron Rodgers
Before he got hurt he was on track to be right there with the top quarterbacks in fantasy. He is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL and continues to put up great stats. With great wide receivers in Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb there’s no question he can still put up his 2011 NFL MVP season. He has the talent to be right up there with Peyton Manning so getting him in the second round instead of investing a first round pick is a good spot for him.

Drew Brees
3. Drew Brees
The last three seasons Drew Brees has posted at least 5,000 yards and 39 touchdowns. It is more likely he will continue putting up these types of stats under Sean Payton’s offense and with Jimmy Graham as his top target. Along with Graham, he has decent receivers in Marques Colston, Kenny Stills, Robert Meachum and newcomer Brandin Cooks. Brees is an elite fantasy quarterback worthy of a pick in the second round.

Matthew Stafford
4. Matthew Stafford
We are out of the elite category now, but Stafford really is not a bad option as a starting fantasy quarterback. He was given some new weapons this off season in Golden Tate and Eric Ebron who should help take some of the pressure off Calvin Johnson. Stafford throws as much as anyone in the league and is always a candidate to put up huge yards. He does however have a few occasional bad games where he forces the ball and throws a high amount of interceptions. This is evident from the last four games of the year finishing with 2 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. There is a defiant buyer beware on Stafford and is in that second tier group of fantasy quarterbacks. He does have a ton of upside given his 2011 season with over 5,000 yards and 41 touchdowns.

Andrew Luck
5. Andrew Luck
Can Andrew Luck make a leap into being an elite fantasy quarterback? The signs look good heading into his third season as the starter for the Colts. Last year he finished fourth out of fantasy quarterbacks even without his top wide receiver, Reggie Wayne, for half the year. This year he has a young emerging wide receiving core around him to help him become a very good fantasy starter. A concern is whether he can get his passing touchdowns up from just 23 last year. I don’t think he becomes elite, but he is a very consistent starter week to week.

Cam Newton
6. Cam Newton
Cam Newton had a great fantasy year last year finishing third among quarterbacks in fantasy points. Part of this came due to him putting the most points out of any quarterback on the ground with 585 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns. So why did I drop him in this year’s fantasy rankings? Look around at his supporting cast. Last year he had an alright wide receiving core with Steve Smith, Brandon Lafell and Ted Ginn. Now not one of those wide receivers is still with the team, and the projected starters are Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant and rookie Kelvin Benjamin. The Panthers do have a good tight end in Greg Olsen, but this cast will make it tough for Cam to be productive. If you want an example, look what a bad supporting cast did to Tom Brady’s numbers last year. It is a huge question mark what kind of numbers Cam can put up, but his talent gives him top 5 fantasy quarterback potential.

Philadelphia Eagles v Oakland Raiders
7. Nick Foles
One of the riskier picks of this year’s fantasy draft is Foles. Nick Foles broke out in 2014 second half of the year and was definitely a present if you were lucky to pick him off the waiver wire. With such a small sampling though the obvious concern is if he can keep that production up. That’s not the only concern… there is also the loss of Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin’s health is still up in question. However, 27 touchdowns and two interceptions in a little over half a season is tough to ignore. He was even more productive than Peyton Manning the second half of the year. The upside is top three fantasy quarterback, the downside is he doesn’t have the weapons to produce the same stats and he’s a fringe fantasy starter. I personally expect Foles to continue producing and end up a solid fantasy starter in Chip Kelly’s offense.

Russell Wilson
8. Russell Wilson
Wilson is an extremely talented quarterback through the air and on the ground. He finished last year as the 8th highest scoring fantasy quarterback and that’s where I put him in my rankings. The problem with Russell Wilson actually has nothing to do with him, the Seahawks do not throw the ball very often as he has one of the least pass attempts in the league. With Wilson you do get a consistent performer who will throw a couple touchdowns a game and get yards on the ground. If the Seahawks decide to open it up a little more in his third season as the starter, Wilson will have some serious fantasy potential. However, if they stay with the same type of play calling look for him to produce the same numbers and be limited in his fantasy production.

Colin Kapernick
9. Colin Kaepernick
Kapernick could be set for a big year in fantasy after getting a new contract this off season. He has Michael Crabtree healthy, Anquan Boldin back for another season and the 49ers acquired Steve Johnson this off season. Not to mention he has one of the top tight ends in the game in Vernon Davis. Kaepernick had a nice end of the year after a slow start and finished with the 9th most fantasy points out of the quarterbacks. With Kaepernick you’ll have to take the good with the bad as he is a little inconsistent. However if he plays like he did from week 11 to the end of the season last year, you will have yourself a top five fantasy quarterback.

at Georgia Dome on November 27, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.
10. Matt Ryan
Last year was a tough year for Matt Ryan. You had a shaky offensive line, the loss of Julio Jones, the injury problems of Roddy White and a lack of a running game without Steven Jackson. If you look at Matt Ryan’s production when he did have Julio Jones, he was one of the top quarterbacks around. After he lost Julio Jones, his stats became a little inconsistent. He did put up similar yardage to his great 2012 season, but the touchdowns were down. Expect a comeback year with Matt Ryan and his touchdowns to increase with his offensive weapons back.

Tony Romo
11. Tony Romo
Tony Romo gets quite a bit of criticism and some of it is deserved, but when it comes to fantasy football he’s a starter. The problem is many people transfer this criticism over to fantasy football and he goes lower than he is supposed to. The past three seasons, Romo has finished as a top ten fantasy quarterback. He also has a top wide receiver target in Dez Bryant, a very good safety net in Jason Witten, and a running game with Demarco Murray. Not to mention a poor defense that will require the Cowboys to win by throwing and scoring a lot of points. The only question mark I see with Romo that could cause him to fall out of the top ten fantasy quarterback producers is his health and age. After back surgery this off season and turning 34 it is only a matter of time before Romo’s stats start to decline. For right now, Romo is a low end fantasy starter.

Tom Brady
12. Tom Brady
It may surprise you how low I have Tom Brady, but let me explain. First let’s start with the Patriots, there is a clear lack of quality wide receivers on the roster. Danny Amendola can’t stay healthy, Julian Edelman is not a number one wide receiver and the rest of the wide receivers are way too young and inexperienced to be counted on. Gronkowski is great, but he hasn’t made it through an entire season since 2011. Now let’s move on to Tom Brady himself. Since 2011 Tom Brady’s yards, touchdowns, completion percentage and quarterback rating have declined each year. He’s not getting any younger either at 36. Point is Tom Brady is not the elite fantasy quarterback that he used to be. That being said he is still a very good quarterback who will give you about the same numbers he put up last year where he finished 13th for fantasy quarterbacks and possibly a little bit higher if Gronk stays healthy all year. Buyer beware though, he’s getting older and someone in your draft will take him higher just off name recognition. If you pick him know you are getting a lower end fantasy starter.

Phillip Rivers
13. Phillip Rivers
Phillip Rivers had a breakout this past year, finishing 6th in points for quarterbacks. Part of the reason for this boom in production is the emergence of Keenan Allen. Along with Keenan Allen, the tight end play has been outstanding with ready to breakout star Ladarius Green and of course the all-time great Antonio Gates. Phillip Rivers has continued to limit his interceptions while increasing his touchdown production. The risk is that the year before he was the 21st fantasy quarterback. So was last year’s breakout year just a fluke or has Phillip Rivers turned it around and ready to be a weekly fantasy starter.

RGIII
14. Robert Griffin III
Fantasy owners that drafted RGIII had to be disappointed. He had his fair share of quality games, but overall a disappointing season with just 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He will have a chance to turn it around with Desean Jackson coming from Philadelphia and Pierre Garcon returning. He will also have Jordan Reed coming back from injury which should give him a good tight end option. However, it is tough to trust his health and whether he will get back to rookie form. He takes a few too many hits and relies on his legs too often. There is a chance he can come back and be a top ten quarterback again with new deep threat Desean Jackson, but I’d much rather spend a high pick on a quarterback that is going to be consistent and healthy.

Jay Cutler
15. Jay Cutler
As far as fantasy production goes, Jay Cutler is actually pretty consistent. In every game that Jay Cutler finished, he had at least one touchdown and double digit fantasy points. He did struggle to stay healthy, but was having a very good year outside of that. Part of the reason is his offensive weapons and a very improved offensive line. Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall may be the best 1-2 punch at the wide receiver position. They also have a good red zone target with tight end Martellus Bennett. Jay Cutler has the potential to be a top ten fantasy quarterback with the offensive weapons around him and his strong arm. It is just a question if he can be consistent all season and stay healthy. He has never played a full 16 game season in Chicago or thrown for over 27 touchdowns. This could be the year he breaks out.

Ben Roethlesberger
16. Ben Roethlisberger
For being 16th on this list, Ben Roethlisberger really is a great top end backup option. He finished 12th in fantasy points last year and was very consistent almost the entire year. He had a pretty good year with new number one wide receiver Antonio Brown. However, this off season he lost his number two wide receiver in Emmanual Sanders. If he can continue off last season where he stayed healthy and threw the most touchdowns for him since 2007, you should have yourself a very good backup or fringe fantasy starter.

Andy Dalton
17. Andy Dalton
Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Andrew Luck and… Andy Dalton? Yes that’s right, Andy Dalton finished as the fifth highest scoring quarterback last year. However he played incredibly inconsistent this past season. He had four games with scoring single digits and also three games with over 30 points. He had a career high in touchdowns and interceptions, if he can cut down the interceptions and become more consistent look for him to be a viable starting fantasy option this year. He does have a lot of talent around him as his top wide receiver AJ Green is unbelievable along with Marvin Jones who had a career year. The tight end position is stacked also with Tyler Eifert in his second year and Jermaine Gresham still there. Andy Dalton could make a fantasy owner very happy if he can cut down on the turnovers. His struggles at times throughout the season causes me to hesitate to draft him as my top quarterback, but his ability to put up big numbers makes him have upside as a possible every week fantasy starter.

Josh McCown
18. Josh McCown
Josh McCown is the wildcard at the quarterback position. He did a great job replacing Cutler when he was out with an injury and put up some very good numbers while in. Now he has moved on to Tampa Bay as he will be taking the starting role with some talented players around him. He has very similar wide receivers in Tampa Bay like he did in Chicago with two big targets in Vincent Jackson and newcomer Mike Evans. They also have Doug Martin coming back from injury to take some of the pressure of McCown. However, it is very risky to trust a 35 year old quarterback whose track record before this has been mediocre at best. It’s a risk taking McCown, but if you can get him late enough it could pay off if he continues of his breakout year from last year. Last year could also be a bit of a fluke and he could possibly continue the same struggles he had earlier in his year. Personally, I think he will be a fringe fantasy starter, but the risk is too great to take him high.

Eli Manning
19. Eli Manning

Last year was a nightmare year for fantasy owners that drafted Eli Manning. 18 touchdowns and 27 interceptions are definitely not the stats of a fantasy starter and he will have to turn that around to have any consideration of starting. He has the help from new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, who was the old quarterbacks coach for the Green Bay Packers. They have focused on short, quicker passes in the new offense. McAdoo’s goal for Eli Manning was to be at a 70% completion percentage this year which would be a dramatic increase from his 57% completion percentage this past year. Eli could still get back to form and have a comeback year with this offense. Just look at the breakout year Phillip Rivers had this past season with Mike McCoy’s new offense. With talented wide receivers Victor Cruz, Reuben Randle and newcomer Odell Becham Jr. around him, expect a bit of a bounce back year for Eli.

Joe Flacco
20. Joe Flacco

Flacco was another player, along with Eli Manning, who had a down year. Flacco threw a career high 22 interceptions after never throwing more than 12 in his career and only finished with 19 touchdowns. Part of this had to do with the lack of a run game with Ray Rice having a down year. Flacco also had to deal with a shaky offensive line and losing his top wide receiver in Anquan Boldin. Honestly Joe Flacco has never been a fantasy superstar and at most has been a solid backup. There’s not much upside in picking Flacco other than him getting back to his normal numbers and being a solid fantasy backup.

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NFL First Round Analysis

  1. Houston TexansClowney

Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

Houston took the best player in the draft when they took Clowney. He can be an instant impact player if he puts in the effort. Clowney possses the size, speed and strength to be a great defensive lineman, but at times can struggle taking on blocks. The Texans have a very talented defensive line now with JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney is the ultimate boom or bust prospect, but has all the talent to be succsessful.

  1. St. Louis Ramsgreg robinson

Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

Robinson can help the Rams offensive line right away at guard or right tackle. He has amazing raw traits with his size and athleticism and is absolutely great in the run game. The plan can then be for the Rams to develop him into a franchise left tackle with his great tools. He still needs to develop his pass protection, but he can come in right away and be a great run blocker.  The worst case scenario is he is a really good guard at the next level.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguarsblake bortles

Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

The first surprise of the draft, the Jaguars just put the franchise on Blake Bortles right arm. They are a lot higher on Bortles than I am as I wouldn’t pick him until late first round. Bortles has an ok arm, but it can sometimes float in the air on longer throws. He also forces the ball into coverage at times and can be inaccurate with his deep ball. However, he does have good size and has shown at times the ability to drive the ball in a hole in coverage. I believe Bortles will not be ready to start right away and will have a lot of developing to do to be a quality starter. He could be a good starter at the next level, but he could also not develop and be a Blaine Gabbert type quarterback.

  1. Buffalo Bills (From Cleveland)Watkins

Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

Buffalo traded a lot to get Watkins, but Buffalo gets a playmaking wide receiver that they’ve been lacking. Sammy Watkins is the best receiver in the draft with his speed, great route running ability, and great after the catch ability. What separates him from Evans is his ability to separate with crisp routes. It is a lot to give a first round pick next year, but they do get a very talented wide receiver to add with Robert Woods and Mike Williams. I like who Buffalo picked, however I have never been a fan of giving up a future first round pick.

  1. Oakland Raiderskhalil-mack

Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

Khalil Mack is one of my favorite players in this draft. Mack has great pass rush ability and can beat you with his speed or strength. He can also drop into coverage and has a nose for the football. Khalil Mack can instantly help Oakland’s pass rush and defense in their rebuilding effort. I like the Raiders pick of taking the best player available.

  1. Atlanta FalconsJake Matthews

Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

The Falcons fit a need with an extremely talented offensive tackle. Jake Matthews is one of the safest picks in the draft and gives the Falcons a franchise left tackle along with their franchise quarterback. Matthews is very good technique wise and has good strength in run blocking. Another strength is Matthews great feet and kick slide in pass protection. The Falcons made a focus to keep Matt Ryan protected and upright to get the ball to his playmakers.

  1. Tampa Bay BuccaneersAuburn v Texas A&M

Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

The Bucs got a very talented receiver to pair with Vincent Jackson. Mike Evans is a big and fast wide receiver with great hands. He is a little bit raw of a route runner, but has a ton of potential to be a top wide receiver at the next level. He is an offensive weapon that can help out Josh McCown and their offense improve from an average year last year.

  1. Cleveland Browns (From Minnesota)Justin Gilbert

Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma St.

The Cleveland Browns traded up to get their guy in Justin Gilbert. He is a very talented cornerback with all the tools to be great at the next level. He is very fast and can run with any wide receiver. I question his change of direction and he was not my top cornerback, but he does have a lot of potential.

  1. Minnesota Vikings (From Cleveland from Buffalo)anthony barr

Anthony Barr, DE, UCLA

The Vikings get a quality pass rusher to make up for the loss of Jared Allen. He is a raw talent, but has the potential to be a very good defensive end. I thought of him more as a 3-4 outside linebacker, but he has the frame to play defensive end in a 4-3 defense. The Vikings also pick up a 5th round selection for moving back a pick. They can pair Everson Griffin and Anthony Barr as their future pass rushers.

10. Detroit LionsEric Ebron

Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

I really like this selection as a way to take away extra coverage from Calvin Johnson. Eric Ebron has 4.5 speed, great open field running ability and is an underrated blocker. Ebron has the potential to make a Vernon Davis type of impact with his outstanding speed and receiving ability down the field. The Lions have crossed off a need of adding another receiving weapon.

11. Tennessee TitansNCAA Football: Cowboys Classic-Alabama vs Michigan

Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

The Titans pick a quality offensive tackle that could be a good starter for them. Taylor Lewan sometimes gets lazy in technique, but has major upside with athleticism and strength. Lewan has a nasty streak and will improve an offensive line that added Chance Warmack last year. Tennessee may have one of the most talented offensive lines with the addition of Lewan and Michael Oher. I had Zack Martin as the higher rated tackle, but Lewan was very close.

12. New York Giantsodell beckham

Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU

Odell Beckham comes in to the Giants as a replacement for Hakeem Nicks. The Giants need to get their offense back in a rhythm and Beckham can help as a really good wide receiver. Odell is a good route runner with excellent after the catch running ability. He was very productive at LSU at receiver and also at returner. I liked Aaron Donald here as an excellent value and to help from the losses of Linval Joseph and Justin Tuck.

13. St. Louis Ramsaaron donald

Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

A very talented interior lineman, Aaron Donald makes the Rams have a star studded defensive lineman with Robert Quinn and Chris Long. I believe Donald is talented enough to come start right away on this defensive line. Aaron Donald did everything right in the draft process, he excelled at the senior bowl, combine, and interviews. Really thought this was a spot the Rams would sure up the safety position with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, but Aaron Donald is a very talented three technique.

14. Chicago Bearsfuller

Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

Chicago has aging cornerbacks with Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings so this was definitely a team need. Fuller was my top ranked cornerback and has all the tools you look for in a corner. He is a physical corner which Chicago likes and excels in man and zone coverage. He is not an elite athlete, but has good speed and plays tight coverage on his wide receiver. Ha Ha could have also been the selection with them struggling in the safety position, but the Bears did still improve the secondary with a very talented cornerback.

15. Pittsburgh SteelersRyan Shazier

Ryan Shazier, ILB, Ohio St.

The Pittsburgh Steelers put a point of emphasis on adding to their linebacking core. Ryan Shazier is a very athletic linebacker running the forty in 4.38. He can step in and be a good inside linebacker for the Steelers along with Lawrence Timmons. I thought of him more as a 4-3 weakside outside linebacker, but he did spend some time at Ohio State in the middle. I still question how good he will be taking on blocks and I believe C.J. Mosley was the better pick. Shazier is still a very talented player and will have the opportunity to play right away.

16. Dallas Cowboyszack martin

Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame

This became the most interesting pick in the draft, would the Cowboys take Manziel or pass? I believe the Cowboys made the smart decision and took a good player to help them now. Zack Martin was one of my favorite tackles in the draft and I think can be a great player at guard or right tackle right away. It wasn’t defense, but my biggest criticism of the Cowboys a few years ago was how they didn’t invest high draft picks in offensive lineman. Now they have taken an offensive lineman in the first round for three of the past four drafts and the first two have worked out well for them. Look for Zack Martin to start right away at one of the guard spots and eventually move to right tackle with Tyron Smith on the left.

17. Baltimore Ravenscj mosley

C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

The Ravens got a great player with the 17th overall pick in the draft. C.J. Mosley captained the Crimson Tide defense and showed the ability to fly all over the field. He shows good instincts and can move well through traffic. If Arthur Brown develops along with Mosley, the Ravens will have two solid inside linebackers in their 3-4 defense.

18. New York Jetscalvin pryor

Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville

The Jets took a Rex Ryan type of player in Calvin Pryor. Pryor is best known for being a hard hitter, but also has good coverage skills. The Jets were alright at safety beforehand with Antonio Allen and Dawan Landry, but it now becomes a position of strength. It was a little surprising that they didn’t go with an offensive weapon like Brandin Cooks, but I believe Pryor will be a good hard-hitting safety at the next level.

19. Miami DolphinsJa'Wuan James

JaWuan James, OT, Tennessee

This was the first big surprise for me as I didn’t have a first round grade on JaWuan James. He is a good offensive tackle with good feet as he played on the right side, but I didn’t see him going until the second round. He’s not a dominant run blocker, but could still be a good tackle. The Dolphins filled a major position of need as they’ll look for him to fill in on the Right Tackle spot.

20. New Orleans Saints (From Arizona)Brandin-Cooks

Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon St.

The Saints picked a very exciting player with Brandin Cooks. Cooks has elite after the catch ability with his quickness and 4.33 speed. He also has great ball skills and attacks the ball despite his height. The Saints do not have a player on their roster with the speed and quickness of Cooks and he should be an excellent weapon for Drew Brees.

21. Green Bay PackersARKANSAS ALABAMA FOOTBALL

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

The Packers did a great job here filling a major need with a major talent. After a season where the Packers safeties did not have one interception, Ha Ha can come in right away as a ball hawk safety. The Packers have not had a safety like Ha Ha since Nick Collins. He should come in and start right away with his coverage skills and instincts to find the ball.

22. Cleveland Browns (From Philadelphia)Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

After a long slide into the late first round, Manziel is a Cleveland Brown. It remains to be seen whether Manziel can be a franchise quarterback given all his questions coming out. He has the arm strength and accuracy to be a good NFL quarterback, but does he have the durability and decision making to be successful at this level. He will also have to understand he can’t out run the defenders in the NFL. He is the ultimate boom or bust NFL quarterback.

23. Kansas City Chiefsdee ford

Dee Ford, OLB, Auburn

The Chiefs get a quality outside linebacker that can be a pass rushing specialist his first year. He does just an ok job against the run, but can really bend around the corner when rushing the quarterback. Dee Ford adds depth behind two talented outside linebackers of Tamba Hali and Justin Houston.

24. Cincinnati BengalsDarqueze Dennard

Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan St.

The Bengals have to be ecstatic that Dennard fell to them with the 24th pick. Darqueze is a talented corner who helps the Bengals get younger at the position currently with Terrance Newman and Leon Hall starting. Dennard stays tight to his wide receiver in man coverage and is very physical. He may not have the best speed, but he remains a good man cornerback who can develop into a good starter.

25. San Diego ChargersNCAA Football: Texas Christian at Oklahoma

Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

The Chargers also needed cornerback help and capitalized by picking Verrett. Jason Verrett is a very physical corner with good speed and movement skills. He has everything you want in a cornerback except his size. The Chargers filled a need with this talented cornerback.

26. Philadelphia Eagles (From Cleveland)marcus smith

Marcus Smith, DE, Louisville

Philadelphia needed to add another pass rusher with aging Trent Cole and attempted to fill the need with Marcus Smith. I think this pick is ok but I would have preferred a few other players instead of my 54th rated player in Marcus Smith. Smith is a very talented pass rusher, but can struggle to hold up in the run. It should be interesting if he could develop behind Trent Cole as the Eagles next pass rusher.

27. Arizona Cardinals (From New Orleans)deone bucannon

Deone Bucannon, S, Washington St.

The Cardinals had their eye set on Bucannon and decided that 20 was too rich to take him. So they traded back and got a very hard hitting safety for their defense. Safety was a position of need and they must have preferred him to Ha Ha trading down from their twentieth position. He sometimes doesn’t take the best angles and can get caught in coverage, but overall a very good player. With the safety class not being that deep it was important for the Cardinals to get their safety now.

28. Carolina Pantherskelvin Benjamin

Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida St.

The Panthers picked their biggest need, but it was surprising they took Benjamin over Marqise Lee. Benjamin is a much bigger project and has inconsistent hands. The Panthers went with the upside, but Benjamin may be pushed into action with the Panthers wide receiver depth being very thin.

29. New England Patriotsdominique-easley

Dominique Easley, DT, Florida

A huge injury risk, the Patriots took a chance in the first round on Dominique Easley to solve their aging defensive line. Easley has torn both of his ACLs and missed most of last year due to the tear. When healthy Easley is a great interior pass rusher and disruptor. The Patriots took a huge risk with Easley’s injury history.

30. San Francisco 49ersJimmie ward

Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois

The 49ers needed nickel back coverage help and may have found the perfect fit with Ward. Ward can line up at corner or safety and is a good tackler with ball skills. He played safety in college and is closer to cornerback size than safety.  Look for Ward to possibly have an impact early on.

31. Denver BroncosBradley Roby

Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio St.

Roby has all the tools you look for in a corner: Good Feet, Fast, quick change of direction, and has good height. However he did not play up to his potential at Ohio State and had quite a few mental lapses in coverage. He also is a bit of a character risk being suspended the first few games at Ohio State. However he the Broncos got him in a good spot late in the first round and they can develop him to fix a need at cornerback.

32. Minnesota Vikings (From Seattle)teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

A great move by the Vikings moving up into the first round and pick my top quarterback in the draft. I believe Teddy Bridgewater is the most ready to play quarterback in the draft with his high football IQ and tools. To add to that he has a good arm and accuracy. A bad pro day caused Teddy Bridgewater to fall in the draft, but I’ll take the three years of good tape over one bad pro day. I believe the Vikings got a steal at the end of the first round.

30 NFL Prospects Attending Draft

It was announced that 30 draft prospects had accepted invitations for the 2014 NFL Draft in New York City. Among the notable players attending include: Jadeveon Clowney, Sammy Watkins and Johnny Manziel. Not all the players invited to Radio City Music Hall are expected to go on the first day. Here is the list ranking the prospects going to New York:

1. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina 

2. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

3. Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

4. Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

5. Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

6. Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

7. C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

8. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

9. Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

10. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

11. Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

12. Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

13. Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

14. Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville

15. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

16. Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

17. Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

18. Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri

19. Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia

20. Odell Beckham, WR, LSU

21. Marqise Lee, WR, USC

22. Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State

23. Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

24. Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama

25. Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

26. Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State

27. Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State

28. Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt

29. Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana

30. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois

Top 5 NFL Draft Risers

  1. Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana

latimer

Cody Latimer is a big, fast wide receiver who has jumped dramatically from being a late round pick. At 6’3 215 lbs, Latimer has the ability to attack the ball with great body control and very good hands. Declaring for the NFL as a junior, Latimer was unable to work out for NFL teams for a while due to a broken foot. However recently he ran a 4.44 at Indiana’s pro day. His speed and size have caused him to move up draft boards around the league and there are rumors that he could possibly be a late first round pick. Personally, I see him as a third round pick due to separation concerns and lack of overall explosiveness on tape.

2. Tom Savage, QB, Pittsburgh

t. savage

Tom Savage has generated a buzz around the league from being a late round QB to a possible second round pick. Savage has all the tools to be an NFL QB. He has good size at 6’4 228 Lbs, but his biggest asset to his game is his rocket arm. Savage has one of the best arms in the draft and has the capability to make every throw in an NFL playbook. He played in a pro-style offense this past year at Pitt and showed glimpses of being a potential NFL starter. He was beaten up a lot due to a bad Pittsburgh offensive line, but still showed good pocket awareness. He can throw a great deep ball also. A concern I have is he does sometimes force the ball into coverage, but he has everything from the neck down. He just needs to improve the decision making. If you give him 2-3 years with NFL coaching I believe he could contend for a starting job. I see him as more of a mid-round developmental pick than a second round pick.

3. Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

Kyle fuller

Kyle Fuller on tape was one of the best cornerbacks I watched in this class. He has good size for a corner at 6’0 190 lbs. and did a tremendous job this season blanketing top wide receivers. His senior campaign started with a tremendous game against Alabama where he finished with 4 tackles and an interception. He did have to end his season early due to hernia surgery in November. Fuller is physical and shows good change of direction. He also shows good speed running a 4.49 at the NFL combine. There are not really many weaknesses to his game other than not being an elite athlete. He has shot up draft boards around the league due to solid game film and solid workouts. I fully suspect that he should compete to be the number one cornerback and could go somewhere in the mid first round.

  1. Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia

morgan moses

Morgan Moses has stepped up into a definite first round possibility. At 6’6 315 lbs, Moses shows great moving ability with his size. He is very good in pass protection and uses his long arms well. One of his best traits is handling speed rushers with a very quick kick slide. This is shown when facing speed rusher Jeremiah Attaochu from Georgia Tech. One area that he will need to improve in is his run blocking. He isn’t a premium road grader, but he can still do an effective job in run blocking. Morgan Moses has vastly improved since his junior year and I believe has solidified himself as a top 5 offensive tackle in this class.

5. Jordan Tripp, OLB, Montana

jordan tripp

A small school prospect, Jordan Tripp has shot up draft boards to a very good mid round prospect. Jordan Tripp was the leader of the Montana Grizzlies defense and is a very good tackler. He flies around the field and is one of the few linebackers in this draft that excels in coverage. That speed was shown off at the combine where he ran a 4.67. He is not overly big at 6’3 237 lbs. but is strong. He is an all-around very good football player who despite playing at the FCS level should still be a possible third round pick.