Free agency has changed much of the NFL draft projections. Additionally, the scouting combined changed the fortunes of many prospects, dropping some and moving up others on draft boards.
Even though there will be many changes between now and April 29th, Todd Lokken, President of Strategic Fantasy Football has taken a look at the top ten picks in this year's draft. “Many players coming out of school still have a chance to improve their position through individual workouts, while others could bottom out with poor results at the same workouts”, says Lokken. Therefore, with a month to go, here is a look at the top 10 picks:
1) Houston Texans: Reggie Bush, RB – USC. No way Houston trades this pick, and Bush has been the target since the middle of the 2005 college season.
2) New Orleans Saints: D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OT – Virginia. “The Saints need a tackle, and Ferguson is the best on the board right now”, says Lokken. However, do not be surprised if the Saints trade this pick and try to get Ferguson later in the top 10.
3) Tennessee Titans: Matt Leinart, QB – USC. Lokken says, “If Leinart had come out last year, he would have been the top pick”. However, number 3 is not too bad, especially with Steve McNair on the downside of his career.
4) New York Jets: Vince Young, QB – Texas. “Ok, so the Jets traded for Patrick Ramsey.” He is not a long term solution. “, Says Lokken. Look for the Jets to still take a QB this year, and imagine Vince Young in the big apple!
5) Green Bay Packers: AJ Hawk, LB – Ohio State. The Packers have had some shoddy defense for some time. Those in Packer country know that the Mike Sherman era allowed the Packers to get worse and worse on defense every year, so this pick is a great start to rebuilding the defense.
6) San Francisco 49ers: Vernon Davis, TE – Maryland. Since they traded top receiver Brandon Lloyd, the 49ers will be working to surround Alex Smith with quality receivers, and Davis fills that role. “Look for him to make an impact fantasy wise in his first year”, says Lokken.
7) Oakland Raiders: Haloti Ngata, DT – Oregon. Oakland would clearly love a QB in this spot, but it is doubtful that Young or Leinart will still be available. While Jay Cutler may be a possibility, it is more likely that Oakland try to trade up (possibly with New Orleans) to grab a QB.
8) Buffalo Bills: Broderick Bunkley, DT – Florida State. While Buffalo would love to have Ngata, Oakland will grab him before Buffalo. “However, if Oakland does move up, then Buffalo may certainly wind up with Ngata”, says Lokken.
9) Detroit Lions: Michael Huff, DB – Texas. The Lions need defensive help, and Huff brings instant credit to the NFL. This should not be much of a surprise.
10) Arizona Cardinals: Jay Cutler, QB – Vanderbilt. While Dennis Green and the Cardinals in general have a history of surprise at the NFL draft, the current rumor suggests the Cardinals will go with a QB here. That rumor should ring true, as Cutler should be available.
“Free agency is still in full swing, and couple that with draft workouts, the first round, especially the top 5, is in tremendous flux”, says Lokken. “Look for many things to change before April 29th, and expect many surprises even on draft day.”
Strategic Fantasy Football provides fantasy football analysis and strategy for players of fantasy football. For more information, contact Todd Lokken at 847.985.8566.
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