Dynasty Football Instant First Round Reaction
The day has finally come; NFL Draft Day! It’s Christmas for dynasty football players. We finally get to see where all the future superstars are drafted and we can begin to dissect how amazing they will be throughout their career. So let’s dive into the results from a crazy, unpredictable 2017 first round and discuss how the draft affected the outlook for each of the skill position players selected in round one.
Drafted: Second Overall to the Chicago Bears
Verdict: After signing Mike Glennon in the off-season, he was the presumed starting QB for 2017 with a chance to keep the job long-term. Ideally Trubisky would have been drafted to a team that could sit him for a year, but Glennon isn’t the typical veteran stop gap quarterback. If Glennon succeeds and elevates the offense this could create an uncomfortable decision for Chicago. If he fails Trubisky takes over in late 2017 or 2018 and the Bears wasted about $19 million guaranteed. This doesn’t make me confident that the Bears have a coherent plan at QB, but if Trubisky lives up to the pick all will be forgotten.
Drafted: Fourth Overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars
Verdict I would have preferred Carolina, but Jacksonville should happily hand Fournette as many carries as he can handle (sorry T.J. Yeldon). If Blake Bortles can become a competent quarterback the Jaguars offense has plenty of weapons to become a dynamic unit. The biggest risk is that Jacksonville continues to fall behind in games and Fournette’s carries are limited by having to constantly play from behind. That being said, pick him first overall with confidence in any upcoming dynasty league drafts.
Drafted: Fifth overall to the Tennessee Titans
Verdict: Dynasty League owners have been eagerly anticipating which pass catcher would be added to a soon to be explosive Tennessee offense. Davis doesn’t have elite size and speed, but showed at Western Michigan that he is simply a great football player. I think Mike Williams may have the higher ceiling if he can develop into complete receiver, but I like the fit with Davis in Tennessee. He should become the Titans unquestioned number one receiver by the end of 2017 and we could be seeing the start of a productive long-term partnership working with Marcus Mariota.
Drafted: Seventh Overall to the Los Angeles Chargers
Verdict: Williams is arguably the most talented receiver in the 2017 draft. The comparisons to Mike Evans and Alshon Jeffrey are warranted as a physically dominating receiver who excels down the field. Williams has to develop into a complete receiver in order to reach that ceiling, he’s been put in a great situation to develop those skills by working with Philip Rivers. Paring Williams with Keenan Allen and Hunter Henry could bring back fun memories of the Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates days from 2009 – 2011. If you are risk tolerant, Mike Williams should be considered the top receiver in this draft class.
Drafted: Eighth Overall to the Carolina Panthers
Verdict: McCaffrey’s pre-draft reputation is that he isn’t a great fit between the tackles. Going to a team that has Cam Newton and Jonathan Stewart in the backfield should allow Carolina to utilize McCaffrey in a variety of ways and alleviate the pressure to hand him 18 to 20 carries every game. Despite his non-traditional workload McCaffrey has the potential to develop into a Ray Rice type of running back who adds 75 to 80 catches a year and could threaten the top running back spot for leagues that heavily emphasis points per reception.
Drafted: Ninth Overall to the Cincinnati Bengals
Verdict: To be blunt I don’t think this pick is going to work out for Cincinnati. Ross was basically a one year wonder with constant durability concerns during his college career. Also, I don’t see Dalton and the Bengals offense as a great fit for his skill set. With Cincinnati losing their two best offensive lineman during free agency (Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler) Dalton isn’t in a good position to keep all the skill position players in the Bengals offense fantasy relevant. The record breaking 40 time has overhyped Ross; I consider him a mid to late first round dynasty prospect with very high bust potential.
Drafted: 10th Overall to the Kansas City Chiefs
Verdict: I expected the Chiefs to draft a quarterback they could develop, but was not expecting such an aggressive move for Mahomes. Mahomes certainly has the physical ability, but Texas Tech QBs don’t have the best reputation for NFL success. Mahomes is certainly more talented than Kliff Kingsbury and Graham Harrell and Andy Reid’s offense should give him every chance to succeed. Prior to the draft I considered Mahomes a late second round lottery ticket, but would be more willing to trust Reid knows what he’s doing and would consider him late in the first as the ultimate boom or bust pick.
Drafted: 12th Overall to the Houston Texans
Verdict: As much as I like the situation Mahomes was drafted into in Kansas City Watson has by far the best fit for any of the 2017 quarterbacks. The Texans are a competent QB away from being one of the best teams in the NFL and have plenty of offensive weapons (DeAndre Hopkins, Lamar Miller, Will Fuller, and a sleeper tight end in C.J. Fiedorowicz). I would be shocked if Watson isn’t the week one starter and if I needed a quarterback I would consider taking him with a top five pick.
Drafted: 19th Overall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Verdict: This Tampa Bay offense is going to be fun to watch! Adding the top tight end in O.J. Howard gives Jameis Winston every opportunity to take another step forward and elevate the Buccaneers into a top five offense. Assuming Tampa Bay can add a running back in round two they would have zero holes. Obviously this is a great situation for Howard and everyone involved, but the risk is that we have seen first round tight ends take some time to develop in recent years. Howard might not make a huge impact early but long-term I think he is a top five player in this class and would consider taking him over Williams or Davis if tight end was a bigger need.
Drafted: 23rd Overall to the New York Giants
Verdict: This is another great tight end fit. New York and Eli Manning have a history of elevating mediocre tight ends such as Larry Donnell, Brandon Myers, Jake Ballard, and Kevin Boss to some fantasy relevance. Needless to say I am excited to see what Engram could accomplish working with Manning. It’s tempting to put Engram as the number one tight end, but I prefer the long-term fit of Howard and Winston.
Drafted: 29th Overall to the Cleveland Browns
Verdict: At least Njoku won’t have much competition for playing time. If Howard and Engram hadn’t fallen farther than expected Njoku could have ended up in a better position, but it’s difficult to get excited about his near-term prospects with the Browns. At some point Cleveland has to acquire a quarterback but it’s difficult to project who that will be at this point. Njoku has as much talent as both tight end drafted ahead of him, but he’s clearly third right now and could fall to the end of round one or early round two in most dynasty league drafts.
Follow Chris Flannery on Twitter (@cflanders29)