NFL Draft expert Davis Mattek takes a look at the entire first round of the NFL draft while diving into the fantasy impact of each and every pick on his board. Defensive players, offensive linemen and any other non-skill position players might not directly impact the fantasy landscape, but they can certainly play a role in changing the landscape of a team’s overall offense or defense. Check out the first 10 picks off the board below.
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NFL Fantasy Mock Draft: Top 10 Picks
This is the only pick that could possibly happen here. Multiple sources have reported for months that Winston will be the Bucs pick and he tends to fit most of the conventions of a first round QB. He won a national title, won a Heisman, and can make all the throws you see on Sunday. The off the field problems will follow him but he will join an offense that has weapons that can make him a useful fantasy asset in the right matchup.
Williams is, by all accounts, the best defensive lineman in this class. The Titans are a terrible team and mocking a WR or offensive skill position player here is just cruel. The team should be taking the best player available with each selection and Williams is the way to go at #2.
Multiple members of #DraftTwitter have stated that Beasley is the best EDGE player (read: player who play OLB or DE and focuses on rushing the QB) in this draft and given that the Jags already think they have their QB, I think Beasley’s athleticism is the correct direction for them to go.
Amari Cooper is the only wide receiver in this class who would have been considered a top WR prospect in last years legendary class. He’s young, he accounted for a ton of his college teams passing offense and his athleticism is NFL caliber. If Oakland wants to get Derek Carr help, this is their guy.
Source: ESPN Vine
Waynes was a key member of a suffocating Michigan State defense that terrorized the Big 10 the last 2 seasons. I think corner backs are more important than ever in the NFL with the league transitioning to passing so often. Washington has needs everywhere, but Waynes can come in and play right away.
While this draft is not widely considered to have a ton of league-changing players, it is deep with excellent role players. We all know that Todd Bowles loves to build his front 7 and to keep a unit together that fantasy players don’t want to use RB’s against, Fowler is an excellent selection.
The Bears have been a plentiful bounty for fantasy owners the last 2 years as their front 7 seven continually allowed opposing RB’s to rack up fantasy points. Getting another competent player to collapse the pocket for the QB and disrupt rushing lanes is a win for Chicago.
Honestly, the Falcons are so bad that having 2 top 10 picks wouldn’t make them a more cohesive unit. However, Armstead is a capable and versatile lineman from Oregon who has the size/speed to keep up with NFC South offenses.
There have been major rumblings that the Giants are considering White at #9 to play alongside Cruz and Beckham. This would put a ceiling on ODB but would also afford both and he and Cruz more single coverage situations which could result in a greater efficiency.
Source: WVU Nation
Part of the reason that Sam Bradford died 5 times and that no matter what RB the Rams threw out last season couldn’t get going was because the Rams line was so terrible. Drafting Scherff could help the Rams regain some semblance of ground control on offense and make whoever they decide to use at RB startable in fantasy in non-division games.
NFL Fantasy Mock Draft: Picks 11-20
The Vikings are taking a corner; almost every report corroborates this. Their corner play was abysmal last season and if Johnson is the same player he was on his Wake Forest tape, taking #1 WR’s against the Vikings on DraftKings won’t be the autoplay that they were in 2014.
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This might seem shocking on the surface and I’m not sure how likely it is. There have been reports that the Browns have moved on from Manziel and reports that they are interested in Mariota. If they are to be believed, Mariota does alot of the things that Manziel did in college, but better. I would consider Mariota a usable fantasy asset immedietely if the Browns coaching staff allows him to run.
Source: Mark Swanks
Gregory is considered by some to the best defensive line/linebacker prospect in this class. The Saints fell off a cliff on defense last year but with their blitz heavy schemes, a player like Gregory makes the best possible fit. They need their lineman to be agile and flexible, something Gregory is capable of.
Jones is probably my favorite player in this draft and whoever takes him is going to be happy with the product they receive. His athletic testing is off the charts and he’ll make a great fit across from Brent Grimes. I expect that Jones will become a #1 corner in the NFL and I wouldn’t target opposing WR’s against him at all.
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Perriman has incredible bust potential, let me be clear. His production was never at an outstanding level but his combine performance put him in a tier all by himself in this class in terms of pure physical dominance. The 49ers desperately need good WR’s, not the short and slow Quinton Patton types that they have been drafting. Perriman would immediately improve the outlook for Colin Kaepernick.
Over the last few days, there have been reports stating that several NFL teams are worried about a foot injury that Ray is carrying. I’m not as concerned, given how far away training camp and the season is. The Texans have a very defensive identity and adding Ray to a unit that already carries J.J Watt is a frighteningly exciting possibility.
Source: Dirty Sports
I don’t agree with taking an RB in the first round but I think it’s the way several teams are viewing this draft. The team jettisoned Ryan Mathews and have very little quality left in their backfield. If the Chargers view Gurley as a generational talent, than this pick makes sense. Landing in San Diego would instantly make Gurley a fantasy option week to week.
Source: Beast Mode Sports
Kansas City is a team whose needs are hard to pin down. They have their offense as sorted as it’s going to get and offensive line value is hard to pin down in this area (and they’re dedicated to the sunken cost of Eric Fisher). Collins won’t have much fantasy impact but bolsters a defense that was ultimately mediocre in 2014.
This is definitely a position of need as Alex Mack is expected to opt out of his contract. Replacing Mack with Erving means that there is still path of relevance for (potentially) Mariota and Isiah Crowell.
An offensive tackle is always an easy projection to this current Eagles team. Assuming La’el is as good as Twitter scouts say that he is, he could become an immediate swing tackle behind Jason Peters and Lane Johnson. Demarco Murray and Ryan Mathews will both have value in this offense and La’el helps solidify that.
NFL Fantasy Mock Draft: Picks 21-32
Peat featured in a very successful run heavy offense and is probably the best true tackle in the draft. The Bengals need to improve on the OL for Jeremy Hill to be a sophomore fantasy stud.
If you played daily fantasy football in 2014, you started WR against Pittsburgh as a rule, not an exception. Their secondary is aging and terrible, which is not at all a good combination. Taking a CB like Rowe allows them to begin the process of rebuilding a terrible defense.
It’s clear at this point that the Lions are pot committed to Stafford and Megatron and it makes the most sense for them to keep their deathly defense as deadly as possible. Odighizuwa adds an EDGE element to the Lions D-Line, who recently signed Haloti Ngata.
Source: Will S
Again, taking RB’s in the first round of the NFL draft is foolhardy but I can see it happening this year. Johnson has some unholy good comparables in terms of physical metrics (LeSean McCoy and Knowshon Moreno for example) and the Cardinals need a complement to Andre Ellington, who was just terrible in 2014. Duke would be usable in fantasy right away as a Cardinal.
If you are a fan of Cam Newton, you either want the Panthers to take an OT like Flowers or a WR like Devante Parker here. If Flowers comes in and is capable right away, Newton will become an appreciably better fantasy asset.
Ajayi is probably my favorite RB in this class and landing in Baltimore would immediately make him a top 10 RB in fantasy. Reports have stated that it’s “when, not if” the Ravens take an RB in the draft and grabbing Ajayi who is capable as a receiver would do wonders for their offense.
Source: Josh Buck
Phillips has been rumored to be of interest in the top 40 for some teams and if there is one area that the Cowboys need help, it’s the defensive front 7. The Cowboys have a deep history of taking Big 12 players in the draft and Phillips will help the Cowboys become less of a laughingstock against the run.
DGB terrifies every team. If you take him, you’re associating yourself with significant risk. If you don’t take him, he could haunt you for the next decade. Landing with Peyton Manning would make a dream rookie season where he would be a clear cut top 25 WR.
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The Colts are really not a very good football team. Outside of Andrew Luck, they have little in the cabinet. Smith is an impressive SEC EDGE rusher that fits with their team ethos of fast paced on both sides of the ball.
Kendricks is a classic Green Bay pick here. Picking up value that no one else seems capable of pulling the trigger on. The Packers were an average defensive unit last season but with all of their offensive starters returning, it makes sense that they would attempt to bolster the defense.
The Saints have so many needs that this is probably a luxury pick but with no Stills, they do need to add another WR unless they plan on playing Nick Toon or Brandon Coleman full snaps. Strong would fill in the Stills role from last season and would be successful there.
Source: Mike Jurecki
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This is the best #HotTake that I have in this mock. Nelson isn’t widely considered a top 100 player but he has day one talent. In particular, his matchup against Nelson Spruce last season shows his shutdown corner ability. The Patriots will be needy at corner and Nelson could fill the role of playing on an island.
More NFL Draft Coverage, check out Davis Mattek’s NFL Draft Sleeper Article HERE