This is an 8 part series detailing the draft selections of each NFL team, division by division. Offensive players and their potential impact on the upcoming NFL season on DraftKings will be scrutinized!

St Louis Rams

Todd Gurley RB (1st round)—GeorgiaUSATSI_8207626_168381090_lowres
I really wanted the Rams to get a WR in the first round to pair with their new QB Nick Foles.  However it’s safe to say my disappointment didn’t last long when they selected Todd Gurley.  There’s elite prospects and then there’s generational talents and it appears as if that is what Todd Gurley is.  Gurley mashed elite college competition on a consistent basis and finished school with one of the greatest college resumes ever for RB’s.  The big question mark for Gurley is of course, his knee.  Gurley is coming off an ACL tear and might not even be ready for game 1 in 2015.  The likely scenario sees him sitting out the first 6 games of 2015 and then being worked in slowly.  That is of course unless he possesses wolverine-like healing powers, like the last generational back taken in the NFL draft, Adrian Peterson.   Yes Gurley is that good, he is Adrian Peterson good, and quite frankly if he had been healthy at the combine we might even be talking about him more glowing as some expected him to crack 4.4 in the 40m (absurd for a man with his power).  Gurley is legit, assuming he gets healthy he will beast at some point in the NFL.

Sean Mannion QB (3rd round)—Oregon State
Mannion is a big QB with a decent arm who looked really good at times in his college career, and then looked pretty average/shoddy at others.  His best year came in 2013 when he had Brandin Cooks to work with.  Cooks left and 2014 was, well, not nearly as good.  Mannion has potential but I see him as a project and doubtful to make an impact.  He’ll sit behind Nick Foles this year and likely beyond.

DraftKings: Daily Fantasy Impact
The Rams were one of the teams I had my eye on this year to jump up and surprise some people.  This was before they even drafted Gurley.  I think Foles playing with Gurley could mean great things for the St. Louis offense.  If Gurley somehow is ready for opening day I wouldn’t hesitate in using him, not for a second.  Once he hits full stride he will be one of the most popular plays on DraftKings and getting him while he’s still somewhat unknown will be key.  Gurley doesn’t need high volume or all the carries to have a huge day.  He’s a generational talent and someone I’m going to look forward to using on DraftKings next year.

 

Seattle Seahawks

Tyler Lockett WR (3rd round)—Kansas StateUSATSI_8162005_168381090_lowres
I really like this pick by Seattle and think it’s a great landing spot for Lockett.  Locket is smaller WR who had great output in college both as a WR and a kick returner.  He’s fast (ran a 4.4 flat) and he’s extremely agile.  Moreover Lockett is a smart player and even though he’s undersized he’s someone who knows how to use his quickness to his advantage—like say Julien Edelman or Antonio Brown.  In today’s NFL fast players with kick returner agility are quickly becoming big time players (see Edelman and Antonio Brown) and I expect Lockett to be someone who could easily join that list.  Lockett’s going to be a great fit in this offense as the quick hitter and homerun threat to star opposite red zone beast Jimmy Graham.

DraftKings: Daily Fantasy Impact
Lockett might be one of the biggest fantasy newcomers next season.  Seattle doesn’t have much at WR and when you see what TY Hilton has done with Andrew Luck, and Antonio Brown has done with Big Ben, you have to get goosebumps thinking about what Lockett can accomplish with Russell Wilson.  I expect Lockett to earn a starting job in preseason, and if he does I’ll be deploying Wilson/Lockett stacks all year round on DraftKings.

 

Arizona Cardinals

David Johnson RB (3rd round)—Northern Iowa USATSI_7411034_168381090_lowres
This is flat out one of the best picks in the draft.  When you look at the some of his metrics, Johnson is arguably a complete steal in the 3rd round.  He ran a faster 40 time than Melvin Gordon, had a vertical that was 7 inches higher than Gordon’s and to boot he’s also clearly the best receiver of all the RB’s in the entire draft.  Johnson had some monster games in college, including a game where he went for over 200 yards receiving (yes receiving).  He’s big but not slow and extremely strong (completed 25 bench press reps).  Johnson is going to waltz into Arizona next year and grab the starting RB job.  He’s a huge boon to an extremely weak Zona RB corps.

J.J. Nelson WR (5th round)—UAB
Nelson is an extremely small, extremely fast WR prospect that likely projects more as a special teams returner.  Nelson ran a 4.28 at the combine and obviously set his draft stock rising (before that he was essentially going undrafted).  Keep an eye on Nelson in preseason to see if Zona is using him at all in the offense, but remember, he’s extremely thin and even with his speed doesn’t project as an every down WR.

DraftKings: Daily Fantasy Impact
David Johnson is going to catch a lot of people by surprise.  As much as I am excited to use Todd Gurley next season in Daily Fantasy, David Johnson is equally as exciting.  He’s an extremely good receiver and projects as the Cardinals red zone back as well given his size.  If he does seize the majority of the work next year he’ll be gold on DraftKings with the 1pt-per catch PPR bonus.  A possible unknown fantasy stud in the making.

 

San Francisco 49ers

Blake Bell TE (4th round)—Oklahoma USATSI_8254219_168381090_lowres
Bell is a converted QB who moved to TE after his Junior year.  It’s a testament to how good an athlete he is that he was drafted this high because in reality he only had 16 catches in college. Bell has terrific movement and agility for a man his size.  He also has decent speed for a TE and ran the same 40-time as the first TE taken in this draft, Maxx Williams.  Bell is also taller than Williams coming in at 6’6.  There’s a lot of unknowns about Bell, mainly around his complete lack of experience playing the position.  However, his combine scores say that is a very, very good TE prospect. It will be interesting to see how the 49ers use Bell next year.  It’s unlikely he’ll make an immediate impact but he’s someone who long term could be very valuable to the 49er’s offense.

DeAndre Smelter WR (5th round)—Georgia Tech
Smelter is a big Athletic WR who unfortunately wrecked his ACL in college and will likely begin the season on the NFI list.  Smelter is a huge target and could be someone to eventually replace Anquan Boldin as the go to WR in the San Fran offense.  He’s not overly fast but is strong, has great hands and projects as a possession type slot receiver who should also be useful in the red zone.  Smelter’s a very solid pick by the 49er’s.  I don’t think he’ll be ready for the start of the year but he should pay dividends down the road for the team as they try to revamp their offense.

DraftKings: Daily Fantasy Impact
These are two very solid and very intriguing picks by the 49ers.  However, even though Bell and Smelter may both develop into key components in the 49er offense I don’t know if they will make a large enough impact in 2015 to consider them on DraftKings.  Smelter likely won’t be ready for the start of the regular season and Bell is just too inexperienced and will be working behind Vernon Davis.  Keep an eye on them long term but don’t worry too much about them for fantasy purposes next year.