Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel wasn't the first quarterback selected Thursday night, but he was the most important one.
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (1.3)
The Jags need a lot of things to compete, and quarterback is No. 1 on that priority list, but this is not a great place for Central Florida's Bortles to wind up. First, the Jags' running game is sketchy, and No. 2, Justin Blackmon (indefinite suspension) is not someone they're counting on for next season, according to a tweet by the Florida Times-Union's Ryan O'Halloran.
Bortles is a talent, and he can run, but he won't have a whole lot to work with right away. He is not going to be a draftable in standard fantasy leagues. Heck, he shouldn't be drafted in two-quarterback formats. Cecil Shorts and Ace Sanders just are not enough weapons to make Bortles fantasy-worthy.
Johnny Manziel, Cleveland Browns (1.22)
He had to wait longer than he might have liked, but he has to love about where he wound up. With an elite wide receiver in Josh Gordon and a budding star at tight end in Jordan Cameron, Manziel has elite weapons a rookie quarterback usually doesn't get to work with.
Manziel shouldn't be drafted before the late rounds in standard leagues, but he certainly has the supporting cast and potential to perform like a fantasy starter immediately. Beating out Brian Hoyer in training camp shouldn't be a problem.
Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings (1.32)
His stock fell from No. 1, but he remained a No. 1 pick and lands in a pretty good spot. The Vikings still has one of the best running games in football with Adrian Peterson, which will help take the pressure off the rookie quarterback once he does play. Also, there are some decent targets in Greg Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson and tight end Kyle Rudolph.
Beating out Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel shouldn't prove difficult. Bridgewater should be the second rookie quarterback selected in fantasy, even if he is off the standard fantasy league radar. He is a viable reserve in two-quarterback formats.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (due to Jake Matthews at 1.6)
The Falcons got it right with the sixth overall pick. If you cannot get a game-changer, you draft the next best thing: A complement for the face of your franchise.
Matt Ryan gets a premium pass-protecting left tackle in Matthews. The addition shouldn't dramatically change your opinion of Ryan—he is a still a great mid-round sleeper—but you should cement Ryan as a fantasy starter in all leagues, no matter the health of wide receiver Julio Jones (foot) at the start of next season.
Matthews was the most polished pass protecting tackle in this draft and he will be doing the bulk of his blocking in the passing game. The Falcons just don't run the ball that well, and when Ryan is your quarterback with targets like Jones and Roddy White, you should throw the football a lot.
EJ Manuel, Buffalo Bills (due to WR Sammy Watkins at 1.4)
Suddenly the Bills have a threatening offense, whether or not you can lay trust in Manuel as a second-year quarterback. The running game is in explosive hands and Manuel scored the clear No. 1 wide receiver in this draft class in Watkins.
Assuming Stevie Johnson sticks around, Manuel has three legit fantasy targets in Johnson, Mike Williams and Watkins. It won't take long for Watkins to be the best of that set and he just might be enough to move Manuel into the top 24 quarterbacks in fantasy. That would make Manuel a starter in two-quarterback formats. He is a late-round sleeper in standard leagues now.
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (due to Brandin Cooks at 1.20)
He will be a top three fantasy quarterback no matter who he throws to but drafting a downfield burner certainly adds a new dimension to the Saints' offense. Cooks can stretch the field and help make Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston and Brees more productive.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (due to TE Eric Ebron at 1.10)
Stafford didn't need another target, but he gets a pass-catching tight end in Ebron out of North Carolina. You can consider Stafford among the top five fantasy quarterbacks, with or without Ebron, but the added talent cannot hurt.
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (due to WR Kelvin Benjamin at 1.28)
Newton needs polished veteran receivers to in order to remain a top-five fantasy quarterback. Benjamin isn't polished in any aspect, but he is big at 6'5". The large target won't be a starter right away, but he can be a factor in the red zone, which is really what a fantasy quarterback needs...a finisher for touchdowns. Benjamin can post a handful of those as a rookie project.
Eli Manning, New York Giants (due to WR Odell Beckham at 1.12)
Beckham will help replace the loss of free-agent wideout Hakeem Nicks, but it is unlikely Beckham has Nicks-like potential right away. He is more of a long-term project. Still, any added receiving target is enough to consider Manning a viable fantasy backup in the late rounds.
Brian Hoyer, Cleveland Browns
Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron make Hoyer a potential late-round sleeper, particularly in two-quarterback formats, but the drafting of Manziel makes any value Hoyer might have will be short-lived.
Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars
Regardless if he starts Week 1, he won't be draftable in most fantasy leagues.
Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings
No one should have hoped these guys would start next season. Now, we can write them off in fantasy. Even if they start, they will be out of the realm of viable options.