Let’s take a look at how the first round of the NFL draft impacts the fantasy football landscape in 2010.
1. Sam Bradford, QB St. Louis—With A.J. Feeley and Craig Null at quarterback, there is little doubt Bradford will start on opening day. With the team’s current crop of receivers, there is little doubt Bradford will be a fantasy bust in 2010.
2. Ndamukong Suh, DT, Detroit—Suh will improve the Lions defense and help recently signed Kyle Vanden Bosch in the sack department. However, it’s doubtful he will be useful in IDP leagues or vault the Lions defense into the top 15.
3. Gerald McCoy, DT, Tampa Bay—Ditto for McCoy in Tampa.
4. Trent Williams, Washington—The Redskins get their left tackle for the next 10-12 years. Unfortunately, there are major question marks along the offensive line and at running back and wide receiver. He helps, but Donovan McNabb likely remains the only Redskin to own from a fantasy perspective.
5. Eric Berry, S, Kansas City—Big time playmaker immediately improves the Chiefs defense but they aren’t worth targeting in fantasy leagues. Berry is, however, a great candidate in IDP leagues.
7. Joe Haden, CB, Cleveland—Rookie corners are targeted early and often, making them great IDP candidates. Browns D could surprise in 2010 if Shaun Rogers can stay out of trouble.
8. Rolando McClain, ILB, Oakland—Top linebacker in the draft goes to the Raiders and will either accompany Kirk Morrison in a 3-4 alignment or supplant him in the 4-3. Top IDP rookie in the draft and in Oakland, where he’ll be on the field a lot trying to stop the run, he could be a top ten LB.
9. C.J. Spiller, RB, Buffalo—Just about anywhere else, Spiller had a shot to be the top player taken in fantasy rookie drafts. Considering the anaemic offense Spiller has to work with, he will likely slot in as the second rookie taken. Fred Jackson's stock takes a dive and Marshawn Lynch is almost certainly headed out of town.
10. Tyson Aluala, DT, Jacksonville—Bit of a shocker with John Henderson and Terrence Knighton on the roster, this pick does nothing for the Jaguars defense in fantasy leagues.
11. Anthony Davis, OT, San Francisco—Davis solidifies the right tackle position for the 49ers and makes the team’s young offensive playmakers all that more attractive, provided Alex Smith is solid at quarterback, of course.
12. Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego—Meet the top pick in rookie fantasy drafts in 2010. Playing in the Chargers high-powered offense, Mathews is a solid RB2 candidate with upside in redraft leagues.
13. Brandon Graham, DE, Philadelphia—Eagles add to a deep defensive line rotation which likely makes Graham little use in IDP leagues. His presence should result in more fantasy points for the Eagles D, however.
14. Earl Thomas, S, Seattle—Solid pick to revamp a secondary that got burned repeatedly in 2009. Thomas figures to be a great player but with the weak pass rush in Seattle, he isn’t a great candidate in IDP leagues.
15. Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, New York Giants—Pierre-Paul seems to be the consensus boom or bust pick in the draft. Unless Osi Umenyiora is moved, he isn’t useful in IDP leagues but should add to the Giants sack totals in 2010.
16. Derrick Morgan, DE, Tennessee—Morgan figures to replace Vanden Bosch but net result is fewer sacks for the Titans next year.
17. Mike Iupati, OG, San Francisco—49ers are apparently doing everything in their power to help the O in 2010. This could be a solid overall offense for fantasy, especially with six games against the Rams, Seahawks and Cardinals.
18. Maurkice Pouncey, C, Pittsburgh—Pouncey will replace Justin Hartwig and solidify the Steelers offensive line. His presence improves the prospects of Rashard Mendenhall next year.
19. Sean Weatherspoon, OLB, Atlanta—Mike Peterson put up solid numbers playing on the outside last year and Weatherspoon figures to be even better.
20. Kareem Jackson, CB, Houston—Plenty of cornerbacks in Houston, all of them suspect so Jackson will likely start from day one and get picked on plenty. Target him in IDP leagues.
21. Jermaine Gresham, TE, Cincinnati—Gresham improves the offense but it’s hard to imagine him being anything more than a backup TE in fantasy leagues.
22. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver—Broncos move way back and then surprisingly make Thomas the first wide receiver off the board. If Dez Bryant pans out, the Broncos will look silly for years to come. Thomas, however, does have decent fantasy prospects, especially in dynasty leagues.
23. Bryan Bulaga, OT, Green Bay—Bulaga sinks like a stone to the Packers disbelief. Great pick for the Packers. Bulaga should improve the running game in 2010.
24. Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas—Cowboys get their man and it’s anybody’s guess what’s next for Roy Williams. Bryant doesn’t figure to do much if Williams is around but he’s a great player for dynasty leagues.
25. Tim Tebow, QB, Denver—Check back in a few years to see how this pans out. From a fantasy perspective, the name recognition alone is enough to almost guarantee he’ll be drafted too high, especially considering the uncertainty about what role he will play in the offense out of the gate.
26. Dan Williams, DT, Arizona—Great pick for the Cardinals but their D has likely lost too much to be fantasy relevant in 2010.
27. Devin McCourty, CB, New England—Somehow I don’t see a rookie cornerback playing a big role in the Patriots secondary. Just a hunch.
28. Jared Odrick, DT, Miami—Dolphins add to their defense, as expected, and Odrick will likely move to defensive end. In the Dolphins scheme, he isn’t worth owning in IDP leagues.
30. Jahvid Best, RB, Detroit—Best figures to have a solid chance to supplant Kevin Smith, with Smith recovering from a torn ACL. However, there are questions about his durability so this could be a RBBC in 2010 and perhaps for years to come.
31. Jerry Hughes, OLB, Indianapolis—Figures to start from day one but don’t expect much from him in IDP leagues in 2010.
32. Patrick Robinson, CB, New Orleans—Saints end the first round by adding to their depth at cornerback. Robinson won’t start in 2010 and may not for a few years.