Who’s your Haddy- QB- Jameis Winston – FSU
Team Haddy started the off-season hitting the reset button by sending Russell Wilson to the RWCT. This leaves Haddy, the owner of two first round picks, with only Ben Roethlisberger at QB. This makes selecting a QB a priority.
Winston seems like a boom or bust prospect. Everything about him physically suggests that he can be an all-pro QB. He has prototypical size (6-3, 231lbs) arm strength, superior, accuracy and the ability to read defenses. He’s not a super athlete (4.97 in the 40) but has pocket mobility and toughness. He’s a natural leader and his confidence can positively influence others. The biggest concerns for Winston are his off field issues. His lack of maturity and questionable judgment have been well documented This general lack of insight may have contributed to his 28 INTs in two years at FSU.
Ferns’ Fearless Forecast- It may be better to let someone else draft this headache. The off field distractions should decrease, but I think the INTs are real. If he can limit the mistakes, Winston can be a top 5 QB, otherwise he’s fantasy back-up material.
I Need a Manziel Not a Boykin- WR Amari Cooper Alabama
I Need a New Team Name Because I Cut Boykin finished last year at 5-8. He has some big names with QB, Phillip Rivers, and RB, Marshawn Lynch, but is really lacking in the WR corps. A full blown fire sale may be coming but for now I Need a… needs to select the best player available and Copper maybe the best in this draft class.
Cooper isn’t overly big (6-1, 211) or fast (4.42) but graded well in both areas. He is the most complete WR in the draft with a solid combination of speed, size, body-control, route running and acceleration. His quickness makes him tough to cover and/or press. Cooper was super productive at Alabama and has the skills to make that translate to the NFL. He has an extra gear when the ball is in the air, and high points most catches. Cooper had too many drops in his career that were attributed to a lack of focus, but he’s labeled as a hard worker and has made progress in this area.
Ferns’ Fearless Forecast- Draft him early, and build around him. He can be as good as any of the WRs from last year’s draft class. Given the first pick of this draft, I would select Cooper. This guy is special and could be a WR1 early in his career.
Beach Bums- RB Melvin Gordon– Wisconsin
Beach Bums owns The Muscle Hamsters’ first round pick in this year’s draft. The Beach Bums finished last year with an 8-5 record and are in a position where they don’t have a true team need. Adding another piece to help them win now could push them to their first divisional championship.
Gordon was one of the most productive college RBs, ever. He’s got excellent size (6-1, 215lbs) and speed (4.52) for the RB position. His agility and ability to make defenders miss is what makes him special. Although he is not really a power back, Gordon still has the size and strength to run between the tackles along with the patience to read and follow his blocks. The knock on Gordon has been his history of fumbling, putting the ball on the ground 12 times in his college career. He runs a little too upright and does not protect the ball well enough. Gordon was not used much in the passing game at Wisconsin, mostly by design. He has shown effort and improvement in this area.
Ferns’ Fearless Forecast- If Gordon learns ball security he can easily be a RB1 in this league. He’s a threat to go all the way whenever he touches the ball. Gordon is rated behind Todd Gurley as the 2nd best RB in the draft, but offers more certainty to help a team next year.
Greased Up Deaf Guy- RB Todd Gurley Georgia
GUDG was a hard luck loser last year, finishing 6-7 despite scoring more points than his opposition for the season. This team features the number one QB in Andrew Luck, and has depth at both WR and RB. Brandin Cooks should emerge as another top receiving threat to go with Emmanuel Sanders. GUDG could use another RB as Andre Ellington and his other options lack consistency.
Gurley started 2014 looking like the best RB in college football. A suspension followed by a torn ACL in his game back cut his season short. His rehab is reportedly on track and he’s rated as the best RB in this draft class. Gurley is similar in size to Gordon (6-1, 225lbs) and speed (4.45) but is more of a powerful, downfield runner. He can be a punishing back who is very hard to bring down individually. Gurley wasn’t really a factor in pass blocking at Georgia, but is a willing blocker. He also showed good hands coming out of the backfield. Gurley is a complete back, whose only negative at this point is the health of his left knee.
Ferns’ Fearless Forecast- The talent is too much to pass up. This guy is a game changing back. There have been multiple favorable comparisons to Marshawn Lynch. If he comes back at full strength, Gurley will be a feature back in the NFL and a top 5 fantasy back.
Defeat- WR- Kevin White West Virginia
Defeat struggled last year and fell short of .500, despite a talented roster. Aaron Rodgers and the promising Blake Bortles lock down the QB position, while RB Shady McCoy, CJ Anderson, and Alfred Morris all finished just short of the top 10 at their position. After Julio Jones and Calvin Benjamin there are no WRs to get excited about.
White is rated similarly to Amari Cooper and some mocks have him being the first WR off the board. White has average hand size, but uses them as well an anyone, catching the ball away from his body. He has a big frame, and offers the size (6’3”, 215lbs) to be a serious red zone threat. There have been doubts about White’s speed but he ran a 4.35 at the combine, where he was the strongest (23 reps) and third fastest WR. He does lack some quickness for the position, but fights for extra yards with effort and strength.
Ferns’ Fearless Forecast- I’ve seen White compared to Larry Fitzgerald, and/or DeAndre Hopkins. I think he’s closer to Hopkins, which is still a nice grab in the draft. To me, he’s a step down from Cooper, but that isn’t really a bad thing.
Defeat- WR- Breshad Perriman UCF
With two first round picks and already a solid roster, Defeat can afford to swing for the fences with one of them.
Perriman has terrific size (6’2”, 215 lbs) and maybe the fastest WR in the draft. A hamstring injury kept him from participating in the combine but he dropped 40 times of 4.24 and 4.27 at his pro day. He reportedly has run a sub-4.2 40 yard dash. The bottom line is this kid can fly. He offers a size speed, athleticism combination that has him flying up draft boards and leaving the scouts drooling. While his size and speed cant be argued, the question is, can he catch the ball? He had a 14% drop rate, when 8% begins to be worrisome.
Ferns’ Fearless Forecast: I’m not a fan of guys who enter the first round discussion after the season. Perriman didn’t really have the production in college to match his physical gifts. Remember Darius-Heyward Bey? I think that is this guy’s best comparison.
The Muscle Hamsters – QB Marcus Mariota -Oregon
The Muscle Hamster’s are in trouble. They could use help at every position. However, they recognized this and moved their biggest piece, Drew Brees, in week 8, netting them Mush’s first rounder. With only Tannehill on the roster and Mariota slipping, The Hamster grab a QB to build around.
Mariota has all the tools to be a star in the NFL. He easily could be the first pick in the NFL or DyNasty draft. He has prototypical QB size at 6’4” 225lbs and unusual speed, running a 4.52. He’s a nightmare in the open field but only runs when he needs to. The best quality about Mariota is that he doesn’t make mistakes, supported by a 105/14 TD/INT ratio. His arm strength and quick release allows him to make all of the necessary throws. He’s an extremely hard worker with no character concerns. Has been described as a leader by example and is well liked.
Ferns’ Fearless Forecast- I don’t know. If the rumors are true and he ends up in Philly he could be a QB1 from jump. However, the quiet, humble personality could inhibit his ability to properly lead a team, and I question how he will handle failure when he faces it. Nonetheless, he’s a top talent and one to build around.
Unicorns and Glitter – TJ Yeldon– Alabama
Last year U&G was the highest scoring team for 2nd season in a row. However, they did not get top 10 QB or WR play and their top RBs are getting old. Depending what is on the board, they could look to upgrade at WR or QB, but taking the next best RB at this point makes the most sense.
Yeldon is currently rated as a third round pick, with other RBs being selecting above him. However, he has the size (6’1”,225 lbs) to at least be a goal line back, which he excelled at in college. He ran a 4.61 a the combine and 4.52 at his pro day. The later time seems to correspond with his game speed, making him an interesting size/speed combination. Yeldon’s quickness, agility and change of direction ability is surprising for a RB his size. Yeldon is tall and plays a little too upright, exposing his body too much. This could lead to ball security issues in the NFL.
Ferns’ Fearless Forecast- Yeldon reminds me very much of what I saw in the promising Carlos Hyde last year. I could be overrating him since playing at Alabama gave him more exposure than other backs in the draft.
Kittens’ Mittons- WR- DeVante Parker– Loisville
Every year we talk about KM’s lack of running backs. Every year she makes the playoffs. KM is currently carrying 8 RBs, all of whom have shown flashes of potential. While she could look to replace one of these guys with a fresh pair of legs, adding a top flight WR could help her build for the future.
Parker was super productive at Louisville and offers the perfect blend of size (6’3” 210lbs) and speed (4.45.) He struggled a bit last year after returning from a foot injury, but appeared healthy at the end of the season. Parker is another tall WR who offers a huge wingspan and the ability to go up and take the ball away from defenders. He knows how to use his size to his advantage to get off the line of scrimmage and to create separation from defenders. The are questions of durability but KM has the depth to fill in for Parker.
Ferns’ Fearless Forecast- I loved watching Parker play. He was Teddy Bridgewater’s top target. in 2103 and the production increased after Bridgewater left. I think the injury concerns are overrated
Beach Bums- WR/TE Devin Funchess Michigan
Beach Bum already addressed their RB position earlier in the draft. BB ended last season with 3 top 10 WRs plus Allen Robinson, who showed talent before a season ending injury. With 4 picks in the top 20, they can gamble on a high upside guy.
Depending on where you look, Funchess is listed as a WR or TE. If he gains and keeps TE eligibility he could be the steal of the draft. He is a mismatch for defenders at either position. Funchess is huge for a WR at 6’4” and 235 lbs. He has the catch radius that is very much talked about in today’s NFL. There are questions about his speed as he ran a 4.7 at the combine but averaged a 4.5 at his pro day. Funchess never played with a true QB at Michigan, limiting his effectiveness. He’s a work in progress but has plenty of room to develop.
Ferns’ Fearless Forecast- Funchess is an interesting hybrid type player. I would wait and see how he is used before taking him in the first. I just wouldn’t let him get to the second round.
Who’s Your Haddy- WR- Jaelen Strong – Arizona State
Strong is another WR who offers size (6’2”, 217lbs) and speed (4.4). His long arms, big, strong, hands, and 42 inch vertical leap allows him to pull 50/50 throws away from defenders. He has to build up to top speed, so he isn’t likely to be a deep threat, but has the ability and willingness to be a high volume possession receiver. He isn’t elusive but he is strong and hard to pull down after the catch. Strong could be used as a red zone match-up and have an early impact.
Ferns Fearless Forecast- There’s nothing wrong with possession receivers. I question his effectiveness, if it takes time for him to build up speed. I think this is a guy who can move up or down draft boards, greatly, depending upon where he ends up.
Drugged Llamas-RB Ameer Abdullah– Nebraska
The Llamas are the DyNasty returning champs (with their Championship Cup still in my car.) Their starting line-up is pretty set. They could use this pick to improve their backup QB from Mike Glennon but I don’t see a guy who probably wont be there later. After Le’Veon Bell, who will be suspended for the first 3 games, the Llamas RBs are sketchy,
Abdullah lacks ideal size (5-9, 205lbs) and speed (4.6) but his production can’t be ignored. While lacking size and speed, Abdullah proved to be a tremendous athlete finishing first at the combine among RBs in the vertical jump, broad jump, 3-cone drill, and 20 yard shuffle. He also put up 24 reps in the bench press, impressive for someone his size. Abdullah’s quickness makes him hard to tackle. He’s an excellent receiver from the backfield as well. Scouts describe his character and football IQ as off the charts.
Ferns’ Fearless Forecast- I think Abdullah is a special player. If he’s given the chance to prove he’s more than a 3rd down back and kick returner, he can really shine. I think he compares very much to Darren Sproles.
Others to consider:
Bryce Petty– Baylor- super productive at Baylor, considered a “system QB”
Brett Hundley UCLA- has all the physical tools, one of my favorites
Bryan Bennett– SE LA- more of a sleeper transferred after losing job to Mariota
Jay Ajayi– Boise State- prototypical RB with injuries concerns
Tevin Coleman– Indiana- climbing draft boards
Duke Johnson– Florida- smaller back, but elite change of direction ability
Dorial Green-Beckham Missouri – $10million body, 10 cent head.
Nelson Agholor USC- getting a lot of love, really knows how to play the position
Tyler Lockett KSU- Undersized play maker, could be a steal
Maxx Williams Minnesota-
Clive Walford– Miami
Tyler Kroft– Rutgers