The Bizon Bunch, 2017
I thought I had put a bow on the draft and the NFL as whole for a few months but then I had an idea and wanted to capitalize on the momentum I had with all of it before letting it sail away for a while.
It's not unlike fantasy football, but on an individual basis (no D/ST units) and only about the rookies. If you care to play along go to page & fill out your own picks!
But onto my selections
Nathan Peterman (Buffalo)
Buffalo may already have a starter but Tyrod Taylor hasn't exactly set the world on fire but a fifth round pick has a long road to success. Outside the Watson, I think Peterman may be the most deserving of a chance to play this year, even considering where he was taken.
Kareem Hunt (Chiefs)
Dalvin Cook (Vikings)
I am a fan of James Conner over basically everyone in the whole draft. Being taken by the Steelers is a great story for him but he's behind one of the best in the game so I don't think he'll produce enough to merit consideration for an exercise like this.
Hunt & Cook on the other hand will both have great chances from their rookie mini camps all the way to the start of the regular season to take command of the lead back role on both the Vikings and the Chiefs.
Corey Davis (Titans)
Mike Williams (Chargers)
Cooper Kupp (Rams)
Mack Hollins (Eagles)
Talent & opportunity. Williams and Davis were the high profile members of the Receiver group this year and both will get plenty of chances to be the #1 receiver for their team but there's always the sleepers who surprise.
Kupp was a dominant receiver at Eastern Washington so even though LA-R's quarterbacking is suspect he'll get plenty of targets I think.
Then there was Hollins. I had him going much later in the draft but the Eagles have a young and upcoming quarterback. He'll have to leap frog some experienced receivers but if there's an injury (& there probably will be) he'll have a great chance to contribute.
Evan Engram (Giants)
OJ Howard (Buccaneers)
OJ Howard may be the best of the bunch but with all the targets in Tampa a rookie TE may not get much attention. Even so, I can't pass on his abilities even in year one.
Engram gets a QB who has time and again shown that he likes throwing to tight ends and doesn't have as much competition from route runners.
Ryan Ramczyk (Saints)
Antonio Garcia (Patriots)
Ramczyk will get the chance to protect Brees and create running lanes for AP from day one.
Garcia on the other hand may not start out the year in the rotation but as a dark horse, if he gets some run, he'll have it easier then most because of Brady & the system.
Forrest Lamp (Chargers)
Dan Feeney (Chargers)
I didn't go into this thinking that I would choose a pair of guards from LA-C but of the top ones in the draft I think that playing in front of Rivers could be the most beneficial. Having to block for Melvin Gordon doesn't hurt either.
Pat Elfington (Vikings)
This comes down to the math of it. There were only two rock star Centers in the draft. Probably a sentence no one expected someone to say but nonetheless, rock stars. If it comes down to having to block for Russell Wilson or for Sam Bradford, I'm going with Bradford. Blocking for the cement footed Sooner isn't without challenges but it can't be worse then having to figure out blocking for Mr. Scrambles.
Defensive Backs are crazy deep this year. There are several Safeties that deserve consideration but I'm not swinging for any dark horses this time. Adams and Hooker project to be the best & trying to get the best is what this is all about.
Adoree Jackson (Titans)
Marshon Lattimore (Saints)
Kevin King (Packers)
Jackson may have a great year just as a return man, add any time playing either the outside or the slot and he could be a fast riser among the ranks of the Cornerbacks in the league.
Lattimore & King may not have that versatility but both will make up for that in opportunity. The Saints defense has been filthy for as long as Sean Payton has been the HC but getting a shut down corner could go a long way to improve it.
Similarly, King's Packers are more about the offense then the defense but markedly better then the Saints. The pass rush that they may have would go a long way to helping him from year one.
Haason Reddick (Cardinals)
Zach Cunningham (Texans)
TJ Watt (Steelers)
This boils down to adding good to great players into defenses that are already elite. That may be a stretch for the current Steelers but their defense is middle of the pack at worst. Plugging in more talent can only help all three units improve.
Tak McKinley (Falcons)
Daeshon Hall (Panthers)
Not the highest profile guys in yet another very deep and talented group but the ones with the best chance to make an immediate impact.
McKinley joins the NFC champions with a chance to make a good defense even better.
Likewise, Hall joins another recent Super Bowl contender whose line has been amongst the best for quite some time.
Malik McDowell (Seahawks)
Caleb Brantley (Browns)
McDowell makes it three teams in a row who represented the NFC and upgraded their defensive fronts. In contrast, Brantley joins the laughing stock of professional Football. The Browns are just trying to get it a little bit of positive momentum. I'm amongst those who think this draft was a success for them and may end up being the building block. Brantley will be an important part of that from day 1.
Jabrill Peppers (Browns)
Desmond King (Chargers)
Jabrill is listed as a safety but can literally do anything. If contributions on offense, defense, and special teams wouldn't be enough it's also the number of ways that he may be used just on defense. He alone may make the Browns a team to pay attention to.
King isn't as much of a gadget, but who is?? He is also listed as a safety and concerns about his speed may be founded but I'd put a wager down that he'll also get time as a slot corner.
Versatility is the easiest way to contribute and both those guys have position flexibility.
Jake Elliott (Bengals)
This year had an especially thin number of kickers even worth sniffing a draft pick but I think Elliott will turn out to be the best of all of them.
Taylor Symmank (Vikings)
Punters turn over slowly so rookies don't make an impact too often so I'm going local with the hope that he can beat out the recently signed incumbent.
I opted to go all the way with it but you could go just offense, just defense, whatever variation you want. Then you could compare with friends and see who has the best Football mind...or good fortune. Maybe set up a scoring system and actually play it out like a fantasy league. Anyway, it's all fun and games before shutting down it down for a while!