What a draft it was. Teams where swapping picks like hippies did partners in the seventies. And it changed the future for some NFL teams. In what ways remains to be seen.
Rams traded up to the one spot and picked, what they hope and believe is their franchise face of the future, Quarterback Jared Goff. Rams is moving from St Louis to Los Angeles and they needed the buzz from an overall number one picked QB. Los Angeles Rams paid a hefty price, but the move made sense.
Tennessee Titans drafted their QB of the future Marcus Mariota last year and so far he looks very promising. Titans got a lot of picks from Rams and if they can translate them into good players they will be competitive in two or three years time.
Philadelphia Eagles has been like the circus of NFL for a few years, and I don’t mean like dancing elephants but more like slipping clowns. They have the 2010 draft first overall pick Sam Bradford as their QB, and they pay him a lot for the privilege. It didn’t make any sense for any outside the organization to trade away all those picks to move up for the number two spot in the draft. Obviously they loved QB Carson Wentz and equally obvious they knew that Rams where picking Goff.
Cleveland Browns don’t have a franchise QB, but I liked their trade with Eagles. Apparently they didn’t like the prospect of Wents and they have an interesting future ahead if they can score with their extra picks in 2017 draft that everybody (except Eagles) agrees is superior to this one.
Left Tackle is a very important position in football. Teams like to draft good ones very high. Because they are hard to find, cost a lot of money when proven and breaks down from tear and wear earlier than those at some other positions. Laremy Tunsil was considered the best Left Tackle prospect in several years and was the consensus of being the best available player in the whole draft. But somebody hacked his twitter account just hours before the draft and published a video where he took a hit of weed in a gas mask. Ridiculously enough that was all it took for several teams to not draft him because of possible character issues.
First of all, the teams should’ve done their homework earlier, second of all, like not half the players in NFL has done the same thing, and third of all, a lot of evidence points in the other direction – that Laremy Tunsil is a good kid.
He lost millions of dollars and was publically humiliated, but those kind of things can motivate and turn things into something very positive. Miami Dolphins got him with the 13th pick and got the steal of the draft. Despite what some “experts” says Laremy Tunsil also fills one of Dolphins biggest needs. Their O-line have surrendered the most sacks the last three seasons and all of a sudden QB Ryan Tannenhill is a killer sleeper with an amazing and very undervalued bunch of Wide Receivers in Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills and rookie Leonte Carro.
Myles Jacks is arguably one of the most athletic prospects in this class. But he slid in the draft too, because of durability concerns after a season-ending torn meniscus this past fall. He was considered a top-five prospect, was definitely a top-five talent and his medical reports are positive. The Dolphins would have picked him at 13th if Tunsil had been available. Instead he fell all the way to 36th where Jacksonville Jaguars got one hell of a player. The Dolphins tried to move up, but they should have tried harder. Especially since they have big holes in the secondary.
Jaguars have been one of the worst teams for years, but looks really improved. I was tempted to put an investment on them at 83-1 to win the Super Bowl, because that’s how good a draft they had. But it takes time for new players to get accustomed to the speed of NFL and it takes time for a D to gel and the Jags have a killer schedule the first four weeks so I passed.
Jaguars stockpiled defensive players in the draft. Myles Jack has pro bowl-talent as a Linebacker, their number five-pick Jalen Ramsey the same as a Corner Back or Safety. 69th Yannick Ngakoue DE/OLB, 103rd Sheldon Day DT and 181th Sheldon Day DE/OLB all look very promising as well.
Add to that free agent acquisitions CB Prince Amukamara, S Tashaun Gipson and perhaps the crown jewel of the free agency DE/DT Malik Jackson and you have a defense that will improve immensely.
On top of that you have DT Sen’Drick Marks and DE Dante Fowler both coming back from long term injuries that spoiled last season. Fowler was last years 3rd overall pick and the first none-QB. You could say that Jags have three top-three overall picks, excluding QB:s, as rookies this year. They could be really good.
I’m not drafting the Jaguars D this year to my fantasy team, but I will monitor them closely and probably be all over them next season.
Unfortunately the talent level of the D spoils the potential of the offence fantasy potential, which is to bad since the trio QB Blake Bortles, WR Allen Robinson and WR Allen Hurns is a very talented and potent trio.
My fantasy league is a 14-team PPR auction league with three WR:s. If you miss out on a expensive RB you are in trouble, as I was with Jeremy Hill and it looked like I was going to miss the play off. But I had WR Allen Robinson and I knew that the Jaguars had very juicy match ups week 14-16.
I had RB Todd Gurley that looked like the best fantasy machine in the league. Actually he was, but I had depth at RB and no QB. I got WR 1 DeAndre Hopkins together with QB Bortles and WR Hurns för Gurley and a WR with the same value as Hurns. DeAndre Hopkins out produced Todd Gurley down the stretch. With my Jaguars trio I slaughtered in the play off and won a back-to-back championship against star-studded teams with bad match-ups.
Today’s fantasy lessons are:
- Don’t forget the match-ups. They are very important, especially in the play off.
- Never give up. If it looks bleak during mid-season you need to be creative in trades, be willing to gamble and be bold.
- Look beyond the obvious. There are a lot of good rankings out there, but they all kind of look the same. You find the gems by thinking outside the box.