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  • Writer's pictureAaron Clanton


Finally, the draft is upon us! It’s the one day of the football calendar that I can enjoy purely as a fan regardless of the outcome. Every team believes they made the best pick, and the discussion between fan bases and media experts hits an all-time high. With some time to look at where the fantasy relevant players landed, let’s recap the 1st round.


It’s no shock that the first two picks were Trevor Lawrence to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Zach Wilson to the New York Jets. Both players should enter as the day one starters, and it would be very surprising if that wasn’t the case. As for the other three first round quarterbacks, they all were drafted to ideal spots. Trey Lance went 3rd to the San Francisco 49ers in the absolute perfect situation for him with head coach Kyle Shanahan. Justin Fields fell a little farther than initially expected but went to the Chicago Bears with the 11th pick due to a trade with the New York Giants. Finally, the Patriots were somehow able to just sit back and have Mac Jones fall into their laps at the 15th pick. There isn’t any one of these situations that I can look at and find major flaws with. Yes, the Jets and Jaguars were the two worst teams last year, but there is a clear path to rebuilding and adding talent especially with the quarterbacks they got. Lance and Fields join teams that struggled last year in large part due to the quarterback play. The biggest question mark is Mac Jones to the Patriots only due to the weapons on offense that are a clear drop-off from his offense at Alabama last year. All five quarterbacks will be the favorites to be starters on opening weekend, but it still might be a little early to place too high a value on their fantasy stock this season.

Running Backs

This is a quick group to talk about as there were only two first round running backs selected. Najee Harris went to the Steelers with the 24th pick, as was predicted in many mock drafts produced by draft analysts. The biggest surprise was Travis Etienne going to the Jaguars at pick 25. With the production from undrafted free agent rookie James Robinson, the Jaguars seemed unlikely to invest heavily in another running back. As for Harris, the Steelers need running back production after the departure of James Conner in free agency. Both Harris and Etienne will have value as fantasy running backs, with Harris getting the big advantage as he has a clear path to immediate snaps. Etienne will most likely be the starter heading into the season seeing as the Jaguars aren’t going to draft him in the first round with the intent of not starting him, but he will split the time with Robinson.

Pass Catchers

Six total pass catchers were selected in the 1st round including five wide receivers and one tight end. Going in order of selection, Kyle Pitts went to the Atlanta Falcons at #4 who get the best tight end and top two pass catcher in the class. The Cincinnati Bengals took Ja’Marr Chase at #5, reuniting him with his former LSU teammate Joe Burrow. Jaylen Waddle went 6th to the Miami Dolphins, also reuniting with former college quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. DeVonta Smith, Heisman trophy winner, fell a little further than expected to the Philadelphia Eagles at #10. The next two wide receivers were my least favorite selections, with Kadarius Toney to the Giants at #20 and Rashod Bateman to the Baltimore Ravens at #27. Toney doesn’t make sense due to the talent already on the Giants roster and the investment they got during the offseason. Bateman to the Ravens makes sense from the Ravens roster building perspective, but I don’t like the fit for Bateman as a fantasy option. The first four pass catchers all come into situations that allow them to be big time fantasy options early and often while the latter two have much deeper waters to wade through in order to achieve fantasy stardom.

While there are still six more rounds in this year’s draft, most fantasy relevant options have been selected. There will be players that come off the board in day two and three that will make impacts, but we’ll have to wait to find out. Stay tuned for more about the rookies and their landing spots in future articles, but until then, stay dreamin’!

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