One advantage to the NFL switching draft formats is that there are only 32 picks on the first day of the NFL draft, unlike past years where the first two rounds dominated the day.
That is going to allow us to do a pick-by-pick analysis of each player and the fantasy impact they will have on each team. We will then put it all together next week when we announce the winners and losers of the NFL draft and release our May rankings.
The draft is a tricky game of fortune. Keep in mind that nobody was screaming at the Chargers when they took QB Ryan Leaf back in 1998. It was not until he hit the field that fans began having buyer's remorse. While everyone feels their favorite team found their next Hall of Famer, in five years most of these guys will be role players or out of the league.
You cannot drastically upgrade or downgrade all of your fantasy rankings because of the draft; rankings have to take a very conservative approach with ranking new college players and observing the changes that were made to teams in the first round.
Let us start with the St. Louis Rams, who started the draft with the first overall pick. In parentheses is the team's record from 2009:
1. St. Louis Rams (1-15) - Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford - I think the Rams did the right thing by staying put and taking the top quarterback in the draft. The Rams are 6-42 since 2007, and they have no franchise quarterback. This pick potentially solves that problem.
Fantasy Impact: I do not think Bradford will be a viable fantasy option in 2010; rarely do rookie quarterbacks do so in their first year. Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan had a fantastic rookie season in 2008 and finished 15th among quarterbacks. I think who it does help is RB Steven Jackson and WR Donnie Avery. The Rams were 28thin passing yards and 29th in passing touchdowns. That should improve in 2010, which could raise their fantasy stock...