Green Bay Packers:
The Packers didn’t need to do much offense, so they focused on their defensive weaknesses; grabbing S Damarious Randall from Arizona St and CB Quinten Rollins from Miami, OH with their first two picks. They are both talented and have high ceilings, especially the athletic Rollins who is a convert to basketball and has great footwork and jumping ability. With their fourth pick, they got a solid pick in the form of Michigan’s LB Jake Ryan. You will contribute immediately. They added depth to the offense by choosing Stanford’s WR Ty Montgomery. With WR Randall Cobb winning paydirt with a new $ 40 million 4-year contract, replacing him in the payback game is a good idea and Montgomery is the player who can do that, in addition to taking on the WR4 position.
With their fifth pick, the Packers took QB Brett Hundley. Hundley was grouped with 5 other quarterbacks that many thought would go in the second or third round. Putting him in the fifth round is an absolute steal. If they can prepare him like they did Rodgers for a few seasons, he could be ready to contribute as a starter. It’s far from polished, so this is the best situation to start your NFL career. In a few years, if Rodgers is healthy and going strong, he should wait for a Matt Flynn situation to get a chance to jump ship and lead a different team … but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.
Fantasy Openers: QB Aaron Rodgers, RB Eddie Lacy, WR Jordy Nelson, WR Randall Cobb
Fantasy bench: WR Devante Adams, Green Bay D
Sleeping Fantasy: WR Ty Montgomery
The Vikings played tough on RB Adrian Peterson and appear to be able to retain him for 2015. With him in place, the Vikings felt quite good about their offense under QB Teddy Bridgewater after acquiring WR Mike Wallace. Because of that comfort level, the Vikings used their first three picks on defense. They recruited CB Trae Waynes in the first round from Michigan St followed by LB Eric Kendricks from UCLA. Those two players will start immediately. LSU’s third-round pick Danielle Hunter doesn’t have a lot of experience, but she will grow in her DE position. With double picks in rounds 5-7, the Vikings were also able to strengthen their offensive line by catching Pittsburgh tackle TJ Clemmings in the fourth round. It’s a steal if your foot problems don’t persist. They also added TE MyCole Pruittin in the fifth round from Southern Illinois, T Tyrus Thompson in the sixth round from Oklahoma and T Austin Shepherd from Alabama in the seventh round. These guys are space eaters and provide excellent depth with a good chance for plenty of playtime early in their careers.
Aside from the top offensive position players listed, the Vikings are deep and young with RBs Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata and WRs Charles Johnson, Cordarrelle Patterson (perhaps a return to glory after breaking under pressure last year) , Jarius Wright and rookie Stefon Diggs. This is definitely a rising team with a good chance of making the playoffs this season.
Fantasy Starters: RB Adrian Peterson, WR Mike Wallace, Vikings D
Fantasy Bank: QB Teddy Bridgewater, WR Charles Johnson, TE Kyle Rudolph
Sleeping Fantasy: WR Cordarrelle Patterson
The Lions need help on the line on either side of the ball and only targeted one of them, the offensive line. They acquired C Manny Ramirez from Denver in a draft day trade and selected G Laken Tomlinson from Duke with their first-round pick. They also added a one-man mountain in T Corey Robinson in the seventh round from South Carolina for extra depth. His defensive line took a big hit in the offseason with the loss of Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley in free agency. To replace them, they only used one of their draft picks; Auburn’s fourth-round pick Gabe Wright. Fortunately, they were able to sign DT Haloti Ngata away from Baltimore to anchor their defense. Stanford third-round pick Alex Carter should provide some help at his high school going forward.
Offensively, Detroit lost RB Reggie Bush in free agency, but added RB Ameer Abdullah of Nebraska. This kid can shake and bake on full steam and will be the perfect addition to the current Joique Bell. Other than that they are solid in QB and WR. The second push on offense will be if TE Eric Ebron can really deliver this year. Although he was a rookie last season, many of us expected him to be a bigger part of the offense last year and only managed 25 receptions and 1 TD.
Fantasy Openers: QB Matthew Stafford, RB Joique Bell, WR Calvin Johnson, WR Golden Tate
Fantasy Bank: RB Ameer Abdullah, Detroit D
Sleeping Fantasy: TE Eric Ebron
As a Bears fan, I was sick of the “defense” they put on the field last year. It was legendarily bad; low in talent, high in age and riddled with players whose IQ did not exceed the number on his jersey (see LaMarr Houston). However, after the Jets sacked DE Leonard Williams, I knew the Bears would pick West Virginia’s WR Kevin White. Don’t get me wrong, this kid breaks the game and will be the perfect running mate for WR Alshon Jeffery. However, it looks like 2015 will be another offensive season that will need to put in 30 or more to have a chance to win. After watching his post-draft interviews, White is going to be a complete reversal of WR Brandon Marshall’s bitterness. The boy is delighted to be in Chicago. I certainly hope your attitude spreads. Of course, he will collide with the immovable force on QB Jay Cutler’s stoic facade and will undoubtedly fail. Cutler’s face shows the same amount of enthusiasm that I showed when I heard that Chicago was the home of President Obama’s library.
With the rest of their picks not large enough in numbers to make up for this team’s shortcomings, the Bears got a quality player every round that will make an impact. Second-round pick, DT Eddie Goldman of Florida St, will be a great fit in the Bears’ new 3-4 defense and help fill the race. His offensive line and defensive secondary have been sore points for years and Oregon third-round pick Hroniss Grasu and Penn St fifth-round pick S Adrian Amos will provide the necessary depth. Fourth-round pick RB Jeremy Langford from Michigan St seems more like a “best player available” pick than a necessity, but I really like the kid. If Matt Forte ends up being a distraction from the contract, it’ll be nice to have Langford ready to hook up.
The Bears have a new coaching staff, again, and they are switching to a new defensive scheme. It certainly can’t be worse than last year. They have lost some long-term players in Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs, but they added Antrel Rolle of the New York Giants and LB Pernell McPhee of Baltimore through free agency to replace them. So the drive has to work better, right?
Fantasy Openers: QB Jay Cutler, RB Matt Forte, WR Alshon Jeffery, WR Kevin White, TE Martellus Bennett
Fantasy Bank: WR Eddie Royal
Sleeping Fantasy: WR Marquess Wilson