This is the final look at the draft recap for the 2012 draft. In the previous edition of this post, we looked at the player expected to make the biggest impact in their first year with the team. We will be looking at offensive and defensive players that will impact your daily fantasy football team in the 2012-2013 season. Most of these players will be first or second round draft picks, as teams typically use a pick on a player they expect to contribute right away in these rounds.
Matt Kalil, OT: The Vikings picked up the next great left tackle in the NFL. Kalil is a monster and he should help keep Christian Ponder from getting sacked on a regular basis. He has NFL bloodlines, so that is key. Kalil should make Ponder a low cost start when you are looking for the cheap QB to offset your RB and WR players.
New England Patriots
Dont’a Hightower, ILB: Hightower was one of the best defensive players in the country last year for the National Champions. This year he should be the starting strongside linebacker for the New England Patriots. The Patriots had an atrocious defense last year, so spending two first round picks on the position was absolutely necessary. Hightower alone won’t help the Patriots jump into the top ten, but the addition of Chandler Jones and Steve Gregory should help solidify a porous defense.
New Orleans Saints
Akiem Hicks, DT: I do not know much about Hicks, but I do know that the Saints are going to miss some players on defense thanks to the Bounty Scandal. Hicks can be a solid backup this year and can help prevent a major drop off on the defensive side of the ball for the Saints.
New York Giants
Rueben Randle, WR: The Giants lost the man who helped them win last year’s Superbowl with an amazing catch along the sideline. Luckily for the Giants, they picked up an offensive stud who could replace Manningham immediately, albeit without the same stat lines. Randle is a very fast receiver, but he had issues against the top corners in college last year. As a slot receiver, he would be able to use his quickness against average corners, which is something that could make Randle a very dangerous WR option this season. We won’t know for sure until the preseason, but Randle could make some noise this fall.
New York Jets
Stephen Hill, WR: Georgia Tech wide receivers have a huge flaw; they don’t possess great route running skills. However, route running can be taught. Freakish athletic ability on the other hand requires having some luck during the fertilization process. Stephen Hill will definitely face some growing pains, but he has the talent to become the number one receiver on this Jets team. He could be a surprise toward the end of the year.
Tony Bergstram, OG: Oakland traded a bounty of picks to Cinncinatti for Carson Palmer last year. The team did well to protect Palmer from getting sacked, however he was pressured constantly, which led to 10 interceptions on hurried passes. Bergstram is in the running to win the right guard job. The incumbent is so mediocre that I couldn’t find his name anywhere.
Mychal Kendricks, SAM: Mychal Kendricks could be the answer for the Eagles’ linebacker and tackling issues. He has the speed to keep up with tight ends, and the tackling fortitude to keep running backs from wreaking havoc on the Eagles defense. Kendricks is the best-rounded linebacker on the Eagles’ roster. With the other additions made on the defense, expect this Eagles’ team to be in the top ten this year.
David DeCastro, G: This could be the steal of the first round. DeCastro was expected to be a top twelve pick. He slid based on the fact that teams do not really value the guard position that much. DeCastro is a great run blocker, and the Steelers love to run. What does this mean? Whoever wins the starting running back in Pittsburgh could light it up early on next season.
San Diego Chargers
Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB: Ingram is a great pass rusher. The Chargers needed a stud pass rusher. Norv Turner has one year left to make this team get back to the playoffs, so expect his defense to take a lot of risks. I expect this unit to be a top ten sack unit in the NFL next season and Ingram will help make that happen.
San Francisco 49ers
LaMichael James, RB: Sure he is undersized and played in a funky offense, but this boy can run. James is a great change of pace back for the Niner offense and special teams units. Given how they lost a chance to go to the Superbowl thanks to two fumbles on punt returns, it was to be expected that they burn a pick on a punt returner. With Frank Gore getting older and Alex Smith still being a mediocre quarterback, the team needs to get some RB depth. Enter James.
Russell Wilson, QB: I didn’t like any of the Seahawks picks, primarily since I think they could have drafted the same players a round or two later. I chose Russell Wilson because I can see him winning the job in training camp, or by the end of the year. He has to beat out two veterans, but with Pete Carroll you never know what to expect. With a run heavy offense, he may prefer the short, fast QB.
St. Louis Rams
Janoris Jenkins, CB: Before the draft, I wrote about how I thought Janoris Jenkins was worthy of a first round pick and that any team that drafted him would be getting a stud corner. Well, it looks like the Rams just got a stud corner. He will start by the end of the year, and do not be surprised when the Rams defense is top 12 this year.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Doug Martin, RB: The Giants wanted Martin at pick 32, so the Bucs traded up to 31 and snagged Martin. Martin was considered the best all-around running back in the draft. Meaning he could pass block, break tackles, get the short yards, and hit the home run. Blount is a solid back, but he does not really offer much in terms of pass blocking. Expect the Bucs to make Martin the focus of their offense or at the least, on third down.
Kendall Wright, WR: Whoever wins the QB battle in Tennessee has to like the arsenal of weapons Bud Adams has put together. With Chris Johnson in the backfield, teams will be cheating a bit to contain CJ2K. Wright can play inside or outside and is the deep threat the team has lacked in the past. He complements the other receivers well and he will be able to step in to play if someone gets injured.
Robert Griffen III, QB: RB3 was easily my favorite player in this draft. He has everything you would want in a quarterback, and he was raised well by his parents. No history of violence, drugs, or criminal activity. He can run really fast, jump really high, and throw a great deep ball. I finally decided he was going to be a star after the comeback against Oklahoma last year. He bought time in the pocket, then planted his feet and threw a perfect pass to the end zone. Game over.