First Round Instant Reactions

Check back in during the draft as we respond instantly to the draft results of first round skill position players and other moves with dynasty impact.

Blog posts by Karl Safchick (@KarlSafchick), Josh Callander (@JoshCallan23), Jesse Patterson (@df_patterson), Shane Burnett (@SpartacusPTech), and Jacob Gehl (@_JacobGehl).

David Njoku, TE CLE

Evan Engram, TE NYG

We’ve been waiting on a tight end to emerge in the Meadowlands, but talk in the past year has turned from getting weapons to Eli Manning to whether Manning will be around to develop them. His quick fall from grace last year is something to watch and will keep me from investing in any fantasy players on the Giants until a line of succession is in place. Engram was a late first round rookie pick before the NFL draft and drops to an early second for me (assuming other players in that range are drafted to good or neutral situations).

– Jacob Gehl

O.J. Howard, TE TBB

Howard was not a player I was particularly high on as a fantasy selection going into the draft due to his blocking ability – he’s simply too good at it for him not to be utilized to block even in the passing game. Going to a team with another tight end in Cameron Brate who is already utilized by the team as well as multiple talented wide receivers, Howard seems unlikely for either immediate or huge production. With Tampa’s emphasis on the running game to end the year, I’m not seeing much opportunity for Howard to flourish.

– Jacob Gehl

Jameis Winston. Doug Martin. Mike Evans. DeSean Jackson. Howard. This Buccaneers offense is going to be fire in 2017. Winston has needed a dominant receiver over the middle of a defense and Howard provides that. Howard has elite speed for a tight end and also improves the running game of the offense with his blocking ability. Is Jameis Winston the Matt Ryan of 2017?

– Josh Callander

DeShaun Watson, QB HOU

Watson walks into the perfect situation for a rookie quarterback, handing off to Lamar Miller and throwing balls up to DeAndre Hopkins. After years of throwing balls up to Mike Williams, he’ll get the superior player in Hopkins to target. Hopkins has the separation ability that Williams lacks while being at least his equal in body control. Sell on Will Fuller now, though, as Watson has never completely proven his ability to throw the deep ball and has always had a favorite target in college. His 49 mile per hour throw velocity is not going to get it done downfield.

– Jacob Gehl

This is my favourite of all the quarterback landing spots so far (even over Mahomes to the Chiefs) as DeShaun Watson comes in as an immediate starter (don’t kid yourself, Tom Savage is not real). The offensive weapons in Houston are really exciting, DeAndre Hopkins will become a target monster for the rookie quarterback, Miller is a credible run game which can be used to support Watson, and Braxton Miller and Fuller are really exciting prospects with incredible athletic ability. This is a really exciting, young offense and Watson will force dynasty owners into some moral conundrums about how high they are willing to take a quarterback.

– Josh Callander

Patrick Mahomes, QB KCC

This is still Alex Smith’s team in 2017,  but the Chiefs can save $17 million if Smith isn’t on the roster in 2018. Mahomes has an outrageous deep ball and can throw from any platform from any place on the field with accuracy. Mahomes could lead the Chiefs to a Super Bowl but needs a year sitting and learning behind an established starter. Andy Reid is the dream coach to nurture Mahomes and I think he will go in the 1.01-1.05 in superflex drafts (and certainly higher than Trubisky).

John Ross, WR CIN

We have a run on wide receivers! John Ross is a speed demon and certainly adds a new dimension to the Bengals offense. My immediate question, what does this do the roles of Tyler Boyd and Brandon LaFell? Is Ross the WR2 that A.J. Green has always needed? These are two questions which we will have to wait to find answers on but this seems very early for Ross, especially given his medical history. A tremendous athlete, Ross holds so much potential as an offensive weapon but I’m just not sure what his role is in the Bengals offense. He’ll go first round in dynasty drafts but I’m avoiding.

– Josh Callander

Christian McCaffrey, RB CAR

Christian McCaffrey will now compete with Corey Davis for the 1.01 in dynasty rookie drafts. He joins an offense in which the quarterback can not only open up holes in the running game with his arm but also with his legs. The ever aging Jonathan Stewart is currently his only competition for touches, so McCaffrey has a safe floor and high ceiling for volume in Carolina.

– Karl Safchick

Mike Williams, WR LAC

Outside of the auxiliary weapons (Tyrell Williams, Dontrelle Inman) I’m looking to buy anything I can get my hands on in the Chargers offense. Rivers is a good quarterback who has shown the ability to support numerous offensive weapons despite not always performing as a QB1 himself in fantasy. Moreso, this shows a complete commitment to the offense in his final years on the team, which should result in frequent shootouts and high yardage totals as the Chargers look to prop up an underperforming defense. Hunter HenryKeenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Melvin Gordon should all benefit from a team that will both want and need to score to compete at all.

– Jacob Gehl

Corey Davis, WR TEN

The question on Davis has never been how much the dynasty community has loved him, he’s been consistently a top rookie pick since dynasty twitter became draft twitter following the Super Bowl. What we have wondered is how much the NFL will appreciate him, as the question at large was what his status as a MAC wide receiver and no-show at the combine would do to his draft stock. Clearly that didn’t matter to Tennessee, and should solidify him as the 1.01/1.02 in rookie drafts.

– Jacob Gehl

Corey Davis has had an ankle injury since the college season ended and wasn’t able to participate in the Combine. Last week he came out and said he was only a few weeks away from full mobility and you like to think the Titans will have spent a lot of time around him. He is a true playmaker and possession receiver and will give Marcus Mariota a legitimate WR1. My rookie season projection for Davis: is 80 receptions, 1000 , ards and 7 touchdowns. I’m buying Davis in dynasty drafts where possible.

– Josh Callander

Leonard Fournette, RB JAX

A traditional power runner, Leonard Fournette will certainly bring the boom to the Jacksonville offense. The game plan will shift to focus more on the run game and reduce the responsibilities of Blake Bortles (who is definitely a ditch candidate in dynasty). Fournette does join a crowded backfield: TJ Yeldon will maintain his change of pace role but the touches for Chris Ivory should significantly diminish. Fournette will be asked to run between the tackles and is guaranteed 20 touches per game. Not his dream scenario (that offensive line is not great) but in a volatile running back world can you ignore the potential of a featured back?

– Josh Callander

Fournette to the Jacksonville Jaguars is not really a surprise here if you’ve been following the chatter leading up to the draft. If you already had Fournette as your 1.01 I think this pick solidifies him as that pick. Yes, the Jaguars need some help on the offensive line, but Fournette should be able to find some early success as he should get plenty of work with his downhill running style. This keeps his dynasty value as high as many were hoping for.

– Shane Burnett

Mitchell Trubisky, QB CHI

I’m baffled by this transaction. This roster is depleted and the depth in this defensive class you would have been able to pick up a starter, maybe even two, at 67 and 111. Nonetheless – Mitchell Trubisky is now a Bear and joins Mike Glennon in the quarterback room in Chicago. Clearly, the front office and coaches have faith in a player who has only made 13 career starts. The Glennon deal is really just a 1-year stop-gap option and I’m not worried about the finances of this. Trubisky is in all likelihood a year two guaranteed starter. That might be worth a selection in a rookie dynasty format but it doesn’t inspire confidence at all.

– Josh Callander

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