2008 NFL Draft Analysis

by KFFL Staff on April 26, 2008 @ 10:41:15 PDT

 


KFFL will dissect each pick with running analysis, so stay with us throughout the 2008 NFL Draft's first round to understand the impact of each pick.

Pick 1:01

Miami Dolphins: Jake Long, Offensive Tackle, University of Michigan

Long is a mauler as a run blocker and is better than average as a pass blocker. The Dolphins will have the decision to make of whether Long is a left tackle or a right tackle, because some feel he is better suited for the right side of the line. We don't buy into that at all, due in part to offensive tackle Vernon Carey hasn't shown a lot at left tackle for the Dolphins. KFFL feels this was the safest pick that Miami could have made with all of the holes the team needed to fill.

Fantasy Football Impact: Long should immediate upgrade the run blocking of the Dolphins, helping pave the way for running backs Ronnie Brown (knee) and Ricky Williams (chest).

Pick 1:02

St. Louis Rams: Chris Long, Defensive End, University of Virginia

Long, son of NFL Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long, dominated in a 4-3 scheme in college and projects to start opposite of veteran defensive end Leonard Little. Strong worth ethic and character are definite positives, as is the fact he never missed a game during his college days. While he is a great athlete, there is some fear his 6-foot-3, 275-pound frame could be manhandled by larger linemen in the NFL. However, playing opposite of Little will provide less double teams. While Long fills an immediate need on defense, KFFL felt Louisiana State University defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey may have made more sense to shore up the interior of their run defense.

Fantasy Football Impact: Long brings an immediate high-motor element to the Rams defense, which should be considered an asset to this typically underachieving group. Don't expect to see the Rams' defense ascend to new fantasy heights with him on board right away, but his addition is a step in the right direction.

Pick 1:03

Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan, Quarterback, Boston College

Ryan was considered by most to be the best signal caller in the draft. He has been praised for his leadership skills, decision-making ability and poise. However, this season's quarterback class appears relatively weak, so the selection of Ryan is a bit of a reach; it seems merely to be the team's choice by default. The Falcons need to move in a new direction, particularly at passer, after the Michael Vick fiasco. It's not a sexy pick, and it's not an extremely safe pick, but it makes sense.

Fantasy Football Impact: Atlanta named Chris Redman the starter for the season-opener. Offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey runs a pro-style offense, so Ryan may need some time to adjust. He'll have little fantasy value unless he assumes starting duties later in the season.

Pick 1:04

Oakland Raiders: Darren McFadden, Running Back, University of Arkansas

McFadden is an electrifying athlete and clearly opened the eyes of the Raiders brass with his unbelievable measurables, most notably his 4.33 speed. McFadden will enter what appears to be a crowded backfield, but look for the Raiders to trim some fat no later than the June 1 cuts. Running back LaMont Jordan is expected to be the first to go, and it wouldn't be a huge shock to see veteran tailback Dominic Rhodes shown the door, too. The Raiders probably would have been better suited to draft Louisiana State defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey to shore up a bigger need, but managing general partner Al Davis apparently couldn't help himself once again when it came to drafting a high-profile offensive talent.

Fantasy Football Impact: McFadden has legitimate fantasy value from Day 1. However, his role is yet to be clearly defined, so we say to reserve judgment for the time being. At worst, McFadden is a No. 3 fantasy back heading into your draft. He likely will share the backfield with Rhodes, Justin Fargas or Michael Bush, depending upon who the team cuts. Don't expect McFadden to be the next Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings running back) in his rookie year, but he could prevail as a No. 2 fantasy contributor at the position.

Pick 1:05

Kansas City Chiefs: Glenn Dorsey, Defensive Tackle, Louisiana State

The Chiefs grabbed an overwhelming value at the No. 5 slot. Widely considered the most talented player overall in this year's class, Dorsey fulfills the Chiefs' pressing need for a run-stopping tackle. He gives them a more physical presence with his raw power and burst from the line of scrimmage. His motor and long arms often help him produce matchup problems at the line, even in double teams. Dorsey fits Kansas City's system, and this choice fills a need. Consider the division's teams with strong running attacks: the San Diego Chargers, the Oakland Raiders' new multi-head monster and the Denver Broncos.

Fantasy Football Impact: Dorsey should offer some stability along the defensive line and help to improve the Chiefs' run defense, which ranked 28th in the league last year. This won't make them worthy of consideration in fantasy drafts, but the presence of Dorsey might make them at least an occasional one-week play against weaker rushing teams in 2008.

Pick 1:06

New York Jets: Vernon Gholston, Outside Linebacker, Ohio State

Gholston was considered one of the top pass-rushing talents - ne, one of the top talents - in this year's draft. He's athletic, fast and incredibly strong. He also has a number of pass-rushing moves in his arsenal, making him more than just a bull rusher. He's the kind of player who can come in and have an immediate impact on defense. Gholston is undersized for a defensive end and still has a long way to go to become a complete linebacker, but neither of these is likely a concern for the Jets. This is a great pick.

Fantasy Football Impact: As mentioned, Gholston shouldn't take long to have an effect. The Jets finished in the top 10 in pass defense, but they finished in the bottom 10 in sacks and had trouble forcing turnovers. Gholston is a step in the right direction.

Pick 1:07

New Orleans Saints: Sedrick Ellis, Defensive Tackle, University of Southern California

Despite being ideally fit for a nose tackle due to his two-gap style of play, Ellis should step in right away as a starter in the interior for the Saints. His 6-foot 1/2, 309-pound frame is compact, but rather small for the position. He makes up for this on the field with intelligence and ability to beat double teams to get after opposing quarterbacks. Considering stopping the run has been an issue, trading up to acquire Ellis made sense. Plus, the Saints had tried to trade up to No. 2 overall previously, perhaps to draft Louisiana State defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey. Ellis will bring a high motor and intensity to the Saints defense. There is some fear about past injuries, as he missed significant amounts of time in 2003 and 2006 for the Trojans.

Fantasy Football Impact: As a rookie, it will be tough to depend on Ellis in IDP leagues. However, his addition to the Saints defense as a whole is a positive because he should help fill a major gap in the run-stuffing department. Even with that in mind, this isn't a sexy addition by any means, so don't expect the Saints "D" to go from pauper to prince overnight.

Pick 1:08

Jacksonville Jaguars: Derrick Harvey, Defensive End, University of Florida

The Jaguars traded the farm to the Baltimore Ravens (two third-round picks and a fourth- after swapping first-rounders) to move up from the No. 26 overall pick for Harvey. A fierce pass rusher, Harvey fills an immediate need. The Jaguars seemingly gave up a little too much to move up that many picks, but that is what it costs to make such a move in the draft. If Harvey pans out this move will make the Jags front office look like geniuses, but if the pick backfires the team probably won't hear the end of it for some time.

Fantasy Football Impact: Harvey should immediately upgrade their fantasy value as a team. The Jaguars have sorely lacked a pass rusher for the past few years, and Harvey could be the missing piece to an already stout defense. For individual defensive player leagues, Harvey shouldn't be selected in most formats.

Pick 1:09

Cincinnati Bengals: Keith Rivers, Linebacker, University of Southern California

The Bengals have been trying, largely in vain, to shed their issues with poor character. After the release of receiver Chris Henry and the selection of Rivers, they are certainly moving in the right direction. Rivers has everything a football team wants in a linebacker: versatility, intelligence, well-roundedness and playmaking ability. He's a strong and sure tackler. He has only mild durability concerns and a tendency to be overaggressive. This is a great selection for a Cincinnati defense that needs to improve in multiple areas.

Fantasy Football Impact: The Bengals defense should benefit greatly from the addition of an impact player like Rivers. However, it isn't likely to make them a draftable fantasy defense because Cincinnati still needs help in other areas. Rivers should be an immediate contributor in IDP leagues.

Pick 1:10

New England Patriots: Jerod Mayo, Linebacker, University of Tennessee

The Patriots linebacking corps needed a youthful injection; the team let Rosevelt Colvin go this offseason, and Junior Seau remains in limbo. New England's linebackers often were overmatched and looked worn down late in the season. The versatile Mayo will likely inhabit an inside position in the team's 3-4 setup, allowing veteran Mike Vrabel to slide to his more natural outside position. Mayo's inside presence should help New England to hold up against the run and allow them to stay afloat in man coverage.

Fantasy Football Impact: New England becomes much quicker in coverage with Mayo's arrival; the Patriots were already a top fantasy defense, and Mayo should help them keep that status. Mayo's open-field tackling ability could be of service from the waiver wire in deep IDP leagues.

Pick 1:11

Buffalo Bills: Leodis McKelvin, Cornerback, Troy University

The Bills had a hole to fill at cornerback and received a solid value on McKelvin, who was projected to be as high as No. 6 overall by some evaluators. The Bills gain a player that can stick with just about any receiver in the league in terms of speed and agility, but McKelvin could struggle to learn a complex defensive scheme. The biggest asset that McKelvin brings to the table to separate himself from other cornerbacks in this draft class is his immeasurable value as a returns specialist, which is also an area of need.

Fantasy Football Impact: McKelvin doesn't necessarily upgrade the Bills defense enough to make them a viable No. 1 fantasy defense, but Buffalo is on the right track and could be considered an upside No. 2 fantasy defense. McKelvin should be avoided in IDP leagues due to the initial struggles most corners experience.

Pick 1:12

Denver Broncos: Ryan Clady, Offensive Tackle, Boise State

After Jake Long, Clady was considered the best offensive tackle on the board. He's a character guy, something that the Broncos have somewhat quietly but undoubtedly sorely lacked. He brings great size and athleticism to a Denver offensive line that has been revered for its dominance, particularly in the running game. In the past couple of seasons, though, the Broncos were getting by with mediocre talent and coming up with patchwork solutions. Clady fills an immediate need because long-time offensive tackle Matt Lepsis retired. In addition, Pro Bowl center Tom Nalen (biceps) is coming off a serious injury. Clady fits Denver's zone-blocking scheme extremely well, so this was a sensible pick.

Fantasy Football Impact: Fantasy owners know that Denver is, year in and year out, a source of fantasy points at running back; they just don't always know who it will be. Clady eventually should help propel the Broncos back into the elite class of rushing teams while providing 2006 first-round quarterback Jay Cutler with a pillar of protection.

Pick 1:13

Carolina Panthers: Jonathan Stewart, Running Back, University of Oregon

In what was a bit of a surprise, the Panthers drafted Stewart (toe) higher than most people expected he would go. A premier talent, KFFL grades Stewart as the best running back in this year's draft class. At 5-foot-10 1/2, 235 pounds, Stewart is a bruiser who has finesse moves and enough speed to be deceivingly fast. Carolina wasn't content with DeAngelo Williams as the No. 1 running back, so picking Stewart allows head coach John Fox to go back to his roots of a power-running offense. This was a smart choice for the Panthers, but they probably could have traded down in the first round to choose him.

Fantasy Football Impact: Stewart should be 100 percent healthy by training camp. Look for him to be the No. 1 back and share time with Williams, which will cannibalize the fantasy value of both players. Until more is known about this situation, reserve judgment. Stewart should be considered a strong No. 3 - with the potential to be a serviceable No. 2 - fantasy back if he is to win the majority of the carries.

Pick 1:14

Chicago Bears: Chris Williams, Offensive Tackle, Vanderbilt University

The selection of Williams was perhaps slightly surprising, but it was no secret that Chicago was interested in offensive linemen. The Bears released offensive tackle Fred Miller and seemed to have no intention of re-signing offensive guard Ruben Brown. University of Pittsburgh offensive tackle Jeff Otah may have been a more logical pick. Williams is a very good pass blocker, but he may be a better fit for the right side of the line. The good news is that the Bears can move offensive tackle John Tait to the left side, where he has plenty of experience.

Fantasy Football Impact: This move isn't likely to have much of a fantasy impact. Williams has questionable run-blocking ability, so running back Cedric Benson and Co. might still find the going tough considering who departed. Whoever is at quarterback should have ample time to operate.

Pick 1:15

Kansas City Chiefs: Branden Albert, Offensive Guard/Tackle, University of Virginia

The Chiefs clearly needed offensive line help, and Albert is a powerful run blocker. He has the versatility to play offensive guard or tackle on either side of the center. Albert should start at left tackle for the Chiefs from Day 1, moving veteran Damion McIntosh to right tackle. The selection of Albert makes sense for the Chiefs.

Fantasy Football Impact: Albert should pave the way for the running back Larry Johnson (foot) to enjoy a productive return from an injury-shortened 2007 campaign. Albert shouldn't matter much in the Chiefs' efforts to improve passing game, but that is not to say he isn't a capable pass blocker.

Pick 1:16

Arizona Cardinals: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Cornerback, Tennessee State

The small-school workout warrior gives the Cardinals a good matchup for tall receivers. Rodgers-Cromartie stood out at the NFL Scouting Combine with his dynamic vertical leap and long arms; he possesses similar qualities to those of his cousin, San Diego Chargers corner Antonio Cromartie. Despite his 184-pound frame, he's a solid open-field tackler. The Cardinals needed more reliable depth for a defense that ranked 28th against the pass last season. Expect him to start out as the team's nickel back before eventually supplanting either Roderick Hood or, less likely, Eric Green.

Fantasy Football Impact: Don't expect another version of New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis. First-year cornerbacks don't normally factor into IDP leagues because of their adjustment period to new schemes. Rodgers-Cromartie slightly upgrades the Cardinals secondary, but he could be a more productive fantasy player if and when he becomes a starter.

Pick 1:17

Detroit Lions: Gosder Cherilus, Offensive Guard, Boston College

In what was another harebrained draft day move by the Lions, the team traded down two picks in what seemed to be a good deal and drafted Cherilus at No. 17 overall, which doesn't seem like such a good move. Cherilus is a right tackle, which is a position of need for the Lions, but he isn't necessarily the best right tackle in the draft. With a glaring need at running back and the University of Illinois' Rashard Mendenhall still on the board, this selection seems foolish.

Fantasy Football Impact: Cherilus should be a starter from the onset of the season, but this doesn't mean the team's offensive line is upgraded from last year - not initially, at least. The running game could be more productive, assuming they upgrade the position, but that is going to be more of a result of the team being more committed to the run. Quarterback Jon Kitna could see fewer defenders pasting him into the turf, too.

Pick 1:18

Baltimore Ravens: Joe Flacco, Quarterback, University of Delaware

It's extremely questionable as to whether Baltimore needed to trade up to draft Flacco, but the Ravens addressed a need. Quarterback Steve McNair retired; Kyle Boller appears to be nothing more than a career backup; and Troy Smith doesn't come close to fitting the profile of an NFL passer. Flacco has tremendous upside because of his outstanding arm strength, solid mobility and intelligence. He played in a spread offense that used the shotgun primarily and faced second-rate competition as a member of the Fightin' Blue Hens, though, so he could have a steep learning curve.

Fantasy Football Impact: Fantasy owners shouldn't expect Flacco to have an impact in 2008. He's not a bad choice late in long-term keeper leagues, but he's no lock for future fantasy stardom, either.

Pick 1:19

Carolina Panthers: Jeff Otah, Offensive Tackle, Pittsburgh

The Panthers took another step to address their running game by gathering some protection. Carolina traded up to take the 6-foot-6 Otah, giving themselves a drive blocker with above-average lateral ability to open things up for running backs DeAngelo Williams and draftee Jonathan Stewart. Otah will likely line up at left tackle; the Panthers already put the franchise tag on offensive tackle Jordan Gross, and Otah's arrival should shift Travelle Wharton to right guard. The Panthers also slashed their O-line personnel when they released center Justin Hartwig and guard Mike Wahle earlier this offseason.

Fantasy Football Impact: The Panthers' running game sees a slight improvement here, but both backs are expected to be No. 3 fantasy options because of the probable carry split. Putting a rookie at tackle immediately, however, could weaken the protection for quarterback Jake Delhomme (elbow), which was a glaring issue last season.

Pick 1:20

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Aqib Talib, Cornerback, Kansas University

Talib is a talented player - and he'll let you know it. He has the size to blanket small receivers as well as the athleticism and speed to hang with big ones. He's good in run support, but he should make his living as a ball hawk. The Buccaneers needed to address the position because they have an aging and vacant secondary; All-Pro corner Ronde Barber is 33, and the organization parted ways with corner Brian Kelly this offseason. Talib should start on defense and contribute on special teams immediately, although he could experience growing pains.

Fantasy Football Impact: The Buccaneers were a semi-surprising fantasy team defense/special teams unit in 2007, and this pick gives them another body that can create turnovers. Talib, perhaps, is the type of corner who could contribute in IDP leagues as a rookie, but he's a very unstable pickup.

Pick 1:21

Atlanta Falcons: Sam Baker, Offensive Tackle, University of Southern California

A misguided selection, Baker was a reach for the Falcons. In all likelihood, he would have been available in the top of the second round and the team wouldn't have had to trade two of their three second-round picks for him. He didn't come with a first-round grade. The Falcons did, however, address a legitimate need with the selection of Baker.

Fantasy Football Impact: The Dirty Birds are becoming a power-running team under head coach Mike Smith, so adding an offensive tackle that can both run and pass block makes sense. Blocking for the investments of No. 3 overall pick Matt Ryan and free-agent signing Michael Turner is a must, but the Baker addition does little to overly improve the immediate fantasy value of either player.

Pick 1:22

Dallas Cowboys: Felix Jones, Running Back, University of Arkansas

Even with more well-rounded University of Illinois back Rashard Mendenhall on the board, the Cowboys stuck with their expected pick. The Cowboys essentially showed that they are committed to bringing back Marion Barber III for the long term by selecting a change-of-pace back. Jones is considered one of the fastest running backs in this draft class; he posted a 4.44 time in the 40-yard dash and averaged 7.6 yards per carry during his college career. He also gives them a valuable addition to the return team, possibly in split duty if troubled cornerback Pacman Jones is reinstated for the coming season.

Fantasy Football Impact: With his probable part-time role, Jones probably doesn't offer anything more than a low-end No. 3 back in yardage-heavy for fantasy purposes, but he could be a solid play if he faces a weak run defense.

Pick 1:23

Pittsburgh Steelers: Rashard Mendenhall, Running Back, University of Illinois

The Steelers received outstanding value by drafting Mendenhall at No. 23 overall, but it was a bit of a curious move with running back Willie Parker (leg) still on roster, especially when one considers the depth at the position. Parker is expected to make a full recovery from a broken leg, but Mendenhall can be an every-down back if Pittsburgh needs him to be.

Fantasy Football Impact: The fantasy values of Parker and Mendenhall slip a little. The team is expected to share carries between the two backs, and Mendenhall is a better receiver than Parker is, so he could see more time than Parker on third downs. In point-per-reception formats, Mendenhall has value as a midrange No. 4 fantasy back, but he shouldn't be more than a handcuff to Parker in most other formats until the situation becomes clearer.

Pick 1:24

Tennessee Titans: Chris Johnson, RB, East Carolina University

There's little doubt that Johnson is an intriguing talent because of his blazing 4.24 speed. He has impressive vision and good hands, but his lack of size (he weighs 197 pounds) makes him more of a complementary back to current starter LenDale White. That's what makes the Titans' decision to move up and select Johnson such a head-scratcher. Johnson can make an immediate impact on special teams, too, and Tennessee may have deemed that area a need after the trade of suspended cornerback Pacman Jones. The pick of Johnson essentially seems to be an admission that the addition of last year's second-rounder, Chris J. Henry, was a mistake. The Titans plan to use Johnson in a variety of roles, including as a back, in the slot as a receiver and on returns.

Fantasy Football Impact: Such an approach hasn't been Mike Heimerdinger's style in the past, but perhaps Johnson will open new avenues of creativity for the Titans offensive coordinator. He projects as nothing more than a No. 4 fantasy back, but he has the breakaway speed to contribute as a No. 3 in certain weeks. He could have a bit more value in point-per-reception formats.

Pick 1:25

Dallas Cowboys: Mike Jenkins, Cornerback, University of South Florida

The Cowboys traded up three spots to grab Jenkins, arguably the most polished cornerback available. He excelled in the 40-yard dash with a 4.38 time but also displays the ability to be physical. The Cowboys essentially were drafting as if Pacman Jones would not be ready for '08, so Jenkins gives them security if Jones can't overcome his legal issues. The team was eager to grab another option for the starting lineup to replace Anthony Henry, whom Dallas would like to use as a nickel or dime back, depending on Jones' status. Apparently, the Cowboys were not deterred by Jenkins' off-field troubles last year; he was briefly suspended after an altercation at a bar.

Fantasy Football Impact: The 5-foot-10 Jenkins gives the Cowboys a corner in the same mold as Newman; he should be tough to beat on deep balls. However, the Cowboys secondary could remain in flux until Jones is able to join the team. The Dallas defense remains one of the top 10 fantasy units, but Jenkins should be left alone in IDP leagues until his role becomes more defined. Like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, he likely won't have a fantasy impact in his first season.

Pick 1:26

Houston Texans: Duane Brown, Offensive Tackle, Virginia Tech

Houston seemingly has a perennial need for an offensive tackle, but this year's choice was a huge reach. Given a grade as a late second- or early third-round pick, Brown was a reach in the first. He has been climbing up draft boards as of late, but that doesn't justify one of the biggest reaches of the day.

Fantasy Football Impact: It is unclear how the Texans plan to use Brown in his rookie year, but he could make it into the starting lineup as the team's right guard instead of playing at tackle. Brown projects to be a right tackle or an offensive guard in the pros, and with the presumed change of positions, the former Hokie may not help to upgrade the Texans offensive line in Year 1.

Pick 1:27

San Diego Chargers: Antoine Cason, Cornerback, University of Arizona

Cason isn't terribly fast or physical, but he has the ability to grow into a solid complement opposite 2007 breakout corner Antonio Cromartie. Cason stands 6-foot 1/8 and weighs 191 pounds. He can compete for jump balls, too, and that should make him a tough matchup for big receivers. He's smart and can be a solid community guy, too. Cason excels in zone coverage and didn't play a lot of man-to-man in college, but the Chargers' feared pass rush could mask his weaknesses in that department. In fact, Cason is considered a playmaker capable of taking a turnover back on any occasion. Cason isn't expected to start with Quentin Jammer also in San Diego, so he'll likely be used in nickel situations this season.

Fantasy Football Impact: The Chargers team defense remains a high-end fantasy selection because of its propensity to record sacks, create turnovers and occasionally score touchdowns. If only slightly, Cason upgrades that ability.

Pick 1:28

Seattle Seahawks: Lawrence Jackson, Defensive End, University of Southern California

The Seahawks have other, more pressing needs than defensive end, but they obviously liked what they saw in Jackson. A strong defender against the run at 6-foot-4 1/8, 271 pounds, he offers little in the way of a pass rusher. The Seahawks have a pass-rushing end in Darryl Tapp, and Patrick Kerney, on the other side, turns 32 before the calendar meets 2009. The pick may have been a bit of a reach, but it certainly filled a need.

Fantasy Football Impact: The Seahawks defense is a weak No. 1 option for fantasy leaguers, but the addition of Jackson adds another player to the rotation. However, the selection of the former Trojan doesn't necessarily improve their fantasy worth, nor does it mean that Jackson is worthy of a selection in IDP leagues.

Pick 1:29

San Francisco 49ers: Kentwan Balmer, Defensive Lineman, University of North Carolina

Balmer does not provide much of a pass-rush ability, but his 6-foot-5, 308-pound frame gives him the chance to control blockers at the line of scrimmage. While this may not give Balmer a lot of statistics in a 3-4 scheme, it should open things up for the linebackers behind him to make plays.

Fantasy Football Impact: A rookie lineman, who may not be ideally suited for the nose tackle spot in a 3-4, doesn't provide plenty of excitement for IDP leagues. Don't look for him to make a sizeable immediate contribution, but if he can grow into the position he can provide more lanes for the team's playmakers.

Pick 1:30

New York Jets: Dustin Keller, Tight End, Purdue University

Keller, a former wide receiver turned tight end, could be an asset to the passing game after catching 124 receptions over his last two seasons at Purdue. He came at a price, though, as the Jets gave up second- and fourth-round draft choices for him. With good size (6-foot-2 1/8, 242 pounds) for a pass-catching tight end, he is a weapon the Jets could use moving forward. However, he is fairly one-dimensional, as he is not known to be a strong blocker. The Jets are no stranger to rotating tight ends and already have Chris Baker in tow.

Fantasy Football Impact: If the Jets knew how to use a tight end, this one might be a bit exciting. Unfortunately, that is not the case - the Jets, as a team, have averaged only 45.3 receptions, 471 receiving yards and three touchdowns per season by the tight end position as a whole over the past three seasons. As a result, Keller's best numbers may have come at the collegiate level.

Pick 1:31

New York Giants: Kenny Phillips, Free Safety, University of Miami (Fla.)

Safety was a pretty glaring need for the Giants after they let strong safety Gibril Wilson (Oakland Raiders) walk. Phillips was the top safety available. He's another in a long line of impressive Hurricanes defensive backs, although most would agree that he's less talented than his predecessors at safety. He makes up for what few physical shortcomings he has by being an incredibly studious football player; he watches hours of game film per day and has the ability to dissect plays quickly. He occasionally guesses wrong, but he has underrated closing speed and changes directions swiftly. His arrival means that James Butler almost assuredly will move to strong safety.

Fantasy Football Impact: The Giants team defense was a solid middle-of-the-road fantasy defense most weeks because it generated a ton of pressure on the quarterback and produced a ton of sacks. It didn't force many turnovers despite that fact, and that isn't Phillips' game, either. However, Phillips' presence means this unit's value doesn't change. He could be a sneaky low-end IDP performer, too, but likely not for a year or two.

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