1) Joe Flacco, quarterback, Baltimore Ravens
Team: Nicholas Minnix | Team Roster
Reason: This product of the one and only University of Delaware processes information quickly and, in the first half of 2009, progressed quite a bit. In Year 3, the pieces that will allow him to ascend to the next level are in place. Cam Cameron loves to throw the rock. The Ravens added Anquan Boldin. They have an excellent running attack, and the backs are highly involved in the passing game. A bit of risk here, but I almost had to select a QB at this turn, so I chose the arm I wanted to ride.
Others Considered: Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan, Philadelphia Eagles QB Kevin Kolb, Minnesota Vikings QB Brett Favre, New York Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw, Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Cadillac Williams
Standards Set: 3,900 passing yards, 26 TD passes, 14 INTs
2) Matt Ryan, quarterback, Atlanta Falcons
Team: Tim Heaney | Team Roster
Team Heaney rolling the dice
Reason: I would've been left with the QB dredges on my long turn. Ryan probably has a little less upside than others due to his run-first offense, but Tony Gonzalez gives him a friendly red zone option. Roddy White? Also Pro Bowl-caliber. With his toe healed as he heads into his third season in Mike Mularkey's system, Ryan should rebound from '09, which wasn't so bad since he threw six more TDs in almost the same number of attempts. Ryan should surpass his promising rookie campaign - I'm encouraged by his offseason film work. Many will call him a settle pick. I'll call him stable with a hint of statistical growth.
Others Considered: Minnesota Vikings QB Brett Favre, Philadelphia Eagles QB Kevin Kolb, Washington Redskins QB Donovan McNabb
Standards Set: Maybe I'm optimistic, but 25 aerial touchdowns is a decent benchmark. Improved efficiency should help him approach 3,500 throwing yards again.
3) Tony Gonzalez, tight end, Atlanta Falcons
Team: Ilan Mochari | Team Roster
Reason: I had planned to wait to draft my tight end, but upon further review I felt that the drop-off after Gonzalez - to Owen Daniels (knee), Kellen Winslow (knee) and Chris Cooley (ankle) - was significant. Gonzalez is a much safer pick, and a safe pick was what I needed to offset the risk-reward of my backfield (Felix Jones, C.J. Spiller). In addition, I don't see a big difference between the WRs available here and the ones who'll still be on the board in Round 8.
Others Considered: Washington Redskins WR Santana Moss
Standards Set: This is Tony Gonzalez we're talking about: 80 catches and 850 receiving yards are a lock. I also think five touchdowns is a safe bet. The other thing with Gonzo is you can count on him to play all 16 games - and that's just not the case for Winslow, Daniels or Cooley.
4) Braylon Edwards, wide receiver, New York Jets
Team: Mike Egnak | Team Roster
Reason: I'm hoping he can at least come close to the monster year he had in 2007. He's playing in a much better offense with the Jets than he ever did with the Cleveland Browns. He has a better quarterback in Mark Sanchez throwing him the ball, and he now has a year of chemistry built with him, as well.
Others Considered: Kansas City Chiefs RB Thomas Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Cadillac Williams
Standards Set: As much as I would love to see 80 catches, 1,289 yards and 16 touchdowns again, I know that is likely out of reach in the Jets' offense. I think he should still be able to grab about 70 passes for 1,000 yards with seven touchdowns.
5) Steve Slaton, running back, Houston Texans
Team: Ryan R. Bonini | Team Roster
A rebound in store?
Reason: I love Slaton's potential; but I reached here. I know a few other KFFLians like him, too, and there isn't much left at running back, which is a need area for me after committing so many early picks to receivers. If the stars align, Slaton stays healthy and doesn't fumble, he could be my No. 1 fantasy back. I'm not going to hold my breath, but Slaton is the team's best all-around back and, at the very least, should be their pass-receiving option.
Others Considered: Minnesota Vikings QB Brett Favre, Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Cadillac Williams
Standards Set: He should post at least 800 yards (400 rush, 400 receive) and five touchdowns in a worst-case. In a best-case, double those numbers.
6) Santana Moss, wide receiver, Washington Redskins
Team: Keith Hernandez | Team Roster
Reason: Although Moss is an aging veteran wide receiver, he is still the No. 1 target on a team that should have an improved offense with Mike Shanahan at the helm. Also, a new QB in Donovan McNabb should help. Moss, even at 31, can provide me with consistent production and the ability to break away for long TD catches. I'll take my chances with Moss as my No. 3 wideout.
Others Considered: Antonio Bryant WR Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson, Indianapolis Colts RB Donald Brown
Standards Set: I'm hoping for around 70 catches and 900-plus yards with McNabb behind center. If Moss could accomplish these numbers with Jason Campbell throwing to him, he should have no problem matching those numbers with McNabb. Call me crazy, but I see Moss approaching eight or nine TDs this season.
7) Jerome Harrison, running back, Cleveland Browns
Team: Jack Douglas | Team Roster
Reason: My team needed depth at running back, and Harrison appeared to be one of the few left who had much upside. In 2009, he showed what he could do in the last three games of the season, where he ran 106 times for 561 yards. His small size of just 205 pounds worries many and there is doubt that the Browns will use him without a RBBC. I just want him to be my third running back, mostly for depth and bye weeks. Potentially, he is a breakout candidate.
Others Considered: Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Carnell Williams
Standards Set: I'm anticipating 200-plus rushes for at least 800 rushing yards and five or six rushing touchdowns. He should also catch about 35 balls for over 200 yards and a couple of receiving scores.
8) Mike Wallace, wide receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers
Team: Tim Piotrowski | Team Roster
Reason: Wallace played well as the team's No. 3 receiver last season and will now move into the starting lineup after the trade of wide receiver Santonio Holmes to the New York Jets. Wallace may get hurt by the suspension of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger but a starting job will give him a consistent opportunity to put up numbers each week.
Others Considered: New Orleans Saints WR Robert Meachem
Standards Set: I would like to see 50-60 receptions, at least 850 yards and six to eight touchdowns.
9) Antonio Bryant, wide receiver, Cincinnati Bengals
Team: John Kotch | Team Roster
Reason: This seemed like a good spot to take a chance on the 29-year-old. Yeah I know all about the knee. It's still not quite 100 percent, but he should be good to go by the start of training camp. I can't help but consider his 2008 numbers, 83 catches for 1,248 yards with seven touchdowns, and he achieved that with the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I imagine what he could do on a team with a top quarterback, an all-pro receiver on the opposite side, and a solid running game. It doesn't look like they're likely to sign Terrell Owens.
Others Considered: Buffalo Bills WR Lee Evans
Standards Set: Assuming he can get past the knee problem, and maintain a decent work ethic, I expect 65 catches for 950 yards, and eight touchdowns.
10) Robert Meachem, wide receiver, New Orleans Saints
Team: Jared Byrd | Team Roster
Reason: I was hoping Santana Moss would fall to me since I think he's poised for a big year in Washington with new quarterback Donovan McNabb. Plan B for me was Meachem, who is finally starting to live up to his potential as a former first-round draft pick. Of his 45 receptions last year, 32 came during the second half of the season.
Others Considered: New York Jets WR Santonio Holmes, Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson
Standards Set: I'm expecting 60 catches and 900 receiving yards out of Meachem this year.
11) Brett Favre, quarterback, Minnesota Vikings
Team: Cory J. Bonini | Team Roster
Will he or won't he
Reason: My man-love for No. 4 aside, I felt he was the best remaining quarterback to be a starter. It will go one of two ways: Either Favre (ankle) has another strong year and carries my team, or he'll tumble something fierce. He knows the system and has so much chemistry with the players around him that I don't think a big letdown is in store.
Others Considered: Philadelphia Eagles QB Kevin Kolb
Standards Set: I'm figuring about 3,900 passing yards, 28 touchdowns and 12 interceptions seem reasonable for the ageless wonder.
12) Kevin Kolb, quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles
Team: Bryce McRae | Team Roster
Reason: I'm not a huge fan of Kolb, but he's the best of the remaining quarterbacks. His upside is considerable. In his two starts last year, he threw for 718 yards and four touchdowns. Sure, it came playing catch up against the New Orleans Saints, and then in a blowout win against the Kansas City Chiefs, but that's respectable regardless of where or when they occurred. He'll be throwing to a talented receiving corps with a strong line and has three years experience learning this pass-happy offense. I'll just need to draft a top-notch backup.
Others Considered: None
Standards Set: Probably around 3,500 passing yards and touchdowns in the mid-20s.
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