It’s that time of year again. You and your friends gather around the draft board with the hopes of picking that perfect collection of players. This year’s draft is pretty deep with talent, and it shouldn’t be too hard to find the consistency you need week to week. Here are a few players you’ll be considering in those middle rounds.
STUD—Matt Schaub isn’t the house hold name that you are used to drafting. You’re probably not going to be taking him in the first 3 rounds either, but he is a sneaky pick this fall if you are like me and draft heavy on running backs in the first couple of rounds. Last season he threw more Touchdowns than both Tom Brady and Tony Romo both of whom are ranked ahead of him on most draft boards. He has a nice selection of weapons, the most important of them being Andre Johnson who is arguably the best receiver in the NFL. Matt Schaub is a great pick up when the no-brainer Quarterbacks are gone.
DUD – Jay Cutler is a very respectable quarterback, who is capable of posting stud-like numbers. The problem with Cutler is that he has no weapons. Devon Hester is not a go-to wide receiver, and Matt Forte was not very productive as a pass catcher last season. Without Brandon Marshall he will prove to be nothing more than a hard throwing, interception machine. Leave him out of your starting line up until he plays the Detroit Lions.
STUD—Without Ben Roethlisberger in the first six weeks, the Steelers will depend a lot on the running game. The Steelers have always used a two-back system, and this year’s version is no different. Rashard Mendenhall will get a majority of the carries this season, and with any luck will establish a running game before the troubled quarterback can return. If you get Mendenhall in the draft, try and pair him with his back up Isaac Redman, who leads the Steelers pre-season in rushing. They will often be together in the backfield.
DUD—Don’t make the same mistake I did last year by selecting anyone from the Houston backfield. Sure the run game for the Texans is effective, but the backfield is crowded with talent. Much like the systems he used to run in Denver, Gary Kubiak makes just about any running back look like a stud. His only problem in Houston is that he can’t pick any of them, so he uses all of them. Arian Foster appears to have stepped out ahead of the pack after his stay on the practice squad all last season. Despite his starting position, it is too easy in Kubiak’s system for any of them to step up.
STUD—Terrell Owens looks happy for now. That could be because in three preseason games he is the Bengal’s leading receiver and is untied with his buddy Chad Ochocinco. Owens was able to put up some decent numbers in Buffalo but only managed five touchdowns on the season. Considering who was, or more importantly who wasn’t throwing him the ball that is still pretty impressive. He will be a great mid-round steal, and with Carson Palmer tossing him the rock he will be rejuvenated.
DUD—Until we see him in regular season games, Kevin Kolb will be a question mark. That being said, DeSean Jackson’s value is a question mark. This isn’t a reflection on his talent, which is obviously very good, this is more a reflection of his quarterback. Jackson will put up ok numbers, but unless he is in a round that makes him a steal, I would avoid him at all costs.
Stud—The Detroit Lions have improved in a lot of areas on offense. One of the more under the radar additions have been their tight ends. It would be a low risk-high reward move to pick up Tony Scheffler. The Lions are a little weak after Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson at receiver, and that makes a catching tight end a great value. Scheffler had success in the pass happy system at Denver, and should have similar success in Detroit. Look for him to be especially effective in the red zone on the underneath route.
DUD—Between the quarterback position in Philadelphia and the fact that he posted only slightly above average stats last season Brent Celek is a great candidate for overrated, and looking at how high he is rated on some draft board he is an even better candidate for dud. The offense in Philadelphia will sputter this season, so avoid leaning heavily on anyone from the Eagles.