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Fantasy impact of draft (cont.)

Posted: Sunday April 24, 2005 10:44PM; Updated: Sunday April 24, 2005 10:44PM
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10. Troy Williamson, WR, Vikings (1st round, No. 7 overall): Conventional wisdom had Mike Williams going to Minnesota, but the Vikings appeared to get the better fit for their system in the speedy Williamson. Receivers are a big risk in fantasy circles, especially one who came from a more run-oriented offense in South Carolina. I'm not sold on him being a consistent fantasy performer this year with Nate Burleson and Marcus Robinson ahead of him.

Maurice Clarett
Will Maurice Clarett be the latest Denver running back to break 1,000 yards?
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11. Maurice Clarett, RB, Broncos (3rd round, No. 101 overall): We know all about his troubles in school, and there were plenty of people who thought he wasn't that great a running back to begin with. However, he now lands with Denver, where I think Carmelo Anthony once rushed for 1,000 yards. In fact, as Mel Kiper Jr. mentioned after the pick, it might be a disappointment if he doesn't break 1,000. Of course, there are still guys like Tatum Bell, Quentin Griffin, Mike Anderson and maybe even Ron Dayne ahead of him.

12. Mike Nugent, K, Jets (2nd round, No. 47 overall): Don't go nuts trying to pick him up in the draft, but just know he's at least marginally useful since he's on a Jets team that should score a lot of points. I wasn't high on Nate Kaeding last year because of the San Diego offense and because he was a rookie kicker, then Drew Brees finally developed and Kaeding was among the league leaders in scoring, so anything's possible.

13. Heath Miller, TE, Steelers (1st round, No. 30 overall): He's the best of his position at the draft, and he could be an impact fantasy player if the Pittsburgh can actually find a way to get the ball to him. Mark Bruener was supposed to fill a similar role in years past, but that never happened.

14. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers (1st round, No. 24 overall): He almost was the No. 1 overall pick. Instead, he dropped to No. 24 and became Brett Favre's heir apparent. Favre won't play forever, so Rodgers will be in there in due time, but it may not be this year given No. 4's durability.

15. Charlie Frye, QB, Browns (3rd round, No. 67 overall): Cleveland opted not to get involved in the Rodgers-Smith QB sweepstakes despite cutting Jeff Garcia and failing to re-sign Kelly Holcomb. Trent Dilfer is the starter for now, but the question is how long he'll stay there before Frye becomes the latest MAC quarterback to star in the NFL. He may not take the same path to stardom as Ben Roethlisberger, but the seeds may be there. The addition of first-rounder Braylon Edwards helps, plus they'll have Kellen Winslow back after missing most of 2004 with an injury.

16. Ryan Moats, RB, Eagles (3rd round, No. 77 overall): He's of a similar build to incumbent starter Brian Westbrook, which could give Andy Reid a little more flexibility in the running game, which he didn't have with Correll Buckhalter injured. Moats rushed for nearly 1,800 yards with 18 TDs last year at Louisiana Tech, so he has a nose for the end zone.

17. Ciatrick Fason, RB, Vikings (4th round, No. 112 overall): It seems like each year Minnesota drafts a decent running back on the second day who puts up at least two or three good games at some point during the season. First, it was Onterrio Smith, then it was Mewelde Moore, and maybe it's Fason this year. That's the main reason he makes this list.

18. Matt Jones, WR/TE, Jaguars (1st round, No. 21 overall): Everyone gushed over his freakish athletic ability, but no one is sure what he can do on the field or even what his official position will be. He'll have a bit more value as a tight end than a wide receiver given the shallower player pool, but his overall receiving skills are raw, which means he's better for keeper leagues.

19. Brandon Jacobs, RB, Giants (4th round, No. 110 overall): He finished his career at Southern Illinois but was in the same backfield as Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown at Auburn. He's huge (6-foot-4, 267 pounds) and could be the goal-line back that Ron Dayne never really was. It is amusing that the Giants now have a 267-pound running back and a 330-pound quarterback (Kentucky's Jared Lorenzen) heading into camp.

20. Frank Gore, RB, 49ers (3rd round, No. 65 overall): Injury issues plagued him during his tenure at Miami, but given the right situation, he may finally show why he was the most feared 'Canes running back. San Francisco could be that place if Kevan Barlow can't put it together.

21. Jason Campbell, QB, Redskins (1st round, No. 25 overall): No one can figure out Washington's QB situation, and adding Campbell, who finally found his groove in his senior at Auburn doesn't make things any clearer. Campbell could start a couple of games this year, or he may linger on the bench for a couple of years.

22. Roddy White, WR, Falcons (1st round, No. 27 overall): Michael Vick needs a consistent receiver othr than tight end Alge Crumpler, so White could be the answer sometime soon, but possibly not this year. This might be the season, however, for last year's first-round pick Michael Jenkins.

23. Adrian McPherson, QB, Saints (5th round, No. 152 overall): His time in Tallahassee was short-lived, but he showed off great athleticism in the Arena league and at the combine. He could provide good competition for the erratic Aaron Brooks in camp and during the season. You think McPherson could do damage throwing long to Joe Horn?

24. David Greene, QB, Seahawks (3rd round, No. 85 overall): He has the NCAA record for most victories as a starting quarterback and was a solid quarterback during his days at Georgia. He didn't wow the scouts with his athleticism, but found ways to get things done with the Dawgs. He doesn't have a whole lot of fantasy value other than a backup, but it wouldn't be surprising if he had to start a game or two in 2005 should Matt Hasselbeck get injured. Remember, guys like John Navarre and Craig Krenzel started games last year.