- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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1 I THINK ... I DESPERATELY want you to get one of these two mid-round rookie running backs: Kendall Hunter (49ers) or Jacquizz Rodgers (Falcons). Hunter's going to take advantage of Frank Gore's going down sometime, and Rodgers is going to be a phenom—my dark horse for Offensive Rookie of the Year.
2 I THINK ... TWO PEOPLE and players impressed me during my tour: Falcons rookie wideout Julio Jones, who wants it bad, and Redskins quarterback John Beck. The Shanahans are casting their lot in with Beck, who has given no indication he can be even a good player in the league. But he is driven. Beck's got a good chance to be a solid fantasy backup.
3 I THINK ... I LIKE Darren Sproles moving over to New Orleans to take Reggie Bush's spot on Sean Payton's team: I smell 13 touchdowns.
4 I THINK ... Legarrette Blount has gone from an undrafted rookie free agent to a top 25 fantasy pick (if you're smart). My friend Neil Hornsby of ProFootballFocus.com tells me that Blount led all running backs in the league last year with 50 missed tackles. If he's there in the fourth round, grab him.
5 I THINK ... BUFFALO'S SKILL players should be tossed into a hat, and you should take two in the final rounds. Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to find them for usable numbers. I like receivers Donald Jones and David Nelson. Big, physical targets.
6 I THINK ... I REALLY like Hue Jackson, but I don't trust anything in Oakland on offense other than a flood of balls to the tight end. So I'd take Kevin Boss in the 11th and be happy that my tight end position got solved.
7 I THINK ... I'M CAREFUL about quarterbacks. I'd be happy with Philip Rivers in the second round or Matt Schaub in the third. But if I miss out on the 4,500-yard brigade, I'd wait a long time and take either Fitzpatrick or Sam Bradford.
8 I THINK ... NO MATTER how many rounds my draft is, I'd be sure to get one of two players in the final round. Clue: They play each other on opening day. One more clue: They both quarterbacked in the state of Texas until recently. O.K., time's up. Answer: Colt McCoy and Andy Dalton.
9 I THINK ... I'D LOVE to have whichever receiver you envision as the fair-haired guy in Bengals coordinator Jay Gruden's offense. I'd put my money on Jerome Simpson, but don't make that decision until right before you draft. As one Cincinnati insider told me, "Jay has barely met these guys. How can he know who's going to be his star until he sees how [the player] responds to his offense?"
10 I THINK ... THERE'S A very simple reason why I would be interested in both Seahawks tight ends, the newly rich Zach Miller and the incumbent John Carlson. Tarvaris Jackson is not very accurate downfield, and he's going to be running for his life behind a shaky offensive line. Jackson needs four-yard checkdowns. That's where steady tight ends come in.