Right-o, let's jump into the fantasy fallout of the NFL Draft. First up are the quarterbacks, a position that has recently seen a huge improvement in draft scouting. Or luck. In the past four years there have been fourteen quarterbacks taken in the first round of the draft and twelve of them are currently starters - the exceptions being Kyle Boller (2003) and Aaron Rodgers (2005). That means that more than a third of the league is led by a QB with four or less years of experience. For some reason I find that surprising.
Here are the draftees that will see immediate playing time:
He's Number One: Raiders QB JaMarcus Russell
JaMarcus Russell - Oakland, 1st overall - Notice how I didn't say the playing time would be a good thing. Right now Russell has a receiving corps of Jerry Porter, Ronald Curry, the formerly unemployed Mike Williams and Johnnie Lee Higgins. No, I didn't make that up, they actually have a receiver named Johnnie Lee Higgins. The tight end is likely rookie Zach Miller. This is the worst receiving corps in the NFL, by far. If that wasn't bad enough, the offensive line in Oakland is a disaster giving up a horrific 72 sacks last season. They upgraded that line by drafting one offensive lineman, a guy that NFLDraftScout.com compares to Wesley Britt. My point exactly.
Russell is going to be told to hand off to Dominic Rhodes, dump passes off to Lamont Jordan, and keep himself from being injured. He is not going to provide a lot of fantasy value this season. But one week - probably Week 3 against Cleveland - he's going to throw the ball all day long, put up a 300 yd, 3 TD line and trigger frantic waiver wire action in your league. That won't make up for the fact that he'll throw multiple INTs in many games.
Brady Quinn - Cleveland, 22nd overall - Speaking of Cleveland, here's poor neglected Brady Quinn. Quinn has a receiving corps featuring rising star Braylon Edwards, veteran Joe Jurevicius, and impressive tight end Kellen Winslow. Cleveland's offensive line was also terrible last season, finishing 30th with 54 sacks allowed. The Browns have at least started to upgrade their line though, signing guard Eric Steinbach away from the Bengals and drafting monstrous tackle/fisherman Joe Thomas.
Quinn is going to have a difficult rookie season and won't be worth starting on your fantasy team. Perhaps you could use him if the matchup is right as an injury/bye week fill-in in large leagues. I would expect stats somewhere around 2800 passing yds, 14 TDs and 18 INTs for Quinn.