Under the Radar Winners: NFL Draft Day 1

Case Keenum probably breathed a giant sigh of relief when the Browns surprised most of North America and selected Denzel Ward instead of Bradley Chubb. If Chubb isn’t available for the Broncos to draft at 5, it’s hard to fathom them not using that pick to take a franchise quarterback instead. Chubb is too much of an impact player to pass up when he falls into your lap. As long as Keenum can give you average to good quarterback play on a weekly basis, Denver will be able to win a lot of games on the strength of their defense.

The Broncos defense now features Chubb coming off the edge with Shane Ray and Von Miller manning the strong and weakside linebacker spots. Every quarterback in the AFC West has to be sweating bullets tonight thinking about where the rush is coming from with those three lined up across from them.

Keenum has been called a “bridge” quarterback by many, including me, now he’ll have at least two full seasons to be that bridge unless Chad Kelly (I still believe!) can steal the starting role from him.

Ryan Tannehill gets another season to prove to the league how mediocre he truly is. With the chance to draft Lamar Jackson staring them in the face the Dolphins passed and drafted Minkah Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick is an excellent safety, but the opportunity to get a franchise QB at 11 doesn’t come along often, but maybe the Dolphins will get another shot at one next season.

Joe Mixon struggled behind Pro Football Focus’s 28th ranked offensive line in his rookie season last year. With the addition of C Billy Price and the earlier trade for LT Cordy Glenn, Mixon should easily exceed his 3.5 yards per carry from 2017.

Calvin Ridley lands in the perfect situation. As the NFL draft neared, I started to warm up to Ridley. I know that Ridley’s physical profile isn’t encouraging, his combine performance was, in a word, atrocious. He has a slight frame weighing in at 190 pounds. The college production you want out of a wide receiver prospect isn’t there, though some of that has to be mitigated based on Alabama’s run-first mentality.

What Ridley did do in college is put up over 1,000 yards in his freshman season at Alabama. What Ridley is great at is route running. He’s quick out of breaks and easily gets separation from coverage. Lining up across from Julio Jones for the foreseeable future, Ridley will never see an opposing team’s top cornerback. Matt Ryan has shown an ability to support multiple fantasy relevant WRs as recently as last season, with Julio Jones finishing as the WR10 (points per game) and Mohamed Sanu as the WR37. When Ryan had a more talented duo he supported the WR5 (Jones) and WR17, Roddy White in 2014. I’ve already moved Ridley up to my WR2 in this class based on tonight’s NFL Draft.

That’s all I have for the first round of the NFL Draft. Do you or disagree with my opinions above? Who do you think came out of tonight a winner? You can let me know on Twitter @DFF_Shane. Or if just feel like talking some dynasty you can hit me up as well. Check back after rounds 2 and 3 for my day 2 under the radar winners. 

Photo courtesy ABC News.

All stats courtesy of:




Pro Football Focus


FSWA member, Writer, editor, VP of Content, hypeman for DFF. Married to my best friend and the hottest MILF I've ever seen. Proud father of two stunningly handsome boys(they look like me). Fantasy football addict and dynasty degenerate now in 29 dyno leagues. I love talking about dynasty, writing about dynasty, listening to dynasty podcasts, being on dynasty podcasts, dreaming about dynasty, scheming about dynasty leagues................

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