The 2010 NFL Draft class is choc full of potential fantasy studs at the DB position. Here are my top 10 incoming Rookie DB’s for 2010.
#1 Eric Berry, Kansas City Chiefs, Selected in the 1st Round (5th Overall)
There is no way KC was gonna pass up on him and for good reason. A 3 year captain at Tennessee, Berry was a leader both on and off the field. He has the vision of a Pro Bowl DB and can lay a hit on someone as well as any LB in the game. Expect to see Jairus Byrd like numbers in his rookie campaign.
Fantasy Projections – 77 Tak/6 INT’s/2 Sacks/2 FF/3 FR/14 PD/2 TD’s off INT
#2 Earl Thomas, Seattle Seahawks, Selected in the 1st Round (14th Overall)
Expect Thomas to be the starting Free Safety by Preseason. He is fast, durable and always seemed to be in the right place at the right time on tape. Off of INT’s he’s a threat to take it to the house every time. He’s got elusive moves for a DB in the open field which has helped him as a punt returner in college. I think size is his biggest problem in the NFL but we will see.
Fantasy Projections – 67 TAK/4 INT/2 SACKS/3 FF/3 FR/10 PD/1 TD off INT
#3 Taylor Mays, San Francisco 49ers, Selected in the 2nd Round (49th Overall)
Seriously, who doesn’t like Taylor Mays? He’s gonna be a great fit for Mike Singletary and that secondary. Should be the starting Strong Safety by opening day next to Dashon Goldson (FS). He’s being drafted in the late 2nd and early 3rd rounds of Rookie Drafts in deeper IDP leagues so adjust your strategy accordingly.
Fantasy Projections - 88 TAK/2 FF/3 FR/5 INT/12 PD
#4 Morgan Burnett, Green Bay Packers, Selected in the 3rd Round (71st Overall)
If I could get Samuel Jackson to emphasize Burnett’s potential on this post I would. Personally, I think he’s on his way to being Pro Bowl caliber. He is a great tackler and had at least 2 or 3 INT’s in the Red Zone last year as a Junior for Georgia Tech. Could easily outplay Atari Bigby in camp and thus win the starting job at SS.
Fantasy Projections – 85 TAK/2 SACKS/1 FR/2 FF/4 INT’s/7 PD’s/1 TD off INT
#5 T.J. Ward, Cleveland Browns, Selected in the 2nd Round (38th Overall)
Could win starting FS job over Mike Adams. Since the need for Defense is great in the Dawg Pound, I expect everyone to get a fair shot at winning position battles. To think that Man-Genius would be willing to start rookies at both FS and CB might be a stretch but long-term it may be the best decision in regards to development.
Fantasy Projections – 70 TAK/1 SACK/1 FF/1FR/2 INT’s/8 PD
#6 Joe Haden, Cleveland Browns, Selected in the 1st Round (7th Overall)
Will probably start along side CB E. Wright. He may see decreased time when teams stop passing against the Browns by 3rd Qtr. He won’t have much value as a KR/PR due to the fact that Josh Cribbs has the Browns return duties on lock-down. The opposite corner on any team will get a ton of looks and especially being a rookie, he’s gonna get picked on early and often. If he can make the tackles and knock down some passes he’ll prove to be worthy of a starting spot as a rookie.
Fantasy Projections – 75 TAK/1 SACK/2 FF/2 FR/5 INT’s/14 PD/ 2 TD off INT
#7 Kyle Wilson, New York Jets, Selected in the 1st Round (29th Overall)
Wilson will be stuck behind Revis and Cromartie on the DC but could see time filling in for both and in Nickel packages. A speedy returner on Special Teams and can make the big play when the Jets need to rest their starters. He would probably make a play for a starting role on other teams with not as much depth as the Jets have so keep that in mind. He has time to learn and develop his skills as a pro in the NFL’s best Defense.
Fantasy Projections – 55 TAK/1 FF/1 SACK/2 INT/10 PD
#8 Kareem Jackson, Houston Texans, Selected in the 1st round (20th Overall)
Potentially the full-time starter at corner with the absence of Dunta Robinson. He’s a solid tackler out of Nick Saban’s Alabama system. Most teams are going to have to throw the ball in order to keep up with the Texans offense so expect this rookie corner to see some action on passing downs. He’ll grow into one of the better DB’s that the Texans have ever produced.
Fantasy Projections - 69 TAK/1 SACK/3 FF/2 FR/4 INT/11 PD/1 TD off INT
#9 Major Wright, Chicago Bears, Selected in the 3rd Round (75th Overall)
I really don’t know why this guy isn’t playing Running Back. Once he puts his head down, you’re getting run over. It’s as simple as that. I would like to see him break the starting lineup but with 7 safeties on the Bears DC right now it’s really anyones battle. If he does challenge and win the #1 spot I would have to reconsider my 2010 projections but for now I’ll give him part-time and special teams numbers.
51 TAK/1 FF/1 FR/3 INT/7 PD
#10 Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Dallas Cowboys, Selected in the 4th round (126th Overall)
Most Fantasy Projections don’t have AOA in their top 10 but I believe that as long as the Cowboys continue to revamp their Defense they’re not going to have a choice but to give him a look at FS. Safety is one of Dallas’ weakest position so the chance to start and make an immediate impact is great. He is also valuable on Special Teams as a KR or PR.
Fantasy Projections – 56 TAK/1 SACK/1 FF/2 FR/4 INT/8 PD
Nate Allen, PHI
Darrell Stuckey, SD