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#1 DERRICK MORGAN, TENNESSEE TITANS – SELECTED IN THE 1st ROUND, 16th OVERALL

This guy is a physical specimen and has all the tools to be a Pro Bowl DE in the very near future.  The Georgia Tech product was drafted by Tennessee in an effort to fill holes left behind by most recently Kyle Vanden Bosch and  Albert Haynesworth on the D Line.  Every coach drools at the chance to get their hands on this kind of talent.  He is hands down, in my opinion, the best DE in this rookie class.  He will make an immediate impact and can start right away.  Draft him in the early to mid 2nd rounds of deep IDP/Dynasty league Rookie drafts.

Fantasy Projections – 55 TAK/ 11 Sacks/ 5 FF/5 FR

#2 BRANDON GRAHAM, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – SELECTED IN THE 1st ROUND, 13th OVERALL

Some call him the reincarnation of Hugh Douglas, I call him a pure football player.  Although he’s currently listed here as a Defensive Lineman, the transition to LB may be imminent.  Some relief for Trent Cole is going to make everyone on the D Line better and the Eagles seem poised to get the defense back in order.  Graham will be everywhere Andy Reid can put him. Wether it’s at OLB or DE Graham can pursue the QB and finish as well as any defensive player in the draft.

Fantasy Projections – 64 TAK/ 8 Sacks/ 5 FF / 4 FR

#3 JASON PIERRE-PAUL, NEW YORK GIANTS – SELECTED IN THE 1st ROUND, 15th OVERALL

JPP is exactly what the doctor ordered for the Giants.  Unfortunately it may come at the expense of one Osi Umenyiora.  When JPP was drafted the story lines broke that Osi was now the odd man out and he was most definitely on the move.  I’m not so sure that’s the scenario today but JPP looks poised and ready to take his place opposite Justin Tuck on the D Line.  Although JPP was the beneficiary of some heavy protection the opposition put on his ex-USF linemate George Selvie, I still think he is the heir apparent to Osi and will benefit greatly once given the opportunity.

Fantasy Projections – 41 TAK/6 Sacks/4 FF/ 5 FR

#4 JERRY HUGHES, INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – SELECTED IN THE 1st ROUND, 31st OVERALL

Hughes isn’t projected to win a starting job over Mathis or Freeney but due to the recent injuries to both a plan to prepare Hughes as a replacement is definitely in order.  He will be groomed and molded by two of the best DE’s in the game and should be able to excel on Special Teams initially and then as a replacement for either Freeney or Mathis.  I believe Hughes is a great mid-to-late 3rd Round Rookie pick in deep IDP/Dynasty leagues. Look for Hughes to be a full time starter by 2011 as the Colts most likely will not give Mathis a contract extension.

Fantasy Projections – 44 TAK/5 Sacks/3 FF/5 FR

#5 GERALD McCOY, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS - SELECTED IN THE 1stROUND, 3rd OVERALL

You can argue all you want about who the better DT is between McCoy and Suh.  I personally can’t sit here and tell you I like one sooo much more than the next.  I will make McCoy the better of the two because of the systems they play in.  Yes, Jim Schwartz has the edge over Raheem Morris as far as coaching goes but when I look at the Tampa Defense I see a team that is crying for a leader to step up.  Barret Ruud is the LBIC (Line Backer In Charge) but the D-Line needs the most support.  I believe that McCoy will be super active and could possibly be the better of the two in the long term as well.

Fantasy Projections 47 TAK/10 Sacks/4 FF/5 FR

#6 NDAMUKONG SUH, DETROIT LIONS – SELECTED IN THE 1st ROUND, 2ND OVERALL

Yes, it’s Suh at #6.  Fantasy football scoring formats aren’t kind to DT’s at all.  I’m sure anyone will tell you the same.  They just don’t make the plays like MLB’s or DE’s.  Suh, on the other hand, could be the exception to the rule.  He’s got all the intangables to become a great NFL player and produce at a high level year in and year out.  Since he’s on the inside on a team that will be playing from behind in 75% of their snaps, expect opponents to run the ball and wind down the clock late in the 3rd and 4th Qtr’s.  This will allow the DT’s to make a ton of plays and keep them busy for the fantasy owners as well.  He’s gonna be a great value in deeper IDP and Dynasty leagues.

Fantasy Projections – 45 TAK/8 Sacks/5 FF/4 FR

#7 CARLOS DUNLAP, CINCINNATI BENGALS – SELECTED IN THE 2ND ROUND, 54th OVERALL

As the Florida Gators 2009 Sack leader (9), Dunlap showed he can pursue and finish well from the LOS.  I’m not sure he’s ready for a full time position in the NFL but his upside is better than those that follow him on this list.  Cincinnati drafted Michael Johnson from GT last year and expect some of these early round draft picks to pay off sooner rather than later.  He’ll play on Special Teams and contribute a bit in blowout scenarios.

Fantasy Projections – 39 TAK/2 Sacks/3 FF/4 FR

#8 COREY WOOTTON, CHICAGO BEARS – SELECTED IN THE 4th ROUND, 109th OVERALL

What the hell did they feed this kid?  Wootton is a big boy and he’s fast too.  Shedding blocks with one arm and pulling down QB’s with the other. Love him as a Chicago Bear and hopefully will learn the Defense quick enough to prove he’s a worthy replacement for an aging Mark Anderson alongside newly acquired DE Julius Peppers.  May be a risk to start early but long term value could be high.

Fantasy Projections – 37 TAK/3 Sacks/3 FF/2 FR

#9 TYSON ALUALU, JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – SELECTED IN THE 1st ROUND, 10th OVERALL

I’m not completely sold on Tyson as a top tier Rookie Lineman.  Most DT’s aren’t huge fantasy factors to begin with but I’m going to respect the high draft position and allow him a spot at #9 in this list.  Alualu maneuvers well in traffic for a big body and knows how to get to the QB once he sheds the double team.  Although I don’t expect a huge output in his rookie campaign but a strong enough showing that he gets the starting job as a rookie and develops over the next 2-3 seasons.

Fantasy Projections – 33 TAK/4 Sacks/3 FF/4 FR

#10 EVERSON GRIFFEN, MINNESOTA VIKINGS – SELECTED IN THE 4th ROUND, 100th OVERALL

Griffen is sitting at #10 due to the fact that he has a lot of proving to do.  He needs to show that he has the stamina and the smarts to be a productive NFL DE.  I’m not discounting his ability, I just don’t think he compares to someone like Derrick Morgan.  With that being said, I think that he will have plenty of time to learn from Jared Allen, Ray Edwards and the Williams Wall.  He can make an impact this season filling in and making the most of his opportunities.  Great upside in Dynasty/IDP leagues.

Fantasy Projections – 22 TAK/3 Sacks/2 FF/3 FR

HONORABLE MENTION

George Selvie, St. Louis Rams

Jared Odrick, Miami Dolphins

Ricky Sapp, Philadelphia Eagles

7 Responses

  1. timdeckman says:
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    Dude, you’re smoking crack with these predictions. I feel like your FF’s and FR’s are high for everyone across the board. Where is your love for Alex Carrington? How about Torrell Troup? You’re putting de’s and dt’s and some lb’s all in the same category. Get off your eagle horse and put brandon graham at the bottom of this list. He’s a 3-4 DE who will be moving into a 4-3 system, you better hope he’s quick enough to make it around the edge. DT’s and DE’s don’t put up the same kinds of numbers especially in weighted fantasy leagues so it’s hard to say things like “best rookie defensive lineman.” Look alive Judy.

  2. Guest Writer

    Jeff says:
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    I’d say ranking DT’s and DE’s, especially rookies, is one of the toughest things to do. It looks good to me. I learned something. Thanks.

  3. AB says:
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    I’m with Tim–you’re on crack; this is such a horrible set of projections. Here you have 10 rookies listed: 3 with 5 FF, 2 with 4 FF, and 4 with 3 FF. That’s 9 guys with 3+ FF. Do you know how many times that has happened since they started counting FF as a stat? Never. Precisely 0 times. So you have, of the top 10 and not even counting the other umpteen rookies who will see the field this year, 9 guys getting 3+ FF. In 3 words: not gonna happen.

    One stat category with messed up projections would not make this horrible, of course; but you horribly botched FRs too. You have 4 guys with 5FR and 4 guys with 4FR. This would be beyond unprecedented. Since 1990 NO rookie has recorded more than 4 FRs. You have 5 in the top 10 this year achieving this anyway. In the same time span (20 years!) 2 have ever gotten 4 FRs as a rookie. Only once within that time span (2002) has there been a season that saw more than 2 rookies with more than 2 FRs. Again, you are predicting that 9 rookies will get more than 2 FRs, and once again, this only considers the top 10.

    These numbers were clearly just made up, chosen at random. Lawrence, you’re dead to me.

  4. Lawrence

    Lawrence says:
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    Sorry you’re having trouble coming to terms with my projections. If i was genie I probably would have given you a more acceptable set of numbers to look at but I’m not. Razzball has given me a great opportunity to try my hand at writing football related articles and I don’t regret one bit posting what I felt may be considered a “projection”. I’m not a cleric and I most certainly can’t see into the future. What I can do is try to provide some insight on the incoming Rookie class and hope it doesn’t blow up in my face. Well thanks to you I don’t have to worry anymore. Usually folks like yourself feel the need to chime in because you clearly know better than me and feel the need to send your message through insults and condescending undertones. I hope you feel better and I am looking forward to seeing more of your feedback on Razzball in the future. No worries…I still have a job here and plan on sticking around as long as they need me. Cheers!

  5. AB says:
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    OK, I’ll bite.

    I’m not having trouble “coming to terms” with your projections. I’m calling you out for being lazy and not even trying to come up with good/real/thoughtful/possible projections. I don’t think it takes a genie to come up with acceptable projections, it just takes effort. You displayed none. At all.

    Then, after I called you out on it, you refused to take responsibility. You pretended like I was the asshole for calling you out! I (nor anyone else) comes to Razzball to look at some BS numbers you threw up on a page. We come to the site for fantasy sports analysis. No one cares about your own subjective feelings about your own post; no one cares you don’t feel bad about your crappy projections.

    And what’s this BS about being a genie or cleric? Did it take genie powers to look at rookie stats from the last 20 years and determine it is absolutely impossible for the rookie class of 2010 to achieve the ridiculous projections you made? Hardly. That shit took me 10 minutes.

    I never insulted you in my original post, although I did use condescending undertones because such an absurd set of projections deserved them. I only chimed in because I have a certain level of expectations from this site, and this column/”projection” did not deliver. Not even close. You very obviously put no work into this.

    To answer your question, no, I do not feel better because I still have these BS rankings in front of me. I did not write my post to me you feel bad, nor to make me feel better; I wrote my post in the (likely hollow) hope that you realize your readers aren’t idiots and recognize BS projections when they see them. You cannot blame me for your bad work just because I called you out on it. Very unprofessional. Very adolescent.

    It is unfortunate you still have your job at Razzball when you very obviously do not take your job seriously, your readers seriously, or yourself seriously as a fantasy football writer. Very unfortunate.

    I remain steadfast in my belief, having been reaffirmed by your childish response: Lawrence, you’re dead to me.

  6. Lawrence

    Lawrence says:
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    I certainly respect your freedom of speech and will take responsibility for my projections. On the other hand, I never claimed I was a professional writer or a fantasy guru of any kind. I was given a chance to write and I did. Razzball only accomodated me because there was a need and I offered to help. I do not get paid nor have I ever used writing as a tool for others to do their research. I’m simply a fan who enjoys writing and made what I thought was as close to a professional segment that I could. Again, sorry you don’t agree. I’m just a fan with a pen. Maybe you should use the energy you put forth to explain to me what my deficiencies are and create your own website that we can use for research. Thanks again.

  7. Doc

    Doc says:
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    Ok, I don’t think the number of forced fumbles and fumble recoveries is worth all this. The rankings and the analysis is infinitely more important and I think it’s good. Let’s let this lie and go on with our lives.

Comments are closed.