The NFL Scouting Combine has come to a close and the event has led us to ask, "When the (expletive) is the regular season going to start again? Seriously, I like March Madness and (Angels) baseball as much as the next guy/girl but ... football!"
So I will use this opportunity to get some way-too-soon predictions out of the way. Honestly, this is the time of year when I'll throw out something like, "The Bengals would look pretty good with Reggie Bush." And then some snarky website will surface it a year from now and we'll all have a good laugh.
But none of that will deter me from putting my (expletive) out there and taking a few chances on some of these guys. Since a lot of these guys are just out of school (and honestly, my boss thought it was a good idea), I'll put these down superlative-style. You know, the kind you would find in your yearbooks. Wait, do you kids still do traditional yearbooks or does everybody just sign each other's Instagram accounts?
And without further ado ...
Most likely to be the quarterback who can win a few weeks for you
Brandt: Combine standouts
Johnny Manziel. Most of our experts have him targeted for the Jaguars. But at the end of the day, I just figure he's going to end up with the Raiders because, well, Raiders. I like the idea. Terrelle Pryor had some great fantasy weeks in 2013, so it stands to reason Manziel could do something similar with the Raiders. The only drawback is the AFC West has the NFC West this year, so those are four tough matchups right there. But Manziel will get his shot and have a few games of fantasy greatness as a bye-week/injury replacement.
Most likely to be the first rookie fantasy running back selected
Carlos Hyde. Especially if he lands with the Browns where he can be the feature running back. The Browns have the 35th pick and since the league has devalued running backs, this seems believable. And I would love the idea of a former-Ohio State running back going to Cleveland. He could end up being the man in this situation. I could see him being a low-end No. 2 if the Browns took him.
Most likely to be the second rookie running back off the fantasy board
Tre Mason. The Jaguars are going to be in the market for a running back as well at No. 39 if they go for Johnny Manziel. Ka'Deem Carey could have been a possibility, too, but his 40 time in the combine was disappointing. So I expect Mason to be the second running back selected in the real draft and the second rookie running back to come off fantasy boards.
Marion Grice. Yeah, I won't stop talking about the guy, even if he didn't run at the combine. He's going to be a late-round draft pick (if he's even selected at all). But we've seen some late-round guys come off the board in recent years who have done really well. Like the aforementioned Morris and Zac Stacy. Grice is good at football and he's going to be a gem for the team willing to take a chance.
Dri Archer. Yes, somebody in your fantasy draft will fall in love with Archer because he was absolutely brilliant in the 40, turning in the fastest time. But don't be fooled by that. I can tell you what will happen right now. Archer will make an immediate impact on special teams; he'll return one for a touchdown. And then somebody in your league will pick him up off the wire the following week. And then said fantasy enthusiasts will complain when his special teams yardage isn't included in your league's scoring. Then he will campaign to change your scoring system. And then Archer will be released by said fantasy enthusiast. And then Archer will score a rushing touchdown the following week. Then those fantasy enthusiasts will pick Archer back up and play him from time to time, but never get another rushing touchdown. And that fantasy enthusiast will be named Todd (probably). This will happen, trust me.
Hardest name to pronounce
Dri Archer. According to the Kent State website it's pronounced "Dree." Just consider that Adam's tip for the day.
Most likely to score the most rushing touchdowns this season
Mike Evans. He's got the size and potential to be a No. 1 receiver for a number of teams. I have him pegged at the Ravens right now, but even if he goes much sooner, he's going to make some team and fantasy enthusiast very happy. And that fantasy enthusiast will be me because he's the reason I started a season with Texas A&M on my NCAA14.
Brandin Cooks. He won the Biletnikoff Award and the five-foot-nine dynamo (let's bring that term back!) was one of the most impressive performers at the combine. He's going to be a first-day guy and my guess is he becomes the favorite receiver of Alex Smith in Kansas City.
Team most likely to ruin that awesome receiver they draft
The St. Louis Football Club. Look, it happened to Tavon Austin. It happened to Stedman Bailey. If St. Louis does draft a receiver with the second-overall pick, the Commish should just look at the card and say, "No way, try again." And then make St. Louis draft Jake Matthews or the lineman of their choice. Seriously though, St. Louis, go with a defensive player. You have to keep up in the NFC West. But dang, they might have a chance at Evans with the second pick. Dang it, somebody else step up!
Rookie TE most likely to help your team next year
IDP rookie stud of the year
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Yes, you will want to draft Clowney because Clowney. But you make your mark in most IDP leagues from the defensive back position. Clinton-Dix will be this year's version of Kenny Vaccaro. I play in an IDP keeper league and I always mine the rookies for talent because the fantasy enthusiasts in my league don't really do a great job of keeping up with them. This is where you pounce. BTW, that IDP keeper league is the only regular league I've participated in over the last five years that I haven't won. So maybe I don't know (expletive). But I have a good feeling about this year.
Most likely to be overdrafted in your fantasy league
Manziel. We're spoiled now, and it stands to reason somebody will overvalue Manziel. And it will probably be my fault because I just won't shut up about the guy. Hell, I might end up being the guy who drafts him way too early because I'm crazy. I really want him as my No. 2 guy, not so much as my starter. I like to wait on a quarterback, but even that would be pushing it a little too much for me. Honestly, I feel like Manziel can have some really good weeks this year.
Most likely to succeed
I'm going to go with Sammy Watkins, who really helped himself with a great combine. He could go second overall to the St. Louis Football Club. But I've fantasy booked him all the way down to No. 10 to the Detroit Lions. Could you imagine him opposite Calvin Johnson? His rookie numbers could be staggering. But he has to go much earlier in the draft. Maybe even the Buccaneers. The Bills will be fun, too. Regardless, I will take Watkins. Yes, begrudgingly, even if he's drafted by St. Louis.
For the record, you can submit your fantasy questions to NFL Fantasy Live, Michael Fabiano or me on Twitter. But realize, NFL Fantasy Live has 100,000 followers, and Fabiano has 100,000. Me? Just four. See, the odds are better I will answer your question, so hit me up both via Twitter or via Facebook. Although, it's tough to catch me on Facebook. Twitter is your go-to. Also be sure to catch the latest "Dave Dameshek Football Program."