It's never too early to begin thinking about fantasy football, right?
Our team of NFL bloggers played another version of the game this week, mocking the first round of the NFL draft. Trades were involved. Emails were endlessly sent back and forth. But in the end, a picture was painted of how Thursday night might unfold in New York.
The first ACC player off the board was no surprise, as NFC South blogger Pat Yasinskas took Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly with the Panthers' No. 9 pick.
Analysis: Defensive tackle is a consideration, but Fletcher Cox is the only sure-fire player at that spot. With him gone, the Panthers go with another low-risk player. Kuechly was exceptionally productive in college and is NFL-ready. He can contribute right away and that's something the Panthers want from this pick.
AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley took North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples with the No. 17 pick, which belonged to the Bengals. To wrap up the first round, AFC East blogger James Walker put his general manager's cap on, swapping three of the Bills' later picks for the Giants' No. 32 selection, which he used to take Georgia Tech wideout Stephen Hill.
Clemson tight end Dwayne Allen was not taken in the first round. In a separate piece, KC Joyner calls Allen one of five overrated prospects of this draft class. Joyner measures Allen's route depth yards per attempt (YPA) total against those of the class' other top tight ends, Stanford's Coby Fleener and Georgia's Orson Charles.
Allen's vertical and total YPA marks rank last among these three, but his numbers are even worse than they appear because they rely heavily on success in variations of the wheel route.
Allen gained 116 yards on 10 wheel variation targets. Take that single play type out of his totals and Allen's already poor 6.6 YPA drops to an even worse 5.7 mark. Factor in his 5.5 YPA when flexed out as a wide receiver and his subpar performance at the combine (Mel Kiper said he looked almost sluggish) and it means Allen has little claim to being an elite receiving tight end.