Fantasy footbal spin on our draft picks
im not a fantasy football guy but heres some info:
Laurence Maroney, New England
Laurence Maroney may not be a huge threat to catch passes, but his college rushing production indicates he'll log plenty of carries. (Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)
Analysis: Maroney showed great vision and quickness as a runner at Minnesota, rolling to three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons with averaged six yards per carry as a senior. The big positive for Maroney is his durability. Though he slowed in the final two games, Maroney regularly topped 20 touches each week and twice got upwards of 40. The only big knock on Maroney as he embarks on his NFL career is his inability to catch the ball out of the backfield. That means that Patrick Pass and/or Kevin Faulk fans should be happy.
2006 role: Corey Dillon slowed a bit last season and has been battling injuries the last two seasons. Show your hand if you got caught in the switches with the injury reports on him last year? I expect Maroney to push for the top spot as a rookie, or at the very least, bid for a split backfield with Dillon. He's a necessary handcuff to any selection of Dillon. I'm looking for 700 rushing yards with five touchdowns in his rookie season.
2007 role: Maroney takes the top spot next year and goes on his way toward making Mike Shanahan's prediction of being "the top running back in football" true. Maroney rushes for 1,250 yards and 11 touchdowns in his second year
Chad Jackson, New England
Analysis: If you consider Maroney a steal in Round 1, then the selection of Jackson in Round 2 is a felony. Jackson was the top receiver on many draft boards, and offers Tom Brady a sure-handed receiver with good speed. With the number of losses to the New England receiving corps this off-season, Jackson stands to make an immediate impact as a rookie.
2006 role: Jackson opens the year at No. 2 opposite Deion Branch. He should be able to surpass Patriots favorite and sure-handed possession receiver Troy Brown for the role ahead of opening day. Though receivers often struggle to make an impact as a rookie, I believe Jackson contributes right away. With Brady spreading the ball around, he tallied 40-45 catches with 600 yards and three scores as a rookie in New England.
2007 role: There's a chance that Jackson elevates to the No. 1 role before next season if he can learn to hang onto the ball in traffic. That's the big knock on his game right now. If he can improve that aspect of his game, he could become a Brady favorite and get his shot at red zone looks. I'm looking for 60 catches, 700 yards and five touchdown next year.
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