Top 10 players to target in round one

Houston’s Arian Foster is the top overall player on my board.  Five other backs, three QB’s and one wide receiver find themselves in my top ten.

1.  Arian Foster – RB – Houston

Foster had hamstring issues early in 2011.  He was able to overcome them and rush for 1,224 yards catching 53 balls and scoring 12 touchdowns.  I like Foster to be better this year.  He is healthy and the division defensively is weak.  I expect a big year from Foster.

2. Ray Rice – RB – Baltimore

Baltimore’s offense was centered around Rice.  With no big changes to the offense, Rice should have another big year.  He rushed for 1364 yards and was second in receptions for runningbacks with 76.  A number that is the average for Rice’s production.  His 15 overall touchdowns should be back this year.  There’s a case for Rice going first overall.

3. LeSean McCoy – RB – Philadelphia

McCoy’s big knock was he couldn’t get in the end zone.  Last season he ended that debate scoring 20 TD’s.  McCoy is a dual treat.  He caught 48 receptions for 315 yards.  A trend that will continue this year.  With a healthy Jeremy Maclin, i think the touchdowns go down a bit.  Still a great choice at the top of your draft.

4. Aaron Rodgers – QB – Green Bay

Here’s where things get interesting.  If Maurice Jones-Drew were in camp.  He’d be gone already and this would be a runningback spot.  As of right now, he’s not.  So i look around at players with top consideration and for me, i’ll take the elite QB over the player with questions.  The offense is still loaded at the skill positions.  Rodgers does have a history of injury.  Last season he missed one game.  But i’ll take my chances here.

5. Drew Brees – QB – New Orleans

It was a record setting performance for Drew Brees in 2011.  He threw for 5,478 yards and 46 touchdowns.  The only thing that concerns me is the coaching.  Payton is gone for the year.  Vitt is suspended and they don’t know what they will do in his absence.  The good thing, There are some defensive issues.  Meaning they may have to throw a lot.  Another huge season is in-store for Brees and his weapons.

6. Calvin johnson – WR – Detroit

Calvin Johnson stayed healthy and put together the big season we have been waiting for.  He’s a monster in the red zone.  Johnson was also the only receiver to average over 100 yards a game (105).  He’ll put up big numbers again and is a solid first rounder as long as he doesn’t get injured.  That goes for anyone in the NFL.

7. Chris Johnson – RB – Tennessee

Johnsons struggled last year after a long contract dispute.  Missing most of the preseason and showing up under weight.  I’m guessing he wasn’t in the shape he normally is.  I’ve read he is back up to the normal playing weight and should be back to old form.  Dispite his struggles, he was able to catch 57 balls.  Good for 3rd overall amongst backs.  I am not as concered about Johnson as I was a few weeks ago.  I don’t think we’ll see 2,000 yards again.  Certainly 1,300 is reasonable.  I think he’ll be a safe pick in round one.

8. DeMarco Murray – RB – Dallas

DeMarco Murray was a huge surprise in his rookie year.  Brought along slowly at first, Murray excelled when given the opportunity to be the main guy in the backfield.  The numbers aren’t overwhelming.  He ran for 879 yards and only scored 2 times.  His average yards per rush was third best in the NFL.(5.5)  His season was cut short by an ankle injury.  I don’t think it will slow him in 2012.  I like Murray to rush for 1,200 yards score 6-8 times and catch 40 passes.  He showed signs of being a future first rounder last season when he rushed for 253 yards.  Granted it was a weak Rams defense.  Still a great performance.

9. Tom Brady – QB –  New England

Tom Brady is one of the elite QB’s in the history of the game.  After a great 2011.  He gets more weapons to throw at.  Brandon Lloyd and Jabar Gaffney come in and will give him more options.  As if he needed more with Gronkowski, Hernandez and Welker back.  So I expect 40 Plus touchdowns and 5,000 yards.  A lack of running game and a defensive secondary with questions may have the Patriots throwing a lot in 2012.

10. Darren McFadden – RB – Oakland

I know!  McFadden scares the hell out of me.  He had a foot injury that limited him to seven games.  in those 7 games his rush average was good for seventh.(5.4)  The injury is behind him.  When healthy he’s one of the best.  I just can’t pass on him.  Unless MJD is back with the team before the season.  Then McFadden will move to eleven on my list.

Check back in with this list before you draft as things can change

Mike Lockhart

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