Cincinnati Bengals Draft WR John Ross No. 9 Overall
The 2017 NFL Draft class was pretty deep in wide receivers. 14 were drafted within the first three rounds. However, none accrued a faster 40-time than John Ross. The former Washington Husky ran a blistering time of 4.22 seconds at the Combine. He was a big-play maniac at UW, scoring 23 TDs on just 112 touches of the football. He’s a terror in the return game, and will be relied on to take the top off the defense in passing situations for Andy Dalton. He’s being projected currently as a 12-to-13th round draft pick. With that said, it’s early. We do expect him to rise as the season inches closer. This addition also spells good things for the rest of the Bengals offense (A.J. Green in particular). With Ross stretching defenses vertically, and a healthy Tyler Eifert working in the middle of the field, Green will see fewer double-teams. This will likely lead to an uptick in production for the 6-time Pro Bowler.
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San Diego Chargers Go WR at No. 7, Pick Mike Williams
Mike Williams is a popular name for skill players. There have been three wide receivers with the name drafted since 2005, and six since 1979. The latest iteration is a physical specimen who will use his size and athleticism to create a big target for Philip Rivers. The Chargers had lots of needs, but one can understand their desire to make a splashy pick for their first year in LA. Expect an uptick in Rivers’ production in 2017 due to the presence of Williams and a (hopefully) healthy Keenan Allen on the outside — along with the fast-rising Hunter Henry and dependable Antonio Gates manning the TE position. Rivers threw 15 TDs to his two tight ends last year. As such, be sure to factor this in when you project Williams’ potential red-zone impact.
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WR Taylor Gabriel Accepts $2.8M Tender From Atlanta Falcons
You’ve probably heard the Taylor Gabriel story. Cut by the Browns, he was snagged off waivers by savvy Falcons management. He went on to score 7 TDs for the Dirty Birds on just 39 touches. He was at his best with Julio Jones injured, providing Atlanta’s offense with a much-needed jolt. He had just 579 receiving yards, so why should you care about him for fantasy purposes? It’s because he only got better after joining the starting lineup. Gabriel is the quintessential slot receiver. His big-play talents combined with an increase in targets (he only had 50 in 2016) could lead to a 10-plus touchdown season.
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