Last year I started doing my research pretty early for the NFL draft, scouting out all sorts of scenarios to which I would build my collecting habits for 2009. My scouting for 2010 has already begun, and I have a good idea as to the people who I think will make the biggest hobby splash for next season. Since the sets like Draft, Sweet Spot and Prestige are coming sooner than you would think, I thought I would weigh in with my picks.
The top QBs will always have a huge value coming into the season, and even after a subpar intial campaign, they end up in the middle of the pack. See Matt Stafford. Sam Bradford has the tools, moreso than his counterpart top pick from last year, and he goes to a school with a HUGE following. If he is drafted at the top by Saint Louis, you can expect he will have enormous prices before he even steps on the field. Unlike Detroit, the Rams have NO ONE at receiver, which is important to keep in mind when looking at how hard it will be for him to live up to expectations. If he goes to a team like Washington, it’s a tad different, but the values will be much lower due to the place he is playing. I would say that he will do better the lower he goes in the draft, and landing with a team like San Fransisco or Jacksonville would be much more favorable due to the quality of their supporting cast.
Not only will Spiller be the top running back in the draft, he will have the hobby benefit of the Peterson effect. As with any runningback that is drafted in the first few rounds, collectors will automatically pay more under the auspices that he COULD have a season like AD, and skyrocket in value. Although running backs have always been valuable in the pre-season, they are even more valuable now because of what Peterson showed for what a rookie could do. Spiller is good, don’t get me wrong, and he will probably end up in the middle of the first round like Knowshon Moreno did. Seattle is definitely in the market for a running back and so is Kansas City. He may fall as low as Houston, but there is always a team willing to take a chance on guy like this. I think Spiller should end up close to being rookie of the year, as the offensive class this year isnt too strong. The QBs wont do too well and there isnt a huge crop of receivers like last year. That should do wonders his value coming into the season.
Im not quite sure what to say about Dez Bryant, mainly because of the initial breakdown of off the field risk. He has been late to meetings, shown a few problems with motivation, all of that, and it doesn’t spell long term value for me. I get a lot of Brandon Marshall, in that he is very talented, but just cant get his head in the right place. Collectors know he is the top receiver in terms of talent, and will assign value as such, but im not sure if I will be in that boat. Then again, look at how many problems Harvin had coming into 2009, and look how he was able to perform. That wont be lost on a guy like Bryant. He would be a great fit in no-nonsense New England, but I doubt the Pats would risk it due to their nature. I could see Cleveland jumping on him after losing Braylon Edwards, but I would also see that Denver could use their pick to replace Brandon Marshall with, well, Brandon Marshall. Interesting.
Another top QB, another high value guy. Clausen, to me, just doesn’t seem like he has as good of a shot as Bradford, but collectors wont care. He could fall out of the first round if he isnt picked at the top, though there are a lot of teams looking for QB help. Jacksonville comes into the picture again, so does Seattle and Washington. However, there are less and less teams willing to take a chance that high, so Clausen may fall – especially if his pro days go poorly. Yet, because of his Notre Dame heritage, collectors will love him, expect high values out of the guy.
I fucking hate Tebow. I think he is a shitty quarterback who got lucky with where he played in college. He may be a “winner” but that wont mean shit when players like Freeney, Allen, Mario Williams, and Julius Peppers are jumping all over that ridiculously long delivery of his. Oh, did I mention he played almost exclusively in the shotgun spread formation? Yeah, he isnt worth a fourth round pick as a project, to me at least. That wont stop someone from taking him because of his winner-ness, and collectors will love him. He will be the biggest valued late round pick since Colt Brennan, and I guarantee you that a Tebow investment will be the worst of your life. Florida QBs never do well in the NFL, despite their heisman trophies and national championships.
I like what Colt McCoy brings to the table, but his injury in the title game will bring some concerns for teams in the first round. I would not be pissed if the Vikings took a chance on him at 30, especially if Favre decides to come back for one more year. Collectors love the longhorns, and McCoy will be no different. I expect him to be a pretty good player if he ever gets the chance to shine, but it will be a VERY long time if he gets picked to a team who has the picks to waste.
I think this guy’s name is quite unfortunate (especially when it sounds like “Golden Taint”), but his talent may make him a first round pick. As one of few offensive skill players that could be taken in the first round, I would expect him to have a pretty good value in the hobby too. He is Jimmy Clausen’s favorite target at Notre Dame, and has a lot of skill coming into a program like San Diego or Dallas. Baltimore is also a very good place for him to end up, especially because Flacco is turning into a great QB.
Yes, he may have played at California, but it wasn’t like he was playing at Delaware. Pac 10 had some great teams, and Best looked amazing at points. He will probably end up in Philly if not earlier, and that means he will have a great line and team to play behind. I would expect values to be pretty high, again because of the Peterson effect, but I would not hesitate to take a second look at making him target considering how good some of the California players have turned out. DeSean Jackson and some of their other recent grads have turned into pro-bowlers pretty quickly. The program is a good one, and I would think he may be one of the top investments of the class.
My Top People To Avoid BUYING Early On:
1. Tim Tebow – for obvious reasons. If you pull him, sell him.
2. Ndamukong Suh – even if he turns out to be great, his cards wont be worth much.
3. Taylor Mays – he may have Ed Reed Potential, but he is still a DB.
4. Dez Bryant – not worth the risk in my opinion.
5. Any of the top QBs – sell quickly when values are high
My Top People to BUY if You Have A Shot:
1. CJ Spiller – RBs usually get on the field the fastest
2. Jahvid Best – Will go to a better team, and a better O-line
3. Golden Tate – Receivers always have a good shot at early production
4. Arrelious Benn – Same as above
5. Sergio Kindle – My opinion has a good shot at being great, and values will be CHEAP.