The day has finally arrived! The remaining 75 players in the Bloom 100 will give your mind something chew on aside from the crescendo of speculation that will finally pop like a balloon when the draft starts tonight. We shouldn’t curse that speculation, as it creates the anticipation and rich meaning surrounding each selection and turn of fate that will ripple for years into the future. Matt Waldman, Jene Bramel, and I will be hosting draft hangouts with a cavalcade of draft minds all three days to share in the thrills and chills. Look for the Post Draft version of the Bloom 100 that will surely be shaken up greatly by draft destinations and position on Monday. Thanks as always for the support over the years and here’s to doing 50 more Bloom 100’s.
The pre-draft Bloom 100 is a snapshot of how this year’s rookie class sorts itself out with without destination and draft position factored in, but remember that sometimes destination and draft position end up being a very large influence on a player’s dynasty outlook (even if in hindsight they were given too much weight for some players).
The Bloom 100 is ranked with the following type of dynasty fantasy football league in mind:
* Full IDP lineups including DT and CB
* PPR, start 3 WR
* Deep lineups and rosters
Of course, depending on your league scoring and settings, the placement of some positions can change, but the tier breaks and rankings within position should be good to use across all league formats.
26 C.J. Prosise, RB, Notre Dame - I suppose if you look at Prosise just right, you can see the potential for him to be a strong contributor at running back down the line. His game is raw enough and his ceiling is modest enough to make him a low priority in the second round unless he lands in a plum situation.
27 Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia - Joseph would likely be a first-round pick if he hadn’t torn an ACL in October, and the “do everything” safety might be one anyway because of his ability to make game-changing plays and blow up offensive players. I hope my Steelers take him in the first.
28 DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon - Buckner projects as a Calais Campbell type at the next level, and he has a chance to be one of the best defensive ends in the NFL. He might be worth a second round pick in sack-heavy leagues.
29 Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama - Ragland might have to be hidden in pass coverage, but as a thumper and run game disruptor, he will fit in on Sundays right away. He even has some pass rush ability and should be a very safe rookie pick.
30 Keanu Neal, S, Florida - Neal is a classic “in the box” safety who plays like his hair is on fire. He should be highly productive as soon as he steps on the field.
31 Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas - Collins is very light on his feet for an NFL-sized (5’10” 217 lb) back, to the point of actually being an excellent Irish dancer. He’s not that explosive or fast, but he can weave through defenses and add fresh legs to an offense. Three-down back skills are not there, but Collins could be the best runner in a weak backfield in time.
32 Su’a Cravens, S/LB, USC - Cravens has everything you want in a defender except size. He could follow in the footsteps of Telvin Smith Sr to be an IDP stud as long as his team embraces his “tweener” status and just lets him chase from a 4-3 WLB spot.
33 Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA - Perkins has some selling points, like a nice natural low center of gravity built and pad level, and some of the best natural elusiveness in this class. He still projects as a committee contributor who can impress with a small opportunity, but never be a long-term “answer” in a backfield.
34 Daniel Lasco, RB, California - 2014 Lasco would be a lot higher on this list. A hip injury basically made his 2015 a dud, but his athletic testing was off the charts. Lasco has one of the higher ceilings among likely third-day running back picks.
35 Tyler Boyd, WR, Pitt - I go more in depth on Boyd here, but suffice to say, I am not among the more optimistic regarding his NFL prospects. He’s a one speed receiver who is not able to create downfield separation. His hands and ball skills are excellent, but he’s a slot with limited upside in the pros, and that’s just not very exciting for fantasy.
36 Daniel Braverman, WR, Western Michigan - Braverman is a classic shifty, tough slot receiver who can rack up catches in the right offense with the changes in the 21st century NFL. He may move up to the second round range on the right team.
37 Demarcus Robinson, WR, Florida - Robinson oozes ability and athleticism, but he is one of the riskiest prospects in the draft. Worth looking at as early as the second if you prefer ceiling over floor.
38 Keith Marshall, RB, Georgia - Marshall is my favorite kind of later round rookie pick. He has a very high ceiling with elite speed and pedigree, but an ACL tear left him a shadow of himself after a promising start. If he doesn’t click for his team in camp, you can move on, but if he does, he can make your whole rookie draft.
39 Scooby Wright, LB, Arizona State - Wright won’t win beauty contests with measureables, but his intensity and nose for the ball could overcome that to make him a stalwart long-term starter and very productive IDP.
40 Thomas Duarte, WR/TE, UCLA - Duarte leads the class of “move tight ends” who are too small to play in-line, but have the dynamic tools to create mismatches with linebackers and become mainstays in their teams’ passing games. In the right offense with the right quarterback, he could be very productive.
41 Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State - I’m a believer. He has pro level mental toughness, arm strength, size, and resourcefulness. There’s a lot to polish and improve, but Jones can rise above the NFL and fantasy competition with just incremental progress in accuracy and squaring off mentally with defenses.
42 Kenyan Drake, RB, Alabama - Drake has the feet, energy, speed, and receiving ability to be a problem for defenses, but as a runner in base sets, he does not play under control and goes down too easily on first contact. If he can harness his physical ability, he could surprise down the line, but he’s just a role player in his current projection.
43 Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame - A healthy Smith would be in the late first round rookie pick mix with Myles Jack (who also has long-term medical questions that could make him fall in the draft). What are the chances he ever hits that potential? What is that worth in a rookie draft? You’ll have to hold for at least two years to know, so that makes him a pick to be discouraged from taking in the wake of Marcus Lattimore’s similar injury and eventual outcome.
44 Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana - Howard has NFL size and power, but lacks burst through his cuts and any sort of second gear. He can be competent to level of say Tim Hightower - that is the New Orleans Saints era Hightower - but on the whole he projects as a limited upside backup back in the NFL.
45 Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State - Ramsey is the elite defensive back prospect in this class, and he adds some safety and slot corner ability to bolster his fantasy profile in leagues that break out cornerback. Bump him down in leagues that lump all defensive backs together.
46 Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State - Miller certainly possesses the physical traits, competitiveness, and football character to make it as a quarterback to wide receiver convert, but there is a long way to go before we get there. He might be able to add rushing and quarterback trick plays, but if he doesn’t click as a wideout, Miller will be a waste of a rookie pick, and that’s tough to gamble on in the first two rounds.
48 Leonard Floyd, LB, Georgia - Floyd has a Jamie Collins Sr ceiling, but also a very low floor. His likely first half of the first round draft status will get him drafted higher than this in mixed rookie drafts. He might be worth reaching for in sack-heavy leagues.
49 Deion Jones, LB, LSU - Kwon Alexander’s replacement was just as dynamic and active as a playmaker, but he is undersized and only has one year of high level play. Like Floyd, he’s a boom/bust IDP pick.
50 DeAndre Washington, RB, Texas Tech - He’s not a pile pusher, but Washington is very shifty with a great burst and lots of PPR potential. He seems like the kind of back that teams take to be a role player, but they find out he can do more when given the opportunity.
51 Tyler Ervin, RB, San Jose State - Ervin has the speed and explosiveness to carve out a role in the NFL, but every roster will have someone that is better suited to run between the tackles. Take special notice of him in return yardage and PPR leagues, but his fantasy ceiling will be capped by his size and power limitations.
52 Kentrell Brothers, LB, Missouri - What Brothers lacks in size and speed, he makes up for with quickness and instincts. He is a very sound player who projects as a productive three-down linebacker.
53 Dwayne Washington, RB, Washington - Washington has the kind of size and speed that makes noise in the NFL, but he has to harness it to end up on the upside of his range of possibilities. He represents a Bryce Brown-style late-round gamble in rookie drafts.
54 Peyton Barber, RB, Auburn - Barber has an ideal NFL RB build (5’10” 228) and some juice in his legs and he entered the draft because his mother is homeless, so you have to root for him. Also a Matt Waldman favorite, Barber has only one year of college production to stand on and not a very well-rounded game, so he’ll be a late-round prospect who will have to claw his way up a depth chart.
55 Moritz Boehringer, WR, Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns - Boehringer is an athletic freak who is making the leap from the German Football League to the NFL. He has huge upside, but how he’ll translate to the pros - or even translate at all - is unknown.
56 Mitch Mathews, WR, BYU - Mathews has a terrific athletic profile and game in the air, but he hasn’t played to his measurables. Think of him as a middle class Jeff Janis.
57 Ricardo Louis, WR, Auburn - Louis’ athletic test numbers look like those of a potential future starter, but his game has a long way to go before he gets there. He’s an ideal taxi squad stash.
58 Noah Spence, DE/OLB, Eastern Kentucky - Spence has gone above and beyond to prove to NFL teams that he is past his past drug issues, and now he is poised to go in the top 20 as maybe the highest ceiling edge rusher in this class. He won’t be much as a run defender, which hurts his IDP profile as a 3-4 OLB, but if Spence is a 4-3 defensive end, he’ll move up on this list.
59 Tajae Sharpe, WR, UMass - Sharpe is a good all-around receiver and he could top out as a productive #2 in a good passing offense, but his ceiling is limited.
60 Miles Killebrew, S, Southern Utah - Killebrew brings the lumber and should fit right into the “nickel linebacker” role that teams covet in the 21st century NFL. The tackling machine should be an IDP factor sooner than later.
61 Pharoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina - Cooper’s poor athletic testing and lack of baseline NFL receiver skills make him tough to project as a success, but he should get a shot due to his production in the SEC and raw ability.
62 Austin Hooper, TE, Stanford - Hooper has the hands, ball skills, and speed to project him as a viable receiving tight end, but he doesn’t generate separation with any snap in his routes, and he’s not going to have a high ceiling as a fantasy tight end. He could start eventually, but won’t be fantasy relevant unless he’s in a perfect situation.
63 Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville - Rankins isn’t going to be a difference maker on the Aaron Donald level, but he is as close to Donald as you’re going to get in this class. He is a good pass rusher, penetrator, and stout against the run. Rankins should have a big role right away and provide immediate value in leagues that break out defensive tackle.
64 Kolby Listenbee, WR, TCU - Listenbee has some of the same strengths that Will Fuller V offers. He’ll be a deep shot one-trick pony in the NFL, but that could produce fantasy value in a perfect landing spot.
65 Canaan Severin, WR, Virginia - Severin has been largely overlooked in the draft process, but he is a strong hands catcher with a big frame who projects well as a big slot. The Jon Ledyard favorite is a likely undrafted free agent to watch.
66 Jay Lee, WR, Baylor - Lee has a high ceiling with his size/speed/athleticism combination, but he is very raw and is prone to hands lapses. He’s a long-term development pick.
67 Kyler Fackrell, OLB, Utah State - Fackrell isn’t the most dynamic edge rusher in this draft, but he is effective enough, and his run support and coverage ability will keep him on the field for every down. He’s a sleeper to target in sack-heavy leagues.
68 Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson - He’s not as dynamic as you might expect a first-round EDGE player to be, but Lawson is a powerful player who should show up in the running game a lot as a defender and be a steady, if unspectacular IDP producer.
69 Marquez North, WR, Tennessee - North has all the physical ability and tools you’d want in an NFL receiver, but very little game to go with it. He’ll likely be overdrafted in rookie drafts.
70 Devin Lucien, WR, Arizona State - Lucien is under the radar after a hamstring injury took away most of his 2015, but he finished red hot and tested out with good quickness and speed for his size.
71 Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson - Dodd might be a one-year wonder, but a wonderful year he posted in 2015. He is big enough (6’5” 277) to hold his own against the run and his motor runs hot. One of the more productive pass rushers in 2015, Dodd could sneak into the first round.
72 Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida - Hargreaves gets his hands on the ball a lot as a cornerback, and he is more than willing in run support. He can also handle return duties, which could make him a sneaky mid-round pick in return yardage leagues.
73 Kenny Lawler, WR, California - Lawler could be a solid big slot in the NFL with some red zone ability, but he looks like a side dish in an NFL passing game, not the main course.
74 Aaron Burbridge, WR, Michigan State - Burbridge was very productive and made some excellent catches outside of his frame, but it’s hard to find anything to hang your hat to project him as an NFL starter.
75 Jordan Payton, WR, UCLA - Payton is rugged and big-bodied, but his speed is build up speed and he is not sudden enough to create great separation. He’ll probably settle in as a depth receiver in the pros.
76 Jerell Adams, TE, South Carolina - Adams has the size and athleticism teams love at tight end, but he is straight-linish and stiff in a way that is reminiscent of Leonard Pope. He’ll get a shot to be a primary receiving tight end, but I’m not a believer.
77 Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State - Prescott might have a longer hill to climb to become a starter than Christian Hackenberg and Connor Cook, but his running ability gives him a higher ceiling if he gets there.
78 Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss - The raw materials are there for Nkemdiche to be one of the more productive interior pass rushers and disruptors in the NFL, but the production is not. Nkemdiche is a boom/bust pick, but worth a late selection in leagues that break out defensive tackles because of his high ceiling. He seems like my kind of dude.
79 Devon Cajuste, WR/TE, Stanford - Cajuste lit up the combine, but he doesn’t play to his measureables. I’ll still take notice if he lands with a great passing quarterback.
80 Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State - Hackenberg looks the part of an NFL starting quarterback, and sometimes even when you roll the tape, but his accuracy comes and goes in an unsettling way. Quarterbacks like Hackenberg just aren’t valuable enough outside of 2QB/Superflex/16 team leagues to take in the top 50 rookies and allow to tie up a roster spot for multiple years.
81 Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State - Cook will carry fantasy value as he will be drafted as a team’s quarterback of the future, but his fantasy ceiling is limited, and he has a high bust risk.
82 Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State - Ogbah isn’t twitchy and his value will disappear if he is drafted as a 3-4 OLB, but his production is tough to ignore and he could sneak into the first round. He could benefit from some pass rusher snaps inside in the NFL.
83 Darian Thompson, S, Boise State - Thompson is a certified ballhawk with 19 career interceptions and he is also a strong tackler, including making some plays behind the line of scrimmage. He might take some time to get on the field, but if his coverage instincts improve, Thompson won’t leave the field.
84 Rico Gathers, TE, Baylor - We love basketball to football tight end converts, and Gathers is next in line. Twenty-four teams attended his pro day, so you know they see potential despite not having played football since he was 13.
85 Wendell Smallwood, RB, West Virginia - Smallwood is a smart and sound runner with third-down back abilities, but there is nothing that stands out about his game when projecting to the NFL. He could be a quality depth back at the next level who can produce if called upon, but no team will build around him in their backfield.
86 Jhurrell Pressley, RB, New Mexico - A highly productive back with good speed and quickness, Pressley only projects as an early-down back and with subpar power, that means he’ll have an uphill climb to playing time in the NFL, although his elusiveness behind the line of scrimmage gives him a shot.
87 Josh Ferguson, RB, Illinois - There is a place in the NFL for a back with Ferguson’s shiftiness and ability as a receiver, but it’s not one that will generate a lot of fantasy value or consistent role in the offense because he does not project to exceptional in those categories by NFL standards. As with all competent backs, destination and a path to playing time could increase his post-draft value.
88 Nick Vannett, TE, Ohio State - Vannett was underutilized as a receiver in the Ohio State offense, but his size, hands, and movement all show the potential to play a decent-sized role in an NFL passing offense from a variety of spots in the formation. Vannett has a limited ceiling, but he could end up being the top receiving tight end in his offense.
89 Jeremy Cash, S/LB, Duke - Cash is a downhill attacking run-stuffer who will be a liability in coverage. If he is paired with a good centerfielder who can allow him to blow up plays near the line of scrimmage, Cash will end up mattering in IDP leagues.
90 Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State - Calhoun is one of the more talented edge rushers in this class, but he hasn’t unlocked his full potential and will struggle against the run in the NFL. I don’t like taking developmental defensive ends in rookie drafts, but Calhoun might be an exception late in very deep leagues.
91 Keenan Reynolds, ATH, Navy - Reynolds was a highly productive option quarterback, but he doesn’t have Jerick McKinnon’s outstanding athleticism to carry him to NFL success. His versatility will make him a more interesting fantasy commodity if he lands in New England as many have speculated he will.
92 Dan Vitale, RB/TE, Northwestern - A "superback", Vitale has terrific all-around athleticism and he is a natural receiver, but like James Casey, he might not find a steady role in the passing game if the team that drafts him doesn’t find a consistent way to use him in the passing game. His value will be connected to the inventiveness of the offensive coordinator that drafts him.
93 Aaron Green, RB, TCU - Green has the juice in his legs to hang around in the NFL, but he needs to have something else in toolbox to provide value to pro and fantasy teams. He’s more of a “monitor camp buzz” pick, and that’s only with a situation that will highlight a “matchup” RB who isn’t used much between the tackles. ie a waste of a rookie pick, and that’s tough to gamble on in rookie drafts.
94 Antonio Morrison, LB, Florida - Morrison’s character incidents, poor pro day numbers, and serious knee injury from the 2014 season may cause him to fall in the draft, but he was productive and aggressive. He will be around the ball a lot if he can work his way to a starting spot.
95 Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU - Boykin has some character concerns, and he’s a project as an NFL passer, but his running ability, natural arm talent, and escapability in the pocket are worth developing and watching in deep dynasty leagues.
96 Vernon Adams, QB, Oregon - Adams is a classic underdog who probably won’t get drafted because he is small (5’11” 200) and comes from a “system” offense. He has the fire in his belly to exceed expectations and make up for pocket passing deficiencies when the play breaks down. I’ll be looking to add him in deep leagues if he makes a team in September.
97 Marshaun Coprich, RB, Illinois State - Coprich doesn’t play to his speed and explosion numbers. He was very productive and he is a versatile talent, but Coprich will likely only get on our fantasy radar if multiple backs ahead of him on a depth chart go down with injuries.
98 Joshua Perry, ILB, Ohio State - Perry will be a liability in coverage, but his size and punishing style will endear him to teams looking for a two-down run stopper. That may put him on the IDP fringe, but in the right spot, he will matter in fantasy leagues.
99 Devon Johnson, RB, Marshall - Teams looking for a slobberknocker running back to convert short yardage plays and add power to a committee may like Johnson as a runner, but he could also be converted to fullback.
100 Kelvin Taylor, RB, Florida - Taylor’s vision, footwork and pad level all look NFL quality, but his lack of plus athletic traits or overwhelming power will keep him on the edge of rosters in the pros.