2017 Draft Recap

Emmanuel Sanders, WR
2.02 (via Straight Laced in trade for T.J Yeldon)
In 2015 when the Horsemen traded away T.J. Yeldon in the off season for a 2017 2nd round pick they had no idea it would be the makings of a reunion. That pick became Emmanuel Sanders, a player that remains top 20 in all-time scoring (#5 wide receiver) after a single season (2014) in which he started 11/15 games for the the 2nd place Horsemen. While he likely won’t have the role he had prior to being traded away to the Extreme Baby Throwers after the 2015 keeper ceremony, he will serve as a solid wide receiver backup to his former teammates Julio Jones and Antonio Brown and newcomer Michael Thomas.

Kyle Rudolph, TE
A pretty significant hole was left in the Horsemen roster this off season after trading away Tyler Eifert to acquire Saints’ receiver, Michael Thomas, and management used the draft to fill this hole quickly. In a down year for the position, Kyle Rudolph finished as TE3 – surprising result to being combined with the maligned Sam Bradford. The promise of a well involved tight end (22% target share in 2016) to compliment the best receiving corp in the league was not a reach in the back of the 2nd round.

Danny Woodhead, RB

Part of the 2015 draft class, Danny never saw the field in his short run with the Horsemen before being traded away to Bumpy’s Berries for a 2nd round pick. Odds are slim he sees the field this year, either, as the Horsemen appear to have enough depth at the position that he is at best their 4th best running back.

Derrick Henry, RB
Once upon a time (last year), Derrick Henry was the #2 overall pick by Legs With Holes. It didn’t really make sense considering he was more or less just a back up and LWH didn’t exactly have any depth at the position. A year later, a couple more Demarco injuries in, and a year closer to taking over the starting role – Henry finds himself on the bench for the back to back champion Electric Horsemen. His role is clear for the foreseeable future – sit on the bench. In the event of a more serious injury to the incumbent on the Titans, the Horsemen are poised to be even more stacked at the position than they already are.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB
5.03 (via Drunken Aces in trade for James White)
Part of the 2016 keeper class after being acquired in free agency in 2015 – Ben Roethlisberger returns to the Horsemen for what may be his last year in the NFL. While it seems unlikely he will surpass Matt Ryan as the franchise leading QB, he’s set to extend his grasp on #2 as the only quarterback on the preseason depth chart. Management has toyed with the idea of bringing in help for away games, but no moves have yet been made.

Terrance West, RB

5.04 (via Strictly Southern in trade for Bilal Powell)
Albeit an unexciting pick, management had trouble passing up on Terrance West after the injury of already suspended running back, Kenneth Dixon. While he’ll be sharing the backfield with Danny Woodhead – another Horseman – someone in this backfield will have to step up at some point. He finished as RB25 in 2016 despite a similarly shared role. He may be a cut/trade candidate if he doesn’t show promise early on.

Eric Ebron, TE
As a sort of insurance policy for Rudolph, the Horsemen took an upside play in Eric Ebron as their 3nd 5th round pick. The departure of Anquan Boldin leaves gaping hole in red zone targets in Detroit, and who better to fill that void than a tight end who has seen increasing yardage and receptions in each year of his young 3-year career. The Horsemen expect him to challenge Rudolph for the starting tight end job by mid season.

Justin Tucker, K
6.09 (via Legs With Holes in trade for Stefon Diggs)
It was painful to watch franchise leading kicker, Tucker, waste away on bottom feeder Extreme Baby Throwers in 2016. He started all of 2014 and most of 2015 before being benched for Chandler Catanzaro – who started (and won) championship games in 2015 and 2016. After a year away from the team to mature and gain some consistency, he returns to extend his lead as the scoringest kicker over Stephen Gostkowski (currently 135 points).

Matt Forte, RB

7.02 (via Straight Laced as Mark Ingram put option premium)
The 11th overall pick of the inaugural 2012 COL draft, Matt Forte makes his triumphant return to the Horsemen. For three years, Forte was the heart and soul of the running game – and after being gone for two, he still leads in franchise rushing points by a large margin, is #4 in overall scoring and is #4 in total starts. While his role will obviously be diminished in 2017 from years past, he now has the opportunity to stand in the backfield for the player he was traded for who then became the face of the running game – Le’Veon Bell.

Duke Johnson, RB
The most productive running back in Miami Hurricanes history, Duke Johnson has struggled to acquire more than a satellite back role in Cleveland. He is a potential pre-season cut if there are no training camp or preseason injuries to Crowell in order to make room for a week 1 defensive starter.