NFL Draft: Veteran Winners

NFL Draft: Veteran Winners
Adam Levitan identifies 13 players whose fantasy stock is rising in the wake of the draft. Charles Johnson is now locked for the Vikings.
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Cardinals TE John Carlson is retiring after seven years in the NFL.

One week shy of his 30th birthday, Carlson had one year left on his contract. "After much thought and consideration, my wife Danielle and I know that this is best decision for us," Carlson said in a statement. He did not elaborate on his reasoning, but Carlson has a long and scary history of concussions. It was undoubtedly a factor in hanging up his cleats. Carlson retires with 210 catches for 2,256 yards and 15 touchdowns. He posted a 33/350/1 receiving line last season. The Cardinals have a crater at tight end.
May 5 - 1:44 PM

No Dolphins officials are meeting with LSU G/T La'El Collins on Tuesday, just players.

Per the Miami Herald, the Fins are "not ready at this time to send team officials." Reporter Barry Jackson does confirm the team is interested in Collins, but the fact that coaches and executives will not be present still suggests a certain level of skittishness. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Bills and Bucs appear to have the early lead for Collins' services.
May 5 - 1:41 PM

The Bucs will move Demar Dotson back to right tackle after they drafted Donovan Smith.

It's a pretty big surprise. Former basketball player Dotson (6'9/306) is a much better mover than Smith and excels in pass protection. Although Smith (6'6/338) projects as a plus run blocker with ideal tackle dimensions, his on-field skills are more reflective of a right tackle or even guard. It's good news the Bucs now at least have a few capable starting offensive linemen. Time will tell whether they're using those linemen at the right positions to protect Jameis Winston.
May 5 - 1:23 PM

The Cowboys did not remove Jay Ajayi from their draft board, and ESPN Dallas' Todd Archer believes they would have drafted Ajayi had he gotten past the Dolphins at No. 149 overall.

The Cowboys were next on the clock at No. 163 overall, where they drafted Purdue DE Ryan Russell. They selected Minnesota ILB Damien Wilson in the fourth round (127), ahead of Ajayi. Regardless, Archer writes that "Ajayi was one of their targets" in the draft, and "might have been an option for the Cowboys in the fifth round if they weren't beaten to the punch" by the Dolphins.
Source: ESPN Dallas
May 5 - 1:14 PM

Jameis Winston is reportedly "pushing hard" for LSU T/G La'El Collins to join the Buccaneers.

Better than both Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet, Collins would be a huge addition to Tampa Bay's roster. Coach Lovie Smith also has a long track record of taking chances on players with "off-field concerns," although we're not sure there are even any off-field concerns with Collins. Per Yahoo's Rand Getlin, Winston has called Collins "multiple times" in the last 24 hours.
May 5 - 12:57 PM

Cowboys signed USC WR George Farmer to a contract that includes $55,000 guaranteed.

The $55K is exorbitant for a UDFA and suggests a surprisingly hot market. Farmer (6'1/220) entered USC as a five-star recruit, but fell short of expectations and endured an injury-riddled redshirt junior campaign before surprisingly turning pro. He finished his college career with just 30 catches for 363 yards and four TDs. Farmer put himself on the NFL map by running 4.35 at the Trojans' Pro Day, though he reportedly dropped a ton of passes in positional drills. Purely a H/W/S project, Farmer has Greg Little written all over him.
May 5 - 12:19 PM

Ben Watson is expected to serve as a "seasoned mentor" behind new No. 1 TE Josh Hill.

Don't get it twisted -- the Saints are ready to rock with Josh Hill as their main replacement for Jimmy Graham. Hill won't play the same strict pass-catching "move" role, but he'll at least bring plenty of red-zone chops. Watson will remain a "run blocker and a periodic receiver."
May 5 - 11:59 AM

The New Orleans Times-Picayune says a completely healthy Brandin Cooks "could chalk up No. 1 receiver-type numbers."

The offseason movement has broken nicely for Cooks, as Kenny Stills and Jimmy Graham were both traded away and not replaced. Cooks, who was on pace for 85 catches, 997 total yards and more than six touchdowns before going down with a thumb injury last year, will be counted on for even more this year. He's locked in as the No. 1 target and still has tons of room for improvement as he enters his age-22 season.
May 5 - 11:49 AM
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