The NFL Draft is a time for football pundits to debate how talented the next crop of rookies are. They discuss times in the 40, height, catching ability, scores on the Wonderlic test and a variety of other variables.
But from a fantasy standpoint, predicting how rookies will fare has less to do with pure talent and is much more dependent on where a player lands. An elite player can quickly become irrelevant in the wrong system.
So, as an appetizer before the NFL Draft commences, here is a look at all 32 NFL teams and an offensive position for each where a solid rookie could really excel thanks to supporting cast, coaching schemes and a variety of other variables.
Cleveland Browns: Quarterback. New offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has a track record of helping young QBs excel. Josh Gordon is an elite WR, Jordan Cameron is becoming a solid pass-catching tight end and the Browns are linked to numerous high upside receivers in the draft.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Receiver and tight end. Outside of Antonio Brown, the Steelers have a mostly unproven Markus Wheaton and a bunch of nothing. Heath Miller struggles to stay healthy and is 31 years old.
Baltimore Ravens: Running back. Seems sacrilegious to suggest with Ray Rice still on the roster, but the reality of things is that Rice is coming off a train wreck of a season and Bernard Pierce is coming off a major shoulder surgery. Rice may be facing a suspension, too.
Cincinnati Bengals: Receiver. AJ Green is the real deal, but many aren't sure Marvin Jones will be a true consistent No. 2 pass-catcher. Anyone who lines up opposite Green should have plenty of room to work.
New England Patriots: Tight end. Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola both have the ability to produce, but both also have a long, windy injury history. Rob Gronkowski can be a big producer, too, but also has injury ghosts hovering over him. The Patriots want to find a solid second TE to replace Aaron Hernandez.