Dropping like a rock

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - We continue to wait patiently for the lockout to end by keeping our mind busy with research. This week we are looking at eight well-known players who's value has dropped dramatically from the 2010 preseason rankings. We'll investigate whether the drop in ADP is warranted or based on faulty theories.

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville - Three spots may not seem like much, but at this level it's a major shift in confidence. For "MJD" it's 90% about his physical health and 10% as to what the offense will look like with either David Garrard or rookie first-round draft choice Blaine Gabbert at the controls. Jones-Drew played the entire season with a "bum" knee and though his total yards were about the same as the previous season (1,765 vs. 1,641), his touchdown total took a drastic hit (from 16 to 7). And he missed a game for the first time since 2007. If the knee is healthy, he's a bargain at No.5, but if it continues to get worse, then he's a big gamble anywhere in the first round. You'll have to play close attention throughout the preseason.

Miles Austin, Dallas - Austin's fall to the third round seems to be based on the belief that Dez Bryant will continue to siphon off catches from his total. It's a legitimate concern too, as Bryant is an inviting target for any quarterback. However, if Tony Romo is back and healthy, he loves throwing to Austin. I think the early ADP is an overreaction and you should be happy to get Austin in the third round.

DeAngelo Williams, Carolina - Williams' drop is based on not knowing what team he'll play for and his role. In Carolina, Jonathan Stewart seems to have taken control as the No.1 guy. However, in all likelihood, Williams will play for another team. If that's with his old coach, John Fox in Denver, he could produce above his current ADP of 40 as it seems the Broncos have lost confidence in Knowshon Moreno as an every down back.

Sidney Rice, Minnesota - Questions surround Rice and his health plus he's a free agent. His drop from the fifth round to the seventh round is easily understandable as he played just six games last year due to a hip injury. Even if he returns to the Vikings, they have questions at quarterback between rookie Christian Ponder and Tavares Jackson. Based on all these concerns, the drop in ADP could continue.

Steve Smith, Carolina - Smith's rights are still with the Panthers, but it's a pretty sure bet that the team wants to trade the disgruntled wideout. Until we know where he lands, its a legitimate slide in ADP and will continue. On the other hand, should he get traded to a team like New England (one of the teams rumored to have interest), he'd be woefully undervalued as a seventh-round selection (ADP 68).

Knowshon Moreno, Denver - It seems Broncos' management no longer believes that Moreno can be a workhorse running back or they wouldn't be looking for another back the caliber of Williams. If rumors of him becoming the third-down receiving back are true, then even No.75 is too high.

Ryan Grant, Green Bay - All one has to do is remember the playoff performances of James Starks to understand Grant's fall. Although the youngster needs more work as a pass blocker. Grant could be the No.2 running back as easily as No.1, so this is a situation to watch and study before your draft Day.

Beanie Wells, Arizona - Wells has suffered through a number of injuries and has yet to perform at the level which was expected when they drafted him at No.31 in 2009. The selection of Ryan Williams with the 38th pick in this year's draft will make this situation a shared backfield at best for Wells or more likely a backup role.

2010 ADP vs. 2011 ADP
Player 20102011
Maurice Jones-Drew 25
Miles Austin 1127
DeAngelo Williams 1640
Sidney Rice 4468
Steve Smith (CAR) 2862
Knowshon Moreno 3975
Ryan Grant 3480
Beanie Wells 53113


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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