Engel's mailbag: Draft analysis, keeper advice
Engel: While Peterson certainly has more upside than Lynch overall, when ranking keepers, you must heavily consider the fact that you want to win now as well as in the future. If these were strictly long-term rankings, Peterson, ranked 41st, would be ahead of Lynch (30th). For 2007, however, Lynch is far ahead of Peterson in terms of potential impact as a rookie. Lynch can start right away and get most of the carries, and also has considerable promise as a receiver out of the backfield. Peterson will be brought along slowly, will share touches with Chester Taylor, is not the pass-catcher Lynch is, and plays in an offense that lacks balance with the running and passing games. Buffalo improved its blocking considerably during the offseason, while the state of the line in Minnesota will matter less if the passing game doesn't threaten opponents and defenses can simply stack their fronts against the run. Peterson also must shed questions about his durability while the Vikings bring him along slowly early in his career before making him a full-time starter. Meanwhile, Lynch is in a situation where he could be counted on immediately. As for strength of schedule, much changes from year to year, and two to three seasons from now, there's no real way to tell who will face the weaker opponents every season. I think you are only looking long-term, while I am combining future outlook with possible shorter-term impact, where Peterson falls short of Lynch.
R.J., Detroit: I'm in a 10-team league where we keep two players. I have the ninth and 12th draft picks. I have Reggie Bush as a surefire keeper, but who do you recommend out of Terrell Owens, Edgerrin James, Drew Brees, Marques Colston and Chester Taylor? I'm thinking Brees, because he's the only one I can be sure will be taken before I pick ninth.
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