The NFL Draft is in the books and the rookie draft aftermath begins. While most of the headlining selections for upcoming rookie drafts were taken before the weekend, there were still some very intriguing selections on Saturday. We run down the picks from rounds four through seven and highlight those selections who look to make an impact in dynasty leagues this upcoming season and beyond. We won’t highlight every offensive player taken on day three, but there were many who seem to have dynasty league owners buzzing.
Third Day Selections
(4) 100 – Oakland Raiders: Connor Cook, QB Michigan State
The Raiders took the plunge on the sliding Cook and secured him at the beginning of round four. Cook was expected to go higher, but knocks on his leadership ability sent his draft stock tumbling. His selection is no indictment on Derek Carr, but he should give Matt McGloin all he can handle. The Raiders could have some nice AJ McCarron-like insurance here and could even spin Cook for a draft pick in future years if he develops and matures. He’s not much of an option in dynasty drafts, though.
(4) 107 – Baltimore Ravens: Chris Moore, WR Cincinnati
The Ravens are preparing for life after Steve Smith and Moore should be a nice developmental prospect for them. He’s not as fast as Mike Wallace or as tough as Smith, but he could carve out a role sooner than later. He’s a late round flyer in rookie drafts.
(4) 110 – LA Rams: Tyler Higbee, TE Western Kentucky
Higbee has a lot of talent as a former wide receiver, but injuries and off-the-field concerns sent his stock to the day three level. Still, Lance Kendricks is the uninspiring TE1 in LA and he’s not exactly Rob Gronkowski. Higbee has some intrigue in the late rounds of TE-premium leagues.
(4) 112 – New England Patriots: Malcolm Mitchell, WR Georgia
Mitchell was red-flagged for a knee injury that may have never really healed properly, but he has SEC-level and, more importantly, NFL-level talent. He’s being taken in the second round of rookie drafts as savvy owners seem to be doing their homework. The Pats don’t typically make stars out of wide receivers, but Mitchell has some unique skills.
(4) 117 – LA Rams: Pharoh Cooper, WR South Carolina
Cooper’s slide was one of the more disappointing and his value wasn’t helped when he was added to a run-first team with a rookie quarterback and a loaded depth chart at receiver. He can be had in the middle of the second round or later in most rookie drafts.
(4) 119 – Houston Texans: Tyler Ervin, RB San Jose State
Ervin has some intrigue as a plus-athlete and multi-purpose weapon. However, Lamar Miller is currently in two and the Texans still have able-bodied runners behind him. Ervin is more of a third round prospect in this year’s draft, likely only because this draft doesn’t exactly look loaded.
(4) 126 – Kansas City Chiefs: Demarcus Robinson, WR Florida
Robinson doesn’t look to be a great prospect, even though his numbers indicate he has good ability. His combine numbers were poor, which is likely a big reason why he dropped to the fourth round. He’ll battle it out with the likes of Chris Conley, Albert Wilson, Mike Williams and a host of others in order to attempt to win playing time. He’s more of a player to monitor.
(4) 134 – Baltimore Ravens: Kenneth Dixon, RB Louisiana Tech
Now it gets interesting.
Dixon was the second best running back on a lot of the boards of pre-draft experts, but he tumbled all the way down to the fourth round. I consider this more of an indictment on the position than of Dixon himself. He runs hard, catches the ball and has a nose for the end zone. In addition, he landed in a great spot. Baltimore has Justin Forsett and Buck Allen ahead of him on the depth chart, but you can see a nice path to playing time early and often for Dixon. He’s been spotted going in the mid-to-late first round in a lot of rookie drafts already.
(4) 136 – Denver Broncos: Devontae Booker, RB Utah
The next real interesting running back off the board was Booker and he went just two picks later to the Broncos. Denver is locked into CJ Anderson and Ronnie Hillman at the moment, but neither of them has shown to be consistently dominant at the next level. Booker is 24 and that’s a concern in dynasty leagues, especially since it will likely be a year or so until he gets anything meaningful. Still, I like the pick, the prospect and the value in the middle of the second round of upcoming rookie drafts.
(4) 139 – Buffalo Bills: Cardale Jones, QB Ohio State
Jones was a tremendous story two years ago when he led the Buckeyes to the National Championship, but he’s a MAJOR project for the Bills. He needs reps (and a lot of them) in practice and has to improve his footwork and mechanics. Still, there’s talent here to monitor…just not enough to merit anything of value in rookie drafts.
(5) 140 – Tennessee Titans: Tajae Sharpe, WR UMass
Sharpe also fell pretty far in the draft and finds himself buried on a depth chart. I could see him eventually get himself some playing time, but he looks like a third round rookie pick at best to me.
(5) 143 – Oakland Raiders: DeAndre Washington, RB Texas Tech
The Raiders have Latavius Murray and Roy Helu, but Washington has some intrigue as a back who at least has a chance to compete and carve out some time. He’ll likely be a third round flyer in rookie drafts by owners who don’t believe in Murray as the long-term starter in Oakland.
(5) 149 – NY Giants: Paul Perkins, RB UCLA
Perkins has drawn a lot of comparisons to Devonta Freeman, but I’m not sure I really buy them. Still, this is about as good as it gets for a fifth round prospect. The Giants have an unsettled running back situation filled with “meh” talents like Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen and Andre Williams. Perkins is going in the second round of most rookie drafts for owners who see some nice potential for him to climb the depth chart.
(5) 150 – Chicago Bears: Jordan Howard, RB Indiana
Howard fell all the way to #150, despite being one of the more liked running back prospects in the draft. Owners of Jeremy Langford were hoping to make it all the way through the draft unscathed and they came pretty close. Howard is a tough runner and could take a lot of goal line work away from Langford, but it would be surprising if he came in and took away the starting gig away from him outright. Still, Howard is worth a dart throw in the second round of rookie drafts.
(5) 171 – Seattle Seahawks: Alex Collins, RB Arkansas
The Seahawks have officially moved on from Marshawn Lynch by adding CJ Prosise and Collins. Combined, Collins and Prosise make for a pretty complementary committee, but unfortunately they’re both likely behind Thomas Rawls. If you need a handcuff for Rawls and Prosise, you should be able to get him in round three.
(5) 172 – Cleveland Browns: Rashard Higgins, WR Colorado State
Higgins is a late round pick, but still one to monitor. The Browns had arguably the worst receiving corps in football, but added Corey Coleman, Jordan Payton and a host of others through and after the draft. Higgins seems to be getting more initial late round rookie draft love, but this will be a situation to monitor and who doesn’t love to follow the hot Cleveland Browns news!
(6) 206 – LA Rams: Mike Thomas, WR Southern Miss
Two things here.
First, make sure you’re drafting Michael Thomas of the Saints in the first round and not Mike Thomas of the Rams.
Second, THIS Thomas shouldn’t be totally ignored. He’s a small school player (Southern Miss), but he has a lot of talent. As I stated before, the Rams have a whole host of receivers in tow, but Thomas is a very intriguing player. In fact, he’s been taken in multiple drafts (in the third round) of many rookie drafts I’ve reviewed thus far. Keep your eye on this one.
(7) 236 – Detroit Lions: Dwayne Washington, RB Washington
Washington shouldn’t be totally dismissed without at least monitoring his situation this Summer. The Lions have a need for another back to step up behind Ameer Abdullah. Washington lost his job at Washington (ironically in the State of Washington) to Freshman sensation Myles Gaskin, but he has some ability.
We now seque to Washington…
(7) 242 – Washington Redskins: Keith Marshall, RB Georgia
Marshall went from a Freshman star who gained 759 yards on 6.5 yards per carry to a player who lost his confidence, had trouble recovering from injury and almost become Mr. Irrelevant. Normally, you’d want players falling this far to latch on to a team of their own choosing, but Washington was a good landing spot for Marshall. I’m confident he’s either going to be a big-time steal or be out of the league in nine months. If you draft early this Spring or Summer, he’s a candidate for your last pick as a high upside shot in the dark.
Notable undrafted players (make sure you check out our UDFA blog): Jake Coker, Vernon Adams, Trevone Boykin, Josh Ferguson, Jhurell Pressley, Tre Madden, Storm Woods, Devon Cajuste, Keyarris Garrett, D’haquille Williams, Jaydon Mickens, Byron Marshall, De’Runnya Wilson, Marquez North
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