Editor’s Note: Make sure you’re ready for your dynasty league rookie draft by checking out our rookie draft guide, rookie rankings, and rookie draft cheat sheet. There are simply no better resources out there for dynasty fantasy football enthusiasts.
We covered the consensus first round on Monday and the consensus second round yesterday. The first round has what looks to be elite-level talent with the likes of Leonard Fournette, Corey Davis and Christian McCaffrey, along with some other very exciting prospects. The second round features a lot of solid players who each have a legitimate chance to be contributors as well. This third round is certainly where the fun begins. Let’s face it – it’s not hard to take Davis or Fournette at the top of the draft. However, strong dynasty owners understand third round picks and even those beyond have real value and doing your homework on these players to make educated guesses on who may develop into contributors separates champions from contenders. You never know when you’re going to unearth the next Arian Foster or Tyreek Hill.
Learn more about each of these players by clicking on their name and going to our exclusive Rookie Draft Guide Player Profile page where available for an in-depth look at each of them you’ll simply find nowhere else. All of this should help you decide who to be interested in and hopefully dominate your upcoming rookie drafts.
Let’s dig in with this year’s third twelve, as comprised by our initial consensus rankings (keep in mind these will continue to fluctuate here and there throughout the off-season):
3.01 – Patrick Mahomes II, QB KC
Consider Mahomes the anti-Alex Smith. While Chiefs fans have certainly grown tired of Smith’s constant check downs and careful game management at the position, they might one day grow to miss it if Mahomes doesn’t pan out. In Mahomes, the Chiefs have a total gunslinger with poor mechanics and footwork but the physical ability and arm strength to make throws other quarterbacks in the league just can’t. He has a Brett Favre quality to him and Andy Reid will love working with him in an attempt to fix his mechanics and turn him into a big-time player. If he can get things right, Mahomes has the talent to be an elite QB1. If he continues to force throws and rely solely on his talent, he has major bust potential. At this point in a rookie draft, a high risk, high reward player is worth a shot and Mahomes has a monster ceiling in fantasy and reality.
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3.02 – Jamaal Williams, RB GB
Williams landed in a great spot with the Packers. In fact, Green Bay let Don Jackson and Christine Michael go after the draft, leaving only incumbent starter Ty Montgomery and fellow draft picks Aaron Jones and Devante Mays to fight it out with him for carries. Williams has a chance to be on the field early for Green Bay and we know that’s an offense that will have lots of scoring opportunities. This is a player who was ultra-productuve at BYU and finished his four year career with 3,901 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns. He looks the part but may not be dynamic enough to be a true playmaker at the highest level. He’s also torn an ACL already in his career so there are some durability concerns. Still, if he pans out, this will be bargain in round three.
3.03 – Taywan Taylor, WR TEN
Taylor is especially enticing in PPR leagues because he’ll likely man the slot in the future for Tennessee. There are concerns about the level of competition he faced and the fact he did a lot of damage for Western Kentucky on bubble screens and quick hitters en route to setting school records last season with a 98/1,730/17 line. However, this is another player who has immense talent and finds himself in a nice situation with a growing offense that is going to eventually going to feature Marcus Mariota, Derrick Henry, Corey Davis and perhaps Taylor.
3.04 – Jeremy McNichols, RB TB
Could McNichols be in line to replace the void left by Doug Martin at both Boise State and Tampa Bay? It’s possible he could do just that. The Bucs have talked up McNichols’ pass protection ability while also saying he’s no lock to make the roster. This is the beauty of the later rounds in rookie drafts – you could draft a future star or take a player who doesn’t make the team. It’s much more likely the Bucs are challenging a young player and guaranteeing him nothing to make sure he works hard this off-season, though. They realistically didn’t take him to have him lose a job to Jacquizz Rodgers. McNichols is a really good interior runner and could make his way to the top of the depth chart quickly if Martin doesn’t get his act together on and off the field. There is risk here but it would be no surprise to see McNichols be one of the earliest rookie contributors from this class.
3.05 – James Conner, RB PIT
If there’s a player to root for this year, it’s Conner. The former Pitt star has successfully recovered from his battle with cancer and was rewarded as he was taken by the team down the road in the form of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Conner burst on the scene back in 2014 as he rushed for 1,765 yards and 26 touchdowns prior to a torn ligament in his knee and the subsequent cancer diagnosis. He worked himself all the way back to the field last year and posted 1,092 yards and 16 touchdowns last season in what truly had the makings of a 30-for-30 documentary. He has great numbers and a work ethic unmatched in this class but he also has limitations and isn’t an explosive athlete. He’s also rarely going to see the field unless Le’Veon Bell somehow misses time again in the near future. Still, we’ve seen what DeAngelo Williams can do when given a chance in that offense and Conner looks to be taking on that role.
3.06 – Mitchell Trubisky, QB CHI
The Bears shocked most of the world when they traded up from #3 to #2 in order to take Trubisky after they signed Mike Glennon in the off-season. There’s a small sample size with him as he only started 13 games at North Carolina but I really don’t think that’s paramount to his success or failure. The scouts for Chicago obviously say enough him to be convinced he can make all the throws and lead a team. He’s more athletic than most give him credit for (he rushed for 308 yards last year) as well. Chicago is a tough place for a quarterback to succeed and Trubisky will be brought along slowly. Every young quarterback has boom or bust potential but the hate coming Trubisky’s way may be a little unwarranted.
3.07 – Jake Butt, TE DEN
The 6’5″, 246 pound tight end looks the part as Butt possesses ideal size for the tight end position. He was also very productive throughout his career at Michigan and some believed he was a sure fire first round pick in a draft full of great tight ends. Unfortunately, a second torn ACL derailed his draft stock and the Broncos benefited. Anyone who takes him in a dynasty league draft needs to be very patient as he may start the season on the PUP list. Tight ends take time to develop anyway and those who wait for him to get healthy may have a player who is worth a second round rookie pick instead of a mid-third.
3.08 – Adam Shaheen, TE CHI
Shaheen went to tiny Ashland college and is a 6’6″ former basketball player who weighs 278 pounds and runs like someone much, much smaller. There isn’t a lot of tape on him and he played sub-par competition but this a player the Bears are very excited about. Former basketball players who have transitioned to tight end have had a lot of success over the years and Shaheen apparently has great footwork and was moved all over the field. He was a man among boys in his conference and it’s fair to wonder just how he’ll fare against men as athletic as he is but this is a player to keep a close eye on moving forward.
3.09 – Amara Darboh, WR SEA
Darboh is another player to root for after he just became a US citizen in 2015 after fleeing his native war-torn country as a seven year old child. He blossomed at Michigan and was a second team all-conference player while posting 57 catches for 862 yards and seven touchdowns last season. He’s raw and plays big and fast. He’s also very educated in pro-style offenses after playing for Jim Harbaugh. The Seahawks have room for a developmental pass catcher and Darboh has a fighting chance to be productive at some point down the road.
3.10 – Gerald Everett, TE LAR
Everett is yet another tight end in a stacked class who is worthy of consideration. The Rams talked up Tyler Higbee this off-season only to jump at the chance to grab Everett. He may be the best athlete at the position and needs a ton of work on refining his routes before he’s going to be effective. He has a low floor and a high ceiling, especially with the Rams and an offense that has looked pretty inept as of late. A raw athletic freak with high upside is just what you look for late in round three and Everett fits the bill perfectly.
3.11 – Joe Williams, RB SF
The fact he was drafted at all after being kicked out of UCONN and “retiring” last season for Utah says a lot about just how talented Williams really is. He was a dominant force in the PAC-12 last season as he rushed for nearly seven yards per carry and 1,407 yards. It’s been said Kyle Shanahan sees him as his Tevin Coleman in a committee with Carlos Hyde and that alone is enough to roll the dice on him. We’ll just have to see how he reacts when the competition is ratcheted up but the 49ers really love his talent and feel he fits their scheme perfectly.
3.12 – Kenny Golladay, WR DET
There are a host of receivers to consider at this spot and beyond and Golladay is certainly one of them. He was a first-team ALL MAC selection (Northern Illinois) along with some guy named Corey Davis this past season after posting 87 catches for 1,156 yards and eight touchdowns. The Lions are in need of more pass catchers and were rumored to want one earlier in the draft. If Golladay can refine his route running and become a more polished receiver, he has the athletic ability to make an impact.
Others to consider: Josh Reynolds, Chad Hansen, Chad Williams, Jonnu Smith, DeShone Kizer, Donnel Pumphrey, Josh Malone, Malachi Dupre, Isaiah Ford, Aaron Jones, Dede Westbrook, Elijah McGuire, Tarik Cohen, Bucky Hodges, Mack Hollins, Corey Clement.
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK
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