With a few hours now to rest, recover and reflect about the exciting happenings of the first round of the NFL Draft, it is now time to look ahead to what we can expect over the next two days as dynasty fantasy footballers.
The Giants and Seahawks found their running backs of the future while the Patriots added another back to their committee. Many teams are hoping they’ve solved their long-term quarterback concerns, but there are others left with holes to fill at the four key fantasy football positions. Fortunately for them, there is plenty of talent remaining on the board.
With the beginning of the second round just a few hours away, here is a look at some teams who still have specific needs at the quarterback and running back positions, along with some rookies who could fill those openings.
The Dolphins were rumored to have interest in adding one of the top five rookie quarterbacks in round one but missed out on the chance for most and passed on Lamar Jackson. This is good news for veteran Ryan Tannehill, but the team could still target an upgrade at backup or even a potential Tannehill replacement on Day Two.
New England Patriots
The Patriots are one of many teams across the league with a starting quarterback over the age of 35. They were heavily linked to Jackson, but passed on him twice, so that was clearly a smokescreen. There was also some buzz they could move way up for Josh Rosen. Again, false. The third quarterback who has been linked to New England is Richmond’s Kyle Lauletta, who seems to feel like a Pats pick. It could happen Friday night.
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New Orleans Saints
New York Giants
Los Angeles Chargers
These four teams are all in similar spots and while their first-round picks were all over the board last night, they all ultimately opted to focus on another position. With aging quarterbacks like Ben Roethlisberger (36), Drew Brees (39), Eli Manning (37) and Philip Rivers (36), and no real long-term options behind each of these veterans, these teams could use a day two pick on a rookie signal caller.
Some might argue the Bengals are not in a desperate position since their current starter, Andy Dalton, is not nearly as old as the players mentioned above. It is also fairly obvious he is just not as good as those aforementioned veterans and the Bengals have yet to win a playoff game in his tenure. There were some who even argued the team should’ve kept AJ McCarron and pushed Dalton out the door.
Even after the successful season and subsequent contract extension for quarterback Blake Bortles, there remains a prevailing thought he can’t lead this Jaguars team to a Super Bowl. The good news for him is the Jags passed on Jackson to add yet another defensive weapon and the list of strong quarterback options is very thin as day two is set to begin. Bortles’ job is likely safe for another year.
The Broncos have been searching for an answer at the quarterback spot since Peyton Manning called it a career and perhaps think they’ve found the answer in former Viking Case Keenum. The fact the Broncos passed on multiple top prospects at the fifth overall pick can be viewed as a vote of confidence for their top free agent signing and might even be good news for former first round pick Paxton Lynch and last year’s Mr. Irrelevant Chad Kelly.
The Bills seem to be set at the starting spot with veteran LeSean McCoy, but he’ll turn 29 before the 2018 season begins and his backups are even older than that. This team needs an infusion of youth all over the roster.
Kenyan Drake played well for the Dolphins following the surprise trade of former starter Jay Ajayi, but dynasty owners have been uneasy when it comes to Drake’s value, expecting the bottom to fall out at any moment. They did add veteran Frank Gore, but that will likely have very little impact. The good news for Drake is the fact this is a team with needs all over the field and they could certainly choose to go into the season with a Drake/Gore backfield.
It is nearly the exact same situation for the Ravens, who ended up relying on Alex Collins last season by default. Most seem to assume Collins has earned the job, or at least a significant role, entering the 2018 season, but the coaching staff passed on the chance to give him a vote of confidence. This is another team with multiple needs that could bypass running back entirely.
The Steelers are in the middle of yet another off-season saga with their franchised running back Le’Veon Bell. It looks like this will be Bell’s final season with the team and the Steelers could be aggressive in adding his replacement on day two, especially with some of the top names like Derrius Guice falling to the second round.
The Colts are one of the prime landing spots to watch in round two as they are essentially left with only Marlon Mack in their backfield after they let the veteran Gore leave town. Mack is a nice player, but he’s not suited to be an every down back. A rookie like Nick Chubb or Guice landing in Indianapolis would cement their respective value as a top rookie pick based on volume alone.
Another team certainly looking to bolster their backfield will be the Denver Broncos, who recently parted ways with veteran CJ Anderson. The Broncos reportedly like Devontae Booker, but can’t feel confident with him as their top option. This feels like the landing spot for Chubb.
Who knows what to expect from the Raiders under the leadership of Jon Gruden. A year after bringing veteran Marshawn Lynch out of retirement, they’ve added another aging vet in the form of Doug Martin. Along with reserves DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard, the Raiders could feel confident about their group. They shouldn’t.
A year ago, the Redskins thought they fixed their backfield woes when they drafted productive Oklahoma back Samaje Perine. The only problem was he left his production in college, unable to claim a large role in the backfield. Chris Thompson emerged as a pass-catching back before his injury, but he’s not lead back material. This team feels a bit like the Lions of years past, happy to ride with a committee while hoping one emerges.
Speaking of the Lions, I think this is finally the year they make a move to improve their backfield. After using an early pick on Ameer Abdullah years ago, they’ve pieced together a backfield through Abdullah’s disappointment. Theo Riddick is a nice player, but only as a third-down back and I don’t think the addition of pounder LeGarrette Blount will stop them from drafting a rookie, especially after being linked to Guice during the pre-draft process.
The Panthers let veteran Jonathan Stewart walk (which was the right call), but they have yet to replace him in the lineup. Of course, last year’s first round pick, Christian McCaffrey, will play a major role in the offense, but he struggled to run between the tackles and the team is talking up Cameron Artis-Payne. I don’t buy it.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa is perhaps the top landing spot for a running back. We’ve seen runners have success there in recent years and the team is filled with talented young players at all other key offensive positions. Currently slated to start Peyton Barber, this team will undoubtedly draft a day two running back and he will vault up the rookie ranks as a result.