Inside the DLF War Room: DLF Reacts to Day Three of the NFL Draft

Shane Manila

After what feels like an eternity we are now through the entire 2023 NFL Draft. We no longer need to speculate on landing spots or draft capital and the value of our coveted rookie picks are quickly taking final shape. At DLF, this is our busiest time of year. Over the coming days, our team will be busy churning out written, audio, and video content, updating our dynasty rankings and rookie rankings, and updating our annual Rookie Draft Guide.  A majority of your dynasty rookie drafts will kick off in the coming days, so it’s important to absorb and process the information the NFL Draft provides us. With the final piece of the evaluation puzzle in place (draft capital) I’ve recruited some of DLF’s brightest minds with their thoughts on the draft.

1) Give me one player, just one, to keep on our radar for rookie drafts who was drafted in the fourth round or later of the NFL Draft?

Nick – Wrote about him during our Rookie Prospect Profile series, but Tyler Scott has officially landed on my radar. Despite missing out on day two capital, he lands in a perfect situation to contribute immediately and potentially win the third receiver job with the upside for more. DJ Moore is obviously the WR1 for Chicago, but he will compete for work against Chase Claypool and Darnell Mooney – both of whom have been very inconsistent and have failed to grasp an established role year after year. 

Aaron – Roschon Johnson. Drafted in round four by the Chicago Bears, he fell lower than I expected. As far as landing spots go this is a good one. With Khalil Herbert and D’Onta Foreman ahead of him on the depth chart, this starting job should be up for grabs and could easily be won by Johnson in training camp.

DaddysHomeFF –  Since Aaron covered Roschon Johnson (my top pick), I will go with Puka Nacua to the Rams. Not a prospect I was in love with but goes to one of the least crowded receiver rooms in the NFL which means opportunity. And let’s be honest, the opportunity is the best we can hope for this late. He should be significantly cheaper than some other receivers he will outproduce like Jalin Hyatt for example.

John Di Bari – Zach Evans. The Rams have repeatedly shown us they don’t like Cam Akers, and we already know Kyren Williams’ limitations. That leaves a ton of opportunity for Evans to carve out a role for himself early in the season. Early in the process, Evans was considered by many to be a top-10 back in this class, and I even had him ranked as high as RB4 at some point. When you look at some of the landing spots we saw in this draft, Evans has to be considered one of the biggest winners.

2) Are there any day 3 quarterbacks worth getting to know?

DaddysHomeFF – Stetson Bennett is the stash given the situation he goes into with Stafford’s lengthy injury history and age. I think Bennett will see some snaps this year and could have a slight impact. But if you’re asking if we’ll see a repeat of Brock Purdy this year, absolutely not.

Nick – I’ll say Jake Haener in New Orleans. I think this is a great situation for him, as he will have the chance to compete for the backup job to Derek Carr (who is also a Fresno State alum).  I don’t see Haener ever being a guy that you’d trust as your starting quarterback over the long term, but a guy you can trust to get you through an extended period is highly valuable. Haener can make every throw and throws with underrated velocity. 

Aaron – Dorian Thompson-Robinson out of UCLA was selected in the fifth round by the Cleveland Browns. If Deshaun Watson is unable to recapture his pre-suspension form, then DTR has an unlimited supply of athleticism to help him usurp Watson.

John Di Bari – Short-term, absolutely not, no. Longer-term, superflex dyno-stash, types, yes, there were a few. Jaren Hall might get a look if the Vikings know they’re done with Kirk Cousins after this season. Stetson Bennett might get groomed by Sean McVay in L.A. as they wait for Matthew Stafford’s sooner-rather-than-later retirement. However, my favorite is Jake Haener landing in New Orleans. He already has a relationship with Derek Carr, as they’re both Fresno State Bulldogs. It’s an ideal spot for him to learn under a QB he already knows with an offensive coordinator with a history of success with a shorter quarterback, as Pete Carmichael orchestrated Drew Brees’ offenses for nearly 20 years.

3) Is there any player you were surprised went undrafted?

DaddysHomeFF –  I don’t go that deep, man. We ran out of people I’ve heard of like three rounds ago. Just kidding, it’s Sean Tucker who was up for RB3 consideration before the strangeness leading up to the draft when he decided to YouTube the combine for whatever reason. I knew he’d drop but this is an epic collapse.

Nick – I’ll stick with Sean Tucker, although it wasn’t all that surprising since he barely tested and didn’t do enough to help himself pre-draft. 

Aaron – Sean Tucker. I had him ranked somewhere between RB5 and RB8 in this draft class and not only did he slip out of Day Two but he slipped out of the draft altogether and went undrafted. Sadly, as day three of the draft progressed reports trickled out that Tucker had a serious heart condition that could jeopardize his football career. A devastating development for a real character guy with great talent.

John Di Bari – Maryland wide receiver Rakim Jarret has been a devy darling for a few seasons, so to see him fall completely out of the draft was surprising.

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4) Do you have a read on the 2024 rookie class yet? Anyone, we should be looking forward to?

DaddysHomeFF – I haven’t even started looking yet so obviously I’m most excited about the top names but have no good sleeper insight for you.

Nick – In the words of the late, great “Macho Man” Randy Savage, OHHH YEA! Where do I start?  Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, Marvin Harrison, Jr, Tre’Veon Henderson, and Blake Corum are the first few names that come to mind… but the list goes on and on. Get used to these cats, though. Outside of Bijan, I’d put Williams, Maye, and MHJ above the rest of this year’s top four. 

Aaron – I find the Michigan Wolverines backfield particularly interesting. They may not be the top end of the class but both Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards have more than enough talent to be first-round picks this time next year. They may not be on the level of the Ohio State, Georgia, and Alabama players, but keep an eye on them when the college football season rolls around.

John Di Bari – *insert Tommy Boy “No Idea” gif*

5) Overall impressions of this draft class now that all the players are off the board?

DaddysHomeFF – I still find this class to be incredibly solid and deep. There is someone to be excited about at each position with a pretty elite top end. Now that we have overcorrected on this class, I am buying at the new market price where I can. I expect some big-time performers to rise from this class and set teams up for long-term success.

Nick – I think it’s good, but not great. However, that doesn’t mean that none will emerge out of this class, because I think that will still be the case. Time will tell, but I am leaning towards targeting certain players this year because I believe in their talent despite a less-than-ideal situation in which they don’t produce immediately that might be looked at as a reach. 

Aaron – For the past year, the class was lauded as incredible. As the draft approached it slowly lost its shine to the point where the majority of the class is being undervalued. By this time next year, we will be looking back with a positive outlook on this class that will have provided us with a handful of high-end players at each position for fantasy football.

John Di Bari – I cooled on this class early in the process, and very few landing spots added any value to players. In fact, I thought more guys landed in bad spots than good ones. I think we’ll get quite a few “bye week fill-in” types who will linger in the league for several seasons out of this class, but I don’t think it’s loaded with game-changers and cornerstone building blocks for dynasty.

shane manila
Inside the DLF War Room: DLF Reacts to Day Three of the NFL Draft