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Sat May 1st 2021

Second and Third Round Draft Analysis

Day two of the NFL draft has come to an end. There were a lot of dynasty-relevant draft picks made.  Some were incredibly exciting, and some were very questionable. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder in the NFL draft and dynasty rookie drafts. In this article, I'll comment on day-two picks that I saw as more beautiful than others.

2.2 - Elijah Moore

  • Moore has first-round talent, so it was not surprising to see him get drafted this early in the second round, but it was surprising that the Jets drafted a wide receiver over a running back. I assume they will draft a running back later in the draft. Moore's new presence on the team spells trouble for Jamison Crowder, who many analysts expected would get released from the team in the offseason. Denzel Mims and Corey Davis will also have competition for target from their new quarterback, Zack Wilson. I wish Moore would have gone to a team with a less crowded wide receiver room and a more predictable and proven offense. He'll take some time to establish rapport with Wilson, but he's more than capable of becoming the best wide receiver in New York. I already have Moore ranked #44 in my dynasty wide receiver rankings, ahead of all of the Jets receivers.

2.3 - Javonte Williams

  • Denver traded up to draft Williams, which is a devastating blow to the dynasty value of Melvin Gordon and the sleeper value of Mike Boone. He's a very similar runner to Gordon and will surpass Gordon as the lead running back in Denver by midseason, I think. I moved Williams up to #15 in my dynasty rankings, and I moved Gordon down to #35. I will drop Boone from all the teams I added him to this offseason.
  • Atlanta was in a position to draft Williams but traded the pick, giving Mike Davis managers hope that he will be the lead back in Atlanta. The same is true for Myles Gaskin in Miami since Miami drafted a safety when they could have drafted Williams. The rest of the running backs in this draft are more role-player backs, in my opinion, except for Trey Sermon, so Gaskin and Davis benefited the most by these first few picks in the second round, especially if another team drafts Sermon in round two.

2.18 - Rondale Moore

  • Arizona added the versatile playmaker, Moore, to a crowded wide receiver depth chart, start right away in three-receiver sets. DeAndre Hopkins is the alpha wide receiver in Arizona. A.J. Green will compete with Christian Kirk for the starting position opposite Hopkins. Moore will play in the slot on an offense whose coordinator should know how to maximize his talents. Moore's dynasty value is very dependent upon the team that drafted him. He landed on a team with a creative offense, so his dynasty value is moving up. I moved him to #49 in my wide receiver dynasty rankings, 21 spots ahead of Christian Kirk and 32 spots ahead of A.J. Green. Andy Isabella no longer needs to be rostered on dynasty teams. We'll see if the Cardinals and make Moore work where Isabella did not.

2.23 - Pat Freiermuth

  • Pittsburg lost out on many of the best offensive linemen in round two. Seven linemen were drafted by teams ahead of them, so they opted to draft the second-best tight end in the class, Pat Freiermuth. He is a great blocker, so in a sense, they helped their offensive line. Freiermuth will develop under Eric Ebron for the next year before becoming the starter in 2022 after Ebron's contract expires. Dynasty managers will have to play the long game with him, as they do with most tight ends, but it will pay off. I moved him up to #17 in my dynasty rankings. It will take a year or more to move up from there, but I believe he will. 

2.24 - D'Wayne Eskridge

  • Eskridge has been creeping up in my rookie rankings throughout the off-season, but he'll move up even more after his second-round draft capital. Seattle needs a solid third wide receiver after David Moore left for Carolina in free agency. He'll have every chance to win a starting job in three-receiver sets. That said, he was drafted by a team that limits passing opportunities with two receivers that are far better than him, D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. I wished he would have been selected by a team that had only one stud wide receiver so he could compete for the WR-2 on a team. I only moved him up to #69 in my wide receiver rankings.

2.25 - Tutu Atwell

  • The Rams drafted a wide receiver in the second round after doing so last year with Van Jefferson. Last year's pick seemed like a reach and this year's pick does too. Atwell is tiny, but he is a playmaker with speed to burn. Clearly, the Rams desire a player like that in their offense because they added DeSean Jackson in the off-season. The two of them are comparable in size and skill. I could not move Atwell up very high in my dynasty rankings given the depth chart in L.A. I only moved him up to #90 in my rankings. Van Jefferson fell in my rankings after the Rams signed Jackson. Now that they've drafted another receiver in the second round, he will drop even further. Tutu is no threat to the steady dynasty value of Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp.

2.27 - Terrace Marshall

  • I love this landing spot for Marshall. He will move up quite a bit in my rookie rankings. Carolina's offensive coordinator, Joe Brady, coached Marshall at LSU, so he likely influenced this pick. He'll immediately start in three-receiver sets opposite Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore. He played that role quite well at LSU in 2019 when he was the third receiver behind Justin Jefferson and Ja'Marr Chase. Carolina is building an offense that will be pretty tough to stop. Sam Darnold wins the most because Carolina did not draft a quarterback in the first round and how have added another legitimate weapon in the second round. I moved Marshall up to #49 in my receiver rankings between Corey Davis and Michael Pittman.

2.64 - Kyle Trask

  • Tampa Bay drafted a quarterback to groom under Tom Brady, which just means Brady will get upset and play four more years and win a few Super Bowls. Seriously though, Trask is a good pick for the Buccaneers but only carries dynasty value as a middle-round pick in superflex leagues. He has the GOAT to learn from, but it will take a few years to see what he's got. I moved him up to #44 in my quarterback rankings amidst many of the back-ups.

3.2 - Kellen Mond

  • Minnesota also drafted what they hope will be their future quarterback, or even to replace and Kirk Cousins when he has a string of difficult games as he is prone to do. Unlike Trask, I would not be surprised to see Mond get some playing time this year if Cousins struggles. He has more college-game experience than any of the quarterbacks in this draft, which does account for something. He's now #49 in my quarterback rankings, worth a late-round pick in superflex leagues.

3.3 - Davis Mills

  • Mills is my favorite quarterback outside of the five drafted in the first rounds, and his landing spot increased his dynasty value even more. Deshaun Watson's league trouble and trade demands lead me to believe he will not be the future quarterback for the Texans. Mills underperformed in college at Stanford, but he was one of the highest-ranked quarterbacks in his recruiting class. He has the tools to be an NFL starter once he's coached up. While I question the coaching and the office in Houston, Mills will get his chance to prove himself, whereas Trask and Mond will have to wait their turn. I moved him ahead of Trask and Mond to my 40th ranked quarterback, just behind Jordan Love.

3.14 - Josh Palmer

  • I did have Palmer to my top 60 rookie rankings but considered it in recent weeks while there was a lot of buzz about him getting drafted on day two. While I was not impressed with him on tape, his draft capital demands that I move him up in my rookie rankings to #24 after being drafted by the Chargers. I really wanted the Chargers to draft Tylan Wallace instead. He's a far better prospect in my eyes, and I would have loved to see him land on the Chargers. Any wide receiver that gets paired with Justin Herbert deserves a considerable bump. Mike Williams has not been impressive and is in the last year of his contract. This draft pick sends a clear signal that they do not plan to re-sign Williams. Palmer will slowly eat into Williams's time this year. I liked Tyron Johnson as a bottom-of-the-roster prospect to hold, and I have him on many rosters. I am not going to drop him just because of this third-round pick for Palmer. I liked enough of what I saw in Johnson to hold him in the hopes that he could be better than Palmer, who I obviously have ranked lower than most dynasty and NFL analysts.

3.18 - Hunter Long

  • Miami surprisingly drafted Long ahead of Brevin Jordan, the consensus third-best tight end prospect by most analysts. Long is a complete tight end that will help the Dolphins, but likely not dynasty teams. Mike Gesicki will continue to play in the move tight end role and get all of the tight end targets on a team with a great group of wide receivers competing for targets already. I do not think I will draft Long in any of my leagues because he has too much competition in Miami.

3.19 - Dyami Brown

  • Brown is a perfect fit in Washington and should become the starter alongside Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel. Drafting a wide receiver this early brings an end to the dynasty value of Kelvin Harman and Antonio Gandy-Golden and the Sims, Cam, and Steven. I moved Brown up in my rankings to #57, ahead of several wide receivers drafted ahead of him in the second and third round. Samuel's role is now solidified in the slot while McLaurin and Brown will be the deep-field threats for Washington.

3.20 - Tommy Tremble

  • Tremble was previously not ranked among my top 60 rookie rankings, but I will certainly move him into the rankings after landing in an ideal spot. Carolina took a chance on his athletic upside. He'll come in to compete against Ian Thomas, who has already had a chance to prove himself but has not, and Dan Arnold, who Carolina added in free agency because they wanted competition with Thomas. Thomas and Arnold were already on the bottom of dynasty rosters if rostered at all, so their value was already in question. Tremble's addition pushes them over a cliff. That said, I am not sure a tight end will have a vital role on this team that has far better targets in Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, and their new rookie, Terrace Marshall. Tremble will help Carolina, but not dynasty teams. I am not interested in drafting Tremble.

3.22 - Amari Rodgers

  • This pick may have been my favorite selection in the third round. Finally, Green Bay drafted a wide receiver for Aaron Rodgers, and they drafted one that is perfect for Rodgers (assuming Rodgers returns to Green Bay after his demands for a trade). I've been higher on Amari than almost every dynasty analyst in the pre-draft process. Now others will catch up with me after this landing spot. Any receiver benefits by getting paired with Aarong Rodgers, but crafty, intelligent receivers earn Rodger's respect even more. Amari is just that. I boldly moved him up to wide receiver #56, two spots behind of Elijah Moore and two spots ahead of Rondale Moore. The addition of Amari is a blow to the dynasty value of Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Amari is a far different receiver than the two of them, so he will not compete with them, but they will compete with each other, and one will lose. Amari will play a role as Randall Cobb did for years in Green Bay. He's the perfect comp for Amari and now gets to Aaron Rodger's new Randal Cobb.

3.25 - Trey Sermon

  • When San Francisco drafted Sermon, I was elated and disappointed. I was higher on Sermon than most all analysts apart from Matt Waldman, who had him ranked #1. I love what he can do in the San Francisco offense, but I hate how Mike Shanahan deploys his running backs. He makes the most of them, but he rotates them too much. Thankfully last year and this off-season, I sold my Raheem Mostert and Jeffery Wilson shares in all but one of my leagues. Their questionable dynasty value has become even more uncertain. Sermon is immediately the best running back in San Francisco, but will he get enough touches? Sermon will be one of the most challenging players to evaluate and rank before rookie drafts. For now, I have moved him up to #24.

3.26 - Nico Collins

  • I've been lower on Nico Collins than most analysts, even though I knew a team would draft him early based on his size and measurables. Houston took a stab at him with one of their very few draft picks. Aside from Brandin Cooks, the Texans' wide receivers are not very solid. Randall Cobb is getting older and was injured a lot last year, and Keke Coutee has flirted with breaking out but has yet been able to do so. All of the receivers in Houston took a dynasty value hit when Deshaun Watson demanded a trade and got in trouble with the law. Drafting Davis Mills gives them some future hope, but there are too many question marks around the entire Texans team, so I only moved Collins up to #90 in my wide receiver rankings.

3.28 - Anthony Schwartz

  • Schwartz joins Cleveland and the NFL, and immediately becomes the fastest player in the NFL. He's Olympic level fast, but that does not translate to consistent wide receiver play, which requires craft more than speed. Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry have the WR-1 and WR-2 roles locked down in Cleveland, a run-first team. Schwartz can compete with Rashad Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones for a role with the team, but the targets are too limited for his dynasty value to rise very high. I now have him as my #99 ranked wide receiver; I have Higgins and Peoples-Jones ranked in the same area. They are all ranked between 99 and 113 until I'm able to see them on the field next season.

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