2013 NFL Draft: Live Fantasy Recap (Rounds 2-3)
The second round of the 2013 NFL Draft begins at 6:30 p.m. ET, while the remainder of the draft will finish up on Saturday (12 p.m. ET). Coverage is on ESPN and the NFL Network.
Throughout the second and third rounds, I'll be updating this page with live analysis of the fantasy implications of each skill position pick. Executive Editor Josh Moore will be checking in tomorrow to summarize the mid- to late-round picks. Since opportunity is crucial for a rookie, we'll give a grade for each early pick given the player's opportunity for playing time.
To see our fantasy recap of the first round, click here.
Before I get started, let me express my disappointment that the NFL continuously slow-played picks throughout the first round. Oftentimes a pick would come in and then 10 minutes later Roger Goodell would come sauntering out to read the card. Goodell said in a recent interview that he thought the draft gained a lot of momentum when they reduced the amount of time for each pick, but that momentum is stunted when the leauge decides to drag its feet in announcing the picks. This is why the draft ran 45 minutes longer than it should have.
Okay enough griping, let's get started with the first skill position pick of the second round...
Hunter has great size at 6'4" to go along with nice speed (4.49 40-yard dash). He drops too many balls and doesn't like to go across the middle, but he has big play ability and is a very fluid route-runner. He tore his ACL in 2011 but returned to play the full 2012 season.
Hunter joins a Tennessee receiving corps that already includes Kenny Britt, Kendall Wright and Nate Washington. If those three players are healthy (and still on the roster in 2013), Hunter may have trouble finding snaps, though he’s capable of contributing immediately. Barring a change in the depth chart, Hunter may not be a fantasy factor in 2013.
Similar height/weight/speed combination as Tyler Eifert, though Eifert is a bit faster. Ertz is already a very good route runner, which could lead to immediate production in the NFL. He has solid hands and is a good athlete for a tight end, and is willing to fight for the ball when it's in the air.
Bernard projects to be a change-of-pace back in the NFL, and he’ll fill that role behind BenJarvus Green-Ellis in Cincinnati. He doesn’t have great top-end speed (4.56 40-yard dash) but has very good quickness and burst, not unlike Darren Sproles. He’s good in the passing game as well, which should add an extra dimension to the Bengals’ offense. The pick is bad news for Green-Ellis, though Cincinnati was expected to find a quicker RB to back him up. Bernard will hold reserve RB value, so he’ll probably go in the 11th-13th rounds of fantasy drafts.
News just broke that the Cleveland Browns traded for Davone Bess, who is a solid slot receiver who fell out of favor in Miami. The move probably means Greg Little won’t be moving to the slot, as was rumored. QB Brandon Weeden gets a small bump with another weapon at his disposal.
Smith was widely regarded as the top QB in this draft, which is devoid of any sure-fire franchise QBs. He is athletic, but is primarily a pocket passer. He has good velocity on his throws, but his accuracy has been very inconsistent, which seems to be the biggest knock on his game.
He heads to a Jets team that has really been struggling offensively. He will compete with Mark Sanchez (assuming he’s still on the roster) for the starting job. He’ll work with new OC Marty Morhinweg, who had plenty of success as the OC for the Eagles for the last seven seasons. Morhinweg’s offense is WCO-style with a heavy emphasis on short throws. The Jets’ receiving corps is something of a mess, though Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill showed flashes in 2012. Santonio Holmes returns for another season while Dustin Keller left for Miami. Obviously, this pick is very bad for Sanchez, but his fantasy value couldn't get much lower.
The 6’0” Woods isn’t terribly impressive physically. He’s fast (4.47 40-yard dash) in a straight line, but didn’t perform very well in the agility drills. However, in game action he has shown burst and quickness, and toughness over the middle. His ball skills are solid, though he has had the occasional drop, and he needs to work on his strength as he runs his routes.
The Bills have a new QB (E.J. Manuel or Kevin Kolb) and Woods will fight with T.J. Graham for snaps opposite Steve Johnson, but make no mistake -- this should be a C.J. Spiller-centric offense until the passing game develops. If Woods wins the starting job, he'll be a deep sleeper later this summer.
Athletically and physically similar to Tyler Eifert, but he’s not quite as fast and not quite as quick. Escobar has great ball skills, runs good routes and can stretch the secondary. His blocking needs a lot of work, but otherwise he’s ready to contribute.
Perhaps Escobar will be the heir-apparent to Jason Witten, who just turned 30. There won’t be many targets to go around in Dallas for Escobar.
2.16 Pittsburgh Steelers - RB Le’Veon Bell, Michigan St.
Bell is a big, bruising power back that fits Pittsburgh’s style. He’s not a burner, but has shown good patience and has good mobility. He’s pretty solid in the passing game as well, though pass protection is an issue. Assuming he wins the RB1 job, he’ll hold third- or fourth-round fantasy value as the lead back in Pittsburgh. He’ll have to beat out Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman for that privilege.
McDonald is big at 267 lbs even though he has average height (6’4”) for a tight end. He’s a versatile player who can do some of the same things that the departed Delanie Walker did while with the 49ers.
Ball’s college workload (983 touches) is a bit of a concern with regard to his long-term durability. He is a good all-around RB even though he lacks top-end speed (4.55 40-yard dash). He’s not going to make defenders miss in the open field, but he runs very hard and likes to punish would-be tacklers whenever possible. He’s also an underrated receiver.
The Broncos already have Ronnie Hillman as a change-of-pace back, and Ball will have to usurp Willis McGahee (and Knowshon Moreno) to beome the team’s primary back on first and second down. He can play on third down as well. If he manages to win the RB1 job, he should hold 4th round value in fantasy drafts, though HC John Fox has stuck with veteran RBs in the past and may do so again. This is a situation to monitor this summer.
Dobson has mediocre speed (4.55 40-yard dash) for a receiver, but otherwise has good height (6’3”) and bulk (210 lbs) to go along with nice quickness, agility and hands. He’s not going to take the top off of a defense, but has the size and leaping ability to make plays down the field and in the endzone.
The Patriots are thin at WR, so if he picks things up quickly, he could start in 2013. Donald Jones and Michael Jenkins are his biggest competition for snaps at this point. He’s definitely a player to monitor this summer.
At 5'11" and 231 lbs, Lacy is a good combination of power and finesse. He's decisive, has good feet and speed (4.53 40-yard dash) for his size, and has a terrific spin move that he uses often. He shows great power and motivation when he runs. Lacy didn't catch a lot of passes at Alabama (35), but has shown good hands when given the opportunity. He is a willing pass-blocker.
Wow, Lacy slipped mightily in the draft due to injury concerns. Lacy was out of shape at his pro day due to a hamstring injury and went into a free fall because of it. I love this pick as a Packer fan and as a fantasy football owner -- Green Bay finally has a power running back who can move the chains and get Aaron Rodgers into third-and-short situations. Lacy will likely have third-round value in fantasy drafts this summer. The pick obviously hurts DuJuan Harris, who now figures to serve as Lacy’s change-of-pace backup.
Interesting pick for the Seahawks, who already have Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin on the roster. Michael is a well-built back who is pretty solid all-around, but he has had serious durability issues (broken leg, torn ACL) in college. He has shown good vision and balance, but doesn’t have great top-end speed. Fantasy-wise, he isn’t likely to make much of an impact this year, but the pick certainly puts a dent in Turbin’s dynasty value.
He has good size (6’5”, 255 lbs) for his position and has been described as a “poor man’s Rob Gronkowski” due to his soft hands and propensity to make big plays in the passing game. He’ll be able to stretch the seams for HC Andy Reid and QB Alex Smith. He may have to play behind Tony Moeaki until he’s ready for prime time. The Chiefs also signed Anthony Fasano this offseason.
Josh Freeman is in the final year of his contract, so the Buccaneers may be getting a Plan B in place while also giving Freeman a little extra incentive to produce in 2013. Glennon is tall (6’7”) like Freeman and has a big arm, but has been inconsistent with the deep ball and makes plenty of questionable decisions.
Williams has good speed and has the ability to take the top off of a defense if given the chance. He doesn’t have great ball skills and isn’t a polished route runner, but his long stride makes him a dangerous deep threat. With Dez Bryant and Miles Austin entrenched as the starters, Williams will compete with Dwayne Harris for snaps.
Allen doesn’t have great speed (4.53 40-yard dash, which is mediocre for this draft class), but he is a good route runner and has nice ball skills. Though he lacks big-play ability, he is otherwise pretty polished so he could be able to contribute immediately at the next level.
He tore his PCL in 2012 which impacted his draft stock. He joins a Chargers offense that should have three good/solid receivers -- Danario Alexander, Malcom Floyd and Vincent Brown -- returning in 2013, so snaps may not be easy to come by, at least this season. His long-term prospects look good.
Given his world-class speed (4.40 40-yard dash), Goodwin was a jack-of-all-trades at Texas. In addition to his duties as a receiver, he also carried the ball 46 times in his career and was a solid return man. He has great big-play ability and will compete with Robert Woods and T.J. Graham for snaps opposite Steve Johnson.
Wheaton has great speed (4.45 40-yard dash) and produced in a big way in his final two seasons in college. He’s only 5’11”, but is a great athlete and has soft hands. He can get behind the defense and likes to work the middle of the field. He’ll help to replace Mike Wallace (likely) playing behind Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. He won’t be a fantasy factor in 2013 unless he’s able to pass Sanders on the depth chart.
During the third round, news broke that the Jets acquired Chris Ivory via trade. Like Michael Turner, Lamont Jordan and Chester Taylor before him, the 25-year-old Ivory is one of those RBs that the fantasy community has been hoping would get an opportunity to start, and now he'll get his chance. He was limited to 27 games in four college seasons due to injury, and was signed by the Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2010. He has averaged 5.1 YPC in his career, though he has struggled with injuries in the NFL as well. In his rookie season, due to injuries to Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas, Ivory got a few starts and had some success. In 13 career games where he has received at least 10 touches, he's averaged 78 total yards, 0.38 TD and an impressive 5.2 YPC. That production equates to #16 RB-type numbers. New Orleans has not thrown the ball his way very often -- he has just three catches in his career -- but he did score on a 76-yard swing pass in preseason of his rookie year so he has some pass-catching ability. Mike Goodson is pretty good in the passing game, so we're expecting Ivory to be a two-down back in New York, which will limit his upside. If he continues to make big plays running the ball, the team may try to get him the ball more often in the passing game as well. Consider him a low-end RB2 until we know who is going to be the third-down back in 2013. Ivory's arrival kills most of Goodson's sleeper potential.
Bailey is small (5’10”) but was highly productive in college, catching 114 passes for 1,622 yards and 25 TDs in his junior season. He has good speed (4.49 40-yard dash) and was solid in the agility drills as well. He has great ball skills and is an accomplished route runner. He’s not big enough to win on deep balls with any consistency, but not for a lack of speed. He’s very good in the middle of the field.
The Rams already have Bailey’s teammate, Tavon Austin, so the duo will join Chris Givens and Brian Quick as part of one of the youngest receiving corps in the league. Other than Austin, it’s hard to like any of these WRs until the depth chart shakes out.
He hasn’t been durable (at all), but he has great speed (4.48 40-yard dash) and a strong work ethic. He has fumbled a lot (8 times in 2012 on just 123 touches) but that's something that can be fixed. Otherwise, he’s a solid all-around RB with good vision, agility and power. He’ll have the opportunity to back up Jamaal Charles, which means he’ll hold handcuff value in fantasy drafts.
That wraps up all of the skill position picks in Rounds 2-3. Josh will be checking in tomorrow with the fantasy impact of Rounds 4-7.