2019 NFL Draft: Live Fantasy Recap (Rounds 2-3)
The second round of the 2017 NFL Draft begins at 7:00 p.m. ET, while the remainder of the draft will finish up on Saturday (12 p.m. ET).
Throughout the second and third rounds, I'll be updating this page with player evaluation from Brandon Niles and my own live analysis of the fantasy implications of each skill position pick. Brandon will be taking over tomorrow to summarize the mid- to late-round picks. Since opportunity is crucial for a rookie, I'll provide a grade for each early pick given the player's opportunity for playing time and overall situation.
To see our fantasy recap of the first round, click here.
2.04 - 49ers - WR Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
Samuel lined up in multiple spots for the Gamecocks, but he’s best suited for a slot role at the next level. Samuel has a stocky build and he runs hard after the catch. With the ball in his hands, Samuel has excellent vision and plays with a mean streak, helping him to four kickoff return touchdowns. He has adequate speed and explosiveness, with an uncanny ability to find space in the red zone. He had 11 touchdowns last year, and was on his way to a breakout season through three games in 2017 before breaking his leg. Samuel seems disinterested when not directly involved in the play, but working out of the slot full-time should change that. He has the ability to contribute immediately as a playmaker and chain-mover if he can stay healthy.
Athletic Comparable: James Jones
Pierre Garcon has moved on, so the 49er WR depth chart currently features Dante Pettis and Marquise Goodwin. George Kittle will likely lead this team in targets, but neither Pettis nor Goodwin are high-usage receivers, so Samuel could carve out a significant role if he plays starter's snaps (70%+) in the slot.
2.10 - Broncos - QB Drew Lock, Missouri
Lock has a rocket arm and a short, compact release. He flings it with ease to all levels of the field and is accurate when he gets his feet planted, showing the ability to hit streaking receivers in stride, as well as lead players on crossing routes to set up big yards after the catch. Lock will need to work on his decision-making and will need to learn to trust his receivers to make plays. He doesn’t throw players open and sometimes tucks the ball and runs if his first read isn’t there. Lock is athletic enough to make an immediate impact however, and he might have the best pure arm talent in the draft.
Athletic Comparable: Brett Hundley
The Broncos seemingly have their quarterback of the future, but he'll have to beat out Joe Flacco to start in his first season. The Broncos have a nice group of receivers including Emmanuel Sanders, Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant, so Lock could work his way into the streaming conversation if he wins the starting job.
2.18 - Vikings - TE Irv Smith Jr., Alabama
Smith caught 44 balls for Alabama last year and scored seven touchdowns. He was a nice safety valve for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and his 4.63-second 40-yard-dash at the combine was the third-fastest at his position this year. Smith is an above-average blocker who will only improve as he gets stronger in an NFL weight training program. His route-running is advanced, and he demonstrates excellent body control against defenders, allowing him to win matchups against defensive backs. Smith is a versatile weapon who can line up anywhere on offense and his ability to make plays in the passing game while contributing as a blocker should earn him extended playing time as a rookie.
Athletic Comparable: Mark Andrews
Long-term this is not a bad spot for Smith, but it's tough to see him making a splash as a rookie since he'll have to beat out Kyle Rudolph and compete with Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs for targets in what will likely be a run-heavy offense.
2.19 - Titans - WR A.J. Brown, Ole Miss
Brown was very productive over the past two seasons for the Rebels, amassing 160 catches for 2,572 yards and 17 touchdowns in that span. Brown has excellent hands when he’s dialed in and is one of the best route-runners in this draft class. Brown projects to play anywhere, but he operated mostly out of the slot at Ole Miss, where he used his crisp cuts and exceptional burst to gain separation and make plays after the catch. Questions about Brown’s ability to beat outside corners deep were partially answered with a 4.49-second 40-yard-dash at the combine. While not blazing fast, that time puts him square in the “fast enough” territory for a player who already impresses on tape. He’s ready to compete for a starting role immediately.
Athletic Comparable: Dez Bryant
This pick certainly helps Marcus Mariota, though Brown's spot in the receiving pecking order is to be determined. Corey Davis, Delanie Walker and the recently-signed slot receiver Adam Humphries should all soak up targets, so Brown will have to be in on virtually all three-WR sets to make a fantasy impact this season.
2.21 - Eagles - RB Miles Sanders, Penn State
Sanders was highly recruited, but had to wait two years behind Saquon Barkley to get his shot last season as the primary ball-carrier. He delivered with 1,274 rushing yards and 24 receptions, including 162 yards and a touchdown against Michigan State’s top-ranked run defense. Sanders is one of the best pass-blocking backs in this class due to his excellent balance, which shows up when he cuts and shimmies through the line as well. He needs to learn patience when the hole doesn’t open up right away, but his 4.49-second 40-yard-dash time at the combine backed up the explosiveness he shows on tape. Sanders demonstrated soft hands in college, though he didn’t run much of a route tree. In the right situation, he could be an every-down starter.
Athletic Comparable: Felix Jones
The Eagles traded for Jordan Howard, so Howard and Sanders could conceivably form a 1-2 punch with Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood providing depth. Despite the crowded depth chart, the opportunity is decent since the situation is unsettled and Howard hasn't proven to be a bellcow-type back. It wouldn't be shocking if Sanders is leading this backfield in touches by midseason.
2.24 - Chiefs - WR Mecole Hardman, Georgia
Hardman complemented Riley Ridley well in Georgia’s run-based offense last year, catching seven touchdowns and stretching the field. His combine speed was impressive, clocking 4.33 seconds in the 40-yard-dash. Hardman has a chance to be a solid outside threat if he can be more consistent with his hands and learn to use his body positioning to wall off defenders and make contested catches. More likely, he’ll make a roster as a dynamic return specialist. He took back a punt for a 70-yard touchdown last season against Middle Tennessee and averaged 24.3 yards per kick return over his career for the Bulldogs.
Athletic Comparable: Eddie Royal
This grade assumes that the Chiefs are drafting a receiver in the second round because they plan to cut Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs own one of the most prolific offenses in the league and while Hardman would likely find himself behind Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins in terms of targets, he could also carve out a Hill-like role in the offense and turn in fantasy starter numbers in the short-term.
2.25 - Eagles - WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Stanford
Arcega-Whiteside is a big, physical hands-catcher with a large catch-radius and was a consistent red zone threat for the Cardinals, catching 23 touchdowns over the last two seasons. He lacks the speed to gain separation or to outrun defensive backs after the catch, but he has tremendous body control and elite ball skills. Arcega-Whiteside walls off defenders when vying for jump balls, and consistently attacks the ball at its highest point. His ability to be an outside receiver in a league full of slot guys separates him from the pack and might be what allows him to win a job early in the NFL.
Athletic Comparable: Mack Hollins
Arcega-Whiteside is going to have a tough time getting snaps in Philadelphia's loaded receiving corps. He'll be competing with Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor (unless the team moves him), Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert for targets. I don't forsee a big role unless he has an outstanding offseason and is able to work his way up the depth chart.
2.27 - Colts - WR Parris Campbell, Ohio State
Campbell had a breakout senior year for the Buckeyes, catching 90 balls for 1,063 yards and 12 touchdowns, including 11 catches in a Rose Bowl victory over Washington. Campbell has blazing speed – 4.31 seconds in the 40-yard-dash at the combine – to go with excellent short-area quickness, which help him gain separation. After the catch, he runs with vision and elusiveness. He’s unpolished as a route-runner and will shy away from contact, but he has the skillset to move around the formation and could excel as a dynamic downfield threat outside the hash marks. He returned kicks earlier in his college career and may do that again, or shift to the slot with a little more refinement in his game. Campbell projects as a playmaker with high upside.
Athletic Comparable: Santana Moss
Like Arcega-Whiteside, Campell will have some work to do to get on the field as a rookie, though the targets don't look as tough to come by in Indianapolis as they do in Philadelphia. Campbell will have to carve out a role alongside Devin Funchess and the Colts' two talented tight ends, but he should be on the field in most three-WR sets from the get-go.
2.30 - Cardinals - WR Andy Isabella, UMass
Isabella was super productive last year, leading the NCAA with 1,698 receiving yards on 102 receptions. He followed that up with an excellent combine, running a 4.31-second 40-yard dash and posting a great time in the three-cone drill, proving the exceptional short-area quickness he shows on tape. Isabella is undersized at 5-foot-9 and 188 lbs, but he runs great routes and can stop-and-start on a dime. He didn’t face NFL-level competition often in college, but he shined against a top-25 Georgia pass defense to close out his college career. Isabella needs to work on catching the ball away from his body, but he has the ability to be a big-time playmaker in the right offense. He’ll make a roster, even if it’s as a sub-package receiver who helps out in the return game.
Athletic Comparable: Tyler Lockett
The Cardinals traded Josh Rosen to the Dolphins and turned around and used the pick on a weapon for their new quarterback, Kyler Murray. Isabella will have a chance to learn from one of the best receivers of all time, Larry Fitzgerald. They both play the slot at this point, though HC Kliff Kingsbury will likely have a plan to get them both on the field at the same time.
2.32 - Seahawks - WR D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss
Metcalf has rare size-speed traits, standing 6-foot-3 and running a 4.33-second 40-yard-dash at the combine. However, he looks slower on tape, and his 3-cone drill and 20-yard-shuttle results were near the bottom among receivers, showing a lack of suddenness in his game. Metcalf plays physically, but seems to lack the instincts to play downfield with more than simple size and physicality. He’ll lose speed when trying to locate the ball and has some focus drops. Durability concerns – neck and foot injuries in college – and his unpolished receiver skills make him a boom-bust prospect overall.
Athletic Comparable: Andre Johnson
The opportunity in Seattle depends heavily on Doug Baldwin's health. Metcalf is going to have a tough time beating out a healthy Baldwin or Tyler Lockett for snaps in the Seahawks' run-heavy offense. On the plus side, he'll be playing with one of the most efficient quarterbacks (in terms of fantasy points per pass attempt) in the history of the league in Russell Wilson.
3.02 - Steelers - WR Diontae Johnson, Toledo
Johnson was an explosive playmaker at Toledo and had an exceptional junior season in 2017, catching 74 balls for 1,278 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was less consistent last year, with only 761 yards, but he was a dynamic receiver and return specialist. Johnson is 5-foot-10 with a slight, 183 lbs frame, but he shows an explosive release off the line and uses his arms and short-area quickness to disengage quickly from press coverage. He’s an ideal fit as a slot receiver, and if he can stay healthy and improve his route-running and coverage diagnosis, he could develop into a quality NFL player. At the very least, he should immediately play a role in the return game.
Athletic Comp: Tavarres King
With Antonio Brown in Oakland, there are a boatload of targets up for grabs in Pittsburgh. I think James Washington will make the leap, but the Steelers obviously like Johnson and they'll be looking for ways to get him on the field. He could play the slot in three-WR sets with JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Washington outside.
3.03 - 49ers - WR Jalen Hurd, Baylor
Hurd is still learning how to play the position, but he has tremendous downfield ability and you can see his innate running back skills take over after he gets the ball in his hands. He was a top running back recruit to Tennessee early in his collegiate career but transferred to Baylor for the opportunity to play receiver. Hurd had 946 receiving yards last season, including 11 catches and 135 yards against Kansas State. With his 6-foot-4 frame, you’d like to see him score more than the four touchdowns he had a year ago, but he’s ultimately still a work in progress. Hurd plucks the ball out of the air at its highest point and runs with every ounce of energy he has on every play. He’s converted to a sinewy athlete on the outside after making his name as a banger when he was running the ball. His work ethic and drive to make a successful position switch should translate well to the NFL, and he should be considered a high-upside, high-risk prospect with the raw ability to be elite.
Athletic Comparable: Vincent Jackson
3.05 - Jaguars - TE Josh Oliver, San Jose State
Oliver is a big, physical tight end with tremendous length who can line up all over the field. He led the Aztecs with 56 receptions last season and was quarterback Josh Love’s most consistent option. Oliver has the ability to block, making him a complete tight end, as he started his career as a big body inline. The last two seasons he’s lined up in multiple positions, including in the slot. He runs a nice slant route for a person his size, and he uses his body well when the ball is in the air. Oliver will need to be more consistent in his technique, including playing with leverage when blocking and learning to use his feet more fluidly to get into his routes quicker, but he has sky-high upside as a dynamic receiving tight end if he can continue his development.
Athletic Comparable: Hayden Hurst
The Jaguars signed the solid if unspectacular Geoff Swaim, so Oliver will have to have a great preseason to earn starter's snaps as a rookie. Rookie tight ends rarely make a splash, but if he's starting, he'll have a chance to enter the streaming conversation.
3.06 - Rams - RB Darrell Henderson, Memphis
Henderson put up big numbers last year, with 1,909 yards and 22 touchdowns on the ground, his second consecutive 1,000-plus yard season. Most impressive, he averaged a staggering 8.9 yards per carry in each of the last two years. Henderson runs with explosiveness and plays decisively, even if he doesn’t always choose the right path. He feasted on poor defenses throughout his career and ran away from inferior athletes on a lot of his big plays, but it’s hard not to notice the production. Henderson runs hard, but will need to play with better pad level if he’s going to withstand the hits he’ll take at the next level. He’d fit best in a committee, with the potential to make big plays in space. He’s a capable receiver after catching 62 balls during his three-year college career.
Athletic Comparable: DeAndre Washington
Henderson likely competes for snaps behind Todd Gurley, but if Gurley's knee is worse than what's been advertised, then the primary backup would have a huge opportunity in an extremely productive offense.
3.09 - Bears - RB David Montgomery, Iowa State
Montgomery is a productive all-purpose back who shows excellent vision and patience for a young runner. He maximizes inside runs with just enough short-area elusiveness and a competitive fire that helps him churn out tough yards. Montgomery caught 36 balls as a sophomore and has the ability to line up in the slot and move around the formation on passing downs. He’s one of the best route-running backs in this class. Montgomery looks like he’s running in place at times, and his lack of straight-line speed could keep him from reaching elite levels as a pro. However, as an instinctive runner with excellent balance and a versatile skill-set, he has workhorse potential in the right situation.
Athletic Comparable: Carlos Hyde
3.10 - Bills - RB Devin Singletary, Florida Atlantic
Singletary was extremely productive over the past three seasons for the Owls, rushing for over 1,000 yards each year and scoring an incredible 66 touchdowns on the ground. Singletary also shows ability as a receiver out of the backfield. He caught 45 balls over his first two seasons. Singletary is undersized at 5-foot-9, but he’s built with a thick trunk and powerful legs, using his low center of gravity to duck behind the line and cut through the fray, undetected. Singletary will need to show he can hold up against elite competition coming out of Conference USA, and his 4.66-second 40-yard-dash will have scouts wondering if he can be explosive at the next level. However, based on raw instincts and a versatile skill set, Singletary’s tape looks like that of an every-down starter in the NFL.
Athletic Comparable: James White
The Bills signed Frank Gore and T.J. Yeldon this offseason to back up LeSean McCoy, so if the depth chart remains the same, Singletary will have a tough time getting on the field early in his rookie season.
3.11 - Packers - TE Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M
Sternberger was a one-year starter for the Aggies after two transfers, but he led the team in all major receiving categories last season with 48 receptions for 832 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was a willing blocker in college but wasn’t always effective and could get muscled around easily by bigger defensive linemen. As a pro, he’ll be counted on to release early and sometimes line up in the slot to stretch the middle of the field. He should be able to do that effectively. Sternberger isn’t the most gifted athlete, but he has excellent eyes when the ball is in the air and catches with exceptional discipline. He is going to find his role early as a chain-mover and will be beloved by his quarterback as a safety valve.
Athletic Comparable: Charles Clay
Sternberger will probably spend the year learning behind Jimmy Graham.
3.12 - Washington - WR Terry McLaurin, Ohio State
McLaurin scored 11 touchdowns for the Buckeyes last year and averaged 20 yards per catch on 35 receptions as a big-play option for quarterback Dwayne Haskins. McLaurin ran a blazing 4.35-second 40-yard-dash at the combine, and he popped on tape at the Senior Bowl against excellent competition. He looks the part as a route-runner and legitimate deep threat, using both speed and physicality to gain separation, but he doesn’t explode off the line or on slant routes and he’s a basket-catcher. If McLaurin can work on his hands and maintain his intensity and focus on every snap, he has the skill set to develop into an outside starter.
Athletic Comparable: Chris Godwin
His athletic comparable is Chris Godwin? Count me in. But seriously folks... Washington's receiving corps is wide open and the passing game got an upgrade earlier in the draft in the form of Dwayne Haskins, who played with McLaurin at Ohio State.
3.22 - Texans - TE Kahale Warring, San Diego State
Warring is a project who looks like he was made in a lab, but had limited production for the Aztecs and didn’t really get into football until college. He shows the ability to be a complete tight end but will need to work on technique and leverage to avoid getting bullied at the line. His hands slip at times, allowing faster defensive ends to easily spin and swim through him, making him look like he’s in a turnstile. Warring’s 4.62 40-yard-dash speed makes him a natural seam-stretcher and if he can continue to develop as a football player, his athleticism could allow him to develop into a starter long-term.
Athletic Comparable: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
Ryan Griffin currently sits atop the Texans' depth chart at tight end, so there is opportunity in Houston. But Brandon described Warring as a "project," so I'm not optimistic about much production in 2019. He's a fantastic athlete so there is a lot of long-term upside here.
3.23 - Patriots - RB Damien Harris, Alabama
Harris split time with Josh Jacobs the last three years at Alabama, and the two made for an excellent combined ground attack. Harris got the bulk of the carries and was more prolific, finishing with over 1,000 yards in two of his three seasons as a full-time starter, and scoring 20 touchdowns on the ground over his last two years. Harris is also a capable receiver out of the backfield, catching 22 balls last year, though he’s unlikely to hold up against athletic linebackers over the middle and down the seam. Harris runs tough and will always fight for an extra yard or two. He makes good decisions and keeps his legs churning through contact. He has the power to be a consistent two-down option in the NFL, and has just enough elusiveness to flirt with every-down work. He’s a high-floor draft prospect who would be best-suited in a timeshare.
Athletic Comparable: Damien Williams
3.29 - Ravens - WR Miles Boykin, Notre Dame
Boykin looks every bit of his 6-foot-4 frame on tape, and his long arms and big hands were on full display as the leading receiver for the Fighting Irish last season. Boykin doesn’t run great routes and he doesn’t always play with great leverage against smaller defenders, but he has natural hands and attacks the ball. He tracks well and plays with a physical demeanor, always looking to block downfield when the ball isn’t going his way. While Boykin doesn’t currently look like he has the technique down to be a starter at the next level, his 4.42-second 40-yard-dash at the combine was faster than expected and he shows enough natural ability to warrant long-term development potential. Boykin isn’t ready to be an instant impact option but could develop into an outside threat in the right situation.
Athletic Comparable: Chris Conley
3.32 - Bills - TE Dawson Knox, Ole Miss
Knox wasn’t particularly productive in college, he caught only 15 balls last year, but he showed explosiveness in space for a man his size and a willingness to block. He held up well against a tough Alabama defensive line when asked to help against the pass rush, and his top-end speed was enough to warrant safety help, creating space underneath for others. Knox is still learning the position, and while he runs well with the ball in his hands and can get downfield once he gets moving, he lumbers through initial contact at the line, which might negate his field-stretching at the next level. Knox has the ability to be a complete tight end due to his athleticism and some natural blocking and receiving ability, but he’s still a project at this point and will take some time to develop.
Athletic Comparable: Anthony Fasano
3.36 - Panthers - QB Will Grier, West Virginia
Grier is coming off a fantastic senior season where he was fifth in the nation with 37 touchdown passes, and he threw for 3,864 yards. Grier was particularly impressive in a thrilling win over Texas last season, with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Gary Jennings and a two-point conversion run with 16 seconds left to get the win. He’s known for his leadership and his ability to make plays, though he’ll need to work on his accuracy outside the pocket at the next level. Grier has adequate arm strength and is accurate when he has time, but his fundamentals are sub-par, causing him problems when he tries to freelance – which he often does. He’s likely a fringe-starter or excellent career backup in the NFL.
Athletic Comparable: Nathan Peterman
With this pick, are the Panthers signaling that they're worried about Cam Newton's shoulder? In my rookie QB model, Grier checks in with the No. 8 projected touchdown percentage and the No. 8 projected YPA. Not bad.
3.38 - Vikings - RB Alexander Mattison, Boise State
Mattison was very productive for the Broncos, putting up consecutive 1,000-yard seasons the past two years, including 1,415 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior before declaring for the draft. Mattison has a compact frame and he runs with excellent pad level and vision, allowing him to make quick decisions and find the open hole. Mattison isn’t a burner, but he’ll run you over once he gets a head of steam behind him, and he has great hands when he leaks out into the flat. He could excel in the NFL on wheel routes in the right matchup. He’s a violent runner who will carve out a role as a pro, but his running style might lead to durability issues down the line. He doesn’t shy away from contact.
Athletic Comparable: Joique Bell
Latavius Murray is gone so Mattison will compete for snaps behind Dalvin Cook. Cook is not the most durable running back so don't be surprised if Mattison draws a few starts in a run-heavy Minnesota offense in 2019.