2014 NFL Draft: Live Fantasy Recap (Rounds 4-7)

2014 NFL Draft: Live Fantasy Recap (Rounds 4-7)

By Brandon Niles (4for4 Scout), last update May 12, 2014

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Brandon has been a regular contributor to 4for4 since 2006. He's an experienced writer with a background in communication, business and alcoholic beverages.

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The third and final day of the 2014 NFL Draft (Rounds 4-7) begins Saturday at 12 p.m. ET. Television coverage continues on ESPN and the NFL Network.

Here at 4for4, I am taking the baton from Senior Editor John Paulsen, who covered Round 1 Thursday and Rounds 2-3 Friday. I will be updating this page with analysis of the fantasy implications of each skill position pick. Since opportunity is crucial for a rookie, we assign a grade for each, given the player's opportunity for playing time in 2014.

Don’t get too excited about this crop of mid- to late-round rookies. While there may be a couple of players selected today who will beat the odds and prove valuable in 2014 fantasy football leagues, the odds are stacked heavily against them. Still, every year there seem to be a few late-round picks that find a way to contribute, so it's worthwhile to pay attention to the third day of the draft.

Off we go…

 

4.03 – Atlanta Falcons - RB Devonta Freeman, Florida State

Freeman is a high character, high effort player, thickly built but undersized at 5’8.  He will fit best as a complimentary back with upside, and developed a nose for the end zone at Florida State.  He goes to an Atlanta Falcons team that needs help in the running game and he’ll get opportunities to challenge Jacquizz Rogers for reps behind aging starter Steven Jackson.

Opportunity: B+

 

4.04 – New York Jets - WR Jalen Saunders, Oklahoma

Saunders is a willing competitor who has the type of speed to get open from the slot.  Undersized at 5’9, he lacks the ball skills to fight for the ball in traffic.  If he can get open coming out of the slot for the Jets, he could find the field as a sub-package player in year one on a team that needs weapons in the passing game.

Opportunity: B+

 

4.06 – San Francisco 49ers - WR Bruce Ellington, South Carolina

Ellington is a steal at this point in the draft.  The cousin of Cardinals RB Andre Ellington, Bruce shares his cousin’s penchant for big plays and the ability to make plays in space.  A former point guard at South Carolina, Ellington is an undersized player who will need to play in the slot for the 49ers, but he adds a dimension in San Francisco that they lack with their other players.  However, he’ll be battling Stevie Johnson for opportunities in an offense that emphasizes the run, which will make it hard for him to see the field enough to put up big numbers in year one.

Opportunity: C+

 

4.13 – New York Giants - RB Andre Williams, Boston College

The Doak Walker award winner, Williams is a big, bruising back without a lot of speed or shimmy to his game.  Was wildly productive his senior year at Boston College and should be able to carve a situational role at the next level.  The Giants are looking for their every down back, with Free Agent addition Rashad Jennings leading a crowded backfield that includes Peyton Hillis and the disappointing David Wilson.  Williams will have a chance to compete as the Giants’ power back, but will need to prove he has the vision to succeed in a league full of big, strong defenders that he won’t be able to run over as easily as he did at Boston College.

Opportunity: B

 

4.15 – New York Jets - WR Shaq Evans, UCLA

Evans becomes the second WR drafted by the Jets in the fourth round, and he’s a player with a good frame and consistent hands who could develop into a solid possession player at the next level.  Production was lacking at UCLA however, and Evans will need to prove himself as a route runner to succeed in the NFL.  Opportunity is better for the speedy Saunders than for a guy like Evans, who will sit behind Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley early on.

Opportunity: C

 

4.17 – Chicago Bears - RB Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona

Carey has first round potential.  A thickly built runner who was highly productive his last two years at Arizona, racking up nearly 4,000 yards on the ground.  Demonstrates excellent vision on the field, but dropped to the fourth round because of a bad 40 yard dash at the combine, along with off-field concerns including team suspensions.  Will go to a Chicago Bears team looking for a backup RB behind starter Matt Forte, and Carey should easily win that job.  However, as long as Forte is healthy, his opportunity for early impact numbers will be limited.

Opportunity: C-

 

4.18 – Pittsburgh Steelers - WR Martavis Bryant, Clemson

First round measurables, but dropped due to inconsistent hands and stiffness getting in and out of breaks.  Looks the part at 6’4 and ran 4.42 40 yard dash at the combine, Bryant will be looked at as a developmental prospect on the next level with WR1 potential.  In Pittsburgh, Bryant will fight for a role opposite Antonio Brown with only Markus Wheaton and Lance Moore in front of him on the depth chart.  If Bryant can put it together, he could be a surprise impact player in Pittsburgh early.

Opportunity: A

 

4.20 – Arizona Cardinals – QB Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech

Thomas is a big, mobile quarterback with a great arm and the right attitude to succeed in the NFL.  His accuracy however, is a big problem and is the reason why he was drafted in the fourth round instead of the first.  Thomas will be a long-term developmental prospect in Arizona, likely sitting behind starter Carson Palmer for a year or two while learning the NFL game. 

Opportunity: C+

 

4.23 – Seattle Seahawks – WR Kevin Norwood, Alabama

Norwood was a solid player at Alabama with decent size at 6’2 and pretty good straight line speed.  He struggles to fight for the ball in traffic and there are concerns about his ability to beat press coverage at the next level.  He’s going to an ideal spot though, a Seahawks team that lost its leading WR from last year, Golden Tate.  Norwood has an opportunity to fight for a possession receiver role in the offense, vying with the oft-injured Sidney Rice.

Opportunity: B+

 

4.24 – Kansas City Chiefs – RB De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon

The electrifying Thomas was a playmaker in college and was graded much higher before he ran slower than expected at the combine.  An undersized player, Thomas will never be an every down back.  However, in the right offense and situation, a creative offensive mind will use him in a Darren Sproles role.  In Kansas City, Thomas will have the right coach in Andy Reid, but will have a hard time getting on the field consistently behind Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis.  He should be an interesting prospect to keep an eye on.

Opportunity: C+

 

4.30 – New England Patriots – RB James White, Wisconsin

A bit of a reach in the 4th round, White is a stocky player with some shimmy to his game, even though his straight line speed is below average.  White was productive in college running behind a good Wisconsin line, but projects as a complimentary, situational back on the next level.  He’ll enter a crowded backfield in New England and his small hands may lead to fumbling problems that won’t help him see the field frequently.

Opportunity: C-

 

4.35 – Houston Texans – QB Tom Savage, Pittsburgh

Savage is a big, strong-armed player with high upside.  He was battered around in Pittsburgh and flashed the ability to read opposing defenses, despite limited experience at the college level.  Statuesque in the pocket, if he had demonstrated consistent accuracy he would’ve gone at least two rounds earlier.  In Houston, even as a 4th rounder, he’ll be given every opportunity to win the starting job early on, with his main competition being journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick.  If he wins the job, he has the weapons in Houston to be productive early, but he may redshirt his first year.

Opportunity: A+

 

4.38 – Baltimore Ravens – RB Lorenzo Taliaferro, Coastal Carolina

Taliaferro is a big back who rushed for nearly 1,700 yards and 21 touchdowns his senior year.  Takes the yards that are blocked for him, as a decisive runner, but lacks the explosion to make big plays on the field.  With Baltimore, he’ll fight with Bernard Pierce for change-of-pace carries behind Ray Rice.  Keep an eye on Rice’s legal situation, as his opportunity could raise at least one grade if Rice misses time.

Opportunity: C

 

5.02 – Washington Redskins – WR Ryan Grant, Tulane

Slow footed player with average measurable, Grant has good hands and runs decent routes to help hide his lack of explosiveness.  Ideally suited for a west coast offense where he can create yards after the catch.  In Washington, Grant will be fighting for the WR4 spot, limiting his potential to make an early impact.

Opportunity: D

 

5.06 – Dallas Cowboys – WR Devin Street, Pittsburgh

Street catches the ball in traffic but lacks separation skills.  A big target at 6’3, Street needs to add more bulk to his frame to help him against physical corners at the next level.  Dallas is looking for a player to step up opposite Dez Bryant following the release of Miles Austin, and Street will have every opportunity to win a role behind Terrance Williams over return man Dwayne Harris.

Opportunity: B-

 

5.15 – Miami Dolphins – TE Arthur Lynch, Georgia

A big target, Arthur Lynch has functional receiving ability to leak out as a third or fourth read.  He has the strength to be a decent in-line blocker, but has a long way to go technique-wise if he’s going to carve out a role at the next level.  The Miami Dolphins could use another tight end, but Lynch is less of a blocker than Dion Sims, and nowhere near the receiver that Charles Clay is.  He’ll be fighting for a roster spot.

Opportunity: D

 

5.23 – Kansas City Chiefs – QB Aaron Murray, Georgia

Murray is a gamer coming off a torn ACL.  Questions abound regarding his arm strength and his slight frame, and his decision-making against top defenses at the college level hurt his draft stock.  Murray does show excellent leadership skills though and his short accuracy and pocket presence shows promise.  In Kansas City, he’ll have every opportunity to win the backup job over Chase Daniel behind Alex Smith, and is likely considered a possible long-term replacement for Smith if current contract talks continue to stall.

Opportunity: B-

 

5.24 – Cincinnati Bengals – QB A.J. McCarron, Alabama

A.J. McCarron was a proven winner in a big time program at Alabama.  He has good size and compares favorably (ironically) to Andy Dalton as a pro prospect.  McCarron is a confident game manager who will force the ball rather than drive it downfield and has questionable arm talent overall.  The Bengals are looking for a good backup QB who may be able to challenge Dalton long term.  However, he’ll be hard-pressed to even beat out Jason Campbell as the backup in year one.  

Opportunity: C

 

5.36 – Green Bay Packers – WR Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin

Abbrederis looks to get up field when he gets the ball, and he catches passes with toughness.  He’s not afraid to fight with press corners and could carve himself a nice role as a possession receiver at the next level.  In Green Bay, he’ll be battling a litany of good players for playing time, including 2nd round pick Davante Adams, so his rookie role may be limited to four and five receiver sets.

Opportunity: C-

 

6.02 – Tennessee Titans – QB Zach Mettenberger, LSU

Huge frame with a big time NFL arm.  Has accuracy issues and struggles to move around in the pocket.  Has made some mistakes and had some injury problems.  Mettenberger will go to a team with some questions at the QB position, with the Titans having mixed results from Jake Locker.  Mettenberger likely won’t start early, but could be in the mix with Charlie Whitehurst as the primary backup in Tennessee. 

Opportunity: B

 

6.05 – Houston Texans – RB Alfred Blue, LSU

Alfred Blue may have gone much earlier had he not had injury problems in college.  A very talented back, Blue breaks tackles with ease and runs with vision and patience.  His vision helps him make big plays despite a lack of big time speed.  Blue enters a Houston backfield that just added Andre Brown from the Giants and still has Arian Foster as the starting back.  Blue will start third on the depth chart, but with two guys in front of him with shaky injury histories, he may find himself productive in the Houston offense as early as this year.

Opportunity: C+

 

6.07 – Chicago Bears – QB David Fales, San Jose State

Fales is a gym and film rat who can already look off safeties and shows a clean progression.  He’s an accurate thrower, but lacks a big time arm, and he’s a little undersized.  Small hands make ball security a potential issue, but he made big plays in college.  The Bears need a backup QB, and Fales fits the bill.  Expect him to beat out Jordan Palmer in year one as the main backup to Jay Cutler, a player who has missed time repeatedly with injuries in Chicago.

Opportunity: C

 

6.09 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – WR Robert Herron, Wyoming

An undersized slot receiver, Herron is fast and explosive on the tape, despite not running well at the combine.  Herron will fight for the ball and knows enough about walling off defenders with his body to make it as a slot receiver.  The Bucs are looking for a player to step up in the slot and Herron will fight with Louis Murphy for snaps as the Bucs’ third receiver.

Opportunity: B

 

6.10 – Washington Redskins – RB Lache Seastrunk, Baylor

Seastrunk was a top high school recruit who runs with speed and power and was productive the last two years at Baylor.  He looks the part with prototype size and measurables, but he has not demonstrated the ability to help in the passing game.  A very gifted runner, he’ll be stuck behind Alfred Morris in Washington, but should win the backup job over Evan RoysterRoy Helu brings a different skill set, and Seastrunk is not likely to threaten his role as the change-of-pace and passing downs back.

Opportunity: D

 

6.13 – Detroit Lions – WR T.J. Jones, Notre Dame

Jones is an athletic player with good separation skills, but he lacks the top end speed and ability to catch the ball in traffic to excel as a downfield target.  He has an unrefined technique, but room to grow in the right offense.  With Detroit, he’ll be fighting for the slot receiver spot with Ryan Broyles

Opportunity: C+

 

6.14 – Miami Dolphins – WR Matt Hazel, Coastal Carolina

Hazel lacks the straight line speed to be a deep threat, and he’s too slight to work the middle.  He has good hands, and decent height, but needs to get stronger to avoid being knocked off the line of scrimmage by physical defensive backs.  Hazel is the second receiver Miami has drafted, and will join Jarvis Landry in the rookie room this year.  He’ll likely battle Rishard Matthews and Damien Williams for a roster spot.

Opportunity: D

 

6.18 – Baltimore Ravens – QB Keith Wenning, Ball State

Wenning was a four year starter at Ball State and was a big time winner for that program.  He’s a gym and film rat who loves football and will be a great addition to any locker room.  His arm strength is below average and his accuracy wanes under pressure, so his upside is probably as a career backup.  In Baltimore, he’ll battle Tyrod Taylor for the backup job, but should make the roster as long as the Ravens keep three QB’s. 

Opportunity: D

 

6.20 – Arizona Cardinals – WR Walt Powell, Murray State

Powell is an undersized possession receiver who was productive at the small school Murray State.  He has solid hands, but struggles to locate the ball downfield and lacks the strength or savvy to wall off physical defenders.  In Arizona, he’ll have to battle with Juron Brown just to be the fourth receiver for the Cardinals.

Opportunity: D+

 

6.25 – San Diego Chargers – RB Marion Grice, Arizona State

Grice is a jack of all trades at the running back position, but doesn’t really excel in any one area.  He has some return experience, and he blocks pretty well for a rookie, so he should make the roster, but his ceiling may be as a career backup, in the Isaac Redman type of mold.  The Chargers have been looking for a replacement for LaDainian Tomlinson for several years now, and Grice will be given the opportunity to compete, but in a crowded backfield, it’s hard to imagine him emerging as a legit fantasy option this season.

Opportunity: C

 

6.28 – Carolina Panthers – RB Tyler Gaffney, Stanford

Gaffney is a talented back with power but lacks the breakaway ability to make big plays on the next level.  Versatile player who should stick in the league.  The Panthers need a running back to be productive for them, and Gaffney will be given every opportunity to beat out Kenjon Barner for carries.  Decent opportunity for a talented back to see the field in a limited role as a rookie.

Opportunity: C+

 

6.33 – New York Jets – WR Quincy Enunwa, Nebraska

Enunwa has a very good size speed combination and has the ability to develop into a solid starter at the next level.  Needs to work on his route running and hands, and doesn’t look fluid coming out of breaks.  With the Jets, he’ll be added to a large group of young pass catchers in New York, and will be vying with fellow draftee Shaq Evans for a roster spot.

Opportunity: D+

 

6.35 – Houston Texans – FB Jay Prosch, Auburn

Prosch is a bull that could carve a role as a short yardage runner and is already a fairly good blocker.  He has a little more running ability than your average fullback and could get some change-of-pace work as an up back on the next level.  In Houston, he’ll be counted on to block in Bill O’Brien’s scheme and will be a good replacement for free agent Greg Jones.  Other than some goal line work though, he’ll have very little fantasy value.

Opportunity: D+

 

6.37 – New York Jets – QB Tajh Boyd, Clemson

Boyd is a tremendous athlete and a gamer, but is undersized and inconsistent as a thrower.  He’s got excellent mobility though and has the raw ability coaches look for as a developmental prospect.  With Geno Smith and Michael Vick in front of him in New York, Boyd isn’t likely to make much of an impact in year one, but he’s an intriguing long term prospect for a team still searching for a permanent QB solution.

Opportunity: C-

 

6.38 – St. Louis Rams – QB Garrett Gilbert, SMU

Gilbert looks the part at 6’4, but doesn’t have a great arm to go with his size.  He transferred from Texas for his final year of eligibility and had mixed results, flashing NFL caliber poise and also making big mistakes and turning the ball over.  In St. Louis, Gilbert will be a project who isn’t likely to beat out Shaun Hill as a backup.  While the QB situation in St. Louis is far from settled, Gilbert doesn’t look like the kind of player to challenge Sam Bradford.

Opportunity: C

 

7.02 – Washington Redskins – TE Ted Bolser, Indiana

Bolser is a large body and is a big target in the short passing game, but he lacks the consistent hands or speed and athleticism to be a consistent target.  Bolser also doesn’t sustain blocks consistently and will need to work on his hand speed and learn to get better leverage to become a good enough blocker to win a roster spot in the NFL.  In Washington, he’ll battle Niles Paul for a roster spot.

Opportunity: D+

 

7.03 – Baltimore Ravens – WR Mike Campanaro, Wake Forest

Campanaro is a savvy route runner who likes the middle of the field and has enough speed and wiggle to stick as a slot receiver in the league but needs to work on his hands.  He catches close to his body and can get caught looking up field before he secures the catch.  In Baltimore, he’ll fight Marlon Brown and Jacoby Jones for playing time, but his toughness and route running should help him make the roster.  Long term potential as a slot receiver is good, but has an uphill battle in year one for a role in the offense.

Opportunity: D+

 

7.07 – Jacksonville Jaguars – RB Storm Johnson, Central Florida

Johnson could be a big time sleeper in the 7th round of the draft if he can learn not to put the ball on the ground.  Johnson is a complete back who can catch the ball out of the backfield, get downfield in a hurry, and he has the vision to succeed in the NFL.  In Jacksonville, even as a late round pick, he has a chance to challenge free agent acquisition Toby Gerhart for carries early and at the very least, he shouldn’t have a hard time beating out Jordan Todman for a backup role.

Opportunity: B+

 

7.12 – Seattle Seahawks – FB Kiero Small, Arkansas

Small is a short battering ram who was primarily used as an effective blocker at Arkansas, but struggled with injuries and lacks the natural running ability of a true offensive threat. This selection might mean the Seahawks are ready to move on from former Pro Bowl FB Michael Robinson, who is a free agent.  However, with a cadre of runners in the Seattle backfield, blocking is all the FB is there for.  He may play early, but he likely won’t touch the ball much.

Opportunity: D+

 

7.13 – Washington Redskins – K Zach Hocker, Arkansas

Hocker has a good leg and his accuracy improved last season after a dip in 2012.  He’ll enter a Washington kicking situation that is unsettled at best, with Kai Forbath and Jake Rogers currently on the roster.  Hocker should make it to camp and will be given every opportunity to beat out the incumbent, Forbath. 

Opportunity: B

 

7.14 – Detroit Lions – K Nate Freese, Boston College

Freese has an NFL leg but will need to get more consistent with intermediate range kicks.  In Detroit, he’ll be given every opportunity to win the job vacated by free agent David Akers who likely won’t be back.  Freese will probably be joined by other players added before camp, but he couldn’t possibly go to a better situation to win the job.

Opportunity: A+

 

7.15 – Pittsburgh Steelers – TE Rob Blanchflower, Massachusetts

Blanchflower is a tough player and a proven blocker.  He could use more strength to drive opposing defenders off the ball in the run game, but has upside as a third TE, special teams standout, and goal line blocker.  Will fight for a roster spot in Pittsburgh, who’s looking for a long-term replacement for Matt Spaeth at the backup TE spot. 

Opportunity: C+

 

7.21 – Green Bay Packers – WR Jeff Janis, Saginaw Valley State

Janis looks the part, with WR1 measurables at 6’3.  He ran a 4.42 40 yard dash at the combine, and he has the ability to make big plays in the passing game.  His hands need work, as he tends to be a basket catcher.  He becomes the third WR drafted by the Packers and he’ll need to fight for a roster spot in order to make the team, and despite his talent, the opportunity may just not be there, even if he stays on the roster as a fifth or sixth receiver.

Opportunity: D

 

7.24 – Cincinnati Bengals – WR James Wright, LSU

Wright has the size and athleticism to succeed in the NFL, but he was not productive in college and disappointed in his senior season.  Wright has good straight line speed but can be tight in his hips getting in and out of breaks.  The Bengals need a legit WR2 across from AJ Green, so Wright will be given the opportunity to compete, but in a crowded group, Wright should be viewed more as a project than as an instant impact guy.  He’ll be fighting for a roster spot and is most likely to end up on the practice squad.

Opportunity: C+

 

7.25 – San Diego Chargers – WR Tevin Reese, Baylor

Fast, undersized player with a track background, Reese played from the slot at Baylor and was productive as a secondary option.  Reese will try to carve a role in the slot in San Diego also, but his slight frame may affect his ability to get off press coverage and to stay healthy at the next level.  San Diego needs secondary pass catchers, but Reese is unlikely to beat out the likes of Eddie Royal for snaps.

Opportunity: C-

 

7.29 – New England Patriots – WR Jeremy Gallon, Michigan

Quick slot receiver, who is very undersized but has excellent hands.  Gallon runs hard and was very productive at Michigan, becoming a safety valve in the offense.  In New England, Gallon will try to carve a role in multiple receiver sets, but he fits the mold of their other slot receiver, Julian Edelman.  Look for him to make the roster, but he’ll be battling a slew of other guys for playing time. 

Opportunity: C

 

7.30 – San Francisco 49ers – FB Trey Millard, Oklahoma

A good blocker who can also run and catch, Millard should be able to carve a role as a part-time H-Back who excels on special teams at the next level.  The 49ers have a crowded backfield, especially with the addition of Carlos Hyde in the second round, so Millard is unlikely to make much of a fantasy impact in year one.  He’ll battle incumbent Bruce Miller for a roster spot and if he makes it, it’ll be for special teams rather than as a ball carrier.

Opportunity: D

 

And that does it!  It's been fun, and now we're only a few short months away from fantasy football season!

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2014

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