2016 NFL Draft: Live Fantasy Recap (Rounds 4-7)
The third and final day of the 2016 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 on Thursday and Rounds 2-3 on 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 2016.
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 2016 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.
4.02 - Oakland Raiders - QB Connor Cook, Michigan State
Cook executed a pro-style offense in college, and at 6-foot-4 he has prototype height, but his inconsistent accuracy is a red flag. Cook especially tends to float passes and rush throws when he’s under extreme duress. Protection is important for any quarterback, but when Cook is hurried for a sustained period of time, he stops going through his progressions. His development as a pro will be strongly connected to his ability to be coached to process an NFL defense quickly. That being said, Cook demonstrates everything you look for in a pro quarterback, and he improved each year at the college level. He has a great arm, is very accurate, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he winds up being the top quarterback in this class.
Cook has the chance to win a backup role in Oakland, but with Derek Carr firmly entrenched as the starter, it's very unlikely that he'll have a chance to rise any further up the depth chart. Cook will be a development guy for the Raiders, figthing with Matt McGloin for the backup job.
4.09 - Baltimore Ravens - WR Chris Moore, Cincinnati
Moore is a rare prospect for his ability to block. He shows tenacity and competitiveness while run blocking that isn’t commonly scene at the college level. As a receiver, Moore fights well for position and plays bigger than his 6-foot-1 frame. While he had some big games in college, Moore was inconsistent in three years as a starter, and he drops too many catchable balls. Moore should find his way as a WR2 on a team looking for a possession receiver who can win jump balls and provide blocking on the outside.
Moore has an opportunity to earn a job in Baltimore with questions surrounding the Ravens' receiving corps. While Moore will have a hard time winning a starting job immediately as a 4th round pick, he could start the season as high as fourth on the depth chart, and could rise if he improves his hands.
4.12 - Los Angeles Rams - TE Tyler Higbee, Western Kentucky
Higbee has size, athleticism, and production coming out of Western Kentucky, but injuries to his knee and off-field incidents kept him from being a Day 2 prospect. He is a tall, big-bodied player who catches the ball cleanly and will be looked at as a seam-stretching receiving tight end at the next level. Higbee is one of the more intriguing options physically, but will need to prove he can keep his nose clean and will need to stay healthy at the next level.
With Jared Cook gone from the roster, Higbee will be battling veteran Lance Kendricks for playing time, and will have a chance early on to develop a rapport with new quarterback Jared Goff. Tight ends don't make an impact early on in fantasy, but Higbee should see some early snaps considering where he was drafted.
4.14 - New England Patriots - WR Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia
Mitchell tore his ACL a couple years ago, but is a tough slot receiver who catches the ball with his hands and is fearless running across the middle. Not a natural runner, Mitchell will sometimes leave yards on the field after the catch, but he works hard at his craft and finds soft spots in the defense. He'll be a hardworking player at the next level with long-term WR3 potential.
While the Patriots have been looking for an answer in their receiving corps, they do have plenty of shifty slot receivers already available on their roster. Mitchell could fight his way into the lineup, but he's unlikely to beat out new-comers Nate Washington and Chris Hogan for snaps and may struggle to find the field as a rookie.
4.16 - Cleveland Browns - WR Ricardo Louis, Auburn
Louis gets downfield in a hurry and he fights for the ball in traffic, but he's a raw talent who needs to become more consistent catching the ball. He has limited experience running most routes, and wasn't asked to do much at Auburn. If Louis can spend time learning the game, he might have some long term value in the league, but he's going to need to be coached up to use his size and speed to the best of his ability.
Along with first round pick Corey Coleman, Louis will have a chance to earn a role early on a Cleveland team that lacks receivers and has a new coaching staff. While it's unlikely he thrives with a shaky quarterback situation, it wouldn't be shocking for Louis to earn a job as a WR2 or WR3 in Cleveland, making him an interesting player to watch during training camp.
4.19 - Los Angeles Rams - WR Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina
Cooper is a quarterback’s best friend. He doesn’t stand out as an athlete, and he doesn’t have a lot of straight line speed (he ran a 4.63 40 at his pro day), but he runs excellent routes, is one of the most competitive players on the field, and uses a quick release off the line to get open. Cooper has good hands, and he never quits on a play. He does some of his best work after the pocket breaks down, working to get open and bail out his quarterback. Cooper takes snaps in the backfield, works the slot, and can also return punts, and his versatility and drive should help him become a solid pro.
Athletic Comparables: Willie Snead, Mike Haas
This is about as good a chance as Cooper could get to make an early impact. The quarterback situation in L.A. could be sketchy with the rookie Goff coming in, but the Rams desperately need a WR to step up and earn a starting role. Cooper has a good chance to earn a job in the starting lineup during the offseason and his versatility should help him find the field early. If he wins a job, he could be worth consideration in the later rounds of fantasy drafts.
4.21 - Houston Texans - RB Tyler Ervin, San Jose State
A small school standout, Ervin is a versatile back and an overachiever. He may be a dancer at the next level, but good coaching and work on his fundamentals should make him a playmaker. He can line up all over the field, including as a slot receiver (he caught 45 passes last year), and he may find a way to make an impact early on if he gets the opportunity. Ervin could wind up touching the ball a dozen times a game with an active role in the passing game, and his explosiveness gives him tremendous upside as a pro.
Athletic Comparables: David Wilson
The Texans just signed Lamar Miller to a big deal, and they still have Alfred Blue and Jonathan Grimes in the mix at the RB position, making it unlikely that Ervin will get a lot of touches early on. Ervin might get involved catching the ball out of the backfield and might play a role on special teams, but there likely won't be enough carries available to make him a viable fantasy option as a rookie.
4.28 - Kansas City Chiefs - WR Demarcus Robinson, Florida
Robinson flashes the ability to be a tough, after the catch runner, but his effort isn't always consistent on tape. He has only adequate measurables but demonstrates explosiveness coming in and out of his breaks. Robinson builds up speed as he runs, making him able to play faster than he clocks, but he's a project who will need to be coached up and motivated if he's going to develop into a starter.
Athletic Comparables: Stevie Johnson
The Chiefs need a WR2 and Robinson will have every opportunity to battle Albert Wilson and recently acquired Rod Streater for the role. However, his skill set is unrefined and he doesn't seem ready to legitimately challenge for an early starting role. He has limited fantasy value as a rookie.
4.36 - Baltimore Ravens - RB Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech
Dixon is a productive rusher from a small school who finished his NCAA career with 72 touchdowns on the ground, a record at Louisiana Tech. He has a strong base with a low center of gravity and drives through the pile on inside runs. His short area quickness is adequate, and he displays a good feel for the game. Dixon can be a little over-anxious at times, and will lose track of his blockers, but he’s already a capable pass blocker and catches the ball well out of the backfield, increasing his ability to contribute early. Dixon may not be up for a full workload as a pro, but he should be able to contribute a dozen or so touches per game and has high upside as a versatile back in the right system.
The Ravens took a value pick with Dixon in the fourth round. With a crowded backfield in Baltimore, Dixon is more likely to muddy the waters then to make a big impact as a rookie, but he has long-term starter ability and lasted much longer in the draft than expected. It wouldn't shock me to see him beat out Lorenzo Taliaferro for change-of-pace carries behind Justin Forsett and Buck Allen.
4.37 - Dallas Cowboys - QB Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Prescott’s recent DUI is a little concerning, but he’s always been a good locker room and teammate guy whose leadership should carry over to the next level. Prescott is a bit of an overachiever who doesn’t do anything particularly well, but figures out how to make plays anyway. He’s mobile in the pocket and uses his bulk and athleticism to extend plays and move the chains. Prescott has a nose for the end zone, scoring 39 total touchdowns last season alone, and has starter upside for a mid-tier prospect.
Prescott has no shot of winning a starting role in Dallas as a rookie, but he could beat out Kellen Moore for the backup job. He's likely going to be a developmental third stringer for the next couple of years while he hones his ability and the coaching staff determines whether he can be the heir apparent to Tony Romo. For now though, he has minimal fantasy value.
4.38 - Denver Broncos - RB Devontae Booker, Utah
Booker would be a higher rated prospect had he not torn his meniscus last November, but there are legitimate concerns over the long term health of his knee. Booker is a leader on the field and he’s a good receiver out of the backfield (he caught 80 passes in college), which should allow him to climb a depth chart at the next level. He’s not a burner, but can weave his way through traffic and juke a safety out of his socks. Booker will need to learn to carry the ball tight to his frame to stop fumbling, but if he stays healthy, he should be able to carve a strong role for himself as a versatile back at the next level.
Athletic Comparables: LeSean McCoy
Booker goes to a crowded backfield in Denver after the Broncos re-signed C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman in free agency. Booker might be more talented than both the incumbents, but it will be an uphill battle for him to find a lot of touches as a rookie. This was not a good situation for the talented Utah back to come into from a fantasy perspective.
4.40 - Cleveland Browns - WR/TE Seth Devalve, Princeton
Devalve will likely convert to the tight end position at the next level, and he's a big, physical receiver who demonstrates quality blocking at the college level. Not a productive receiver, Devalve only had seven touchdowns during his career in the Ivy Leagues. He'll be a developmental prospect who brings physicality and intangibles to a football team, but will need to fight for a roster spot.
Athletic Comparables: James Hannah
Devalve goes to a Cleveland team that needs help in the passing game, but he's the fourth pass catcher the Browns have drafted. This makes it likely that Cleveland sees him as a blocker only and he's unlikely to make a fantasy impact.
4.41 - Buffalo Bills - QB Cardale Jones, Ohio State
Jones is one of the best athletes in this draft, at 6-foot-5, 253 lbs with a rocket arm. Jones has excellent mobility, but hasn’t shown an inner clock in the pocket yet. Time will tell if pocket awareness will be a long term concern, but Jones’ instincts looked unrefined last season as a starter. He’s wildly competitive, and has a winning pedigree, but his accuracy has a long way to go. He benefitted from a solid corps of receivers last year, but will need to improve his ball placement if he’s going to become a starter in the NFL. The right coach could turn him into a pro bowler, but he’s a development prospect at this point.
Jones will have an opportunity to win a job in Buffalo, though it's unlikely he'll beat out Tyrod Taylor for the starting role as a rookie. He's more of a long-term developmental option for the Bills, and his best chance of contributing early is in the case of an injury to Taylor or E.J. Manuel. Jones should be considered a dynasty stash only, unless he has an extremely impressive camp.
5.01 - Tennessee Titans - WR Tajae Sharpe, Massachusetts
Sharpe caught 111 balls last year, despite having very small hands. He reaches out to catch the ball and could become a solid possession receiver if hand size doesn’t end up being an issue for him. He lacks deep speed and will need to fill out his lean frame if he’s going to avoid being bullied by physical corners. He has the size (6-foot-2), and mental makeup to be a good pro, but whether or not he can consistently get open against NFL caliber players is the question.
Sharpe will need to battle his way up a crowded depth chart if he's going to make an early impact for the Titans. Tennessee has five receivers ahead of him at this point, including recently acquired Rishard Matthews and last year's Day 2 pick Dorial Green-Beckham. Sharpe will need to differentiate himself to make the roster and has limited fantasy value at this point.
5.04 - Oakland Raiders - RB Deandre Washington, Texas Tech
Washington is undersized at 5-foot-8, but he runs with power and a low center of gravity and he has enough shimmy to be a versatile threat at the next level. Has had some injury issues in the past, and may be a durability risk in the NFL, but Washington cuts on a dime and has the type of agility to be a difference maker in the right situation. He'll need to learn to be more patient as a runner, but the right coach could take advantage of his shiftiness.
Athletic Comparables: Kendall Hunter
Washington will have a chance in Oakland to win the kick return job and change-of-pace duties from Taiwan Jones, but he lacks the skill set to challenge Latavius Murray or Roy Helu for regular touches in the Raider offense. Washington may be worth a late round flyer if he beats out Helu as a third down back, but he's unlikely to make an impact as a rookie.
5.10 - New York Giants - RB Paul Perkins, UCLA
Perkins doesn’t wow you physically, but he runs with a low center of gravity and sees the field well. What he lacks in brute force, he makes up for with competitiveness and dedication to his craft. Already an accomplished pass blocker, his versatility could make him a favorite in the locker room right away, and he has enough shiftiness to become a three-down back at the next level. His short area quickness is excellent, making him an elusive target in the backfield.
The Giants need consistency at the running back position, but Perkins' skill set is more of a duplicate to Shane Vereen than an upgrade. He'll have a hard time getting on the field with a crowded depth chart in New York, though he'll be given the opportunity to beat out the underwhelming incumbents. He's worth monitoring for fantasy owners to see if he climbs the depth chart, but at this point he seems unlikely to make an early impact.
5.11 - Chicago Bears - RB Jordan Howard, Indiana
Howard is a powerful back who runs hard and hits the hole decisively. He lacks elite speed, but has enough wiggle to make defenders miss. He runs with determination, and runs low to the ground, allowing his 230-pound frame to punish defenders. He’s already a good pass blocker for a young back, but he hasn’t done much in the passing game, catching only 24 balls in three seasons at Indiana. Howard is an excellent one-cut runner who could excel in a zone blocking scheme that takes advantage of his quick decision-making.
Chicago already has a couple of young running backs they like, and Howard has a similar skill set to Ka'Deem Carey, already on the roster. He'll be battling for backup duties behind Jeremy Langford and is unlikely to have any fantasy value as a rookie.
5.14 - Philadelphia Eagles - RB Wendell Smallwood, West Virginia
A versatile playmaker, Smallwood was very productive last season for West Virginia, putting up over 1,500 yards and nine touchdowns. Smallwood needs to be more decisive, but he runs with excellent pad level and power for a guy his size and he has tremendous cutting ability, making him a threat to contribute early at the next level in the run game, pass game, and on special teams.
Smallwood is a little more stout than Darren Sproles and Ryan Mathews has a history of injury issues, which may allow Smallwood to earn significant touches as a rookie. With a pretty good offensive line in front of him, Smallwood could be a sneaky fantasy option late in drafts with the potential to turn into a quality RB2, particularly in PPR leagues.
5.15 - Cleveland Browns - WR Jordan Payton, UCLA
Payton runs well after the catch and has reliable hands. He plays physically, but he has a hard time recovering after getting pressed at the line. A fast enough player, Payton doesn’t show the explosiveness you look for in a slot receiver, so he’ll have to earn his way on the outside. Whether or not he can do so will depend on a coach that can help him improve his hand and footwork coming off the line. Payton is a quality player, willing to do the dirty work, but nothing about his game stands out specifically and he may struggle to separate at the NFL level.
Cleveland is a good landing spot for a rookie WR since they need so much help at the position. However, Payton is the fifth pass catcher and third receiver drafted by the Browns so far, and he'll have a hard time beating out the loftier early picks, particularly first rounder Corey Coleman. Payton will get a chance to win a job, along with the other young guys coming in, but the crowded group of rookies and the shaky quarterback situation in Cleveland make him a risky fantasy option as a rookie.
5.17 - Buffalo Bills - RB Jonathan Williams, Arkansas
A powerful runner, Williams runs with excellent pad level and never stops churning his legs. A broken ankle caused him to miss all of last season, and the injury will hurt his draft stock, but Williams showed deceptive quickness for a 220 pound back before his injury. He’s a decisive runner and the kind of player who could work his way into a committee role as a pro if he proves he’s healthy.
The Bills got a good rookie year out of Karlos Williams last season and LeSean McCoy is still the main guy in the backfield, making it unlikely that Williams makes an impact early on. He could be a good player long term, but he'll probably be brought along slowly in the pros and isn't expected to make a fantasy impact as a rookie.
5.23 - Kansas City Chiefs - QB Kevin Hogan, Stanford
It’s hard to replace Andrew Luck, but Hogan managed to do a nice job given the circumstances. He finished his senior season strong with a 45-16 drubbing of Iowa in the Rose Bowl, throwing three touchdown passes and running in another score. Hogan doesn’t have a great arm, and his quirky release and throwing mechanics are causes for concern, but he’s accurate, has excellent pocket awareness, and is a gamer. Hogan has sleeper ability as an NFL prospect and will fight for an opportunity at the next level.
Hogan couldn't have landed in a better spot for his long term ability. He'll get to learn under Andy Reid and should win the backup job behind Alex Smith as early as this year. His fantasy value is limited as a rookie however, as Smith is firmly entrenched in the starting spot. Fantasy owners should think long term dynasty value for Hogan, not 2016 production.
5.24 - Green Bay Packers - WR Trevor Davis, California
Davis runs in the 4.4 second range, and he has excellent open field quickness, making him a candidate for immediate impact in the return game at the next level. Davis catches the ball well and could play inside or outside in the NFL, but he'll need to do a better job releasing against press coverage and he needs to refine his route running. Cal did a great job putting him in motion to get him a clean release, but an NFL team will try to get him to show more explosiveness and physicality off the line.
Green Bay has quality receivers in front of him so Davis is unlikely to earn a starting role or get a lot of playing time early on, but he's a good long-term prospect for a team that knows how to get playmakers the ball in space. Davis could challenge for a role in the return game as a rookie, but shouldnt't be considered a viable option in most fantasy leagues as a rookie.
5.26 - Kansas City Chiefs - WR/RB Tyreek Hill, West Alabama
Hill is a shifty player with good top-end speed. He played running back at Oklahoma State before being dismissed due to domestic violence charges. He then played a multi-purpose role last year at West Alabama and projects as a third down back or a slot receiver at the next level. Hill needs to prove that he's past the issues that got him dismissed from Oklahoma State and he needs to continue to learn the receiver position if he's going to make an impact at the NFL level, but he should be able to contribute early on special teams.
Hill is a good athlete who plays hard, but he'll be battling De'Anthony Thomas and Albert Wilson for snaps. He may win the KR job over Knile Davis as a rookie, but is unlikely to make a big impact on a crowded depth chart, even if he converts to a full time receiver.
5.32 - Seattle Seahawks - RB Alex Collins, Arkansas
After starter Jonathan Williams broke his leg last year, Collins put up over 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns as the primary back. There are rumors about his attitude and sense of entitlement that may make him hard to coach up, but he has NFL talent as a runner. Collins gets downfield in a hurry, has deceptive lateral agility, and can make defenders miss in tight spaces. He runs with anger and picks up extra yards after contact, imposing his will on would-be tacklers. If Collins can keep his head on straight and learn to contribute on passing downs, then he could be one of the better backs in this class.
Collins isn't likely to win a job early in Seattle, with Thomas Rawls coming back, Christine Michael still in the mix, and C.J. Prosise drafted in the third round. Collins fits the Seahawks scheme stylistically, but he doesn't seem likely to get much of an opportunity as a rookie given the situation he's been drafted into.
5.33 - Cleveland Browns - WR Rashard Higgins, Colorado State
Higgins was highly productive at Colorado State and he demonstates advance route running for a young player. He doesn't wow you physically, and he may be too slow to make it at the next level, but he is an instinctive runner with the ball in his hands and has a chance to develop into a starter if he goes to the right system and can show explosiveness off the line.
Athletic Comparables: Mario Manningham
Four receivers and counting for the Browns in this draft, and with each choice, the rookie prospects diminish. Higgins is probably the least gifted of the new Browns pass catchers and will have an uphill battle to make the roster.
6.01 - Denver Broncos - FB Andy Janovich, Nebraska
Janovich is a battering ram up the middle and could be a short yardage demon at the next level, but he's likely to make his way as a top run blocker playing the fullback position. He isn't a natural pass blocker but shows toughness and willingness to grow into that role. He doesn't catch the ball cleanly and won't likely be a big part of the passing game at the next level. Janovich is kind of a throwback player at the fullback position and will need to go to a team that uses a lead blocker.
Athletic Comparables: Lousaka Polite
Denver is loaded at RB and Gary Kubiak prefers fullbaks who can contribute a little more in the passing game, making it unlikely that Janovich beats out Juwan Thompson for the starting fullback job. Janovich will need to prove hismelf on special teams if he's going to make the roster.
6.02 - Los Angeles Rams - TE Temarrick Hemingway, South Carolina State
Hemingway is a raw prospect with excellent athleticism and deceptive speed going down the field. He is a willing blocker, but sets too high on the line, getting overpowered easily by bullrushers. Some coaching might help him become a more well-rounded player at the tight end position, but he currently looks like a project that will take some time to develop all aspects of his game.
Hemingway is the second tight end drafted by the Rams on Day 3 of the draft, with Tyler Higbee going in the fourth round. Hemingway is likely going to be a developmental prospect for the Rams, and it would be surprise if he rose higher than third on the depth chart in year one. He should be avoided as a fantasy option this year.
6.05 - Minnesota Vikings - WR Moritz Boehringer, Germany
Big, tough, and fast, Boehringer looks like a legit football player, but he'll be the first player to be drafted having never played in college. He comes over from Germany with rumors of excellent hands, but he's a big target at 6-foot-4 and has the upside to become a great receiver at the NFL level if he develops. Has the size and tenacity to play tight end, but has the speed to play on the outside. An interesting prospect.
Athletic Comparables: Andre Johnson
Boehringer will be an interesting prospect in Minnesota on a Vikings team that needs a legit WR1, but drafted Laquon Treadwell in the first round. He'll likely need a year or two of seasoning, but his tremendous athletic ability makes him an interesting dynasty league stash.
6.07 - Baltimore Ravens - WR Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Undersized but tenacious, the 5-foot-9 Reynolds plays with a chip on his shoulder and scored 88 touchdowns in college. What he lacks in size, he makes up for in athleticism. Reynolds could make an impact in the return game, in the passing game, or even lining up in the backfield, depending how he's viewed by the team that drafts him, but he'll be considered a gadget player at the next level. An explosive player with great character, Reynolds has the work ethic to succeed.
Athletic Comparables: Percy Harvin
The Ravens added a blocking, possession receiver in Chris Moore earlier on Day 3, and they add a playmaker in the sixth round. Reynolds is more likely to have the occassional good play then he is to be a regular fantasy producer, but he's an interesting guy to keep an eye on if the Ravens use him coming out of the backfield in addition to his likely duties as a slot receiver. He should be fun to watch, but have little fantasy value early on.
6.09 - New York Giants - TE Jerell Adams, South Carolina
What Adams lacks in proven ability, he makes up for in raw upside. While he’s struggled with drops and getting in and out of his breaks, he ran a 4.66 second 40-yard-dash at the combine, indicating potential to stretch the seam. Adams is a project, but could be a valuable addition to a team looking for athleticism from the tight end spot. He hasn’t shown the ability to block yet, but he has the size and strength to develop in that area. Adams is the definition of a boom-bust prospect.
The Giants have Larry Donnell and Will Tye already at the tight end spot, but Adams has more upside than either player and will be givne the opportunity to win the job outright. Projected as a Day 2 pick, the Giants got Adams in the sixth round and he has a chance to develop there. Rookie tight ends don't put up big numbers, so he has little fantasy value, but could be a long term dynasty option given how the Giants have used athletic tight ends in the past.
6.11 - Miami Dolphins - WR/RS Jakeem Grant, Texas Tech
Grant is one of the smallest prospects I've evaluated in the draft. Under 5-foot-6, but boasting elite speed, Grant will need to prove he can hold up to the big hits he'll take at the next level. He's a tough, shifty player who could develop into a slot receiver at the next level, but his best bet as a pro will be in the return game.
Athletic Comparables: Tavon Austin
The Dolphins drafted their second speedster in Grant, which probably suggests they're looking for an upgrade in the return game. He'll battle it out with fellow rookie Kenyan Drake for the starting RS role in Miami, but is a long shot to make an impact as a reciever.
6.12 - Washington Redskins - QB Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Sudfeld enters the draft with a lot of upside as a strong-armed statuesque quarterback who put up 27 touchdowns last season and is a career 60 percent passer. Sudfeld has been banged up the past couple of seasons, but his production has been steady and he generally makes good decisions with the ball. His placement needs to be more consistent and his release could be too slow for an NFL quarterback, but at 6-foot-6 with a live arm, he’ll be a solid developmental quarterback with long-term starter potential.
Sudfeld will be developed as a backup behind Kirk Cousins this year and isn't even a sure bet to beat out Colt McCoy for the backup job. Washington is likely thinking long term with this pick, in case they can't come to an agreement with Cousins, who's playing on the franchise tag this year, on a contrack extension.
6.13 - Minnesota Vikings - TE David Morgan, UTSA
Morgan had five touchdowns last season for UTSA and though he comes from a small school and didn't face heavy competition in college, he demonstrates the size and ability to develop into a solid blocking tight end at the next level. Morgan won't wow you with speed, but he uses his hands well, drives opposing defenders with his legs in the run game, and can outmuscle linebackers for red zone targets. He's a developmental prospect.
Athletic Comparables: Nick Boyle, Jeff Huerman
The Vikings must be thinking long term here, and likely hope that Morgan can become an effective inline blocker on a team that struggled to protect the quarterback last year. If he makes an immediate impact, it's not likely to be in the passing game and fantasy owners shouldn't have Morgan on their radar.
6.16 - Detroit Lions - QB Jake Rudock, Michigan
A transfer from Iowa, Rudock is a gutsy player who demonstrated strong acumen in his ability to run two pro style offenses during his college career. Rudock doesn't wow you in any particular aspect, and he'll need to improve his footwork and technique to drive the ball down the field and overcome his lack of elite arm strength. He does show early signs of running threw progressions though and looks like a quality long term backup quarterback at the NFL level.
Rudock is unlikely to beat out Dan Orlovsky for the backup role and may find himself on the practice squad for a couple of years in Detroit now that teams are less likely to carry three QB's on the roster. Rudock is unlikely to make the final 53-man roster in 2016.
6.17 - Buffalo Bills - WR Kolby Listenbee, TCU
Listenbee is a former track athlete who ran a blazing 4.35 second 40-yard-dash at the combine and has the explosiveness to be a big play receiver at the next level. He doesn't look natural catching the ball however, and his small hands don't inspire confidence in his ability to improve in that area. Listenbee lets the ball come into his body and doesn't track passes well. He doesn't run great routes and lacks the ability to weave through traffic to become a slot receiver. If he can learn how to catch the ball with more consistency, he could develop into an excellent deep threat.
The Bills are lookgin for a legit receiver to line up opposite Sammy Watkins and Listenbee has NFL caliber measurables. However, he has a long way to go before becoming a consistent option, and his early impact may come on special teams, where the Bills have been looking for a consistent kick returner who can stay healthy.
6.22 - Tampa Bay Bucs - FB Dan Vitale, Northwestern
Vitales is a versatile player who wasn't effective running the ball, but lined up at multiple positions for Northwestern and demonstrated deceptive explosiveness releasing off the line. He won't add much as a blocker, but he has the upside to develop into a quality H-Back at the next level.
Tampa Bay needed a blocker at the fullback position but they got a developmental receiver instead. Vitale will have an uphill battle to beat out guys like Luke Stocker for looks as an H-Back, but may find some success leaking out of two-back formations for catches in the flat. Still, there's only so much fantasy value in a fullback, and it's most likely that Vitale will need to win a job on special teams if he's going to make the roster.
6.23 - San Diego Chargers - FB Derek Watt, Wisconsin
The younger brother of J.J. Watt, Derek is a physical player who flashes ability as a receiver out of the backfield. A willing blocker and runner, Watt struggles at the point of attack and often fails to drive through opposing defenders. Watt will need to contribute on special teams at the next level if he's going to make an NFL roster, as he doesn't have a specific skill set that stands out on tape. He's an effort guy.
Athletic Comparables: Trey Millard
The Chargers could use a physical player in the backfield to help in pass protection and leak out for short receptions. Watt will try hard to be that guy, even if he comes up short. He's is a good spot to win a roster spot, but doesn't play a position that warrants fantasy consideration.
Core showed marked improvement in his route running as well as his ability to track the ball downfield over the past two years at Mississippi. He's a good kid who works hard and makes every effort to hone his craft. A gym rat, Core will be a regular in the practice facility, and he has sub-4.5 top end speed. Core will need to learn to be more precise on his short and intermediate routes, and he hasn't done a lot of work across the middle, but he's a quality late round developmental prospect who should make a roster.
The Bengals already drafted Tyler Boyd in the second round, but they need a solid WR2 to come in and play opposite A.J. Green, so Core has a chance to impress the coaches in training camp. As a sixth round pick, it's unlikely that Core wins a job, but with quality quarterback play, if he does beat out Brandon LaFell and Boyd for a starting role, he has some late round upside.
6.26 - Jacksonville Jaguars - QB Brandon Allen, Arkansas
Allen took a big step last year as a senior, throwing for 30 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. He also completed over 65 percent of his passes, a tremendous improvement over the 56 percent completion rate he had as a junior. Allen benefits from coming out of a pro-style offense at Arkansas, and he has adequate size and arm strength. The ball rotates well out of his hand and his accuracy improved last season. Allen has starter ability, but he’s more likely to find his way as a very good career backup.
Allen has a shot to win a long term backup job in Jacksonville, but he's unlikely to beat out Chad Henne for it this year. The Jaguars are looking at him to develop for a year or two before they have to decide on whether or not to pay Henne over 3 million dollars per year to be the backup.
6.31 - Los Angeles Rams - WR Michael Thomas, Southern Miss
Thomas is a long strider with athleticism and a propensity to make the difficult catch but lose focus on routine receptions. He'll need to prove that he's strong enough to get off the line and that he can track and win jump balls, but he demonstates all the physical traits and explosiveness that you look for in a physical pro receiver. Thomas will need to prove he can do it against elite competition, but he's a nice Day 3 prospect with upside in the right environment.
The Rams have open spots in the receiving corps, but Thomas is likely a year away from contributing at the NFL level, if at all. He'll be hard-pressed to beat out fellow rookie Pharoh Cooper for a spot on the depth chart, and with the Rams breaking in a rookie quarterback as well, there's too much risk with Thomas to recommend fantasy owners gamble on him.
6.32 - San Francisco 49ers - QB Jeff Driskel, Louisiana Tech
Driskel played well after transferring from Florida to the Bulldogs last season, putting up over 4,000 yards and 27 touchdowns against only eight interceptions. He had a great Bowl game against Arkansas State to close out his college career, and has the size and arm strength you look for in an NFL passer. His time in Florida is more concerning, as his accuracy and decision making were woeful during his tenure against bigger competition. Driskel is a project player with starter upside, but he’ll need to be coached up.
The opportunity for Driskel could improve greatly if Colin Kaepernick gets traded, but until then, he'll be fighting with Thad Lewis for the third spot on the depth chart. Driskel should find a way to make the roster and he's an intriguing option for a team that needs to decide who their long term QB is, but he's unlikely to make an impact in his rookie year behind Kaep and Blaine Gabbert and is, at best, a dynasty league stash at this point.
6.36 - San Francisco 49ers - RB Kelvin Taylor, Florida
Taylor is quicker than he is fast, but his short area explosiveness makes him an excellent cutter and able to make defenders miss in the open field. Taylor runs faster than he is, plays bigger than he is, and brings a toughness to his game, even though he gets stood up a little too easily when he gets into the second level. Taylor projects as an early Day 3 talent in the draft, is the son of former standout running back Fred Taylor, and should stand a chance to win a job somewhere in the NFL.
Taylor went much later than anticipated, and the 49ers will give him the opportunity to fight for change-of-pace carries behind Carlos Hyde. Taylor has a good chance to win the backup role outright, as he demonstrates more every-down capabilities than Jarryd Hayne or Mike Davis, and could be a steal at this pick. As a backup, he's unlikely to make a big fantasy impact, but if he wins the number two job, he could be a sneaky good handcuff.
6.38 - San Francisco 49ers - WR Aaron Burbridge, Michigan State
After a modest first three years at Michigan State, Burbridge broke out his senior season for 85 catches, 1,258 yards, and seven touchdowns. He was a reliable target for quarterback Connor Cook, and he demonstrated tenacity with the ball in his hands. Burbridge has excellent instincts going after the ball, and uses his body well to elevate and play bigger than his 6-foot frame. One of the rare rookie receivers who won’t need to adapt to NFL press coverage, Burbridge has a chance to surprise people early on.
Burbridge couldn't have landed in a better spot, as he'll be given an opportunity to compete for a starting role rarely given to 6th round picks. Burbridge will either show he can get open in the NFL early, or he'll show that he's not up to the task, but he has some late round sleeper upside if he wins a starting role opposite Torrey Smith in Chip Kelly's new offense.
6.41 - Dallas Cowboys - RB Darius Jackson, Eastern Michigan
Had an outstanding pro day, demonstrating excellent athleticism and speed (sub-4.4), but the production doesn't match the workout at Eastern Michigan. Jackson doesn't run with NFL caliber instincts, and he lacks decisiveness. An upright runner, Jackson doesn't churn through tacklers and will need to learn to keep his pad level lower at the next level. If he can learn to hit the hole quickly and decisively, then he has some upside, but he's a long way from being a polished prospect.
Jackson enters a crowded backfield in Dallas and is unlikely to make much of an impact as a rookie. He'll likely need to beat out Lance Dunbar for a roster spot, which is definitely not a foregone conclusion.
6.42 - Dallas Cowboys - TE Rico Gathers, Baylor
Gathers played for the Baylor basketball team and is a long, athletic, powerful force converting to a TE spot in the NFL. Some team is going to be enticed by his massive athleticism, but he's a late Day 3 prospect with developmental upside. He has the speed and length to stretch the seam and be a force in the receiving game but will need time to learn the position.
Athletic Comparables: Martellus Bennett
Gathers has an uphill battle to compete with Gavin Escobar and James Hanna for the backup TE spot in Dallas. Gathers is likely viewed as a developmental guy who might spend a year or two on the practice squad while the Cowboys see if they can convert him into an NFL starter.
7.02 - Miami Dolphins - QB Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky
Doughty was tremendously productive at Western Kentucy, throwing for over 11,600 yards over the last three seasons, and boasting a career 111/33 TD/Int ratio. He led the Hilltoppers to a 12-2 season last year, including a victory over South Florida in the Miami Beach Bowl. Doughty gets the ball out quickly but lacks pocket mobility and doesn’t have a particularly strong arm. He’s a gutsy player, who relies on competitiveness to win rather than athleticism, and will need to work on his fundamentals and technique if he’s going to make the jump to the NFL successfully.
Athletic Comparables: A.J. McCarron, Scott Tolzien
Not much opportunity for Doughty as a rookie. He'll be fighting with Logan Thomas for the QB3 spot on the depth chart, but may have value as a developmental player. He's a gutsy player who will learn a lot working behind backup quarterback Matt Moore, but he's not going to challenge Ryan Tannehill for a starting job this year.
7.04 - New England Patriots - WR Devin Lucien, Arizona State
A transfer from UCLA, Lucien had a nice year for Arizona State last year, putting up over 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns on 66 receptions. Lucien may struggle getting off the line at the NFL level and he lacks the speed to recover from press coverage or beat anyone different. However, he has elite hands and plays above his ability, making him an interesting Day 3 prospect for a team hoping his production can overcome his limitations as a receiver.
Lucien may not make the final roster in New England, but his sure hands might allow him to differentiate himself from the rest of the crowd in the Patriot receiving corps. Hurting his chances is that he has a similar skill set to Chris Hogan, with even more limitations, but he flashes WR2 potential and the Patriots have been known to get the most out of guys like Lucien.
7.08 - Pittsburgh Steelers - WR Demarcus Ayers, Houston
Ayers has pretty good top end speed, but he's more quick than fast. He can make tacklers miss in the open field and projects as a slot receiver and as a return specialist in the NFL. Ayers plays above his size with tenacity going across the middle, but he doesn't catch the ball cleanly and may never be a consistent enough target to make it as a pro receiver.
Ayers is unlikely to beat out Markus Wheaton in the slot, but has a shot to win a job over Darrius Heyward-Bey in sub packages. Most likely, Ayers will most likely make the team as a return specialist, but he has an outside chance at a roster spot with Martavis Bryant suspended.
7.09 - Chicago Bears - WR Daniel Braverman, Western Michigan
Braverman took a year to really get past his 2013 ACL tear, but he put up big numbers last season and projects as a tough, underneath option playing out of the slot at the next level. Braverman flashes explosiveness in and out of his cuts and has good hands when the ball is thrown accurately. He doesn't attack the ball however and may struggle to find a consistent role in the NFL.
Athletic Comparables: LaVon Brazil, Harry Douglas
Braverman should watch Eddie Royal in Chicago, because Royal might be able to teach him how to find soft spots in the defense and help out his quarterback. Otherwise, the Bears will be hoping that Braverman can develop into a slot receiver, but he's unlikely to beat out Royal and Marquess Wilson for looks and will probably be on the roster bubble.
7.10 - Miami Dolphins - WR/TE Thomas Duarte, UCLA
Duarte had 10 touchdowns last season for the Bruins, and demonstrated an ability to locate the ball in the air and out-muscle defenders downfield. He may convert to tight end at the next level, and in that role, he has a similar skill set to Jordan Reed. In the right system, Duarte could excel as a pass-catching tight end that stretches the seam. With some polish, he could punish safeties and linebackers who try to cover him.
Duarte is an interesting target for the Dolphins, but he has a chance to contribute early behind the oft-injured Jordan Cameron if he converts to the tight end position as expected. Duarte gives Miami a little more explosiveness than they get from Dion Sims, so he should make the roster. As a backup tight end though, he has little fantasy value.
7.15 - Detroit Lions - RB Dwayne Washington, Washington
Has good size and speed and flashes the potential to be a cut-and-go player in the right system. Washington's productivity was lacking in college and he even lost his starting job last year, making him a raw athletic prospect who will need some coaching to take the next step. A little tall for a running back, Washington will need to work to get his pad level down and deliver punishment, instead of taking it.
Detroit will look to see if Washington, who has similar skills to Theo Riddick, can provide just as much consistency in the passing game, with more pop as a runner. Washington will get an opportunity to win a roster spot, but it seems unlikely that he'll get touches over Riddick or sophomore Ameer Abdullah.
7.16 - New Orleans Saints - RB Daniel Lasco, California
Lasco is a smart runner with good vision who isn’t always patient enough to let the hole in front of him develop. He’s a big player (6-foot-0, 209 lbs) with good agility, but runs upright. He’ll need to get his pad level lower if he’s going to gain extra yards after contact in the NFL. Hip and ankle injuries last year hurt him a bit, and he will need to learn to carry the ball more securely as well. His speed may allow him make an early impact on special teams. Ultimately, a good athlete who doesn’t look like a natural runner, but could be coached up.
Behind Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller, it's going to be hard for Lasco to get much playing time as a rookie. He may benefit from playing with Ingram in New Orleans, but he's unlikely to make an impact as a rookie with all the level of talent the Saints already have in the backfield.
7.17 - Atlanta Falcons - WR Devin Fuller, UCLA
Fuller ran a sub 4.4 at his pro day, and he's a veratile player who was originally recruited as a quarterback before converting to receiver. Fuller translates as a high upside slot receiver with evolving hands and excellent quickness. He helps his quarterback when plays break down and shows intelligence finding soft spots in the defense. However, he isn't a natural runner with the ball in his hands, limiting his potential as an across the middle guy. Fuller will need to learn to see the field better and make a roster as a slot receiver and returner.
The Falcons are looking for someone to be the long term solution as a return specialist, particularly with Devin Hester coming off a banged up year. Fuller has a pretty good shot to make the roster, but he's unlikely to make an immediate fantasy impact or end up higher than fourth on the depth chart.
7.20 - New York Jets - WR Charone Peake, Clemson
Overshadowed early in his career at Clemson by the likes of DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins, Peake broke out last season with 50 catches, 716 yards, and five touchdowns. Peake looks the part of a WR1. He’s 6-foot-2, ran a 4.37 40 at his pro day, and performed well at the combine in catching drills. The tape shows him dropping too many passes however, and his production was subpar for such a highly touted prospect. Past knee injuries may have affected him, but his measurables will surely give him an opportunity to be coached up at the NFL level. Peake is a boom-bust type of player.
Peake is going to take a year to develop behind Brandon Marshall in New York. Peake has a similar skill set to Marshall so this is a good spot for him, but third or fourth is about as high as he can get on the Jets depth chart as a rookie, giving him minimal fantasy value.
7.21 - Washington Redskins - RB Keith Marshall, Georgia
Marshall tore his ACL a couple of years ago, and got limited looks last season coming back. There were concerns that he lost his speed after the injury, but he ran a blazing 4.31 second 40 at the combine, showing elite level explosiveness. Still, during the season, he seemed to have lost some lateral agility, and it remains to be seen whether he’ll get that back now that he’s two years removed from surgery. He has some off-field concerns as well, but he’s but he’s an interesting prospect as a cut-and-go player if he’s healthy and keeps his nose clean.
Washington is a good spot for the speedy Marshall, who should get some change-of-pace carries this year behind Matt Jones. Despite being a 7th round pick, Marshall has a better than average chance of putting up replacement level numbers if he can work his way into the offense and he should be a name to remember in deep and dynasty leagues.
7.22 - Seattle Seahawks - WR Kenny Lawler, California
Lawler is a physical possession receiver who plays well with the ball in the air and caught 13 touchdowns last season at Cal. He’s not a burner, but gets in and out of his cuts fluidly with surprising agility. Lawler has big hands and long arms, and he attacks the ball. He was one of the more consistent receivers in the Pac-12 last season, and plays with awareness of both the defense and the sidelines. Lawler is fairly NFL ready for a later round prospect, and if he can separate at the pro level, he could be a surprise starter down the line.
The Seahawks have several good receivers on the roster already, but Lawler stands a better than average chance of making the roster as a fifth receiver. Lawler could develop into a long term starter, but it's unlikely he'll rise higher than 4th on the depth chart as a rookie, which doesn't make him fantasy viable on a team that doesn't throw the ball a tremendous amount.
7.26 - Seattle Seahawks - RB Zac Brooks, Clemson
Brooks missed the 2014 season with a foot injury and played in a limited role last year, but he's a big, physical runner who plays with a violent streak. Brooks is a late round prospect who teams will like because of his tenacity, but will need to prove he has the instincts and agility to succeed at the pro level.
The third running back drafted by Seattle this year, Brooks will have a hard time making the final roster. Even if he does, he isn't likely to challenge Thomas Rawls for a starting role and will have at least three other guys to contend with for backup touches. He's likely a project that will spend time on the practice squad.
7.31 - Carolina Panthers - TE Beau Sandland, Montana State
Sandland is an intriguing developmental prospect who has good size, adequate speed, and demonstrates excellent hands. He's unrefined as a route runner, doesn't release well, and is still learning how to block, but the right coach could turn him into an eventual starter as a pass-catching threat in the NFL.
The Panthers have two tight ends on the roster already, with Greg Olsen as one of the top players in the league at his position. The best Sandland can hope for is to challenge Ed Dickson for the backup role, which still wouldn't make him fantasy relevant. He will probably make the roster, but won't have fantasy value.