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NFL Draft 2018 - Second and Third Round Reaction

The second and third rounds of the NFL draft proved to be loaded with potential fantasy assets as we saw five running backs, six wide receivers, two tight ends and one quarterback go off the board.

If a player doesn't get drafted in one of the first three rounds, their chances of a successful NFL career drop drastically. That doesn't mean it never happens, just means you should put more emphasis on players who went in the first three rounds.

If you missed it, Kyle Richardson broke down the first round of the draft, so let's get to my thoughts on rounds two and three.

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Second Round Reaction

Cleveland Browns select Nick Chubb, RB, Pick 35

The Browns had the first and third picks of the second round, but they traded down a couple spots and landed Georgia running back Nick Chubb. I think this is a great spot for Chubb, as he is the perfect compliment to Duke Johnson. In the short term he will have to compete with Carlos Hyde for early down work, but in the long-term this could be Chubb's job. Hyde's contract is very similar to the one Latavius Murray signed with Minnesota before they drafted Dalvin Cook, and Cook took Murray's job so there is the possibility Chubb could do the same right away. Despite a bad knee injury suffered in 2015, Chubb scored in the 89th percentile at the combine and looked fully healthy in 2017. The Browns also feature one of the league's best offensive lines and a revamped defense that could allow them to lean on the run game more in 2018. Chubb's receiving upside will always be limited by the presence of Johnson, and could be by Hyde in 2018, but it seems like Chubb is the future lead back for the Browns which gives him plenty of dynasty value.

Winner: Nick Chubb, Duke Johnson
Loser: Carlos Hyde


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Select Ronald Jones, RB, Pick 38

This was one of the biggest surprises of the second round as many had Jones down their running back rankings. The Buccaneers disagreed, however, and Jones enters the best running back situation available. He joins an offense with many weapons and only has to beat out Payton Barber, Jacquizz Rodgers and Charles Sims for a three-down role. With the draft capital they spent on him, and his skill as a runner, that seems like a sure bet. If there is a concern for Jones it is his size. At just 205 pounds you have to wonder if he can handle 250+ touches at the NFL level. Despite his small size, Jones runs hard and does not shy away from contact, which could be a detriment at the next level as well. Still, Jones will certainly be shooting up draft boards in both redraft and dynasty and for good reason.

Winner: Ronald Jones
Loser: Payton Barber, Jacquizz Rodgers, Charles Sims


Denver Broncos Select Courtland Sutton, WR, Pick 40

Personally I really wanted Sutton to go to Dallas, but this is still a very good spot. Yes, in the short term he is at best the team's third wide receiver, but Demaryius Thomas will be 31 in December and Emmanuel Sanders turned 31 in March. Sutton will get a chance to learn from both and we'll likely see him inherit a much larger role in 2019. The Bronco's quarterback situation is much better than it has been in the last two years as well with Case Keenum under center, so Sutton has big upside in year two and beyond. Unfortunately he is not likely to offer much in 2018 unless Thomas or Sanders get hurt, but in dynasty he has to be considered one of the top rookie wide receivers now. If you were high on Sutton before this should not change anything.
Winner: Courtland Sutton (Dynasty)
Loser: None

Miami Dolphins Select Mike Gesicki, TE, Pick 42

The Dolphins have lacked a real tight end threat in years so this pick made a lot of sense. Gesicki is an athletic freak who saw his draft stock shoot up at the combine. The good news for fantasy players is he is not a good run blocking tight end, so much like Evan Engram with the Giants last year, he will likely be a passing down specialist only. Don't expect Engram type numbers right away, however. Tight ends generally need time to develop and Engram is built more like a wide receiver than a tight end. Gesicki may have some low TE2 value in 2018, but his value really lies in dynasty league's where he could develop into a TE1 by year three.

Winner: Mike Gesicki, Ryan Tannehill
Loser: None


Detroit Lions Select Kerryon Johnson, RB, Pick 43

The Lions have been desperate for a running back for what seems like forever, and it appears they got their guy. I'm not sure this was the best spot for Johnson, however. While he is likely to take the early down duties from LeGarrette Blount, he will cede passing down work to Theo Riddick. This is also one of the pass-heaviest teams in the league, calling the second most and third most pass plays under offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter the last two seasons. The Lions as a team only attempted 363 runs last year, only the Dolphins at 360 attempted less, so Johnson's touches may be limited. Perhaps the lack of run calls was because they didn't have a running back they could trust, but it's hard to envision the Lions suddenly getting more run-heavy. Johnson offers some value in 2018 redraft league's, and will likely be a first round rookie pick in dynasty, but it comes with considerable risk and I'd prefer to avoid the situation.

Winner: Theo Riddick
Loser: Kerryon Johnson, LeGarrette Blount, Ameer Abdullah


San Francisco 49ers Select Dante Pettis, WR, Pick 44

This was a surprising pick to me. I wasn't very high on Pettis entering the draft and I thought there were better wide receivers available. But the 49ers disagreed and that's what matters. In the short term, Pettis is going to struggle for snaps. With Marquise Goodwin and Pierre Garcon on the outside it's hard to see Pettis breaking through right away. And despite Mike Mayock saying Pettis was a slot receiver on the NFL broadcast, he only ran 13.7% of his routes from the slot at Washington according to Scott Barrett of Pro Football Focus. The good news for Pettis is Garcon will be 32 in August, and he'll likely get to play with Jimmy Garropollo for years to come. If you believe in Pettis he is a nice dynasty stash, but should have little redraft value in 2018.

Winner: Pettis (Dynasty)
Loser: None


Arizona Cardinals Select Christian Kirk, WR, Pick 47

Outside of D.J. Moore, Kirk was atop more experts rookie wide receiver rankings pre-draft than just about any other player. He landed in a good spot considering the Cardinals drafted their quarterback of the future, Josh Rosen, in round one and have no other top-notch wide receivers outside of Larry Fitzgerald. The problem for Kirk in 2018 is he ran 95% of his routes from the slot in college, so either the Cardinals move him to the outside or they move Fitzgerald to the outside. Regardless of what direction they choose, Kirk should be on the field plenty and is in-line for his share of targets. If Fitzgerald hangs them up after 2018 Kirk can take over the Fitzgerald role after learning from one of the best of all time. Kirk is one of my  favorite dynasty rookie wide receivers and could even have value in redraft leagues.

Winner: Christian Kirk
Loser: None


Philadelphia Eagles Select Dallas Goedert, TE, Pick 49

The Eagles traded up to this spot and seemed to be doing it just to spite the Dallas Cowboys, who picked at 50. Despite already having one of the league's best tight ends in Zach Ertz, the Eagles added a lot of experts top rookie tight-ends in Goedert and prevented the Cowboys from replacing Jason Witten, who plans to retire. Unfortunately this is a terrible situation for Goedert, as he likely assumes the Trey Burton role. Goedert's stock went way down with this pick as Ertz is signed through 2021 and will likely play beyond that. Ertz is a stud and Goedert's value in both redraft and dynasty is rock bottom at the moment. His only chance at fantasy relevance is an Ertz injury or a trade.
Winner: Everyone who hates the Cowboys
Loser: Dallas Goedert

Chicago Bears Select Anthony Miller, WR, Pick 51

The Bears needed wide receiver help and they got a good one in Miller. Miller should step right into a starting role, and can play outside opposite Allen Robinson or in the slot. The concern here is he will need Mitch Trubisky to make a big second year leap, and he is on a team that was the seventh run-heaviest in 2017. The Bears have made major improvements to an already good defense, and boast one of the league's best offensive lines, so they could continue to lean on the ground game. Still, Miller is one of the few rookie wide receivers that should step right into a starter role and that will give him immediate value in both redraft and dynasty.

Winner: Anthony Miller, Mitch Trubisky
Loser: None


Washington Redskins Select Derrius Guice, RB, Pick 59

Guice falling to pick 59 was a surprise to many, as reports surfaced that there were some off the field things that concerned teams, though nothing concrete has come out. Guice was most experts number two running back in this draft, and if the concerns were unwarranted the Redskins may have gotten an absolute steal here. Guice is a powerful runner who is tough to bring down and creates yards after contact. He should have no problem taking the starting job from either Samaje Perine or Rob Kelley. Unfortunately his upside is a bit limited as Chris Thompson is one of the game's best pass catching backs. Still, Guice should get all the early down and goal line work he can handle, and seems like a safe bet for 250+ touches. He is a great commodity in both redraft and dynasty.
Winner: None
Loser: Samaje Perine, Rob Kelley

Pittsburgh Steelers Select James Washington, WR, Pick 60

A lot of people were low on Washington coming into the draft, but this pick makes a lot of sense for the Steelers who traded Martavis Bryant to the Raiders. Washington should take Bryant's role opposite Antonio Brown, and enters a potent offense. While he will likely lack consistency as the wide receiver three behind Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster, he offers great boom/bust potential right away. He's a sneaky dynasty add as well, as the Steelers added his college quarterback Mason Rudolph in the third round. Ben Roethlisberger has hinted at retirement recently, and having his college quarterback should make for a smooth transition.

Winner: James Washington
Loser: None


Jacksonville Jaguars Select D.J. Chark, WR, Pick 61

Wide receiver did not seem like a need for the Jaguars, who already had five on the roster, but they added a sixth in the second round. Chark is a vertical burner who can take the top off defenses but has a limited route tree. Unfortunately he is playing with one of the league's worst deep ball throwers in Blake Bortles. This is also an offense that leans on the ground game with Leonard Fournette and an elite defense. Jacksonville was the run-heaviest team in 2017 and there is no reason to think that will change in 2018. I hate this spot for Chark and I will not be targeting him in any formats. Dynasty owners have to hope the quarterback situation in Jacksonville changes sometime soon.

Winner: None
Loser: D.J. Chark


Third Round Reaction

Denver Broncos Select Royce Freeman, RB, Pick 71

I love this spot for Freeman. He battled through injury for the entire 2017 season and the Ducks changed their blocking scheme which caused many experts to rank him lower down their board. Freeman has three-down potential, however, as he caught 80 of his 89 targets in college and ranked second in forced missed tackles among all running backs in this class, according to Pro Football Focus. After cutting C.J. Anderson the Broncos had a big hole to fill and Freeman should fill that. His only real competition are Devontae Booker and De'Angelo Henderson, neither of which have done anything thus far. Freeman seems like a lock for 250+ touches and the Broncos offensive line has made improvements. Anderson ran for over 1,000 yards and 4.1 yards per carry in 2017, and Freeman could top that. People don't seem to be as high on him because he was drafted in the third round, but you can make a case for him being the number two running back in this class. He should have plenty of value in both redraft and dynasty.

Winner: Royce Freeman
Loser: Devontae Booker, De'Angelo Henderson


Pittsburgh Steelers Select Mason Rudolph, QB, Pick 76

I briefly mentioned Rudolph in my Washington write up, but the Steelers likely got their quarterback of the future. As I said Ben Roethlisberger has hinted at retirement and Rudolph is in a perfect spot to sit and learn from him before taking over the reigns. Rudolph is similar to Roethlisberger in that he is a big, pocket passer, so this should be a smooth transition for the Steelers. He's not without flaws, however, as he struggles with accuracy and timing. Still, this could be improved as he waits his turn to become the starter. Rudolph has no redraft value, and his value in dynasty is relatively low even in SuperFlex and 2QB leagues. He is nothing more than a stash and wait type of pick.

Winner: None
Loser: None


Dallas Cowboys Select Michael Gallup, WR, Pick 81

Love this spot for Gallup. The Cowboys badly needed wide receiver help after cutting Dez Bryant, and Gallup can fill that outside "X" role. The downside here is that this is a run-heavy offense that will likely lean on Ezekiel Elliott, but with the departure of Bryant and tight end Jason Witten, there are plenty of targets open for Gallup. He has a chance to post the most production of rookie wide receivers in year one, though his ceiling may be capped long-term in a Cowboys offense. Still, I like the player, and I like the spot, he can give you immediate value in both redraft and dynasty.

Winner: Michael Gallup
Loser: None


Baltimore Ravens Select Mark Andrews, TE, Pick 86

After selecting a tight end in round one, the Ravens doubled-down their efforts and grabbed another in round three. Andrews is similar to Evan Engram of the Giants in that he is a bit of a hybrid tight-end, wide receiver type. Unfortunately he's going to have to compete with first round selection Hayden Hurst for snaps and targets. It's hard to see either him or Hurst having a very big year one impact, and one will have to leap frog the other if they are going to have much fantasy value moving forward. This pick severely caps the upside of both Andrews and Hurst in all formats.

Winner: None
Loser: Hayden Hurst, Mark Andrews


New Orleans Saints Select Tre'Quan Smith, WR, Pick 91

The Saints signed Cameron Meredith in the off-season, and are bringing back Ted Ginn and Brandon Coleman, not to mention some guy named Michael Thomas, so it's hard to see an immediate role for Smith. We know the offense, as long as it's led by Drew Brees, will be a high potent one however, but Smith could end up being one of those players that just sits on dynasty benches for years. He has almost no value in redraft leagues, but could be worth an end-of-the-bench stash in deep dynasty leagues.

Winner: None
Loser: None


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