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They Took Who??? Teams That Confused Us by Drafting the Wrong Player


In 2017, it was the Bengals taking John Ross in the top 10. In 2016, it was the Jets deciding that Christian Hackenberg was worthy of a second round pick, and back in 2015 it was... Kevin White? Breshad Perriman? Regardless, it happens every year: teams fall in love with certain players and their fans -- and writers around the league -- sit back and say whaaaaaaaaat???

Sometimes, those players far exceed expectations. As a Texans fan, I can vividly remember when the team picked J.J. Watt and everyone on the team forum thought it was a reach. Fans don't know everything. Fantasy football writers don't know everything either -- we're going to be wrong about a lot of our predictions and projections from this year's draft.

That doesn't mean we can't pause for a minute, though, and throw shade at some of the pick's from this year's draft. There's a good chance that I'm going to look back next year and think wow, Justin...I can't believe you thought the Seahawks picking Rashaad Penny in the first round was a bad idea. Below are eight picks from the first three rounds that left me scratching my head.

 

The First Rounders

Josh Allen - QB, Buffalo Bills

There's a lot to dislike about Josh Allen as an NFL prospect. The Ringer's Rodger Sherman wrote a piece before the draft that had some eye opening stats about Allen, but the one that stuck out to me the most was this: "the most successful quarterback since 2005 who was taken within a draft’s first 100 picks and posted a final-year college completion percentage below 58 is Jake Locker." JAKE LOCKER. The Bills traded up for a player whose best NFL comparison is Jake Locker? There are plenty of other things in that Ringer article that bring up concerns about Allen as a pro prospect too-- more of his passes thrown off target than notable stars DeShone Kizer and Christian Hackenberg, bad numbers when under pressure, and a negative QBASE score.

In addition to all of that, though, my other concern is how he fits in with this Bills team. Tyrod Taylor led them to the playoffs despite ranking just 16th in completion percentage, but he was also tied for the lowest interception percentage in the league with Alex Smith. (Both guys changed teams this offseason despite their ability to avoid turnovers.)

So, Allen. He threw 21 interceptions in two years as a starter in Wyoming, while Taylor threw 16 in three years as the Bills starter. Allen has a strong arm and, in theory, can make some passes that Taylor couldn't, but the Bills don't necessarily have the personnel right now to make his arm strength supersede his lack of accuracy. That the Bills took Allen over Josh Rosen is a bad call in my book, but it could end up looking fine down the line if Allen is able to improve his placement. It's just hard to imagine Buffalo being a place where he does that.

Hayden Hurst - TE, Baltimore Ravens

Pro Football Focus had Hurst as their fourth-ranked tight end in this draft class, but the Ravens made him the first tight end off the board. He's got a lot of potential and tight end is a position of need for the Ravens, but I'm not sold on Hurst being the right pick at this spot for Baltimore, who traded down twice before grabbing him. They also added another tight end on the second day of the draft when they grabbed Oklahoma's Mark Andrews.

There's a lot to like about Hurst, who has great size and speed and can be a special kind of weapon for new Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, but there are concerns about his age -- he'll be 25 his rookie season -- that made many people think he'd fall down in the second round. He could be a solid player, but his age suggests that he doesn't have the upside of some of the other tight ends in this draft class.

Rashaad Penny - RB, Seattle Seahawks

Wha...what? The Seahawks shocked everyone by taking Penny in round one despite 1) not having a working offensive line, 2) needing help on the defensive side of the ball as the Legion of Boom has evaporated, and 3) Derrius Guice still being on the board. Ignoring those last two points for the purposes of this article, let's just go ahead and address the offensive line issues.

Pro Football Focus ranked the Seattle offensive line as the 27th-best unit during the 2017 season. Or you could also look at it as the sixth-worst. Their best offensive lineman is Duane Brown, who was acquired via a mid-season trade last year. They added D.J. Fluker -- who started six games for the Giants last year before a toe injury ended his season -- free agency and spent just one draft pick on the line, taking tackle Jamarco Jones in the fifth round. Seattle will hope that a line that looked promising in the past will pull it all together and show some promise in 2018, but if it doesn't, what's Penny going to be able to do? Seattle was 23rd in rushing yards last year, but that number is buoyed by quarterback Russell Wilson, whose 586 rushing yards ranked second among quarterbacks. I don't understand why the Seahawks addressed the struggles of the rushing game with Penny instead of building a functioning offensive line first. He'll probably be a fine player in 2019 if the team makes moves for the line by then, but I don't like him as a fantasy play in 2018.

 

Day Two Players

Nick Chubb - RB, Cleveland Browns

I like Nick Chubb and if you'd asked me about his fit with the Browns a few months ago I would have had lots of great things to say, but then the team went out and acquired Carlos Hyde, a guy who was expected to be their main running back while Duke Johnson Jr. functioned as their receiving back. Now, I don't know. Picking a running back in this spot felt like a luxury move, which is odd since the Browns went 0-16 last season and have enough holes to fill across the roster. I don't know how the rotation will shake down between Hyde and Chubb, but there's not a scenario where all three running backs in Cleveland can have value. For those of us who bought into Carlos Hyde in dynasty after he came to Cleveland and we assumed he'd be the RB1 there, this is a hard pill to swallow. And what is Chubb's value in rookie drafts now? He probably has the backfield in 2019, but will you get much out of him this year?

Kerryon Johnson - RB, Detroit Lions

Like Cleveland, the Lions signed a running back in the off-season, but unlike Cleveland, Detroit still had a need at the position. LeGarrette Blount was added during free agency and projected to see a lot of the early down work, but the Lions then went ahead and drafted Kerryon Johnson, a guy expected to be best suited for early down work. He doesn't have the speed to be a huge receiving threat, which makes his selection in this spot a little perplexing when there were other running backs available. Maybe he quickly surpasses Blount and everything is fine -- Johnson as the starting back in Detroit should be able to find the end zone a decent amount of times -- but it might be a slow start for Johnson. That backfield will also still feature Theo Riddick as the main pass catching back.

Dallas Goedert - TE, Philadelphia Eagles

I live in the Dallas area and had to listen to part of round two on the radio while driving home from work, so I got to hear all the Cowboys radio people express dismay at the pick -- the Eagles trade up to pick right above the Cowboys and pick a tight end named Dallas at a draft taking place in Dallas. Normally, I view local radio people with a grain of salt when it comes to things that deal with their rivals, but I'm on board here, as this definitely felt more like a middle finger to Dallas than a pick at a position of need. The Eagles did lose Trey Burton in free agency, but Burton wasn't a huge part of Philadelphia's offense except in weeks where starter Zach Ertz was injured. I see Goedert's fantasy value at this point mimicking that. I don't see him performing well with Ertz in the lineup, but he could put up some sneaky stats in the event that Ertz is out. That isn't exactly what I'd consider the best use of a second round pick, especially one that you traded up for.

D.J. Chark - WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars have a crowded receiving corps that just got more crowded by the addition of LSU speedster D.J. Chark. He'll fight for playing time with Marqise Lee, Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole, and the newly signed Donte Moncrief. Chark has the speed to be the best downfield threat of them all, but will he see many opportunities right off the bat? And if he does, will Blake Bortles be able to get him the ball down the field? I'm having flashbacks to every game where Will Fuller was dealing with a quarterback who wasn't named Deshaun Watson last season. Chark will help in the return game, but that might be about it.

Mark Andrews - TE, Baltimore Ravens

I'll keep this short: Andrews was drafted in the third round by a team that had already taken a tight end in the first round. Andrews is a good pass catcher, but he's doesn't possess the blocking skills of Hurst, which makes it hard to see him getting a leg up on the depth chart. If he can improve on that part of his game, he could be a riser in 2019, especially if Lamar Jackson takes over that season and the Ravens offense becomes more dynamic.

 

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