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Instant Reaction: NFL Draft Rounds 2-3 Winners/Losers

Rounds 2 and 3 of the 2020 NFL Draft picked up on Friday and saw plenty of talented names get selected. Teams continued to solidify their depth charts and many like the Bengals and Colts bolstered their offenses. Of course, there were a few surprises, notably Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts getting selected by the Philadelphia Eagles, a team that already has a franchise quarterback in Carson Wentz.

So, what players may be feeling euphoric about the new additions and which ones may begin to start feeling nervous about their jobs? Let’s look at the winners and losers from Rounds 2 and 3:

With Rounds 4-7 remaining, this article only reflects the current state of teams and players after Day Two. You can also read our breakdown of the Round 1 winners and losers.

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NFL Draft Rounds 2 and 3: Winners

Joe Burrow - Quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals

Quarterback Joe Burrow just got another weapon for his arsenal as the Bengals picked big-bodied wide receiver Tee Higgins out of Clemson to begin the second round. At 6’4”, Higgins has the size and can provide mismatches in the red zone. He finished last season with 59 receptions, 1,167 yards, 13 touchdowns, and an astounding 19.8 yards per reception in 15 games.

With the elite A.J. Green, big-bodied Tee Higgins, still-capable Tyler Boyd, and speedster John Ross III, Joe Burrow could not have dreamed of a better receiving corps himself. Watch out, the former LSU Tiger could develop into a fantasy-worthy QB in his rookie season.

Drew Lock - Quarterback, Denver Broncos

First wide receiver Jerry Jeudy out of Alabama in the first round, and now wide receiver K.J. Hamler out of Penn State in the second round. The Denver Broncos have supplied their (hopeful) QB of the future Drew Lock with two new receivers who could help him break out in 2020. Jeudy is an elite option considering his speed and size.

Hamler may be undersized at 5’9”, but his athleticism and big-play potential adds another player on this squad for Drew Lock to throw to and for AFC West opposing cornerbacks to worry about. The Penn State product finished 2019 with 56 receptions, 904 yards, and eight touchdowns while averaging 16.1 yards per reception. Add these two rookie receivers along with last year’s breakout receiver, Courtland Sutton, and Lock is locked and ready to go for many years to come with these young studs as pass-catchers. The Missouri product is a serious candidate to emerge as a breakout fantasy player this season.

Philip Rivers - Quarterback, Indianapolis Colts

38-year-old quarterback Philip Rivers saw the Indianapolis Colts not draft his successor (for now), but two weapons who could prove very helpful for the veteran this season. Wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. out of USC presents a solid complement to T.Y. Hilton. Standing at 6’4”, he brings impressive size and catching abilities. Pittman compiled 101 receptions, 1,275 yards, and 11 touchdowns last season in 13 games played, including a 232-yard effort against Utah.

Not only this, but the team drafted running back Jonathan Taylor out of Wisconsin, an ultra-productive runner who can help lessen the pressure on Rivers. The Wisconsin product finished with 1,977, 2,194, and 2,003 rushing yards from 2017-19 at Wisconsin, respectively. The 21-year-old is athletic, provides speed, and will surely elevate this Colts offense.

Ben Roethlisberger - Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

Aaron Rodgers was probably not feeling all that great after the Packers drafted his heir apparent on Thursday night in quarterback Jordan Love. The Steelers COULD HAVE done the same thing, but they didn’t. Instead, they supplied an aging Ben Roethlisberger with another weapon to fill the void Antonio Brown left.

The newest Steeler, wide receiver Chase Claypool out of Notre Dame, should make an immediate impact. He is a big-bodied player, standing at 6’4”, and much larger in size than fellow receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, and Diontae Johnson. Claypool is a legit weapon with size and speed and he can be a shiny new red zone target for Big Ben. Props to the Steelers for trying to maximize the Super Bowl window for their team, which features a 38-year-old QB in the back-nine of his career just trying to reach and win one last Super Bowl.

Denzel Mims - Wide Receiver, New York Jets

The New York Jets needed a wide receiver, and they snagged 6’3” Denzel Mims out of Baylor in the second round, a complete steal. Mims has incredible speed, getting a 4.38 in the 40-yard dash, which means he smoked the other rookie WRs and can do the same to NFL cornerbacks. The Baylor product finished 2019 with 66 receptions, 1,020 yards, and 12 touchdowns.

Sam Darnold gets an extraordinary new weapon and Mims can elevate to the top of the Jets WRs chart considering Jamison Crowder, Breshad Perriman, and Quincy Enunwa have proved they cannot be the WR1 on a team. Look for Mims to be a potential fantasy sleeper in 2020.

Cam Newton and Jameis Winston - Quarterbacks, Free Agents

Another couple rounds gone with no QB selections from other “expected” ball clubs. For the time being, free agent QBs Cam Newton and Jameis Winston can have hope that a team may sign them, considering QB-needy teams like the Jaguars, Patriots, Steelers, and Colts neglected to take a QB in Rounds 2 or 3. Nevertheless, signal-caller prospects such as Jacob Eason and Jake Fromm remain undrafted and will likely be picked, so Cam and Jameis should be taking modest W’s tonight.


NFL Draft Rounds 2 and 3: Losers

Kerryon Johnson - Running Back, Detroit Lions

Just two years ago, the Detroit Lions drafted running back Kerryon Johnson in hopes that he could thrive in a position the team has not received much production from in recent memory. That time may have already come to an end, a measly two years later, as Detroit drafted RB D'Andre Swift out of Georgia in the second round.

Johnson could only muster 641 and 403 rushing yards respectively in an injury-marred NFL tenure of two seasons so far. Meanwhile, Swift is a speedy back who has pass-catching abilities. He compiled 1,218 yards last season on 196 attempts while also getting seven touchdowns. It’s official: Johnson is heading down the depth chart.

Mark Ingram II - Running Back, Baltimore Ravens

Running back Mark Ingram II played a vital role in the historic Ravens rushing attack of 2019 that steamrolled foes. Even with Lamar Jackson’s legs leading the charge, Ingram still saw meaningful playing time and his large role helped keep him fantasy relevant. Now age 30, Ingram may see competition for snaps in 2020 after the team added RB J.K. Dobbins from Ohio State.

Dobbins is a hard runner who can power his way down the field. He finished 2019 with 2,003 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns while averaging 6.7 yards per carry. The addition of him now crowds the Ravens’ RB room, which also includes Ingram, Justice Hill, and Gus Edwards. Dobbins’ and Ingram’s fantasy value both now take a dip as they may split touches.

Jalen Hurts - Quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles

In a shocking twist, the Philadelphia Eagles took QB Jalen Hurts out of Oklahoma in the second round. This was a head-scratching move as the Eagles already have a young franchise QB who is supposed to lead the team for many years to come. This puts Hurts in a hurting position as the likelihood of him starting in the NFL is probably far away.

With Carson Wentz engrained as the QB starter on Philly, the Oklahoma product may warm the bench as a backup or be utilized in a way QB Taysom Hill is in New Orleans. Still, Hurts may not see the field as a starting QB in the next few years. This puts the QB in a tough spot and he would have been better off drafted by teams like the Jaguars, Patriots, or Redskins where he could have competed for a starting role THIS season.

 Jimmy Graham - Tight End, Chicago Bears

After parting ways with tight end Trey Burton, it seemed Jimmy Graham had the inside track to the starting TE role on the Bears. That lasted for all of two days (literally) as the team drafted a young tight end from Notre Dame in Cole Kmet.

Now a 33-year-old tight end in decline, he will face competition for snaps from Kmet, which spells bad news for Graham’s role on the team and his already-sinking (or sunken) fantasy value.

New England Patriots Tight Ends

Instead of picking a QB, the New England Patriots selected two different tight ends in the third round, Devin Asiasi out of UCLA, and Dalton Keene from Virginia Tech. Along with Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo, the Patriots will now have four tight ends fighting for the top spot on the depth chart.

This likely eliminates any fantasy value each tight end could possibly have, but the real question is can any of these tight ends replace Gronk’s production? If not one, could all four tight ends combined equal Gronk’s production? Ponder those questions and look at the reality: times have really changed in New England.

More NFL Draft Analysis


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