Carr will get his shot at the starting
quaterback job in Oakland but it may not come until mid-season.
2.04 OAK – QB Derek Carr
Carr looked like the best quarterback prospect in this draft
at times and probably the eighth or 10th-prospect other times.
He consistently shied away from pressure and did not show good
footwork for the first half of the 2013 season. In the second
half of the season, however, Carr was clearly a different quarterback
- at least until Fresno State's bowl-game loss to USC. Either
way, Carr has a pretty predictable path to the starting job in
Oakland assuming that Matt Schaub proves last year's falloff was
not a fluke. With that said, it is difficult to put much faith
in an Oakland signal-caller in fantasy right now and the fact
that Carr probably won't start until midseason or after doesn't
help matters. He's a late-round fantasy flyer at best in redraft
leagues and probably no more than a late-second or early-third
round selection in 12-team dynasty league rookie drafts.
2.06 TB – TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins
In one fell swoop, Tampa Bay has assembled a trio of huge receiving
options in Mike Evans and Seferian-Jenkins who can dominate in
the red zone. Seferian-Jenkins is the best all-around tight end
of the top three available and should be an above-average short-to-intermediate
target right away. Seferian-Jenkins has some Rob Gronkowski qualities
to him, although he is not nearly as physical or aggressive as
the oft-injured Patriots' Pro Bowler. Although Seferian-Jenkins
lacks the fantasy upside of Eric Ebron as a rookie, he's a legit
higher-end TE2 possibility and makes sense right now as an early
second-round pick for dynasty owners in rookie drafts.
2.07 JAX – WR Marqise Lee
The board falls right for the Jags here as Lee steps into a solid
Year 1 situation with Justin Blackmon not being counted on in
2014 due to suspension. If and when Blackmon returns, Lee and/or
Blackmon can both move into the slot and contribute there as well.
The 2012 Biletnikoff Award winner endured a difficult injury-plagued
season in 2013 as well as a well-publicized coaching and quarterback
change that brought his mind-boggling reception totals from the
previous season down. Still, the Jags should no longer have to
count on the likes of Mike Brown to make plays opposite Cecil
Shorts. Depending on Blackmon's status come August and September,
Lee could start out the season with WR4 value. From a dynasty
perspective, however, it's hard to like Lee much if/when Blackmon
and Shorts are healthy and active.
2.10 PHI – WR Jordan Matthews
The SEC's all-time leading receiver lands in a wonderful situation
in Philadelphia, where he should beat out Riley Cooper quickly
and assume starting duties opposite oft-injured Jeremy Maclin.
Matthews may lack elite athleticism, but he is an efficient run-after-catch
player that brings more qualities to the table (namely blocking
ability) than the player he replaces (DeSean Jackson). Matthews
should begin 2014 as a top-end WR4 option in redraft leagues and
could ascend to the WR3 level if Maclin can't stay on the field.
In dynasty, he belongs behind Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Odell
Beckham, Kelvin Benjamin and Brandin Cooks and ahead of Marqise
Lee of the receivers drafted so far.
2.13 SEA – WR Paul Richardson
An absolute deep-ball terror, Richardson is one of the slightest-framed
players to get drafted within the first two rounds in recent history.
Not all that dissimilar from Brandin Cooks in terms of build,
vertical ability and route-running, Richardson profiles initially
as a deep-ball specialist for a Seahawks' team that cannot count
on Sidney Rice and just lost Golden Tate. Richardson will have
a hard time finding redraft value because he's going to fall behind
Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin and probably Jermaine Kearse on a run-heavy
team and is probably no more than an early third-round rookie
draft pick in dynasty.
2.17 NYJ – TE Jace Amaro
Amaro is part of the new breed at tight end in that he is a 6-6,
265-pound player that played nearly all of his snaps at Texas
Tech in the slot. Perhaps no other tight end available in this
draft possesses a better set of hands, although one has to wonder
how his below-average blocking skills - at the moment - fit with
the Jets' likely run-heavy attack. By using a second-round pick
to select him, New York obviously believes it can help Amaro become
an average NFL blocker and, if that happens, the Jets will have
a player that can cause mismatches all over the field in the passing
game. Amaro probably is a mid-to-low fantasy TE2 in redraft due
only to the Jets' quarterback situation. In dynasty rookie drafts,
Amaro could fall into the early-to-middle part of the second round.
2.20 ARI – TE Troy Niklas
Rob Housler has been put on notice. Niklas has played tight end
for only a couple of seasons, but rivals Austin Seferian-Jenkins
as the most well-rounded top-five player at his position. However,
Cardinals HC Bruce Arians has said that he prefers blocking tight
ends over receiving tight ends, which should speak volumes about
his fantasy potential. Niklas is well off the redraft radar and
probably will warrant no more than a fourth-round rookie draft
pick in dynasty.
2.21 GB - WR Davante Adams
GM Ted Thompson is a steadfast believer in taking the best player
available and it is hard to argue that he wasn't right with his
selection of Adams, who I thought was often the better half of
the Fresno State combination with Derek Carr, at least early in
2013. With James Jones leaving for Oakland, Adams lands in a plum
spot for his future fantasy value and could easily move past Jarrett
Boykin into the third receiver slot by 2015. As Jones and Boykin
have proven in recent years, even Aaron Rodgers' fourth receiver
has consistently been a fantasy asset. Adams is a WR5 in redraft
formats and warrants an early-to-middle second-round pick in dynasty
2.22 TEN – RB Bishop Sankey
And the first running back comes off the board in the person
of Sankey, who will be asked to fill the shoes of Chris Johnson
as well as keep Shonn Greene in a late-game, goal-line pounder.
Fantasy owners should expect both to happen in short order. While
he lacks the explosiveness of Gio Bernard, Sankey is arguably
as well-rounded and a more powerful runner that could have the
same kind of impact that Doug Martin did in 2012 on a team that
has a lot of talent on the offensive line and a run-oriented offensive
philosophy. Sankey merits consideration as a top-three dynasty
pick in rookie drafts and is very likely to finish among the top
15-20 running backs in redraft formats.
2.23 CIN - RB Jeremy Hill
A year after selecting Gio Bernard the first running back taken,
the Bengals double-dip in the running back pool and make Hill
the second back off the board in this draft. While there is little
question about the talent, Hill has enough off-field baggage to
make him a question mark and is arguably a lesser prospect than
Carlos Hyde, who was in Cincinnati's backyard. Hill will almost
certainly make BenJarvus Green-Ellis an afterthought at some point
this season and takes a bit of luster off of Bernard as a true
workhorse. Hill will probably start out as no more than a RB4
in redraft leagues and is perhaps an early-second round dynasty
2.24 DEN – WR Cody Latimer
Latimer emerged from a late-round prospect in February into a
player that (rightfully) generated first-round consideration in
the days leading up to the draft. Perhaps most interestingly,
he dropped only one of his 119 targets from last season and falls
into one of the best possible situations for his long-term NFL
success. There's an outside chance that Latimer makes some noise
in his rookie year because he is - in my opinion - a top-five
receiver in this draft and reminds me of an non-injured Hakeem
Nicks, but the odds are much stronger that he is nothing more
than a WR4 behind Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Emmanuel Sanders.
In the likely event that Welker moves on after the end of the
year, however, Latimer could easily play the Eric Decker role
as Sanders slides inside. He's off the redraft radar, but a late-first
or early-second round pick in rookie drafts.
2.25 SF – RB Carlos Hyde
Considered by many the best running back in the draft, Hyde's
arrival makes it pretty clear that Frank Gore will likely not
be in San Francisco past the end of this season and throws a considerable
amount of cold water on the potential emergence of Marcus Lattimore
as his long-term successor. Lattimore possesses more natural talent
and is a better fit for the Niners' straight-ahead running game,
but Hyde doesn't have the considerable injury history of the former
South Carolina standout. At any rate, San Francisco should be
set at the position for the next 3-5 years. The landing spot makes
Hyde a late-round redraft pick and late first-round dynasty pick
2.29 JAX – WR Allen Robinson
Emphasizing they are not counting on Justin Blackmon this year,
Jacksonville follows up its selection of Marqise Lee with Robinson,
who essentially carried the Penn State passing attack for the
final two years of his college career. Robinson doesn't possess
ideal speed, but has enough speed and explosion to be Cecil Shorts'
long-term tag team partner while Lee will probably see significant
time in the slot. Robinson will probably battle TE Marcedes Lewis
as the player most likely to lead the Jags in receiving scores
right away and would make for a nice upside WR4 in redraft and
early-to-mid second-round pick in rookie drafts.
2.30 NE – QB Jimmy Garoppolo
The Patriots take another foray in selecting Tom Brady's heir
apparent in Garroppolo because Ryan Mallett is almost as good
as gone in 2015 (assuming he isn't traded this weekend). With
Brady showing no signs of decline or wanting to retire, Garroppolo
has very little dynasty and no redraft value.
2.31 MIA – WR Jarvis Landry
Landry has generated Hines Ward comparisons thanks to his physical
play; he could very well replace Mike Wallace (assuming Miami
wants to move on from him) or Brian Hartline, who is a lesser
all-around talent than Landry. The LSU product doesn't create
much separation, but makes sense playing alongside Wallace and
Hartline in the slot this season while Miami waits to see if Brandon
Gibson can recover from injury. Landry has a slight amount of
redraft appeal (if he beats out Gibson) and probably slots in
as a late second-round pick in rookie drafts.
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Doug Orth has written for FF Today since 2006 and appeared in
USA Today’s Fantasy Football Preview magazine in 2010 and
2011. He is also the host of USA Today’s hour-long, pre-kickoff
fantasy football internet chat every Sunday. Doug regularly appears
as a fantasy football analyst on Sirius XM’s “Fantasy
Drive” and for 106.7 The Fan (WJFK – Washington, D.C).
He is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.