For the fourth straight year, I want to take a quick peek at some
of the other prospects at each of the four fantasy positions who
could/should hear their names called over the first two days of
the draft. While I realize it isn't an all-inclusive list and there
will be a few omissions that will sneak into my rankings in the
coming weeks, time doesn't allow me to scout - much less do a write-up
on - every quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end
on the verge of getting selected before the draft. With that said,
I have already finished summaries for the 37 players below and will
scout a few more in the coming days. (I'll likely submit my overall
rookie rankings for dynasty purposes in early May.)
It is important to know how we feel about players before we find
out where they are drafted since their landing spot can often
change our feelings about them. I have ranked the players below
by position and in the order I would draft them, all things being
equal. I cannot account for the difference in opinion I might
have for a speed receiver versus the value someone else will place
on one. I might also knock a running back down a tier if I believe
his running style may lead to a short career.
I'll include some brief notes below on players I struggled putting
into a certain tier:
2. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
Tagovailoa is the kind of player that a coach/office coordinator
with a lot of job security should take in a heartbeat but will
almost certainly scare any coach/office coordinator on the hot
seat. He must learn to play for another down if he is to realize
his potential. Much of his injury history can be attributed to
extending plays and holding onto the ball too long before he gets
pulled down awkwardly on those plays. If a coach/office coordinator
is confident they can "fix" this, he is easily on par
with Burrow. If not, passing on him and trying your luck next
year is probably the better option.
Tier 2 (Backs with at least one
potential fatal flaw)
3. Jonathan Taylor,
Even though he's been incredibly durable to this point, Taylor's
career workload (968 college touches - including 926 carries)
is a huge number, so much so that he could be a one-contract player.
Additionally, he is a work in progress in the passing game.
5. Zach Moss, Utah
Moss can make a strong case for being No. 3 on this list. But
while his no-holds-barred running style is very fun to watch,
it also makes him the most likely back to struggle with durability
in this draft class.
2. Chase Claypool, Notre Dame
Tight end is a complete projection here. He would likely be in
Tier 5 for me if I believed he was going to be a long-term NFL
3. Adam Trautman, Dayton
4. Cole Kmet, Notre Dame
5. Hunter Bryant, Washington
Doug Orth has written for FF
Today since 2006 and been featured in USA Today’s Fantasy
Football Preview magazine since 2010. He hosted USA Today’s
hour-long, pre-kickoff fantasy football internet chat every Sunday
in 2012-13 and appears as a guest analyst on a number of national
sports radio shows, including Sirius XM’s “Fantasy Drive”.
Doug is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.