It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of the players that go in the early rounds and forgetting about those that fall but one thing to remember: the round taken rarely correlates to a player’s success. For every Russell Wilson (75th pick by the Seahawks) there is a Jamarcus Russell (1st pick overall by the Oakland Raiders) and for every Marques Colston (Selected 252nd overall by the New Orleans Saints) there is a Troy Williamson (Selected 7th overall by the Vikings in 2005). So while draft position is important it’s not the defining moment of an NFL player’s career. As a continuation and a summary to Monday’s post covering Rounds 2 & 3 of the NFL Draft and our Friday coverage of Round 1 of the NFL Draft, we will examine the last four rounds and possible impact players that have a good chance at becoming relevant for 2013 fantasy football or beyond…
4.01 Matt Barkley QB Philadelphia Eagles: Barkley finds himself going number one overall like we all predicted last year! Seriously though hard to believe that arguably the number one pick last year could now fall this far. Maybe teams are afraid of the USC quarterback curse? Maybe he just didn’t perform but what ever it is it might be a steal here by the Eagles but still a very confusing pick in my opinion. What does this mean for fantasy? We now have Vick, Foles, Dixon and Barkley as the quarterback depth chart for the Eagles. Without knowing what type of offense Chip Kelly will run it’s hard to predict who has the best opportunity to suceeed. I would like to belive the Vick and Dixon are the number one and two options with Foles and Barkley rostered as trade bait but it’s just too hard to say at this point. Barkley should be avoided in re-draft and added in deep dynasty leagues.
4.04 Ace Sanders WR Jacksonville Jaguars: With Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts locking down the one and two spot for the Jaguars, Jacksonville drafts a receiver in this spot that could be best described as Tavon Austin “lite”. Sanders isn’t as fast but he is very explosive laterally making him a threat in the open field. There a concerns with his size at 5’7″ 170 but if he can stay healthy, he will be a contributor in the return game and in the slot. Lets hope Gabbert can finally become the quarterback he was drafted to be. What does this mean for fantasy? Not that much really as Sanders should be avoided in most formats as he will be the 3rd or 4th option on a team that struggles to pass the ball efficiently.
4.05 Josh Boyce WR New England Patriots: Patriots make another pick of receiver here to try to rebuild lack of skill at the position. Boyce is interesting because he is an athletic freak posting top numbers at the combine but lacks physicality due to his size and isn’t the best pass catcher. What does this mean for fantasy? Boyce is pretty much restricted to playing the slot but because of this I like him as a sleeper for 2013. With Welker departing for Denver the starting job at slot is still very much in the air, if Boyce lands the starting job he could be a good add in most formats.
4.13 Ryan Nassib QB New York Giants: Many had high hopes of Nassib going in the first round to Buffalo but this turned out to be just a bunch of smokescreens by the Bills. Nassib is considered a developmental quarterback and gets a chance to learn from one of the best passing teams in the NFC East. What does this mean for fantasy? With Eli as the starter it’s hard to imagine Nassib finds himself in any fantasy relevant role in the near future.
4.15 Tyler Wilson QB Oakland Raiders: With the failure of the Carson Palmer experiment the Raiders are looking for their next franchise quarterback. Signing Flynn was necessary but drafting Wilson was smart. I have no doubts that Flynn could be beat out for the starting job two years straight by a rookie with the last name Wilson. What does this mean for fantasy football? Quarterback is super deep but Wilson could be an add in two quarterback formats and dynasty leagues.
4.18 Landry Jones QB Pittsburgh Steelers: So even after an atrocious showing by all back up quarterback backs in Pittsburgh last year and Roethlisberger’s on going injury concerns, the Steelers decided to wait until the fourth round to draft a quarterback. This was a big mistake in my opinion, as Landry Jones is far from an immediate back up and even further from being a starter. Not only that but Pittsburgh really lacks the offensive weapons to be confident in Jones moving forward though. What does this mean for fantasy? Landry Jones will probably get an opportunity but I don’t think this warrants a roster spot for any fantasy teams.
4.28 Johnathan Franklin RB Green Bay Packers: Everyone knows the Packers have struggled to find a legitimate number one running back for the last few years and by double dipping at the position this year they have given themselves a great chance. I have serious concerns with Lacy’s health and effectiveness and if that is the case then Franklin is more than capable to step up and shoulder the bulk of carries. What does this mean for fantasy? I think that Franklin can be a steal and that Green Bay is the perfect spot for him. My only concern is that we see the dreaded running back by committee which kills both of their value.
4.31 Quinton Patton WR San Francisco 49ers: Excellent pick here for the 49ers giving them a very talented and versatile receiver. Patton can play in almost any offensive scheme and has solid fundamentals giving him a good shot at being an immediate contributor. There are some concerns with his athleticism and size but nothing that should keep him off the field. What does this mean for fantasy? Patton has the skill to be effective but the limited pass attempts by Kaepernick worries me and I’m not sure there will be enough targets for Patton to be a legitimate fantasy starter.
4.34 Marcus Lattimore RB San Francisco 49ers: San Francisco hits again here on this pick with who was no doubt the number one running back before his gruesome knee injury. This is a great landing spot for Lattimore as he will not be asked to be an immediate contributor and can learn from one of the best in Frank Gore. What does this mean for fantasy? Lattimore should most definitely be an add for dynasty leagues but people should temper their expectations in re-draft for the 2013 season.
5.02 Denard Robinson WR Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars drafted a quarterback to replace Gabbert! No actually not, they add to their set of play makers at wide receiver by drafting Robinson who will be transitioning from quarterback to wide receiver. What dose this mean for fantasy? Not too much, although Robinson is an extremely gifted athlete there is huge learning curve when stepping up and becoming an NFL receiver so I see a lot of special teams in his future. He should be avoided until he can prove us otherwise.
5.07 Stefan Taylor RB Arizona Cardinals: After signing Mendenhall, the Cardinals look to add depth at running back. Stefan Taylor is not an exciting runner but he is fundamentally sound and would have no problem stepping up in the case of a Mendenhall injury. What does this mean for fantasy? I would try to avoid Taylor as he was only effective behind a very impressive Stanford offensive line and as we know the Cardinals line, even with the addition of offensive guard Jonathan Cooper, is terrible to say the least. Taylor lacks the ability to make plays happen on his own and should be avoided in almost all formats.
5.11 Kenny Stills WR New Orleans Saints: The Saints continue to add weapons with the addition of Kenny Stills in the 5th round. Stills isn’t the most exciting receiver but can get down field and could provide the deep threat the Saints have been looking for if Joe Morgan can’t step up in 2013. What does this mean for fantasy? The Saints have too many options to consider Stills as possible fantasy starter in the near future but if he solidifies a spot in the offense and finds a connection with Drew Brees he could be very dangerous moving forward. Keep Stills on your fantasy radar.
5.18 Joseph Randle RB Dallas Cowboys: In a very Jerry Jones like fashion, the Cowboys waited until the majority of the better running backs were selected to draft a very big need. As we know Demarco Murray has had his share of injuries and the Cowboys struggled mightily in 2012 with an ineffective Felix Jones and Phillip Tanner. Randle is fairly talented although his poor combine and wiry build is cause for concern, but I have no doubts he can solidify himself as the number two behind Murray in 2013. What does this mean for fantasy? Basically if you own Murray be sure to draft Randle as an obvious handcuff.
5.27 Zac Stacy RB St. Louis Rams: This is a great pick for the Rams. With the departure of Steven Jackson, this backfield is up for grabs and I’m not sure Pead or Richardson can win the starting job for the Rams. Stacy is a Ray Rice type that can grind out tough yards. What does this mean for fantasy? Keep an eye on the Rams backfield in the off season and if Stacy comes at the right price in drafts he could end up being the Alfred Morris of 2013.
5.31 Mike Gillislee RB Miami Dolphins: With the departure of Reggie Bush the Dolphins add some depth to the running back position. Gillislee is extremely talented and has huge upside but lacks the fundamentals to be an every down back. He struggles with reading blocks and has ball security problems which could keep him off the field for the majority of 2013. What does this mean for fantasy? Because of his talent Mike Gillislee is someone to keep an eye on for next year. I’m not sold that Lamar Miller is the answer the Dolphins are looking for long term. He could be an asset if he overtakes Miller as the lead back.