A bit of a poor man's Le'Veon
Bell, the Jaguars scoop up their likely feature back for the
next few years. Yeldon is a patient 220-pounder with the lateral
agility of someone about 15 pounds lighter. Yeldon played through
injuries for most of the 2014 season, but is probably the best
bet of this draft's remaining backs to be a 250-carry runner on
a consistent basis. The Crimson Tide standout is better in the
passing game than his 46 career catches suggest, so while Denard
Robinson will likely steal 5-8 touches per game from him,
Yeldon's redraft floor is as a high-end RB3 or flex option. As
for his dynasty stock, he belongs in the discussion to be among
the first 5-6 players in rookie drafts.
2.05 NYJ – WR Devin Smith
Perhaps the most proficient deep threat in the draft, Smith gives
the Jets a player that could emerge as this year's John Brown.
And that is the role he should take on as a rookie as he slots
in behind Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall in New York. His short
and intermediate game could use some work, but he'll obviously
have some time to mature in that area. His redraft stock is that
of a WR5 at the moment since we have no way of knowing whether
or not Geno Smith or Ryan Fitzpatrick can make three receivers
viable in fantasy, even in an offense run by Chan Gailey. As a
result, his stock in rookie drafts is probably mid-second round.
2.08 TEN – WR Dorial Green-Beckham
A man-child if there ever was one, DGB is a size-speed freak
that would make Calvin Johnson proud from a physical talent standpoint.
However, Green-Beckham was a bit of a mess off the field before
getting kicked out of Missouri and is very raw as a route-runner.
There may not be a more polarizing player in this draft and perhaps
no other player has a bigger variance between his ceiling and
floor in the NFL. The Titans would be wise not to rush DGB and
build a package for him (preferably in the red zone) as he works
on his craft and they figure out whether or not they can trust
him. Green-Beckham's landing spot and myriad issues make him a
late-round pick at best in redraft leagues. The same reasons make
me lean toward putting a second-round value on him in rookie drafts.
2.09 CAR – WR Devin Funchess
One season after drafting a behemoth in Kelvin Benjamin, the
Panthers double-dip by going with the 6-4, 232-pound Funchess.
It would be a mistake to confuse the two as Funchess lacks Benjamin's
aggressiveness or run-after-catch ability. Nevertheless, his addition
gives Carolina two huge red-zone options. The Michigan product
ran a 4.7 as well and played TE early in his career, but isn't
going to make that transition here as Greg Olsen is one of the
best at that position. Funchess is no threat to Benjamin's No.
1 status and will be no more than a low-end WR4 for redraft purposes.
Similarly, he is an early-to-mid second-round option in rookie
2.22 DET – RB Ameer Abdullah
Were it not for the fact that he is 5-8, 205 with fumbling issues,
Abdullah likely would have been this drafts’ third first-round
running back. With that said, the second all-time leading rusher
in Nebraska history has just about everything else going for him
- including wonderful intangibles and gamebreaking ability. Likely
most ideally suited for a lead-back role (as opposed to a feature
back), Abdullah is a wonderful complement to Joique Bell on a
Lions' team that is trying to become more balanced on offense.
Abdullah warrants flex consideration right away in redraft leagues
and belongs right behind the top three backs (Gurley, Gordon and
Yeldon) and top three receivers (Cooper, White and Parker) in
2.23 BAL – TE Maxx Williams
A fascinating pick on several levels, Williams finds a team that
probably needs to move on at tight end since Dennis Pitta is a
huge injury question mark. The Minnesota alum is easily the draft's
best tight end and has been favorably compared to Jason Witten
for good reason. Assuming he is able to build the same kind of
bond with Joe Flacco that Pitta did, Williams is a good bet to
be a solid 8-10 year producer in Baltimore capable of making multiple
Pro Bowls. Tight ends rarely thrive in their rookie year, so Williams
is no more than a TE2 for redraft purposes. In dynasty, he warrants
a late first-round grade.
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.