A vote of confidence for Jay Ajayi? It appears so. Drake was
a near-perfect complement to Derrick Henry at Alabama in 2015,
helping to erase the memories of a college career that was repeatedly
undermined by injury. Although he is big enough to be a featured
back (6-1, 210), his injury history suggested he will be used
as a passing-down/breather-back role behind Ajayi. He's an interesting
add for Miami in that he has a future as a satellite back and
comparisons to Reggie Bush are appropriate, although he is not
quite in that class in terms of pure elusiveness and explosion.
Ajayi (and his fantasy owners) should not feel threatened on early
downs, but Drake's presence likely means he'll be limited to first
and second down. Drake is on the redraft radar as a RB4 and should
be a second-round pick in the majority of rookie drafts.
3.18 - TE Austin Hooper, Falcons
Two seasons after losing Tony Gonzalez to retirement, Atlanta
addresses the void Jacob Tamme and Levine Toilolo have largely
been unsuccessful trying to fill since. The Stanford product is
a receiving tight end right now with the potential to be an all-around
one, but the Falcons are counting on him to give opposing defenses
a player that can make defenses pay for giving too much attention
to Julio Jones. OC Kyle Shanahan isn't afraid to use his tight
end either, so owners have a right to feel confident about considering
him as a high-end TE2 in redraft leagues. His dynasty outlook
isn't quite as bright as Hunter Henry's, but it is close. Hooper
is worth a second-round grab in rookie drafts.
3.22 - WR Braxton Miller, Texans
Houston finds its successor to Brock Osweiler. (Wait, what? Miller's
not a quarterback anymore?) In all seriousness, I love the pick;
Ohio State's former signal-caller is perhaps the highest-upside
receiver in this draft and, if he develops as a receiver over
the next few years after making the transition to the position
last season, could give the Texans an incredibly hard-to-defend
receiving corps with the above-the-rim ability of DeAndre Hopkins,
the speed of Will Fuller and the jaw-dropping elusiveness of Miller.
Initially, Miller should be used as a Swiss Army knife and figures
to emerge as a dynamic option out of the slot in 2017 and beyond.
There isn't a ton of redraft upside with him given how raw he
is, but dynasty owners should strongly consider stashing him if
they can land him with an early second-round pick in rookie drafts.
3.23 - WR Leonte Carroo, Dolphins
A very interesting pick by Miami, which brings the physical Carroo
into the fold a year after landing DeVante Parker in the draft
as well as trading for Kenny Stills, and two years after drafting
Jarvis Landry. Despite being about the only weapon opponents had
to account for during his time at Rutgers, Carroo averaged over
20 yards per catch over last two seasons and 31 of his 122 catches
went for 25-plus yards. He needs to refine his route-running and
enters the league with character and reliability concerns, so
he'll begin his career as Miami's fourth receiver at best. He
is unlikely to come into any redraft value this season, and offers
only moderate value in dynasty leagues at the moment with so much
talent in front of him.
3.27 - RB C.J. Prosise, Seahawks
Seattle proves its drafting prowess yet again with the selection
of Prosise, who made a late transition from receiver to running
back at Notre Dame. He proved to be a natural at his new position
while giving the Fighting Irish a dynamic passing-game option
of the backfield that one would expect from a former receiver.
Prosise already does a number of things that many veteran backs
struggle with, such as maintain good pad level and finishing his
runs, although he obviously needs to improve as a blocker and
show better ball security. He'll have some time to develop in
Seattle, which will probably utilize him as a third-down back
in 2016 and 2017 while Thomas Rawls and Christine Michael battle
it out for early-down work. Prosise is an explosive player with
feature-back size (6-0, 220), so his abilities in the passing
game could eventually give him a leg up on Rawls and Michael should
the Seahawks eventually decide they want a bell cow back. His
redraft value will be based almost entirely on his abilities to
catch passes out of the backfield, so his upside is probably as
a low-end RB4 in those leagues (PPR). In rookie drafts, he's certainly
worth an early-to-mid second-round selection.
3.31 - QB Cody Kessler, Browns
It's hardly a surprise Cleveland spent a Day 2 pick on a quarterback,
although not many could have expected it to be Kessler. On the
plus side, he is a capable move-the-chains kind of quarterback
that can be trusted to make good decisions. On the negative side,
he doesn't offer much upside and isn't the kind of player that
appears overly willing to make the kind of "window throws"
that NFL backs are often required to make. However, given the
Browns' dire situation, he projects as the third-best quarterback
on their current roster and isn't too far away from the top spot
considering Robert Griffin III's injury history and the uncertain
roster status of Josh McCown. In other words, Kessler could make
multiple starts this year for Cleveland. Of course, that does
not mean he's a good option in redraft leagues, and I'd argue
he's probably worth no more than a late-third round pick in rookie
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.