Antonio Callaway: The ultimate boom or
bust pick by the Browns in Rd 4 could be the steal of Day
4.04 – RB Nyheem Hines, Colts
The selection of Hines would seem to be a clear indication the
new coaching staff is at least comfortable with the idea of Marlon Mack serving as the primary back, as Hines is an undersized (198
pounds) third-down back type who doesn't have the frame to add
much more and certainly never figures to be a full-time back.
His primary roles right away should be as a returner and as a
Darren Sproles-like satellite back. If that is in fact the case,
he may be worthy of a late draft pick in redraft leagues and a
third- or fourth-round pick in rookie drafts.
4.05 – WR Antonio Callaway, Browns
Callaway figures to be the ultimate boom-or-bust pick, as he
is a younger version of Josh Gordon - incredibly talented with
no sense of how to conduct himself off the field. At the very
least, the Florida product should be in the mix as a returner,
although he is certainly talented enough to put some heat on Corey Coleman behind Gordon and Jarvis Landry. The reason he is included
here is because Gordon remains a question mark. If he is somehow
passed his off-field troubles, he could very well be the steal
of the Day 3. He can be ignored in redraft for now, but dynasty
leaguers can take a shot at him in the late second-round area.
4.07 – TE Chris Herndon, Jets
Herndon tore his MCL in Miami’s regular-season finale,
keeping him from helping his draft stock during the draft process.
The 6-4, 253-pounder operated a lot out of the slot at "The
U" and was a three-year starter. Following the loss of Austin
Seferian-Jenkins, the Jets have a bunch of athletic oversized
slots vying for the starting job. Herndon is more talented than
the rest of them, so it seems reasonable he will rise to the top
of the depth chart at some point early in his career. He can be
ignored in redraft, but he's worth a shot in the third- or fourth-round
area of rookie drafts.
4.12 – RB Mark Walton, Bengals
Walton is a bit of a forgotten man in this deep running back
draft class because his final season came to an end due to an
ankle injury in early October that eventually required surgery.
His change-of-direction is among the best of the backs I have
evaluated in this class. Walton is dependable as well, showing
soft hands as a receiver while not recording a fumble over his
last two years (299 offensive touches). While short-area speed
and quickness are his game, the 202-pounder has more power than
one might expect and, as such, is willing and able to run inside.
Joe Mixon is obviously the long-term answer in Cincinnati, but
Walton is good enough to put heat on Giovani Bernard as the change-of-pace
and part-time passing-down option.
4.13 – WR DaeSean Hamilton, Broncos
Cut from the same mold as former Bill and Charger Steve Johnson,
Hamilton projects as a very serviceable long-term slot and possible
low-end complementary receiver. Given the fact Demaryius Thomas
and Emmanuel Sanders are on big contracts and 30 or over, the
Penn State alum may have a quicker-than-expected path to fantasy
relevancy. It would seem as though Denver is eyeing him to be
the long-term complement to Courtland Sutton, and both could start
seeing huge roles as soon as 2019. Hamilton figures to have minimal
redraft value, but he's worth rolling the dice on in the second
round of rookie drafts.
4.31 – RB Kalen Ballage, Dolphins
If someone can help Ballage ever realize his fullest potential,
Miami may have landed a running back here who could force a committee
with Kenyan Drake. While that seems unlikely given how much he
underachieved at Arizona State, he couldn't ask for a better role
model than Frank Gore if he needs to learn how to work in order
to be a professional. At this point, Ballage is a 228-pounder
who doesn't run with power often enough and instead is one of
the best players at his position in this class as a receiver.
He is unlikely to have any redraft value, but he's worth a flyer
later in the second round or sometime in the third in rookie drafts.
4.33 – WR J'Mon Moore, Packers
The Packers usually invest one pick every year at receiver and
they end up being right more often than they are wrong. Moore
has a good shot at being another hit, starting with the fact he
is a very good athlete (4.49 speed, 38-inch vertical). The Missouri
product was one of the better big-play artists in college football
last season, but attitude concerns and overall rawness are among
the reasons he wasn't a second-round pick. Since no Green Bay
receiver has a starting job of locked up opposite Davante Adams
following the release of Jordy Nelson, Moore has a reasonable
shot to produce as a rookie - albeit not enough to be on the redraft
fantasy radar. Conversely, he's worth a look in the mid-to-late
second round of rookie drafts.
4.37 – TE Dalton Schultz, Cowboys
With Jason Witten expected to become the new analyst of Monday
Night Football, it is interesting the Cowboys select the one prospect
in this draft that most resembles him. Schultz is the rare college
tight end who can block, so he figures to see regular playing
time on early downs. He's an average athlete, however, so he'll
be mostly an option only in the short and intermediate passing
game. Schultz could be a starter relatively early in his career
if Rico Gathers can't stay healthy, but Dallas is mostly likely
hoping Schultz will end up being the Dwayne Allen to Gather's
Coby Fleener to use a recent example. If Gathers can't get right,
Schultz could be on the low-end TE2 radar and worth a third- or
fourth-round pick in rookie drafts.
6.02 – RB John Kelly, Rams
There's probably always going to be a place in the NFL for backs
like Kelly. The Detroit native consistently played bigger and
runs tougher than his frame would suggest throughout most of what
was a lost season for the Volunteers. There are a number of instances
in which he showed the ability to absorb contact and the strength
and balance to power through defenders he had no business driving
through. Completing his physical profile, Kelly can throw a very
effective stiff-arm as well. He needs to improve his technique
as a pass blocker, but he seems very comfortable as a receiver.
Kelly is a very good bet to beat out Malcolm Brown to be Todd
Gurley’s backup, and that obviously means something in the
Rams' explosive offense. He is worth a late pick in redraft formats
for handcuff purposes, and Gurley owners should consider him as
in the third-round area.
6.33 – WR Equanimeous St. Brown,
Green Bay has invested three picks into the receiver position
this weekend, and St. Brown could easily end up becoming the best
of them. St. Brown looks a lot like Plaxico Burress physically
because he goes 6-5 and 214 pounds, but I gave him a comp of more
well-rounded Martatvis Bryant. He won't lift the lid of a defense
in the same way Bryant does (or used to do), but he is an effective
downfield receiver and worked out of the slot a lot at Notre Dame.
St. Brown also doesn't flinch at the idea of running over the
middle despite his angular frame and is capable of getting down
low enough to snag a throw near his feet. If he can adds some
functional muscle and develop a bit more of a "my ball"
mentality, he could easily end up being Davante Adams' sidekick
in the near future. He is worth considering in the final rounds
of redraft leagues and has a case to go as early as the late second
round in rookie drafts.
6.37 – TE Jordan Thomas, Texans
The sixth round is usually a good time for a team to take a shot
on a player who has a ton of physical gifts but struggled to keep
him mind right. Thomas has prototypical size (6-6, 265) for his
positon with elite speed (4.74), but his route-running is poor
and his overall football skills are lacking. Thomas put himself
on the draft radar with a good showing during East-West Shrine
Game practices and coaches are going to need to spend a ton of
time with him, but he's got the starter's kit to becoming a very
good NFL tight end if he decides he wants it. He's obviously not
on the redraft radar, but dynasty owners with deep benches could
justify a late pick in rookie drafts.
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.