Rookie Reactions Day 3

ROUND 4

Brandon: #7 (114 OVR) Washington Redskins - Samaje Perine
Going in we knew the Redskins backfield was uncertain with Matt Jones busting and Rob "Fat Rob" Kelley showing up last year. The surprising fall of Perine was surprising compared to  what I saw on tape, I had him as a 2nd round draftee and potential late first. Samaje will have to prove himself but I believe he will compete for the starting job right away especially with the starting inexperience currently in the backfield. Being a thumper, he can still catch pass and be effective out of the backfield. With his big frame and strong upper body he is on his way to becoming a lead power back in just a few years in my opinion. The dynasty rookie outlook for Perine is high enough for me to take him in the early second. In redraft he is a prime handcuff to Rob Kelley.

Anthony: #13 (119 OVR) Chicago Bears- Tarik Cohen
Chicago once again surprised draft analysts when they reached for FCS standout Tarik Cohen in the fourth round, despite there being more highly touted prospects still on the board. The Bears offense lacked big play ability in 2016 however and Cohen showed in college that he is very capable of making them. He was nicknamed “The Human Joystick” in college for his ability to make ridiculous cuts in the open field. While Cohen lacks the size to be an every down contributor, he gives the offense a passing down back, an area where Jordan Howard showed deficiencies, and a gadget player that can be lined up to create mismatches. His tape was inconsistent though as he lacked discipline and vision when looking for holes. He either made big plays, or he was stuffed in the backfield, and will have to learn to take what the defense gives him more often if he wants to get consistent playing time. Given that there were higher quality and more consistent “scat” backs available when Cohen was selected, many questioned this pick, including myself. As a Bears fan, I just have to hope that the Bears front office sees something that I don't. In dynasty rookie startups, Cohen is worth a late third/ early fourth round pick as a flier for a potential boom or bust flex, as his potential upside is Tyreek Hill. I also wouldn't be surprised if you are cutting him during the season.

Anthony: #27 (133 OVR) Dallas Cowboys- Ryan Switzer
Cole Beasley owners were certainly happy with their investment in 2016 as the diminutive slot receiver was a PPR standout, but they can't be happy the Cowboys made this pick. Switzer was an All-ACC standout in 2016 catching 96 passes for 1,117 yards and six touchdowns and projects to play the very slot role that made Beasley a surprising standout last year. I don't think Beasley’s production was necessarily a product of his skill, but more a product of the offense and Dak Prescott’s risk averse nature early on. Beasley is signed through 2019 and if he continues with the production he had last season he might demand more money than the Cowboys are willing to pay. This is where Ryan Switzer comes in. Switzer isn't going to impress anyone with his overall athleticism, but he showed the quickness, agility and crisp route running that is necessary from a slot receiver. Coaches also rave about his work ethic and toughness, both traits that generally lead to more playing time. In redraft, in ignoring Switzer, but in dynasty he should be worth a late second or early third pick. He might have to sit on your bench or taxi squad for a year or two, but he's in an offense with a young talented quarterback and when Beasley is gone he has the potential to be a 70-80 catch per year PPR wide receiver 3.

Brandon: #28 (134 OVR) Green Bay Packers - Jamaal Williams
Annnnndd, we have a running back in Green Bay! Boy I couldn't me more excited for this selection on Day 3, for a while it seemed like the Packers would never take a running back but boy did they get one. The running back out of BYU will come in right away and add much needed depth the the running back scarce backfield. Ty Montgomery and Christine Michael were the only two real options. Jamaal is a rookie who will get plenty of early down work and short yardage situations since he is a good downhill runner. Injury history is the only thing I would worry about when considering drafting Williams in dynasty leagues over other options. His potential to be a lead back in Green Bay is there but McCarthy is very fond of Montgomery in the backfield but remember, he just converted from a wide receiver.  I'd take him mid to end of the 2nd in rookie drafts but in redraft he is a rookie I would draft as an RB3 or FLEX but praying the investment pays off by mid season. 

Brandon: #37 (143 OVR) Indianapolis Colts - Marlon Mack
We've been waiting for the right guy to come along to slowly take the torch from Frank Gore in Indy, and Mack may be the guy. He has much to learn and I love that he will have the opportunity to sit behind and learn how to look for holes and attack them like Gore has done so well in his career. Mack may excel more as a wide receiver but he has the size to develop into a running back who can learn to be patient and trust his line rather than using his speed to try and beat everyone on the outside. Being apart of a good passing offense with Andrew Luck passing the ball brings some decent fantasy value if Mack pushes his way to be the 3rd down back. Mack's value in dynasty would come somewhere in the early mid 3rd but could go higher if you like the situation. In redraft, he would be a late round flier / handcuff.

ROUND 5

Anthony: #1 (145 OVR) Denver Broncos- Jake Butt
Jake Butt expected to be a higher draft pick as much publicity was made about the insurance policy he cashed in for falling to the fifth round, mostly due to a knee injury in the Citrus Bowl, but he landed in a nice spot. The Broncos have need for a tight end as Virgil Green received a lot of hype going into 2016 but failed to deliver on even modest expectations. At 6’5 246 pounds, Butt has the type of size you need from a tight end and should be a good red zone weapon. Butt showed good route running ability in the middle and is fearless when operating in that area, two traits that help him overcome his average athleticism. When he gets healthy and learns the offense, Butt should be a reliable player that helps the Broncos passing and rushing offense. I'd consider him in the third round of rookie drafts since he is a stash at this point but could be a nice fantasy asset in a couple years when he has acclimated to the game and hopefully Paxton Lynch has turned into a quality starter.

Anthony: #18 (162 OVR) Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Jeremy McNichols
My favorite pick from day 3 of the NFL Draft has to be the Buccaneers taking Jeremy McNichols. McNichols has been a player I've been keeping my eye on all draft season and I don't think he could have landed in a better spot. Tampa has the early signs of an explosive offense, and the main uncertainty they have is at running back. With only Charles Sims and Jacquizz Rodgers ahead of him on the opening season depth chart, Martin is serving a three game suspension, McNichols has a good shot to see snaps early in the season. He's a little undersized for what you might want a three down back to be, but that didn't hinder his production in college as he has good elusiveness and lateral quickness to prevent him from taking on direct hits. McNichols is also a skilled pass catcher and should impress coaches with his route running out of the backfield. Sims has been the passing down back for Tampa during most of his time there, but he showed a lack of vision as a runner last season, something that will keep him from earning an every down role. McNichols also needs to work on his running between the tackles and his lower body strength as he was taken down by too many arm tackles in college. I think McNichols could follow a similar path to David Johnson, starting the season as the number three back on the depth chart, but if he makes plays when he's on the field his playing time will increase. I know comparing anyone to David Johnson is problematic, but I see a lot of similarities between him and David Johnson in college though McNichols is slightly smaller and has less burst when hitting a hole. If I have to pick one player that was drafted late but can break out over the next two years it's Jeremy McNichols. In redraft, McNichols should be waiver wire fodder his rookie year, though I'll be keeping a close eye on his snap count. In dynasty rookie drafts, I would consider him at the back half of the first round and I will be targeting him on every dynasty team I have.

Brandon: #39 (182 OVR) Green Bay Packers - Aaron Jones
Yes, I'm a Packer homer and Aaron Jones was a running backs tape I happened to watch and like what I saw. Jones had an impressive combine coming out of a smaller school of UTEP, shows good speed on tape and vision. Earlier in the draft the Packers had added Jamaal Williams to the backfield as well so Jones' road to playing time is murky at best. In dynasty I would late till the late rounds to grab him and sit on a larger taxi squad to wait and see if A: He rises and shines to consistent playing time or B: As Steven Marcuz would say "fizzles" to the practice squad. Redraft, there is no value here.

Brandon: #24 (242 OVR) Oakland Raiders - Elijah Hood
The Raiders locked down their lead running back when they signed Marshawn Lynch, but how long will be the guy touting the rock? I found it interesting that the Raiders decided to take a guy with close measurables to Lynch. Hood is 5' 11" 232 lbs, Marshawn is 5' 11" 215 lbs. On tape Hood is a physical runner who will fight for yards every chance he gets. Sticking his nose in the right holes in the line gives the potential to get short yardage opportunities in his rookie year. Although he did not test at the NFL combine to be a fast player but on tape he plays fast. Injury history and ball security issues may be the huge knocks on Elijah but if he can work hard and prove himself to be a reliable option, sitting behind Lynch for a year or two could pay dividends when it comes time for Marshawn to retire..... again. In dynasty rookie drafts, Elijah Hood would be a great target in the late 3rd for a team willing to sit and wait for him to develop. 

Brandon DePouw and Anthony Reimer are writers and contributors for FLAFFL House. Find them on Twitter @bdepouw09 & @reimeras and on Fantasy Life App @bdepoo & @mrmeseeks.