2017 NFL Rookie Report
Dom Murtha takes a detailed look at the 2017 NFL rookie class and analyzes each players potential impact on the upcoming fantasy football season.
While every NFL Draft weekend has its excitement, the 2017 Draft may have been one of the most exciting ones for fantasy football in recent memory. Not only was it filled with surprising trades, twists and turns, risers and fallers, and compelling storylines, but it also saw a number of quality players end up with teams with whom they can make instant impacts. You will see this trend reflected up and down this list – save for the quarterbacks – and if you read closely, you should be able to gain an advantage over the rest of your league when drafting this summer.
Mitchell Trubisky (Round 1; Pick 2)
Considering the huge signing of Mike Glennon this offseason, we don't recommend being too bullish on the fantasy prospects of Trubisky in 2017. Of course, if Glennon busts early on, his deal is only for three years and was worked so that the Bears wouldn't be sunk in guaranteed money beyond 2018. If things don't work out for Glennon in Chicago, Trubisky could be the starting quarterback as early as the winter.
Patrick Mahomes (Round 1; Pick 10)
Similarly to Trubisky, Mahomes has no pressure of starting from Day 1. However it should be noted that this early-draft selection of a quarterback may be a sign of the end of the Alex Smith era in Kansas City. Be that as it may, though, the strong-armed Mahomes has little chance of making a fantasy impact in 2017, regardless of how many Brett Favre comparisons get heaped upon him.
Deshaun Watson (Round 1; Pick 12)
Of all of the quarterbacks drafted in April, Watson was the one who, prior to the draft, was believed to have the best chance of making an impact in Week 1. After the draft now, that feeling has only been strengthened, as Watson lands in Houston and joins one of the league’s best rosters with the worst quarterback situation. Watson is now not only the Texans' most talented quarterback, but he also probably gives them the best chance to win. He is expected to win the starting job over the underwhelming likes of Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden right out of training camp and should make an immediate fantasy impact during the 2017 season.
DeShone Kizer (Round 2; Pick 20)
Kizer has been drafted into a massive quarterback logjam and arguably the worst franchise in professional sports, the Cleveland Browns. That does not exactly breed confidence in regard to his fantasy prospects, however, we do like his chances of seeing playing time greater than that of Trubisky or Mahomes. So there's that.
Davis Webb (Round 3; Pick 23)
Eli Manning never gets hurt and still has some good years left in him. Webb is a guy who you shouldn't even consider on draft day and likely won't be fantasy relevant for at least a few more years.
C.J. Beathard (Round 3, Pick 40)
The Niners shocked everyone with this selection, as several draft experts didn't even have a draftable grade on Beathard. While his talent isn't immense, Beathard has a shot to factor in the fantasy world this season due to the shaky quarterback situation in San Francisco. Chances are he will be owned in zero percent of leagues, however with unforeseen injuries and an unexpected emergence of competence, anything is possible.
Joshua Dobbs (Round 4; Pick 29)
There were some mixed reviews on Dobbs entering the draft this April, as some saw just limited potential in him after an underwhelming college career, while others dubbed him the next Dak Prescott. He probably falls somewhere in the middle with regard to talent, but with what he has above the shoulders, he can be bumped up a few notches. If you don't know by now, Dobbs graduated from Tennessee with an Aerospace Engineering degree. He looked like Albert Einstein at Gruden's Quarterback Camp and seems to really have a rare mind for the game. Beyond that, he has a shot to win the Steelers back-up quarterback job out of training camp, which could spell some spot fantasy value, considering how often Ben Roethlisberger gets hurt.
Nathan Peterman (Round 5; Pick 28)
Peterman is seated firmly behind both Tyrod Taylor and Cardale Jones on the Bills quarterback depth chart, so his playing time and subsequent fantasy value appears non-existent entering 2017. Considering his late, fifth-round selection, we wouldn't expect much from him even beyond 2017 either.
Brad Kaaya (Round 6; Pick 32)
Fantasy Alarm's Dom Murtha was much higher on Kaaya than most, and it shows considering he was drafted at the end of the sixth round, while Murtha had him ranked as the third overall quarterback. The fact of the matter, though, is he listed third on the Lions quarterback depth chart. A lot would have to go wrong for Detroit for Kaaya to make a fantasy impact this season.
Chad Kelly (Round 7; Pick 35)
Kelly has a rapsheet that would make Al Capone blush. We could go down the list, but it's probably not necessary at this point. Essentially though, while he has some game, he is going to have to prove maturity to his coaching staff before being given any responsibility on the field. Beyond that, Kelly is a longshot to make the Broncos roster anyway because of the two guys battling it out for the starting QB job ahead of him. Just as Kelly was "Mr. Irrelevant" on his draft day, he should be completely irrelevant on yours this summer as well.
Leonard Fournette (Round 1; Pick 4)
The arrival of Fournette marks an identity shift for this Jaguars ball club. They appear poised to transition from an air it out/come from behind team, to a defensive-oriented team that relies upon getting stops and controlling the football with their running game. There is no doubt that, from Day 1, Fournette is the most talented back on this Jags roster, so he should have no problem being named the starter out of training camp. His physical build at 6-foot-1, 240 lbs. is that of a true workhorse back, which means he will be capable of handling at least 20 carries per game and ample goal line touches, ultimately making him an immediate fantasy presence in his rookie season.
Christian McCaffrey (Round 1; Pick 8)
If you’ve been reading along with Fantasy Alarm throughout this offseason, you already know how loved McCaffrey is here. You should also already know how we feel about his prospects as a Rookie of the Year candidate, especially now being placed in this talented Panthers offense. He will serve as both their top rushing and receiving option from the start of Week 1, which will make him one of the more intriguing fantasy options this season, rookie or not.
Dalvin Cook (Round 2; Pick 9)
There has been no love for Latavius Murray in the fantasy football community the last couple of years and the drafting of Cook signifies it's limited in the real football world as well.. Considering that, Cook is a rookie back you can get on-board with headed into 2017, as he is expected to become the lead dog in Minnesota’s backfield in no time. Beyond his situation, there is no questioning the talent of Cook, as he possesses a rare vision and burst combination, that makes him one of the most elusive rookie backs in recent memory. His added production as a receiver out of the backfield should boost his value in PPR formats early on as well.
Joe Mixon (Round 2; Pick 16)
Mixon is a curious case, as while many considered him the most talented back in the class, his stock fell due to a domestic violence incident that occurred a few years ago. With Mixon formallyy apologizing to the victim and all charges finally being settled, this chapter of his life appears to be behind him. Going forward, it’s strictly football for Mixon, whose talent alone makes him the best running back on the Bengals roster from Day 1 of camp. It may take him a few weeks to earn the respect of the coaching staff, but sooner than later, Mixon will be the lead back in Cincinnati. He can run it well between the tackles, while, as a receiver, he is one of the most accomplished backs in recent drafts. He should factor in both standard and PPR formats by mid-October of 2017 at the latest.
Alvin Kamara (Round 3, Pick 3)
Kamara is a talented back, especially as a receiver out of the backfield, however with the logjam the Saints currently have at the position, it becomes hard to believe that he will make a considerable fantasy impact in 2017. Value in rookie backs lies elsewhere.
Kareem Hunt (Round 3; Pick 22)
With an underwhelming staff of running backs, the Chiefs may look to give Hunt some serious playing time in his rookie season. Hunt is a "do it all" type, so, at first, he will likely be used in change-of-pace scenarios, but if he outperforms his competition, he may seize the bulk of the carries by Thanksgiving.
D’Onta Foreman (Round 3; Pick 25)
At 6-foot-1, 250 lbs, Foreman enters this season with a pretty well-defined role and clear path to immediate fantasy value . He is going to be a goal-line horse. Lamar Miller figures to continue handling every-down duties, but his lack of touchdown production and strength in short-yardage situations was an issue that needed to be addressed this offseason. Foreman has legitimate double-digit touchdown upside, which is what placed him on the "Sleepers" list -- another article in this draft guide.
James Conner (Round 3; Pick 41)
Conner's history has been well-documented, as he went from a 1,800-yard, 26 touchdown player in 2014, to a cancer battler in 2015 to a persevering third-round pick in this past April's draft. He joins a Pittsburgh roster that could use his powerful and deliberate skill-set and should he remain healthy, could see plenty of playing time as the change-of-pace back behind Le'Veon Bell. Conner is not someone we recommend targeting in a fantasy drafts unless you also own Bell, but if anything is to happen to Bell -- like seems to always happen to him (injury/suspension) -- then fantasy owners would be wise to run to their waiver wires.
Samaje Perine (Round 4; Pick 7)
Admittedly, Perine may actually be Murtha's favorite rookie fantasy option this season, as he offers the perfect combination of late-round value, top-tier talent, and touchdown upside. Sure, he split touches and reps with Joe Mixon over the last couple of seasons at Oklahoma, but in spite of that, he still managed to set a few records along the way. Beyond being the NCAA single-game record holder for rushing yards (426), Perine managed to break Oklahoma’s all-time rushing record, edging out the likes of Adrian Peterson, DeMarco Murray, and Billy Sims. Combined with his excellent collegiate production, Perine offers a hulking build at 5-foot-10, 235 lbs. – a frame that led to 49 career rushing touchdowns at Oklahoma. From Day 1, it can be argued that Perine is the best back on the Redskins roster, while, at the very least, should be considered for lead goal-line duties. He wont break off huge chunk runs, as he lacks breakaway speed, but his patience and wrecking ball power will make him a consistent fantasy option early on in his rookie season.
Tarik Cohen (Round 4; Pick 13)
Cohen – a back who may have had the most exciting tape we watched all offseason – is a little ball of lightning. “The Human Joystick” as he is lovingly known as, possesses top-notch elusiveness, and as a result, despite his slight frame (5-foot-6, 179 lbs), should be able to make a living for himself in the NFL. Our early prediction is that Cohen will get his initial reps on special teams as a return man, but may eventually turn into the exact third-down guy the Bears need to properly spell the bruising Jordan Howard. On draft day, you can keep Cohen out of sight and mind, however as the season progresses, keep an eye on his box scores to see if his touches slowly increase.
Joe Williams (Round 4; Pick 15)
In just nine games last season, Williams rushed for over 1,400 yards and 10 touchdowns. Impressive? Yes. It makes you wonder, though, how the Niners managed to snag such an impressive talent in the fourth round. The short answer is that teams fear his commitment to the game after he “retired” for nearly two months during his 2015 season at Utah. After deep examination though, it appeared that he had to step away from the game to fully process the death of his sister, a tragedy for which he blamed himself. If that is the truth behind his hiatus from football, the Niners got the steal of the draft and Carlos Hyde’s days may be numbered. For now though, it is believed that Hyde is still the unquestioned starter and Williams has surefire handcuff value with potential stand-alone value come midseason.
Donnel Pumphrey (Round 4; Pick 26)
Another pint-sized running back on this list, and another pint-sized running back for the Eagles roster. Having said that, Pumphrey led college football in rushing last season with over 2,100 yards, and he finished his career third all-time on the FBS rushing list with over 6,400 in four years of college ball. Simply put, this kid can play. His slight frame is going to make it tough for him to become a workhorse in the NFL, however, with what the Eagles have right now, there is no reason to believe he is anything but the most talented back on their roster. This position group will sort itself out in training camp, and because of that, his chances to make a fantasy impact this season should increase.
Jamaal Williams (Round 4; Pick 28)
An early favorite for “deep sleeper” in all 2017 drafts, Williams fits a similar mold of Jordan Howard and happens to be the best natural running back on the Packers' roster. Sooner rather than later, his talent will overshadow what Ty Montgomery can offer at the position, making Williams the potential lead dog out of Green Bay.
Wayne Gallman (Round 4; Pick 34)
While Paul Perkins opens the season as the Giants unquestioned starter, it doesn’t mean that he will be able to carry the entire load on his own. Gallman’s decisive running style and well-rounded skill-set should pick up for Perkins in any areas that he lacks. It is expect that Gallman will be, at worst, the Giants second-stringer, while he may push for a handful of series per game should he prove reliable early on.
Marlon Mack (Round 4; Pick 37)
Indianapolis has needed a running back for quite some time, and while they didn’t take one early on in this draft, they ended up with a great value pick in Mack with their compensatory fourth round pick. He’s a lean-built, home run hitter, who offers elite burst after making an initial cut. His top-end speed isn’t what you’d expect, but his patient wiggle and subsequent ability to get to the second level in the blink of an eye will make him an explosive playmaker out of the Colts backfield going forward. While his projection as an every-down back in the NFL is tough to visualize, the fact that Frank Gore has fallen off a cliff physically gives Mack a good chance to see at least 10-to-15 touches per game in his rookie season.
Corey Davis (Round 1; Pick 5)
Fourth in career receptions, second in career touchdowns, and the NCAA career leader in receiving yards, Davis is an incredibly talented wideout who possesses an elite size, speed, hands, and route running combination. Given the dearth of playmakers on the Titans roster, Davis has a legitimate chance to enter 2017 as their number one receiving option. With Marcus Mariota slinging the rock; that should bode well for Davis’ fantasy projection.
Mike Williams (Round 1; Pick 7)
Williams is a towering target with a massive catch radius and a player who many argue turned a lot of Deshaun Watson’s mistakes into huge plays. Considering the recent run of bad health for Keenan Allen, Williams has the chance to leave training camp as the Chargers number one option. Philip Rivers has a history of excellent fantasy production, as do his top targets, so putting two and two together means that Williams has sky-high rookie expectations.
John Ross (Round 1; Pick 9)
While Ross has no shot of entering his rookie season as Andy Dalton’s top target, he will enter the league as its fastest player. There is something to be said for a guy who can blow the top off of a defense – just ask DeSean Jackson and his millions of dollars. While possessing a similar skill-set to that of Will Fuller – a rookie who, last season, produced relatively well – Ross is a far more polished receiver and will be operating out of an offense that actually has a quarterback who can throw him the football – something Fuller couldn’t say last season. The Bengals were lost without a legitimate number two option across from A.J. Green in 2016, and they satisfied that need in the first round with the selection of Ross, for sure.
Zay Jones (Round 2; Pick 5)
After losing Robert Woods this offseason, the Bills number two receiver spot is currently up for grabs. Jones – the NCAA career leader in receptions – is by far the favorite to fill that void, as his ability to handle a high volume of targets along with an explosive after-the-catch skill-set makes him the perfect complement to Sammy Watkins. In essence, while Watkins will be considered the “top target,” it is believed we could see a scenario where Jones actually finishes with more receptions. Target Jones in PPR formats at the very least this season.
Curtis Samuel (Round 2; Pick 8)
It is somewhat difficult to put Samuel in his position group because, based off of the tape we've seen, he is best suited as a running back. Be that as it may, he will likely open the season with only wide receiver eligibility in most formats. Regardless of where he is technically lined up, the Panthers are expected to involve Samuel early and often with touches both behind the line of scrimmage and in space. He’s a true burner and may be good for a handful of explosive plays per game even early on. Having said all of this, if you are looking for a consistent source for yards and touchdowns, Samuel will not be your guy. He will be most effective as a playmaker who can take it to the house on any touch.
JuJu Smith-Schuster (Round 2; Pick 30)
The Steelers are in a similar situation to that of the Bills, as, after Antonio Brown, there are a lot of question marks at their wide receiver position. Smith-Schuster – while not the most polished of route runners – is still only 20 years old and has drawn Terrell Owens comparisons. He comes off as more of an Anquan Boldin/Dez Bryant hybrid, but essentially the point being is that he has elite potential. What he can do with the ball in his hands after the catch is impressive and his ability to fight for it while it’s still in the air. is even more so. If he wins a starting job out of camp, expect potential elite rookie fantasy production out of Smith-Schuster, as Ben Roethlisberger has a knack of turning his receivers into fantasy all-stars.
Cooper Kupp (Round 3; Pick 5)
Kupp holds damn near every FCS receiving record, even shattering Jerry Rice’s career marks along the way. He’s a well-built target, who, while not a burner, has the route running savvy and high football acumen that can turn him into a low-end number one target or a high-end number two at the worst. He will enter the season as the Rams most talented and most polished receiver for sure, and provided he shows that in camp, he will win a starting job for Week 1. His quarterback situation is less than desirable for sure, but his standing as a potential number one option bodes well for his fantasy projection.
Taywan Taylor (Round 3; Pick 8)
You’re looking at a savvy slot receiver here; a guy who knows, at an advanced level, how to create separation in the middle of the field. Considering that, Taylor should join the Titans as an early-involved target with plus PPR potential and limited touchdown upside.
ArDarius Stewart (Round 3; Pick 15)
Stewart has limited size, but doesn’t play like it, as his hard-nosed mindset was always on display at Alabama. He brings a skill-set that the Jets will value because he’s a high work ethic guy and is versatile to play both on the inside and outside.
Carlos Henderson (Round 3; Pick 18)
While in a poor man’s mold of course, Henderson reminds many scouts of Antonio Brown. He can play inside or outside and is a terror after the catch. His savvy route-running ability and larger than expected catch radius are both impressive and we expect him to learn well under the tutelage of Emmanuel Sanders – a guy who he plays very similarly to.
Chris Godwin (Round 3; Pick 20)
Godwin is a big-play machine and a reliable red zone target. In Tampa he has the chance to supplant Adam Humphries for third in line for targets, but if he doesn’t, he will still be the first outside back-up to both Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson.
Kenny Golladay (Round 3; Pick 32)
You're looking at a 6-foot-4, 220 lbs. prospect who was seemingly brought in to take on that ever-missing Calvin Johnson role in this Lions offense. In terms of fantasy projections, keep in mind that Golladay is raw and will be brought along slowly. That should translate to minimal fantasy production in his rookie year.
Chad Williams (Round 3; Pick 34)
After Michael Floyd departed Arizona, the Cardinals looked to the draft to fill his archetype void. Williams not only has the raw route-running skills, excellent athleticism, and physical demeanor with the ball in the air of Floyd, but he also, unfortunately, shares his off-the-field concerns as well. Considering how raw he is right now and his presumed immaturity, the Cardinals are expected to take it slow with Williams in his rookie season.
Amara Darboh (Round 3; Pick 42)
Darboh comes into Seattle with the exact build and hard-nosed mentality that Pete Carroll loves in his wide receivers. Initially, Darboh will be used on special teams, while his natural deep speed and physicality may see him eventually develop into a rock-solid number two receiver in the NFL. For 2017, though, you may want to stay away from him in most fantasy formats.
Dede Westbrook (Round 4; Pick 3)
A big-play touchdown machine in college, Westbrook will bring the exact type of dangerous vertical skill-set that the Jags have been missing for the last few years. He won’t see a ton of snaps early on, but just know that when Westbrook is on the field, the play will be designed for him. He’s just that dynamic.
Josh Reynolds (Round 4; Pick 10)
The Rams wide receiver depth chart is a complete mess right now and considering that, Reynolds is far down the totem pole. Relying on him with a fantasy draft pick would be a bad call in 2017.
Mack Hollins (Round 4; Pick 12)
Hollins was one of the best special teams players in the draft, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if he was drafted based off of that alone. Having said that though, the Eagles wide receiver depth chart is not something that is currently impossible to climb. Provided he puts his elite size (6-foot-4) and speed to good use in his limited offensive reps, Carson Wentz may find himself a new favorite receiver. At this point though we wouldn’t bank on Hollins as an immediate 2017 fantasy contributor, as he is still considered a “developmental prospect.”
Josh Malone (Round 4; Pick 22)
He’s got the size (6-foot-3, 210 lbs.), he’s got the speed (4.40 40-time), but he was inconsistent at the collegiate level. The Bengals looked at his raw traits and saw a guy who, maybe, A.J. Green could mentor. Even if everything clicks with Malone, he still won't provide any legitimate fantasy impact in 2017.
Ryan Switzer (Round 4; Pick 27)
Rumors out of Cowboys camp say that they have a legitimate offensive plan for Switzer in 2017. You can take that with a grain of salt, of course, but to essentially have two Cole Beasley types playing in each slot could be frightening for opposing defenses. Realistically though, Switzer is going to be the Cowboys primary return man, as he was one of the most prolific in the history of college football. Beyond that, he is expected to be brought along slowly as a receiver until he gets his feet wet at the NFL level. Expect a Thanksgiving emergence of Switzer as a legitimate PPR threat, though
Jehu Chesson (Round 4; Pick 33)
It was surprising to see Chesson selected as early as he was, as his inability to separate was pretty evident throughout his 2016 tape. Regardless, he will be joining a Chiefs wide receiver depth chart that isn't exactly loaded with world beaters, so if he has a good camp, there is a chance he could see some playing time in his rookie season. A safe assumption is that he will mostly be used on special teams in 2017.
Chad Hansen (Round 4; Pick 35)
Hansen ended up being one of the most undervalued players of this class, as he is believed to have WR1 potential. The Jets certainly got themselves a steal in the fourth round considering that. He is big, strong, fast, and has a flair for the spectacular with a rare combination of elite jumping ability and massive 10+ inch hands. The Jets need help all around and the playmaker positions are not excluded. It wouldn’t be a surprise at all if Hansen was involved early on during his rookie season.
O.J. Howard (Round 1; Pick 19)
Howard – one of the best tight end prospects in recent memory – joins a ready-made, explosive offense in Tampa Bay. In 2017, he is expected to be relied upon as the Bucs top underneath target, second red zone option, and primary between the hashes receiver. With Jameis Winston throwing all of those passes, there is top-10 fantasy tight end potential for Howard in 2017.
Evan Engram (Round 1; Pick 23)
The beauty of Engram this season is that he will join the Giants as, likely, a big slot receiver and move wing. However he will possess the tight end position label. His production in this offense has a Jordan Reed type of ceiling and a Quincy Enunwa floor, so it is safe to say that he will be a fantasy factor in 2017.
David Njoku (Round 1; Pick 29)
No one loves Njoku’s quarterback situation, however after the release of Gary Barnidge, he is the only legitimate tight end on the Browns' roster. That has to count for something, as does his raw athleticism and elite potential. He’s not number one rookie TE in terms of fantasy projections, but he certainly has a chance to become a factor once they settle on a quarterback.
Gerald Everett (Round 2; Pick 12)
With the addition of Sean McVay as the new head coach of the Rams, you might be able to expect big things from their tight end position in 2017. Backtracking to last season, while in Washington, McVay utilized his tight ends more than any other team in the NFL. Much of that can be attributed to the elite talent of Jordan Reed, but keep in mind that other TE’s on the roster were targeted heavily as well. Gerald Everett, not so ironically, fits the same mold of McVay’s favorite target last season (Reed) in that he’s a mismatch nightmare for linebackers, slot corners, and safeties due to his rare blend of height, strength, and speed. Expect Everett to be used often out of the slot as a rookie, while his actual utilization as an inline tight end is sure to come later on in his career.
Adam Shaheen (Round 2; Pick 13)
Even in a deep tight end class, Shaheen may actually have been one of the top options at the position. Sure, he went to little known Ashland University and played suspect competition, but when watching the tape, his well-rounded skill-set and freakish athleticism jump out. He’s a towering 6-foot-7 and a bullish 280 lbs. – essentially an Aaron Judge clone – yet he still managed to run a sub-4.80 40-time at the combine. It is believed that both he and Mitchell Trubisky have a bright future together, however, we aren't too sure we will see it in 2017 because of the presence of Mike Glennon and Zach Miller.
Jonnu Smith (Round 3; Pick 36)
Smith is essentially a Delanie Walker clone and, luckily, will be able to learn under his tutelage in Tennessee going forward. Considering he has Walker in front of him though, his fantasy potential in 2017 is limited, at best.
Michael Roberts (Round 4; Pick 21)
Roberts scored a whopping 16 touchdowns in college last season and was brought in to fill that red zone void that has been lacking in Detroit ever since Calvin Johnson left. That may spell instant fantasy production for Roberts, so he is a deep sleeper to keep an eye on in 2017.
Jake Butt (Round 5; Pick 1)
It wasn’t long ago that Butt was considered arguably the best tight end in this class. A late-season injury derailed his draft process, but word is good on his rehab process leading into the 2017 season. As it stands, if Butt is healthy for Week 1 he is the best tight end on the Broncos roster. That could end up meaning a hell of a lot this fantasy season. Keep a close eye on his recovery throughout the rest of this summer and training camp for a better idea on his fantasy value.
George Kittle (Round 5; Pick 2)
Kittle is an accomplished blocker and capable receiver which will make him a reliable H-Back/number two TE at the NFL level. As for his 2017 fantasy prospects, you should look elsewhere at the position.
Jordan Leggett (Round 5; Pick 6)
The selection of Leggett is another potential steal the Jets got a hold of, as his fifth-round landing spot was much deeper than many experts' grade on him. He’s got big game experience, a huge frame (6-foot-5, 260 lbs), is an accomplished blocker, and proved to be a consistent receiving threat in college. He has a shot to push Austin Seferian-Jenkins for the starting job as early as training camp, which could spell a big fantasy season for the rookie, despite the Jets lack of tight end involvement in their offensive game plan.
Jeremy Sprinkle (Round 5; Pick 10)
Sprinkle is just a guy, or a “JAG” as Josh Norman put it a couple of weeks ago. Sure, he’s fine in just about every area at the tight end position, but it is difficult to see him ever becoming a number one option. That is basically what his fifth-round selection tells us anyway, so really no surprise here.
Eric Saubert (Round 5; Pick 31)
Saubert has physical potential in terms of size and athleticism, but he can’t catch. That’s a problem if you are going to be an NFL tight end, so it is safe to say that fantasy owners should stay away from him in 2017 at the least.
Bucky Hodges (Round 6; Pick 17)
Hodges is an intriguing player because of his size and speed combination, but lets be clear; he’s not a tight end. Learning to block and playing with his hand in the dirt will be his biggest hurdle in the NFL, but for fantasy purposes, Hodges has the potential to be a red zone playmaker for this Vikings offense. Don’t draft him, but keep an eye on his usage early on in the season.
Mason Schreck (Round 7; Pick 33)
Schreck is not the biggest, strongest, or fastest, but he does everything at the position pretty well. He’ll be asked to play a lot on special teams for this Bengals team, while if he plays his cards right he can serve as their primary H-Back and motion blocker eventually. Having said all of that though, he will offer little fantasy value throughout his career.