Upside is what I foremost seek in a Dynasty rookie quarterback, because opportunity is limited. There are only 32 starters in the league, and teams don't use more than one at once. (That isn't the case for running backs, receivers, and to a lesser extent tight ends.) This is also fantasy's most replaceable week-to-week position. I either want someone who gives me a difference-making ceiling every week, or I'm chasing matchups and streaming.
The surest bet to see extensive field time as a rookie in this year's quarterback class, Goff's playing style and skill set remind of Matt Ryan. Although Goff lacks a rifle arm, he spins it with adequate velocity and moves naturally in the pocket with light feet. Fantasy concerns include a poor supporting cast -- the Rams may have the worst combination of line play and pass catchers in football -- and Goff's transition from a wide-open "Air Raid" spread into an under-center offense in L.A. Still, Goff showed the ability to elevate weak teammates in college and was extremely productive, throwing 78 touchdown passes over the last two seasons compared to Paxton Lynch's 50 and Carson Wentz's 42. Lynch may have a higher short- and long-term fantasy ceiling, but Goff is the better bet to become a successful pro.
Broncos GM John Elway's hand-picked quarterback of the future, Lynch was acquired in a first-day trade up that saw Denver beat out Dallas, which tried to trade back into the first round to draft Lynch. Lynch is built like a Madden creation, standing 6-foot-7, 244 with big hands (10 1/4") and an 82nd-percentile SPARQ score. Lynch has a cannon arm and rips throws with power, both in the pocket and on the run. His movement skills were frequently put to use on rollouts at Memphis, and make Lynch a perfect fit for Gary Kubiak's bootleg-heavy offense. Although Lynch was viewed as a developmental prospect within the draft community, he will have a chance to play early in Denver with only journeyman Mark Sanchez ahead of him.
Perhaps Sam Bradford's incessant pouting will change the Eagles' plan, but for now it's to sit Wentz for at least 2016, and possibly 2017 if Bradford (or Chase Daniel) plays well. Although Wentz's "traits" make NFL scout types drool, he didn't quite dominate in the Missouri Valley Conference and made only 23 college starts, failing to beat out "Brock Jensen" as a freshman and sophomore. A 24-year-old rookie, Wentz may have already hit his ceiling or come close to it. When he does see the field, Wentz will play in a slow-paced Doug Pederson offense that ranked 31st and 29th in play volume with Kansas City the last two seasons. Wentz is a virtual lock to become an NFL starter, but his fantasy prospects appear middling at best.
The Bills have refused to commit to Tyrod Taylor and will let him play out his contract year absent a long-term deal. Waiting in the wings is Jones, who blends ideal size (6'5/253) with a Culpepperian combination of arm strength and movement ability. Jones is a project after making just 11 college starts (he won all 11) but it's not out of the question that he'll see the field early should Taylor take steps back or miss time due to injury, like Tyrod did last season. Miscast as a spread quarterback under Urban Meyer at Ohio State, Jones should better fit as a drop-back passer taking snaps from center for Greg Roman. Jones may be an NFL long shot -- all fourth-round quarterbacks are -- but he offers high-end fantasy QB1 upside if he hits.
Whether Kessler has the requisite arm strength to become a viable NFL passer -- especially in Cleveland -- is an open question. We know Kessler has pinpoint accuracy, setting a USC career record for completion rate (67.5%). We know Kessler was hand picked by Hue Jackson, who coached similarly-skilled Andy Dalton to a career-best season. We know Kessler was a three-year college starter in a pro-style offense and entered an organization that believes in him, selecting Kessler far ahead of pre-draft projections. We know Kessler doesn't make mistakes and has high "football IQ." We know Robert Griffin III is far from established as the Browns' quarterback in the near or long term. Kessler's ceiling is capped by his physical limitations, but he's on the radar as a late-third or fourth-round pick in a weak Dynasty rookie class.
Prescott drew some pre-draft Donovan McNabb comparisons for his ability to make difficult throws on the run, but he is a work in progress mechanically and merely a one-read passer at this stage. The landing spot does make Prescott intriguing. The Cowboys have a good offense, and 36-year-old Tony Romo has suffered three fractured collarbones in a five-year span. Prescott has a big arm and rushed for 41 career touchdowns in the SEC.
I'm not a believer in Hackenberg's long-term NFL outlook, but there are glass-half-full ways to spin him in an optimistic light. Jets OC Chan Gailey's offense is historically passer friendly. At present, only Geno Smith is clearly ahead of Hackenberg on the Jets' quarterback depth chart. Gang Green has Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker in the receiver corps and pass-catching maven Matt Forte at tailback. Hackenberg has a big arm and moves well in the pocket, even if he is inaccurate and was not productive in college. A long shot to develop into a viable NFL quarterback, Hackenberg is just barely stash-worthy in the deepest of Dynasty leagues.
A big-armed, plus-sized (6'4/231) passer, Brissett played in a pro-style offense at N.C. State and has the theoretical tools to develop into an NFL starter. On college tape, I thought Brissett showed a concerning tendency to overrate his own athleticism and elect to make himself a runner in situations that didn't call for it. He also tended to drop his eyes too often when faced with pass rush. They're bad habits Brissett will have to break. Although Brissett's traits are intriguing, he's stuck behind Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo in Foxboro and will be nothing more than a QB3/4 Dynasty stash, probably for at least the next two seasons.
9. 49ers QB Jeff Driskel (Sixth Round, 207)
Driskel is the longest of shots, but he couldn't have landed in a better situation from a deep Dynasty league standpoint. An incredible athlete for a quarterback, Driskel posted an 88th-percentile SPARQ score before the draft and improved greatly as a passer at Louisiana Tech after flopping as a five-star recruit at Florida. Colin Kaepernick's future remains murky, Blaine Gabbert is #bad, and Chip Kelly's offense plays with a fast pace and has a history of manufacturing quarterback production. At very least, Driskel's progress is worth monitoring.
Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie was clearly high on Cook, trading up to draft him near the top of round four. Initially, Cook will compete with Matt McGloin to back up Derek Carr, a 25-year-old franchise quarterback the Raiders will likely sign to a long-term extension in the next two years. Even if he were to find the field, Cook offers minimal upside with a game-manager profile and accuracy problems that render him an inefficient passer. He completed just 57.5% of his throws at Michigan State and was maddeningly streaky. He's now buried in Oakland.
Other Quarterbacks: Chiefs QB Kevin Hogan (Fifth Round); Jaguars QB Brandon Allen (Sixth Round); Lions QB Jake Rudock (Sixth Round); Redskins QB Nate Sudfeld (Sixth Round); Dolphins QB Brandon Doughty (Seventh Round); Seahawks QB Trevone Boykin (UDFA); free agent QB Vernon Adams (UDFA); Chargers QB Mike Bercovici (UDFA); Cardinals QB Jake Coker (UDFA)
Running backs have short shelf lives, so I factor expected early impact into these rankings just as much -- and in some cases more -- than long-term bankable talent. Regardless of scoring format, I want running backs who are either already good at catching passes, or have shown some potential to become assets in the passing game.
1. Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott (First Round, 4)
Instant three-down back thrust into a rushing offense that last year ranked top five in the NFL in per-carry efficiency (4.63) and top ten in Football Outsiders' DVOA metric -- despite losing Tony Romo and Dez Bryant for 19-plus games and starting Darren McFadden at running back. Draft Elliott at 1.01, then count stacks.
2. Titans RB Derrick Henry (Second Round, 45)
A gargantuan (6'3/247) power back with absurd athleticism for his size, Henry will begin his career battling DeMarco Murray for carries in the Titans' "exotic smashmouth" offense, which almost certainly will be run heavy. Tennessee is intent on becoming a more physical team, trading for Murray, signing a center (Ben Jones) in free agency, trading up for a nasty mauler at right tackle (Jack Conklin), and spending its next two draft picks on defensive linemen before making Henry the 45th pick. Murray averaged 3.64 YPC in Philadelphia last year and has looked slow and stiff on the field since the stretch run of his 497-touch 2014 campaign in Dallas. Henry's passing-game role is a big question mark -- he caught just 17 passes in three years at Alabama -- but I'd bet on Henry outperforming Murray as a runner right away, and earning increased carries as his rookie year progresses. The biggest concern for Henry's long-term outlook is his receiving involvement. On college tape, I thought Henry was the best pass-protecting back in this draft and caught the ball naturally in his limited chances.
3. Seahawks RB C.J. Prosise (Third Round, 90)
I am more than a little bit partial to big running backs who can play in the passing game, and that is the case with Prosise, a converted wide receiver who averaged 6.6 yards per carry in his final season at Notre Dame. Although Prosise is a work in progress as an inside runner, he is a dangerous and sudden lateral mover with 4.48 long speed and three-down back potential. He profiles similarly to David Johnson, who was drafted in the same range (Third Round, 86) last year. The Seahawks have an immediate plan for Prosise, installing him as their passing-down back behind Thomas Rawls. Although Rawls had a terrific rookie year in spot duty, he is a former undrafted free agent who struggles in the passing game and is recovering from a severe left ankle fracture. The Seahawks have given no timeline for Rawls' return.
4. Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon (Fourth Round, 134)
Dixon was my No. 3 back before the draft. Extremely productive, his 87 all-purpose TDs rank second in FBS history for a running back, and Dixon averaged a robust 5.59 career yards per carry despite atrocious offensive line play. Dixon's tape shows explosive jump cuts and pro-ready pass-protection skills. His Combine was just above average, running 4.56 with a 37 1/2-inch vertical and 10-foot-1 broad jump at 5-foot-10, 215. My guess is Dixon fell because NFL teams aren't sold he can become more than a role player. I think he can become a starter. Dixon's main competition will come from aging, injured Justin Forsett and passing-game specialist Buck Allen. Dixon is probably a 50:50 bet to lead the Ravens in touches this year.
5. Bears RB Jordan Howard (Fifth Round, 150)
A downhill power runner at 6-foot, 230 pounds, Howard is a tight-hipped bruiser between the tackles who averaged 6.2 yards per carry at Indiana last year and impressively clocked a 4.59 forty-yard dash at the Combine. Howard's biggest limitation is the passing game, where he managed 17 career receptions and only 11 in his final college season. He also struggled in pass protection. Howard is an intriguing fantasy pick because of his landing spot; holdover Jeremy Langford managed 3.63 YPC and dropped eight passes as a rookie, while the depth chart is rounded out by replacement-level talents Ka'Deem Carey and Jacquizz Rodgers. It's within the realm of possibility that Howard leads the Bears in carries in year one.
6. Raiders RB DeAndre Washington (Fifth Round, 143)
Raiders brass made it clear all offseason they wanted a back to spell Latavius Murray, who wore down as last year progressed and struggled in the passing game, averaging an anemic 5.7 yards per reception with three drops. Among 68 qualified running backs, Murray was rated the NFL's No. 63 receiving back by Pro Football Focus. Washington lacks feature back size (5'8/204) and has a lot to learn coming from Texas Tech's spread, but he caught 124 passes in college and will likely get opportunities to play early in Oakland's improving offense. As a sort of Duke Johnson or Giovani Bernard lite, Washington has a shot to make PPR noise right away.
7. Giants RB Paul Perkins (Fifth Round, 149)
A Devonta Freeman clone on down to his sub-par Combine athleticism (28th-percentile SPARQ), Perkins compensates for a lack of elite traits with technical soundness, combining darting quicks and inside-the-tackles toughness with an ultra-competitive playing demeanor. He caught 80 passes in his three-year college career and earned extensive playing time as an 18-year-old redshirt freshman before taking over as UCLA's feature back as a sophomore and junior. The Giants were so displeased with their 2015 running back unit that they frequently used three and even four backs in the same game. In an offense that ranked sixth in the NFL in points scored last year, Perkins has a legitimate shot to carve out a rookie-year role.
8. Dolphins RB Kenyan Drake (Third Round, 73)
Although I'm skeptical Drake will ever become a feature back, players like Theo Riddick, Dion Lewis, Charles Sims, and Pierre Thomas have shown that passing-game specialists can be valued fantasy performers even if they are committee members and don't log heavy carries. Drake is a quality receiver, and both bigger (6'1/210) and faster (4.45) than Riddick (5'10/201, 4.68). The Dolphins have 226 carries and 62 running back targets unaccounted for from last year. Drake landed behind unproven Jay Ajayi, who had medical flags coming out of college and managed 3.82 yards per carry with just seven receptions in his rookie year. In my opinion, Drake was overdrafted in real life. In fantasy, he can become an asset in PPR leagues soon.
9. Broncos RB Devontae Booker (Fourth Round, 136)
Booker's tape reveals an all-purpose back with an incredible knack for making himself skinny through small cracks and turning should-be short gains into first-down runs. He has feature back size (5'11/219) and is an excellent receiver, catching 80 passes in 23 college games. Red flags are Booker's small hands (8 5/8"), a torn meniscus that prevented Booker from working out before the draft, a relatively sub-par 4.95 YPC average in college, and advanced age -- he turns 24 later this month. I'm leaning on my game-film take on Booker that he's likely to be a quality pro. His situation is solid to good, pushing ineffective Ronnie Hillman for No. 2 back duties behind C.J. Anderson, who has never put together a full season of bellcow success.
10. Eagles RB Wendell Smallwood (Fifth Round, 153)
The Big 12's rushing leader in 2015 at West Virginia, Smallwood averaged 5.79 yards per carry in his college career and caught 68 passes before running a 4.47 forty with impressive agility scores at the Combine. He was clocked as fast as 4.41 at the Mountaineers' Pro Day. Although Smallwood lacks a feature back profile, his passing-game value makes him an intriguing Dynasty flyer in a good depth chart situation. Only brittle starter Ryan Mathews and 33-year-old change-up back Darren Sproles are clearly ahead of Smallwood in Philadelphia.
11. Redskins RB Keith Marshall (Seventh Round, 242)
The fact that a seventh-round real-life pick is a borderline second-round Dynasty rookie pick is a testament to the talent shortage in this year's skill-position class. Marshall could not have landed in a better spot, though. Current starter Matt Jones is coming off a rough rookie year, averaging 3.40 yards per carry and shuttling in and out of Jay Gruden's doghouse with five fumbles (four lost). A game breaker in tandem with Todd Gurley as a 2012 freshman, Marshall tore his ACL the following year and needs to regain confidence after earning just 136 carries over his final three college seasons. Marshall's upside is enormous with scintillating 4.31 speed and feature back size (5'11/219). Rookie-year fantasy impact is not out of the question.
12. Texans RB Tyler Ervin (Fourth Round, 119)
The Texans targeted Ervin for his special teams value; he graduated as San Jose State's all-time leader in kickoff-return yards (2,374), combined punt and kicks returned for TDs (5), and most TDs of 80-plus yards (6). I think it's fair to wonder if Ervin could offer more. Although small for the running back position (5'10/192), Ervin effectively handled 294 carries as a senior and caught 87 career passes at SJSU. Lamar Miller is locked in as the Texans' feature back, but Alfred Blue and Jonathan Grimes are far from insurmountable as Miller's primary backups.
13. Bills RB Jonathan Williams (Fifth Round, 156)
At 5-foot-11, 220, Williams is a light-footed power runner with some feature back qualities, but his landing spot was dreadful behind LeSean McCoy, Karlos Williams, and Mike Gillislee in Buffalo. Williams does have enough talent to beat out Gillislee for the Bills' third running back job, but he won't usurp McCoy or Karlos barring injury. Jonathan also missed his entire senior season with a left foot injury that required surgery, before struggling in Senior Bowl practices. While Williams' talent keeps him in the mix as a top-30 player in this year's Dynasty rookie class, he's likely to be a year-one non-factor and has a murky future beyond that.
14. Colts RB Josh Ferguson (Undrafted Free Agent)
Although the Colts didn't love Ferguson enough to draft him, they did give him a lofty $10,000 UDFA signing bonus, suggesting he had a draftable grade on Indy's board. It's a nice landing spot for a running back. Starter Frank Gore is 33, and his current backups are journeymen Robert Turbin and Jordan Todman. A 5-foot-10, 198-pound space back with 4.48 wheels and 168 catches on his college resume, there is some Dion Lewis to Ferguson's game.
15. Seahawks RB Alex Collins (Fifth Round, 171)
16. Cowboys RB Darius Jackson (Sixth Round, 216)
An incredible athlete (99th-percentile SPARQ) entering a logjammed running back depth chart, but worth monitoring closely in the NFL's most fantasy-friendly rushing offense.
17. Saints RB Daniel Lasco (Seventh Round, 237)
In this year's running back class, only Cowboys sixth-round pick Darius Jackson had better pre-draft measurable athleticism than Lasco. (They're guys to keep in mind if you play preseason DFS.) In New Orleans, Lasco will start out behind Mark Ingram, C.J. Spiller, Tim Hightower, and Travaris Cadet.
Other Running Backs: 49ers RB Kelvin Taylor (Sixth Round); Lions RB Dwayne Washington (Seventh Round); Seahawks RB Zac Brooks (Seventh Round); Giants RB Marshaun Coprich (UDFA); Vikings RB Jhurell Pressley (UDFA); Rams RB Aaron Green (UDFA)
I like fantasy receivers who score touchdowns. The NFL is increasingly a man-coverage/Cover 3 league, wherein pass catchers constantly have to deal with defensive backs in their "hip pocket." I want wideouts who win 50:50 balls and in the red zone. I downgrade receivers I believe are one-trick-pony deep threats and project as complementary pieces. I want volume.
1. Browns WR Corey Coleman (First Round, 15)
A born playmaker with the ability to outrun coverage and convert underneath passes into home runs, Coleman averaged 17.4 yards per reception in college and earned 2015's Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top wideout. On tape, Coleman consistently was the best player on the field in Big 12 games. I thought there were shades of Odell Beckham in Coleman's game and swagged-out playing style. He wrecked the Combine, earning a 94th-percentile SPARQ score that tied Josh Doctson for second best in this year's receiver class, behind only Moritz Boehringer. Quarterback play is a big concern in Cleveland, but targets are not, and Hue Jackson has a knack for feeding his best players the rock. Coleman is a candidate for 70-plus receptions in year one and has a clear path to long-term No. 1 wideout usage.
2. Redskins WR Josh Doctson (First Round, 22)
Behind DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, Doctson's early-career outlook may not be as attractive as Corey Coleman or Laquon Treadwell's. As Jackson (29) and Garcon (30 in August) are both aging and in contract years, Doctson is a strong bet to become the Redskins' No. 1 wideout by 2017. I still believe there's an outside chance Garcon is released or traded before the season, especially if Doctson shows well in practice. Dominant with the ball in the air and an extraordinary leaper, show well Doctson should. After the Redskins drafted Doctson, coach Jay Gruden compared his to body control and ball skills to old pupil A.J. Green's.
3. Vikings WR Laquon Treadwell (First Round, 23)
Norv Turner saw a young Michael Irvin in Treadwell, who is short on long speed (4.64) but wins with body control, ball skills, size (6'2/221), and Boldinian run-after-catch ability. On perimeter plays, Treadwell's playing style reminds of early-career Hakeem Nicks. Not yet 21, Treadwell was a contributor in the SEC as an 18-year-old freshman and earned first-team All-SEC as a 20-year-old junior. A playmaking possession receiver, Treadwell shouldn't need long to pass Stefon Diggs as Teddy Bridgewater's go-to target. In theory, Treadwell profiles as a high-volume receiver. Your ranking of him amongst this year's top-three receivers should be tied to your opinion on whether Bridgewater will ever become a high-volume NFL passer.
4. Saints WR Michael Thomas (Second Round, 47)
A Michael Crabtree-style player, Thomas is only a slightly above-average athlete for his size (6'3/212) but dropped just five passes over his final two college seasons and can win in the short to intermediate regions with quick feet and one of the top after-catch games in the draft. Thomas ran 94% of his college routes on the perimeter, but should succeed Marques Colston in the Saints' "big slot" role. If Thomas beats out Brandon Coleman for third receiver duties as expected, he'll offer WR2 upside in year one. The Saints are in contract extension talks with Drew Brees, so Thomas should benefit from plus quarterback play for the foreseeable future. Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead, and Coby Fleener aren't going away, however.
5. Giants WR Sterling Shepard (Second Round, 40)
Whereas Coleman, Doctson, and Treadwell are locked into tier one of this year's rookie class -- behind Ezekiel Elliott -- I see receivers 4, 5, and 6 as pretty interchangeable. Shepard may offer the highest floor as a virtual lock for rookie-year contribution and four years' worth of steady-to-dominant production in the Big 12. A 5-foot-10, 194-pound slot receiver, Shepard will play the Randall Cobb role under Giants coach Ben McAdoo, a former Green Bay assistant. Shepard is an intelligent player who wins early in his routes, a must for inside-the-numbers chain movers. With lots of target opportunity behind Odell Beckham in New York, Shepard projects as the Eli Manning's near- and long-term No. 2 option in the passing game.
6. Texans WR Will Fuller (First Round, 21)
Small and lean (6'0/186) with short arms (30 3/4") and small hands (8 1/4"), Fuller is a one-trick lid lifter with 4.32 speed whose early-career role in Houston may consist more of clearing out safeties for the running game than actual ball catching from Brock Osweiler. Not only is Fuller behind 24-year-old (in June) target monster DeAndre Hopkins, he landed in an offense that's ranked first and fifth in the NFL in rushing attempts through two years of Bill O'Brien. Fuller never profiled as a high-volume receiver. He'll be a role player in Houston.
7. Bengals WR Tyler Boyd (Second Round, 55)
Boyd was a wildly productive Pitt Panther, setting school records in career receptions (254) and receiving yards (3,361) despite turning pro early. A silky-smooth mover on tape, Boyd won with technical savvy in college and has sure hands in the short and intermediate passing games. Limited athletically, Boyd registered a 34th-percentile SPARQ score in pre-draft testing. Boyd won't win on the perimeter in the NFL, offers little after the catch, and lacks a physical element to his game. While Boyd may possess a WR3 fantasy ceiling, opportunity is working in his favor with a Bengals offense that lost 152 targets in free agency.
8. Dolphins WR Leonte Carroo (Third Round, 86)
Carroo would have been a much better Bengals pick than Boyd at No. 55. Carroo instead slipped to round three, where the Dolphins traded up to draft him, sending the Vikings third- and fourth-round picks in 2017 in order to move up for a wideout they reportedly assigned a second-round grade. Carroo has all the attributes of a playmaking No. 2 receiver, but for now he looks stuck behind target monster Jarvis Landry, 2015 first-round pick DeVante Parker, and situational deep threat Kenny Stills. Carroo is good enough to overtake Stills eventually, but he might not "hit" as a fantasy contributor unless Parker un-expected-ly flops.
9. Patriots WR Malcolm Mitchell (Fourth Round, 112)
A route technician who ran a better forty (4.45) than expected and showed his short-area burst with a 10-foot-9 broad jump, Mitchell can handle all three wideout positions and plays more physically than his size (5'11/194) suggests. The Patriots' wideout depth chart consists of Julian Edelman (30), restricted free agent signing Chris Hogan, and Danny Amendola, who turns 31 this season and may lack roster security at his $5 million base salary. Although New England's history of drafting wide receivers is horrific, I like Mitchell's chances of bucking that trend. He has the potential to give the Patriots a playmaking outside receiver.
10. Browns WR Jordan Payton (Fifth Round, 154)
There is a significant drop off after the top eight or nine rookie receivers. A savvy route runner with strong hands, Payton graduated as UCLA's all-time receptions leader (201) and stands 6-foot-1, 207 with 4.47 speed. Although Payton is unlikely to earn a consistent role on the perimeter, he has the requisite makeup of a reliable slot player who coaches love and trust. It's conceivable Payton will grow into the possession complement to first-round pick Corey Coleman's deep threat. Coming out, I likened Payton to a rich man's Jason Avant.
11. Texans WR Braxton Miller (Third Round, 85)
Although Miller demonstrates explosive foot quickness on tape, he is a raw ex-quarterback entering a run-first offense with suspect quarterback play behind target monster DeAndre Hopkins, first-round pick Will Fuller, veteran slot receiver Cecil Shorts, and 2015 third-round pick Jaelen Strong. Miller caught 26 passes in his college career. His ceiling is a slot receiver whose offensive environment may never be conducive to a high-volume pass-catching role.
12. Rams WR Mike Thomas (Sixth Round, 206)
Snubbed for a Combine invite despite setting Southern Miss' single-season school records for receiving yards (1,391) and receiving TDs (14) as a senior, Thomas has some Marvin Jones to his game as a quick-footed winner in the intermediate and contested-catch games despite lacking top-shelf size or speed. Beyond perhaps Tavon Austin, pass-catching jobs should be up for grabs in L.A. Thomas is a sneaky bet to emerge as the Rams' long-term No. 2 receiver.
13. Browns WR Ricardo Louis (Fourth Round, 114)
Working in favor of Louis is opportunity with the Browns in addition to elite athleticism, running 4.43 with an 11-foot broad jump at Auburn's Pro Day. Working against Louis are his shaky hands and need to learn route running from scratch. He's a boom-bust prospect.
14. Rams WR Pharoh Cooper (Fourth Round, 117)
Although Cooper has a sexy name and was a productive multi-phase weapon in college, he is a concerningly poor athlete (6th-percentile SPARQ) who plays at one speed and will require manufactured touches to make NFL box-score noise. Landing in L.A., Cooper is essentially a poor man's version of new teammate Tavon Austin on a run-committed team with a rookie quarterback. Long term, Cooper's absolute ceiling is probably a WR3/4 option in PPR leagues.
15. Giants WR Roger Lewis (Undrafted Free Agent)
Originally a four-star recruit to Ohio State, Lewis wound up at Bowling Green after he was accused of rape twice by the same woman and lost his scholarship offer. He wrecked the MAC, earning first-team all-conference two times and posting an 85-1,544-16 line as a redshirt sophomore in 2015. Although Lewis' Combine numbers were bad, he was nursing a strained hamstring at the time. His Pro Day was far better, clocking 4.45 with a 10-foot-5 broad jump at 6-foot, 201. Lewis could become another Da'Rick Rogers, but he's at least worth monitoring in a Giants wideout corps that's unsettled after Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard.
16. Jets WR Charone Peake (Seventh Round, 241)
Not an especially productive college wideout nor a high NFL pick, Peake landed in a sneaky-good spot and is a sleeper for early-career run. Brandon Marshall (32) and Eric Decker (29) will both hit their decline phase soon, while OC Chan Gailey's Pistol Spread offense utilizes four or more wideouts on 33% of the snaps. Gailey tried Kenbrell Thompkins, Jeremy Kerley, Quincy Enunwa, and Chris Owusu in supporting roles last season, but none of them stuck. 2015 second-round WR Devin Smith tore his ACL in December and could open the season on PUP. Peake is a 6-foot-2, 209-pound power player with 4.45 wheels and physical RAC ability.
17. Browns WR Rishard Higgins (Fifth Round, 172)
Despite leaving school after his true junior year, Higgins set Colorado State records in catches (239), receiving yards (3,649), and receiving TDs (31), winning with technically sound routes and glue-like hands. Unfortunately, Higgins posted a lowly 4th-percentile SPARQ score in Indy and isn't built like an NFL wideout at 6-foot-1, 196. Higgins reminds me a bit of versatile Chargers fourth receiver Dontrelle Inman. He'll compete with Cleveland's holdover veterans and fellow fifth-round pick Jordan Payton for the possession role opposite Corey Coleman.
18. Ravens WR Chris Moore (Fourth Round, 107)
A pure vertical receiver at 6-foot-1, 206, Moore averaged 19.3 yards per reception in college and led the American Athletic Conference in YPR (21.1) as a senior. Although Moore runs 4.53, he has long arms (33 3/8") and showed explosiveness in the vertical (37") and broad (10'10") jumps in Indy. Moore may be worth stashing as a WR7/8 in deep Dynasty leagues, but early impact is unlikely behind Steve Smith Sr., Mike Wallace, Kamar Aiken, and Breshad Perriman.
19. Vikings WR Moritz Boehringer (Sixth Round, 180)
Essentially drafted on measurables alone, Boehringer is pound-for-pound the best athlete in the 2016 rookie class and seems to catch the ball naturally based on limited exposures in the German Football League. Boehringer's odds of making an early fantasy impact are slim to none, but it would be promising if he earned opportunities in select red-zone packages as a rookie. Boehringer stands an imposing 6-foot-5, 227. He turns 24 years old this November.
20. Chiefs WR Demarcus Robinson (Fourth Round, 126)
Robinson does not stand out from a size, athleticism, or opportunity standpoint and has major character red flags after serving four suspensions at the University of Florida. Initially, he'll compete for a roster spot behind Jeremy Maclin, Chris Conley, and Albert Wilson.
Other Wide Receivers: Titans WR Tajae Sharpe (Fifth Round); Packers WR Trevor Davis (Fifth Round); Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill (Fifth Round); Bengals WR Cody Core (Sixth Round); Dolphins WR Jakeem Grant (Sixth Round); Bills WR Kolby Listenbee (Sixth Round); Ravens WR Keenan Reynolds (Sixth Round); 49ers WR Aaron Burbridge (Sixth Round); Falcons WR Devin Fuller (Seventh Round); Bears WR Daniel Braverman (Seventh Round); Steelers WR DeMarcus Ayers (Seventh Round); Patriots WR Devin Lucien (Seventh Round); Seahawks WR Kenny Lawler (Seventh Round); Panthers WR Keyarris Garrett (UDFA); Jets WR Robby Anderson (UDFA); 49ers WR/TE Devon Cajuste (UDFA); free agent WR Da'Runnya Wilson (UDFA)
My criteria for tight ends is similar to wide receivers. I want big tight ends who can run. As tight ends historically struggle for fantasy-relevant statistics in their rookie years, lowered early-career expectations push tight ends down an overall Dynasty rookie board. Rare is the tight end who's worthy of a first-round rookie pick.
1. Falcons TE Austin Hooper (Third Round, 81)
Hooper went pro after his redshirt sophomore year and won't turn 22 until November. Still far from inexperienced, Hooper won a starting job as a 19/20-year-old freshman and earned first-team All-Pac 12 at age 20/21. Although not an "explosive" receiver, Hooper has a higher SPARQ score (59th percentile) than Hunter Henry (34th percentile) and is a better blocker than Henry and Tyler Higbee, which should accelerate Hooper's transition. There is opportunity for pass-catching impact in Atlanta. Incumbent TE Jacob Tamme is a JAG, and Mohamed Sanu is more of a role player despite his fat contract. A combo blocker-receiver, Hooper could be an exception to the rule that rookie tight ends don't make fantasy noise.
2. Chargers TE Hunter Henry (Second Round, 35)
Henry won the 2015 Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end and finished his career with 116 receptions, averaging 14.3 yards per catch. Although Henry is not a dynamic athlete, he offers 4.66 timed speed, consistently got open in the SEC, and didn't drop a single pass as a 2015 junior. Henry was the best pure pass-catching tight end in the draft. Antonio Gates is signed for two more years, however, and has been able to effectively morph his game to account for late-career strengths and weaknesses. Henry won't be a usable fantasy asset as a rookie and may not get that opportunity in 2017, either, should Gates keep going strong.
3. Rams TE Tyler Higbee (Fourth Round, 110)
A college knee injury prevented Higbee from working out before the draft, and an alarming pre-draft arrest cost him a chance at being a second-day pick. He was charged with second-degree assault, alcohol intoxication, and fleeing or evading police stemming from an April incident. The Rams hedged their bets on Higbee, selecting South Carolina State TE Temarrick Hemingway one round later. On the field, Higbee is a converted wideout with excellent hands, dropping just one pass as a senior. A good-not-great athlete with a long, lanky build (6'6/249), plus run-after-catch ability, and physicality to win the ball at its highest point, Higbee is something of a boom-bust prospect who could conceivably establish himself as Jared Goff's favorite possession target, or fall out of the NFL before his rookie deal ends.
4. Browns TE Seth DeValve (Fourth Round, 138)
I hadn't heard of DeValve before the draft. I learned everything I know about him afterwards. The top SPARQ scorer in this year's tight end class, DeValve is a 96th-percentile athlete with a 40-inch vertical at 6-foot-2, 244. He was a man among boys in the Ivy League, but missed time with injuries as a junior and senior. NFL draft position matters in my rankings: the higher the pick, the more opportunities players tend to get. The Browns showed conviction in DeValve -- taking him much earlier than expected -- and have openings in the passing game behind Gary Barnidge and Corey Coleman. Coming off a career year, Barnidge turns 31 in September.
5. Rams TE Temarrick Hemingway (Sixth Round, 177)
Hemingway was Los Angeles' hedge on fourth-rounder Higbee, who appears to be in legal hot water. Should Higbee flame out, Hemingway could quickly emerge as a Dynasty asset. A favorite of Rotoworld college prospects guru Josh Norris, Hemingway is long armed (34") and posted a running back-like 6.88 three-cone time at the Combine. Based on Average Draft Position, it's conceivable Hemingway could be a better value pick than higher-rated Higbee.
6. Giants TE Jerell Adams (Sixth round, 184)
Adams was primarily a slot tight end at South Carolina, averaging 14.8 yards on 66 career catches and failing to earn a permanent starting job until his senior year. He did improve as a blocker late in his college career and flashed an ability to threaten the seam. Adams is an average athlete, however, and on the old side for an incoming rookie, turning 24 later this year. I'm a fan of Will Tye and am betting Tye emerges as the Giants' best tight end in 2016.
7. Bears TE Ben Braunecker (Undrafted Free Agent)
Among draft-eligible tight ends, only Browns fourth-rounder Devalve posted a better SPARQ score than "Bronk," who averaged 17.7 yards per catch as a senior at Harvard and would have been drafted if not for undisclosed medical flags. In Chicago, Braunecker faces competition from only Rob Housler, Khari Lee, and "Gannon Sinclair" behind Zach Miller, who turns 32 in October and spent 2012-2014 out of football before a career-best 34-catch season in 2015.
8. Seahawks TE Nick Vannett (Third Round, 94)
Although Vannett was a top-100 pick, his fantasy profile is poor with a sub-par combination of athleticism and production, running 4.89 at Ohio State's Pro Day and failing to score a touchdown on 19 receptions as a senior. A C.J. Fiedorowicz-level prospect, Vannett also struggles in contested situations on tape. As a short-area possession target who will play in-line tight end for the run-first Seahawks, Vannett is a rookie to avoid in Dynasty drafts.
Other Tight Ends: Vikings TE David Morgan (Sixth Round); Cowboys PF Rico Gathers (Sixth Round); Dolphins TE Thomas Duarte (Seventh Round); Panthers TE Beau Sandland (Seventh Round); Texans TE/WR Stephen Anderson (UDFA)
Overall Dynasty Top 50
1. Ezekiel Elliott
2. Corey Coleman
3. Josh Doctson
4. Laquon Treadwell
5. Michael Thomas
6. Sterling Shepard
7. Will Fuller
8. Derrick Henry
9. C.J. Prosise
10. Kenneth Dixon
11. Tyler Boyd
12. Jordan Howard
15. Malcolm Mitchell
16. Leonte Carroo
17. Kenyan Drake
18. Devontae Booker
19. Wendell Smallwood
20. Keith Marshall
21. Austin Hooper
22. Hunter Henry
23. Tyler Ervin
24. Jonathan Williams
25. Jared Goff
26. Paxton Lynch
27. Carson Wentz
28. Tyler Higbee
29. Jordan Payton
30. Cardale Jones
31. Braxton Miller
32. Mike Thomas
33. Ricardo Louis
34. Pharoh Cooper
35. Seth DeValve
36. Cody Kessler
37. Josh Ferguson
38. Roger Lewis
39. Charone Peake
40. Rashard Higgins
41. Temarrick Hemingway
42. Alex Collins
43. Darius Jackson
44. Chris Moore
45. Jerell Adams
46. Daniel Lasco
47. Dak Prescott
48. Moritz Boehringer
49. Christian Hackenberg
50. Jacoby Brissett