SI Fantasy expert Michael Fabiano breaks down the fantasy situations for all the relevant second & third round picks from the 2021 NFL Draft
The second and third rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft wrapped up on Friday night, so we’re getting closer to seeing what all 32 rosters will look like this summer. While we didn’t see many running backs come off the board on Day 2, there were plenty of offensive skill position players to come off the board, many of whom will be on the fantasy radar in redrafts, dynasty leagues, or both.
Here’s my early look at each of those players and what we might expect from them in the short and long term. As you’ll see, there’s more dynasty value at this point in time.
34. New York Jets: Elijah Moore, WR, Mississippi
Moore was considered a first-round talent, but Gang Green landed him near the top of Round 2. He’s coming off an impressive 2020 campaign to produce huge totals despite playing in just eight games before opting out to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft. His 86 catches and 1,193 receiving yards ranked second in the nation among wide receivers, behind only Devonta Smith (who played in five more games). A slot man at Ole Miss, his presence in the pass attack could mean the end of Jamison Crowder’s time in New York. Moore could be worth a late-round flier in 2021 redraft leagues.
35. Denver Broncos (trade with Falcons): Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina
The Broncos traded up to land Williams, who figures to be their featured back of the future. He’s coming off a monster final season with the Tar Heels, producing over 1,100 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground while averaging more than seven yards per carry. He’ll likely start the season behind Melvin Gordon and likely be in a committee as a rookie, but he could push for more work in the second half. I’d consider him a flex option with the potential to become a No. 2 running back. Also, keep in mind that Gordon is entering the final year of his contract, so Williams will be the main man in 2022.
49. Arizona Cardinals: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
Moore is considered a wild card at the wide receiver position. He played in just seven games over his final two seasons with the Boilermakers due to injuries. His best college season came in 2018 when he produced 114 catches, 1,258 yards, and 12 touchdowns while also rushing 21 times for 213 yards. He’s a great fit for the Cardinals’ offense, but this is a better real football than fantasy football move in the short term. With DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, Christian Kirk, and Andy Isabella in the mix, targets won’t be easy.
55. Pittsburgh Steelers: Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
Freiermuth, nicknamed “Baby Gronk” due to his similar skill set to Rob Gronkowski, can be a playmaker on the next level. He scored eight touchdowns as a freshman and found the end zone 15 times in his first 25 games at Penn State. He was also tough to bring down his final full season, breaking nine tackles on his 43 catches. Freiermuth won’t immediately impact a crowded Steelers pass attack, so don’t look to call his name in redrafts. Instead, he’ll be a nice dynasty stash with future upside.
56. Seattle Seahawks: D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan
During his time at Western Michigan, Eskridge put up big totals, averaging more than 18 yards per catch. He’s not a big wideout at 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds, however, and he’ll be hard-pressed to make a rookie impact behind D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. He won’t be on the redraft radar but could sneak into some dynasty drafts next season.
57. Los Angeles Rams: Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville
Atwell was solid as the Cardinals’ top slot receiver in 2019, posting nearly 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns. He’s not a big receiver at 5-foot-8 and 155 pounds, however, and Atwell won’t make an impact as a rookie with Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson, and DeSean Jackson ahead of him on the Rams crowded depth chart.
59. Carolina Panthers (trade with Browns): Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU
Last season, Marshall averaged over 100 yards per game and recorded double-digit touchdowns as the Tigers’ top wideout before opting out. He was considered a viable first-rounder, and Marshall landed in a good spot with the Panthers. The offense has plenty of available targets with the loss of Curtis Samuel, but Marshall will be no better than third in the pecking order behind D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson. He won’t have his name called in most redrafts, but Marshall will be a locked-in dynasty selection.
64. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
Trask is a true pocket passer with size (6-foot-5) and produced huge totals in his final collegiate season. He’ll be groomed as the eventual replacement for Tom Brady, but he could play another two or three seasons before his Hall-of-Fame career is all said and done. Trask will have value in dynasty leagues, but that’s about it for 2021.
66. Minnesota Vikings (trade with Jets): Kellen Mond, QB, Vikings
Mond is an interesting fantasy prospect due to his skills as a runner, as he put up over 1,600 rushing yards during his time at Texas A&M. How soon he gets a chance to be an NFL starter is in question though, as Kirk Cousins still has two more years on his deal with the Vikings. I’d take a late shot on Mond as a draft and stash in dynasty leagues.
67. Houston Texans: Davis Mills, QB, Stanford
Mills received some buzz as a potential first-rounder going into the draft, but he landed in Round 2 for the Texans. The selection is curious as Houston’s first pick in the draft, and no one knows if Deshaun Watson will be with the team in 2021 (or beyond). However, one has to assume the Texans are at least hedging their bets on his return. Mills could be an interesting dynasty selection depending on Watson’s playing status.
77. Los Angeles Chargers: Josh Palmer, WR, Tennessee
Palmer didn’t put up great numbers in a poor Tennessee pass attack, but he has good size, hands, and a competitive receiver. The Chargers don’t have any locks at wideout behind Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, and catching passes from a good young quarterback like Justin Herbert makes Palmer a player to watch in camp.
81. Miami Dolphins: Hunter Long, TE, Boston College
Long is coming off an impressive 2020 that saw him lead all tight ends in targets (89) and catches (57) while also ranking second behind Kyle Pitts in yards (685). He didn’t land in a great spot from a fantasy perspective, though, as the Dolphins have Mike Gesicki and plenty of mouths to feed in the pass attack. He’ll have no redraft value.
82. Washington Football Team: Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina
Brown recorded over 1,000 yards in each of his final two seasons with the Tar Heels, during which time he scored 20 touchdowns. He’ll compete for a secondary role in the Washington pass attack as a rookie. However, Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, and Logan Thomas are all locked into prominent roles. Brown will be a 2021 dynasty stash.
83. Carolina Panthers (trade with Bears): Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame
Tremble’s collegiate stats don’t pop off the page by any stretch, as he finished his two seasons with the Fighting Irish with just 35 catches in 19 games. He played behind Cole Kmet as a freshman and was used as a rotational player last year. Tremble is athletic, however, and his skills as a blocker are excellent. The Panthers lack a true No. 1 tight end too, so Tremble is a player who is at least worth monitoring during training camp.
85. Green Bay Packers (trade with Titans): Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson
Is the selection of Rodgers an attempt to make peace with Aaron Rodgers? Who knows, right? Regardless, he’s comparable to Randall Cobb in terms of his size and skill set. However, making a first-year impact is unlikely, and who knows if Aaron will even be with the Packers next season. Amari will most likely be limited to dynasty league drafts.
88. San Francisco 49ers (trade with Rams): Trey Sermon, RB, Ohio State
Sermon finished last season ranked tied for 10th in broken tackles among running backs, and he’ll come to the NFL with fresh legs. Between three seasons with the Oklahoma Sooners and one with the Buckeyes, Sermon never had more than 164 carries. He’ll compete with Jeffery Wilson Jr. and Wayne Gallman for touches behind Raheem Mostert as a rookie, but Sermon could earn a bigger role down the stretch. Playing in the offense of coach Kyle Shanahan is a huge advantage, so I’d expect Sermon to be worth a late redraft flier who could be a real asset in the long term.
89. Houston Texans (trade with Panthers): Nico Collins, WR, Michigan
Collins opted out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but he did put up almost 20 yards per catch in 2019. The Texans have a mish-mash of wideouts behind Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb, but Collins isn’t on the fantasy redraft radar.
91. Cleveland Browns (trade with Saints): Anthony Schwartz, WR, Auburn
Schwartz is a speedster who needs work as a receiver. No fantasy appeal here.
97. Los Angeles Chargers (compensatory pick): Tre McKitty, TE, Georgia
McKitty did very little in the stat sheets in college, but Jared Cook is now 34.
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for all of the latest breaking fantasy football news and the best analysis in the business!
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