Nick Mensio

Draft Day Recap

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NFL Draft: Rounds 2-3 Recap

Saturday, April 28, 2018


The first round is always the most fun part of NFL Draft weekend, and Thursday night didn’t disappoint at all, with five quarterbacks being taken, the most in Round One since 1999. However, Day Two didn’t offer a whole lot of excitement. As it was unfolding, I was thinking to myself, “This may be the most boring Rounds Two and Three that we’ve experienced in recent memory.” There just doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of star potential at the offensive skill positions on this day, particularly at quarterback — with just one being taken Friday — and receiver. And one of the draft’s best feel-good stories (on top of being a phenomenal player), UCF LB Shaquem Griffin, wasn’t picked on Day Two. To sum it up, it was a pretty ho-hum night, with just 18 skill players getting picked after 22 were selected on this night last year. Let’s sift through the happenings.

Redskins Stop Guice’s Slide at 59

Easily the biggest development of the night was the Redskins stopping LSU RB Derrius Guice’s slide at 59th overall. Guice was being talked about as a potential first-rounder this week, but he fell due to what is believed to be a to-this-point-unknown off-field “issue,” if there even is one at all. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, some teams thought Guice was immature and too “high-maintenance” in the pre-draft process. There was even some rumor swirling that he got into a dispute in a meeting with the Eagles, but that is purely a rumor for now. Take all that away and Guice is a legitimate 1A running back in this league. He’s compared himself to Marshawn Lynch in previous sitdowns and stands a rocked-up 5’11/218 with 4.49 wheels. Our own Evan Silva likened Guice to Ezekiel Elliott as a pile-moving, uber-physical, high-velocity runner capable of taking the ball 20-30 times a game and punishing a defense. He has the skill set to be a high-volume workhorse at this level and lands in a dream spot with the Redskins. Rob Kelley proved to be a JAG last year after his breakout rookie season, and Samaje Perine was little more than a replacement-level player. Redskins staffers talked all offseason about the need to add a horse to the backfield stable. Guice is it and could (likely will?) end up being the top rookie back to own in fantasy behind Saquon Barkley.

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Steelers Move Up and End Mason Rudolph’s Plunge

Much like Derrius Guice above, Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph was being mixed in the conversation as a potential sixth first-round quarterback. That didn’t happen, and then Rudolph went the whole second round without hearing his name. There were draft-season rumors swirling about the Patriots and Chargers’ interest in the big-armed 6-foot-5, 235-pounder. New England passed on Rudolph twice, and L.A. did twice. Pittsburgh leaped from 79th overall ahead of Cincinnati at 77 and 78 to nab Rudolph at 76. Rudolph’s college stats light up the page, but he benefitted greatly from playing in a spread offense against some brutal Big 12 defenses. However, he’s an aggressive downfield passer who stands tall in the pocket and has a chance in the big leagues. Ben Roethlisberger just turned 36 last month and is on his last legs. Rudolph could be the heir to the throne. He has a lot of work ahead of him but at least gets to learn the NFL ropes with his top target from OK State, WR James Washington, who was selected by the Steelers in the second round. Washington should compete for Martavis Bryant’s old role in the offense this season.

Browns, Bucs, and Lions All Add Running Backs Early in Round Two

Cleveland, Tampa Bay, and Detroit all added a running back within the first nine picks Friday night. The Browns nabbed Georgia’s Nick Chubb at No. 35, the Bucs got USC’s Ronald Jones at 38, and the Lions secured Auburn’s Kerryon Johnson at 43rd overall. Chubb was a Heisman candidate a few years back but shredded his knee midway through that season. He rebounded and then proceeded to tear up this year’s Combine with a 4.52 forty and 10-foot-8 broad jump at 5’11/227. Chubb’s rookie-year path appears to be blocked by free agent pickup Carlos Hyde, but Chubb is a Dynasty prospect with big touchdown upside if this Cleveland offense gets turned around. The Bucs legit may have entered draft weekend with the league’s saddest backfield. Jones broke a ton of tackles at USC and is a former track star with big time playmaking ability. He reminds a bit of Tevin Coleman. Jones has one of the clearer paths to first-year touches. Johnson enters a total mud pit of a backfield in Detroit, one that already contains Ameer Abdullah, LeGarrette Blount, Theo Riddick, Zach Zenner, and Dwayne Washington. It’s fair to wonder if Abdullah could get traded on Saturday or after the draft. Johnson drew some Darren McFadden comps coming out, but it’s really hard to trust any of these backs for fantasy until this thing gets thinned out in the coming months. Abdullah likely has the shortest leash, while Blount is only on a one-year deal. Johnson’s appeal is more Dynasty-specific at the moment, but it’s not out of the question that he leads the 2018 Lions in carries.

Broncos Revamp Wideout Room with Sutton

SMU’s Courtland Sutton was ticketed by some as the No. 1 receiver in this year’s class. Overall, it has the look of a real weak receiver class, but there are some potential gems. Sutton fits that bill. He caught 31 touchdowns in three years at SMU and even played some basketball at 6’3/218. He was dominant after the catch and in contested situations, but there’s concern regarding his ability to separate. Sutton has drawn some Alshon Jeffery comparisons. Landing in Denver doesn’t look ideal for his 2018 fantasy prospects, but 2019 could be much different with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders both at or above 30 years old and signed through 2019 at big cap numbers. The problem is there doesn’t appear to be a long-term quarterback solution in Denver. Case Keenum is preferably a stopgap, and the Broncos didn’t draft a passer Thursday or Friday.

Dolphins Add a Tight End

The Dolphins cut Julius Thomas earlier in the offseason and went into the weekend with MarQueis Gray as their de facto starting tight end. Miami had to come away with one early either Thursday or Friday, and it did just that by taking Penn State’s Mike Gesicki at No. 42 overall. The 6’6/247 Gesicki is a superb athlete with soft mitts and long arms. He tested in the 99th percentile SPARQ athlete and offers monster upside in coach Adam Gase’s offense. He has about as easy a path to being a Week 1 starter as any skill player taken on Friday. Look for Gesicki, Danny Amendola, and Albert Wilson to be Ryan Tannehill’s favorite targets over the middle, with Gesicki stretching the seams.



Nick Mensio is a football writer for Rotoworld.com. The 2014 NFL season marks his third with Rotoworld. He can be found on Twitter at @NickMensio.
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