Raymond Summerlin

Draft Day Recap

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NFL Draft: Day 3 Recap

Saturday, April 28, 2018


As per usual, Day 3 of the 2018 NFL draft did not feature many stars, but there were some underrated Dynasty prospects who landed in attractive situations and a couple of wide receivers who will be playing in a new city in 2018.

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So Long, Tavon
Tavon Austin took a massive pay cut in March, but it was not enough for the former No. 8 overall pick to stick around for another season as the Rams sent him to Dallas in exchange for a sixth-round pick on Saturday. Austin was essentially a running back his only year with Sean McVay – he carried the ball 59 times in 2017 against just 22 targets – and it sounds like that is how Dallas plans to use him as well. A role as a passing-down back could fit his skill set better and allow him to be a more effective player, but it is highly unlikely to result in fantasy value, especially with Ezekiel Elliott atop the depth chart.

Dallas was not done dealing following the Austin trade. Despite spending a fourth-round pick on him just last year, the Cowboys sent Ryan Switzer to the Raiders in exchange for DT Jihad Ward. Switzer being dumped by a team who needs as much help at receiver as possible is not a great sign, and his path to targets in Oakland is narrow behind Amari Cooper, Jordy Nelson, and Martavis Bryant. Switzer remains a low-upside Dynasty hold.

Lauletta to Giants
Words written about Day 3 quarterbacks are usually wasted characters, but it is at least interesting the Giants landed Richmond QB Kyle Lauletta with the eighth pick in the fourth round. Following a strong Senior Bowl week, Lauletta was earning Day 2 love as potentially the “next Jimmy Garoppolo.” That did not happen, but he did end up in a spot where he should compete immediately for a backup job behind an on-the-downhill Eli Manning. He can be avoided in most Dynasty rookie drafts, but he is worth a look in two-quarterback formats.

Elsewhere, Mike White and Luke Falk, who landed with the Cowboys and Titans respectively, are reasonably big names, but it is highly unlikely they develop into anything more than long-term backups. The less said about Tanner Lee and Danny Etling the better.

Colts Add Some Horses
A top-heavy running back class was mostly picked over by the time Day 3 began, but there were still some quality names available. Unsurprisingly considering their depth chart, the Colts were the most active in the market, grabbing Nyheim Hines with the fourth pick of the fourth round and Jordan Wilkins late in the fifth. More of a passing-game weapon who can also carry the ball, Hines is not a true threat to Marlon Mack’s lead spot, but Wilkins is an interesting prospect who flashed at times last season. He could make some noise in camp and is an intriguing mid-round option in rookie drafts.

The best back available on Saturday was Tennessee’s John Kelly, but his landing spot left a lot to be desired. A sixth-round selection by the Rams, Kelly might be able to carve out a role as a passing-down complement to Todd Gurley, but there is little chance he becomes a consistent fantasy contributor barring an injury. His Dynasty stock probably took the biggest hit on Saturday. Neither Chase Edmonds nor Justin Jackson was as exciting a Dynasty prospect as Kelly, and they both look headed for at best complementary roles as well. Edmonds ended up behind David Johnson in Arizona, and Jackson will play behind Melvin Gordon with the Chargers.

Miami’s Mark Walton also ended up in a disappointing situation behind Joe Mixon and Gio Bernard, who is perhaps the best pro comparison for Walton’s game. That suggests the Bengals see Walton as someone who can replace Gio at some point, and Cincy can get out of Bernard’s contract without much cap pain after this season. It is something to watch. Ito Smith also ended up in a similar spot in Atlanta with Tevin Coleman entering the final year of his rookie contract.

The final two backs who deserve a mention are Kalen Ballage and Bo Scarbrough, who ended up in Miami and Dallas respectively. Both players are impressive athletes with an above-average combination of size and speed, but neither consistently played up to their physical abilities in college. Ballage is more likely to land an early role because of his ability in the passing game and the unsettled situation he is joining – not to mention the fact he was drafted three rounds earlier – but he has a lot of work to do. In fact, Ballage being the only back the Dolphins selected is great news for Kenyan Drake.


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Raymond Summerlin is a football writer for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter at @RMSummerlin.
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