The NFL Draft Week is tonight. Here are three rookies whose respective hype trains might go off the rails.
The NFL Draft is an event unlike any other. After almost four months of anticipation – with mock drafts, 40-times, and coach speak – the NFL’s annual rite of spring is here. Tonight also unofficially starts Dynasty League Rookie Drafts and, depending on where players land, their ADP’s will rise and fall. Here I lay out three scenarios of players who’s ADP could rise dramatically given their landing spot.
Parris Campbell – Indianapolis Colts, Pick 26
This pick goes against a lot of mock drafts I’ve seen but the point of this exercise is to examine potential picks that would send a player’s stock soaring. The Colts have glaring needs at a lot of positions but why not fill one of those with Campbell who can play the slot and move around the formation. T.Y. Hilton will turn 30 in November so this is a pick that could benefit Indianapolis in the short and long term.
Why it works: Despite the signing of a lumbering Devin Funchess, the Colts could use an upgrade over Chester Rogers in three receiver sets. Enter Campbell and his 4.3 speed to work underneath and as a player Frank Reich can manufacture touches for every week. Andrew Luck gets a complimentary weapon to Hilton and Eric Ebron as the Colts ascend to the top of the division. Campbell scores doubt digit TDs and to go with 1,000 total yards in his rookie season.
Why it won’t: I have been a fan of Campbell throughout the draft process but our own Sean Lanigan has already explained the pitfalls of him as a player. Fantasy owners won’t care and still invest heavily pushing his ADP into the middle of Round 1. The pre-draft concerns prove to be a major issue and even Reich’s creativity can’t get him untracked. Campbell slogs through his rookie year with less than 35 receptions and 375 total yards making him on of the biggest disappointments of the first round.
Marquise Brown – Green Bay Packers, Pick 30
Admittedly, the idea of this pick makes me excited. Combining the speed of Brown with the arm of Aaron Rodgers could make for some fantasy goodness next fall. Imagine having the opportunity to throw to Davante Adams on one side and then have Brown to take the top completely off the defense on the other.
Why it works: Brown might be the fastest receiver in the draft but his route tree is also one of the most complete. He catches the ball in traffic and with the loss of Randall Cobb to Dallas, the Packers could use a slot threat. Rodgers and Cobb had a great connection (especially from 2012-15) and Brown adds an element that Green Bay currently lacks. Brown’s injury isn’t an issue and visions of him winning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year are dancing in my head.
Why it won’t: Despite the loss of Cobb, the Packers have a crowded receiver room. Geronimo Allison re-signed while Equanimeous St. Brown and Marquez Valdez-Scantiling flashed during their rookie years. Brown’s lisfranc injury might be worse than people think making him a risky fantasy investment. Somehow the masses will ignore all of those variables and instead focus on Brown’s skills meshing with Rodgers’ arm and he is a bust his rookie year.
Irv Smith, Jr. – New England Patriots, Pick 32
Welcome to the Irv Smith, Jr. bandwagon as the Patriots get their successor to Rob Gronkowski. Buckle up and hold on tight. To be clear, Gronkowski will not be replaced but it won’t stop people from hyping Smith Jr. up as if he will. One of the fantasy community’s favorite things is to be the first in line to tout Player X. This pick would provide the ultimate platform to do that.
Why it works: There is a clear need here with the Patriots losing Gronkowski and, despite a glut of tight ends on the roster, no difference maker to replace him. Opportunity is everything and tight ends have been a position of priority in the New England offense. Smith, with his 16.1 YPC last year, could come in and be an impact player immediately. Oh, and Tom Brady would be throwing to him so there’s that.
Why it won’t: The Patriots signed Austin Seferian-Jenkins and already have Jacob Hollister and DFS-darling Stephen Anderson in the fold. None of those are elite talents but they all have plenty of NFL experience. Smith only caught 58 passes in his career at Alabama and despite Sony Michel‘s performance last season, rookies take longer to grasp the New England passing offense. Nevertheless, fantasy hypebeasts will line up to overpay for Smith in dynasty leagues making his ADP soar over the next month.