While we have been covering many of the incoming rookies individually, to cover the abundance of draft picks still left to be selected inevitably wins out. Draft pick hit rates also progressively decrease as the draft advances. To clean up coverage on the picks that do not quite their way into individual posts, I will be recapping those players here. You can find links to the larger profiles from early rounds picks at the bottom of this post.
Bears Draft Cole Kmet at No. 43
Kmet will only be 21-years old during his rookie campaign. After transitioning for baseball to football full-time, Kmet caught 43-of-61 targets for 515 yards and six touchdowns in 2019. Kmet posted the second-highest speed score at the combine by running a 4.70 40 at 262 pounds. Chicago tight ends combined for just 46 catches for 416 yards and two touchdowns last season. Coming off that production, the team signed 33-year-old Jimmy Graham, who posted his fewest receptions per game (2.4) of his career and his fewest receiving yards per game (27.9) since his rookie season in 2010.
Broncos Draft K.J. Hamler at No. 46
After selecting Jerry Jeudy in the first round, Denver was not done adding to their receiving corps. Hamler can flat-out fly. Although he did not run at the combine due to injury, his speed is apparent. At 5’9” and 178 pounds, it better be. He also has return game juice, with the third-most career return yards (1,258) in this class. He has issues with drops, but you will trade some of those for the splash plays he provides. The major concerns for Hamler are him being significantly undersized and despite his return game background, forced just three total missed tackles as a receiver last season per Pro Football Focus. Thought of in the ilk of Tavon Austin, Hamler had just 13-43 on his rushing attempts in 2019. The only wideout to have multiple top-24 seasons at sub-180 pounds over the past decade has been DeSean Jackson.
Steelers Draft Chase Claypool at No. 49
After 84 catches for 1,122 yards and six scores through three years at Notre Dame, Claypool caught 66 passes (26.1%) for 1,037 yards (31.6%) and 13 touchdowns (35.1%). Checking in at 6’4” and 238 pounds at the combine, many suggested that Claypool’s best bet was to convert to tight end. Then he ran a 4.42 40 (99 percentile speed score) and posted an 88th percentile explosion score. Available to play the Y and outside, Claypool offers flexibility for an offense. He may be what the Steelers had hoped to have in their offense years ago with Ladarius Green and is an immediate thorn to both Eric Ebron and James Washington as a hybrid talent vertically while being an inside mismatch.
Rams Draft Van Jefferson at No. 57
Jefferson earned buzz at the combine, but is a five-year collegiate wideout that will be a 24-year-old rookie with fewer than 700 yards from scrimmage in every year of his collegiate career. To compound matters on his early outlook, Jefferson has a Jones fracture that required surgery in February. The Rams entered the draft with a league-low five wide receivers on their roster with Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds in the final year of their rookie contracts.
Packers Draft A.J. Dillon at No. 62
No back in this class averaged more touches per game for their collegiate career (24.7) or touches per game in 2019 (27.6) than Dillon did. Dillon handled 300, 235 and 331 touches over three seasons at Boston College in route to 4,618 yards from scrimmage and 40 touchdowns. He then went into the combine at 6’0” and 247 pounds and notched a 97.8 percentile physical score. The issue Dillon has, however, is that at 20 pounds heavier than Taylor and having a non-existent receiving profile that he is going to fall into an archetype of being a two-down back in the NFL.. Just 21 of Dillon’s 866 touches were receptions.
Green Bay has Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams both in the final year of their rookie deals and not much behind them. Jones broke out in a big way last season, totaling 1,558 yards on 285 touches and adding 19 touchdowns, tied for the league lead. Jones has averaged 5.5 yards per touch in each of his first three seasons while improving his role in the passing game and pass protection each season. Williams handled 146 touches (4.9 yards per touch) in 2019. Dillon can be a major touchdown vulture in aiding Jones’s inevitable touchdown regression, but is in a tough spot to push for major standalone touches in 2020.
Washington Drafts Antonio Gibson at No. 66
Gibson had 1,104 yards from scrimmage this past season… on 71 touches. He averaged 19.3 yards per catch on 38 receptions (with eight scores) and another 11.2 yards per carry on 33 rushing attempts (four scores). He also is a stellar return man, averaging 28.0 yards (and one score) on 23 kickoff returns. At 6’0”, 228 pounds, Gibson ran a 4.39 40. Washington needs as many offensive skill players that they can handle, but Gibson does have a lot of overlap to where undrafted rookie Steven Sims provided production a year ago from the slot and in the return game. A do-it-all offensive weapon, Gibson also carries early fantasy eligibility only at wide receiver on sites.
Buccaneers Draft Ke’Shawn Vaughn at No. 76
After Vaughn (5’8”, 214) transferred to Vanderbilt and sitting out the 2017 season he then tallied 1,414 yards and 1,298 yards over the 2018-2019 seasons to go with 24 touchdowns. In 2019, nearly no back in this was asked to do as much as Vaughn across the board for his team’s offense. He accounted for 70.7% of the team non-QB carries (second in this class), 69.7% of the non-QB rushing yards (second), 36.2% of the team yards from scrimmage (third), 13.9% of the receptions (second) and scored 47.6% of the team touchdowns (second). Tampa Bay ranked 27th in the league in rushing efficiency and explosive run rate in 2019. Their backs combined to rank 18th in touches per game (26.5), 20th in yards from scrimmage per game (121.5) and 24th in yards per touch (4.6). Second-year running back Ronald Jones made a significant jump up to 203 touches and 5.1 yards per touch from his anemic rookie season usage (30 touches) and efficiency (5.1 yards per touch). Despite his improvement in year two, the Buccaneers were still reluctant to fully trust him with the offense, allowing Peyton Barber (170 touches) to carve into his workload. Vaughn’s three-down ability over Jones has the potential to make him the 1A option in the backfield sooner than later should Jones struggle in his areas of weakness in 2020.
Raiders Draft Lynn Bowden at No. 80
Bowden played everywhere at Kentucky, including quarterback in 2019. His fantasy output may be sporadic, but Bowden notched 1,530 career rushing yards, 1,303 receiving yards and 1,827 returns yards at Kentucky. Bowden accounted for 35.6% of Kentucky’s yards from scrimmage in 2019, ranking fifth in the nation. If a team wants to take the next step in evolving the “Taysom Hill Role”, Bowden is that player. The Raiders offense isn’t one that screams creativity touches and Bowden’s fantasy position is initially set at wide recevier.
Raiders Draft Bryan Edwards at No. 81
After selecting Henry Ruggs and then Bowden the pick prior, the Raiders weren’t done adding offensive playmakers and pass catchers.Edwards never reached 1,000 yards in any season in college, but was involved in some anemic passing games. Despite his lower raw totals, Edwards accounted for at least 25% of the team receptions and 20% of their receiving yardage in each of the past three seasons. His 816 yards and six touchdowns this past season were 31.2% and 50% of the team total. A big body (6’3″, 212 pounds) Edwards was also used near the line of scrimmage and had run after the catch ability. Edwards had 36 receptions on screen passes in 2019 as South Carolina was just trying to put the ball in his hands.
Bills Draft Zack Moss at No. 86
Moss has seen his yards per touch rise in each of his four collegiate seasons as he closed his career out with 1,804 yards on 263 touches (6.9 YPT) in 2019 to go along with 17 touchdowns. Out of the backfield, Moss caught just 38 passes for 297 yards (7.8 Y/R) prior to catching 28 passes for 388 yards (13.9 Y/R) this past season. He was credited with 87 missed tackles forced this past season, which was second in the country. His size (5’9” and 223 pounds) immediately allows him to a potential touchdown thorn and 1B to Devin Singletary, who had just 2-of-18 team rushing attempts inside of the 5-yard line in 2019.
Patriots Draft Devin Asiasi at No. 91
Asiasi had just eight receptions prior to 2019, buried behind Caleb Wilson in 2018 and forced to sit out 2017 after transferring from Michigan. On field this year, he ranked sixth in this class in receiving yardage per game (53.4) and fifth in share of team yardage (21%) while closing the season scorching hot with 18-322-1 over his final three games. With a limited depth chart, no team threw fewer passes (52) to their tight ends than the Patriots did a year ago, resulting in a combined effort of 36 receptions for 418 yards and two touchdowns.
Ravens Draft Devin Duvernay at No. 92
After 70 catches for 1,082 yards and seven scores through three years at Texas, Duvernay exploded with 106 receptions for 1,386 yards and nine touchdowns this past season. He ranked second in this class in receptions per game (8.2) and third in yards per game (106.6). Those reception totals were inflated a touch by 42 coming off screen passes, but Duvernay is best after the catch. No team used their wide receivers less frequently a year ago then the Ravens. Baltimore wideouts combined for 7.3 catches on 11.4 targets per game, both league lows.
Titans Draft Darrynton Evans at No. 93
After 1,274 yards on 191 touches (6.7 YPT) in 2018, Evans doubled down in 2019 with 1,678 yards on 276 touches (6.1 YPT) and 23 touchdowns. He also added five receiving touchdowns this past season to go with 21 catches for 198 yards (9.4 Y/R). Evans was plenty fast (4.41 40) and explosive at the combine. He has an immediate in road in the NFL though as a return man, where he averaged 25.7 yards per kickoff return with three touchdowns on 56 career returns. With Dion Lewis leaving the team this offseason, the Titans lacked a quality backup or passing game contributor out of the backfield.
Packers Draft Josiah Deguara at No. 94
Deguara is one of the few tight ends in this class that can actually contribute in multiple areas, but his overall size (6’2”, 242 pounds) may be something that is a hindrance in the NFL compared to ever being a major issue at Cincinnati. Deguara improved each season in receiving production and ranked sixth in this class in share of team receiving yardage (20%). The Packers lost Jimmy Graham via free agency this offseason and drafted Jace Sternberger in the third round last season (75th overall). The rookie got on the field for just 60 total snaps during the regular season.
Patriots Draft Dalton Keene at No. 101
After taking Devin Asiasi 10 picks earlier, the Patriots were not done re-stocking their tight end room. Keene is the youngest tight end in this class with the second-highest physical profile (83rd percentile) after placing above par in all of speed, agility and explosion drills. An intriguing athlete and versatile player, Keene has a limited resume of production, catching just 59 passes in 36 career games played.
Saints Draft Adam Trautman at No. 105
Trautman has the most career receptions (178), yards (2,295) and touchdowns (31) among tight ends in this class. He amassed his numbers playing low-level competition at Dayton, but at least he dominated that competition. Jared Cook turned 33-years-old earlier this month as he enters the final season of his contract with the Saints. Trautman could be a weekly starter as early as 2021.
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