2021 NFL Draft Winners & Losers: Day 3
The 2021 NFL Draft had so much hype and buzz surrounding it as we got closer and closer to the Jacksonville Jaguars being on the clock. Typically, events that are built up that much tend to fall flat, but the Draft certainly lived up to the hype.
There were plenty of unexpected twists and turns and the NFL delivered us an amazing weekend of entertainment. While it’s now over and wrapped up, there’s still plenty of fallout and a lot to discuss.
There was plenty of action yesterday and a lot to unpack from a fantasy football perspective, so let’s not waste any time. Let’s talk about the winners and losers from round one.
One of the few remaining openings that had the potential to be great for fantasy purposes was the RB position in New York. The Jets had Tevin Coleman and Lamical Perine heading into draft weekend, which wasn’t exactly going to cut it heading into the 2021 season. In the fourth round, the Jets brought in Carter from North Carolina and he’s a perfect fit in this offense. Now with Zach Wilson as his QB, a loaded receiving corps, and Mekhi Becton and Alijah Vera-Tucker blocking for him, Carter has the chance to be a solid contributor for fantasy football rosters this season and beyond.
There was scuttlebutt leading up to the NFL Draft that the Titans could look to spend an early pick on a receiver like Rashod Bateman or Elijah Moore. Instead, the Titans didn’t address the position until the 4th round with Dez Fitzpatrick, who certainly has plenty of developing to do before he can become any sort of threat. Brown now leads a receiving corps with very little competition behind him and there’s a legitimate chance that he sees the type of target share that we’ve been hoping for for fantasy purposes.
Newsome was someone who graded out higher than I expected he would when I did my initial round of tape evaluations. While his athletic testing numbers weren’t great from his Pro Day, he plays much faster than what was shown there. He fell all the way to the 6th round, but the Chicago Bears got an absolute steal. With Anthony Miller in trade discussions, there’s a legitimate path for Newsome to step in on day one and be a starting slot receiver in this offense that now has a dynamic passer in Justin Fields. If you’re in the third round of your Dynasty rookie drafts and Newsome is on the clock, I’d strongly consider adding him to my roster.
Dazz Newsome can SCOOT. pic.twitter.com/GfIDrFl3Ed
— Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL) March 29, 2021
The Atlanta Falcons, with plenty of draft picks and a huge need at RB, decided to completely forego the position and roll into 2021 with Davis as their lead option. Davis was certainly impressive in his opportunity last year in Carolina and he’ll get a massive workload in Atlanta this season in this high-powered offense. Very few veteran RBs escaped the NFL Draft without any significant competition on the roster and Davis comes out of the weekend as a huge winner. Let’s just see if they add anyone else between now and training camp.
Gainwell was my RB4 heading into this 2021 NFL Draft and he certainly fell farther than I – and many others – expected him to. Gainwell was scooped up by the Philadelphia Eagles at pick 150 and he now joins a backfield with Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, and Jordan Howard. There was a legitimate path for Gainwell to be a top-tier fantasy contributor if he landed in the right offense due to his skillset as a receiver and that simply didn’t happen. He should be involved in this offense, but it’s not going to be enough to warrant consistent fantasy football consideration.
Kenneth Gainwell's receiving grade = 💯
— Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL) January 15, 2021
Jordan experienced an absolute free fall in the NFL Draft compared to where the majority of analysts had him ranked heading into the event. Instead of getting Day 2 draft capital, which would have bode well for his fantasy football outlook, Jordan tumbled all the way to pick 147. While Houston doesn’t have much in the form of competition above him on the depth chart, the draft capital is certainly an indictment on how the NFL views his skillset. The path for Jordan to return fantasy football relevancy at any point in his NFL career is certainly minimal now.
All throughout the pre-draft process, I was talking about Terry and how much I liked his tape. With that in mind, I was also very vocal in communicating my concerns about how he could go undrafted due to the questions surrounding his departure from FSU. Terry ultimately signed with the Seattle Seahawks as a UDFA, which does leave the door open for him to stick on this roster and make a name for himself, but the path for that to happen is now very narrow. Terry’s a late-round Dynasty rookie draft dart throw that you’re left hoping will make it through training camp.