As we move into Round 3, we’re following the same template from Round 1 and Round 2. Keep in mind that our staff rankings and rookie ADP do not include IDPs, so it’s necessary to make the mental adjustment for the defensive players selected. Only one IDP was taken in the first 24 picks and three more came off the board here in the third round.
I’ve added size, age, position, and team info for these players as it’s always helpful to have that in one place. In order to keep age consistent with earlier pieces, it represents age at the conclusion of the player’s final college season. Players will be approximately one year older at the conclusion of their rookie seasons.
No. 25 Stephone Anthony, ILB, Saints, 22.5, 6-3, 243
Anthony’s 4.56 forty and 37-inch vertical at 243 pounds led to a 92nd percentile SPARQ score. That athleticism was on display in 2014 as he finished with the fourth best CFF pass rushing productivity score among non-edge linebackers. Landing with the New Orleans Saints, Anthony’s immediate opportunity places him with Eric Kendricks as the two premier IDP targets in this draft.
No. 26 Justin Hardy, WR, Falcons, 23.0, 5-10, 192
Rookie Rank: 34 Rookie ADP: 29
Kendall Wright pops up on Hardy’s comparables list, but the other most enthusiastic comp would be Harry Douglas. He ranked No. 27 on the Megatron Index, which fit with my research that suggested he needed to run a 4.36 at the Combine. He managed 4.56.
In one of the lighter moments of the draft, Scott Smith chimed in from his wedding reception to select Hardy and had this to say afterward.
I wanted Kendricks or Anthony, but they were gone and I panicked. Admittedly I am higher on Hardy than most but this was early. I was drunk and at my own wedding so this is what happens when real life and fantasy football don’t mix. Looking back with a clearer head I would have picked Conley.
Congratulations to Scott on the nuptials, and good luck to Hardy in the NFL.
No. 27 Benardrick McKinney, ILB, Texans, 22.1, 6-4, 246
McKinney finished just outside the Top 10 in run stop percentage last season and confirmed his elite athleticism with a 40-inch vertical at the Combine. Opinion is split as to whether McKinney can be effective on passing downs, but this selection was made by RotoViz IDP expert Eric Braun who likes his fantasy ceiling.
No. 28 Javorius Allen, RB, Ravens, 23.3, 6-0, 221
Rookie Rank: 25 Rookie ADP: 26
FD recently argued for Allen possessing many of the qualities that make Le’Veon Bell a fantasy force. I got lucky in Zero RB and Early MFL10s with the suggestion that Allen was a leading candidate to join the Baltimore backfield and ruin Justin Forsett’s storybook situation.
No. 29 Chris Conley, WR, Chiefs, 22.2, 6-2, 213
Rookie Rank: 23 Rookie ADP: 25
Conley is probably the most athletic receiver to come into the NFL since Calvin Johnson.
A lot has been justifiably made of the poor fit with Alex Smith, a quarterback who is annually at the bottom of the pack in average depth of target. I could see this working out in slightly different fashion, however. Smith refuses to throw to covered receivers, and the Chiefs made a big point this offseason of surrounding their signal-caller with players with the speed to separate.
The biggest concern for Conley won’t be his quarterback, but whether he can overcome his collegiate history of minimal production.
No. 30 Jeremy Langford, RB, Bears, 23.1, 6-0, 208
Rookie Rank: 27 Rookie ADP: 28
Here is the glass half full view for Langford from FD’s article on his comparables:
He’s a running back, someone in front of him on a depth chart is likely to get hurt at some point, and his record of production doesn’t say that he couldn’t succeed in the NFL, it just doesn’t scream can’t miss talent.
It’s also favorable that his competition to slot in as Matt Forte’s backup is the equally underwhelming Ka’Deem Carey. Unfortunately for Langford, his speed doesn’t show up on the field. As a counterpoint, take a look at a few instances where it does.
No. 31 Deandre Smelter, WR, 49ers, 23.1, 6-2, 226
Rookie Rank: 28 Rookie ADP: 37
Kyle Pollock looked at whether Smelter is more Demaryius Thomas or Stephen Hill and found even Hill might be a stretch. (It’s always a problem when a player with barely 1,000 receiving yards finishes his college career at the advanced age of 23.1 and is also injured.)
On the other hand, Heith Krueger points to his size and inexperience in making him his pick for our rookie sleeper article.
No. 32 Sammie Coates, WR, Steelers, 21.8, 6-1, 212
Rookie Rank: 26 Rookie ADP: 23
The most important number in evaluating where Coates fits in the Steelers receiving picture is 1.07. That’s Martavis Bryant’s league-leading receiving fantasy points over expectation per target. We don’t need to fixate on Bryant’s collegiate resume because we already know what he was able to accomplish in the NFL last year.
But it is worth noting that the Steelers also know what they have and still drafted Coates. It could be that they saw what Bryant was able to do for the offense and decided to add an improved version to further catapult them in 2015.
No. 33 Matt Jones, RB, Washington, 21.8, 6-2, 231
Rookie Rank: 30 Rookie ADP: 31
Jon Moore and Scott McCloughlan really like Jones, and that’s a doubly strong endorsement. Unfortunately, his production and athleticism profile1 trails a bunch of other RB prospects, including numerous UDFAs.
The Florida runner is basically the RB version of Devin Funchess, a prospect who played in an offense so terrible it may color his production-based evaluation.2
No. 34 Josh Robinson, RB, Colts, 22.4, 5-8, 217
Rookie Rank: 39 Rookie ADP: 30
Robinson is all over the map from an attributes perspective. He’s a shockingly poor athlete with a SPARQ score in the 3.9 percentile. (You read that correctly. The decimal point is not in the wrong place.) He also scored a 17 in the RB Prospect Lab, a number that’s pretty definitively in the UDFA range. On the other hand, CFF charted him at 3.57 yards after contact per attempt against Power 5 opponents. That’s better than every RB in the 2015 class not named Todd Gurley.
No. 35 Alvin Dupree, OLB, Steelers, 21.9, 6-4, 269
Dupree ranked only No. 21 in pass rush productivity score for edge defenders but has a SPARQ score in the 97th percentile. Pittsburgh could be a tricky place to earn elite IDP value as he gets saddled with the LB designation.
No. 36 Mike Davis, RB, 49ers, 21.9, 5-9, 217
Rookie Rank: 29 Rookie ADP: 27
Davis is another back with a disappointing score in the RB Prospect Lab (35), but he would have looked much better after his 2013 season. Despite their differences in collegiate yards per attempt, Davis averaged more highlight yards per opportunity (5.2) than Carlos Hyde (5.0). Hyde’s rookie season was very similar to that of Bishop Sankey – excellent after contact, terrible before – so anyone who’s targeting Cobb on an opportunity basis should also look to scoop up Davis.
The blurbs are now ready through pick 98, well into the territory where the selections probably have negative roster value, but it’s not RotoViz policy to ignore players just because they probably won’t pan out. I’ll have those up soon. Until then, catch up on the surprisingly RB-heavy 1st Round and try the small receiver-laden Round 2.
RotoViz Dynasty Rookie Draft: Round 4
RotoViz Dynasty Rookie Draft: Round 5
Need to find a cheap player to add punch to the bottom of your dynasty roster? Try the Top 10 Sleepers for 2015.
- While Jones can’t jump at all, it’s probably more relevant that he’s an Agility Score All-Star. (back)
- Of course, that may just be an excuse for not wanting to be on the other side of a situation where it already looks like Washington is going to force him touches. You can make a strong argument that Jones shouldn’t have been drafted at all, much less at No. 95. (back)