After a wild First Round, Day 2 of the NFL Draft did not disappoint. We got our first running backs and tight ends selected, while quarterbacks continued a freefall right into the Third Round. Below is a look at all the fantasy relevant prospects selected as we all work to refine our rookie rankings ahead of drafts.
Desmond Ridder, selected 3.10 by the Atlanta Falcons
About: Ridder was the second quarterback selected, all the way into the Third Round. The former Cincinnati slinger landed with the Falcons, where he’ll sit behind or compete with veteran Marcus Mariota. Ridder was a four-year starter for Cincinnati, throwing for 10,239 yards and 87 touchdowns against 28 interceptions. Some thought he was one of the most pro-ready of the 2022 quarterback prospects, giving him a shot at competing for the starting slot in Atlanta.
Malik Willis, selected 3.22 by the Tennessee Titans
About: All day we waited to see if Willis would go, frequently when the Titans were on the clock. They finally pulled the trigger at the end of the Third Round, giving the prospect viewed as having the highest ceiling a chance to sit and mature behind veteran Ryan Tannehill, who led the Titans to the No. 1 seed in the AFC in 2021. Tannehill is still under contract through 2023, so Willis figures to sit at least one season. That should well push him down Superflex draft boards as well.
Matt Corral, selected 3.30 by the Carolina Panthers
About: Corral was the last quarterback selected on Day Two, but he may well have been the best of the selections. Corral was my QB1 heading into the draft and landing in Carolina where he has an easier shot at playing in 2022 feels encouraging. The Panthers have made it clear they aren’t wedded to Sam Darnold and selecting Corral—a player they had to trade back into the draft to snag—leans toward the Panthers moving off a trade for Baker Mayfield. I like Corral’s potential based on his landing spot.
Breece Hall, selected 2.04 by the New York Jets
About: Hall, the consensus top running back in the draft, was the first back selected. He lands with the New York Jets, a team having a fantastic 2022 Draft. Hall rushed for more than 3,000 yards and 40 touchdowns the past two seasons and is a strong pass-catcher as well. He figures to be the RB1 for the Jets, which is a blow to the fantasy fortunes of Michael Carter. It’s not a bad landing spot, meaning Hall should still be in contention for the 1.01 in rookie drafts.
Kenneth Walker III, selected 2.09 by the Seattle Seahawks
About: The other big name in the running back group didn’t have to wait long after Hall was selected, going to the Seahawks five picks later. The Seahawks still have Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny on the roster but Walker figures to be a major factor in the Seattle backfield. His selection early in the draft could also be an indication Carson, who missed a bulk of the season with a neck injury, isn’t tracking to return. Walker rushed for 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2021. He figures to be more of the runner, while Penny will likely be more of the passing down back.
James Cook, selected 2.31 by the Buffalo Bills
About: Cook’s selection was a mild surprise but also one of the most interesting selections of Day 2. He came at the third running back off the board and joins a messy crowd in the Buffalo backfield that includes Third Round selections Devin Singletary and Zack Moss in addition to veteran Duke Johnson, who signed this off-season. Cook was never THE running back for Georgia in his four years. His final year saw the most production, turning 113 carries into 728 yards and seven touchdowns along with 27 receptions. He figures to be part of what’s likely a committee approach still in Buffalo.
Rachaad White, selected 3.27 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
About: It took until the end of the Third Round to snag another running back, with the Buccaneers grabbing White out of Arizona State. The Buccaneers brought back starter Leonard Fournette, but White figures to provide backfield depth alongside veteran Giovanni Bernard and former Third Round pick Ke’Shawn Vaughn. White had a massive 2021 at Arizona State, rushing for 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns while catching 43 passes. He’s an interesting middle round selection in rookie drafts who could contribute in year one, but I’m not counting on it. The biggest impact may be putting the final nail in the fantasy value of Vaughn.
Tyrion Davis-Price, selected 3.29 by the San Francisco 49ers
About: The 49ers went back to the running back well again, this time spending a Third Round pick on Davis-Price out of LSU. The 49ers spent a Third-Round pick on Trey Sermon last draft and got a gem in Sixth Round pick Elijah Mitchell. The team also still has Jeff Wilson on the roster. Davis-Price rushed for 1,003 yards and six touchdowns in 2021. Any 49er back has some value, but it’s hard to say this moves the needle as of now.
Brian Robinson, Jr., selected 3.34 by the Washington Commanders
About: Robinson had to patiently wait his turn at Alabama, but when it came he was ready. In 2021, as the Crimson Tide’s feature back, he rushed for 1,343 yards and 14 touchdowns. Now, he’s a Third-Round selection by the Commanders. I liked Robinson heading into the draft but this isn’t an ideal landing spot, as the Commanders still have Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic on the roster. Sadly, the selection probably hurts all their values for fantasy. Robinson is a Second-Round rookie pick for me.
Christian Watson, selected 2.02 by the Green Bay Packers
About: The Packers came into the draft with a glaring need at receiver, which they addressed by moving up in the Second Round. Watson had a strong Combine but was a prospect that left analysts mixed. There is opportunity for Watson with a Packers’ receiver group led by Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Sammy Watkins and second-year man Amari Rodgers. The landing spot may vault Watson up for many but I’m still maintaining him in the nine to 12 range of rookie receivers for now.
Wan’Dale Robinson, selected 2.11 by the New York Giants
About: In the first of the Day Two surprises, the Giants snagged Robinson. The team is rumored to be shopping Kadarius Toney, so perhaps this is a forward thinking move. Robinson caught 104 passes for 1,334 yards and seven touchdowns in 2021 for Kentucky. He’s a smaller receiver that would need to be used well to maximize fantasy value. Robinson wasn’t in my Top 12 at receiver pre-draft and he won’t move there now.
John Metchie, selected 2.12 by the Houston Texans
About: Metchie had a strong 2021 for Alabama, catching 96 passes for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns before tearing his ACL. He slides to the Second Round but lands in a decent spot with the Texans. Behind Brandin Cooks there’s opportunity among a group of receivers that includes Chris Conley, Nico Collins, Phillip Dorsett and DaeSean Hamilton. Metchie remains in the Top 10 for me.
Tyquan Thornton, selected 2.18 by the New England Patriots
About: This was perhaps the most surprising selection of the night as the Patriots moved up to the slot and snagged Baylor speedster Thornton. He ran a 4.28 40-yard dash, which shows his speed, and receiver is a need for the Patriots but this was a curious selection. The Patriots have struggled to cultivate receivers out of the draft and I’m not sold this moves the needle. Thornton wasn’t a Top 12 option pre-draft for me and won’t be now. He’s still a late Third or more likely Fourth Round rookie pick.
George Pickens, selected 2.20 by the Pittsburgh Steelers
About: Pickens was viewed as a top tier talent heading into 2021 but he tore his ACL, missing nearly all the season. As a result, he caught only five passes for 107 yards in 2021. Still, he’s got upside and this selection is promising. The Steelers saw Juju Smith-Schuster and James Washington depart in free agency. The Steelers still have Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool at receiver, as well as solid second-year tight end Pat Freiermuth, but Pickens should have a great shot to land as WR3 for the Steelers. He remains a Top 10 option at WR for me in rookie drafts.
Alec Pierce, selected 2.21 by the Indianapolis Colts
About: The Colts are a team that needed to secure additional playmakers in the draft to make a run with Matt Ryan at quarterback. The receiver group is led by Michael Pittman, but beyond him is some questions. Parris Campbell is still there, as is former Texan Keke Coutee. Pierce had a strong 2021 with Ridder in Cincinnati, catching 52 passes for 884 yards and eight touchdowns. Ryan has supported multiple receivers in the past, giving Pierce a potential path to meaningful targets. He remains a Top 10 WR option in rookie drafts.
Skyy Moore, selected 2.22 by the Kansas City Chiefs
About: The Chiefs are another team that figured to add to the receiver group in the draft and got a steal with Moore out of Western Kentucky. Moore exploded in 2021 with 95 receptions for 1,292 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Chiefs are a high-volume passing offense that saw No. 1 receiver Tyreek Hill head to Miami this off-season. The team added veterans Juju Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, but Moore has a chance to have a meaningful role. Some will vault him way based on the landing spot but we’ve seen that trap with Chiefs’ picks in the past. I loved him coming into the draft and he remains a Top 10 WR option in rookie drafts, but this landing spot doesn’t automatically vault him into my Top 5. He should be a back-end selection in the First Round.
Velus Jones, Jr., selected 3.07 by the Chicago Bears
About: The Bears are a team in need of more receiving options for Justin Fields. Outside of Darnell Mooney and tight end Cole Kmet, there are more questions than answers. The team added free agents Byron Pringle and Equanimeous St. Brown but it’s unclear who’ll step up. Given the context, there’s opportunity for Jones, who played for Tennessee for two seasons after being at USC for four years. That’s a long college career, one without any elite production. Jones was another Day Two pick that felt like a reach. He still isn’t a Top 12 option for me at WR heading into rookie drafts.
Jalen Tolbert, selected 3.24 by the Dallas Cowboys
About: The Cowboys have developed a great pass offense with Dak Prescott. Former First Round pick CeeDee Lamb leads the receiver group, with Michael Gallup and former Steeler James Washington. The team also has a top-flight receiving tight end in Dalton Schultz. But there’s plenty of opportunity in Dallas, and Tolbert is an interesting prospect that gets a shot with Dallas. Don’t expect a ton of early production but he makes for a decent late round rookie selection because of his offense and situation. He’s a fringe Top 12 option at WR for me.
David Bell, selected 3.35 by the Cleveland Browns
About: The Browns got a steal late in the third round with Bell. He had great production at Purdue, catching 232 passes for 2,946 yards and 21 touchdowns in just 29 games. He slid a bit in rankings after a middling Combine performance. At the end of the Third Round, he got snagged by Cleveland, matching an under-rated talent with a great opportunity. The Browns have Deshaun Watson at quarterback and traded for Amari Cooper, but beyond him the receiving corps is thin. The Browns have Donovan Peoples-Jones and Anthony Schwartz heading the rest of the receivers. Bell has a chance to have an impact in year one, remaining a Top 10 option for me at WR.
Danny Gray, selected 3.41 by the San Francisco 49ers
About: Gray was the final receiver snagged in the Third Round and the final Third Round pick in general. The SMU product caught 49 passes for 803 yards and nine touchdowns in 2021. It was an interesting pick and it’s unclear what his role will be in San Francisco, a run-first team that still has Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk at receiver and George Kittle at tight end. He won’t be Top 12 for me at WR.
Trey McBride, selected 2.23 by the Arizona Cardinals
About: As expected, McBride was the top Tight End taken in the draft. But his landing spot is curious. With McBride, the Cardinals have eight tight ends on the roster, including Maxx Williams and veteran Zach Ertz, who just signed a three-year deal. McBride was viewed as the top tight end but there isn’t a clear path for touches. He will drop a bit for me, making him more of a Third-Round rookie pick.
Jelani Woods, selected 3.09 by the Indianapolis Colts
About: Beyond McBride, tight end rankings for me were going to vary by landing spot. Woods lands in a decent position in Indianapolis. Ryan has used tight ends well in the past, and with Jack Doyle retired Woods will have a chance to compete for targets with Mo Allie-Cox and last year’s Fourth Round pick Kylen Granson. He’s still a Third-Round rookie pick, but I like the landing spot.
Greg Dulcich, selected 3.16 by the Denver Broncos
About: This was a big selection, matching a tight end with pass-catching ability to a team with potential opportunity. The Broncos included starting tight end Noah Fant in the deal to acquire Russell Wilson, a quarterback who has used tight ends well in the past. The Broncos have former Fourth Round pick Albert Okwuegbunam, who showed flashes in 2021, and signed blocker Eric Tomlinson, but tight end figured to be an area of need. Dulcich caught 42 passes for 725 yards and five touchdowns in 2021. I like the pick and potential. Given a clearer path to targets, I am moving Dulcich up to me TE1 for the 2022 rookie class.
Jeremy Ruckert, selected 3.37 by the New York Jets
About: Ruckert, out of Ohio State, is another decent talent that was selected into a crowd. The Jets signed free agents C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin earlier this off-season and also have last year’s tight end pick of Kenny Yeboah. Ruckert joins that group in a young Jets offense that is still growing and has plenty of mouths to feed at receiver and running back as well. He’s little more than a late round rookie pick stash.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.