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This article is about a 6-minute read.
We got together with the Footballguys staff members and asked a simple question: Which player -- generally taken in the third round -- do you least-like having on your team?
Here are their answers.
I don't advocate targeting Evan Engram, Stefon Diggs, T.Y. Hilton, or Kareem Hunt this early, but my least favorite of this bunch is easily Ronald Jones II. While Jones did better than most expected last year, he's still a committee back without any particularly differentiated skills. If Bruce Arians thought Jones was the centerpiece of the running game, he wouldn't have used an early draft pick on Keshawn Vaughn and signed long-time veteran LeSean McCoy.
For the player I'm avoiding, there are several that do not excite me. Marquise Brown is too boom/bust for me to take as a weekly starter, while I don't trust the run game situations in Detroit or Tampa Bay, so both D'Andre Swift and Ronald Jones II are out - unless I am playing a best ball/committee, RB2/flex strategy. I also don't trust Cleveland, so while Jarvis Landry is the cheapest of all, my pick for the top player to skip is Kareem Hunt. The Browns are going to go as far as Nick Chubb carries them, and Hunt's value is going to plummet if former Falcon TE Austin Hooper provides more passing value this season. Over half of Hunt's production last year came as a receiver, and that could easily drop with more action going towards Hooper. I am taking a hard pass on the backup/third-down back for Cleveland.
Swift is the player I'm avoiding here. Kerryon Johnson is still in Detroit, and the typical learning curve rookies face will be steeper in a COVID-19-altered offseason.
I do not have any major avoid players in this round, but am more tepid than most on Marquise Brown. Lamar Jackson is a major regression candidate as a passer as is Marquise Brown with his touchdown rate as a rookie on low volume. Mark Andrews is the de facto WR1 in the offense and I am higher than most on Devin Duvernay to carve a Year 1 role.
I'm avoiding Marquise Brown at this cost. There are too many players in this range who have WR15 upside in their range of outcomes. I do not think Brown as an undersized option, on a run-first team, with a dominant tight end has that type of upside.
It's definitely Ronald Jones II that I'd be most avoiding in this round. I would suspect also that his ADP is going to be dipping as the month of August goes on if LeSean McCoy is getting any run at all in camp. But even before the Buccaneers signed McCoy I wasn't a fan of Ronald Jones II. I agree with Jason that if Arians really had faith in Jones he wouldn't have benched him during the year for poor pass protection and then gone out and drafted a running back who excelled in college in protection. Jones might play plenty, but using this high of a pick on him seems like a massive gamble in a messy backfield.
There is no doubt Terry McLaurin started the 2019 season with a bang, but then what? In his advantage is a very poor receiving group at Washington, but the whole offense doesn’t fill me with much confidence at all. Ron Rivera has a significant rebuild on his hands if he can be given time. Maybe Dwayne Hoskins will look better than he did in 2019 and he needs to if this team is to have any chance in 2020. Back to McLaurin. He averaged less than four receptions and 56 yards a game after his early-season peak and only had two touchdowns in that time. If we play the fun game of pro-rata on his last nine appearances he barely finishes as a borderline WR3. He may have upside but there is some shocking downside that others in this round don’t have.
As I've said several times already, wake me up with Evan Engram proves that he can stay healthy. His games played per season has been on a three-year downward trend. I am not drafting a tight end version of Alshon Jeffery (26 percent of his games missed in 5 seasons and 32 percent if you don't count what appears to be a fluke 16 games played in 2017) this early in a Daniel Jones-led offense who hasn't proven he can stay healthy.
First off, Detroit is not a hotbed for fantasy running backs and they have not had a 1,000-yard rusher since Reggie Bush in 2013.
Detroit's leading rusher's since 2013 include
- 2013: Reggie Bush, 1006 yards
- 2014: Joique Bell, 860
- 2015: Ameer Abdullah, 597
- 2016: Theo Riddick, 357
- 2017: Ameer Abdullah, 552
- 2018: Kerryon Johnson, 641
- 2019: Kerryon Johnson, 403
Is it possible the Swift comes in as a rookie, in a season where COVID is limiting practice time and valuable experience? Yes, but not likely, especially not with Kerryon Johnson still healthy and more familiar with the offense. Swift isn't worth the risk that he might be able to lead the offense. There are way too many factors that point to his inability to make a difference this year.
Historically, taking a tight end at this point in drafts works out poorly. Evan Engram is a skilled pass-catching tight end, but he's missed 13 games in the past two seasons. I'm usually injury-agnostic in drafts, but not when I have to pass on receivers like T.Y. Hilton, A.J. Green, and Terry McLaurin to fill my tight end position.
The risk versus reward proposition for Ronald Jones II is scary this early. It seems like the lead role for the Buccaneers is very up in the air. While Jones is the early favorite, Tampa Bay invested a relatively high pick on the well-rounded KeShawn Vaughn. There is a very real risk that Jones is not even the starter come midseason. Plus, even if he does lock down the starting role, it still seems likely that the Buccaneers will use a committee approach. It is hard to see Jones greatly outperforming this ADP and easy to see him underperforming it.
Anyone tracking Ronald Jones II here - or anywhere in the first 8-9 rounds - needs to stop and breathe. We've yet to see much at all from Jones, who was already overrated as a prospect after a painfully average college career and combine. Bruce Arians has never been a run-game devotee, so if a Tampa Bay back is going to pop, he'll almost certainly have to do it like James White did - by catching 70+ balls out of the backfield. There's no reason to expect Jones to even be on the field enough to do that - nor to expect maximum efficiency anywhere else.
Like others ahead of me here, I am just not drafting Evan Engram this year, much less at or near his ADP. I've been motivated to pull the trigger when I see him fall 20+ spots past his ADP, but I'm still going elsewhere. I love the talent and the opportunity is fine, too. Engram has been a steady target machine when healthy and he's among the most capable playmakers at his position, but the foot injury worries me and there is at least some concern of the peanut butter principle limiting his target upside making his ADP cost much closer to his upside and I prefer to wait a round or two to target T.J. Hockenson, Hayden Hurst or Dallas Goedert. I have a similar sentiment regarding Jarvis Landry, who I have zero shares of this year. I agree he's available at a wholesale discount ADP and he has consistently played above his ADP throughout his career. If he's able to go full speed on Week 1, he's a bargain, but unlike Engram, he doesn't usually slide beyond his ADP.