The 2017 NFL draft is three weeks away, which means fantasy football season is right around the corner. With that in mind, I will be looking at three different rookies you should consider staying away from in redraft leagues. I will be purely looking at the individual and not taking into account a possible landing spot.
Here is the most likely list of offensive skill positions in the first round:
- DeShaun Watson, QB, Clemson
- Deshone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
- Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
- Leonard Fournette, HB, Louisiana State
- Dalvin Cook, HB, Florida State.
- Christian McCaffrey, HB, Stanford.
- Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
- Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
- John Ross, WR, Washington
- OJ Howard, TE, Alabama
- David Njoku, TE, Miami
Looking at the quarterbacks, the one I am most concerned about is DeShaun Watson. I honestly just don’t believe he has the chops to be anything better than a marginal starting quarterback. Yes, I can hear the cascade of boos now.
Watson does have great tools, but his inaccuracy bothers me. He often underthrows receivers or sails the ball over their heads. Even though he is a dual-threat quarterback, his body frame isn’t up to NFL standards. He stands 6’2” and weighs 221 pounds. What is interesting about him is that he stands strong in the pocket to deliver his throw.
Clemson’s offense hampered his read progressions which is vital in the NFL. Watson isn’t accustomed to making full field reads and this will cause more confusion in the NFL as his primary read will not always be open. He will rush his throws at times or lead the route instead of the receiver. At Clemson, he was primarily a shotgun quarterback so it will take time for him to adjust to making the drop backs and learning the pace of play. The good news for PPR leagues is that he is an overall winner and can use his feet.
I might as well apologize to all Clemson fans now. You are not going to like who I select next as the biggest bust warning for the 2017 season. In my defense, I thought the Tigers had a great season and played terrific in the championship game. However…
Next up is Mike Williams (6’4” and 218 pounds) who finished the season with 98-1,361-11 stat line. He is one of the biggest receivers in this year’s class. Williams ran a 4.49 40-yard dash to go along with a 32.5-inch vert. His leaping ability and body control will help him be a big red zone threat.
All his metrics turn out great, but Williams’s top speed is troubling. He doesn’t have the extra gear to create spacing at the top of his routes and will struggle in selling his route tree. Too often, his head fakes look like he has a neck brace on and his lack of footwork in and out of breaks doesn’t mask his sell job. He can get away with it in the college ranks, but the tells will fail at the NFL level.
When it comes to contact, Williams is willing to go over the middle without hesitation but has shown a propensity to brace himself. Maybe he is a tad shy due to a horrible neck injury in 2015 when he collided with the goal post.
He has great ball tracking and will work all levels of the field. Once Williams gets loose, he becomes a very dangerous player if not brought down right away, but he will need to focus better as he has been known to drop the easy passes.
Next, we have Dalvin Cook out of Florida State. Cook has a nice stature at 5’10” and 210 pounds. The star running back has the skills to be a full-time back and the size to stay healthy. At Florida State, he was a big part of the offense and he excelled at several offensive schemes including, zone, gap, and power.
Even though he was a tough runner, he struggles to go into and through the A-B gaps. I don’t want to say he is timid, he just plays that way. He will bury his head and finish the run prematurely. Cook will even bounce it outside to try to take the corner, a technique he will have to change to be successful in the NFL.
The one aspect of his game that is of greatest concern is his fumbling issues. He had 13 career fumbles at Florida State. If he does it in the NFL, there won’t be extra chances. He is a dangerous player out of the backfield as he has good hands and doesn’t waste energy taking it up field. Unfortunately, he drops the ball too easily. His blocking needs a lot of work. He won’t square up on blitzers and isn’t good enough to be trusted on third downs at this point of his game. Scouts and coaches are catching on and he is sliding in the draft.