5 Veterans Who Could Lose Value In The Draft
The NFL Draft is a time of rebirth for the league. Open holes left by past-their-prime veterans and stars of yesteryear are replaced by the upcomers from the college ranks. Much of the draft simply excitement on finding out where are favorite rookies land. However, there will be some veterans and young players who have their dynasty and redraft value dashed by an incoming rookie. Here are five players to trade from your dynasty teams and avoid in best ball drafts until we know how the draft shakes out.
Hardman is the only player on this list who simply hasn't done enough to hold onto his job...or at least the one he is projected to have if nothing changes. After two seasons with the Chiefs, Hardman has yet to top a 45% snap share on offense. The speedster from Georgia has played on more than 70% of his unit's snaps in just three of 32 games. Hardman was drafted at a time when the Chiefs were facing a very real possibility of losing Tyreek Hill to legal troubles. His skills line up well with Hill's but no one expects him to unseat Hill and that certainly won't be happening anytime soon. For that reason, he has been used primarily as a backup to Hill, special teamer, and infrequent third or fourth wideout. Hardman is an invaluable backup but an entirely dispensable starter. The Chiefs haven't been able to find a consistent second receiver in the Patrick Mahomes era and are drafting at the end of a Round 1 filled with highly-touted prospects.
Robinson was outstanding as a rookie and it brings me no pleasure to bring his name to this list. He simply played more snaps and earned more of his team's running back volume than any other player last year. That is wholly unsustainable and the only question is how hard does he come back to Earth. Robinson saw 85% of the running back carries in Jacksonville last year while also earning a respectable 52% of the running back targets. For reference, Dalvin Cook saw 58% of his team's running targets but only earned a measly 72% of RB carries in one fewer game than Robinson. Cook serves as a great example for another reason: his team recognized the problem with overloading him and selected Alexander Mattison in the third round two years ago. The track record for UDFA backs, even those who find success early in their careers, is fleeting. Phillip Lindsay has been wildly impressive but cannot earn more than a committee-level role in the NFL. Unless a team spends a Day 2 pick on a player, it's hard to trust that they'll give them a massive workload when presented with the option of a shiny new running back in an upcoming draft.
The Dolphins made a quiel but impactful signing this offseason in bringing in Will Fuller to add weaponry for second-year passer Tua Tagovailoa. Their actions suggest that the spending spree isn't over if you include their draft capital. Miami traded back from the third overall pick but immediately flipped that into the sixth pick. The first four picks are expected to be four quarterbacks but then a wave of pass-catchers is seemingly inbound. A mock draft without a receiver and tight end in the top-seven becoming an extinct species. Knowing how commonplace that view of the draft is, it's difficult to see Miami trading back up to not take one of those two positions. If it's Kyle Pitts, Gesicki is simply a backup and an exciting prospect of a tight end. His value hits the basement. If the pick is Jamar Chase, Gesicki will survive the draft but allocating targets to him will soon become a series of mental gymnastics. DeVante Parker has finally broken out and looks the part of a modest No. 1 receiver or a highly capable second choice. Fuller and another rookie will have ceilings that demand they see targets leaving little action for a solid but not elite tight end.
The Seahawks only hold picks in the second, fourth, and seventh rounds. In fact, they only have one pick in each of those rounds and they're all late within the round. That doesn't put Tyler Lockett directly in the pathway of an incoming rookie but it does leave him in the danger zone. Seattle lost their No. 3 receiver, David Moore, in free agency and has gotten little production from the handful of Day 2 and Day 3 picks they've made to fill that role in recent seasons. The next man up is second-year wideout Freddie Swain. Swain caught 13 balls as a rookie. On top of needing depth, Lockett has had a tendency to disappear for stretches of games including whole months that he plays through injuries but makes little impact on the field. He ended the 2020 regular season with a 90 receiving yard game but had failed to top 66 yards in his previous nine outings. Before that stretch, he hit 200 yards in a single game. Lockett turns 29 this year and the Seahawks recently faced the prospect of moving forward without their star quarterback after Russell Wilson reportedly gathered a list of teams he would accept a trade to. Taking a receiver to appease Wilson on top of the team's obvious need at the position would put Lockett's odds of repeating his previous two 1,000-yard seasons will look slim.
Hurts won't be buried by a rookie passer stealing his job as the Eagles traded back in the draft to the 12th pick. Barring some insane fall from a quarterback, they moved out of the QB zone into a spot where they can better fill the many needs on their roster elsewhere. It's those needs that are going to be the downfall of Hurts. The Eagles secondary fell apart with Darius Slay looking far past his prime. Their linebackers brought little to the table. Philly's offensive line was good when healthy but that is far from a given in future years as three of the five projected starters are over 31 years old. No team has gotten less out of their wideouts than the Eagles over the past five seasons. This team is bereft of talent in at least three positions groups. If they choose defense in the first round, we'll be looking at Hurts starting behind an aging offensive line with Jalen Reagor and a second-round rookie as his top wideouts. Hurts' rushing ability nearly locks him into a QB1 season if he stays healthy but a mile-high view of the talent surrounding him could quickly become cause for concern.