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Top 5 Fantasy Football Losers of the NFL Draft
5. So Many Running Backs
Mark Ingram - Ravens Draft J.K. Dobbins 55th Overall
Ingram may be able to survive an impending rookie better than most veterans as he rushed for over 1,000 yards at 5.0 yards per carry. He was also a catalyst in the locker room and plays on a team that is dedicated to running the football. Dobbins will take over soon but that could be Week 1 or sometime in 2021. Other backs had their value crushed even more. Justice Hill and Gus Edwards are done for.
Kerryon Johnson - Lions Draft DeAndre Swift 35th Overall
The Lions were dead set on giving anyone other than Johnson touches in the past two seasons. C.J. Anderson, Legarrette Blount, and Bo Scarbrough all had roles while Johnson was active. The Swift selection solidifies their viewpoint that Johnson is no more than a committee back. Swift caught 73 passes for 666 yards during his three seasons at Georgia and projects to have a significant role in the passing game with the Lions. That relegates Johnson to a between-the-tackles grinder role at best.
Damien Williams - Chiefs Draft Clyde Edwards-Helaire 32nd Overall
Williams' days were numbered before the Chiefs drafted CEH but this will greatly expedite that process. He reached a career-high 141 touches last season and is only under contract through the 2020 season. Williams was also an obvious beneficiary of the Chiefs offense and system as he was unable to earn even a menial role in Miami before landing in Kansas City. Then, he scored 13 times in two truncated seasons with the Chiefs. If Williams can retain a modest role while CEH acclimates to the NFL he'll still be a productive fantasy player but that's his upside: an efficient role player.
Darrell Henderson - Rams Draft Cam Akers 52nd Overall
Henderson was kept on the bench in favor of Malcolm Brown, who himself had been a bench player for all five of his NFL seasons. Henderson was the backup to a backup in his rookie season and saw just 43 touches. The Akers pick simply affirms Henderson's status as a bust.
Marlon Mack - Colts Draft Jonathan Taylor 41st Overall
Taylor carried the ball 926 times in three seasons at Wisconsin and is the only FBS back to post 2,000 yards from scrimmage in their first three collegiate seasons. He has the profile of a 300-touch back and that doesn't leave room for Mack to have much-if any-fantasy relevancy. Mack was hurt most by the draft.
4. Jared Goff and the Rams Offense
The Rams shot themselves in the foot by overpaying Todd Gurley and ignoring their offensive line heading into the 2019 season. This being very clear based on Jared Goff's regression and Gurley's inefficiency, they started the offseason right by cutting Gurley. The assumption was that the line was next on their list but that was completely wrong. They added a single, seventh-round back between free agency and the draft. They did, however, select a running back with their first pick, a second-round selection.The Rams are a bumbling franchise who lucked into a smart hire in Sean McVay and are going to be exposed as coasting on that one decision in 2020. Their offense will be volatile at best, with weekly shootout or blowout potential, but could collapse in on itself.
3. Denzel Mims, WR, NY Jets
Other receivers lost more value than Mims on draft day including sleepers like Antonio Gandy-Golden and Gabriel Davis, who both slipped to Day 3, or veteran who may have lost their starting gigs like John Ross and James Washington. However, Mims suffered a loss of value that is being masked by second-round capital and a thin depth chart around him.
His depth chart might be weak but so is his quarterback play. Sam Darnold has started 26 games and attempted 855 passes in his two seasons as a Jet. His 59.9% completion rate, 3.3% interception rate, and 6.3 adjusted yards per attempt would all have been outside the top-25 quarterbacks in 2019. Darnold has been a downright terrible quarterback through two years and now the Jets are replacing Robby Anderson with a rookie receiver in Mims. Even if Mims, who was a late-declare prospect who peaked in 2017, is better than Anderson, that is unlikely to surface this season. Mims joins an awful offense as the 13th highest-drafted receiver. His role on that bad offense isn't even guaranteed based on how the league valued him among his peers.
2. Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Denver Broncos
Okwuegbunam owned a dominant profile leaving Missouri. He broke out as a freshman 415 receiving yards and 11 scores. His third and final season at school was less inspiring but the combine backed up our initial picture of Okwuegbunam as he ran a 4.49 Forty-Yard Dash. He is 6'6" and weighs 258 pounds. He compared favorably to former first-rounders like David Njoku and Noah Fant. Unfortunately for Okwuegbunam, he compared too well to Fant and the Broncos selected him in the fourth round. That means every team had three chances (on average) to draft him and passed. Then he goes to a team with an established tight end and three young, talented receivers-Courtland Sutton and a pair of top-two round receivers in Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler. We are years away from Okwuegbunam getting the chance he deserves.
Aaron Rodgers was not a loser of the draft. He was a victim of workplace harassment and malpractice. Rodgers noted that the Packers hadn't taken a first-round skill-position player in 15 years before the draft and technically that changed with the 26th overall pick. They drafted Utah State quarterback Jordan Love.
Rodgers isn't the same quarterback as he was in 2014 but he is still a special passer capable of leading his team to a final Super Bowl. Instead of adding a receiver who could help him return to the Rodgers form of old, all they did was choose his successor, A.J. Dillon (a running back), and Josiah Deguara (a tight end). Dillon caught 21 passes in three seasons as a starter at Boston College and Deguara profiles as an H-back at the next level. Rodgers was robbed of his final seasons in the NFL by a team unwilling to support him and eager to move on from him.