We can “ooo & ahh” over our 1st and 2nd round picks all we want… but those are the easy selections to make. Most people will hit on the 1st rounders, and those 2nd rounders are usually nothing to sneeze at either, but what about the later picks?
If you’re someone like me, you don’t usually try to acquire too many late-round picks because the success rate is so low. However, there are always diamonds in the rough… you’ve just gotta find them. According to the ADP held by some of our friends over at FF Faceoff, here are a handful of players that I believe we should be targeting in the back-half of those rookie drafts next month.
Sam Howell (Quarterback, North Carolina)
Obviously this one only applies to 1QB, but Howell is definitely worth the shot in the dark. He’s arguably the most consistent passer of the 2022 class and does carry a fair amount of rushing upside. He’s far from the next Lamar Jackson but he’s a guy that could tack on around 300-400 rushing yards whenever he takes a starting job.
I would say that this depends on the landing spot, but then again, he’ll likely be selected early on day two and will have every opportunity to compete for the starting role for whichever team drafts him. There’s also the possibility of Howell going in round one (which would obviously be a help to his upside), but that may put him on more peoples’ radars and take him off of the “sleeper” list.
Howell had managed three straight seasons of 3,000+ passing yards (despite losing his entire offense in the 2021 NFL Draft), and sports a 4:1 touchdown to interception ratio through three seasons as well. The passing numbers are fine, but it’s his leadership and will to win that’ll get him opportunities in the NFL. As a freshman and sophomore, Howell was not known for running the ball all too well. Between those two years, he had 186 carries for a total of 181 yards and 6 touchdowns… not excellent. However, in his junior year, when he had to pick up a ton of slack for UNC, he carried the ball 183 times for 828 yards and 11 touchdowns. His ability to adapt to the situation around him was incredible and it speaks volumes to the type of player that he can be at the next level.
For most people, Howell is the QB4 of this class at best, but I think he deserves to be higher. For what it’s worth, he ranks higher than both Desmond Ridder and Kenny Pickett in our rookie predictive model. Don’t sleep on Howell… he could emerge as one of the more reliable fantasy players from this draft class.
Tyler Allgeier (Running Back, BYU)
Allgeier is a guy that has gone through ups and downs all off-season when it comes to his perceived value in dynasty leagues. Prior to the combine, I had seen Allgeier ranked as high as RB4 for some, but now I’m seeing him left out of the top-10 for many. His combine was less than impressive, but a dramatic drop in the rankings feels like an over correction to me.
Statistically speaking, Allgeier was awesome in college. He had 452 carries for 2,899 yards, 46 receptions for 437 yards and totaled 37 touchdowns over the span of 39 games. Granted he did not have the toughest competition of all of the running backs in this class, but his stat line is still impressive. At BYU, Allgeier was reliable and played the game very well. It’s tough to say if he’ll be a total “game changer” in the NFL, but it is within the realm of possibilities.
One of the biggest knocks on him was his testing at the combine. His numbers (which included a 4.60 40-time) were less than inspiring and it made people think twice about him. While he may not be the athlete we had hoped he would be, he still should be considered as one of the better running backs in this draft class. He’s got a good track record and does have the abilities to be a great “1B” as a pro.
There aren’t many scenarios where he becomes “the guy” for an NFL offense, but there are a ton of ways for him to land himself some solid opportunities. Allgeier comes in as the 5th ranked running back of the 2022 class in our predictive model and could move up even higher if he is selected in the 4th round (or better). Landing spot is obviously important for a running back’s opportunity, but wherever he lands, he’ll be worth that 3rd round pick.
Tyler Badie (Running Back, Missouri)
Badie is starting to get some hype as we get closer to the NFL Draft, and for good reason. He may not be the most impressive runner, but he is a hell of an asset as a receiver out of the backfield. Through 46 games, he posted 126 receptions for 1,149 yards and 11 touchdowns. Standing at 5’8” and sub-200 pounds, Badie has a 3rd-down role written all over him.
Sure, there’s not anything “sexy” about that, but that sort of role most definitely has its uses in fantasy football. A few seasons ago, Tarik Cohen was a top-15 running back in PPR leagues. Nyheim Hines was also in that boat, as was J.D. McKissic (just to name a few). These guys aren’t meant to be cornerstones of your squad, but they sure do have an impact.
A guy like Badie is not someone you will be drafting to fill your RB1 or RB2 role, but in time, he could make a very worthy flex option. Like I said, he’s starting to gain some hype and could potentially sneak into the 3rd round of the NFL Draft. There have been some rumors lately that Arizona is interested in a guy like Badie to take care of 3rd downs while James Conner takes a breather. Regardless, Badie’s landing spot is going to be one that we’ll want to monitor. There are a handful of teams that could deploy him as a receiving back next season, we’ve just gotta cross our fingers that he goes to one of them.
John Metchie III (Wide Receiver, Alabama)
Metchie may just be “another fast receiver” but he also may be a bit more than that. It’s tough to say exactly what his role could be in the NFL, but he could be a welcomed addition to a team that is in desperate need of a speedy receiver that can stretch the field.
As of now, Metchie is projected to be a 3rd round pick. If he is indeed a day two selection, he’ll be a guy I’m targeting in a lot of leagues in the 3rd round of my rookie draft. At the collegiate level, Metchie’s stats were respectable as he caught 155 balls for 2,081 yards and 14 touchdowns throughout 30 games. He’s not ever going to be much of a touchdown magnet but he can certainly stretch the field.
It’s tough to say whether or not he can be fantasy-relevant, as he could end up being one of those guys who is a better receiver in real life than in fantasy. Still, with how shallow this class is, he’ll be worth the dart throw in the 3rd round of your rookie draft. He comes in as the rookie WR9 in our predictive model and is labeled as a “likely bust”, though he is in the same company as guys like KJ Hamler, Dyami Brown and Parris Campbell based on the historical data. I know none of those names jump off of the page, but each of these three guys did (or currently) have a fanbase at some point. Metchie has a lot of things working against him but of the late-round WR dart throws you could be making, he could land on the most points for you.
Romeo Doubs (Wide Receiver, Nevada)
I won’t even lie to you, Doubs is a guy that I don’t have an insane amount of data to back up my claim with. He’s just a guy that “passed the eye test” for me. I enjoyed watching his tape, and while he’s far from perfect, he does do many things right on the football field.
His speed is average, his route-running is average, his size is average… he’s very average is what I’m getting at, but average isn’t necessarily a bad thing in the later parts of a rookie draft. Sure, you could swing for the fences with this pick (and if you are, it shouldn’t be Doubs), or you could play it safe. Playing it safe is far from fun, but there is a possibility that Doubs could find himself in the top-50 for dynasty receivers in the next few seasons.
He’ll need to land in a spot where he’ll have ample opportunity in the first couple of seasons if he wants to find any significant playing time in the NFL (so let’s monitor that landing spot), but there is a world where this can happen. Teams like Chicago, New England, and Atlanta are absolutely starved for young receiver production. If Doubs ends up in a spot that has a shallow depth chart, he may be able to play himself into a WR3 role. Again, there’s nothing sexy about it, but of all of the receivers that you can currently get in the 4th round of rookie drafts, Doubs is by far my favorite.
Isaiah Likely (Tight End, Coastal Carolina)
I feel like everytime I write about Likely, I use the word “likely” to make a pun. I’ll try not to do that here but I’ll likely fail… (sorry, I had to).
In all seriousness, Likely is the full package at the tight end position. He’s got reliable hands, can run the routes expected of tight ends, and is a pretty damn good blocker. There’s nothing exceptional about his abilities as a pass-catcher, but his combination of pass-catching and blocking is going to gain him a lot of opportunities as a pro.
Rookie tight ends typically don’t see the field too much, and while this could be landing spot dependent, I think Likely has as good of a chance as any to land a starting role at some point in the 2022 season. At this point, I’d imagine him to be one of the first three tight ends selected in the NFL Draft and he may even sneak into the 2nd round. If he does go that early, I’d expect him to be a bit tougher to get in rookie drafts, though I still couldn’t imagine many taking him in the 2nd round.
Trey McBride is going to be the rookie tight end that everyone wants, but Likely will be the best bang for your buck. Throughout all four seasons in college, Likely posted at least 5 touchdowns (including his freshman year when he only caught the ball 12 times) which is pretty impressive. Most impressive of all was his senior year. Over 13 games, he had 59 receptions, 912 yards and 12 touchdowns. Most schools don’t get production like that out of their tight ends because most tight ends are simply not good enough to command the ball over the receivers that they play with. Can Likely be the next “big thing” at tight end? It’s within the realm of possibility.
Deep Sleepers: Sincere McCormick (RB), Kennedy Brooks (RB), Calvin Austin III (WR), Jelani Woods (TE)
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