FF Tips

More NFL Draft Prospects You Need to Know

By Matt Schauf 3:04pm EDT 4/26/17

Are you as pumped for the NFL Draft as we are? If so, then you might have already dug into our trove of 46 Dynasty Prospect Profiles.

That’s nearly 4 full rounds’ worth of players in a 12-team league. But it obviously doesn’t cover all the offensive guys who will get drafted this weekend.

Since we’re running short on time, I figured I’d round up some other key skill-position players you’ll want to track this weekend for potential fantasy football value—whether you’re a dynasty or redraft player.

Let’s get to it.

Joe Williams, RB, Utah

(percentile ranks among all Combine players at position since 1999, courtesy of mockdraftable.com):
Height: 5’11
Weight: 210
Age: 23.6
40-yard dash: 4.41 seconds (88th)
Vertical: 35 inches (57th)
Broad: 125 inches (89th)
3-cone: 7.19 seconds (22nd)
20-yard shuttle: 4.19 seconds (64th)

I wish we had a clean off-field slate and more than 1 starting year to go on. Cuz this guy looks like a lot of fun. Rather than pick out a clip or 2, I’ll just recommend that you check out the UCLA tape from last year for Williams’ upside. He finished that contest with 29 carries for 332 yards and 4 TDs. That was Game 2 in a 5-week span of 149+ yard outings, and Williams added a 222-yard day in the bowl win over Indiana. That’s the upside. The downside: Williams spent 2013 suspended from UConn for credit card theft and fraud. After a JUCO season, he spent 2015 backing up Devontae Booker at Utah. Then Williams “retired,” before returning after a couple of Utes backs got hurt. In addition to the big rushing numbers, Williams also committed 6 fumbles among his 289 carries. The obvious questions: How dedicated is he? Do we have to worry about him off the field? Can/will he be involved in the passing game? And will he fumble his way off the field? At least our questions are about to start getting answered by the NFL Draft itself.

Tarik Cohen, RB, North Carolina A&T

Height: 5’6
Weight: 179 pounds
Age: 21.7
40-yard dash: 4.42 seconds (90th)
Vertical: 31.5 inches (18th)
Broad: 118 inches (58th)
3-cone: 7.22 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.27 seconds

The only way Cohen would look more like Darren Sproles would be if he stole the NFL vet’s nameplate. Cohen’s not as fast as Sproles, but you can tell by the numbers above that he’s plenty fast. You can also tell that he didn’t blow anyone away in the agility drills. It’s easy to let that slip from memory when you watch him, though. You shouldn’t forget about the lower level of competition, but feel free to get lost in the striking jump cuts, the spin moves and even the power after the screen catch in the clip below. Cohen tallied 4 TD runs of 83+ yards last season while becoming the MEAC’s 1st-ever 3-time offensive player of the year. His size figures to limit his touch ceiling in the pros. PlayerProfiler points to LaRod Stephens-Howling as his top comparable. And in case you’re wondering why his carry total dipped last season, A&T ran the ball 83 fewer times in total.

Matthew Dayes, RB, N.C. State

Height: 5’9
Weight: 205 pounds
Age: 22.6
40-yard dash: 4.66 seconds
Vertical: 28 inches (1st)
Broad: 109 inches (6th)
3-cone: 7.26 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.51 seconds

Dayes gets my nod for Player I’ll Get Way Too Excited About. I watched the tape before reading the measurables, and I considered proposing. Just turn on the Wake Forest game from 2015. The 1st 3 plays include a pair of long TD runs complete with juke moves, running through tackle attempts and running away from defenders. In between, you’ll see a deep (incomplete) target from a split-wide position. And from the sample I watched, Dayes didn’t look like he dances too much, always trying to break a big play. He’ll plow forward and to take what’s there at times. So the tape’s there and the production’s good. That’s what makes the measurables so disappointing—1st percentile SPARQ. Interestingly, though, he’s a near-exact match for Raiders RB Jalen Richard, on both size and dispiriting athleticism scores. Richard, of course, looked like a constant big-play threat as an Oakland rookie last year. So I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a good NFL landing spot and Dayes staying on the rookie draft board into late Round 4 or Round 5. And whenever I’m troubled by the 3-cone time, I’ll look back on this real-life 3-cone drill to convert a 1st down against Florida State last year.

Brian Hill, RB, Wyoming

Height: 6’1
Weight: 219 pounds
Age: 21.4
40-yard dash: 4.54 seconds (54th)
Vertical: 34 inches (43rd)
Broad: 125 inches (89th)
3-cone: 7.03 seconds (56th)
20-yard shuttle: 4.32 seconds (34th)

Hill’s basically the opposite of Dayes. The measurements are solid-to-good. The size works. The production’s there. I just didn’t see anything exciting when I watched his tape. He looks like a decent RB who can play all 3 downs—albeit in a league that has been trending shorter at RB. (That's a 3-year-old link, but I've seen no evidence that the trend is reversing.) As a freshman, Hill became just the 5th FBS player to rack up 200 yards rushing and 100 receiving in the same game. That marked 1 of 7 times Hill cracked 200 yards on the ground over his 3 seasons.

De’Angelo Henderson, RB, Coastal Carolina

Height: 5’7
Weight: 208 pounds
Age: 24.4
40-yard dash: 4.48 seconds (77th)
Vertical: 34 inches (43rd)
Broad: 120 inches (65th)
3-cone: 7.26 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.57 seconds

Henderson looks similar to Cohen, though he has 1 inch and 29 pounds on the A&T product. That gives him the better SPARQ score as well—though we’re talkin’ 26th percentile vs. 11th. Neither guy truly wins on that front. I didn’t get as excited while watching Henderson’s lone DB video as I did with Cohen. But that’s not nearly enough tape to make a final call on either player. Henderson shows quick feet, though not quite as much juice as Cohen. The most significant different, however, might be that Henderson’s 2.7 years older.

T.J. Logan, RB, UNC

Height: 5’9
Weight: 196 pounds
Age: 22.6
40-yard dash: 4.37 seconds (95th)
Vertical: 33.5 inches (36th)
Broad: 121 inches (73rd)
3-cone: 6.61 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.27 seconds

This dude’s really fast. (Aren’t you glad I’m here to interpret that for you?) That’s basically all we have to go on here, though. Logan failed to get big volume as a rusher or receiver across his 4 seasons with the Tar Heels, who sported a solid skill-position crop over the past couple of years. NFL landing spot and draft position will likely matter quite a bit in sorting out Logan and other speed backs from this class. Besides his jets, though, Logan touts agility with the group’s 3rd-best 3-cone time and beats Tarik Cohen on size.

Josh Malone, WR, Tennessee

Height: 6’3
Weight: 208 pounds
Age: 21.1
40-yard dash: 4.40 seconds (87th)
Vertical: 30.5 inches (5th)
Broad: 121 inches (57th)
3-cone: 7.05 seconds (30th)
20-yard shuttle: 4.19 seconds (56th)

As a top national recruit, Malone could have gone pretty much anywhere. He made home-state folks ecstatic by choosing the Vols. But it took until his junior season for Malone to really step forward in the pass offense. He began the season by scoring in 4 straight games and then finished by scoring in each of the final 5 games. Malone accounted for 21% of Tennessee’s receptions, as the team’s leading receiver, while claiming a 31.4% share of receiving yards and 39.3% chunk of the receiving scores. As you might guess by the 19.4 yards per catch, there was plenty of this from a guy PlayerProfiler matches up with Cowboys WR Terrance Williams

Shelton Gibson, WR, West Virginia

Height: 5’11
Weight: 191 pounds
Age: 23.1
40-yard dash: 4.50 seconds (55th)
Vertical: 32 inches (13th)
Broad: 118 inches (36th)
3-cone: 6.83 seconds (66th)
20-yard shuttle: 4.20 seconds (50th)

Gibson’s measureables make him look similar to the next 2 WRs on this list. But he gets touted more as a speedster than Ryan Switzer and Trent Taylor and did a lot more of his college work downfield. That’s obvious from the huge yards-per-catch rates the past 2 years. Over that span, 36% of Gibson’s receptions went for 25+ yards. An AFC South scout told NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: “He’s got ridiculous speed. He runs by people like they are standing still like DeSean Jackson used to do at Cal.” It’d be nice to see more receptions in Gibson’s stat box, as he collected 16.6% of West Virginia’s total over his 2 seasons as a starter. But he ate up 27.8% of the receiving yardage and 32.7% of the TD catches. Unfortunately, there’s just 1 Gibson game available on Draft Breakdown, and it came against FCS Youngstown State. If you care to watch it, you’ll see 3 completed deep balls—2 of them for TDs.

Ryan Switzer, WR, UNC

Height: 5’8
Weight: 181 pounds
Age: 22.5
40-yard dash: 4.51 seconds (53rd)
Vertical: 32 inches (13th)
Broad: 116 inches (23rd)
3-cone: 6.77 seconds (75th)
20-yard shuttle: 4.00 seconds (92nd)

Hey! A pair of short, white receivers! Are they Wes Welker, Julian Edelman—or both?!? First of all, let’s call for a moratorium on that lazy, useless comparison. Welker and Edelman are NFL outliers: the first an undrafted free agent who played for 2 other teams before arriving in New England; the other a 7th-round pick converted from college QB. Also, neither has delivered meaningful production away from Tom Brady. (OK, Welker lucked into 10 TDs in Peyton Manning’s record-setting 2013 in Denver.) Like Welker, Switzer is a tiny slot receiver who can return punts (7 TDs at Carolina). But he’s even a little tinier than Welker. But unless he lands in New England – or a similarly cushy spot – he doesn’t look likely to carve out a consistently valuable role for fantasy owners. I’d give him an Eddie Royal ceiling, though Switzer’s not as fast (4.51 vs. 4.39) or athletic (91st percentile SPARQ vs. 43rd) as Royal. And he’s even a couple of inches shorter. The PlayerProfiler comp is Ace Sanders. Switzer runs good routes at the short and mid levels, but don’t expect the punt-return success to translate into big plays elsewhere. He produced nary a long run among 25 career rushing attempts and averaged a mere 11.9 yards per reception across 4 years. His 96 receptions in 2016 did rank 10th in the nation. Switzer accounted for 30.7% of Tar Heels receptions in his senior year, 29.2% of the receiving yardage and 20% of the TD catches.

Trent Taylor, WR, Louisiana Tech

Height: 5’8
Weight: 181 pounds
Age: 23.0
40-yard dash: 4.63 seconds (14th)
Vertical: 33 inches (21st)
Broad: 117 inches (29th)
3-cone: 6.74 seconds (80th)
20-yard shuttle: 4.01 seconds (91st)

Taylor and Switzer came off the 3D printer in the same run—at least on paper. There’s just 1 game available for Taylor on Draft Breakdown (vs. Mississippi State in 2015), so I won’t pretend to be able to compare their on-field profiles. Taylor edged Switzer in career yards per catch and blew him out in TD receptions. But he also comes from a notoriously pass-friendly system. Taylor ranked 3rd in FBS in receptions in 2015 and then climbed to 2nd last season. He trailed only the record-setting Zay Jones, while leading the nation in receiving yards. Like with Switzer, though, Taylor’s fantasy viability figures to depend heavily on where he lands in the draft.

Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland

Height: 6’6
Weight: 278 pounds
Age: 22.5
40-yard dash: 4.79 seconds (45th)
Vertical: 32.5 inches (44th)
Broad: 121 inches (86th)
3-cone: 7.09 seconds (62nd)
20-yard shuttle: 4.38 seconds (48th)

There are certainly folks excited about Shaheen, including NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah. The size and TD numbers are eye-popping. The tape I watched was just fine, though, especially when you consider the low competition level. In just about any other class, Shaheen would make for a very interesting prospect, but there are currently about as many upside TE prospects as craft breweries. We’ll see how early this one gets tapped and how full the glass in his new pass offense.

Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama

Height: 6’3
Weight: 239 pounds
Age: 22.8
40-yard dash: 4.62 seconds (82nd)
Vertical: 37.5 inches (90th)
Broad: 126 inches (95th)
3-cone: 6.99 seconds (78th)
20-yard shuttle: 4.33 seconds (56th)

See? I told you it wouldn’t be hard to find another upside TE. Everett was another casualty of the UAB program shutting down after the 2014 season (like Jordan Howard), but he landed firmly. The TE led his new team – South Alabama – in receptions in 2015 and then tied for the team lead last year. Everett also works in much more traditional TE ways than classmates Evan Engram and Bucky Hodges, showing more as a blocker and shorter-range target. He might quite not match them in athletic upside, but Everett’s also no slouch on that front. Mostly, the familiar TE work makes it easier to project him into more NFL situations right away. Of course, he’ll probably need to add some bulk—or prove that he doesn’t need to.

Joshua Dobbs, QB, Tennessee

Height: 6’3
Weight: 216 pounds
Age: 22.3
40-yard dash: 4.64 seconds (84th)
Vertical: 33 inches (69th)
Broad: 122 inches (94th)
3-cone: 6.75 seconds (92nd)
20-yard shuttle: 4.31 seconds (52nd)

We could dig into numbers or film breakdown or whatever. But it’d be kind of a waste of time. I have no idea whether Dobbs will become anything in the NFL. Fortunately, we don’t really have to figure that out. We’re not talking about an early-round rookie pick for dynasty drafts. Dobbs will be a “why not” 5th- or 6th-rounder. Watch his games, and you’ll see enough arm strength—along with lots of misfires and questionable decisions. The athleticism is the only reason we’re bothering to cover him here. So let’s leave it at this …

(If you want to know more about Dobbs, here’s a fun profile by Bleacher Report’s Mike Tanier.)

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