2023 NFL Draft Rookie Landing Spots: Rounds 2 & 3 (Fantasy Football)
Night one of the 2023 draft was exciting, with six trades going down, stellar players dropping, and one “first-round” QB left sitting in the green room at the end of the night, still unsure of his landing spot. Would night two be just as exciting?
It was a position players’ evening, and at the end of Friday night, the count was 2 QBs, 5 RBs, 10 WRs, a& 8 TEs who went off the board. Here is a quick rundown.
Will Levis, QB– Tennessee Titans
Round 2, Pick 33
The Cardinals traded the 33rd pick to the Tennessee Titans to draft the man who likes mayo in his coffee, Will Levis. A clear message that the Ryan Tannehill and Malik Willis years are coming to a close; the Titans are hoping to capitalize on Levis’ arm strength and toughness. Levis is undoubtedly the QB of the future in Tennessee, and if he lives up to the hype, the pass catchers should reap the rewards. Levis should be backing up Ryan Tannehill now, but who knows if the change will come sooner rather than later.
Sam LaPorta, TE – Detroit Lions
Round 2, Pick 34
The second TE off the board is not Michael Mayer but Iowa’s Sam LaPorta. The Lions were looking to find the heir apparent to TJ Hockenson, and they did so early on night two. LaPorta is fast and explosive and could easily grab targets off the bat with Jameson Williams suspended for the first six games of the 2023 season. LaPorta only had one TD during his final year at Iowa, which is a concern, but I think we will see an increase in that number in Detroit.
Michael Mayer, TE – Las Vegas Raiders
Round 2, Pick 35
Another team looking to fill a void at the TE position with the departure of Darren Waller to New York was the Las Vegas Raiders, and they went with Michael Mayer with the 35th pick. Mayer was many people’s number one TE, with many comparing him to Jason Witten. With his versatility and excellent ball skills, he should slide right into a perfect fit in Vegas. His route running is solid, and he had the second-most receiving yards in his draft class. Jimmy G. loved a TE in San Francisco, and he could learn to love another one in Las Vegas.
Jonathan Mingo, WR – Carolina Panthers
Round 2, Pick 39
Mingo has been flying up draft boards as of late, and with Carolina trading away DJ Moore, it was vital to draft a weapon for new QB Bryce Young. In a draft full of small WRs, Mingo has the size many teams were looking for. He is a big physical solid body that can go up and pluck the ball out of the air. He had to deal with 17 contested targets in 2022, and with a rookie QB throwing him the ball, a wide catch radius and the ability to pull down contested targets will be extra desirable. In a WR room filled with the elder Adam Thielen, DJ Chark, and overall superstar Terrace Marshall Jr., Mingo could quickly become Young’s favorite target if successful.
Luke Musgrave, TE – Green Bay Packers
Round 2, Pick 42
Jordan Love will need a best friend, and Luke Musgrave might fill the bill. Even though he missed the final eleven games with a knee injury, the Packers felt he was their guy. Musgrave had only 47 career receptions and two TDs at Oregon State, but his size sets him apart. Almost 6’6” and over 250 pounds, Musgrave will be able to get those matchup advantages, although we won’t know until he plays the game how much the Packers use that size for blocking instead of pass-catching. Musgrave also has downfield ability, so if Love wants to chuck it, he could have a tall target.
Jayden Reed, WR – Green Bay Packers
Round 2, Pick 50
Jordan Love gets more help with Michigan State WR Jayden Reed. Nicknamed “Bird” as a kid because he always wanted to fly, Reed shows that ability when he flies off the line. Reed is not a name we often heard during the pre-draft chatter, and it seems as though the Packers could have waited on this pick, but this draft capital shows that Green Bay believes in Reed, who is solid in the slot. Time will tell.
Zach Charbonnet, RB – Seattle Seahawks
Round 2, Pick 52
In a Detroit Lions-esque move, the Seattle Seahawks draft UCLA RB Zach Charbonnet, and Mike’s pants remain on for eternity. This is great for actual football but not great for fantasy Bob. In a mere second, Ken Walker managers nationwide shed a tear, and with so many mouths to feed in Seattle now, this seems like a redundant pick. Deciding which RB to start each week will be gut-wrenching.
Rashee Rice, WR – Kansas City Chiefs
Round 2, Pick 55
Another weapon for Patrick Mahomes comes off the board in Rashee Rice, WR from SMU. Rice is another speedster who can stretch the field for Mahomes. He is not the fastest, not really possessing that third gear, but he is excellent at yards after the catch. The Chief’s receiver room looks to be the same but different than last year – filled with solid options, but a crapshoot week to week on who will be the guy. He seems like a better choice for Best Ball.
Luke Schoonmaker, TE – Dallas Cowboys
Round 2, Pick 58
Another big boy TE comes off the board at pick 58 to the Dallas Cowboys. He knows how to block and is a great pass catcher. Replacing the Doctor, Schoonmaker will be another dependable target for Dak but will have to earn the fantasy manager’s trust before he becomes a weekly start possibility.
Brenton Strange, TE – Jacksonville Jaguars
Round 2, Pick 61
Jacksonville gets themselves an additional TE at pick 61 with Brenton Strange. A good blocker and route runner, Strange can learn from Evan Engram as he tries to make a name for himself in Jacksonville. TEs are scary to start to begin with, and second-string rookie TEs are even more fright-inducing. You won’t be starting Strange, at least for a while.
Marvin Mims, WR – Denver Broncos
Round 2, Pick 63
Mims the word as Marvin goes to the Mile High City near the end of the second. Sean Payton knows what he is doing, and the speedster Mims is a solid addition to a “rebuilding” Denver Broncos offense. We love the second-round draft capital too, and if we see KJ Hamler departing Denver anytime soon, it will only push up Mims stock.
Hendon Hooker, QB – Detroit Lions
Round 3, Pick 68
We see the fifth QB taken at the beginning of the third round, with the elder stateman Hendon Hooker heading to Detroit. This might be the best situation Hooker could find himself in. With Jared Goff under center, Hooker can continue to rehab his injury while learning the offense. When the time is right, he will be behind one of the best offensive lines in football with elite pass-catchers and a plethora of RBs. You aren’t using him now but keep Hooker on your radar moving forward.
Nathaniel Dell, WR – Houston Texans
Round 3, Pick 69
The Texans continue their solid 2023 draft with WR Tank Dell out of Houston. On a team still relatively sparse in the WR department, he has the lateral quickness and massive production to be an eventual starting slot receiver.
Kendre Miller, RB – New Orleans Saints
Round 3, Pick 71
The end of the Alvin Kamara era is coming in New Orleans with the drafting of TCU’s Kendre Miller. The Saints added Jamaal Williams pre-draft, so Miller isn’t the only RB in town. A Kamara insurance policy for the moment, but if Kamara gets suspended, he could be thrust into a starting role, in which he could no doubt deliver.
Jalin Hyatt, WR – New York Giants
Round 3, Pick 73
The Giants finally picked up a weapon for Danny Dimes, drafting Jalin Hyatt out of Tennessee. Even though Hyatt is explosive and elusive, with only a year of actual college production, Hyatt may have a bit of a learning curve getting used to NFL routes. His ability to stretch the field is a huge bonus, though, and he could be a recipient of some long throws from Jones. Another team where the distribution of work to player ratio is uncertain, you might have to wait and see where Hyatt falls in the hierarchy.
Cedric Tillman, WR – Cleveland Browns
Round 3, Pick 74
Two Tennessee WRs go back-to-back, with Tillman following Hyatt at pick 74. Many people were split between Tillman and Hyatt on who was the better WR out of Tennesee. If you are on the Tillman side, you are a little disappointed as he is drafted into a receiver room that already houses Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and Elijah Moore, so he may not see the field as frequently as fantasy managers would like.
Tucker Kraft, TE – Green Bay Packers
Round 3, Pick 78
What’s better than one TE on night two? Two TEs! Green Bay doubles up at the position with Tucker Kraft. Starting one TE as a safety blanket for Jordan Love is feasible, but you can’t talk me into starting two.
Josh Downs, WR – Indianapolis Colts
Round 3, Pick 79
The Colts were down with Josh Downs, adding another weapon for rookie QB Anthony Richardson. He is quick and can make big plays, but all of this depends on the success of Richardson. The first read should be Pitty City, and if Richardson can’t succeed much past that, we are all in trouble.
Tyjae Spears, RB – Tennessee Titans
Round 3, Pick 81
Tyjae Spears out of Tulane dropped into the middle of the third round, probably due to injury concerns, and the Titans pounced. Vrabel and company know that The Yeti is not eternal, so they need to start auditioning replacements. Spears can make a guy miss, and if he can stay healthy, he could be an excellent complement to Henry. If he looks like a good fit, the Titans might start to pull back Henry’s snaps slightly. Who knows, he might go on forever.
Devon Achane, RB – Miami Dolphins
Round 3, Pick 84
Miami pulled the trigger on the undersized Achane just as we forgot they were even in the draft. They love their speed in Miami, but unfortunately, they just love RBs—all of them. Full stop. This is another situation where you will be forced to choose who to start out of a committee every week, and that is a painful thing to endure.
Tank Bigsby, RB – Jacksonville Jaguars
Round 3, Pick 88
Angry Auburn RB Tank Bigsby heads to the Jags to backup Travis Etienne. Bigsby is a solid RB who should thrive in a backup role where he does not have to be a bell cow. He should produce well on his own, but if Etienne misses any time – which he has before – he could be a goldmine. These two should complement each other nicely.
Darnell Washington, TE – Pittsburgh Steelers
Round 3, Pick 93
Gigantor version 2.0 heads to Pittsburgh to support the Muth. Washington is a matchup nightmare who can turn into a versatile tool for Pittsburgh. He could quickly become another solid receiver for Kenny Pickett, but a scary start in fantasy as a rookie, again, as most TEs are.
Michael Wilson, WR – Arizona Cardinals
Round 3, Pick 94
A bigger-body Stanford WR heads to Arizona late in the third round. It is hard to see Wilson as much more than a WR4 in the Valley, especially if Hopkins stays in town.
Tre Tucker, WR – Las Vegas Raiders
Round 3, Pick 100
Former QB-turned-WR Tre Tucker heads to Vegas late in the third round. Nothing more than a WR3 or WR4 on a team with a QB who excels in game management over deep throws.
Round 3, Pick 101
Perhaps the eventual heir to the George Kittle throne closes out Day 2.