2018 Rookie Landing Spots: TE
Last year was one of the most epic classes for TEs with three going in the first round and seven TEs taken in the first four rounds of the 2017 draft. Kudos to you if you can name the seventh TE taken. You should probably read the analysis on that one. There wasn’t nearly the star power for TEs in this class with only Hayden Hurst taken in the first round, but there were actually 10 TEs taken in the first four rounds. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few TEs from this year’s class become solid contributors, but it may take a few years for rosters to clear out and talent to develop for most of these players.
Hayden Hurst to Baltimore Ravens
Round 1, Pick 25 (25th overall)
Despite carrying a platoon of TEs from year to year, Baltimore has had little consistency from the position outside of a 37 year old Ben Watson who resigned with New Orleans this year. Nick Boyle and Maxx Williams were drafted in 2015 together, but have combined for as many 16-game seasons as I have during that span. Neither have been very productive even when on the field. Mark Andrews is a fellow rookie drafted in the third round and could cut in to Hurst’s fantasy production or win the primary TE role outright through training camp.
Hurst himself is older for a rookie at 24, but that’s because of a short professional baseball career he pursued before switching back to football. There’s really nothing to love about Hurst as a prospect, but he’s solid in all areas of the game and played all over the field for the Gamecocks. He’s one of those prospects that I like a lot as a football player and contributor for Baltimore, but he’s a pass in redraft leagues. I think Mark Andrews will continue to eat into Hurst’s production while both are on the team making him a pass in dynasty as well. If you’re itching for a rookie TE on Baltimore, think about the cheaper option in Andrews.
Mike Gesicki to Miami Dolphins
Round 2, Pick 10 (42nd overall)
1) MarQueis Gray
2) AJ Derby
Gesicki destroyed the combine including a 4.54 40-yard dash time. He was a star volleyball and basketball player with athleticism that jumps out on tape in contested catch situations. He heads to a Miami team without much competition to prevent him from seeing the field early. The problem is, he’s a liability in run-blocking and that athleticism doesn’t seem to equate to separation.
Gesicki’s athletic profile is close to Jimmy Graham, but I fear he’s the right guy to the wrong team with Ryan Tannehill back in the mix at QB. Granted, Landry’s targets are up for grabs, but in 2016 the Miami TEs combined for 73 targets, 55 catches, 551 yards, and 6 TDs with Tannehill playing most of the year. That stat line feels like an absolute ceiling for Gesicki in 2018. I wouldn’t spend a redraft pick on him even as a flyer, but keep him in mind on the waiver wire in case he does see significant targets and looks in the 10-zone. His athleticism and size make him an intriguing second round dynasty pick.
Dallas Goedert to Philadelphia Eagles
Round 2, Pick 17 (49th overall)
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1) Zach Ertz
2) Richard Rogers
In one of the more dramatic moments of the 2018 draft, Dallas had learned Jason Witten was retiring right before the 50th pick in the draft. Fortunately for them, Dallas Goedert was still on the board. It couldn’t have been more perfect right? That was until Philadelphia traded up one pick ahead of Dallas and snagged Goedert.
As much as I appreciate the obvious snub to an in-division rival, it leaves Goedert in fantasy purgatory behind 2017 Pro Bowler Zach Ertz. This is the ultimate right guy to the wrong situation. Goedert has plus athleticism and put up mind-blowing numbers for a TE with over 2,400 yards in his last two seasons with South Dakota State. Rookie TEs normally don’t do too much to make themselves fantasy relevant anyways, but this one stings. Goedert will have little to no fantasy relevance so long as Ertz is one the field which makes his redraft value nil and his dynasty outlook dim for the next few years.
Mark Andrews to Baltimore Ravens
Round 3, Pick 22 (86th overall)
1) Hayden Hurst
2) Nick Boyle
2) Maxx Williams
Last years’ Heisman winner Baker Mayfield entrusted Andrews who led the Oklahoma pass catchers in receptions and TDs in 2017, but he’s simply buried in this TE group. The good news is, Boyle and Williams haven’t done much yet and Hurst, despite being a first-round draft pick, is still a rookie. Andrews will have a shot to carve out a roll through training camp, but his weaknesses as a run-blocker and the lower draft pedigree will make him untouchable in redraft leagues. He’s better in dynasty leagues, especially since Baltimore traded up for him despite having already drafted a TE, but you’re drafting him based mostly on his production that came while working with the first overall pick in the 2018 draft.
Jordan Akins to Houston Texans
Round 3, Pick 34 (98th overall)
Akins was expected to be a later round pick so it’s worth noting Houston took him in the third. Akins is another rookie who tried pro baseball before focusing on football. He started as a WR for UCF, but bulked up and moved to TE. He’s not much of a run-blocker and he will be 26 as a rookie, but he has good hands and has the speed and quickness to generate yards after the catch. At best, he’s a waiver wire add in redraft leagues. It says something that Texas choose him in the third round, but he’s a speculative add in dynasty leagues.
Other TEs Drafted:
Ian Thomas to Carolina Panthers
Round 4, Pick 1 (101st overall)
Christopher Herndon to New York Jets
Round 4, Pick 7 (107th overall)
Will Dissly to Seattle Seahawks
Round 4, Pick 20 (120th overall)
Durham Smythe to Miami Dolphins
Round 4, Pick 23 (123rd overall)
Dalton Schultz to Dallas Cowboys
Round 4, Pick 37 (137th overall)
Troy Fumagalli to Denver Broncos
Round 5, Pick 19 (156th overall)
Tyler Conklin to Minnesota Vikings
Round 5, Pick 20 (157th overall)
Jordan Thomas to Houston Texans
Round 6, Pick 37 (211th overall)
Ryan Izzo to New England Patriots
Round 7, Pick 32 (250th overall)