2022 NFL Draft RB Rookie Landing Spots: Rounds 2 & 3 (Fantasy Football)
With a somewhat underwhelming RB class this year, it was no surprise to see zero RBs go off the draft board on night one. The first night of the NFL draft was filled with talented offensive linemen and edge rushers, with a smattering of a WR run sprinkled in for flavor. Night two was a slow start for the RBs as well, but when the night ended, there were six RBs taken through rounds two and three – three in round two and three in round three. Let’s look at what RBs were drafted Friday night in rounds two and three of the 2022 NFL Draft and analyze their landing spots and fantasy outlooks.
Breece Hall – New York Jets
Round 2, Pick 36
The New York Jets trade up to pick 36 to take Jason’s golden boy and the first RB in the 2022 draft, Breece Hall. The Jets knew what they wanted and traded their pick to the Giants to ensure they got their guy. Hall was also the first player taken out of the Big 12 conference, and he joins Michael Carter in the backfield for the 2022 season. In addition to these two young guys in the RB room, Tevin Coleman and Ty Johnson are also there. Carter finished last season as the 29th RB in PPR despite missing several games due to injury.
Some people think that the Jets drafting another RB this year will lead to a somewhat annoying timeshare with Michael Carter; let’s call it the “Melvonte” effect. Whereas this is a possible outcome, I think before jumping to that conclusion, we have to look at the draft capital with which the Jets went after this player. They wanted Hall. They wanted him so bad that they wanted to make sure they kept him away from the Giants. I think Hall’s usage will be significant, and he will clearly be an RB1 in an offense that, dare I say it, has strong potential. Hall should be the top pick in a one QB rookie draft.
Kenneth Walker – Seattle Seahawks
Round 2, Pick 41
Soon after the first RB was drafted, the second came off the board. The Seattle Seahawks drafted Kenneth Walker from Michigan State. Although ranked highly going into the draft, Walker leaves much to be desired for pass-catching, which might be an issue with Drew Lock throwing the football in Seattle this season. A pass-catching RB is a frazzled QBs best friend, and Mr. Irresponsible might not find that in Walker. His speed is excellent, and if he can get past the defense, he could be helpful to Seattle.
The Seahawks using a high pick on Kenneth Walker says less about Kenneth Walker and more about Chris Carson. After a lingering neck injury that plagued his 2021 season, I think this foreshadows Seattle moving on from Carson. Pete Carroll loves his RBs, and in a crowded room with Rashaad Penny, DeeJay Dallas, Travis Homer, and Chris Carson, if he stays, it is hard to confidently say who will be the go-to guy from week to week. This diminishes his value in rookie drafts. I still think Walker will be the second RB taken in rookie drafts, but I personally think he should go significantly behind Breece Hall. Many people are putting him right behind Hall in value, with the top WRs following, but until we see a primary bell cow RB emerge in Seattle, which we have not seen in a while, I am tempering my Walker expectations, at least for this season. I see more value in drafting the top WRs after Hall in rookie drafts then moving to Kenneth Walker.
James Cook – Buffalo Bills
Round 2, Pick 63
Dalvin’s brother James Cook was the next RB off the board, picked by the Buffalo Bills. He joins Devin Singletary, fresh off an end-of-season fantasy boom, as well as Zack Moss and the elder statesman Duke Johnson. A high-powered offense like Buffalo certainly will give their RBs opportunities to handle the football, but with a running QB in Josh Allen, will Cook get those high-valued touches in the red zone?
As confusing as the Buffalo backfield was last season, fantasy owners saw the clouds part slightly as Singletary started to look like the guy as the season began to wind down. Now, with this pick, the confusion returns. I like Cook as a prospect, but his smaller size will not be a benefit in this crowded offensive puzzle. His pass-catching ability is his big thing, and you cannot rely on him in this situation with pure volume. Similar to my view on Walker, I would wait to see how the RB room shapes up after camp in Buffalo before you run over and scoop up Cook. You are looking at Cook going near the end of the first round in a one QB rookie draft.
Rachaad White – Tampa Bay Bucs
Round 3, Pick 91
Rachaad White from my alma mater Arizona State was drafted by the Tampa Bay Bucs, a team that lost Ronald Jones to Kansas City earlier in the year. Playing in another offensive powerhouse, White stands to have a chance to prove himself here with possibly inheriting the 3rd down back role and playing supplemental to Leonard Fournette. The Ke’Shawn Vaugn experiment has apparently stalled in the water, and Giovanni Bernard is getting older by the day, so White has nothing but possibility in this landing spot. He must earn the playing time and trust of new head coach Tom Brady, er Todd Bowles.
A strong pass-catching RB, White could prove to be a TD vulture to Leonard Fournette if he manages to find his footing in the NFL. In a draft so packed with extraordinary WRs, White should fall to the middle of the late part of the second round in rookie drafts – there are just so many solid pass catchers that currently hold value over White presently.
Tyrion Davis-Price – San Francisco 49ers
Round 3, Pick 93
A less-talked-about RB, Tyrion Davis-Price, was drafted by the RB-loving Mike Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers near the end of round three. In addition to another packed RB room, Davis-Price joins Eli Mitchell, Trey Sermon, JaMycal Hasty, and Jeff Wilson Jr. in playing RB roulette, an utter joy to fantasy owners everywhere.
As anyone who has ever owned a 49ers RB in fantasy knows, it is difficult, if next to impossible, to predict which RB will be the go-to guy come game day. Last year we went into the season convinced Trey Sermon was the guy, and then it turned out to be Elijah Mitchell time. That being said, RBs in the Shanahan system get work, and holding on to one can often win you a championship, a la Jeff Wilson Jr. circa 2020. A strong runner able to churn out consistent runs, Davis-Price should come off the board at the end of the second round in a one QB league rookie draft.
Brian Robinson Jr. – Washington Commanders
Round 3, Pick 98
The night two RB run came to a close when another Alabama player went off the board with Brian Robinson Jr., drafted by the Washington Commanders. Robinson’s name has not been at the top of many draft boards, but he does have the experience that could lead to a solid NFL career and some fantasy relevance. After backing up Najee Harris in Alabama in 2020, Robinson took the reins in 2021, finishing with over 1400 yards and 14 TDs. He joins Mike’s champion Antonio Gibson and TD vulture JD McKissic in a now Carson Wentz-led offense.
Unfortunately, with a solid rotation of Gibson and Smooches, I do not see a big fantasy-relevant season for Robinson in Washington. Short of a Gibson injury – which we have seen before – I wonder how much Robinson will even see the field. When Robinson runs, he does run hard, and perhaps this durability will lead to Rivera taking a chance on the rookie. Robinson looks to be drafted at the end of the second or the start of the third round in a one QB league rookie draft.