NFL Draft Recap: Rounds 4-7
Typically, running backs are the only late-round players that make mmediate fantasy impacts. That's even more the case now that NFL teams have wised up and stopped taking them early, as they're less invested in their earlier RB picks and more willing to fill the position in later rounds. Finally, because running back is such a hazardous position, there's more turnover there than at say wide receiver or quarterback, thereby opening up opportunities for the backups. Recent examples of late-round backs making big impacts are Zac Stacy last year and Alfred Morris in 2012. (Both were sixth rounders).
Occasionally a late-round wideout does something, but it's incredibly rare for a late-round QB or tight end to produce in Year 1.
With that in mind, here are a few players to watch from the draft's third day:
DeVonta Freeman, RB, Falcons
Steven Jackson is on his last legs, and Jacquizz Rodgers averaged 3.5 YPC last year. Freeman is only 5-8, 205, but there are no above average players blocking him, and the Falcons offense should bounce back this year.
Andre Williams, RB, Giants
Williams didn't catch a single pass last year at Boston College, but at 6-0, 227 and with good burst, he has the size, speed and power to be a starting back. David Wilson is trying to come back from a serious neck injury and Rashad Jennings is 29 years old and missed the entire 2011 season as well as games in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013.
Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Bears
Carey is smallish and not particularly fast. But he was a monster his last two years in Arizona, and the Bears lack depth behind Matt Forte.
Martavis Bryant, WR, Steelers
Bryant has good size (6-4, 200) and 4.4. speed, and the Steelers lack a red-zone threat outside of tight-end Heath Miller. Moreover, after Antonio Brown, there's no established No. 2 on that team. Bryant had work ethic and focus concerns in college, however.
James White, RB, Patriots
At 5-9, 206, White isn't big, but he's quick and has good acceleration. He'll be behind Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley, but the former is often hurt and the latter spent a good deal of 2013 in the doghouse.
Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Ravens
At 6-1, 231, Taliaferro is a big, bruising back, but doesn't have a whole lot of wiggle. He put up big numbers in college, however, and the Ravens didn't get much from Ray Rice (who has legal issues) or Bernard Pierce last year.
Devin Street, WR, Cowboys
Street has good size (6-3, 195) and passable speed. The Cowboys don't have much depth beyond Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams, so Street could see some looks if either were to get hurt.
AJ McCarron, QB, Bengals
Late-round quarterbacks are long shots, but should Andy Dalton get hurt, McCarron could inherit some top shelf weapons with A.J. Green, Giovani Bernard, Marvin Jones and two pass-catching tight ends. Moreover, McCarron was successful in college and was expected to go earlier in the draft. Jason Campbell is Dalton's immediate backup, but would be on a short leash, especially if the Bengals were off to a tough start.
Jared Abbrederis, WR, Packers
A polished route runner, the 6-1, 189-pound Abbrederis could be a nice possession threat for Aaron Rodgers should injuries hit the receiving corps.
Alfred Blue, RB, Texans
Ben Tate is gone, and only Arian Foster - who played eight games last year - and Andre Brown, one of the most injury-prone backs in the league, are clearly ahead of him. At 6-2, 223, Blue is a big back, but he played only sparingly last year in college.
David Fales, QB, Bears
There's no established backup to Jay Cutler, and Marc Trestman's offense is ideal for a quarterback. Fales is polished, but lacks arm strength. Still, Josh McCown was hardly known for having a big arm, and he thrived under Trestman last year.
Lache Seastrunk, RB, Redskins
Seastrunk slipped in the draft, in part because he's not much of a receiver, but he's a compact, tough runner, and should anything happen to Alfred Morris, he could wind up in a timeshare with Roy Helu.
Quincy Enunwa, WR, Jets
After Eric Decker, the Jets WR corps is unestablished, and Enunwa is 6-2, 227 with 4.4 speed.
Storm Johnson, RB, Jaguars
Johnson is a smooth runner with good pass-catching skills. With only Toby Gerhart and Jordan Todman atop the depth chart, it wouldn't take much for the Jaguars to give Johnson an extended look, especially if the season predictably goes south.