We are a few weeks removed from the NFL Draft. Now that the hype has died down a little bit, it’s time to revisit some of the best picks. I will be ranking the top-5 fantasy landing spots from the draft, breaking down potential fits for each rookie in their new offense.
*Quarterbacks will not be included in these rankings*
5) Michael Carter — New York Jets
The Jets held off on drafting a running back until the third round, where they secured North Carolina workhorse Michael Carter. Overall, the Jets drafted very well. Obviously, Zach Wilson is untested and probably the biggest question mark coming into the 2021 season for New York, but there’s no denying his pure talent. Carter should step into the starting role right away for the Jets. He racked up 1,245 rushing yards and 11 total touchdowns in his senior season at UNC, showcasing his ability to handle a large workload. Carter may not have been one of the first picks off the board, but he’ll have immediate fantasy value in his rookie season.
4) Ja’Marr Chase — Cincinnati Bengals
I’m not even a Bengals fan, but I’m still furious that Cincinnati passed on future stud Penei Sewell for Chase after seeing what happened to Joe Burrow last year. That being said, Chase is there now and there’s nothing we can do about it, so we might as well enjoy his talent. Make no mistake about it, Chase is far and away the most talented receiver in his rookie class. Now, he’s reunited with his college teammate Joe Burrow. The two connected 84 times for 1,780 yards in 2019, leaving Bengals fans salivating over the impending reunion. Yes, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd are two very good receivers, but Chase could easily claim the top spot on the depth chart. Expect a fantastic rookie season for the fifth overall pick.
3) DeVonta Smith — Philadelphia Eagles
While Smith may not be as talented as Chase, his 2021 Heisman says all you need to know about the Alabama product’s abilities. He’s ranked higher than Chase because of the situation he stepped into. While Chase has to deal with Higgins and Boyd, Smith should walk into the No. 1 receiver role for Philly relatively unopposed. Jalen Hurts showed flashes of immense potential in his rookie season. The former Alabama teammates will benefit from their pre-existing rapport, and it should result in a great rookie campaign for Smith.
2) Kyle Pitts — Atlanta Falcons
It was really hard to keep Pitts out of the No. 1 spot on these rankings. The Florida product is one of the best tight end prospects in recent memory, and he’s stepping into a dynamic, pass-heavy offense led by gunslinger Matt Ryan. Speaking of Ryan, he loves utilizing his tight ends in the passing game. Austin Hooper produced back-to-back PPR TE6 seasons with Ryan under center. Just imagine what the Falcons can do with a superior talent like Pitts.
1) Najee Harris — Pittsburgh Steelers
This seemed inevitable. Pittsburgh was my ideal pre-draft landing spot for Harris, and sure enough, the Steelers couldn’t pass up on the closest thing the league has seen to Derrick Henry. The Alabama workhorse racked up a monstrous 1,466 rushing yards and 30 total touchdowns in his senior season. Yes, you read that correctly. THIRTY. TOTAL. TOUCHDOWNS. Obviously, Harris won’t put up those kinds of numbers in the NFL, but he’ll likely strike fear in the heart of every defense he opposes. With Ben Roethlisberger running out of gas at 39 years old, Pittsburgh could utilize Harris as the focal point of their offense. Expect him to enter RB1 territory immediately.