5 NFL Players That Hated the 2016 NFL Draft
The NFL Draft is always a great time – with new rookies finding out where they’re going to be living for the next few years, NFL coaches finding out what new toys they got and Fantasy Football owners slotting the rookies into their preprepreseason cheat sheets.
But there’s one group of people that very much hated the 2016 NFL Draft: Those NFL veteran players that might found out their team spent a high draft pick on their eventual replacement.
So we took a look at a handful of players that will enter the summer a little grumpier than when they entered the spring.
5 Veteran Players with Rookies Ready to Replace Them
While these NFL veterans might not lose their starting jobs during NFL Training Camp, they’ll definitely be fighting off competition behind them as the season wears on.
Sam Bradford, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Not only did the Eagles draft a quarterback to replace Bradford, but they moved up in the first round to the second overall pick in order to do it. Lucky for Bradford, Carson Wentz comes from North Dakota State, so it would be surprising to see him step right in against NFL competition. This week, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said Bradford will be the No. 1 quarterback to start this season.
Coach Pederson: I expect Sam not to look over his shoulder. I expect him to look forward. That's the message I gave to him. He's the guy.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) May 17, 2016
Really, though, Pederson has to say that because he can’t expect Wentz to step right in. He needs a veteran QB in there with some confidence, and Bradford’s has been shaky. Pederson, remember, is a former backup quarterback, so he likely understands the psychology.
Alfred Morris, RB, Dallas Cowboys
Morris signed with the Cowboys in late March, leaving their hated rival Washington Redskins. The contract allows him to make up to $5.5 million in the two-year deal. But Dallas then drafted the best running back in the NFL Draft, bringing Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott into the fold, along with the Cowboys’ top tailback in Darren McFadden.
— David Gonos (@davidgonos) April 29, 2016
Morris has since said he doesn’t regret signing with the Cowboys, and he welcomes the competition from the rookie. Fantasy Football owners are less excited, however, and they look at Elliott as a top-20 RB, with Morris looking more like a late sleeper pick. It’s likely that McFadden is still going to get touches, especially in the passing game, where Morris has hands of stone.
Justin Forsett, RB, Baltimore
While the Ravens didn’t draft a first-round running back to compete with Forsett for touches, they did grab Kenneth Dixon out of Louisiana Tech in Round 4. Forsett missed the final six games of 2016 because of a broken arm, but even before that, he only had two touchdowns from Weeks 1-11, ranking him 18th among Fantasy running backs through Week 10. Dixon is adept in the passing game and Ravens head coach John Harbaugh could lean on him sooner than later.
Then Forsett posted this Tuesday to prove how well is arm is doing.
— Justin Forsett (@JForsett) May 17, 2016
We’ll see what this means toward the end of the preseason, but for now, Forsett and Dixon are circling each other near the 40-mark among Fantasy RBs.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota
Can you name the rookie wide receiver that ranked third in Fantasy points behind just Amari Cooper and Tyler Lockett? But don’t look at the subheading above – that’s cheating!
Between Weeks 4-17, Diggs ranked among the top-35 Fantasy wide receivers, rookies or not, and while he wasn’t really looking like a stud-to-be, the drafting of Laquon Treadwell in the first round is not a good thing for Diggs or Charles Johnson. Treadwell represents a bigger, physical presence, and Bridgewater has played with a similar wide receiver in Devante Parker at Louisville.
Another example where Laquon Treadwell will come in handy. pic.twitter.com/X8om75W695
— JR (@JReidDraftScout) May 9, 2016
Both Diggs and Treadwell are among the top-45 Fantasy wide receivers, near each other, but expect Treadwell’s ADP to rise week by week until mid-preseason.
Lance Kendricks, TE, L.A. Rams
Look, there just weren’t a lot of good tight ends getting drafted this spring, so we had to make a reach here. We could’ve made a case for Antonio Gates losing targets to Hunter Henry in San Diego, but will that be much different than when Ladarius Green was in town? So the Rams picked up TE Tyler Higbee in the fourth round, and he should become a training camp “catch” partner with rookie QB Jared Goff.
The Rams aren’t expected to throw tons of touchdowns to either Kendricks or Higbee, who was a former wide receiver in college. But the latter is also dealing with some off-the-field assault problems, which muddies the waters even more. But Kendricks couldn’t have been excited to see that draft pick, especially after Jared Cook finally left town.
Justin Forsett Photo Credit: Matt Hazlett, Getty Images
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