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Attack the 2024 Rookie Draft: 2.08

As we near the end of the Attack the Rookie Draft series, next up is 2.08 and another wide receiver is coming off the board!

In this series for the Dynasty Nerds, the staff will take a rookie draft pick-by-pick and evaluate who they would select. Each pick considers other players on the board, how the team build can affect the pick and possibly change the pick, and also the pick’s trade value.

All those drafted operated that the league was using Superflex settings with Tight End premium.

1.01Caleb WilliamsQBUSCBears
1.02Marvin Harrison Jr.WROhio StateCardinals
1.03Jayden DanielsQBLSUCommanders
1.04Malik NabersWRLSUGiants
1.05J.J. McCarthyQBMichiganVikings
1.06Brock BowersTEGeorgiaRaiders
1.07Rome OdunzeWRWashingtonBears
1.08Drake MayeQBUNCPatriots
1.09Brian Thomas Jr.WRLSUJaguars
1.10Xavier WorthyWRTexasChiefs
1.11Jonathon BrooksRBTexasPanthers
1.12Trey BensonRBFlorida StCardinals
2.01Ladd McConkeyWRGeorgiaChargers
2.02Bo NixQBOregonBroncos
2.03Michael PenixQBWashingtonFalcons
2.04Xavier LegetteWRSouth CarolinaPanthers
2.05Ricky PearsallWRFlorida49ers
2.06Keon ColemanWRFlorida StBills
2.07Adonai MitchellWRTexasColts

The 2.08 Pick

At this point in the draft, I often wonder what area my team needs added depth. For the most part, I am not looking to add a player who will start in my lineup. Instead, I’m looking for players who could get an expanded role later. Or, I try to find players who may not have produced prodigious numbers in college but have found an ideal landing spot in the draft. Players who have an immense opportunity to be productive immediately.

With all that said, at the 2.08 pick, I selected Roman Wilson from the University of Michigan. He is 5’11” and 211 pounds. As a Wolverine, Wilson made 48 receptions for 789 yards and 12 receiving touchdowns. He was selected to the Second-Team All-Big 10. Although those stats do not compare well to Malik Nabers (89, 1,569, 14 TDs) or Marvin Harrison (67, 1,211, 14 TDs), managers must also consider that Michigan was not a passing team. Instead, the two-headed monster of Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards were the offense’s focal point.

At the scouting combine, Wilson ran a 4.39 40-yard dash. His speed is evident, and he uses that elusiveness to his advantage. Wilson’s ability to separate from defenders or use misdirection to extend plays is elite. When a quarterback has to improvise, Wilson always finds a way to get open for him. These traits will translate well to the NFL.

In addition, Wilson found an ideal landing spot in the draft. The Pittsburgh Steelers have revamped their offense by trading away Kenny Pickett and Diontae Johnson. Then, they signed Russell Wilson to a free-agent contract and traded for Justin Fields. Wilson now finds himself in an ideal position to start Week 1 for the Steelers, opposite George Pickens.

The opportunity to play early and his traits to produce in the NFL were the main reasons I selected Roman Wilson with the eighth pick in the second round. I have added a player who could produce top-36 WR numbers in year one and should be even better as his career develops.

Who Else Should I Consider?

I started to get excited about the possibility of selecting Keon Coleman at 2.08. However, he was drafted two spots ahead of me at 2.06. Coleman is in a great situation to inherit many targets vacated by Stefon Diggs (160 targets in 2023) and would be a massive value at 2.08. Alas, drafting Keon Coleman was not meant to be.

Available to me at 2.08 were Roman Wilson, Marshawn Lloyd, Jermaine Burton, and Jaylen Wright. I am not a fan of this point in the draft. Every player in this area has a reason(s) not to select them. And, yet, they have some fantastic tools that make me want to draft them.

Photo Courtesy of Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire

I am a big fan of Lloyd. He is a talented runner and receiver. However, he was drafted by the Green Bay Packers and behind the newly signed Josh Jacobs. Lloyd has enough speed to make teams fear him, has good enough hands to be a receiving weapon out of the backfield, and is stout enough to block. Lloyd has a lot of the same skills as Jacobs. So, he will have to wait for Jacobs to depart before getting any real playing time to make an impact on fantasy rosters. I’ll strongly consider Lloyd at this spot.

Wright was one of my favorite players heading into the draft. Then, after being selected by the Miami Dolphins, Wright finds himself behind Raheem Mostert and Devon Achane. Wright might be an ideal fit for the offense in Miami. But he’s also behind two other players who fit the scheme well. The crowded backfield was enough to shy me away for now.

Burton is in an offense that should yield fantasy relevance for the receivers. The Bengals have a top-five quarterback in Joe Burrow. And they have a top-two receiver in Ja’Marr Chase. With Chase getting a lot of the attention, the other receivers should have plenty of space to make plays. And with a quarterback capable of extending plays and finding receivers, Burton should be able to see the field early in his career. Burton currently has Tee Higgins in front of him on the depth chart. But there has been a lot of speculation that Higgins has asked for a trade. If Higgins does get traded, I will regret not selecting Burton. However, that’s a big IF.

Should You Trade the 2.08?

I am always a big fan of trading away this pick if another manager is excited to make a selection. The value for this slot is low (anything after a first-round pick generally doesn’t carry a lot of value), so even getting a 2025 second-round pick could be valuable.

If your team is in a “win-now” mode, some possible targets could be Jahan Dotson, Brandin Cooks, or Jakobi Meyers. None of those players will win you a championship, but they are all fine bye-week replacements or, in a pinch, injury replacements. Again, if you are a win-now team, having one of those players on your bench may be more appealing than a rookie like Roman Wilson or Jermaine Burton.

Or, if you are of the risk-taking variety, you may throw an offer at the manager who has Rashee Rice on their roster. With the possibility of a suspension, that manager may want to avoid the situation altogether. If that’s the case and you are willing to take the risk, Rice is a “high upside” bet that could pay off. There is no guarantee another manager will accept that offer, but it’s worth inquiring. 

The Final Word

At the 2.08 point in your rookie draft, you must draft with the bigger picture in mind. Too many players in the second round have flaws, so they are being selected in the second round, not the first. However, prioritizing finding the best talent will serve you well in your draft process. Identify the player(s) you feel can produce in the NFL, and then be patient until they find that niche.

Some of the best NFL players did not “pop” in year one. Be true to your build and be patient. Puka Nacua was a late fifth-round pick last year; look at where he is now. Nacua broke rookie receiving records in his rookie season by making 105 catches for 1,486 yards and six touchdowns.

The latest information from various sites shows that Nacua is the fifth-overall wide receiver in Dynasty formats. I don’t think anyone drafting in the fifth round last year thought they were getting a cornerstone receiver in that spot, but look at them now. It just proves the point: The future rewards those who are patient (and a little bit lucky!).

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. If you haven’t already, join the #NerdHerd today to read all my articles and more on draft strategy, trade inquiries, and in-season management. Follow me @JGoody77 in the Twitter World for more fantasy content.

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