Yahoo Fantasy analyst Matt Harmon explains why a pair of wide receivers were big winners on day two of the draft, while two veteran running backs might be trending in the wrong direction.
MATT HARMON: Matt Harmon here with some winners and losers coming out of day two of the NFL draft. The winner is upside at the wide receiver position. I've got my eye on two guys who are great dark horses to be the best receivers on their teams in their rookie seasons.
The first here is Jonathan Mingo. The Carolina Panthers took him at 39th overall. I'm a huge fan of Jonathan Mingo's game. I think he profiles so well as a big power slot receiver in the NFL. His reception perception metrics are extremely similar, almost identical to Amon-Ra St. Brown, who is coming into the NFL out of USC, in 2021. I think Mingo could go down that same path. And honestly, if he's better than Adam Thielen or certainly DJ Chark this year, that would not be surprising to me in one bit.
The other receiver I'll give you here is Jayden Reed. Jayden Reed is a my guy, man. I love his route running-- best success rate versus press coverage in the class. He shows you just like one or two more tweaks, and he'd be a really good player. I know this sounds like a hot take, but he'd be better than Christian Watson, who had a nice rookie season. But Watson is still a developmental route runner. He still is taking the steps to be a true complete receiver.
And look. Is Jayden Reed a lock to be better than him this year? Absolutely not. But a guy that I could easily see earning a starting job this year. And if Jordan Love is good, if he can do this thing, I think him and Jayden Reed can have a nice connection because he's just a really nice nuanced route runner.
Now, the loser here is clarity at the running back position. We had a couple of back fields really get shaken up by some picks here. First of all, you've got to say Zach Charbonnet going to the Seattle Seahawks in the second round. Kenneth Walker was a little more boom bust than people want to admit as a runner last year. The end of the year stats looked really good, but he had some up and down to his play, both from a series to series, game to game situation. Even just across the year, he was a bit more volatile.
So I wonder if Charbonnet shakes things up there, or if this becomes close to a two-back system. That wouldn't surprise me with the way Pete Carroll wants to operate. And Charbonnet was just a really good, reliable guy. I hit him with a James Conner comp-- a guy who is solid in the pass game and a banger on the early downs. I really do wonder if he eats into some of Kenneth Walker's work there. That is a situation to monitor-- training camp reports all throughout the summer.
The second one, Kendre Miller, another guy-- when watching Quinton Johnson for this draft class, he stood out to me as a guy that just brought juice to the table. I like his ability as an early down runner. And obviously, we know Alvin Kamara is potentially on the outs of the team. He could be suspended this year. Kendre Miller could get action sooner than later.
I know they signed Jamaal Williams. I like Jamaal Williams's game as well. But if Kendre Miller impresses in camp, don't rule out that he takes more carries early on this season than even when Kamara is back. If Kamara is back later in the season, Kendre Miller still works into this rotation. So those two guys really shook things up here in terms of the clarity at running back. It's a couple of guys we were thinking of drafting early this year, especially Kenneth Walker in Seattle.