Covering some of his favorite landing spots for the 2022 Rookie class, Dean Johnson looks at what the impact is likely to be for this season.
Dameon Pierce (RB, HOU)
The Houston Texans selected Dameon Pierce number 107 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft. Pierce was underutilized at Florida, but whenever his number was called, he delivered for the Gators. In Pierce ran for 574 yards on only 100 carries.. his senior season at Florida. Not many college running backs average over 5.7 yards per carry in the loaded SEC Conference. He rushed for 13 touchdowns, as well as 3 receiving touchdowns in his college career. Dameon Pierce was first among all running backs in college football with a 92.0 PFF (Pro Football Focus) grade.
Pierce finds himself landing with the Houston Texans, who are looking to improve their 4-13 record under first-year head coach Lovie Smith. Dameon Pierce will immediately compete for the starting job with journeyman running back Rex Burkhead and former Colts standout Marlon Mack. While at Florida, he consistently showed the ability to gain yards after contact, good field vision, and pass-catching ability. I think the Texans hit a home run being able to snag an all-around back, with 3 down ability in the 4th round of the NFL Draft. Pierce has a chance to make a fantasy impact early into his rookie season.
Kenneth Walker III (RB, SEA)
Kenneth Walker III was selected 41st overall by the Seattle Seahawks. Walker had a MONSTER season at Michigan State, after transferring from Wake Forest. He led the NCAA in broken tackles while racking up over 1600+ yards and 18 touchdowns. He led the Spartans to an 11-2 finish as well as winning the Doak Walker award for the best running back in the country. The Spartans topped off their season by defeating Kenny Pickett and the Pitt Panthers 31-21.
Walker lands in Seattle and I don’t think he could have landed in a better situation. If we know one thing about Seattle, it’s that they love to pound the rock. Coach Pete Carroll will look to lean on the run game with Drew Lock at the helm, following the departure of 9x Pro-Bowl Quarterback Russel Wilson. While Walker joins a backfield with veteran running backs Rashaad Penny and Chris Carson, he profiles to be the next lead back in Seattle. Penny had an explosive end to the 2021 season, but he has failed to stay healthy and has not yet played a full season in the NFL. As for Carson, there are doubts that he will ever play another snap, after dealing with various neck injuries. The future looks bright for Walker in Seattle. Walker has also drawn comparisons to other elite NFL running backs, Ezekiel Elliot and Dalvin Cook.
Alec Pierce (WR, IND)
Alec Pierce had an outstanding senior season for the Cincinnati Bearcats. Pierce was the clear Alpha receiver for the Bearcats’ offense. He racked up 867 yards, 8 touchdowns, and average yards per catch of 17.34 yards! Along with Quarterback Desmond Ridder (Now an Atlanta Falcon), Pierce led the Cincinnati Bearcats to a 13-1 record and an appearance in the coveted College Football Playoff.
The newest member of the Indianapolis Colts receiving corps showcased his raw physical skills at the NFL combine, posting a 4.41 40-yard dash, and a 40.5-inch vertical leap. The 6’3 Rookie projects to be a day one starter next to Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. It remains to be seen what the passing attack will look like in Indianapolis with former NFL MVP Matt Ryan under center, but needless to say it should be a slight upgrade over Carson Wentz. The Colts are hoping that Alec Pierce can earn that WR2 role over former Green Bay Packers wideout Jeff Janis. With former Colts T.Y. Hilton, and Jack Doyle no longer with the team, Pierce has a HUGE opportunity for targets as well as fantasy value his rookie season.
David Bell (WR, CLE)
Coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons at Purdue, the Browns got a steal by selecting Bell 99th overall in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft. Brown racked up over 2900+ receiving yards and 21 touchdowns during his time with the Boilermakers. His 4.65 40-yard dash time may have caused him to fall in the draft, but Bell is no stranger to production. Bell has drawn comparisons to former Browns wide receiver Jarvis “Juice” Landry.
David Bell figures to fall right into the slot role in Cleveland, alongside wide receivers Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones. While Bell may not have an instant fantasy impact for year-long redraft leagues, I love him as a Dynasty League pickup. He is now tied to Perennial Top-5 Quarterback Deshaun Watson. Assuming Watson can overcome his legal issues, He has shown the ability to support multiple fantasy-relevant wide receivers. I love the landing spot for the 2021 Big 10 Wide receiver of the year. Brown will be a player worth keeping an eye on in Cleveland.
Skyy Moore (WR, KC)
Sky Moore had an impressive senior season at Western Michigan, compiling nearly 1300 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Broncos. The 5’10 195-pound receiver showcased his 4.41 speed at the NFL combine, proving that he has the ability to stretch the field.
It’s hard not to like Moore in this spot, I mean he landed with Patrick Mahomes. While he won’t be expected to fill the target volume of former Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill, Moore should be able to make an immediate impact as a slot receiver. Moore has the ability to work in space and excels as a route runner on underneath routes. Moore joins a receiving room with JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdez-Scantling, and Mecole Hardman. While it is not yet clear which wide receiver will win the clear-cut slot position coming out of training camp, there are plenty of receptions to go around in Kansas City’s high-powered passing offense. Moore will be worth a mid-round pick for Redraft this year and I absolutely love him in Dynasty formats.
Treylon Burks (WR, TEN)
During his Junior season for the Arkansas Razorbacks, Treylon Burks put up 1100+ receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. While that may not seem impressive, the Razorbacks only passed the ball 294 times in 2021! He has also utilized a runner recording 112 yards on only 14 carries.
The sky is the limit for Burks in Tennessee. The Titans shocked the world when they traded up to pick number 18 to draft Treylon Burks. Why was it so shocking? Because they had to trade Pro-Bowl Wide Receiver A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles to do it. While Burks has some HUGE shoes to fill, the opportunity here cannot be ignored. With virtually no competition Treylon Burks projects to slide right into the number one wide receiver role, left by Brown. Since Burks was drafted in the first round, we can expect to see him in Tennessee for at least the next 5 years. It should go without saying for Dynasty Managers to target Burks for their teams. As far as redraft goes, Burks is my second favorite rookie this year behind the Atlanta Falcons’ Drake London.
What do you think? Any other dynasty winners or losers from the 2022 draft? Don’t forget, you can get prepared for your fantasy drafts with our Fantasy Draft Kit. Or you can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
Image Credit: Kim Klement – USA TODAY Sports