The second and third rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft offered a few impact fantasy players, but this class still lacks a lot of the superstar names that previous drafts have provided. In fact, owners are in for a lot of future headaches -- especially at running back. Here's a look at all the offensive skill position players taken Friday.
Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals: The Bengals are going to have a very different look on offense in 2011. Dalton is a good NFL prospect and will have a chance to start right away if Carson Palmer retires. He could have late-round value in deeper fantasy leagues in a best-case scenario, but most of Dalton's value will come in dynasty formats.
Colin Kaepernick, QB, 49ers: NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock believes Kaepernick is a work in progress, and I don't think he'll come right in and start for the 49ers. Whether it's Alex Smith or another player, Kaepernick will have time to learn behind a veteran before playing a prominent role. He's only a dynasty-league option at this point.
Ryan Williams, RB, Cardinals: Williams has the tools to be an every-down back at the NFL level, but he joins a very crowded backfield that includes Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells. I think the Virginia Tech product has the most upside of the trio, but this is a situation that fantasy owners really need to monitor during training camp.
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings: A solid pass-catching tight end, Rudolph has a chance to be a productive long-term option in the Vikings' pass attack. He'll have to compete with incumbent starter Visanthe Shiancoe for targets in 2011, however, so Rudolph isn't likely to make a consistent or immediate impact for fantasy football owners.
Titus Young, WR, Lions: Young might be small in stature at 5-foot-11 and 174 pounds, but he was a serious playmaker at Boise State and will fill in nicely as the Lions' slot receiver. Although Young's individual value is limited, his presence in the offense makes Matthew Stafford that much more attractive in 2011 fantasy drafts.
Lance Kendricks, TE, Rams: A good prospect, Kendricks is a potential vertical threat at the NFL level and will be a nice option for Sam Bradford. If the Rams fail to upgrade their core of wide receivers either via the draft or future free agency, Kendricks could have some deep-league value in fantasyland next season.
Shane Vereen, RB, Patriots: Vereen is a home-run hitter who could turn into a nice third-down back for coach Bill Belichick, but he's unlikely to make much of a fantasy impact in what has become a very crowded backfield. In fact, the P-Men now have one of the more confusing running back situations from a fantasy perspective.
Mikel LeShoure, RB, Lions: A bruising back out of Illinois, LeShoure is going to be the "thunder" to Jahvid Best's "lightning" in what now looks like a two-headed backfield in Detroit. Although this addition should help keep Best fresh, it also puts a huge dent into his fantasy value. LeShoure will have middle- to late-round value.
Torrey Smith, WR, Ravens: Smith is a potential vertical threat for the Ravens, but he's going to be hard pressed to make an immediate impact with Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason ahead of him on the depth chart. Although he has some long-term and dynasty-league appeal, Smith isn't going to be a major option in seasonal fantasy formats.
Greg Little, WR, Browns: If you're looking for a rookie sleeper at the wide receiver position, Little is a player to target. The North Carolina product has drawn comparisons to Mike Williams (TB) on more than one occasion and could develop into the Browns' No. 1 wideout in 2011. He'll be worth a late-round look across the board.
Daniel Thomas, RB, Dolphins: If you play fantasy football and haven't heard of Thomas before Friday night, well, you will hear his name come up plenty of times in the next few months. With Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams on the outs, Thomas will have a legitimate chance to start and see a featured role in Miami. He'll have middle-round value.
Randall Cobb, WR, Packers: With James Jones heading to free agency and Donald Driver on the downside of his career, the selection of Cobb made a lot of sense for the Packers. However, his actual impact and his fantasy impact will be like night and day. Cobb is more of a long-term option in fantasy leagues with minimal re-draft value.
Robert Housler, TE, Cardinals: Housler is an athletic tight end out of Florida Atlantic, but he's joining an offense that hasn't had a legitimate fantasy option at the position in what seems like forever. He'll be no more than a complementary option in the passing game and will have little draft-day value outside of deeper dynasty formats.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Cowboys: Murray is a versatile running back, and his presence in the Cowboys' backfield spells doom for Marion Barber. He's not going to overtake Felix Jones on the depth chart, but Murray will compete with Tashard Choice for carries. He'd need to make a huge splash in camp to have more than late-round appeal.
Stevan Ridley, RB, Patriots: Remember when I said the Patriots backfield was getting crowded? Well, now you can add Ridley's name to the list of Vereen, Benjarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead. He's a bruising runner who could push Green-Ellis for carries, but it's hard to see him making much of a fantasy impact right away.
Ryan Mallett, QB, Patriots: You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that Mallett will have absolutely no value in fantasy drafts this season. He'll compete for the right to backup future Hall of Famer Tom Brady and is virtually undraftable in seasonal leagues. Mallett could be worth a look in deeper dynasty leagues, however.
Austin Pettis, WR, Rams: The Rams desperately needed a playmaker at wide receiver, and Pettis isn't the likely solution. Although he is a nice route runner who can also contribute on special teams, Pettis projects to be a potential slot receiver in the future. He won't be worth a look in the majority of seasonal fantasy leagues.
Leonard Hankerson, WR, Redskins: Hankerson has a chance to be a potential fantasy sleeper in 2011. With Santana Moss heading to free agency, the Miami product could end up starting alongside Anthony Armstrong in his rookie campaign. A viable late-round flier, Hankerson is someone to watch during training camp and the preseason.
Vincent Brown, WR, Chargers: A polished wideout with great route-running skills, Brown could push for the third spot on the Chargers' depth chart during training camp. Although he doesn't possess great speed, the San Diego State product does have a lot of positives and could turn into a nice option for fantasy owners down the road.
Jerrel Jernigan, WR, Giants: Jernigan might be small in stature, but he has blazing speed and could fit into a future slot receiver spot with the Giants. Unless Steve Smith has a setback in his return from microfracture knee surgery, however, Jernigan is going to be hard pressed to see enough targets to be worth a look in 2011.
Alex Green, RB, Packers: Mayock said on NFL Network that Green will be "an impact player this year for the Packers," so this kid obviously has a lot of talent. I still don't see him being selected in most re-drafts, but his presence in the Packers' backfield could cool the fantasy jets of James Starks as a potential sleeper.