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Best Case, Worst Case – NFL Draft Edition

By Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)

Hello Dynasty Owners and welcome. This will be the last article you read from me before we know all the results of the 2023 NFL Draft. Given that this is the last article before the draft, I will speculate on some of the best and worst case NFL Draft scenarios for five top current NFL players. In fact, I’m planning on turning the Best Case, Worst Case article into a four-part series. In it, I will discuss roughly 20 top tier players while giving their ceilings for the upcoming year as well as their floor. Today, I’ll center my discussions on players who may be impacted by what their team does in the NFL Draft, but I’ll also weave in some season long best and worst scenarios.

Jordan Love ($3,095,863)

Jordan Love is in the final year of his rookie contract. Despite being in the league for three full years, he has only 50 completions and started only one game. With Aaron Rodgers ($50,271,667) almost surely moving on from the Packers, Love will be the starter in Green Bay.

Best Case: The best case for Love in the 2023 NFL Draft is that he remains as the starting quarterback. This may seem like an obvious statement, but if the Packers use a Day 1 or Day 2 pick on QB, then there will be at least some sort of competition for the starting spot over the next couple of years. I still believe Love would be the best option, but it makes the situation more dubious. The good news is that the Top 4 quarterbacks in this draft (Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson and Will Levis) should be gone by the time the Packers pick at 15th spot overall. In addition to no early QB picks, a first round wide receiver would do wonders for Love’s confidence. With the 15th pick, Jaxon Smith-Njigba (JSN) could be available. This may not be the best landing spot for JSN, but Dynasty Owners with Love on their rosters would be happy.

Worst Case: The worst case for Love is that the Packers trade up into the Top 10 picks to select one of the aforementioned Top 4 QBs. This would be devastating to Love’s potential starting job because the new quarterback would have much more draft capital and would put extreme pressure on Love. Pair this with the fact that they would likely have to trade away their 1.15 pick to move up, and now you are looking at a new QB as well as no wide receiver taken in the first round. I’m not projecting this for the Packers, but it is possible.

Tony Pollard ($10,091,000)

Pollard is set to be the primary running back for the high powered Dallas offense. He impressed last year to the tune of a RB9 finish in Dynasty Owner despite relatively low volume. There is no doubt in my mind that the Cowboys will add another RB through free agency or the draft as their next best RB is Ronald Jones ($1,232,500).

Best Case: Best case for Pollard is that the Cowboys add a Day 3 running back to the mix while also adding an offensive lineman in one of the first two rounds. You may be asking, “why would adding a running back be a good thing?” My answer is that there is no way the Cowboys don’t draft at least one running back this year. The hope for Dynasty Owners with Pollard is that the pick is late enough so that he is just a depth add and not a fundamental running back for the team.

Worst Case: Worst case for Pollard is that Jahmyr Gibbs slips to them at 26th overall and he is their selection. This would not completely destroy Pollard’s fantasy value, but it would take a big bite out of it.

Ken Walker III ($2,110,395)

Walker is my favorite player to talk about when we talk about the NFL Draft. His range of outcomes is extremely variable. Let’s talk about the good first.

Best Case: Best case for Walker is that the Seahawks pass on QB with their first 1st round pick (1.05) and that they pass on running back with their second 1st round pick (1.20). My ultimate fear for Walker is that Bijan Robinson or Gibbs will be taken by the Seahawks. I don’t see that happening, but it’s possible. As long as Ken survives the first and second round as the only reliable starting running back for Seattle, then he should be in fine shape. To a lesser extent, an athletic QB (like Anthony Richardson) would damage a small portion of Walker’s fantasy upside. If the Seahawks take Richardson, I would still expect a full year of Geno Smith ($25,000,000) in 2023, but after that it could be Richardson’s team.

Worst Case: Worse case, in my opinion, would be that the Seahawks take Richardson at 1.05 and Gibbs at 1.20. I think the Richardson pick could happen, but I would say there’s less than a 5% chance they take Gibbs (or any RB) with the 20th pick.

Isaih Pacheco ($934,777)

Pacheco has several things going for him that make me feel negatively. First is the fact that the Chiefs have virtually no draft capital invested in him since he was drafted in the 7th round last year. Second is the fact that recently the Chiefs have had no problem moving on from seemingly more talented running backs even if they do have draft capital, think Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($2,705,393).

Best Case: Best case for Pacheco is that the Chiefs draft a wide receiver in the first round, and they stay away from running back until Day 3 of the NFL Draft. I think this scenario is likely as running backs should be pretty far down on their list of needs. Like most teams, I expect the Chiefs to take a chance on a late round running back at some point.

Worst Case: Worst case for Pacheco is that the Chiefs pull off a carbon copy of what they did when they drafted Edwards-Helaire as the last pick in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The Chiefs once again have the last pick in the first round. As devastating as this would be to both Pacheco and Edwards-Helaire, I don’t think this is likely. As I said above, the Chiefs have more problems than the running back position. Also, at the 31st pick, we would be talking about the 3rd or 4th RB taken in the NFL Draft.

DK Metcalf ($24,000,000)

Pardon me for talking about two Seahawks in this article, but I am very fascinated by what this team will do with two picks inside the Top 20 overall. Metcalf could be a direct winner or loser based on how this first round ends up.

Best Case: The best case for DK in the long run is that Geno Smith completes at least the 2023 season as the Seattle QB and then hands the reins off to an accurate, capable pocket passer. In this case, I would love to see the Seahawks get C.J. Stroud. The fact is that Stroud is less willing to take off and run when comparing him to the other top QBs in the class (Young, Richardson and Levis). This bodes well for more passing and more attempts for every Seattle receiver.

Worst Case: This is the best part about Metcalf for the next couple of years…I really don’t see that much of a downside for him. The worst case is that the Seahawks pass on QB in the first round, and they draft a WR with the 20th pick. This really isn’t that bad of a scenario as Geno Smith is more than capable of supporting two Top 20 wide receivers. The addition of another wide receiver through the NFL Draft doesn’t scare me much as the wide receiver core for the Seahawks is rather thin at the moment.

Over the next couple of months, I am going to continue my Best Case, Worst Case series. I’m going to focus the rest of the articles on what the absolute best and worst case scenarios are for some players during the 2023 season.

Message me on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I would appreciate it if you followed @Dynasty_Owner on Twitter as well as subscribed to Dynasty Owner on YouTube. Thank you all. Take care and be safe.


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