Second-round wide receivers don't always turn into immediate Fantasy contributors, but it happens often enough that you've gotta make sure you always keep them in mind when you're preparing for the upcoming season. They usually cost very little in Fantasy drafts, which can make the guys who do hit that much more valuable. Over the last 10 seasons, there have been 11 rookies drafted in the second round to average at least 50 yards per game, including Tee Higgins and Chase Claypool in 2020 and Deebo Samuel, DK Metcalf, and A.J. Brown in 2019. You were pretty pleased if you had any of those guys on your roster, for sure.

So, which of the 2021 draft's second-rounders are going to make that kind of impact? Well, obviously, there isn't an impactful second-round rookie every year, so there's no guarantee that any will come from this class, first of all.

And, to be perfectly honest, I don't feel particularly confident in most of this year's crop. Five wide receivers were taken in the second round Friday, after five wide receivers were taking in the first round. And, to be honest, I actually like a few of the second-rounders more than a few of the first-rounders. 

Here's how I have those five in the second round ranked for 2021 drafts:

  1. Terrace Marshall, Panthers
  2. Rondale Moore, Cardinals
  3. Elijah Moore, Jets
  4. D'Wayne Eskridge, Seahawks
  5. Tutu Atwell, Rams

But that ordinal ranking list doesn't really capture how I actually view them. Because I've got Marshall ranked third among all rookie wideouts right now, and he's closer to No. 2 (DeVonta Smith) than No. 4 (Jaylen Waddle). And Rondale Moore is my No. 5 rookie receiver, ahead of late first-rounders Kadarius Toney and Rashod Bateman. 

But they obviously aren't all made equal. Here are some quick thoughts about each of the second round WR and how I'm viewing them for 2021:

Terrace Marshall, Panthers

I like the talent here, and I potentially love the landing spot. Sure, he's gotta deal with a gigantic question mark at QB in Sam Darnold, who needs to take a massive leap forward after the Panthers traded for him following three mostly dreadful seasons with the Jets. But if Darnold can even be passable -- I'm talking not even as good as Teddy Bridgewater was in 2020, just decent -- this could be a very fun offense. Marshall figures to be fourth in the hierarchy even if he plays well, behind D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, and Christian McCaffrey, but he could still see upwards of 90 targets. And, given his size and build, he could be arguably the team's best red zone receiver already. That's one place the Panthers really struggled last season. I have him ranked as WR56 in my overall re-draft rankings, and I'd be happy to take him around the 10th round. 

Early 2021 projection


Terrace Marshall








Rondale Moore, Cardinals

I kind of love Moore's landing spot too, though I don't rank him as highly for Marshall because I have more questions about how likely he is to see a bunch of targets. Kliff Kingsbury's ideal offense would see the Cardinals throw the ball a lot, which is great, but he would probably prefer to see the ball get spread around a lot. Obviously, DeAndre Hopkins will continue to be a target hog, and I have Moore, Christian Kirk, and A.J. Green all between 14-15% target shares, with running back Chase Edmonds coming in at 13%. That's the most likely outcome. But there's also the possibility that Moore -- who was viewed by some as a potential first-rounder if not for injury concerns -- could just be the second-best receiver on this team before long and his playmaking ability after the catch is a perfect fit for how Kingsbury's offense has worked. There's legit No. 3 WR upside here for Fantasy. I rank him outside of the top 60 at the position, but Moore will be on quite a few of my teams if I can get him after the 10th round or so. 

Early 2021 projection


Rondale Moore








Elijah Moore, Jets

The other Moore actually went first, with the Jets snagging him with the No. 34 overall pick, and that's no small thing. Draft capital matters when projecting Fantasy value moving forward, and Moore figures to get plenty of leeway even if he struggles. Right now, my expectations for Moore are pretty low, but one roster move would change that in a hurry: releasing Jamison Crowder. Right now, the Jets have four viable receivers to sort through between Moore, Crowder, Denzel Mims, and Corey Davis. My expectation is Davis will be the top option and Mims second, while Crowder and Moore pull from each other, since both are best suited for a slot role. If Crowder is out of the picture, maybe Moore is the No. 2 receiver here. This probably still won't be a great pass offense, but Moore has upside to be a legitimate flex starter, so don't take his projected ranking at face value. Elijah Moore will be a fine late-round upside stash.

Early 2021 projection


Elijah Moore








D'Wayne Eskridge, Seahawks

And this is where things stop being all that interesting. You can understand why the Seahawks would want Eskridge, a burner who averaged 21.9 yards per reception over his final three years at Western Michigan. That sounds like a pretty good fit with Russell Wilson, no? The problem, of course, is that the Seahawks already have a couple of pretty great wide receivers who can and do routinely make plays down the field. Eskridge is also nine months older than DK Metcalf, which is pretty wild as Metcalf enters his third season in the NFL. Eskridge should play a role immediately for Seattle, but he seems destined to be the guy you get excited to see scoring a long touchdown when Red Zone switches over mid-play, only to be disappointed it's not Tyler Lockett. So, the David Moore role. 

Early 2021 projection


D'Wayne Eskridge








Tutu Atwell, Rams

If you thought I sounded like a bummer when talking about Eskridge, wait until you hear what I have to say about Atwell. Atwell actually has a solid production profile, having put up a pretty massive 1,272-yard, 11-touchdown season as a 19-year-old in 2019. However, he wasn't as good in 2020, which is your first red flag, though not the biggest. The biggest is that Atwell is all of 5-foot-9, 155 pounds; compare that to the Moores, both of whom are 5-foot-9 or shorter but weight in at around 175-180. Atwell can still be a playmaker, and Sean McVay is sure to find some creative ways to use him. But it's hard to see him as much more than a gimmick player, the way Tavon Austin was back in the day. Austin had some seasons of Fantasy relevance, though he too was closer to 180 pounds than 160. In a best-case scenario, Atwell is the No. 3 option in the passing game who gets a few carries a week to try to create a big play. But there just isn't much track record of players this small succeeding at the NFL level, and I just can't bring myself to get excited about him. 

Early 2021 projection


Tutu Atwell