The Footballguys staff recently held a dynasty rookie mock draft. The mock draft consisted of two, 12-pick rounds. The picks and commentary are below.
2.12 Jeff Tefertiller – Auden Tate – While Tate tested much slower than expected, he is a player who dominates in the redzone and runs solid routes. While many will discount him due to his 4-yard dash time, Tate could follow in the shoes of another ex-Florida State Seminole who ran slowly but was a great NFL receiver, Anquan Boldin.
2.11 James Brimacombe - Sam Darnold - Finding a strong fantasy Quarterback is becoming harder each year and getting a top prospect like Sam Darnold in the late second round screams value to me. In recent year rookie drafts, quarterbacks are becoming an afterthought as most would rather try to hit on a running back or wide receiver. I am looking at the value from last year in Deshaun Watson as most didn't want to waste a 2nd round pick on him in their rookie drafts. Darnold is my favorite quarterback in this draft class and that sounds funny saying after both Mark and Jason stated that their personal favorites are Josh Allen and Josh Rosen.
2.10 Jason Wood - Josh Rosen - Rosen is my favorite among a crowded quarterback class. I don't think any of the projected early-round quarterbacks are without flaws, and ultimately, I think Lamar Jackson will be the better contributor in 2018-2019 based on his athleticism. However, Rosen is my pick to emerge from this group as a consistent, near-dominant, pro passer. I've been immensely impressed by his maturity and thoughtfulness. What some see as a distraction (i.e., being political), I see it as a way to de-risk the mental part of being a team leader. I have no doubt Rosen can and will lead his team in and out of the huddle. Combine that with measurements that fit the NFL bill, and what I think is Quarterback play that was above his supporting talent at UCLA, and I'm more than happy to tuck Rosen away and wait for him to start winning me league titles in a season or two.
2.09 Dan Hindery - Deon Cain - I would have loved to land Dallas Goedert or Mike Gesicki here, but both are off the board. With the top backs and receivers gone, I would target one of the top quarterbacks at this spot but only if my team didn’t already have a good young quarterback in place.
Of the mid-round receiver prospects, Deon Cain possesses one of the highest ceilings. He has excellent speed for his size, running a 4.43-second forty-yard dash at 6’2, 202 pounds. While some off-field issues (failed drug tests as a freshman) and concentration drops kept him from having a great career at Clemson, he was still productive as a big-play receiver with 20 touchdown catches and a career average of 15.7 yards per catch.
2.08 Scott Bischoff - Anthony Miller – A strong 2017 campaign showcased Miller’s play-making ability to the country. His strong game against UCLA early in the season vaulted Miller’s stock in the eyes of many.
2.07 Matt Bitonti - Mike Gesicki – The gifted tight end tested better than 99.3% of all drafted NFL TE according to SPARQ numbers as calculated by 3sigmaathlete.com. I can see the Patriots swipe him at some point and plug him into the lineup opposite Gronkowski.
2.06 Daniel Simpkins - Royce Freeman - I am elated to be able to take Freeman this late when I had considered taking him with the 1.06. I opted for Sony Michel on the chance that Freeman might fall and was rewarded. I doubt I will be so lucky in my real drafts in May! I expect to see Freeman creep into the back of the first round when more people catch on to his talent. Freeman’s skills are not that far from Guice and Chubb’s. His footwork, fluid movement, natural pass catching, balance, and vision are every bit as good as theirs. The lack of breakaway speed is the trait to which most of his detractors point, but how often does a runner get a completely open field in which to work? His blocking needs to greatly improve, but that is a concern for many rookie runners. I love the value proposition that Freeman presents— a back that might have every bit of the fantasy appeal of those drafted much further ahead of him in rookie drafts.
2.05 Mark Wimer – Josh Allen - I wanted Josh Allen a round ago and here he falls into my lap at 2.05 - so that's my pick. Allen has the most fantasy upside of this class at quarterback, and as I wrote previously I think that he could develop into a Brett Favre-type gunslinger at the NFL level. I won several leagues with Favre leading my fantasy teams back in the day, so I am thrilled to acquire Allen here in this rookie draft. My dynasty squad is set up for many years with the Allen-to-Ridley tandem.
2.04 Jeff Haseley - Dallas Goedert - At this point of the draft, several notable blue-chip players are off the board making this a good opportunity to target the first tight end in the class or a potential franchise quarterback. Tight end is usually a position that requires a year of growth and development before being fantasy-ready, however, if you wait too long, you may lose out on the difference makers of the future. South Dakota State's Dallas Goedert has the physical tools and all-around skills to be a play-maker in the league. He blocks well, which will get him on the field, and his athleticism, speed, and frame to entice teams with tight end in need. His background in a lesser known conference and school may deter some from targeting him this early, but I believe he's the premier tight end in this draft. A good landing spot could elevate his status to the end of round one or beginning of round two.
2.03 Devin Knotts – DJ Chark – Chark is very athletic and tested well at the NFL Combine. Chark was under-utilized at LSU and suffered through poor quarterback play.
2.02 Bob Henry - Christian Kirk – The multi-dimensional threat will be a Top-50 pick and add value in a variety of ways. He has the speed and play-making ability to be a fantasy producer as a receiver, returner, and even a runner.
2.01 Stephen Holloway – Kerryon Johnson - Johnson was productive for Auburn for his first two seasons and then dominated as a junior. His forte was his strength and ability to wear down SEC defenses as the game went on. He was the state of Alabama’s Mr. Football as a high school senior and was also All-State in basketball. Although he did not run the 40-yard dash, he tested very well at the Combine, particularly in the vertical and broad jump. He is a much better receiver than most suspect.
1.12 Jeff Tefertiller - Equanimeous St. Brown - St. Brown had a good 2016 season with DeShone Kizer under center but languished in 2017 under poor quarterback play. St. Brown is a great route runner and is able to make plays after the catch.
1.11 James Brimacombe - James Washington - WR class is not great but with Washington you have a lot of upside and when drafting at the bottom of the first round of rookie drafts that is exactly what you are looking for. You want to take a shot and not play it safe and Washington has all the tools to grab plenty of receptions at the next level and in College he also had a knack for finding the endzone. He is the type of WR that teams will be looking for in the vertical game as he averages over 20 yards per catch over 3 years. He compares to Corey Coleman, so it will be important to see what offense Washington lands in and if he gets a quarterback with some deep arm strength he could be a big asset right out of the gate.
1.10 Jason Wood - Michael Gallup - The receiver class is fairly flat at the top beyond Ridley, with different GMs likely preferring different receivers 2nd overall. It seems to me that most of the receivers in the running for high picks are smaller receivers likely to thrive as possession roles in or out of the slot. Gallup is a different type of prospect. He's 6'1", 205 pounds and is a true all-around receiver capable of getting vertical, playing physically, and beating defenders at the point of attack. For a smaller school prospect, he looked the part at the Combine and showed well in all the drills. Gallup probably has a bigger downside than some receivers yet to be drafted, but he's the only receiver outside of Ridley who could be rookie of the year under the right circumstances.
1.09 Dan Hindery - Courtland Sutton - With the top running backs off the board, Sutton is an ideal target in the mid-to-late 1st round. He has a game similar to Michael Thomas and could be an instant impact receiver if he lands in a high-volume offense with an accurate Quarterback. Sutton quietly had an excellent Combine for a player his size, with testing numbers almost identical to those of Thomas coming out of Ohio State two years ago. Both measured in at 6’3 and put up 18 reps in the bench press. Sutton weighed in at 218 (6 pounds heavier than Thomas) and ran slightly faster (4.54 to 4.57) than Thomas. Sutton’s numbers were also nearly identical in the jumps and slightly faster in the shuttles.
1.08 Scott Bischoff - Rashaad Penny - Penny is a player who is slowly gaining national attention but has been on my radar for some time. He put up huge collegiate numbers and looks to be the sleeper tailback in this draft class.
1.07 Matt Bitonti - DJ Moore- There's this big question after Ridley who is next best WR prospect. Here's a nomination for DJ Moore. He murdered the combine and had tons of production in a major conference, despite having cardboard cut-outs throwing to him at QB. As an OL/DL guy, I tend to rely on stats and comps. Moore comps to Stefon Diggs, who also went to Maryland. Since I am not allowed to draft Quenton Nelson, let's take a shot with the speedster. Coaches love players who can take the top off the other team's defense.
1.06 Daniel Simpkins - Sony Michel - At the sixth pick in this draft, I’m lucky to be able to take a back who would probably be in early consideration in any other class. I like to think of him as a superior version of Tevin Coleman. His vision and ability to accelerate through the hole are things that stand out to me when I watch his game tape. He transitions seamlessly between pressing along the line to making a one-step cut and bursting upfield. I love how he keeps his pads level to win extra yardage on his carries. His college coaches rave about his work ethic, which is also a plus. While I want to see Michel improve his pass catching, it’s not something I’m worried about long-term.
1.05 Mark Wimer – Calvin Ridley - With the top running back prospects gone from the board, I agonized over going QB vs. WR here - if I had a need at QB in a dynasty league then I might have pulled the trigger on Josh Allen, who may become a gun-slinger in the mold of a Brett Favre at the NFL level. However, I am convinced that Ridley could be the next high-impact "Calvin" to enter the NFL (in the mold of Calvin Johnson) - so here I go Ridley and hope for years of top-tier production at wide receiver #1 for my fantasy squads.
1.04 Jeff Haseley - Ronald Jones - Most rookie drafts have at least one wide receiver in the first three picks, leaving either Nick Chubb or Derrius Guice available at pick four. This was not the case in this draft, and depending on my roster, I probably would've selected a wide receiver here. My gut leans more towards James Washington as my top wide receiver but landing spot will play a big role in how my rankings change after the draft. I would argue running back is a deeper position in this draft, which led me to select Ronald Jones here, my third-ranked rookie running back behind Saquon Barkley and Derrius Guice.
Jones has adequate size to be a full-time ball carrier with good dexterity and elusiveness to command 15 carries a game. Many liken him to a Jamaal Charles comparison with the frame and flowing dreadlocks to boot. His receiving prowess isn't as refined as Charles', but that could improve with experience and coaching. A hamstring injury from the combine may push him down the draft ranks, which makes him an ideal mid-late round selection in rookie drafts.
1.03 Devin Knotts – Nick Chubb – The Senior tailback showed during the season and at the NFL Combine that he is fully back from his knee injury. Chubb displays great vision and is able to get up the field quickly.
1.02 Bob Henry - Derrius Guice – Guice has a low center of gravity and is a powerful runner. Even with playing in the shadow of Leonard Fournette, Guice had some monster games at LSU. He battled injuries throughout his college career but has a very high pro ceiling.
1.01 Stephen Holloway – Saquon Barkley – Barkley is the top pick in all fantasy formats. He put up big numbers at Penn State even with a middling offensive line. Barkley has the size, speed, and vision to be a great NFL running back.
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