Back in February I decided that I wanted to see where future NFL rookies were currently being valued among the dynasty community. But how do you do that in a way that makes sense? How do you get a good sample? Luckily, I had already done this last year before and after the NFL Draft so this wasn’t some recent stroke of genius. I simply decided to ask you, the dynasty fantasy football community.
So over the course of the past few weeks I conducted a series of Twitter polls once again to see how the perception and value of incoming rookies had changed in just a few short months. The results were drastically different from February. And apparently the closer you get to the NFL Draft, the more responses you get.
In February I was able to pull together 3,287 votes over the 24 polls (two full rounds) of rookie draft data. In April 5,374 votes were compiled (about 224 votes per poll). Now that’s what I call a solid sample.
So, without further ado, let’s see who you all selected in the first two rounds of the pre-draft Twitter poll mock. And hey, if you have any questions or comments find me on Twitter @FF_TravisM.
1.01 – Leonard Fournette (RB, LSU)
Fournette sat at the 1.02 in February, but thanks to Dalvin Cook’s horrid NFL Combine performance this 240-pund beast rose to the top. He didn’t quite run as fast as some people thought he would at 4.51 seconds in the forty, but that should be more than sufficient given his size. Fournette took down 46% of the vote here convincingly at the 1.01.
1.02 – Corey Davis (WR, Western Michigan)
Corey Davis, the most productive wide receiver in college football history easily took down the 1.02 with 47% of the vote here. The only concern that anyone seems to have with Corey these days is that he didn’t play for a big name school. If you break down how he dominated all levels of competition that he faced Corey should be a top two pick regardless of landing spot.
1.03 – Dalvin Cook (RB, Florida State)
When a running back who is supposed to be a stud posts a bottom three agility score at the NFL Combine his value is going to take a massive hit. Dalvin fell from the 1.01 in February to the 1.03 here, but still won fairly convincingly. Joe Mixon (27%) and Christian McCaffrey (23%) both earned a healthy amount of votes in this poll, but Dalvin still took down 40% of the total votes. His fantastic career at Florida State cannot be denied.
1.04 – Joe Mixon (RB, Oklahoma)
The hate seems to fade with each day as we get closer and closer to seeing Joe Mixon in an NFL uniform. His domestic violence incident will be brought up on draft day, but it’s clear that his talent can not and will not be denied. If anyone in this class is David Johnson, it’s Joe Mixon. He’s got ideal feature back size, but can catch better than many receivers. He barely edged out Christian McCaffrey here with 38% of the vote to McCaffrey’s 32%.
1.05 – Christian McCaffrey (RB, Stanford)
McCaffrey’s Combine performance catapulted him into the “best running back in this class” conversation. People are finally starting to realize that he does indeed have adequate size to be more than a scat back at the NFL level. He was top five in nearly every combine measurable. It looks as though he won’t make it out of round one in the NFL Draft. McCaffrey could easily go higher than 1.05 in many rookie drafts this year.
1.06 – Mike Williams (WR, Clemson)
Until the NFL Draft is complete the 1.06 seems to be the end of a tier in terms of consensus across the community. Big Mike absolutely killed all of the other options in this poll. Many are concerned with his speed, but real NFL scouts are still infatuated with Mike Williams. He’s going to be given every opportunity to succeed at the next level after he’s selected in round one. The dynasty community still seems to believes that too.
1.07 – JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR, US)
JuJu Smith-Schuster won this poll over OJ Howard by one vote. That’s quite the fall for a prospect who has been expected to be one of the top wide receivers in this class for the past two years. In February (and even last fall) his value was already falling, but to nearly lose to a tight end is pretty disappointing given how early JuJu dominated college football.
1.08 – OJ Howard (TE, Alabama)
OJ Howard is some kind of crazy beast. He’s the size of defensive end, runs faster than the average wide receiver, and has better agility than over half of the running backs in this class. Not only that, but he just simply seems to impress every NFL scout he comes in contact with. After the Senior Bowl his hype seemingly reached the stratosphere. Don’t expect him to land any time soon.
1.09 – John Ross (WR, Washington)
Did you know John Ross ran a 4.22-second forty-yard dash? You probably did since that’s an NFL Combine record and everyone went bonkers when it happened. John Ross could very well be the first wide receiver off the board in the NFL Draft if poor medicals don’t scare teams away. In most rookie drafts John Ross will not make it past this pick unless the league is TE premium or superflex.
1.10 – Alvin Kamara (RB, Tennessee)
As I’ve mentioned on the Dynasty Life Pod and a couple articles over at Dynasty League Football, Alvin Kamara was an amazing five-star recruit coming into college. Living in Tennessee all I heard was “if he ever gets his chance…” when it came to Kamara. He finally did get his chance and impressed in a limited sample. If he’s taken inside the top 50 picks Kamara will almost assuredly find himself inside round one of nearly all rookie drafts.
1.11 – Evan Engram (TE, Ole Miss)
When a tight end runs a 4.42 here’s what you do. Let your jaw relax so that it can drop properly. Try to maintain balance so you don’t fall over and hit your head. Take a sip of whatever you’re drinking (if you’re not drinking anything, go grab something really quick) and intentionally spew it on the person standing next to you. But then shortly thereafter (and most importantly) you select him in the late first round of your rookie draft. He’s the best receiver in this class of tight ends. If you get Evan Engram at pick 11 after he lands in a decent spot you’re flat out stealing.
1.12 – D’Onta Foreman (RB, Texas)
D’Onta is the biggest non-power back in existence. He also dropped some weight to reach 233 pounds by the NFL Combine. His pro-day 40-yard dash in the mid-4.4s makes him an amazing upside pick here. Foreman’s massive production in his final year at Texas may have expectations above where they need to be here though. If this massive running back “drops” to the third round of the NFL Draft (like he probably will) he’ll be taken in the second round of most rookie drafts.
2.01 – Chris Godwin (WR, Penn State)
Chris Godwin’s mix of pedigree (former four-star recruit), athleticism, and production have made him a massive riser as we’ve approached the draft. He wasn’t even on the radar for a second round rookie selection until March. Now he could find himself creeping into the first round of many rookie drafts. He beat every other potential prospect in this poll by 15%. Expect that number to keep growing if he’s taken inside round two.
2.02 – David Njoku (TE, Miami)
When I found out that David Njoku could high jump over 7 feet in high school I couldn’t stop being amazed by that. Plus he just converted from wide receiver to tight end to start college. There are tons of reasons to have hope for David’s future. This freak athlete just needs to hone his blocking skills to stay on the field and we could be looking at TE1 (overall) upside by year two for the 20-year-old Njoku.
2.03 – Samaje Perine (RB, Oklahoma)
Perine (pronounced Pee-Rhine) was never going to be a burner, but his lack of any top end speed definitely scares a few people. Many savvy dynasty owners will salivate over the thought of grabbing Samaje here in the 2.03 slot though. He bounces off and through contact possibly better than any running back in this draft besides maybe Leonard Fournette. Samaje took down this poll with 49% of the total vote (between the four options).
2.04 – Curtis Samuel (WR, Ohio State)
Curtis Samuel is possibly the most confusing and intriguing fantasy football prospect this year. He had a fairly late break out thanks to being buried behind several future NFL players. Is he a running back? Is he a wide receiver? Most teams will probably deploy him in the slot, but he would be a lot of fun in a Theo Riddick or Ty Montgomery role. If he goes inside round two of the NFL Draft he could go inside round one of rookie drafts here and there.
2.05 – Carlos Henderson (WR, Louisiana Tech)
Carlos Henderson’s explosion of production in 2016 was flat out amazing. He’s a YAC monster who can beat you at every level, including the return game. His rise has been nearly as impressive as Godwin’s over the past few months. This spot may be near his ceiling for rookie pick value though.
2.06 – Zay Jones (WR, East Carolina)
Zay Jones is the king of screens and curl routes. And yes, that’s selling what he did short. When you catch around 150 balls in a single season you’ll generally warrant at least second round rookie draft consideration. A few real NFL scouts believe he could go as early as the end of round one. That’s preposterous, but he could be a decent WR2 for an NFL team one day.
2.07 – Kareem Hunt (RB, Toledo)
I’ll never understand the Kareem Hunt hype personally, but he just keeps going in this range of many rookie mocks. He’s a slow small school running back, but runs with a passion on every touch. According to some he’s incredibly elusive as well. I will have exactly zero shares of Kareem Hunt because there will always be someone who ranks him higher.
2.08 – KD Cannon (WR, Baylor)
This former five-star kid is a little undersized, but man can he play. There were definitely examples where he struggled with concentration drops, but he could potentially make a DeSean Jackson type impact for the right offense. Cannon’s rookie value is all over the place. He could drop into the third round if he isn’t selected very early in the draft.
2.09 – Jamaal Williams (RB, BYU)
Jamaal Williams seems to have a loyal following that inflates his average draft position in rookie drafts. I like his drive (as put on display at the Senior Bowl) and near feature back build. However he disappointed in just about every drill at the combine. He will be more opportunity dependent than possibly any other running back selected up to this point.
2.10 – Jeremy McNichols (RB, Boise State)
On the flip side, Jeremy McNichols killed the combine for his size. Many were uncertain how he would test, but he silenced the doubters with his 4.49-second forty, solid jumps, and fantastic agility score. Jeremy could be the next Boise State running back to make his presence felt in the NFL (just like Ajayi and Doug Martin). He could go much higher than this when it’s all said and done. He took down 47% off the votes on this poll.
2.11 – Isaiah Ford (WR, Virginia Tech)
Isaiah Ford put up some great numbers at Virginia Tech and almost nobody noticed. I’ve been a supporter of his for some time. If he drops to this point and beyond he’s a great value. Ford may actually be the best route runner in this class. Take advantage of those league mates that are completely dismissing him.
2.12 – Malachi Dupre (WR, LSU)
How many wide receivers that are perhaps the consensus top recruit in their class heading into college drop to pick 24 in their rookie draft when they head to the NFL? Unless they completely flame out in college (due to injury or other strange factors) basically zero. Malachi wins at the line, on deep routes and in the red zone. If he drops to the third round you better “run to the podium” with your rookie draft selection.
First Three Out:
Taywan Taylor (WR, Western Kentucky) – Taywan is an ultra-productive non-power conference product who could go as early as day two of the NFL Draft. He won’t make it much further than the beginning of round three in rookie drafts.
DeDe Westbrook (WR, Oklahoma) – It seems like forever ago that he was a Heisman candidate. He also happens to be incredibly old for a rookie wide receiver. DeDe has great speed, but is also very frail. He could go even later than expected.
Wayne Gallman (RB, Clemson) – The bottom absolutely fell out on Gallman’s dynasty value. He was a borderline first round devy league pick just last year. However, I believe people realized that it was more of the Clemson offense making Gallman great than the other way around.
Thanks for reading! Again, come find me on Twitter and party @FF_TravisM. Good luck in all of your rookie drafts and enjoy the real draft here soon!