The NFL Draft was a blast, but now what? Well, for some of us we have the summer to figure all this out. However, for many, you may only have a few short days or weeks to figure all the rookies out. I know most of my rookie drafts for all of my dynasty leagues are coming up and I cannot wait. All of this rookie mock draft talk is going to turn into real rookie draft talk soon, so let’s get prepared!
Before the draft, some of you may have read my pre-draft rookie mock draft piece that you can find here. All I did was hold 24 polls on Twitter to generate what the first two rounds of dynasty rookie mock drafts might look like. Nearly 2000 votes later and the people had spoken.
Now, less than two weeks from the conclusion of the NFL Draft let’s take another look at all the top rookie players the dynasty community is looking to add to their teams this year. These are the results of 24 more polls since then.
As always, don’t be a stranger. Find me on Twitter @FF_TravisM and we’ll chat it up about all these guys and more. Also, check out my rookie rankings if you want a little extra help too.
Pick 1.01 – Ezekiel Elliot RB (Dallas Cowboys)
Surprise! You remember that RB that some are calling the best since Adrian Peterson. That’s this guy. And, oh yeah, you remember that guy that may or may not have the best run-blocking offensive line in front of him this year? Yeah, that’s this guy. If your league doesn’t pick this guy at 1.01 you probably need to find some new friends. He took home 91% of the votes on this Twitter poll. It should have been more.
Pick 1.02 – Laquon Treadwell WR (Minnesota Vikings)
Okay, so the results of this did somewhat surprise me. Even with Teddy “Bad At Throwing The Deep Ball” Bridgewater as his QB I still like Tread. However, many fantasy writers I’ve talked to had moved Josh Doctson, Corey Coleman (or both) ahead of him since the draft. Still, Treadwell took home 53% of the vote on this one (Doctson was 2nd with 26%). It looks like many still like Laquon Treadwell (still not quite 21 years old) as the best long-term WR to own in this class despite his “slow” 40-time. Talent tends to trump situation. I like it.
Pick 1.03 – Josh Doctson WR (Washington Redskins)
The results for the 1.03 were about as close as it gets (48% to 46% for Doctson over Coleman). Many believe Josh Doctson to be the premier talent at WR in this class, so it only makes sense that he defended his throne at the 1.03. However, it will be interesting to see how quickly Doctson contributes in Washington with their temporary depth at the WR position. Pierre Garcon’s days are numbered, though. I like Doctson over Coleman myself, even if Coleman outperforms him in year 1.
Pick 1.04 – Corey Coleman WR (Cleveland Browns)
This is the end of the 2nd tier in this draft class. Tier 1: Zeke. Tier 2: Treadwell, Doctson, Coleman. It’s pretty clear. If Coleman earns the targets that most people believe he will in 2016 Coleman’s dynasty stock could soar. I think for many the concern is still, well, the Browns. They haven’t exactly churned out a lot of studs in the last, what, 15 years? I’m rooting for the guy, and he’s got talent. Now let’s see if RG3 can get him the ball.
Pick 1.05 – Sterling Shepard WR (New York Giants)
Here’s where the pre vs. post draft results began to change. Part of Sterling’s rise in rookie drafts probably has to do with the uncertainty surrounding the roles of Derrick Henry & Leonte Carroo (presumed 1.05 & 1.06 before the NFL Draft). However, part of this change definitely is the result of the perceived opportunity for Sterling across from Odell Beckham Jr. this season. Both Shepard and Beckham were most likely the best route runners in their respective classes. They both aren’t huge mauler WRs. Both are sub-4.5-second forty fast. Both should be on the field for 90% or more of the passing plays for the Giants. Sterling Shepard was intriguing before the draft, but is now going to be hard to get past even the 1.06 in most rookie drafts.
Pick 1.06 – Michael Thomas WR (New Orleans Saints)
The “Bad” Michael Thomas leapfrogged some people here. Before the the draft, Thomas came in as the 9th overall pick in our first rookie mock. Many people are assuming he comes in and takes the Marques Colston role right away. That may be the case eventually, but it will probably take him time to adjust since he never really played much in the slot at Ohio State (Colston did a lot of work in that position). There should be zero reason Willie Snead or Brandon Coleman stop him from instant impact, though. This guy’s not going outside the top 8 in your drafts, period.
Pick 1.07 – Kenneth Dixon RB (Baltimore Ravens)
If you’ve read anything of mine, you may already know Dixon’s my guy. Don’t let his landing spot fool you. Many savvy dynasty owners have already realized that Justin Forsett is an old man on the outs & Buck Allen failed to blow anyone away last year in limited time. Dixon is the far superior runner in between the tackles between he & Allen. His receiving chops are probably just about on par with Allen too. Dixon’s a complete back. I know in my home league he won’t even make it to the 7th pick. Grab him with confidence as the 2nd best back of this draft in a fantastic situation.
Pick 1.08 – Derrick Henry RB (Tennessee Titans)
If you were listening to our live NFL Draft podcast you may already know that my initial reaction was to vomit uncontrollably after my Titans took Henry. I’ve warmed up to the idea of Henry for real football purposes, but for fantasy this isn’t a pretty situation right away. DeMarco Murray will definitely be around for at least two more seasons given the massive amount of dead contract money through 2017 that the Titans would have to eat if they cut him. I’m okay taking Henry in the 8th spot of fantasy drafts, but definitely no sooner.
Pick 1.09 – Tyler Boyd WR (Cincinnati Bengals)
Since Boyd underwhelmed at the NFL Combine in February he’s become somewhat of an afterthought for many. Even now it seems his slight rise in public perception (from 1.11 to 1.09 since before the draft) is simply due to the not-so-ideal landing spots of Carroo & Fuller (whether that should be the case or not). I’m not sure Boyd’s ever going to be a real fantasy WR1 given his lack of elite attributes, but near the end of round 1 I’d take a look at a guy who could be a back end WR2 sooner than later.
Pick 1.10 – Leonte Carroo WR (Miami Dolphins)
Okay, so maybe the hype got a little out of control with Carroo. A few respected fantasy sites went bonkers hyping Carroo’s “metrics” so much that even I was buying. I’m not saying Carroo isn’t a solid WR prospect. He could be a beast. However, the Miami WR corps is now a three-headed monster that may not be good for anyone. If Carroo is as fantastic as his “metrics” suggest, maybe he can break through and be the real number 1 for the Dolphins one day. I’m not so sure about that. I am sure that he still, from a talent standpoint, deserves to be a back end round 1 guy in rookie drafts this year.
Pick 1.11 – C.J. Prosise RB (Seattle Seahawks)
The Seattle backfield is a mess. You can disagree all you want, but there’s simply no denying it. Rawls owners say he’s the guy. Prosise truthers say he’s the guy. Three random hicks from backwoods Arkansas say Alex Collins is the guy. Plus Tre Madden & the GOAT Christine Michael are still there. You get the point. The truth is though, Prosise has some fantastic receiving chops, the build of a true feature back, & impressed in his first full year at the RB position. I think he beats out the average athlete, that is Thomas Rawls, at some point. Yeah, I said it.
Pick 1.12 – Will Fuller WR (Houston Texans)
Fuller landed in a confusing spot. We know what his role will be. He’s going to run straight down the field 20+ times a game and land a few splash plays. That’s nice. His truthers will say he’s not a one trick pony. They’re mistaken. He’ll be a second fiddle deep threat that could accidentally land inside the top 20 WRs for a couple years thanks to his boom or bust skills. This year, in this terrible class, that’s worth a late first, apparently.
Pick 2.01 – Paul Perkins RB (New York Giants)
Well, for Perkins’ lovers. the best and worst happened. The good news is that Perkins has an easy road to immediate impact in a backfield full of old and bad running backs. The bad news is that now Perkins could end up being the second rookie RB off boards in redraft leagues and you’ll be hard pressed to nab him past pick 15 in any dynasty rookie draft. He was going about 2.04 before the draft, but now I’d take him even a little earlier than this. He’s a back that can do everything you want him to, above average, but not outstanding (except force missed tackles, he’s amazing at that). Let’s hope that translates into fantasy success.
Pick 2.02 – Devontae Booker RB (Denver Broncos)
Just when we thought the Broncos were confident in C.J. Anderson, they go grab Booker. If Booker comes back 100% healthy for 2016 right away he’ll be a running back to watch, but unless C.J. falters early, Booker will have to wait. His stock didn’t change much, and it really shouldn’t. This spot isn’t perfect, but it’s not bad either given C.J. Anderson’s inconsistency. The 2.02 is just about right for a back that could be the second best in the class.
Pick 2.03 – Malcolm Mitchell WR (New England Patriots)
Stop. Malcolm Mitchell isn’t converting to defensive back. That’s just Bill Belichick screwing with everyone because he can. Despite that nonsense, Malcolm’s had a steep rise in rookie draft stock since the NFL Draft (all the way from 2.09). I pegged Malcolm Mitchell as a late round steal rookie draft steal in early March, but people have finally awakened to see his talent. Tom Brady has made his money with short to intermediate range passes for his entire career (outside of the Moss years). That’s what Malcolm destroyed DBs with in his final year at Georgia. Look to see Mitchell quickly usurp the recently less expensive Danny Amendola (with his restructured contract) pretty early.
Pick 2.04 – Jared Goff QB (Los Angeles Rams)
Don’t freak out. Maybe people thought this was a superflex league? I don’t know. Last year Jameis Winston went earlier than this, but it’s a fairly consensus thought that he was far superior to Goff. This is a lot earlier than I’m wanting a QB, even in this pitiful class of skill position players. If someone else wants to take a Jeff Fisher QB before several worthy flex players let them do it. Jared Goff could be fantastic one day, but at a replaceable position this is still too early.
Pick 2.05 – Jordan Howard RB (Chicago Bears)
Many of you may already know how I feel about Jordan Howard. Picture Jeremy Hill with slightly less agility, but maybe better vision. Jordan Howard may have a better landing spot than Hill, though. Gio Bernard was the first RB taken in his class. He’s an absolute passing down vulture with disgusting quickness. Jeremy Langford is a a fourth-round talent who struggles to run between the tackles or even contribute consistently in the passing game (outside of a few prime time plays that confused fantasy owners). I don’t like Howard’s talent at 2.05, but I guess you could do worse.
Pick 2.06 – Kenyan Drake RB (Miami Dolphins)
Hooray! Jay Ajayi owners rejoice because the Dolphins brought in a guy who can’t be a number one! Wrong. Drake was the third RB taken in the NFL Draft for a reason. People think that Kenyan is a small change of pace guy because Derrick Henry is a 6’3″, 240 pound monster. Nope. He’s 6’1″, 210 pounds and runs a 4.45-second forty. Oh, he also scored above average for this class in every other combine drill. Also, he has mad return skills & can catch the ball well. 2.06 may be pricey for a guy without much production in college (behind T.J. Yeldon & Derrick Henry), but I wouldn’t be upset with taking him here.
Pick 2.07 – Mike Thomas WR (Los Angeles Rams)
People really want this guy to work out. He got snubbed at the combine. He had a fantastic pro day. He’s been hyped by the fantasy community for over a year, and now he looks like possibly the best wide receiver on the Rams. Yeah, well I’m still not buying here. His stock took a slight hit (dropped from 2.02 pre-draft) after he fell to the 6th round on a running offense with a rookie QB. It makes sense, though. Sometimes you just have to accept the NFL’s analysis of a player and realize the chances aren’t very high that he’ll succeed. There are better options here.
Pick 2.08 – Braxton Miller WR (Houston Texans)
Ha! I’m sorry. No I’m not. Braxton’s stock fell a tad (from 2.03 pre-draft) as it appears he’s at best a third wheel in Houston for the time being. Call me when he’s actually a wide receiver. There wasn’t one game he played in his one season at wide receiver where he actually played like a wide receiver. He may have some flashy end-around plays headed his way or another spin move in space up his sleeve, but he will never warrant the 2.08. Feel free to bash me on Twitter all day for this. I would ask that you simply watch any game not against Virginia Tech last year and try to find anything worth getting excited about.
Pick 2.09 – Keith Marshall RB (Washington Redskins)
So apparently I’m not the only one that doesn’t believe Matt Jones will be the true feature in Washington. Yes, Keith Marshall was a 7th round pick. Yes, most 7th round RBs don’t amount to much in the NFL. But I think most NFL GMs are finally wising up to the fact that RBs simply aren’t worth the draft capital they once were, due to the fragility and volatility of the position. The truth is that Keith Marshall is blazing fast. Matt Jones looks cool when runs because of his hair, but just isn’t that great of an athlete, outside of maybe his agility (for his size). Marshall has a real shot at early snaps, especially if Matt Jones continues to fumble with his baby hands.
Pick 2.10 – Pharoh Cooper WR (Los Angeles Rams)
Ha! I’m sorry. No I’m not. Okay, I’m a little sorry due to the fact that I already tried to be funny earlier in the exact same way, but that’s it. Pharoh Cooper runs a 4.6-second forty (at best, given his pro day times). He is not very agile for a slot WR. He has a vertical jump that I could beat (seriously). He struggles against any type of man or press coverage. He is, at best, the future slot receiver on Jeff Fisher’s (run the ball a billion times) Los Angeles Rams. You decide. Is Pharoh Cooper the right choice at 2.10? No. He’s going to struggle at the next level and it shouldn’t even be a debate.
Pick 2.11 – Hunter Henry TE (San Diego Chargers)
I like it. Hunter Henry, the heir apparent to the great Antonio Gates. Hunter is in no way the dominant basketball player type like Gates, but he does everything that you want your tight end to do. If he has a year or two learning from Gates I believe his development could definitely please some fantasy owners for a long time. I believe his ceiling is near Jason Witten. As hyperbolic as that may sound, it could happen. I think the 2.11 is probably about right for Henry. Some drafts he’ll go earlier, some he’ll drop a few spots. If he’s your guy you better take him here.
Pick 2.12 – Jonathan Williams RB (Buffalo Bills)
This was the worst drop of all players taken inside the first two rounds from before to after the draft (7 spots from 2.05). I get it. He’s behind Shady McCoy & Karlos Williams, both of which looked good last year. That may be true, but Jonathan Williams’ talent level alone should put him ahead of at least a few players that went earlier in this mock. He’s a better athlete than Karlos (just look at combine numbers), and no one knows how long Shady stays healthy or keeps running like himself. Take a shot near the end of round 2 if he’s there. Hopefully talent trumps situation here.
First 5 Out
Rashard Higgins – His landing spot with the Browns doesn’t look too inviting, but his route running is impeccable.
Carson Wentz – After the NFL Draft the early QBs always get a bump in rookie drafts. I’m not a huge believer. Just hope someone else reaches for him near the turn of the 2nd & 3rd rounds so you snag a better value shortly after.
Alex Collins – His ADP for rookie drafts may plummet out of round 3 when it’s all said and done, now that he’s perceived to be behind (at the very least) Thomas Rawls & C.J. Prosise in Seattle. I told you to avoid him.
Tajae Sharpe – This poor guy just found himself buried on a depth chart. Some in the community may disagree, but that’s only because they aren’t Titans fans. He’ll battle Tre McBride for the WR5 slot early on.
DeAndre Washington – I called this guy a late round rookie draft steal in early March; not anymore. He could very well challenge Latavius Murray in Oakland. He could even sneak his way into the 2nd round in some rookie drafts.
Thanks for reading! Again, feel free to reach me on Twitter @FF_TravisM. Good luck in all your drafts!