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2011 Rookie Draft – In Progress …


One of the things I like to do each year is to post our live rookie draft as it unfolds, giving our readers a chance to see the rookie picks of a long running, competitive, dynasty league.  At the end of each round I’ll give a summary of the events as well as my “take” on the picks.  This year, unlike previous years, I’ll include team labels so that you can see the different picks by the individual teams.

Rather than bore you with a lot of further useless text, I’ll assume that you understand what we’re doing here, the benefits and the how you can use this information if you have your own rookie draft coming up.

Round 1

1.01  Team 1:  A.J. Green, WR CIN
1.02  Team 2: Mark Ingram, RB NO
1.03  Team 3:  Ryan Williams, RB ARI
1.04  Team 4:  Daniel Thomas, RB MIA
1.05  Team 4:  Julio Jones, WR ATL
1.06  Team 5:  Cam Newton, QB CAR
1.07  Team 4:  Mikel Leshoure, RB DET
1.08  Team 6:  Kendall Hunter, RB SF
1.09  Team 4:  Blaine Gabbert, QB JAX
1.10  Team 5:  Shane Vereen, RB NE

First thing you may notice is that “Team 4” had four first round selections.  I am “Team 1” and traded up to the first pick from 1.05, packaging it along with my 2012 first round selection to move up the four spots to 1.01.  I believe that Green is far and away the best player of this draft and while I hadn’t planned on moving up until I got the offer, I was happy to accept.  Team 4 is in rebuilding mode and is looking to do so over the next two years.  Looking at Team 4’s selections, he is certainly happy with what has fallen to him (Thomas, Jones, Leshoure and Gabbert), all players that he coveted.  Leshoure’s situation is not a good one in my opinion, but Team 4’s other picks make the Leshoure pick almost a luxury.   Ingram is a clear second selection in my mind going to the Big Easy.  Julio Jones doesn’t play as fast as his combine time would suggest, but his situation is a good one.  Matt Ryan owners should be rejoicing.  I actually prefer Williams’ skill-set over Thomas but it is hard to argue against Miami’s situation for Thomas.  In most all cases, however, I find that talent over situation pays off over the long run.  The only other noteworthy pick is the selection of Kendall Hunter at 1.08.  Hunter has 1.08 value, but given his situation, I thought it was a bit high.  However, due to talent, it’s hard for me to argue against that pick should you be looking for a running back and have the patience to wait out Hunter’s situation.  He’s smaller than I like but he has starting ability.  Vereen is a Swiss Army knife type of back and if not for landing in New England, I would be higher on his prospects.  That said, I like backs that go into good offenses.  Belichick likes to use upwards of three to four backs within his game planning, so patience will be required while we wait to see what Vereen’s role really is.

Round 2

2.01  Team 4:  Jake Locker, QB TEN
2.02  Team 7:  Roy Helu Jr., RB WAS
2.03  Team 3:  Colin Kaepernick, QB SF
2.04  Team 4:  Greg Little, WR CLE
2.05  Team 1:  Andy Dalton, QB CIN
2.06  Team 5:  Jacquizz Rodgers, RB ATL
2.07  Team 5:  DeMarco Murray, RB DAL
2.08  Team 4:  Torrey Smith, WR BAL
2.09  Team 2:  Leonard Hankerson, WR WAS
2.10  Team 5:  Delone Carter, RB IND

Team 4 continues to have a dream draft by adding Locker, Little and Torrey Smith.  Players just continue to fall to him due to roster needs by other teams.  Being that this is the second round however, history suggest that only two of these players will be productive fantasy players.  My money is on one of the QBs, either Kaepernick or Dalton, and Greg Little.  There isn’t much athletically that I don’t like about Little.  He’s got a world of talent and if his head remains screwed on properly, he has a chance to be special.  Kaepernick is probably my favorite quarterback of this year’s class, I love his leadership, mobility and arm strength.  His mechanics need a lot of work and his longer motion likely won’t be “fixed” in the NFL, but it is not as elongated as many that have come before him.  I selected Dalton at 2.05, I wanted Kaepernick.  My gut feeling was that Dalton would be the better long term quarterback, but I still wanted Kaepernick.  Dalton’s arm strength is questionable and he throws an ugly ball much of the time.    I’m not buying Rodgers or Murray although Quizz fell to a great situation.  Hankerson is a prototypical boom or bust receiver.  He’s as gifted as he is frustrating.  I believe he could be a productive fantasy player early on, but he could also be a bust just as quickly.  Delone Carter is a fast riser after being selected by Indianapolis, but I stand by my analysis that he’s going to be good for only occupying up a roster spot for three to four years on a fantasy roster before finally being released.  Donabld Brown has been put on notice.

Round 3

3.01  Team 4:     Jonathan Baldwin, WR KC
3.02  Team 7:    Bilal Powell, RB NYJ
3.03  Team 3:    Kyle Rudolph, TE MIN
3.04  Team 9:    Alex Green, RB GB
3.05  Team 10:  Randall Cobb, WR GB
3.06  Team 5:    Titus Young, WR DET
3.07  Team 10: Greg Salas, WR STL
3.08  Team 6:    Christian Ponder, QB MIN
3.09  Team 1:    Johnny White, RB BUF
3.10  Team 9:    Ryan Mallett, QB NE

Team 4 has a single pick in the round but the magic continues, with Baldwin dropping all the way to 3.01.  Baldwin is a head case but will have an immediate starting opportunity in Kansas City opposite the enigmatic Dwayne Bowe.  Bowe finally has a quality target starting on the other side and should eventually benefit.  Good spot for Bilal Powell although I think most are a bit over-excited about his game.  He’s a big back with good balance and decent vision, but don’t get carried away.  Much the same for Alex Green.  He was fun to watch run in Hawaii, but the holes that he ran through were as big as the big island itself.  He does have great power and nice hands and could draw some short yardage and third down duty should Brandon Jackson depart.  He’s not a threat to Grant or Starks and don’t believe what some other sites have said about Green being drafted to start.  Could he develop into a starter, sure … but so could Mr. Irrelevant.  You just can’t count on it.  Salas at 3.07 is a nice pick.  Also from Hawaii, Salas is a good looking possession receiver that I think has upside for the Rams.  Bradford needs reliable targets with reliable hands, Salas should be just that.  Johnny White is one of my favorite picks in the draft and if you have our Dynasty Essentials Guide you already know that.  I still believe he’s the best back you’ve never heard of.  Too bad his Buffalo situation is as bad as it can get.  Ryan Mallet rounds out the third round and is a nice long term project.  I was hoping to pick him five picks later.

There you have it!  Hopefully our live draft (which is continuing) here will help you determine where the rookies will come off the board.  Each coach evaluates things differently and the more drafts you view, the better idea of the trends you will have.

Have fun and good luck.  If you have interest in other rookies that you don’t see on this list, drop me a comment on this article and I’ll let you know where he went.

Jeff Haverlack

Jeff Haverlack

Senior Partner / COO at Dynasty League Football
Husband and father who devotes far too much time to Fantasy Football, research, statistics and content development.We created DLF to ultimately assemble the largest fantasy football community on the planet and want YOU to be a part of it.

You can find Jeff on Twitter at @dlf_jeff
Jeff Haverlack

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. jdo

    May 9, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    My only concern with this draft is that only a few teams control the first 2 rounds, so the picks tend to be skewed towards needs rather than a more accurate picture of how a draft might go

    • DLF_Jeff

      May 9, 2011 at 10:28 pm

      There is that possibility but “Team 4” was drafting with a BPA (Best Player Available) mentality because he needs it all. You’ll note that he took back to back QBs with Gabbert and Locker. Team 4 also happens to be one of the DLF site partners too. :)

  2. Tones

    May 10, 2011 at 8:09 am

    To some extent EVERY draft is skewed by team needs and an owners willing to be patient.

  3. Johnny Five

    May 10, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Personally I was suprised to see Baldwin fall into the third. He may be a head case but has huge upside and fell into a starting position. Also I like Salas in STL, but I think Pettis will be better in the long run. I also think Kendricks will produce the most fantasy pts for rookie TE’s this year. Bradford has a great accurate arm, and McDaniels has said he wants to get his TE involved more like the Pats did last year.

    • DLF_Jeff

      May 10, 2011 at 6:35 pm

      I agree. I expected to see him go mid 2nd round. I also agree about Pettis, I like him just a bit more than Salas. I have to do more research on him too because I haven’t seen enough to REALLY qualify it to that degree yet.

      Pretty safe bet on Kendricks in my estimation but forecasting any sort of real long term value is tough for him.

  4. Cyrus

    May 10, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Ok, have a question from one of my dynasty leagues.

    I have the #4 pick and can go one of two directions:
    1- Julio Jones
    2- D. Thomas or Ryan Williams

    At WR, I have:
    Wayne, Steve Johnson, Harvin, Mike Williams, Danario, Demaryius Thomas
    at RB, I have:
    Gore, Mendenhall, Moreno, Reggie Bush, B. Tate

    I feel like I should definitely go with Jones, but now I am not sure. Care to give insight? Also, I have 3 other first rounders, so I can get WR or RB later in the round too.

    • Team Canada

      May 10, 2011 at 5:57 pm

      Julio Jones hands down!

    • DLF_Jeff

      May 10, 2011 at 6:36 pm

      I think you have to take Jones. If it’s a PPR league, most definitely take Jones. WRs outside of the top 5 NFL picks are very busty but Jones was close and I like his NFL style of game.

  5. Misfit74

    May 10, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    PPR or ? Knowing at least the basic format would be key. Thanks!

    • Cyrus

      May 10, 2011 at 6:17 pm

      PPR. 1 point per reception, 6 per TD, 1 per 10 yards. Top 5 RB and WR both typically score between 18-20 points.

      Sorry for omitting that in the beginning.

      • DLF_Jeff

        May 10, 2011 at 6:37 pm

        Well, there you go. Decision made.

  6. The O'le Ball coach

    May 10, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Kind of surprised Edmond Gates did not get drafted in the first few rounds in you league. I think he went to a fabulous landing spot in Miami. People are a bit down on Henne, but with Marshall lining up on the other side Gates could shine year one. What is your take on Gates?

    • DLF_Jeff

      May 11, 2011 at 6:39 pm

      With WRs, it’s a lot of “could”, “perhaps” and “might”. Gates is not without skill but I don’t necessarily see him being productive. Take a look back at my Inside the Number article that deals with WRs and you’ll see just how many bust.

      He’s worth a 3rd or 4th round rookie pick for sure, but just don’t hope for anything for a few years, if ever. Very high bust rate with WRs.

  7. Sensei John Kreese

    May 11, 2011 at 5:48 am

    im assuming this league is non-ppr?

    i am taking greg little and torrey smith at 1.8 and 1.9 in my dynasty ppr

    cant imagine a scenario where id take quizz, murray or vereen ahead of either of those guys. Id much rather have a starting reciever with huge upside over RBs who could maybe, one day, under optimal conditions, be considered comparible to darren sproles

  8. tosnsprx

    May 14, 2011 at 7:51 am

    No Vincent Brown? He is going to be a PPR beast in SD. V Jax or Floyd will be gone leaving Brown to kill it with Rivers

    • Jeff Haverlack

      May 14, 2011 at 8:10 am

      With late round WRs, success is never guaranteed. I remember the same being said about Buster Davis. Brown has a chance, but I’m not overly excited about his prospects.

  9. Chris R.

    June 8, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Thanks for this. I always appreciate live drafts. I’m in 6 dynasties, only 1 has gotten underway and we are in our 3rd round.

    I notice you gave Johnny White some love, I had my eye on him also, so I’m guessing out of all the 2nd tier RB’s he’s your favorite?

    In tier 1 I’m guessing its:

    Ingram
    Leshoure
    Williams
    Thomas
    Hunter Vereen
    Helu Jr

    Tier 2:

    Delone Carter
    Jacquiz Rodgers
    Alex Green
    Demarco Murray
    Bilal Powell
    Jordan Todman

    Is Johnny White the guy you want out of this group? I have 4 2nd rounders in 1 dynasty where RB is my need after trading out of 1.09 where I felt Kendall Hunter was too early to go(which he still went after I traded back), but I think I may just jump on 4 of these guys and hope I hit on one.

    I also think you made the right move trading up for AJ. 1 thing I like to do before my draft is look at our last few drafts, and look at how many scrubs are in every round. There are usually a few guys you’d only want each round unless it was an awesome draft like 2008. It’s much better to just pay a little and go get that stud to lock down a spot.

    • Jeff Haverlack

      June 8, 2011 at 9:48 pm

      Bilal Powell may be a better play at this point based on what is coming out of NYJ, but I do like White. Many like Murray as well but I’m not as high on him. But Jerry Jones loves the guy. Alex Green is getting a lot of love too but people are overlooking his system. I do like his hands and size though … but his system in no way translates to the NFL so he better have talent built in.

      Agreed on A.J. You never know when you trade up for a receiver but not many go in the top 5 and then bust … only Charles Rogers in the last decade.

      Yes, I do like White and would overdraft him a bit. But he’s raw. He’s also in a great situation for getting touches soon, but he’s in BUF which is about as bad as DET for RBs.

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