Last month, Matt Miller, the NFL Draft Lead Analyst for Bleacher Report, posted a full seven round NFL mock draft. Based on this mock draft, I wrote and article called What If? in which I gave you a look what a dynasty rookie draft might look like if Matt’s predictions were the reality. Now that the Super Bowl has ended and the NFL off-season has begun, Matt has just released an updated version of his mock draft and I though I should do the same. If you compare, you’ll notice a lot of changes in both of our mocks and there will be even more changes over the next 88 days as we count down until the NFL draft.
As a reminder, I have completely followed Matt’s seven round mock draft and this rookie mock is more about possible landing spots and how the players’ value would be affected, not the likelihood of a team taking a specific player.
Finally, since last month’s article, I’ve had the chance to participate in and follow several rookie mocks drafts, so I feel like I have gained some understanding regarding how many of these players are viewed in the dynasty community.
1.01 = Sammy Watkins, WR TB (7th overall pick, 1st round)
At this point, I’m not sure I love any of the situations I’ve seen as a possible landing spot for former Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins, but he should be the top overall rookie pick regardless. With the Buccaneers, Watkins could have a chance to start right away, especially if the rumors of Tampa Bay parting ways with Mike Williams prove true.
1.02 = Mike Evans, WR STL (13th overall pick, 1st round)
St. Louis grabbing a first round wide receiver would really surprise, even though they do own multiple picks. Mike Evans would provide quarterback Sam Bradford with a big target, which could make a good partner for the speed of Rams’ top pick a year ago, Tavon Austin.
1.03 = Marqise Lee, WR BAL (16th overall pick, 1st round)
The Ravens desperately need some help at the wide receiver position. Even with Torrey Smith, the Ravens offense struggled without the injured Dennis Pitta and Anquan Boldin, who had moved on to San Francisco. A duo of Smith and rookie Marqise Lee should provide quarterback Joe Flacco with the chance to make another playoff run.
1.04 = Ka’Deem Carey, RB OAK (67th overall pick, 3rd round)
Former Arizona Wildcat running back Ka’Deem Carey seems to be gaining some traction as the favorite to be the top back chosen in rookie drafts. Ending up in Oakland would only help that as the Raiders will almost certainly part ways with former starter Darren McFadden over the off-season. While they have expressed interest in retaining Rashad Jennings, he is not a long-term option.
1.05 = Kelvin Benjamin, WR CAR (60th overall pick, 2nd round)
It seems like Panthers fans (and Cam Newton owners) have been dreaming of Carolina acquiring a big receiving target for years and Kelvin Benjamin might be the perfect fit for that offense. Benjamin has huge upside, with his only knock being his age – he’ll be 23 years old as a rookie.
1.06 = Jace Amaro, TE NE (29th overall pick, 1st round)
The top three tight ends are all closely ranked so far early in the pre-draft process, so the teams there three talented players are selected by could play a large role in the order they are chosen in rookie drafts. If Jace Amaro is the selection of the New England Patriots at the end of the first round, not only would he be the favorite to be the top rookie tight end, but he could go in the mid-first round.
1.07 = Lache Seastrunk, RB NYG (109th overall pick, 4th round)
The dynasty value of former Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk has waivered a bit lately as other backs have begun to attract more attention from dynasty owners, but that value could rebound were he to end up as a New York Giant. While the Giants currently have some options at the position, namely Andre Brown and David Wilson, they can’t feel too confident in either.
1.08 = Jordan Matthews, WR DET (45th overall pick, 2nd round)
Jordan Matthews has been deemed the most pro-ready of the wide receiver class and it has become a trend to mock him to the Detroit Lions, who are in great need of someone who can line up opposite of star Calvin Johnson and draw at least some of the attention of the defense. Matthews can do just that and the Lions would be a perfect match for his abilities.
1.09 = Allen Robinson, WR SF (30th overall pick, 1st round)
The 49ers will continue to look for offensive playmakers that can help them match up against the defense of the rival Seattle Seahawks. Allen Robinson dominated the Penn State offense during his career and would be a good compliment to Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis and the gang in San Francisco.
1.10 Carlos Hyde, RB CLE (35th overall pick, 2nd round)
Carlos Hyde, formerly of Ohio State University, had a breakout year for the Buckeyes showing off his ability to break tackles and catch the ball out of the backfield. The Cleveland Browns lacked a running game last year, relying on Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron to be their entire offense. In this scenario, the team adds the running back Hyde, along with some other offensive talent to come.
1.11 = Eric Ebron, TE NYJ (18th overall pick, 1st round)
I mentioned earlier how closely ranked the top tight ends are in this class, and in fact, it’s Eric Ebron who is the first off the board in the NFL draft, going eighteenth to the New York Jets. The Jets desperately need playmakers on offense and Ebron could realistically lead the team in receiving as a rookie.
1.12 = Bishop Sankey, RB JAX (70th overall pick, 3rd round)
Bishop Sankey is a solid running back and though he’s flawed, being chosen by the Jacksonville Jaguars is an ideal situation. It’s presumed that veteran Maurice Jones-Drew will leave town, leaving unproven options. Obviously, Sankey is unproven as well at the NFL level, but should get a shot early on in his career.
2.01 = Tre Mason, RB NYJ (49th overall pick, 2nd round)
Another runner who could see early carries in his career is former Auburn running back Tre Mason, especially if he is selected by the New York Jets. The Jets running game was mediocre at best last year with Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell. Both have shown they cannot handle the full-time job, meaning Mason will have early value in dynasty leagues.
2.02 = Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE BUF (41st overall pick, 2nd round)
The third of the trio of talented tight ends is Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who has experienced a bit of off-field trouble over the past year. Like Ebron, Seferian-Jenkins ends up in a great situation in which he could play a large role from day one with the Bills. With Stevie Johnson possibly on the way out and no receiving threat at tight end, ASJ rewards his owners immediately.
2.03 = Johnny Manziel, QB CLE (4th overall pick, 1st round)
One of the fastest rising players among dynasty owners is former Heisman winner Johnny Manziel. The same can be said for draft analysts, many of which have tabbed Manziel as their top overall player. Whether Manziel falls to the Browns with the fourth pick or goes number one overall to Houston, he should have the chance for playing time early on. With Cleveland, he already has a pair of excellent pass catchers in Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron, and in this mock, the team is adding even more help on offense.
2.04 = Davante Adams, WR IND (58th overall pick, 2nd round)
One of my favorite wide receivers in this class is Davante Adams, formerly of Fresno State. In Indianapolis, Adams could be somewhat buried early on, playing behind Reggie Wayne, TY Hilton, and potentially, other young receivers. Though I would not consider Adams a project at the position, some time to sit back and learn could be beneficial long-term.
2.05 = Teddy Bridgewater, QB HOU (1st overall pick, 1st round)
Long considered the top incoming quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater falls behind Manziel in this mock due to Manziel’s rushing ability. Like Manziel, Bridgewater would have the opportunity to start from day one and would also have some great weapons on offense, including Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins. Once thought to be a lock to be a first round rookie pick, Bridgewater offers great value in the mid second round.
2.06 = Charles Sims, RB ATL (68th overall pick, 3rd round)
Charles Sims, formerly of West Virginia, is a great receiver out of the backfield, but I’m not so sure he can carry the load on a full-time basis. One of the oldest rookie running backs, his upside is limited, though he could get an opportunity relatively early in his career, depending on the future of veteran back Steven Jackson.
2.07 = Odell Beckham, WR KC (23rd overall pick, 1st round)
The first of the pair of former LSU wide receivers who are being so closely compared, Odell Beckham would be a great mid-to-late second round rookie pick, especially if he lands in Kansas City. While the weak arm of quarterback Alex Smith could limit Beckham’s short term upside, there should be immediate playing time alongside veteran Dwayne Bowe.
2.08 = Brandin Cooks, WR CLE (26th overall pick, 1st round)
Brandin Cooks has proven to be an electric playmaker, but some are concerned about his size. The Browns have nothing at wide receiver behind Josh Gordon and any early round wide receiver could have dynasty value in short order.
2.09 = Jeremy Hill, RB STL (106th overall pick, 4th round)
Jeremy Hill is one of the most skilled running backs in the draft, but his off-field history, along with his likely role as the backup to Zac Stacy limits his short-term value. While this can often be overlooked in dynasty leagues, the depth of the class means there are plenty of other options in the early and mid-second round.
2.10 = Devonta Freeman, RB SD (121st overall pick, 4th round)
Like Hill, former Florida State running back Devonta Freeman does not land in the best situation. Not only did Ryan Mathews have an underrated season in 2013, but the team also loves Danny Woodhead and will continue to use him in the same way. Freeman has talent, but in this case, the situation hurts him and causes his fall to the end of the second round.
2.11 = Donte Moncrief, WR PIT (114th overall pick, 4th round)
The success of Donte Moncrief and this pick could come down to last year’s rookie receiver Markus Wheaton. The Steelers selected Wheaton in the 2013 draft, but he played sparingly and his role for 2014 is unknown. If he can gain playing time and possibly even have a breakout season, Landry could be a third option in the passing game, at best.
2.12 = Jarvis Landry, WR JAX (39th overall pick, 2nd round)
With the off field concerns surrounding star wideout Justin Blackmon, the Jaguars have to explore adding some help at the position. Jarvis Landry had a solid career at LSU, outperforming teammate Beckham the past two seasons. I don’t see him as a player who could step in immediately and start, but he is worth a stash and a late second round pick.
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