51 Responses to “Appraisal of Rookie Draft Picks”

  1. spdinan says:

    Man..I never comment on articles but this is awesome. Evaluating rookie picks is something I’ve always struggled with. Very very helpful. Nice work!

  2. 420allstars says:

    Great job on this Rob! very intresting stuff..

  3. 420allstars says:

    question for the group or the “experts”

    I have 1.04, 1.06 and 1.07 this year, looking to make a play for first overall selection. is the 6,7th enough?

    • Dan Meylor says:

      If I held the 1.01, I wouldn’t move it for those two picks. I think I could do better by shopping it to the rest of the league. You might have some luck if the owner of the 1.01 isn’t infatuated with Watkins so it’s worth a shot. But don’t be shocked if he passes.

    • BradMartens says:

      Don’t even think moving the 4th and 6th would get you there. For most teams holding the 1st overall their overall lack of talent on their teams “won” them the chance to take an elite prospect like Watkins. Think anyone with the 1st over all would be looking at a high pick or multiple pick in the 1st round plus a player or two that he can plug into his starting lineup. Players you have on your bench don’t help you win games. On a team that finishes dead last you should be able to plug Watkins into your line up day one and either “ride or die” with him.

    • Tim Stafford says:

      It’s worth a try, but I wouldn’t give you the 1.01 for that. I had to cough up 1.05/1.10/Terrance Williams to get the 1.01/2.11 in my Salary Cap league. I think the perception right now is that Watkins is a decent bit above the other prospects in terms of talent/risk. Maybe that’s not right, but it seems that’s have people are viewing it.

    • Jacob Feldman says:

      If you wait until right after the combine, when people can start to put names to the picks, you could probably get that done.

      Talk about how he could end up with two of a certain group in exchange for Watkins and you might be able to pull it off.

      Be prepared for him to come back and ask for 1.04 and 1.06 though. Honestly, at this point there isn’t much of a difference unless someone really separates from the pack after the top 3 guys.

    • Mull says:

      Just take your picks and go home. :)

      The Mullmaniacs run this league.

      Maniacs hoo!

  4. krcilr says:

    I’m sorry, but what league(s) was Keenan Allen going at #18?! Sign me up for those leagues. He was the #9 pick in ours and a steal there.

    • BradMartens says:

      And how do you have Stacy at 7.33 in Rookie ADP if his ADP was 157 in 2013 start ups? Something ain’t right here. In my leagues Stacy went very late in the 4-5th rounds or not at all in the 2 round rookie draft leagues.

      • Eric Olinger says:

        I believe the data is pulled from “Rookie Only” drafts in the Rookie ADP and the 157 was from Dynasty start ups. Both seem accurate to me.

      • Chris in Chuck says:

        7.33 means he was, on average, just a little above the 7th pick.

      • sixshooter says:

        Stacy and Allen both went early to mid second in our 12 team league so 18 for Allen isn’t a stretch. Stacy falling out of the second though……not so sure that happened in most leagues!

  5. Lab says:

    Nice article, Rob. How do you feel about 3rd-5th round rookie picks as they related to roster & bench size? I often find that although I like some of the 4th and 5th round rookies, and think they have lots of potential, they are fighting for roster space on my teams. This had seemed even more pronounced in recent years, because it seems like the relative quantity and quality of mid-round players has increased, so there is a bigger group of similar quality.

    For example, according to your chart above, 3rd-4th round picks (players like Hunter, Kelce, Latavius Murray, Gillislee, and Terrance Williams) would be competing for roster space on an ADP scale with veteran players in the 150-200 ADP range. In 2014, that includes players like LaMichael James, Jarrett Boykin, Anquan Boldin, Tony Romo, Jernigan, Kelce, Marquise Goodwin, Housler, Helu, etc. I know the comparison is not perfect, but you see my point: To draft and hold one of those 4th-5th round rookies on a roster, you need to have either deep rosters, or be willing to drop some potentially valuable vets.

    I suppose a lot of this depends on roster construction, and whether a particular team needs to secure backups for key positions, or instead wants to bet on promising young players. But it’s something I struggle with.

    Any thoughts appreciated.

    • doktor says:

      For starters, as you mentioned, roster/bench size will likely play the biggest role in these types of decisions. Otherwise, I try to group my teams into a set of categories. For example, just to take a single position and make up a team to demonstrate;

      McCoy, Stacy

      Backups (bye/injury)
      A.Brown, B.Tate

      DWill, D.Thomas

      L.Murray, K.Barner

      If you categorize each position on your team like this; then it becomes a little clearer to weigh how you value an incoming rookie (or pick).

      I would be hesitant to let go of a quality backup, but Bench/Depth players are the general “roster filler” type guys and I generally don’t hesitate for long to drop those kind of guys in favor of a young player with more potential.

    • Slick says:

      good question and point. in my league we have a combo FA/Rookie draft and i often only draft 1 or 2 picks a year and wait on free agency due to a salary reset for undrafted players and roster size issues. every year there are players/prospects i draft or want to draft but have no space for. i am hoping to be more patient this year, but sometimes early injuries derail this plan, cause you often need to count on veterans to get you through.

  6. Josh says:

    Gave up the 1.04 & 4.04 for AP. I feel I can gran good talent in rounds 2 & 3 since I wasn’t getting Watkins. I also feel AP has another 2-3 top 10 seasons in him at least. Dumb move?

  7. tom says:

    in a vaccumm would you take the 1.1 (watkins) or crabtree

  8. what2doeh says:

    Good read. The take away for me is that following year ADP is much higher for most rookies, especially top RBs. The only RB exception above is Ball and his ADP is going to shoot up once Moreno is officially an ex-Bronco.

  9. SJ says:

    I’m interested, has anyone recently traded for, or traded away a 2014 First Round pick?

    What did you get in return? I’m interested to hear.

    • SJ says:

      To start off:

      I traded the 1.10 to get V.Jackson. According to the chart above, either got just enough value, or fairly less. But I like it because in that league I need more of a sure thing.

      • Robert says:

        That seems about right. I sold VJax for the 1.10/DaRick not too long ago.

      • sixshooter says:

        Two years ago, I traded the 1.11 for the 2.04 and 2.08. I took A Jefferey with the 2.04 (who I honestly would’ve taken at 1.11) and traded the 2.08 again for what turned out to be the 2.01 last year! The guy who got my 1.11……picked Isaiah Pead!!! He thought he was going to be able to buffalo the SJax owner who had the next pick and took Hillman who everyone thought I would take.

        That was a good draft for me with taking Luck with the second overall (and would have taken first ahead of TRich because of my need at QB) and Tannehill with the 2.12 followed by Sanu at 3.02.

        • jbarker says:

          I traded the 1.01 for Torrey Smith (who I felt was equal to a 1.03), 1.12, 2.12, 3.12, and 5.12… also, my team was put together in a dispersal draft, so it is not a bottom-feeder type team… did I overvalue Torrey? lmk…

    • Bruce says:

      Traded the 1.1 for Keenan Allen and then Allen for Sarah Marshall’s brother, Brandon.

    • Moishe says:

      In season last year, I traded my first-round pick (which was going to be in the bottom half) for Peyton.

    • Scott Peak says:

      Nice article Rob. I liked the correlation between drafts. Very helpful. Kelce, Murray and Wheaton look like good targets for a cheap price. I like Patterson a lot for 2014 but an ADP 19 is getting expensive. I’m not sure what to make of Justin Hunter. Love his talent, but a 5th round start-up valuation seems expensive.

      SJ, I recently traded 1.02+2.01 for Cordarrelle Patterson.

    • Kenny says:

      Yesterday, I traded away Matt Stafford and Reuben Randle for the #1 overall pick this year and a second rounder next year.

  10. P Diddy says:

    I gave up 1.6, B Tate, K Stills, Z Ertz for Megatron! Standard league, start 3 WR and a flex. Now gives me Calvin, Jordy, Alshon, Decker, K wright and I will be taking Sammy with #1overall as my WR. RB’s are M Ball, T Rich, R Mathews, l Miller and C Michael. Have an offer of Ball and 2.6 for M Forte! I’m trying to make a run at a title. I might miss Tate if he pans out and I believe Stills will be a beast in a few years. Did I overpay?

  11. Mike says:

    Maybe I’m not reading this right, but shouldn’t there be a rough correlation between the 2013 Rookie ADP and 2013 Startup ADP numbers? Wouldn’t the relative rankings of these players be close to the same. For example, why was Stacy valued so much higher in Rookie drafts than Startup drafts? Is this just a case of these two data sets being relatively small?

    • Joe says:

      Mike, I think the reason you’re seeing that difference is that most rookie drafts take place earlier in the offseason where you might see more start ups closer to preseason time. DRich was widely thought to be the guy closer to the beginning of the season, and some of those rookie drafts were pre NFL draft as well. Or I could just be way off.

    • sixshooter says:

      Probably because you don’t have the LeSean McCoy’s, etc to compete with in a rookie draft if I am understanding your question correctly.

      • Mike says:

        My point was more that I expected rookies to be drafted roughly in the same order relative to each other in both Startup drafts and Rookie drafts (e.g. Bell is one of the first rookies taken in both Startup and Rookie drafts, Patterson is roughly the 6th-8th rookie taken, etc.). But there are some huge outliers, like Stacy who was taken pretty early in Rookie drafts but was taken after guys like Travis Kelce and Denard Robinson in Startup drafts. I think Joe’s answer above about the timing of the drafts best answers my question.

  12. Paul says:

    Nobody’s going to give 1.1 for Marshall, especially a bad team that “earned” the 1.1 as the guy above alluded to.

    • Jules says:

      Did you read the other comments before you posted?

      “Bruce Says:
      February 12, 2014 at 2:37 pm
      Traded the 1.1 for Keenan Allen and then Allen for Sarah Marshall’s brother, Brandon.”

      • Paul says:

        Allen for Marshall is worse than 1.1 for Marshall.

        • sixshooter says:

          Huh? There was about 30 catches, 200 yds, 4 TD’s and 60 targets difference between the two! Maybe if you are a rebuilding team but Marshall for Allen is a pretty decent trade that could have meant the difference of a Championship for someone this year! Are ya kiddin’ me? Marshall is a beast!!!

  13. J2 says:

    I traded the 1.02/3.02/Tyler Eifert for Robert Quinn (DE STL)/Marvin Jones/5.03 and the 1.01 Free Agent pick.

    I mainly took the approach of a “known” quantity for the potential of Eifert/Watkins. I also think FA picks are gold if the draft is towards the end of the pre-season like ours. What do you guys think? Did I value the 1.02 pick too low?

  14. esquare says:

    Recently traded the 1.02 and 2.08 for the 1.01.

  15. BAMNation says:

    Interesting to see L Murray go so high in rookie ADP. Right after the NFL draft – I grabbed him as an FA or last round flier.

    By the time the drafts for the august drafts started he was going in the 3rd round.

    I had a lot of trade offers up until then so was asking a 2nd :) would probably get that this year.

  16. Charlie P says:

    Great article! fairly new to the site but finding a lot of great info both in the well written articles as well as most of the reader feedback, there’s definitely many wise FF addicts here that I look forward to learning from!

    I’d like to get some input from the group relating to this. Im in a 14man dynasty, 1ppr, 1QB,2RB,3WR,1TE,1Flex,1QbFlex. I’ve got Gleannon, Locker, Bernard, Ball, Julio Jones, Gordon, A.Brown, Edleman, Clay, T.Wright, Turbin, C.Michael, M.Asiata, SJax, Randle, Royal. I also have the 1.10&1.12 picks coming up in the draft.

    I’d really like to get some feedback from the group, who would you look to move, where do you see weak points, would you go after 1.01? If so what would you be willing to give ? Thoughts on who you would hope to see with those draft picks?

    based on last years draft history
    1 Craven A’s Bernard, Giovani RB CIN
    2 Predators Miller, Lamar RB MIA
    3 Craven A’s Austin, Tavon WR STL
    4 joe bike Lacy, Eddie RB GB
    5 AZ Sasquatch Ball, Montee RB DEN
    6 AZ Sasquatch Thompkins, Kenbrell WR NE
    7 Bayside Tigers Davis, Knile RB KC
    8 AZ Sasquatch Manuel, EJ QB BUF
    9 Team Shyza Bell, Le’Veon RB PIT
    10 “H” *Cameron, Jordan TE CLE
    11 Rocket’s Destroyers *Dawson, Phil K SF
    12 Captain KoolAid *Hopkins, DeAndre WR HOU
    13 Dat Dude Patterson, Cordarrelle WR MIN
    14 Craven A’s Michael, Christine RB SEA

    Thanks fellas.

  17. Gary says:

    About week 10 last year I traded Ray Rice and a 3rd round pick for a 1st round and 3rd round pick rookie pick. I knew I would move up in the 3rd round looking at the teams and ended up with the 1.6 and 3.6 for Ray rice and the 3.12

    • Gary says:

      note i was stacked at with young talent at RB with Stacy and Gio and this was a salary cap league and i freed 17 milli in cap space.

  18. Steve says:


    I’ve been offered Philip Rivers and the 5th round pick in the rookie/FA Dynasty draft this summer for Golden Tate. Thoughts?


  19. Luke says:

    I was just offered this …Give up my 1.11 ( I still would have 1.05) for 2.7, 3.6, 4.7, 5.7 and 6.7. Should I make this trade?

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