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Most rookie mock drafts you see like to focus on the strengths of each prospect selected – this isn’t one of those drafts.
At this point in the process, dynasty owners are used to hearing about the impressive arm strength of Jameis Winston, the exceptional burst and agility of Melvin Gordon and the incredible hands and route running of Amari Cooper. For good reason, we like to focus on the positives in each prospect’s game and inform our readers why a specific player will propel your fantasy team to glory. In this mock however, we’ll try to throw up the red flag on some of the weaknesses that our favorite rookies possess and explain which ones have the most potential to “bust.”
To be clear, we’re not necessarily proclaiming a player as a bust in this exercise. We just want to shine a light on some of the things that should concern dynasty owners going into their drafts.
There was only one rule for who was eligible for this three-round mock draft. To make sure all players taken were relevant dynasty picks, any player selected had to have been taken in the first three rounds of any DLF rookie mock draft during this off-season.
We’ve already covered rounds one and two. Let’s finish things off with round three.
3.01 – Nelson Agholor, WR USC
Ryan McDowell’s thoughts: For me, Agholor is the WR version of Ameer Abdullah (who I picked in round one.) I like him a little and would’ve been willing to take a chance on him in the late 2nd round of rookie drafts, but he’s recently been gaining value and has moved into the first round of many rookie mocks. At that price, I’ll be avoiding the former USC wide receiver.
My thoughts: Despite his 4.42 40-yard dash at the combine, Agholor doesn’t look nearly that fast with pads on. Depending on sharp route running to get open, he proved that his future in the NFL is as a possession receiver – likely in the slot – due to his inability to get separation on post and fly patterns. Like many receiver prospects, Agholor gets rerouted easily in press coverage. He’ll have to improve that part of his game to make a fantasy impact. I’m with Ryan on this. Agholor belongs closer to round three than round one in rookie drafts.
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3.02 – Phillip Dorsett, WR Miami
George Kritikos’ thoughts: I actually like Dorsett as he has transcendent speed and can change direction with the best of them. That said, he is being drafted as a late second round pick in mock rookie drafts and we don’t know his situation yet. I don’t believe he can play the outside exclusively in the NFL and will need a creative offense to be successful. Love the big play potential but he is still raw with his route running and has a small frame to deal with hits over the middle. For the price tag, I have other players I prefer.
My thoughts: Like many prospects with his speed, Dorsett relies on it a lot. At the top of his routes he doesn’t make sharp breaks and his double moves are often sloppy, rounding things off rather than snapping his head around to dupe the defender. Like George, I question if he can play on the outside. But if he ends up in an offense that will use him as a vertical slot weapon and he improves as a route runner, the sky is the limit for Dorsett.
3.03 – Brett Hundley, QB UCLA
Doug Green’s thoughts: Somebody is going to take Hundley as a “project.” It probably won’t turn out well.
My thoughts: Many believe Hundley has potential as an NFL starter, but he has a lot of work to do as a pocket passer to get to that point. He didn’t play from under center and wasn’t forced to read defenses or go through many progressions while at UCLA. Due to an inconsistent delivery, absolutely awful accuracy while on the move and a tendency to tuck the ball and run before pressure arrives, it’s unlikely to me that Hundley ever becomes a useful dynasty asset. To read more of my thoughts on him, click here.
3.04 – Mike Davis, RB South Carolina
Brian Bulmer’s thoughts: Tough to call this pick a bust based on the value that Mike Davis may be for fantasy owners. Davis is a battering ram that lacks wiggle. He may be a great goal line back but needs better conditioning to be a three down back and a quality fantasy asset. Not a huge bust based on value, Davis may be a good second or third round pick in fantasy drafts.
My thoughts: Compared to his sophomore season at South Carolina, Davis’ junior year was a disappointment. He didn’t show the same burst that he had in 2013 and lacked the ability to get the edge as a junior. Considering he lacks the capability to make defenders miss on his own, Davis needs to get his quickness back to be successful at the next level. Judging from his combine performance (4.61 40-time, 4.18 shuttle), that isn’t yet the case. Unless he regains the burst that made him such an intriguing prospect a year ago, dynasty owners should be less concerned about Davis busting tackles and more concerned about him straight up busting.
3.05 – Ty Montgomery, WR Stanford
My thoughts: Montgomery looks more like a kick returner than a wide receiver. Despite looking the part of a solid wide out at 6’ tall and 221 pounds, he’s not a sharp route runner and drops far too many passes to be relied upon in that area. At this point he’s being taken near the end of round three in rookie drafts. Unless you’re in a league where return yards are a big part of the scoring system, Montgomery will likely be a big fantasy disappointment.
3.06 – Stefon Diggs, WR Maryland
Nathan Powell’s thoughts: Diggs isn’t very good. It’s that simple. He’s a poor man’s Percy Harvin and that is a poor man, indeed. There are plenty of other players his type I like more who are going later.
My thoughts: Diggs reminds me of Greg Jennings in nearly every part of his game. A good athlete who runs good routes and has good hands, he’s good at many things but great at none. With that said, like Jennings he’s relatively small (they are both 6’0”, 195 pounds) and has trouble off the line of scrimmage in bump and run coverage. Diggs’ fantasy value is very dependent on who drafts him. If he ends up in a dynamic offense where he’s used as a motioning slot receiver, he has potential as a WR2/WR3 in PPR leagues. If he ends up miscast as an outside receiver and asked to beat physical receivers in press coverage, he’ll have a hard time becoming a fantasy contributor.
3.07 – Tre McBride, WR William & Mary
Jacob Feldman’s thoughts: Small school players are always interesting and how they will deal with the massive jump in competition to the NFL is always something to watch. McBride has decent size though slightly small hands. He ran well at the combine, but his route running needs work and he doesn’t seem that fast in pads. McBride could easily end up being the third or fourth WR on an NFL team, which means little to no fantasy value.
My thoughts: Like Jacob mentioned, McBride isn’t nearly as fast on the field as his 4.41 40-time suggests. He struggles to get to full speed off the line of scrimmage and has trouble getting open in man coverage. With the ball in his hands, he doesn’t run away from defenders. While he is excellent at the point of the catch with the ability to time jumps perfectly even when in traffic as well as impressive hands, his head scratching speed restrictions could hold him back against NFL defenses.
3.08 – Amari Cooper, WR Alabama
Aaron Swinderman’s thoughts: While Cooper is unlikely to ever bust in the true sense of the word, he is being drafted/considered as the top overall rookie pick by many. Personally, I see a guy that is likely a good WR at the NFL level, but might not ever reach true elite/difference maker status. Again, he is very likely to be solid, but I don’t think he has that potential to completely turn around a dynasty team. There are other players in this draft that have that upside while they may lack the floor. I’d rather take multiple shots on them than take a single shot on Cooper.
My thoughts: Cooper is one of the safest prospects in the draft in my opinion and the fact that he lasted until late in the third round of this exercise is proof that most of us agree. Some have questioned his hands due to a handful of drops last season and his big play ability due to his vertical at the combine (34”). While both are a slight concern, neither is enough to drop him from being a top-three prospect in this draft. Those concerned about Cooper’s upside seem to be doing so because they’re comparing Cooper’s game to the best that have ever played the position which isn’t fair. He may not go down in history as the greatest of all time, but he’s still a playmaker with WR1 potential and deserving of a top selection in rookie drafts.
3.09 – Josh Robinson, RB Mississippi State
Jeff Beran’s thoughts: Robinson is actually one of my favorite running backs in this rookie class. At 5′-8″ and 217 pounds, he is the human incarnation of a bowling ball. However, his 4.70 second 40 yard dash won’t ingratiate him very much to NFL general managers. His uncanny resemblance to Alfred Morris and the fact that he put up over 1,500 total yards in the SEC this year piques my interest but he’s definitely a boom-or-bust pick in your rookie draft. Drafting him in the third round would be ideal in order to help mitigate some of the risk.
My thoughts: The first thing I look for in a running back prospect is burst at the snap. I want to see a tailback – particularly power backs like Robinson – attack the line of scrimmage. I didn’t see that when I watched him however. While he tries to hit the hole with authority, he just doesn’t possess the explosion needed to beat backside linebackers through the hole in the NFL. At best, Robinson is a rotational back. I won’t be investing a draft pick in him, even in the third round.
3.10 – Bryce Petty, QB Baylor
Scott Peak’s thoughts: This is more of a nod to superflex (2QB) leagues, where Petty will be over drafted. I like Petty for his fire, leadership and overall intangibles. But playing QB in the Baylor offense doesn’t prepare QBs for the NFL. That’s a big mountain to climb and in an age where rookie QBs don’t sit long I can’t see Petty being successful. He’s a back-up and that won’t score fantasy points.
My thoughts: Much like Hundley coming out of UCLA, Petty played in a passing game at Baylor that didn’t require him to go through a lot of progressions and allowed him to play nearly exclusively out of the shotgun. That combination rarely translates well to the NFL. Despite having prototypical size, arm strength and leadership skills, he must learn to play from under center (which he struggled with at the Senior Bowl) as well as become better at reading defenses to be successful at the next level. Ending up in a place where he’ll be expected to play early would likely be bad for his growth as a quarterback. Learning under a veteran for a couple years would be the ideal spot for Petty.
3.11 – Justin Hardy, WR East Carolina
Jeff Miller’s thoughts: What we have here is a player who isn’t nearly athletic enough considering his stature (5’10″/190 lbs./4.56 40). His best fit in the NFL is out of the slot, but I’m not sure he has the explosion or physicality to separate in the short to intermediate area required of that position. To that point, Hardy posted a very disappointing 114″ broad jump, which was the fourth shortest among WR’s. He was also a disappointment at the bench press, putting up the 225 pound bar bell only 11 times which was good for seventh worst at his position. There isn’t anything about his game that is impressive enough to overcome the size and athletic deficiencies.
My thoughts: I couldn’t have said it better myself, Jeff. A hard worker with an impressive work ethic, Hardy just doesn’t have the athletic talents to make a difference at the next level. His size along with his lack of explosion will likely keep him from being a fantasy contributor. There are options with much more upside in the third round of rookie drafts.
3.12 – Tyler Lockett, WR Kansas State
Eric Hardter’s thoughts: I’m not truthfully that worried about Lockett busting because, in most cases, I doubt he’ll be drafted highly enough. But for those on the precipice of being seduced by his speed and ability to get open in college, just know that his measurables are amongst the worst in combine history. He’s in the 10th percentile or below with regards to height, weight, arm length and hand size, meaning he’ll need an incredibly accurate quarterback for success. He also struggles with drops and appears to fight the ball at times, likely due to his inferior stature. He’s a nice upside stash should he land in a system based on precision, but I wouldn’t be comfortable selecting him any earlier than round three.
My thoughts: Another potential slot receiver in this class, Lockett is small (5’10”, 182 lbs.) and relatively fast (4.40 40-time). Because of his size and lack of strength, he struggles getting off the line of scrimmage in press coverage and partially due to the small hands that Eric mentioned he has shown a habit of dropping passes. Perhaps best suited to be a kick and punt returner at the next level, Lockett may not have the upside worth spending a pick at the second and third round turn of your rookie draft which is where he’s going in mocks.
Find Dan on Twitter at @dmeylor22
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