Summer has officially arrived and the NFL has entered into the closest thing it actually has to an off-season. We have now entered the six week “break” between OTAs and the start of training camp when teams and players aren’t allowed to have any formal contact. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean we are taking a break from what we do. Instead, we are back with another rookie mock draft. If you have already completed your rookie mock drafts, then use it to help you evaluate your trade offers. If your draft is still approaching over the next few months, then I hope it will help you prepare for your summer draft.
If you’re unfamiliar with how our mock drafts work, here is the quick rundown. Our rules for the mock draft are as follows:
- Standard PPR scoring with normal lineup requirements
- Draft order is randomly generated and no trades are allowed
- Draft the best player available without any consideration for team need or previous players drafted
Once the mock is complete, each drafter was asked to provide some comments about the player they drafted. In order to provide a second perspective on each selection, I will also provide some comments on each of the choices. From time to time we will disagree on a player, and that’s perfectly okay. There is no group think here at DLF and sometimes we get widely different opinions on players. I’ll be the first to admit that we, and especially me, will get a few of these players wrong. It happens to all of us.
If you missed the first round, you can take a look at it here.
As a whole, I’m very impressed with the value the second round provides this year. It is a testament to the depth of this year’s class. Of course the vast majority of these players will end up being busts in the NFL, but history tells us at least one or two will become stars.
2.01 – Phillip Dorsett, WR IND
Zach’s thoughts: There were about five or six players available who I considered at this pick. There are several players who have the potential to become fantasy starters over the next several years. This really came down to a tie breaker for me. I had to go with the player who has Andrew Luck throwing him the ball. Whether TY Hilton ends up staying in Indianapolis or not, the Colts are going to continue airing the ball out as long as Luck is their quarterback. Dorsett has fantastic big play ability, which could make for a terrifying combination with Luck’s arm. There were other players on the board who were safer picks, but none of them have the potential that he does in the Indianapolis offense.
My thoughts: I think a lot of people are going to follow Zach’s thought process and might even pick Dorsett in the end of the first round. He is similar in size and skills to Hilton and people are trying to connect the dots saying he is Hilton’s replacement. That of course means he will produce exactly like Hilton has, right? It isn’t quite that simple, but it is worth the risk. Just keep in mind that prior to the NFL draft, Dorsett was often a third round pick in rookie drafts. There is a fair amount of risk with him. He might be built like Hilton, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be as productive.
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2.02 – Jaelen Strong, WR HOU
Ken’s thoughts: In this range there are a number of viable options. Strong is right there with Dorsett & Funchess for me, and honestly, all are pretty interchangeable from a rookie draft standpoint. I like Strong’s size, strength and physical playing style. His shortcomings are all correctable, and depending on who his QB will be long term, he has the chance to develop into a very solid WR2 on a fantasy roster.
My thoughts: I really like Strong. In fact, prior to the NFL draft I had him fighting with Nelson Agholor for the fourth rookie on my board. Yes, he has some issues but they are all fixable issues as Ken mentioned. Athletically, Strong might not have elite upside, but he can definitely reach WR2 levels within a year or two. Once the Texans actually find a quarterback he should be ready to take that step. He’s a great value in the early second round.
2.03 – Devin Funchess, WR CAR
Jarrett’s thoughts: After 1.12, I actually had this set up as Funchess, Strong, Dorsett, so I got a little lucky here. Funchess and Strong are very close for me but I feel that Strong is clearly blocked and Funchess actually has a chance to pass Kelvin Benjamin. I buy the fact that he played hurt and think he has a decent enough chance to become the 1A to Benjamin’s 1B to give this pick decent upside, especially at 2.03.
My thoughts: I’ve never been a fan of Funchess. In his current form he isn’t athletic enough to be an NFL receiver and not big enough to be an NFL tight end. I believe he’s going to be stuck between the two positions, which means he isn’t going to be successful at either one. I think his best course of action would be to add 15-20 pounds and learn from Greg Olsen for a few years. I don’t think that is going to happen though. There are some, like Jarrett, who like him better than Benjamin. While I do view Benjamin as the complement to someone down the road, I’m not sure Funchess is lead dog material.
2.04 – Duke Johnson, RB CLE
Eric O’s thoughts: I was a big fan of watching Duke Johnson play at Miami and I would love him even more if he wasn’t part of a three man rotation in Cleveland. He is a prototypical PPR running back in the NFL and offers a fairly high floor in fantasy leagues due to his receiving skills. The Browns will be playing from behind a lot and Johnson is better than Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell in the passing game. Unfortunately, Johnson isn’t a guy who will be on the field in goal-to-go situations. He’s commonly compared to Giovani Bernard.
My thoughts: I personally feel the Bernard comparisons are a bit of a reach for Johnson. I don’t think Johnson is as elusive or explosive as the Bengal rusher. I see Johnson as being locked in a three part committee on a bad offense. In other words, he won’t be startable as a flex spot on your roster but he’ll still carry enough value that you can’t drop him. He’s another player where the situation he landed in destroyed any kind of value he might have had in my eyes. Long term he might emerge from this mess, but I think it is going to be a while before we know.
2.05 – Marcus Mariota, QB TEN
Jeff B’s thoughts: This draft shook out a little different than I expected as my top 16 players were taken in the first 16 picks. I wasn’t quite sure where to go with this selection as I’m not a fan of any of the running backs or wide receivers left on the board. In real life, I would have either traded back or tried to parlay this pick into a 2016 1st. However, I took Mariota because he’s the best quarterback in this rookie class, possessing both the highest floor and the highest ceiling. If the Titans utilize him properly, he could be a top 5 dynasty QB by this time next year.
My thoughts: Jeff and I disagree a little bit on the exact ceiling for Mariota. I don’t ever see him as a top five quarterback, not when you have a very solid group of guys under the age of 32 at the quarterback position like Luck, Rodgers, Wilson, Newton, Ryan, Stafford and others. I don’t think he has that type of upside. I think his ceiling is the back end of the QB1 ranks. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. After all, if there are 12 teams in your league, a few teams are starting those guys each and every week. I just don’t see top five from Mariota.
2.06 – Maxx Williams, TE BAL
Breeze’s thoughts: I look at Maxx here as an asset that can only go up. If last year’s tight ends can gain value after their rookie years then this time next year Maxx will be worth more than this pick. Dennis Pitta is toast and Crocket Gilmore is not really competition. Every year we see rookie tight ends not produce fantasy numbers but I’m falling for the trap again. I think Maxx can put up TE2 numbers in 2015 and will be valued as a low TE1 this time next off season.
My thoughts: I went to the University of Minnesota, so I’m a little bit of a homer when it comes to Williams. He was one of the most underutilized weapons in all of college football last year. He has great hands, gets open down the field and can get you yards after the catch. Like most rookie tight ends, it is important to keep expectations low, but I think he could be the most productive rookie at the position in the last several years. He’ll definitely gain some value this season, especially since the Ravens are going to need to work him into their game plan due to a lack of other options.
2.07 – Jameis Winston, QB TB
Jeff M’s thoughts: After all the research for my Rookie Draft Study, one of my biggest takeaways is how much rookies rise in value from years one to two. It is with that in mind I took Winston, who figures to throw it a ton this year. With a fantastic complement of receiving options, an NFL-ready skill-set, and the projected high volume, Winston’s stock is something I’m more than happy to bet on. I would consider drafting him as high as the 2.03, ahead of Ajayi, Strong, Williams and Mariota.
My thoughts: Jeff and I don’t agree on everything, but we do seem to agree that Winston is the quarterback to own from this year’s draft class. In my mind, Winston not only has the better skill set of the two quarterbacks, but he also has the much more talented team. While Mariota has a very underwhelming group of pass catchers, Winston walks into one of the better receiver situations in the league. While I would rather have Strong and Williams over Winston, I think you’re going to see him come off the board in the middle second in the vast majority of leagues.
2.08 – David Cobb, RB TEN
My thoughts: As I mentioned early, I attended the University of Minnesota, so I have a little bit of a soft spot for Maxx Williams and David Cobb. They are the two best offensive prospects to come out of the University of Minnesota since Eric Decker. When it comes to Cobb as a talent, he isn’t very flashy. He doesn’t have amazing speed or lightning quick agility. What he does have is nice balance, good vision and the ability to fall forward on pretty much every play.
Cobb isn’t going to be a RB1 for your team even if he wins the starting job, which I expect him to do. He isn’t that kind of rusher. He’s going to get three, four or five yards on pretty much every carry with the occasional 10-20 yard scamper. If he gets the job as starter, there will be a lot of 22 carries for 92 yards type of performances. It isn’t going to single handedly win you a match, but he’s going to be a dependable RB2 for your fantasy squad and has the ability to be a better version of what Shonn Greene was for the Jets.
2.09 – David Johnson, RB ARI
Eric B’s thoughts: I like his skill set as another “Ellington”-type runner, he should have an opportunity to play 5-8 snaps in his rookie year. If he beats Andre Ellington out of his job, I don’t think the Cardinals have any problem pushing Johnson to the top of the depth chart. Also, if Ellington were to get injured again, he will be instantly valuable. My other consideration here was Lockett.
My thoughts: One of the things which was made very clear this past offseason is that the Cardinals aren’t thrilled with Andre Ellington being their only ball carrier. They looked under every rock they could for a possible complement or replacement for him and ended up with only a middle round draft pick. The issue with Johnson is he is just a more durable but slightly less explosive version of Ellington. They don’t work well as a pair. I think for Johnson to have real value it will take an injury or Ellington moving on after this season.
2.10 – Javorius Allen, RB BAL
Doug’s thoughts: Not often that you can pick up a starting running back at the end of the second round but that’s what I got. I think Allen will win the Ravens starting running back job in camp outright. Even if I’m wrong, he’s still in line for the third-down back job, which gives him really good value in PPR leagues. He has a nice power/speed combination and new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman likes to throw to his running backs. That all means good things for Mr. Allen.
My thoughts: I’m not sure how the majority feels on Allen, but I definitely don’t see him as a starting running back in the NFL. At best, I see him as the minor part of a committee which is why he’s still around in the late second round. I think he is more of an insurance policy in case Justin Forsett breaks down this year after a career year last season. Could Allen be a starter? There have been less talented starters before, but I think he’s more of a career backup type.
2.11 – Tyler Lockett, WR SEA
Rob’s thoughts: My team was selected straight from the island of Lilliput, with Tyler Lockett’s selection in the second round ensuring that my draft will be excoriated by #TeamBigWR. His early buzz has revolved mostly around his ability in the return game, though I anticipate that will quickly change. An incredibly precise route runner that can press a defense at every level, I expect the former Kansas State Wildcat to quickly eschew the stigma that surrounds Seahawk receivers and develop into an ideal complement for Jimmy Graham. Even if philosophy caps his overall upside, he has an ideal confluence of talent and opportunity.
My thoughts: In the late second round and especially in the third round I’m all about upside. This where I start to swing for the fences on players who could, if everything goes right, end up as starters on my fantasy squad. I don’t feel Lockett fits that mold. If everything goes perfect for him, I think he’s a fantasy WR4. I love him as a returner, but that isn’t going to score you many points in your fantasy leagues. Regardless of who the Seahawks have had at the receiver position they haven’t had anyone approach 900 receiving yards yet this decade. Lockett isn’t more talented than someone like Golden Tate, so I doubt he will be more productive in the same system.
2.12 – Devin Smith, WR NYJ
Eric D’s thoughts: Despite Smith’s current situation, fighting for playing time behind Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, and Jeremy Kerley, he offers long-term upside on a (hopefully) improving Jets offense. He was drafted at the top of the second round and possesses elite speed, something missing from the other Jets receivers’ skill sets. George Kritikos wrote a terrific dynasty rookie profile on Smith, comparing him to DeSean Jackson and Torrey Smith, and slots him as having future WR2 production. I think at this point in the draft, he’s a bargain.
My thoughts: The situation is about as far from ideal as you can get for Smith. He’s at best the third receiver on a team with a questionable rushing game and a very suspect starting quarterback. That really doesn’t spell fantasy success! Even with all of that, I still like Smith. I think his skill set is unique on his team and he has the potential to be one of the best deep ball receivers in the NFL. Not only that, I think he has the ability to become more than just a deep ball receiver. While he didn’t have a ton of practice with other routes in college, when he did run them I was pretty happy with what I saw. In a few years, I think we’ll be talking about Smith as a top 30 wide receiver in fantasy leagues, assuming the Jets can figure out their quarterback position.
That concludes our look at the second round. What about the second round surprises you? Our third and final round will be out tomorrow and feature some of our favorite fliers and players to watch this off-season.
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