Not only is the dynasty off-season nearly upon us, but the annual barrage of college bowl games begins this weekend. This is the perfect storm for dynasty players who never sleep on improving their dynasty teams.
In the coming weeks, the Dynasty Scouts team will provide you with previews of each bowl game, highlighting the top players to watch for both the 2016 NFL Draft and upcoming devy drafts in mind.
Before the games begin though, let’s look at the most recent collection of 2016 rookie average draft position data. Our own Scott Fish periodically runs a series of rookie (and devy) mock drafts to gather ADP data to give us all an idea of what to expect in future drafts. The group of five rookie mocks for December are coming to a close and I want to take a deeper look at some of the top players who could make up the class of 2016.
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1.01 – Laquon Treadwell, WR Ole Miss
December ADP: 1.0
Ole Miss wideout Treadwell started his junior season slowly, but has had some dominant performances in key games. With the heavy lean towards drafting wide receivers early, Treadwell is the current favorite to be drafted with the top pick, as he was in each of the December mocks.
1.02 – Ezekiel Elliott, RB Ohio State
December ADP: 2.0
Ohio State running back Elliott didn’t enjoy the same late season rushing streak that really put him on the map a season ago, but he played well enough to get the attention of dynasty owners. In a class that seemingly lacks star power at the top, Elliott is a top two pick, by default. Like Treadwell before him, he was a consensus pick, drafted second overall in every draft.
1.03 – Derrick Henry, RB Alabama
December ADP: 3.8
Henry, the Heisman winner, has his share of doubters when it comes to his future prospects. Many seem concerned about his running style and if he has what it takes to be a fantasy relevant back in the NFL. With that said, his track record at Alabama is likely enough to push him into the top five of most rookie drafts.
1.04 – Tyler Boyd, WR Pittsburgh
December ADP: 4.8
Last off-season, Boyd, the lanky wideout from Pitt, looked like a hands down top three rookie pick. Since that time, he had a run in with the law and a drop in production. He is still expected to declare for the NFL Draft, but more and more dynasty players seem concerned about his 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame.
1.05 – Corey Coleman, WR Baylor
December ADP: 5.6
There may not be a player who has gained more dynasty value from the upcoming rookie class than Baylor’s Coleman, who week after week put up video game numbers on his way to winning the Biletnikoff Award as the top receiver in the country. Coleman is undersized and not the fastest player out there, but that hasn’t stopped him from rising to the top of the wide receiver rankings. He has already announced that he will be entering the NFL Draft a year early.
1.06 – Corey Davis, WR Western Michigan
December ADP: 6.6
Davis, the top notch wideout from a small school, was a relative unknown around a year ago, but thanks to the praise of our own Nick Whalen and friend of DLF, Jon Moore, Davis became a household name for devy and dynasty players. Western Michigan was barely even televised a year ago, so many of us were trusting the evaluations from Nick, Jon and others, but this season was a different story as the Broncos were a part of multiple nationally televised games, giving us all a chance to witness the impressive play from Davis. There has been little talk about whether Davis will make the leap, but if he does, he should easily be a first-round rookie pick.
1.07 – Mike Williams, WR Clemson
December ADP: 7.8
Clemson’s star receiver, Williams has missed most of the season following a scary neck injury in the season’s first game. The news on Williams has been scarce for much of the season, but Tigers’ head coach Dabo Swinney recently announced that while Williams would not play in the team’s playoff game(s), he would be returning for another season in 2016. With this lofty draft position even after a missed season, it is clear the dynasty and devy community still value Williams very highly. With that said, it looks like we will have to wait another year before Williams is playing on Sundays.
1.08 – Michael Thomas, WR Ohio State
December ADP: 7.8
With so many weapons on that offense and much attention being given to the quarterback battle, Ohio State’s Thomas entered the season with little fanfare. His play on the field and manly build has gotten everyone’s attention though. Thomas hasn’t officially announced his decision to leave the Buckeyes a year early, but all signs point to that outcome. ESPN’s Mel Kiper has even suggested Thomas could be the first wide receiver taken. He’s one player I expect to continue to rise from this mid-range first round ADP.
1.09 – Josh Doctson, WR Texas Christian
December ADP: 8.2
I’ve been somewhat down on Doctson, mostly due to his older than his peers age. No, he’s not old, but as a 23-year-old rookie, it will be difficult to compare him to Treadwell, Coleman and others. Yes, he dominated his senior season at TCU, but as a 22-year-old, he should be dominating teenagers. I have seen some declaring Doctson as a lock top-three rookie pick, so I see some room to grow at this ADP.
1.10 – De’Runnya Wilson, WR Mississippi State
December ADP: 11.0
The numbers for Bulldogs’ big wide receiver De’Runnya Wilson are what you might expect from a player who has been viewed as a future first-round rookie draft pick for nearly two years, but Wilson does a lot of things well. His head coach Dan Muller is said to be trying to convince him to stay in school, but it is likely too late for that as Wilson has been telling people for weeks that he’ll make the leap. At 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, Wilson has been compared to Kelvin Benjamin, making him a solid value in the late first round.
1.11 – Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina
December ADP: 11.4
With the mid-season coaching change, it’s little surprise South Carolina’s Cooper has already announced he’d be leaving early for the NFL Draft. Cooper is viewed by most as a second-round NFL Draft pick. He’s done a little bit of everything for the Gamecocks, running the wildcat and rushing the ball, as well as being a vital part of the special teams. This jack-of-all-trades ability has drawn comparisons to Packers’ receiver Randall Cobb, who played multiple roles during his time at Kentucky. Cobb was somewhat undervalued due to his size, which could be the case for Cooper as well.
1.12 – Jordan Villamin, WR Oregon State
December ADP: 14.4
Oregon State struggled this season, going just 2-10 on the year. This is one of the reasons we’ve heard little about redshirt sophomore Villamin. I’ve seen no talk regarding a potential jump to the league, but it is fairly uncommon for a redshirt sophomore to leave early. I would not be surprised if Villamin opted to return to school for the 2016 season, further weakening an already shallow class
2.01 – Will Fuller, WR Notre Dame
December ADP: 16.6
2.02 – Alex Collins, RB Arkansas
December ADP: 17.0
2.03 – Bucky Hodges, TE Virginia Tech
December ADP: 17.6
2.04 – Evan Engram, TE Ole Miss
December ADP: 18.0
2.05 – Corey Clement, RB Wisconsin
December ADP: 18.6
2.06 – Devontae Booker, RB Utah
December ADP: 18.6
2.07 – Rashard Higgins, WR Colorado State
December ADP: 19.0
2.08 – Leonte Carroo, WR Rutgers
December ADP: 21.0
2.09 – Tajae Sharpe, WR Massachusetts
December ADP: 21.2
2.10 – Travin Dural, WR LSU
December ADP: 22.6
2.11 – Elijah McGuire, RB Louisiana-Lafayette
December ADP: 22.6
2.12 – James Conner, RB Pittsburgh
December ADP: 22.8
Of the 12 players making up the second round, we already know two of them will not actually be part of the 2016 rookie class. Wisconsin running back Corey Clement has announced he’ll be returning to school, while James Conner recently announced he’s been diagnosed with lymphoma. His playing future is obviously up in the air as he battles this disease, but he certainly won’t be part of this draft class.
Notre Dame wide receiver Will Fuller has also already announced a plan to return to school, but is reportedly reconsidering that decision. We are still awaiting decisions from the remaining underclassmen, but one thing is clear…the class of 2016 does not have the depth and star power of last season’s dynasty rookie draft.