As you likely know by now, the DLF Team uses an app called Voxer for quick chats, opinion gathering and general discussion. It’s a quick way for us to get information for articles and put together opinions of many in short order. This week, I asked the team to complete a three round rookie mock draft since we now find ourselves at the quarter pole of the NFL season. In full Voxer beauty, the draft was done in about 30 minutes, allowing me to share it with you quickly. Here were the rules:
1.) You could not draft back-to-back
2.) You could not pick three times in a single round
3.) Only rookies could be drafted
4.) The format was PPR
5.) Anyone can be on the clock once they see the draft was in progress
We had tons of team members join in and that allowed us to get the draft done so rapidly. We’ll bring you the results round-by-round and started with round one earlier this week. It’s certainly interesting as some things have changed and others have simply been solidified.
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As a reminder, the following players have been taken:
1.01 = Leonard Fournette
1.02 = Kareem Hunt
1.03 = Dalvin Cook
1.04 = Corey Davis
1.05 = Joe Mixon
1.06 = Christian McCaffrey
1.07 = Evan Engram
1.08 = Mike Williams
1.09 = John Ross
1.10 = Cooper Kupp
1.11 = OJ Howard
1.12 = Alvin Kamara
2.01 = Tarik Cohen, RB CHI
When the Bears took Cohen in the fourth round of the NFL Draft, it was thought by most he could eventually become a third down back or spell Jordan Howard every once in a while, providing some depth for Chicago after they had apparently soured on Jeremy Langford. Instead, Cohen has proven to be a dynamic weapon out of the backfield and looks like one of the more explosive athletes in the entire NFL. Through just five games, he has 194 rushing yards (on a robust 5.4 yards per carry) and has caught 25 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown. He has a very bright future, especially in PPR leagues and certainly looks like one of the steals of rookie drafts so far this year.
2.02 = David Njoku, TE CLE
The predictable struggles on offense for the Browns have limited Njoku to just 12 catches for 118 yards so far this season. On the plus side, he already has three touchdowns on the year and has flashed the elite athleticism we’ve come to expect from him. Tight ends typically start slow and Njoku is going to have some ups and downs this year. Still, he has a high ceiling and owners who exhibit some patience will likely be rewarded down the road.
2.03 = Kenny Golladay, WR DET
The Kenny Golladay hype train was out of control in the preseason and only gained more steam after a two touchdown performance against the Cardinals on opening weekend. A hamstring injury has finally thrown some cold water on his value and really, it was getting a little out of control in the first place. Golladay has unquestioned talent and looks to be a legitimate starter down the road. However, he still has Marvin Jones and Golden Tate ahead of him on the depth chart and is battling TJ Jones for snaps as well. The back half of the year will be very interesting for Golladay. If he can get healthy and flash what he did early on, the sky is the limit – just don’t overpay for what you think his potential is right now.
2.04 = Juju Smith-Schuster, WR PIT
Slowly, but surely, the talented Smith-Schuster has been gaining trust in Pittsburgh and has seen his playing time increase as a result. With Martavis Bryant struggling, Smith-Schuster has now amassed 20 targets over the past four games and is quickly becoming an important part of the Steelers’ offense. In fact, he played a whopping 65 of the 79 snaps last week and may have emerged as the #2 option in the offense in the process. If so, he looks like a great value pick in this year’s rookie draft.
2.05 = Deshaun Watson, QB HOU
When you account for ten touchdowns in your last two games as a rookie quarterback, your value tends to grow. At this point, Watson looks like a star in the making and has shown poise beyond his years at times. He’s still going to have some struggles but throwing for 12 touchdowns and having just four interceptions so far in the year is an incredible start. He’s quickly establishing himself as the best quarterback from this class and could rise up this list even more if he continues his stellar play.
2.06 = Marlon Mack, RB IND
Mack has proven to be a player who has added some juice to a team that desperately needs it since Frank Gore has started to finally look like the aging player he is. Mack’s 91-yard effort last week has put him squarely on the radar for the Colts and he should get more and more playing time now that his shoulder looks to be healed. He still loses too many yards at the line of scrimmage and tends to bounce too many runs to the outside, but it’s clear he has talent and if the Colts pass on one of the bigger name backs like Saquon Barkley, Derrius Guice or Bryce Love in next year’s draft, Mack could become a true starter sooner, rather than later.
2.07 = Aaron Jones, RB GB
The biggest riser over the past month, Jones has seemingly passed Jamaal Williams as the backup to Ty Montgomery and some believe he’s earned at least a timeshare with Montgomery moving forward after his 125-yard effort in relief last week. Some have even gone as far as to say Jones is the new starter in Green Bay but that seems a bit premature to me. Still, this is an athlete who posted a top-two SPARQ score at the NFL Draft combine and has added a different dynamic to the Green Bay rushing attack by averaging over five yards per carry. I do expect Jones to share duties with Montgomery moving forward and he could certainly emerge as the primary runner if Montgomery continues to struggle. Jones was our Summer Sleeper for Green Bay, so make sure you check that out to learn more about him.
2.08 = Zay Jones, WR BUF
Jones is starting to slide a bit as his production has been less than stellar so far the year. After all, he has just five catches on 23 targets for 66 scoreless yards through five games thus far. The positive here is the Bills just don’t have a ton of other options and Jones will have every opportunity to excel moving forward as he learns on the fly. Expectations for early production were likely just a little inflated.
2.09 = D’Onta Foreman, RB HOU
Foreman’s value continues to be pretty steady. In fact, him going at 2.09 could be considered a pretty solid value selection. He continues to share work with Lamar Miller and even though he’s averaging just 3.9 yards per carry, he’s shown pretty well on tape and looks to be the future in Houston. The question is always going to be his ability (or inability) to add anything in the passing game.
2.10 = Matt Breida, RB SF
Another fast riser over the past few weeks has been Matt Breida, who is now eating into the snaps of Carlos Hyde. Over the past two games, Breida has logged 19 carries and continues to see his role evolve in the offense. While we’ve yet to see a true breakout game from him like we have from Mack or Jones, it’s clear the 49ers love this young player and are willing to see just what he can do. At this point in the second round, that seems worthy of a selection.
2.11 = Taywan Taylor, WR TEN
Taylor’s slow start to the year has dropped him down to the end of round two. On the season, he’s posted just five catches for 72 yards and struggled to really make much of an impact, despite having Corey Davis on the shelf for most of the year. The Titans seem committed to developing Taylor and owners really should be as well – there’s no need to panic here quite yet.
2.12 = Mitchell Trubisky, QB CHI
It didn’t take long for Trubisky to stake his claim to the starting role in Chicago and despite his up and down debut, he looks like he has a bright future. In short, Trubisky is an athletic player who has solid arm talent. He’s going to be held back by the lack of weapons in the receiving department but at least he can bank on a solid running game with Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen. Trubisky may look like a game manager early in his career but he should be unleashed at some point when the Bears can finally add some legitimate pass catchers.
There you have it. We have some changes happening and some other thoughts being cemented in terms of rookie values. We’ll post the rest of the draft later.
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK