With the 2018 NFL season now complete, it’s officially draft season. Over the next few months, mock drafts will be as plentiful. One of my favorites is the recurring full seven rounder compiled by Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, who just released his first marathon mock.
I will use this mock to create my own mock, a two-round dynasty rookie mock, based on the assumption that Matt will nail every one of his picks. Obviously that won’t happen, but part of the off-season is speculating about a player’s value depending on where he lands in the draft.
Remember, all picks are simply predictions by Matt, based on the most recent news and team needs.
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1.01 David Montgomery, RB KC (Round 2, Pick 61)
Without a clear top pick early in the pre-draft process, the respective landing spots of the top incoming rookies will go a long way in determining the eventual consensus rookie draft order. With Kareem Hunt gone from Kansas City, any back the Chiefs invest an early pick into will vault to the top of rookie drafts, especially if it’s Montgomery, who has long been considered the RB1 in the class.
1.02 Josh Jacobs, RB OAK (Round 1, Pick 24)
If Montgomery is not the top back in the class, it will be Alabama’s Jacobs, the fast-rising Crimson Tide backup. In this scenario, Jacobs is the first running back drafted and would presumably slide right into the starting role for Oakland.
1.03 N’Keal Harry, WR GB (Round 1, Pick 30)
This is a talented but muddied receiver class with as many as four pass catchers being pegged as the WR1. That means landing spot and draft capital will go a long way in deciding the order of rookie drafts. Harry is already the favorite to be the top wideout drafted and landing with Aaron Rodgers and the Pack in the first round would keep him near the top.
1.04 Hakeem Butler, WR IND (Round 2, Pick 34)
Iowa State’s Butler has been a post-season riser already and being selected by the Colts in the second round would help that trend to continue. The Colts have a major need at WR2 and being paired with Andrew Luck for the next several years would further boost the rookie receiver’s value.
1.05 Kelvin Harmon, WR HOU (Round 2, Pick 55)
This is a tricky one. The Texans have hit on a pair of complementary receivers in recent years in Will Fuller and Keke Coutee. Both have excelled when healthy but have continuously dealt with injury issues keeping them out of the lineup. Harmon would have a lot of competition and might have a wait before he sees significant playing time.
1.06 D.K. Metcalf, WR BAL (Round 1, Pick 22)
This is inevitable. One of the top incoming rookie receivers will land with the Ravens and as exciting as quarterback Lamar Jackson was in his rookie season, his receivers suffered once he entered the lineup. Any receiver paired with Jackson is likely to suffer a value loss.
1.07 A.J. Brown, WR BUF (Round 2, Pick 40)
It is a very similar story in Buffalo with the Bills and quarterback Josh Allen, who showed major upside as a runner but struggled with passing efficiency. As a second-rounder, Brown would have enough draft capital to maintain his mid-first dynasty value but this landing spot wouldn’t be viewed as a positive.
1.08 Deebo Samuel, WR WAS (Round 2, Pick 46)
The Redskins are a bit of a disaster right now. They have no quarterback, a disappointing and injury-riddled group of pass catchers and their most valuable dynasty asset has never taken an official NFL snap. Any offensive skill player added to this roster is likely to see an immediate opportunity, especially a polished receiver like Samuel.
1.09 Damien Harris, RB BUF (Round 3, Pick 74)
The Bills continue to claim they plan to stick with veteran running back LeSean McCoy for the 2019 season, but they really should move on. Using a day two pick on a solid back like Alabama’s Harris would be a sign that they are ready to do just that. At worst, Harris would serve as a primary backup in his rookie year with a chance to claim the starting gig in 2020 and if the Bills are smart, they’d dump McCoy and had the job to the three-time 1,000-yard SEC back.
1.10 Darrell Henderson, RB NYJ (Round 3, Pick 93)
The Jets are another AFC East team that could use an upgrade at running back. They signed Isaiah Crowell away from the Browns a year ago and that was mostly a flop and while Elijah McGuire provided a spark at times, he’s not in the mold of a workhorse back. Henderson, from Memphis, could certainly fill that role and with early opportunity, sneaks into the first round of rookie drafts.
1.11 J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR SF (Round 3, Pick 67)
One of my personal favorite prospects in this class is Stanford wideout Arcega-Whiteside and in this mock, he lands in a favorable spot in San Francisco. The Niners need help at the receiver position and the return of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo should boost the entire offense.
1.12 Marquise Brown, WR TEN (Round 1, Pick 19)
The final pick of the first round is also the first receiver off the board in this NFL mock draft, Oklahoma’s “Hollywood” Brown. Despite his size (5’10”, 178 pounds), Brown is routinely being projected as a first-round pick, though this landing spot with the Titans would not necessarily be a good one.
That’s what the first round of a dynasty rookie draft might look like based on Miller’s new seven-round mock draft. Next time, I’ll have round two with another group of 12 players.
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