The NFL draft is done and the fun is just beginning!
The last few days have been quite the adventure. In fact, when compared to the last few years, I think this NFL Draft has thrown more wrenches and curveballs into dynasty rookie drafts than the last few years combined. After all, when we have a receiver who some had on the top of their draft board (Kelvin Harmon) not being selected by an NFL team until the sixth round or someone who wasn’t even in the top 50 for many (Mecole Hardman) going as the fifth receiver off the board in the NFL Draft, things can only be defined as crazy.
In order to help get a handle on what to make of things, I gathered 11 of DLF’s finest and conducted a mock draft Saturday afternoon. The rules of the mock were simple – no trades were allowed and owners were instructed to simply take the best fantasy asset they believed was on the board. We assumed a standard PPR scoring system without any premiums on any positions. Here is how things unfolded in our first post-draft rookie mock draft.
The first round was posted Saturday night. Look back at it here if you missed it.
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The early part of the second round features a few players who I think are very likely to be late first round picks. My favorite player in this grouping is Campbell. I have him in a neck and neck race for the third receiver on my board right now and somewhere in the seven to nine range overall. I think he was a huge value at the 2.04. With his athletic ability and the system he is going to, I think he stands a solid chance at WR2 value in the short term and turning into Andrew Luck’s future number one target. I have no idea how that isn’t a first round pick.
My second favorite pick of this grouping is Samuel. I think he could easily push into the back end of the first round, and I have him as my fifth or sixth receiver in the class right now. I love players who are passionate, competitive, and disciplined. Mix in some pretty good skills, and you have a player who should see the field early and often. My concerns are the number of mouths in San Francisco just keeps growing. The offense will need to be pretty good to make Samuel a consistent fantasy asset if he is the third or fourth target on the team.
Perhaps the most intriguing pick in the early second round is Henderson. The fact the Rams spent an early third round pick on him as the third running back off the board really makes me wonder if there is more to Todd Gurley‘s knee woes than we know. Where there is smoke, there is often times fire. If there is something going on, Henderson has the skills to make the most of the chances he gets and turn it into more of a committee like the Saints ran last year.
Enter Hakeem Butler.
I wasn’t as high on Butler pre-draft as many others, and I have him right around seventh or eighth at his position now. While he is likely to fill the big receiver role in the new Arizona offense, we really have no idea what that offense will look like. When you have a college coach instilling a college offense with four rookies likely to fill key roles in the passing game, there are a lot of question marks. Hopefully, he will take the time to soak in as much wisdom as he can from the legendary Larry Fitzgerald. If he does, and the offense succeeds, he could be a solid WR2.The offense could also be a train wreck and be ripped apart in a few years when a new coach arrives. In short, there is lots of risk here and that (coupled with the fact he was taken in round four) bumps Butler out of the first round.
When I look at the middle of the second round, my eyes immediately go to Mecole Hardman. This isn’t because I think he is the best player in this grouping, because he isn’t. It is instead because I think he is one the true wildcards of this draft. Some people view him as the straight up Tyreek Hill replacement and might be willing to pull the trigger on him in the late first. Others look at him as a very raw player who might be a better returner than receiver. The truth might be somewhere in the middle, but his draft stock is going to be all over the place.
Singletary and Hill are in very similar positions. Of the two, I think Singletary is the better option in terms of talent and situation. Both of these players join very crowded backfields. The difference is the players currently in Buffalo are all near the end of their careers (except for TJ Yeldon) and the ones in Baltimore are significantly younger. Both of these players could put up solid RB2 numbers if given the chance, but a lot of cards are going to need to fall just right if that is going to happen.
Irv Smith Jr is the third tight end selected in this mock, but he comes a full round after the pair of Iowa tight ends. The difference in fantasy draft capital is making some wonder if Smith is actually the better value. I don’t like his situation as much as I do for the first round tight ends, but Kyle Rudolph is getting older. There has been talk of them wanting to extend Rudolph, but that could just be talk. I think Smith could join Rudolph in a lot of two tight end sets this year, but he might only be the fourth target in the offense.
New England drafting Harris in this year’s draft is yet another example of why you can never be comfortable when owning a Patriots running back. He will join Sony Michel and James White to round out the three headed monster that now makes up the New England committee. Harris should get most of the short yardage work and might cut into some of Michel’s workload. I’m not sure what kind of fantasy production this means, but it will likely be inconsistent. I do believe White’s role and production will remain largely the same.
Sternberger is the fourth tight end off the board in this, and likely most, rookie drafts. He was very productive during his final year of college, but lacks the athleticism and size the best NFL tight ends possess. Nonetheless, landing on the Packers behind an aging Jimmy Graham with Aaron Rodgers throwing the ball to you makes him worth a look.
Grabbing Haskins at this point in the draft (a full round after Kyler Murray) is a great value. I think they’ll say Haskins is going to sit and learn, but I believe he’ll be starting by mid-season. The rest of the Washington offense is a bit of a mess with uncertainty all over the place. When you combine injuries clouding the backfield and tight end positions with ineffective play plaguing the receiver position, it’s anyone’s guess what the surrounding cast will look like for Haskins. He will be solid, but the upside and the time it takes to reach that upside is very much up in the air.
The final pick of the round is one of my favorites. I was high on Boykin pre-draft, but I’m a little lukewarm about his landing spot. I don’t know if they will throw enough to support multiple receivers in Baltimore, but he’s going to get an opportunity to start. With his athletic profile, that could be more than enough for him to shine. He’s one of my targets around this spot in the draft.
That’s it for the second round! You can check out twitter using the tag #DLFrookiemock for the picks or come back in a few days for the write-up on the final round. Good luck with your drafts!