For many dynasty players, the highlight of the off-season is the annual rookie draft, and we are now mere days away from many of those drafts kicking off. Once our respective dynasty teams are eliminated from contention (and sometimes even before), we tend to turn our attention to the incoming rookie class, and delusions of grandeur take over. In fact, dynasty players spend nearly the entire off-season preparing for how they will use their draft picks or if they will use them at all.
In this twelve-part series, our team will use the latest data available here at Dynasty League Football, namely our April Superflex Rookie ADP and the Dynasty Trade Finder, to ensure you are as prepared as possible when your draft begins. Based on our most recent ADP data, we’ll suggest the player you could soon be adding to your team, and if you don’t like that, we’ll also include a potential pivot option. In addition, we’ll include options based on the updated 1QB rookie ADP for those who play in that format. Finally, using the Dynasty Trade Finder, we’ll examine some recent trades that have taken place with each specific draft pick.
We all know the first round of rookie drafts includes the players we’ve been hearing about for months, if not years, but difference-makers can be found in the second round and beyond, as well. Because of that, we’ll also address the other picks that accompany each respective first-round draft slot.
Rookie Selection 1.12
The Pick: Josh Downs, WR
A former four-star recruit out of high school, Josh Downs got off to a slow start in his college career thanks to being stuck behind solid producers and eventual NFL receivers Dyami Brown and Dazz Newsome. Once that pair moved on, Downs took over and was quickly the Tar Heels best offensive weapon. Downs racked up over 2,300 yards and 195 receptions the past two seasons and didn’t miss a beat following the transition from Sam Howell this season. Downs led the ACC in receptions each of the past two years. Despite his diminutive size, coming in at 5’8″ and 171 pounds, Downs was among the leaders in the class in contested catches, totaling 13 on the year.
While he has developed a reputation for playing “bigger than his size,” Downs will almost certainly be locked into the slot in the NFL. According to Pro Football Focus, nearly 88% of Downs’ college snaps came from the slot. Downs can be used as a deep threat from that position, though. His eleven deep catches in 2022 put him among the top-thirty receivers in the country. Downs’ size is the biggest question mark he brings into the NFL, and ultimately, teams will tell us how much of a concern that should be based on his draft capital. If they’re not worried, I won’t be worried.
Downs seemingly entered the offseason as a player that many dynasty managers may not have been familiar with, based on early rookie ADP data. In February, Downs was the 16th overall player drafted in our 1QB rookie ADP and the WR7. In the two months since, Downs became a well-known prospect and has even shown up as a potential first-round NFL Draft pick, according to some mock drafts. Now, Downs is the WR5 and carries a 1.08 ADP in 1QB leagues, along with his 1.12 ADP in superflex leagues.
- 1.12 for Mike Evans
- 1.12/2.07/Latavius Murray for George Kittle
- 1.12/2.03 for Treylon Burks/Rashaad Penny
Hendon Hooker, Zach Charbonnet, Quentin Johnston
1QB League Options
Jalin Hyatt, WR
Rookie Selection 2.12
The Pick: Marvin Mims, WR
If you are a college football fan, it might feel like Marvin Mims’ Oklahoma career lasted for a half-decade or more. While not at all true, that perception likely comes from Mims’ early production as a true freshman for the Sooners. In that 2020 season, Mims totaled over 600 yards and grabbed nine touchdown catches on his way to becoming the first Oklahoma receiver ever to be named a Freshman All-American. Mims endured multiple changes during his three-year career, including three different starting quarterbacks and a surprise head coaching change following the 2021 season.
Mims can play inside or out and is a productive special team asset as well. As is the case with many receivers in this class, there is some level of worry about Mims’ size. At 5’10” and 183 pounds, Mims has never been known as an overly physical receiver, and he’ll have to improve as a route runner to find consistent success on Sundays.
Dynasty managers haven’t been exactly sure how to value Mims this offseason. In our February ADP, Mims debuted as the 3.04 pick and the WR9 in our ADP. He vaulted nearly a full round the next month before falling back to his current 2.12 rookie ADP. Ultimately, I project Mims to be a locked-in Day Two NFL Draft pick and move up the board in dynasty rookie drafts as a result of that capital.
- 2.12/3.12 for Geno Smith
- 2.12 for Sam Howell
- 2.12 for 3.04/2024 3rd
Cedric Tillman, Roschon Johnson, Israel Abanikanda
1QB League Options
Rookie Selection 3.12
The Pick: Evan Hull, RB
Northwestern running back Evan Hull left high school as an accomplished track athlete in addition to his three-star recruiting rank on the gridiron. The Wildcats were the only Power-Five school to offer Hull, and he waited two years before really getting an opportunity. In 2021, Hull enjoyed a breakout year for Northwestern, rushing for over 1,000 yards and seven scores. While Hull’s rushing numbers took a hit this past season, his receiving usage nearly doubled as he finished with 546 yards on 55 catches.
Hull seems like the ultimate tweener. He was a competitive sprinter in high school, but that speed doesn’t always show up on the football field. Although he improved his receiving numbers, he will likely never be viewed as a third-down back, and although he is well over 200 pounds, he seems to lack the power that should accompany his size.
His ADP has hovered in the late-third to fourth-round range in our monthly rookie ADP, and I expect him to stick in that range post-Draft, barring an ideal landing spot and earlier-than-expected draft capital.
- 3.12 for 4.04/4.10
Jonathan Mingo, Tyler Scott, Tucker Kraft
1QB League Options
- Dynasty Fantasy Football ADP: Post-Draft Risers and Fallers - May 23, 2023
- Monday Mocks: Post-Draft Superflex Rookie Mock - May 1, 2023
- Monday Mocks: Dynasty Expert Mock - April 24, 2023