Welcome to Monday Mocks, where I’ll bring you…you guessed it, a new mock draft every Monday during the off-season. In my opinion, drafting is the best part of fantasy football, so I do as much of that as I can. This series will be filled with all types of mocks. We’ll draft startups, rookies, devys, and more.
Ten days! We are down to just ten days until the 2023 NFL Draft. Each year, the closer we draw to the draft, the more information we collectively learn. This means the mock drafts that were once a futile exercise begin to look more and more realistic. One of my favorite NFL Draft analysts, Dane Brugler, released a full seven-round NFL mock draft. These are always my favorite because of the depth. Of course, the players near the top of the draft will also claim early picks in rookie drafts but the later-round selections can be crucial dynasty assets as well.
This week’s 1QB dynasty rookie mock is based solely on what Dane projected in his full NFL mock draft. We’ll assume he nailed both the landing spots and draft capital that are so crucial in ultimately determining a player’s dynasty value. I strongly recommend you seek out this full mock draft to read, along with Dane’s 2023 NFL Draft Guide, deservedly nicknamed “The Beast.”
1.01 Bijan Robinson, RB WAS (Round 1, Pick 16)
There’s no surprise here with the current dynasty RB1, based on our latest startup ADP, coming off the board with the top spot. Many have suggested that despite Robinson’s obvious talent, it has been difficult to project an ideal landing spot for him in the top-half of the draft. Here, he’d supplant Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson rather easily.
1.02 Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR SEA (1.20)
In this scenario, Smith-Njigba is the first receiver off the board, landing in Seattle. This would make for a crowded depth chart, alongside DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, especially for a team that loves to run the ball. This would be a slight ding to JSN’s value, but not enough to push him out of the second spot.
1.03 Jahmyr Gibbs, RB ARI (2.34)
The Alabama product Gibbs is nearly a lock to be the RB2 in both the NFL as well as rookie drafts. In Arizona, he’d have the chance to play with veteran James Conner for one year as he gets the chance to prove he can be more than a change-of-pace back in the league.
1.04 Jordan Addison, WR NYG (1.25)
The Giants have been busy adding and re-signing wide receivers all offseason, most of them undersized just like Addison. That makes this a surprising selection but Addison is also more talented than most, or all, of the Giants current pass-catchers. He’d have the chance to start from day one.
1.05 Zach Charbonnet, RB CIN (2.60)
This Bengals pick late in the second round suggests that the team is ready to move on from veteran Joe Mixon, who has had multiple off-field incidents this offseason. If Mixon is cut, Charbonnet would be locked in as a top-five rookie pick with the chance to go even higher. He’d also be the clear favorite to earn Cincinnati’s starting job for this season.
1.06 Zay Flowers, WR BAL (1.22)
Flowers has been consistently rising in mock draft and dynasty ADP throughout the pre-draft process. In fact, he’s even gotten some recent buzz as the possible first wideout drafted. Here, he is second off the board but lands in a questionable spot. The Ravens have had a tumultuous offseason, headlined by Lamar Jackson’s contract status. The Ravens recently added veteran Odell Beckham, but that should not stop them from bringing in more receiver help.
1.07 Quentin Johnston, WR HOU (2.33)
While Flowers has been a steady riser, Johnston has done the opposite. Once considered in the running to be the dynasty rookie WR1, Johnston’s game, include his effort, has been highly criticized for the past couple of months. He falls out of the first round but does land in Houston, paired with a new quarterback and in line to serve as the Texans WR1 from the jump.
1.08 Tank Bigsby, RB LAR (3.77)
For weeks, it has been known that draft capital and landing spot would ultimately dictate the order of the tier three running backs. In this mock draft, Bigsby comes out as the winner, as the Rams’ third-rounder. Los Angeles and Sean McVay made it clear last season that they were ready to move on without Cam Akers. Ultimately, they were stuck together and Akers regained the starting gig. Bigsby would have a strong chance to take that job from Akers, and maybe even push him out of town for good.
1.09 Anthony Richardson, QB IND (1.04)
This rookie class lacks wide receiver depth. The NFL has relatively few ideal running back landing spots. This combination is all it takes to push quarterbacks up the board, even in a 1QB dynasty league. Richardson is the third quarterback off the board but landing with the Colts and new head coach Shane Steichen, along with his overall upside, push him to the dynasty rookie QB1 spot.
1.10 Israel Abanikanda, RB PHI (3.94)
Every year, a third-round running back ascends into the first round of rookie drafts thanks to a juicy landing spot. In most cases, this “reach” does not work out for the dynasty managers, but it continues to happen. Abanikanda has been viewed as a riser for the past few weeks and this would cap it off. Although he’d face competition for touches in Philly from Rashaad Penny and Kenneth Gainwell, Abanikanda has the talent to earn the starting role and the skill set to push all others to the sideline.
1.11 Cedric Tillman, WR JAX (2.59)
While his college teammate Jalin Hyatt has been heavily scrutinized recently, Tillman has become a favorite “sleeper.” If he is drafted in the second round to a solid landing spot, he’d lose that sleeper tag and instead be in consideration for a late-first round spot. The Jags already have Christian Kirk and Calvin Ridley, along with Zay Jones, but a rookie receiver tied to Trevor Lawrence for the next four years is a wise investment.
1.12 Bryce Young, QB CAR (1.01)
As I already mentioned, the quarterbacks are coming off the board earlier than typical years for multiple reasons. Young is the top pick to the Carolina Panthers and presumably the Week One starter. The only real concern about the former Heisman winner is his size. His athleticism and decision-making give him top-five upside in dynasty leagues.
2.01 CJ Stroud, QB HOU (1.02)
Although Stroud has earned a reputation as the safest quarterback prospect in the class, most agree he lacks the upside of both Young and Richardson. Still, he’d have a chance to overtake Davis Mills as the Texans starter could already be considered a dynasty QB1.
2.02 Josh Downs, WR NE (2.46)
Although the draft capital would be solid for Downs, the landing spot is a disappointment, and would hurt Downs’ value. A low-volume pass offense led by an embattled a low-ceiling quarterback are not enticing reasons to chase Downs in rookie drafts.
2.03 Roschon Johnson, RB TB (3.82)
It is unclear how confident the Buccaneers are in second-year running back Rachaad White. Regardless of how much they like White, this team needs backfield help. Johnson is used to sharing the backfield after playing behind Robinson for years at the University of Texas. From day one, Johnson could play a larger role for the Bucs than he did in college.
2.04 Dalton Kincaid, TE LAC (1.21)
The tight end class is talented and deep. Like the crowded tier three of ball carriers, this group’s eventual rank will be determined by landing spot. Kincaid hasn’t been able to work out for much of the pre-draft process but still showed enough to become the first tight end selected, landing with the Chargers. As one of the most-talented offenses in the league, this is one dynasty managers should target, helping Kincaid’s value even more.
2.05 Michael Mayer, TE DAL (1.26)
The next tight end off the board is Mayer, also a first-rounder. With Dalton Schultz gone from Dallas, Maybe would have a chance to make an immediate impact on the Cowboys’ offense.
2.06 Jalin Hyatt, WR NO (2.40)
Before we even know the details of the NFL Draft, many dynasty managers are doubting the one-trick-pony of the wide receiver class, Hyatt. A speedster who always found himself running open in the Tennessee offense, there are real concerns that Hyatt’s game won’t translate to Sundays.
2.07 Tyler Scott, WR KC (2.63)
Based on most mock drafts, including this one, the NFL and scouts are much higher on Scott than the dynasty community. Not only is he a likely Day Two pick, but here he lands with the wide receiver-needy Chiefs, boosting his dynasty value by over a round.
2.08 Tyjae Spears, RB HOU (3.73)
Tulane running back Spears has become a dynasty favorite after impressing at both the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine, but his value could take a hit in this scenario. While he does sneak into the end of Day Two, Spears would join Dameon Pierce and Devin Singletary in a suddenly-crowded Houston backfield. There have also been some recent concerns about Spears’ past knee injuries. That could cause a drop both in the NFL Draft as well as dynasty rookie drafts.
2.09 Marvin Mims, WR IND (3.79)
Mims is another receiver who has been steadily gaining dynasty value throughout a seemingly successful pre-draft process. The Colts have plenty of needs with little depth behind Michael Pittman and Alec Pierce.
2.10 Zach Evans, RB CAR (4.132)
The rebuilding Panthers have veteran Miles Sanders on a nice contract, luring him away from the Eagles, but there are still needs in the Panthers’ backfield. Taking a shot on the former top-ranked back in his recruiting class, Evans, would be a solid investment. With Sanders, as well as Chuba Hubbard, this landing spot and Day Three draft capital would hurt Evans’ dynasty value in the short-term.
2.11 Kendre Miller, RB NYG (3.89)
Miller suffered a knee injury last in the college season, making his status to begin his NFL career a bit murky. He’d serve as the backup behind Saquon Barkley, who is expected to play under the Franchise Tag this season. A promising rookie season from Miller could be enough to convince the Giants not to reward Barkley with a long-term extension.
2.12 Devon Achane, RB DEN (3.67)
It wasn’t long ago that Achane was being viewed as a possible first-round pick in rookie drafts. While that could still happen, it wouldn’t in this situation. Achane falls to the third-round and ends up a Bronco, joining Javonte Williams and Samaje Perine. This type of selection could also be another bad sign for Williams’ status to begin the 2023 season.
We’ll be back next week with another Monday Mock!