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, we will use the latest data available here at Dynasty League Football, namely our April Rookie ADP and the Dynasty Trade Finder, to ensure you are as prepared as possible when your draft begins. Based on our most recent Superflex ADP data, we will suggest the player you could soon be adding to your team, and if you don't like that, we will also include a potential pivot option. In addition, we will include options based on the updated 1QB ADP for those who play in that format. Finally, using the Dynasty Trade Finder, we will 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 will also address the other picks that accompany each respective first-round draft slot.
Rookie Selection 1.02
The Pick: CJ Stroud, QB
A high-end four-star prospect out of high school and an early declaration for the NFL Draft, Stroud checks many boxes, which is why he ends up so high in our April ADP. Things weren't always so apparent with Stroud, as he came into college as a somewhat raw prospect. Playing varsity basketball throughout high school, he didn't start playing varsity football until his junior season. Once at The University of Ohio State, Stroud was able to sit and learn behind Justin Fields for a year before being thrown to the wolves in his Sophomore season. Stroud proved to be up for the challenge by completing almost 72% of his passes for 4,435 yards and 44 touchdowns, with only six interceptions. His Junior season wasn't quite as prolific, but Stroud still completed 66.3% of his passes for 3,688 and 41 touchdowns, with six interceptions.
With that kind of stats and coming from a blue-chip program, it's no surprise that Stroud is expected to be drafted extremely early in the 2023 NFL Draft. Some reports have been coming out recently, casting a little doubt on Stroud, but I think it's more smoke screens by NFL teams than anything worthwhile. Stroud has had an elite supporting cast his entire college career but has still shown that he has what it takes to be a quality starter in the NFL, with his 11.2 adjusted yards per attempt and 1.4% interception rate. He rarely showed his rushing ability, but he's proven to be athletic enough when necessary.
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