2023 Off-Season Mock Drafts: DLF Staff 1QB Rookie Mock

Jeff Smith

Veteran DLF content creator John Di Bari has been running a rookie mock series here on the site. As the series progressed, he mainly focused on a few areas: NFL mock drafts, ADP results from month-long mocks, mock drafts using the DLF mock draft simulator, and the potential impact of landing spots.

In early April, we ran a 12-team, PPR, superflex mock with 12 dynasty experts to see where players would fall and how seasoned dynasty veterans would draft against one another. This would be the ultimate test to find out who, if anyone, is being valued more (or less) by some of the most knowledgeable people in the industry.

Here we have done the same but in a one-quarterback format and several different experts joining in. Here is a quick summary of those involved in the order we drafted:

We will take a round-by-round look at the results, highlighting things that stood out, along with some comments from all of those involved.

Round One

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The first four picks went precisely as planned, according to the April Rookie ADP available from DLF. Things took a left turn at number five. Typically, Quentin Johnston has been going here, but he fell yet again to the end of the first, just as he did in the early Superflex mock. Interestingly, the experts do not appear to be as high on the TCU alum as the general public.

Di Bari appeared to know what the pick should have been there but noted, “I’m suddenly scared of Johnston & I’ll probably regret passing on a running back, but I’ll gamble on Flowers’ upside.” Said Eric Dickens of the pick, “I’m not the biggest fan of Johnston, but I think he’s a value at this point in the draft.”

The middle of the round went as anticipated, but then we saw Bryce Young and Sean Tucker go several spots ahead of their latest average draft position. Aaron St Denis explained his reasoning on Young, “Didn’t like the tier of RBs available at this point, so Young was the easy choice.”

Addison Hayes waxed poetic on the Syracuse running back, saying, “Sean Tucker is my RB3 until the NFL tells me not to have him. His combination of speed, pass-catching ability, ACC production, and solid size is super enticing to me as a backend RB1 upside player. His only issue currently is that he’s projected to be a late 3rd, if not a 4th round pick, which I would hate. Hopefully, his Pro Day on Monday, the 24th, will raise his draft stock with a good showing (4.3 speed, top-of-the-class athleticism) into the second round (to Miami)!”

*Editor’s Note: This draft was completed before the news about Sean Tucker having a potential heart condition.

Round Two

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Josh Downs jumps out right away as a value. Nick was well aware of this and put the rest of us on blast, saying, “Getting Downs here is a steal at the top of the 2.01. Downs has consistently gone/been valued as a late 1st option. There are some RBs on the board who could be considered, but going BPA after a couple of questionable reaches makes sense. I need to be willing to adjust on the fly when necessary.” Well said.

Michael Mayer was a great pick at the 2.06. The Notre Dame grad has been coming off the board about half a round higher than where Andrew was able to snare him. Mr. Francesconi indicated that “TE is never a sexy pick, but Mayer is pro-ready and will most likely be selected on Day 1 of the draft. TEs usually take their time developing at the NFL level, but getting Mayer here mid-way through the 2nd round feels like a win to me.”

Mayer wasn’t the only tight end selected in the round, and there was a mini “run” on the position, including Addison seemingly reaching yet again. We all know at this point, things are starting to dry up. Mr. Hayes summed it up as such, “Rough spot to be in for 1QB leagues, but I like the upside of Darnell Washington at the tight end position. He’s huge, has good speed for his size, and can just be a monster in the right situation.”

We would be remised if we didn’t mention how far Jalin Hyatt fell yet again. Ryan McDowell had the same start from the 1.11 as Eric did from the 1.12. Both grabbed Johnston and Hyatt at bargain basement prices. Mr. Dickens immediately knew of his good fortune, stating, “Again, I’m left with an easy choice, as Hyatt falls well past where he’s been going in recent mocks. Landing spot will be a big factor for his dynasty value.”

Round Three

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The third round left us with another bit of a tight end run, highlighting how scarce the position is. Sam LaPorta and Zack Kuntz are typically coming off the board in the middle of the fourth round. Taylor commenting on his selection of LaPorta, said, “Another solid TE prospect from Iowa. LaPorta can be a really productive Pro TE. He can block, catch and run after the catch.” St Denis chimed in with his thoughts on Kuntz as well, “A mountain of a tight end is where I’m going with my third-round pick. Big and athletic.”

The other pick that stood out here was Mr. Di Bari’s selection of Jonathan Mingo. Listening to his logic, it is easy to understand why he did what he did, “6’1″, 220lbs, Ole Miss product… We’ve seen this profile succeed in the NFL before.” I’m sold.

Kayshon Boutte went almost two complete rounds later than he did in the Superflex version of this mock. Instead of reaching out, Addison simply said, “Why not, right?” Who are we to argue? This is an excellent value at the end of round three.

Round Four

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At this point, we are typically throwing theoretical darts and hoping for a bullseye. Rob Willette thinks he found one in Tyler Scott, stating, “A likely Day 2 receiver in the 4th round of a rookie draft is thievery. Scott has the explosive athleticism which should allow him to carve out a fruitful career.”

Someone else who was happy with their last pick was Andrew (and we don’t blame him), “I’m not a big Levis fan, but there isn’t a world I don’t select him here in the 4th round. I mean, he’s still in the conversation to go #2 overall.” He is not wrong. Levis is rumored to be the second quarterback selected in the draft.

Xavier Hutchinson was a bit of a value going off the board as the 4.08. The Iowa State grad has an ADP of 4.02. Justin Taylor said of his selection here, “He was very productive at Iowa St despite average QB play. He has decent size in smallish WR Class.”

Chris Rodriguez was Mr. Irrelevant, but Eric doesn’t necessarily think that may be the case for the running back out of Kentucky, “With the last pick in the 4th, I felt like I could take a stab at a player who may never see many snaps, but could end up getting his shot and running with it. There’s a lot to like with Rodriguez.”

The Big Board

Here is a look at how the draft shook out by round and by participant.

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Justin Taylor and Aaron St Denis win the “most well-rounded” award for drafting a player from each skill position. Eric Dickens was the value king. Jake Domokos asked, “Running backs, anyone?” As for my draft, I was happy to reach for Mims in the second. The Oklahoma product is someone I am trying to come away from every rookie draft with. The small school stigma attached to Kraft doesn’t scare me off, either. I was satisfied with my haul from the 1.04.


Overall, things went as we would expect. It is hard to “one up” or “scoop” someone when drafting with a group of experts. As Mr. Di Bari so eloquently mentioned after his recap, it’s essential to know who you’re drafting with and each person’s trends when your drafts roll around. Hopefully, this look at a room full of savvy dynasty owners can help you create a competitive draft strategy as we inch closer to the NFL draft.

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jeff smith
2023 Off-Season Mock Drafts: DLF Staff 1QB Rookie Mock