There have already been quite a few 2017 dynasty rookie mock drafts here at DLF, and there will be many more before April’s NFL Draft. This mock is different though, as it includes not only a collection of our staff writers, but a group of six of our subscribers as well. I can’t take credit for this idea as that goes to subscriber and participant Steve Ross. Along with Steve and myself, our other participants include DLF writers Benton McDonald, Jeremy Funk, Dan Sainio, Curtis Patrick and Joe Redemann. Participating subscribers include Lukas McLean, Tyler Buecher, Pat Wright, Matthew Aaron and Khanh Thai.
As I reveal the picks, I will also share some comments made by each participant regarding their picks.
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1.01 Leonard Fournette, RB LSU
Khanh went with Fournette at the top spot, noting that the LSU star was the top recruit coming out of high school and has lived up to the hype. He’s not worried about the ankle injury and reminds us that Fournette has given us no reason to be worried about him off the field. Khanh also mentioned he expects the size and speed freak Fournette to rip up the Combine.
1.02 Dalvin Cook, RB Florida State
Benton chose second, and was thrilled to take the player he considers the best skill player in the class, Cook. Benton mentioned that he ranks Cook in the same tier as last year’s rookie running back superstar Ezekiel Elliott.
1.03 Mike Williams, WR Clemson
Matthew made Clemson’s Williams his top choice, explaining that while he might not light up the Combine, but his size makes him an ideal NFL wideout. Matthew also pegged the Bills, Eagles and Titans as solid landing spots.
1.04 Corey Davis, WR Western Michigan
Pat ended the top tier with Davis, who he considers the 1B to Williams’ 1A. Pat also considers Davis a polished product and is not worried about his small school status.
1.05 D’onta Foreman, RB Texas
Although Jeremy admitted this could be a little early for Foreman, he also expects the former Longhorn to be a size/speed freak and thinks he has better hip flexibility than another big man, Derrick Henry.
1.06 Joe Mixon, RB Oklahoma
Mixon is clearly a controversial player and will be throughout this process. Steve does expect him to get drafted, noting he’s a first-round talent, but projects him as a second day pick.
1.07 Juju Smith-Schuster, WR USC
In the middle of the round, taking a player who I once ranked as my top overall devy player seemed like an easy choice. Unfortunately, the draft stock of my former “crush” seems to be fading. At this point, the mid-first round seems like the ceiling for Smith-Schuster and he could even fall to the late first if he falls out of the top two rounds of the NFL Draft.
1.08 Samaje Perine, RB Oklahoma
Tyler pegged Perine as his first-round pick, noting he planned to target the Oklahoma back in this range in his actual rookie drafts. Tyler likes Perine’s young breakout age, though admits the Combine will be huge for the back.
1.09 KD Cannon, WR Baylor
1.10 Christian McCaffrey, RB Stanford
Curtis selects McCaffrey late in the first round, noting the former Stanford back is currently his RB3 in the class and loved the value at this point in the round.
1.11 John Ross, WR Washington
Lukas admitted he was hoping for McCaffrey at this spot, but settled for Washington’s Ross, who he sees as a talented player, albeit with some baggage. He also mentioned other players he considering, including Malachi Dupre.
1.12 David Njoku, TE Miami
Joe loves what he’s seen from Njoku and even called it silly to consider anyone else as the TE1 in this class. Joe noted that Njoku has both the size and speed necessary to succeed at the tight end position. He did mention considering a running back in this spot, but the depth of that position allowed him to make the luxury pick of a tight end.
2.01 Malachi Dupre, WR LSU
Khanh starts our second round by taking a shot on LSU’s latest talented wideout who lacks the production that would typically warrant this early draft position. Khanh did note Dupre’s previous five-star recruit status and his 6’4” frame as reasons to grab Dupre here.
2.02 Curtis Samuel, WR Ohio State
Benton chose the versatile Samuel with his second pick, noting he expects the former Ohio State star to be drafted earlier than this by the spring. Comparing Samuel to Tyreek Hill, Benton explains that draft spot will be key for Samuel in order for him to get the chance to make plays and show off his otherworldly athleticism.
2.03 Alvin Kamara, RB Tennessee
Matthew takes Kamara, the former Tennessee back who led the way for the Volunteers after Jalen Hurd quit the team. Matthew doesn’t expect to get this lucky in real rookie drafts though, as he mentions Kamara should be drafted much earlier, largely due to his pass-catching ability.
2.04 OJ Howard, TE Alabama
While Pat acknowledges he doesn’t typically take tight ends this early, the value of Howard in the mid-first round was enough to change his mind.
2.05 Jamaal Williams, RB BYU
This was an easy pick for Jeremy, who likes Williams’ size combined with his surprising pass-catching ability, which could turn him into a three-down back on Sundays.
2.06 Cooper Kupp, WR Eastern Michigan
Steve noted Kupp’s insane production and potential second round NFL Draft grade as keys to help him make this pick, though he did mention the multiple options that he considered in this spot.
2.07 Evan Engram, TE Mississippi
I love the tight end depth of this class. While Howard and Njoku are getting most of the attention lately, the production of Engram can’t be ignored. On an Ole Miss team with a deep and talented receiver depth chart, Engram was the leading man. As the likely third tight end in the class, Engram is an excellent value.
2.08 Taywan Taylor, WR Western Kentucky
Tyler liked the yards per target put up by Taylor over the past two seasons as well as the 17 touchdowns he racked up. These things and more make Taylor a player worthy of reaching for in the mid-second round.
2.09 Dede Westbrook, WR Oklahoma
2.10 Wayne Gallman, RB Clemson
Curtis adds another running back in the second round and again loved the value of adding Gallman, his RB8. Curtis also noted that taking a shot on a pair of running backs increases the odds of hitting on at least one of them.
2.11 Isaiah Ford, WR Virginia Tech
Lukas calls his Ford pick a steal and likes his early breakout age and impressive market share of the Hokies’ offense. He is hopeful for Ford running a 4.5 40-yard at the upcoming Combine.
2.12 Kareem Hunt, RB Toledo
Joe saw a lot to like about Hunt, including his low center of gravity, explosiveness and vision and he’s not at all worried about his level of competition at a MAC school.
3.01 Elijah McGuire, RB UL-Lafayette
Khanh was tempted to select Deshaun Watson at this point, but instead opted for McGuire, who he expects to be a solid target in PPR leagues.
3.02 Zay Jones, WR East Carolina
Benton grabbed Senior Bowl riser Zay Jones in the third round, explaining that he likes the route running and hands of the NCAA’s all-time reception leader. Benton even compares Jones to the underrated Jarvis Landry.
3.03 Noah Brown, WR Ohio State
Matthew was surprised Brown made the leap to the NFL following the season, but thinks everyone is sleeping on the former Buckeye. If Brown blows up the Combine, as Matthew expects, then he should be a fast riser in the coming weeks.
3.04 Deshaun Watson, QB Clemson
3.05 Jeremy McNichols, RB Boise State
Jeremy was hoping for Jones, but missed out by just one pick. Instead, he settled for McNichols, who he calls a better runner than another former Boise back, Jay Ajayi. While Jeremy noticed McNichols tendency to bounce outside, he’s also seen proof that he can run between the tackles as well.
3.06 Corey Clement, RB Wisconsin
3.07 Josh Malone, WR Tennessee
3.08 Amba Etta-Tawo, WR Syracuse
In the third round, Tyler grabs the Syracuse record holder in many receiving categories, explaining that Etta-Tawo could make an immediate impact in the league.
3.09 Elijah Hood, RB North Carolina
3.10 DeShone Kizer, QB Notre Dame
Curtis makes Notre Dame’s Kizer, his top-ranked quarterback, his third-round pick, noting his long-term upside was worth more than a dart throw at another position.
3.11 Carlos Henderson, WR Louisiana Tech
Lukas goes with Henderson, who formed a dynamic duo with Trent Taylor for Louisiana Tech. Lukas also mentioned he see Henderson as a player on the rise, comparing him to Corey Coleman.
3.12 Mitch Trubisky, QB North Carolina
Much like Curtis’ rationale for Kizer, Trubisky is Joe’s pick, almost by default. At this point in the draft, it makes sense to take a player that will obviously get some playing time over a running back or receiver who might have to bide his time before seeing the field.
4.01 Chris Godwin, WR Penn State
Khanh went with Godwin, who finished his Penn State career on a hot note in the team’s bowl game, noting he saw a tough wideout who is willing to fight for the ball.
4.02 Josh Reynolds, WR Texas A&M
Benton finished off his draft with Reynolds, noting that he liked the production of the 6’4” wideout, who was graded as the best wide receiver at the Senior Bowl according to Pro Football Focus. Benton also mentioned Reynolds’ impressive hands and athleticism as reasons to target him in this range of the draft.
4.03 Bucky Hodges, TE Virginia Tech
4.04 Jake Butt, TE Michigan
4.05 Amara Darboh, WR Michigan
4.06 Artavis Scott, WR Clemson
Steve selected Clemson slot man Scott, mentioning that he was impressed by the production a season ago when Mike Williams was out of the lineup.
4.07 Travin Dural, WR LSU
4.08 Chad Hansen, WR California
Tyler’s final pick is former Cal wideout Hansen, who has good size (6’2”, 205 pounds) and solid production on 24.3% target market share.
4.09 James Conner, RB Pittsburgh
4.10 Gerald Everett, TE South Alabama
Curtis takes a shot on the small school tight end who had some nice buzz before suffering an injury at the Senior Bowl.
4.11 Aaron Jones, RB UTEP
4.12 ArDarius Stewart, WR Alabama