At this point, the DLF Team is spread all over the country and even beyond (one of our editors lives in London, for example). Communication within the team can be very challenging and we all love to talk dynasty fantasy football, so we use Voxer, an app that works like a walkie talkie for smartphones. Voxer is used to leave what equates to be short voice messages and we have the ability to create groups to talk about whatever we may want. Last night, I decided to perform a quick hitting 12-team, PPR, two-round rookie mock draft using the app and opened it up to everyone on Team DLF. The rules were simple – if you opened the app and saw the draft running, you could choose a player to keep it moving (you just couldn’t pick two in a row). Since we’re all right in the middle of draft season, we just can’t have enough mock draft reviews, so here’s how it went.
Editor’s Note: Click on the player’s name to read their Rookie Player Profile, an exclusive look brought to you by DLF.
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The first real curveball of the draft comes at the top as the four players we most commonly see are taken but in a very different order than most would expect. This exercise is further proof to show the allure of Joe Mixon is very real. We’ve seen Davis and Fournette at the top of most drafts, though there still isn’t a true community consensus 1.01 (we comfortably have Davis ranked there but our recent poll of the DLF community shows it as nearly even). With that in mind, seeing McCaffrey go at 1.02 is a mild surprise as he’s been slotted at the 1.03 in nearly every draft we’ve seen. The real shock is seeing Mixon go ahead of Fournette. There’s no questioning his talent and this mock draft simply shows some dynasty enthusiasts are truly enamored with his upside and will pay dearly to acquire it.
Williams and Cook have been slotted at the #5 and #6 spots since the draft ended and that doesn’t change here. The 1.05 is likely going to represent a difficult decision for dynasty owners. Do you take a receiver taken in the top seven of the NFL Draft, knowing his quarterback isn’t going to age along with his career arc and finding himself on a roster with some talent already at the position? Do you instead take a running back who is extremely talented but flopped at the NFL Combine, has legitimate character concerns and was drafted on a team with a putrid offensive line? The decision is one with a lot of risk but serious reward, too. It wouldn’t surprise too many to see either of these two players end up being the best at their respective positions from this draft class in a few years. Unfortunately, it also wouldn’t surprise too many to see them underperform a bit in relation to their lofty expectations.
Ross and Howard are clearly underneath the first two groups of players but both have tremendous upside. Seeing either of them make it much further in drafts is going to be a surprise. After Howard and Ross, things start to get really, really interesting. If you have a pick beyond #8, there are a whole host of players who you’ll consider taking and each of them could have a strong argument made to justify your selection.
This final group in round one represents a set of talented players who all have a chance to be special. Kamara has real upside but finds himself behind both Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram at the moment. An owner investing here has to believe Kamara will thrive in the “Reggie Bush and Darren Sproles” role in New Orleans. Njoku is a tight end with great upside and real quarterback challenges to match. Williams was the biggest surprise in round one. It’s possible he overcomes his lack of dynamic ability to take over as the starting running back in an explosive offense. It’s also possible the committee of Williams, Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery fails to impress and the Packers finally draft a running back highly next season. Williams is a lottery ticket and it’s going to take some courage and confidence to take him this early. This pick was hotly debated in the Voxer draft room. Engram may be the safest pick of the round as he finds himself in a great spot in New York.
The top of round two brings us some more interesting prospects. Smith-Schuster is a chronic underachiever who finds himself on a team known for getting the most out of their wideouts. Hunt is a great situation for early success and is a consistent presence at the end of round one or beginning of round two in rookie drafts – if you want him, you’re likely going to need to get to that area in order to guarantee it. Jones’ situation continues to be more and more intriguing now that the Bills have declined to exercise the fifth-year option on Sammy Watkins. The selection of Samuel started a long side discussion about him possibly being undervalued. Getting him at 2.04 could prove to be a steal.
The middle of the round features three running backs who could emerge and be bargains in rookie drafts. Perine is sure to challenge Robert Kelley early and often for carries in Washington. Foreman looks to have usurped Alfred Blue as the backup to Lamar Miller in Houston and is just a fairly predictable injury away from showing what he can do. Williams is a fast riser in rookie drafts as the buzz continues to build around him in San Francisco. However, the conversation in the Voxer room revolved around the selection of Shaheen at 2.06. While some believed this was a reach, others looked at the fact he was a second round draft pick with enormous upside. Regardless of where you sit, it’s apparent this draft features a whole host of tight end prospects who are truly tantalizing. Owners are going to need to do their homework to decide which one they really want and position themselves to get one.
Gallman has been labeled (fairly or unfairly) as average in every area but not deficient in any – I believe that’s a bit of a lazy narrative. Gallman is a real grinder who is going to push Paul Perkins this season. Godwin is a talented player who is going to take some time to develop in Tampa Bay behind Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson, so patience will need to be executed there. Taylor is a great athlete who could thrive in the slot in Tennessee. Everett represent the fifth tight end taken in the top 24 picks and that’s unprecedented in this day and age. Perhaps the days of “Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce and everyone else” are going to go away quickly.
Keep it tuned here as we continue our unprecedented rookie draft coverage.