Earlier this week I gathered nine of my closest quarantined fantasy football industry friends for an arguably pointless dynasty rookie mock draft. After all, the NFL draft isn’t for another month; we don’t know what team these rookies will be drafted by. We also don’t know in which round those unknown teams will draft them. And we definitely don’t know what their immediate opportunity might look like on those mystery teams. But strangely enough, some dynasty leagues actually hold their rookie drafts prior to the NFL draft. And honestly, my schedule is pretty open these days other than scavenging for toilet paper and other softish paper products calling my butt’s name. Anyway, this was a 10-team, 3-round dynasty rookie mock draft for PPR, 1-QB leagues:
Ryan McDowell – Dynasty League Football
Pat Fitzmaurice – The Football Girl
Michael Salfino – The Athletic
Bob Harris – Football Diehards
Howard Bender – Fantasy Alarm
Russell Clay – FantasyGuru
Donkey Teeth – Razzball
MB – Razzball
B_Don – Razzball
Boof – Razzball
1.01 D’Andre Swift RB – Michael Salfino
1.02 Jonathan Taylor RB – Boof
1.03 J.K. Dobbins RB – B_Don
1.04 Cam Akers RB – Donkey Teeth
1.05 Jerry Jeudy WR – Bob Harris
1.06 Henry Ruggs III WR – Howard Bender
1.07 CeeDee Lamb WR – Russell Clay
1.08 Zack Moss RB – MB
1.09 Justin Jefferson WR – Pat Fitzmaurice
1.10 Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB – Ryan McDowell
2.01 Tee Higgins WR – Michael Salfino
2.02 Denzel Mims WR – Boof
2.03 Jalen Reagor WR – B_Don
2.04 A.J. Dillon RB – Donkey Teeth
2.05 Laviska Shenault Jr. WR – Bob Harris
2.06 Joe Burrow QB – Howard Bender
2.07 Tua Tagovailoa QB – Russell Clay
2.08 K.J. Hamler WR – MB
2.09 Brandon Aiyuk WR – Pat Fitzmaurice
2.10 Bryan Edwards WR – Ryan McDowell
3.01 Chase Claypool WR – Michael Salfino
3.02 Michael Pittman Jr. WR – Boof
3.03 Ke’Shawn Vaughn RB – B_Don
3.04 Eno Benjamin RB – Donkey Teeth
3.05 Justin Herbert QB – Bob Harris
3.06 Darrynton Evans RB – Howard Bender
3.07 Donovan Peoples-Jones WR – Russell Clay
3.08 Jordan Love QB – MB
3.09 Jalen Hurts QB – Pat Fitzmaurice
3.10 Antonio Gandy-Golden WR – Ryan McDowell
1.04 Cam Akers – I ranked the Florida State product 20th in the most recent edition of my top 20 dynasty running backs. Akers had a great showing at the combine, strengthening his appeal as a 2nd round pick in the NFL draft next month. While I’d take Taylor, Swift and Dobbins over him, there’s at least an outside chance Akers ends up being the best running back from this draft class.
2.04 A.J. Dillon – I can’t stop thinking about this dude’s legs. I’d give an early 2nd rounder for just one of his legs. Out of Boston College, he’s a 245 pound tractor who ran a 4.53 forty at the combine. For comparison’s sake, Derrick Henry came out of school at 247 pounds and ran a 4.54 forty. In the right system, Dillon could be really fun to watch on Sundays.
3.04 Eno Benjamin – Played the bellcow role at Arizona State the past two seasons, accumulating over 550 carries and 77 receptions. He falls into the “undersized” bucket at only 5’9″/207 lbs, but at this point we’ve seen enough running backs of his build succeed at the next level. Landing spot and draft capital will mean everything for Eno. But if you need an RB, this dual threat youngster should be on your radar around pick 20.
Not Donkey Picks
1.01 D’Andre Swift – This is the part where I question other picks that I have no business questioning. Towards the end of the mock I was chatting with Michael Salfino and he asked me who I would’ve taken at number one. I’m a big fan of Swift, but I don’t see any way around Jonathan Taylor at number one after his combine dominance. To be fair, Salfino cited valid concerns over Taylor’s fumbling issues (he fumbled 18 times and lost 15 of them in 41 collegiate games) potentially landing him in his soon-to-be NFL coach’s dog house. I’m willing to turn a blind-eye like the U.S. government to coronavirus. JT is the cure.
1.06 Henry Ruggs III – This guy is fast; 4.27 forty-time fast. It’s hard not to compare him to John Ross III: both 5’11” tall, both 188 lbs, both lightning fast, both the third of their name, both prefer their cucumbers pickled. Sure, maybe Ruggs lands in a much better spot than Ross and maybe he’s able to stay healthy too. Maybe he even turns into a superstar. But I’m taking CeeDee Lamb over Ruggs everyday and twice on Quarantine Easter.
Late Upside Picks
3.06 Darrynton Evans – Another “undersized” back (5’10″/203 lbs) who filled a three-down role in college at Appalachian State. He posted an impressive 4.41 forty at the combine and has some agility to go with that speed. Maybe he’s a change of pace back at the next level or maybe he works his way into a committee and surprises doubters with his production. Either way, Darrynton is a fun name to watch come draft day.
3.10 Antonio Gandy-Golden – A bit of an under-the-radar prospect out of Liberty, Gandy-Golden put up some eye-popping numbers over his past three seasons averaging 73 receptions for 1,166 yards and 10 touchdowns. Again, those are his THREE-YEAR AVERAGES. Granted he wasn’t going up against the best defensive backs in the nation at powerhouse Liberty, but he does have the wide receiver size NFL GM’s, coaches and quarterbacks dream of at 6’4″/223 lbs. These are the type of high upside players I target later in my rookie drafts.