Quarantine Day 22:
Yesterday was my girlfriend’s birthday. To answer your first question, yes, she is imaginary. But I still treated her to a special quarantine walk outside where we foraged for berries and I let her check the beaver traps. Even busted out a nice can of Spam for dinner. The good stuff, only 6 months past expiration. She was especially excited when I told her about my mock draft of players who haven’t been drafted into the NFL yet, for a fake football league that doesn’t exist and will never be played out. Best. Quarantine. Birthday. Ever.
So last week I gave you my dynasty rookie PPR mock draft recap where I acknowledged the mostly-meaningless nature of a pre-NFL draft rookie mock. But we have nothing better to do, so this week’s version was a 10-team, 4-round dynasty rookie mock draft for PPR, superflex leagues:
Pat Fitzmaurice – The Football Girl
Danny Kelly – The Ringer
Michael Salfino – The Athletic
Bob Harris – Football Diehards
Howard Bender – Fantasy Alarm
GregSauce – 4for4
Donkey Teeth – Razzball
MB – Razzball
B_Don – Razzball
Boof – Razzball
1.01 Joe Burrow QB – Pat Fitzmaurice
1.02 D’Andre Swift RB – Howard Bender
1.03 Tua Tagovailoa QB – Bob Harris
1.04 Jonathan Taylor RB – Donkey Teeth
1.05 Jerry Jeudy WR – Michael Salfino
1.06 J.K. Dobbins RB – B_Don
1.07 CeeDee Lamb WR – Boof
1.08 Cam Akers RB – Danny Kelly
1.09 Jalen Reagor WR – GregSauce
1.10 Denzel Mims WR – MB
2.01 Justin Jefferson WR – Pat Fitzmaurice
2.02 Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB – Howard Bender
2.03 Henry Ruggs III WR – Bob Harris
2.04 Justin Herbert QB – Donkey Teeth
2.05 Tee Higgins WR – Michael Salfino
2.06 A.J. Dillon RB – B_Don
2.07 Jalen Hurts QB – Boof
2.08 Laviska Shenault Jr. WR – Danny Kelly
2.09 Bryan Edwards WR – GregSauce
2.10 Zack Moss RB – MB
3.01 Jordan Love QB – Pat Fitzmaurice
3.02 Antonio Gandy-Golden WR – Howard Bender
3.03 Ke’Shawn Vaughn RB – Bob Harris
3.04 Brandon Aiyuk WR – Donkey Teeth
3.05 Michael Pittman Jr. WR – Michael Salfino
3.06 Jake Fromm QB – B_Don
3.07 Eno Benjamin RB – Boof
3.08 K.J. Hamler WR – Danny Kelly
3.09 Tyler Johnson WR – GregSauce
3.10 Anthony Gordon QB – MB
4.01 Antonio Gibson RB – Pat Fitzmaurice
4.02 Jacob Eason QB – Howard Bender
4.03 Devin Duvernay WR – Bob Harris
4.04 Anthony McFarland RB – Donkey Teeth
4.05 Darrynton Evans RB – Michael Salfino
4.06 James Morgan QB – B_Don
4.07 Gabriel Davis WR – Boof
4.08 Chase Claypool WR/TE – Danny Kelly
4.09 Joshua Kelley RB – GregSauce
4.10 Van Jefferson WR – Boof
1.04 Jonathan Taylor RB – You might remember him from such hits as Home Improvement, or the voice of Simba in The Lion King. *checks notes* I guess that’s a different Jonathan Taylor. This Jonathan Taylor also has the heart of a lion. I noted the potential ball security issues in last week’s mock draft roundup and his blocking skill set has been questioned as well. But he has as much upside as any running back taken in the last five years not named Zeke or Saquon. Swift and Dobbins aren’t far behind either, what a draft class!
2.04 Justin Herbert QB – Rookie quarterback valuations can vary a little in dynasty superflex leagues. The main variables being league depth and team needs. Herbert, a 6’6″/236 pound mountain of man out of Oregon, is the consensus #3 chucker behind Burrow and Tua. He’ll go in the first round of the NFL draft and likely the first round in the majority of superflex rookie drafts. Felt like I snagged a real value in the 2nd round, but not sure I’d be able to pass on my boy A.J. Dillon if you gave me a do-over. Those legs, so sexy . . .
3.04 Brandon Aiyuk WR – Out of Arizona State, Aiyuk is a 5’11″/205 pound deep threat. He can also make an immediate impact in the return game. Third round feels like another value for a kid who may well go off the board in the 2nd round in the NFL draft later this month. But in retrospect, I do wish I would’ve nabbed Michael Pittman Jr. (3.05), who’s size, speed and athleticism give him elite fantasy upside.
4.04 Anthony McFarland RB – I’ll mention it a few lines down, but I was sniped on the guy I really wanted here. My pivot was a Maryland running back who put together a nice 2018 but then struggled thru a high ankle sprain in 2019. This speedster is just a flier at this stage but there’s talks of him going off the board on day two which gives him some real intrigue. Keep a close eye on where McFarland lands in the NFL draft later this month.
Not Donkey Picks
I questioned a couple picks from last week’s mock, but this week CeeDee Lamb was rightfully taken ahead of Henry Ruggs so I don’t really have any major quarrels. I will say, if I had to decide today, I’d have no issues drafting Jonathan Taylor at #1 in a superflex rookie draft. Especially if I was already comfortable with my QB situation.
I’m also not fully sold on Joe Burrow as an elite field general. If I was determined to grab a QB, Tua would be my pick today. But that’s more of a topic for my dynasty quarterback rankings which will be released over the weekend. Shameless plug: check out the rest of my 2020 dynasty rankings.
Late Upside Picks
4.02 Jacob Eason – Like Herbert, Eason is another Pac-12 giant: 6’6″/231 lbs out of Washington. I started to get big eyes as he fell into the early 4th, but the big boy was snagged two picks shy of me. Truth be told, I’m not sure he’s all that different of a prospect than Herbert, but our boy Boof questions in his rookie quarterback rankings whether Eason will have the draft capital to force his way into early playing time with an NFL franchise. Just remember, rookies Drew Lock (2nd round), Ryan Finley (4th round) and Gardner Minshew (6th round) all got shots at starting in 2019. Long live Uncle Rico.
4.09 Joshua Kelley – The two-year starter at UCLA is another intriguing RB flier. He has decent size at 5’10″/212 lbs and the versatility to be a factor in both the run and pass game. Patience and elite acceleration are his calling cards. He’s another one worth watching come NFL draft day.