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Dynasty Rookie Rankings Update (Pre-NFL Draft Edition)


It's a bit cliche to say "The countdown is on" when speaking about the NFL Draft, but, as we're only weeks away, it's also accurate. For dynasty players, this is one of the biggest moments of the off-season.

And once the draft locations are determined, rookie drafts will follow shortly thereafter. Everyone knows the names, but it's time to take one last critical look as how rookies compare on a team-agnostic level with considerations for projected draft stock, production, and athletic testing numbers.

Here are my top 60 Overall Rookie Rankings, just ahead of the 2018 NFL Draft.

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Top 60 Rookies (Pre-NFL Draft rankings)

RANK POSITION NAME SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT
1 RB SAQUON BARKLEY PENN ST 6'0" 233
2 RB RASHAAD PENNY SAN DIEGO ST 5'11" 220
3 RB DERRIUS GUICE LSU 5'10" 212
4 WR D.J. MOORE MARYLAND 6'0" 210
5 RB NICK CHUBB GEORGIA 5'11" 228
6 RB SONY MICHEL GEORGIA 5'11" 220
7 RB ROYCE FREEMAN OREGON 5'11" 234
8 WR CHRISTIAN KIRK TEXAS A&M 5'10" 200
9 WR COURTLAND SUTTON SMU 6'3" 218
10 TE MIKE GESICKI PENN ST 6'5" 247
11 TE DALLAS GOEDERT SOUTH DAKOTA ST 6'5" 255
12 RB RONALD JONES II USC 5'11" 200
13 RB NYHEIM HINES NC ST 5'8" 197
14 WR JAMES WASHINGTON OKLAHOMA ST 5'11" 213
15 WR CALVIN RIDLEY ALABAMA 6'0" 189
16 WR MICHAEL GALLUP COLORADO ST 6'1" 205
17 WR EQUANEMIUS ST BROWN NOTRE DAME 6'5" 214
18 QB BAKER MAYFIELD OKLAHOMA 6'1" 215
19 WR D.J. CHARK LSU 6'3" 199
20 QB SAM DARNOLD USC 6'3" 220
21 RB KERRYON JOHNSON AUBURN 6'0" 212
22 RB KALEN BALLAGE ARIZONA ST 6'1" 227
23 RB MARK WALTON MIAMI 5'10" 188
24 WR ANTHONY MILLER MEMPHIS 5'11" 190
25 WR TRE'QUAN SMITH UCF 6'2" 203
26 WR AUDEN TATE FLORIDA ST 6'5" 228
27 QB LAMAR JACKSON LOUISVILLE 6'3" 200
28 QB JOSH ROSEN UCLA 6'4" 226
29 WR ALLEN LAZARD IOWA ST 6'5" 227
30 WR DEONTAY BURNETT USC 6'0" 186
31 WR KEKE COUTEE TEXAS TECH 5'11" 180
32 RB CHASE EDMONDS FORDHAM 5'9" 205
33 TE MARK ANDREWS OKLAHOMA 6'5" 256
34 TE HAYDEN HURST SOUTH CAROLINA 6'4" 250
35 RB AKRUM WADLEY IOWA 5'10" 191
36 RB BO SCARBOROUGH BAMA 6'1" 232
37 RB JOHN KELLY TENNESSEE 5'9" 205
38 WR SIMMIE COBBS JR INDIANA 6'4" 220
39 WR DANTE PETTIS WASHINGTON 6'0" 186
40 WR DEON CAIN CLEMSON 6'2" 202
41 WR ANTONIO CALLAWAY FLORIDA 5'11" 197
42 RB JOSH ADAMS NOTRE DAME 6'2" 220
43 RB JUSTIN JACKSON NORTHWESTERN 5'11" 193
44 RB PHILLIP LINDSAY COLORADO 5'7" 185
45 WR RICHIE JAMES MIDDLE TENN ST 5'9" 178
46 WR MARCEL ATEMAN OKLAHOMA ST 6'4" 216
47 WR CEDRICK WILSON BOISE ST 6'3" 188
48 WR JORDAN LASELEY UCLA 6'1" 210
49 WR DAE'SEAN HAMILTON PENN ST 6'1" 205
50 RB ITO SMITH SOUTHERN MISS 5'9" 195
51 QB JOSH ALLEN WYOMING 6'5" 233
52 WR JAKE WIENEKE SOUTH DAKOTA ST 6'4" 213
53 WR JALEEL SCOTT NEW MEXICO ST 6'5" 215
54 WR JESTER WEAH PITT 6'3" 210
55 WR THOMAS OWENS FIU 6'1" 210
56 WR J'MON MOORE MISSOURI 6'3" 204
57 QB MASON RUDOLPH OKLAHOMA ST 6'5" 235
58 WR TREY QUINN SMU 6'0" 212
59 RB JUSTIN CRAWFORD WEST VIRGINIA 6'0" 202
60 RB JARVION FRANKLIN WESTERN MICH 6'0" 225

Notable Rankings

Saquon Barkley is in a tier of his own among RBs and is the unanimous 1.01 in rookie drafts, assuming there is no superflex. That's not to say that I don't have any concerns about Barkley as a player. Barkley failed to eclipse 6.0 yards per carry for a season and failed to crack 100 rushing yards in eight of his 13 2017 games. But what will prop him up above everyone in the class is his athleticism and receiving production. Not only did Barkley impress with his bench press and vertical, but his 4.4 second 40 puts his weight-adjusted speed score among the best in the class. And while he lacked some efficiency in the running game, he averaged more than four receptions per game and averaged more than 11 yards per reception.

Most rankings have Derrius Guice as the number two ranked player, but I give Rashaad Penny a slight edge due to his massive final season production and impressive efficiency. Not only did he demonstrate workhorse usage, but he did so with over seven yards per carry. Both are likely question marks in the passing game with only slightly more than one reception per game and Penny had a slight edge at the combine. It might be a little controversial, but Penny is my number two player.

I moved D.J. Moore around several times before eventually landing with him at number four. I would not be surprised if, in two years, he's the premier player from this draft class, but I left him behind the top three RBs because of positional scarcity. If I had pick two or three, I'd likely be looking to trade back to four or five and just taking a haul and Moore.

Pre-NFL Combine, my ranking of Nick Chubb over Sony Michel was deemed trash because Chubb had lost a step due to injury. Post-NFL Combine, there should be no questions remaining about whether Chubb is a high-level athlete. And since Chubb handled the bigger workload with a solid efficiency, he edges Michel because he appears less likely to become exclusively a complementary RB.

I was too low on Dallas Goedert in my early rankings. Despite him choosing to not do complete testing at the combine, he still clearly among the best TE prospects in the class. Mike Gesicki was the breakout star from the combine, but both look like potential immediate contributors as red zone options and could be late first round picks.

I like this WR class from a depth perspective, but very few of them appears to be poised for greatness which is why I have a cluster of early second round WRs in James Washington, Calvin Ridley, Michael Gallup, and Equanimeous St. Brown. If Ridley were 21, with him same production, it'd be easier to write off his poor showing at the combine, but as he appears to be falling in the first round of the draft, his dynasty stock takes a slight hit as well.

Deontay Burnett is one of the youngest players in the draft and his final season production is very similar to Courtland Sutton. He posted a 0.30 dominator rating and accounted for 27 percent of his team's receiving yards. His ADP in early rookie mocks has him among the last few picks of the draft, but, without knowing where he'll land, I think he's worth a third round pick.

If Chase Edmonds had produced at the same level at a Power Five school, he'd be a first round pick in rookie drafts, but the small school workhorse is trending towards being a Day three pick and a fourth round selection in dynasty leagues. He had three straight years over 1,600 yards rushing and only slipped during his final season because of injury. Even if he's a UDFA, Edmonds is a prospect to target in the later rounds.

If Mason Rudolph or Kyle Lauletta is drafted by the Patriots, they'll shoot up the rankings into the draftable range because they'd almost immediately become strong QB stash options. Rudolph should eventually earn playing time regardless of where he lands, but, if he lands on the right team, he'll jump from priority waiver claim, to last round pick.

 

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