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Rookie Mock Draft Recap - What the Experts Were Thinking


Just after the NFL Draft finished up, we assembled our fantasy football dynasty writers for a rookie mock draft. This was a 10-team draft that went eight rounds (because we're fiends). League settings were PPR, single-QB, dynasty, rookies only.

To see the full board in all its glory hosted by our friends at Sleeper, check it out right here.

Upon completion, I posed some questions to the experts to see what they were thinking during the process. Here are some reflections on our early Rookie Mock.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!

 

Rookie Mock Draft Results

 

Who is the one rookie you were targeting all along?

I was targeting Murray and was thinking to take him in the first round initially. I think that his style of play will mean that he will be fantasy-relevant. The Cardinals seem like they actually are going to help him succeed also with the other picks in the draft. - Rich King

David Montgomery. I think he has the best chance to return RB1/2 value right away. - Chris Mangano

I have been targeting Miles Sanders in the first round of my rookie drafts. I really like his opportunity playing for an explosive Philadelphia offense in year one. He is my overall 1.01 rookie but I have found he usually slips to pick three or four. after Josh Jacobs and N'Keal Harry. - Matt Terelle

The main reason I claimed the fifth spot in this draft was to select the second receiver off the board, and that was D.K. Metcalf. Right after round one, I said I would have preferred to see N'Keal Harry in Seattle. Instead, I think Metcalf gets the chance to see valuable red zone targets and can also be used to stretch the field. In other words, he can be Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett rolled into one. - Pierre Camus

Noah Fant in the first round. I believe his abilities are off the charts and he will be the best TE in this class, immediately. - Scott Engel

In my position, I was hoping Parris Campbell would fall to me. However, I was very happy with T.J Hockenson. I’ve mocked him myself in the mid-first while seeing many draft boards have him all over the first round. Pleased with my pick there. - Drake Peaugh

Mecole Hardman. With the Tyreek Hill situation happening, I love the prospect of Hardman playing a similar role. We all saw how good this Chiefs offense can be, and Hardman will be a major piece of that. - Gage Bridgford

Darwin Thompson was my target at the first turn. Running backs in Andy Reid's offense always thrive, and without Kareem Hunt, the job is up for grabs. Thompson is a smaller back but can pack a punch. He is slippery between the tackles and talented in the passing game. Although he is a smaller school product with only one year of college numbers, his skillset, alongside the phenom Mahomes with Reid calling the shots, should translate if he wins the job. It's a high-risk, high-reward move at that slot, but you have to play to win the game. - Kev Mahserejian

It is understandable if the Rams were not on your list of preferred destinations for Darrell Henderson and his potential to deliver big plays. But if you share my pessimism that Todd Gurley will approach his 20 carry-per-game average during his first 10 matchups in 2018, then this also presents you with an opportunity to target Henderson after the first three backs and top five-six receivers have been selected. - Phil Clark

I'm a big believer in Ryquell Armstead as a fourth-round pick because of Leonard Fournette's injury history. He should be able to put up solid numbers if/when Fournette misses time, and since Fournette's future with the Jaguars seems to never be set in stone, he's got some good opportunities to carry a larger load in the future. - Justin Carter

 

Who was the biggest reach in this draft?

In my opinion, the biggest reach in this mock falls on the Noah Fant pick. Right behind him go three solid WRs who likely finish with higher point totals than Fant. Fant is a freak athlete at the TE position, but he ended up in a tough spot with the Broncos. - Drake Peaugh

I like Noah Fant as a prospect but I have T.J. Hockenson ahead of him on my board and I wouldn't draft either player until late in the first round or early second. I am not too excited about Fant's fit on a Joe Flacco-led Denver offense that probably won't be very good this season. - Matt Terelle

Andy Isabella was picked too early. He will be a speed role player. - Scott Engel

Parris Campbell joins one of the top offenses in the league but he'll be just one of many mouths to feed. Andrew Luck likes to spread the ball around and they already have two pass-catching tight ends on top of pass-catching back Nyehim Hines, on top of T.Y. Hilton and the other veteran receivers. Campbell will become a Cordarelle Patterson/Taylor Gabriel type of player and that won't necessarily translate to fantasy points. - Pierre Camus

My biggest reach took place when I selected Riley Ridley at 4.09. He will be contending with competition for targets as he joins a Bear offense that distributed 50+ to five different weapons in 2018. Chicago also ranked 27th in pass play percentage, although the team’s attack will be reshaped in Matt Nagy’s second season. My expectations are tempered for Ridley this season due to the collection of weapons that will be sharing opportunities, and I primarily chose him due to concern about securing a second wide receiver before the options were depleted even further. - Phil Clark

Darwin Thompson at the end of Round 2 was a surprise to me. I get that the Chiefs no longer than Kareem Hunt, but they have Damien Williams and Thompson just doesn't excite me. - Justin Carter

Marquise Brown, but not because he is a bad player. I just don't think the usage in the Ravens offense is going to be at a point where I would feel confident in putting him in my lineup. - Rich King

Damien Harris. I think there were other running backs and receivers available that have better prospects of production this year and moving forward. He's going to New England where they already have a first-round RB from last year, and they have two other running backs in the room that have established roles. - Gage Bridgford

Darius Slayton at 3.4. He's a gifted downfield threat, but that is about all he is. Slayton's a straight-line runner who did not show much at Auburn outside of screens and go routes. Although that may be scheme related, there are legitimate concerns as to whether he could be effective enough in the intermediate part of the field to hold value in fantasy. He feels more like a decoy who stretches the field than an actual target, especially in a poor Giants' offense. - Kev Mahserejian

Mecole Hardman. Everyone expects him to be Tyreek Hill 2.0 but I don’t see it. - Chris Mangano

 

Who could turn out to be the best value pick and what is his ceiling?

J.J. Arcega-Whiteside at pick 2.07 is a steal in my opinion. While he isn't likely to make much of an impact in his rookie season, Arcega-Whiteside could overtake Alshon Jeffery as the team's X receiver and lead red-zone option as soon as the 2020 season. I have been in rookie drafts where JJAWS goes as early as the middle of the first round, so for Chris to get him in the mid-second is a great value. - Matt Terelle

I was hoping that JJ Arcega-Whiteside would fall to the turn. Unfortunately, it did not happen. He is a gifted athlete who does not create separation with his quickness, but can leverage his body down the field to create enough space to get the ball. The fact that he produced solid numbers in a run-heavy Stanford offense is more impressive than anything. He is a huge red-zone threat who could not have landed in a more perfect spot. He could even end up as the WR1 within a year or so. His ceiling is legitimately Jordy Nelson. - Kev Mahserejian

Hunter Renrow is the pick for me here. He should be able to have a long career in the NFL as long as he's able to stay healthy. - Gage Bridgford

Darrell Henderson at 2.9 is the best value by a mile. The LA Rams moved up to get him for a reason. He’s going to spell Gurley as needed. He will be a nice spot-flex for weeks to come and could be of much higher-value if Gurley’s knees don’t cooperate. - Drake Peaugh

I like both Diontae Johnson and Bryce Love at the 3rd/4th turn. Johnson has a chance to immediately see action in a high-volume pass offense in Pittsburgh, as James Washington didn't look too impressive as a rookie. Love will have to beat out Guice or wait for an injury, but he is one of the most talented RBs in this otherwise lackluster draft class. - Pierre Camus

I got Karan Higdon in the sixth, and I could see a pretty clear path to Higdon taking snaps away from Lamar Miller. He can be an RB2 down the line. As far as other teams go, Scott Miller, who I love as a slot guy in Tampa. He's basically going to be free in dynasty leagues and has the skill to be everything Adam Humphries was for the Bucs. - Justin Carter

There are a cluster of running backs that do not have a clear path to touches at this point but are capable of performing effectively if their team's primary back is sidelined. This is true of Darwin Thompson, Devin Singletary, and a trio of runners that were chosen in Round 4 - Dexter Williams, Ryquell Armstead, and Alexander Mattison. - Phil Clark

Kelvin Harmon. He has first-round talent and landed in a great spot. High-end WR2 ceiling. - Chris Mangano

Jalen Hurd could be a Tyreek Hill-style player in a good offense, and in the third round that could be a tremendous value. - Rich King

Drew Lock could turn out to be the next Brett Favre. - Scott Engel

 

What spot would you like to pick in a dynasty rookie draft this year?

Well, first, obviously! But if we're talking about a start-up rookie draft that involves snaking, I like fourth. You still get one of the top players and get your next pick faster. - Justin Carter

First. I want first crack at Josh Jacobs. - Scott Engel

Who doesn't like picking first overall? I get that there's some more parity in this class, but I'm always a fan of getting my top guy (N'Keal Harry). - Kev Mahserejian

Anyone who is able to launch their draft from the 1.02 position will have the opportunity of securing either N'Keal Harry or Josh Jacobs. I believe that this places any potential owner in an enviable position because this tandem has separated from the other rookies. Both Jacobs and Harry are in position to contribute to weekly scoring totals early in the season as the result of the favorable environments that they will be operating in. - Phil Clark

Give me the 1.3 in a single-QB, PPR. I love Jacobs’ workload, and he or N’Keal Harry should go 1.1, but I am very excited by the prospects of Miles Sanders and David Montgomery if I can get either at that pick. - Drake Peaugh

Anywhere in the top five. - Chris Mangano

In a draft with no clear top prospect, I prefer somewhere between 4-6. I don't see Josh Jacobs as a future bell cow and I like Metcalf just as much as Harry, so I'd trade down from the 1.01 this year. - Pierre Camus

I liked picking seventh overall. I felt it leaves a good amount of value because a lot of the owners in front of me chased running backs which left some good wide receivers on the board. Unless you have a specific need, I'm a big proponent of best player available when you can afford to. - Gage Bridgford

I would ideally have the 1.01, trade down a few spots, and still be able to take Miles Sanders while picking up extra assets. I also like the late-first/early-second as I can usually get one of Andy Isabella, Parris Campbell, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, or A.J. Brown. - Matt Terelle

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