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Rookie Mock Draft Reaction - RotoBaller and Friends

It's dynasty football season, but then again, when isn't it? Rookie drafts have already begun in some leagues, while others are still getting ready for the biggest day of the offseason.

We recently gathered some writers and fantasy football experts from RotoBaller, PlayerProfiler, Football Diehards, FFD260, and more, to conduct a mock rookie draft for dynasty leagues.

After the draft, we gathered some of our participants' opinions to see what surprised them most and how they envision the rookie field for dynasty purposes this season.

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!


Expert Rookie Mock Draft Results (Post-NFL Draft)

The best value pick of the first round was ____ because _____

Nick Chubb. I have him as a top-four pick this year. Big RBs with crazy athleticism are pretty safe prospects for the most part. Carlos Hyde will be nothing more than a speed bump to Nick Chubb much like Latavius Murray to Dalvin Cook or Adrian Peterson to Alvin Kamara. The best players will play. Therefore, I am confident Hyde will be out of the way by next season at worst. I think there is a chance that Chubb will be "the man" in the Cleveland backfield as early as this year.
-Drew Osinchuk

Nick Chubb falling to #9 was a great selection because his upside screams 1,200 yards rushing if injuries occur in Cleveland and he gets onto the field.
-John Laub

Nick Chubb in the nine spot because there is no way he should be going out of the top-six, outside of a Superflex. He has the chance to start putting up significant numbers, NFL and fantasy, by year two.
-Ben Cigler

Rashaad Penny, because considering that he was able to accumulate an incredible 2,248 rushing yards and 23 rushing touchdowns last season with San Diego State and is currently slated as the #1 back out of a Seattle backfield that didn't see anyone besides Russell Wilson reach more than 240 yards, for Chris to be able to grab him even at pick #4 seems like the best overall value of the first round since he has the clearest path to immediate carries besides Saquon Barkley.
-Brady Grove


Running backs now dominate the first round of rookie drafts. Five of the first six and seven of the first nine players taken in this mock were RB. Is this an overreaction to last year or a trend that will continue in dynasty leagues?

I think the general approach to dynasty is changing. Most teams view the running back as having an immediate impact with a limited warranty. So many dynasty owners believe that a four-year window in dynasty is long enough. Draft long-term with QBs, WRs, and TEs, but draft for now with running backs. Draft, dump, draft, dump. And most dynasty owners still want to win now.
-Marc Mathyk

Last year, taking a running back early in dynasty leagues was almost considered sacrilege. Even high-end players like Leonard Fournette were seen as risky choices because of the short shelf-life at the RB position. Now, we're seeing a complete reversal from that mindset. While you do have to take the long-term approach to win consistently in dynasty leagues, all positions are prone to suffering injuries or just flat-out busting. The first round should always be about prioritizing talent, not position or current team situation, because things can change quickly in the NFL.
-Pierre Camus

While I don't believe that this result is due to an overreaction to last year, I also don't believe that it should be solely viewed as a trend that should be always expected to continue. The real issue is that in the NFL, if a back doesn't have a clear path to carries, he doesn't have much of a clear path to statistical production at all. However, for wide receivers, they can still add value in both standard and PPR formats even as a team's 4th-5th option. These draft strategies should be viewed as more flexible from year to year. For this particular draft, I'm sure most of us realized the significant difference in talent gaps between 1st-Later Round RBs and 1st-Later Round WRs, both in their proven production from college and their prospects for immediate opportunity to see the field for their new teams.
-Brady Grove

I do not think this is an overreaction to last year. I think this is a case of the best players being picked early. This is back-to-back drafts stocked full of quality running backs. I believe next year we will see a bunch of WRs go in the first round because the strength of the draft will be at wide receiver.
-Drew Osinchuk


Sam Darnold lasted until the mid-third round and was the QB5 in this mock, even though he was the #3 overall pick in the NFL Draft and has the best chance to play regularly in 2018. Why?

This was the biggest surprise to me. Not that I think Darnold will be the best QB in this class or necessarily has to be a second-round pick or earlier, but those who are in win-now mode should probably prioritize him over Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, or even Baker Mayfield. Darnold's landing spot with the Jets would seem to give him the best chance to play as a rookie, but I think it's turned a lot of people away from him because of the question marks at receiver and the instability with the franchise as a whole.
-Pierre Camus

Very surprising. A third round steal. What's even more surprising is who got taken ahead of him in that round. I was far away at that point and already had a QB, but Ballage, Walton, Edmonds, Kelly and Callaway taken before him seemed strange. He's going to be a great quarterback that will outlast all those other guys (who are not guaranteed to be starters this year either). He would be my QB2.
-Marc Mathyk

I am shocked that Sam Darnold fell so far. I drafted Lamar Jackson before the newest Jet because of the potential rushing yards the rookie Raven could accumulate.
-John Laub

Unfortunately for New York Jets fans, this is likely due to a lack of faith in the Jets organization to both A) Be able to properly develop a young quarterback who might be thrown to the wolves early much like the Cleveland Browns's issues of years past and B) Be able to field a talented enough supporting cast to give Darnold a proper chance even if he was to see ample time on the field in 2018. Considering the Jets have Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater to fall back on and have failed to organize and develop a serviceable enough supporting cast for their QBs in the past, it's not surprising that people would rather take a chance on guys like Baker Mayfield or Lamar Jackson considering their situations and potential in the league aren't all that more discouraging than Darnold's at this point.
-Brady Grove

The NY Jets don’t have anyone on offense to help him and they play in the AFC East. Plus, did you see how unexcited he seemed to be drafted #3 overall?
-Ben Cigler


My favorite late-round sleeper (4th/5th) was ____ because ______

My favorite fourth round sleeper was Keke Coutee, who was drafted by Chris Mangano. He racked up 1,429 yards and 10 receiving TDs last year at Texas Tech (2,319 yards and 17 touchdowns combined from 2016-2017). That kind of production at a high-level of college football program can't be ignored, and Coutee doesn't exactly have to take on the world to find some playing time among the field of Houston receivers besides Hopkins and Fuller. If the Texans decide that Coutee is an option they want to thoroughly explore on the field, a late-round pick used on him could pay off big time.
-Brady Grove

I am very bullish on Deon Cain in Indianapolis. Any receiver who catches pass from Andrew Luck draws my interest and I ranked the former Clemson Tiger #9 among my pre-draft prospects.
-John Laub

Deon Cain from Indy. He has Andrew Luck and their WR depth chart is a cluster of guys who are not true #1's.
-Ben Cigler

Justin Watson is my late-round sleeper this year. He has good size and great athleticism. The one knock is the poor competition he played against. But he dominated at that level which is exactly what we want to see.
-Drew Osinchuk

After my fourth-round pick (J'mon Moore) I was hoping that either Hayden Hurst or Jaylen Samuels would somehow miraculously fall in my lap. I think Hurst is the 4th round steal and Samuels is the fifth round steal. But if I had to choose one, I would go with Hurst. If you're drafting RBs in the first round to have an immediate impact, then getting a first-round TE in the fourth who is older and will have an immediate impact is a steal.
-Marc Mathyk


Aside from my own picks, I really like the way ____ drafted his team because ______

Aside from my own picks, I really like the way Chris Mangano drafted his team because he certainly provided the clearest path to immediate production for all of his picks by taking one RB (Rashaad Penny) who could see a lot of opportunity (and if his college statistics indicate anything, success) out of Seattle's backfield and then selecting WRs with the remainder of his draft picks that all have demonstrated some form of high-level production at the NCAA level.
-Brady Grove

I really liked the way Brady Grove drafted. He got two of the top WRs at the 1st round turn. Then he took high upside plays in Bo Scarbrough and Auden Tate later.
-Drew Osinchuk

I really like the way Mike drafted (until his last pick) because his two running backs will be significant this year, Darnold will play and most think he's the best QB talent (I think he's behind Mayfield) and thought Chark was a sneaky fourth-round grab. I don't see Faulk amounting to much and up until that point he had a great draft. Man, if he got Hamilton or Samuels, his draft would have been "interstellar".
-Marc Mathyk


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