There’s a lot of buzz surrounding some top prospects for the 2019 Senior Bowl after an exciting week in Mobile. It’s time to put those prospects into perspective and get going on our Rookie Mock Draft 2.0! We have our 5 dynasty and devy writers contributing to this mock draft-sit back and enjoy:
D.K. Metcalf is currently my WR1 in this class. He has the size, speed, handwork and athleticism to a be an absolute stud in the NFL. By no means is he a finished product, but I believe he has the highest ceiling out of anyone in this class.
All reports say that he is healthy and ready for the combine, but i will definitely be keeping an eye on him there to make sure that he passes all of the medical exams/tests
Sweet Christmas, I’m picking at #2 but I got my WR1! Kelvin Harmon is one of the few prospects that I think has the “complete package”. He can block his tail off, run almost every route in the tree, make athletic adjustments when needed and so on. There’s not many guys I get excited about in this class like I do with Harmon.
Harry is a consistent pass catcher, has huge big-play athleticism, and is a monster after the catch. Barring a terrible landing spot, Harry will be a versatile weapon for an NFL team and an amazing combination of PPR safety and TD potential for fantasy football players.
Montgomery is the best running back in this class. I have said it before and I will continue saying it. He has the most complete skill set which helps raise his ceiling. He has the pass catching ability and elite level agility and balance to help set a high floor. Montgomery will go high enough in April that he should get a shot a workload to make him fantasy relevant in his rookie campaign.
Butler has quickly become one of my favorite WRs due to his combination of size, speed and all around ability to play the position. He might be landing spot-proof and I look forward to having some shares of him this season.
Now it is time to take the more productive wide receiver out of Ole Miss. Playing out of the slot most of his college career, Brown displayed nice hands, the ability to make contested catches and became a huge threat after the catch. Brown can become a PPR machine in the NFL and has some nice upside.
Another exciting chance here at the 7th pick to be able to land Parris Campbell! He reminds me of a technician that is currently on the outs in Pittsburgh. Watching him play, you can tell he’s dedicated to his craft and allows his talent to shine through the hard work vs just relying on talent.
His footwork is impeccable, he’s disciplined in his route running and super fast. I’d take him right here all day. One of those guys who I could see as an eventual WR1 on a team who can play the X, Y or Z.
Getting Rodney Anderson at 1.08 is equal parts insulting and highway robbery. Anderson is my RB1 and my 2nd favorite prospect overall-in terms of translating to fantasy football value. Anderson took this slide because of his injury history-but once he clears the combine with flying colors his draft stock will skyrocket.
Anderson is explosive in between the tackles and can accelerate to the edge equally quick. He has great vision, and sharp cuts (including a nasty jump cut) that compliment his agility nicely. He’s very strong too-he breaks tackles and when he’s not shredding Big 12 defenders, he’s trucking SEC linebackers. He fights for extra yards and easily has the most upside of any running back in this draft class.
Looking across the barren landscape, a man appears. He is walking slowly through the dust blowing ferociously around his helmet. As the man approaches, you begin to understand the size and the strength of this stranger. You realize he is your ticket out of this wasteland.
That man is Noah Fant. He is here to save you from the TE wasteland. Draft him in the first round or you won’t get him, and you will regret watching the next great tight end blossom into an elite fantasy asset.
He will be the most dynamic QB in the draft and I don’t think any QB at the senior bowl lit the world on fire. The way QB is played in the NFL is changing and Murray will further prove that point. He’s worth taking in the 1st Round.
Josh Jacobs has become my draft crush. He is a violent runner. He uses his natural strength and power to bounce off players and break tackles. Jacobs also displays decent vision with some nice cutting ability.
Jacobs showed that he is a natural pass catcher and can produce in the passing game. Considering Alabama is loaded at running back, I don’t care that Jacobs didn’t have workhorse production. This kid is really good at football.
The man that #DraftTwitter seems torn on, Riley Ridley. For all the lack of production he had while at Georgia, he showed me enough to have faith in him. Sure he has a great name to latch onto given his brother’s success, but that’s not what makes him.
What draws me to him is ability to create separation as well as his hands in tight coverage. He’s also not afraid of contact and will go up for even the most dangerous throws.
Wide receivers will go off the board quickly in this year’s rookie drafts. That means if you’re drafting late 1st/early second you will likely not get to take: Melcalf, AJ Brown, Harry, Harmon, or Butler. That leaves Lil’Jordan Humphrey as my top target at this point in the draft-he’s my WR6.
The only thing more impressive than his name is his route running-he has a diverse and well-developed route tree. He dominates the middle of the field and has the athletic ability to be break off a big play at any point. At 6’4”, 225 Humphrey is one of the biggest wideouts in the draft-and at this point in your draft, he’d be a very big value.
Hall was the best player in a good Missouri offense last year. After battling a bevy of injuries throughout his college career, he inherently carries a lot of risk especially here in the early second round. At only 195 pounds, his 6’3” frame is relatively lanky. He could improve on his play strength, but he can’t let that affect his quickness in his breaks or his down the field speed.
Hall averaged over 22 yards per reception last year. He can stretch the field in a big way and has the craftiness underneath to contribute all across the field.
This guy can literally do everything. A running back at Tennessee, Hurd decided to transfer because he wanted to play WR. He put up good numbers as a WR and will be looked at as a versatile offensive weapon, the type of weapon teams love to utilize in creative ways.
Do you remember me saying how Alabama was loaded at running back? Damian Harris was the starter and isn’t even the first Alabama RB drafted. I don’t think Harris has the upside Josh Jacobs has, but Harris still is a powerful runner with some nice receiving ability. At this point, I’d be ecstatic to get Harris at the 2.04
I heart the value here. This kid is going to be pretty good. I won’t say RB1 yet, but definitely strong RB2 with RB1 upside. It’s almost mechanical how he changes directions and hits open gaps in the line.
Not only does he turn on a dime, when he hits the edge you can say bye because he’s gone. Great speed, strong and good enough hands on the catch, he’d make a fine 3 down back.
I need to start by saying I’m very salty Eric took Hurd at 2.03-I love his upside and will gush about him all day; I thought he’d make it to me here at 2.06. Still, I love Trayveon Williams, and at 2.06 he makes for a very valuable 2nd round selection-I took him at 1.10 in our first mock draft.
Williams led the SEC with 1,760 rushing yards in 2018-against a lot of NFL level talent. Williams sees holes well and hits them hard for his size. He breaks off tackles consistently while accelerating downfield very quickly. He makes defenders miss in space and has good hands-making him a serious PPR threat. AT 5’9”, 200 Williams may be overlooked by NFL teams-don’t make that mistake, I absolutely expect him to make an impact for fantasy football.
Arcega-Whiteside is not the most exciting prospect in the draft. He is however, very safe. A contested catch specialist who has knack for getting the endzone is a welcome addition to any team. He is a much less athletic Mike Williams, a guy who is poised for a break out this year by the way. Go get Arcega-Whiteside in the mid to late second and be prepared to wait for the opportunity, you will be pleased with the result.
I am enamored with the speed of Brown. He certainly isn’t the biggest guy but he is definitely the fastest. In a league where Tyreek Hill and Brandin Cooks are dominating, I’m sure teams see more of the same in the Oklahoma speedster.
Irv Smith Jr. is an extremely athletic tight end that looks to follow the same mold as Evan Engram. With his speed, route running and elusiveness after the catch, Smith will be able to line up on the line or in the slot and be a nice producer at the tight end position. I would like for him to fine tune his blocking a bit more so he can get on the field as early as possible.
I think that here is where the QB run could start and I’m happy I got my QB1 in this draft. Drew Lock is one of the best in this class when it comes to tight window throws all over the field.
He’s patient, can run it when needed and will definitely be a starter sooner than later. As long as he gets good weapons around him and stays confident (one of his issues) I could see him being somewhere around QB 15-20 after his rookie season. Essentially, I could see him as a QB2 who will give you QB1 weeks every once in awhile.
Snell seems to be the best kept secret in this year’s NFL draft, and getting him at 2.11 proves that. I’ll be honest, I would’ve loved to get Irv Smith here, but Mike’s a smart man and didn’t let that happen. Instead, I’ll happily move on with Benny Snell on my roster.
Snell is a powerful runner-he hits holes hard and is a weekly presence against SEC defenders. Snell has rushed for at least 1,000 yards in all 3 of his seasons with Kentucky. That includes 1,333 rushing yards in his sophomore season (2017) 1,499 rushing yards in 2018, and 48 career touchdowns. In addition to smashing through the A gap-Snell has the ability to beat defenders to the edge and accelerate downfield. He might not be the flashiest, but he has 3 down potential and I’ll have lots of Benny Snell come the end of draft season
Darrell Henderson was flat out impressive at Memphis last year. 2200 yards from scrimmage and 25 trips to the house in 13 games. He averaged almost 10 yards a touch. This kid is clearly explosive. I have concerns as to whether he can handle a heavy workload at the NFL level with his listed weight at only 200 pounds. Henderson is a great change of pace player who has a high ceiling if he can figure out a way to add some weight while maintaining that patent explosiveness.
This article is my personal breakdown of the 2019 wide receiver draft class in, pre-combine and specifically from tape review. These rankings relate specifically to how these players will translate to fantasy football.
I’m positive these rankings will change as the NFL Draft process progresses, but this makes for a great starting point. I will also note that this article was written during Senior Bowl week-and it doesn’t include some players that had great weeks. Barring poor tape review, Penny Hart, Hunter Renfrow, Terry McLaurin will likely be added to my rankings update article (to come post combine). Let’s talk about them-let me know what you think on twitter!
Lodge played in a dynamic Ole Miss offense; one with 2 other
wide receivers (A.J. Brown, Metcalf) that are much higher on my list. In his
senior year, in which Metcalf missed half the season, he caught 65 balls for 877
yards and 4 touchdowns. Metcalf, who played in just 7 games finished with more
touchdowns (5) than Lodge. A.J. Brown finished with 2 more touchdowns, and 443
more yards. Lodge was snubbed from a Senior Bowl invite, and instead participated
in the Shrine Game week of practices; although he did not play in the game.
Lodge came off very slow on tape; he displays limited acceleration and can’t burn defensive backs consistently. He’s inconsistent on jump balls-despite his size he rarely uses his body to position himself for success. Lodge has good footwork and works a decent route tree; for me, this is his best trait. He’s an average blocker, and Ole Miss often ran the ball away from him.
He occasionally flashes big play athleticism, but it’s very inconsistent. Lodge finds himself at the bottom of my list; he flashes upside in his athletic ability and route running but his inconsistency, lack of acceleration, and inability to pull down contested balls often makes me skeptical that he will make an impact early in his NFL career.
16. Greg Dortch (5’9”, 170), Wake Forest
Dortch, the 20-year-old Redshirt Sophomore out of Wake
Forest has a lot of people excited. In just two seasons he’s racked up 142
receptions, 1800 receiving yards, and 17 touchdowns vs ACC defenses. Dortch had
big games against Duke (10 receptions for 124 yards, 1 touchdown) and Louisville
(8 receptions, 135 yards) but struggled against tougher teams like Notre Dame
(6 receptions, 56 yards) and Clemson (3 receptions, 37 yards).
Dortch is a good route runner; he has quick feet and creates separation at the line of scrimmage. He has a fairly diverse route tree and works primarily, but not exclusively, out of the slot. He is quick, but not necessarily speedy-he doesn’t torch defenders over the middle, but he can be effective on end arounds. I’m not impressed by his blocking, and his athleticism seems limited for me. My biggest concern for Dortch is his hands: he struggles to make contested catches and during tape review I saw him drop multiple easy balls. He got overpowered multiple times when trying to go up and grab a ball.
At the right draft position (3rd round) he could provide nice value for your dynasty rosters-but Dortch is seriously raw and I don’t seem him translating quickly to the NFL game. I think he would’ve been better served with another year in college.
Arcega-Whiteside was a 3-year starter at Stanford, culminating with a senior season with 63 receptions, 1,059 receiving yards, and 14 touchdowns. Arcega-Whiteside is a big bodied receiver that built a lot of hype after finishing the 2018 season with 90+ receiving yards in 6 of his last 7 games.
Arcega-Whiteside’s best trait is his route running. He has great footwork that allows him to create separation consistently. He rarely uses his hands, though, and has a limited route tree-still he has one of the meanest curl routes in the class. He’s not super athletic-but he is strong and that helps him box out defenders and win jump balls. It also helps him be an effective blocker. His speed is seriously capped, though, and he rarely beats a defensive back. Given his size, you’d hope to see a higher vert from him, instead you see limited ability to jump and a reliance on his size to make catches.
Given the right landing spot, he could see a jump in my rankings. For now, though, his limited athletic ability and speed limit him to a redzone threat, which isn’t appealing for his fantasy football value.
14. Andy Isabella (5’10”, 190), University of Massachusetts
Isabella is one of the most hyped “small-name” prospects
heading into the NFL draft season. He’s coming off back to back 1000+ yard
seasons for FBS UMass (who play as Independents). In his senior season,
Isabella totaled 1,698 receiving yards; 1st in the FBS by over 200
yards. Don’t take his small school lightly either; the Minutemen played tough
opponents that Isabella excelled against. He caught 5 receptions for 96 yards
against Boston College, 13 receptions for 191 yards and a touchdown against
South Florida, and 15 receptions for 219 yards and 2 touchdowns against
Tape is limited on Isabella so my review for him is a bit short and fairly limited; so, he may vary a lot in my rankings throughout the draft process. What’s clear from the tape is that he’s quick, seriously quick. He can move vertically and horizontally, displaying dangerous go routes and the ability to hit the edge on a reverse. His route tree didn’t impress me (again, limited tape) but he really loves running the slant out of the slot (and he’s good at it, too).
His hands are a serious concern for me: he had the ball ripped out of his hands multiple times in contention, and rarely extends his arms fully when pulling in balls. NFL teams need slot receivers and if Isabella is a late round score for a dangerous offense he value will skyrocket-there’s just not enough there for me yet, though.
13. Anthony Johnson (6’2”, 207), Buffalo
You may only recognize Anthony Johnson from Tyree Jackson tape, that’s a mistake-this dude can play. He totaled 133 receptions, 2,367 receiving yards (17.8 yards/catch), and 25 touchdowns in his final two seasons at the University of Buffalo. In his senior season, he had 4 games with at least 95 receiving yards and caught touchdowns in 7 of his 11 match-ups. Although he primarily faced MAC defenses, he did catch 2 balls for 101 yard and a touchdown vs Rutgers.
It’s tough for me to rank Johnson this low-there’s a lot of good in his game. He works a decent route tree, but it’s primarily in the short field: drags, short outs, and screens off the line of scrimmage, and curls (seriously, so many curls) dominate his tape. He’s a solid blocker, but doesn’t work over guys like some of the other bigger bodied receivers in this class do. He has solid hands, but really struggles to put his body in a position to win contested balls.
He has good athleticism and is a YAC threat, but his speed is capped; making him essentially a N’Keal Harry-lite on tape. There’s a lot to like watching Anthony Johnson tape, there’s not just enough to love.
12. Riley Ridley (6’2”, 200), Georgia
Ridley played in 28 games for the Bulldogs, but totaled just 69 receptions, 1,015 yards, and 13 touchdowns. His best senior was his junior year (2018): he pulled in 43 balls for 559 yards and 9 touchdowns. Ridley is being used as the example of much debate in the fantasy football and NFL Draft communities: he seems to be a non-negotiable between analysts and scouts that love his tape and analytic-minded writers whose models reject his poor performance in one of the best offenses in the nation in 2018.
I find myself somewhere in between: I watch tape, and as
much as I respect analytics models, I don’t use one and I haven’t created one
myself-so I’ll focus on the tape. He’s fast, but not likely in the top 5 of wideouts
in this class. Ridley has great footwork but fails to use his hands to create
space at the line of scrimmage or in contested situations. He hasn’t mastered a
full route tree, but does work well when running slants, curls, posts, and 9
routes. He has solid hands, I rarely saw him drop balls in his tape. He has
great athleticism and his big play potential is why many will fall in love with
Ridley. I like Ridley, and I see the appeal but as his ranking indicates-he
doesn’t standout compared to the upside I see in a lot of the guys in this
talented wide receiver class.
11. Emanuel Hall (6’3”, 195), Missouri
Emanuel Hall recorded back to back 800+ yard seasons in his
junior and senior seasons with Drew Lock at the University of Missouri. In
those two seasons, he averaged 23.6 yards per reception and pulled in 14
touchdowns. Hall’s senior season was cut short (8 games) but he had 3 games
with at least 150 receiving yards and had 2 games with multiple touchdowns. He
had just 1 game with less than 70 receiving yards and found the endzone in half
of his games.
Hall is a big play threat, one fantasy football players could come to love. He’s quick off the line of scrimmage and has top-end acceleration. He consistently beats SEC defensive backs. He has subtle hands and good awareness when going up for balls-he consistently adjusted to, and caught balls thrown behind him. He really doesn’t drop footballs. His route tree is limited: it was primarily go routes and slants at Missouri, and his vertical seems limited from tape. Still, his speed and ability to work along the sideline is appealing-he could shoot up my rankings with a landing spot that will compliment his skillset.
10. Marquise “Hollywood” Brown (5’10”, 168), Oklahoma
Marquise Brown, the cousin of Antonio Brown, flashed at Oklahoma
in his senior season with Kyler Murray. He caught 75 passes for 1,318 yards
(18.3 yards/reception) and 10 touchdowns. Hollywood had some huge games this
season-6 games with at least 130 yards, including an 11 reception, 243 yard and
2 touchdown games against West Virginia.
Brown will likely finish as one of the three fastest 40 times at the NFL Combine. He’s quick off the line of scrimmage, and perhaps it’s the fact they’re Big 12 defenders but even when defensive backs lined up 12 yards off the line of scrimmage, Brown burned them. He creates serious space with his slant route, but essentially depends on that and his vertical routes to perform. He has a serious motor when blocking and doesn’t mind engaging with a defender and churning his feet to drive him back-a noticeable quality for a player of his size.
He has decent hands, but benefited from Murray putting the ball on spot often-he showed no capability to making a play out of a bad pass. His vertical seems limited, and he often tries, but fails, to make men miss in space. In 5 years, Hollywood very well may be a top 3 receiver from this class-but as John Ross has proved to us: speed isn’t everything and his limited route tree is seriously concerning. Don’t let Big 12 stats convince you to take a shot on this receiver.
9. Deebo Samuel (6’0”, 210), South Carolina
Deebo Samuel impressed early in his career for the Gamecocks: pulling in 59 receptions, 783 receiving yards, and a touchdown in his sophomore season. After injury cut his junior year short, he pulled in 62 receptions for 62 yard and 11 touchdowns in his senior year in Columbia. Samuel also has 25 carries for 154 yards and 7 touchdowns in his career (98 yards, and 6 touchdowns came in 2016).
Samuel is fast: he torched the Clemson secondary and
consistently moves quickly in space. Samuel is quick off the line of scrimmage
and isn’t afraid to use his hands and body to get physical when trying to
create space or lay a block. He has good balance, and can absorb contact and
stay on his feet when taking hits. From returning kicks to running end-arounds,
NFL coaches will fall in love with his versatility. His route tree isn’t
impressive, though, it’s primarily slants and screen off the line of scrimmage.
He also struggles to catch contested passes, rarely bringing in catches when he’s
not operating in space. He’s destined for the slot, but with the recent success
of players like Kupp and Coutee, that shouldn’t scare off fantasy players.
8. Parris Campbell (6’1”, 208), Ohio State
After 3 pedestrian seasons for the Buckeyes, Campbell’s
stock rose from a senior season that included 1,063 receiving yards, 90
receptions, and 12 touchdowns. Campbell impressed against Michigan-catching 6
passes for 192 yards and 2 touchdowns. The shootout against the Wolverines was
1 of 3 games where Campbell pulled in at least 140 receiving yards. Campbell,
though, also had 9 (out of 14) games with less than 70 receiving yards, and 5
games below 50 receiving yards.
Campbell is all around fast-he’s quick off the line of scrimmage, he creates a ton of space when running routes, and can accelerate up the sideline. Campbell has solid hands-he catches almost everything sent his way, which can often require adjustments on passes off the mark from Haskins. Campbell was wide-open on almost a lot of the receptions he made, a testament to his route running ability; but he primarily ran slants, curls, and drags-fairly simple routes. He is athletic and teams will like his versatility-he can be effective on reverse players, work out of the slot, catch passes at the line of scrimmage, or run a 9 route from the outside (although he primarily lined up stacked, or in the slot).
Campbell is getting a lot of hype from the NFL Draft community, and personally considered his stock to be above the Senior Bowl. He could be a late 1st/2nd round NFL draft target and has top 5 wide out potential, if he finds himself in the right spot.
7. Jalen Hurd (6’4”, 217), Baylor
I’m higher on Hurd than most, and I’ll admit now that I had the chance to watch Hurd live while attending school at the University of Tennessee-but this player serious upside, and isn’t being talked about-a formula that could equate to serious fantasy football value. Hurd ran for 899 rushing yards, 5 touchdowns, and caught 35 receptions for 221 yards as a freshman running back (yes, running back) at the University of Tennessee. In his sophomore year, still at Tennessee and still at running back, he ran for 1,285 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns while catching 22 receptions for 190 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Halfway through his junior year (2016), Hurd was receiving serious NFL Draft consideration, with talk indicating he could be a first round pick. Hurd decided he wanted to switch to wide receiver-a position he believed would allow for him to have a longer and more lucrative NFL career. After the Butch Jones led Tennessee coaching staff refused to grant him the position change, Hurd announced his decision to leave Rocky Top; he later announced a transfer to Baylor. Note: Hurd’s transfer allowed Alvin Kamara to take on the starting job-a role he could not beat Hurd for.
As a wideout in a rebuilding Baylor offense, Hurd caught 69 passes for 946 yards and 4 touchdowns. Hurd was still utilized as a running back, though, and rushed the ball 48 times for 209 yards and 3 touchdowns. In total, Hurd finished his college career (which spanned 5 years) with 4,282 total yards from scrimmage (2,844 rushing and 1,438 receiving) and 33 touchdowns (23 rushing, 10 receiving).
Hurd moves quickly in space and burns along the sideline. He breaks guys with his speed and footwork in space, displaying elite running back and top level wideout skills-giving him serious upside potential. Hurd catches everything that comes his way; watching him work along the sideline and over the middle makes you understand why he wanted to make the position change.
He has serious athletic ability, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Hurd finishes top 3 in vert for the position at the Combine. Hurd’s route tree is limited, but I’m impressed with how crisp his routes are-for just one season at the position. He has great footwork that he uses to create space on curls and posts, and aggressive handwork that allows him to create space on drags and outs. He sells his route well, and often overwhelms Big 12 defenders.
Hurd is raw, and I’m hooked by his upside-so there’s risk in this ranking but I believe Hurd will stand out as the most valuable pick for fantasy football players from this draft class.
6. Lil’Jordan Humphrey (6’4”, 225), Texas
Humphrey’s name is equal parts amazing and ironic-he stands as one of the largest receivers in the 2019 class. Perhaps the only thing more impressive than his name is his junior season for the Longhorns: he caught 86 balls for 1,176 yards and 9 touchdowns. Humphrey, like most of the Big 12 prospects, had plenty of big games: catching 9 passes for 133 yards and a touchdown against the Sooners, 143 yards on 9 receptions for 1 touchdown against West Virginia, and 8 receptions for 159 yards and 2 touchdowns against Texas Tech. What’s impressive for me, though, is he put up good performances against solid non-conference competition too: 4 receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown against the Trojans of South California, 6 receptions for 82 yards against Maryland, and 7 receptions for 67 yards against Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.
Humphrey’s route running seriously impressed me: I saw examples of him working a seriously diverse route tree but in particular excels at ins, outs, curls, and drags. He also lines up in the backfield and stacked to take/fake reverses. Humphrey lines up primarily inside, which is odd for his size, but he dominates the middle of the field. He has decent hands, and solid body positioning but I’d like to see him develop this part of his game at the next level.
He doesn’t come off as the quickest guy on the field but he has good acceleration; a trait that helps him both as a wideout and kick returner. Humphrey likely won’t be ranked this high for many, but there’s a lot that I love with his tape-still, he’s fairly raw in a wideout class that has a lot of developed talent. Humphrey may slip in the NFL Draft and in your rookie drafts, but he is a big bodied, impressive, future highlight maker.
5. A.J. Brown (6’1”, 225), Ole Miss
Brown was the driving force behind a high-functioning Ole
Miss offense that has to be considered one of the most dangerous offenses in
the SEC West over the past two seasons. In those two seasons, Brown caught 160
receptions for 2,572 yards and 17 touchdowns. Brown caught at least 6 passes in
10 of 12 games in his senior season: pulling in at least 100 receiving yards in
6 of those 12 games. He caught 6 for 115 against South Carolina, 10 for 155 and
a touchdown against Auburn, 6 for 127 against Texas A&M, and 9 for 212 and
a touchdown against Vanderbilt.
Brown works the middle of the field like no other wideout in this class. He’s fast off the line of scrimmage, creates spaces consistently with his speed, and is very agile when working in that space. He can accelerate across the field and hit the edge and burst up the sideline like an elite running back would. He has great footwork that makes his route running impressive, but his route tree is limited. He banks on his impressive slant route (I’m talking OBJ-esq quality), but I’d like to have seen more. He’s competitive on jump balls-often using subtle handwork and positioning to bring in jump balls, but isn’t automatic-he has some frustrating drops when contested.
Brown has serious YAC capability and it makes him even more appealing for fantasy football purposes. He is consistent, reliable, and has a lot of upside. He would do best in an offense where he can be the WR2-he’s not the highlight maker but he’s a coach’s dream. In a top tier offense, he will be an immediate fantasy football player’s dream too.
4. D.K. Metcalf (6’4”, 225), Ole Miss
Metcalf is one of the most intoxicating prospects in this draft-serious, put a towel on your desk when you’re watching his tape-because you will be drooling. Metcalf very well may be the first wideout to come off the board in April, and in turn your rookie drafts. His college profile, though, is limited: giving us limited tape and numbers to work off. Metcalf began his career in Oxford in 2016, but after just 2 games (and 2 receptions) suffered a season-ending broken foot. In his redshirt freshmen year (2017), Metcalf caught 39 balls for 646 yards (16.6 yards/catch) and 7 touchdowns. Just to clarify, he caught a touchdown on 18% of his receptions.
After 7 games with 26 receptions and 569 yards (21.9 yards/catch) in 2018, Metcalf suffering a season-ending neck injury. Metcalf has been cleared for football activities, but the combine will be essential for his draft stock. For now, though, we will focus on the tape.
Metcalf is fast, but not to the level of guys mentioned previously-like Hollywood Brown, Campbell, or Hurd. He has a limited route tree (to match limited tape/play time) but showed the ability to contribute in the short game with screens off line of scrimmage, and at the mid field with deeper curl routes, and downfield with a explosive 9 route. He has excellent footwork and sells defenders hard on inside moves-which allows him to get down the field with 3-5 steps on some of the best defensive backs in the nation. He’s seriously aggressive at the line of scrimmage and has tremendous handwork.
He uses his hands violently at the line of scrimmage and subtly in pass contention. He uses his large body well to position himself into easy catches. He has seriously impressive athleticism-I’d place my bets on him having the top vertical at the combine. He consistently catches contested passes in double coverage and has fantastic balance when taking hits both during and after passes. The play never seems over when Metcalf has the ball in his hands. I don’t blame you if you like Metcalf best in this class, and he’s close for me-but there’s a few guys that stand out as more finished players.
3. Hakeem Butler (6’6”, 225), Iowa State
Butler is the largest wideout in this class, and he could
return the largest value of any first-round projected fantasy football rookie
picks. Butler caught 41 receptions for 697 yards (17 yards/catch) in his
redshirt sophomore year (2017) while bringing in 7 touchdowns. In 2018 he took
his game to a whole new level: catching 60 balls for 1,318 yards (22 yards/catch)
and 9 touchdowns. Butler’s 22 yards/reception was best in the Big 12 in 2018,
and his 1,318 receiving yards was 8th best in the nation. Butler had
6 games (out of 13) with at least 100 receiving yards (and a 7th
game with 99 yards). He balled out against the best competition in the
conference (5 receptions for 174 yards and 2 touchdowns against Oklahoma) and
against out of conference foes (9 receptions for 192 yards in their bowl game
against Washington State).
Butler has great footwork which compliments a developed route tree. He has subtle, but convincing moves that allow him space against defenders when running curls, corners, posts, and slants. He has aggressive hands that allow him space when beating defenders at the line of scrimmage and opening up serious success when running vertical routes. Butler isn’t the fastest guy in this class-but he accelerates downfield and has quick movements.
He’s serious athletic and can go up and grab just about any ball-he works well over the middle and has great presence along the sideline. Butler can block too-I know not the flashiest thing to talk about but it’ll get him on the field; he literally throws defensive backs off him and finishes blocks to the end. He has fantastic extension and uses all of his long wingspan. On multiple occasions, you can find him dragging smaller defenders down the field.
Butler’s name might not carry the same weight as guys like Metcalf and Brown now, but come rookie draft season-it will.
2. N’Keal Harry (6’4”, 213), Arizona State
Harry racked up back to back 1,000+ yard seasons for Arizona
State in his sophomore and junior seasons (2017 & 2018). In those seasons,
he combined for 155 receptions, 2,230 receiving yards, 17 touchdowns, 20
rushing attempts, 75 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. Harry finished 2nd
in the Pac-12 in receiving yards in both of those seasons. In 2018, Harry had
just 3 games (out of 13) with less than 80 receiving yards-and totaled 4 games
with 100+. Harry’s stats aren’t as flashy as some of the other wideouts in this
class, but he’s consistency is seriously attractive for fantasy football
purposes-and was doing a lot with a little around him in Tempe.
Harry catches everything thrown his way (accurate or not). His ability to box out defenders with his body is perhaps the best of the class. He uses his hands to create significant separation when going up for contested passes. His footwork helps him create space at the line of scrimmage-often selling defenders and making them look silly.
His route tree is solid, but could use some expansion: he loves curls and slants but Arizona State really loved to put the ball in his hands at or behind the line of scrimmage. You can’t blame them for that-Harry is seriously dangerous when he has the ball in his hands. He’s quick and using his feet and vision in a way that mocks the best running backs in this class. He will make guys miss in space and isn’t afraid to smash the circle button on a line backer (that’s a spin move for my non-Madden players). He’s strong too: he gets physical with defenders when blocking and has the strength to throw would-be tacklers off him when running the ball.
Whether it’s the NFL or your rookie drafts, there’s always risk associated with making your selection-with Harry, so much of that risk is eliminated. He’s consistent, competitive, and has the athletic upside you can only dream of.
Harmon pulled in 69 receptions for 1,017 receiving yards and
4 touchdowns as a sophomore (2017) at North Carolina State. This was despite
being in a run-heavy offense which featured 2017 draft picks Jaylen Samuels and
Nyheim Hines. In 2018, he brought those impressive numbers up to 81 receptions
for 1,186 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns against ACC opponents. He finished
with 7 (out of 12) games with over 90 receiving yards and caught 6 receptions
in 8 games. Harmon finished 6th in receptions and 2nd in receiving
yards in the ACC in 2017, and 4th in receptions and 1st
in receiving yards in 2018.
Harmon comes off as the most pro-ready wide receiver in the class to me. Harmon’s footwork is next level, it allows him to create separation on comeback routes that seem like automatic 7-12 yard gains and allow him to break the ankles of defenders in space. Harmon has the speed to burn defenders on 9 routes-giving him the big play potential every fantasy football player wants. More impressive, though, is Harmon’s short to mid field work. In addition to footwork, Harmon’s handwork allows him to create separation at the line of scrimmage immediately and consistently.
I’m low-key in love with Harmon’s ability to subtly, but effectively, use his hands to create spaces on contested space. This combination makes him a intoxicating combination of a PPR dream and the big play upside that makes fantasy players fantasy champions.
Harmon also has one of (if not the best) high point in this draft class. He’s extremely long and athletic and is able to extend his body to make even the worst Ryan Findley throw catchable. He consistently adjusts to bad passes with quick reactions, and high level of awareness. He has top level presence along the sideline and has great balance. Harmon is also a great blocker-he seeks contact with defenders and has great mechanics when holding blocks, not the flashiest skill to have but it should allow him to get on (and stay on) the field early in his NFL career.
Harmon’s upside might not be the same as Metcalf, and his
stats might not be as padded as A.J. Brown-but he checks all of the boxes, and
consistently performs at a high level in an offense that wasn’t made for his
success. His tape is impressive and he’s ready to contribute to an NFL offense.
I expect him to have a successful combine, and baring a tough landing spot he
will be my 1.01.
Welcome to part two of our NFL Mock Draft article series. This article is a collaboration of 5 dynasty/devy writers for the Fantasy Fanalysts. All of the writers also contribute to the 48 Report. Note that this draft was conducted before the NFL Conference Championship games were played, and reflects the standings prior to that round.
This is the chalkiest pick you’ll see throughout the NFL Draft season, and I don’t love it. Arizona has a lot of holes to fill (especially on the offensive line) and I think they’d be best served trading out of this pick. I did try to trade this pick to some of my fellow writers who might be eager to get Haskins on their team, but the interest wasn’t there. Come April, though, I think it’ll be a different story for NFL GMs.
I feel like this is an easy pick here. San Francisco wasn’t really stopping anyone last year and Oliver is one of those can’t miss prospects. This draft has a lot of talent along the defensive line-and teams won’t wait to take guys off the board.
This is a fit that I can’t pass up. There are players on the board that may possess more talent, especially along the defensive line. The Jets, however, need to protect their franchise quarterback and have a lot of talent on the defensive front already. The value is still great here and the Jets improve both the running and passing game for Crazy Eyes.
The Raiders get their Mack replacement. Williams will be a dominant force on the defensive line for years to come. The Raiders might not settle for adding just one guy to what was a poor pass rush last season, stay tuned.
8. Detroit Lions: Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida (@jpadgett94)
The Lions need to be able to rush the passer. The back end of their defense is solid and they have some promising young players, but they need to be able to pressure the quarterback if they want to continue improving as a group. Polite is a polished pass rusher who can contribute right out the gate. I like his speed off the edge and his hands are always working.
9. Buffalo Bills: Kelvin Harmon, WR, North Carolina State
The Bills need to find josh Allen some serious receiving talent and they get it all in Harmon. He’s built like a truck, speedy and makes contested catches. Great hands and a complete wide out that can make an immediate impact. Allen will love his new WR1.
11. New York Giants (via Cincinnati): Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma
It appears likely that Jonah Williams won’t fall past the Jets-a frustrating situation for the Giants, who are in desperate need of help on the offensive line.
To me, that leaves the Giants with one of two options: trade up for Williams or trade back for Ford/another linemen and get picks. I chose the later situation here, and it’s great value for the Giants-who could also justify taking Ford 6th overall.
Another good part about this draft are the offensive tackles and Green Bay would be silly not to take one here. With top tier guys running out fast, Greg little makes sense here and you know, it’d keep Aaron Rodgers off his back.
This pick gets Kiko Alonso off the field. White paired with Raekwon McMillan gives this team one of the fastest linebacker pairs in the league. Both guys have great speed sideline to sideline and are pluses in coverage. This defense continues to improve in an effort to carry that inconsistent offense.
Atlanta, when healthy, doesn’t have a glaring need. That means they can take the best available/luxury pick. Williams will solidify a secondary that has been marred by injuries. Head coach Dan Quinn will love this guy.
15. Salt Lake Stallions*: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
This team is in desperate need of some play makers on the outside. Metcalf has all of the tools to be a dominant WR1. Whoever ends up playing quarterback for this squad will greatly benefit from having Metcalf
*Editors note: As a running statement from Eric’s suggestion in our first mock draft, Washington is being referred to as the Salt Lake Stallions because the franchise is so poorly run by Snyder is is reasonable to suggest they should be replaced by an AAF team that’s never played a game
The Panthers have multiple needs to fill in the draft and/or free agency. Interior offensive line seems like a bigger priority, but Thompson has slid ridiculously far and Carolina can also use support in their secondary. The Panthers snag “Derwin James”-esq value here.
17. Cleveland Browns: Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State
The defense is young and coming together, they have their new coach and quarterback of the future. What could Cleveland possibly need outside of completing their receiving corps? That’s where Butler comes in. You can line him up all over just like Iowa State did and he gives Baker that big bodied receiver on the outside to replace Josh Gordon.
18. Minnesota Vikings: David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin
The Vikings have to improve their offensive line. Their talent at the skill positions rivals the Saints, the Chargers and the dysfunctional Steelers for the best in the league; yet they managed to miss the playoffs.
Shoring up the offensive line will give those skill studs an opportunity to shine next season. Edwards is a very solid, safe player who can plug right in and start for a team in desperate need of an upgrade.
It’s time to move on from Mariota. The Texans have Watson, the Colts have Luck and Jacksonville will also be looking for their new QB. Tennesse should try to keep up, move on from Mariota and get an electric playmaker that shakes up the culture for Mike Vrabel’s squad
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
Even with all of their offensive weapons, Pittsburgh has been held back from reaching their full potential because of their defense. They are now in position to draft possibly the best cornerback in the draft, who can make a difference right away.
Murphy is explosive, displays great ball skills and shows the ability to be a great cover corner.
21.Seattle Seahawks: Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia
Cajuste is a big man (6’5”, 315) and Seattle desperately needs support for their dedication to the rushing game. It’s tempting to give them another weapon for the receiving corps., but it’s not like they’d utilize them anyways. Instead, Cajuste-who is particularly effective as a rush blocker, will be much more valuable to this offense.
As a Steeler/Arizona Wildcat fan, making this pick hurt and it was gross, but it is the right pick. If the Ravens are going to set Lamar up, they have to get him some help. John Brown is set to be a free agent and Crabtree showed his age this year. I’m surprised he lasted this long.
The Texans corners are geriatric. I mean, goodness, gracious. Kareem Jackson and Johnathan Joseph seem to have been around since the beginning of time. The Colts made it abundantly clear that the position desperately needs addressed in the off-season. Baker is a physical corner who can learn the ropes from the veterans while providing a much needed injection of youth.
This is the second mock in a row I’m sending Brown to the Raiders; it’s just unconventional enough to make sense in Gruden’s front office.. Brown will look to be the Cooper replacement the Raiders desperately need.
Philadelphia has been looking for a solid and consistent RB1 for the last few years. Ajayi can’t stay healthy, Smallwood and Clement haven’t showed consistency, Sproles maybe has 1 year left and I don’t think Adams is the long term option.
Josh Jacobs is an extremely physical runner that shows great elusiveness and is a very natural pass catcher. Jacobs can be the piece that pushes the offense to the next level.
Brown is an impressive receiver: he’s compiled 2 seasons of 1,250+ receiving yards vs SEC defenses in an offense where he split targets with Metcalf, Lodge, and Knox.
Brown runs a slant route that reminds you of OBJ and quickness that rivals any other receiver in this class. Brown, however, has a limited vertical and lacks big play potential in the red zone-which leads me to believe he fits much better as the WR2 in an offense. With Hilton drawing top defenders, Brown could be an impact player quickly in a blossoming Indianapolis offense.
27. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas Cowboys): Dexter Lawrence, DE, Clemson
As I said with the earlier pick of Clelin Ferrell, these Clemson guys will be littered in the first round and there is no spot better than here. Oakland needs a lot of help in a lot of places and I don’t see how they don’t amp up their defensive line in a strong draft class. A lot of their other needs can be fulfilled in the later rounds.
Although I like both Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett, Noah Fant can become the elite TE option that completes this offense. Fant is a great athlete, has reliable hands and is a major threat after the catch.
31.Kansas City Chiefs: Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware
It’s fun to mock draft a running back to Kansas City, but with the depth of the position in this class it makes little sense to take one here. Instead, I’ll give them Adderley-a lesser known safety out of FCS Delaware who will be a household name by draft night-to play opposite of Berry and support a porous secondary.
32. Green Bay Packers (via New Orleans Saints): Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
Green Bay is at the bottom half of the league when it comes to pressure on the quarterback. Sweat is the guy to change that. Big time steal here because I doubt he waits this long to hear his name called.
I wanted to like Minshew more than I did-he caught my eye and impressed me in what ended up being a bowl game loss to Iowa State. His 2018 stats will also catch your eye: his 4,776 passing yards were second only to Dwayne Haskins. He also threw 38 touchdowns, just 9 interceptions, and completed 468 of his 662 attempts (70.7%).
What wasn’t impressive is his arm strength and decision making. Minshew’s longest completion in the 3 games of tape I broke down was 48 yards. Other than that, the majority of passes fell in the 8-10-yard range, and his velocity fell off after the ball got 25 yards down the field. He holds onto the ball a while in the pocket and lacks the mobility to avoid defenders collapsing on him. Minshew also throws the ball into tight coverage a lot. His accuracy was his best strength, but it’s built on a foundation of short slants (like, a lot of slants). Seriously, so many slants. You want Minshew in one play? Here it is:
Minshew is raw, playing just one season with a Power 5
school after transferring from East Carolina University. He will be playing in
the Senior Bowl, over other QBs I have ranked above him in this group-I think
that says a lot about what the NFL believes his potential is. With a successful
showing in Mobile, and a strong combine, we will be having a different
conversation in April.
10. Jarrett Stidham
(6’2”, 215), Auburn
Stidham led Auburn to an SEC West title in 2017, thrusting Alabama into the 4 seed in a move that served as refreshment for the 6 teams that have been held in check by for years by the SEC powerhouse. Since that moment, however, things have gone south for Stidham. In 2018, his production dropped across the board: he completed just 60.7% of his passes (66.5% in 2017), threw for 2,794 yards (3,158 in 2017) and held even with his 2017 total of 18 touchdowns.
Stidham has a great arm-he can throw a pretty, tight, spiral down the field for 50 yards with relative ease. I’m convinced this is why Stidham had 1st round chatter following his 2017 campaign. Although that hype has cooled, he’s still regarded well enough to earn a Senior Bowl bid. I don’t get the hype, though. I saw him struggle to consistently connect with his targets, even though Auburn’s offense is built on a foundation of short slants, curls, and screens. Stidham freezes under pressure and makes taking a sack seem like a routine part of the QB position. He’s totally immobile, but I don’t think anyone has told him that-because he makes a trend of attempting to scramble without getting back to the line of scrimmage.
The mechanics are there, so the potential is there, but I can’t see Stidham climbing up my personal board.
9. Jordan Ta’amu (6’2”, 212), Ole Miss
Ta’amu is a tough player to evaluate: he led the SEC in
passing yards (3,918) in 2018 and tacked on another 342 rushing yards to that
total. He combined for 25 touchdowns and threw just 8 interceptions. He also
had one of the best supporting casts in the nation: A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf,
and Dawson Knox.
Ta’amu has great arm strength-he can huck the ball downfield and put a real nice touch on it. His velocity is amongst the best of the draft class and it helped him find success in the Ole Miss offense. Here’s a little taste of what he can do:
He was accurate when hitting his first read, but struggled to progress through his reads-often resulting in a sack. He can be effective outside of the pocket-but his athleticism is capped-he’s limited to be a north/south runner. Ta’amu throws off his back foot a lot, short arms his release, and doesn’t control his body well on the run.
He does a lot good, but I don’t see anything great here. He will have the chance to prove me wrong, beginning with the Shrine game.
8. Tyree Jackson (6’7”, 245), University of Buffalo
You’re going to hear the phrase “I wish he would have gone back for another year” often when you hear talk of Jackson this NFL Draft season. I’ll be standing next to those guys nodding enthusiastically, because I really like what Jackson could be, but he’s seriously raw. Jackson completed just 55% of his 407 attempts his junior season (2018) at Buffalo. He totaled 3,131 passing yards, 28 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. Add on 161 rushing yards on 55 attempts (3.8 yards/carry) and 7 rushing touchdowns to his stats.
Jackson very well may have the best arm of the draft class.
He makes 50+ yard passes look easy, including a beautiful 60-yard touchdown
pass vs Miami of Ohio where he perfectly led his wide receiver down the field
and into the endzone (a popular trend for Jackson). Jackson has a great
throwing motion, good velocity, and a relatively quick release (for his size)
when he throws from the pocket. The issue, though, is that Jackson rarely stays
in the pocket-an odd trend for someone who can so easily see over his linemen.
Outside of the pocket, Jackson throws on the run and fails to set his
feet-often resulting in passes off his back foot. That leads to inaccurate
passes and poor decision making. Jackson throws into double and triple coverage
a lot (a cringy amount for someone who wants to love his tape). He also has a
habit of overthrowing his targets and missing them completely while throwing on
Jackson earned a late bid to the Senior Bowl, and I’m excited to see what he can do with his week in Mobile. I’ll be cheering for him to impress from now until April, but I expect him to be a Day 3 pick that will benefit from a couple years of development in a organization that can hone in his potential.
7. Daniel Jones (6’5”,
220), Duke University
I get the Daniel Jones narrative-he’s big and he’s athletic,
what more could you want? That’s what I thought going into my review of Jones,
but all I could keep thinking was “I want more”. Let’s start with his stats:
2,674 passing yards, 22 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions in his redshirt junior
season (2018). Jones also ran for 319 yards and 3 touchdowns. Jones was a
3-year starter at Duke, but had a career highs in completion percentage (62.8%)
passing yards (2,836) and rushing touchdowns (7) during his redshirt freshmen
Jones has good mechanics: he’s got a good release, get’s the ball out quick, is light on his feet, and can control his body when throwing on the run. He’s not particularly quick, but he is athletic. He can move away from the blitz and reset the pocket well. He has some burst and can turn broken plays into 20-40 yard gains but doesn’t have the quickness to beat defenders to the edge in the highlight fashion other quarterbacks in this class can.
His arm strength is less than satisfying for someone with his frame, and his decision-making skills are lacking. He throws into tight coverage often and makes bad passes when under pressure. Although he can move the pocket, Jones often hesitates too long under pressure, leading to sacks. He makes a habit of throwing into double coverage, and although it doesn’t always lead to interceptions and does result in his receivers taking some rough hits.
Jones is a Senior Bowl invite and has the measurables to impress NFL scouts. Chatter from the NFL Draft community has Jones being a candidate for 1st round consideration. Although it’s likely more a result of the weak draft class, a landing spot that presents Jones with an opportunity to start in the NFL will give him a significant bump on my board.
6. Brett Rypien (6’2”, 202), Boise State
Rypien was a 4-year starter on the blue turf; totaling 13,578
passing yards, 90 passing touchdowns, just 29 interceptions, and a 64% career
completion rate. Rypien’s 3,705 passing yards in his senior season was 11th
best in the nation, and his 30 touchdowns was 10th best. Rypien’s
flying under the radar as a Mountain West prospect, but there’s a lot to like.
Rypien can throw at all three levels-although he appears much more comfortable with slants and short routes, he can also get the ball 40-50 yard downfield by perfectly leading his receiver with a tight spiral. Rypien consistently hits his targets in the hands and chest. He leads his receivers through double coverage gracefully and can drop dimes into the endzone. Rypien holds onto the ball too long, and takes a lot of sacks (that also lead to fumbles). He’s mobile enough to scramble, but isn’t particularly agile and won’t intimidate NFL defenses with his legs. Rypien has a quick drop back, good release, and fantastic velocity.
I’m not sure Rypien can be the best quarterback in this class, but I think he may be the first to earn a starting job. Rypien will be playing in the Shrine game, and with more exposure has a chance to impress throughout the draft process.
5. Easton Stick (6’2”,
222), North Dakota State University
Fair warning: I get real hype on quarterbacks that can run
the ball. I’m higher on Stick than most, and I have no intentions of backing
off the hype train. Stick took over for Carson Wentz at North Dakota State
University-a FCS program. Stick’s stats have consistently increased over his
three years as a starter there-a tenure in which he led the Bison to 41 wins. His
progress led to a senior season where he threw for 2,752 yards, 28 touchdowns,
and just 7 interceptions. He also racked up 677 rushing yards and 17 rushing
Stick finds his receivers consistently in the short and mid field. He has good velocity on his ball and isn’t afraid to throw the ball deep-at one point in his tape review, I saw him throw 3, 50-yard passes in a row. Stick makes some stunning plays-including leading his receivers perfectly downfield on beautiful verticals and dropping 30 yard passes into the corner of the end zone through double coverage. Stick, however, is inconsistent with his passes; he tends to overthrow his receivers and miss throws when he’s on the run. Here’s what he can do with his arm:
I saved the best part for last: he’s seriously quick for a quarterback. He can burn linebackers to the edge and burst up the sideline, and he’s powerful enough to swipe defensive tackles off him when running through the A gap. He elusive too, he scored on two read options in the redzone in the 2018 FCS Championship game-once in between the tackles and once to the outside-he wasn’t touched on either run. Stick has a little too much confidence in himself, though; he often puts his head down and tries to power over defenders-leading to too many unnecessary hits. Still, Stick does a great job of looking to pass first, and deciding when to run. Here’s what what he can do with his legs:
Stick is an upside player to bet on, but if you watch the
tape I think you’ll fall in love with his potential too. If we’re talking
fantasy football-he’s a guy I need on all my dynasty rosters.
4. Kyler Murray (5’10”,
Okay, I get it: I get why people are hype on Kyler Murray. He’s electric, and I’m not one to judge anyone for falling in love with an athletic quarterback. His stats look great, too: the 2018 Heisman winner completed 260 of his 377 attempts (69%), 42 touchdowns just 7 interceptions, and 4,361 passing yards. Murray also put up 1,001 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. Murray doesn’t come without drawbacks, though. Try not to drool:
Murray doesn’t come without drawbacks, though. The conversation with Murray will likely always start with what I mentioned above, and then quickly transition to his size: at just 5’10” and 195 there’s legitimate concern for his ability to translate to an NFL offense. Watching him at Oklahoma, you can see he rarely throws from inside the pocket-and I believe he benefitted enormously from one of the best offensive lines in the country, great wide receivers, and some of the worst defenses in the Power 5 to play against weekly.
Murray is accurate when passing into the flat and short slants-which often times go for big plays based on the yards after catch (YAC) accumulated by receivers. Murray holds onto the ball a long time, a very long time-it’s a luxury he certainly won’t have at the NFL level. On most plays, Murray has the time to work through 2-4 progressions, another luxury he’s not likely to have. Even with more time in (out) of the pocket, Murray throws into double coverage often, and is bailed out by his talented wide receiving corps. Kyler also throws off his back foot consistently, short arms pass, and throws off balance-which all compound the issue he has throwing over his offensive line.
Those are the hesitations, and as fun as Kyler is-they need to be said. Here’s the upside: he’s got great velocity; when he whips a tight spiral downfield, he reminds me of a center fielding firing a ball to the cut off man. He can get the ball 60 yards downfield and makes it look easy. Those beauties are the reason people love Kyler, and why his highlight film is so tempting to cave in to. Even better: his athleticism. He can burn Big 12 linebackers to the edge and quickly work his way up a sideline. He has good vision and has the agility to bounce from the A gap to the outside-where he excels. He does well to avoid major hits, and has a great slide-almost like a baseball player would go hard into a shortstop turning a double play.
I’m not saying Kyler won’t end up as a top 3 quarterback drafted, but I’m skeptic of his ability to translate to the NFL-so for now, he’s outside of my top 3.
Even with Kyler declaring, Haskins is still heading into the
combine as the top contender to be the first quarterback off the board in April’s
NFL Draft. The 6’2”, 215 lbs. 21-year-old finished as the 2018 Big 10 Offensive
Player of the Year, and 3rd in Heisman voting. He totaled 5,396
passing yards and 54 touchdowns in his one season starting as a sophomore for
the Buckeyes. Haskins also completed 70% of his passes-impressing most with his
ability to control Big 10 defenses.
Haskins is raw-but has the foundation to turn into a long-term
NFL quarterback. He is light on his feet, has a great release, and has the
frame NFL GMs appreciate. He controls his body well on the run and rarely
throws the ball across his body. Haskins’ top feature is his arm strength-he hucks
the ball downfield without effort. Haskins works the field with confidence-he can
work the ball in the short and mid field with success. He does struggle,
however, with accuracy when stretching the ball down the field, which is
frustrating since his arm is his best feature.
Haskins looks great in Ohio State’s quick read offense, when he’s able to hit his first or second read. If he doesn’t find either of those two, however, things get tough. The pocket often collapses around and he’s not mobile enough to fight off blitzes with more than a basic 4 man-rush. His rushing attempts (108) are misleading-he’s unable to gain more than 2/3 yards per rush when keeping it on options. Mobility concerns aside, Haskins is a solid prospect who very well may work his way to the top of my list, based on opportunity from landing spot and a strong combine performance.
Grier is well rounded and can make an impact early on an NFL roster. After being suspended from the University of Florida, he threw for two 3,400+ passing yard seasons in his junior and senior years for West Virginia. In those two seasons, he’s accumulated 71 touchdowns and just 20 interceptions. He improved his 64.4% completion rate in 2017 for a 67% completion rate in 2018. I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect to like Grier this much, but here’s what I found:
His arm strength is just as impressive as Haskins or Murray:
he leads his receivers flawlessly down field with 50-yard touch passes. Even
more impressive: he gets the ball deep while throwing consistently off his back
foot. He also has a Tim Tebow-like jump pass, that excited me more than it
should excite any Tennessee Vol fan. Grier has great pocket presence: he was
sacked just three times in the 3 full games I broke down his film. He
consistently gets the ball out of his hand in 3 seconds or less, even though
West Virginia’s offense has more pro-style elements than other quarterbacks on
this list. Grier has a tendency to overthrows his targets, but consistently
hits his man on slants and passes over the middle.
Grier lacks the mobility of other quarterbacks like Murray
or even Jones, but he can scramble and move the pocket when needed. He sets his
feet while in the pocket, has a conventional arm motion and a great release. Grier
doesn’t appear to have too much chatter as a first-round pick, yet, but I
believe he will be taken on the back end of Day 1 of the NFL Draft, and it’ll give
him a very valuable landing spot.
1. Drew Lock (6’4”, 225), Missouri
Lock has more chatter than Grier as an early first round
pick, and it makes a lot of sense. Lock comes off as pro ready: his arm
strength, mechanics, and decision-making skills are going to be attractive for
NFL GMs. Lock was a 4-year starter at Missouri: throwing for over 3,000 yards
in his last 3 seasons. Over those seasons, he’s thrown for 95 touchdowns and
just 21 interceptions, against SEC defenses.
Lock has a great arm motion, quick release, and stays on the
balls of his feet. He has a great spiral and keeps his feet under him when
throwing. He has great velocity and fits balls well into tight windows. He has
great arm strength and a perfect touch on his deep ball. He can work a 50 yard vertical
or drop a dime into his receivers chest through double coverage 30 yards down
field. He can work all three levels of the field, and rarely leads his receivers
into dangerous situations.
He makes things easy for his targets-rarely making them
extend, and often hitting them in the chest or hands. He rarely takes sacks and
controls his body well while throwing on the run. He can progress through he
reads well and keeps even contested passes away from the hands of defensive
backs. Lock has some mobility but chooses to stay in pocket as a first
priority. When the play breaks down, though, he can get 10 yards down field and
move quickly north/south. Lock’s tape was the impressive of any of these
quarterbacks, and I believe he’s going to excel through showcase games and the
combine. I’m not sure which NFL team will fall in love with Lock, but I know
one will. Landing spot will be crucial to his final ranking for me, but for
now: he’s QB1.
This is an exciting week: it kicks off the whirlwind of showcase games that will be highlighted by the East/West Shrine Game (this week) and the Senior Bowl (next week).
Before we get there, though, we’re excited to give you a taste of what who we expect to go off the board early in 2019 fantasy football rookie drafts. Player values will fluctuate as the NFL Draft process progresses, but as of now here’s what who 5 dynasty/devy writers like:
Harry is my 1.01 and it is not terribly close. His ability after the catch is unmatched and he was able to produce in a big way while stuck in a lackluster offense. He will need some small continued improvement in his route running but his hands and his strength getting the ball is going to translate immediately.
AJ Brown has produced two straight 1250+ yard seasons while averaging more than 15 yards a reception. Brown shows good quickness and agility while running routes and after the catch. His ability to make me people miss after the catch could make him a very valuable fantasy asset.
Please Noah, for the love of fantasy football: be good. The tight end position is a dumpster fire and needs an infusion of talent. Fant has elite pass catching skills and should be a mid-to-late 1st round pick. If he can end up on a team like New England or the LA Rams then his stock will skyrocket.
At this point, this is right where I’d want to grab him. Out of the receivers that are left, his receiver ability in his routes and after the catch intrigue me the most. This could change when he’s pitted against other NFL prospects, but I really, really like this kid.
It’s very tempting here to take D.K. Metcalf (he has not business falling out of the top 5), it’s even more tempting to snipe Montgomery from Josh; instead, though, I’ll take my RB1: Rodney Anderson. Anderson is a tantalizing combination of speed, power, and receiving skill. Anderson has an extensive medical history, but if cleared at the combine I expect him to be the first running back off the board (potentially on Day 1) during the NFL Draft. Check out his full article (linked to his name) for a lot more about why he makes me drool when I watch his tape.
The best running back in this draft class slides to me at six. He has the ability to play on all three downs and should get a shot at locking down the workhorse role wherever he is drafted. More about how my love of Montgomery got Matt to crush on him below:
The Slide had to stop. He was in consideration for me at 1.02, so I am ecstatic to see him fall to 1.07. His size, burst and strength will allow him to continue being successful the NFL. He is still a bit raw, but he has all the tools and traits to be an absolute stud.
Harmon is one of the better WRs in the draft. Expect him to go high to a team that will give him a chance to be the number 1. Hopefully gets paired with a good QB. Expected to go in the 1st round, his combine will be telling along with so many of the other wide receivers in this class.
Trayveon Williams stands out on tape. He’s quick, has good vision, and plays much bigger than his 5’9′ 200 lb frame suggests he should. Perhaps even more impressive: Williams led the SEC in rushing with 1,760 rushing yards vs the closest it comes to NFL defenses at the college level. You might be locked in on Williams yet, but I promise you will be.
At the end of the first round, you take guys with the highest potential. As a 6’6” wideout with strong numbers in the 40 and the vert, this guy is the definition of potential. He could very well be drafted in the early first by the time we are drafting for real.
While at Memphis, Henderson has been a production monster! The last two seasons, Henderson has 3,006 yards and 31 touchdowns, while averaging 8.9 yards per carry. Henderson displays great explosiveness and some power when he runs the ball. Henderson has also showed that he can produce in the passing game.
See: analysis of Fant pick. Smith could have been a dominant pass catching force at Bama but there were so many mouths to feed. Elite pass catching Tight End. I expect him to go late 1st/early 2nd and wherever he goes, he will make an immediate impact with his abilities as a receiver.
It was awesome to get “Baby Ridley” here. Another receiver I’ve grown fond of that has the ability to line up at the X, Y or Z. Even though he didn’t get a lot of shine due to Georgia’s offense, I saw the kid explore the whole route tree which is what you want to see out of “line up anywhere” receivers.
There’s a lot of wide receiver talent at the top of the 2019 class, it’s going to lead to great running back value in the 2nd (and later) rounds. Snell is an excellent example of that. Snell is a powerful runner that displays perhaps the greatest strength of any back in the class. He lacks burst but has great balance and a long center of gravity that allows him to bat off SEC linebackers. Snell has over 1,000 yards rushing in all 3 seasons he’s started at Kentucky, including his true freshmen year.
Welcome to part one of our NFL Mock Draft article series. This article is a collaboration of 5 dynasty/devy writers for the Fantasy Fanalysts. All of the writers also contribute to the 48 Report. Note that this draft was conducted before the NFL Wildcard games were played, and reflects the standings at the end of the NFL regular season.
Can’t go wrong with this pick. Bosa is coming to bolster a defense that already was tops in the league in sacks. He also has a slightly better attitude than his counterpart (Ed Oliver) who will undoubtedly go in the top 3.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (Trade from SF): Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
The Jaguars shake up the top 5 by ensuring they get their guy. Benching Bortles is all you need to see to know that they are unhappy with their QB. Haskins has a lot of potential to grow with a great defense backing him. The tools are there and the ceiling is tantalizing.
NFL roster development is based around two concepts: finding a good quarterback and finding players that can attack the quarterback. Williams is an excellent example of the latter and the Raiders need a whole lot of development. Williams adds a powerful presence to an Oakland defensive front that could be the foundation of a rebuild.
7.San Francisco 49ers (Trade from JAX): Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama
Mack Wilson’s mom has stated that he may return to school, but a top 10 prospect would do well to make the leap in my mind. The 49ers would love to get there Reuben Foster replacement here, especially after acquiring and extra 2nd round pick (or more) to move back to 7th overall. That high second round pick would be used on a receiver in a perfect world.
*Editors Note: Mack Wilson is believed to be returning to Alabama, however, he has not yet officially announced his decision for next season.
This is the best case scenario for Detroit. With them strengthening the interior of their line with Damon Harrison, this will allow them to balance their d-line by adding some much needed talent to the outside, especially if Ziggy Ansah leaves during Free Agency. After a very productive season at Kentucky, the sky’s the limit for Allen in the NFL.
Buffalo has done a fantastic job of investing in their defense over the past few drafts. Now it’s time to add some firepower for Josh Allen. With Robert Foster currently headlining the WR corps. it’s time for Buffalo to figure out who their top receiver in the class is.
Metcalf has all the potential to be my favorite; he’s fast, runs great routes, can work with the ball after the catch, and has potential to be the “X” receiver that Josh Allen needs to take him game to the next level.
Burfict and the rest of Cincy’s LBs haven’t been very good so this pick will work out perfectly. He’ll be one of the first LBs drafted as long as he decides to leave college. The Bengals would be out of their minds to not sure up this part of their defense.
12. Green Bay Packers: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
The Packers missed the playoffs after faltering in a tough division. The Bears are the new kings of the north, and the Packers would do well to address a defense that simply cannot match the Bears current personnel.
Thompson is a top 5 talent and he fits a need for the Packers here giving them 3 top 50 picks in the past two year in that secondary.
The Miami Dolphins ranked 24th in pass defense and 23rd in run defense this past season. They need to improve by creating pressure, especially in a division with two young QBs. With 27 sacks in the last 3 seasons, Ferrell has all the tools to be a 3-down player right away and help greatly improve the Miami defense.
What do you give the team that has everything (when healthy)? The guy that makes Austin Hooper irrelevant for fantasy purposes. This is a bit of a reach, but Atlanta has a high powered offense that’s one weapon (and a good offensive coordinator hire) away from being considered a top NFL offense. Fant is extremely athletic and has demonstrated the ability to catch the ball at all three levels.
*Editors note: Eric’s suggestion that Washington is so poorly run they by Snyder that they should be replaced by an AAF team that’s never played a game is admirable but I’ve been told Eric actually believe Lock is a good fit for Washington.
Yes, Carolina needs secondary help, but that can be had in round 2, no need to reach here. Jachai is who you need on the EDGE helping to force the pocket to collapse. Jachai was at the top in forced fumbles this year and is super athletic, good value here.
Cleveland “settles” for the other Alabama DT and they are perfectly happy with that. Ogunjobi gets a monster of a man (6’7”, 306 lbs) next to him the trenches. Davis brings a different style than Ogunjobi and should provide a serious boost in the run game.
The biggest need for the Minnesota Vikings is to improve their offensive line. The Chicago Bears have a great defensive line and the Detroit Lions have improved their interior defensive line by trading for Damon Harrison.
If the Vikings want to keep up, they need to add talent all over the O-Line. Biadasz displays great strength and has the mobility to be a difference maker at the NFL level.
If Tennessee is going to go all-in on Marcus Mariota (which I think they will), they need to give him more than Corey Davis and the occasional outburst from Derrick Henry.
Kelvin Harmon over N’Keal Harry may surprise you, but I believe Harmon has the finish and well-rounded skill set to make an immediate impact in the NFL. Harmon’s handwork, athleticism, and route running will provide the Titans with a potential “X” receiver that will also draw coverage off Davis.
21. Philadelphia Eagles: DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia
Between being banged up and not being good, Philly was routinely taken advantage of in the secondary. They ranked top 3 in receptions allowed for RBs-WRs and Top 3 in yards allowed to WRs. Baker should provide some of the help they need.
22. Indianapolis Colts: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
This is what happens when you let a fan pick for their team. Edge rush and offensive tackle are both still pressing needs for this team, but after watching a parade of Dontrelle Inman, Chester Rogers, Zach Pascal and more, Harry will solve the problem of who will be the WR2 on this team.
His size and ability after the catch add a dynamic weapon that this team hasn’t had for a while.
The Ravens are redesigning their offense around Lamar Jackson, and Brown may be the final piece needed to support their 2018 first round pick.
Brown is a versatile receiver, capable of lining up on the outside, and having the offense funneled through him as an “X”. What makes Brown even more appealing, however, is that the 6’1” 225 wideout lined up predominantly in the slot at Ole Miss (See: D.K. Metcalf). Brown playing in the slot perfectly blends Jackson’s short field preference with the big play potential the Ravens’ offense desperately needs.
Deshaun was sacked the most out of any QB this year at 62 times. Dak was the next closest at 56. Houston needs secondary help but protecting the QB is more important here when you can get secondary help in the second round.
27. Oakland Raiders (from CHI): Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
The Raiders take some size on the edge to replace some guy they traded away before the season started. Everyone (especially Jon Gruden) knows how important it is to have that edge presence and pass rush, so the Raiders take a swing at patching the hole left where the best edge rusher in the league used to be.
29. New England Patriots: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
Simmons would serve as a perfect replacement to Danny Shelton, who is on the final year of his contract. Simmons (6’3” 300 pounds) can plug the middle of the field and totaled 163 tackles (33 for a loss) as a 3-year starter for the Bulldogs.
The Patriots have other needs (wide receiver, linebacker) but I believe they can find value in later rounds for those positions.
I’d like to think they are going to go receiver but the secondary is more of a problem. Jaquan is a great choice here seeing as they could get a receiver in the later rounds. He very well could be an eventual replacement for Ron Parker.
32. Green Bay Packers: Devin Bush Jr., LB, Michigan
The Packers use the pick that the Saints gift-wrapped for them last year on adding more speed and youth to their defense. A core of Jaire Alexander, Josh Jackson, Kenny Clark, Blake Martinez and now Thompson and Bush will develop the ability to compete in a division with some high powered NFC North offenses.