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Analytics Team 2019 Rookie Mock Draft: Rounds Two and Three

The analytics team dropped round one, now we are on to round two and three. As a reminder, we are using a one quarterback with PPR scoring for the settings in this mock draft. Let’s get started!

2.01 Kyler Murray (QB – Arizona Cardinals)

Pick Made By:  Tyler Grzegorek (@tyler_grez)

Rookie head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s adapted high-flying air raid offense should bode well for quarterback Kyler Murray. The offense should be able to spread out the defense and create space for Murray to make plays with the ball in his hands. The floor of a rushing quarterback always pushes them up draft boards. Even if Murray struggles to adapt as a passer, his rushing floor should keep him fantasy relevant; most likely a high-end QB2. 

Kingsbury’s Texas Tech offense passed at 57.8% clip last season and that number is very attainable at the NFL level. Early reports from Kingsbury are that he plans to balance out his offense a little more, but a 58/42 split would not be unprecedented. It was just last year that the Colts passed at a 62% rate. Given the opportunity and incredibly high upside, it’s hard to pass on the gamble at this position. 

2.02 Hakeem Butler (WR – Arizona Cardinals)

Pick Made By:  Will Patty (@Willane935)

Finally, a pick that doesn’t give me some level of buyer’s remorse right after I make it. Now that we are out of the first round, I’m shifting away from hunting for immediate value and focusing more on future upside. I am comfortable at the beginning of the second round investing a guy with his physical tools, even though he’s in an offense that is going to be a big question mark.  I don’t put too much stock in the underwear Olympics, but you have to admit the dude was great in the combine. I love Butler’s ability to go up and win contested catches. This is a guy to me who knows how to use his large frame and speed to win 50-50 balls and get open for the deep ball. I can see a lot of plays where Kyler Murray is running for his life and finds the 6’5” Butler working his way open deep.  Kind of like what some of us are hoping for with DK Metcalf in Seattle, just at a reduced cost. Like with DK, I am concerned about Butler’s short-area quickness, and I really can’t understand when I watch this guy’s tape why he has so much trouble with drops when he has 10 ¾” mitts. It seems like a problem between the ears with concentration that can hopefully be coached out of him. Speaking of coaching, I really hope some Fitz rubs off on him and he learns to sharpen up those routes.

2.03 Darrell Henderson (RB – Los Angeles Rams) 

Pick Made By:  Keith Ensminger  (@TheSmingDynasty)

If you scrolled this far looking for advanced metrics on Henderson, I’m sorry. I don’t love Darrell Henderson as an NFL prospect, and the only reason I grabbed him here was that it’s the 15th pick of the draft yet he is currently rocketing up draft boards with a July 2019 startup ADP of 67th. If the lifeblood of dynasty leagues are rookie drafts, then the heartbeat is trading. When a player with value buzz falls into your lap during drafts, don’t be cute. Go for value at all times and always be ready to adapt. So, draft that player who is a good value, then find the owner in your league who values that player the most, and trade away!

2.04 Andy Isabella (WR – Arizona Cardinals)

Pick Made By: Nathan Bourque (@DynstyDadStache)

What can I say, Andy Isabella is one of the true analytics darlings of this draft. His college dominator statistic is incredible in the 97th percentile, and he got going at the ripe age of 19 as an alpha WR dominating the market share. This is made all the more impressive by the fact that when he was 18 years old he was a running back. I’m not sure that he’ll be able to demand the same target share in the NFL as he did at UMass, but the record-setter could still very well carve out a consistent WR2 share on a team that is reportedly going to throw a LOT. 

2.05 Damien Harris (RB – New England Patriots)

Pick Made By: David Zach (@DavidZach16)

For the price, it was hard to consider anyone but Harris here. The Patriots have consistently found ways to make even lower draft capital running backs VERY fantasy-relevant — see LeGarrette Blount, James White, Rex Burkhead, Dion Lewis, etc. Currently, their top two back are injury-prone Sony Michel and pass-catching specialist White. If anything happens to Michel yet again, Harris seems to be the favorite to take on the early-down role. He also has the combined ability for early-down work and receiving ability, a dual-threat that neither Michel or White possesses. If I’m taking a flier on an RB who held the lead job away from Josh Jacobs in college, the Patriots might be the best situation I could ask for. 

2.06 Mecole Hardman (WR – Kansas City Chiefs)

Pick Made By: Justin Peek (@JPeekFF)

Much like “Hollywood” I took earlier, Mecole is a speedster who ran a 4.33 forty at the NFL Combine, helping earn him a 117.8 Sparq in the top 84th percentile. Even if he doesn’t gain opportunity from Tyreek Hill missing significant action, he should be able to carve out a role in that dynamic Chiefs offense with that speed, or at least prove himself in the return game. I don’t think this is a steal in the middle of the second, but it’s fair given the offense he will get to play for. The Chiefs also traded up to draft him ahead of JJAW, Campbell, Isabella, and Metcalf, all of which were expected to go higher. It appears the Chiefs see something they like, and who am I to tell them they’re wrong?

2.07 Justice Hill (RB – Baltimore Ravens)

Pick Made By:  Will Patty (@Willane935)

It’s no surprise that in Baltimore, they plan to run the ball a LOT.  Mark Ingram will be ahead of him for the foreseeable future, but it should be mentioned that he is only on a three-year deal with only $500,000 guaranteed in 2020 and no guaranteed money in 2021.  With how often Baltimore looks to be running the ball in 2019, they are going to have to get someone else involved. I know Gus Edwards is there, but a team doesn’t go out and spend a premium on the position in free agency and spend early draft capital on a back if they are happy where their backfield is.  I think Justice Hill has the skill set to be that main change of pace option to Ingram, although I wish I had a better feel for how Hill can perform in the passing game. That being said, if your aunt had balls she’d be your uncle, and if Hill was a proven commodity in the passing game, he wouldn’t be available at 2.07.

2.08 Alexander Mattison – (RB – Minnesota Vikings)

Pick Made By:  Tyler Grzegorek (@tyler_grez)

This is much more an upside stash move. Mattison won’t likely get enough opportunities to be relevant this year. However, Cook’s injury history in the first two years of his career gives a legitimate cause for concern. Cook has played in only 15 of 32 games since he was drafted in 2017. Mattison, at this point, is the clear-cut backup and should immediately become viable (or at the least, a valuable trade asset) should Cook go down again. 

2.09 Bryce Love (RB – Washington Redskins)

Pick Made By: Nathan Bourque (@DynstyDadStache)

“Bryce Love will be 1.01 pick in 2019 rookie drafts.”

me, circa 2018

Oh, how a year changes everything. Anyone who watched Bryce Love fight for a Heisman trophy in 2017 saw how electric he can be. Even after his fall from glory in 2018, the guy still had an amazing YPC at 6.3 (in the 76th percentile). This late in the draft, I’m going upside, and even though the opportunity is dismal I’m believing the player is still down in there that can make big things happen. 

2.10 Terry McLaurin (WR – Washington Redskins)

Pick Made By:  Keith Ensminger  (@TheSmingDynasty)

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve heard Rich, Matt, and Garret sing the praises of McLaurin on the Dynasty Nerds Podcast, and I concur with their evaluation. A wide receiver with a SPARQ-x score in the 95th percentile drafted to a team with his college quarterback? Sign me up! Does he have flaws as a pass-catcher? Yes. Does he have the college production I’d like to see? No. At this point in the draft, however, I’m reaching for upside, and with tools that include a 4.35 forty yard dash, I believe McLaurin has it.

2.11 Tony Pollard (RB – Dallas Cowboys)

Pick Made By: David Zach (@DavidZach16)

The Cowboys have been playing with rumors of slightly lightening Zeke’s workload and with his rocky legal past (another incident yet again this offseason), I want the primary backup in this strong offense who I believe will be Pollard. He likely doesn’t have the workhorse capability but with his record-setting returning abilities, pass-catching prowess, and high collegiate YPA of 6.8, he certainly can play a big role if called upon. The Cowboys brass went on to say they want Pollard to see 30 plays a game even with Zeke. While that seems impractical, it’s nice to see a vote of faith in him.

2.12 Devin Singletary (RB – Buffalo Bills)

Pick Made By: Justin Peek (@JPeekFF)

Devin “Motor” Singletary had a poor showing at the NFL Combine, and I believe that is largely why he can be available at the end of the second round. He is another shifty back, with the second most forced missed tackles over the past two years and had the highest in 2018 (per PFF). His path to playing time includes older backs in LeSean McCoy and Frank Gore in front of him, along with TJ Yeldon, so he could earn a role by next year. His elusiveness makes him very useful in short-yardage situations, as he has a knack for being able to pick up a few more yards than seemed to be there. His stature and speed are concerns, but his talent could still earn him a role with the Bills.

3.01 Darwin Thompson (RB – Kansas City Chiefs)

Pick Made By:  Tyler Grzegorek (@tyler_grez)

Thompson’s path to valuable targets and touches is a lengthy one. However, at this cost, it is most certainly worth the wait. Carlos Hyde is on a one-year deal and Williams has to years left. The Chiefs number one running back has averaged more than ten fantasy points per game every year since 2005, The only exceptions were LeSean McCoy in 2009 and Charcandrick West in 2015. Andy Reid running backs are productive, so I’m going to roll the dice on Thompson eventually getting that opportunity. 

3.02 Diontae Johnson (WR – Pittsburgh Steelers)

Pick Made By:  Will Patty (@Willane935)

I was pretty happy Johnson fell to me here, in my rankings I have him right around 19.  For me with Johnson, it’s all about his yards after the catchability. With the defense more concerned about JuJu and Conner, someone is going to have the opportunity to face some weaker coverage and get a shot at some easy balls.  This plays right to what Johnson does well, get him the ball and let him do some work. His biggest problem is his competition, and his poor short-area quickness and round routes have me concerned about his future. James Washington and Dante Moncrief will block him from getting snaps early on, but that may be a good thing as he receives some NFL level coaching on how to get open.  I’m willing to take a flier on his after the catch ability at the beginning of the third.

3.03 Dawson Knox (TE – Buffalo Bills)

Pick Made By:  Keith Ensminger  (@TheSmingDynasty)

When Tyler Kroft went down with a broken foot on the first day of OTAs, the door opened for the tight end out of Ole Miss. To put it another way, opportunity Knox! One of the things I look for the most in my late-round rookie picks is do I see a path for them to find near-term playing time, and this young man has it. A draft board riser over the past month, Knox doesn’t have the college production I’d like to see, but his metrics are everything you want in a top fantasy tight end.

3.04 Ryquell Armstead (RB – Jacksonville Jaguars)

Pick Made By: Nathan Bourque (@DynstyDadStache)

Almost as an inverse to my Bryce Love pick, this selection was all about opportunity, not talent. I don’t love the statistical side of Ryquell Armstead, but they drafted a less-impressive version of Fournette. If Fournette goes down and Armstead gets the nod, he could see the same heavy usage Fournette has in his two years with the Jags, who have been working hard to improve the o-line that was dramatically banged up last year. That’s enough upside for me to pull the trigger in the third round. 

3.05 Irv Smith Jr. (TE – Minnesota Vikings)

Pick Made By: David Zach (@DavidZach16)

TEs have been known to take a few years to develop into relevant fantasy options, which Smith will need time to do so now the Kyle Rudolph’s contract has just been extended. Spending a second-round selection on a TE is a heavy investment from the Vikings. If we went on draft capital alone, TE’s have one of the highest success rates among the offensive skill positions. You’ll need to be patient, but he should turn into a consistent starter 2-3 years down the road.

3.06 Miles Boykin (WR – Baltimore Ravens)

Pick Made By: Justin Peek (@JPeekFF)

In the middle of the third round, I pick up a guy with a 125.6 Sparq (94th percentile), ran a 4.42 forty, and at 6’4”, 220 lbs, and a 33.5” arm length, has the highest catch radius of the class. His landing spot I’m sure has something to do with him being available in the third, but he didn’t have great QBs throwing him the ball at Notre Dame, and he still managed 872 yards and 8 touchdowns last year. Boykin joins the Ravens and Lamar Jackson along with Marquise Brown (I guess I believe in that offense, drafting both of them here), but his game is quite different from “Hollywood.” Boykin slots perfectly into the X receiver role, with his size giving him a great advantage in press coverage. His route running will add a great complement to Brown and should give Lamar plenty of weapons to become better known as a passer than a runner.

3.07 Dwayne Haskins (QB  – Washington Redskins)

Pick Made By:  Will Patty (@Willane935)

Dwayne Haskins is another guy that I had a late second/early third-round grade on that I’m happy fell to the second half of the third round.  Haskins is not the kind of quarterback that is going to step in and light the world on fire, he needs the opportunity to ease into the starting role.  He does have a big arm and a decent release time that I think will serve him well. The biggest question mark for me is will he be able to challenge NFL corners on the outside intermediate and deep routes.  My biggest fear for him is that the Redskins get off to a slow start with Case Keenum under center, and Head Coach Gruden succumbs to pressure and throws Haskins out there before he’s ready.

3.08 Jace Sternberger (TE – Green Bay Packers) 

Pick Made By:  Tyler Grzegorek (@tyler_grez)

Jace Sternberger was selected with the intent of being the future at the tight end position for the Packers. New head coach Matt LaFleur hails from the Shanahan coaching tree; one that loves the utilization of balanced sets wrought with tight end usage. Jimmy Graham isn’t getting any younger and is likely about to endure his final season as a Packer. After Graham, the opportunities as a receiving threat from the tight end position are wide open for the taking. Some of the most successful seasons under Aaron Rodgers’ belt are ones that involved impactful and dynamic tight ends to control the middle of the field and be quality red-zone targets. The likelihood of Sternberger being that impactful player right away is slim, however, I’m willing to wait it out. 

3.09 Dexter Williams (RB – Green Bay Packers)

Pick Made By: Nathan Bourque (@DynstyDadStache)

Off the cuff, his athletic scoring isn’t impressive. But, he did put up great numbers with his college dominator score (75th percentile) and YPC (77th percentile). I’m banking on that efficiency casting him as Aaron Jones 2.0 in Green Bay, and should AJ suffer any more injury or suspension trouble (he’s only played 12 games both years he’s been in the NFL and neither season with a bell-cow workload) we could see Williams be a very sneaky candidate for huge numbers. 

3.10 Kelvin Harmon (WR – Washington Redskins)

Pick Made By:  Keith Ensminger  (@TheSmingDynasty)

Ordinarily, I’d shy away from using a third-round rookie pick on a player drafted in the sixth round of the NFL draft, but Harmon’s skill set, potential, and college production are enough reason for me to make an exception here. A well-rounded prospect, Harmon is certainly not a SPARQ freak by any stretch of the imagination. However, his size, hands, and body control will hopefully overcome his subpar athleticism. As with my previous pick of Dawson Knox, I see Harmon having a clear path to potential early playing time given the relative lack of wide receiver options on the Redskins’ depth chart.

3.11 Devine Ozigbo (RB- New Orlean Saints)

Pick Made By: David Zach (@DavidZach16)

One of my favorite stat lines in all of fantasy football is that RBs have the highest success rate among all positions when coming in as an UDFA (undrafted free agent). Ozigbo was instantly scooped up by the Saints after the draft. There are too many things pointing upon him for me not to take a chance: a high-powered, high scoring offense in the Saints, good combine measurables, coming off his best collegiate season with great YPA, and is an UDFA running back. They also just lost Mark Ingram and replaced him with Latavius Murray. Should he excel in camp or should Murray not live up to expectations, I could see Ozigbo being next man up for early-down work complementing Alvin Kamara soon down the road.

3.12 Jalen Hurd (WR – San Francisco 49ers)

Pick Made By: Justin Peek (@JPeekFF)

Drafted in the third round, Hurd joins a crowded receiving corps with Dante Pettis and Marquise Goodwin, fellow rookie Deebo Samuel, and throw in George Kittle to boot as the likely top target. Hurd is 6’5” and 226 lbs, but is the antithesis of DK Metcalf, running only a 4.69 40, but still posting a 120.7 Sparq (89th percentile) due to his agility and burst. Hurd originally played RB at Tennessee, but switched to WR, and moved to Baylor to do it. In his only year at WR, he posted 69 catches for 949 yards and 4 touchdowns, exhibiting excellent route running and yards after the catch, traits you normally don’t see in a player’s first year at the position. I would say he could have some opportunity moving around the field due to his experience, but the 49ers backfield is even messier than the receiving corps. It may take a year or two for him to see an opportunity, but he seems to be more than just a dart throw, and at the end of the third round, I am happy to get that.

That puts rounds two and three in the books. How are the guts doing on this mock? Who were the biggest reach in rounds two and three? The biggest values? Comment and let us know. You can find round one of the Analytics Dynasty Mock Draft here. Rounds four and five coming soon. 

Follow all the guy on this mock draft @DavidZach16 @JPeekFF @tyler_grez @Willane935 @TheSmingDynasty @DynstyDadStache

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