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Attack the 2024 Rookie Draft: 2.01

With the first round of the rookie draft complete, the Attack series focuses on Round 2 - who presents the most value at 2.01?

In this series for the Dynasty Nerds, the staff will take a rookie draft pick-by-pick and evaluate who they would select. Each pick will take into account other players on the board, how the team build can affect the impact and possibly change the pick, and also the trade value of the pick.

We are operating under the assumption that the league is a Superflex league with a tight end premium scoring format.

Round 1 is complete, and here are the results!

1.01Dwight@ffpeebleschampCaleb WilliamsQBUSCBears
1.02Steven@coachstevenpMarvin Harrison Jr.WROhio StateCardinals
1.03Keith Ensminger@TheSmingDynastyJayden DanielsQBLSUCommanders
1.04Bobby Bishop@imbobbybishMalik NabersWRLSUGiants
1.05Doc Mitchell@ReflipeWThenuzJ.J. McCarthyQBMichiganVikings
1.06Taylor Christianson@mysleepersBrock BowersTEGeorgiaRaiders
1.07Matt Plumb@DynastyPlumbRome OdunzeWRWashingtonBears
1.08joe goodwin@JGoody77Drake MayeQBUNCPatriots
1.09Mike Johrendt@MJohrendt23Brian Thomas Jr.WRLSUJaguars
1.10Brad Custer@MonCalFFXavier WorthyWRTexasChiefs
1.11Mychal Warno@dynastydadmikeJonathon BrooksRBTexasPanthers
1.12Ryan Wilhelm———————-Trey BensonRBFlorida StCardinals

The 2.01 Pick

The top four quarterbacks, top two running backs, top five WRs, and top tight end are all gone, as will likely be the case in many rookie drafts. I’ve seen running backs fall, a few quarterbacks go instead, and a few wideouts sneak in instead of the runners.

My pick is Georgia’s Ladd McConkey, and I couldn’t be happier with him at this point in the draft. He has the draft capital, is tethered to an elite young QB, and has the traits to be a 150+ target receiver. That may seem a bit ambitious, but I don’t believe it is.

Here’s the Chargers’ receiver room beyond McConkey: last year’s first-round pick Quentin Johnston, Josh Palmer, DJ Chark, Brenden Rice, and a gaggle of JAGs. However, a few of those players could also fall into the JAG category. It’s not the most inspiring receiver room.

The only cause for hesitation here is the uncertainty of the offense with new head coach Jim Harbaugh and new offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Recent offenses with Roman calling plays have produced top rushing attacks, but Lamar Jackson also won an MVP award in the offense. Obviously, Jackson is a much different QB than Herbert. In that MVP season, he threw for 36 touchdowns with 3,127 yards on 400 attempts.

Even if Herbert only throws 400 times, it’s still incredibly easy to pencil in McConkey with well over 100 targets. McConkey is a phenomenal route runner, creates separation within his routes and has great hands. He should quickly become Herbert’s top target.

Who Else Should You Consider?

The pick that presents the most value in this format would likely be Bo Nix, the likely starting QB for the Denver Broncos. While I have reservations about his chance of success in the NFL, Nix has the most value at 2.01 if he becomes the starter.

Keon Coleman Photo Courtesy of David Jensen/Icon Sportswire

Other receivers also come into play here; some have immense potential in their landing spots. Xavier Legette lands in Carolina with first-round draft capital and last year’s first-overall pick, Bryce Young, at the helm. Legette could see 100+ targets and be a reliable, safe weapon for the Panthers. Keon Coleman has the draft capital and is tethered to Josh Allen in Buffalo. He’s not a massive target type of player; he’s more of a traditional X receiver, and he’s limited in how good he can be. Still, if Coleman gets 100+ targets with not much else there in Buffalo, he could produce some strong numbers.

I gave the most serious consideration to those three players. Some like Ricky Pearsall; I do like the talent, but I don’t see a path to more than 50-60 targets until the 49ers clear some receiving talent in front of him. Adonai Mitchell landed in Indianapolis with good draft capital. He will be a strong WR2 to Michael Pittman Jr., but I worry about passing volume with the raw Anthony Richardson hurling the rock.

Should You Trade the 2.01?

Trade the pick if you are contending and don’t want to take a shot on any rookies. While I love McConkey and Coleman and could even see value in NIx, the entire class has many question marks when it gets to this point in rookie drafts.

If I can get a veteran receiver or running back for the 2.01, I will move the pick and take a more certain asset. Our trade tool at Dynasty Nerds only values the 2.01 as 1,000 points, but when you are in the draft, it will hold much more value than that.

Mike Evans Photo Courtesy of Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)

I found players in that value range that I would take for the 2.01: Amari Cooper, Mike Evans (yes, please), Jayden Reed, and Keenan Allen. All those are if I am a contender, obviously.

Trading back and accumulating picks is also a wise choice. If you don’t like the options or could use more for rebuilding, float out offers like this pick for a later second-round pick and a second from next year, or even a third from this year. Take more dart throws; there is potential success all throughout this class.

The Final Word

I’m nabbing McConkey here, regardless of the build and team situation. It feels like a player landing in a nearly perfect spot with draft capital. He’s got the ideal skillset to fill a massive team need, and Herbert is throwing him the ball.

The likelihood of McConkey being a bust is minimal as long as he stays healthy and the team doesn’t revert to running a University of Michigan Harbaugh offense that never pushes the ball downfield aerially. I love the landing spot, and McConkey would have been considered in this range before the draft due to his talent alone.

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