The NFL Draft has officially come and gone, and as promised, I put together a few of the brightest dynasty minds I know to help me complete a seven-round rookie mock draft. I hope the Nerd Herd enjoys this. They can use this as a reference point when your rookie drafts get started. Here, the hope is to help dynasty managers know where to expect defensive players to go off the board. These selections were made based on an equal scoring system in which offensive and defensive players are as close to even as possible. Instead of boring you with an individual write-up on each pick, I put together a few thoughts on selections and trends in each round. I hope you enjoy and let’s get ready for the most exciting time of the year for dynasty fantasy football managers.
Skill Positions Dominate
It should come as no surprise to anyone that the offensive skill positions dominate most of the first round of your rookie drafts. The lack of quarterback prospects in 2022 has frustrated dynasty owners needing a quarterback upgrade. Much like the NFL Draft, wide receivers dominated the first round with 75% of the selections. Kenny Pickett was the lone first-round pick that was not a running back or wide receiver. The combination of talent and draft capital is a prime reason why running back and wide receiver was selected at 11 of the 12 selections. This shouldn’t differ much from most dynasty rookie drafts you see this off-season.
A Cure for Rookie Fever
This is the time of year that dynasty managers can’t help but overpay. In an attempt to gain as many picks as possible in their rookie drafts. Unfortunately, the 2022 rookie class has really made it easy for those managers who sold their picks during the year to feel better about themselves. The top 10 picks right now seem fairly consistent. After that, it looks like we will see a lot of dynasty managers take more chances than usual. The current trend seems to be to take those shots on wide receivers like George Pickens and Jahan Dotson. These wide receivers may not feel like sure things, but their situations should elevate their dynasty value. I don’t fault those managers, as wide receiver has the best long-term value in dynasty fantasy football.
The beginning of the second round is where we start the IDP run with four of the first six picks in the round going with defensive players. In total, five of the twelve second-round selections are IDPs. The top two defensive line prospects and the LB1 and DB1 in this class all come off the board. The upside of these defensive players is far greater than taking a shot on some of these offensive players. This speaks to the true lack of star power in this draft on the offensive side. As a longtime IDP dynasty player, this is the reason we do our best to create IDP scoring even with the offense. This makes a draft as weak as this still interesting after the first two rounds of the rookie draft.
Draft to the Format
As the skill positions dry up fast after the first round, it’s important to know your league setup. In this case, tight end premium and Superflex were not lost on the drafters. The consensus TE1 Trey McBride went off the board in the mid-second. Joining him were quarterbacks Malik Willis and Desmond Ridder. Let’s be honest all three players are in less than ideal situations. However, they hold a big positional advantage for dynasty managers if these players hit. As a manager who is constantly trying to improve his roster, the upside of players you can sell high after a few good games or off-season hype is worth the risk every time.
Round 3 & Round 4
WR Run 2.0
After seeing zero wide receivers go off the board in the second round. This group of mock drafters wasted no time making up for it in the next two rounds. Seven WRs in total come off the board in the second and third rounds. The upside of the wide receivers in this class who will be mid-round picks is minimal. However, with the potential longevity of the position, managers can’t help but take a chance on them.
There was a big run on linebackers in the third and fourth rounds. Seven linebackers are drafted, which is the most of any position in those rounds. There are some talented linebackers in this class with some good landing spots. There’s a real chance for them to see snaps right away if things go their way. IDP dynasty managers tend to draft linebackers the way they draft WRs on the offensive side. Having studs at those two positions is such an advantage that it’s almost always worth the risk. This is especially true in the middle rounds of a rookie draft.
Favorite Picks Of The 3rd and 4th Rounds
This was tough for me. I had a few players I really liked in these two rounds. I was a huge fan of the value of both Brian Robinson and Zamir White. Both players are being hyped up as immediate impact rookie running backs. With the current hype each player is receiving, we shouldn’t expect either to make it to the fourth round in your rookie drafts. Since these players will likely be second or early third-round selections, I went with Christian Harris, the Alabama linebacker, as my favorite pick. The Alabama product has improved his solo tackles and sacks in each of his three seasons. His talent combined with a fairly weak depth chart in front of him should have the rookie linebacker with the potential to be a Week 1 starter.
Rounds 5 – 7
Late Round RB
The running back position took the crown for most drafted in the late rounds of this rookie draft. In total, 10 running backs were selected in the last three rounds. Dynasty managers are looking for any of these players to make a splash in minicamp and potentially steal some snaps early in the season. Kyren Williams is my favorite of the late-round RBs currently. He will play in the high-powered Rams offense behind two often injured running backs. Williams’s skill set as a pass-catcher for Matt Stafford seems like potential fantasy gold if he can earn himself some snaps. The Notre Dame running back has hauled in 77 receptions and four receiving touchdowns over his last two seasons.
Upside Defensive Backs
The first four rounds of the draft saw only two defensive backs selected, but that didn’t stop our mock drafters from selecting a healthy amount in the last three rounds. Seven defensive backs were chosen in the late rounds, with four coming off the board in the first five picks of the seventh and final round. These are not first-timers drafting. They have experienced IDP managers who have seen the benefit of late-round picks on defensive backs. It’s more than likely taking a defensive back in the last round over a depleted offensive skill position who will likely end up on a practice squad is a much better strategy.
Favorite Picks Of The Late Rounds
Michigan running back Hassan Haskins takes the crown here for me. I prefer Haskins over several running backs who went before him. The domination of Derrick Henry over the past four seasons has really killed any hype of dynasty managers believing in a committee in Tennessee. The loss of A.J. Brown and Julio Jones, combined with Derrick Henry coming off an injury that cost him most of last season, leaves the Titans searching for weapons. Haskins can be a threat in the passing game, and we can’t forget about his five-touchdown game that helped the Wolverines finally beat conference rival Ohio State. The Titans are looking to reload on offense spending two picks on talented players Treylon Burks and Hassan Haskins. We should expect them to get involved as rookies.
This was my pleasure to bring the fans of IDP at Dynasty Nerds a full rookie mock draft. I hope this can help make those tough draft-day decisions just a little bit easier on you. I want to thank those IDP analysts who helped me bring you this mock draft, and I hope you take the time to stop by the new Dynasty Nerds discord channel. The team at Dynasty Nerds is always working to be your one-stop-shop for any and all dynasty fantasy football content. Good luck in those rookie drafts, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or just want to talk about IDP fantasy football.