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Dynasty Nerds Staff | Pre-NFL Draft – Rookie Mock Draft

I asked my fellow writers here at Dynasty Nerds to help me come up with a rookie mock draft, and the results are posted below. Beside each player’s name, the writer who made the selection gave his reason why with a little bit of information about that player. With the NFL draft just a few weeks away, landing spot will most definitely affect where we stand on these rookies. Some guys will shoot up draft boards while others will fall based on what jersey colors they will wear in 2018. Look for an updated rookie mock draft once the NFL draft is complete in about a month!

 

Round 1

1.1 – Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

“The consensus 1.01 for pretty much all of this past season, Barkley is simply a man among boys out there. Physically, he has the size to handle a full workload like he did at Penn State and will continue to dominate at the next level. His vision, jump cut ability and breakaway speed make him an absolute nightmare for opposing defenses and oh by the way he can catch the ball really well too. He’s got elite speed and top end explosion as shown in his 41″ vertical. Whether you’re a tape guy or a analytics guy, Barkley should make both sides drool with the chances of getting him. His only knock is his tendency to try and do too much at times, but its also a characteristic that made him break some breathtaking runs. In the words of Cam Newton “You going to expect a lion not to roar?” The answer is an emphatic hell no.” – Jordan Richards, @ChaBoyJRich

1.2 – Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

I’d like to get cute here, but to me Guice is the clear 2 in this draft.” – Josh Robbins, @JoshRob_dynasty

1.3 – Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia

“A 3 down back in my opinion who will likely start right away. You hear rumblings that he “lost a step” but his impressive combine put that to rest. He looks to be returning to his form after knee injuries, and Georgia’s 2nd leading all-time rusher will likely be the 3rd RB of the board. He may not be special anymore, but certainly a very good prospect. It was between Chubb and Michel for me here.” – Jon Diment, @DynastyJon

1.4 – D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland

“My WR1 for 2018. He flew under the radar at Maryland, however he was a stud at the combine and I believe he can be an absolute stud for the right team in the NFL. Could crack the 1st round, but probably goes in the second to a team who will make him into a WR2 kind of like Michael Thomas.” – Joseph Krombos, @KrombosJ

1.5 – Sony Michel, RB, Georgia

“My no. 2 overall prospect. An immediate impact player that’s a true 3 down back. This is an absolute steal here and if we were in person I’d be leaping up and down talking all kinds of smack. Jackpot.” – Rich Dotson, @DynastyRich

1.6 – Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

“This pick for me came down to two guys, both have big upside but have been trending down recently – one being Sutton, the other Ronald Jones III. I decided to go with Sutton who I think posses the highest upside of the WRs in this sub-par WR class. I figured I could grab a RB later on in this deep class. Sutton to me is one of the few guys in this class who could project as a possible NFL WR1 down the road with his size and jump ball ability.” – Brendan Moar, @More_Dynasty

1.7 – Ronald Jones II, RB, USC

“Jones showed glimpses of being an RB1 at times. He’s the perfect compliment guy who can see a bulk of the timeshare in the right offense. To me, he’s worth the gamble here at 1.07.” – Jon Glosser, @Glosser13

1.8 – Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

“This is likely a spot in the draft where I would try to trade down and acquire a 2019 1st. That said, there is still plenty of solid talent on the board. For me, it is a tough call between Rashaad Penny and Calvin Ridley. Without knowing landing spot yet, I’m going to go with the prospect who should maintain his 2-3 year value regardless of what team drafts him. Although he lacks great size and didn’t have a very good combine…Ridley should still be drafted in the 1st round of the NFL draft and will get plenty of opportunity. I envision him as a fantasy WR3 with WR2 upside some seasons.” – Brandon Pinney, @BrandonPinneyFF

1.9 – James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State

“Washington is a guy who can be a rock-solid WR2 at the next level. He has a nice combo of speed and toughness to make yards for himself after contact. At the same time, he possesses explosiveness to take the top off the defense and make big-time plays (average 20 yards/catch over the last three years). Washington will definitely need to develop his route running skills in order to be successful in the NFL.” – Matthew Betz, @TheFantasyPT

1.10 – Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State

“I have Penny as my 4th RB in this draft class and my 4th player overall – getting him at 10 is a steal.” – Derek Bressler, @dynastyderekb

1.11– Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State

“Not gonna get cute here. Best TE on the board. Good value at 1.11.” – Brett Librock, @DynastyBrett

1.12 – D.J. Chark, WR, LSU

“This pick was pretty easy for me. One of the most explosive WRs in the draft, who wasn’t as productive in college mainly due to the play of his QB. I like what I’ve seen on tape and the solid weeks at the Senior Bowl and the Combine really solidified him as a first rounder for me.” – Matt O’Hara, @DynastyMatt

 

Round 2

2.01 – Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State

“Uber talented player with tons of upside. Great hands, uses his body well. This may be a reach to some people but I think this guy is just so talented. His big knock is his competition playing in the mountain west, but I think he has legit potential to be the guy, he just may need some time to develop. Routes need some polish but his ability to high point the ball is superb. He plays much bigger than his stature and was a force for Colorado State. He also had a good 40 time, showing explosiveness at the combine. I’m all in on Mr. Gallup.” – Jordan Richards, @ChaBoyJRich

 

2.02 – Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

“Top 3 wideout for me. Projects as a slot receiver, which limits his upside, but he will have a high floor. Think Golden Tate for a comp.” – Josh Robbins, @JoshRob_dynasty

 

2.03 – Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon

“This seems like a steal in the 2nd round. I think he has 3 down potential and I prefer him to Penny or Ronald Jones. Incredibly dependable, strong, smart, good vision, able to block and can catch. I think he’s better than people give him credit for.” – Jon Diment, @DynastyJon

 

2.04 – Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn

“As the lead back for the Auburn Tigers, Johnson is capable of being a 3 down back in the NFL, although he needs to get better at catching the ball out of the backfield.” – Joseph Krombos, @KrombosJ

 

2.05 – Equanimeous St.-Brown, WR, Notre Dame

“Always like to snag a big (6’5″) rookie wideout when the opportunity presents itself. EQSB has work to do but players with his size and speed are rare.” – Rich Dotson, @DynastyRich

 

2.06 – Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State

“Rich once again steals my target so I go to my fall back in Gesicki. I noticed him last year while watching Godwin tape and he stuck out for being so tall and being a good receiver at the catch point. This bears true after this past year, where he was a more featured part of the offense. Can do a lot of receiving things, whether it be on screens or vertical routes. He had a crazy combine and put up some freak show numbers, but it’s not always evident in the tape how athletic he really is. I think of him as a slightly less version of a tall Evan Engram and a possible TE1 in the future.” – Brendan Moar, @More_Dynasty

 

2.07 – John Kelly, RB, Tennessee

“Bruising back that can be a steal in the draft. Love his game and you can never have enough options at RB in rookie drafts.” – Jon Glosser, @Glosser13

 

2.08 – Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

“This guy is a gamer, through and through. In a SuperFlex league, I might lean towards a safer option like Rosen or Darnold, but I like the upside here. I’d really rather trade out of this spot as I’m not big on drafting quarterbacks in the 2nd round. It was between Mayfield and Mark Andrews in this spot.” – Brandon Pinney, @BrandonPinneyFF

 

 

2.09 – Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma

“Andrews was extremely productive while catching passes from Baker Mayfield at Oklahoma. He’s a pass catching TE who can play in the slot, making him an attractive option in fantasy.” – Matthew Betz, @TheFantasyPT

 

2.10 – Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona State

“Late in the 2nd round, it’s best to take swings at high upside RBs. Ballage is a physical specimen and a GREAT pass catcher. If he improves his between the tackles running, he could be a monster in the same mold as a David Johnson.” – Derek Bressler, @dynastyderekb

 

2.11 – Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis

I think this is one of the most underrated WRs in his years class. He is a good route runner, solid hands, and has the ability to break anything. Getting him anywhere in the mid to late second round is an absolute steal.” – Brett Librock, @DynastyBrett

 

2.12 – Mark Walton, RB, Miami

“Walton is a smaller RB who plays bigger than his size. He’s solid between the tackles and isn’t the easiest guy to tackle for a sub 200lb back. He also catches the ball nicely out of the backfield.” – Matt O’Hara, @DynastyMatt

 

Round 3

3.01 – Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida

“Callaway is a great receiver who when you watch his tape just dominates in many facets of the game. Polished route runner who can control the middle of the field and still blow the top off the defense when you need a big play. If it wasn’t for his suspension and off the field concerns he would have likely been a first-round pick in rookie drafts but to get him this late is definitely great value for a player who has a lot of upside. Look for him to start slow if you don’t get a chance to draft him and buy him low. He hasn’t played in a game since January 2nd of 2017. So yea he will likely be a little rusty.” – Jordan Richards, @ChaBoyJRich

 

3.02 – Sam Darnold, QB, USC

“Likely the first QB off the board when the NFL draft rolls around. My #2 only trailing Baker. Will benefit from sitting behind a veteran during his rookie year.” – Josh Robbins, @JoshRob_dynasty

 

3.03 – Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

“I would have preferred Darnold here but I’ll happily take a QB with starting potential who should be in the conversation for the 1st overall pick. A fantastic pocket passer with the potential to be much better than Jay Cutler. Some picks in the 3rd round can be risky but I feel as though chances are in my favor that I find some value here.” – Jon Diment, @DynastyJon

 

3.04 – Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina

“Hurst is currently 25, but that shouldn’t worry you since he played Minor League Baseball for a few years. Ultra-talented TE, I was very surprised to see him sitting here.” – Joseph Krombos, @KrombosJ

 

3.05 – Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

“If he can become just a viable starter in the NFL at QB his rushing stats will be fantasy gold for years to come.” – Rich Dotson, @DynastyRich

 

3.06 – Deon Cain, WR, Clemson

“Coming out of WR U, Cain underwhelmed at Clemson despite the hype he had coming in. A former 5-star recruit, he has great size( 6’2) and speed. I’m hoping a fresh start in the NFL really can unlock his potential. This pick is a very high risk, high reward. I’m comfortable with it because of the reputation Clemson WRs have developed since entering the league.” – Brendan Moar, @More_Dynasty

 

3.07 – Auden Tate, WR, Florida State

“Sniped on Cain here but Tate is a good consolation prize. Great red zone numbers, a big body can instantly help an NFL offense in the red zone.” – Jon Glosser, @Glosser13

 

3.08 – Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama

“Landing spot will be very important for Scarbrough. If he can take on the LeGarrette Blount role in a good offense he could have some nice value. I really like what I saw out of him at the end of 2016.” – Brandon Pinney, @BrandonPinneyFF

 

3.09 – Jaylen Samuels, RB/TE, North Carolina State

“Samuels is the ultimate Swiss army knife. It’s still unclear what position he will play in the NFL, as he showed the ability to play RB, TE, and fullback while at NC State. He’s one of those guys who’s good at a lot of things but not great at one specific thing. If he lands in the right system and with a coach who knows how to utilize him as a red zone threat, Samuels could find success at the next level.” – Matthew Betz, @TheFantasyPT

 

3.10 – Keke Coutee, WR, Texas Tech

“Coutee has blazing speed and reminds me a lot of John Brown when he came out.” – Derek Bressler, @dynastyderekb

 

3.11 – Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

“He’s the last of the QBs. The raw talent is there for sure. This pick was more based on what else was around based on the value of Allen’s upside.” Brett Librock, @DynastyBrett

 

3.12 – DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Penn State

“Hamilton is a solid prospect who we should know relatively quickly if he’s going to be more than a roster filler.” – Matt O’Hara, @DynastyMatt

 

Round 4

4.01 – Allen Lazard, WR, Iowa State

“Lazard is a guy I like A LOT and for him to slip this far was a little surprising. 6’5, 230lbs, ran a 4.55 and had a 38″ vertical 122″ broad. For a guy, that big to be this athletic is a thing of beauty and an absolute steal in the 4th round. I would expect him to go late 2nd to early 3rd. I projected him a large slot guy and that’s not any slight on him. He has some trouble separating at times but has reliable hands and can move the chains as a big second option and with his size a great threat in the red zone. There are a lot of bigger receivers in this draft and Lazard is probably the one I like the most outside of Sutton and Chark.” – Jordan Richards, @ChaBoyJRich

 

4.02 – Nyheim Hines, RB, North Carolina State

“Great pass catcher. Will likely earn a third-down role. Also considered Chase Edmonds and Josh Adams here.”  – Josh Robbins, @JoshRob_dynasty

 

4.03 – Jordan Lasley, WR, UCLA

“In the 4th round, it’s not common to find guys with WR2 potential. A favorite of Josh Rosen and advanced analytics guys, Lasley projects as a Torrey Smith type burner with decent route running and size. In a prolific system, this is a cheap price for potentially high production.” – Jon Diment, @DynastyJon

 

4.04 – Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa

“The former Hawkeye is capable of being an early-down back in the NFL, unfortunately, that is pretty much his limit though, as he likely needs to be in a committee role.” – Joseph Krombos, @KrombosJ

 

4.05 – Trey Quinn, WR, SMU

“Quinn will need his route running to carry over to the NFL to be relevant for any fantasy team, but he’s a nice slot WR that can be a viable option for a team’s passing game.” – Rich Dotson, @DynastyRich

 

4.06 – Josh Adams, RB, Notre Dame

“I was hoping for Lazard but knew I had to grab an RB at some point. Adams has the size and power to latch on somewhere as a short distance or goal line back. He tested pretty well for a guy his size and had a great year at ND. I’ll take a shot on a potential TD vulture this late.”  – Brendan Moar, @More_Dynasty

 

4.07 – Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State

“I can join the wanted Lazard fan club but I decided to take what was left of the QB prospects. Don’t love Rudolph but a 4th round gamble on a big-time passer is worth the risk here.” – Jon Glosser, @Glosser13

 

4.08 – Justin Jackson, RB, Northwestern

“Just an all-around solid back. Landing spot will be important with him as well. This pick might take a few years to pay off.” – Brandon Pinney, @BrandonPinneyFF

 

4.09 – Simmie Cobbs, WR, Indiana

“Cobbs has the NFL WR size at 6’4″ 220 lbs. He’s got the frame and ability to make contested catches, especially over shorter corners. This, combined with good body control, make him a player to watch near the end zone. He will certainly need to improve his ability to separate and clean up his route running in order to reach his potential in the NFL.” – Matthew Betz, @TheFantasyPT

 

4.10 – Dante Pettis, WR, Washington

“I am shocked that Pettis was still on the board here in the 4th round. He is a great route runner and reminds me a lot of Randall Cobb.” – Derek Bressler, @dynastyderekb

 

4.11 – Tre’Quan Smith, WR, Central Florida

“This pick is solely on the potential to make a roster at the end of the 4th. Nothing more to say with this pick other than it’s a flyer.” – Brett Librock, @DynastyBrett

 

4.12 – Marcell Ateman, WR, Oklahoma State

“Ateman is exactly the kind of high upside prospect that I like to take a chance on late in drafts. At 6’4” 220lbs he has the potential to be a red zone threat right away as he grows into a bigger role.” – Matt O’Hara, @DynastyMatt

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About Matthew Betz

I'm a sports and orthopedic physical therapist currently working in Burlington, VT. I've been a sports fan my entire life and when I became a PT, I decided to combine my two passions into one awesome hobby. My goal is to provide injury analysis and information so that you can win your next dynasty title. Follow me on twitter: @TheFantasyPT

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