We composed a four-person mock draft at DFF to start collecting devy rank data. For some people, a devy-only draft will be coming up soon, while for others the only draft of the season will be a blended rookie and devy draft after the NFL Draft takes place. We will go over how to value devy players versus rookie players later in this offseason, but for now, let’s dive into the devy debates.
The devy 1.01 this year does not contain as much value as it has in years past. In 2019, you were able to get elite running backs like Jonathan Taylor, D’Andre Swift, or even Travis Etienne from this year’s rookie class. In Superflex, you were able to get Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert. At the time, Jerry Jeudy was viewed as the best wide receiver available. Last year, there was a raging debate over whether Trevor Lawrence’s high floor or Justin Fields’ high ceiling was the way to go with the 1.01 in devy drafts. This year the value is not quite there at 1.01, however, there are a few different routes in which you could take to gain value.
The 2022 class does not have a sure-thing running back prospect that will be a top-50 of the 2023 class in Bijan Robinson. My opinion is that these picks are going to depreciate over time. Hall is not projecting to be an elite running back at the NFL level, and the 2023 running back class is so strong that paying an immense price for a player who may not retain the RB1 designation two years from now when they become NFL Draft eligible. I’d steer clear of the running back position when drafting with the first pick in the draft.
While the 2022 quarterback class does contain a few options that could become the 2022 NFL Draft first-overall selection in Sam Howell or Spencer Rattler, there are concerns about both players. Neither of these players has the rushing upside to crack the quarterback Konami Code. Rattler has questions about his size and whether he will be able to endure the grind of an NFL season at just 205 lbs. Howell also can be questioned whether he is a great quarterback, or if his play was elevated by his supporting cast of four skill position players that will likely be drafted come May.
1.01 – D.J. Uiagalelei, Quarterback, Clemson
The first overall pick by @DynastyDiagnos1 was the 2023 NFL Draft eligible quarterback for the Clemson Tigers. This pick has its downside you have to wait until either the 2023 or 2024 season before Uiagalelei will be rostered. However, drafting the next great Clemson quarterback is too enticing to pass up. Clemson has had Brandon Streeter on staff as the quarterback’s coach since 2015. All he has done during his Clemson tenure is recruit and develop a consistent top-five quarterback despite a revolving door in the wide receiver room in Deshaun Watson, as well as the most decorated quarterback prospect in the past three decades in Trevor Lawrence. D.J. Uiagalelei has the most upside among all collegiate football players in the NFL and is currently the best bet to be the first selection in the 2023 NFL Draft.
1.02 – Spencer Rattler, Quarterback, Oklahoma
Rattler was selected as the second-best devy prospect by @WillieBeamanDFF. The Arizona native just finished his first season as Lincoln Riley’s quarterback. All Lincoln Riley has done during his tenure as the Oklahoma head coach is produce starting NFL quarterbacks. Since 2015 when Riley became the offensive coordinator in Norman. They brought in Baker Mayfield, who would become the first overall selection in 2018. Riley got Kyler Murray to transfer in 2018, and as the starter in 2019, he also became the first overall selection in the following draft. Again, Riley went to the transfer portal to bring in Jalen Hurts, while Hurts did not get selected first-overall; he did usurp Carson Wentz as Philadelphia’s starting quarterback in his rookie season. With what Rattler showed on the field in terms of his arm talent, it is a high probability that he too retains value in the NFL.
1.03 – Sam Howell, Quarterback, North Carolina
When you see two quarterbacks come off the board taking a quarterback to not miss out on the top prospects becomes very enticing. @RookieWhisper selected Howell, the most impressive quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft class after his freshman season. While Rattler, who did not start that season, does come into the debate for the first selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, Howell is more of a safe bet, as he has fewer red flags on his prospect profile. Howell compares favorably to North Carolina alum Mitchell Trubisky with at least three years of starting experience, there is no reason to think that Howell’s future success has any correlation to the experience that Trubisky has had in the NFL.
1.04 – Bryce Young, Quarterback, Alabama
Young was the fourth pick in the draft, selected by @fantasyonefive which would close out the miniature run on quarterbacks. Young was in lockstep with D.J. Uiagalelei as a prospect in high school. He was selected before Uiagalelei in many devy drafts the last offseason, based on the speculation that he was more likely to get starting experience early in his career. Young is another undersized, but uber-talented quarterback, who unlike Rattler has elite speed and mobility. The big question isn’t Young’s talent, but whether Alabama remains a pass-centric offense after losing four-elite college wide receivers over the past two seasons, or if the departure of Steve Sarkisian to Texas, Alabama goes back to an ‘establish-the-run’ offense.
1.05 – Breece Hall, Running Back, Iowa State
With the fifth-overall pick, @DynastyDiagnos1 broke the seal on running backs and selected Breece Hall. Hall broke out as a true freshman for Iowa State with 842 yards and 9 TDs, also showing that he is a capable pass-catcher with 19 catches for 207 yards and another TD. Hall then took another step forward, accounting for nearly 40% of the cyclones offensive production in 2020. Many may believe that Bijan Robinson would have been a better pick, but drafting from the five-slot indicates that this team is a borderline playoff team, and making a run in 2022 rather than waiting for a potentially better option a year later, increases the team’s chances of making a deep playoff run.
1.06 – Bijan Robinson, Running Back, Texas
Officially the devy darling of the 2021 off-season, @WillieBeamanDFF selecting Robinson sixth-overall is likely to be the latest that you see Robinson drafted. Robinson was the RB1 in the 2020 class (2023 NFL Draft eligible) and he is one of the few true freshman breakouts running backs. Robinson did not earn a workhorse role until late in the season but was extremely efficient averaging over eight yards per carrying. Robinson rushed for 703 yards and four TDs while catching 15 passes for 196 yards and two TDs. The only blemish on Robinson’s resume is his lack of breakaway long-speed. Every other aspect of Robinson’s game is graded between elite and great.
1.07 – David Bell, Wide Receiver, Purdue
Breaking the seal on the wide receiver as the seventh-overall pick is a great value pick by @RookieWhisper. Bell also broke out as a true freshman in 2019 playing alongside dynamo teammate Rondale Moore. As a true freshman, Bell hauled in 86 passes for 1,035 yards and seven TDs, which equates to a 26% dominator rating, just above the threshold to qualify for a breakout. He then took the next step in his development with a 43% dominator rating in 2020, while looking like the alpha receiver even when sharing the field with Moore. Similar to Bijan Robinson, the only question about Bell is whether or not he will test well with his long-speed.
1.08 – Kedon Slovis, Quarterback, USC
Slovis replaced an injured JT Daniels in 2019 and played so well in his absence that he forced Daniels to transfer to be a starting quarterback. While there is a clear tier gap between Slovis and the quarterbacks already drafted, taking a shot on someone who is a potential NFL starting quarterback is typically a good pick by @fantasyonefive. Slovis, however, is the first player drafted in this mock that has a real chance at being a bust at the NFL level.
1.09 – Tank Bigsby, Running Back, Auburn
Bigsby is a guy who @DynastyDiagnos1 is looking to acquire at practically any cost this offseason. The true freshman running back started the season on fire but had to play through injury through the second half of the season. Bigsby is the ideal combination of size, athleticism, and coordination to covert to the NFL level. While he isn’t as capable of a passer as a player who will be coming off the board next, he has the ability to at least be a threat out of the backfield. Bigsby’s 19% dominator rating qualifies for a true freshman breakout, and he will still be just 21 years old in his 2023 rookie season. His end-of-season stats do not showcase his full potential to be an elite workhorse running back in the NFL.
1.10 Jahmyr Gibbs, Running Back, Georgia Tech
Gibbs is a player who has Alvin Kamara production within his range of outcomes as a fantasy football asset, and @WillieBeamanDFF could not pass up that potential at the tenth-pick. Gibbs made an impact early in the season, showcasing his abilities not just as a rusher and a receiver but also in the return game. Gibbs is the prototypical running back for the modern NFL and is as close to a can’t-miss prospect as we’ve seen from Georgia Tech since Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas.
1.11 – Kayshon Boutte, Wide Receiver, LSU
Boutte emerged from the 2020 season as the undisputed WR1 in the 2023 NFL Draft class and was an easy selection for @RookieWhisper. Boutte is like a ‘Madden Create A Player’ as he has great size, speed, and ball-tracking abilities. After Terrace Marshall Jr. declared for the NFL Draft, and Arik Gilbert announced his plans to enter the transfer portal, Boutte made up over half of the LSU offense, he capped the season off with an SEC record 308-yard game. Boutte is lightning in a bottle, and it will take a historical production level to surpass him as the clear top wide receiver in the 2023 NFL Draft Class.
1.12 – Isaiah Spiller, Running Back, Texas A&M
Spiller broke out as a true freshman in 2019 with a 21% dominator rating. He rushed for 869 yards and 9 TDs while proving to be a capable pass-catcher adding 27 receptions for 207 yards. Spiller stepped his game up in 2020 leading the Aggies to a 9-1 record and the fourth-ranked team in the country. Spiller surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in ten games, making up 25% of the team’s offensive production. While 2022’s running back class is not as good as this recent 2020 class, it may be better than the current 2021 running back class, and Spiller is the top back according to some. This is a good value pick by @fantasyonefive and a strong close to the first round of DFF’s first devy mock of the 2021 off-season.
Here are the full results from the first round of the 2021 DFF Devy Mock 1.0.
Keep a lookout for the continuation of this devy mock draft and much, much more during devy week!
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