Over the past two years, players that have been drafted after the second round of the rookie draft picks have not had a high success rate. For this exercise, we are going to view success as defined as holding a current ADP in Superflex startup drafts inside the top 200. Within the top 200 feels like a solid spot for an arbitrary cut-off because that can include players who may not have had a successful fantasy finish, yet but they still hold value since their rookie draft took place.
ROOKIE DRAFT VS NFL DRAFT
Over the past two years, the only first-round draft pick that was falling to round three of your rookie drafts is Jordan Love (1.26). There have been five second-round picks to fall to your third-round of the rookie draft. Further, there have been 12 players drafted in the third round of your NFL Draft that has fallen after the top two rounds of your rookie drafts. Only one of the remaining 30 players who were drafted on Day three or went undrafted has a current startup value in the top 200.
Overall the third and fourth-round draft picks in your rookie draft have a success rate of 39.5%. Among this 48 player sample size, only two of them currently have ADPs in the top 100. Seven players are currently being drafted with ADPs between 100 and 150. With all of this said, in the third and fourth rounds of your rookie drafts you should be targeting specific players with high upside, and be willing to admit that you are wrong on a player early in the season.
The two players over the past two years to be drafted between rounds three and four of your rookie drafts that hold top 100 ADP currently have some similarities. Both players have elite traits in terms of speed, and both players are wide receivers. In 2019, Terry McLaurin was drafted as the 35th selection in rookie drafts. In 2020, Chase Claypool was drafted as the 26th pick in rookie drafts. Both players ran sub-4.45-second 40-yard dash times.
THE 2021 PROSPECTS
Fehoko is an older prospect, who I touched upon in August as a late-round devy flier in the campus to canton leagues. Stanford’s leading receiver in 2020 had an amazing pro-day performance. After catching 37 passes for 574 yards and three TDs in just six games, Fehoko measured in at 6’3” and 222 lbs. Fehoko’s 4.42-second 40-yard dash is in the 90th percentile for receivers. At 222 lbs. Fehoko recorded a 118-speed score and a 129 freak score. Fehoko possesses the upside to be a potential league winner and steal after the top two rounds of your rookie draft.
Another player who I touched upon last offseason, the Georgia Tech wide receiver also had an insanely impressive pro-day performance this month. 2020 was the first year after Georgia Tech converted from the triple-option offense to a pro-style offense. The result was a breakout performance by true freshman running back Jahmyr Gibbs. However, Camp barely missed the breakout threshold. After producing 20% of Georgia Tech’s passing yardage and 28% of their passing scoring Camp had one of the most impressive Pro Days of all time. Camp measured at 6’2” and 226 lbs. He ran a very impressive 4.43-second 40-yard dash. His most impressive feat was benching 225 lbs. a wide receiver record 30 times. Jalen Camp is sure to be beating press coverage if he gets the opportunity for an NFL offense.
Camp’s adjusted metrics equate to a 117-speed score and a 131 freak score. These are respectively the top scores among 2021 rookie wide receivers thus far.
Imatorbhebhe set the record for the top vertical jump in NFL Combine/Pro Day history. This isn’t the first time Imatorbhebhe has shown off his leaping abilities.
We are betting on elite athleticism by taking a pick on Imatorbhebhe, with the assumption that he is not a top 100 NFL Draft pick. After transferring to Illinois from USC, Imatorbhebhe had to sit out in 2018. In 2019, Imatorbhebhe posted 33 catches for 634 yards and nine TDs. This earned Imatorbhebhe a 39.9% dominator rating. He continued his efficiency through the shortened 2020 season with a 30% dominator rating.
While we have more pro days over the next month, these are three performances that mixed with their respective college production profiles are players that you should be targeting in the late rounds of your rookie drafts. These hyper-athletic receivers offer the most return on investment value in the late rounds of your rookie draft and can push a fantasy team from a rebuild into a contender, or a contender into a dynasty.
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