With the NFL combine behind us, another piece of the puzzle has fallen into place. We now have combine results to partner with tape and college production to help hone our outlooks on the incoming rookie class. With combine data in tow, DFF decided it was a good time to mock yet again. So that’s what we did. Read below for the results of rounds 1 and 2.
1.01 @DFFDynastyDude Saquon Barkley, Penn State, Running back
In most cases, I would advocate for quarterbacks early and often in a superflex draft. This crop of QBs are all evenly matched, without a clear-cut number one. Then there’s Barkley; the high-floor, stratospherically-high-ceiling, generational talent makes this a no-brainer pick in every format.
1.02 @DFF_Maverick Derrius Guice, LSU, Running Back
Even in a superflex rookie draft, Guice deserves to be the pick here. I feel significantly more confident that he will produce at the next level than any other player in this draft outside of Saquon, much less a quarterback.
1.03 @TravisNFL Nick Chubb, Georgia, RB
I had seen enough from Chubb in his last year at Georgia to be fully bought in before the Combine. He erased any questions I had left about his injury status or whether he would regain his athleticism/explosion or not, and I had him at RB3 going into the Combine. The Combine did for me exactly what it is there to do – reinforce the opinion you’ve already formed on a player. I will take Nick Chubb at 1.03 one-hundred out of one-hundred times.
The only other player I considered here was Baker Mayfield, as I understand the value of a player at a premium position as well as the extended shelf life of QBs, but I believe the upside of Chubb would allow me to cash out for Mayfield plus more a year from now if I so choose.
1.04 @DFF_Thebrain Josh Rosen, UCLA, Quarterback
Getting my top-rated quarterback at 1.04 in superflex is an easy call here. Rosen is the most polished, NFL ready signal caller coming out of the draft and getting him here could pay immediate dividends.
1.05 @DFF_Madman Sam Darnold, USC, QB
This was a tough decision for me. I wanted to go for a player at a different position, but in SuperFlex, top quarterbacks are tough to pass up. The consensus best of this class will be gone by Pick 1.12, so I went for the kid I think has the highest upside. He’s a stud. With a quick release, he makes intermediate throws like a laser light. I also like his personality the best. Josh Rosen has a face and manners that just beg to be punched. Mayfield is douchey. Darnold has the arm, the size, the moxie, the toughness and a likable persona. He seems part Brett Favre and part Andrew Luck.
Darnold should have stayed in school, but much like Kizer at Notre Dame, he wasn’t going to get better playing at USC, so why not just go all-in and develop under a better coaching staff and get paid to do it? I liked how Darnold talked to reporters and answered questions at the NFL Combine. He has a calm, steady demeanor and speaks with sincerity. After reading how Darnold handled upperclassmen starters when he was named USC starting quarterback as a freshman, I understood that he is mature beyond his years. I think both Rosen and Mayfield are behind in that critical category for starting NFL QBs.
1.06 @_PeteLaw Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma, QB
My favorite player Nick Chubb has already climbed the ranks I see. Josh Rosen is likely the top QB taken in the NFL Draft, but I’m just fine with the swagger of Baker Mayfield. He posted a College Yards Per Attempt of 11.5 (99TH-percentile) and a College QBR of 92.6 (98TH-percentile). Only two players posted a better QBR than Mayfield, Russell Wilson, and Andrew Luck. He came in as a walk-on believing in himself and has a Breakout Age of 17.4 years old (100TH-percentile). This guy won the Heisman for a reason, even if it isn’t an award that predicts future success.
1.07 @DFF_Brian Sony Michel, Georgia, RB
For many folks before the Combine, Sony Michel was the UGA back to own over Nick Chubb. Chubb certainly helped himself in Indy, and I have no issues with him going ahead of Michel. However, nothing has changed for me in my belief that Sony Michel has the tools to be an impact running back in the National Football League. With the top three QBs off the board, it’s an easy decision to take a running back with Michel’s potential. He has great vision and athletic ability, and given the opportunity to shine in an NFL offense, he should produce and validate his selection here at 1.07.
1.08 @DFF_Walk Lamar Jackson, Louisville, QB
Brian made this an extremely easy Superflex decision for me by scooping up my man crush Sony Michel at 1.07. Jackson has rare speed and athleticism that can single-handedly win games (we saw it countless times at Louisville). We are talking about a quarterback who averaged 1,377/17 rushing across three seasons in the ACC! He didn’t do himself any favors at the combine by throwing (didn’t look smooth) and not running (would’ve wowed) but I still believe that he will be a difference-making fantasy quarterback at the next level – landing spot will be crucial to his continued development. We didn’t seem to mind the 750-10 rushing line that Mariota added with his legs during his time at Oregon. If Jackson were a more polished passer like Mariota was coming out, he would be the consensus 1.02 in Superflex Rookie Drafts.
1.09 @DFF_Lukas Rashaad Penny, San Diego State, RB
With Lamar Jackson going just before my selection this was about as easy as it gets. Rashaad Penny is my overall 1.04 currently, even in superflex, so this value point is awesome. This year Penny galloped to the tune of 2,248 rushing yards and 25 total touchdowns, good for a 50.1%, 98th percentile dominator. Between that, his 97th percentile college YPC and his 91st percentile speed score, I’m a huge fan. Would have liked to see him catch more passes in college but at 5’11 220 the sky’s the limit for this productive, potential three-down workhorse.
1.10 @DFF_Kiwi D.J. Moore, Maryland, WR
A WR in the first round in 2018? Pre-combine that was almost a hot take and the pick here would have been James Washington without so much as a second thought. However, Moore’s standout underwear Olympics has put him in a tier of his own. “But the combine doesn’t matter for WR’s!” I hear someone cry. In short, no it doesn’t, but for those hailing from lesser programmes such as Moore, it assures us that his production is no fluke, which is, just, absolutely bonkers. Breaking out as an 18-year-old and finishing his JR season with over half his teams receiving yards and TDs (53.28% Dominator), Moore ticks all the production boxes there are to tick, and his strong combine results show he has true NFL WR1 in his range of outcomes.
1.11 @DFF_Shane Courtland Sutton, SMU, WR
I thought about taking Royce Freeman here, but at 1.11 I’m going for the upside of Sutton. Playerprofiler.com has Alshon Jeffery as Sutton’s best comparable, which I’d be ecstatic with. Let’s not forget that Sutton has only been a full-time wide receiver four years after initially coming to SMU as a DB. With additional refinement and experience, Sutton could ascend to WR1 heights one day.
1.12 @pprranks James Washington, Oklahoma State, WR
Like Shane, I also considered Royce Freeman here. I went with the upside of the receiver here, thinking I can get a running back I’m happy with at the end of the 2nd round (Mark Walton or Bo Scarbrough hopefully). Washington’s combine seems to have lowered his ADP a bit, which end up working out for me. He scored very well in Matt Harmon’s Reception Perception and has the stats + breakout age we look for.
James Washington's #ReceptionPerception route percentage and success rate charts. Excellent results.
(yes these got a makeover) pic.twitter.com/ErhMcnSv3F
— Matt Harmon (@MattHarmon_BYB) March 1, 2018
Even while not being flashy at the combine, Player Profiler has his best comparable as DeAndre Hopkins. With a comparable of Hopkins, excellent Reception Perception scores, and an early breakout I am definitely on board.
2.01 @DFFDynastyDude Josh Allen, Wyoming, QB
Even after a strong Senior Bowl performance and an impressive showing at the Combine, Allen still doesn’t belong in the same conversation as Lamar Jackson, much less Rosen, Darnold and Mayfield. In fact, I’m not convinced that he’s a better quarterback than Mason Rudolph. But I also recognize that I’m not the one he needs to convince. Allen will probably be drafted early in the first round, making him the last quarterback available who will be viewed as a sooner-rather-than-later NFL starter. He’s convinced NFL scouts and GMs that he can be a franchise quarterback, and he’s the pick here to kick off the second round because he’s going to get an opportunity to start, which makes him valuable in a superflex league.
2.02 @DFF_Maverick Christian Kirk, Texas A&M, WR
Getting my number 2 rated WR in the early second round is stealing, even in a superflex rookie draft. Kirk is a fast and quick WR who has a great chance to produce for a team right away in his rookie year.
2.03 @TravisNFL Royce Freeman, Oregon, RB
Based on all of the SuperFlex rookie ADP and mock drafts I’ve seen to date, the early 2nd round is my Royce Freeman target zone, so I’m stoked to get him here. Freeman is the definition of a post-hype sleeper. After his sophomore season (1,800+ yards and 19 TDs), Freeman’s stock was incredibly high. He had an injury in his junior year, stifling his production, but came back in 2017 and put up another very good season statistically.
Royce Freeman has elite college production, prototypical NFL running back size, and above average athleticism. Although I doubt he will be a dynamic receiving weapon in the NFL, he can catch the ball well enough to be a true 3-down back at the next level. This guy is an example of the exact profile I look for when adding RBs to my dynasty teams through rookie drafts, and can be a top-10 Fantasy RB.
2.04 @DFF_Thebrain Ronald Jones II, USC, RB
If you can land Ronald Jones at this point of the draft, start doing backflips immediately! Jones is a high upside, undersized running back who has shown the ability to run both inside with strength and outside with speed, burst, and agility. If used correctly, Jones can be a top fantasy running back in this league.
2.05 @DFF_Madman Auden Tate, Florida State, WR
While he didn’t put up a great showing at the NFL Combine, we knew he wouldn’t blaze in the 40-yard dash anyway. I opted for the prototypical size and catch radius that Tate brings to the field. Looking for the ball, changing position, and trying to come down with those contested catches illustrate for me that Tate can become a team’s number one option one day. I’m betting on his upside.
2.06 @_PeteLaw Kerryon Johnson, Auburn, RB
Outside of his 40” (93RD-percentile) Vertical Jump and 126” (91ST-percentile) Broad Jump the Combine was not too kind to Kerryon Johnson. His agility drills were less than desired, and he posted a feeble 11 reps on the Bench Press (2ND-percentile!!!). This is his first job interview and to not have trained for that muscular endurance is disappointing. I still like what I saw on tape and will go with the upside he offers.
2.07 @DFF_Brian Calvin Ridley, Alabama, WR
This is the third time I’ve drafted Ridley in a superflex mock in the last few months. Each draft I’ve gotten him later than the previous draft. His performance at the Combine will scare some people off. He ran well, but his broad jump and vertical jump numbers weren’t very inspiring. Add in the “he’s already old as dirt” crowd, and Ridley is a prime candidate to fall during rookie drafts regardless of format.
I’m sticking to my guns here though. Ridley is a talented player who is a smooth route runner with good speed, good hands, and playmaking ability after the catch. He may not have the crazy athletic prowess that some dynasty owners fixate on, but he is a good football player and should show that when he takes the field in the fall.
2.08 @DFF_Walk Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
Goedert dominated the FCS to the tune of an 82/1,202/9 average across his junior and senior campaigns. Has the requisite b-ball background and possesses the size, speed, and athleticism to be an impact player in the NFL. Goedert is far from a finished product but the traits are there for him to be a Dynasty TE1 and that goes a far way with me at a position that has largely become relegated to a stream mentality.
2.09 @DFF_Lukas Michael Gallup, Colorado State, WR
Well, this is a fun selection. Gallup’s rise to the NFL stage came the hard way. Starting his career at Butler CC wasn’t what he had in mind I’m sure, but after a strong freshman year, things were looking up. Injury cut his sophomore year short yet Gallup still jumped up a level to FBS Colorado State and wasted little time crushing his opponents. Amassing 176 receptions for a cool 2685 yards and 21 touchdowns in his final two seasons, good for a 37.4% (74th percentile) dominator. Gallup showed the world that he’s not only a good college player but worthy of a high selection into the NFL. I’m pretty giddy to see Gallup available as he is my WR5 and I was able to land him at WR7 in this draft.
2.10 @DFF_Kiwi Kalen Ballage, Arizona State, RB
I’m not happy with this pick, but at least we know at which point the draft moves to “upside” mode.
2.11 @DFF_Shane Mike Gesicki, Penn St., TE
I debated going with a high upside player here like Eq St. Brown but thought better of it. Instead, I’ll go with the physical freak Gesicki whose combine performance placed him the 97th(!) percentile with a 136.9(!) Spraq-X score. Here’s hoping Gesicki lands in a role similar to Evan Engram did last year and isn’t asked to block and is instead utilized in the passing attack.
2.12 @pprranks Mark Walton, Miami, RB
Pumped to land Walton here at the end of the 2nd round. Walton is the rare instance where I’m largely disregarding his combine metrics, which weren’t very good. None of his results from the combine were above average, and many were below. On the flip side, his metrics compare well to Devonta Freeman, Theo Riddick, and Duke Johnson (per PlayerProfiler.com and Mockdraftable.com). Given that bit of silver lining, and the way he looked and performed in games, I like Walton a lot and think he has a long future at the NFL level.
Thank you for reading. We’ll bring you rounds 3 and 4 soon!
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