Let’s Get Into This Dynasty Mock Draft
By: Ben Cunningham (@benc1357)
Now that the Super Bowl has come and gone dynasty league enthusiasts shift their focus to the annual process of scouting incoming rookies and debating what order they should be selected in our rookie drafts.
The process is a right of passage for dynasty players, and there are many methods that players use to prioritize their rookie picks. This year there will be no NFL combine which will impact those that use 40 yard dash times, vertical jump heights, and hand size to decide how good these young men will be in the NFL.
Conversely, the never-ending debate between the film grinders and the analytics junkies provides constant Twitter entertainment. And of course, fantasy analysts conduct mock drafts to show dynasty players what their draft may look like.
Members of the ProFootballMania team came together to do a mock dynasty draft in the past week. This draft is for a 1QB league, and while Superflex leagues continue to grow in popularity it is easy to translate 1QB draft results to Superflex.
Simply move all of the good quarterbacks to the top of the first round and move lesser talented ones up approximately one round. With that, let’s take an early look at the 2021 draft class and how our dynasty drafts may look this spring.
1.01 – @JMoeller05 – Ja’Marr Chase
This decision came down to three players for me with the first pick – Chase, Najee Harris, and Kyle Pitts. I took Chase as he is my top-ranked skill player in this draft class. I have him currently ranked as a top 10 dynasty wide receiver. The guy can truly do it all and will make an immediate impact on your team. Without knowing draft capital and landing spot it was a clear choice as the top pick for me.
My Comments: Generally viewed as the top wide receiver, if not the top overall rookie, Chase plays with attitude and has the skills to back it up. It is hard to argue with him being the top overall pick.
1.02 – @menudo_man – Devonta Smith
Devonta Smith was the Heisman Trophy winner and did just about everything imaginable in the National Championship Game for Alabama. The one knock on Smith is that he’s undersized which may lead to him getting drafted a bit later in the 2021 NFL Draft in April. The later he’s drafted, the better of a team he will be joining which should lead to more opportunities to have the ball in his hands.
My Comments: Historic production in a small package, Smith is already creating debates in fantasy circles about his ability to translate to the NFL. Players of his size often struggle to succeed in the NFL, however, he will be given a chance to prove the doubters wrong.
1.03 – @rajala_jake – Travis Etienne
Travis Etienne is a consistent speed back that stays healthy as much as you could ask. He’s dangerous in the open field, and he’s going to be a sure fire top two running back off the board. Jonathan Taylor took a while to get going this past season, but I expect a faster start from the Clemson stud. He’s going to likely be a three down ball carrier and whoever takes him will have a plan and preseason to get him in sync.
My Comments: Top RB Etienne choosing to not enter the 2020 NFL draft confused some, including myself. He didn’t add anything to his resume we hadn’t already seen, but he got older and took more hits.
1.04 – @luvtractor3 – Trevor Lawrence
Even though this is a 1QB draft, if I don’t already have a top-tier quarterback like Mahomes, Rodgers, Allen, or Murray then I like my chances with an automatic first-year starter. Lawrence is a genius at throwing the accurate ball both deep and short. He reminds me of a young Peyton Manning, and that is a chance I am willing to take in the 1st round. He is the only rookie QB I am willing to bet on early. With Urban Meyer at the helm, the sky is the limit for this young QB!
My Comments: Quarterbacks seldom go this early in 1QB leagues. However if Lawrence meets his potential dynasty players could have a top scoring player at his position for over a decade.
1.05 – @edaniels77 – Justin Fields
Justin Fields has the rare blend of arm talent, accuracy, and running ability. Earning 90+ PFF grades each of his three years in college; he proved that he has the consistency profile that should translate to the league. The most transferable trait that should have NFL teams excited is his high consistency from a clean pocket. Any team that drafts Fields should be excited about his prospects as a franchise quarterback.
My Comments: A fine quarterback that will likely start at some point during his rookie year, some would have waited to select him later in the draft. Yet like Lawrence, he could be a top-scoring for years to come.
1.06 – @Drew_Feinberg – Najee Harris
A strong, physical runner with speed and hurdles to kill, Harris is my RB1 in the 2021 NFL Draft class. Harris should make an immediate impact on fantasy football teams and against opposing defenses. Seeing as though Travis Etienne was taken with the third overall pick, getting Harris with the sixth overall pick is what some would call “taking candy from a baby.”
My Comments: When we all saw “The Hurdle” the hype train hit full speed ahead. Another player who could have entered the NFL after a huge 2019 season all Harris did was explode for more in 2020. A great value at the sixth pick, I doubt he falls this far in many drafts.
1.07 – @EuanOrYouOut – Jaylen Waddle
Ja’Marr Chase is the clear No. 1 receiver in this class. Devonta Smith and Waddle are in a 2a/2b situation. Smith has the hype (and the Heisman), but I think Waddle’s absence in 2020 is causing people to fall asleep at the draft wheel. I’ll happily grab him when he slips outside the top five picks.
My Comments: Another in a long line of ‘Bama wide receivers that will display his skills won Sundays. Waddle could earn early opportunity through his returning abilities as well.
1.08 – @BodaciousBeer – Javonte Williams
Honestly, I was surprised to see Javonte Williams fall to me in the 8th spot, as Williams is my top running back target. I do like Najee Harris, but I am more impressed with Williams cutting ability and first step burst after the cut. Frankly, I think he would be a dream in a zone-blocking running scheme and he has the size to be a three-down back in the NFL. He also is quite savvy catching balls out the backfield. He’s at least a top-three running back prospect in this class, this felt like a steal at pick eight.
My Comments: After the top two running backs there are a lot of opinions on which one is next, and some even view Williams above Harris and Etienne. Opportunity always matters for running back and it will be interesting to see if a team with vacated volume selects the former Tarheel who can play on all downs.
1.09 – @benc1357 – Kyle Pitts
By the time more rookie drafts happen in May Pitts likely won’t make it to the ninth pick, however I was thrilled to take the darling of dynasty twitter at this spot.
In his age 19 and 20 seasons Pitts accumulated 97 catches for 1419 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns, leading all college tight ends in 2020. While even the best tight ends often take a couple of years to master the position at the NFL level Pitts is poised to make an immediate impact with his athletic ability.
He won’t be asked to block much, being a more wide receiver than true tight end, and that will be great for dynasty players that select him. The sky appears to be the limit and at a position where dynasty players can differentiate from their opponents selecting Pitts could make teams league winners for years to come.
1.10 – @fantasy_moore – Rondale Moore
Rondale Moore may be the most explosive and dynamic playmaker in this year’s draft class. Injuries have been a concern with Moore over his college career, but if he can stay healthy there’s no question Moore has game-changing talent. His situation will determine how effective Moore is in the NFL, but I love his talent and potential. With the 1.10 pick, Moore seemed like an easy decision in this spot.
My Comments: A monster breakout season at age 18 is always a great signal for future success, however after 2018 Moore has struggled to stay on the field. His size may scare away some but you cannot argue with his playmaking ability.
1.11 – @TalksVitale – Rashod Bateman
Rashod Bateman has been steadily rising up the rookie rankings since the offseason began. His 6’2”, 210 pound frame makes him a big bodied receiver that can challenge any corner in the league. There are some listing Bateman as the WR2 or WR3 in this draft class, making Bateman an absolute steal at the 11th pick.
My Comments: I would argue Bateman may actually end up being the top wide receiver of the 2021 class when all is said and done. He shared the spotlight with Tyler Johnson in 2019 and then lost his opportunity to shine in 2020 due to the pandemic.
1.12 – @KitchenIsDads – Kadarius Toney
Coming out of high powered, University of Florida, Kadarius Toney is an ultra-elusive, complete, wide receiver. At 5’ 11”, 189 lbs., Toney has tremendous balance and a beautiful burst of breakaway speed. He led the team in receiving with 70 receptions for 985 yards and 10 touchdowns. Plus 19 rushing attempts for 161 yards, and a touchdown. He was also a primary return specialist for the team. He had 7 kick returns for 155 yards, and 11 punt returns for 139 yards and a touchdown. He was the shiftiest player in the SEC and always seemed to make a player miss in the open field, lookout!
My Comments: As a member of #TeamAnalytics I worry about Toney’s lack of early age production and that he played all four years in college, both indicators of a low probability of NFL success. However, the hype is building. Another player that could earn playing time through success as a returner.
2.01 – @JMoeller05 – Jermar Jefferson
Jefferson is one of my favorite players in this draft. He is a true three down back with home run hitter potential. If Jefferson is drafted in the first few rounds it will be wheels up for him in the NFL.
2.02 – @menudo_man – Tutu Atwell
Tutu Atwell is undersized but has speed for days. He will excel with bubble screens and jet sweeps, which many teams have incorporated into their offense.
2.03 – @rajala_jake – Zach Wilson
Zach Wilson is a dual threat quarter back that has a good chance of not landing on a horrid team like the Jaguars or Jets, but perhaps being equipped in an offense like Carolina where he gets weapons galore. Wilson will also show the NFL world how athletic he is soon as physical testing gets underway.
2.04 – @luvtractor3 – Kenneth Gainwell
The running back out of Memphis is a versatile back that was used as a runner and receiver. Gainwell has incredible footwork, speed, hands, and cuts that make him hard to tackle in the open field.
2.05 – @edaniels77 – Terrace Marshall
Terrace Marshall has physical gifts that most wide receivers in the class don’t possess. Showing the versatility to play in the slot and outside; he uses his size, speed, and strong hands to dominate opposing defensive backs.
2.06 – @Drew_Feinberg – Amon-Ra St. Brown
St. Brown has a fantastic ability to create separation and can produce in a variety of ways that will translate to immediate NFL production, given the right landing spot.
2.07 – @EuanOrYouOut – Michael Carter
Carter had more scrimmage yards and catches than his teammate, Javonte Williams, over the last two seasons. I don’t think he’ll be available at this spot in any rookie draft once the real deal comes along in May.
2.08 – @BodaciousBeer – Pat Freiermuth
Pat Freiermuth is the most complete tight end in this class. He will be able to start immediately for NFL teams and while it might be a couple of years before we see him as a factor for fantasy, he has the potential to be a stud.
2.09 – @benc1357 – Elijah Moore
In the later stages of rookie drafts I target wide receivers that produced at an early age in college, are leaving college early, and have the athleticism to force an opportunity at the next level.
2.10 – @fantasy_moore – Chuba Hubbard
Hubbard only played seven games last season, but he was viewed as a top-two running back in the class this time last year. Like his teammate Tylan Wallace many wondered why he returned to the Cowboys for the 2020 season, now a year later his stock has dropped.
2.11 – @TalksVitale – Trey Lance
A talented prospect quarterback to stash away on the taxi squad until he’s ready.
2.12 – @KitchenIsDads – Jaelon Darden
Do not overlook this “quick twitched” receiver coming out of the University of North Texas that makes a man miss like brushing his teeth in the morning. He ranked second in the nation in receiving touchdowns (19), third in receiving yards (1,190) and fourth in receptions (74) during the 2020 season