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2018 Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft (Five Experts Picking with Commentary) *#1.06-1.08

Air Date:
March 29, 2018

Five experts mock drafting the rookie draft, pre-NFL Draft…so it’s a bit flying-blind on their landing spots, but we wanted to show you what some experts were thinking at this stage of the draft studies.

We’ll release a few picks each day as they are made, and the commentary is organized to be published. The draft is going on, a slow draft, as I type. After each round we'll publish the whole thing as one post and then all of them as a post in the end, but for now pieces at a time.

*Informal chats via email, so forgive typos or grammar.

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Welcome to the first annual FFMetrics expert rookie mock draft. The participants and draft order is as follows: 

1.1 Jason Katz (Katz)

1.2 Myles Crowe (MC)

1.3 Ender (END)

1.4 Xavier Cromartie (XC)

1.5 RC Fischer (RC)

And keeping that order for 25 picks.

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This Post: Picks 1.06-1.08...

1.1 Saquon Barkley

1.2 Rashaad Penny

1.3 Courtland Sutton

1.4 Lamar Jackson

1.5 Royce Freeman

 

Katz: 1.6 Derrius Guice. To be perfectly honest, I actually prefer Sony Michel to Guice, but I'm more confident that Guice ends up somewhere that he can catch a lot of passes. He's been linked to Detroit, which would be great because Ameer Abdullah is terrible at football and also might get cut, but if he goes somewhere else and particularly to a team without a satellite back, Guice can be a team's Alvin Kamara. I also think that Guice is very capable of running between the tackles, but my concern is that his running style will get him killed. Regardless, Guice's ceiling is probably the highest in this class outside of Barkley, which is enough to make him worth this selection.

 

RC: Everyone is looking for 'their Alvin Kamara' in fantasy... And it's logical...but then we make the mistake of assigning the NFL + logic. You have as good of odds that Guice lands with a team that would use him as Kamara as I have of Freeman landing to be a starting RB right away (odds against us). It's not on Guice, or Michel...it's the team they land with. Look at Cincy...a golden gift with Joe Mixon in the passing game. What do they do? Throw it to him 1-2x a game and get Gio Bernard more involved. Tarik Cohen in Chicago? 

Credit Sean Payton, he is one of the rare 'gets it' coaches for throwing to the RB like a WR...going back to Sproles. Everyone used to say "he's their Sproles" about various smaller RB guys drafted...and then it never happened. The Eagles grabbed Sproles to be their Sproles and he wasn't used as their Sproles fully. There are not many places Guice can land and get/see that Kamara role...but he's as good a bet as any RB at this stage. 

The Lions are not going to take an RB early. Patricia would have learned that from Belichick, at least. The Lions are going to take Harold Landry because he has relationship with Paul Pasqualoni (new Lions DC) for years at BC. *Note to XC and END for upcoming mocks.

 

Katz: I agree that the ideal landing spots are limited (and it will be fun to revisit this exercise post draft), but at the same time, I am concerned with ceiling and long term value, both of which I feel are strong with Guice. Even if he doesn't land in a spot where he'll clearly be used the way I'd like him to, there are a lot of spots where I think he steps into immediate work, or at least has a good opportunity. There are, in theory, 32 main RBs jobs to be had in the NFL. Here is an exhaustive list of RBs I believe are completely safe: Le'Veon Bell, David Johnson, Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott, Alvin Kamara, Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette, Melvin Gordon, Joe Mixon, Devonta Freeman/Tevin Coleman, Derrick Henry/Dion Lewis, Carlos Hyde/Duke Johnson, Dalvin Cook, Jordan Howard/Tarik Cohen. That leaves 18 potential landing spots where I think Guice can jump into an immediate 50% opportunity share or greater (not saying he automatically will, just that it's possible). I like those odds.

 

XC: Guice is probably going to be the next RB taken in the draft after Barkley. He could end up as the best two-down back. He's getting the Marshawn Lynch comps, optimistically. The Lions will never be a top team if they continue to be near the bottom in rushing. Bob Quinn will draft based on how his board falls, with input from all of his scouts. Harold Landry is not a first-round pick. Even if he's available at pick 51, which is possible, he doesn't fit the Lions' defensive scheme. If they draft Guice and a G/C, it would be a fairly good situation for Guice (and the Lions) long-term.

 

RC: Put me down for a nickle on Harold Landry as a top 30 pick, and then another nickle it's to the Lions whenever he's taken in the draft. He's a better OLB prospect than Tremaine Edmunds. He's very versatile (can rush the passer, can drop in coverage, can play the run) with high-end athleticism and the college production similar-to/better than Chubb, Edmunds, etc. 

1.1 Saquon Barkley

1.2 Rashaad Penny

1.3 Courtland Sutton

1.4 Lamar Jackson

1.5 Royce Freeman

1.6 Derrius Guice

 

Katz: MC, you’re on the clock again!

 

MC: 1.7.  Ronald Jones.  I had 4 guys in mind for this pick, but Katz and RC made life easier by removing Freeman & Guice from the board. So now I'm down to two backs I have graded similarly..... but one of these offers greater PPR upside and had less fumbling issues, so he's the selection.  There's a risky homerun-esque pick I was tempted to make (watch it be RC's guy), but after previously taking Penny, I'm inclined to  go a bit safer here.  In a deep RB class, I'm feeling a moral imperative to come out of this shindig with 2 starters...... and I'm also feeling a run on RB here that will leave me deprived of my tier 2'ish backs at my next turn.    

 

Katz: Interesting selection. Ronald Jones is not even on my draft board. 5'11, 205 lbs. Not a great pass catcher. Very slow for his size. He's supposed be this ideal satellite back except he has none of the qualities of an ideal satellite back. He's undersized to run between the tackles and he's too slow and probably not agile enough to be a pass catching back (we can't know for sure since he skipped the agility drills at the combine). I find it very hard to envision a scenario where he presents better value than either Georgia Back or even guys like John Kelly, Mark Walton, or Nyhiem Hynes.

 

MC: I don't know that I'd call Jones slow.  He appears fast on the field to me, did some sprinting on USC's track team, and ran a 10.37 100M in high school.  If he doesn't pull a hammy on his forty he probably runs no worse than a 4.4 flat.    I understand the concerns about his pass catching seeing as he only amassed 14 receptions on the year, but he's explosive in the open field, displayed reliable hands during the rare times the ball was thrown his way, and possesses the type of suddenness, body control, and acceleration to make him a viable route runner.  I'd place that low reception total more on his quarterback TBH.    It grew frustrating for me watching how often Darnold, under duress, refused to take the easy check down to a wide open Ronald Jones, instead opting to either hold the ball too long or force it downfield into coverage.  Jones could've easily totaled 35+ catches on the year if Darnold were of the mindset to take what defenses give him, and it would've definitely improved his passing efficiency as a result.  

Comparing Jones to the UGA backs, Chubb is suited for a gap scheme so his success will likely be more dependent upon his O-line than Ronald Jones' will as a zone runner with tremendous 1-cut ability and the vision and acceleration to go with it...... and with Sony I felt he doesn't bring the same receiving upside as the explosive Jones whom I thought displayed better natural hands than Sony in their limited opportunities.  There's also the fumbles on Sony's part that'll put him in the doghouse quickly in the NFL if it's not cleaned up. 

 

1.1 Saquon Barkley

1.2 Rashaad Penny

1.3 Courtland Sutton

1.4 Lamar Jackson

1.5 Royce Freeman

1.6 Derrius Guice

1.7 Ronald Jones

 

Katz: END, you’re back on the clock!

 

RC: Countdown to my radical 1.10 pick is just two picks away. I swear, if either END or XC takes him... You think you know who it is...you don't **rubs hands together, laughs hysterically**

 

MC: *preparing myself for RC's anticipatory giant fart that'll inevitably squeeze out like a gentle disappointing pffft now that he's hyped it up so much*  

 

RC: Here's a vision into the future as you watch me make my pick...  https://youtu.be/PSKQ3ZNQ_O8

And no, that's not how fast my player to be taken moves on tape. 

 

MC: LOL.  Remind me not to sit in the front row when you make your pick! 

 

END: First, apologies for the slow response. Second, damn you RC! Your stupid teaser makes me want to pick your player just to screw with you. But I’ll let you have Ito if you really want him.  

I’ll take 1.8 Sony Michel. He’s not really my kind of guy, actually he’s not at all, reminds me of Devonta who I despise, BUT the I’ve heard NFL teams love him which means he’ll get touches, maybe as a Kamara-type because everyone has to copy the Saints now. And since RC defends him I’ll take his side. I admittedly suck at scouting RB’s just from tape. And if nothing else I can sell off the name when he pops a couple big games. 

 

RC: Only Xavier can stop me now!! And there's no way Xavier's letting Nick Chubb go by the boards. And you think you know who my guy is but you don't!!!!!

I like Sony Michel...I like him more as 'the Kamara' than Guice, but I know what Katz is thinking -- Guice has the establishment's blessing and will get the chance before Michel, most likely. That's logical. I didn't expect to like Michel as much as I do. Who would have thought Michel goes ahead of Chubb? 

 

MC: I was between Jones and Michel at 7, so I had Sony ahead of Chubb as well.  

 

XC: Sony Michel is the oldest of the top RBs at 23.5, so you assume that you get two fewer years out of him than the others. In the right situation maybe he's DeMarco Murray-like (without the 393 carry season). 200 carries / 50 catches per year and he's a fantasy RB2. I wasn't planning to take Michel nor Chubb with my pick. Nor Jaylen Samuels.

 

RC: And my mystery pick is not future 1-target per game H-back Jalyen Samuels...as I know some might've been thinking. 

 

MC: awaits RC's mystery pick of Nick Chubb.... but pulls off the Chubb mask to reveal....  KALLEN BALLAGE?!!! ruh roh

 

RC: I will be taking the best RB in the draft (maybe) with my next pick. It is not Nick Chubb nor is it Kalen Ballage. 

 

MC: hoping RC's pick is Akrum Wadley just so I can spill my popcorn.  

 

END: My pick came down to Michel or DJ Moore. If I was picking just for me to keep I’d have taken Moore, but I feel like at some point I can flip Michel for more than he’s worth. 

 

END: And the only other RB I can imagine RC taking is Josh Adams.

 

Katz: Sony Michel's age doesn't really concern me because for RBs, it's less about age and more about mileage. David Johnson turned 24 during his rookie season. Michel going ahead of Chubb isn't really a shock. I really have no use for RBs that don't catch passes and neither does the NFL. RBs that don't contribute in the passing game have little to no value to an NFL team and have minimal impact on the outcome of games. Also, for fantasy purposes, RBs that don't catch passes are entirely touchdown dependent and that's not a recipe for success.

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About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics, and a football projections analyst and writer for Fantasy Football Metrics. 

Learn more about RC and the College Football Metrics system >>
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