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Fantasy football mock drafts: A rookie mock knowing where they'll play

By Jeff Ratcliffe
May 4, 2018

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Dec 29, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; Texas A&M Aggies wide receiver Christian Kirk (3) runs the ball against Wake Forest Demon Deacons defensive back Jessie Bates III (3) in the first quarter in the 2017 Belk Bowl at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

A little over a week has passed since the NFL draft kicked off, and a lot has changed across the fantasy football landscape. You might remember that last week, the PFF fantasy staff got together for a pre-draft rookie mock draft. Immediately following the conclusion of the NFL draft, we conducted another mock with the same exact participants. While a number of the picks came off the board in similar locations, there were also some dramatic shifts.

Below you’ll find the results of our post-draft rookie mock. Just like before, the rules are simple: 12 teams, six rounds, non-snake. Movement from the pre-draft mock is indicated in the far right column.

Round 1

1.01 Scott Barrett Saquon Barkley, RB NYG 0
1.02 Curtis Patrick Rashaad Penny, RB SEA +4
1.03 Jeff Ratcliffe Sony Michel, RB NE +1
1.04 Dan Clasgens Derrius Guice, RB WAS -2
1.05 Daniel Kelley D.J. Moore, WR CAR +2
1.06 Michael Moore Calvin Ridley, WR ATL +6
1.07 Mike Castiglione Ronald Jones, RB TB -2
1.08 Walton Spurlin Nick Chubb, RB CLV -5
1.09 Tyler Loechner Royce Freeman, RB DEN +1
1.10 Tyler Buecher Christian Kirk, WR ARZ +5
1.11 Dan Schneier Kerryon Johnson, RB DET +2
1.12 Scott Spratt Courtland Sutton, WR DEN -2

Not much changed at the top of the draft, as Barkley went first overall yet again and 10 of the 12 players were also selected in the first round of our pre-draft mock. However, you’ll notice that there were some pretty sizable swings with four players moving four or more picks from their previous spot. Penny skyrocketed to No. 2 overall after landing in a prime spot for three-down duties with the Seahawks. Ridley jumped the most with a move up of six spots, though this is more a product of him being underdrafted in our previous mock. Chubb dipped from 1.03 to 1.08 after landing in a crowded house in Cleveland. And Kirk vaulted up into the first round following his Day 2 selection by the Cardinals.

This mock highlights how tricky the back end of the first round can be this year. The first round features a number of intriguing options at wide receiver in Ridley, Moore, Sutton and Kirk. However, it’s unlikely anyone from this group steps right in a produces viable fantasy numbers. If you need immediate impact on your dynasty roster and you’re in the back end of the first round, it’s advisable to either attempt to trade up and get one of the top seven running backs or to trade out of the round and accumulate future picks/veteran talent.

Round 2

2.01 Scott Barrett Michael Gallup, WR DAL +3
2.02 Curtis Patrick James Washington, WR PIT -6
2.03 Jeff Ratcliffe Anthony Miller, WR CHI +9
2.04 Dan Clasgens Equanimeous St. Brown, WR GB +1
2.05 Daniel Kelley Lamar Jackson, QB BLT -6
2.06 Michael Moore Dante Pettis, WR SF +25
2.07 Mike Castiglione Dallas Goedert, TE PHI -1
2.08 Walton Spurlin Josh Rosen, QB ARZ +7
2.09 Tyler Loechner Mike Gesicki, TE MIA +7
2.10 Tyler Buecher Baker Mayfield, QB CLV -2
2.11 Dan Schneier Sam Darnold, QB NYJ -9
2.12 Scott Spratt Kaylen Ballage, WB MIA -3

If you want a quarterback this year, it’s likely you’ll have to select him in the second round. All of the top four signal-callers came off the board within seven picks of each other in Round 2. While it’s certainly an intriguing group, the value just isn’t there to justify selecting a quarterback this early. This year’s class doesn’t have a standout at wide receiver, but there’s a tremendous depth of talent. You’ll likely be able to find good value at the position in the second and third rounds (and perhaps even later.

One of the biggest risers up the draft board was Dante Pettis, jumping a massive 25 picks from our pre-draft mock. Pettis is a very athletic wideout who lands in an ideal situation with the ascending Jimmy Garoppolo in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. We also saw a big move up the board from Anthony Miller, who also went to a strong situation in Chicago and offers the dynamic upside of Steve Smith in his prime. Miller is certainly in play to potentially man the Tyreek Hill role in Matt Nagy’s offense.

James Washington dropped from the first mock, but he’s a solid value in the second round after landing in the high-powered Steelers offense. Mike Gesicki moved up the board seven spots and is arguably this year’s top dynasty rookie tight end option. Unlike Dallas Goedert, who went two picks earlier, Gesicki won’t face much competition for targets in the short-term.

Rounds 3-4

Round Pick Round Pick
3.01 C.J. Chark, WR JAX -3 4.01 Mark Andrews, TE BLT -14
3.02 Tre’Quan Smith, WR NO +15 4.02 Hayden Hurst, TE BLT -6
3.03 Antonio Callaway, WR CLV +12 4.03 Jordan Wilkins, RB IND ND
3.04 Josh Allen, QB BUF +12 4.04 DaeSean Hamilton, WR DEN -5
3.05 Keke Coutee, WR HST +1 4.05 M. Valdez-Scantling, WR GB ND
3.06 Nyheim Hines, RB IND -1 4.06 Justin Jackson, RB LAC -11
3.07 Mason Rudolph, QB PIT +3 4.07 Deontay Burnett, WR TEN +13
3.08 Auden Tate, WR CIN +6 4.08 Braxton Berrios, WR NE +18
3.09 Jordan Lasley, WR BLT +16 4.09 Deon Cain, WR IND -19
3.10 John Kelly, RB LAR -16 4.10 Bo Scarbrough, RB DAL -10
3.11 Mark Walton, RB CIN -12 4.11 Josh Adams, RB PHI -14
3.12 J’Mon Moore, WR GB +10 4.12 Ian Thomas, TE CAR +10

There’s heavy movement in this phase of the draft, which is testament to just how important landing spot in determining fantasy value for most players in the NFL. There are a number of very intriguing wideouts to target in this range, including Tre’Quan Smith, Antonio Callaway, J’Mon Mooore, and DaeSean Hamilton. The first three scream big-play upside, and Hamilton could step into a healthy volume role if/when the Broncos move on from Emmanuel Sanders.

This isn’t the ideal range for running backs, as we saw both John Kelly and Mark Walton drop significantly from their pre-draft mock selections. The second round may have been too ambitious for them all along, as neither figures to be more than a complementary back at the pro level. Keep an eye on two backs who came off the board in the fourth round of this draft: Jordan Wilkins and Josh Adams. Wilkins has an outside shot of earning early-down duties in Indy. Adams went undrafted but signed with a team that made extensive use of an undrafted rookie free agent last season in Corey Clement.

Rounds 5-6

Round Pick Round Pick
5.01 Jordan Akins, TE HST ND 6.01 Marcell Ateman, WR OAK -24
5.02 Chase Edmonds, RB ARZ +2 6.02 Chris Herndon, TE NYJ ND
5.03 Jaylen Samuels, RB PIT -4 6.03 Daurice Fountain, WR IND +4
5.04 Ito Smith, RB ATL ND 6.04 Korey Robertson, WR MIN +4
5.05 Boston Scott, RB NO +11 6.05 Kyle Lauletta, QB NYG -2
5.06 Allen Lazard, WR JAX +1 6.06 Trey Quinn, WR WAS -12
5.07 Akrum Wadley, RB TEN -11 6.07 Jarvion Franklin, RB PIT ND
5.08 Troy Fumagalli, TE DEN -6 6.08 Roc Thomas, RB MIN -8
5.09 Trenton Cannon, RB NYJ ND 6.09 Phillip Lindsay, RB DEN -10
5.10 Justin Watson, WR TB ND 6.10 Tyler Conklin, TE MIN +1
5.11 Cedrick Wilson, WR DAL -17 6.11 Jester Weah, WR HST -2
5.12 Jaleel Scott, WR BLT -15 6.12 Javon Wims, WR CHI ND

You’re always throwing darts in the last few rounds of rookie drafts, but there are a few names worth calling out here. Samuels is a versatile offensive weapon who will get the chance to play running back for the Steelers. Scott offers a very similar skillset to his new teammate, Alvin Kamara. Watson is a freak athletic, Wilson is an absolute steal this late, and both Scott and Franklin are raw but have good opportunities on thin depth charts.

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