It’s been less than a week since the NFL Draft started but we already have an idea at which rookies you should target. We did a 12-team, offense-only rookie mock draft. Below are the results:
- 1st overall pick – Todd Gurley – RB – St. Louis Rams – Todd Gurley is the only prospect with generational talent and he’ll get the carries needed to justify this selection. The offensive line is a question but imagine Adrian Peterson in 2012. He didn’t need one and neither will Gurley.
- 2nd overall pick – Kevin White – WR – Chicago Bears – White has the size and credentials to be a WR1 and will start immediately. He enters a better situation than fellow rookie receiver Amari Cooper and should immediately have 1,000 yard seasons.
- 3rd overall pick – Melvin Gordon – RB – San Diego Chargers – Elite skills everywhere minus the size of a Gurley. The Charles comparisons are lazy but probably accurate here. And there is NO competition from day one. Just an overall clean prospect going to a great situation.
- 4th overall pick – Amari Cooper – WR – Oakland Raiders – Just 21 when the season starts, Cooper was the consensus top receiver in college last year and followed it up with a great combine including a sub-4.4 40-time. Doesn’t have the best situation but should overcome that.
- 5th overall pick – DeVante Parker – WR – Miami Dolphins – Assuming the medical stuff checks out on the foot, he’s an excellent receiver with a chance to be a day one starter. Reminds me of Crabtree pre-achillies injury.
- 6th overall pick – Nelson Algholor – WR – Philadelphia Eagles – The heir apparent to Jeremy Maclin, Algholor is a crisp route runner and can return punts which just add to his versatility. If you’re a believe in Chip Kelly, you’ll love Algholor.
- 7th overall pick – Jameis Winston – QB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – I’m as scared by the qbs as anyone but st this point in the first its worth it. Offensive line permitting, he can accumulate stats his first year.
- 8th overall pick – Ameer Abdullah – RB – Detroit Lions – His low center of gravity coupled with his career 5.5 YPC figures to translate to the NFL. He also enters a good situation with only the pedestrian Joique Bell ahead of him for early-down duty.
- 9th overall pick – Marcus Mariota – QB – Tennessee Titans – Assuming he’s the starter from day one, he’s worth drafting at the end of the first round of this rookie mock draft.
- 10th overall pick – T.J. Yeldon – RB – Jacksonville Jaguars – Yeldon has the size and experience to be a three-down back and is drawing comparisons to a poor man’s Arian Foster. He has little-to-no competition in Jacksonville and should start right away.
- 11th overall pick – Maxx Williams – TE – Baltimore Ravens – The only TE guaranteed to start from day one. Joe Flacco will love him and make the targets readily available.
- 12th overall pick – Breshad Perriman – WR – Baltimore Ravens – The arrival of offensive coordinator Marc Trestman coupled with the lack of competition creates a golden opportunity for Perriman. He takes over Torrey Smith’s spot immediately and will love Joe Flacco’s big arm.
With the last pick of the first round, the Patriots drafted defensive tackle Malcolm Brown.
After the departure of Vince Wilfork, the Patriots needed depth on the interior and got it in Brown. He possesses a lot of power and was productive enough to lead the team in sacks as a tackle. He may not start immediately in New England but he should be a run stopper for the Patriots for many years to come.
In IDP leagues, Brown won’t be an asset but, if he replicates what Wilfork, did, he’ll make everyone around him on the defense better.
With the 31st overall pick, the Saints drafted linebacker Stephone Anthony.
Anthony has a big frame for an inside linebacker but proved he could come through at the combine. Could take the starting job immediately after the Saints cut Curtis Lofton. If so, he’ll be the first defensive player taken in dynasty IDP leagues where he should rack up the tackles in the middle while defending the pass.
With the 30th overall pick, the Packers drafted safety Damarious Randall.
After drafting safety last year with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the Packers go back to the well with Randall. He racked up the tackles in college while showing excellent coverage skills. For IDP leagues, Randall could be the first rookie DB off the board and should have more value in big play leagues.
With the 29th overall pick, the Colts drafted receiver Phillip Dorsett.
Dorsett joins a crowded receiving corps in Indianapolis while projecting similarly to one of them. His speed and size remind people of T.Y. Hilton along with his big play ability, averaging over 25 yards per catch over the last three years.
It’ll be interesting to see who starts for Indy alongside Hilton as they have second-year receiver Donte Moncrief, who came on strong towards the end of last year, along with veteran Andre Johnson. Dorsett could be a good value in rookie drafts, not being drafted as highly as the other first round receivers but still being part of a highly productive offense and the only one left in a few years.
With the 28th overall pick, the Lions further beef up their offensive line with Laken Tomlinson. The Lions had the 23rd pick but traded back with Denver.
Tomlinson is mature and has the power to contribute in the NFL as a guard. The knock is lack of athleticism but he should provide immediate depth to an offensive line ranked 14th according to Pro Football Focus.
For dynasty purposes, it will help clear paths for both Joique Bell and Theo Riddick while providing more protection for Matt Stafford.
With the 27th overall pick, the Cowboys draft UCONN corner Byron Jones to shore up the secondary.
After missing a top-flight corner for years, the Cowboys are hoping Jones can be it. Tall with some serious hops, Jones had an incredible combine and set the record for the long jump. Coverage skills are adequate but could also end up at safety. If so, that would greatly enhance his IDP prospects with decent tackle skills.
With the 26th overall pick, the Ravens take Torrey Smith’s replacement in Breshad Perriman.
With very little depth behind him, Perriman should start immediately. A combine stud, Perriman shot up draft boards and slipped in to the first round right before it ended with his size and speed. He reminds people of Kelvin Benjamin with that rare combo but also because of drops.
With a quarterback with a decent arm, and newly installed offensive coordinator Marc Trestman, Perriman is squarely in the second-tier of rookie receivers for your dynasty drafts. He could also end up as a top-tier WR.
With the 25th pick, the Panthers take linebacker Shaq Thompson, one of the surprises of the first round.
One of the more flexible players in the entire draft, Thompson played inside, outside and even in the secondary. However, it was also his curse as teams aren’t sure where to place him. He’ll need more size on his 6′, 228-pound frame to be a linebacker for any team but, if he can add some weight, he could be a very valuable player, On the IDP side, he could rack up a lot of pass deflections in addition to sacks.
With the 24th overall pick, the Cardinals draft tackle D.J. Humphries from Florida.
HIs size will be an asset and help the Cardinals keep Carson Palmer upright but will need more polish. The Cardinals hope he can expedite this process as their offensive line ranked just 24th in the league.
Long-term he should help whoever ends up winning the running back job.