Less than a week removed from the 2014 NFL draft, it’s already time for mock rookie dynasty drafts. Personally, it seems like there are more potential dynasty prospects this year then there have been which is a great problem to have for your dynasty team. Let’s look at where the rookies ended up in our first edition of a dynasty rookie mock draft for 2014.
The rules are:
- Two rounds
- PPR (1.0 point per reception)
- IDP (4.0 points per sack; 1.0 point per tackle)
1st Overall Pick – Sammy Watkins, WR – Buffalo Bills – The most generous comparisons call Watkins a smaller Calvin Johnson and his measurables and talent are unmatched in this receiver class. He steps in to Buffalo atop the depth chart from week one. This pick isn’t a slam dunk but it’s close. Watkins is surrounded by talent but his ultimate value will be determined by his quarterback. Current Bills quarterback E.J. Manual will either progress to a legit NFL starter or he’ll bomb and Buffalo will be in the market for a new quarterback soon. Both scenarios will be to Watkins advantage.
2nd Overall Pick – Mike Evans, WR – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – If Evans ended up in a different situation, I could conceivably but him ahead of Watkins. However, he’ll start his career as the clear #2 in the passing game but faces competition for touches from each offensive position. The quarterback situation is slightly better than in Buffalo as Josh McCown has proved adequate and (potential) future starter Mike Glennon has some potential. Evans will step in to Vincent Jackson’s role once Jackson moves on and should top out as a WR1 in dynasty.
3rd Overall Pick – Eric Ebron, TE – Detroit Lions – The first tight end off the board was also the first tight end selected in the NFL draft. On the surface, this is a match made in heaven with the highly talented Ebron going to one of the most pass-happy offenses in all of football. New offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi came from New Orleans where he mastered the use of a tight end. There will be a few draw backs as the fight for targets will be fierce among Calvin, the newly signed Golden Tate, and emerging tight end Joseph Fauria along with running back Reggie Bush. But for dynasty purposes, Ebron has the best situation and could be a stud real soon.
4th Overall Pick – Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The first surprise of the mock, ASJ has the most potential of the tight end bunch. Standing at 6′ 6″, he’ll immediately unseat incumbent Tim Wright but join the battle for touches early on. However, for dynasty purposes, after Vincent Jackson moves on and ASJ establishes his red zone presence, he should be a TE1 in dynasty. For PPR leagues, pass-catching tight ends are a premium, which is why ASJ is the pick here.
5th Overall Pick – Jadeveon Clowney , DL – Houston Texans – Assuming Clowney stays at defensive end, he’ll make an immediate impact on your dynasty team. Projecting as a Julius Peppers-type, dynasty teams should kill for the chance to add someone who will get double-digit sacks every year for the foreseeable future. However, monitor this situation closely as his value is inherently tied to his position and there have already been whispers about him being considered a linebacker. Be sure to confirm the designation your league has given him before drafting. If they keep him at end, draft him here. If not, you can wait.
6th Overall Pick – Jordan Matthews, WR – Philadelphia Eagles – Any receiver in the Eagles offense should be considered but Matthews age plus size plus hands makes him the top receiver off the dynasty board after Watkins and Evans. The departure of DeSean Jackson along with the recovery of Jeremy Maclin means Matthews could step right in and produce. If quarterback Nick Foles can keep up his 2013 pace, Matthews should have no problem matching Jackson’s production year-in and year-out.
7th Overall Pick – Brandin Cooks, WR – New Orleans Saints – Cooks steps in to, arguably, the best situation possible for a receiver. Trading up to get him, the Saints will put Cooks in the slot and let him move all over the field. It’ll be a departure for the Saints who haven’t had a quick, shifty talent like Cooks before. However, like any high-powered offense, he’ll be fighting for targets. But when/if Marques Colston breaks down, Cooks could be the top receiver on the depth chart and should provide production immediately.
8th Overall Pick – Carlos Hyde, RB – San Francisco 49ers – Hyde was, surprisingly, the third running back off the board in the NFL draft but is the first one taken in this dynasty mock draft. Hyde was considered the top running back prospect by many but enters a crowded running back situation. He won’t produce a lot this year but his dynasty value is pretty high. The 49ers appear to be ready to move on from Frank Gore after his contract runs out this year and there is some talk about Marcus Lattimore not being ready for the season. If things break a certain way, Hyde will be the top back in San Francisco as early as 2015.
9th Overall Pick – Odell Beckham, Jr., WR – New York Giants – After hinting they weren’t happy with their current receiver situation, the Giants grabbed Beckham where he should immediately step in as the 2nd option in the Giants passing game. It was quite possible ODB would go in the top 10 of the actual draft so the talent is there. His value will be determined by the recovery of Eli Manning and if he can return to form. If so, Beckham would be a bargain at this spot for dynasty owners.
10th Overall Pick – Jace Amaro, TE – New York Jets – Of the three tight ends in this mock draft, Amaro could contribute the most right away. He enters a situation without many weapons but does have a decent quarterback situation, at least if Mike Vick ends up on top. Ironically, he’s also the most raw of the three and has little-to-no value in the run game. But if he can create separation in the NFL, something he didn’t have to do a lot in college, he could be a stud.
11th Overall Pick – Marqise Lee, WR – Jacksonville Jaguars – Slipping to the second round of the NFL draft, Lee steps in to a promising situation in Jacksonville. The Jaguars drafted a quarterback in Blake Bortles for the long-term and have some talent in the ranks with Cecil Shorts. Excellent route runner who was beat up in 2013, his 2012 looked like a carbon copy of Hakeem Nicks when healthy. Great hands, great route running, willing in the run game so he won’t come off the field.
12th Overall Pick – Teddy Bridgewater, QB – Minnesota Vikings – The first quarterback taken in this mock draft, Bridgewater definitely has the clearest path to starting immediately. He also has a few dangerous weapons at his disposal in Adrian Peterson, Cordarrelle Patterson, and even Kyle Rudolph. If he can replicate what scouts saw on his game tape in college, he’ll be a low-end QB1 in no time.
13th Overall Pick – Ryan Shazier, LB – Pittsburgh Steelers – Shazier shot up draft boards and ended up as mid-first round pick in the NFL draft. He’ll immediately step in as an inside linebacker in Pittsburgh’s very aggressive 3-4 system. He’s surrounded by talented outside linebackers in Jarvis Jones and Jason Worilds and should rack up tackles immediately. His best attribute is his speed and is able to cover sideline-to-sideline. He should top out as a LB1 in dynasty leagues.
14th Overall Pick – Bishop Sankey, RB – Tennessee Titans – The first running back taken in the NFL Draft, Sankey has a ton of talent but will need to be coached well. He also is going to a poor team without a lot of talent and coaching that isn’t conducive to running backs. However, he should see significant carries immediately and could even take over the starter’s role from Shonn Greene before the season starts. Long-term, his outlook isn’t as strong as Hyde’s but an infusion of talent could change that.
15th Overall Pick – Kelvin Benjamin, WR – Carolina Panthers – Welcome to your ultimate boom-or-bust pick in Benjamin. He’s still raw and would, ideally, have landed on a team with veterans for him to learn from and take his time. However, he’s being thrown to the fire thanks to the lack of depth in Carolina. Dynasty leaguers should know pretty quickly if they have a stud on their hands as he currently projects as a starter. Benjamin is a huge player and should be a top red zone target. He could top out as a WR1 or a taxi squad player.
16th Overall Pick – Blake Bortles, QB – Jacksonville Jaguars – The most raw quarterback of the bunch, Bortles also has the highest ceiling. He’ll have a long leash as the third overall pick and would be an ideal taxi squad player for your team his rookie year. The Jaguars have openly said they’d like to go run-heavy so there won’t be a lot of pressure early. They’ve also added some talent around the position to soften the learning curve. If you can afford to wait on a quarterback, Bortles should be your pick.
17th Overall Pick – Johnny Manziel, QB – Cleveland Browns – Manziel’s dynasty value took a big hit with the news of a possible Josh Gordon suspension. Coaches have also started very clearly that Manziel is the backup behind Brian Hoyer. However, for dynasty purposes, Cleveland is a team on the rise with an outstanding offensive line. The question remains if he can take the hits but if he does, watch out.
18th Overall Pick – C.J. Mosley, LB – Baltimore Ravens – Mosley was upset as the top linebacker taken in the NFL draft by Shazier but lands on a great team where he could thrive. He has speed and cover skills but will need to overcome the injuries that seem to plague graduates from Alabama. He also will have competition with Arthur Brown but, for dynasty purposes, should have great value long-term.
19th Overall Pick – Khalil Mack, LB – Oakland Raiders – The Raiders deserve kudos for taking a great prospect and improving their defense. Mack is a great pass-rusher from day one and will rack up sacks in the Aldon Smith mold. He won’t have a lot of tackles but for big-play leagues, Mack could be a LB2/3 for many seasons.
20th Overall Pick – Davante Adams, WR – Green Bay Packers – Adams turned out a bunch of production at Fresno State and enters a positive fantasy situation in Green Bay. He’s a possession receiver on a team with a lot of targets. He’ll start the season behind Randall Cobb, Jarrett Boykin, and Jordy Nelson but is an ideal taxi squad player.
21st Overall Pick – Paul Richardson, WR – Seattle Seahawks – Richardson has talent but has serious injury concerns. He also isn’t a prototypical #1 receiver, size-wise, and goes to an extremely run-heavy team. He’ll enter the season fifth on the depth chart and should only be considered if you have taxi-squad availability.
22nd Overall Pick – Cody Latimer, WR, Denver Broncos – Latimer is a fantastic, late round dynasty option. Tall, young and great hands is a great combo and he’s heading to pass-happy Denver. He probably won’t contribute a lot this year but Wes Welker is a free agent next year and Latimer will be next in line.
23rd Overall Pick – Tre Mason, RB – St. Louis Rams – Drawing comparisons to Ray Rice, Mason needs coaching in the passing game to be anything other but a change of pace back. The depth behind Zac Stacy isn’t strong so he could open the season as the clear backup but won’t do anything to unseat Stacy as a starter.
24th Overall Pick – Devonta Freeman – RB – Atlanta Falcons – Freeman is pass-protection ready and has good hands and should unseat Jacquizz Rodgers immediately for targets. With only Stevan Jackson posing any real threat on the depth chart, Freeman could be a starter as soon as next year in a high-powered offense. Another good player to have on your taxi-squad.