Underworld Rookie Mock Draft Recap #2

Draft Strategy
pat-freiermuth-fantasy-football

For the next few months, the RotoUnderworld community will be partaking in a series of 12-team, five-round rookie mock drafts. The first set of mocks began on February 22nd and will run bi-weekly through the summer. The mock drafters will be comprised of PlayerProfiler writers/analysts, our friends in the Patreon community and our friends over at The Breakout Finder. While these pieces will include quick-hitting notes from the drafters about why they made their selection, our writers will take turns recapping the festivities and adding their own unique perspectives.

Rookie Mock Draft Recap #2 – SuperFlex/TE Premium

Unlike the recently launched RotoUnderworld vs. RosterWatch Mock Draft Series, these mock drafts won’t be framed as a competition. I mean, I suppose we could pick a fight with the Breakout Finder guys, but that would border on oversaturation.

I think I used that joke in yesterday’s recap of rookie mock No. 1. Forgive me. This is the first time in several years I’ve written more than one article in one week, with this being my third (LONG) published piece in three days, and I’m starting to feel the fatigue. But because I brought it in this mock, I must bring it in the recap.

fantasy-football-dynasty-league-rankings

It will, of course, be interesting to see where certain players are drafted in comparison to where they went in mock No. 1 and the RU vs. RW mock. Especially when completely changing the format and also adding some different names and faces to the equation. Mock drafts are unpredictable as it is. Now add some devy specialists and Patreon wildcards and we should have ourselves a good old time.

1.01 – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Analyst: Steve Smith (@stevenr_smith)
Rationale: 
Lawrence has all the physical and mental tools required for NFL success. Lock in the top prospect of the 2021 class as a SuperFlex dynasty team cornerstone.

1.02 – Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

Analyst: Josh Larky (@jlarkytweets)
Rationale: 
Rookie QBs are riskier than rookie RBs in terms of predicting top-end fantasy finishes. While 2020 spoiled us with RBs, and now we have another one in Najee Harris for 2021, let me make clear how rare it still is for a pass-catching tank like Najee to come around.

1.03 – Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Analyst: Nick Tabs (@NTabs33)
Rationale: 
Hard to pass up the second-best QB prospect in the draft. This guy is a franchise player.

1.04 – Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

Analyst: Corbin Young (@corbin_young21)
Rationale: 
In 2019, Lance threw 28 TDs with 0 INTs. He passed for over 2,700 yards and rushed for 1,100 yards with 14 scores. Drooling over his dual threat ability.

1.05 – Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

Analyst: Garrison Mindrup (@GarrisonMindrup)
Rationale: 
The QB2 for many, Jones had a very good season and has sneaky rushing ability.

1.06 – Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Analyst: Cory Pereira (@FF_Guitarist)
Rationale: 
With a deep WR group and my top RB gone, taking my QB3 with a possible top 10 NFL Draft selection in sight is a no-brainer.

1.07 – Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

Analyst: Marc Mathyk (@MasterJune70)
Rationale: 
When you have the 1.07 in a SuperFlex draft and the best WR prospect is still on the board, you have to nab him (editors note: I would’ve much rather you let him fall to me at 1.08 but I see your point)!

1.08 – Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

Analyst: Ray Ray Marz (@RayRayMarz)
Rationale: R.I.P. to the QB depth after the first half of the first round, we hardly knew ye. Although for this mock, having my choice of whoever fell between Chase and Etienne was nice. A nice, straightforward, no-frills selection here.

1.09 – Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

Analyst: Casey Gruarin (@casey_g14)
Rationale: 
Going back after the draft, I should have went for Javonte Williams and taken the bellcow back because of how important RBs are. However, a generational tight end prospect in a TE Premium format isn’t a bad pick.

1.10 – Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina

Analyst: Taylor Williams (@tjwillz31)
Rationale: 
With the top QBs off the board, the pick here goes to the young RB out of UNC who should continue to rise up boards as the offseason progresses.

1.11 – Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

Analyst: Michael Schmidt (@iknowguacsextra)
Rationale: 
This looks like a primo trade down spot but I’ll take Shoddy B and his <19 Breakout Age. Row the boat!

1.12 – Jermar Jefferson, RB, Oregon State

Analyst: Cody Carpentier (@CarpentierNFL)
Rationale: 
My favorite player in the draft, and my RB3. Getting him at 1.12 in a SuperFlex format is a reach for some right now, but this will be a steal by May.

Round 1 Takeaways

This is the first Underworld-based rookie mock in which Mac Jones has been picked before Zach Wilson. Although if more people follow in Chris Simms’ footsteps and begin ranking Wilson as the draft’s top QB prospect, that will continue to be the exception rather than the rule.

With five QBs potentially earmarked for the first round of the NFL Draft, and subsequently the top half of the first round of many a SuperFlex rookie draft, it feels like the middle portion will be the ideal spot to pick from and the range to target in potential trade-downs. That way, if this mock is any indication, you can have your pick of the last remaining top-tier QBs, a top-tier RB and an elite WR. For me, having PlayerProfiler’s No. 5-ranked rookie in SF/TEP formats in Travis Etienne waiting for me at the 1.08 reinforces this notion.

For the love of God, don’t do something like taking a Kyle Trask over an Etienne or Ja’Marr Chase in SuperFlex just because a gaggle of QBs may go in the top half of the first round.

2.01 – Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Analyst: Steve Smith (@stevenr_smith)
Rationale:
Put aside size and speed concerns when the 2.01 hands you a Heisman-winning receiver that posted 3,112 yards and 37 TDs over the last two seasons in the SEC.

2.02 – Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue

Analyst: Josh Larky (@jlarkytweets)
Rationale: 
When you put up 1,258 receiving yards as an 18-year-old freshman and are also a 99th-percentile athlete, you get gobbled up at the 2.02 no questions asked.

2.03 – Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State

Analyst: Nick Tabs (@NTabs33)
Rationale: 
After a 2,000-yard junior season, Hubbard decided to go back for his senior year and killed his draft value. His landing spot will be crucial to his dynasty value.

2.04 – Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Analyst: Corbin Young (@corbin_young21)
Rationale:
Waddle is a speedster with that 4.30 speed. That’s not the only factor to consider for wide receivers, but he has the big-play ability.

2.05 – Tamorrion Terry, WR, Florida State

Analyst: Garrison Mindrup (@GarrisonMindrup)
Rationale: 
THE Height-Weight-Speed player in the 2021 draft class and a true NFL alpha. I am much higher on him than consensus.

2.06 – Terrace Marshall, WR, LSU

Analyst: Cory Pereira (@FF_Guitarist)
Rationale: 
Size/speed freak with tools the NFL will love to get their hands on. There may be a lower floor, but he has one of the highest ceilings in this class.

2.07 – Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State

Analyst: Marc Mathyk (@MasterJune70)
Rationale: Breakout Age
is in the 84th-percentile. College Dominator Rating is in the 93rd-percentile. College Target Share is in the 84th-percentile. His 16.3 College YPR average is in the 71st-percentile. BMI is around 27. What’s not to like?

2.08 – Kenny Gainwell, RB, Memphis

Analyst: Ray Ray Marz (@RayRayMarz)
Rationale: We’d love to see him break 200-pounds and improve upon that 5th-percentile BMI, but the talent and production profile is undeniable, especially in the receiving game. A potential Profile 2 RB candidate.

2.09 – Michael Carter, RB, North Carolina

Analyst: Casey Gruarin (@casey_g14)
Rationale: 
After passing on Javonte Williams for Kyle Pitts, I’ll grab Williams’ counterpart who had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, three straight 20-plus reception seasons, and a great Senior Bowl.

2.10 – Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss

Analyst: Taylor Williams (@tjwillz31)
Rationale: 
An early declare who broke out at 19 and posted an astounding 91st-percentile College Dominator Rating in the SEC.

2.11 – Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina

Analyst: Michael Schmidt (@iknowguacsextra)
Rationale:
I’ll grab the downfield dynamo that averaged an absurd 20 YPR across his last two seasons at UNC and hope he gets paired with a QB willing to take some shots.

2.12 – Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson

Analyst: Cody Carpentier (@CarpentierNFL)
Rationale: 
Think Deebo Samuel. Amari Rodgers dominated at the Senior Bowl and will dominate in all PPR formats.

Round 2 Takeaways

The 1.09-1.12 range may be the most difficult to navigate in SuperFlex rookie drafts. No top-tier QB. No Harris, Etienne or Chase. Those in the 1.01-1.04 range don’t only get the chance to pick an elite signal caller, they get their choice of the top-tier RB/WR prospects that inevitably get pushed into the top of the second round. No matter who is picked from 1.09 to 1.12, this will always be true. Case in point, this may be the only time we see Devonta Smith fall to the second round of any Underworld rookie mock regardless of format. Think of how much further he would’ve fallen if Josh Larky had drawn 1.01 and went with Rondale Moore to start the second round.

Why yes, I was looking for an excuse to share a link to the beginning of Larky’s brilliant Rondale > Devonta epic novel of a tweet thread.

SuperFlex and TE Premium formats naturally see the other skill position players pushed down the board. Those drafting in the middle can still feasibly end up with Terrace Marshall or Elijah Moore in the second, or a Jaylen Waddle if he falls, before the rest of the board starts to normalize right in time for the 2.09 to 2.12 picks to arrive. At least those picking in that back third can usually count on a player like Amari Rodgers, going at 2.12 for the second consecutive mock despite the format change, to be there.

3.01 – Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State

Analyst: Steve Smith (@stevenr_smith)
Rationale:
The 6-5, 258-pound Freiermuth has good hands, runs solid routes and poses a matchup problem for DBs. Give me the TE2 of a solid class at the start of the third all day long in TEP formats.

3.02 – Anthony Schwartz, WR, Auburn

Analyst: Josh Larky (@jlarkytweets)
Rationale: 
Got my guy, second coming of Percy Harvin perhaps? Had 350-plus receiving yards and 200-plus rushing yards as a true freshman. Love that dynamism and early production.

3.03 – D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan

Analyst: Nick Tabs (@NTabs33)
Rationale: 
A big-play, go-up-and-get-it type of receiver with the competitiveness and speed that could allow him to contribute right away.

3.04 – Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida

Analyst: Corbin Young (@corbin_young21)
Rationale: 
Not much college production, but he’s an intriguing player that might surprise people in the NFL with his athleticism and explosiveness.

3.05 – Brevin Jordan, TE, Florida

Analyst: Garrison Mindrup (@GarrisonMindrup)
Rationale: 
Basically a big RB playing TE. What’s not to like?

3.06 – Trey Sermon, RB, Ohio State

Analyst: Cory Pereira (@FF_Guitarist)
Rationale: 
I have a feeling I will have a lot of Sermon, who offers a three-down skillset in a relatively thin RB class, in this range of drafts. My RB4 in the class at an RB8 price.

3.07 – Seth Williams, WR, Auburn

Analyst: Marc Mathyk (@MasterJune70)
Rationale: 
Williams is 6-3 and around 215 to 220-pounds with a great Breakout Age and College Dominator Rating. Many look at his total yardage and shy away, not knowing he is an alpha that is athletic and played on an anemic offense for most of his college career. I think he could be the steal of the draft.

3.08 – Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC

Analyst: Ray Ray Marz (@RayRayMarz)
Rationale: True freshman breakouts at major college programs are hard to ignore, especially when the Breakout Age crests the 90th-percentile. He may just be Willie Snead with a hyphen, but the difference is he’ll actually have draft capital.

3.09 – Jaret Patterson, RB, Buffalo

Analyst: Casey Gruarin (@casey_g14)
Rationale: 
I’m going for the early declare RB here over some other senior options. One of the most dominant players in all of CFB over the last three years.

3.10 – Shi Smith, WR, South Carolina

Analyst: Taylor Williams (@tjwillz31)
Rationale: 
Once again I’m taking the WR with a 90th-plus percentile College Dominator Rating from the SEC.

3.11 – Demetric Felton, WR, UCLA

Analyst: Michael Schmidt (@iknowguacsextra)
Rationale:
Felton’s so good in the receiving game, he’s bound to carve out a third down role at the next level.

3.12 – Marlon Williams, WR, UCF

Analyst: Cody Carpentier (@CarpentierNFL)
Rationale: 
The 2021 version of Laviska Shenault, A.J. Brown, and Deebo Samuel. Period.

Round 3 Takeaways

Regardless of the format, the same three TEs have been off the board by the end of the third round in all three mocks recapped to this point. Kyle Pitts has gone between 1.04 and 1.09, while the next two have always been Pat Freiermuth followed by Brevin Jordan. Being the only three at the position with projected NFL draft capital in the top three rounds per the Dynasty Deluxe Big Board, this makes sense. The mock format changing doesn’t change the steepness of the TE learning curve that keeps many from breaking out for years. While you’ll need a top-10 pick to secure the potentially generational Pitts, the potential to nab Freiermuth or Jordan in the late-second/early-third should cheer you up if you miss out on him.

I really don’t have much else to talk about here. For the second consecutive mock, there are 5 QBs, 10 RBs, 18 WRs and 3 TEs all picked after three rounds, but the way we got there was naturally much different. Not to continue plugging my own picks (editors note: actually I have no problem tooting my own proverbial horn. I’ve earned it!), but I’m happy to have nabbed Amon-Ra St. Brown at easily the latest he’s gone in any of our mocks. There are times when you just have to take the value pick, and this was one of those times. In other exciting news, Marlon Williams finally broke into the third round as Cody Carpentier celebrates somewhere.

4.01 – Elijah Mitchell, RB, Louisiana-Lafayette

Analyst: Steve Smith (@stevenr_smith)
Rationale:
Mitchell has solid size at 5-11, 215-pounds and was productive with a 6.5 (83rd-percentile) College YPC average for the Rajun Cajuns, I’ll take a shot on that profile at the 4.01.

4.02 – Hunter Long, TE, Boston College

Analyst: Josh Larky (@jlarkytweets)
Rationale: 
Why not bet on the early breakout TE who ran a 4.58 in high school? The 40 time is a prerequisite for elite fantasy TEs, and this is a TE Premium format. Also considered Sage Surratt and Kyle Trask, but went with a guy I can realistically envision becoming a true fantasy contributor.

4.03 – Sage Surratt, WR, Wake Forest

Analyst: Nick Tabs (@NTabs33)
Rationale: 
Speed is a concern but at this point in the draft, I’ll take a chance on the size (6-3, 215-pounds) and junior year production.

4.04 – Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville

Analyst: Corbin Young (@corbin_young21)
Rationale: 
A smaller receiver known for his speed, but he might be more of a gadget player unless he lands in the right system.

4.05 – Javian Hawkins, RB, Louisville

Analyst: Garrison Mindrup (@GarrisonMindrup)
Rationale: 
Undersized player with big-play ability who’s shown he can handle 15-plus touches a game

4.06 – Trey Ragas, RB, Louisiana-Lafayette

Analyst: Cory Pereira (@FF_Guitarist)
Rationale: 
Scarcity at the RB position makes it imperative to take some shots, and Ragas is one of my favorite late-round options. The 230-pound back is fluid for his size and has as good a shot as any to be this year James Robinson.

4.07 – Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, Oklahoma

Analyst: Marc Mathyk (@MasterJune70)
Rationale: Rhamondre Stevenson
in the fourth is a dream for me. His 5-11, 227-pound build is what we look for in a bellcow back. In his 2020 season, he beat out Trey Sermon, who then left for Ohio State. Per game, he had over 100 yards rushing, over a touchdown and averaged three receptions. Pretty fly for a big guy.

4.08 – Kyle Trask, QB, Florida

Analyst: Ray Ray Marz (@RayRayMarz)
Rationale: In the RotoUnderworld Mock Draft 2.0, our writers had the Patriots trading into the end of the first round to take Trask. He’s not in the top tier of QB prospects in a loaded class, but it feels smart to use a mid-fourth round rookie pick in a SuperFlex setting on a QB with an outside chance of being picked in the NFL Draft’s first round.

4.09 – Dazz Newsome, WR, North Carolina

Analyst: Casey Gruarin (@casey_g14)
Rationale: 
Newsome has decent size and one solid college season, but could have more to offer at the pro level considering he had to compete with Javonte Williams, Michael Carter and Dyami Brown for college targets.

4.10 – Khalil Herbert, RB, Virginia Tech

Analyst: Taylor Williams (@tjwillz31)
Rationale: 
Taking a shot on a big-play threat coming off a monster season with over 1,100 rushing yards on 7.6 YPC.

4.11 – Jaelon Darden, WR, North Texas

Analyst: Michael Schmidt (@iknowguacsextra)
Rationale:
Darden is absolutely electric and I’ll be scooping him up in the late fourth/early fifth all draft season.

4.12 – Warren Jackson, WR, Colorado State

Analyst: Cody Carpentier (@CarpentierNFL)
Rationale: 
Bigger Preston Williams that will dominate the red zone. Led Colorado State in yards in 2019, opted-out in 2020.

Round 4 Takeaways

The fourth and fifth rounds of rookie drafts are typically dart throw/get your guy rounds, so it’s hard to find too much fault with any of these picks. One or two guys can certainly hit, granted, but it’s really a coin flip as to whether the guy you drafted is that player. Especially when drafting in March. It’s the main reason I went with a QB in this round; it’s the position with the best chance of returning trade value in this format since you never know when they’re going to inherit a starting role for an extended time period. While taking a QB in a SuperFlex mock is not a requirement by any means, a bet on Kyle Trask here is a bet that he either ends up becoming an NFL starter or eventually accruing enough value to trade for a profit.


Check out Kyle Trask on PlayerProfiler’s New DYNASTY DELUXE Rankings:


Who invited these Breakout Finder guys with their deep sleepers like Dazz Newsome and Trey Ragas? I’ve at least heard of Warren Jackson. That may be mainly due to our friends from The Undroppables, but we are in the range of rookie drafts where players we don’t see in every mock are being selected. Ironically, Trask is the only player to be picked in this mock while being undrafted in the previous two.

5.01 – Nico Collins, WR, Michigan

Analyst: Steve Smith (@stevenr_smith)
Rationale:
I’ll admit it, a bit of a Michigan fan pick here, but Collins has good athleticism for his size (6-4, 215-pounds) and is known as a hard worker. Go Blue!

5.02 – Kylin Hill, RB, Mississippi State

Analyst: Josh Larky (@jlarkytweets)
Rationale: 
So… I think everyone kind of thought Kylin Hill had been taken already? He generally goes in the second or third round in rookie drafts and I believe I got the STEAL of the draft in the fifth round?!

5.03 – Larry Rountree, RB, Missouri

Analyst: Nick Tabs (@NTabs33)
Rationale: 
Rountree took a dip in production after his sophomore season that could have more to do with circumstance than skill.

5.04 – Pooka Williams, RB, Kansas

Analyst: Corbin Young (@corbin_young21)
Rationale: 
I love the speed from Pooka Williams. He’s likely more of a satellite back that reminds me of Tarik Cohen or Nyheim Hines, but Williams is a bit lighter.

5.05 – T.J. Vasher, WR, Texas Tech

Analyst: Garrison Mindrup (@GarrisonMindrup)
Rationale: 
Very athletic, big-bodied receiver with great body control and had D1 offers to play basketball.

5.06 – Frank Darby, WR, Arizona State

Analyst: Cory Pereira (@FF_Guitarist)
Rationale: 
A promising showing in 2019 by Darby is easily forgotten due to a strange ’20 season that only saw the Sun Devils play four games. He’s a do-it-all receiver with some sneaky sleeper potential (editors note: uh-huh-huh, he said ‘do it’).

5.07 – Kenny Yeboah, TE, Ole Miss

Analyst: Marc Mathyk (@MasterJune70)
Rationale: 
If there is a tight end with the same type of athleticism and ceiling as Kyle Pitts, it is Kenny Yeboah. Became noticed after his transfer to Ole Miss by putting up ridiculous numbers like 27 receptions, 524 yards, and six touchdowns in only seven games. Love a fifth-round flier on Yeboah.

5.08 – Trevon Grimes, WR, Florida

Analyst: Ray Ray Marz (@RayRayMarz)
Rationale: It’s the 5.08, he’s easily the highest-ranked player left on the Dynasty Deluxe Big Board, so I’ll take a chance that Grimes becomes Tee Higgins lite.

5.09 – Chris Evans, RB, Michigan

Analyst: Casey Gruarin (@casey_g14)
Rationale: 
Evans has solid workhorse RB size at 5-11, 219-pounds, he averaged 7.0 YPC as a freshman, and has two seasons with 15-plus receptions. Michigan is known for recruiting great talent but not using it to the player’s full ability, which makes Evans a great dart throw late in the draft.

5.10 – Stevie Scott, RB, Indiana

Analyst: Taylor Williams (@tjwillz31)
Rationale: 
The low 3.6 (3rd-percentile) College YPC average isn’t great, but he is a 230-pound RB with a 30-target, 26-catch season on his college resume, which is nice.

5.11 – Jamie Newman, QB, Georgia

Analyst: Michael Schmidt (@iknowguacsextra)
Rationale:
Was getting some first round buzz before his puzzling decision to opt out from a great situation at UGA.

5.12 – Mike Strachan, WR, Charleston

Analyst: Cody Carpentier (@CarpentierNFL)
Rationale: 
Close your eyes, now imagine a 6-5, 210-pound WR running a 4.35 from a small town in West Virginia. Open your eyes – its not Randy Moss, but its close.

Round 5 Takeaways

The best strategy I can give you? Find a guy to plant a flag on in this range of drafts no matter where he is on any set of rankings you utilize. This class has no shortage of players to claim as ‘your guy.’ One of us will be right by process of elimination, maybe even two of us (!!), so pick your guy and plant the flag. Charleston WR Mike Strachan is that guy for Cody Carpentier, who has selected him in all three of the covered rookie mocks.

Since I can’t stop talking about my own squad, I thought about Kylin Hill at 4.08 but decided to go QB instead after my Travis Etienne/Kenny Gainwell start. Plus, I picked Hill in the previous mock and don’t want to be too predictable in case some of you are reading more than one of these things. If you can’t find a guy to plant a flag on, do what I did in selecting Trevon Grimes and reference the Dynasty Deluxe Big Board to see where these players are projected to be picked in the NFL Draft.

Conclusion

We have a lot of rookie mocks and ADP trends to track between now and the start of hash tag Rookie Draft SZN (did I do any of that right?). If we can identify value plays this early in the process, it will make life a whole lot easier for us down the road.

To anyone who has powered through all three of the mocks that I’ve recapped over these last three days, thank you for sticking with me, my bad jokes and any material I may have repeated in order to save time because I’m currently bleeding from the eyes as I try and finish this thing. While other Underworld writers will take the recap reigns from here, I’ll continue to enter as many of these mocks as possible in order to continue enlightening you with my amazing ability to pull analysis out of my ass in any given moment.