Welcome to The Fantasy Football Universe Rookie Mock Draft 1.0. This mock draft was superflex and tight end premium. It was a 10-team draft and featured five managers who each drafted two players per round for a total of 30 rookie picks.
The draft featured Aaron St. Denis drafting 1st and 6th, Jeremy Shulman drafting 2nd and 7th, SC Romero drafting 3rd and 8th, Jesse Moeller drafting 4th and 9th and Ryan Prosick drafting 5th and 10th.
Draftboard via Sleeper.com
1.01- Caleb Williams, QB (USC)
1.02- Marvin Harrison Jr, WR (Ohio St)
1.03- Malik Nabers, WR (LSU)
1.04- Jayden Daniels, QB (LSU)
1.05- Brock Bowers, TE (Georgia)
1.06- Drake Maye, QB (UNC)
1.07- Troy Franklin, WR (Oregon)
1.08- Brian Thomas Jr, WR (LSU)
1.09- Rome Odunze, WR (Washington)
1.10- Xavier Worthy, WR (Texas)
Round 1 Recap
This is going to be a very typical first round in superflex leagues, at least until after the draft when we get draft capital and landing spots. The most notable thing to see here is that there were no running backs taken in the first round. Even in 12-team leagues, I expect this to be fairly common. Typically you should expect the first running back to go off the board at the beginning of the second round.
As you would expect in a superflex league, there were four quarterbacks selected. This could end up being as many as six or as few as 2-3, it all depends on draft capital. Outside of Caleb Williams, none of these quarterbacks feels overly safe and they all have their flaws, landing spot and draft capital will be crucial.
Perhaps the most predictable part of the first round was the wide receivers flying off the board early and often. The big four of Marvin Harrison Jr, Malik Nabers, Rome Odunze and Troy Franklin are all locks to go in the first round, it’s the tier after that where things get interesting. The current lack of running back star-power saw Brian Thomas Jr and Xavier Worthy pushed up into the first round and barring a significant development at running back this could become the status quo all offseason.
We also see Brock Bowers sneak his way into the middle of the first round, and while this is going to be the norm this season, I don’t advocate for it. I have never been a fan of using a first-round rookie pick on a tight end and this is no exception.
Round 1 Winners & Losers
The best pick of Round 1 was Rome Odunze. At 1.09 and as the WR5 off the board is excellent value. He won’t challenge Marvin Harrison Jr as the WR1 in this class, but he could very easily be the WR2, to get him this late is robbery.
The worst pick of Round 1 was Brock Bowers. As I stated above, I’m not a big fan of taking a tight end this early in the draft. I get the reason behind it and I get that this is going to be the consensus, I just prefer to let someone else take the first tight end.
2.01- JJ McCarthy, QB (Michigan)
2.02- Adonai Mitchell, WR (Texas)
2.03- Blake Corum, RB (Michigan)
2.04- Bo Nix, QB (Oregon)
2.05- Devontez Walker, WR (UNC)
2.06- Keon Coleman, WR (Florida St)
2.07- Ja’Tavion Sanders, TE (Texas)
2.08- Trey Benson, RB (Florida St)
2.09- Bucky Irving, RB (Oregon)
2.10- Braelen Allen, RB (Wisconsin)
Round 2 Recap
It took an entire round and then some, but we finally have our first running back off the board, and it’s not the one I expected. Blake Corum goes off the board first, followed by three more running backs before the round concludes.
I expect this to be the trend for second rounds but it won’t always be in this order. The top four running backs are in a similar tier and are likely to go bunch together in the draft. Whichever of the four gets the best draft capital and landing spot is the one who is going to go at the beginning of the second round, while I expect the other three to be bunched together later in the round. Which running back gets the bump to consensus RB1 is anybody’s guess, all we are certain of is the fact that they are all going to be in a similar range.
The second round also saw the last two of the potentially high-end quarterbacks go off the board and what is likely to be the only other tight-end worth selecting in three-round mocks.
This is the spot in the draft where the wide receiver talent has fallen off and managers start to select “their guy”. In this case, we see the trio of Adonai Mitchell, Devontez Walker and Keon Coleman who are the best of the rest, but we could also see the likes of Ladd McConkey and Xavier Legette find their way into the second round. The receivers at this point are a matter of personal preference.
Round 2 Winners & Losers
The best pick of Round 2 was Ja’Tavion Sanders. As I said above, I do not advocate for using a first-round pick on tight-ends and when presented with the choice, I far prefer to draft Sanders in the middle of the second round over Bowers in the middle of the first round.
The worst pick of Round 2 was JJ McCarthy. McCarthy is my QB 3 in this class, but admittedly I likely could have waited until my next pick to select him. There were plenty of other options that would have been preferable to him and this one was a reach, albeit with high-upside.
3.01- Jonathon Brooks, RB (Texas)
3.02- Michael Penix Jr, QB (Washington)
3.03- Ladd McConkey, WR (Georgia)
3.04- Xavier Legette, WR (South Carolina)
3.05- Spencer Rattler, QB (South Carolina)
3.06- Will Shipley, RB (Clemson)
3.07- Audric Estime, RB (Notre Dame)
3.08- Malachi Corley, WR (Western Kentucky)
3.09- Marshawn Lloyd, RB (USC)
3.10- Ja’Lynn Polk, WR (Washington)
Round 3 Recap
We are officially at the end of the round as far as solid picks go. Penix Jr is the last quarterback with the profile to succeed but much like Rattler, he is far from a sure thing.
The value here is in selecting the receivers that fell out of the second round when the rush of running backs occurred. Ladd McConkey, Xavier Legette, Malachi Corley and Ja’Lynn Polk are all flawed players with profiles that are lacking, but all four are great values at this point in the draft.
In the third round, we see the second tier of running backs. Jonathon Brooks has the highest upside remaining by a mile and was the easy choice for me. After Brooks went off the board, the remaining backs are all grouped in a similarly mediocre tier, although all three have potential.
Round 3Winners & Losers
The best pick of Round 3 was Jonathon Brooks. At this point in the draft, Brooks was easily the best running back on the board. Brooks falls into the second tier of running backs when he belongs closer to the first tier. This is great value for a third-round pick.
The worst pick of Round 3 was Spencer Rattler. The chances of Rattler being an NFL starting quarterback are slim at this point. I get the need to throw a dart in hopes of finding a starting quarterback, but he was probably available in the later rounds had we continued.
This draft was held on Sunday, January 28/2024 at 2:00 PM EST. If you would like to watch the entire draft live, check it out on The Fantasy Football Universe YouTube channel. Don’t forget to Like & Subscribe!