2018 Rookie Mock Draft Series 5: Chris Ransom from Draft Utopia
For our fifth mock draft in the Expert ADP project we are happy to be joined by Chris Ransom from Draft Utopia, which is an incredible fantasy website that we've used for a while, particularly in the draft analysis department. These guys are doing plenty of mock drafts, some even NFL Mocks so go over there and take a look! Over the course of the off-season, we will be conducting over thirty mock drafts with various experts in the industry, which will translate to an expert based ADP to help guide you in your rookie drafts. As always:
Scoring Format: 12 Team .5 PPR with .075 Per Return Yard.
Starting Roster: 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, 3Flex
Let's get started.
(Chris) - Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State - The reason I took Saquon Barkley at 1 was because I gave him a max grade. I gave Andrew Luck and Myles Garrett max grades too so it’s obvious for me that Barkley is the best player in the class.
(Ronnie) - Derrius Guice, RB, LSU - I’ll just say this right now--if the Seattle Seahawks really want to return back to the Marshawn Lynch glory days, Guice is their best shot. He runs with the same ferocity at contact, has incredible balance, reads the line well and shows decent patience in the backfield. Nagging injuries throughout 2017 held him back, but that shouldn’t scare anyone.
(Eric) - Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State - A do-it-all back who has done nothing but getter since his freshman year at SDSU, Penny is going to be one of the most productive players in this class. I view him the same way I viewed Kareem Hunt last year and I think the comparison makes sense. Penny will give an offense a slew of options, though he still needs to prove he can pass block. Stop the comparison to Pumphrey, Penny has the build of an every down back.
(Chris) - Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia - Nick Chubb and Derrius Guice are the only running backs not named Saquon Barkley that I see going to a Pro Bowl. I was thrilled when Chubb made it to pick 4.
(Ronnie) - Ronald Jones, RB, USC - The 4.66 40 time at the combine was perfect—because lazy dynasty owners will see that and second guess him. The truth is in the tape (and he came up limp during that drill), and I still look at Jones as arguably the most explosive back in this entire class. His pro day will be one to watch.
(Eric) - Sony Michel, RB, Georgia - Michel could be a steal here at 6 because of his big playmaking ability and soft hands out of the backfield. I argue that he can be a more successful fantasy player than his teammate Chubb based on his ability to catch the ball with ease. I see a lot of what Kamara brought to the table last year. His age is a bit of a worry as he is already 23 but that shouldn’t change his status here.
(Chris) - Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona State - Ballage isn't a 1,000 yard rusher but the pass protection, vision, and catching out of the backfield checks out. He has much better traits on tape then someone like Ronald Jones out of USC.
(Ronnie) - Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama - While the Marvin Harrison comparisons that have been floating around the past month make me a little nauseous, he has been the #1 WR on my board for over half a year now, and I’m not ready to change that.
(Eric) - Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU - Still my WR1 in this class, Sutton proved that he has the athletic intangibles to play at the NFL level after a great combine. His adversaries will argue that Sutton has too much trouble getting open and I cannot deny that, but with his talent and athleticism, he will figure it out. Finding a home with a great QB and a staff that coaches their WR’s to excellence will help Sutton reach the ceiling I believe he has.
(Chris) - Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M - Kirk was my favorite receiver during the preseason. Calvin Ridley surpassed him as the draft process unfolded. I still believe Kirk is the top wide receiver not named Ridley and you can argue he runs more routes then Ridley too.
(Ronnie) - Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State - Look. I don’t care about that wild combine from a certain PSU TE we’ll get to later—we’re getting to that later because tape trumps all, and the tape on Dallas Goedert is the best in this class. In fact, the difference between him and the 2nd at his position is larger to me than any other position besides Barkley at RB. Dallas Goedert is a monster. He’s Travis Kelce 2.0, and you can take that to the bank. I love this man.
(Eric) - D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland - Nobody has flown up my board more than DJ Moore this off-season. His tape doesn’t lie. He is a solid route runner who takes advantage of the middle of the field, has tremendous hands and body coordination and his athleticism cannot be denied. The only argument against right now is his catch production came from lots of simple route concepts and dump off passes but I think that’s more of a reflection of just how bad the Terrapin offense was around Moore.
(Eric) - Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon - Freeman is one of the players to really watch through the NFL draft as I think his future will be determined by the offensive system he plays in. Freeman is a powerful dude and I want to see him dull out more contact as a power back rather than watch him eat it. He’s not going to be the shifty back who evades contact but if he can use his lower body to run through tackles more efficiently, I think Freeman can have a productive career. He’s probably best suited in a zone blocking system and will need to prove his third down worth if he wants to be an every down player.
(Ronnie) - James Washington, WR, Oklahoma St - The top four WR’s seem mushy depending on which expert you speak to. Some have Sutton, Ridle, or Moore at the top of their boards. I don’t fall in line with the Washington #1 crew, but I do like him, and he keeps falling to the 8-12 range. Great value here. 19.8 YPC on his career? Air Raid, Shmair Raid. I’ll take it.
(Chris) - Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State - Gesicki was the only tight end to do well in the 2018 Senior Bowl. He also balled out at the 2018 NFL Combine. I think he has first round talent.
(Eric) - Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame - Fascinating player who comes from an athletic family with a great educational background. Brown is super intriguing with his gifted size and speed along with his intelligence. Of all the receivers in this class, Brown is the one I trust the most to quickly learn a complex NFL offense in the first year. I think he can be brought in as a WR2 for most teams right now and you will see him play at a level far better than he did at Notre Dame.
(Ronnie) - Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn - For some reason Kerryon has always left a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe it’s partly because he comes up limp often and then pulls a McCoy and enters the game later, or the fact that he was just plain injured a lot. If you ignore that and watch his tape, he is a force to be reckoned with and could easily be argued as a top 5 back in the class. I just don’t agree with that.
(Chris) - Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis - Miller had a fantastic season. He was actually my top receiver heading into the 2018 NFL Combine. He had a better game versus UCLA than Kirk and he's someone Cris Carter became a huge advocate for after Memphis got their upset win over UCLA.
(Eric) - John Kelly, RB, Tennessee - Kelly should be on every fantasy GM’s radar come draft day. He played for one of the worst offenses in the FBS last season at Tennessee so his numbers are tough to judge. Kelly though, has incredible abilities catching the football and escaping tackles. Kelly was polished up under coach Gillespie who is one of the best RB coaches in the country. I expect Kelly to be a third down weapon in his rookie season and if you are in a PPR league, his value will be fantastic here.
(Ronnie) - Simmie Cobbs Jr., WR, Indiana - Whew lad… Eric has been all about this man for a looong time. He’s got elite size, good body control at the point of catch, boxes out defenders well in the endzone and is a threat at every level of the field. My two biggest knocks? Total ass 40 time, but that’s not the end of the world. He’s a player I want to grow into the Z receiver, but as it is he consistently got trapped on the sideline in college. He needs to work on his hip, because at his size that really shouldn’t be an issue.
(Chris) - D.J. Chark, WR, LSU - Chark dominated the 2018 Senior Bowl. He also had the fastest 40 time at the 2018 NFL Combine. He beat Minkah Fitzpatrick in press coverage on tape as well.
(Eric) - Auden Tate, WR, Florida State - Big bodied receiver who relies a bit too much on his size to win the reception. That being said, this class of receivers is heavy in Tier 2’s and 3’s and Tate has more potential than most. I like Tate to have a WR2 ceiling, possibly even in his first season depending on where he is drafted but he will really need to get quicker as his 40 time tells a bad tale.
(Ronnie) - Michael Gallup, WR, CSU - Killer last name? Check. Good frame? Check. Good routes? Check. Good speed? Check. Good YAC? Check. Good tape. CHECK. Outside of some lack of improvisation off the line and some lazy effort on run plays, this kid is the real deal. I love getting him here.
(Chris) - Deon Cain, WR, Clemson - Cain provides me with another flex option at wide receiver. I still have him graded slightly higher than Chark even though it feels like Chark will jump Cain.
(Chris) - Sam Darnold, QB, USC
(Ronnie) - Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
(Eric) - Jordan Lasley, WR, UCLA
(Chris) - Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
(Ronnie) - Allen Lazard, WR, ISU
(Eric) - Nyheim Hines, RB, NC State
(Chris) - DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Penn State
(Ronnie) - Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
(Eric) - Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma
(Chris) - Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina
(Ronnie) - Dante Pettis, WR, Washington
(Eric) - Trey Quinn, WR, SMU
(Eric) - Jaleel Scott, WR, New Mexico State
(Ronnie) - Keke Coutee, WR, Texas Tech
(Chris) - Dylan Cantrell, WR, Texas Tech
(Eric) - Mark Walton, RB, Miami
(Ronnie) - Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama
(Chris) - Justin Jackson, RB, Northwestern
(Eric) - Ito Smith, RB, Southern Miss
(Ronnie) - Roc Thomas, RB, Jacksonville State
(Chris) - Jake Wieneke, WR, South Dakota State
(Eric) - Josh Adams, RB, Notre Dame
(Ronnie) - Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, USF
(Chris) - Justin Watson, WR, Penn
(Chris) - Byron Pringle, WR, Kansas State
(Ronnie) - Jaylen Samuels, RB/TE, NC State
(Eric) - Chase Edmonds, RB, Fordham
(Chris) - Jarvion Franklin, RB, Western Michigan
(Ronnie) - Marcel Ateman, WR, Oklahoma State
(Eric) - Troy Fumagalli, TE, Wisconsin
(Chris) - Steve Ishmael, WR, Syracuse
(Ronnie) - Josh “Uncle Rico” Allen, QB, Wyoming
(Eric) - Tre’Quan Smith, WR, UCF
(Chris) - Ryan Nall, RB, Oregon State
(Ronnie) - Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida
(Eric) - Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa
(Eric) - J’Mon Moore, WR, Missouri
(Ronnie) - Ralph Webb, RB, Vanderbilt
(Chris) - Ray Ray McCloud, WR, Clemson
(Eric) - Darren Carrington II, WR, Utah
(Ronnie) - Korey Robertson, WR, Southern Miss
(Chris) - Kyle Lauletta, QB, Richmond
(Eric) - Cedrick Wilson, WR, Boise State
(Ronnie) - Phillip Lindsay, RB, Colorado
(Chris) - Daurice Fountain, WR, Northern Iowa
(Eric) - Justin Crawford, RB, West Virginia
(Ronnie) - Javon Wims, WR, Georgia
(Chris) - Dimitri Flowers, RB, Oklahoma
Over the next few months, we will be conducting over 30 mock drafts with various experts from all over the dynasty football community. Don't forget to go check out Draft Utopia! If you are interested in participating in one of these mocks, head over to our home page and use the "All Other Inquiries" form at the bottom of the Contact Us section!
See you next time,
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