2018 Rookie Mock Draft Series 3: Bob Cowper from Reality Sports Online
For our third Rookie Mock Draft we are excited to be joined by Bob Cowper (@RobertFCowper) from our friends over at Reality Sports Online. Bob is the resident rookie guru for RSO, and is constantly churning out some of the most in depth rookie analysis in the business. Reality Sports Online is our go-to recommendation for any fantasy football players who want more than a work league. Whether you're simply into this for dynasty, or are interested in simple auction or keeper leagues, Reality Sports Online has managed to take everything we loved about Madden and combine it with everything we love about fantasy football. I highly suggest you check them out if you're about to begin a start up league, especially if you use My Fantasy League for the customization options. The truth is, RSO is just as good as MFL for customization, and is infinitely more user friendly with a lot more perks.
Over the course of the offseason, 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.
(Eric) - Saquon Barkley, RB Penn State - If anyone in any of my dynasty leagues is reading....avoid Barkley.....at all costs....
(Ronnie) - Derrius Guice, RB, LSU - “Player X was so good in 2016/15.” A trend with some of these top tier running backs, it’s also the only substantial critique of Guice. Top dog in the SEC for TD's and Yards. Draft him.
(Bob) - Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia - Drafting Chubb over Michel was an unpopular opinion in January and February but I’ve stuck to my guns all along, and I’m glad I did after Chubb turned in an impressive combine. He is not a receiving back but he can handle a 15-18 carry load in the NFL and be a team’s primary ball carrier from day one.
(Eric) - Ronald Jones, RB, USC - Jones has some of the most electric feet in this entire class and makes some unbelievable cuts during his runs. He’s got a small frame which might hurt him at the next level but he trusts his blockers and is very patient waiting for holes to open up. He’s also incredibly explosive and will be a big time play maker. This is a great spot for Jones, regardless of his combine injury.
(Ronnie) - Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State - I have never seen someone so excited for someone before the masses, so I'll give Eric credit where credit is due—he turned me on to Penny almost two years ago. You could tell by
(Bob) - Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama - Similarly to my opinion of Chubb, I have stuck to my guns on Ridley because of his pedigree. His combine was awful though aside from a strong forty time so it is getting harder and harder to have him this high. I still think he’ll be the highest drafted wide receiver so for now I’ll keep him atop my rankings for the position.
(Eric) - Sony Michel, RB, Georgia - Michel fits the mold of a modern running back. He’s explosive, can catch the ball and make huge plays through the air, and he still has the ability to run between the tackles. One of my favorite stats came against Alabama in the National Championship. 18 Carries for Nick Chubb for 1.4 yards per rush average while Michel ran the ball 14 times for a 7 yard per rush average. I love both backs but I get the feeling Michel will have more overall fantasy success - he’s a steal right here.
(Ronnie) - Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU - I sat silently, tentatively, waiting for Sutton’s combine for a very long time. Personally, I don’t think the combine matters a whole lot for 9/10 prospects I evaluate—but like Bob, I’ve had Ridley as my WR1 of this class for as long as I remember, and I recall having Sutton as my WR4 last year before he decided to stay another year. Yet, here I am, in 2018, and there are countless experts heralding him as the WR1 of this class. I decided that the combine was where I’d base my adjustments, and Sutton blew it out of the water. I still lean Ridley, but the truth is landing spot will determine the which of the two, he or Ridley, I value more.
(Bob) - James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State - Washington’s production is off the charts. He’s such a fun player to watch because of his big play ability. Anybody who averages 19.8 yards per reception over the course of a 200+ catch career deserves some attention.
(Eric) - D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland - I’m ashamed to admit that I had Moore ranked outside of my top 20 WR prospects back in late January. Since then though (and hours of tape viewing later) I have him as my WR2 in this class. He was an absolute stud receiver on a terrible offensive team and was arguably one of the biggest play makers in the Big 10. D.J. Moore will have a similar presence at the next level without question.
(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.
(Bob) - Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon - In my opinion, Freeman has one of the highest floors of any back in this class. He broke out as a true freshman and has shown tremendous durability throughout a 51 game career. His forty, 3-cone and shuttle times at the combine were all encouraging. He needs more experience as a pass blocker and receiver in order to become a true three down back but I think he has the build and skill set for it.
(Bob) - Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis - Miller is probably my favorite player in this class. He has a knack for the spectacular and was uncoverable at times this season as he showed good release, great route running and phenomenal body control. His downfall are his measurables: he’s not very big or fast. Some NFL teams will fall in love like I have and take him earlier than expected.
(Ronnie) - Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M - I've heard some pretty lazy comparisons between Kirk and Percy Harvin, and the simple truth is while Kirk can be utilized in a similar fashion -- he's a better receiver in every way aside from athleticism, and he's no slouch. Happy to get him here, but I could also be equally content with any of the next four players that came off the board.
(Eric) - Easy 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.
(Bob) - Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona State - My opinion of Ballage has wavered throughout the season and now into the off-season. He’s one of the few prospects who benefited from measuring smaller than expected at the combine - tall running backs just don’t hit that often. Ballage is a grinder whose rushing stats are disappointing but he’s a good receiver. This is earlier than I have taken him before but I was so surprised at his forty time that I’m feeling speculative.
(Ronnie) - John Kelly, RB, Tennessee - Combine withstanding, Kelly is one of the most ferocious runners in this class. We'll have to wait for his pro day to get a full scoop on his measurables, but he did clock in at over 21mph on a number of his runs, is arguably the best pass catching back in this class and should, at worst, have a floor of scat back usage.
(Eric) - Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn - Ongoing injuries for Johnson have me a bit worried about him for long term but you just cannot second guess his abilities. He’s an aggressive runner who loves contact and athleticism and strength will be a good combination moving forward. I see Johnson splitting time with another back after he gets drafted but that’s not a bad thing. Depending on where he lands though, I can see myself lowering his stock a bit as he needs the right scheme fit.
(Bob) - Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State - Gallup had to go the JUCO route because of poor test scores, otherwise he would have been a four year starter at a Power 5 school. Instead, we got two years at Colorado State but he made those two count. He’s excellent with the ball in his hands and I believe he has more play strength than he is given credit for.
(Ronnie) - Auden Tate, WR, Florida State - I have a love hate relationship with Tate. His body control, point of attack, hands, finess in contact... It's all so good, and then you watch him play and he looks like he's moving in slow motion sometime. I think his ceiling will be as a reliable chain mover and red zone threat, but I'd be shocked to ever see him considered a WR1 in fantasy football.
(Eric) - Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State - His combine numbers were unbelievable. Gesicki actually looks like one of the most gifted athletes in the class at this point and he’s going to find a productive home as a pass catching tight end. He isn’t the most formidable blocker though, which might interfere with his snap counts, specifically in his rookie season. That being said, do teams really care about blocking tight ends anymore?
(Bob) - Dante Pettis, WR, Washington - Pettis is being undervalued for a four year contributor on a contending Power 5 team. He has a thin frame but he managed to play 13 games each season so he has avoided serious injury. He certainly doesn’t project as a WR1 in the NFL but he will be a solid WR2 who will see the field early because of his return ability. If your league awards return points you’d be getting a steal this late.
(Ronnie) - Allen Lazard, WR, ISU - This is a very large man. He's capable of playing the X, Y and Z marks, but his real value is on the outside and working in. His frame is so large, that when he drops his hips and backs off a defender he can typically completely box them out. The only issue is his routes are sloppy, and like Tate, he is a big guy who's not the fastest.
(Eric) - Simmie Cobbs Jr, WR, Indiana - Cobbs’ bad combine doesn’t scare me that much. He didn’t run a good 40 and he benched much less than expected but at the end of the day, player tape is all that matters. Cobbs is going to have to work hard to get into professional shape but his ability to make unbelievable catches look easy is going to be a huge selling factor for a WR needy team looking for a playmaker. I see some WR2 potential but it could take a few seasons to get there, depending on where Cobbs lands of course.
(Eric) - Nyheim Hines, RB, NC State
(Ronnie) - DJ Chark, WR, LSU
(Bob) - Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina
(Eric) - Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
(Ronnie) - Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
(Bob) - Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
(Eric) - Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma
(Ronnie) - Justin Jackson, RB, Northwestern
(Bob) - Josh Adams, RB, Notre Dame
(Eric) - DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Penn State
(Ronnie) - Keke Coutee, WR, TTU
(Bob) - Cedrick Wilson, WR, Boise State
(Bob) - Mark Walton, RB, Miami
(Ronnie) - Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama
(Eric) - Sam Darnold, QB, USC
(Bob) - Deontay Burnett, WR, USC
(Ronnie) - Trey Quinn, WR, SMU
(Eric) - Jaleel Scott, WR, New Mexico State
(Bob) - Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa
(Ronnie) - Jordan Lasley, WR, UCLA
(Eric) - Ito Smith, RB Southern Miss
(Bob) - Jake Wieneke, WR, South Dakota State
(Ronnie) - Jaylen Samuels, RB, NC State
(Eric) - Deon Cain, WR, Clemson
(Eric) - Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, USF
(Ronnie) - Marcel Ateman, WR, Oklahoma State
(Bob) - Martez Carter, RB, Grambling
(Eric) - Chase Edmonds, RB, Fordham
(Ronnie) - Troy Fumagalli, TE, Wisconsin
(Bob) - Richie James, WR, Middle Tennessee State
(Eric) - J’Mon Moore, WR, Missouri
(Ronnie) - Roc Thomas, RB, Jacksonville State
(Bob) - Phillip Lindsay, RB, Colorado
(Eric) - Jordan Thomas, TE, Mississippi State
(Ronnie) - Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
(Bob) - Jordan Wilkins, RB, Ole Miss
(Bob) - Tre’Quan Smith, WR, UCF
(Ronnie) - Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida
(Eric) - Ryan Izzo, TE, Florida State
(Bob) - Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
(Ronnie) - Ralph Webb, RB, Vanderbilt
(Eric) - Dylan Cantrell, WR, Texas Tech
(Bob) - Dalyn Dawkins, RB, Colorado State
(Ronnie) - Will Dissly, TE, Washington
(Eric) - Darren Carrington II, WR, Utah
(Bob) - Steve Ishmael, WR, Syracuse
(Ronnie) - Korey Robertson, WR, USM
(Eric) - Justin Crawford, RB, West Virginia
Over the next few months, we will be conducting over 30 mock drafts with various experts from all over the dynasty football community. If you are interested in participating in one, head over to our home page and use the "All Other Inquiries" form at the bottom of the Contact Us section! This weekend we will be joined by some of the crew from Draft Utopia, and following that we are excited to have a number of other writers who we will announce soon.
See you next time,
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