My favorite thing about doing rookie-only mock drafts before the NFL Draft is the ability to confirm my priors, and be challenged on others. In terms of confirmation, most of the first round did that for me.
Eight of the first nine picks in this draft were the top eight players in my recent rookie-only rankings. The lone exception was the eighth pick, George Pickens, who I currently have 14th overall. That discrepancy could be settled by draft capital alone.
- Dynasty Football Central | April 0.5 PPR mock draft
The bigger surprise came in Round 2, when Dave Richard selected Alec Pierce, who I didn’t have in my top 36 before this draft. That appears to be a bit of an oversight as it’s hard not to get at least a little bit excited about a guy who ran a 4.47 at 6-foot-3 and 208 pounds. He dominated targets and production in his final year at Cincinnati as well. Pierce is projected as a Round 3 pick in Ryan Wilson’s most recent mock draft, which would make a second-round rookie draft value look just about right. I’ve bumped Pierce up to 30th overall since this draft, but I’m still a ways behind where Dave is… for now.
If there was a guy who went later than I expected it was my second-round pick, Trey McBride. Rookie tight ends are hard to value because, unlike Kyle Pitts and Pat Freiermuth, they generally don’t produce for at least one year, often far longer. But McBride has the athleticism to break that mold. He ran a 4.56 40-yard dash at his pro day, which is made all the more impressive by his 246-pound frame. In his final year at Colorado State, McBride posted an insane 34% target share and led all FBS tight ends with 90 catches for 1,121 yards. If he sneaks into the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him climb as high as the top 15 in ADP. I certainly don’t think we’d see him fall to pick 24 very often.
Here are the participants in this mock draft:
R.J. White, CBS SportsJoel Cox, CBS SportsJamey Eisenberg, CBS SportsJay Felicio, Front Yard Fantasy SportsGeorge Maselli, CBS SportsDave Richard, CBS SportsAlex Matteo, Triple Play FantasyMarco Enriquez, Fantasy ProsDan Schneier, CBS SportsCristian Crespo, Triple Play FantasyChris Towers, CBS SportsHeath Cummings, CBS Sports
And here are the results:
1.01 Breece Hall RB1.02 Kenneth Walker, RB1.03 Drake London, WR1.04 Garrett Wilson, WR1.05 Isaiah Spiller, RB1.06 Treylon Burks, WR1.07 Chris Olave, WR1.08 George Pickens, WR1.09 Jameson Williams, WR1.10 David Bell, WR1.11 Skyy Moore, WR1.12 Jahan Dotson, WR
2.01 Rachaad White, RB2.02 Zamir White, RB2.03 Christian Watson, WR2.04 Justyn Ross, WR2.05 Malik Willis, QB2.06 Alec Pierce, WR2.07 Brian Robinson, RB2.08 John Metchie, WR2.09 James Cook, RB2.10 Kenny Pickett, QB2.11 Matt Corral, QB2.12 Trey McBride, TE
3.01 Jalen Tolbert, WR3.02 Tyler Allegeier, RB3.03 Dameon Pierce, RB3.04 Jerome Ford, RB3.05 Calvin Austin, WR3.06 Greg Dulcich, TE3.07 Kevin Harris, RB3.08 Zonovan Knight, RB3.09 Wan’Dale Robinson, WR3.10 Pierre Strong, RB3.11 Romeo Doubs, WR3.12 Sam Howell, QB