Cody vs. Matty: A 1-Round Single QB Rookie Mock Draft

by Joel Ybarra · Draft Strategy

The NFL Offseason Heats Up

The NFL Combine is in the books! The measurements are in for the long-awaited 2023 rookie class. Free agency is in full swing. That means the NFL offseason is heating up. Cody Carpentier, back from his boots-on-the-ground foray to the NFL Combine, has published his latest NFL Mock Draft 4.0. That mock projects some big-time moves by teams looking to trade up and land top prospects as well as some relevant landing spots for some of this rookie class’s most notable skill position players. The latest edition of The Game Plan Livestream features Cody and Matty Kiwoom facing off in a 12-team, one-quarterback Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft, detailed below. The landing spots are based on Cody’s NFL mock 4.0 mentioned above.

1.01 Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

Cody selected none other than this class’s top running back, Bijan Robinson, at the 1.01. Robinson is sure to top dynasty rookie drafts this spring and summer no matter where he is selected in the NFL draft. He lands in a primo spot in Cody’s mock, however, with the Dallas Cowboys.

Ezekiel Elliott is likely to be released by the Cowboys, per Cody. That would set Bijan up to emerge as a year-one producer. The Dallas backfield is a good place to be, especially with Mike McCarthy’s recently avowed desire to “run the damn ball.”

(Editor’s Note: This article was written before the news of Elliott’s release)

1.02 Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

At the 1.02, Matty selected Zay Flowers of Boston College as the first receiver off the board. Flowers is slated to join the Chargers’ receiving corps in Cody’s mock. He played four seasons at Boston College and logged a hefty 46.7-percent (94th-percentile) College Dominator Rating in his senior season. Flowers posted a solid 4.42 40-time at the NFL Combine and is projected to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.

1.03 Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

Cody followed up the Flowers pick with a receiver prospect of his own, TCU’s Quentin Johnston in this Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft. At 6-2 and 203-pounds, Johnston is one of the few big-bodied receivers projected to go high in the NFL Draft. Cody has Johnston as the second receiver taken at No. 18 overall by the Lions.

Johnston is an early-declare prospect, joining the NFL Draft after his junior season. At the NFL Combine, he recorded vertical and broad jumps that make up his 135.9 (98th-percentile) Burst Score.

1.04 Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

With the No. 4 pick of the mock, Matty stacked standout receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba on top of his earlier Flowers’ pick. JSN is the receiver many say is the best route-runner in this rookie class. In Cody’s mock, Smith-Njigba went to the receiver-needy Baltimore Ravens.

He impressed at the Combine with a 6.57-second 3-cone and 3.94-second short shuttle, making up his 10.5 (98th-percentile) Agility Score.

1.05 Jordan Addison, WR, USC

Finishing off a four-receiver run in this mock, Cody selected Jordan Addison. Addison broke out at age 18.6 (95th-percentile), while a freshman at Pittsburgh. He was productive in his first two college seasons at Pitt, catching 100 passes in his sophomore season. He then transferred to USC for his junior season, and his production waned a bit. At the Combine, however, he ran a respectable 4.49-second 40. His 173-pound frame renders a low Speed Score, but Cody projects that he will go to the Steelers and be their starting slot receiver in Year 1 of his NFL career.

1.06 Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama

Matty selected Jahmyr Gibbs, his first running back of the mock, at 1.06. Gibbs came in just under 200-pounds at the NFL Combine and ran a 4.36 40-yard dash. That makes his weight-adjusted Speed Score 110.1 (91st-percentile). Gibbs is a highly-coveted pass-catching running back. His college target share at Alabama was 14.7-percent (93rd-percentile). Cody mocks him to the Bears at No. 53 overall. With David Montgomery on his way out, Gibbs could step in and immediately take on a pass-catching role in the Bears’ offense.

1.07 Kendre Miller, RB, TCU

With the remaining running backs in the mock projected to land in secondary roles in their offenses, Cody indicated he would trade the 1.07 in an actual dynasty rookie draft. He selected TCU’s Kendre Miller, however, who is slated to go to the Vikings at the end of the fourth round. Miller is an early-declare prospect weighing in at 215-pounds. He racked up 100 rushing yards per game and scored 17 touchdowns in his junior season at TCU.

1.08, Tyjae Spears, RB, Tulane

At 1.08, Matty selected Tyjae Spears, the electric Tulane running back. Spears did not run at the Combine but is expected to run the 40-yard dash in the low 4.40’s at his Pro Day.

He averaged 6.9 (91st-percentile) yards per carry and nearly 113 yards per game in his senior season at Tulane. He is slated to go to the running back-needy Dolphins at pick no. 77 in the NFL Draft.

1.09 Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU

At 1.09, Cody selected Kayshon Boutte. Boutte broke out early at age 18.3 (98th-percentile), in his freshman season at LSU. That freshman season was his highest yardage season. Since then his profile has lost steam. He ran a middling 4.50 40-yard dash at the Combine, but has flashed his talent before in the SEC and is a discount first-round value in Dynasty Rookie Drafts.

1.10 Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

Matty selected the first and only quarterback taken in this one-round, one-QB mock, taking Anthony Richardson at the 1.10. Richardson is likely to start his rookie season on the bench, but he has an undeniable dynasty value due to the all-time athleticism he displayed at the Combine. His Combine workouts give him a 116.6 Athleticism Score, which is No. 1 all-time at the QB position. Cody mocks him to the Panthers (Editor’s Note: This article and Cody’s Mock Draft were written before the Panthers traded up to the No. 1 overall pick), who have a solid run-blocking offensive line for Richardson to run behind.

1.11 Roschon Johnson, RB, Texas

Cody returned to running back at the 1.11, selecting Roschon Johnson. Cody mocks him to the Cardinals to learn behind James Conner, but Johnson may garner more opportunity if Conner misses time.

Johnson played backup to Bijan Robinson at Texas but beat out 2022 NFL Draft pick Keaontay Ingram. Ingram then transferred away from Texas to USC. At this year’s Combine, Johnson recorded a 1.52 second 10-yard split (86th-percentile) at 219-pounds, equal to Bijan’s time and top-five in the class.

1.12 Deuce Vaughn, RB, Kansas State

With the final pick in this one-round mock, Matty selected Deuce Vaughn as his favorite “novelty pick.” Vaughn is a diminutive back at 5-5 and 179-pounds, but posted big numbers in his sophomore and junior seasons at Kansas State. He ran for 1,558 yards and caught 42 passes for 378 yards his senior season. Vaughn is mocked to the Chiefs. Cody also predicts Clyde Edwards-Helaire will be released by Kansas City to make room for a pass-catching back like Vaughn.

Pro Days Incoming

That does it for this single QB Round One Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft. The 2023 rookie class is deep at multiple positions, including running back and tight end. That will make multiple-round dynasty rookie drafts interesting this off-season.

Dynasty gamers can continue to glean information on 2023 rookie prospects as they showcase their skills and athleticism at upcoming Pro Days. Cody is off and running on his Pro Day Tour. Catch up with him and get his takes on future livestreams and pay attention to future rookie mocks as the offseason continues to unfold.