Underworld Rookie Mock Draft Recap #8

by Ray Marzarella, May 5, 2021

The RotoUnderworld community will be partaking in a series of 12-team, five-round rookie mock drafts, running through the spring and summer. The mock drafters will be comprised of PlayerProfiler writers/analysts, our friends in the Patreon community, and our good friends over at The Breakout Finder. While these pieces will include quick-hitting notes from the drafters about why they made their selection, our writers will take turns recapping the festivities and adding their own unique perspectives.

Rookie Mock Draft Recap #8 – Single QB

The eighth edition of the fabled RotoUnderworld Rookie Mock Drafting Series Extravaganza is upon us.

 

Slight caveat: this mock took place and was completed before the NFL Draft. 

 

Many of the picks you’re about to see will shock and confuse you, so I’d like to be sure you all have the proper context. With RotoUnderworld pre-draft coverage necessitating multiple articles being published per day to close out April, the executive decision was made by myself and THE ROOSTER to have this recap be written and published post-draft. That way we can see how many of our picks got nuked by this past weekend’s events. We have THREE more of these bad boys in the works as we speak, so expect the takes to fly faster than Tamorrion Terry flew down the draft board.

Too far? Yeah, too far. Take Two.

Expect the takes to fly faster than Anthony Schwartz flew at his Pro Day.

fantasy-football-dynasty-league-rankings

 

1.01 – Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson (JAX)

Analyst: Edward DeLauter (@FF_Litigator)
Rationale:
The lack of RB depth in the class makes one of Travis Etienne or Najee Harris a candidate for the 1.01 in this draft. I slightly prefer Etienne’s breakaway run ability and 22 year-old age compared to the 23 year-old Harris.

 

1.02 – Najee Harris, RB, Alabama (PIT)

Analyst: Joshua Benjamin (@FantasyTopGun)
Rationale:
“Fantasy doesn’t have to be hard.” – Matt Kelley

 

1.03 – Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU (CIN)

Analyst: Akash Bhatia (@FantasyKash)
Rationale:
This is a great WR class, and Chase is the cream of the crop. The Breakout Age, College Dominator Rating and athleticism all point to him as a future dynasty WR1 overall.

 

1.04 – Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina (DEN)

Analyst: Rob Johnson (@ff_upsides)
Rationale:
I’m grabbing him in every draft I can. Williams looks every part of a true three-down back and there’s a good chance he ends up as the top RB in this class.

 

1.05 – Terrace Marshall, WR, LSU (CAR)

Analyst: Ray Ray Marz (@RayRayMarz)
Rationale:
So I took the No. 5 spot in this draft hoping that Javonte Williams would somehow fall to me and that I wouldn’t have to worry about putting my money where my mouth is and drafting Terrace Marshall over Rondale Moore. Landing spot and draft capital will be the biggest factor in determining the post-draft values of these players, but this is where I’m at right now. I’m sorry Rondale. I’m sorry Bottomless Mimosas.

 

1.06 – Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota (BAL)

Analyst: Cody Carpentier (@CarpentierNFL)
Rationale:
If I am picking at No. 6 with the Big 3 off the board, I am trading back almost every time. But for this mock, give me the No. 2 wide receiver in class.

 

1.07 – DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama (PHI)

Analyst: Britt Sanders (@theFFSandman)
Rationale:
When it comes down to WR4, it is between Devonta Smith and Rondale Moore for me, and as of right now I am going with Smith simply because I believe he will he will have better draft capital. Even if I don’t love his profile, he will still hold value moving forward.

 

1.08 – Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue (ARI)

Analyst: Will Barrett (@Will_Barrett1)
Rationale: Although he is 5-7, I believe his ceiling is second to none. He is a freak athlete with 90th-plus-percentile marks for Agility Score, Burst Score, 40-yard Dash and Breakout Age.

 

1.09 – Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida (ATL)

Analyst: Daniel Miner (@dminer1983)
Rationale:
Easy choice. Not a whole lot needs to be said here. Getting a generational type of player at the 1.09 is about as slam dunk as it gets.

 

1.10 – Kenny Gainwell, RB, Memphis (PHI)

Analyst: Casey Gruarin (@casey_g14)
Rationale:
This rookie class looks worse every day. Even in the late first round, all of these prospects have significant holes. Gainwell having elite receiving ability gives him a solid floor, however.

 

1.11 – Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama (MIA)

Analyst: Nick Tabs (@NTabs33)
Rationale:
He is most comparable to John Brown, which doesn’t sound that exciting. However, Waddle is projected as a first round WR who can come in and contribute at a high level right away.

 

1.12 – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson (JAX)

Analyst: Andrew Quinn (@AQuinnff)
Rationale:
Even in a 1 QB set up I’m surprised to see TLaw drop to the end of the first round. I’ll gladly take a shot at one of the better QB prospects this decade.

 

Round 1 Takeaways

The last time we published a mock draft recap for a single QB format was on March 20th. We all knew the landscape would be completely different by this time. Still, it didn’t affect the first round in this format as much as it affected the rest of the draft. Keep in mind that these players were all drafted near the end of April.

Trevor Lawrence and Kenny Gainwell were the two new additions to the first round, but I’d rather talk about my Terrace Marshall selection at 1.05.

By our rookie rankings, this can still be considered a slight reach. Though it’s not like Marshall ended up in a bad situation. It wasn’t Kansas City or Tennessee, which would have been ideal for fantasy purposes, but he still projects to see a healthy amount of opportunity in Year 1. The WR3 chair is open, he’s worked with the offensive coordinator in an era of football where that kind of continuity will be more important than ever and his injury concerns are overblown. There, I said it.

 

 

Though Gainwell jumped from 2.01 last time to 1.10 this time, his value took the biggest dive of any player picked in the first round of this exercise. He’ll have to spend the next year or two worrying about out-playing Boston Scott to keep from being replaced by a future free agent or higher-level draft pick. But nothing compares to the falls of Jermar Jefferson and Chuba Hubbard, who already fell out of our rookie mock first rounds BEFORE the NFL Draft.

The sound you hear is Cody proverbially pouring one out.

 

2.01 – Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss (NYJ)

Analyst: Edward DeLauter (@FF_Litigator)
Rationale:
Unlike many wide recievers this offseason, Moore saw his stock rise with a great Pro Day performance. This athleticism, coupled with his college production, makes for an easy choice.

 

2.02 – Michael Carter, RB, North Carolina (NYJ)

Analyst: Joshua Benjamin (@FantasyTopGun)
Rationale:
Carter is the most overlooked back in this class. He averaged 8.0 (97th-percentile among qualified running backs) College YPC. More important, he boasts a 10.81 (98th-percentile) Agility Score. He will be fantasy relevant in Year 1, and you cant have enough RBs in this format.

 

2.03 – Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State (CHI)

Analyst: Akash Bhatia (@FantasyKash)
Rationale:
It feels early to grab a QB, but Fields’s accuracy and scrambling ability will make him a great fantasy option for the next decade. He is closer to Lawrence than Wilson/Lance/Jones.

 

2.04 – Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State (BAL)

Analyst: Rob Johnson (@ff_upsides)
Rationale: Kadarius Toney
and Amon-Ra St. Brown were two other options I considered here, but the combination of Wallace’s speed and Catch Radius makes me think I’ve landed a future X-receiver.

 

2.05 – Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida (NYG)

Analyst: Ray Ray Marz (@RayRayMarz)
Rationale:
Before this set of rookie mocks, I hadn’t yet picked Toney before Round 3, but he has the dynamism and projected draft capital to be worth the selection among the top 20 rookies.

 

2.06 – Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State (CAR)

Analyst: Cody Carpentier (@CarpentierNFL)
Rationale:
Draft capital will keep Chuba in this range. I’m cool with this value in Round 2. Hubbard’s testing underwhelmed, but in the right system, he will be explosive in the NFL.

 

2.07 – Trey Sermon, RB, Ohio State (SF)

Analyst: Britt Sanders (@theFFSandman)

2.08 – Jermar Jefferson, RB, Oregon State (DET)

Analyst: Will Barrett (@Will_Barrett1)
Rationale: Jefferson running a 4.60 40-yard Dash is disappointing, but I still believe in him, I love his film, and I’m completely fine taking him here.

 

2.09 – Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC (DET)

Analyst: Daniel Miner (@dminer1983)
Rationale:
I’m a big fan of Amon-Ra’s game. He doesn’t have elite physical traits, nor is he exceptional at any one thing, but he does a lot of the little things well. He is a rock solid Day 2 prospect.

 

2.10 – Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina (WFT)

Analyst: Casey Gruarin (@casey_g14)
Rationale:
The pro day numbers weren’t great, but he’s still upper-percentile in most metrics. The age (21.5) and RB tier break were the deciding factors here.

 

2.11 – Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson (GB)

Analyst: Nick Tabs (@NTabs33)
Rationale:
Dynamic slot receiver who has great burst and speed and will be YAC monster.

 

2.12 – Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State (PIT)

Analyst: Andrew Quinn (@AQuinnff)
Rationale:
With most of the high-end WR and RB talent off the board, I’ll grab the next best TE in the class behind Kyle Pitts to close out the second round.

 

Round 2 Takeaways

Without a doubt, the players who ended up receiving the biggest, landing spot-based value bumps were Michael Carter and Trey Sermon. Both were taken in the second round here, and can now be justified as late-first round selections in this format. Though the RBs in front of Carter are much less established than the ones in front of Sermon, for what it’s worth. Amari Rodgers is also a riser, though much of that may depend on his QB situation.

 

 

The slow rise of Kadarius Toney up the draft boards to this second-round peak has been interesting to watch. He’s now likely at least locked into this area now that he’s secured his first round NFL Draft capital. Though I represent the disgruntled, NY Giants fanbase side of Underworld Enterprises, I’ll defend the pick (though it should’ve been Christian Darrisaw). He adds a different and unique element to the offense when considering the skillsets of the players around him, he has the sort of special teams ability the Giants have lacked since the days of Ron Dixon and Willie Ponder (editors note: damn, I’m old af) and he’s athletic enough to be used as a decoy X-receiver at worst while he acclimates to the pro game.

He is a converted QB, so he has plenty of room to grow, though these kinds of players aren’t usually first round NFL Draft picks.

3.01 – Nico Collins, WR, Michigan (HOU)

Analyst: Edward DeLauter (@FF_Litigator)
Rationale: Nico Collins
‘ size and athleticism offer the type of upside you shoot for after Round 2.

 

3.02 – Elijah Mitchell, RB, UL-Lafayette (SF)

Analyst: Joshua Benjamin (@FantasyTopGun)
Rationale:
Mitchell has all the athletic ability to be a third down back and command 10-12 touches a game depending on his landing spot. Snag him here if you can’t trade the pick.

 

3.03 – Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville (LAR)

Analyst: Akash Bhatia (@FantasyKash)
Rationale:
While small, Atwell has strong age-adjusted production and is mocked fairly highly.

 

3.04 – Trey Lance, QB, NDSU (SF)

Analyst: Rob Johnson (@ff_upsides)
Rationale:
Once he takes over the starter role, his rushing upside should give him a QB1 floor. His ceiling is the overall QB1.

 

3.05 – Anthony Schwartz, WR, Auburn (CLE)

Analyst: Ray Ray Marz (@RayRayMarz)
Rationale:
Elite speed, elite dynamism, a top 10 Breakout Rating in this class per Breakout Finder and the occasional buzz that his speed could sneak him into Day 1 or 2 of the draft make Schwartz my pick here.

 

3.06 – Kylin Hill, RB, Mississippi State (GB)

Analyst: Cody Carpentier (@CarpentierNFL)
Rationale:
Hill is the end of my Tier-4 at running back. Not overly excited. His mock draft stock has plummeted since December, but his talent hasn’t changed!

 

3.07 – Seth Williams, WR, Auburn (DEN)

Analyst: Britt Sanders (@theFFSandman)

 

3.08 – Zach Wilson, QB, BYU (NYJ)

Analyst: Will Barrett (@Will_Barrett1)
Rationale: Wilson is a boom or bust prospect for me, but that’s exactly why taking him at the back end of the third is a great value for him. Happy with this pick.

 

3.09 – Tamorrion Terry, WR, Florida State (SEA)

Analyst: Daniel Miner (@dminer1983)
Rationale:
Terry, although not as big or fast as most of us hoped, is still a physical specimen and one of the few guys left with legit WR1 upside. At this point, I’m shooting for the stars and will gladly plant my flag here.

 

3.10 – Chris Evans, RB, Michigan (CIN)

Analyst: Casey Gruarin (@casey_g14)
Rationale:
His 94th-percentile burst and 92nd-percentile agility at 210-pounds with an 18-reception season give him arguably the most interesting profile for any running back in this class outside the top guys.

 

3.11 – Mac Jones, QB, Alabama (NE)

Analyst: Nick Tabs (@NTabs33)
Rationale:
The next potentially great Patriots quarterback, Jones looks to produce in an offense filled with weapons.

 

3.12 – D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan (SEA)

Analyst: Andrew Quinn (@AQuinnff)
Rationale:
Has a high Breakout Rating and great dominator/college YPR numbers. Only concerns are size and that he is already 24 years old, but the upside is there.

 

Round 3 Takeaways

Day 2 of the NFL Draft proved that the Underworld was right to be high on Nico Collins and Anthony Schwartz. Though for a player who had his share of first round buzz, Schwartz and his 4.27 (99th-percentile) speed will still be undervalued. Our rookie rankings still peg him as a late-second round value due to his dynamism, youth and underrated landing spot. The optimal move in the second round range would be to trade down, collect depth and try and nab Schwartz in the early-to-mid-third (as long as no other truthers are in your league).

Yes, I realize I’ve highlighted all three of my own picks to this point. It’s not my fault they’re all buzzworthy players post-NFL Draft. Shrug emoji.

Aside from Trey Lance and Collins, who walks into a wide open receiver room behind Brandin Cooks in Houston, D’Wayne Eskridge is another value riser with a chance to earn himself an early role alongside Russell Wilson.

 

 

While Chris Evans lost the draft capital and landing spot battle to fellow Michigan teammate Collins, his stock didn’t plummet as far as Tamorrion Terry‘s. I asked THE ROOSTER why Terry went undrafted, and all we could come up with were off-field issues and testing worse than anticipated athletically. The depth chart is wide open behind D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, who we advocated selling anyway. If anyone in this class has the potential to be this year’s UDFA gem, why not a guy who was as highly regarded a prospect as Terry was at one point?

 

4.01 – Javian Hawkins, RB, Louisville (ATL)

Analyst: Edward DeLauter (@FF_Litigator)
Rationale:
Despite his small frame of only 183-pounds, Hawkins has the skill-set to be a solid RB2 on an NFL depth chart.

 

4.02 – Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami (HOU)

Analyst: Joshua Benjamin (@FantasyTopGun)
Rationale:
Great YAC ability and smooth catches could get Jordan on the field sooner than later. With the depletion of talent tiers, I opted for the least drafted position.

 

4.03 – Khalil Herbert, RB, Virginia Tech (CHI)

Analyst: Akash Bhatia (@FantasyKash)
Rationale:
PFF is high on him. At this stage in the draft, I’m looking for upside at the most crucial position in fantasy.

 

4.04 – Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, Oklahoma (NE)

Analyst: Rob Johnson (@ff_upsides)
Rationale:
Another prototypical three-down back at a discount. The draft capital spent on him will likely relegate him to an early-down role out of the gate, but he should get the chance to prove himself soon enough.

 

4.05 – Shi Smith, WR, South Carolina (CAR)

Analyst: Ray Ray Marz (@RayRayMarz)
Rationale:
Though he’s one of many receivers in this class with the same Jamison Crowder-esque archetype, our rookie rankings do still have him as a late third-round value in this format. Nabbing him in the mid-fourth has to be considered a value, even if only by default.

 

4.06 – Hunter Long, TE, Boston College (MIA)

Analyst: Cody Carpentier (@CarpentierNFL)
Rationale:
The Man, The Myth, The Legend – The only man in the PlayerProfiler.com Database with a close comparable of Jason Witten.

 

4.07 – Jaret Patterson, RB, Buffalo (WFT)

Analyst: Britt Sanders (@theFFSandman)

 

4.08 – Simi Fehoko, WR, Stanford (DAL)

Analyst: Will Barrett (@Will_Barrett1)
Rationale: All I’m shooting for at this point is upside, and Fehoko provides that. He can be crazy explosive.

 

4.09 – Jaelon Darden, WR, North Texas (TB)

Analyst: Daniel Miner (@dminer1983)
Rationale:
Darden could easily fade into oblivion and never be relevant, but he also has juice to his game. He’s worth taking a chance on this late in the draft.

 

4.10 – Noah Gray, TE, Duke (KC)

Analyst: Casey Gruarin (@casey_g14)
Rationale:
Already have two running backs so far and all the receivers at this point are complete dart throws. I’ll take one such receiver with my final pick, but here I’ll grab a tight end with upper-percentile athleticism metrics across the board and a 72nd-percentile Breakout Age.

 

4.11 – Tre McKitty, TE, Georgia (LAC)

Analyst: Nick Tabs (@NTabs33)
Rationale:
McKitty dealt with a knee injury in his senior season, which attributed to his low production. He didn’t test well and could be a late round upside pick.

 

4.12 – Mike Strachan, WR, Charleston (IND)

Analyst: Andrew Quinn (@AQuinnff)
Rationale:
IYKYK. Strachan has been a quiet riser and should be a Day 3 pick. But he has the size and speed to be a sneaky alpha candidate for an NFL team.

 

Round 4 Takeaways

Though the players picked in this range don’t have the draft capital to back it up, many of them landed in great situations. Houston was a best case scenario landing spot for Brevin Jordan. Rumors have begun to fly that Rhamondre Stevenson could run Sony Michel out of New England. Hunter Long and Tre McKitty snuck into Day 2 and landed in good spots to start their careers as understudies, while Noah Gray gets to learn from Travis Kelce. Jaelon Darden went earlier than expected and, like fellow Underworld favorite Tyler Johnson, gets to learn from Tom Brady while they acclimate to the pro game. Mike Strachan will be a high priority stash if he makes the Colts roster.

These are all ideal situations, but the landing spot winner is Javian Hawkins. With a frightening lack of depth behind Mike Davis, any RB that landed in Atlanta was going to be noteworthy. Granted he has a long way to go to make the roster, and he certainly doesn’t profile to be this year’s James Robinson if such a player exists (editors note: they probably don’t). But he possesses the kind of upside we need to target at this stage of rookie drafts.

 

 

It’s hard to see Shi Smith or Jaret Patterson lasting long enough with their respective teams to matter for fantasy purposes. Let’s also pour ones out for Sage Surratt and Rakeem Boyd. Both were picked in the fourth round here, and now both land outside the top 60 in our rookie rankings.

5.01 – Deon Jackson, RB, Duke (IND)

Analyst: Edward DeLauter (@FF_Litigator)
Rationale:
I’ll take a chance on one of the four running backs in this draft class that has a Speed Score over 100.0.

 

5.02 – Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M (MIN)

Analyst: Joshua Benjamin (@FantasyTopGun)
Rationale:
Mond has a chance to be taken top 70 in the NFL Draft and could have enough value that you’ll want to stash him in dynasty!

 

5.03 – Demetric Felton, WR, UCLA (CLE)

Analyst: Akash Bhatia (@FantasyKash)

 

5.04 – Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame (CAR)

Analyst: Rob Johnson (@ff_upsides)
Rationale:
Not much production to speak of, but the athleticism is there.

 

5.05 – Ihmir Smith-Marsette, WR, Iowa (MIN)

Analyst: Ray Ray Marz (@RayRayMarz)
Rationale: 
ISM’s elite dynamism and top-20 Breakout Rating in the class give him a higher ceiling than one would normally own as a fifth-round rookie pick. Now let’s just sneak him into Day 2 of the NFL Draft.

 

5.06 – Cade Johnson, WR, South Dakota State (SEA)

Analyst: Cody Carpentier (@CarpentierNFL)
Rationale:
Falling in the process because he didn’t test out and South Dakota State didn’t play in 2020. Johnson is a stud, and will fit right in if he is drafted by a competent team. The Adam Thielen/Julian Edelman for another team.

 

5.07 – Jonathan Adams, WR, Arkansas State (DET)

Analyst: Britt Sanders (@theFFSandman)

Jonathan Adams Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

 

5.08 – Kenny Yeboah, TE, Ole Miss (NYJ)

Analyst: Will Barrett (@Will_Barrett1)
Rationale: Dart throw here. Transferred to Ole Miss in his 2020 season and averaged 19.4 yards per reception, a 98th-percentile mark. 

 

5.09 – Marlon Williams, WR, UCF (HOU)

Analyst: Daniel Miner (@dminer1983)
Rationale:
I am targeting this guy late in every draft. He may never be a thing, but there are aspects of his game that remind me of Deebo Samuel. I love the physicality he displays on film.

 

5.10 – Josh Imatorbhebhe, WR, Illinois (JAX)

Analyst: Casey Gruarin (@casey_g14)
Rationale:
Being 6-1 and 218-pounds with a 93rd-percentile College Dominator Rating, 71st-percentile College YPR, 100th-percentile Burst Score and 96th-percentile Catch Radius give him incredible upside as a prospect.

 

5.11 – Larry Rountree, RB, Missouri (LAC) 

Analyst: Nick Tabs (@NTabs33)
Rationale:
Slow, plodder type back that could be a TD vulture.

 

5.12 – Stevie Scott, RB, Indiana (NO)

Analyst: Andrew Quinn (@AQuinnff)
Rationale:
Well below average metrics and testing scores, but he’s a young back in this class. Most likely will be an occasional plodder, but chasing the upside of future goal line work.

 

Round 5 Takeaways

Kellen Mond has been a riser throughout our rookie mocking process. The potential Kirk Cousins replacement, his value unquestionably rises the most of anyone picked in this round, and arguably this entire draft given how late he was picked. Josh “Imhotep” Imatorbhebhe (editors note: I see you Jake Ciely) will also be a priority stash if he can make the Jaguars roster and come anywhere close to living up to the potential we all saw in Charles Johnson, his Best Comparable Player.

 

 

Don’t forget about Deon Jackson landing in Indianapolis, where depth behind Jonathan Taylor is always welcome. He profiles as a good version of Best Comparable Player and former Colt and journeyman Andre Brown, with a top 10 Athleticism Score among this year’s rookie backs. Stash him on taxi squads now.

With the exception of Ihmir Smith-Marsette, and arguably Kenny Yeboah, every other player picked in this round can be classified as a faller relative to where they were picked last time, as tends to be the case with players picked in this range. Seven fell out of the fifth round entirely between mocks, and none ended up in places that inspired any confidence that they won’t be replaced next year barring a good enough summer to stick around on the final roster.

 

Conclusion

Well that was fun. Be sure to be on the lookout for our next set of rookie mocks that began on May 2nd and are running as we speak. I’d love to wax poetic until I can think of a witty quip to depart on, but I’m afraid we’re out of time.