RotoUnderworld 2019 Dynasty Mock Rookie Draft – Round 4

by Ray Marzarella ·
daniel-jones-fantasy-football

We’ve reached Round Four of the 12-team, four round rookie mock draft conducted at RotoUnderworld. A round where tight ends reigned supreme, with four being selected. Where the No. 6 pick in the 2019 draft was finally taken off the board. And where owners planted their flags on players who they’ll likely qualify for truther status for if they don’t hit within the next two years. At least in some applicable cases.

In examining the advanced stats, metrics and analytics profiles of players the way that we do here, we’ve tended to be higher and lower on certain players than consensus over the years. As such, it may surprise you to see where some of them were picked in this experiment. Especially as we delve into this final round where the variance had no choice but to increase. This four-part series, featuring 12 minions and/or friends of the Underworld, will tell you everything you need to know to help you slay your rookie drafts.

4.01 – Jace Sternberger, TE, Packers

Analyst: Anthony Cervino (@therealnflguru)

Rationale: Rounding out this mock draft, I took a stab at the future in the form of Packers third-round (75th overall pick) TE Jace Sternberger. While Green Bay signed Jimmy Graham to a three-year, $30 million deal an offseason ago, they can get out of his contract in the 2020 offseason while only absorbing a cap hit of roughly $3.7 million. With Graham turning 33 on November 24, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Packers ultimately moved on from the veteran. Especially if Sternberger, who would be the first home-grown Green Bay tight end to significantly emerge since Jermichael Finley (circa 2008-2013), looks the part and flashes in his 2019 rookie campaign. Although Sternberger (6- 4, 251) isn’t as big as Graham (6- 7, 265), the Texas A&M alum makes up for it with his versatility. And while his blocking skillet remains a work-in-progress, he lined up all over the formation at the collegiate level including in-line tight end, outside receiver, the slot and even moonlighted as an H-back. While his average workout metrics hindered his draft stock, his ridiculous 32.7-percent College Dominator Rating (91st-percentile) and 17.3 yards per reception (93rd-percentile) can’t be ignored. He’s a playmaker who is also an exceptional route runner and can catch anything thrown in his vicinity. If Marcedes Lewis — still one of the league’s best blocking tight ends — can help the rookie improve as a blocker, don’t be surprised if Sternberger is Green Bay’s TE1 by the 2020 season opener.

Other Considerations: Jalen Hurd, Josh Oliver.

Jace Sternberger Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Beats by Ray: Following two last seasons at Kansas, Jace Sternberger smashed during his one year at Texas A&M. He led last year’s Aggies in catches (48), yards (832) and touchdowns (10). Because of this, we can forgive him for having a low Breakout Age. Size-adjusted athleticism and weight-adjusted agility are two of the most important factors in determining tight end success. Sternberger checks both of those boxes, and he was drafted by a good team with an early round pick. This rookie class is deep with talented players at a position with a steep professional learning curve. The fourth round seems like the appropriate spot to take shots on these guys.

4.02 – Kahale Warring, TE, Texans

Analyst: Ray Marzarella (@rayraymarz)

Rationale: This rookie class is deep with talented players at a position with a steep professional learning curve. The fourth round seems like the appropriate spot to take shots on these guys (there’s an echo in here). Though I considered Ty Johnson in the last round and he was still available here, it was hard to pass on the upside of Kahale Warring. He checks the size-adjusted athleticism and weight-adjusted agility boxes that we want our tight end prospects to check. He also has a lot of room to grow as a football player in general. A converted basketball and water polo player, Warring played just one year of high school football before heading to San Diego State. As a walk-on, he caught 51 balls for 637 yards and eight touchdowns in three seasons. His professional growth may have to be accelerated, as the Texans no longer have an established pass-catcher at the position with the release of Ryan Griffin. He has the clearest path to Year One opportunity among the remaining rookie TEs, making him my selection here.

Other Considerations: Ty Johnson, Ashton Dulin, Jalen Hurd, Alex Barnes.

Kahale Warring Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Beats by Ray: Kahale Warring‘s full name is Kahalekuiokalani Michael Wodehouse Warring. That’s a great name.

4.03 – Drew Lock, QB, Broncos

Analyst: The Podfather (@Fantasy_Mansion)

Rationale: Most fourth round dynasty rookie picks fail, which is why I often include them in packages for existing roster upgrades. If forced to actually make a selection, quarterbacks like Drew Lock and Daniel Jones are the best chance for a fourth round pick to actually accrue value year-to-year. Lock was criticized for his erratic play at Missouri, but his advanced collegiate profile checks a lot of boxes: 80th-percentile athleticism plus 80th-percentile efficiency suggests he has the raw material to flourish in the NFL. While Jones has the draft capital, Lock has the superior college résumé, athleticism, and supporting cast, making him the perfect low-risk, high-upside late-round dynasty QB stash.

Other Considerations: None.

Beats by Ray: Despite late-breaking rumors of Denver’s interest in Daniel Jones before the NFL draft, Drew Lock was always destined to be a Bronco. General manager John Elway’s affinity for Lock was one of this year’s worst kept pre-draft secrets. He’s a tall, upper-percentile athlete who started multiple games as a true freshman against SEC competition at Missouri. But his College YPA is below average, he’s got small hands and he owns a sub-60-percent career completion percentage. It’s worth noting that his best college season came when he had both Emanuel Hall and future fourth-round pick J’Mon Moore to work with. Supporting cast matters a lot for young quarterbacks. If Lock ends up starting games in 2019, his supporting cast will include two promising second-year receivers in Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton, 94th-percentile SPARQ-x tight end Noah Fant, and the ever-reliable Emmanuel Sanders, if healthy.  

4.04 – Daniel Jones, QB, Giants

Analyst: Ed DeLauter (@FF_Litigator)

Rationale: Daniel Jones has been my go-to fourth round pick in rookie drafts. I get it, we all think he sucks. He posted a 42nd-percentile QBR of 72 in college, and had a 10th-percentile YPA of 6.8. (insert barf emoji). He does not look like an NFL starting quarterback, and could very well be the quarterback that sets the Giants franchise back five years. However, whether we like it or not, Jones was the sixth overall pick in the NFL draft. He will see starts under center for the Giants, most likely towards the end of this season, because of that draft capital. With the recent success of quarterbacks that many fantasy players were correctly down on, i.e. Mitchell Trubisky, and Josh Allen, I have no problem drafting Jones in the fourth round of rookie drafts. If he pops like the two aforementioned players, I can sell him ASAP. He’s one of the few guys going this late in drafts that I can see myself profiting on as soon as this season.

Other Considerations: Trayveon Williams, Travis Homer, Jalen Hurd, Josh Oliver.

Beats by Ray: Contrary to popular belief, there are actually reasons for optimism regarding Daniel Jones. It all centers around the fact that he had a terrible supporting cast at Duke. Because the Giants owe Eli Manning so much guaranteed money, Jones is unlikely to win the starting job before Week One. But eventually, the team is going to give Jones a chance to be the guy once they realize that he at least has functional athleticism. Hopefully they realize it before they get the statue-esque Eli too badly beaten up. It seems weird on the surface to see the No. 6 pick in the NFL Draft fall to the fourth round of a rookie mock. But he’s more likely to return value early on than anyone is willing to admit. The offensive line doesn’t project to be terrible. And his passing game options include Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate and Evan Engram. But the right play might be to stash and trade him once he has a breakout game.

4.05 – Devine Ozigbo, RB, Saints

Analyst: Mark Leipold (@LeipoldNFL)

Rationale: With Latavius Murray possibly (probably) on the tail end of his career, Devine Ozigbo has a chance to step into a starter role sooner rather than later. As an undersized player, he’ll likely never be a 20-plus touch per game back. But that’s not needed in a Saints offense that’s consistently one of the highest scoring offenses in terms of fantasy points at the running back position. This is a clear upside pick, though he may need to simmer on a taxi squad for a year or two before getting a real chance. With over 1,000 rushing yards and 23 catches in his senior season at Nebraska, he does offer an all-purpose skillset. So he could be worth the wait.

Other Considerations: None.

Beats by Ray: Landing in New Orleans, the Valhalla of running back fantasy point production, is the best-case scenario for Devine Ozigbo. He has the build of a power back, with the hands and short-area quickness of a satellite back. His versatility would theoretically allow him to fill the role of either Alvin Kamara or Latavius Murray, if the need were to arise. This gives him late-round value in deep redraft leagues, provided he can make the team and climb the depth chart. 

4.06 – Jalen Hurd, WR, 49ers

Analyst: Jesse de Luca (@JesseDeLucaFB)

Rationale: A developmental receiver who started his college career as a running back. With an 89th-percentile SPARQ-x score at 6-5 226-pounds, Jalen Hurd is a physical specimen with the potential to become a starter in a year or so. If that happens, he’ll become a quality fantasy asset with Jimmy Garoppolo at the helm in San Francisco.

Other Considerations: None.

Jalen Hurd Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Beats by Ray: The drafting of Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd in back to back rounds suggests that the 49ers value versatile players at the wide receiver position. Hurd started his career as a running back at Tennessee, where he shared the backfield with Alvin Kamara. He caught 67 passes in three seasons as a Volunteer before transferring to Baylor to play wide receiver. In his first year playing the position, he caught 69 balls for 946 yards and four touchdowns. So while he has room to grow as a receiver, he can contribute in other ways. Whether it translates to consistent fantasy production is another story. If he gets converted to tight end as has been rumored, he could offer Jaylen Samuels-like positional flexibility on leagues servers that would list him as multiple positions.

4.07 – Scott Miller, WR, Buccaneers

Analyst: Mike Randle (@RandleRant)

Rationale: Goodbye Adam Humphries

Other Considerations: None.

Scott Miller Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Beats by Ray: Well said, as Scott Miller is better than Adam Humphries in every conceivable way. With Bruce Arians running the offensive show in Tampa Bay, Miller must be taken seriously. He’s an exceptional athlete with 4.44 speed and age-adjusted college dominance. Though he played in the MAC conference, he had some of his best games against power-five schools. He’s the best slot receiver prototype fit of all the Bucs receivers. Which will make him stand out on a depth chart full of size-adjusted speed freaks. 

4.08 – Caleb Wilson, TE, Cardinals

Analyst: Akash Bhatia (@FantasyKash)

Rationale: Caleb Wilson should not be available this late. He has a 91st-percentile College Dominator Rating, 86th-Percentile College YPR, and an 87th-Percentile Speed Score. All of this was at a Power-5 Conference school in UCLA. Add in that he is in the exciting Kliff Kingsbury-Kyler Murray offense, and he oozes with upside.

Other Considerations: None.

Beats by Ray: Caleb Wilson: Mr. Irrelevant in the NFL Draft, but not in the hearts of the Underworld. With a new Air Raid style of offense being implemented by a new coaching staff in Arizona, there’s room for Wilson to work himself into a role. We’d like him to be a little bigger and a little more agile with a better Breakout Age. But his elite size-adjusted speed is a big check mark in his favor. And there are enough players in front of him on the depth chart to allow him to bulk up and develop at the pro level. Wilson is a long game play, but one that could be well worth waiting for.

4.09 – Ty Johnson, RB, Lions

Analyst: Clint Hale (@DeviantDynasty)

Rationale: Ty Johnson flashed his athletic upside as a sophomore at Maryland, rushing for over 1,000-yards and catching 16 passes for over 200-yards. His performance at his pro day and his 107.1 (85th-percentile) Speed Score earned him sixth round draft capital from the Lions. Kerryon Johnson is a stud and isn’t going anywhere, but C.J. Anderson, Theo Riddick, and Zach Zenner all have deals up after the season, leaving only the Johnsons signed in Detroit’s backfield for 2020. Ty Johnson is an asset worth holding based on a near-guaranteed value accrual by next year.

Other Considerations: None.

Ty Johnson Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Beats by Ray: The Lions drafting Ty Johnson and pursuing Malcolm Brown in free agency suggests that they’re concerned about their running back depth. Kerryon Johnson, by all accounts, is over the knee injury that ended his rookie year. But it’s not impossible for those issues to reoccur next year. It’s also possible that the Johnson pick was insurance for satellite back Theo Riddick if he leaves in free agency next year. Either way, being the fastest back on a team committed to running the ball should put him on the radar of dynasty leaguers. And being another true sophomore breakout should immediately endear him to the Underworld faithful.

4.10 – James Williams, RB, Chiefs

Analyst: Alex Johnson (@a_johnsonff)

Rationale: James Williams caught over 200 passes in three seasons at Washington State. With the Kansas City running back depth chart far from locked-in, a third down role could be in his future. Any back catching passes in a Patrick Mahomes-led offense is one I want on my dynasty team. Give me Williams over Darwin Thompson any day.

Other Considerations: None.

Beats by Ray: And we’ve reached the first offseason casualty of the players drafted in this mock, as James Williams was recently released by the Chiefs. An undrafted free agent, he was always going to be a long shot to make the final roster. And he could eventually be brought back. Some team will have use for a player whose 202 catches was the most in a three-year span in college football history for a running back.

4.11 – Hunter Renfrow, WR, Raiders

Analyst: Neil Dutton (@ndutton13)

Rationale: I’ll be honest, if you give me the chance to take a 45-year old slot receiver with a woeful college YPR and a 32nd-percentile College Dominator Rating, I’m going to take it. Hunter Renfrow claims to only be 23, but he’s been saying that for years. I didn’t love the options at this stage of the draft, but there is a chance that Renfrow may actually win a starting gig for the Raiders. They are in need of a slot receiver, and he certainly fits the bill. The Raiders are talking about moving him around the formation. But let’s be honest here, if he’s going to make a name for himself, it will come inside.

Other Considerations: None.

Hunter Renfrow Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Beats by Ray: Hunter Renfrow looks pretty damn good for a 45-year old. Regardless, his upper-percentile agility helped him become a four-year starter after walking on to the Clemson football team. He didn’t record gaudy college statistics, but also had a lot of target competition over the years. With Seth Roberts finally gone, he only has Ryan Grant to compete with for slot work. But Grant could be gone after this season, leaving the door open for Renfrow to begin contributing consistently as soon as 2020.

4.12 – Josh Oliver, TE, Jaguars

Analyst: Sean McClure (@spmcclure89)

Rationale: Josh Oliver is a great fourth-round rookie pick with a balanced profile. He’s an above average athlete for his position with a 113.0 SPARQ-x score that puts him in the 70th-percentile among tight ends. He also has ideal size to be a three-down player at the next level, coming in at 6-5 and 249-pounds. He was drafted in the early third round by a Jacksonville team that has a wide open depth chart at tight end. Which makes a starting role a possibility as soon as this year. Oliver’s college production and breakout age at a smaller school are somewhat lacking, but he has enough positive traits to make this an athleticism and opportunity gamble worth taking.

Other Considerations: Travis Fulgham, Trayveon Williams, Alex Barnes, Foster Moreau.

Caleb Wilson Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Beats by Ray: You’d like to see Josh Oliver have a better Agility Score and Breakout Age. But in four college seasons, he had to deal with having four different offensive coordinators and three different position coaches. His top-end speed and prototypical size will help him compete to be Jacksonville’s starting tight end in 2019. With only Geoff Swaim, James O’Shaughnessy and Ben Koyack to compete with, that goal is well within reach. With the offense set to take a step forward with Nick Foles at quarterback, Oliver makes for a solid final pick in this mock draft.