While we love the big names in fantasy football, championships are won by finding value in drafts. For those in dynasty leagues looking for a sleeper at the QB position, Stanford’s QB Davis Mills is down in perceived value, but his game places him in contention to be a Day 2 pick in the NFL Draft.
Davis Mills’ dynasty value for 2021
The case for Davis Mills’ dynasty value is an interesting one. Unless you stayed up for #PAC12AfterDark or lived on the West Coast, odds are you haven’t seen much of the 6’4″, 225-pound, pro-style QB come on your TV. A truncated Pac-12 season did not help either. Those who make their rankings with box score analysis likely don’t know who Davis Mills is right now, but they should.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am by no means saying that Davis Mills should carry the dynasty value of a Trevor Lawrence or the rest of the top four QBs. What I will say is that he should be in the next group up for consideration. I might go as far as to say he could be the QB6, and it sounds like the NFL agrees. You could see Davis Mills go later in the third round of the NFL Draft or early in Day 3.
As of right now, Davis Mills does not carry any name value or recognition to be found in any dynasty big boards or garner consideration with early picks.
Davis Mills’ collegiate career never lived up to expectations
A high school recruit in 2017, Mills was ranked as high as it gets for the position. According to 247 Sports, Mills was the No. 15 ranked prospect in the class, and additionally, both the No. 1 pro-style and overall QB. This placed him ahead of Tua Tagovailoa, Jake Fromm, Tate Martell, and Kellen Mond.
From Norcross, Georgia, Mills was an ultra-productive high school QB. He led his team to three regional titles and two state championship games. During his career, he passed for 6,290 yards and 66 touchdowns. He was selected to the 2017 U.S. Army All-American Bowl but was unable to play due to an injury. Mills had offers from virtually every major college program but chose to play at Stanford under David Shaw.
Despite being a highly-touted recruit, Mills’ collegiate career got off to a slow start, redshirting his first year in school. In 2018, Mills was rostered but sat behind K.J. Costello as the backup.
Coming into 2019, Mills was still waiting to see his first meaningful time under center. Mills entered the season as the backup to Costello, but injuries led the way for Mills to take over the starting role. He played in eight games, starting in six, completing 158 of 241 passes (65.6%) for 1,960 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. Against Washington State, Mills set a Stanford single-game passing record with 504 yards.
Coming into 2020, Mills finally would be the Day 1 starter and show why he was such a highly coveted prospect.
Mills’ 2020 season was over before it started
While 2020 could have been the year for Davis Mills to rise in value for dynasty and the NFL Draft, the obvious giant wrench got in the way of those plans.
In an abbreviated season, Mills started in each of the final five games. Mills missed the season opener due to an error in testing protocols. He finished the season going 129 of 195 (66.2%) for 1,508 yards and 7 passing touchdowns. He added 3 more touchdowns on the ground.
Mills enters the NFL Draft as a redshirt junior, having started 11 games where he went 287 of 438 (65.5%) for 3,486 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions. Does Davis Mills carry enough value to warrant a selection in dynasty drafts?
Where should you draft Mills in dynasty rookie mock drafts?
Up to this point, basically, everything has been negative. If you didn’t watch any film, that would be your final opinion, too. However, Davis Mills has a lot of traits the NFL would find attractive. He is an old school QB, standing 6’4″, and a pocket passer with a strong arm. He can spin the ball with the best of them and throws one of the best catchable balls in the class.
His timing on short and intermediate routes is fantastic, as is his pocket presence. Being a pocket passer, this is crucial, as he doesn’t have the mobility to get loose if things go south. Mills has no problem standing in the pocket for as long as it takes. He allows time for the route to develop and throws an accurate ball.
There are downsides, though. First off, Mills is not the mobile QB that the NFL is moving towards. That won’t change with reps, and it hurts his potential ceiling in dynasty. Mills is also risk-averse, choosing shorter routes instead of attacking deep. The third concern is simply a lack of time under center. As we saw, Davis Mills only started in 11 games over three years and could have benefited from another year.
Davis Mills has the talent to deserve being drafted in dynasty, despite being so low in value at the moment. In 1QB, he would be a player to take with the last pick of your draft and around the same range in Superflex drafts as of right now. However, this could all change by the time the draft comes. If Mills goes in the late third round, people will throw on the film and see what they had missed.
Davis Mills makes a solid case to be the QB6 in dynasty drafts
Kyle Trask is the QB6 in consensus and coming off the boards in the second round of most Superflex drafts. If given a head-to-head pick, I would take Davis Mills over Trask in dynasty. Even though the value could not be further apart. I’ll take the discount and get the better QB in Davis Mills as neither would be starting Day 1 anyway.
Now, I am not saying to take Mills in the same range of the draft as Trask. What I am saying is talent-wise, I like Davis Mills better than Trask. Given the long-term nature of dynasty, I believe he has a better chance to increase in value.
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