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 landing spot raises more questions, most of which are out of his control.
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. For my money, it is a competition between him and Kellan Mond (Minnesota Vikings) for the QB6-7 position.
Davis Mills selected by the Houston Texans
I find this pick very fascinating. What it tells me is the Texans are very uncertain as to the future of Deshaun Watson. But would he even be ready to start should the Texans have no choice, whether via trade or actions that are out of their hands? Don’t get me wrong; I have been higher on Mills than most in the fantasy community. I see a lot of Kirk Cousins or Ryan Tannehill in Mills’ game. He won’t break off long runs like Trey Lance or Justin Fields, but there is mobility to score inside the red zone. He has the arm traits to succeed in the NFL as well.
The issue is the organization. The Texans are in shambles and are trying to rebuild their franchise from the top down. Even if Mills is viewed as that next step, he would be taking over a dumpster fire of an organization. But it is tough to ignore the draft capital they invested on Mills with the No. 67 overall selection. The way it stands right now, Mills is my QB7 in dynasty rookie drafts, one slot behind Mond.
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 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 finds 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.
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 after the draft comes. After Mills going 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 or 7 in dynasty drafts
Kyle Trask has seen his name thrown around for his selection, but I am not a massive fan of his skillset. If given a head-to-head pick, I would take Davis Mills over Trask fairly easily. Even though the value could not be further apart. I would love to see Mills sit a year at least and develop but quite frankly, that might not be an option. If that is the case, you are getting a starting NFL QB in the back-end of the second to an early third of a Superflex draft. That is unheard of value. All his value can do is climb so long as he plays well.
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