Normally this time of year, sports fans across the country have to wrestle with the choice of which of the numerous sporting events will be on their TV on any given day. Due to the global pandemic of COVID-19, those options are gone. Now we all have to find new ways to entertain ourselves. This is an unprecedented time in the sports world. We have never seen sports across the globe simply stop playing with no end date in sight. The closest thing I can remember in my lifetime was when I was a kid during the aptly named “The Week that Sports Stood Still” following the shocking events of September 11th. While we never wish to see things such as this happen, it does, however, tend to put life and priorities into perspective. While we may debate and argue about which of our teams is better than the other, there is no arguing the place sports holds as an escape in modern society. Although we can not watch athletes create memories on the rolling hills of Augusta National or the courts of the NCAA tournament, football is still here to help get us through this with it’s upcoming free agency period and the subsequent draft. Even though pro days are canceled, I hope this three-round dynasty rookie mock draft can help bridge the gap in our day to day lives while we await the return to normalcy.
Right now is the perfect time to do our rookie mock drafts since we are only looking at the talent a player brings. Once the draft happens we can then add in the landing spots into consideration and adjust accordingly. After posting my three-round Superflex mock earlier, I wanted to follow it up with a 1QB mock as well due to the differences in strategy. Even since posting my last one, my rankings have been tweaked a bit and this will reflect those changes. Okay, enough talking, let’s dive in and see where I have guys falling before free agency comes and shakes the landscape of the NFL.
1.01 – Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin – RB1)
5-10 1/4″ – 226 | For those of you just now jumping on the Jonathan Taylor RB1 train, welcome aboard. If there was any hesitation or discussion between Taylor and D’Andre Swift for the top running back spot, Taylor shut that down quickly when he ran a position best 4.39 40-yard dash. I can go on and on about my love of Taylor, but fellow PFN fantasy analyst Andrew Hall already stated his case as to why Taylor is the best running back in the class. Even on his pro day, he continued to put on a show in front of NFL teams. His talent was on full display from bag work to catching out of the backfield and even split out wide. He is the complete package.
— NFL (@NFL) March 11, 2020
1.02 – D’Andre Swift (Georgia – RB2)
5-8 1/4″ – 212 | Any other year, D’Andre Swift would go number one overall, but due to Taylor’s skills, he comes in at 1.02. Sitting at the second spot in the draft is a relatively easy choice for me. I take whichever premiere running back falls to me and move on. Swift can fit in any scheme, and he’s going to give you the ability to catch passes out of the backfield as well. He also doesn’t have a ton of wear and tear from his time in college.
You can make the case to take the best wide receiver here, and I could understand. But for me, I prioritize the running back as I feel the drop is steeper when missing out on the top tier guys when building a team.
1.03 – CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma – WR1)
6-1 5/8″ – 198 | Speaking of the top wide receiver in the draft, that is CeeDee Lamb of Oklahoma. Being able to watch him and Jerry Jeudy at the NFL Combine battle it out in the same drills was a genuine threat for the football fan. He backed up what we saw on film as someone who can not only win one-on-one and high point a ball but take a quick screen or slant and be a YAC monster by using his 4.50 speed to take it to the house. While some are blown away with catches he made at the NFL Combine and Oklahoma pro day, don’t be, as we have seen it all before on the field.
— NFL (@NFL) March 12, 2020
1.04 – Jerry Jeudy (Alabama – WR2)
6-1″ – 193 | It’s hard not to be happy getting who was the majority of the communities WR1 before the season at 1.04. Jerry Jeudy is the best route runner in this class and can step in on day one as a teams’ WR1 in the NFL. He is going to go inside the top 10 most likely on draft day. The gap between Lamb and Jeudy is minimal, and depending on the landing spot could be flipped.
1.05 – J.K. Dobbins (Ohio State – RB3)
5-9 1/2″ – 209 | While players in Indy stole the spotlight, everyone needs to remember how much of a freak athlete J.K. Dobbins is. His skill set is that of a true three-down workhorse. He can run in between the tackles, make someone miss one-on-one, and showed his ability to catch out of the backfield. Dobbins scored 43 times in his three years at Ohio State while averaging 6.3 yards per carry. Although Ohio State will not have their pro day, as we get closer to the draft there will be some serious waves in the community calling for Dobbins to be the RB2 in 2020.
1.06 – Cam Akers (Florida State – RB4)
5-10 3/8″ – 217 | While we always want a running back to land on a team with an elite offensive line, at least we have seen what Cam Akers can do with a poor one as Florida State was one of the worst statistical lines in the country. Still, Akers ran 586 times in his career for 2,875 yards (4.9 avg) and 27 touchdowns. Add in his 69 catches for seven touchdowns, and Akers can thrive at the next level.
1.07 – Jalen Reagor (TCU – WR3)
5-10 5/8″ – 206 | Did Jalen Reagor run a 4.3 40-yard dash? No. He didn’t need to either. We have already seen on game film for the past three years Reagor has top-end speed to lose almost every defensive back he faces. His burst and acceleration out of a cut are only rivaled by Henry Ruggs from Alabama. Although under 6 feet tall, his 42″ vertical allows him to win jump balls more times than not and will be a problem for shorter cornerbacks in the NFL. If people want to be down on him because he ran a 4.47 at Indy and let him slide in drafts to me later on, please keep doing it.
1.08 – Clyde Edwards-Helaire (LSU – RB5)
5-7 1/4″ – 207 | Of all the running backs I have watched game film on this off-season, I have enjoyed Clyde Edwards-Helaire the most. Although smaller in height, he can put a defender in a spin cycle and just as quickly lower his shoulder and run through them. He is a nightmare in open space. He and Swift are the two best receiving backs in the draft. The issue Edwards-Helaire has is that he is a liability in pass protection and will need coaching in the NFL to improve his craft. Watch his 2019 game against Alabama and try not to come away extremely impressed with what he brings to the field.
No one on defense could stop Clyde Edwards-Helaire 😳
— ESPN (@espn) November 24, 2019
1.09 – Justin Jefferson (LSU – WR4)
6-1 1/4″ – 202 | Justin Jefferson was, arguably, the winner of the NFL Combine. Jefferson will come in and instantly fill the slot role wherever he is drafted too. His 4.43 40-yard time surprised scouts and even himself. Jefferson led the NCAA with 111 catches for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2019, and he proved he has the speed to create separation. Draft capital will not be an issue for Jefferson as I expect him to go in the first round in the upcoming draft.
1.10 – Denzel Mims (Baylor – WR5)
6-2 7/8″ – 207 | If Jefferson wasn’t the winner of the NFL Combine, then Denzel Mims would take that honor. Besting Jefferson with a 4.38 sprint, Mims brings a combination of size and speed that is rare to find. Mims used to be a mid to late second-round pick in early mocks, but due to his recent performances and more people checking his tape, he will be gone by the start of the second round in most drafts.
1.11 – Henry Ruggs III (Alabama – WR6)
5-11″ – 188 | I am convinced that Henry Ruggs will be the guy in this year’s draft we hear the most “I told you so’s” about one way or another. NFL guys gush over his play and that it forces defenses to shift coverage to account for him, which can’t be quantified by data other than wins and losses when not in the lineup. Fantasy guys, on the other hand, are unsure if he will be a better NFL player than fantasy and put him into the boom or bust category. All I know is it is not a conversation going away anytime soon. For example, Tony Pauline has him as his number three receiver in this class; some are even higher. Yet, for me prior to the draft, he is WR10 on my board in dynasty leagues.
Ruggs is a player who I have a hard time deciding on what he is. His speed makes him a threat to take any pass to the house. He scored a touchdown on 24 of his 98 (24.48%) career catches at Alabama. Yes, 98 catches seems low, but when you look at the talent Alabama had at the position, there are only so many attempts to go around. Ruggs could end up being an absolute steal here in the draft or prove to be a better NFL wide receiver than a fantasy one. I lean more towards the latter and think guys will take him before I am willing to take the shot on him. I saw a quote the other day in regards to Ruggs and it hit home, “If you are going to miss, miss fast.” There is no denying the draft capital he will receive in April.
1.12 – AJ Dillon (Boston College – RB6)
6-0 3/8″ – 247 | AJ Dillon turned a lot of heads at the NFL Combine. His 41-inch vertical jump was best among running backs, as was his 131-inch broad jump. Even his 4.53 40-yard dash was in the top 10. His performance matched what we see on his tape. Dillon proved to be very elusive with 80 forced missed tackles as a runner and 3.48 yards after contact per attempt. Dillon will be more landing spot depending on the other running backs mentioned so far. With only 21 receptions on his career, he will need to prove he can be a weapon in the passing game to earn reps, which limits his upside in some schemes and formats.