After the conclusion of the three most important days when it pertains to your yearly rookie draft, the NFL and teams had to throw us a curve-ball and mess with our rookies! Whether it be Phillip Dorsett going to the Colts and leaving his, and other Colts receivers value up in the air, or top-rated (at least for me) RB, Jay Ajayi going to the Miami Dolphins in the middle of Day 3, it’s definitely messed with things!
First off, a few players/destinations I liked and disliked
Liked: Cooper to OAK, Agholor to PHI, Yeldon to JAX
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Disliked: Mariota to TEN, Phillip Dorsett to IND, Tyler Kroft to CIN
So now, the rookie mock (14-teams):
1.01 – Todd Gurley, RB, St. Louis Rams
I went back and forth on this for a while, but Gurley in St. Louis isn’t as bad as you would think. Yes, I know Jeff Fisher has a history of messing with RBs (just look at Zac Stacy who’s now a Jet and Tre Mason who’s value is in flux), but they didn’t draft Gurley at 10 to just make him a platoon back. He’s the guy. Gurley is a gifted athlete that does everything well. RBs have a shorter shelf-life (traditionally), but Gurley will be “match-up proof”. Feel confident taking him with your top selection.
1.02 – Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders
We knew it was either going to be him or Kevin White. The Raiders went with the “surest” WR in the class. While he doesn’t have as high a ceiling as Kevin White, it’s almost like comparing apples to apples. Cooper is a stud, and he now joins rookie QB Derek Carr who (if you saw my rankings) I’m very high on. This is going to be Gannon/Brown-esque for a while. Absolutely love this.
1.03 – Kevin White, WR, Chicago Bears
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Another spot I went back and forth on, and you could make the case for the guy who I think should go after him here, and I wouldn’t argue. Kevin White is a rare talent. He’s more raw than Amari Cooper, but he reminds me so much of Larry Fitzgerald. He was my top-rated rookie WR. He may not have the same impact as Amari Cooper year one, but he will be productive in this league for a long, long time.
1.04 – Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers
Melvin Gordon wasn’t my two RB in this years class. But I was saying for months that San Diego was the dream spot. The run a power scheme which fits Melvin Gordon to a tee. He won’t be fighting for carries much as the Chargers only roster one other somewhat competent back in Branden Oliver. He’s the guy. I compared him to Jamaal Charles, and I think San Diego is the place he will be most productive.
1.05 – DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins
So many of these guys could be interchangeable, and I wouldn’t argue. I like Nelson Agholor’s situation more, but I think Parker is better, and I love Ryan Tannehill. The WR depth chart in Miami has Jarvis Landry, Kenny Still, newly acquired Greg Jennings, and tight end Jordan Cameron, but Parker, in my opinion, projects as the true number one WR in that offense. This will be quite the tandem for a long time.
1.06 – Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Like I said above, better situation than Parker, and that’s why he’s my 1.06. He is a Maclin clone in the truest sense and should see hefty production in Philadelphia’s offense with newly acquired QB Sam Bradford. Jordan Matthews is there, but I think having Agholor there helps both. Agholor should see similar production to Maclin at some point in this offense.
1.07 – TJ Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Another great landing spot. The Jaguars have a plethora of backs, but none of which are really any good. There’s no one on the depth chart that really threatens Yeldon. Sure, Denard Robinson was productive, but he’s not an every down back, and I think Yeldon could be. Jacksonville has a nice, young offense going and I expect RB2 numbers from Yeldon year one…. IN JACKSONVILLE.
1.08 – Breshad Perriman, WR, Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens decided to draft Torrey Smit… I mean, Breshad Perriman with their selection. See how I almost called him Torrey Smith? Because he is! I like Perriman, a lot, but he did have concerns coming out of UCF with his route-tree and his drops, but I think he landed in the perfect offense for his skill set. When you’re a speedy, bigger WR and land with Joe Flacco and Marc Trestman, you have no excuse but to be productive. Perfect landing spot.
1.09 – Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Tennessee Titans
I just want to let everyone know it killed me to put DGB down this low. I absolutely love the guy. Huge character concerns, but as a football player I love him, no matter how raw. I just dislike the landing spot. Not only is he on a depth chart with Kendall Wright, Justin Hunter and Delanie Walker, I’m just not a huge Marcus Mariota fan. I think DGB could be a true number one, but it will interesting to see how Tennessee uses him year one.
1.10 – Jaelen Strong, WR, Houston Texans
I like Jaelen Strong somewhat, and was surprised he fell as far as he did. The thing with the Texans is, they just don’t have anyone besides DeAndre Hopkins, and that’s where Strong benefits. He will be a very nice complementary piece to a Houston offense headed by Ryan Mallet (or someone different in 2016).
1.11 – Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jameis will make it inside my top-15, maybe top-12 in QBs when I go back and adjust them. I love Jameis Winston (the football player), and it’s not too often a number one overall pick lands in an offense with guys like Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans, Austin Sefarian-Jenkins and a plethora of receiving backs. The Bucs also added Kenny Bell. If you’re in a 2QB league, he should go higher, but Jameis will be productive for a while.
1.12 – David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
As an Andre Ellington owner, this threw a ton of his value out the window. David Johnson is a big, bruising back, who’s break away speed is questionable, but his size and strength will translate well and will likely be the bell-cow for the Birds. Andre Ellington is truly a 3rd-down back (even though I still love him), and David Johnson should see the majority of the carries as the Cardinals will look to keep Carson Palmer upright.
1.13 – Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins
Poor guy. That’s all I could think throughout the draft. Apparently Ajayi’s knees failed multiple teams physicals, and he plummeted. He lands on the Miami Dolphins who for some reason don’t have total faith that Lamar Miller is the guy. One thing to note is Miller is a free agent after this season, and, depending on how Ajayi does and how his knee holds up, could be on his way out opening up the flood gates for Ajayi. I still love you, Jay!
1.14 – Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans
I went back and forth with a few guys here, and while I’m not a huge fan of Mariota or the team he landed on, he is a dual-threat QB, and running ability equals points in fantasy football. There’s multiple QBs I prefer over him, but it will be intriguing to see how they use him and his effectiveness coming from Oregon. Some other guys I considered here were Duke Johnson and Devin Funchess.
Follow me on Twitter @RichardJanvrin, and be on the lookout for the second round mock!