Image credit to NeonTommy/Flickr

Image credit to NeonTommy/Flickr

One of the most fascinating things about Rookies is how their stock dramatically changes throughout draft season.

Player X went nuts at the Combine!  Move him up the board.

Player Y hurt himself while training for the Combine?  Exile him to the 3rd round!

Player Z told the world he was gay.  He’s undraftable!

 

In all seriousness, don’t you think the Rookie stock market is an interesting thing to watch; especially for Fantasy Football?  I’ve always had a suspicion that Dynasty Drafts occurring right after the draft would look dramatically different than those that happen on the weekend before Week 1.  This year, I am conducting an experiment to test this hypothesis.

RotoViz will be hosting three rookie mock drafts between now and week 1 of the NFL season to monitor player movement and market-shifting factors: one before the Combine,  one before the NFL Draft and one during the preseason.

The participants in this rookie mock draft are your peers.  These RotoViz readers were chosen because they had commented on our articles.  After all, this is a two way street.  We LOVE IT when you comment on  our articles.  It makes the RotoViz community better and it makes us better as writers.

So, without further adieu, here are the results of the Pre-Combine 2014 Rookie Mock Draft:

 

Whose Picks Do I Love?

I think Rich (@LordReebs) hit a homerun with Jordan Matthews at 1.9.  As you may recall, Matthews is one of the most prolific game dominators in recent college football history.  People have disagreed with me on Twitter, but I think JMatt will consistently be there in the 1.8 to 1.12 range, which is fantastic value.  I also loved Rich’s pick of Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who, for my money, is probably my favorite TE prospect in this draft.  Using the RotoViz College WR Stat Filter I found that ASJ is the most dominant Red Zone tight end of the last eight years.  How do I figure?  Looking at a minimum of 35 RZ targets, he posted a 50% TD rate.  For what it’s worth, Gator Hoskins is the 2nd most prolific.  Rich’s third pick, Antonio Andrews produced two of the top36 yards-from-scrimmage seasons in college football history.  No big deal, right?

Seth (@capnhuggyface) made some really strong picks too.  Jeremy Hill gets less buzz, but at 6’1” and 235lbs he could be this year’s Le’Veon Bell.  Donte Moncrief– seriously, how much fun is that name?– was also a nice scoop.  You might remember Moncrief as one of three players in the 2014 draft to breakout at 18 years old.  Oh and he weighs 220+lbs.  Basically, he has all the Holy Grail Elements working for him.  He rounded out his draft with Blake Bortles, who has a really hot girlfriend and compares to Ben Roethlisberger and Teddy Bridgewater.

Cheers to @JymCollins for going big (or going home) with 40 time suspect Mike Evans, Carlos Hyde and Troy Niklas.  These will probably be three of the biggest movers between now and Week 1.

Shoutout to @FFAvenger for taking Allen Robinson at 1.8.  I have a hunch he’ll be a huge riser over the coming months.

Who Went in a Different Direction than Me?

Adam (@RedHat28) got the party started by taking Historically Impressive Davante Adams.  I actually love that pick.  But I was less enthusiastic about Paul Richardson, who is under 180lbs, and Ryan Grant, who will be a 24 year old rookie.

(For an almost-complete list of Fantasy Football prospect ages, check out the 2014 Rookie Age Project.)

I’m iffy about Clint (@BTR331) taking Jace Amaro at 1.10.  That said, I probably would have praised him had he taken Jace at 1.10 and then ASJ with pick 15.  Depending on where they land, and how their workout numbers look, someone at the turn of Rd1 could really make a baller move by taking two TEs.  I think that all three of these guys are fantastic.

I was a little surprised to see Carey and Mason go at 2 & 3 because, in my eyes, there are a lot of nice RB options and we still know relatively little about their physical profiles.  Not saying they won’t ultimately go that high, but right now I wouldn’t have pulled the trigger there.

Who Was Overlooked?

Wide Receivers

Maybe you’ve never heard of Chris Boyd, but I think after you read why he is the biggest sleeper in the 2014 NFL Draft, your opinion might change.  I think he will be a big riser over the next few months.  I’m not surprised he was ommitted now.  I WILL be surprised if he doesn’t end up among the top 40 picks in many rookie drafts.

Other guys who have interesting metrics and are bigger than 6’2″ and 200lbs include: Quincy EnunwaCody HoffmanBrandon ColemanEric ThomasCody Latimer.  These are your high-end flier guys who you should know for later in your Rookie drafts.

(If you feel compelled to do your own research on WR or TE prospects, be sure to check out the RotoViz College Career Graph app.)

Running Backs

James Wilder Jr., Raijon Neal, Storm Johnson, David Fluellen, and George Atkinson are probably in that next group of RBs that would have been drafted in a 4th or 5th round of the rookie draft.  They’re all bigger guys who could turn some heads with strong Combines and make it into the next Mock Draft.  I’m surprised, but not, that a brand name like De’Anthony Thomas fell through.

Tight Ends

I’m not surprised by these results, but I do want to mention someone.  It seems like Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jace Amaro, Eric Ebron and Troy Niklas are locked in as being the top 4 TEs in this draft.  The guy who I think will be #5 is Crockett Gillmore from Colorado State.  Using “.2DR” as a TE breakthrough measure, Gillmore achieved that at age 20, while also posting some solid raw stats for his career.  He looked interesting during Senior Bowl 1-on-1s.

 

*Quarterbacks*

No surprises.  I think for most people that Boyd-Mettenberger-McCarron-Fales-Carr-etc. cluster is pretty indiscernable.  Only 1 or 2 will end up being interesting bench warmers under established vets and worthwhile dynasty stashes, like Peyton Manning’s successor Brock Osweiler.

 

What do you think?

Remember, the participants in this mock draft were chosen because they had commented on articles.  Leave your two cents below to become eligible to participate in our 2nd Rookie Mock Draft.  Whose picks did you love?  Who went awry?  Who will be the biggest movers between now and draft day?  Look forward to reading your thoughts.

Jon Moore is a coach at RotoAcademy and creator of The College Football Experiment.  Continue this conversation with him on Twitter or Google+.

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