The RotoUnderworld community continues with a series of 12-team, five-round rookie mock drafts that has run through the spring and summer. Mock drafters are comprised of writers and analysts from both PlayerProfiler and The Breakout Finder, as well as our friends in the Patreon community. Our writers take turns recapping the festivities and adding their own unique perspectives.
Can’t get enough rookie content? The Underworld has you covered! I’m pleased to bring this most recent instalment of our rookie mock draft series. Taking the majority of August (yes, this one put the “slow” in slow draft), this mock spanned plenty of preseason twists and turns.
Let me begin by introducing our group of mock draft maestros for this go round. Leading off we have Aaron ‘The Salary Cap-tain’ Stewart, followed by the trio of Jaylan Glenn, John Earley and Frank Lakatos. Occupying the middle of the draft board are Edward DeLauter, editorial ace Ray Ray Marz, Nick Tabs, and Andrew Quinn. The back third of Round 1 includes Joshua Benjamin, yours truly – Steve Smith, Cody Carpentier, and Theo Gremminger.
Here’s a look at the final draft board (snaking format):
Similar to previous RotoUnderworld SuperFlex mocks, the first round is dominated by quarterbacks. Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields and Trey Lance look the part of dynasty team cornerstones – no need to get cute in this format, QBs are and will be valuable assets. Zach Wilson goes at a usual mid-round position, but Mac Jones leaps him as the seventh selection. In more recent SF mocks, Jones has gone closer to the end of the first round or early second. Nick Tabs bet on Jones’ and benefits from his quick ascension that led to Cam Newton’s surprising release. Jones threw no interceptions and completed 69.2-percent of pass attempts (36 of 52) in three preseason outings.
A strong QB class continues to push gems like Kyle Pitts (1.09) and Javonte Williams (1.10) to the back half of the opening round. Looking dynamic in training camp, Rashod Bateman goes off the board at 1.09, but won’t see action until at least Week 4 due to core-muscle surgery. Despite the injury, Bateman holds his dynasty ranking as the 2021 class WR2. A brutal preseason of high-profile injuries wiped out Frank’s solid pick at 1.04. The owner of the top RB Breakout Rating in the 2021 class, Travis Etienne, will miss his rookie season recovering from a Lisfranc injury sustained in the Jags preseason finale.
Outside of a couple of minor draft position swaps and Mac Jones rising to 1.07, the first round provided no significant surprises to our ADP trends. The dozen rookies drafted in Round 1 mimic PlayerProfiler‘s rookie rankings for the SF format.
After a chalky opening round, players start to move around in Round 2. Trey Sermon and Michael Carter are immediately scooped up at the turn. Sermon’s stock continues to rise after a solid preseason, but many fantasy gamers seem to be forgetting about Raheem Mostert. Not reaching into the first to select Sermon over the top two ranked WRs in the 2021 class is wise. Carter goes at 2.02, which is the earliest we’ve seen him drafted in our SuperFlex mocks. It’s not a reach though, he normally goes in the mid to early second. I’ll let Cody explain in the video below why he’s high on the former Tar Heel.
The remainder of the round is dominated by high upside wide receivers. Only Ja’Marr Chase has a higher WR Breakout Rating than three of the receivers selected in the first half of this round: 2.06 Rondale Moore (46.9), 2.04 Elijah Moore (44.4), and 2.05 Terrace Marshall (42.3).
Kellen Mond goes at 2.08, sandwiched between nine wideouts. With the higher profile WRs gone, The FF_Litigator ignored the ADP trends and boldly got his QB a few picks early. Amon-Ra St. Brown looks like another great get at 2.11. A good route runner with an early Breakout Age, St. Brown should see plenty of opportunity on a Lions team that is slim on WR talent and will find itself trailing often.
A few months from now fantasy managers will be raving about the WR steals that fell to them in the second round of rookie drafts.
This round brings a distinct split. There is a steep drop off in RB and QB talent in this draft class and the picks in this round confirm it. Five of the first six picks were used on pass catchers (three WRs, two TEs), while the latter half of the round transitioned to RBs and QBs. More recently a late second round fixture of our SF mocks, Nico Collins falls to 3.02 behind Josh Palmer. Collins’ second round draft slot is now occupied by Seahawks rookie, D’Wayne Eskridge. Jaylan looks to have acquired Collins at good value after the Texans recent release of Keke Coutee. With Coutee moving on and Anthony Miller nursing an injury, Collins will have a change to contribute right away.
Picks 2.07 through 2.12 predominately consist of QB and RB fliers. Had this mock took place today, Gerrid Doaks and Chuba Hubbard would likely slip out of this round. A casualty of roster cuts, Doaks now finds himself on the Dolphins practice squad. At this point, he is no more than a deep league taxi squad stash. Chuba’s stock falls with Royce Freeman landing in the Panthers’ backfield. His Lifetime Value took a 39.90 point hit following that transaction.
Rhamondre Stevenson is steal of the round goes off the board at the 3.10. The former Sooner produced a strong preseason. In fact, his 127 yard and two touchdown performance against the Washington Football Team in Week 1 nearly broke Fantasy Football Twitter. Fitting the mold of a typical Bill Belichick power back, Stevenson’s further stock rose with the New England dealing former first round pick, Sony Michel to the LA Rams.
With three rounds in the books the pick breakdown is as follows: eight QBs, 10 RBs, 15 WRs and 3 TEs.
Step off to the side and stay alert, the darts are about to fly. This fourth is mainly filled with taxi squad stashes, but there are definitely a couple of notable selections worth discussing.
Jake Funk (nice grab at 4.07 by Ray) was largely looked over in spring rookie drafts, but was a popular add following Cam Akers (sigh) July Achilles injury. A 2021 seventh round pick, Funk has nice athletic measurables. In addition to his 125.6 Burst Score (82-percentile), Funk owns the second highest Agility Score in the 2021 RB class. Sitting third on the depth chart, Funk is a worthwhile stash with a path to playing time (likely a flex play, but who’s going to complain about that in the fourth?). Sony Michel and Darrell Henderson haven’t exactly been a picture of health. Last year alone, Michel missed six games with a quad strain and Henderson missed three with a high ankle sprain.
A modestly-rated prospect (two-stars by ESPN/Rivals and three-stars by 247 Sports), Funk has a knack for overcoming obstacles put in his way. In his final season at Maryland, he ran for 516 yards (60 attempts), scored four TDs, and caught 10 passes for 68 yards (7.5-percent Target Share) in five games.
Kylen Granson, a nice upside pick, comes off the board late at 4.08. Once again focusing on the right details, this tight-end prospect displays an important element for the position – athleticism. The SMU product exhibits 75th-plus-percentile metrics across agility, burst and 40-time. He is easily the most dynamic option in the Colts’ TE room. Granson is expect to have a role in the Colts’ offense, likely as the TE3 filling in for the departed Trey Burton.
Lesson learned: always bet on athletes, especially in the later rounds of your drafts.
More darts thrown in the final round. In fact, one could argue the dart throwing accuracy was better in Round 5 than the previous round. Players like Chris Evans (5.02), Larry Rountree (5.05), Mike Strachan (5,08), and Jaret Patterson (5.10) could be relative bullseyes. Each of them flashed during training camp and/or preseason action, ultimately earning a roster spot with a foreseeable path to fantasy football relevancy.
Patterson, an undersized runner, went undrafted in April. However, he has an 88th-percentile College YPC average and 43.4-percent College Dominator Rating. In fact, if you search dominator rating for the 2021 RB class on the Breakout Finder App, you will find Patterson’s score at the top. He impressed in preseason games and is now slated in as the WFT back-up runner (J.D. McKissic is a slot WR in RB clothing) following the release of Peyton Barber.
Please double check your waiver wires for Rountree, Patterson, Evans, and Strachan or acquire them as throw-ins to a deal. While you’re there, check for notable mock draft omissions that rose to relevancy after this mock such as Tony Jones and Ty’Son Williams.
That concludes our 2021 SuperFlex rookie mock draft series. Thanks to the members of the Underworld and Friends that participated in this mock. Don’t fret, the Underworld will be back with more mock drafts soon. With the NFL campaign set to kick off, we turn our attention to 2022 rookie mocks. Stay tuned to get a jump on the competition heading into 2022 draft season.
Football is back! Enjoy the season!