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And With the First Pick in the Draft…

(Image credit: Kim Clement/USA Today Sports)

By: Austin Geller

Twitter: @24Ageller

Welcome to "Mock Draft Monday", everyone! Draft Day is approaching quickly and it is that time of year to start doing mock drafts. Today, I am going to walk you through a mock draft via FantasyPros’ Draft Simulator picking from the #1 slot in the draft. This is going to simulate a 12 person PPR league with a roster consisting of 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 W/R/T, 1 D/ST, 1 K, and 6 BN. I will be providing a brief overview of my first 7 selections. After that, I will just provide the names of the players I draft. But enough small talk, let’s get started!

Also, make sure to scroll down to the bottom to check out my overall draft grade and projected league standings!

Round 1, Pick 1: Christian McCaffrey (RB - CAR)

This is an easy one for most. Christian McCaffrey is the Holy Grail of fantasy football. Despite CMC dealing with injury all of 2020, the games he did play in, he dominated. The last full season he had was back in 2019, which CMC absolutely crushed. In that year, McCaffrey led all running backs in targets, receiving yards, receptions, and total touchdowns. In addition, among all running backs, CMC was 4th in carries, 2nd in red-zone touches, and 3rd in rushing yards. Now that he is back and healthy, Christian McCaffrey needs to be the #1 overall selection on every draft board.

Round 2, Pick 12: Allen Robinson (WR - CHI)

Allen Robinson had a fantastic year in 2020, finishing as WR9. Not only did he have a great 2020, but he also did so with Trubisky and Foles playing quarterback. Last season, A-Rob ranked 3rd among all wide receivers in targets, 8th in receiving yards, 4th in red-zone targets, and 4th in receptions. What this means is that Allen Robinson is the focal point of the Bears offense. With the arrival of rookie Justin Fields, I expect Robinson’s numbers to improve in 2021. There is no doubt that Allen Robinson will finish the season as a Top 10 wide receiver.

Round 3, Pick 1: Darren Waller (TE - LV)

What another great year for Darren Waller, having finished 2020 as TE2, second to Travis Kelce. Waller is not your ordinary tight end, however. Darren Waller is a WR1 that happens to play tight end. Among all tight ends in 2020, Waller ranked 1st in receptions, total targets, target share, red-zone targets, and yards after catch (YAC). Additionally, Waller ranked 2nd in receiving yards, 3rd in total touchdowns, and 2nd in snap share. What these numbers show is that the offense lives and dies through Darren Waller. On an offense that just lost Nelson Agholor, there will be even more targets heading Waller’s way. I believe Darren Waller is due for a TE1 finish this season. Now that I have locked in an elite TE, I do not have to focus on my TE position until the later rounds.

Round 4, Pick 12: Tyler Lockett (WR - SEA)

Tyler Lockett continues to show the league why he is one of the best in the game. After another stellar season, Lockett finished 2020 as WR8. On a high-flying offense that is led by superstar talent Russell Wilson, it is no surprise to see Lockett thriving. In 2020, Tyler Lockett finished 5th in receptions, 7th in total touchdowns, 11th in total targets, and 11th in red-zone targets. In an offense that ranked 8th in pass attempts in 2020, Lockett should see similar volume in 2021. I expect Lockett to finish as a top 12 receiver this season, which is incredible value for a late 4th round pick.

Round 5, Pick 1: Kyler Murray (QB - ARI)

Finishing as QB2 in 2020, Kyler Murray had a monster season. Among all quarterbacks, he finished Top 15 in passing touchdowns and yards. But his substantial value comes with his ground game. Among all quarterbacks in 2020, Kyler Murray ranked 3rd in carries, 2nd in rushing yards, and 2nd in rushing touchdowns. He is the definition of a dual-threat weapon. The offense runs through Murray and that trend will continue on in 2021. At this point in the draft, the 5th round is typically the last round to grab a Tier 1 quarterback, such as Murray. Now I do not have to focus on my QB position until the later rounds.

Round 6, Pick 12: Robby Anderson (WR - CAR)

Typically, I am not a fan of drafting two players from the same team. However, I could not pass up on a steal like Robby Anderson. Although McCaffrey is the focal point of the offense, Robby Anderson has his role as Carolina’s WR1. Whether CMC or Mike Davis was starting, both running backs got huge workloads in 2020; yet, that did not take away from Robby Anderson’s usage. Last season, Robby ranked 8th in targets, 8th in receptions, and 5th in yards after catch (YAC). Now Robby gets to pair with his old quarterback Sam Darnold, who he had a great rapport with during his time on the Jets. I expect Robby Anderson’s usage to remain the same, putting Anderson at a top 20 WR finish in 2021.

Round 7, Pick 1: Raheem Mostert (RB - SF)

At this point in the draft, there are no clear-cut RB2’s remaining. For the remainder of the draft, I am going to be looking for any running back with RB2 upside. Although he has shown to be injury-prone, Raheem Mostert is a force to be reckoned with when healthy. He is one of the hardest runners in the league and is difficult to bring down. Even with the 49ers trading up to draft Trey Sermon, I believe he is just there in case Mostert goes down. It is a bit of a risk drafting Mostert due to his durability, but he is the best running back available among a group that includes James Robinson, Damien Harris, and Chase Edmonds.

Round 8, Pick 12: Chase Edmonds (RB - ARI)

Round 9, Pick 1: Damien Harris (RB - NE)

Round 10, Pick 12: James Conner (RB - ARI)

Round 11, Pick 1: Cole Beasley (WR - BUF)

Round 12, Pick 12: Matt Ryan (QB - ATL)

Round 13, Pick 1: Mike Gesicki (TE - MIA)

Round 14, Pick 12: New England Patriots D/ST

Round 15, Pick 1: Younghoe Koo (K - ATL)

Final Draft Grade: A+ (97 out of 100)


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