(image credit: Mike Moraitis/USA Today)
By: Jett Rosenstein
Welcome back to “Mock Draft Monday.” This week we are picking from the #3 slot in the order. As always, the league consists of 10 teams and is PPR. I need to fill out a roster of 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 W/R/T, 1 K, 1 D/ST, 6 BN. This draft was completed via FantasyPros’ Draft Wizard. So, without further ado, let's get this draft started.
Pick 1.3: Derrick Henry (RB-TEN)
After CMC and Dalvin Cook came off the board, it left me with a big decision to make. Alvin Kamara is a PPR monster but may disappoint due to his QB situation. Saquon Barkley is as talented as anybody but is coming off of a scary ACL injury. I ended up going with Derrick Henry. Henry has finished in the top 5 in back-to-back seasons and there is no reason why he should slow down. Despite lacking in the reception department, Henry makes up for it with his workload on the ground making him a surefire top 3 pick in my opinion.
Picks 2.8 & 3.3: Calvin Ridley (WR-ATL) & Joe Mixon (RB-CIN)
I have expressed my love for Calvin Ridley in one of my previous mock drafts and I feel no differently now. With the other WRs on the board at this moment (Allen and Metcalf), I felt the most confident in Ridley’s opportunities and consistency. He finished as a top 5 WR last year and I wouldn't be surprised if he finishes in the top 3 in 2021 since he is now "THE GUY" on the Falcons offense.
How in the world did Joe Mixon fall to me in the 3rd round? Mixon is someone I am heavily targeting in all of my leagues (as previously mentioned), but I had no idea I would be able to pair Derrick Henry with another RB1. I could have taken one of the WRs available (AJ Brown or Michael Thomas), but with how scarce workhorse RBs are in the NFL, I couldn’t pass on this opportunity.
Picks 4.8 & 5.3: Robert Woods (WR-LAR) & Myles Gaskin (RB-MIA)
Robert Woods isn’t one of those flashy picks that is going to put your league members in a state of awe, but he is safe as they come. With as steady as he has been, he may have even more upside with the addition of Matthew Stafford leading the Rams offense. Other WRs going in this area (Godwin, Evans, etc) have question marks and I resisted the temptation to draft Josh Allen, so Robert Woods will do.
Myles Gaskin is another player I am very high on and someone who I predict will finish as an RB1 in 2021. In my opinion, Gaskin doesn’t have any real threats that are preventing him from a workhorse role. He was getting close to 20 touches per game in the 10 games he played last year. It's not every day you can get a RB with workhorse potential at this point of the draft and he fits nicely into my flex spot.
Picks 6.8 & 7.3: Dak Prescott (QB-DAL) & Ja’Marr Chase (WR-CIN)
In one of my recent articles, I predicted Dak Prescott to be the #2 QB in 2021 and I still stand by that. In this draft, Dak was the 5th QB taken and any concerns that people have with him are going to be baked into his value. We know what he is capable of. However, I think if you plan on drafting Dak this year, draft another QB along with him for precautionary reasons.
Here we have the 3rd rookie off the board (Harris, Pitts) in Ja’Marr Chase. This is a guy who came off the board at WR29 in this draft and has the potential to finish inside the top 15 in year 1. Sure, there are many mouths to feed in this offense, but this team will be trailing a lot and Chase will have a ton of opportunities to pick up right where he left with his college teammate Joe Burrow.
Picks 8.8 & 9.3: Ronald Jones (RB-TB) & Jerry Jeudy (WR-DEN)
This was the pick I struggled with most. I wanted to select another RB to add to my depth and wasn't sure whether I wanted to take rookies like Williams or Carter who possesses a ton of upside or a guy who has proven production whose upside may be hindered. Ronald Jones has never been a threat as a receiver which hinders his PPR outlook, but he has gotten better every year and barely missed 1,000 yards on the ground in 2021. The Bucs may look to run the ball a little more in 2021 and Rojo will be front and center for that role.
Of all the WRs at this point in the draft (Fuller, D. Samuel, etc.), Jerry Jeudy presents the most upside even if there are questions about the number of opportunities he will get in a crowded offense. We know Jeudy has the talent, so it is just a matter of if and when it will click for him and I believe we will see a breakout year from him in his sophomore season.
Picks 10.8 & 11.3: Trey Sermon (RB-SF) & Dallas Goedert (TE-PHI)
There is no other RB at this point in the draft that presents more upside than Trey Sermon. I am not banking on Raheem Mostert playing a full season and neither should you. That's why the 49ers drafted Sermon. Sure, he may experience growing pains in year 1 which would make this pick worthless, but there's a chance where he explodes and proves to be one of the top late-round steals.
Up to this point, I had still not drafted a TE so I needed to scan the board for potential options. I noticed that Dallas Goedert fell a few rounds from his 7th round ADP. So, I will take the great value with this pick. Yes, Zach Ertz is still on this roster, but Goedert should be receiving most of the snaps. Look for Jalen Hurts to rely on his TE in year 2 and the possibility of Goedert putting it all together in year 4. It may not be a sexy pick, but he should be able to get the job done at a very shallow TE position.
Picks 12.8 & 13.3: Cole Kmet (TE-CHI) & Matthew Stafford (QB-LAR)
In case my Dallas Goedert pick flops, I secured a backup TE in Cole Kmet who I am extremely high on for this upcoming season (as noted in my previous article). Kmet showed some flashes in year 1 and now he has an upgraded QB situation and a full offseason to prepare. Of all the TEs going at this point in the draft, Kmet, albeit a dart throw, has the most upside. He is someone that could end up cracking my starting lineup or someone who will be dropped within the first few weeks of the season.
Like I talked about in my Dak Prescott blurb, I think it is extremely important to pair him with a backup QB in case Dak cannot get back to his former self. Matthew Stafford was the perfect option. He is currently going in the 8th round in most leagues and I secured him in the 13th. I pointed him out as someone I believe will finish as a QB in 2021 because of the situation he is now in and the talent he has always had.
Picks 14.8 & 15.3: Washington Football Team (D/ST) & Greg Zuerlein (K-DAL)
RECAP: According to Fantasy Pros, I have the best starting lineup in this league which I totally agree with. I have 2 high-upside RBs in Henry and Mixon and a WR duo that have been as consistent as it gets. My TE spot is a weak point and I am hoping it won’t hurt me too much. As for my bench, I may run into an issue at my RB depth if Sermon never gets the bulk of the carries or Jones loses playing time to Fournette. I usually do not like picking a 2nd QB or 2nd TE, but with Dak coming off of injury and Dallas Goedert, not a guarantee, I felt it was necessary to have backup plans set in place. I also have some nice upside WRs in Chase and Jeudy waiting in the wings. All in all, this is a team I would be satisfied to begin to play with, in week 1. Like most teams to start off, there will always be a hole or two. It all comes down to how you dig yourself out of it. Let me know what you think or what you may have done differently!
FINAL GRADE (According to Fantasy Pros): B (85 out of 100)