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Real Rookie Draft Analysis

Real Rookie Draft Analysis

By Steven Van Tassell

It’s been several days since rookie drafts started. Some drafts are in the middle, some are at the end, while others are still in the first round. I’m in one league that’s still in the first round (pick 1.11) and I saw someone else the other day say that their draft was still on the 1.03 pick. Hopefully, that one has picked up the pace, but it just goes to show that some leagues are taking the “slow draft” part at face value.

And we have those league in which the word “slow” wasn’t part of the equation as they are already finished. For a few of those leagues, we have the complete drafts available to review. Thanks to Rotting Husk of Al Davis (League #27444), Hershey’s Squirts (League #28031), Up Country Degens (Leagues #28297 and #35395), @buckdr3 (League #31928) and War Eagles (League #34636) for letting me know that their leagues were finished.

Since we only have six completed drafts, it’s not a great idea to draw big conclusions from just these data, but it’s still fun to look at them and see trends, surprises and interesting picks. As I’ve written dozens of times before, no two drafts are alike and because it’s Dynasty Owner, the salary cap is going to play a role in when someone gets drafted in every league. Because of salary cap restrictions, the “best” players might not be the first players drafted, or then again, they might be. The best part is that we finally know the answer to this question with “real” rookie draft ADP from a few completed drafts and aren’t just speculating anymore.

All ADP and draft pick information listed are based on the results of the six drafts (League #27444, League #28031, League #28297, League #31928, League #34636 and League #35395) completed by the morning of June 8th. Salary information listed are based on the salaries listed on www.spotrac.com and posted on the Dynasty Owner platform.

Stats from Six Complete Drafts

Let’s get started with some numbers. With just six completed drafts to analyze, it’s easy to say that no two drafts are the same, but just how different is surprising when you look at some stats about these drafts.

  • Number of #1 picks: 3 (Najee Harris – 3, Trevor Lawrence – 2 and Kyle Pitts – 1)
  • Number of #37 picks: 6 (D’Wayne Eskridge, Kylin Hill, Hunter Long, Davis Mills, Elijah Mitchell and Tylan Wallace)
  • Number of players drafted: 50
  • Number of players drafted in all four drafts: 28
  • Number of players drafted in only one draft: 9
  • Lowest ADP of player taken in all four drafts: 1.5 – Najee Harris (RB – PIT)
  • Highest ADP of player taken in all four drafts: 31.2 – Evan McPherson (K – CIN)
  • Most number of draft picks for a team: 7 (Country Roads Take Mahomes – League #31928)
  • Number of teams with zero draft picks: 4 (Teflon Hearts – League #27444, bobs – League #28031, Thee Camel Toe Jockey – League #31928 and TheJerk – League #35395)
  • Number of teams spending over $20 million in draft: 3 (Country Roads Take Mahomes – League #31928, Asian Zing – League #34636 and Dynasty Jock – Dave – League #31928)
  • Average team salary spending: $8,837,555
  • Median team salary spending: $7,528,273

Guaranteed First Rounders

With 13 first round picks in six drafts, a total of 78 players in theory could have been drafted in the first round. In reality, it was just over one-fifth of that number as only 17 players were taken with a first round pick. Out of those 17 players, 11 were taken in the first round in all five drafts. All 11 of these players were also in the First Round of the rookie draft ADP article that I did at the end of last week (https://dynastyowner.com/2021/06/rookie-draft-average-draft-position-adp/) in a very similar order.  In fact, the top five players here are the same ones from last week. Just goes to show that the mock rookie draft ADP and start-up draft ADP might indeed be good proxies for the first round of the real rookie drafts.

PlayerPositionTeamSalaryADPHigh PickLow Pick
Najee HarrisRBPIT$3,261,8621.512
Trevor LawrenceQBJAC$9,198,3722.213
Kyle PittsTEATL$8,227,6234.016
Ja’Marr ChaseWRCIN$7,547,4104.536
Travis EtienneRBJAC$3,224,5265.028
Trey LanceQBSF$8,526,3196.548
Justin FieldsQBCHI$4,717,9887.3313
Javonte WilliamsRBDEN$2,216,4387.559
DeVonta SmithWRPHI$5,035,3489.3613
Zach WilsonQBNYJ$8,787,67010.0911
Trey SermonRBSF$1,218,23310.5613

The few random things that stand out to me about these guaranteed first round picks are:

  • Justin Fields almost didn’t make this list. He had the largest fluctuation of the group, going as high as #3 (Garlic Bread Butt Shove – League #27444) and as low as #13 (War Eagles – League #34636). Not sure if getting Fields with his bonus 1.13 pick was why War Eagles tweeted that he was “feeling good!” about his draft, but that’s not a bad guess.
  • Travis Etienne was taken with the #2 pick in two drafts (WANNABEES – League #31928 and Asian Zing – League #34636), but didn’t go higher than the #4 pick in any of the other three leagues. Overall, his ADP landed almost exactly where it was in the mock drafts, but still a fair divergence of opinion on him.
  • The lack of fluctuation in the draft slot for Ja’Marr Chase (high of #3, low of #6) and Zach Wilson (high of #9, low of #11). Until the League #35395 draft was completed, Chase hadn’t even been drafted third so his fluctuation was even less. If your league hasn’t gotten too far in the draft, it appears that you know where you need to be drafting to get those guys.

Possible First Round Picks

The other six players who were taken at least once in the six completed rookie drafts range from the #6 overall NFL draft pick (Jaylen Waddle) to the second pick of the fourth round (Michael Carter).

PlayerPositionTeamSalaryADPHigh PickLow Pick
Jaylen WaddleWRMIA$6,771,49812.71015
Mac JonesQBNE$3,896,58812.71014
Michael CarterRBNYJ$1,071,84213.51116
Terrace MarshallWRCAR$1,432,37215.21218
Rashod BatemanWRBAL$3,149,85317.21024
Rondale MooreWRARI$1,731,06017.51222

The clear surprise is Jaylen Waddle’s appearance on this list. He was only drafted in the first round in half of these rookie drafts (3 out of 6), and was drafted not close to his NFL draft stock as he was never taken before the #10 pick. His ADP from the real drafts is 12.7, a couple of spots lower than his rookie mock draft ADP of 10.3.

We have a new Fan Club President! It’s The Northerners from League #27444 who took Rondale Moore with the #12 pick. He didn’t go before the #16 pick in any of the other five drafts. When I saw the draft order for the league, it was pretty surprising. Then I looked at The Northerners team logo. It’s the Arizona Cardinals logo. And it all made sense.

There’s quite a difference of opinion on when to draft Rashod Bateman. He was taken with the #10 pick by SKOL Vikes in League #35395, but was the last pick of the second round (#24 overall) in League #28297 by Up Country Degens. Up Country Degens also happen to be in League #35395, but didn’t take Bateman with their #5 pick.

Six Players Drafted in All Six Drafts, Just Not First Rounders

All 11 of the players listed below were drafted in all six of the completed rookie drafts, but were never taken in the first round. At the top of the list, we have Elijah Moore. He is a middle second round pick as he’s been taken with the #16 pick four times and the #19 pick once. And at the bottom, we have the only kicker drafted in the NFL draft, Evan McPherson. He’s also the only kicker who was drafted in these six rookie drafts. He’s been drafted in the third round in all six drafts, as high as with the #28 pick and as low as with the #35 pick.

PlayerPositionTeamSalaryADPHigh PickLow Pick
Elijah MooreWRNYJ$2,235,10717.21619
Kenneth GainwellRBPHI$953,88219.21822
Pat FreiermuthTEPIT$1,507,04519.71822
Chuba HubbardRBCAR$1,048,29421.81625
Kadarius ToneyWRNYG$3,429,87722.82027
Amon-Ra St. BrownWRDET$1,066,31323.52127
Kyle TraskQBTB$1,383,83425.02129
Amari RodgersWRGB$1,224,97425.32028
Javian HawkinsRBATL$810,00028.32036
Rhamondre StevensonRBNE$1,057,26430.02133
Evan McPhersonKCIN$955,92831.22835

While Javian Hawkins didn’t get drafted in the NFL draft, he’s getting a lot more love from Dynasty Owners. He’s been taken in all six drafts, including once in the second round (#20 overall pick). There was only one other undrafted rookie free agent taken in a Dynasty Owner rookie draft and he’s only been taken once.

All but one of these 11 players was taken at least once in the second round. Only Evan McPherson wasn’t taken in the second round. On the other hand, four players (Elijah Moore, Kenneth Gainwell, Pat Freiermuth and Chuba Hubbard) didn’t last until the third round in any draft.

While Kadarius Toney was a first round draft pick by the New York Giants, no Dynasty Owner in these six drafts took him in the first round. He was taken in the second round in five drafts and lasted until pick #27 (second pick in the third round) in League #31928 before being taken by The Shana-plan.

Solo Acts

There are nine players who were only drafted once out of six drafts. All of these picks were made with third round selections and nothing higher than the #30 pick. If these picks turn out to be great, all of the following Dynasty Owners can crow that they were ahead of the curve on these guys.

  • Kenny Yeobah (TE – NYJ) – #30 pick by ODBs – League #28031
  • Anthony Schwartz (WR – CLE) – #31 pick by MR.FRANCHI$E.2.U – League #34636
  • Gerrid Doaks (RB – MIA) – #32 pick by Garlic Bread Butt Shove – League #27444
  • Khalil Herbert (RB – CHI) – #32 pick by Taylor Park Boys – League #34636
  • Jaelon Darden (WR – TB) – #32 pick by ENDZONE PREDATORS – League #35395
  • Cornell Powell (WR – KC) – #35 pick by Tyrannical T Baggers – League #28031
  • Larry Rountree (RB – LAC) – #35 pick by Country Roads Take Mahomes – League #31928
  • Elijah Mitchell (RB – SF) – #37 pick by Dynasty Jock – Dave – League #31928
  • Hunter Long (TE – MIA) – #37 pick by Dan’s Dynasty – League #35395

Each of these players is someone who might be available in the Free Agent Auction in your league after the draft is over. They also might be someone who you should make an offer for someone’s late third round rookie draft pick if you want them on your Dynasty Owner roster and don’t want to take a chance that this is the only league they are going to get drafted in.

Conclusions

Since the NFL draft, we’ve been talking rookies, from how much salary cap room you need for them to their actual draft position and everything in between. It’s been a fun time digging into rookies after finding out their team and annual salary, but it’s time to turn our attention back to the entire Dynasty Owner player pool in future articles.

Dynasty Owner has great content coming to help you continue to tweak your roster after your rookie or start-up draft is over so you can win your league. My articles and videos to get you ready for your 2021 Dynasty Owner start-up league team will be released now on Wednesdays. Keep an eye out for new articles from the rest of our team of Dynasty Owner writers as well. Matt Morrison – The Jerk (@Dynastyjerk) is doing a deep dive on individual teams that you can check out earlier on in the week now as they will appear on Mondays. Jay Pounds (@jaypoundsnfl) looks at how to rebuild your Dynasty Owner roster and everyone will still get his insights on Fridays. All of the articles and videos will be released at 1 PM (Eastern).

Please read all of their articles and follow all three of us plus Dynasty Owner (@Dynasty_Owner) on Twitter. Hopefully this article is helpful for everyone who hasn’t finished their Dynasty Owner rookie draft yet, and at least interesting to those of you who are done. Thanks, and have a great day!

Steven Van Tassell is the Head of Content for Dynasty Owner

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

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