The Inaugural Kickers Matter Rookie Mock
We’re less than a week from the NFL Draft so Easter weekend seemed like the perfect time to gather together the Kickers Matter podcast hosts (minus Steve who was sunning himself in Florida) and a couple of website contributors to pull together the first ever Kickers Matter Twitter Rookie Mock draft.
Based on a 12 team, single QB, 1 PPR league the picks rotated between Jason, Jamie, Jack and Allan, each selecting three of the twelve teams across two rounds of the draft. The results threw some fascinating results for anyone blind drafting before next weekend. The team will regroup after the draft to see how draft position and expectations have move after the main event in Nashville.
Here are the results:
N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
JW: Big athletic, productive with rare skills after the catch. He has zero off field concerns and should be drafted somewhere at the end of round 1.
Analysis: Jason leads things off with N’Keal Harry who on balance seems to be the consensus number one in ADP at this stage. He’s strong, has excellent contested catch skills and figures to be a major red zone weapon in the NFL. Likely to go late 1st, early 2nd so draft capital won’t be a concern. A very solid pick.
Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
JB: The best running back in this years draft class, has good vision, a threat out of the backfield in the passing game and good ball security. Will be the 1st RB off the board.
Analysis: Difficult to question this pick but I’m not the best judge as I’m hugely skeptical of Alabama running backs. Jacobs talent shines through on tape but the limited production will cause some pause. There seems little doubt at this point that he’ll be the first back off the board so almost everything will come together to mean Jacobs will likely go at a very similar spot post draft.
TJ Hockenson, TE, Iowa
JH: Hockenson is a serious seam-stretcher. He has dynamic feet, springy leaping ability, and strong hands, so he’s the consummate big target over the middle. Number 1 TE in class.
Analysis: Well, well, well. Jack has been trailing that he’d take Iowa Tight End TJ Hockenson as his first overall pick over the past few weeks and he followed through on it here. I see where he’s coming from, Hockenson feels like a a very high floor prospect but whilst you could well get George Kittle, you might get Heath Miller and that wouldn’t be worth 3 overall.
Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State
AS: The most upside of any receiver in the class. Great size, great speed, a good landing spot away from 1.01.
Analysis: This pick really encapsulated the boom or bust nature of this year’s class. On one hand I have Butler as my number 1 overall player, he’s an explosive deep threat receiver with excellent contested catch ability and he had outstanding production at Iowa State and looks to have huge upside. On the other, there are questions about his hands, he’s raw and needs to improve his technical skills – it might be three years before he fully reaches his potential.
David Montgomery, RB, Iowa
JW: Monty is as shifty as they come. He has patience, vision & can catch the ball. He will play at 225 pounds & I have a higher grade on him than I did Kareem Hunt coming out. Easy pick.
Analysis: I can’t get my head around Montgomery. He is great after contact and produced at a high level in college. In some ways I see Jason’s Kareem Hunt comparison but the lack of top end burst gives me significant pause. There are backs on the board I’d prefer at this point but once again this is a pick your poison kind of class.
AJ Brown, WR, Ole Miss
JB: A v good route runner with save hands, very good contested catch ability & is the best Ole Miss wide receiver in this years draft. Great landing spot for team who needs a slot receiver.
Analysis: Love this pick. Brown feels like the most certain wide receiver prospect in the entire class. He’s produced outstanding numbers in the slot and delivered when he was moved outside after DK Metcalf went down with injury. If he lands in somewhere like Indianapolis he may yet be the 1.01.
Damian Harris, RB, Alabama
JH: Gets downhill quickly and doesn’t waste time behind the line of scrimmage. Bigger back, but his burst is phenomenal. Excellent in pass protection. Likeness Mark Ingram.
Analysis: A real option divider this one. There are people who see Harris as a lead back who is less landing spot dependent than some of the other backs on landing spot. There are others who can’t bring themselves to buy into another Crimson Tide running back. I’m in the latter camp.
Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis
AS: I’m running in the card to pick Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis. The most explosive back in the class, a ridiculous 9 yards per carry in college and a threat in the pass game.
Analysis: I have to admit, I love Henderson. I think lots of people are sleeping on him purely due to his being a smaller school back. He’s explosive, is a good pass catcher and that yards per carry number is mightily impressive. I’m more confident on Henderson than any player in this draft so would clearly love to get him at 8.
Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
JW: An athletic freak that will play in many Pro Bowls if he lands in the right spot.
Analysis: Really need to get my head round the fact that if I want one of the top tight ends I’m going to need to pay over the odds. Fant’s upside is enormous, he can be an exciting flex tight end and, as Jason says, with the right landing spot could be a difference making fantasy tight end.
Kelvin Harmon, WR, North Carolina State
JB: Unbelievably talented receiver, great catch radius and looks NFL ready for me. Happy to get him at the 1.10 spot.
Analysis: Harmon seems to be the forgotten man in this years draft class but at pick 10 he has a chance to be the steal of the draft. Successive 1,000 yard season speak to impressive production and his skill set suggests significant upside at the next level. If there is a criticism it’s with his lack of burst and athleticism.
Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
JH: When Brown gets free, he is nearly impossible to track down. Brown can take a short slant the distance. Likeness DeSean Jackson. All on the landing spot for Hollywood.
Analysis: Love this pick. Was all set to scoop up “Hollywood” at twelve before Jack scooped him up. Elite athleticism, top end speed with a well rounded game on top makes Brown an exciting pick at this point in the draft. Size is a concern but everything points to him being a productive and exciting NFL receiver. This might have been my favourite pick in the whole draft.
Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State
AS: An exciting back whose biggest fault seems to be that he succeeded a generational talent in the Penn State backfield. A capable runner who can catch passes with impressive athleticism.
Analysis: I’ve got a feeling this is as low as you’ll ever get Sanders, I suspect he’ll be gone by the end of the 2nd round next Friday and with that draft capital and an enticing skill set he’ll ultimately be a top 5 rookie pick.
Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma
JW: If you can look beyond his injury history then talent wise he may well be RB1 this year.
Analysis: Can’t disagree with anything Jason says, this could be the kind of pick that makes a dynasty team for years to come. Anderson has great talent and if he stays healthy could be a highly productive three down back. The injuries are a huge concern and might see him drop well into day 3 or worse.
DK Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
JB: He is like marmite, You will either love him or hate him as a prospect but in the right situation he could shine. Big, powerful & fast, this could be a steal at 2.2.
Analysis: Nobody divides Kickers Matter opinion like Metcalf, but getting him at 2.02 is excellent value. Unless he’s a total bust you’ll likely be able to return better value next offseason if you’re not a believer and if you are and are looking to maximise value this would be perfect.
Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
JH: Built to withstand hits over the middle of the field, has solid vision in the open-field, won’t go down without a fight. Likeness Jarvis Landry.
Analysis: Senior Bowl stand out Samuel looks set to be a solid slot receiver who could catch 60 balls a year as his floor. With the right landing spot he could be hyper productive but his lack of elite athleticism will limit opportunities on the outside. Jack could be write and you might get Jarvis Landry but I also see a lot of Zay Jones.
Justice Hill, RB, Oklahoma State
AS: Underrated, multi-purpose back with long term feature back upside. Excellent college production, excellent combine.
Analysis: I think this might have been my favourite of my picks in the whole draft. Hill has grown on me all the way through the draft and looks to have the skill set to be an early contributor who can grow into a lead back role. If he’s there in the mid 2nd I’d be grabbing him every time.
Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
JW: I’m on the fence with who my top QB is in this draft but I don’t like Murray if the goes to the Cards. Haskins will be a top 10 pick and if coached well could be a worthy starter in 1 QB leagues.
Analysis: Feels too high for a pocket passer like Haskins. He’ll need to land in a highly productive offence to be fantasy relevant outside of Superflex.
JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford
JB: Lacks great speed but has brilliant hands and is a real redzone threat. Should be used similarly to how Dez Bryant was in the league.
Analysis: A 4.49 forty suggests Arcega-Whiteside has more explosiveness in him than we’ve seen. He’s a great contested catch receiver who, like Jamie says, figures to be a red zone weapon. With a QB who is willing to throw it up for him he has real fantasy potential.
Devin Singletary, RB, FAU
JH: One of the more shifty running backs in this class. Shows solid burst in the open field, knows how to hide behind his blockers. Likeness LeSean McCoy
Analysis: The McCoy comparison is interesting. Singletary has similar cutting ability but lacks the ability to reach top speed that Shady possesses. There is a reasonable chance that he goes under drafted which may be something of a concern for fantasy.
Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
AS: A dual threat Quarterback with the potential to be a fantasy beast.
Analysis: I’d always rather avoid spending a 2nd round pick on a Quarterback but this just about represents fair value. Murray’s dynamic running ability will make him an attractive options at this point in any draft. Questions over his size, pro readiness and his being something of a one season wonder in Oklahoma are all points against him.
Bryce Love, RB, Stanford
JW: We were talking about him as a 1st round prospect last year. After a quieter 2018 and a torn ACL he can be had at a value.
Analysis: I just don’t know. One great season followed by an injury ravaged second. He’s certainly shown ability, if we see the best of Love this could be a huge steal. If the injury concerns are as bad as rumoured he’ll go undrafted and you’ll never see him this high again.
Irv Smith Jr, TE, Alabama
JB: A very athletic tight end who can pretty much run all the routes. Not a bad blocker and somewhere like New England would be a great landing spot.
Analysis: Smith has the bloodline, measurables and tape to suggest this could be a nice upside pick and the value for tight-ends at this point in the draft makes him a pretty safe pick.
Andy Isabella, WR, Massachusetts
JH: Small guy who’s slippery and quick, able to be used in a lot of different ways, but he’s going to be slot-only at the NFL level. Likeness Danny Amendola
Analysis: Sniped two rounds in a row by Jack, this looks like an excellent pick for a receiver who will bring a multiple skill set to the league. His explosiveness will make him interesting in the short game and his speed make him relevant deep. His lack of physicality is a watch-out though and could limit his opportunity as an outside receiver.
Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State
AS: Exciting speed receiver with swiss army knife potential on Sundays.
Analysis: Having lost out on Isabella I went with Campbell who brings a similar upside with similar, elite speed and game breaking ability. Early on he’ll be an extension to the running game on slants and bubble screens and if he develops into a deep threat could become a relevant fantasy asset.
A fascinating draft that brought home a couple of key points on where the current class sits. The top end of the first round is heading to boom or bust territory; there are no sure things prospects so you’ll need to choose carefully. The tight-ends are real wild cards – if they go as early as they did here you can see it’s pushing some enticing options down the board. Finally, picks 10-16 feel like the hot spot for value at the moment with some high upside players falling into that range – right now if you’re drafting blind that feels like the spot you want.