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12-Team Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft: Late Pick (2020 Fantasy Football)

by Raju Byfield | @FantasyContext | Featured Writer
Jun 25, 2020

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Rookie draft season is here. Despite there still being months to go before the NFL season (hopefully) kicks off, dynasty league rookie drafts are taking place in full force. While there are people who draft in late April and May, things really start to pick up in June and July. Mock drafts are essential tools to helping analyze potential draft positions and the variance from draft room to draft room. 

Our Draft Simulator gives you the opportunity to mock draft in just minutes, allowing you to test out different strategies against our expert consensus rankings (ECR). Just like real rookie drafts, our simulator mocks are often unpredictable and come equipped with more than a few surprises. This mock is a single QB, 12-team rookie draft. The full draft board is included below.

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1.11 – Justin Jefferson (WR – MIN)
Jefferson dropping to 11th overall in this rookie mock draft was a bit of a surprise. I had him as a second-round level rookie draft prospect prior to learning that he will be the one manning the lost role for the Minnesota Vikings, but that was more due to preferring other players in terms of dynasty value than it was an indictment of Jefferson’s talent. Ultra-productive for LSU, Justin Jefferson led the nation in receptions with 111, doing most of his damage out of the slot (108 receptions and all 18 touchdowns came when he was lined up inside). 

Getting the nod for the slot role potentially makes him the most valuable redraft rookie receiver and is a major boost for his dynasty value. Adam Thielen has no business lining up on the outside, as he is and always has been much more effective in the slot (he is tied for third with 10 slot touchdowns over the past two seasons). As his numbers indicate, he can win on the outside, but it is important to take average depth of target into account when comparing his slot numbers to his outside numbers. 

Jefferson will undoubtedly be spending some time as an outside receiver in two wide sets, but don’t be surprised to see second year tight end Irv Smith Jr. split out wide more often this season. Jefferson has JuJu Smith-Schuster like upside now that he has earned a predominantly slot role, making his projected production now more in line with his dynasty hype. 

2.11 – Devin Duvernay (WR – BAL)
The current favorite to start opposite Marquise Brown in two wide sets, Devin Duvernay is set to take the fantasy world by storm. A sure-handed receiver who will kick inside to the slot in three-wide looks, Duvernay has “lead-the-team-in-receptions” upside. An electric receiver who shines with the ball in his hands, Duvernay just needed to land in an explosive offense to reach his true potential. While no one will mistake Lamar Jackson for a Patrick Mahomes-level passer, he marshals the type of offense that can turn a home-run hitting slot receiver like Duvernay into a fantasy star. 

Dripping with upside, Duvernay totaled 106 receptions, 1,386 receiving yards, and nine touchdowns as a senior at the University of Texas. His season was a massive boost to his draft stock as he posted just 41 receptions for 546 yards and four touchdowns as a junior, largely due to Lil’Jordan Humphrey dominating slot snaps. Duvernay was still on NFL radars after his junior season due to his track speed, but may have ended up an undrafted free agent like Humphrey had he decided to declare for the 2019 NFL Draft. 

According to PFF, 104 of Duvernay’s receptions in 2019 came from the slot, and this is likely where he will have the majority of his snaps come from in the pros. He is expected to lose some run-down work to superior blocker Miles Boykin and will likely rotate two-wide snaps with both Boykin and James Proche, but he may end up leading the team in wide receiver snaps due to the team not needing the diminutive Marquise Brown on the field to block. Duvernay will start his career as a WR4 type but has the upside to quickly morph into a WR2-level contributor as Lamar Jackson’s most targeted player on offense. 

3.11 – Van Jefferson (WR – LAR)
The son of a former NFL wide receiver, Jefferson’s pedigree is evident in his route running. He can get open at will and projects as a perfect fit for the Los Angeles Rams offense. He has more speed than given credit for, and he will be able to run some lid-lifting go routes when asked. However, he is at his best out of the slot or on short to intermediate outside routes. 

Jefferson led Florida in receiving in each of the last two seasons but never truly reached the heights many had expected after his breakout red-shirt freshman season for Ole Miss. Despite the muted stats, his quiet domination on tape is undeniable. His 8/73/2 performance against LSU featured regular roastings of one of the top cornerback duos in the nation in Derek Stingley Jr. and Kristian Fulton. Battle-tested against both press man and zone, Jefferson could become a high-volume target in short order. 

Jefferson should be able to quickly pass replacement-level Josh Reynolds on the depth chart and may even be ticketed for the slot role in 2021 and beyond if the Rams fail to negotiate a new deal with Cooper Kupp. Jefferson may max out as a number-three receiver type if he fails to move into the slot, but he certainly has the upside to produce at a WR2 level in Sean McVay’s offense regardless of whether or not Jared Goff makes it through his current contract. Landing a starter with the talent of Jefferson at 3.11 makes little sense and helps serve to accentuate why so many are in favor of drafting early rather than waiting for after the preseason. 

4.11 – James Proche (WR – BAL)
If it seems like I am drafting Proche in almost every rookie mock draft, it is because I love him at a certain point in the fourth round. His target upside in this offense is the only thing holding him back from being a potential second round rookie pick. A more talented pass catcher than Miles Boykin, it should not be long before Proche starts earning regular snaps. In an offense that will likely be rotating receivers to keep them both healthy and fresh, Proche has a path to more snaps than many may think. He may start slow in his rookie season, but spending the summer working out with Lamar Jackson is only going to help hasten both his development, and his rapport with his quarterback. 

Despite playing two less contests, Proche tied Justin Jefferson with 111 receptions to pace all FBS receivers. While many view Proche as having more upside in the slot, we would do well to remember that he had success in a predominantly outside role as a sophomore. He averaged 20.4 yards per reception, with 816 receiving yards, and six touchdowns as the number-three receiver with Courtland Sutton on the outside, and Trey Quinn in the slot. He broke out as a junior with both players taking their talents to the NFL, racking up a 93-1,199-12 line. A Biletnikoff Award semi-finalist in 2019, Proche would be a first or second-round rookie pick had he landed on a team like Green Bay. 

As the third receiver in a run-heavy offense, his weekly floor will likely be wildly inconsistent, especially when we have to factor in the presence of the still talented Miles Boykin. Still, he has eventual WR3 upside, and due to receiver rotations should see more snaps and targets than many may think. Proche is a zero risk addition at this late point of rookie drafts. 

5.11 – Michael Warren (RB – PHI)
Warren is a talented running back from the university of Cincinnati. Unquestionably the biggest surprise at his position to go undrafted, Warren exhibited an exciting every-down skill set during his college career. While he does have some success-rate issues that suggest he is more of a number-two than a lead runner, he has good size, burst, and cutting ability. He has move-the-pile-power and is physical enough to earn the moniker ‘The Truck’. He has soft hands on tape, maxing out at 25 receptions in his sophomore season (he had 21 receptions as a junior). 

Warren was sensational as a runner in his sophomore year, picking up 1,329 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns on 5.4 yards per carry. He was still rock-solid in 2019, posting 1,265 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns on 4.8 yards per carry. The fact that he did not actually improve as a junior was likely held against him, resulting in a failed bid to become the first Bearcat running back drafted since Isiah Pead in 2012. 

Warren has spot-starter talent, and should be able to form a strong 1-2 punch with lead back Miles Sanders. Boston Scott will also get his touches but is not a true complement to a back with Sanders’ profile. Philadelphia ran the ball 454 times in 2019, 386 of which went to running backs. Even if we give Miles Sanders 250 carries, there could still be 136 or more carries available for Boston Scott and either Warren or Elijah Holyfield. While I loved Holyfield as a prospect, Warren is the more versatile back and should have the inside track on being Sanders’ power complement. At 5.11, the end of this rookie draft, he is a worthwhile gamble that will help owners save their FAAB dollars for in-season usage. 

Full Draft Board

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Raju Byfield is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Raju, check out his archive and follow him @FantasyContext.