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UDFA Rookie Mock Draft (Dynasty Fantasy Football 2021)

May 4, 2021

 

Every year after the NFL Draft, dynasty managers immediately turn their attention to their own rookie drafts. In most cases, the top players have been analyzed to death and picked apart by the community. You may find rankings that you agree with and go into your draft with that, but I wanted to take a different approach and do a mock draft from UDFA players only to see who you should target in deeper leagues.

These are all speculative players that could be names we know in dynasty, which makes them interesting guys to keep your eyes on as the offseason progresses. For this draft, we’re assuming 12-team, SuperFlex, PPR, and no TE premium. Let’s begin!

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UDFA Rookie Mock Draft

1.01 – Jamie Newman (QB – PHI)
The Eagles decided not to draft anyone to challenge second-year QB Jalen Hurts for the starting job, but grabbing a guy like Jamie Newman as a UDFA speaks volumes. For me, this year will be the year that Hurts gets to prove what he can do, and if he struggles, the team may decide to look toward the future and see what they have in Newman earlier than expected.

Newman was expected to have been selected on day 3 in the draft by most accounts and be a top 8 QB for dynasty, even as a backup. Missing out on draft capital entirely means he’s got an uphill battle, but playing behind a QB like Hurts makes Newman my top target in this UDFA draft in SF leagues. He might not see the field much, but if his number is called, he could be a top 20 QB in the NFL with the right situation. That upside is worth putting on my bench at the QB position in dynasty.

1.02 – Tamorrion Terry (WR – SEA)
The second pick in my UDFA draft for fantasy is standout WR Tamorrion Terry. Terry was also expected to go as a day 3 pick, so going undrafted comes as a shock to many. But it’s hard to imagine a better landing spot for a talented rookie with some question marks than the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks only had three picks in the NFL draft and used their first one in the second round on WR darling D’Wayne Eskridge, but they still need more help if they’re going to win a championship with Russell Wilson before he retires.

The only thing I’m looking for here is someone that can see the field sooner rather than later, and Terry definitely fits that bill. Veteran WR Tyler Lockett will be hitting that age cliff soon, if he hasn’t already, and behind DK Metcalf, the offense doesn’t have much spark, even with the addition of Eskridge to the WR room. Terry could show what he’s made of and be an early contributor who could also become a long-term player fantasy managers love to draft. Win-win.

1.03 – Jaret Patterson (RB – WAS)
Pick number 3 is more about the team and opportunity than the player specifically. Washington drafted RB Antonio Gibson last year, but most analysts expected them to draft another RB this year, given the depth available in the later rounds. Gibson truthers rejoiced when they skipped on RB entirely, but grabbing Paterson as a UDFA is a smart move for the football team without a mascot.

Paterson is someone who could be a game-changer on the right offense, and I think WFT is a good fit for him. Gibson isn’t likely to carry the load all by himself, and with J.D. Mckissic and Peyton Barber coming back as the only RB depth behind him, the team will need someone else. Paterson could see the field early and often, making him a great late-round rookie draft stash for most dynasty teams.

1.04 – Javian Hawkins (RB – ATL)
Similar to my last pick, this one is more related to the team and opportunity than the player, but this one may carry more weight. The Falcons have let RBs Todd Gurley and Ito Smith go in Free Agency, leaving them with perennial veteran RB Mike Davis atop their depth chart. This makes plenty of room for a guy like RB Javian Hawkins to step right in and make waves in the offseason.

Hawkins isn’t a big back by any standards, measuring in at 5’9″ and 196 lbs, but he has some elusive speed to compensate for his smaller frame. He could be someone the Falcons lean on right out of the gate as a compliment to Davis, meaning he could start scoring fantasy points sooner than expected. As an UDFA, he might be going under the radar, too, allowing managers to pick him later in drafts of in FA in their own leagues as well.

1.05 – Kenny Yeboah (TE – NYJ)
The New York Jets offense will look drastically different when it takes the field in 2021. With their first four picks, the Jets drafted a new QB in Trevor Wilson, a new OL in Alijah Vera-Tucket, a new WR in Elijah Moore, a new RB in Michael Carter, all of whom are expected to start or at least compete for the job in the preseason. They spent the rest of the draft on defense, therefore skipping another offensive position of need in the TE position.

The Jets addressed that by signing UDFA TE Kenny Yeboah right after the draft, which could be a terrific pick up for the team as well as for fantasy players. With the new-look offense running under new management, Yeboah could challenge up and down TE Chris Herndon for a starting spot as well. The kid has the talent and a line on the opportunity, making him a fun flier pick for fantasy as my 5th option in this draft.

1.06 – Pooka Williams (RB – CIN)
Unlike some other picks, this one is based on talent instead of opportunity. RB Pooka Williams is heading to Cincinnati to join a crowded RB room with Joe Mixon, Samaje Perine, Trayveon Williams, and sixth-round draft pick Chris Evans. It will be a challenge for him to see extensive playing time without an injury, but the talent alone makes him worth a speculative add in dynasty leagues.

Williams could be one of those guys that you add and drop ten times before week 1 as you make other roster decisions for your team, but to me, his talent makes it worth it. There’s also the chance that he doesn’t make the Bengals final roster but finds a home elsewhere where he gets a better chance to shine. For those reasons, I’m looking at him ahead of the other guys on this list.

1.07 – Josh Imatorbhebhe (WR – JAX)
My 7th pick in this UDFA draft is WR Josh Imatorbhebhe, or Josh I. as some call him. He joins a WR group that may not have room, but at the very least, he’s on a team turning the page in a new direction. That kind of variability is something I like to target with my waiver claims in dynasty. Much like Williams, he could be something, but he could be nothing, making him a tricky add for some managers.

Imatorbhebhe is tough to say and also tough to predict how he will perform at the top level. Jacksonville drafted WR Jalen Camp in the sixth round, but that doesn’t guarantee him a spot over Imatorbhebhe just yet. Josh I. could show what he’s made of in the offseason and make the roster, but from there, it’s a crapshoot as to what he will do with it. Tread lightly.

1.08 – Cade Johnson (WR – SEA)
I almost considered putting WR Cade Johnson earlier on this list, but to me, he’s still got some work to do to make the roster on a team that addressed the WR position both in the draft with D’Wayne Eskridge and with Tamorrion Terry immediately afterward. Johnson has his work cut out for him, but there could be multiple ways that he gets a chance to show it.

The Seahawks need WR depth like I mentioned when selecting Terry, but that doesn’t mean Johnson is the answer. Johnson was liked by many heading into the draft but not getting drafted could be a sign that teams didn’t like some aspects of his resume. If he fits in and plays like he’s got something to prove, he could be meaningful for dynasty managers down the road.

1.09 – Feleipe Franks (QB – ATL)
Matt Ryan isn’t getting any younger, which is why many experts and draft analysts expected Atlanta to draft someone to be the heir apparent. They grabbed stud TE Kyle Pitts with the fourth pick overall instead of grabbing a top QB prospect or trading back and left the draft without taking a signal-caller at all. Instead, they waited until the draft was over to sign UDFA Felipe Franks, a name I hadn’t even really heard of until they signed him.

Based on the potential firepower this offense should have for the foreseeable future, the QB should be someone fantasy managers will want to have on their teams. Franks is definitely raw in terms of talent, but he could benefit greatly from sitting behind a veteran like Matt Ryan for a year or two. Of all the UDFA options in this draft, Franks has the widest range of outcomes. He could be someone who sees spot start duty like Brandon Allen or Jake Luton, or he could be a wasted pick like Jacob Eason or Jake Fromm. He’s worth adding for the right price.

1.10 – Sage Surratt (WR – DET)
1.11 – Jonathan Adams (WR – DET)
1.12 – Rakeem Boyd (RB – DET)
For the last three picks in this UDFA draft, I decided to lump all three Detroit Lions UDFA WR options together, largely because it’s hard to imagine that any of them get a huge chance to succeed early in the process. The team is clearly in a transition with a new coaching staff and QB Jared Goff now at the helm, but in terms of WR, they are starting from scratch as well.

The Lions currently have a WR room comprised of Tyrell Williams, Breshad Perriman, Quintez Cephus, Geronimo Allison, and a few others, along with new draft pick WR Amon-Ra St. Brown. This just screams of a team that’s willing to throw as many darts at the board as possible and see what sticks. Surratt probably has the best chance, but all three should at least be on your radar as we head into the offseason activities.

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Andrew Hall is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Andrew,  follow him @AndrewHallFF.