Devy Mock Draft: Round 1 (2022 Fantasy Football)
The offseason is here, which means it’s time for mock draft season! In this first mock draft, we will be mocking the first round of your upcoming devy drafts and just who you should be drafting. Remember, devy values change drastically throughout the offseason. This board will look different in just a few months, but it’s always good to get an idea of player values now. It would help if you also kept in mind that there are no sure things regarding devy. Devy managers took players like Spencer Rattler and DJ Uiagalelei in the top half of the first round last year. They now find themselves going after the fifth round. Devy can be challenging, but I’m hoping with my help and these mocks, you can feel comfortable jumping into your first devy league. The mock format below will be a 12 Team Superflex Full PPR, and for this edition, we are only looking at the first round. Let’s mock!
1.01 TreVeyon Henderson RB (So – Ohio State): 5’10¨, 215lbs
This might be a hot take, but TreVeyon Henderson is my number one rated player in college football. In his first-ever start, Henderson broke Ohio State’s single-game freshman rushing record by rushing for 270 yards against Tulsa. Henderson broke Maurice Clarett’s single-season freshman touchdown record by scoring 19 touchdowns, fifteen on the ground, and four receiving. His 1,248 rushing yards were the second-most ever in a single season by an Ohio State freshman, and he’s just getting better. Reports are he is working on his pass blocking in the off-season and has re-committed himself in the weight room. There’s a possibility that we haven’t seen Henderson’s full potential yet. That’s what makes him the 1.01 for me.
1.02 Bijan Robinson RB (Jr – Texas): 6’0¨, 215lbs
After Henderson, the next pick must be consensus running back one Bijan Robinson. Without Robinson, Texas would have never even sniffed five wins this season. That’s how big of a difference-maker he is in this offense. Robinson carried the offense with over 1,100 yards rushing and three hundred yards receiving. He scored 15 total touchdowns in 2021. Robinson would have put up even better numbers, but he was knocked out for the season after dislocating his elbow late in the season. Robinson has dealt with injuries his whole career but is still the top running back in the 23 class. As a runner, his explosiveness and vision set him apart from other running backs in his class. Also, the 2022 Longhorn team should be the best team he has played on in his career. If he stays healthy, there’s no reason Bijan won’t get invited to New York this December.
1.03 Bryce Young QB (Jr – Alabama): 6’0¨, 194lbs
There have been growing concerns about drafting quarterbacks in devy after seeing Spencer Rattler and D.J. Uiagalelei’s disastrous 2021 campaigns. While there is some validity behind the concerns, especially since the quarterback position is the most over-drafted position in devy, I’m not worried about Bryce Young. The Heisman winner threw for 4,872 yards and 47 touchdowns last year while leading Alabama to a National Championship appearance. He is the clear-cut QB1 in college football and should be a top-three selection in devy drafts this off-season. Alabama also added dynamic receiver Jermaine Burton from Georgia in the transfer portal to go along with the dynamic freshman class they had in 2021. I’m all aboard the Bryce train, and he should be a top-three selection in devy drafts this off-season.
1.04 Jahmyr Gibbs RB (Jr – Alabama): 5’11¨, 200lbs
Alabama picked up one of the best players in the transfer portal in 2022. Jahmyr Gibbs is the total package as a running back and fills a significant need for the Crimson Tide. Senior Brian Robinson Jr., who had 1,343 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns, entered the 2022 NFL Draft. Sophomores Jase McClellan and Roydell Williams suffered season-ending knee injuries, and Freshman Camar Wheaton has transferred out of the program. In two seasons with Georgia Tech, Gibbs rushed for 1,206 yards and scored eight touchdowns. He also added 768 receiving yards on 59 receptions while scoring five touchdowns. He is a proper three-down back with a massive upside. Saban should also get use out of him in the return game, where he’s shown to be an asset, having racked up over 700 return yards in his career. Gibbs is the clear RB2 right now in the 2023 class and should be drafted as such.
1.05 Jaxon Smith-Njigba WR (Jr – Ohio State): 6’0¨,198lbs
JSN is a player I have been high on since coming to Ohio State two years ago. Ohio State has turned into “WR U” in college football. They recruit some of the top guys in the country and help develop them into NFL-ready prospects by the time they leave Columbus. Smith-Njigba was one of the best receivers to come out of Texas in recent years, where he compiled 5,346 receiving yards and scored 82 touchdowns in his prep career. He’s an elite talent with elite skills. In 2021, he proved that by catching 95 balls for 1,606 yards and nine touchdowns. JSN has the best hands on the Ohio State depth chart, and he can be lined up anywhere on the field. He’s a versatile receiver who has the speed to play on the outside but is also a technical route runner who can excel at the slot. Not to mention he’s one of the best athletes at the receiver position. He is currently my WR1 in the 2023 class and the first receiver off the board in this mock.
1.06 Kayshon Boutte WR (Jr – LSU): 6’0¨, 185lbs
Even though I have JSN as my WR1, Kayshon Boutte is right behind him. In 2020, Boutte was a Freshman All-American and set the SEC record for receiving yards in a game in the season-finale against Ole Miss with 308 yards and three touchdowns on 14 receptions. He would finish the season with 735 yards and nine touchdowns. Boutte was LSU’s leading receiver in 2021, with 38 catches for 508 yards and nine touchdowns in just six games. Unfortunately for Boutte, his season ended in mid-October after he suffered a lower leg injury, or he would have soared past the 1,000-yard mark. He’s one of the most explosive receivers in college football, and with Myles Brennan coming back to lead the Tigers offense, we should see Boutte have a massive season in 2022.
1.07 Zach Evans RB (Jr – Ole Miss): 5’11¨, 215lbs
Zach Evans has a chance to make his case to be RB2 of the vaunted 2023 class this year. Evans closed his high school career with nearly 5,000 yards rushing and 76 touchdowns and was one of the highest-ranked recruits in the country. Unfortunately for Evans, his time at TCU has been marred with Covid-19 issues and a few injuries. However, in limited action in two seasons, he still finished strong with 1,036 yards on 146 attempts and scored nine touchdowns. As a runner, he has incredible power, and his jump cut is one of the best in the country. He can alter his running style and is the type of back that can score any time he gets the ball. His ability to turn every run into a net positive gain is what excites me the most. He should flourish at Ole Miss and in Lane Kiffin’s offense.
1.08 CJ Stroud QB (Jr – Ohio State): 6’3¨, 218lbs
CJ Stroud’s 2021 season was filled with its fair share of up and down moments. After Ohio State lost to Oregon at the beginning of the season, many called for backup Kyle McCord to take over the starting job. However, Stroud responded well after his injured shoulder healed. He threw for 4,435 yards and 44 touchdowns, including a record-setting performance against Utah in the Rose Bowl, where he threw for 573 yards and six touchdowns in a dramatic comeback. Stroud has firmly planted himself as the QB2 in the 2023 class behind Bryce Young and is on the shortlist for Heisman in 2022. He’s developed every season as a passer, and if he can fine-tune his accuracy, the sky’s the limit for the young quarterback.
1.09 Tank Bigsby RB (Jr – Auburn): 6’0¨, 210lbs
Tank Bigsby has the most pressure to solidify his NFL stock among everyone on this list. Bigsby recorded ten touchdowns and 1,003 yards on 207 carries in 2021 and made 16 catches for 116 yards. While those numbers are good, they are not good enough for a player of his caliber. Bigsby also saw some touches taken away by true freshman Jarquez Hunter and thought about transferring until returning to Auburn. Even though Auburn is in the midst of a rebuild, Bigsby will need to have an excellent season to elevate his draft capital this year. As a runner, he’s explosive and has one of the best jump cuts in college football. He also possesses good hands and will be a three-down back at the next level.
1.10 Xavier Worthy WR (So – Texas): 6’1¨, 165lbs
Xavier Worthy burst onto the scene as a true freshman last season at Texas. The wide receiver had 62 receptions for 981 yards and twelve touchdowns. He was one of the most explosive players in a Longhorn offense that struggled with poor quarterback play throughout the season. Worthy led Texas with 15 explosive plays (20-or-more yards), with seven of those resulting in touchdowns. He led all FBS freshman wide receivers and the Big 12 in receiving yards per game (81.8). That earned him Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year, and he vaulted up the WR1 of the 2024 class. With Quinn Ewers at quarterback, we could be just scratching the surface on Worthy’s talent, which should excite many people.
1.11 Will Shipley RB (So – Clemson): 5’11¨, 205lbs
The running back position is one of the most valuable positions in Devy. If you hit on a running back, it allows more roster flexibility moving forward in your leagues. In my opinion, this pick comes down to Will Shipley or Braelon Allen of Wisconsin. Most would pick Allen, but I lean Shipley in PPR formats. In a bad offense last season where he didn’t start initially, Shipley was able to rush for 739 yards and score eleven touchdowns. He also added sixteen receptions for 116 yards, and his receiving ability is what pushes him ahead of Allen for me. He should see more usage in 2022, and his complete skills will be on display.
1.12 Quinn Ewers QB (So – Texas): 6’2¨, 205lbs
With the last pick of the first round, I’m taking quarterback Quinn Ewers. The former five-star quarterback who opted out of his senior season to enroll at Ohio State is now playing at Texas after transferring following the 2021 season. While there are some questions about his decision-making in this entire process, there shouldn’t be questions about his talent. Ewers threw for 4,003 yards, 45 touchdowns, and three interceptions during the 2019 season. Even though his 2020 season was cut short to only four games, Ewers still had 1,221 yards passing, 15 touchdown passes, and two interceptions. He finds himself in a great position at Texas with a young roster and talented weapons around him.