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2023 Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft: 12-Team, Superflex (Fantasy Football)

2023 Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft: 12-Team, Superflex (Fantasy Football)

Congratulations to those of you who were fortunate enough to walk away this season as a dynasty league champion. You’ve enjoyed the spotlight long enough, but now it’s time to turn the page and get ready for draft season. For those of you who had no chance at a title, you’re likely already familiar with the names found below.

While the class may not be quite as historic as we’ve been hearing for the last few years, it’s deeper than we’re used to. Many of the second round selections, and other names who didn’t make this mock draft, are more than capable of making an instant impact in the NFL. Keep in mind, we have a long way to go and many things can change, but let’s get started with my first rookie mock draft of 2023.

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2023 Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft (Fantasy Football)

Round 1

1.01 Bijan Robinson (RB – Texas)

Even in a superflex league where quarterbacks reign supreme, there’s little doubt that running back Bijan Robinson is the prize of this draft class. The 6’0″ 200-pound Longhorn was the Doak Walker Award winner before posting 1,894 all purpose yards and 20 touchdowns this season. If you hadn’t realized it yet, the rosters in your dynasty leagues that haven’t seemed to improve much in the last calendar year have all been jockeying for the opportunity to select Robinson. His 6.1 yards per carry and 9.8 yards per target are both improvements on his 2021 numbers, and he’s done nothing to diminish his stock. The best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson should be the top pick in the draft.

1.02 Bryce Young (QB – Alabama)

Bryce Young isn’t quite a can’t-miss NFL quarterback prospect, but he possesses many traits that scouts and fantasy managers can get excited about. At 6’0″ and 190 pounds, his size will be questioned and his arm strength won’t shock and awe the crowd, but he’s capable of making every throw on the field. Although he can run the ball, Young shouldn’t be categorized as a running quarterback.

He’s an accurate passer capable of going through his progressions and making good decisions with the ball in his hands. He’s fluid in the pocket and can extend plays or pick up extra yardage with his legs, but he displays great touch on his ball when he lets it fly. With a 64.5 completion percentage and a rating of 163.2 this season, Young will be one of the top picks in the NFL Draft and your dynasty rookie draft.

1.03 CJ Stroud (QB – Ohio State)

Along with Young, CJ Stroud is expected to be one of the top picks in the draft. We have a long way to go before we figure out which order they are drafted in, but I have Stroud slightly behind Young for now. Stroud, however, had the highest rating in college football, with 177.7. Stroud has a lively arm and can make any throw but isn’t as advanced as Young in the pocket. Regardless, he’s one of two blue-chip quarterback prospects in the draft this year. When he’s right, we saw what he can do on a big stage as he balled out against Georgia in the College Football Playoff. He’s certainly worth a top pick in rookie drafts.

1.04 Jahmyr Gibbs (RB – Alabama)

As good of a prospect as Robinson is, Jahmyr Gibbs is likely closer to that level than the next running back in the class is to Gibbs. After two seasons at Georgia Tech, Gibbs finished his collegiate career at Alabama as a junior. Although his 926 rushing yards at Alabama don’t jump off the page, he averaged over six yards per carry and tacked on 444 receiving yards with 10 all-purpose touchdowns. Gibbs is an electric player with a quick motor that can stop, start and get back up to speed in the blink of an eye. He works well in space and is a great pass catcher. His size and pass blocking are his only real question marks, but he will likely add some weight before the NFL combine. He reminds me a lot of Dalvin Cook and would be a great consolation prize after missing out on Robinson and the top two quarterbacks.

1.05 Quentin Johnston (WR – TCU)

The biggest variables in the draft are quarterbacks Will Levis and Anthony Richardson, who could come into play here, or earlier depending on their landing spots. Regardless of where they end up, I believe that Gibbs is too good of a prospect to pass up at pick four, but this is where things will get interesting. I always advise against overvaluing and overpaying for average quarterbacks in Superflex leagues, so I’m rolling with my highest-ranked receiver. We’re splitting hairs between each of the top three receivers, but I tend to gravitate towards 6’4″, 215-pound players with “Inspector Gadget” arms who snatch the ball out of the deep blue sky, but that’s just me.

In addition to his size and hands, Quentin Johnston displays quick acceleration and burst for such a big frame. Watching him catch passes gives me slight flashbacks to Brandon Marshall, who could dominate corners with his size, pluck the ball down at its highest point or catch a quick pass, making defenders miss with his agility after the catch. If that’s not enough of a selling point, his 1,069 yards and six touchdowns this season might do the trick.

1.06 Jordan Addison (WR – USC)

Speaking of selling points, Jordan Addison is a versatile player who excelled at Pittsburgh and USC. There are many unknowns when young kids enter the NFL arena, but it’s encouraging to see a player who thrived across multiple systems, quarterbacks and programs. In his sophomore season at Pitt, Addison tallied an absurd 1,593 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns before taking his talents to Hollywood. Addison flashed throughout the season, but an ankle injury in week 7 slowed down the remainder of his season. If you look past his 875 yards and eight scores, you’d see a technician who is a clean route runner with a quick twitch. He’s on the smaller side at 6’0″ and 174 pounds but glides with the ball in his hands. Any NFL team, or fantasy football team, would be lucky to have him.

1.07 Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR – OSU)

Jaxon Smith-Njigba (JSN) lives somewhere in between Johnston and Addison, standing at 6’1″ and 200 pounds. Unfortunately, we only saw JSN appear in three games this season after a breakout sophomore campaign. Playing behind Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, Smith-Njigba accumulated 1,606 yards and nine touchdowns. He tallied 347 yards in last year’s Rose Bowl, proving his well-rounded skill set. He can create separation with his route running while winning with physicality at the catch point. He’s not as fast as the other top pass catchers in the class, and he hasn’t played in many games this year, but he has a chance to be an exceptional pro.

1.08 Will Levis (QB – Kentucky)

If you like 6’3″, 230-pound quarterbacks with rocket arms, then you’ll like Levis. There is a brilliant offensive mind in the NFL who can’t wait to work with this kid, as he’s the player you created in Madden with all the tools. Levis can rip it, but he’s also a plus athlete who can run with the ball in his hands. As with many prospects of this caliber, there’s no telling how those tools will translate to the NFL. On the one hand, he looks like the next John Elway, but on the other, he looks like countless other quarterbacks we’ve had high hopes for. He’s got all the upside you could want, which I’ll take at 1.08.

1.09 Anthony Richardson (QB – Florida)

Like Levis, Richardson is a big quarterback at 6’4″ and 230 pounds. Also, like Levis, Richardson has a remarkably strong arm but is known more for his legs. He not only has the speed to run around defenders but the strength and power to go through them. He plays similarly to Jalen Hurts but needs a lot of work with his touch and accuracy. He will be another enticing project for an offensive mind and could pay off greatly.

1.10 Tank Bigsby (RB – Auburn)

Although somewhat overshadowed by Robinson, Tank Bigsby has boasted name recognition dating back to high school as one of the top running back recruits of the 2020 class. His collegiate career at Auburn has been shy of spectacular but solid nonetheless. He passes the eye test, looking fluid on film with the ability to find the hole and explosiveness to hit it. He’s a one-cut runner who can get upfield quickly when the opportunity is there. Unfortunately for Bigsby and the Tigers, the offensive line struggled to allow many of those opportunities. However, the most impressive part of Bigsby’s game is the 4.16 yards after contact per attempt he sustained this season. On the surface, his 5.5 yards per carry doesn’t seem special, but the ability to shed off tacklers does. He can take over an NFL backfield sooner rather than later.

1.11 Zay Flowers (WR – Boston College)

This might seem a bit early for Zay Flowers, who lacks the ‘early declare’ membership to make it on many dynasty rosters, but he’s already generating some first-round buzz. Even though he spent four full seasons at Boston College, the speedster sports a respectable breakout age of 20 when he posted 892 yards and nine scores in his sophomore campaign. A slight step back in his junior year led to 746 and five before a senior season of 1,077 and 12.

His size is a question mark at 5’10” and 172 pounds. He will certainly need to add some weight, but he didn’t let his stature slow him down while snagging 50% of his contested catch targets this season. He will need to prove he can beat press coverage at the NFL level to win on the outside, but he has the versatility to move all around the field. Paired with the right offensive coach and quarterback, we could see Flowers reach new heights as a pro.

1.12 Michael Mayer (TE – Notre Dame)

Rarely do we see a tight end going in the first round of a rookie draft unless it’s a two-tight-end league, or his name is Kyle Pitts. Michael Mayer is not Pitts, but he is one of a handful of tight ends to clear 2,000 yards in a collegiate career. Mayer did so in three seasons, compiling 1,649 of them across the last two seasons to go with 16 touchdowns. Don’t expect Mayer to compete with somebody like Pitts in the athleticism category, but Mayer is NFL-ready as a blocker and pass catcher. We can’t say that often about rookie tight ends, but Mayer is very well-rounded and excels as a contested-catch target. There are other running backs and wide receivers worthy of this pick. However, at the shallow position that we call tight end, Mayer is likely sought after following the NFL Draft.

Round 2

2.01 Kayshon Boutte (WR – LSU)

After an abnormal collegiate career, snagging Kayshon Boutte at the top of the second round feels like a potential steal. On the other hand, his production slipped after a dynamic freshman year and a sophomore ankle injury. Will the real Boutte please stand up?

2.02 Rashee Rice (WR – SMU)

If you’re still skeptical of players who don’t declare early, turn on Rashee Rice’s film. He’s incredibly smooth and well-rounded, winning with his length, balance and ability to adjust in the air. If that’s not enough, he possesses a quick burst to make defenders miss and the speed to run by them. He needs to develop as a route runner, but with the offensive minds we see in the NFL, I’m confident he will get open.

2.03 Zach Evans (RB – Ole Miss)

Second, only to Bijan Robinson in the 2020 running back recruiting class, Zach Evans has all the tools to be great. He shared the Ole Miss backfield with other great players, but we like to see prospects dominate their backfield in college, and Evans couldn’t make that claim at TCU or Ole Miss. It will be interesting to see where he and Bigsby land, as I have them very close in my rankings. For now, I’m giving Bigsby the edge.

2.04 Kendre Miller (RB – TCU)

Although Kendre Miller wasn’t the same level of a prospect as Evans was, Miller carved out a role in the TCU backfield next to Evans and eventually excelled without him. He rushed for an eye-popping 1,399 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior and could capture the hearts of NFL front offices.

2.05 Jalin Hyatt (WR – Tennessee)

This season’s Biletnikoff Award winner going at 2.05 is a testament to the depth of this class. Jalin Hyatt was uber-productive this season, going for 1,267 yards and 15 touchdowns. His tremendous speed and acceleration will translate at the next level, but his physicality and ability to beat press coverage will be in question.

2.06 Josh Downs (WR – North Carolina)

Despite his ability to punch above his weight class, Josh Downs projects as a slot receiver due to his size. He can still find space, creating big gains with his speed, but it limits his overall upside.

2.07 Israel Abanikanda (RB – Pitt)

One of my favorite players in this class, Israel Abanikanda, can steal an NFL backfield away from an unsuspecting starter. At 215 pounds, Abanikanda can play bully ball but can also get to the second level and burn past the secondary. He displays patience in setting up blocks before accelerating for chunk gains. Don’t sleep on “Izzy.”

2.08 Sean Tucker (RB – Syracuse)

I can’t help but think of Austin Ekeler when I watch Sean Tucker run the football. The key is “run” because Tucker doesn’t provide the same pass-catching prowess. Quickness is his selling point, but his ability to maintain his balance is as impressive. His pass-blocking and catching will need work for him to be more than a rotational player.

2.09 Xavier Hutchinson (WR – Iowa State)

Another senior and another one of my favorite players, Xavier Hutchinson is very clean for a 6’3″, 210-pound receiver. He can win with his size and ability to high point the ball, but don’t look past his route running and quick twitch off the line of scrimmage.

2.10 Zach Charbonnet (RB – UCLA)

Zach Charbonnet has the power to break down the opposition as the game goes along. However, his 6’1″, 220-pound frame leaves a bit to be desired in the speed department. He’ll work best paired with an elusive back, similar to A.J. Dillon and Aaron Jones.

2.11 Cedric Tillman (WR – Tennessee)

We continue the size trend with the 6’3″ Cedric Tillman, who runs like a gazelle with his long strides. To nobody’s surprise, he wins with size and ball skills but is surprisingly capable of adjusting his body with the ball in the air. He will need to improve as a technical route runner without displaying a quick twitch or sudden movements.

2.12 Marvin Mims (WR – Oklahoma)

The depth of this class continues to show itself as Marvin Mims is available at the end of the second round. Mims is another undersized, speedy receiver, but he’s very well-rounded. He consistently finds ways to get open and quickly turns into a running back with the ball in his hands. If he can beat press coverage and battle through contact, he can play on the outside, but those are big ifs.

Beyond our fantasy football content, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you prepare for your draft this season. From our free mock Draft Simulator – which allows you to mock draft against realistic opponents – to our Draft Assistant – that optimizes your picks with expert advice – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football draft season.


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