2023 Rookie Mock Draft 3.0
The draft is 1 week away, so Bobby is going big with a 4-round mock draft of both offense and IDP. Who's risen and who's fallen since Mock 2.0?
Here we go! it’s the last mock draft I’ll come out with prior to the NFL Draft, which is one week away. We are in a sweet spot for draft picks where their value is at an all-time high. It’s an important time to evaluate players for yourself before draft capital and landing spots begin influencing the ADP. Because when it comes to dynasty ADP, best friend of the show, Kyle Borgognoni of The Fantasy Footballers Dynasty Podcast, says, “ADP for dynasty is a road map. Sometimes it leads you to awesome treasure and other times it’s just pure trash.” In other words, ADP is a piece of the puzzle.
Think of this mock draft as another piece. Your own analysis is a piece, too. This mock draft is a reflection of my analysis; it’s not a reflection of the current ADP. You will definitely see some picks that are different from what you’d do, and that’s fine! We’re all entitled to our opinions, especially with something that’s as much of a crapshoot as a rookie draft. I’d encourage you to do this exercise for yourself before next week, so you can have a record of how you feel simply about the players.
With that being said, let’s get into it. I’ll have the final mock draft of the year out the week after the NFL Draft. Best of luck in your rookie drafts this season!
(Note: This mock draft is for a 1 QB league with a full IDP starting lineup. Edge rushers and defensive tackles are labeled as DL, off-ball linebackers are LB, and safeties are DB.)
1:01: Bijan Robinson, RB (Previous: 1.02 📈)
I don’t want to talk about Robinson’s talent as much as I do the value of the 1.01, which is the highest I’ve ever seen it. Maybe the Saquon Barkley draft? So the manager with the 1.01 needs to ask themselves: do I really believe in Robinson? If the answer is yes, then draft him and enjoy the benefits of an RB1. But if there’s another manager in your league who would offer you something crazy in order to obtain the 1.01 to draft Robinson, send the 1.01 for a haul and set your team up for the future.
Pick value discussion aside, Robinson’s talent is undeniable. (Just ask Reddit!)
1:02: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR (Previous: 1.03 📈)
The more tape I watch of JSN, the more I’ve fallen in love with him as a player. His size is what I like a wide receiver to be at: 6’1” and 196 lbs. He had the best 3 cone and 20-yard shuttle of all wide receivers at the Combine. While scouts may knock him for lacking top-end speed, JSN makes up for it with his short area burst, which shows up in his route running. I don’t like using this word often, but JSN could be elite.
1:03: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB (Previous: 1.01 📉)
Boy, did I catch some heat for having Gibbs over Robinson in Mock 2.0! He was admittedly too high last time, but I still love Gibbs. His weight isn’t ideal but the comps to Aaron Jones and Austin Ekler are encouraging. If you’re not sure why Gibbs is getting so much love, I implore you to throw on some tape. Even if he doesn’t get a heavy workload in the NFL, he’ll make up for it with his PPR upside. Gibbs has a different gear in my opinion than some of the running backs in the draft and his misdirection and setting opposing defensive backs up to look silly is the best in the class. Gibbs may be smaller, but his fantasy production could be huge.
1:04: Jordan Addison, WR (Previous: 2.05 📈)
While he did underwhelm at the Combine, I circled back and rewatched the tape on Addison. I was wrong: it’s impressive. Addison is 6’0” and 175 lbs with great hands and excellent vision after the catch. Honestly, his YAC ability for someone his size is impressive. He’s slippery in the open field and has a great dead-leg move. I don’t know if he can be a team’s #1 WR but I like him in a “Devonta Smith to AJ Brown” type of role. With a great landing spot, Addison could be a Year 1 producer.
1:05: Will Anderson, DL (Previous: 2.03 📈)
Our first IDP represents a tier break in my mind. Will Anderson seems as locked into instant production as any defensive player we have seen in a long time. Even when Micah Parsons came into the league, he was an early 2nd round rookie draft selection in most leagues and didn’t have Anderson’s level of hype. In this rookie draft, I want a sure thing (as “sure” as we can be, at least) at 1.05 and Anderson fits the bill. He should get top-5 draft capital and see upward of 800-900 snaps right away.
1:06: Sean Tucker, RB (Previous: 1.11 📈)
There is a clear drop-off after Robinson and Gibbs in this draft, but I like Tucker here in the middle of the 1st. He’s a little small at 5’10” and 205 lbs but his vision and big play ability make up for it. I believe Tucker could gain some ground with a surprising draft pick from a GM who falls in love with his tape. He has a pro day set for April 24th at Syracuse and a good showing could skyrocket his capital in our drafts.
1:07: Quentin Johnston, WR (Previous: 1.06 📉)
Let’s start with the positives on Johnston, a guy I’m skeptical of: he’s a big-bodied guy in a receiving class of undersized guys. I believe he’ll be over-valued and will be over-drafted in the NFL for this reason, but that will give him good draft capital. Johnston excels at high-pointing balls and coming down with contested catches. On the flip side, I’m still concerned about his route running and the fact that he isn’t a “hands catcher.” I’d give Johnston a 25% chance of making it in the NFL, with a 75% chance he flames out and lights his rookie draft capital on fire. Drafter beware.
1:08: Zach Evans, RB (Previous: 1.07 📉)
Evans checks a lot of boxes. Played in the SEC? Check. Racked up plenty of yards (936) and scored a lot of touchdowns (9) in 2022? Check. And my favorite box: being faded too far in rookie drafts? Check! I’ve seen all over the 2nd round, so 1.08 is rich by ADP, but I’ve liked Evans from the beginning and I’m standing by my love. In a year where we are so concerned about the size of these running backs, Evans stands at 6’0” and 215 lbs. So why is he being knocked? I don’t get it. I’ll be happier drafting a guy like Evans than a smaller WR and hoping he gets targets as a 2nd or 3rd option.
1:09: Tyree Wilson, DL (Previous: 2.09 📈)
One of the biggest risers in this mock is also one of the biggest risers in the NFL Draft. I’ve seen him mocked as high as #2 overall to the Texans if Bryce Young does go #1 overall to Carolina. I’d say it’s neck-and-neck for him and Will Anderson to be the first defensive player selected next week. Wilson is a huge human being at 6’6” and 275 lbs and will be a menace in the NFL coming off of the edge. Over his last two years at Texas Tech, he had 98 total tackles and 14 sacks. He’ll be a great consolation prize for those who don’t get Anderson and should produce at a similar level.
1:10: Tank Bigsby, RB (Previous: 1.09 📉)
I can’t quit Tank Bigsby. It’s a problem at this point. But I also don’t understand why Bigsby doesn’t get more love. His size is great at 6’0” and 213 lbs. He played at an SEC school (Auburn) and racked up over 2,000 yards and 20 TDs in his last two years. It’s true he didn’t help himself at the NFL Combine, but he didn’t hurt himself either. If I’m an NFL GM, I’m turning in the card on Bigsby. I’ll do the same here at 1.10.
1.11: Zay Flowers, WR (Previous: 1.08 📉)
Like a lot of the other WRs in this class, Zay Flowers doesn’t have the size to be the #1 featured WR in an NFL offense. But if Flowers gets an ideal landing spot and role, he could provide a nice ROI for drafters. He’s a handful to deal with in the open field. He has great hands and excellent twitch. What about somewhere like Dallas or Buffalo? If that happens, we might have another Mock 4.0 riser on our hands in Flowers.
1:12: Zach Charbonnet, RB (Previous: 1.05 📉)
Talk about ups and downs: in Mock 1.0, I had Charbonnet at 2.04. Then in Mock 2.0, I had him at 1.05. So in Mock 3.0, I’m splitting the difference with 1.12, which is still lower than his consensus range of 1.04-1.08. I’m just not as high on Charbonnet as some. He has tons of college production but it came in a high-powered UCLA offense piloted by mad genius Chip Kelly. I still like him in the 1st, just not that high.