Rookie Draft Through Four Rounds: Dobson, Knile Davis, Latavius Murray and Aaron Mellette

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I’ve been writing and tweeting intermittently about the rookie draft that we’re doing in @RotoPat’s league. This has mostly taken the form of a good amount of hemming and hawing over my selection of Aaron Dobson, who I have called  the Rorschach Test Wide Receiver. But a few have asked to see all of the picks and I wanted to write about my recent selections, so I’m banging out this quick post.  All of the picks in the draft are pasted at the bottom if you just want to skip there.

Round 1: Aaron Dobson (I’ve already spilled too much ink on Dobson)

Round 2: Knile Davis

Comments: Jon Moore actually had me talked into taking Marcus Lattimore here. I was even going to take Lattimore within minutes of making my actual pick. I changed my mind based on a few things. First, I have no idea what Lattimore will look like once he’s fully recovered. I’m “injury prone” agnostic, but I’m risk averse as it relates to guys healing from injuries. Second, I think if the 49ers red-shirt Lattimore, that impacts more than his year 1 value. I think it carries forward to year 2 and you can’t be sure that they wouldn’t look to hedge next year by taking another running back.

As it relates to Davis, I like his size/speed mix obviously. But I also like that after Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs only have Shaun Draughn. So Davis is in a decent usage situation I think. I would actually argue that his usage expectation is probably similar to or better than Christine Michael’s usage situation. That’s just my perception and might not be accurate.

Round 3: Latavius Murray

Comments: You can basically take all of my Knile Davis comments and insert them here. I think their situations are almost the same. Both are big/fast guys. Both are probably next in line behind the starter. Murray may also be behind Rashad Jennings. I guess tt’s probably a little too early to give Murray that 2nd spot on the depth chart, but I’m generally optimistic.

Round 4: Aaron Mellette

Comments:  Kerwynn Williams was drafted by CD Carter with the pick immediately preceding my pick. I had narrowed things down to Mellette or Williams so Carter made my choice for me and I took Mellette.

This is actually kind of funny because in our pre-draft composites Jon Moore speculated that because of my low ranking of the small school wide receivers, he thought I probably just don’t like those guys. He’s half right. I don’t spend a lot of time on them and I don’t think it makes sense to translate their production numbers 1:1 when comparing with BCS receivers. But in this case I’m just drafting what I perceive as opportunity. Mellette has Jacoby Jones and Tommy Streeter in front of him on the depth chart. We know that Jacoby Jones isn’t a good receiver (except for one catch). The jury is out on Streeter. Given that this rookie draft saw undrafted guys go ahead of Mellette, I just made a call here that I thought Mellette had maybe a little more opportunity than your typical 7th round draft pick. I wouldn’t be surprised if Baltimore’s strategy to fill out that 2nd receiver opposite of Torrey Smith is to just throw three big/fast guys out there and see which one impresses. So maybe the odds of winding up with a WR2 here are in the 20% range. Maybe it’s 50% Jacoby Jones, 30% Streeter and 20% Mellette. I guess Tandon Doss might have a non-zero chance, but I’m leaving him out for now.

When I look back at the first four rounds, what I see is that I basically took 2 big/fast RBs and then 2 big/fast small(er) school WRs. I think 90% of the near term value in this year’s rookie class is probably tied up in the first 3 or 4 picks, so I didn’t think I was going to be getting starters. Instead I opted for guys with good size/speed ratios who might be within a Tim Tebow errant pass of being a starter.

In terms of eating my own cooking and taking guys that look good on algorithmic projection systems, I did that with RBs and probably didn’t do it with WRs. But my reasoning for deviating from a data driven selection for WRs was simple and it was related to opportunity. When I took Dobson and Mellette, I just felt like their paths to the playing field were less cluttered than guys who look better on an algo projection (like Da’Rick Rogers for instance).

Here are the rest of the picks if you’re curious:

*Note – Russ Lande’s team is being drafted by Seth Trachtman.

Round One

1. Mike Clay – Tavon Austin, WR

2. Patrick Daugherty – DeAndre Hopkins, WR

3. Evan Silva – Montee Ball, RB

4. Nick Mensio – Cordarrelle Patterson, WR

5. Chris Burke – Le’Veon Bell, RB

6. Chet Gresham – Eddie Lacy, RB

7. Ryan Forbes – Gio Bernard, RB

8. Russ Lande – Joseph Randle, RB

9. Sigmund Bloom – Johnathan Franklin, RB

10. Ryan Van Bibber – Zac Stacy, RB

11. Fantasy Douche – Aaron Dobson, WR

12. C.D. Carter – Markus Wheaton, WR

13. Adam Levitan – Mike Gillislee, RB

14. Rumford Johnny – Keenan Allen, WR

Round Two

15. Rumford Johnny – Christine Michael, RB

16. Adam Levitan – Zach Ertz, TE

17. C.D. Carter – Denard Robinson, RB

18. Fantasy Douche –  Knile Davis, RB

19. Ryan Van Bibber – Robert Woods, WR

20. Sigmund Bloom – Justin Hunter, WR

21. Russ Lande – Tyler Eifert, TE

22. Ryan Forbes – Quinton, Patton, WR

23. Chet Gresham –  Marcus Lattimore, RB

24. Chris Burke – Terrance Williams, WR

25. Nick Mensio – E.J. Manuel, QB

26. Evan Silva – Travis Kelce, TE

27. Patrick Daugherty – Kenny Stills, WR

28. Mike Clay – Stedman Bailey, WR

Round Three

29. Mike Clay – Da’Rick Rogers, WR

30. Patrick Daugherty – Corey Fuller, WR

31. Evan Silva – Charles Johnson, WR

32. Nick Mensio – Gavin Escobar, TE

33. Chris Burke – Geno Smith, QB

34. Chet Gresham – Matt Barkley, QB

35. Ryan Forbes – Marquise Goodwin, WR

36. Russ Lande – Stepfan Taylor, RB

37. Sigmund Bloom – Josh Boyce, WR

38. Ryan Van Bibber – Tyler Wilson, QB

39. Fantasy Douche – Latavius Murray, RB

40. C.D. Carter – Ryan Swope, WR

41. Adam Levitan – Andre Ellington, RB

42. Rumford Johnny – Chris Thompson, RB

Round Four

43. Rumford Johnny – Chris Harper, WR

44. Adam Levitan – Cierre Wood, RB

45. C.D. Carter – Kerwynn Williams, RB

46. Fantasy Douche –  Aaron Mellette, WR

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