The PFF Fantasy rookie draft began yesterday morning, and we should reach this area of the draft by the weekend. Putting this project together has helped my preparation immensely, and I hope there’s been at least some value for readers as well. Almost everyone in your draft will have familiarity with the first round guys. Although the hit rates are low in the late rounds, it’s still a place where you can really separate yourself.
Round 6 was the round for the high-profile, high-octane QB handcuffs, the TE sleepers, and a raft of potential impact IDPs.
Fleaflicker RDL – Round 6
No. 61 Brett Hundley, QB, Packers, 21.5, 6-3, 226
I’ve been a big Hundley supporter throughout the process and wrote a glowing review before the Alamo Bowl where he led his team to 40 points and the victory. Hundley looks like a better prospect than Garrett Grayson and Bryce Petty based on age-adjusted production and athleticism, but he’ll never play a meaningful snap in Green Bay barring a career-ending injury to Aaron Rodgers. (Although it would be a disaster for Rodgers personally and the NFL community more generally, I can see an argument that it’s more likely the Packers star is forced from the league due to head trauma than it is Grayson or Petty will ever become NFL viable.)
No. 62 Clive Walford, TE, Raiders, 23.2, 6-4, 251
Walford was the consensus No. 2 TE, was selected No. 68 overall, and goes to an Oakland team that seems ready to install him as the starter. If he seems like a huge bargain based on that information, consider that he’s going to be a 24-year-old rookie with a 24th percentile SPARQ score. As a result, his career projection is poor.
No. 63 Dante Fowler Jr., DE, Jaguars, 20.4, 6-3, 261
The No. 3 pick in the draft was a monster on 3rd down last year and will still be younger than many of his current peers when he makes his 2016 debut after rehabbing an ACL tear.
No. 64 Owamagbe Odigizu, DE, Giants, 22.7, 6-3, 267
Owa was a Combine superstar, running a 4.62 forty and leaping 39 inches at a whopping 267 pounds. He begins his Giants career hoping to quickly emerge from a crowded depth chart at DE that includes Damontre Moore, George Selvie, and Robert Ayers.
No. 65 Rashad Greene, WR, Jaguars, 22.3, 5-11, 182
Greene was a stat compiler and winner at Florida State, but he spent his entire career below the WR1 trend line. He then badly missed the 40 time history suggested would boost his NFL prospects. A recent study by RotoViz writing contest winner Greg Conejo ranked him No. 24 among rookie receivers, and he’s the 24th receiver off the board in our draft.
No. 66 Garrett Grayson, QB, Saints, 23.6, 6-3, 213
FO’s QBASE gives Grayson an 83 percent chance to bust, and it doesn’t necessarily seem like they’re punishing him for playing his most successful seasons at a very advanced age.1 He’s also behind Drew Brees in an offense suddenly near the bottom of the NFL in receiving talent.
No. 67 Shane Ray, OLB, Broncos, 6-3, 245
In my original rookie mock, I had Ray at 3.08. Then he failed his pro day with a 4.68 forty and 33-inch vertical. He followed that with an arrest for marijuana possession and fell to No. 23 where the Broncos traded up to select him. In Denver he’ll receive the OLB tag and begin his career behind DeMarcus Ware. All of which conspired to push him down three rounds in value.
No. 68 Jamison Crowder, WR, Washington, 21.5, 5-8, 185
Crowder joined fellow small receivers Justin Hardy, Rashad Greene, and Stefon Diggs in losing the Combine, although his pro day numbers of 4.43 (40), 6.99 (3-cone), and 37 inches (vertical) were more respectable. Unlike Hardy and Green, Crowder’s age-adjusted production was excellent, and he’s a recommended target in Greg Conejo’s aforementioned article. Jon Moore thinks his punt return stats may foreshadow a Wes Welker type career.
No. 69 Byron Jones, CB, Cowboys, 6-1, 199
According to Zach Whitman, the world’s new long jump record holder joins Calvin Johnson, Evan Mathis, Lane Johnson, and J.J. Watt as the only 3-sigma athletes in the NFL, players with an overall athleticism score three standard deviations above the mean. Jones also finished in the Top 10 last season in completion percentage allowed, so he’s not just a workout warrior.
No. 70 Jordan Richards, S, Patriots, 5-11, 211
According to FD’s study, Richards was the eighth biggest reach in the draft, and it might be worse since the other reaches – with the exception of Detroit selecting a fullback – seem like instances where the scouting consensus was way too low. The Patriots obviously couldn’t care less what anyone thinks about any aspect of how they do business and weren’t about to worry that Richards owned a SPARQ in the 17th percentile range.2
None of that amounts to much from a fantasy perspective. If you get a shot at a Patriots second-round safety at pick No. 70 of a rookie draft that is egregiously weak at the position, well, that’s a card you’ll run to the podium to turn in.
No. 71 Tyler Varga, RB, Colts, 21.3, 5-11, 222
Varga is a 222-pound back with a Speed Score of 96, a weight-adjusted agility score of -0.03, and a workhorse score of 85. Jon Moore explains what that means for his chances of becoming the next Arian Foster.
No. 72 MyCole Pruitt, TE, Vikings, 23.8, 6-2, 251
Pruitt doesn’t have Maxx Williams’ combination of youth and production, but he owns the best mix of athleticism and Dominator Rating in the 2015 class. He goes to a Vikings team where Kyle Rudolph has never really materialized and to a TE-friendly offensive coordinator who supposedly “banged the table” for him during the draft.
Have a rookie draft this weekend? Find the research you need and catch up on all the picks.
Need to find a cheap player to add punch to the bottom of your dynasty roster? Try the Top 10 Sleepers for 2015.