On Wednesday I posted my 2016 dynasty rookie draft strategy with the thought that you could get an idea of the depth and level of strategy that I put into a rookie draft. The draft went off this week and the results are in so I thought I’d share that too. Every year’s rookie draft strategy should be unique based on your roster needs and the potential of the draft. Always let the draft come to you and find value where you can. Don’t draft for need up front, take the best player available. Most of all, have fun!
As you may recall, my strategy was to churn the low end of my roster to pick up as many low round picks as I could get and then retool my defense a bit, especially my LB corps. I made a few trades even after I posted on Wednesday so I started the draft with the following picks: 29, 31, 33, 40, 41, 43, 50, 51, 52, 55 and 57. The draft went terrifically and I found much more value than I anticipated on both sides of the ball.
- When pick 2.09 was on the board Will Fuller (ADP 11) was still on the board so I traded up, giving away my 3.07 (pick 31) and Jonathan Stewart to snag him. What a value, it was worth giving a 28 year old RB up for solid depth with future potential.
- My next pick was 3.05 (pick 31) and Myles Jack was still on the board so I took him. Again, incredible value here as he’s going mid-2nd in most drafts, plus Darron Lee, Shaq Lawson and Blake Martinez inexplicably were picked before him. So far, this draft is going better than I could have ever expected.
- I get an offer at this point getting CJ Prosise (picked 3.03, pick 27) and giving RGIII. I can’t believe it, I took it sight unseen. RGIII was a waiver wire pickup at the end of last season and to get an RB (replacing JStew who I just gave up) of that caliber and also as a handcuff to Thomas Rawls was just too tasty to pass up.
- 3.09, pick 33 I take Jonathan Williams. One of the better prospects at this stage and with Karlos Williams gone he becomes the high potential young backup in this RB corps.
- 4.04, pick 40 I take Keanu Neal. He’s going to be an in the box safety and I’m picking from a position of strength with Cyprien, Rashad Jones, Weddle and Calvin Pryor already on the roster.
- 4.05, pick 41 I take Jaylon Smith. So, I was planning on taking Blake Martinez here but he was taken at 3.01, way before I anticipated. Smith may not play this year and it’s a risk to take him but risks are more palatable in the mid-4th and if he gets healthy, he can be a star on this weak defense in Dallas.
- 4.07, pick 43 I take Antonio Morrison. This was my first stretch, I LOVE Morrison and think he will be a star in Indy. With LBs flying off the board, I didn’t want to risk losing him.
- 5.02, pick 50 I take Noah Spence. Drug history is a concern but the 5th round is the time to pick guys like this, damaged but high potential. I couldn’t pass him up here.
- 5.03, pick 51 I take Reggie Ragland. Yes he will be on IR this year but due to injuries Jack, Smith and Ragland all fell to positions where I can take them at value. Best case they come back strong next year and make the corps of an elite LB team. Worst case, I wasted a 3rd, 4th and 5th round pick.
- 5.04, pick 52 I take Su’a Cravens. He’s been getting rave reviews as an LB in Washington and while he won’t start to begin the year, there is nobody at ILB on that team that can’t be beat eventually.
- 5.07, pick 55 I take Tyler Ervin. Metrics wise he’s as good as many of the 2nd/3rd rounders taken in rookie drafts. In the 5th round he’s worth the stash
- 5.09, pick 57 I take Nick Vigil. Rounding out my LB revamp, Vigil has had a great training camp and while he won’t start to begin the season, he could end there and most likely will start in 2017 in the middle. For the record, that’s Jack, Smith, Ragland, Morrison, Cravens and Vigil from this year’s class. I couldn’t be more excited about NEXT year’s LB corp and this year I have Poz, Jordan Hicks, Stephone Anthony and Jelani Jenkins to hold down the fort.
So there you have it. I gave up my 1st and 2nd picks this year but still was able to gain value at WR and RB while retooling my defense with potentially elite LBs and a DE and S. Every year’s rookie draft strategy should be unique based on your roster needs and the potential of the draft. Always let the draft come to you and find value where you can. Don’t draft for need up front, take the best player available. Most of all, have fun!