2021 NFL Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft

It is dynasty season, and our analysts Matthew Amato and Jason Guilbault have sat down to go through 4 rounds of a dynasty rookie mock draft. Following the conclusion of the NFL Draft, we finally get a taste of the fantasy value of each of these rookies.

This rookie mock draft is for a 1QB league with standard .5PPR scoring. The approach to this mock was as if this was a startup rookie mock draft. Therefore, each pick was selected with the sole purpose of value in mind.

Round 1

1.1 Ja’Marr Chase
WR – CIN
Cincinnati Bengals
Ja’Marr Chase is the number one rookie after the NFL Draft. He opted out of the 2020 season but in 2019 posted 20 touchdowns and over 1,700 receiving yards. Chase now gets to link up with Joe Burrow and become an alpha WR1 in this Bengals offense that will still be throwing a ton. Chase’s longevity of being a WR1 is really what I am after here and he falls to the best team out of the first few wide receivers that went in the draft. The year one production will be there, much like we saw with his teammate Justin Jefferson.

– Jason Guilbault @JGuilbault11

1.2. Najee Harris
RB – PIT
Pittsburgh Steelers
Najee Harris is stepping into a clear bell-cow role; however, his situation is not as great as it may seem on the surface. While Pittsburgh is known for having a good offense all-around, their offensive line this year does not look good. They lost two of their best starters in Villanueva and Pouncey, and even with a complete line last year, the team was below-average in run-blocking. Najee is still the clear 1.02 in my head because bell-cow roles are so coveted, but there should be some concern about how efficient Harris can be.

– Matthew Amato @MattAmatoSF

1.3 Javonte Williams
RB – DEN
Denver Broncos
Chase and Najee Harris are pretty much a consensus one-two pick in rookie drafts this year. Javonte Williams over Kyle Pitts and Travie Etienne might be what you are questioning here, but William’s talent is why many were putting him in the same breath as Harris and Etienne. Williams is a potential three-down back once Melvin Gordon leaves, which is next season. Williams will have a split workload in Year 1, but after that, he should be Schumer’s workhorse, which he has a track record of riding his RB1s. This team has loads of weapons and an improving offensive line. Where other teams will have turnover at RB soon, Williams has stability for the next 4-5 years.

– Jason Guilbault @JGuilbault11

1.4 Kyle Pitts
TE – ATL
Atlanta Falcons
Personally, I am not that high on Pitts compared to other fantasy analysts. However, despite being significantly lower on my projections for him, he is still the 1.04 pick in this draft, and that should tell you everything you need to know about how good Pitts is. Pitts will offer top-5 upside for the next 10+ years. Ideally, I see Pitts as being a Darren Waller-like player starting in year two and only going up from there. This will give you a tremendous positional advantage for years to come.

– Matthew Amato @MattAmatoSF

1.5 Travis Etienne
RB – JAX
Jacksonville Jaguars
While the landing spot was not ideal for Travis Etienne and James Robinson, it would be idiotic if Etienne doesn’t eventually become “the guy” in Jacksonville. Using the 25th overall pick on him suggests much more than just being a third-down back. While it likely won’t happen right away, Etienne is still a top-five pick with a lot of upside. This Jaguars team has a lot of talented skill position players, and Etienne also stands behind a decent offensive line as well. We will just have to be patient here.

– Jason Guilbault @JGuilbault11

1.6 Devonta Smith
WR – PHI
Philadelphia Eagles
Going into the draft, Devonta Smith was my #1 wide receiver. He simply is elite at every aspect of the position besides top-end speed and size. However, he is still 6’1 and had no issue going up to get balls over NFL-caliber cornerbacks in college. Smith landed in one of the worst spots for fantasy receivers; however, he is so good that you simply have to take the talent over the landing spot here. Also, Hurts will feed Smith, and even if only 60% of those targets are catchable, he still should produce enough to be a WR3/Flex in year one.

– Matthew Amato @MattAmatoSF

1.7 Jaylen Waddle
WR – MIA
Miami Dolphins
The comparisons for Jaylen Waddle have been Tyreek Hill, given his elite athleticism and explosiveness. Waddle pairs back up with his college quarterback, and I am not concerned about his injury last year. He will fall into a talented offense that has been getting better. And while we will need to steps forward from Tua, you can say the same about Smith in Philadelphia, who is dealing with a similar situation. Waddle’s ceiling is at another level, and with Smith off the board, Waddle is the last of the tier one playmakers at RB/WR.

– Jason Guilbault @JGuilbault11

1.8 Elijah Moore
WR – NYJ
New York Jets
The New York Jets offense is being severely overlooked. The pieces that this team has added, like Zach Wilson, Alijah Vera-Tucker, and coach Mike LaFleur, should be enough to put up points in the AFC East. This team is going to be good, and Elijah Moore was also the next best wide receiver, talent-wise, on the board according to be my grades. I have full confidence in Zach Wilson to be a great starting quarterback, and I have complete confidence that Elijah Moore can show why he is the true #4 wide receiver in this draft.

– Matthew Amato @MattAmatoSF

1.9 Trevor Lawrence
QB – JAX
Jacksonville Jaguars
You might have a more quarterback-needy team take Trevor Lawrence ahead of the names above, but after these running backs and wide receivers, Lawrence is the first name of the board. This is someone who has excelled at every level and comes in with no need to get a year under his belt like a few of the others. Often first overall picks land in spots with poor weapons and offensive lines, but that is not the case in Jacksonville. Lawrence will come in with loads of weapons and a coach that can build the offense around him. He is going to be a QB1 for the next 15 years.

– Jason Guilbault @JGuilbault11

1.10 Trey Lance
QB – SF

San Francisco 49ers
With Trevor Lawrence off the board, I think that Trey Lance is the clear-cut next best QB prospect for fantasy terms. I really disliked a lot of the landing spots for the remaining rookies, so I have no issue swinging for the fences on Trey Lance being the next Josh Allen. Lance has the cannon and the running ability to dominate and give you the QB1 upside. You also need to remember that Kyle Shanahan is an offensive genius. With Shanahan at the helm, this offense will always be efficient.

– Matthew Amato @MattAmatoSF

1.11 Rashod Bateman
WR – BAL
Baltimore Ravens
I love Rashod Bateman, but the landing spot hurt his ceiling in Baltimore. He goes to a bottom-five volume team when it comes to the pass, and he will have to capitalize on limited targets. Now there is a chance Bateman can be a safety blanket early, given Baltimore is in need of a possession wide receiver who can work different levels of the field. Bateman also should be looked at in the red zone but still is going to be second to the run game. Given how deep this WR class is, I can look for other upside wideouts in the next round if needed.

– Jason Guilbault @JGuilbault11

1.12 Zach Wilson
QB – NYJ
New York Jets
This may be a controversial pick, but if you know how I feel about Zach Wilson, then this is a perfect spot to draft him. Wilson has all the talent in the world and can be the next Russell Wilson or even Aaron Rodgers. Wilson’s rushing ability is also extremely underrated. In a dynasty league, I am fine spending a late-first on a guy who can be a QB-1 for the next twenty years on my roster.

– Matthew Amato @MattAmatoSF

Round 2

2.13 Trey Sermon
RB – SF
San Francisco 49ers
Trey Sermon saw his stock rise when he landed in San Francisco. Not because there is clear playing time, but because Kyle Shanahan is a wizard, and the offense can support a couple of fantasy-relevant backs. Now it will be frustrating from a week-to-week standpoint early on, but we can hope things clear out a little bit. The quick-cutting ability that Sermon brings makes him a real threat in this offense. The logjam is the only issue, but that will be the case for quite a few backs early on.

– Jason Guilbault @JGuilbault11

2.14 Terrace Marshall
WR – CAR
Carolina Panthers
Carolina got a fantastic wide receiver with Terrace Marshall; however, again, this situation is not great. Many of the receivers in this draft went to bad spots, and you are going to have to just trust the talent. Sam Darnold, as the QB with DJ Moore, Robbery Anderson, and CMC all taking up targets, does not bode well for Marshall’s fantasy output. However, this could be a year-2 or year-3 explosion like we saw with DJ Chark. Some may argue that Marshall is even more talented than baby Chark himself.

– Matthew Amato @MattAmatoSF

2.15 Kadarius Toney
WR – NYG
New York Giants
As I made this pick, Matt made a gasp on the zoom call, and it wasn’t because he was taking Kadarius Toney next. This is another spot that wasn’t ideal for fantasy football, and that was the case with a lot of players. However, I could see Toney knocking Sterling Shepard out of snaps at the slot, given Toney is a far better athlete, and Kenny Golladay and Darius Slayton can both play outside. The potential is so high for Toney with how electric he is, and we just have to pray the Giants can do enough to get him moving early. He is another one I will have patience for, and I hope everything falls for him.

– Jason Guilbault @JGuilbault11

2.16 Michael Carter
RB – NYJ
New York Jets
Michael Carter is one of the first guys I drafted based on landing spot more so than talent. There is really no competition for Carter as the RB1 on this team, and as I have said with Moore and Wilson, I love the Jets’ offense this year. Carter is not bad, but I believe that there was a massive drop-off from the top-3 or even 4 backs to Carter’s skill level. However, running behind Becton and Vera-Tucker won’t require much skill, and Carter should offer an immediate impact.

– Matthew Amato @MattAmatoSF

2.17 Justin Fields
QB – CHI
Chicago Bears
Justin Fields is the number four quarterback for me in standard formats. I am not overly thrilled if Matt Nagy is their long-term, but the Bears have made some great moves to help on the offensive side. This might persuade Allen Robinson to stay long-term, which would be a major bonus for Fields. There are some good young receivers on the roster now, and Fields could elevate their play as well. Chicago is a really interesting team regardless of if Fields is starting Week 1. He has mobility but not to the point of a Lamar Jackson, but enough to help his floor each week. The selections of quarterbacks will range in every draft, but Fields as the 4th option, I’d be happy with every time.

– Jason Guilbault @JGuilbault11

2.18 Dyami Brown
WR – WAS
washington football team 1
Dyami Brown is an explosive deep threat and is perfect for Ryan Fitzpatrick’s style of play. I think that Brown will be the ideal complement to the existing weapons on this offense with Samuel, McLaurin, and Thomas. Brown will extend the field and hit on some fantastic big plays. Brown is a great value late in the second for most teams.

– Matthew Amato @MattAmatoSF

2.19 Amon-Ra St. Brown
WR – DET
Detroit Lions
We hit a stretch of receivers who were not viewed as top prospects but went to landing spots with a lot of opportunities. He has a different mentality than his brother and is very physical. St. Brown has the upside of entering Year 1 in Detroit. They lost over 350 targets from last season, and the defense is still going to be an issue. While Jared Goff is not a great arm, you can do far worse. I believe St. Brown can be an impactful rookie from day one and put up a strong rookie season. I see the ceiling being Tyler Boyd-like numbers over his career, which would be excellent for getting him here.

– Jason Guilbault @JGuilbault11

2.20 Kenneth Gainwell
RB – PHI
Philadelphia Eagles
Looking back on this draft, I may have waited too long to pick Gainwell because I truly believe that he can be the starter by next year. Gainwell is an elite pass catcher similar to Antonio Gibson, so much so that he could easily be a slot wide receiver. Gainwell also possesses tons of explosive ability on the ground. He has a very clear path to being a contributor by simply beating out Mile Sanders.

– Matthew Amato @MattAmatoSF

2.21 Amari Rodgers
WR – GB
Green Bay Packers
Going to Clemson means you are going to be amongst some of the top names at the position. Amari Rodgers was impactful at times but not a heavily targeted player in the offense. He is on the smaller side and not a speedster, but is athletic and has reliable hands. He also is someone who runs routes very well. We just need to hope Aaron Rodgers is the one throwing him the ball for the next few years. The Clemson wideout will jump right into the mix as the Packers receivers are thin. Clemson has had a lot of successful wide receivers of late; even names like Jacoby Ford and Martavis Bryant had very successful rookie seasons. Rodgers should have an impact early and is safer than Rondale Moore, who I go with next.

– Jason Guilbault @JGuilbault11

2.22 D’Wayne Eskridge
WR – SEA
Seattle Seahawks
Seattle only had three picks in this draft, and the team had a ton of holes on their squad. However, they liked Eskridge so much that they went and got him with their first pick of the 2021 Draft. This speaks volumes to me on how much the team likes him. Interestingly enough, Tyler Lockett was actually my pro-comp to Eskridge. I think that he will have a clear role in the offense from year-1 but has a path to becoming a top-16 guy once the team moves on from Lockett.

– Matthew Amato @MattAmatoSF

2.23 Rondale Moore
WR – ARI
Arizona Cardinals
Some people love Rondale Moore and will be taking him higher than this, especially because Arizona continues to be an attractive destination. Moore relies on the accuracy and using his athleticism after the catch. He is going to have some big plays, but the consistency won’t be great, given he will be a third and fourth option in the offense. He should also get some touches in the run game as well. I am a bit lower on him than some of the others, but there is no doubt a path for him to succeed, and because Matt and myself are not as high on him, he went 2.11 here. I’d anticipate someone jumping on him potentially even as high as the first round.

– Jason Guilbault @JGuilbault11

2.24 Josh Palmer
WR – LAC
Los Angeles Chargers
Once you hit the late end of round two, you are usually looking at taxi squad players that could become starters. Josh Palmer is a perfect candidate for that, as you will most likely know right away in year one or year two if he will ever produce. He has an elite quarterback who now has an elite offensive line. Plus, he really does not have a ton of competition in front of him. His excuse in college was a terrible offense. That’s obviously no longer the case, so he will either show up and be part of the team, or he was never that good to begin with.

– Matthew Amato @MattAmatoSF

Round 3

3.25 Pat Freiermuth
TE – PIT
Pittsburgh Steelers
When you hear the comparisons to ‘Baby Gronk,” you get excited. When you hear the comparisons to Heath Miller, you probably don’t. Not that Miller was a bad tight end, it’s just not the sexy fantasy pick. Because the future is a concern in Pittsburgh for the quarterback position, there is a chance dynasty value flops for a lot of these pass-catchers. Pat Friermuth will go through the usual tight end growing paints when it comes to production, and I fear that it could linger if he finally gets up to speed and the Steelers go through a drought at quarterback. There is a chance that Friermuth is just a better real-life player than fantasy player in Pittsburgh. I believe there were better landing spots for fantasy. However, his talent is still worth him being the number-two TE off the board.

– Jason Guilbault @JGuilbault11

3.26 Cornell Powell
WR – KC
Kansas City Chiefs
I did not love Cornell Powell’s tape, but I’ll roster just about any wide receiver that is on the Chiefs. The receiving corpses seem to always be riddled with injuries, and the next-man-up mentality appears to be the M.O. of the Cheifs offense. It is possible that Powell takes over the Watkins role and does it even better than he did. If that is the case, then the third round is a steal.

– Matthew Amato @MattAmatoSF

3.27 Nico Collins
WR – HOU
Houston Texans
Nico Collins was one of my favorite later receivers in the draft. He is a big wide receiver and was highly sought after in college. This was someone who was wanted by Georgia and Alabama but opted to go to Michigan. He didn’t see great quarterback play and also not a great offense to put up big numbers. Looking past that, he is a physical option that goes up and gets the ball. He will be a problem in the red zone and also has a great understanding of the game. He blocks well and is going to jump right into a team that has had to do a complete rebuild. I believe Collins is going to be a touchdown machine once he gets solidified in this offense.

– Jason Guilbault @JGuilbault11

3.28 Dez Fitzpatrick
WR – TEN
Tennessee Titans
Dez Fitzpatrick is a weird rookie player. His tape is not great, and many analysts did not really see him as a starter in 2021. However, there is literally nobody else on this Titans team to play receiver besides A.J. Brown. If you are in the third round of your rookie draft and need a guy who can possibly flex in year one, then this is by far your best option. Who knows? He could be a lot more talented than we think! If that’s the case, then this opportunity becomes a ridiculous value.

– Matthew Amato @MattAmatoSF

3.29 Khalil Herbert
RB – CHI
Chicago Bears
There are some value running backs to look at as contracts will be expiring within the next year or two for some players. In this case, David Montgomery would be the one expiring in 2023, and there is no way he would be a re-sign candidate. At least I hope the Bears are smart enough not to do that. Herbert had a really good 2020 and has been very efficient in his career. He is a tough guy to bring down and has excellent patience. He is still going to be more of an early-down back and also could be used in the red zone. Herbert has a chance to be an impactful back but will have to wait for guys to get out of his way.

– Jason Guilbault @JGuilbault11

3.30 Tommy Tremble
TE – CAR
Carolina Panthers
Ian Thomas simply was not suitable as a receiving tight end. I project that Tommy Tremble will be what everyone wanted out of Ian Thomas. If you have a couple of other startable tight ends, Tremble is a great addition to help stream the spot from your own roster.

– Matthew Amato @MattAmatoSF

3.31 Anthony Schwartz
WR – CLE
Cleveland Browns
One of the fastest players in this class was Anthony Schwartz. Cleveland is turning into a really efficient offense, but it is also a loaded one with guys who will get touches over Schwartz. They were missing that speedy receiver-type threat and will be added into the mix. He is a really interesting dart throw early on, and this team isn’t going anywhere in terms of talent. You are taking him for the big play potential and some added depth. Things start to thin out after this at the wide receiver position.

– Jason Guilbault @JGuilbault11

3.32 Rhamondre Stevenson
RB – NE
New England Patriots
There are rumors that Sony Michel is going to be cut, and this Stevenson pick seems to bring validity to those rumors. Stevenson is a taxi squad stash through and through. We saw that Damien Harris got no playtime his first year and is now projected as the lead back in that Patriots timeshare. Stay patient with Stevenson, and he could become a solid RB2 in the future.

– Matthew Amato @MattAmatoSF

3.33 Elijah Mitchell
RB – SF
San Francisco 49ers
Taken 194th overall, Elijah Mitchell had a really good showing heading into the draft. He has had a lot of success in terms of production at the college level, and his athletic profile scored better than expected. It is a very crowded running back room at the moment, so immediate production won’t be there. However, the odds are in your favor taking any 49ers running back, and they will have some sort of window for fantasy relevance.

– Jason Guilbault @JGuilbault11

3.34 Dazz Newsome
WR – CHI
Chicago Bears
Dazz Newsome was one of my favorite late-round slot receiver targets. While Newsome does not have an immediate path to opportunity on the Bears, it may not be as far away as you think. Many are not sure that Allen Robinson will return to the team in 2022. Then, you have rumors that Anthony Miller will be traded. Either way, Newsome should have an opportunity by next season and hopefully with a QB who is succeeding in Justin Fields.

– Matthew Amato @MattAmatoSF

3.35 Mac Jones
QB – NE
New England Patriots
Mac Jones is somewhat of a risky pick at this point, where the Patriots did add tight ends, but the receiving core still lacks in a major way. This also is looking to be one of these stretches where they want Jones to just manage the game with safe play-calling and a good defense. The upside is capped in New England, and given Jones doesn’t offer anything with his legs, the upside is capped there as well. However, letting him slip any further if you are a team with weaker quarterback depth would be unwise. There is a path where he can be a relevant QB2 if New England continues to add pieces around him.

– Jason Guilbault @JGuilbault11

3.36 Ihmir Smith-Marsette
WR – MIN
Minnesota Vikings
In the late third round, it is time to take guys with big upside. Ihmir Smith-Marsette is coming out of Iowa with an explosive skill set. He showed great vertical separation, incredible YAC ability, and a good amount of contest catch skill. I think, all things considered, he is clearly the third-best receiver on the Vikings in his rookie year. I would not be surprised to Smith-Marsette become a flexible asset very quickly, with a bright future ahead of him as Thielen gets older.

– Matthew Amato @MattAmatoSF

Round 4

4.37 Tutu Atwell
WR – LAR

4.38 Javian Hawkins
RB – ATL

4.39 Larry Rountree
RB – LAC

4.40 Chuba Hubbard
RB – CAR

4.41 Brevin Jordan
TE – HOU

4.42 Demetric Felton
RB – CLE

4.43 Tylan Wallace
WR – BAL

4.44 Sage Surratt
WR – DET

4.45 Pooka Williams
RB – CIN

4.46 Kellen Mond
QB – MIN

4.47 Jaret Patterson
RB – WAS

4.48 Tre’ McKitty
TE – LAC

  
Matthew has been playing fantasy football for over ten years now. He is experienced in playing and writing about both daily and season-long fantasy. He is both commissioner and former champion of several different types of high stakes money leagues.

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