2017 2QB Rookie Draft Roundtable
The 2017 NFL Draft is next Thursday and rookie fever is about to, if it hasn’t already, sweep 2QB and superflex dynasty leagues around the nation. If you’ve been following along with our 2QB rookie draft prospect coverage you should be all caught up on Anthony Amico’s Armchair Scouting Reports and his recently released rookie quarterback rankings. With the draft so close we gathered around the TwoQBs roundtable (plus special guest Jeff Miller) to answer some 2QB rookie draft questions…
1. You have the first overall pick in a 2QB rookie draft. Who are you taking and why?
Anthony Amico: I would be taking Corey Davis first overall. He’s the only wide receiver prospect who I think can be truly special and has long term WR1 upside. Despite his small-school stature, Davis has played extremely well against the Power Five:
If you compared just Davis’ Power Five receiving market share to the final year receiving market share of every first round wideout since 2011, he would be 83rd percentile. When you consider that Davis played a third of these games as a freshman, and that the comparison is being made to the peak year for every first rounder, that is truly remarkable.
Greg Smith: Rookie landing spots and fantasy team needs will definitely shake things up, but I’m taking Christian “Mingle” McCaffrey for now (h/t Kenny Darter). Thanks to both rushing and receiving ability, built up through a pro-style offense, McCaffrey should contribute immediately wherever he lands. Furthermore, we know the Mingler is an athletic standout thanks to the combine, and he’s younger than most of the other top prospects in this draft class.
Jeff Miller: Corey Davis is a pretty easy call at 1.01. There aren’t any quarterbacks who could land in a good enough of a spot to displace the best fantasy prospect in the draft. I know many prefer Leonard Fournette, but he isn’t the sort of jam I want on my toast.
A. Don Davenport: I’d be looking more at the non-QB options and probably taking a running back like Leonard Fournette. I don’t think there’s an Andrew Luck-type player available at QB in this draft.
Benton McDonald: With the 1.01 in a 2QB rookie draft I am selecting LSU RB Leonard Fournette. No quarterback prospect in this class is strong enough for me to take over an elite, generational talent like Fournette. And while you are likely to be weak at the quarterback position if you are picking first overall, picking need over value is not the play if you intend to compete in the long run and passing up someone like Fournette will only come back to bite you. Especially with a “first tier” of rookie QBs that is four or five deep, I see no need to select one at 1.01 and will instead side with Fournette.
Tyler Buecher: This quarterback class doesn’t have me eager to spend the first overall pick — or any first round pick for that matter — on a quarterback. I’d take Western Michigan’s Corey Davis with the 1.01 in every draft. Davis has incredible collegiate production, requisite size and measurables, and a chance to develop into what could be a high-end WR2.
James Simpson: Whoever I’m taking, it’s certainly not a quarterback. At this point it’s likely to be Leonard Fournette, a freak of nature who should be a top-ten pick and become one of the few every-down workhorse backs in this league. Corey Davis could sneak in, as could Mike Williams or Dalvin Cook, depending on how things go at the end of March. Right now, it’s Fournette.
Josh Hornsby: If I can’t move this pick, I’m taking Christian McCaffrey. But I’d much rather move the pick for known quantities with NFL games under their belts already.
Anthony Spangler: I would select Christian McCaffrey, mostly due to his receiving skills. I don’t view him as a feature back necessarily, which for me makes him more appealing. McCaffrey going to Carolina puts him in a great spot to transition to that feature role, while Jonathan Stewart finishes up his career, and I think his PPR value can help make up for a lack of playing time.
2. Which incoming rookie quarterback do you think is overrated?
Anthony Amico: I’ve been harping on this all spring, but I think that DeShone Kizer is overrated. As I pointed out in my Armchair Scouting Report on him, Kizer played terribly against quality competition in 2016. He also did not test well athletically compared to what people thought of him going into the Combine.
Greg Smith: I’m not well qualified to answer this question, but all quarterbacks tend to be overrated in fantasy football. Apologies to the aforementioned Mr. Darter.
Jeff Miller: Can I pick all of them except Pat Mahomes? To be fair, most people are down on this class in general, so maybe the answer is none? If I must name a name, I’ll go with the guy most looked at as the QB1 by the fantasy community: Deshaun Watson. I have never been a fan of QBs with inconsistent accuracy and poor pocket presence. Try as the NFL might, players of that ilk fail time and time again.
A. Don Davenport: I think DeSean Watson is overrated. His ball velocity of 49mph is unacceptable.
Benton McDonald: Mitchell Trubisky. He certainly flashed talent, but the fact he has only started 13 career games that were filled with mediocrity and is suddenly being rumored as the Browns preference over Myles Garrett is crazy to me. He certainly has the traits to develop into a good quarterback, but as of now, he is for the large part a project, and seems destined to be overdrafted in a few weeks. And while he may seem like a shiny new toy to fantasy owners, as we saw with Jared Goff last season, just because you’re drafted high doesn’t mean you’ll have a Day One impact, if you have any impact at all.
Tyler Buecher: Deshaun Watson’s National Title run has undoubtedly thrust him into the limelight, but I’m not convinced his dual-threat ability will necessarily translate to NFL success. RotoViz’s Nick Giffen’s QB Model has Watson with just a 20.4 percent chance of turning into a successful quarterback prospect. That’s lower than Mitch Trubisky (73.8%), DeShone Kizer (43.9%), and Pat Mahomes (27.4%). Watson’s final season saw him decline in most major statistics, while playing in an offense that often dictated before the snap where the ball was going. I imagine he’ll likely be drafted in 2QB rookie drafts toward the end of the first round, and that’s not a price I’m willing to pay for a guy who often relied on his legs to escape trouble in college and has major question marks.
James Simpson: Mitch Trubisky is the highest-rated quarterback who scares me. He has a small sample size of action. What will happen when NFL defensive coaches have more tape on him? He lined up almost exclusively in the shotgun, so how will he fare when facing exotic blitzes and schemes and having to decipher them from under center? In what is generally considered a “weak” class of quarterbacks, I wouldn’t want to bank on one who seems to be highly regarded simply by default.
Josh Hornsby: Mitchell Trubisky. It’s incredibly difficult to trust only one year as a starter when attempting to project a successful career.
Anthony Spangler: This won’t be popular, but I’m going with Deshaun Watson. Simultaneously, I think he’s still the best QB hands down. I don’t care much for this year’s QB class and so Watson feels like a big fish in a small pond. I just hope the Browns or Jets don’t ruin him.
3. Does this incoming rookie quarterback class have a Dak Prescott?
Anthony Amico: Does this class have a fourth round rookie who will light the world on fire from the start? Probably not. That said, I have two different answers to this question. In terms of raw ability, the Prescott in this class is Patrick Mahomes. I actually comped the two when scouting Mahomes. However, Mahomes is my top overall quarterback and probably doesn’t go as late as Prescott did. If there is someone who I think is an attractive sleeper who could go in that fourth round range, it would be Joshua Dobbs out of Tennessee. He is super athletic and makes for an arbitrage play on Deshaun Watson. It would not shock me to see him succeed.
Greg Smith: Almost certainly not. Dak Prescott’s rookie season was the perfect storm of lucky timing and ideal situation. Elite offensive line? Check. Elite running back and wide receiver? Check. Solid secondary contributors on offense? Check. The entrenched starter suffering a season-long injury prior to the start of the season? Check. Finally and most importantly, an organization willing to gamble on a rookie to start the season? Check. On top of all these situational factors, Prescott still had to come in and play well to hold the job. Expecting a similar story from a new rookie in 2017 is unrealistic.
Jeff Miller: This isn’t to say he plays anything like Prescott, but Chad Kelly is a guy I like as a later pick who could end up surprising. Falling down draft boards due to off-the-field concerns and a wrist injury, Kelly has shown flashes of brilliance that lead me to believe he could be a day three steal for a team willing to take a chance.
A. Don Davenport: I don’t think it does (and I question Dak Prescott’s ability to function as well as he did last season behind any common O-line), but if there was a player to come out of the grain this year I think it would be Davis Webb, who may be a good mobile option QB.
Benton McDonald: I do not believe any QB class for the foreseeable future will have a Dak Prescott. Like Tom Brady, Prescott was the rare quarterback that seemingly flashes it all in college, yet is dropped down by the NFL for, in hindsight, no obvious reason. The reports of Prescott’s work ethic, football IQ, and demeanor make him seem like a once in a generation fourth round steal, and one that no team will find in this year’s class.
Tyler Buecher: If we’re looking at this question as if there’s a rookie that could be drafted in the mid rounds with a chance to provide competent, turnover-free football and not cost his team the game with poor decisions, Pittsburgh’s Nathan Peterman stands out to me. Peterman finished his senior season completing 60.5 percent of his passes with a 27:7 touchdown to interception ratio. Our own Anthony Amico noted Peterman’s sterling 10.1 Adjusted Yards per Attempt (AY/A) in his Armchair Scouting Report series, but found many of these low-volume, high-efficiency passers (like Peterman) rarely broke out unless they have sublime athleticism. Peterman does not fall into this category whatsoever. Yet, Peterman’s accurate, turnover-free play and experienced footwork under center within Pittsburgh’s pro-style offense has created a solid foundation for a QB Coach to work with. I’m not sure Peterman has the ceiling of a quarterback like Prescott due to his limited athletic ability, but Peterman is squarely on my 2QB radar as a late-round stash.
James Simpson: He may not fall as far as Dak, but Patrick Mahomes is the quarterback outside of the consensus first rounders who looks to be the wildcard. He’s the athletic, exciting, play-making talent whose arm eclipses everyone else in the class, but NFL teams will worry about his ability to play “within the rules.” The only way I can see him on the field early is in a Prescott situation where the veteran he’s drafted behind goes down, but he could surprise many if given a shot.
Josh Hornsby: If anyone, it’s Deshaun Watson. Both were very highly-regarded as juniors, and took a bit of a PR hit as seniors (or after) which deflated draft buzz. Many will point to Watson’s velocity as a non-starter, but he led two teams to national championship appearances. Prescott essentially carried his teams at Miss St.
4. If you had the 1.01 pick in a 2QB rookie draft and were willing to part with it, what would you want in return?
Anthony Amico: I would be looking for a multitude of lower picks and/or a player that I could start. This draft class doesn’t have a ton of studs, but I really like its depth. Furthermore, people tend to over-value rookie picks. I think there’s a good chance you could land someone like Keenan Allen, T.Y. Hilton, or Rob Gronkowski straight up for that pick. If you targeted an older player like a Drew Brees or Michael Crabtree you could probably also get some draft capital in return.
Greg Smith: Team need plays a big part in answering this sort of question, but I’d certainly want a player to plug immediately into my starting lineup. At quarterback, I’d want a player at least on the caliber of Tyrod Taylor, Kirk Cousins, Matthew Stafford, or maybe Andy Dalton, but hopefully better. Because there are so few surefire rookie QB prospects, I’m not sure owners will deal away better passers for the 1.01. I’d aim higher at running back and target the likes of Jay Ajayi, Lamar Miller, Mark Ingram, and C.J. Anderson. At wide receiver, I’d look for deals in the range of Keenan Allen (hoping for an injury discount), Stefon Diggs, Alshon Jeffery, Jarvis Landry, and Davante Adams. With all of that said, get everything you possibly can. Try to gauge how high your trade partners are on the first pick before settling for your baseline expectation of return.
Jeff Miller: I am always looking to trade my first round picks as somebody will inevitably overpay you for them. If we are talking a one-for-one deal where I get a quarterback in return, I’d be happy to get any of my top-seven signal callers (Luck, Rodgers, Wilson, Newton, Carr, Winston, Mariota). If I was desperate for QB help, I’d extend that to Prescott, who is my QB8.
A. Don Davenport: The 1.03-1.04 plus a 2018 1st. I’d also consider parting with it for a top-15 QB or a quality WR like AJ Green or Sammy Watkins. I doubt I could get someone to part with Amari Cooper for it.
Benton McDonald: In my time as a dynasty owner, the trades that have absolutely made my jaw drop have always been right around this time of year. Rookie fever is very, very real and trading the 1.01 can sometimes present just absurd cases of value for the owner giving away the pick. If I was trying to trade mine, I would look for a Top-20 dynasty asset along with either a rookie pick or another young prospect, at the least. The best advice I can give an owner trying to trade his 1.01 is to not accept the first offer, no matter how good it may look.
Tyler Buecher: I would take any one of these players for the 1.01 in a 2QB rookie draft in a heartbeat:
- QB: Rodgers, Luck, Wilson, Newton, Carr, Winston, Mariota
- RB: Elliott, Johnson, Bell, Freeman, Gurley, Gordon, Howard
- WR: Beckham, Evans, Brown, Jones, Cooper, Green, Hopkins, Robinson, Thomas, Hilton, Watkins, Bryant, Cooks, Allen, Landry, Jeffery, Baldwin
- TE: Gronkowski
Josh Hornsby: My ideal options are crest-fallen WR1s – DeAndre Hopkins & Allen Robinson. If those aren’t available, I’m eyeballing players like Sammy Watkins, Jarvis Landry, & Doug Baldwin.
Anthony Spangler: This rookie draft class is a little bit my fantasy nightmare. I’m already low on the running back and tight end positions in general, and that’s what this year’s class seems to be offering the most of. In return for 1.01, I’d be after one or maybe two young wide receivers. There is a lot of young WR talent in the NFL and I want as much of the market share as possible.
5. Is there any incoming rookie quarterback you have your eye on as a late-round pick?
Anthony Amico: Aside from Dobbs, I’m very interested in Chad Kelly out of Ole Miss. I think there is a reasonable argument to be made that he is a better player than Watson. His issues off-the-field and health concerns are going to make him a late-round pick, but if he gets his act together and lands on the right team, I could see him being a long-term starter.
Greg Smith: Depending on where he goes, I may have interest in Brad Kaaya. I’m leaning on Anthony’s Armchair Scouting Report for now, but Kaaya projects as the boring QB2 type for fantasy owners. Players like Andy Dalton, Joe Flacco, and Alex Smith aren’t flashy, but they provide a stable floor of production from the quarterback position. When you get to own players long term, it’s easier to accept unsexy profiles and embrace predictability. If Kaaya’s price drops to the third round of rookie drafts, I’m buying.
Jeff Miller: Assuming they don’t end up on a roster where they will be buried on the depth chart (*cough* Connor Cook *cough*), the aforementioned Kelly and former Miami QB Brad Kaaya are both worthy targets at the latter stages of your rookie draft.
A. Don Davenport: Pat Mahomes intrigues me as a player, but I’d be more inclined to draft him if he had an older QB in front of him for a year or two. If he didn’t, he may go earlier, and if he had a younger QB in front of him like Dalton or Stafford, he would probably be stuck in a backup role for at least four or five years.
Benton McDonald: Chad Kelly is arguably the prospect with the most variance in terms of his career outlook in this entire class. However the “highs” of his career at Ole Miss are some of the best in this class and if he lands in a decent situation, I’ll gladly take the potential in the later rounds of a rookie draft. And while he offers both injury and off-the-field concerns, the third and fourth rounds of rookie drafts are the perfect time to take home run swings on long-shot prospects because any payoff will exceed their little cost. I’ll certainly be keeping my eye on Kelly through draft weekend and beyond.
Tyler Buecher: As mentioned earlier, Nathan Peterman is a guy I’m interested in holding onto as a late-round flier. I believe he has a terrific set of tools for a QB Coach to work with after working in Pittsburgh’s pro-style offense and could do well if he finds himself in a west coast offense.
James Simpson: Realistically, it’s very rare that later round picks actually pan out, and I tend to avoid them unless we are past the point of significant play-makers at other positions. Players at other positions could have one or two big games then you have the option to sell, whereas it’s mostly all or nothing with quarterbacks. However, the one name I’ll keep an eye on is Chad Kelly – he wouldn’t have been an early rounder if healthy, but full health might have gained him an NFL round or two. I’d like to see him in an open quarterback competition.
Josh Hornsby: Not yet. Landing spot is critical in my opinion.
Anthony Spangler: Not really by name, but I’d be interested to see where QBs from particular offensive schemes end up. I want to see what teams end up with both a late-round rookie QB and one of the highly-regarded TEs from this class. Could be an athletic QB with accuracy issues. Josh Dobbs, anyone?
Thanks to everyone that partook in this roundtable. To read more work from Jeff Miller you can subscribe to Dynasty League Football.