The hype is off the charts for Johnny Manziel. Get used to it. (USAT)
So here's how this works. Each Monday, the Yahoo fantasy crew jumps on a conference call to discuss the week that was/will be. As part of this process, we've decided to include a short mock draft - roughly, one-eighth the size of a normal draft, I shall call it mini mock. This week's mini mock draft (four rounds) pertains to the '14 NFL Draft, which unfolded over the past weekend. We drafted NFL rookies based on their '14 fantasy potential. Take a look. ...
Round 1 Pick 1 — Johnny Manziel, CLE, QB (Brad Evans)
Noise says – Crazy? Nuts? Insane? Not entirely. Yes, the Josh Gordon news is damning, but he will run like a madman in a Kyle Shanahan offense tailored to multi-dimensional passers. Recall Terrelle Pryor was the No. 16 QB in per game average last year. Manziel, light years more polished, has QB1 potential in Year 1 of 12-team leagues.
Round 1 Pick 2 — Bishop Sankey, TEN, RB (Brandon Funston)
Funston says – Not only was Sankey the first RB drafted in the '14 class, he also landed in the best situation, as only milquetoast vet Shonn Greene, who just had his second knee surgery of the past calendar year, stands in his way. Tennessee's offensive line is solid and the team should be run-centric. That bodes well for Sankey, an excellent athlete with great vision and lateral agility. I think 1,200 yards from scrimmage and 7-8 touchdowns is a realistic line for the University of Washington product.
Round 1 Pick 3 — Mike Evans, TB, WR (Andy Behrens)
Behrens says – Not only should Manziel not be the top overall pick in rookie drafts (Sankey is the clear No. 1), he shouldn't even be the top Texas A&M product selected. Evans landed in an excellent spot; he'll be a Day 1 starter in Tampa. He's a gigantic receiver (6-foot-5) with a ridiculous wingspan. If any first-year receiver is going to catch 7-9 touchdowns, it's this guy.
Round 1 Pick 4 — Sammy Watkins, BUF, WR (Dalton Del Don)
3D says – I’m not expecting a monster rookie season from Watkins, but he’s obviously explosive and should immediately lead the Bills in targets. His environment isn’t exactly ideal though.
Round 1 Pick 5 — Brandin Cooks, NO, WR (Scott Pianowski)
Pianowman says – He's got jets, a tremendous football IQ, and all the intangibles you'd want. Sean Payton and Drew Brees are going to fall in love with this kid. There's always plenty of mouths to feed in the New Orleans offense, but they also chuck it 650-700 times a year. Cooks can be fantasy relevant right away.
Marqise Lee, a route-tree hugger. (USAT)
Round 2 Pick 1 — Marqise Lee, JAC, WR (Pianowski)
Pianowman says – I fell in love with Lee in 2012, dreaming about drafting him someday (and misspelling his name). Things didn't fall right for Lee last year, which is why the Jags were able to steal him in the second round. Jacksonville needs playmakers, and they'll probably give Lee the chance to start right away. He's a dynamic route runner, someone who can beat you with the entire tree.
Round 2 Pick 2 — Jeremy Hill, CIN, RB (Del Don)
3D says – Hill should take over the role past played by BenJarvus Green-Ellis in Cincinnati, and while that will entail a timeshare, the rookie should at least dominate goal-line work. It isn’t out of the question for Hill to approach double-digit touchdowns as a result.
Round 2 Pick 3 — Kelvin Benjamin, CAR, WR (Behrens)
Behrens says – Benjamin may not have been the most refined receiver in his draft class, but, like Evans, he landed with a team that should offer plenty of opportunity. At 6-foot-5, he's an impossible red-zone cover — you might recall the biggest catch in last season's biggest game. Carolina's receiving corps isn't the most intimidating bunch, so Benjamin should have a clear path to 100-plus targets.
Round 2 Pick 4 — Terrance West, CLE, RB (Funston)
Funston says – Ben Tate is hardly a rock, and if he was a rock, he'd be shale considering how brittle he has been in his career to this point. West, built like a fire hydrant, is coming off a 2,500-YFS, 39 TD season at Towson. Yes, the competition level is not exactly up to SEC levels, but that's still ridiculous. No wonder the Browns love this guy.
Round 2 Pick 5 — Devonta Freeman, ATL, RB (Evans)
Noise says – Steven Jackson is ancient and Jacquizz Rodgers is more of a change-of-pace option, which means Freeman, a well-rounded prospect, has a great shot of emerging as the main man at some point this year. It would be no surprise if, by midseason, he’s a reliable RB2. Have to love the offense
Philly plucked a dandy from Vandy in Jordan Matthews. (USAT)
Round 3 Pick 1 — Cody Latimer, DEN, WR (Brad Evans)
Noise says – Denver has already said the IU product will compete for a starting job this year. His familiarity with the spread and terrific run-blocking skills could give him the advantage over Emmanuel Sanders. Monitor his progress closely. It would be no shock if he’s this year’s Keenan Allen.
Round 3 Pick 2 — Jordan Matthews, PHI, WR (Brandon Funston)
Funston says – Philly produced the fifth most TD passes and eighth-most passing yards last season, and it loses DeSean Jackson from its receiving corps. Matthews is a well-rounded receiver if not a standout in any one particular area. But the SEC all-time leader in catches and receiving yards is also a ferocious competitor. I trust he'll make his mark as a rookie.
Round 3 Pick 3 — Teddy Bridgewater, MIN, QB (Andy Behrens)
Behrens says – It's tough for me to believe Bridgewater won't start the opener for Minnesota, and I give Rick Spielman full credit for attempting to unwind the Christian Ponder mess. Bridgewater was my favorite QB in the 2014 class, by a decent margin. I've heard all the concerns and understand the pro-day disappointment. But I thought Teddy had the most impressive college tape, and the production was just silly. He completed 71.0 percent of his passes last year, averaged 9.3 yards-per-attempt, and delivered 31 touchdown passes with only four interceptions. This year, he'll have Cordarrelle Patterson and Kyle Rudolph at his disposal, with Earth's greatest rusher in the backfield.
Round 3 Pick 4 — Eric Ebron, DET, TE (Dalton Del Don)
3D says – New Lions OC Joe Lombardi is a former New Orleans assistant and envisions using Ebron in a similar fashion as Jimmy Graham. The rookie tight end has a lot of upside down the road playing in a pass-happy Detroit offense.
Round 3 Pick 5 — Tre Mason, STL, RB (Scott Pianowski)
Pianowman says – Fake footballers didn't want to see Mason land in St. Louis, with Zac Stacy already in place. But most teams are shading towards platoons these days, and how do we know Stacy can hold up for a 16-week pounding? Speed thrills, and Mason's going to love running on the midwest carpet.
Carlos Hyde is sitting pretty if Frank's tank hits empty in '14. (USAT)
Round 4 Pick 1 — Carlos Hyde, SF, RB (Pianowski)
Behrens says – Frank Gore just hit his 31st birthday and he's been in the league since 2005. Several surgeries, too. Hyde is going to be a fun upside pick for the middle of 2014 drafts, going to a pro team that's well slotted for running success (good blocking, dynamic defense, fourth-quarter leads likely).
Round 4 Pick 2 — Odell Beckham Jr., NYG, WR (Del Don)
3D says – Beckham is likely to enter 2014 no better than New York’s WR3, but it wouldn’t be crazy if he eventually passes Rueben Randle on the depth chart as soon as late this season. Beckham will need Eli Manning to bounce back to have fantasy relevance, however.
Round 4 Pick 3 — Donte Moncrief, IND, WR (Behrens)
Behrens says – OK, at this point I'm basically lobbing a Hail Mary, chasing an athletic freak tied to a great quarterback. Moncrief has size (6-foot-2), speed (4.4) and obscene leaping ability (39.5-inch vert). Maybe he'll be a non-factor in his first season, like most rookie receivers. But as a long-range dynasty target, I'm plenty interested.
Round 4 Pick 4 — Allen Robinson, WR, JAC (Funston)
Funston says – With Justin Blackmon out for the '14 season, rookies Marqise Lee and Robinson should both get a solid playing time opportunity in '14. He's big, strong and is adept at going up to get the pass, which could make him the most ideal option for Chad Henne in the red zone.
Round 4 Pick 5 — Ka'Deem Carey, CHI, RB (Evans)
Noise says – He’s an egomaniac, but was highly productive in Rich Rod’s spread offense at Arizona. Now the likely backup to Matt Forte in a similar system, he’s an injury away from becoming an impact player
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Brandon Funston
- Johnny Manziel
- Brad Evans
- Bishop Sankey
- Kelvin Benjamin