It’s NFL mock draft season! Everywhere you look, there’s a new drill trying to predict the next 2021 NFL Draft. I even posted my fantasy version of a first-round drill, which included only offensive skill position players and offensive linemen. The fantasy football world is also doing drills too early, and far from me not participating in the fun! I’ve been doing these drills for over 20 years, but I still have the same excitement producing my first version for a new NFL campaign.
This five-round one-man drill includes 12 teams and is based on the PPR score. These teams used different “strategies” with their top three overall picks, so you can see how the roster builds up. Note that neither team took a quarterback in the first three rounds.
- Team 1: running back, tight end, wide receiver
- Teams 2, 3: running back, running back, wide receiver
- Teams 4, 5, 7, 9: running back, wide receiver, running back
- Teams 6, 10: wide receiver, running back, wide receiver
- Team 8: running back, running back, tight end
- Team 11: tight end, wide receiver, running back
- Team 12: wide receiver, wide receiver, running back
I’ll be running longer drills after the NFL draft, so keep checking back for updates!
Note: * denotes an unrestricted free agent, ** denotes a restricted free agent
- 1.1. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
- 1.2. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
- 1.3. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
- 1.4. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
- 1.5. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans
- 1.6. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers
- 1.7. Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns
- 1.8. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts
- 1.9. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
- 1.10. Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
- 1.11. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
- 1.12. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals
A total of eight runners left the board, with McCaffrey leading the charge. While he missed most of last season due to injuries, he still averaged more than 30 fantasy points in his three games. Kamara remains my No. 3 player overall, at least until we know who will be the Saints’ quarterback in 2021. However, I doubt he will fall in my top five. Adams was the first wide receiver chosen, Hill was the second, and Hopkins joined them in the first round. Elliott was ninth in this drill. He averaged over 22 fantasy points per game before Dak Prescott brought the season down, so it could end up being a real bargain. Kelce was also a first-round player, which is a trend that will no doubt continue in drills. I wouldn’t take it that high, but that’s where it’s headed.
- 2.13. Stefon Diggs, WR, Buffalo Bills
- 2.14. DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks
- 2.15. Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
- 2.16. Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons
- 2.17. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers *
- 2.18. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
- 2.19. James Robinson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
- 2.20. Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings
- 2.21. AJ Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans
- 2.22. Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders
- 2.23. D’Andre Swift, RB, Detroit Lions
- 2.24. George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers
Six of the 12 selections in this round were wide receivers, led by Diggs and Metcalf. I went Ridley, Allen, Jefferson, and Brown (in that order) this round, and they all have very similar value. The order of selection is personal preference. Five riders were chosen in the round, including Ekeler, Jones, Robinson and Jacobs. Swift, whose stocks appear to be on the rise with Anthony Lynn and Duce Staley now on the Lions coaching staff, was also selected in the top 24. Kittle was the second tight end to come off the board.
- 3.25. Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears *
- 3.26. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
- 3.27. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints
- 3.28. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
- 3.29. Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams
- 3.30. Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers *
- 3.31. JK Dobbins, RB, Baltimore Ravens
- 3.32. Darren Waller, TE, Las Vegas Raiders
- 3.33. David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears
- 3.34. Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington football team
- 3.35. Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington football team
- 3.36. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Robinson could be a second-round player in some drafts. I don’t have a good idea where to classify Thomas at the moment because the Saints don’t have a locked-in quarterback. I’m afraid he will never return to the elite fantasy state again. This round also had some potential bargains at the running back position, with Mixon, Akers, Dobbins, Gibson and CEH coming off the board. Edwards-Helaire, a first-round pick as a rookie running back, falls in the third round. I’ve seen him go mid to late round two on other drills. Until we find out the status of Damien Williams, his value will be a point of contention. To no one’s surprise, Waller was the third overall tight end selected. McLaurin is a third assailant in this drill, despite questions from quarterbacks in Washington.
- 4.37. Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
- 4.38. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
- 4.39. Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks *
- 4.40. Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions *
- 4.41. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- 4.42. Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys
- 4.43. Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams
- 4.44. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Dallas Cowboys
- 4.45. Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings
- 4.46. Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
- 4.47. Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans *
- 4.48. DJ Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers
Mahomes was the first quarterback to be selected, as Team 11 created a Mahomes-Kelce stack. This was a heavy wide receiver round, with eight coming off the board. Golladay could be a steal near the top of the round, and the same can be said for Evans. Notice how Lamb was just two places behind Cooper, his teammate in Dallas. I’m at wide receiver sophomore. Johnson could move up in future simulations if Pittsburgh part ways with JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Fuller’s in question as a pending free agent. If he stays in Houston and the Texans get Deshaun Watson, Fuller could move up.
- 5.49. Melvin Gordon, RB, Denver Broncos
- 5.50. Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams
- 5.51. Ronald Jones, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- 5.52. Kenyan Drake, RB, Arizona Cardinals *
- 5.53. Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
- 5.54. Kareem Hunt, RB, Cleveland Browns
- 5.55. Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers
- 5.56. Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks
- 5.57. David Johnson, RB, Houston Texans
- 5.58. Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos
- 5.59. Raheem Mostert, RB, San Francisco 49ers
- 5.60. Josh Allen, quarterback, Buffalo Bills
This round is a veritable hodgepodge of risk-reward players and those like Higgins and Aiyuk who will be considered candidates for the breakout. Gordon doesn’t generate much excitement in fantasy drafts, but he did rank in the top 15 running backs last season. Phillip Lindsay is also a restricted free agent. Drake, a free agent, heading into 2021, ranked 16th at the position and was the third running back selected by Team 4. Hunt was a fifth-round pick in many 2020 drafts, and his value won’t change a ton to Despite a top-10 finish among runners. It will be a RB2 / RB3 limit in the drafts. Johnson’s shares have risen a bit with the release of Duke Johnson, but the Texans are sure to recruit or add a free agent running back. Allen, the best fantasy quarterback last season, was the second chosen quarterback.
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst at Sports Illustrated and a Hall of Fame member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Y Instagram for the latest breaking news on fantasy football and the best analysis in the industry.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.