This article is part of our Dynasty Watch series.
The news that Marquise Brown would miss the pre-draft process with a Lisfranc injury was intensely unwelcome, and now one of draft's best dynasty prospects has his stock thrown into limbo. Brown was my second overall dynasty rookie prospect in the first tier along with D.K. Metcalf, A.J. Brown, and N'Keal Harry, but that's a thing of the past now. John and I figured we should do an emergency rookie mock draft in light of this development. Read below to see how far the former Oklahoma star falls into the pool.
I made the odd selections, while John made the even.
1. D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi*
Nothing new here for me. DKM has been my top dynasty rookie all offseason, though this is admittedly the byproduct of a rather light draft class. Metcalf is all projection due to missing the better part of two seasons with a broken foot and a neck issue – neither of which remain a concern – but I think it makes sense to chase upside in a horizontal class like this one. For what it's worth, John has A.J. Brown as the top player, and I don't have any issue with that despite DKM ranking trivially higher in my personal rankings. -MP
2. A.J. Brown, WR, Mississippi*
Mario made this one pretty easy for me, going Metcalf at 1.1. I've had my belief in A.J. Brown tested time and again this year by people within the draft/Devy community that I respect, including Mario, and they bring up valid points. Can Brown play outside? Is all of his production a function of getting schemed open against small slot corners he can physically dominate in a way that won't fly at the next level? Does he have the long speed to be a true WR1 on the outside? If not, can you justify spending a high draft pick on a slot receiver?
What I like about Brown is his blend of hands and crisp route running combined with a physical play style that suits his frame. At 6-1 and a listed 230 pounds (I think he'll be closer to 220 in Indy), Brown has no reservations about going over the middle and making catches in traffic and once he has the ball in his hands, he's a load to bring down for defensive backs. A look at his game against Texas A&M this year – when he had to split outside, mind you – Brown looked adept at playing the outside game (eight targets, six catches, 127 yards).
With slot roles ever-expanding in the NFL, I'm not going to get overly hung up on whether Brown plays most of his snaps inside or outside. I'm betting on Brown's positive attributes outweighing the warts to his game as he becomes a successful receiver at the next level. I've compared him to Anquan Boldin before and it still feels fitting. That wouldn't be a bad outcome. -JM
3. N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State*
With Marquise Brown no longer in it, the top tier ends here for me. Metcalf/AJB/Harry comprise the tier, and even though I currently rank him third in the group Harry is a legitimate threat to establish himself as the top rookie over the upcoming months. He doesn't look especially athletic on tape, but he's pretty big and has remarkable ball skills if nothing else. If the ball is nearby, it's his. -MP
4. Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama*
With the three best receivers off the board, I felt that getting RB1 made more sense than taking the fourth-best receiver here. Jacobs' hold on the RB1 moniker varies depending on who you ask, but at this stage, I'm fairly confident that he'll be the lone running back to go in the first round.
I don't see him going top-five; he's not in the same stratosphere as Ezekiel Elliott, Leonard Fournette, or Saquon Barkley were as draft prospects. Jacobs is very good though and he has just 256 carries worth of wear-and-tear from his collegiate career. Say he ends up with a team in the 20s that has the luxury of spending a first on a running back. If that's the case, Jacobs will end up with a prominent role on a good team right away. Going Jacobs at 4 was an easy call for me here. -JM
5. Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis*
Just as DKM/AJB/Harry make the first tier, the running back trio of Jacobs, Henderson, and No. 6 pick Damien Harris comprises the second tier for me. All three remain candidates to break into the top tier, however, as all three have strong production and would possess well-rounded prospect profiles if they test well at the combine. Jacobs and Harris more realistically present starter potential, whereas Henderson projects more as an explosive rotational back around 200 pounds. -MP
6. Damien Harris, RB, Alabama
This was a call between RB3 or WR4 so I went with the running back, thereby betting on Harris having an easier path to playing time than the next receiver off the board. I had Harris as my RB1 coming into the season before he was outplayed by Jacobs, and though he's dropped a little bit, I'm still a fan of his.
Harris has pretty remarkable play strength and he's got a great build that translates to the next level. It feels like Jacobs' ascent to RB1 has coincided with Harris getting lost in the wash a bit. When he tests near the top of his position group in most, if not all, of the drills at the combine, Harris will be back on the rise as an early-to-mid Day 2 prospect. -JM
7. Andy Isabella, WR, Massachusetts
Isabella might struggle with jams in the NFL, but as his Senior Bowl performance showed, the limitation just doesn't seem to meaningfully hold him back. Isabella looks like a good bet to run a sub-4.4 40 and if he does it's hard to argue against him as a top-40 pick. He has slot quicks but outside burning speed – it's easy to imagine him collecting many pelts by running double-moves out of the slot. -MP
8. Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma*
This was another point where I wanted to grab the top player at a given position instead of spending that pick on a guy I could've gotten later. Murray is the type of player with tools you can dream on, and there's reason to believe that those tools can translate to the NFL despite his literal shortcomings.
The upper range of outcomes for Murray would be a fantasy player's dream. Murray is an immensely gifted passer that would be able to post upper-tier numbers through the air and his athleticism would make him unlike almost any other quarterback in the league thanks to the rushing production that would accompany said athleticism. -JM
9. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford
JJAW is rising in my rankings at the expense of the three receivers who went after this pick – Emanuel Hall, Mecole Hardman, and Kelvin Harmon. I still like those three, but JJAW is incredibly polished and innately skilled as a receiver, so as much as the big wideout might run in the 4.65-second range or something like that, I'm increasingly convinced that his route running and ball skills will lead to success anyway. Hall has some drops concerns, Hardman is a bit raw after recently switching from cornerback, and Harmon seems a tad one-dimensional as an outside vertical threat. I think JJAW has the ball skills to win outside and the route running to kill from the slot. -MP
10. Emanuel Hall, WR, Missouri
This was a tough call; I knew I wanted to go receiver here and was between Hall and Mecole Hardman. I ultimately landed on Hall. Both are explosive, and while Hall might not have the same level of long-term upside as Hardman, he has more polish to be an impact player right away.
Alright, the more I think about this pick, the dumber I feel. I like Hall, but I should've gone Hardman here. Maybe the coffee hadn't kicked in yet. -JM
11. Mecole Hardman, WR, Georgia*
Me and John are both big Hardman fans, and we're convinced the hype will pick up for him when the combine arrives. Hardman outproduced Riley Ridley over the last two years at two years younger, even though Hardman only moved to WR in the spring of 2017. With potential sub-4.4 speed and an obvious motor, Hardman has the tools to develop into both a dangerous open-field runner and deep target with the ability to play slot or outside.
12. Kelvin Harmon, WR, North Carolina State*
I'm not as high on Harmon as some, but he presented a nice value at 12. He's got the frame and body control to win on the outside and in the red zone at the next level and he had sustained success during his collegiate career, including back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.
I don't know that he'll light it up on the combine, but I'm willing to bet he tests better than I would have anticipated before really diving into his film. With that, Harmon should cement himself as a Day 2 pick that sets himself up for a consistent role as a rookie and he won't turn 22 until December, so there's reason to believe he can reach another level. -JM
13. Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State
I'm a little concerned about his advanced age and have questions about how polished his skill set might be after mostly just taking short catches and using his 4.35 speed to pile up stats in Ohio State's immensely explosive offense, but this late in a draft Campbell is a very easily justified pick. That 4.35 speed is one thing you can bank on, and even if he's one dimensional it's possible that Campbell will still be good enough at that one dimension to hurt NFL defenses.
14. Devin Singletary, RB, Florida Atlantic
I wanted to go back to the running back well here and was very happy to see Singletary was there for the taking. Singletary's production over the last two years is easily the best of any of the running backs in this class, racking up 54 rushing scores and over 3,000 rushing yards. He also averaged 5.8 yards per carry behind a less-than-stellar offensive line over that span. On film, Singletary does live up to the "Motor" nickname. He's small but dense/compact and his legs never stop churning, allowing him to run through contact and pick up positive yardage. Singletary also has solid burst and uses his height to his advantage, making himself tough to find before he hits the second level. He projects as a Day 2 guy so that will only help his case at getting on the field early, even if he's not a true feature back. -JM
15. Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma*
Anderson is almost comparable at RB to how Metcalf fits at WR – injuries necessitate aggressive projection, and if you aren't willing to project then you won't find yourself willing to pay the acquisition cost. But at around 220 pounds with big-play ability and pass-catching skill, Anderson is one of the few runners in this class who could realistically turn into a high-upside workhorse. I wouldn't blame anyone for ranking him first among running backs. -MP
16. Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State*
Butler has an interesting profile and if he tests well at the combine this pick could look like a major value. He brings a frame that's just tough for opposing defenses to contend with at 6-foot-6 and 225 pounds. It's pretty much game-over when it comes to contested catch situations and once he has the ball, defenders have a rough time trying to wrangle him to the ground. Admittedly, the frame brings with it some limitations, such as short area quickness, but Butler can still eat up space in a hurry and make plays deep down the field. Butler profiles as a player whose testing results in Indianapolis can be more make-or-break than others, so seeing him at 16 in a dynasty draft could have vastly different connotations a few weeks from now. -JM
17. Elijah Holyfield, RB, Georgia*
Holyfield doesn't boast the standout traits to obviously project as a high pick, but he grades sufficiently in enough areas that you would feel confident in his ability to produce if given the opportunity. Holyfield is very steady in all tasks and that well-rounded skill set makes it easy to leave him on the field. He only has one cut in him in any given play, but he doesn't waste motion and can take advantage if the defense leaves a gap. I'd almost liken Holyfield to a MLB pitcher who doesn't strike anyone out but can give you 200-plus innings with an ERA no worse than average.
18. Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State*
I played another game of chicken and lost here. I took Butler with the hope that Holyfield would be there at 18, but no such luck. Sanders was my consolation prize, and I feel pretty neutral about it. He has a strong recruiting pedigree with limited wear and tear thanks to having just one year as Penn State's starting running back. Sanders averaged nearly 6.0 YPC against a brutal schedule and looked like a natural doing it. Considering who else was on the board at the time, I felt Sanders was the right pick. -JM
19. Preston Williams, WR, Colorado State*
Mel Kiper recently suggested Williams as a potential first-round pick, which I take to mean that Kiper has heard teams are more or less comfortable with the fact that Williams was kicked out of Tennessee and barred from the combine due to allegedly shoving his ex-girlfriend and then violating a protective order in the fall of 2017. If Williams' character isn't a major drag on his stock, then he would be well worth a first-round pick, let alone the 19th selection. Williams is a former five-star recruit whose athleticism is glaring to a degree that's absolutely similar to D.K. Metcalf. -MP
20. T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa*
This is another situation where the well was running dry at other positions so I figured why not go with the clear-cut No.1 at tight end in Hockenson. Your twitter timelines are full enough of Hockenson appreciation clips so I'll spare you that whole spiel.
What helped me go with Hockenson here was perceived draft slot. There's a fairly strong chance he gets selected higher than O.J. Howard did (18th overall) and I'm betting that the team that nabs Hockenson won't have a Cameron Brate getting in his way. Hockenson has a very real shot at having one of the best rookie seasons from a tight end that we've seen in years. I also believe Hockenson can be a top-5 tight end in fantasy as early as Year 2 of his career. -JM
21. Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
Some of the reports on Samuel out of the Senior Bowl were hyperbolic, but even despite his advanced age and probable lack of standout athleticism I think Samuel has enough route-running skill and open-field running ability to earn meaningful snaps early in his career. With that said, I think in hindsight that I should have picked Marquise Brown here. Brown still might go ahead of Samuel in the draft order, and as much as Samuel is a perceived high-floor option, guys like him often fade into the background about as soon as they arrive. Samuel's best-case scenario is probably something like Pierre Garcon, while Brown's middle-range outcome would be something like Dede Westbrook and best-case someone like T.Y. Hilton. -MP
22. Darwin Thompson, RB, Utah State*
Thompson is still flying under the radar compared to some running backs who I think are categorically worse than him. That should change in the coming months, starting with the combine. I still have a hard time seeing Thompson going before Round 3 in the draft unless he really destroys the combine, but he has the tools to be a productive back at the next level regardless. He has great play strength and lower body explosiveness and his low center of gravity makes him tough to corral. Look for Thompson's stock to rise sooner than later. -JM
23. Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State*
Haskins isn't going to run in the NFL and therefore can't keep pace with Kyler Murray in fantasy, but he has a chance to be a standout NFL passer and I'm plenty willing to bet on that possibility this late in the draft. -MP
24. Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma*
The Lisfranc injury hurts his draft stock and 2019 outlook overall as he'll be an undersized receiver with a rough injury and no official testing to lean on. Still, Brown is too good to pass up beyond the second round; in fact, either Mario or I should have scooped him somewhere between 16-20. The discount on Brown here has more to do with the short term than the long term – I'm still very bullish on his dynasty value overall. -JM
25. Dillon Mitchell, WR, Oregon*
Mitchell doesn't show standout athleticism on tape but he's a fine slot prospect who shows the sort of smooth, balanced athleticism in the middle of the field that lends itself to timely route-running and good ball skills. Mitchell is a former standout basketball recruit, and having point guard instincts in the slot is a meaningfully useful trait. He shouldn't fall past the fourth round in my opinion and there's a case to make for Mitchell over even someone like Samuel from my earlier pick. -MP
26. Antoine Wesley, WR, Texas Tech*
Wesley is an interesting player with enough positives in his profile to be worth the risk here. He's a tall and lanky receiver with encouraging production once he secured a role in the Texas Tech offense in 2018. The issue is that he is very skinny, so there is concern as to whether he can put on the necessary weight without losing the quickness and speed that made him effective. He fit the bill as a fine enough dart throw at this stage nonetheless. -JM
27. Trayveon Williams, RB, Texas A&M*
I wish he had shown better pass-catching production, but Williams is likely fast and otherwise has compelling rushing production at Texas A&M. He's one of those guys that are easy to overlook but could just as easily thrive if they by chance end up in an opportune situation. -MP
28. Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia*
He might be close to his physical ceiling considering his age. Ridley has traits that I like, I'm just not over the moon about him compared to other corners of the draft community. -JM
29. Lil'Jordan Humphrey, WR, Texas*
As a big slot receiver Humphrey's athleticism might not stand out on tape, but it's also hard to cut loose in the most congested part of the field. Humphrey outproduced formerly coveted prospect Collin Johnson at Texas and I think he could crash Day 2 of the draft if he tests well at the combine.
30. Greg Dortch, WR, Wake Forest*
I've always been a Dortch stan. He has phenomenal quicks off the line and is extremely elusive with the ball in his hands. He will be an impact player in the return game, too. The knock on Dortch is size, but he's tough as nails. I'm not betting against him, even if he's an early Day 3 guy. -JM
31. Penny Hart, WR, Georgia State
The ghouls who run the combine didn't invite Hart to this year's festivities, but after torching the Senior Bowl practices all week it's almost as if he has nothing to prove at this point anyway. Hart will be slot-dependent at 5-foot-8, 180 pounds, but his functional athleticism stands out and even as a true freshman no one could cover him. -MP
32. Justice Hill, RB, Oklahoma State*
I don't have strong feelings toward Hill but I liked him better than Bryce Love or Benny Snell, who were both available there. Profiles as a potential No. 2 back, just hope he ends up in a favorable landing spot. -JM
33. Bryce Love, RB, Stanford*
I'm still worried that he's another Dri Archer even when healthy, but Love will eventually recover from his ACL tear and at that point he will again be a guy with truly elite athleticism and a history of shrieking production in college. Love probably can't be a workhorse in the NFL, but his speed can kill and he might thrive as a rotational runner after a potential redshirt year in 2019. -MP
34. Irv Smith, TE, Alabama*
Again, it was a matter of taking the No. 2 tight end on my board or like the 20th-best running back. Smith should be a top-30 pick and has the look of a long-time starter in the NFL. Hands, size, blocking ability, athleticism. He's got it all. -JM
35. Dexter Williams, RB, Notre Dame
I don't feel strongly about Williams as a prospect, but he's a former standout recruit who exploded in 2018 and profiles as the sort of mid-to-late round running back who could stumble into a meaningful NFL role if he goes to a team with opportunity available. As a stocky but still fairly fast runner, Williams has workhorse upside if things go right. -MP
36. David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State*
This was solely to troll Mario. -JM