NFL Draft Dynasty Preview: QBs & RBs

Apr 12, 2021
NFL Draft Dynasty Preview: QBs & RBs

With the NFL Draft just a few weeks away, dynasty owners are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to revamp or retool their rosters with the next generation of talent. This draft is shaping up to be a good one for fantasy purposes, loaded with talent at all the offensive skill positions. In this first of two articles, I’m going to highlight the quarterbacks and running backs. Who are the top candidates to be viable options in rookie drafts and what makes them such special prospects? I’ll also discuss team fits and anything to be wary of as the prospects leave behind their college colors and don NFL uniforms. Here's the WRs and TEs edition.

For further analysis and projections on potential landing spots, check out our own Anthony Staggs’s NFL Mock Draft, plus his Top 150 Big Board and Draft Capital/Team Needs rundown.

As for this article, I’m going to give each prospect a category:

  • Elite – This player will be counted on to make an early impact and is worth considering at the very top of rookie drafts. While situation always affects the value of a fantasy player, these prospects should be virtually landing-spot proof.
  • Situational – This player has the potential to be an early-impact player, but it will definitely depend on landing spot. These players could drop to “Upside” or rise to “Elite” depending on which team drafts them. For example, if the Jets draft Trey Lance instead of the expected Zach Wilson, he could wind up in the Elite category. If Lance ends up with the Falcons, we’ll be looking at him for his long-term upside, since he’ll begin his career behind Matt Ryan.
  • Upside – This player may not make an immediate impact but he has certain talent factors making him worth selecting in rookie drafts, just in case. These players are likely tier-two prospects. A great example is Michael Carter, who has significant talent as a playmaker, but isn’t a sure thing and is unlikely to be drafted with the kind of draft capital that necessitates an early role.

Quarterbacks

Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

I went into evaluating Trevor Lawrence looking to spot holes in his game. The buzz on him has been so loud and so positive for three years I thought for sure it must be overblown. Lawrence doesn’t always make the right decisions and his ball placement can improve. He sails it sometimes and doesn’t always throw to the right spot on deep routes. Overall, though, the hype is legit. He demonstrates pro-caliber touch on short and intermediate routes, which tells me the ball placement is likely to improve. He runs through progressions at an advanced rate and stays calm in big moments, so I think the decision-making will progress as well. These are really minor things to consider when looking at the overall strength of him as a prospect. Lawrence has prototype size at 6-foot-6, 220 pounds, and he has a rocket for an arm. He throws pinpoint crossing routes and has the confidence to throw his receivers open. Lawrence makes the players around him better and has the athleticism to add value with his legs. He also performed well against excellent competition, despite a couple of rough games against Ohio State and LSU. Even in those tough outings, Lawrence’s arm talent and athleticism were on display. He reminds me of the things I liked about Justin Herbert last year, but without most of the attributes I found concerning. I’m not sure if I have Lawrence higher than where I had Andrew Luck as a prospect, but Luck is definitely the last quarterback I remember having as high a grade on. He’s projected to go to the Jaguars first overall in virtually all mock drafts and will be an instant starter.

Category: Elite

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