6 Dynasty Rookies to Target Following the NFL Draft

May 12, 2024
6 Dynasty Rookies to Target Following the NFL Draft

Depending on where your rookie draft falls on the summer calendar, the conversation about how to acquire the following players clearly changes. If you are post-draft, you may have to negotiate with a manager who has already formed an attachment to the player. Conversely, maybe the manager selected the player as “best player available” hoping to move them now that they see how their roster settled post-draft. However, prices should be fairly similar, especially prior to training camp later this summer.

While I do like these players listed below and their prospect profiles, I will primarily be viewing them as assets at cost that could be dynasty value lottery tickets to cash in later in the season or next offseason.

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Rookie Targets

Brock Bowers, TE - Raiders

With so many negative reactions to the Las Vegas Raiders landing spot for Brock Bowers, I believe this is something we now need to embrace and see this as an unexpected opportunity strategically. If Bowers were to have landed with common mock draft locations such as the New York Giants, New York Jets, or Los Angeles Rams, these would actually be less attractive for him as a draft or trade target because of a more inflated (and maybe correct cost). Admittedly, it may be a slow start for Bowers despite being drafted 13th overall in the NFL Draft. For just about any player not named Michael Penix Jr. (for laughable reasons… Atlanta Falcons what are you doing?), being drafted this highly would only increase or at least maintain their value perception.

If we think about next offseason, top target Davante Adams will not be on the Raiders for glaringly obvious contract and cap relief reasons. The remaining competition will be a 28-turning 29-year-old Jacobi Meyers, second-year deep threat Tre Tucker, and fellow tight end Michael Mayer. Quarterback may still be an issue, but Bowers should lead his team in targets in 2025. That’s a tight end I want to acquire before the bad taste leaves other managers’ mouths.

Ricky Pearsall, WR - 49ers

Although Bowers is near the top of my dynasty rookie target list, Ricky Pearsall is the premier option to acquire at his cost. He could be a near zero this year if everyone on the San Francisco 49ers remains healthy. That is a lot to ask with Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, and George Kittle all getting up there in age. However, this is not a 2024 play. Sure, if he does slide in with injury, he will immediately be immersed in the glory that is San Francisco’s efficiency. As we once again look toward next offseason, the team will be without at least one of Brandon Aiyuk or Samuel. They were as blatant as they could be that this is going to happen as they selected Pearsall in the first round and then actively negotiated with trade partners leading up to the start of day two of the NFL Draft.

If you think you will be able to acquire Pearsall next offseason for the second-round pick you can draft or trade for him now, then I think you will be very disappointed when you get laughed at by the manager who rosters him. If you’re worried about his production and consistency even when he becomes the number two wide receiver next season, then simply view this as trading your second-round rookie pick now for a 2025 1st (or more) later.

Jaylen Wright, RB - Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins surprised no one when they came out of the NFL Draft with even more speed on both sides of the ball. Admittedly, it was surprising that running back was where they chose to add someone after a career and league-leading touchdown season from Raheem Mostert, as well as the selection of efficiency god, De'Von Achane in last year’s third round.

If you look toward the future, as Miami did when moving a future third-round selection for a fourth this year to select Wright, you can easily view this move as acquiring a Mostert successor. You should certainly be thinking this way as a dynasty manager, especially since some are viewing the selection as a bad landing spot. Ignoring his potential Week 1 contributions, what better place could a 4.38 speedster land than with Mike McDaniel?

Bucky Irving, RB - Buccaneers

Rachaad White has been a reliable contributor since being drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2022 NFL Draft. Despite being reliable, he has also proven to be quite replaceable, especially in his production as a runner. Fourth-round selection Bucky Irving lacks athleticism but was certainly productive as a runner in his career at Oregon after transferring from Minnesota after his freshman season. The writing seems on the wall for the end of White’s workhorse role, even if he still is the lead back on the depth chart. Many of the early down carries and possibly goal-line touches may be headed the way of Bucky the Buc.

Kimani Vidal, RB - Chargers

I saved one of the most exciting situations for second to last. I say exciting, I should probably define “exciting” in the case of the Los Angeles Chargers. The Jim Harbaugh era began with a rapid effort to throw the Justin Herbert-led offense straight back to the Stone Age with the hiring of offensive coordinator Greg Roman. While the Chargers may not come for Arthur Smith’s crown, they should be amongst the run-heaviest offenses in the league. Using the Baltimore Ravens stencil to sketch an offense has materialized a running back room consisting of former Ravens, Gus Edwards, and J.K. Dobbins, alongside sixth-round selection Kimani Vidal.

The familiarity with the offense is a benefit for the old Baltimore backs, but the declining efficiency despite Edwards’ touchdowns and the oft-injured J.K. Dobbins rehabbing from an Achilles tear last offseason, do not seem to be the most formidable competition. This is especially true given the expected rotational philosophy and extreme run volume. If by mid-season Vidal moves up the depth chart, regardless of reason, your league mates will be salivating over the future ahead. Now and at that moment are when you can strike.

Tyrone Tracy Jr., RB - Giants

If there is a rival situation for opportunity to the Los Angeles Chargers, it is the New York Giants. It appears that offensive-minded head coach, Brian Daboll is able to maximize the talent provided to him. Emblematic of this is Daniel Jones’ performance in 2022 when the team overachieved and made the playoffs. Following last year's regression, the team finds itself in a precarious situation after an ACL tear suffered by Jones at the beginning of November. A breath of new life for the offense has arrived in sixth overall pick Malik Nabers.

Questions remain though for the backfield after the departure of former top draft pick and franchise cornerstone, Saquon Barkley. A familiar face enters the scene as Daboll’s former running back in Buffalo, Devin Singletary, signed with New York during free agency and currently sits atop the depth chart. While Singletary seems to never leave the field against all odds, his talent leaves the door open for competition. Fifth-round selection Tyrone Tracy Jr. would appear to be the benefactor who could come bursting through with the only other current options being Eric Gray and Gary Brightwell.

Much in the Antonio Gibson mold, Tracy’s calling card is his pass-catching ability as a converted wide receiver at Purdue. His receiving chops and his success as a returner on special teams make it almost a certainty that he’ll be active on game days. Therefore, you should quickly carve out a roll and not-so-patiently await for Tracy to begin siphoning work from Singletary.

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