Other than the opening kickoff and the Super Bowl, the NFL draft is perhaps the most exciting time of the year for diehard NFL fans and especially Dynasty Fantasy Football team owners. As draft day approaches, we become armchair coaches with our own ideas about which team should snag which player. (Yes, there is still a wide array Patriots fans and pundits that think they can out-draft Belichick.)

More importantly, dynasty fantasy football team owners are reviewing their roster, trying to trade away the players we plan to drop anyway, all the while planning out our draft strategy to fill holes on our roster.

NFL rookie ranking can’t be taken too seriously until we know where the players land. However, it is never too early to start anticipating how we might use our few precious rookie draft picks.

The ASL sports team has put together their top 30 Dynasty Rookie draft ranking of shiny new NFL talent so you can get a jump on what players you might add to your roster to help your dynasty team dominate for the next decade.

1. Leonard Fournette – RB, LSU

Brian Murphy: I think you have to rank Fournette here because if he unlocks all of his potential, he will be the best fantasy player from this draft. Physically, we just don’t see players of his ilk often. I do have concerns regarding my No. 1 choice. Namely, his supposedly chronic ankle issues. But everyone in this class has flaws. Fournette simply has more upside than the rest.

Daniel Brown: We have Fournette coming off the board first overall in dynasty fantasy drafts. If he ends up in Carolina, as some NFL pundits believe, that will be a great spot for him from a dynasty perspective given that Jonathan Stewart has had some health issues and the expectation is that Carolina will draft his replacement and getting Fournette would be a great addition. We could also see him end up in Jacksonville with the 4th pick and this would be an interesting situation given the struggles running backs have had in Jacksonville over recent years. While we expect that if he does end up in Carolina he probably plays second fiddle early on to Stewart, there is a real chance he becomes fantasy relevant by mid-season, and we definitely like his long term potential. He has had a lot of carries in his college career and that could be an issue in terms of his health when considering him for a dynasty league, however he has shown he can produce at the college level and this should translate at NFL level.

John Adams: No matter which Mock Draft you take stock in, there is one player on the offensive side of the ball whose comes up at the top of every draft and his name is Leonard Fournette. Boasting bruising power and breakaway speed, Fournette is 6-foot-tall, 240-pound force of nature. He is the cream of the crop and is drawing mythical comparisons to players like Adrian Peterson and Bo Jackson.

To say Fournette loves contact is a massive understatement, he bludgeons defenders like a linebacker and he does it with wide receiver speed.

The Browns own the top pick and obviously need a running back, but the team can’t go to Fournette because they have too many other holes to fill. There’s no question that the 49ers could use the help, but again, they have other fish to fry. The most likely destination for Fournette is Jacksonville where the LSU product would move to the top of the depth chart.

Barring injury, a player like Fournette is ready to start in the NFL and it would be a shock if he weren’t one of the top ten players off the board.

 

2. Mike Williams – WR, Clemson

Brian Murphy: He is 6-foot-4, close to 220 pounds and runs a 4.51 40-yard dash. If he can stop with the drops and polish his route-running, how do you stop someone like that consistently? He should be a favorite in the red zone.

Daniel Brown: If you have a need at WR and you have the first pick then we would take Williams with the first pick. He is a big receiver who has great footwork and ability to adjust his positioning to the ball when tracking in flight or making the catch. If he ends up in Buffalo then he would have an opportunity to take on that #2 wide receiver behind Sammy Watkins and we see that as a significant upgrade over Robert Woods (who left in free agency). While Buffalo has signed a few wide receivers they appear to be veterans that will compete for a roster spot or young players that they hope will put in strong camps and push for a spot on the team. They need a WR2 and Williams would be a great fit for them from a football perspective, and from a fantasy perspective this would be a great landing spot. He would have a chance to contribute from week 1 in your lineups while giving long term prospect for your dynasty team.

John Adams: There is some debate on who will be the first wide receiver off the boards this year, but the overall consensus is leaning heavily towards Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams. After sitting out the majority of the 2015 college season, Williams started 15 games leading the ACC with 98 receptions for 1,361 yards and 11 scores.

Williams loves to battle for the ball in the air and is at his best when a defender is trying to take it away from him. He adjusts to the ball as well as any veteran receiver and can snatch the ball out of the air or lay out for the diving catch.

NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly has heaped high praise on Williams believing that the Clemson product will be a more accomplished pro that Houston receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

"Watching the two of them coming out of college, off tape, to me, Williams has better separation, the ability to beat a defender one-on-one when he has to, inside and outside on cuts," Casserly said.

 

3. Corey Davis – WR, Western Michigan

Brian Murphy: A lot of people will say that Clemson’s Mike Williams is the No. 1 fantasy wideout in this draft. It’s close, but I’ll give that spot to Davis, who is plenty big -- 6-foot-3, 210 pounds -- and has superb route-running skills to be an impact player immediately.

Daniel Brown: Davis has been the most prolific wide receiver in the history of the FBS (5,285 receiving yards). That is a huge achievement and speaks to his unquestioned talent and the fact that he was targeted repeatedly during games and able to pull in a lot of catches. He tracks the deep ball well and is able to create separation on the intermediate and deep routes. Whether this will translate to the NFL against the defensive backs will be the big question. If he ends up in Tampa Bay this would be a good spot for him long term, however his short term impact may be slightly limited given the signing of DeSean Jackson this offseason to go with Mike Evans and the emergence of Cameron Brate at the TE spot last year. If he were to go to Tennessee we like this spot a lot more for immediate impact while still retaining that long term benefit. Either of these teams would be good from a dynasty perspective as they have young quarterbacks who can throw the ball downfield and let a guy like Davis go up and get it. He could easily be taken ahead of Williams and we wouldn’t fault you for that.

 

4. Dalvin Cook – RB, Florida State

Brian Murphy: For the teams who miss out on Fournette, Cook is quite the consolation. A true three-down back, I have faith that NFL coaches will cure his fumblitis.

Daniel Brown: Cook is a great looking running back reminding us of Jamaal Charles. He has the speed and vision to score from anywhere on the field and many experts have him ranked higher than Fournette. If he were to be drafted by Green Bay it would provide an opportunity to be the lead back (given competition is Ty Montgomery who did well but has played primarily as a WR in the NFL), however the Green Bay offense is really a pass first offense and hasn’t been able to establish that dominant run blocking. While Cook is certainly capable of contributing as a receiving back, they already have Montgomery who may well fill that role. If he ended up in Indianapolis then he likely sits behind Frank Gore this season getting touches as a 3rd down back in passing situations. Not the best situation here either way for immediate impact in fantasy teams, however he is a great talent and looking long term he has great upside and landing in either of these situations bodes well for his long term fantasy value.

 

5. O.J. Howard – TE, Alabama

Brian Murphy: Keeping up with the rhetorical questions, which team wouldn’t want a 6-foot-6 tight end who runs a 4.50 40 and has loads of athleticism? Howard is a matchup nightmare -- or at least he can be if he really works at his craft and uses all of his physical gifts.

Daniel Brown: Here is where we think there is a clear break between talent levels from a dynasty perspective. If we had a pick in the 5-8 range we probably would be looking to trade back and acquire more picks, unless another owner goes rogue and selects someone not listed in our top 4 and they were to still be available. If we couldn’t find a trade partner then we like Joe Mixon and O.J Howard depending on their landing spots. If Howard ends up with the New York Jets and you are able to play multiple tight ends where they essentially substitute in for the wide receiver position, the Howard would be a strong pick for you in these area of the draft.

 

6. John Ross – WR, Washington

Brian Murphy: Ross’ surgically repaired knees are definitely a worry, but if he stays healthy, this ranking might be too low. His record-breaking speed is going to lead to plenty week-winning plays. All of those DeSean Jackson comparisons are apt.

 

7. Christian McCaffrey- RB, Stanford

Brian Murphy: I hope McCaffrey isn’t used solely for his outstanding receiving chops. I think he can be a very useful runner. I’m just skeptical that he will be given enough carries.

 

8. Joe Mixon – RB, Oklahoma

Brian Murphy: As many before me have said, I am not ranking Mixon with his personal character in mind. As a running back, he has the speed and the pass-catching ability to be a major big-play player. At the absolute worst, I think he’ll be an asset in PPR leagues.

 

9. Alvin Kamara – RB, Tennessee

Brian Murphy: If Kamara can quit always looking to break off a big gain on every play, he has more than enough game-breaking potential to be a solid RB2 in fantasy.

 

10. Juju Smith-Schuster – WR, USC

Brian Murphy: As a California native, I’ve watched a lot of Juju over the past couple of years, and I think he will be a stellar player in this league, even with his athletic limitations and USC’s poor track record of wide receiver success at the next level. He is an aggressive wideout who wants to win every ball. His stature and hands make him a reliable target.

 

11. Samaje Perine – RB, Oklahoma

Brian Murphy: There are better athletes at his position further down this list, but Perine’s size and strength give him the look of a guy who can be a workhorse.

 

12. David Njoku – TE, Miami

Brian Murphy: Hmm, an elite athlete who played tight end at the University of Miami. I seem to remember a couple of players with similar traits who went on to become fantasy studs.

 

13. Zay Jones – WR, East Carolina

Daniel Brown: Here is a player that is all over the place in mock drafts. Fantasy owners tend to either love this guy and draft him late first or early second of they go in a different direction. He comes from a footballing family (his father was a LB with the Dallas Cowboys in the 1990’s), and was a target monster at East Carolina. The biggest question we have is his speed. His 40 time at the combine was 4.45 which is the same time Foreman ran at his pro day and he weighs a lot more than Jones. He could be a Brandin Cooks type player or become an Odell Beckham Jr type player in the right situation.

 

14. Cooper Kupp – WR, Eastern Washington

 

15. Deshaun Watson – QB, Clemson

Brian Murphy: I’m not enamored with any of the quarterback prospects this year, but I would take Watson ahead of Mitchell Trubisky and others because of his greater dual-threat abilities. Plus, he beat Alabama in the championship game, and that’s as close as any college QB can come to facing an NFL-level defense.

 

16. Chris Godwin – WR, Penn State

 

17. D’Onta Foreman – RB, Texas

Daniel Brown: His 40 yard dash at his pro day of 4.45 will have many over-drafting Foreman and he could easily go mid to late first round. We like him early to mid second round primarily because of his inability to effectively pass block which could limit his playing time early on in his NFL career. He is an interesting player from s dynasty perspective and one that could yield good value if you can draft him at the right spot.

 

18. Evan Engram – WR/TE, Ole Miss

Daniel Brown: This draft seems deep at TE position with O.J Howard, Engram and David Njoku being considered the big 3. There is a lot of chatter in the fantasy community that Engram will convert to WR in the NFL which could impact his draft stock due to the WR available. If he stays at TE and we can grab him here in the second round we would be pretty happy with that outcome.

 

19. Kareem Hunt – RB, Toledo

 

20. Mitch Trubisky – QB, North Carolina:

Daniel Brown: If your dynasty team has a Ben Roethlisberger or Carson Palmer type QB then this is a guy that you should consider drafting if he falls this far. Fantasy players tend to overdraft quarterbacks, however the dynasty player generally puts more value in the wide receiver position or wide receiver than the quarterback, and so there is a pretty good chance he falls to here. If he were to be drafted by a QB needy team (eg Jets or Browns) there is a chance he could start his rookie season. He does possess an ability to run and so this needs to be factored in when considering where to draft him. The big challenge for Trubisky will be his ability to transition from a primarily shot gun approach to a more typical NFL style offense under center, That being said there have been numerous examples of players being quick learners and demonstrating an ability to be under center with confidence despite not having regularly done so at college.

 

21. Wayne Gallman – RB, Clemson

Daniel Brown: This is an interesting player to see where he ends up. Clemson had such a prolific passing attack that defenses tending to play the pass which left opportunities for him, although somewhat second fiddle to the passing game, add to that the mobility of Deshaun Watson and it would be easy to overlook Gallman on pure numbers alone. Watching the tape of this guy it’s clear that he runs hard and has the potential to be a 3 down back in the right situation which would certainly boost his draft stock in dynasty leagues.

 

22. Carlos Henderson – WR, Louisiana Tech

Daniel Brown: He had a great year at Louisiana Tech putting up huge numbers, and his ability as a returner on special teams should ensure that he gets some opportunity on game days. He seems to us to be a boom or bust player and if your league awards points for return yards he could be a solid target in the right situation. He is definitely a hold and see whether he is a QuintonPatton type player or progresses into a dynamic slot receiver like a Wes Welker type player.

 

23. Curtis Samuel – WR, Ohio State

 

24. ArDarius Stewart – WR, Alabama

 

25. Marlon Mack – RB, South Florida

 

26. Brian Hill – RB, Wyoming

 

27. Patrick Mahomes – QB, Texas Tech

 

28. Dede Westbrook – WR, Oklahoma

Daniel Brown: The biggest question mark about Westbrook is his size. He has shown speed and ability to put a double move on defenders, however it remains to be seen how he will stack up against NFL defensive backs and whether he can stay healthy. It’s likely that he will operate out of the slot in the NFL which should give him more opportunities in a PPR format. He could be a riser in the rankings if he goes to the right organization where he could be the 4th or 5th receiver and take over the slot role late in his first year or into his second year.

 

29. Jamaal Williams – RB, BYU

 

30. Bucky Hodges – TE, Virginia Tech

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The Table below shows the consensus ranking and each writer’s rankings.

Rank

Overall

Consensus Ranking

Best

Worst

1

Leonard Fournette - RB, LSU

1.0

1

1

2

Mike Williams - WR Clemson

3.0

2

5

3

Corey Davis - WR, Western Michigan

4.3

4

5

4

Dalvin Cook - RB, Florida State

4.3

2

8

5

O.J. Howard - TE, Alabama

5.7

3

8

6

John Ross - WR, Washington

6.7

6

7

7

Christian McCaffrey - RB, Stanford

7.7

6

9

8

Joe Mixon - RB, Oklahoma

8.3

3

17

9

Alvin Kamara - RB, Tennesse

11.0

9

12

10

JuJu Smith-Schuster - WR, USC

12.0

10

16

11

Samaje Perine - RB, Oklahoma

14.7

9

23

12

David Njoku - TE, Miami

15.3

10

21

13

Zay Jone - WR, East Carolina

16.0

14

18

14

Cooper Kupp - WR, Eastern Washington

16.3

11

25

15

Deshaun Watson - QB, Clemson

17.3

7

23

16

Chris Godwin - WR, Penn State

17.3

15

19

17

D'Onta Foreman - RB, Texas

17.7

11

28

18

Evan Engram - WR/TE, Ole Miss

18.0

15

20

19

Kareem Hunt - RB, Toledo

21.7

17

>30

20

Mitchell Trubisky - QB, North Carolina

21.7

4

>30

21

Wayne Gallman - RB, Clemson

22.0

18

29

22

Carlos Henderson, WR, Louisiana Tech

22.0

13

>30

23

Curtis Samuel - WR, Ohio State

22.3

22

23

24

ArDarius Stewart - WR, Alabama

26.7

16

>30

25

Marlon Mack - RB, South Florida

27.0

13

>30

26

Brian Hill - RB, Wyoming

27.7

13

>30

27

Patrick Mahomes - QB, Texas Tech

27.7

11

>30

28

Dede Westbrook - WR, Oklahoma

28.0

26

>30

29

Jamaal Williams - RB, BYU

28.7

24

>30

30

Bucky Hodges - TE, Virginia Tech

29.0

21

>30

         

Rank

Brian Murphy

     

1

Leonard Fournette - RB, LSU

     

2

Dalvin Cook - RB, Florida State

     

3

Joe Mixon - RB, Oklahoma

     

4

Corey Davis - WR, Western Michigan

     

5

Mike Williams - WR Clemson

     

6

O.J. Howard - TE, Alabama

     

7

John Ross - WR, Washington

     

8

Christian McCaffrey - RB, Stanford

     

9

Samaje Perine - RB, Oklahoma

     

10

JuJu Smith-Schuster - WR, USC

     

11

D'Onta Foreman - RB, Texas

     

12

Alvin Kamara - RB, Tennesse

     

13

Cooper Kupp - WR, Eastern Washington

     

14

Zay Jone - WR, East Carolina

     

15

David Njoku - TE, Miami

     

16

ArDarius Stewart - WR, Alabama

     

17

Kareem Hunt, RB, Toledo

     

18

Chris Godwin - WR, Penn State

     

19

Wayne Gallman - RB, Clemson

     

20

Evan Engram - WR/TE, Ole Miss

     

21

Carlos Henderson, WR, Louisiana Tech

     

22

Deshaun Watson - QB, Clemson

     

23

Curtis Samuel - WR, Ohio State

     

24

Jamaal Williams - RB, BYU

     

25

Brian Hill - RB, Wyoming

     

26

Dede Westbrook - WR, Oklahoma

     

27

Josh Reynolds - WR, Texas A&M

     

28

Jeremy McNichols - RB, Boise State

     

29

Bucky Hodges - TE, Virginia Tech

     

30

Malachi Dupre, WR - LSU

     
         

Rank

Daniel Brown

     

1

Leonard Fournette - RB, LSU

     

2

Mike Williams - WR Clemson

     

3

Dalvin Cook - RB, Florida State

     

4

Corey Davis - WR, Western Michigan

     

5

Joe Mixon - RB, Oklahoma

     

6

Christian McCafferey - RB, Stanford

     

7

John Ross - WR, Washington

     

8

O.J. Howard - TE, Alabama

     

9

Alvin Kamara - RB, Tennesse

     

10

JuJu Smith-Schuster - WR, USC

     

11

Cooper Kupp - WR, Eastern Washington

     

12

Samaje Perine - RB, Oklahoma

     

13

Carlos Henderson, WR, Louisiana Tech

     

14

D'Onta Foreman - RB, Texas

     

15

Chris Godwin - WR, Penn State

     

16

Zay Jone - WR, East Carolina

     

17

Kareem Hunt - RB, Toledo

     

18

Wayne Gallman - RB, Clemson

     

19

Evan Engram - WR/TE, Ole Miss

     

20

Elijah Hood - RB, North Carolina

     

21

David Njoku - TE, Miami

     

22

Curtis Samuel - WR, Ohio State

     

23

Deshaun Watson - QB, Clemson

     

24

Brian Hill - RB, Wyoming

     

25

Taywam Taylor - WR, Western Kentucky

     

26

Malachi Dupre, WR - LSU

     

27

Jamaal Williams - RB, BYU

     

28

Jeremy McNichols - RB, Boise State

     

29

KD Cannon - WR, Baylor

     

30

Mitchell Trubisky - QB, North Carolina

     
         

Rank

John Adams

     

1

Leonard Fournette - RB, LSU

     

2

Mike Williams - WR Clemson

     

3

O.J. Howard - TE, Alabama

     

4

Mitchell Trubisky - QB, North Carolina

     

5

Corey Davis - WR, Western Michigan

     

6

John Ross - WR, Washington

     

7

Deshaun Watson - QB, Clemson

     

8

Dalvin Cook - RB, Florida State

     

9

Christian McCaffrey - RB, Stanford

     

10

David Njoku - TE, Miami

     

11

Patrick Mahomes - QB, Texas Tech

     

12

Alvin Kamara - RB, Tennesse

     

13

Marlon Mack - RB, South Florida

     

14

DeShone Kizer - QB, Notre Dame

     

15

Evan Engram - WR/TE, Ole Miss

     

16

JuJu Smith-Schuster - WR, USC

     

17

Joe Mixon - RB, Oklahoma

     

18

Zay Jone - WR, East Carolina

     

19

Chris Godwin - WR, Penn State

     

20

Isaiah Ford - WR, Virginia Tech

     

21

Bucky Hodges - TE, Virginia Tech

     

22

Curtis Samuel - WR, Ohio State

     

23

Samaje Perine - RB, Oklahoma

     

24

Nathan Peterman - QB, Pitt

     

25

Cooper Kupp - WR, Eastern Washington

     

26

Dede Westbrook - WR, Oklahoma

     

27

Adam Shaheen - TE, Ashland

     

28

D'Onta Foreman - RB, Clemson

     

29

Wayne Gallman - RB, Clemson

     

30

Jordan Leggett - TE, Clemson

     

 

Brian Murphy has been writing about sports -- fantasy, pro and college -- since 2001. He has written for numerous fantasy sites, including Scout.com. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Central Florida and a master's degree in mass communication from California State University-Northridge. He currently lives in Orlando.

 

Daniel Brown is a sports fanatic. Growing up in Australia, he followed English Premier League soccer, NFL, NBA and many other sports. Since relocating to the US over 12 years ago, Daniel has been heavily involved in fantasy football including Dynasty Leagues, Re-draft and Daily Fantasy. The NFL Draft and Fantasy Football are his passion and devotion. You can follow Daniel on Twitter @brownsnake76 for sports comments and general musings, or hit him up with your fantasy questions!

 

John Adams has nearly 20 years of television network reporting experience covering professional and college teams across the country including the Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies, Colorado Buffaloes, Carolina Panthers and the Florida State Seminoles.

 

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