This article is part of our Mock Draft Recap series.
College Football season is rapidly approaching and industry drafts are starting to take place, which means this is as good of a time as any to get a read on how ADP is taking shape. John McKechnie and Chris Benzine represented RotoWire in a recent mock with some fellow industry members, hosted by Jared Palmgren. Below is the full draft board along with John and Chris' analysis of their drafts.
What was your strategy going in and did it change with your draft slot?
I came in hoping to get one of the Big 3 running backs (Breece Hall, Bijan Robinson, Mohamed Ibrahim) while knowing I had no shot at them if I drew anything outside the Top 5, so landing the No.3 spot was huge. I view those running backs as a clear top tier and while guys like Jahmyr Gibbs or Sincere McCormick are plenty good picks later in the first, getting exposure to one of Hall, Robinson or Mohamed can really set a team apart. -John McKechnie
My draft strategy heading in was to get one quarterback early and I did just that with Desmond Ridder in the first round. From there, I decided to hold off for a while and dip back into the QB pool later on with a few shots. I figured at the end I'd rather have a few goes now at QBs I think have some upside than wait and potentially have to fight for them in free agency. I could always drop one or two if I need help elsewhere. -Chris Benzine
What was your biggest reach?
Alabama freshman Agiye Hall, without a doubt. What fun is an industry mock if you don't make a splashy pick though, right? Now, Hall will likely be available a few rounds after the seventh – where I took him – for much of the summer until he gets the chance to make waves in fall camp and his role becomes solidified. This is a bet that Hall will be the No.2, and being the No.2 target in the Alabama offense is plenty worth a seventh-round pick. Earmark Hall as a player to watch over the summer. -JM
This was my first mock draft of the year, so I didn't have a great feel for ADP right out of the gate. For that reason, I will, unfortunately, say I reached the most to grab Desmond Ridder in the first round. He is a player that I could have waited a few rounds for based on some of the other mocks I have seen out there, which made sense once I got a better feel for the quarterback market. Outside of a few at the top of the list, there are a bunch of quarterbacks who all sit around the same level, devaluing the group as a whole much like it does in NFL fantasy drafts aside from a few elite players. -CB
What was your biggest steal?
Given how tight end is a position that's so prone to runs – i.e. once Charlie Kolar goes off the board in a given draft, you better have your TE plan in place – I was surprised to have Isaiah Likely fall to me in the 12th as ninth tight end off the board. Likely has the high target share that few players at the position have, and he has proven to be explosive within his role despite having a strong amount of volume. 20 percent of the targets and 20 yards per reception? In the 12th round? Sign me up.-JM
I think Britain Covey is a bit underrated in fantasy drafts. Sure, he has a history of some missed time, but I'll bet on his upside when drafting in the later rounds. In his three full games played last year, Covey racked up 19 catches for 264 yards and three touchdowns and added a punt return touchdown for some added value in some formats. He's also set to see a potential upgrade at quarterback with Charlie Brewer transferring in from Baylor. The Utes used Jake Bentley at the spot last season; the signal-caller has now moved on to South Alabama. Based on his usage in the brief 2020 campaign, Covey could be headed for a career year in 2021. -CB
Which position group is your strongest?
Running back. Maybe I went overkill with a running back in the second after getting Bijan Robinson to start, but true workhorses are hard to find and receiver has plenty of depth. Going after DeWayne McBride was a priority going into this draft. The more I've studied him this offseason, the more convinced I've become that he has Top 10 potential at his position. A 220-pound workhorse back in the UAB offense with the type of explosiveness (9.3 YPC on 47 rushes) he showed last season is something to target. As more drafts unfold and ADP takes shape, a look back to getting McBride in the sixth may be viewed as a steal come next month. Rounding it out with another personal favorite, Terion Stewart, gives me a strong backfield in a 16-round draft. -JM
Running Back. I intentionally drafted a healthy group of rushers early in the draft because I feel its a position that doesn't often have as much unpredictability as wide receiver, which can produce a number of unpredictable values on the waiver wire. It's not as common to find a workhorse running back on the wire, so I wanted to shore up that depth early and did so by snagging Kevin Marks Jr. in the second round, Leddie Brown in the third and dipping for a third back in the fifth round in Master Teague III in the fifth. I then waited until the 11th round to grab a fourth running back in Teon Dollard, who we've learned is suspended from the team. That obviously would have changed my selection had I known that information at the time of selecting him. -CB
What players were you surprised to see go as high or low as they did?
Austin Jones out of Stanford is becoming the guy whose hype I least understand. I get that volume is king in fantasy and it can make mediocre talents into superstars in our game. Jones ranked ninth in carries per game (21.0) last season and had some touchdown production with nine in six games, but he also averaged a paltry 4.37 YPC. Plus, Davis Mills is gone, along with some of the offensive line. This offense could regress and I also wonder how long David Shaw puts up with such minimal returns on that high of volume before testing out his other backfield options. If Jones' volume slips, he won't come close to hitting value at ADP.
Kevin Harris was another surprise in the fifth. He's a great player who overcame awful team context last season, so there's reason to believe he can produce again in what projects to be another tough season for South Carolina. However, MarShawn Lloyd looms, and it would be shocking to see him not get a fair amount of the backfield work if fully healthy. Harris should be fine regardless, but that pitfall is a tiebreaker for me when it comes to him versus some of the other backs going in that range. -JM
Based on previous mocks, I was a bit surprised to see Kyren Williams drop into the third round. He seemed to have an early ADP mock either late in the first round or somewhere in the second, but he slid through the second all the way to the fifth pick in the third round. That could turn out to be a good value given Williams' share of the load in what should be a good offense again. That being said, I don't think Williams should be a ton higher than he was drafted due, in part, to the schedule facing the Fighting Irish this year. The level of competition figures to jump again with Notre Dame renewing some of its traditional rivalries, which could make things a bit tougher on Williams to repeat his 2020 per game efforts. -CB
Early mocks are always a fun exercise. Since CFF is niche, ADP doesn't solidify until later in the summer because there simply aren't that many drafts going on compared to, say, NFL, which gets a pretty solid ADP by February and then recalibrates after the draft. That gives wiggle room for different strategies in these mocks, like waiting on QB or starting out with three WR. It also lets you know what you can get away with in terms of players you can wait on or players you need to bump up your board. Bailey Zappe was the player who drew the biggest reaction from my draft as several other drafters were hoping he would fall to them in the ninth or later. Sleepers still exist in the college football fantasy realm and identifying those trendy players is an important part of your draft prep. -JM
Being my first draft, I wasn't as keen on just how deep the quarterback pool really is heading in. It could be a situation where you are better off waiting until numerous rounds into the draft before checking into the QB pool, even in leagues that require two starters at the position. Running back still doesn't seem very deep in terms of getting true workhorse options, though I would likely aim to nab at least a couple of wide receivers in the first five rounds as well. -CB