What to do with the Rookie 1.01 in 2019?

Are you like me, dear reader? Did you tank the entire 2018 season through your own choice or otherwise? Are you left with the 1.01 pick and have no idea what to do with it?

Well, come with me and we’ll journey together into the many many options you have at your disposal.

First let’s have a history lesson, in case you don’t remember this time last year no one was writing this article because Saquon Barkley was the undisputed No.1 overall pick and coming into the 2018 season it appeared as though we had a consensus 1.01 for 2019 in N’Keal Harry. However in the intervening months, he has somehow lost his consensus status, obviously, he is still some peoples 1.01 so we’ll start with him.

 

N’Keal Harry WR Arizona State

Let’s outline the positives of which there are many, Harry like many of the receivers in the 2019 class is a physical freak at 6’3” 215 lbs he is also fast and surprisingly quick but none of this separates him from the other receivers in the class. What does separate him is the fact he has incredible after the catch ability. This ability projects well to the NFL as an over the middle YAC guy. The bad is that he does struggle getting separation which is the most important ability for a WR to have in the NFL whether that separation comes from pure athleticism or route running or a combination of the two.

Verdict: If you need a young WR you could do much worse than Harry but there are potentially better options and there are so many potential 1st round WRs that trading back for multiple first might be the better option. Great prospect, not ironclad; B+

 

D.K. Metcalf WR Ole Miss

If you have a Wide Receiver as your top prospect and it’s not N’Keal Harry then its this guy. Metcalf like Harry is very large, very fast and has above average route running. Unlike Harry he doesn’t have the college production and market share that you would like to see from a college WR1, two excuses are usually given: One is that he was injured for a large number of games in 2018; Two is that he had both AJ Brown and DeMarcus Lodge as teammates who may end up being just as good if not better than Metcalf at the next level. The problem I have with Metcalf as your 1.01 is that he’s too much projection, usually players that don’t get the production that their talent might warrant get overlooked by dynasty drafters and the NFL but Metcalf and another prospect who’s coming up may have been overrated based on potential.

Verdict: Another rookie WR with buckets of potential but too much projection involved for me to take him at the 1.01 C-

 

Josh Jacobs RB Alabama

Josh Jacobs is getting a lot of 1st overall hype at the moment and if you’ve watched any of his tape or highlights you can probably guess why he lights up the field when he’s on it, but that was the problem at Alabama, he was hardly on the field for the Tide but when he was he was clearly a superior player to Damien Harris the back who was getting the majority of carries during Jacobs time at ‘Bama he forced more missed tackles per attempt and had higher yards after contact per attempt (stats per cfbfilmroom.com) this difference in talent is being borne out in his higher position on NFL Big Boards and Dynasty drafters rankings. Josh Jacobs is a very polished receiver lining up outside on multiple plays and having a huge highlight reel catch at wide receiver proving that he can be an every down back at the next level. However like Metcalf before him whilst we can see his innate talent whilst watching him it’s hard for me to condone taking him this early with small sample size.

Verdict: Potentially the best Running Back prospect in the draft, who is likely to test extremely well at the combine if not the best of all the running backs in the class. Beware of double counting athleticism (this applies to all prospects) we should expect guys who look electric on the field to be electric in their underwear, only pay attention to the combine if the results contradict what you previously thought. However, all this being said if he goes to the right situation I will be taking him at the 1.01 but he isn’t my favourite prospect A-

 

David Montgomery RB Iowa State

If you’re like me and you think that Missed Tackles and Yards After Contact are king in judging the actual ability of runners as opposed to how well their O-line and scheme opens up holes for them, then you’ve known about and been gushing about David Montgomery since last year. When he set Pro Football Focuses record for most missed tackles forced in a season with 86 combined on both carries and receptions. He followed it up this year with another outstanding season where he just beat out Devin Singletary for the most total MT in the 2018 season finishing his career with two seasons of over 100 MT and having the highest MT per attempt in both seasons averaging one on every third carry. It’s a testament to the Draft and Dynasty communities waking up to the truth of MT and YAC as indicators of future success. Whilst Josh Jacobs might be the better receiver Montgomery is a traditionally good 3rd Down back out of the backfield more like a Todd Gurley than an Alvin Kamara who’s able to make people miss (just like when he gets the hand-off) in space and get the extra yards.

Verdict: My favorite prospect in this years draft, if you need a Running Back and all other things are equal I think you should pick David Montgomery. No matter his situation he creates yards for himself and if he ends up with a better O-line than he did in college and it would be hard for it to be worse (I’m looking at you Texans) he should massively outperform his college production. A+

 

A Third Option?

Now I know we’ve gone over more than three options already but generally, the third option is the potentially unseen choice you can take when given a similarly binary choice. In this case, it means instead of choosing who to pick at the 1.01 it means trading it away or even trading down whichever suits you more. So let’s discuss those options, I will be using trade values from dynastytradecalculator.com for a 12 team 0.5 PPR league.

First, let’s try trading the 1.01 straight up if you’re looking for a Wide Receiver here’s some with the similar value for you to consider:

  • TY Hilton
  • Kenny Golladay
  • Corey Davis

If I was a contending team who has come into the 1.01 either because injuries ruined your season or you traded for it then I would definitely consider trading for TY as he is only 29 and every year of his career, except his rookie with Andrew Luck, has been over 1000 yards and over 69 (nice) receptions. If I was rebuilding I would consider either of the other two over picking a receiver at 1.01 but overall I would prefer the rookies.

If you need a running back there are three backs from last years class with similar value along with a former 1st round dynasty pick. They are as follows in order of most to least valuable:

  • Le’Veon Bell
  • Sony Michel
  • Kerryon Johnson
  • Derrius Guice

Any of these options are valid overtaking any running back at 1.01 my personal favorite would be Sony Michel unless Bell signs somewhere fantastic (KC comes to mind) but if you prefer Kerryon or Guice I won’t blame you (but try and get something else back for them) I might be trying to buy Guice but not for the price he’s listed on this site.

Now if you were paying attention you might remember that I actually hold the 1.01 in one of my Dynasty leagues, so the question is who would I take? Or would I trade?

Last year I got scared and traded Barkley away (still not sure if I regret that decision yet) but this year barring any huge changes I will be taking David Montgomery but if you take anyone on this list (except DK Metcalf) you shouldn’t be ashamed.

Please comment below or engage with me on twitter @Rhys_G  if you disagree with me, especially if you want someone else I didn’t mention.

 

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