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Introduction 

The Rookie on the Rise team, as part of Fantasy Affair Fantasy Football, brings to you our first SF rookie mock draft. This is where we look at talent in a vacuum, regardless of landing positions. We intend to provide the viewers/listeners/readers with context that prevents the “CEH reaches” and “CeeDee Lamb fades” similar to last year. We can all recall several instances of Clyde going before Jonathan Taylor and Lamb being the third or fourth WR off the board due to landing spots. I mean we saw instances of Lamb at the 1.12 and Clyde at the 1.01 in SF leagues. That’s insane but the decision is yours to make and without further ado… 

In round 1, we would say there are no surprises as to what 12 players were picked. Draft positions however, could, and should be debated. Be sure to listen into our podcast (https://open.spotify.com/show/0utQwzsVEyQI3IBLHsKkGD) to hear our main conversations around our picks. 

1.01 – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson Tigers 

(Britt Sanders @TheFFSandman)


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No Brainer here, a time to not get cute and get straight upside. 

1.02 – Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State Buckeyes (Brad Stickler @FFBourbonDude)


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Look, there is no question in my mind that Fields is the second best QB in this class. He will be a day 1 starter and has all the tools to be an extremely successful NFL QB. 

1.03 – Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson Tigers 

(Eric Burkholder @EricBurkholder6)


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Currently my RB1, Travis Etienne is special. Simply put, running backs with the size, explosiveness, and upside that Etienne has don’t come out every year. If Travis had declared as a junior he would be a smash for the metrics and analytical fantasy managers. Instead he returned for a shortened ‘20 which soured some. As things are, Travis is a smash pick that may even be available later in drafts. Couldn’t be happier. 

1.04 – Najee Harris, RB, Alabama Crimson Tide (Britt Sanders @TheFFSandman)


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My RB1 here, another no brainer. Has the size, speed, assumed draft capital, and a great collegiate profile. 

1.05 – Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina Tar Heels

(Brad Stickler @FFBourbonDude)


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I know right, before Ja’Marr Chase??? I absolutely LOVE William’s skill set. He is my RB1 of the class. In hindsight I probably could have gotten him at 1.08 but I didn’t even want to take the chance. Vision, power, balance, explosion, pass catching, and pass blocking. What more can you ask for. 

1.06 – Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU Tigers 

(Eric Burkholder @EricBurkholder6)


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Ja’Marr Chase is a prospect much like Etienne that simply does not come out every year. Size, speed, production, and a true alpha profile; Chase is landing spot proof and as close to a can’t miss prospect as there is in the 2021 rookie class. 

1.07 – Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida Gators 

(Britt Sanders @TheFFSandman)


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A man that is getting slighted because of historical positional success year one. He is the most talented tight end we have seen since Vernon Davis. Fade the nonsense about grabbing him after year one, no one drafting him here is moving on after one year. 

1.08 – Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama Crimson Tide (Brad Stickler @FFBourbonDude)


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Again my number one at a position is falling to me. That’s right, the only thing anyone can say negatively about Smith is his size. There are plenty of successful “small” WR’s in the NFL. His combination of speed, agility, route running, twitch, and quickness is second to none in this draft. Glad to get a stud at the 1.08. 

1.09 – Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State Bisons (Eric Burkholder @EricBurkholder6)


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Standing 6’4” and 224 lbs with a cannon arm and an incredible rushing floor, I personally have never seen a quarterback enter the NFL with higher upside from a fantasy perspective. Viewed as a developmental product, for the time being we may need to wait for Lance to get a chance to start, but he will no doubt be worth the wait.

1.10 – Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota Golden Gophers (Britt Sanders @TheFFSandman)


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My WR2 and what I believe is the most pro-ready wide receiver in this draft. With his new athletic testing profile, Bateman checks all of the boxes and any other year would be the undisputed WR1 of that class. 

1.11 – Zach Wilson, QB, BYU Cougars 

(Brad Stickler @FFBourbonDude)


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Ranked as high as QB2 on some peoples board and quite possibly the second QB taken in the NFL draft is an absolute steal at the 1.11. He has a unique skill set that could be equated to Matthew Stafford. I like the odds on a guy with some rushing upside (while not considered a rusher) and the ability to make all of the throws. 

1.12 – Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama Crimson Tide

(Eric Burkholder @EricBurkholder6)


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Perhaps my most regrettable pick of this mock Waddle is a pure burner the likes of which we have seen burn out much more frequently than “hit”. That said, his college production and game breaking speed ensures first round draft capital and a chance to produce right away. Simply couldn’t pass on the security of a team’s first pick in 2021 for someone who may or may not see the field.


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