Mock Draft reactions

By James Collier

74 days have passed since Super Bowl LVII in Las Vegas but we’ve finally made it to draft day! By the end of the night 32 players will have learned their fate in Detroit, with another 225 over the weekend.

We’ve been a little quiet on the fantasy front over the last few months but what better way to get back into the swing of things than fantasy reactions to some of the mock drafts recently posted by the team at The Touchdown.

We’ll be taking a look at three recent mocks and picking out our favourite and least favourite landing spots for the pass catchers that feature in them all. The mock drafts we are looking at are: the Captains Mock Draft posted on The Touchdown YouTube channel, Simon Carroll’s mock draft from 22nd April and Rory-Joe Daniels’ mock from 23rd April.

Marvin Harrison Jr

  • Podcast: Patriots
  • Si: Chargers
  • Rory: Cardinals

It won’t be a surprise to anyone that the Chargers are the dream scenario here. MHJ gets an elite quarterback in Justin Herbert and Herbert gets a new number one target after losing Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. The Chargers offense is likely to be pretty different in 2024 but Josh Palmer, Quentin Johnston and Simi Fehoko aren’t legitimate target competition for Harrison even if we see a significant decrease in passing volume. Keenan Allen was the WR3 in PPR points per game in 2023 and it’s hard to argue that Harrison’s ceiling is much lower than that in his rookie year. 

On the other hand, the Patriots feel almost like a worst case scenario for the first receiver off the board. Unless a rookie arrives in the later rounds, Jacoby Brissett would be the starting quarterback for 2024 in this scenario. While Brissett has been fine in recent years and probably deserves to have started more games than he has, he almost certainly places a lower ceiling on Harrison Jr than Herbert would. But if this does happen we’ll probably see too much of an overreaction with MHJ falling further in rookie drafts than he should.

Malik Nabers

  • Podcast: Chargers
  • Si: Giants
  • Rory: Giants

The Captains Mock Draft saw Nabers taken by the Chargers with the fifth overall selection. While Nabers is a different player, we can essentially copy and paste everything said above about Marvin Harrison Jr and the Chargers. 

The Giants offense is pretty devoid of talent and so whoever they take with their first rounder is going to be given the opportunity to be the focal point of the offense (assuming they don’t shock us all by taking a defensive player). Nabers has what it takes to be an elite fantasy performer but with uncertainty over the quarterback situation in New York, dynasty managers might have to wait a year or two before they start seeing a return on what would need to be a considerable investment.

Rome Odunze

  • Podcast: Cardinals
  • Si: Cardinals
  • Rory: Chargers

The Chargers are the dream scenario again. If you’ve got this far then you know why. Odunze might not be as special of a player as Harrison Jr or Nabers but you can guarantee he’ll be receiving the same hype if he lands in LA and they land in New England and New York. 

The worst case scenario here is the Cardinals, which is much better for us in fantasy land than the Patriots or Giants. We have certainty over who the quarterback will be in Arizona for the foreseeable future and we could do a lot worse than Kyler Murray. Things haven’t worked out for Kyler’s previous big name wide receivers in Marquise Brown and DeAndre Hopkins but there were some positive signs under the new coaching staff in 2023. Tight end Trey McBride emerged in his sophomore year and will take some of the pressure off any rookie receiver early in the season.

Brock Bowers

  • Podcast: Bears
  • Si: Bengals
  • Rory: Jets

This one is tricky but if we’re talking long term then the Bengals is the best case. Tee Higgins looks to only have one year left in Cincinnati. That would give Bowers a year to get his feet under the table, as rookie tight ends tend to need, before emerging as Joe Burrow’s number two target behind Ja’Marr Chase. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a fantasy relevant Bengals tight end but Bowers is not your typical tight end and you don’t draft him this highly unless you plan on using him (cough, Arthur Smith, cough). He’s probably going to be valued as a top three Dynasty tight end as soon as he’s drafted, but link him to Joe Burrow and it won’t be long until he’s the TE1. 

It’s another tough call to pick which of the others would be worse for Bowers but the prospect of a long term partnership with Caleb Williams or potentially just one year with Rodgers swings it against the Jets. Bowers could easily be the TE1 as a rookie with a healthy Rodgers but who knows what is going to happen in New York this year or in the future.

Brian Thomas Jr

  • Podcast: Bills
  • Si: Jaguars
  • Rory: Bills

The Bills have been mocked to take a wide receiver in the first round of pretty much every mock draft since they moved on from Stefon Diggs at the start of April. As Rory says in his mock, it’s unlikely they can move up high enough to take one of the top three guys so Thomas makes the most sense. Stefon Diggs was a WR1 in each of his four seasons with Josh Allen and the Bills but Thomas is a different player. He’s likely to be a bit of a boom/bust type of fantasy player but the upside is definitely there in Buffalo if he could strike up a good relationship with Allen. 

The Jacksonville wide receiver room lacks a true number one receiver, yet it would still feel a little crowded with the arrival of a rookie. For much of 2023 we were trying to figure out when it was going to be a Calvin Ridley or Christian Kirk week and if they take Thomas in the first round, you can replace Calvin Ridley with Gabe Davis and the rookie. This may well make for some interesting stacks in best ball and DFS depending on who you favour but would not be ideal in redraft and for Thomas’s short/medium term Dynasty prospects.


Lead Fantasy Football Analyst

A Washington fan since the early 2010’s, James had no choice but to turn to fantasy football in search of happiness – and it wasn’t long until it became an obsession. You can follow him on Twitter @jamesc294.