2023 NFL Draft: Dynasty Rookie Sleepers

2023 NFL Draft: Dynasty Rookie Sleepers
2023 NFL Draft: Dynasty Rookie Sleepers

SGPN is here with the best Dynasty Rookie Sleepers! The 2023 NFL Draft is in three weeks, and everyone has talked about Bijan Robinson and Bryce Young. Every website is posting its top 10 rookie rankings. This is a talented draft class, and this is a deep rookie class. We will see many of our favorite fantasy football players drafted in rounds two and three.

Most players will go on day three, and every year, there is a handful of diamonds in the rough. Football content has increased, and places like Reddit or Twitter help identify sleepers. Using sleeper average draft position (ADP), we will identify some current sleepers.

What is a Sleeper?

Sleeper is a relative term, as not everyone is as obsessed with football as you or I might. To define sleepers, I will only use players outside of the top 24 ADPs. Quarterbacks and Tight Ends are ranked outside of the top five ADPs at their positions. We are looking at players outside the top 10 ADP for running backs and wide receivers.

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2023 NFL Draft: Dynasty Rookie Sleepers

Quarterback Dynasty Rookie Sleepers

Dorian Thompson-Robinson – UCLA

Height: 6’2″
Weight: 203 lbs
Rookie ADP: UDFA

Dorian Thompson-Robinson (DTR) is a polarizing player. Chris Simms has him as the number five quarterback in the class, while a lot of websites have him closer to number 10. The negatives on DTR are his size and his age. His great experience is a plus, but he is also a 5th-year senior. He comes in just a little over 200 lbs, especially at 6’2 you would expect more weight. He played much better under Chip Kelly, and this is a QB-friendly scheme. DTR has plenty of positives, including rushing as well as a big arm.

For fantasy football purposes, we love those things; for those reasons, he has upside potential. I look at the rushing upside and the significant arm upside. We saw that experience really helped Brock Prudy transition last season.

DTR is one of the most experienced quarterbacks in this class, with 48 career starts. His leadership, experience, and football intelligence are further along than many other players. DTR is not just a rushing quarterback with a strong arm; he also shows some good accuracy. He also had the 6th best completion percentage in the FBS.

Clayton Tune – Houston

Height: 6’2″
Weight: 220 lbs
Rookie ADP: UDFA

Clayton Tune had a great 2022 season and finished the season with an excellent performance in the Independence Bowl. He has been checking the boxes all offseason with a great Senior Bowl and a strong NFL combine. The negatives on Tune are his age and the level of competition he played against. In addition, there are some deep ball accuracy concerns; he is by no means a perfect prospect. That being said, he had a lot of strengths.

Statistically, he had one of the better seasons in the entire draft class. In the FBS, Tune ranked 3rd in passing touchdowns, 6th in total offense, and 7th in passing yards. He isn’t just a passer; he led his team in rushing with 544 yards and five touchdowns. PFF reports that Tune was 4th in the class in adjusted completion percentage. Tune is more than likely a day three prospect, but a player that could shine in the right situation.

Jake Haener – Fresno State

Height: 6’0″
Weight: 207 lbs
Rookie ADP: UDFA

Jake Haener was the Senior Bowl MVP, capping off a remarkable 2022 campaign. The negatives on Haener are the average traits. Haener comes in below average in both height and weight. He doesn’t have a lot of rushing upside, and his arm strength is average.

What does he do well? Haener is an intelligent player and a quick processor, and he gets the ball out quickly. He does a great job reading defenses and making decisions quickly. This allows him to adapt to some of his deficiencies. Haener’s good decision-making helps him avoid bad plays. PFF graded his adjust completion percentage  7th in the class, and he was 17th in turnover-worthy plays.

Running Back Dynasty Rookie Sleepers

The current rookie ADP for Chase Brown, Israel Abanikanda, DeWayne (Debo) McBride, and Eric Gray had them in consideration. Great Values right now for this class.

Deneric Prince – Tulsa

Height: 6’0″
Weight: 216 lbs
Rookie ADP: UDFA

Deneric Prince had the highest weight adjusted 40 in the draft class. He has elite speed and a good size to go with it. To give you a comparison, the top three weight-adjusted 40s last year were Breece Hall, Ken Walker, and Isiah Pacheco. Prince ran a 4.41 40 at 6’0″ and 216 lbs and showed a burst with his jump numbers. The negatives for Prince are his play strength.

He needs to show more power and more tackle-breaking ability. His straight-line speed jumps out, and he has a great burst in the open field. The athletic score is great, but the production just doesn’t match. You can’t teach speed. Hopefully, he goes to the right situation, and someone can develop him.

Tiyon Evans – Louisville

Height: 5’9″
Weight: 225 lbs
Rookie ADP: UDFA

Tiyon Evans had one of the higher weight-adjusted 40 times in the class as well. Evans is built like a bowling ball at 5’9 and 225 lbs. Evans running a 4.52 at 225 lbs is extremely impressive, and you can see that burst on tape.

He only played eight games last season due to injury but still was an honorable mention for All-ACC honors. Evans ran for 6.3 yards a carry and had six touchdowns on 525 rushing yards in those eight games. He did not play in 2020 due to COVID concerns when he was in Tennessee prior to transferring to Louisville.

Keaton Mitchell – East Carolina

Height: 5’9″
Weight: 184 lbs
Rookie ADP: UDFA

Keaton Mitchell is one of the best-receiving backs in this class, but he is also built more like a receiver. Just like Duece Vaughn and Devon Achane, Mitchell is way below average size for an NFL running back. Mitchell is special in the open field, and his PFF comparison is Dante Hall. Mitchell will be a return specialist for a team and will have to earn touches on offense. The negatives are the size, small school, and his pass blocking.

The positives are speed, big play ability, and production. Mitchell led all players in the FBS with 54 carries of 10+ yards. Mitchell had the 2nd most yards per carry, behind DeWayne (Debo) McBride at 7.2 yards per carry. He had 1452 yards rushing on 201 carries; he added 258 receiving yards on 27 receptions. Mitchell ranked 1st in 15+ yard runs (34) and 1st in fumbles (0). He also ranked 9th in forced missed tackles per PFF.

Evan Hull – Northwestern

Height: 5’10”
Weight: 209 lbs
Rookie ADP: UDFA

Evan Hull is one of the best-receiving backs in this class. His receiving ability should get him on the field and earn him a role. Hull doesn’t have the size and explosive traits you are looking for. But he is one of the better route-running backs in the class. Hull ranked 3rd in yards per route run in the RB class per PFF.

As a runner, Hull posted average production and showed average traits at the NFL Combine. He doesn’t have a great burst, but he does have good lateral quickness. His vision and patience also allow him to make more out of plays.

Wide Receivers Dynasty Rookie Sleepers

Friendly Reminder: You are too low on Marvin Mims and Jayden Reed

Jonathan Mingo – Ole Miss

Height: 6’2″
Weight: 220 lbs
Rookie ADP: 44 (WR26)

Jonathan Mingo didn’t really pop until his senior year. He was a 4-star recruit, but he didn’t do much as a True Freshman or as a Sophomore. As a Junior, Mingo suffered a foot injury that caused him to miss most of the season. This year he moved to the slot and really shined.

Mingo is built like a running back with great size and power. He has quick feet and sudden movements that allow him to beat press coverage off of the line. He seems to improve as a route-runner this year and shows improvement at the top of his routes per scouting reports.

Mingo offers some flexibility due to his size, but he does perform better in the slot. He isn’t a natural separator, and his size is too much for slot corners. Mingo had the fastest speed recorded this year at 21.4 MPH. His combination of size-speed will move him up the boards. He will be drafted higher than you think.

Matt Landers – Arkansas

Height: 6’4″
Weight: 200 lbs
Rookie ADP: UDFA

Matt Landers did not have the ideal path to the NFL. He looks the part with his rare combination of size and speed. Landers went to Georgia and spent two years there before transferring to Toledo. Matt played well in limited games and ended up moving back to the SEC. He had his best season with Arkansas last year, averaging 19.2 yards per catch.

Landers running a 4.37 at his size definitely caught the attention of a lot of people. Landers are still very raw, and his limited production shows that he still has some work to do. This is a player you can stash after your rookie draft and hope someone can coach it out of him.

A.T. Perry – Wake Forrest

Height: 6’3″ 
Weight: 198 lbs
Rookie ADP: 41 (WR19)

In a class full of smaller slot wide receivers, Perry offers an experienced outside WR with good size. A.T. was extremely productive for Wake Forrest, with 2,396 yards and 26 touchdowns over the past two seasons. He has a huge catch radius (6’10”) and uses his length well. Perry plucks the ball over the top of smaller defends in jump-ball situations. He also is a long-strider that eats up cushion quickly to get on top of corners.

Jalen Moreno-Cropper, Fresno State

Height: 6’0″
Weight: 180 lbs
Rookie ADP: UDFA

Jalen Moreno-Cropper (JMC) is someone you don’t hear a lot about. But when you are doing PFF mock drafts, his name shows up as a 4th round pick. Who is he? The negatives, he has a thin frame, and it shows up with weak play strength. He is not the best run blocker, well. But his speed and creativity as a route runner are two strong attributes.

JMC played early, and the Bulldogs used him in a variety of ways. 2020 was a shortened season, but he had 17 receptions for 208 yards and 331 yards rushing on only 18 carries. He is extremely elusive, forcing 19 missed tackles (11th) last season. JMC is projected to be an early day three pick and should be on your radar as a dynasty stash.

Tight Ends Dynasty Rookie Sleepers

Zack Kuntz – Ole Dominion

Height: 6’7″
Weight: 255 lbs
Rookie ADP: 41 (TE10)

Some people might forget that Kuntz played at Penn State. He played well there too. In 2021, he ranked 4th amongst power-five tight ends with 33 combined receiving 1st downs/touchdowns. Kuntz struggles as a blocker but is one of the better receiving tight ends in the class. Kuntz was a little off the radar when he went to Ole Dominion. But his combine was electric, and he popped right back onto the radar. He has a great burst; you see that when he is breaking in and out of routes.

Will Mallory – Miami

Height: 6’5″
Weight: 245 lbs
Rookie ADP: 42 (TE7)

Mallory is one of the more athletic tight ends in the class, but he struggles with blocking. He will have to develop this part of his game to maintain a high snap percentage. He was one of the worst in the class in run blocking, and this is a concern. For fantasy football purposes, we like to see the athleticism and receiving ability.

Mallory has good hands and is a true seam threat with his speed. He is a smooth mover at the top of his routes and has good body control to help his quarterback. Mallory’s above-average speed, jumping, and other athletic traits contain upside that others just don’t have.

Elijah Higgins – Stanford

Height: 6’3″
Weight: 235 lbs
Rookie ADP: UDFA

I was lucky enough to be part of the media sessions at the NFL Combine, and Higgins was open with us about a potential transition. Higgins is likely to make the transition inside to the tight end position. He played the majority of his snaps from the slot last season.

Higgins had a low average depth of target and operated closer to the line of scrimmage most of his career. He was 2nd in the PAC-12 with 190 Yards after catch and 20th at WR for Forced Missed Tackles. He is not on the radar because he is labeled as a WR. Don’t be surprised if they announce him as a tight end when he gets drafted later this month.




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