2024 Dynasty Rookie Draft Pick 12 Strategy: How to Draft and Who to Target at the 1.12

The skill position depth of this class proves true when drafting out of the 12 spot.

Pick 12 was a tough draw for our 2024 Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft. Not only did I have to wait until the end of the first round for a pick, but I didn’t benefit from the traditional snake draft, so I was last up in each and every round.

DRAFT STRATEGY FOR PICK 12 IN 2024 ROOKIE DRAFTS: MY PRE-DRAFT PLAN

My plan for the first round was simple: get the best pass catcher available. I wasn’t sure if Brock Bowers, Xavier Worthy, or Brian Thomas would make it to me (spoiler alert: they didn’t), but if they did, I would pounce on them.

Of those three, Worthy is the one I’m most excited about, almost exclusively due to his landing spot. Sure, he has electrifying speed, but I think any guy with half-decent hands and route-running ability could run a 6.2 40 and still excel under Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes. Worthy’s primary competition for WR targets will be Hollywood Brown and Rashee Rice. The former has an injury history and tends to be inconsistent, while the latter is expecting to face a multi-game suspension for recent off-field troubles. I can’t help but compare Worthy to another former Chiefs wideout who ran a sub-4.3 40 and measured a bit undersized for a WR1 — and that guy led the league in receiving for Miami last year.

I knew some respectable RBs would be available at my second pick, and any QB still available at pick 24 would likely still be available in the third or fourth round. No sense in reaching for a QB when you absolutely don’t need to (if only someone told the Falcons that). So my Round 2 strategy was best RB available, hoping that MarShawn Lloyd, Blake Corum, or Jaylen Wright would be available.

From there, my plan was to snag the best available player, regardless of position. This is a bit easier in a mock draft setting as I didn’t have specific positions I needed to load up on due to holes in my existing roster. If this was the real draft for our RSJ Dynasty league, I definitely would’ve gone more RB-heavy in the late rounds, as I’m currently slated to trot out Najee Harris and Miles Sanders (don’t judge, I inherited a bad roster at the start of last year and I’m doing my best).

Aside from eyeing the best available players, I also had my eye on FSU QB Jordan Travis. He has little chance of playing this year due to his existing injury and the Jets’ current roster construction, but Aaron Rodgers isn’t getting any younger, and Travis single-handedly propelled FSU into the CFP picture last year. I’d love to hold onto him for a year or two and see what chances he gets down the road.

Read more: “How to draft” from the… 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 spot

PICK 1.12: LADD MCCONKEY, WR, LA CHARGERS

Unfortunately, the trio of WRs I hoped to target in the first round were gone by pick 10, but Ladd McConkey is a good consolation prize. I wrote about Justin Herbert‘s plummeting fantasy stock in March after Keenan Allen was shipped to Chicago and Mike Williams signed with the Jets. To make matters worse, the team’s new regime under Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman seems hellbent on establishing the run game and not much else.

The team’s remaining wideouts from 2023 combined for just 92 receptions last year, and over 80% of those came from Joshua Palmer and Quinten Johnston. Palmer is nowhere near a No. 1 guy talent-wise, and Johnston was a huge disappointment as almost every wideout drafted after him had a better rookie campaign.

McConkey comes into 2024 with a rare opportunity to be his team’s top receiver right off the bat. His numbers weren’t great last year, although he missed a few games with injury to ensure he’d be healthy for the conference championship and beyond. In 2022, however, he was second on the team behind Brock Bowers in receptions (58) and yards (762) and tied with Bowers for the team lead with seven touchdowns.

McConkey surprised many with a sub-4.4 40 time, and his skill as a route runner should translate well to the next level. As long as the Chargers allow Herbert some opportunities to throw, McConkey should have himself a solid rookie year and lay down a foundation to build a successful career on.

Rickey Pearsall was tempting at the 12th pick, but I like McConkey’s ceiling just a bit more, and feel good about my selection despite Pearsall going with the very next selection to start the second round. I also briefly considered Adonai Mitchell as I’m a huge fan of his, but McConkey felt like the safer pick.

PICK 2.12: BLAKE CORUM, RB, LA RAMS

None of my other RB targets survived to pick 24, but luckily, Blake Corum did. I was a huge fan of Corum at Michigan, and his durability in a high workload (505 carries over the past two seasons) bodes well for his NFL availability. He suffered a knee injury late in 2022, but his ability to return from that and play a full season in 2023 is a great sign.

Corum figures to slot into the RB2 spot for the Rams behind Kyren Williams, who is a potential first-round fantasy pick based on current ADP and currently ranks as The Wolf’s RB6 for 2024. Williams himself missed five games last season, and if that happens again in 2024, Corum could enjoy some time as a true workhorse with RB1 potential behind what some consider a top-ten offensive line.

Rams head coach Sean McVay seems excited about the opportunity to add Corum to his roster:

“For me, one of the things that jumped off is there’s a lot of traits that reminded me of Kyren Williams,” McVay told reporters after Corum was drafted at No. 83 overall. “… Obviously, Kyren will put Blake under his arm and be a great mentor and kind of a leader. But, (running backs coach) Ron Gould was really excited about him, (as was offensive coordinator) Mike LaFleur, I obviously love his game.

“He’s got a bunch of tape to be able to evaluate, he’s been a part of an incredibly successful program, he’s been the bell cow for them in the midst of their successful runs they’ve had their last few years. And so, we’re really looking forward to getting to work with him.”

With most other second-round-worthy RBs gone, my main choice was between Corum and Audric Estime, who landed in Denver after a successful career at Notre Dame. I like Estime in terms of both talent and landing spot, but Corum has a higher ceiling in my opinion.

PICK 3.12: JA’TAVION SANDERS, TE, CAROLINA PANTHERS

I missed out on Texas’ two top leading receivers from last year in Xavier Worthy and Adonai Mitchell, so why not go for number three? Ja’Tavion Sanders caught 45 balls for 682 yards for the Longhorns last year, scoring only two TDs.

The primary WRs and RBs I had my eye on for Round Three were already gone, so I went with a tight end that I think could make an immediate impact as a rookie, regardless of his QB situation.

To play tight end at the next level, Sanders must improve significantly as a run blocker. Carolina believed in his ability to do so enough to take him with the first pick of the fourth round last month, and luckily, blocking (or lack thereof) doesn’t impact his fantasy outlook as long as he’s doing well enough to stay on the field.

Sanders is projected to start the year as Carolina’s TE2, behind Tommy Tremble and ahead of Ian Thomas. But looking at the skillsets of the three players, Sanders should quickly become the primary tight end in passing situations. Tremble caught just 23 passes for the Panthers last year, finishing sixth in receptions and fifth in yards with 194. With Bryce Young heading into year two looking to significantly improve on a disappointing rookie season, a big target like the 6’4″ Sanders should be helpful in bailout situations, especially if Carolina’s offensive line doesn’t improve on last year’s dreadful performance.

Sanders was ultimately the third tight end off the board in our mock draft, after Brock Bowers at pick eight and Ben Sinnott at number 26, and I feel good about who I ended up with.

PICK 4.12 – JORDAN TRAVIS, QB, NY JETS

Travis fills the role of Mr. Irrelevant in our 2024 Rookie Mock Draft, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. He had his flaws in his career at FSU, but his arm talent and scrambling ability had the Seminoles squarely in the playoff picture last year before a broken leg in November ended his season and, with it, Florida State’s hopes of a CFP birth.

Travis expects to be fully healed in time for the start of training camp, but regardless of his health, he’s slotted in as QB3 for New York this year behind Aaron Rodgers and Tyrod Taylor. But getting drafted onto a roster with two QBs on the wrong side of 30 — and one on the wrong side of 40 — is a solid spot for Travis to be, and I expect him to get a legitimate chance to win the starting job over the next couple of years.

Head Coach Robert Saleh is excited to work with Travis, likening him to “a ball of clay” that he can mold into a NFL QB.

“He’s a tremendously talented young man and extremely gifted, especially athletically. He’s got a lot of work to do,” Saleh raved. “He hasn’t even scratched the surface. He’s winning games doing things that were just pure athleticism, and if we can tie the football part to it, I think we’ve got ourselves a damn good player.”

Travis recently said he “one hundred percent” believes he can be a starter in the NFL, and with his dual-threat ability and proven track record of success at the NCAA level, I agree. It may not come to fruition for a few years, but Travis is a great late-round pick for 2024 to try and shore up your QB spot down the road.

SUMMARY: POST-DRAFT THOUGHTS AND PICK 12 STRATEGY RECAP

Expectations for my draft here were tempered coming in with the 12th pick in a non-snake format, but I’m happy with how I ended up. I would’ve loved a different receiver to fall to me at 12, but McConkey has a chance to contribute immediately with LA given the departure of most of their receiving threats from a season ago. Corum should immediately make an impact with the Rams, Sanders could be Carolina’s TE1 by year’s end, and Travis is a pick for the future that you need to be ready to make in a dynasty format.

Luckily, if you’re picking at 1.12 like I did, you’re likely coming off a league championship and don’t have as many dire needs as your league mates. So get what you can and do what you need to do to lock up those back to back titles.

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