Rookie Deep Sleepers
By Cody Folden
The rookie profiles are done and everyone knows who the offensive and defensive Top-10s are in fantasy drafts. Like every year, someone is missed. James Robinson and Chris Carson come to the top of my head right away. In this article, I have 4 guys that you will either hear their name called during the NFL or will impact a team as a priority undrafted free agent (UDFA) early on in the season. Sometimes there are guys that are not fantasy draft-worthy but by week 4 or 5, they are. Sometimes week 11 or 12 because of injury, you need a free-agent pickup to help salvage the season. These 4 guys can be what we're looking for in late September, October or November.
Garrett Maag - UND (North Dakota) WR
Justin Berendzen (@jrberendzen) at NFL Draft Diamonds sat down with Maag and I would like to give Justin a shoutout for this session. If you would like to see the questions and responses, here is the link: https://nfldraftdiamonds.com/2022/06/garett-maag/
Over his career at UND Maag had 164 catches for 2205 yards and 19 touchdowns, over a 5-year span these stats are less than ideal but it also is an FCS school. The competition and talent are different. Let's look at what intrigues everyone about Maag, of those 5 years at UND, he was a captain for 3 of them. Showing us he will put in the work and show others how to do it.
Maags measurables were the thing that caught scouts' eyes. At 6 foot 3 and 206 pounds, Maag ran a 4.50 40-yard dash with a 1.60 10-yard split. With a vertical jump of 40.5 and a broad jump over 10 feet, you can see why some teams would give him a chance. He’s athletic and has leadership qualities, if you can get that from a special teamer or the last guy on the roster…. you're only that much stronger as a team.
Jadon Haselwood - Arkansas WR
Jadon Haselwood is another one of those guys I just couldn't ignore. This is a guy that will be signed as a priority UDFA and can contribute if he gets a shot. 2 or 3 wide receivers ahead of him go down and it will be Haselwood's time to shine.
With a 40-yard dash of 4.66 and a 10-yard split of 1.56, it could have been worse. If you have read any of my prior articles or this is your first one, you know that I only worry about 10-yard splits. I would like to also argue that for the bottom of the roster guys, this is even more important. They aren't going to get the go or 9 route anyways, they will have to do the dirty work and move the chains for the offense, and this is where he excels. He creates late separation in tight window throws and has a gigantic catch radius. His stats are subpar at best and as a 5-star recruit coming out of high school, this was less ideal and is why he is in the position he is in.
Like Maag and the rest of these guys, if given a chance, he could be a guy to stick.
Noah Gindorff - NDSU TE
I put Noah Gindorff on the list for the sole reason of the “who” factor. Gindorff, I can easily see being drafted in the 5th or 6th round of the NFL draft and some fans hating the pick……until he is starting week 1 for a team. Noah Gindorff is again, an FCS TE and wasn’t necessarily a focal point in the NDSU offense.
At 6 foot 6 and 266 pounds, Gindorff is a monster. An ankle injury the past two seasons has really deterred him from showing off how athletic he actually is but the best part about him is he is a fantastic blocker. Which is why he is going to be drafted. Like Maag, Gindorff was a team captain, and for your captain to be out with an ankle injury for multiple years can take a toll. GIndorff never used it as an excuse and always got his team ready to play.
In my opinion, showing leadership on a championship-level team at NDSU and being nominated captain of that squad shows a lot to me. Along with Cody Mauch, you could tell why Hunter Luepke, half-back for NDSU and will be a fullback in the pros, and the rest of the running game at NDSU is always so good. They have maulers and NDSU has shown that what they are doing there translates to the NFL.
Do not be surprised to see Gindorff’s name be called in the draft and be a TE2 on a squad by September. Especially if he works on his route running.
Jacob Copeland - Maryland WR
Copeland, like the other three guys, the reason for being in this article and not having his own rookie spotlight is mostly because of a lack of production. Of this group, he had the most production with 112 catches, 1742 yards, and 11 touchdowns over the course of his 5 seasons(4 with Florida and 1 with Maryland).
His 2021 season being the best with 41 receptions for 642 yards and 4 TDs, Copeland's tape sometimes feels lackluster. Unlike Haselwood, Copeland is a deep threat and has moves to help him with his intermediate routes. It is where Jadon Haselwood thrives, that Copeland lacks. He slacks on routes under 10 yards and doesn't seem interested in doing any of the dirty work. He is a one-trick pony. He could excel in punt or kick returns, but if he is in the game on offense you know he is a deep threat, which gives the defense an advantage. I hope he proves me wrong!
He will get looked at and probably given a shot purely based on his test scores. With a 4.42 40-yard dash with a 1.51 10-yard split, he is a fast WR. A broad jump of 10 feet 7 inches, a vertical jump of 33 inches, and a bench press of 20 reps, shows he has the makeup of being a productive wide receiver and a good teammate. That will get him drafted or be a priority UDFA if he puts in the work and proves that. Some veteran WR leadership would bode well for him.
Taulia Tagovailoa, did have stretches of games where he had to make something out of nothing and seemed to target others like Rakim Jarrett. All in all, if Copeland gets on a team, he is going to show in training camp that he is better than your WR 6 and possibly take that spot from someone.
Why Are You Telling Me This?
Some prospects get all the love, and some come into the draft process underrated and under-evaluated. These are only four of those guys. There are a slew of others on the offensive AND defensive side of the ball that have the talent to be in the league and will be picked up. There is more to the draft than just rounds 1, 2, and 3.
Is it fantasy relevant? Offensively, probably not, unless you need a deep free-agent find. In IDP leagues, definitely. Some of the best IDP players last year were late-round picks in their drafts. Foyesade Oluokun was drafted in the 6th round at pick 200 and led the league in tackles in 2022. I gave you information on the offensive side, do with it what you will, but pay attention to our IDP writers here at Dynasty Pros to get an edge in those IDP leagues and drafts..
This article was made to give some information and context to guys you will be searching for sooner or later. I hope you found it helpful.
Cody Folden joined the Dynasty Pros team in 2023. He plays in many dynasty leagues but dabbles in other leagues like devy, contract, and scouting leagues. He loves to dive deep into learning about prospects coming up through college and seeing them thrive when they get to the league.