2020 Dynasty Rookie Draft Rankings (top 36)
Here’s my 4.0 DRD ranks after more consuming of the prospects and their situations/teams/depth charts, etc.
Tomorrow I will have the ‘Big Board’ top 100 dynasty rookie draft revealed on the downloadable, interactive spreadsheet view. I have it 95% complete as of the publishing of this top 36 commentary.
The Big Board of the Dynasty Rookie Draft prospects is the spreadsheet version we use, which has expanded player info with the commentary and is something that you can download, sort, edit, etc. Ultimately all the player rankings and commentaries will be there all offseason – and not in these solo posts. We’re just starting the proceedings with this article style post. By end of this week everything will be in the sortable, downloadable, PDF-able display (more detail on that/how/where when it’s up and running).
OK, the top 36 (version 4.0)…
1a) RB Jonathan Taylor, IND
The most talented RB prospect in CFB. Potentially, one of the best OR ‘the best’ of the past few years. Proven talent/domination in college. High-end measurables. Better than given credit hands (like Fournette). ‘Plus sized’ RB. He’s a machine.
How fast does he start for Indy?
Well, Marlon Mack is a free agent after this season. The worst-case scenario is that Taylor trades touches for a while in 2020 with Mack before the obvious is undeniable – Taylor is a million times better than Mack, and that’s not a full slam at Mack. 2020 is probably Taylor starting off as a 2nd-RB and working his way up to ‘the guy’…then Mack walks in free agency and Taylor is ‘the man’ fully in 2021.
Best case scenario – Taylor is so obvious, so dominant in August 2020 that he is the lead in a split role by Week 1 and then is the lead with Mack offering relief touches and Taylor goes on to be the Rookie of the Year.
The one fly in the Taylor ointment – the fumbles. They aren’t as crazy as advertised given his touch counts in college. They also can be fixed. You can’t fix/make a 220+ pound RB run a 4.39 40-time, but you can fix fumble issues…if they really exist. It is the one concern…outside of that, we should be talking about his greatness.
Taylor has a lot of miles on him/a lot of touches in college, but it’s a touch overblown on that chatter as well…he had about 200-300 more touches than your McCaffrey’s, Zeke’s, Derrick Henry’s, etc. in their college careers. Taylor had three seasons of dominance where other top NFL backs had two in college and then they bolted.
The talent is here with Taylor. The situation is solid…and, don’t forget, this is a top O-Line and playing in a dome and better weather in conference than most. 2020 could be up and down touches/activity but 2021+ should be world domination.
1b) RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City
The Brian Westbrook Andy Reid has been looking for. He’s got him. The Kareem Hunt stolen away from him replacement RB.
If it were Alex Smith at QB, not Patrick Mahomes…this would be more of a mildly exciting event – but working with Mahomes, in that offense…it’s predicted gold.
The only real question is – how long will the full starting role take for him to grab? Will they give Damien Williams a chance to be the starter (in name only) at first? I think CEH might be starting Week 1. You don’t take a guy 1st-round and tap dance around your intentions.
You could argue that Edwards-Helaire isn’t as talented as Jonathan Taylor (and that’s true), but you could argue CEH makes up that gap by being in the way better FF situation initially.
At this stage of the rookie draft, I think there is a big drop off in value…not necessarily in talent…but in value. Going forward the picks start to have more ‘risks’ and more ‘but what about…?’ confusion. The talent for some is in question. Others the talent is fine, but the situation is messy. I’m exploring trades away on my 1.03-1.04+ (depending upon Swift) rookie picks to acquire existing/non-rookie players that we’ve already got to see in action last preseason/regular season, guys who are a year further in experience with the team.
3) RB D’Andre Swift, DET
Not my cup of tea as a player…I think there are flaws in his run game that are going to make him seem like a weak consideration compared to Taylor-CEH when we look back historically.
However, I know people love him. I know he is ‘OK’/not a full bust. I know he is going to be forced a role/touches. He’s is not going to be devoid of value. The analysts love him…thus the fans love him, thus the fantasy owners love him. His great value (today) is how beloved he is…he has nice asset value.
I expect he’ll be in a split role with Kerryon Johnson, and the entire summer people will be saying ‘He’s the Lions’ Alvin Kamara’, which will keep his value plumped.
If I had pick 1.03 and I had to make the pick and Taylor-CEH are gone, I pick Swift and then look to trade him while the value is inflated on the ‘rookie shine’…Rookie Derangement Syndrome. He’s arguably going to go 1.01-1.02 in most DRD’s in April/May.
People love Swift without question…as well they do on CEH, and mostly love Jonathan Taylor. Those three RBs are going to go in some order of 1-2-3 in all non-Superflex leagues Dynasty Rookie Draft. Now, from 1-2-3 on…there’s another drop-off. I don’t love Swift, but I know he has great value. Starting at 1.04 (in non-Superflex) there is a big drop in DRD value here. Again, I’m trading 1.04 (and packaged up with other things as needed) through the rest of the top 12 offensive players if I can…seeking the real/non-rookie/existing players I want.
4) WR CeeDee Lamb, DAL
Sure, he lands onto a roster of WR talent and it’s hard to see how he could breakthrough quick enough to matter for fantasy 2020. I think the same. I’m also looking at the abject worship of him, and that it will only get hotter as time goes on. People will write poems all season about getting Lamb the ball more and how Dallas should trade Michael Gallup and ditch Amari Cooper. Lamb’s value is in the fact that he won’t lose value.
All my favorite WRs will lose value as the new car/rookie smell wears off in August and October and February, etc. But Lamb’s value will hold or go higher over time even if he’s barely touching the ball. You can’t hurt his value because NFL people, and thus the fans, will be sacrificing livestock to him for years…pining away for him to be ‘the man’. Poor performance by Lamb will be excused. Good performance will be made to seem GREAT/AWESOME/UNLIKE ANYTHING YOU’VE EVER SEEN.
I’m not a believer that Lamb is great, but I am a believer that every person in football analysis, thus everyone in any fantasy league, will think that he is great – so Lamb has more value even if he’s quiet/and backup than if/when Edwards-Mims-Claypool-Duvernay are soaring. It’s crazy, but it’s true. The love for Lamb is delusional…I’ll acknowledge it and buy it to sell it.
5) QB Joe Burrow, CIN
In a sea of ‘OK’ and ‘good’ and a few ‘possibly great’ prospects in 2020…it’s easy to blow past the one easy scouting assessment of the group – Joe Burrow is THE elite prospect/talent in this draft. If Burrow flops in the NFL, then they should just cancel CFB seasons forever or I’m just going to never watch any tape or pay attention to any outputs that occur in college. Burrow HAS TO BE an elite talent. He’s the most ‘sure thing’ talent that I’m sure of in 2020. However…
What’s a great ‘rookie’/young QB worth in Dynasty/Fantasy terms in their rookie/early years? Baker was a predicted great talent by us and had a nice, but choppy, rookie campaign…and then a sophomore flop. Kyler was the apple of our eye, and he was choppy but a top 10 QB in fantasy…but not FF-awesome. Is Burrow going to walk in…in this organization, and flourish?
How much damage will the totally inept Bengals organization and management have on Burrow’s upside? In the end, the Bengals added mediocre players on defense in free agency and in the draft – they gave Burrow ZERO help on the O-Line and little-to-nothing at WR or RB (depth). Number of LSU players they added in the draft or as UDFAs to make him comfortable – zero. I get the feeling the Bengals have absolutely no plan at all and that getting Burrow is just the random nature of NFL Draft order – they got lucky, made the obvious pick, and haven’t a clue otherwise.
All that being said, we have to respect Burrow’s greatness as a factor…that it may trump bad surroundings, even if manifesting as racking major garbage time numbers. Whatever happens, this is not a slam dunk greatness ahead…but you have to think greatness prevails at some point. Even if it is with Carolina O-C Joe Brady being hired in 2021 or 2022.
6) RB J.K. Dobbins, BAL
I like Dobbins as a talent. Our computer models say he’s the 2nd-best RB talent in this draft. I want to like him more for fantasy, but there are too many things to overcome early on for him…
Mark Ingram’s contract has two more years.
Lamar Jackson takes a fair share of rushing TDs.
Lamar Jackson isn’t a big thrower of the ball to his RBs.
Gus Edwards plays a role.
Dobbins is going to be nice when he’s the clear lead…but we may not see that until 2022. The deal/waiting factor crushes his value. Banking on an Ingram injury is your best hope.
7) DE Chase Young, WAS
Clearly the best pass rusher in the 2020 NFL Draft. Instant NFL starter. Figure he will have numbers like Nick Bosa did as a rookie…a great chance at 10+ sacks, 15+ TFLs. Maybe not big tackle counts, but good everything else. If he fails to produce, then he got hurt or something off the field got him. Very little risk here.
8) LB Kenneth Murray, LAC
The best interior linebacker in this draft. The guy who starts day one and can make a push for being a top 10 tackle count guy in the NFL. One of my favorite prospects of 2020 and he displaces Denzel Perryman right away. There are a lot of rookies we have to guess playing time and when they’ll have impact for FF numbers – you don’t worry about that with Murray. Another low-risk IDP…maybe the only one in this DRD at IDP besides Chase Young.
9) RB A.J. Dillon, GB
I guess the Packers don’t see Aaron Jones as a three-down workhorse back either? All early 2019 they kept trying to push Jamaal Williams over him, but Williams couldn’t take advantage/would get hurt and then Jones got hot and became a 2019 star…but Jones is going to fall now with AJD arriving.
Aaron Jones is a free agent at the end of this year, and I assume GB is positioning to let him play out his 2020 or trade him…the bottom line being they are not going to get hijacked by him for a contract ransom that has brought many teams payroll crashing – paying mediocre RBs big money because they had one sweet season (Gurley, D. Johnson, Devonta, etc.).
Dillon will instantly be the hammer in the rotation of RBs in 2020…5-10 carries, goal line work, etc. Not much in the passing game. In 2021, he may be the full lead back with Jones long gone. This is a 2021+ play that might not be much or might surprise in 2020. Dillon is more talented than Aaron Jones…the question is, when will he take over and what are you willing to pay (draft) to wait?
If he were taken in the 4th-round of the NFL Draft…that’s one story. But taken in the 2nd-round? That’s a message of what Green Bay is thinking about the player (Dillon) and the current situation (Jones). It’s a big endorsement.
10) RB Joshua Kelley, LAC
Anthony Lynn has been telling anyone who will listen (which is a chore, so it’s understandable if you don’t) that he is splitting his backfield – a lightning and thunder approach. His 2020 plan will be to split Austin Ekeler with either Josh Kelley or Justin Jackson, and I’d bet A LOT on Kelley to win that battle.
Joshua Kelley is a pros pro, a tough guy grinder the way Lynn wants them. He’s likely to be the 10-15 carry a game guy here with limited PPR activity, but maybe enough to be an RB2 in 2020.
In 2020, not long term, but just looking at 2020…you could try to guess which rookie WR will matter or you could go for a split role RB getting good enough touches to be an RB2-3 for you right away…with an upside that he just becomes ‘the man’ (the bulk of workload) and is a strong RB2. Kelley has RB2 potential, quickly. A way more talented RB prospect than given credit.
We’re about to hit the WR stretch of my DRD rankings. Note a couple of things…
-- You may disagree with my order of my top WRs…hell, I might disagree with it every week of the offseason. I’ve changed them around multiple times in just the first two days post-NFL Draft. I won’t argue whatever order you want to put Claypool-Pittman-Mims-Duvernay-Edwards.
-- You could likely trade 1.06-1.09 for Diontae Johnson, Parris Campbell, Deebo Samuel, A.J. Brown, McLaurin, Marquise, etc. Point being – the WRs from a year ago are falling in value because they don’t have the ‘new car smell’ the rookies do. And a year from now, all our enthusiasm for Claypool-Pittman-Mims-Duvernay-Edwards will be reduced as the world begins to love the 2021 fresh faces.
As I’ve been saying for months – there is a WR glut, an economic inflation hitting the NFL. Too many good/great WRs…and nowhere for them to go and shine without competition for touches. Every rookie WR seems to land in places with 1-2-3 other great options for the QBs to throw to. The WR market is like the current crude oil market – so much oil there aren’t enough tankers to hold it right now. Don’t fall in love with rookie WRs/don’t overvalue them.
-- These rookie WRs are likely going to have little/no offseason time with their QBs/team due to COVID…to further stunt their growth/fast start hopes. Love these rookies but have patience to buy them in October or next January when the price drops. Be smart.
I love this WR group. It’s incredible…I just see the WR glut/mess they are entering the league into and I don’t want to waste energy fighting the issue to find the one guy that kinda breaks through.
-- If I have to make the 1.05+ pick, I will…but I’d rather explore trades – especially 1.05-1.10 for the people wanting to get Cam Akers OR the ‘people’ will chase Lamb-Jeudy-Jefferson-Ruggs ahead of all my beloved WRs. The late 1st/early 2nd (in 12-team) is where you can get ‘my (and hopefully ‘your’) top rated WRs.
Trade a 1.05 for a 2.01-2.05 and ___ asset. Do Belichick things…drop in the draft and gain assets and still take the things you wanted mid-1st-round but drafting it 2nd+ round.
11) WR Bryan Edwards, LV
Bryan Edwards is arguably the most talented all-around, professional WR in this draft…a modern-day Andre Johnson…a more athletic Michael Thomas. I can’t swear to it because I don’t have his 40 times/three-cone, etc., due to no Combine/Pro Day, but he may be just as fast/faster and as/more agile than Andre Johnson, Michael Thomas, Davante Adams type WRs.
Edwards’s new teammate, Henry Ruggs, is not a #1 WR…he’s a deep ball distraction. Tyrell Williams is a #2 WR…and is not long for the Las Vegas world (thus a million WRs drafted by LV this year). Edwards is a #1 type WR on a team with no #1 type WR in his way. He’s the best WR option for Derek Carr or Marcus Mariota…his fantasy problem is having to work with Carr/Mariota. I assume that will change in a year, but in 2020 him working with Carr (or Mariota) would be fine by me. He’s going to be their BFF receiver.
*Note – Edwards (and Ruggs) really helps Darren Waller. Last year, Waller was being covered by shutdown corners because LV’s WRs sucked/Waller was so good. Waller is now free to beat LBs and not dealing with top DBs covering him as much as in 2019.
Of the top talent WRs – Claypool, Mims, Pittman, Edwards, Duvernay…Edwards has the fastest, clearest path to be his team’s #1 WR day one. His QBs being limited helps get him a lot of cheap/easy targets.
12) WR Denzel Mims, NYJ
At any given point in this early ranking process, I could have Mims as the top WR over all my other great WR options…or he may sink to 2nd-3rd-4th (and back and forth).
The upside = He’s the most talented WR on the Jets day one he walks into the building.
The downside = He’s got noodle-armed Sam Darnold to work with, a guy who brought down Robby Anderson to a nobody for FF. He will play in the windy, outdoor, colder conditions more than you’d like for his style.
Which side will win? Mims’ penchant for ‘go getting’ errant passes deep or Darnold’s inability to put them near Mims…and Mims is not a possession WR working over the middle, etc., as much He will do that some, but he’s more of a medium-deep elite with a QB who is terrible medium-deep.
I want to believe Mims’ talent and ‘go get it’ skills will win out, but I have little faith in Darnold (since day one) and I know Darnold will be there another 2-3 years before anyone admits the mistake.
You want to go with Mims as the top WR for the DRD, post-Draft…I won’t complain. You want to shy away for the ‘reasons’, I can’t blame you. The way that a very talented Robby Anderson died with Darnold has me spooked here. The weak Jets WR depth chart otherwise has me pumped for Mims.
13) WR Chase Claypool, PIT
On paper, I could make the case that he is the slight favorite for me among all the WR prospects in 2020…but it’s close. He’s not clearly above them all. His freakish build/athleticism gives him the edge the other guys cannot compete with. The problem is that Claypool walks into a very tough depth chart on the Steelers.
Bryan Edwards has to bump Tyrell Williams to get to the top spot (with Darren Waller). Claypool has to get past JuJu, which is a tall order. He then has to get past Diontae, which is another tall order. Will he then even be able to get by James Washington-Vance McDonald and non-blocking/wet-bar-of-soap-for-hands Eric Ebron in 2020? There are a lot of rungs for Claypool to climb early on.
BUT…BUT…BUT what if he is a tight end!!?!?!?!
The Steelers have possessed one if the five most intriguing ‘swiss army knife’ weapons in the NFL, Jaylen Samuels, for two years now -- he was a former all-conference TE (primarily) who was also a power runner, wildcat QB, and high-end wide receiver in college…and the Steelers have done NOTHING unique with him at tight end at all. They’ve kept him as an RB, watched him star as a runner when forced to play him as a rookie, watched him shine as a receiver, and even dominate a bit at wildcat QB…and after he shines doing anything asked, he will then will get little/no touches the following week and pushed back as a plain old RB. The Steelers’ O-C/HC does not have a creative bone in their body on offense…so, why would you expect them to blaze a trail on Claypool…with McDonald-Ebron in place? If it happened it would be down the road, but by then it would be too late/he would have lost years of making a conversion.
Claypool may have fallen into a true black hole for fantasy…for a year or two, but who will the QB when Ben dies and goes to QB heaven? Look at their depth chart…no future QB in sight today.
If Claypool moves to TE, for real/via label…then we rocket him back up, but I don’t believe he’s going there…not in 2020. Not ever…? But, maybe.
*JuJu Smith-Schuster trade rumors…I think there is some smoke here, and a possible fire. Landing Claypool may speed a trade up. My instinct says they won’t trade JuJu, because he’s too close to Ben. My sense of the Steelers running their business – they aren’t investing big a solid/good WR. JuJu is a free agent at the end of this year – the time to trade him is now.
14) WR Devin Duvernay, BAL
Anyone get the idea that the Ravens are not totally sold on Marquise Brown as their key #1 WR? They drafted Duvernay in the 3rd-round and another smaller, possession, capable WR James Proche in the 6th-round. When the camera turned onto John Harbaugh, right after the Duvernay pick…you thought he’d had just won the lottery when they drafted him. That’s what you want to see. I watched a post-draft interview with Harbaugh and described Duvernay just the way I would have – Harbaugh gets it.
Duvernay can be the #1 WR on the Ravens…moving Marquise to a DeSean Jackson, home run threat (and oft-injured like DeSean). Duvernay can be the enforcer, the rock of the WR group.
Before we get too excited here, we’ve a got a few concerns: (1) the Ravens are not a big passing game (yardage) team. Duvernay has a governor on him due to the run-heavy offense. (2) Lamar Jackson is not Mr. sit in the pocket and pick defenses apart. Duvernay could be an ace with Aaron Rodgers…but he’s a wild card, and ‘I don’t know how this will work’ receiver for the Ravens in 2020 with Lamar.
Love the player, not sure how much I love the situation for FF.
15) WR Michael Pittman, IND
Let’s say, for a moment, that Bryan Edwards and Michael Pittman are similarly good/great WR prospects. Little different styled, but let’s just put them as near-equals… Who do you like better in the Dynasty Rookie Draft?
If you prefer one or the other, for any reason…gut reaction, fan of them on your favorite college team, or they are going to your favorite NFL team – pull the trigger for what you want between them. No wrong answers here. No super rocket science definitive answer.
How I’d try to decide between them? Pittman has to get by T.Y. Hilton for top target honors, and that ain’t happening in 2020. Edwards can blow past Tyrell Williams and everyone else (and share top honors with Waller) to be his QB’s BFF. Edge to Edwards in 2020 impact. Both play in a dome. Pittman in a better weather conference overall. Pittman has Parris Campbell to worry about for targets (but they help each other when TYH goes). Edwards is more pitch-and-catch with the QB. Pittman more medium-deep. Pittman doesn’t know who his QB will be in 2021, but Edwards might not either.
For fantasy, I give the edge to Edwards with these two similar, very talented WRs.
16) RB Cam Akers, LAR
I don’t like Cam Akers much at all. I see more problems than chance at something good here. I know the masses are going to love him because the analysts do, but there are a lot of issues here. First, he is instantly in a split with Darrell Henderson…if Akers were to start. So, you’re better off chasing Joshua Kelly or A.J. Dillon if you want split role RBs not as heavily involved in the passing game to start 2020.
Next, you have the fact that Darrell Henderson is better than Akers in every way, so there’s that issue. Plus, Malcolm Brown is likely to start the season with DHendo and Akers a 3rd-stringer behind them brought along slowly. There’s Akers excitement now, but it’s going to fade fast when reality sets in. I’d not try to get too cute drafting to trade. If you do draft to trade – trade him quickly.
Remember, these are the geniuses behind drafting and telling you how great RB John Kelly was going to be for them and who signed Malcolm Brown to an expensive deal last year. Not to mention Gurley flaming out on them. Their RB vision has not been a great one of late.
However, Akers is an RB and at this stage, running out of things I like, he’s got value to trade hot…so, he’s here (for now). In reality, he’s long gone before here.
17) WR Jalen Reagor, PHI
I like Reagor as a talent. I have some concerns about his upside/just how good-great he can be, but overall I see the potential to be good…not necessarily ‘great’. However, what I love is the situation he landed in – an instant starter and potential pitch-and-catch main option for Carson Wentz. The Eagles had a mess at WR going into the draft and drafted/traded for more messes during the draft…except Reagor. He may have had the best ‘landing’ of all the top WRs…part of that assuming Jeffrey/DJax get hurt as usual. If only Devin Duvernay could have landed here instead of Reagor…
*Big drop from 1.0 version to 2.0 – great landing spot, but a generic good WR. All the WRs we have ahead of him landed worse/OK, but they are exponentially better. Reagor is s dime a dozen in a good spot, for the moment.
18) WR Henry Ruggs, LV
Built for quick fantasy impact – there’s value in that. Anyone remember the hysteria for Mecole Hardman early last season when he had a few big plays? Anyone buy him early (as a Tyreek hedge) and then choke on it the rest of the season? Anyone semi-choking on it still today in dynasty?
I think Ruggs is fine/OK, and obviously fast, but he is one dimensional working with non-high flying QBs/passing game. He’ll have moments, everyone will lose their minds off a big speed play…then I sell him for things I want. Like, I bet you can sell Ruggs for ___ and Edwards-Mims-Claypool-Duvernay after the rookie draft or in August or in October. If you catch my drift. Ruggs, like CeeDee Lamb is a ‘flip my house’ investment…just like Mecole was last year, or Marquise Brown was.
Lamb’s love is hotter than Ruggs’, so I’d be cautious trying to get too cute with Ruggs on the flip-ability. Just note, the flip-value is Ruggs’s most valuable asset/appeal to me.
19) QB Justin Herbert, LAC
Justin Herbert is what happens when you make Daniel Jones an inch taller, 15+ pounds thicker, faster in 40-time, give him an NFL RB-level foot-speed burst, and have twice the arm speed/power with 25-50% better QB vision/instincts as a passer.
If you liked Daniel Jones for FF because of his crafty running, you should like Justin Herbert much more because he’s simply better in every phase/aspect than Jones.
6’6”/236, 4.68 40-time, 1.59 10-yd, 7.06 three-cone = Herbert (2020 Combine)
6’5”/222, 4.81 40-time, 1.63 10-yd, 7.00 three-cone = Dan Dimes (2019 Combine)
When will he start? Like most rookies drafted to a place where an old school coach wants to push an old school existing QB…about 3-8 games in when the old school guy flops and the media pressure gets too hot.
20) RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn, TB
Solid RB prospect…not great, but not bad. He’s surrounded by competition is the issue. Is he going to beat out three other solid contenders (Jones, Ogunbowale, Calais) for a big enough role to matter for fantasy 2020 or beyond?
Ronald Jones is the incumbent best runner of the group. Dare Ogunbowale is the best pass protector and 3rd-down receiver and strongest, most physical runner. Raymond Calais was drafted too and he’s a special homerun hitter.
Where is the role for Vaughn? Unless Tampa falls in love with Vaughn and trades Jones away, I don’t know how Vaughn matters unless the TB RB room is racked with injury issues. The more I talk to people and look at the words from the Tampa Bay decision makers…I think Jones is becoming the guy to target here for FF. Vaughn is very solid, not special. Jones flashed some moments last year…moments I didn’t think he had. Calais is special for his role and Ogunbowale is the enforcer/blocker for Brady. Where is the huge role for Vaughn in this equation – Vaughn’s value is if he can beat out Jones, and I think that’s not likely in 2020.
21) LB Jordan Brooks, SEA
Brooks has a chance to be a better fantasy LB than an NFL one…and he could be a very good NFL linebacker. Brooks has a gift for getting into the backfield. He’s quick enough to chase tackles all over, but he has a real special gift/instinct for pausing off the snap and then a second later jetting through the crowd cleanly to get a QB. He also deploys this gift in the run game as well…when he sees an opening, and he has such a great vision for it, he has closing speed like rare other. Brooks is likely a Week 1 starter and quick IDP producer.
22) RB Zack Moss, BUF
I’m guessing more than a few of you have Devin Singletary, so Zack Moss has different meaning for you. Maybe you want to use Moss’s drafting to the Bills to acquire a much cheaper (today) Devin Singletary, and then draft Moss to pair them up.
I think Moss has some weaknesses for the next level…some Bennie Snell concerns, but even Snell could have a good game if forced 15+ carries in a game. Moss is not a flat out bust, but I don’t think he’ll displace Singletary at all…Moss will be a complimentary RB to go with Singletary, like most RBs have a compliment/split role type guy. What’s different here is Singletary is just better at everything than Moss. Still, Moss is the #2 RB in Buffalo…a Singletary injury away from being beloved by all. A Singletary poor performance, fumble, etc., away from a mini-Moss push.
Moss’s value, for me, is all about the connection to Singletary – as a handcuff protection. In and of himself…I don’t buy Moss as a great NFL RB prospect. Just ‘OK’.
23) TE Colby Parkinson, SEA
Love the player, don’t really love the situation. Parkinson has a real chance to be the fastest impact, best TE of the 2020 crop (a weak crop) because of his size/talent/game…and while he didn’t land great, the other top guys landed worse (Albert O./DEN and Breeland/BAL). A legit 6’7” TE/WR with hands of gold…that has to be useful in some capacity. He could lead the team in receiving TDs but only playing 20-30% of the snaps per game.
Greg Olsen could break down more and be on I.R. any moment and Will Dissly is more blocker and always on I.R. Parkinson is the best receiving talent of the Seattle bunch Week 1…but whether he gets the playing time by then is another story. Love this player…I have a lot of hope here for the future.
24) WR K.J. Hamler, DEN
Every quick smaller WR drafted into the NFL is quickly labeled ‘their Tyreek’ or their ‘DeSean Jackson’…well, this is Denver’s. I think Hamler is a so-so/decent WR talent with B+ speed. He fits the ‘fast guy’ role. He’s undersized and sketchy catching passes over the middle…so he’s kind of a one-trick pony who is better working the outside. Not a great return man, but he does return kicks and punts. Hamler will have a role. He’ll make a big play or two and get people excited, but over time he’ll just be another up-and-down speedy, smaller WR we don’t really give much thought to.
If smaller/faster was instant FF success…you should be chasing last year’s Andy Isabella, John Ursua, and Scotty Miller…and Mecole Hardman. All WRs you don’t really care about today but did a lot (on some of them) a year ago.
25) WR Justin Jefferson, MIN
Solid WR talent. Has some Stefon Diggs’s like traits…good deep ball receiver without being as scrappy/tough. Diggs is quicker, more elusive on the field…even if Jefferson tested faster/quicker at their Combines. Jefferson is a very solid WR, but I don’t think he’s super-special…but if any of the top-name WRs taken in the 1st-round end up ‘working’/grinding/out-hustling their way to being really good/valuable for FF…it’s Jefferson over Lamb-Ruggs-Jeudy. No Diggs here gives Jefferson instant access to being the #2 WR, and a fantasy contributor quicker than most – except Mike Zimmer tends to hate (wants to teach them a lesson) rookies, especially WRs (and kickers) so we’ll see if Jefferson goes in a ‘doghouse’ right away or not.
26) WR Brandon Aiyuk, SF
I really like the player, as most do…but this is another Deebo Samuel attempt on a team with Deebo already. I think the 49ers want to have a several man rotation at WR and RB, so that there is no one player they are beholden to and they can go hot hand or matchups…all super-smart for NFL purposes, but mass confusion for FF purposes. Aiyuk is good but his upside is capped in the 49ers’ system.
27) RB Raymond Calais, TB
I don’t know where the right time to take him in a DRD is. I don’t know where he’ll be in the TB RB pecking order. I don’t even know if he’ll make the team in 2020. All I know is – Calais is instant magic with the ball. He’s what teams hope they get out of Henry Ruggs and K.J. Hamler at WR…’speed kills’ guys, but Calais as an RB. He could be great for the NFL/FF on minimal touches as he houses many touches. One of my favorite rookies (for FF) in this draft.
28) Darrynton Evans, TEN
The handcuff to Derrick Henry definitely has value…maybe +10-15 spots here if you own Henry. Evans is a solid enough RB, but he won’t matter a wit unless Henry is hurt/gone. Evans is a Miles Sanders-like ‘meh’ RB talent. He can be fine or backup for years.
29) RB Anthony McFarland, PIT
I like the player, the talent…a very underrated 10-15 carries a game three-down talent (not just a satellite back). BUT…he’s a handful off the field (rumor has it) and he enters a situation where the backfield is crowded. In his favor, Mike Tomlin loves players from Maryland because he has connections there…and he would know if there is a real problem or something to work with here, you’d think. There’s upside here, but mild risk. He could end up one of the more shockingly good RBs from this class…more than just a satellite guy he’s often painted as.
30) WR Jerry Jeudy, DEN
I think he’s a bust waiting to happen. There are several WRs in 2020 who are OK/good but I don’t like them for FF because people value them as ‘great’, they are radically overpriced. Lamb-Ruggs-Jefferson…they’re fine, they’ll do OK and get more targets/snaps than they deserve in some cases but Jeudy is the one I think who could just flat out bust. He’s not the best route runner in this draft, not even close…nor is he ‘great hands’…nor is he all that athletic. Drew Lock and Jerry Jeudy are not a good combo/mix of stylings.
31) WR Joe Reed, LAC
The upside here – very good WR talent at an A.J. Brown size (6’0”/224)…and he ran a 4.47 40-time at the Combine with 21 bench reps and 38” vertical. He’s big, fast, athletic…and a really good receiver. AND as a bonus, there has been discussion on looking at him as a running back…five kick return TDs in his college career says he can run through/by traffic.
32) WR Laviska Shenault, JAX
I think he’s an overrated talent/prospect compared to the media perception, but he’s decent/good and has a drive, a toughness that might carry to better FF action than I would have believed. He’s going to try to be Jacksonville’s ‘Deebo’ and I don’t think he’s got the juice to be great at it…OK/good, maybe. But his effort + the opportunity might make for some FF excitement I wouldn’t have expected.
33) DE K’Lavon Chaisson, JAX
Potentially is a Week 1 starter once they find a sucker to take Yannick Ngakoue off their hands. It will be a Chaisson-Josh Allen edge group for Sacksonville…and that’s not terrible. It’s pretty interesting, as a matter of fact. Chaisson is going to be a solid not amazing performer off the edge in the NFL but will be a team leader of the defense.
34) RB/WR Antonio Gibson, WAS
Interesting dilemma… He’s got all the physical tools you’d want in an athlete, but he has a problem with the IQ part of the game. He can run over or by people at RB, but he has hard time reading/finding holes to get through to the good parts. He has breakaway speed and great power/thickness for yards after the catch for a WR…but he has so-so hands and is often unreliable to run the right routes. His college QB didn’t trust him all that much as a receiver. Can Ron Rivera fix this and make it something…he has the size-speed-power combo that makes us want to take a look.
35) WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, CLE
One of the better, under-the-radar WR prospects in this deep class. Had he gone to a better passing game school/offense, he might have stood out/got noticed more. Good size and athleticism. Good+ hands. Is tough, will block well. He’s the kind of guy teams want/need to be championship material. Not instant impact, but eventually could be the WR leader in Cleveland once OBJ-Landry get dumped in 2020 or offseason 2021.
36) QB Cole McDonald, TEN
One of the most intriguing players in this draft, to me. A new-era, highly mobile QB…a 4.58 runner at 6’3”/215 pounds. He is also a pretty talented passer. His throwing style turns scouts off, because they have no vision or memory on things…scouts still like laser beam-armed QBs who cannot play the position worth a lick, but they can throw bullets and look good doing it. McDonald looks like Philip Rivers throwing the ball…and runs a bit like a Jalen Hurts/Lamar Jackson hybrid.
McDonald will be the #2 QB for the Titans in 2020, I believe, and if Tannehill (of the two ACL injuries) gets hurt…McDonald could usher in a Lamar Jackson-ish era into run-loving Mike Vrabel’s heart.