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[Dynasty] 2020 NFL Draft Class

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Illinois offensive coordinator Rod Smith said redshirt junior WR Trevon Sidney is "phenomenal."

Smith couldn't contain his excitement on the former four-star recruit and USC transfer. He added "He’s about as sure-handed as a kid that I’ve maybe ever been around. I hope I’m not putting too much pressure on him after day one, but when I watch him one-hand catch everything in practice ... he’s got tremendous hands." This is quite hefty praise after one day of practice but it was reportedly a very impressive practice with Sidney "doing his best Odell Beckham jr impersonation."

SOURCE: News Gazette

Aug 3, 2019, 1:32 PM ET

 

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Alabama head coach Nick Saban said there may be games where junior RB Najee Harris is the "bell cow."

Saban also added "He's a big, physical runner. Very traditional of the types of runners that have been here at Alabama. ... Ideally, we want Najee to be fresh and continue to get better as the season goes on." Harris (6'2/227) is a strong runner who racked up 783 yards on 117 carries (6.7 yards per carry) last season while sharing a backfield with Josh Jacobs and Damien Harris. Both of the latter are now in the NFL and Harris is expected to see an increased workload. It'll be interesting to see how he handles being a "bell cow" with his single-game, career-high carries at just 13. Based on Saban's comments he likely won't be a bell cow every week and it will be sporadic throughout the season.

SOURCE: Charlie Potter on Twitter

Aug 3, 2019, 11:54 AM ET

 

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Per Pro Football Focus, Texas junior QB Sam Ehlinger recorded a 113.5 passer rating when given a clean pocket.

Ehlinger played extremely well last season with 3,392 passing yards, a 64.7 percent completion rate, and a 25/5 TD/INT ratio. The expectations are sky-high for him heading into 2019 as he's the preseason favorite for Big 12 offensive player of the year. With a strong supporting cast and growing hype, Ehlinger's range of outcomes is surprisingly large heading into the season.

SOURCE: Pro Football Focus on Twitter

Aug 3, 2019, 11:41 AM ET

 

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Just finished my one and only dev draft of the year. 2020-eligible players only. This is a TE-premium league, but none were taken.

Bryan Edwards was out of the pool due to being taken last year.

1.01 - RB D'ANDRE SWIFT, GEORGIA
1.02 - WR JERRY JEUDY, ALABAMA
1.03 - RB TRAVIS ETIENNE, CLEMSON
1.04 - WR CEEDEE LAMB, OKLAHOMA
1.05 - WR LAVISKA SHENAULT, COLORADO
1.06 - RB JONATHAN TAYLOR, WISCONSIN
1.07 - RB CAM AKERS, FLORIDA STATE
1.08 - WR TEE HIGGINS, CLEMSON
1.09 - RB ENO BENJAMIN, ARIZONA STATE
1.10 - WR JALEN REAGOR, TCU
1.11 - RB JK DOBBINS, OHIO STATE
1.12 - WR TYLER JOHNSON, MINNESOTA
1.13 - RB KE'SHAWN VAUGHN, VANDERBILT
1.14 - WR HENRY RUGGS, ALABAMA (MY PICK)

 

Last year I had a middling pick and whittled down my options to a four man short list of Jalin Moore, Darrell Henderson, Damarea Crockett, and Noah Fant. I ended up taking Crockett. Woops. That's the nature of these dev drafts. Even if you do your homework, they are very much a coin flip. In this particular league I've drafted Doug Martin, Andrew Luck, Saquon Barkley, Justin Blackmon, and Mark Andrews in previous years, along with Mardy Gilyard, Stafon Johnson, Cameron Marshall, Bucky Hodges, and Jarret Dillard. Yeah...dev drafts are a crapshoot.

I don't follow CFB much at all anymore, so I had to do a lot of catching up in a short amount of time for this year's draft. I went through and sorted draft-eligible RBs and WRs by production, and took a look at the notables. Then I looked at early 2020 rankings and added anyone to the evaluation list that I missed on first pass. The rankings that I put together from watching clips largely mirrored the early consensus. I have two loose RB buckets as follows.

RB Cam Akers, Florida State
RB Travis Etienne, Clemson
RB D'Andre Swift, Georgia
RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
-----------------------------------
RB JK Dobbins, Ohio State
RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt
RB Zack Moss, Utah
RB Benny LeMay, Charlotte
RB Trey Sermon, Oklahoma
RB Najee Harris, Alabama
RB Larry Roundtree, Missouri
RB AJ Dillon, Boston College
RB Anthony McFarland, Maryland

I don't see a Saquon this year, and while I like the top 4, I wouldn't trade an elite asset for any of them. Akers reminds me a bit of Devonta Freeman, another Florida State RB. Good all-around game that lacks a monster frame or elite wheels. Etienne reminds me a bit of Darren McFadden, but bigger. A FAST one-cut sprinter/slasher type. Not the shiftiest or the most powerful, but he can really hit the crease at 100 mph. Swift looks pretty good all-around. Not a jaw-dropper in any particular way. Taylor was a little hard to assess from highlights because a lot of what he did was just sprinting around the edge without having to actually shed tackles or make any cuts.

Of the next tier, Vaughn has some interesting production and looked like he might have a chance. LeMay has the classic stocky RB frame and good feet/hips, but lacks a second gear. A Rudi Johnson type perhaps. McFarland reminds me a lot of Alex Collins. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I got a TJ Yeldon vibe from Sermon. Biggish frame and decent explosiveness, but a bit awkward in his movement. Dillon is a big, strong, deliberate runner. Those aren't the rage in today's NFL. I see parallels with Greg Jones and Andre Williams, who didn't exactly set the league on fire. If you want to think optimistically, you can maybe make a James Conner comparison. Dobbins has some McCaffrey-like traits, but his production showed a shocking lack of big plays last season and I wasn't awed by his highlights.

Not trying to bash anyone's pick, but one player who looked a little overrated to me was Eno Benjamin. My notes on him are that he has a good jump cut, but is small without elite game speed. Jahvid Best without the wheels.

 

As for the WRs, I knew I wasn't going to be in position to get Jeudy and I wasn't interested in trading up this year. When I was going through the lists and watching highlights, I did find a couple lower-rated players who caught my eye. The first one was Houston WR Marquez Stevenson. Decent height, explosive, and athletic in the open field. Over 1k receiving yards last season and a sub 22s 200m guy in high school, so he has stats and a likely 4.4x 40 time. Not the strongest guy, tends to cradle catch, and his highlights don't show him running any complex routes, but from a raw athletic standpoint he's an NFL prospect. Emmanuel Sanders is a possible comp. I see that he's nowhere to be found on most 2020 WR lists, but I think that's a mistake. I think he's better than quite a few guys ranked above him. File him away as one to watch over the next 8-9 months.

While I liked Stevenson's clips, I decided that Alabama WR Henry Ruggs was going to be my pick if he was available. His highlights caught my eye and when I dug into his background more I was encouraged to see that he's a 10.5x guy in the 100m. The speed shows on the field. He's very fast, but also shows fluid lateral movement and some natural plucking ability with his hands. TY Hilton is probably the most realistic best-case scenario for his ceiling. Interestingly, when I looked at some other devy resources like the DLF lists and these rankings, he was not among the top 10-15 prospects in this class. I was happy to see that because I thought I'd be able to easily snag him at 1.14, but then I saw him go #11 in two of our sister leagues and started getting nervous. Luckily he still fell to me. He lacks ideal size and there will be questions about his ability to be more than a complementary target in the NFL, but everyone is looking for the next Tyreek Hill or TY Hilton these days and if prospects like Marquise Brown, Mecole Hardman, Will Fuller, Calvin Ridley, Parris Campbell, John Ross, and DJ Chark can be top 65 picks in today's NFL then I think Ruggs will be a high choice when all is said and done, likely somewhere between 20-60. If I don't like him come April, I can probably cash out and recoup what I gave up to get him.

 

Edited by EBF
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Just finished my devy draft as well.  12 Teams PPR (2020 Eligible Only) 
Bryan Edwards also off the board

Bold (My Picks)

1.01 WR - Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
1.02 RB - D'Andre Swift, Georgia
1.03 WR - Laviska Shenault, Colorado
1.04 RB Travis Etienne, Clemson
1.05 WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
1.06 RB Johnathan Taylor, Wisconsin (Traded Taylor for Sutton)
1.07 WR Jalen Reagor, TCU
1.08 RB Najee Harris, Alabama
1.09 WR Tee Higgins, Clemson
1.10 RB Cam Akers, FSU
1.11 RB JK Dobbins, Ohio State
1.12 RB Eno Benjamin, Arizona State

 

Edited by Heep
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2 hours ago, dipandglide said:

@EBFWhat did you think of Ceedee Lamb and Laviska? 

Shenault - Lukewarm on him at this point in time. Big frame. Good speed for his size. Adequate, but not elite quickness/suddenness. Shows some toughness and contested catch ability. Obviously he's a future NFL draft pick, but how high are we talking? Mocks have him as a potential top 10-20 guy and I didn't personally get the "wow" factor from his clips that I got from similar style WRs like Crabtree, Demaryius, JuJu, and Blackmon in college. I'm inclined to say he's more of a day two talent, but he's on the radar and we'll see what he looks like in another 5-6 months when we have more information.

Lamb - Appears to have good, but not elite speed. Productive with a lot of big plays. Average frame, slightly on the skinny side. Not a physically strong WR, but makes some crazy acrobatic catches. The question you have to ask is what will make him special in the NFL? What is his trump card? Marquise Brown was smaller, but also more explosive. Lamb doesn't have great size or strength. His speed looks good, but it doesn't look like 4.2-4.3 burner type of wheels unless I'm mistaken. He's not the pure athlete that someone like Stefon Diggs is in terms of body control and suddenness. So how does he win against pro corners? Well, he's a good athlete, he catches the ball well, and he'll be a solid route runner. He does a lot of things well, but doesn't have a lot of obvious elite traits. He doesn't seem vastly more talented than someone like Riley Ridley,  who was only a 4th round pick this year. With guys mocked as first rounders, I expect a little more of the "wow" factor I mentioned earlier.

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Miami redshirt senior WR K.J. Osborn was compared to Jarvis Landry by ESPN's Matt Bowen.

This is a favorable projection for Osborn (6'0/205), who didn't break out until his redshirt junior season last year. The small, big-play receiver is expected to be one of Miami's best ways to move the ball in 2019, but he'll also need good athletic testing numbers to lock up a selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. For now, Osborn is teetering on the Day 3/UDFA borderline.

SOURCE: ESPN CFB on Twitter

Aug 6, 2019, 8:19 PM ET

 

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ESPN's Matt Bowen compares Texas senior WR Collin Johnson to the Los Angeles Chargers' Mike Williams.

Johnson (6'6/221) is a tad bigger than Williams, but they have similar styles. Both can win in the red zone and down the field with nice ball skills to pair with their big frames. Johnson's athletic testing will be important, but he has the looks of a solid Day 2 prospect, especially for teams who prefer senior prospects. Johnson has 1,000-yard, 10-touchdown potential this season.

SOURCE: ESPN CFB on Twitter

Aug 6, 2019, 8:07 PM ET

 

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ESPN's Matt Bowen compared Oklahoma junior WR CeeDee Lamb to Davante Adams.

Lamb (6'2/191) is a lot thinner than Adams (6'1/215), but both receivers have a ton of early-age college production and Lamb can emerge as a team's WR1 like Adams has done in Green Bay. Some analysts like to compare Lamb to DeAndre Hopkins because of their sideline footwork, which goes to show what kind of upside Lamb possesses. Lamb is an explosive athlete, who should flirt with a Day 1 selection with another big college season. The Athletic's Dane Brugler believes Lamb has the traits to be a star in the NFL.

SOURCE: ESPN CFB on Twitter

Aug 6, 2019, 7:17 PM ET

 

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Clemson junior WR Tee Higgins was compared to Alshon Jeffery by ESPN's Matt Bowen.

Higgins (6'4/210) and Jeffery (6'3/218) are both big-bodied receivers with plus athleticism. They both can win deep and in the red zone, but it can be argued that Higgins has more upside than what Jeffery has shown in the NFL. The junior flashed with Trevor Lawrence last year and should be nearly unstoppable in 2019 before he declares for the 2020 NFL Draft early. Higgins has Day 1 potential, especially if he cleans up his technique instead of mainly relying on athleticism.

SOURCE: ESPN CFB on Twitter

Aug 6, 2019, 6:58 PM ET

 

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Alabama junior RB Najee Harris was at the front of the line in individual drills during Wednesday's practice.

Harris (6'2/230) being the first back in line isn't much of a surprise, due to his experience and the fact that HC Nick Saban said earlier in the week that there could be times when the junior is asked to serve as the team's "bell cow." As a sophomore he averaged 6.7 yards per carry, rushing for 783 yards and four touchdowns. Following Harris in Wednesday's individual drills were junior Brian Robinson Jr., redshirt freshman Jerome Ford and true freshman Trey Sanders.

SOURCE: AL.com

Aug 7, 2019, 9:39 PM ET

 

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It’ll be interesting to see if Harris gets enough carries to climb boards a bit. Watching Bama as an LSU fan I recall being anxious whenever they put Derrick Henry out there as a cop guy (before his breakout Heisman season). He was terrifying. I’m not saying Harris = Henry. I think Henry looked a little more explosive (don’t know how their measurables compare). But similar in terms of being violent, nasty, and stuck behind other top guys until their final seasons. 

Edited by DAG

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I was able to trade two 2019 rookie picks away this week (the 1.05 and the 1.11) for two 2020 first round rookie picks. I now currently hold three 2020 first round picks and I am feeling pretty good about it.

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31 minutes ago, Faust said:

I was able to trade two 2019 rookie picks away this week (the 1.05 and the 1.11) for two 2020 first round rookie picks. I now currently hold three 2020 first round picks and I am feeling pretty good about it.

I have 6 2020 firsts in an orphan I took and blew up. Let’s ride this ride together fam.

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I have been offering this years 1.4 to any of the worst 6 teams for a 2020 1st rd pick, and no one will bite.  Some leagues just dont wanna trade ever

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Funny I've been offering a 2020 1st and 2nd for a 1st in this years draft and I can't get anybody to take it. 

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On 8/11/2019 at 5:23 PM, Faust said:

I was able to trade two 2019 rookie picks away this week (the 1.05 and the 1.11) for two 2020 first round rookie picks. I now currently hold three 2020 first round picks and I am feeling pretty good about it.

I just traded away another late 2019 2nd for an early 2020 2nd.

Bringing my total to four 1st and three early 2nd round picks.

Seven picks out of the first 15 picks.

Tex

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I now own four first round picks in the 2020 rookie draft. I lost Odell Beckham during our franchise tender player bidding process; however, I had tendered him at the first round tender level so that netted me the winning bidders first round pick (the 1.10 selection). I was able to flip that pick for a 2020 first round pick (likely a late first in 2020).

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Alabama junior QB Tua Tagovailoa is a possible first overall pick in next spring's NFL Draft according to Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network.

"Tagovailoa does not make poor choices throwing the ball, plays smart football and is very tough," Pauline wrote. "There’s no reason Tagovailoa can’t end up as the first pick of the draft when one considers Kyler Murray achieved that feat in April." The possibility that Tagovailoa goes first overall isn't a surprise, as multiple draft analysts have offered up similar projections. With regards to the upcoming season, the question is whether or not he can stay healthy and win the Heisman Trophy, as injuries were a major reason for his finishing second to Oklahoma's Kyler Murray last season.

SOURCE: Pro Football Network

Aug 12, 2019, 7:03 PM ET

 

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Missouri HC Barry Odom said that redshirt junior TE Albert Okwuegbunam (knee) is close to 100% healthy

Okwuegbunam (6'5/255) has been mending up from a strained right knee suffered early in camp. There might be some other minor issues, here, too, as Odom said at the beginning of August that Albert O. was fighting through "a number of things." We would have loved to see a full, healthy camp out of the redshirt junior after a shoulder injury knocked him out for the final month of the 2018 campaign -- it also kept him grounded for spring practice -- but that has not come to pass. Okwuegbunam needs a clean season this fall if only for draft evaluation purposes, lest his Mr. Glass-esque nature start to worry NFL teams.

SOURCE: Kansas City Star

Aug 15, 2019, 6:33 PM ET

 

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Carter Donnick of Pro Football Network compares Liberty senior WR Antonio Gandy-Golden to Detroit Lions WR Kenny Golladay.

Gandy-Golden has been a stalwart for the Flames the last few years, and the 6-foot-4, 220-pound wideout was able to post a 71-1,037-10 line for the Flames last year. Donnick notes his strengths include his ability to high-point the football and body control, but notes that he doesn't appear to have elite separation skills lacks a "top gear." There are also the small school concerns, but Gandy-Golden's size and potential as a red-zone threat make him an intriguing wideout prospect for the next level.

SOURCE: Pro Football Network

Aug 17, 2019, 2:29 PM ET

 

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The Athletic's Dane Brugler is expecting a breakout season from Michigan junior WR Donovan Peoples-Jones.

Peoples-Jones (6'2/211) looks the part out there and made a few splash-plays last year that definitely got the attention of NFL scouts. But now it's time for DPJ to put it all together. The junior has an experienced quarterback and an OC that wants to get creative with the offense, which likely means more DPJ than not. If DPJ lives up to the hype, he'll be a top-50 NFL pick next season, even in this stacked receiver class.

SOURCE: The Athletic

Aug 21, 2019, 10:28 AM ET

 

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One NFL scout told The Athletic's Dane Brugler that Utah State redshirt junior QB Jordan Love is "Mahomes-like."

Brugler reports that scouts are "giddy" over Love's all-around skillset, which includes a live arm, mobility, and the necessary smarts for the position. Love (6'4/220) showed all three traits last year, but he'll have to repeat that in 2019 with a new coaching staff and arguably less talent around him for Love to become a top-50 or higher pick. Last year, Love tossed 32 touchdowns to six interceptions, though he did average 6.9 YPA on the road compared to 10.6 YPA at home. Something to watch for this season.

SOURCE: The Athletic

Aug 21, 2019, 10:16 AM ET

 

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NFL Beat Writers @32BeatWriters

Utah State QB Jordan Love - Dude is good. Might end up being right up there with Tua in the 2020 draft

 

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Pro Football Network's Tony Pauline gives Missouri redshirt junior TE Albert Okwuegbunam a third-round grade heading into the 2019 season.

It's the top grade of any Missouri player. Pauline notes that others are higher on Okwuegbunam -- we've seen some grade him as the top tight end in this class -- and he notes that there are things he likes such as his ability to move around the field and the ability to catch the ball like a receiver.

SOURCE: Pro Football Network

Aug 23, 2019, 8:44 PM ET

 

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ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. wants to see Alabama junior QB Tua Tagovailoa "do it again" before ranking him at the top of his 2020 draft board.

Before you say "well, duh" let's keep in mind that Kiper does have Tagovailoa at the top of his quarterback board and fourth overall, and what he says makes some sense. It is true that he only has one year of starting experience, and there were moments against Oklahoma and Georgia that the left-handed slinger struggled. Kiper also notes his advanced footwork, quality athleticism and his ability to be accurate and on-time with the football. Long story short, it doesn't sound like Kiper is down on Tua, but isn't quite ready to call him the best prospect in the class.

SOURCE: ESPN

Aug 23, 2019, 6:18 PM ET

 

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