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Top 28 Rookies 2020 (1 Viewer)

EBF

Footballguy
NOTES:

- These are intended as rankings for generic PPR leagues where QB/TE are relatively devalued. If those positions are stressed in your league, these rankings don't necessarily apply.

- I spent very little time evaluating QBs this year. QB is the position that takes the most time to evaluate. I think you need to watch 3-4 full games, and I'm simply not willing to put in that work anymore. I'm being upfront about it instead of pretending like I know these QBs really well. Where I rank them here is based on a combination of their generic traits, the small sample that I watched myself, and my sense from other scouting reports.
 

- Overall, I am relatively down on this draft class. I think most of these guys are not as talented as you would expect given their draft slots, but some of them will inevitably hit big.
 

FIRST TIER

1. RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chiefs - The first RB off the board is also the first name on my board. In a draft full of mysteries, this is one of the few guys who looks like a safe projection. He's a short, but powerful back with good agility and balance. The 4.6 40 time is a bit of an eyesore, but he broke plenty of long runs in college and his high marks in the vertical leap and broad jump suggest he has some fast-twitch explosiveness. The player comparison I would make is Mark Ingram. Both are compact, elusive backs with enough explosiveness. With Mahomes in town, stopping the run will be an afterthought for opposing defenses. I like CEH's chances of locking up the starting job and becoming a perennial top 10-15 RB in FF. He's not Barkley or Peterson in terms of talent, but he's solid and worthy of top 30 overall consideration in startup drafts. Nice synergy of talent and opportunity.

2. RB Jonathan Taylor, Colts - He's the second coming of Ryan Mathews: a prodigious height/weight/speed/explosiveness athlete with just okay agility and cutting skills. He's not going to be LeSean McCoy or Darren Sproles in terms of cuts, but the combination of size and sheer straight-line speed is special. Marlon Mack has been better than I expected, but Taylor has a higher ceiling and should eventually be the main guy for the Colts. I expect multiple 1,000+ yard rushing seasons in his career. He's as close to a franchise back as you'll find in this draft.

SECOND TIER

3. WR CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys - His reputation is that he's explosive, but I would actually say play speed is his biggest weakness. He's not super fast off the line and has to earn yards through RAC and guile. His speed will not scare NFL DBs. There's a natural comparison to DeAndre Hopkins in terms of body type and play style, but it's important to note that Hopkins has about 15 pounds on Lamb despite being the same height or even a little shorter. Lamb has some 'tweener qualities. He's not blazing fast and he's not a truly big receiver. I'm not sure he's a #1 guy in the NFL. For what it's worth, Oklahoma's offense is also notorious for inflating WR production and yielding ovedrafted NFL busts. I think he carries more bust risk than the consensus would indicate. That being said, there is still plenty to like. Though not big, he has a strong lower body and is very agile in space. Very athletic. He can cut on a dime and creates problems for defenders with his quickness. You can envision him being successful as a high-volume possession WR working the middle of the field. If it works out, you are getting a Tyler Boyd or Keenan Allen type of performer.

4. RB JK Dobbins, Ravens - A nice synergy of situation and talent. Nobody will confuse Dobbins for LaDainian Tomlinson. He is a second tier talent without the special something of an elite pro back, but he's an efficient runner with solid versatility, size, power, quickness, and speed. I think what you're getting is basically another Austin Ekeler, and in a potentially high-scoring Baltimore offense, that could be very valuable. We know that RBs who catch passes are gold in PPR leagues, and Dobbins roughly fits that mold. The main risk stems from long-term JAG and RBBC possibility. Dobbins is good, but he's not great, and if the Ravens find themselves in position to draft a true franchise back in the next year or two, he could quickly become a niche weapon ala James White. I like him, but as much for the situation as the actual talent. For a long-term approach, look at a WR here instead.

5. WR Henry Ruggs, Raiders - He's an interesting one because his strengths/weaknesses profile is very clear. We all know he is fast. He has the most vertical explosiveness of any WR in this draft. Teams will constantly have to respect his speed and one mistake can become a 60 yard play. He's a much better pure WR than other track types like Marquise Goodwin and Ted Ginn were at this stage of their development. He has natural hands and is an okay (not great) route runner. The question marks relate to size and possession skills. He is not big and does not profile as a guy who could obviously handle 90 receptions without breaking down. He can be bullied and pushed off routes. His lack of plus size limits some of his ceiling in the possession game. Faster-than-quick. He has just average lateral quickness. So what are you really getting here? Some say he's a bust risk, but I think he has a high floor. His speed and athleticism will be good for 800-900 yards per season in bombs and big plays. The question is whether or not he can be more than just a deep threat. It may be scheme and situation dependent, but in a worst case scenario you are getting another Will Fuller. In a best case he could be Isaac Bruce. I shade more towards the low end of that range, but he's probably falling too far in rookie drafts considering he was the first WR selected and he has a compelling overall set of skills. He may be a high-floor/low-ceiling FF WR3, and not the boom-or-bust pick people make him out to be.

6. WR Jerry Jeudy, Broncos - A truly odd prospect who evokes no immediate NFL comparison. He's very lean, with a thin lower body. His play style involves a lot of violent plants and cuts, using active legs and feet to create space. Jeudy is functionally quick as a route runner, but it doesn't always look pretty. He's not smooth in the way that other successful thin NFL receivers like AJ Green, Chad Johnson, and Reggie Wayne were. However, he has quality speed and was a prolific college player, holding down the #1 role in an Alabama offense that featured 3-4 future pro WRs. The Broncos liked him enough to spend a mid 1st on him, and he projects as an instant starter opposite Sutton. Working in a complementary role means Jeudy won't have to shoulder the sole burden of beating top corners. I wouldn't necessarily bet against him, but he has body type and play style red flags that make him difficult to project.

7. WR Justin Jefferson, Vikings - On the lean side, but sneaky athletic, with some suddenness in his routes and movement that evoke memories of people like AJ Green and Reggie Wayne. On first blush I wasn't blown away by anything he does, but I liked him more as I watched more of him, and the draft slot suggests a strong evaluation by the league. His best football may be ahead of him and you can envision him slotting into a downfield passing game as a high-end 1B.

8. WR Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers - Big guys with RAC skills usually translate pretty well to the next level. Aiyuk's skill set, style, and role are very well-defined. He's a solidly-built possession WR who can handle a high volume of targets and create yards after the catch with his open field running ability. He's a B+ version of Michael Crabtree or Hakeem Nicks. Like those guys, he will probably be more of a "1B" type of option in the NFL instead of a dominant #1 who can carry a passing attack on his shoulders, but I like the overall skill set and think he's a high-floor prospect with a decent ceiling.

9. WR Jalen Reagor, Eagles - When you look at the overall combination of speed, strength, explosiveness, RAC ability, and size, he's the most athletic WR in this draft. He reminds me more of Tyreek Hill than Henry Ruggs does, even though Ruggs is the one who draws most of the Hill comparisons from evaluators. Like Hill, Reagor is a shorter-than-ideal explosive weapon with deceptive strength and return man, catch-and-run, and deep threat skills. He'll be a useful weapon for Philly out of the box handling gadget plays and short throws, but his long-term FF ceiling will probably depend on whether or not he can become consistently effective as an outside WR. Right now he's spotty in that department. I view him as a boom-or-bust prospect with a high ceiling and a very wide range of potential outcomes. Not the choice if you are looking for a safe pick, but at some point the upside is too tantalizing to pass up.

10. RB D'Andre Swift, Lions - Swift offers a lot of positives, but there's something missing for me to consider him an elite franchise back. He has a compact frame with versatility, okay cutting skills, and enough speed. He's not a GREAT athlete, but he's a pretty good one. He can catch passes out of the backfield and was consistently productive in a tough conference. He's fully capable of thriving in spurts. I think he's going to have an Eddie Lacy type of career where he has stretches of high level productivity that fool people into thinking he's a top tier franchise back, but I don't think he's going to be a guy that we look back on 5-6 years from now as a smash hit. He wasn't a first round pick and he's not a first round talent. If you draft him, hope he breaks into the lineup quickly and consider selling high when his value spikes. If you need a RB, I do think you can take him higher than this (maybe in the 5-6 slot if he's still there). Kerryon is not a monster, but could be a big enough obstacle to slow down the immediate jackpot potential.

11. QB Joe Burrow, Bengals - The book on him is that he's a smart QB with average physical tools, but good command of the offense and football IQ. I get a Matt Ryan vibe, meaning high-floor leader who may not have a top, top ceiling. The late-bloomer factor is a little frightening and he played with an elite supporting cast at LSU, but most view him as a future franchise QB and potentially a star at the NFL level. The sense I get is that he's more of an Eli/Ryan #1 than a Luck/Peyton #1, meaning quality starter but not necessarily a top 5 NFL QB.

12. QB Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins - A better pure athlete than Burrow, he has the speed and mobility to evade the rush and buy extra time. Injuries have been a problem, but he has a compact and solid body type. I watched the 2019 LSU game and he had active feet in the pocket and was moving through progressions when his first option was covered. Accuracy looks solid. His production was off the charts, though some of that may be attributed to his supporting cast. Evaluators seem to have Burrow as the clear #1 in this draft, but a part of me does wonder if a healthy Tua might have made it a compelling debate. He looks like a potential franchise QB with a high ceiling.

13. RB Cam Akers, Rams - I used to play in devy leagues that drafted HS players and Akers is one of the last high schoolers I ever scouted. He was a big-time recruit. I liked him back then, I liked him after his freshman season at FSU, and I'm still intrigued now. The first big positive is his overall athleticism. He has the physical look of an NFL player, with quality explosiveness and fluidity packed into a solid frame. His speed is above average and he can make nice east-west cuts. The problem is that his performance never lived up to what you would expect from someone with his athletic talent. He had a pedestrian YPC throughout his college career and was shockingly ineffective at creating big plays. Year after year they would feed him carries without much to show for it. His supporting cast and coaching were far from ideal and it may simply be that his low production is a byproduct of his bad environment, but even on a poor team with little help, you would expect a difference-maker to show up more in the box scores. The story of his college career is that he should've been much better than he really was. That's scary. It gives him a latent bust vibe. While he's a jack-of-all-trades with no glaring athletic weaknesses, it's also true that he's not dominant in any way. His speed is good, not elite. His moves are okay, but not great. He's solid, but not overwhelmingly powerful. The fear is that he's another Tre Mason, a compact and athletic back who simply isn't special enough in any way to really dominate at the next level. There's a Devonta Freeman type of upside if some coaching staff can figure out how to unlock the talent here, but the track record of Akers underwhelming is terrifying. Probably a bust, so proceed with caution, but the draft slot/situation/tools can't be completely ignored.

THIRD TIER

14. WR Michael Pittman, Colts - Tall with above average strength, Pittman has good quickness in his routes and gets out of breaks well for a big WR. He doesn't have the special qualities of a true #1 WR in the NFL. His RAC skills and downfield game are just average, but he can make a steady living as a reliable #2 target. In a friendly scheme there's the upside to have a TJ Houshmandzadeh type of impact, but this is not an elite talent with strong #1 potential. A safe pick and high floor guy who is unlikely to become a star.

15. WR Devin Duvernay, Ravens - Of the day two WRs, this is the guy whose tape really won me over. People talk about him like he's an undersized slot WR, but that's misguided. He's only 5'10", but he's rocked up at 200+ pounds, looking less like a jitterbug slot WR and more like a scaled-down version of Andre Johnson. His BMI is in the 28+ range, which is VJax/Dez/Fitzgerald territory. In other words, he is BIG. He ran 4.39 at the combine and 10.3 in the 100m in HS, so the height/weight/speed combo is freaky. Duvernay is a straight-line powerhouse. He will threaten people off the line and can make big plays downfield. On the downside, his route running is just average. I watched some of his Senior Bowl 1v1 reps and he struggled to consistently beat the corners there. You see flashes of good routes in his games, but he's not consistently dominant in this department. Texas utilized him heavily on screens, but he's more fast than elusive. His open field moves are nothing special. Overall though, he just looks like an NFL player and Harbaugh was so excited to draft him that he was literally fist-pumping while making the selection. The presence of weapons like Andrews, Dobbins, Brown, and Lamar on this Ravens team means Duvernay will be low on the list of defensive priorities. Baltimore can play to his strengths and use him as a chess piece to create mismatches. I'm intrigued, but he was a four year player at a major AAA program, went to the Senior Bowl, and still fell all the way to WR17 in this draft and the 92nd pick. What's more likely: That he's a hidden gem or that he's just not that good? The answer is probably in the middle. I don't think he's a top tier prospect or a can't-miss talent, but I'm going to be a huge buyer at his ADP and would recommend looking at him in the 15-20 range of your PPR rookie drafts. There's real upside here to be a contributing starter on a high-powered offense and to flirt with top 20-30 FF WR seasons.

16. RB Antonio Gibson, Redskins - The upside play of the day two RBs. He has jaw-dropping tools on paper and the Redskins spent a high pick on him. He's a solid 220+ pounds with 4.3x speed. He's versatile and can catch passes. So what's not to like? Well, there is a very big difference between flashing talent on a handful of carries and actually being a full-time RB. The nightmare scenario is that Gibson is merely a stockier and faster Ty Montgomery, a 'tweener with intriguing athletic tools who doesn't actually have a pro position. I don't think he can play WR in the NFL. Like Montgomery, Gibson shows some tightness in his cuts and movement. He's tightly-wound and doesn't have true east-west cutting ability. That can be the kiss of death for RBs in the NFL because the demands of the position are very high. Rosier lenses are going to have dreams of the next Alvin Kamara, another college RBBC guy with versatile skills who went on to huge pro success. At times, some of what Gibson does reminds me of other plus-size, plus-speed, mediocre-cuts NFL backs like Mendenhall and Hunt. There's a scenario where he sticks. If you want to swing for the fences, there's a huge ceiling here, but my guess is that he ultimately won't make it as a featured back in the NFL. It's a big jump from flashing in college spot duty to being a consistently productive pro runner and the pure run skills may not be there.

17. WR Chase Claypool, Steelers - Workout warrior type whose functional athleticism on the football field isn't as impressive as the raw numbers would suggest. He has an elite frame and excellent stopwatch speed. Actual play speed is good, but not great. He's not a bad athlete. He's just not a great one. He's not elusive, not a threat after the catch and runs mediocre routes. It feels lazy to compare him to another Notre Dame WR, but there are actually a lot of similarities between him and Miles Boykin. Both have Pro Bowl frames and workout numbers, but don't dominate on the football field in the way that you would expect. Claypool gets bonus points for being drafted a lot higher than Boykin was. Overall, he looks like a catch-and-fall #2 target who can potentially have some decent seasons as a second option. Extreme optimists may see parallels between him and Vincent Jackson, and he may have a little more upside than I've given him credit for here, but Jackson was a prolific return man at Northern Colorado while Claypool is not a creative player with the ball in his hands.

18. WR KJ Hamler, Broncos - His appeal is that he's impossible to cover. His instant speed and quickness will be a nightmare for defenders all day. He can create yards on short throws or simply beat people downfield. His tape is electric. However, there are plenty of negatives to go along with the positives that he provides. He has a tiny frame and will never be well-suited to a high target volume. He has spotty hands. He goes to a team that presumably has two guys locked into the depth chart ahead of him (Sutton and Jeudy) and another (Fant) who should vulture a lot of looks. You get the sense that there won't be a big enough slice of the pie to make Hamler relevant. He's a niche player in the mold of John Brown or Titus Young. The absolute ceiling is DeSean Jackson. How much are you willing to pay for a guy whose best case scenario is probably being an FF WR2-3?

FOURTH TIER

19. WR Denzel Mims, Jets - Tall, but not bulky. Fast, but not quick. Mims presents an unusual set of traits. People will characterize him as a "big" WR because he's 6'3", but he's light for his height. A strider who doesn't have elite quickness or route ability. What I like about him is his feisty competitiveness at the catch point. He has good contested catch skills and more possession game than you would expect from a WR with a 25.9 BMI. He's a funky collection of disparate parts, but there's an outside chance of a Michael Gallup or even Marques Colston type of outcome where he becomes a productive system player.

20. QB Justin Herbert, Chargers - Herbert is athletically in the same mold as Carson Wentz, with a tall frame, good mobility, and noticeable arm strength. He's a four year college player with a wealth of starting experience. He's considered more of an enigma than Burrow or Tagovailoa, but his overall statistical production at Oregon was not bad. However, from the game I watched (2019 vs. Auburn) much of his production was manufactured via simple play calls, and he looked a little more panicky when forced to improvise. Lots of QBs have the physical ability to thrive in the NFL. It is typically the mental aspects that separates the successes from the failures, and that's where Herbert is most suspect. The overall vibe I get from Herbert is of a player with plus tools and questionable intangibles, who has a high ceiling, but also a much lower floor than the QBs selected ahead of him.

21. RB Zack Moss, Bills - Compact build, carrying a lot of bulk on a 5'9" frame. Not a plodder and has okay feet and adjustment ability behind the line of scrimmage. When he gets into his stride, he runs a bit tight and doesn't have natural open-field cutting skills. A little more explosive than his modest 40 time would indicate, he showed some big play flair in college, but is still just average in this department. A useful part of a rotation at the next level, but doesn't have obvious starter-level talent. With Singletary already in the fold, it's hard to envision him as an immediate home run, and the overall ability level may not justify extended patience.

22. WR Laviska Shenault, Jaguars - Very bulky for his height. He's a few cheeseburgers away from being a TE. Speed and mobility are just average. His ability to consistently win on the edge with routes and speed is suspect. He looks more comfortable working the middle of the field. Unique guy. He's a big target who can move a bit, but may be too much of a 'tweener to hold down a relevant full-time WR role. I'd feel more comfortable if he had a more conventional set of skills, but it's hard to say exactly what he is, and purely as a WR his mobility may not be enough. I did not like him as much as most scouting report like him. I lean towards him busting, but there's a high ceiling if I'm wrong.

23. QB Jordan Love, Packers - The book on him is that he's a raw, but athletic QB who needs extensive work on decision-making, reads, and consistency. He should get at least a year to develop in GB before he's thrown to the wolves, which is nice. People compare him to Kaepernick. Seems like a decent pick if you need a high-upside backup QB for your dynasty team, but don't assume he will pan out.

24. WR Tee Higgins, Bengals - I don't really see it happening for Higgins, a stringy WR who lacks the precise route technique and athleticism needed to thrive in the NFL with his body type. He has the same body as AJ Green without any of the route running or fluid athleticism that make Green special. I think he's the Zay Jones of this class, an overdrafted wispy WR who lacks the right athletic parts to thrive against pro corners.

25. RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Buccaneers - He's not bad, but I think ultimately he's just a body in the NFL. There are so many guys like this that his value is tied to the immediate opportunity and any future draft or free agency period will represent a big threat to his value. If you're in desperate need of RB2 production right away then maybe you can steal a good season or two here, but I'm betting against him being an enduring starter. The Zac Stacy regen.

26. WR Van Jefferson, Rams - Like the other Jefferson, appears to be a jack-of-all trades with a modest ceiling and no glaring weaknesses. Probably just a complementary target in the NFL. The most compelling thing about him is the combination of the late 2nd round draft slot and the friendly situation with the Rams, who have made some less-than-perfect WRs look very good. Over-aged without a huge upside.

27. TE Devin Asiasi, Patriots - Everything he does is smooth. He runs nice routes and is a threat after the catch. Not a truly explosive athlete and doesn't have the special traits of a top tier Pro Bowl NFL TE, so the FF ceiling may be modest. Speed is good, but not elite. Not a jump ball monster in the red zone. There's a high floor and he can become a 700-800 yard TE in the NFL, but this isn't a guy who's going to win your league for you. Consider him much higher than this in TE-premium. In standard formats, look at him in the 20-30 range if you need long-term TE depth. One of the safer picks in this tier, but not a guy who is likely to carry you.

28. RB AJ Dillon, Packers - Once again, it feels lazy to compare a player to another prospect from the same school, but he really is the second coming of Andre Williams (Boston College/NY Giants). Hulking frame with nice north-south burst, but a very heavy and deliberate running style. Not an elusive or sudden player. He will get tattooed frequently in the NFL. This type of back is a bit of a dinosaur in today's league, so the most likely scenario is RBBC duty and fading into obscurity.

OTHERS:

QB Jalen Hurts, Eagles - I didn't really evaluate him. Nothing to add beyond the generic draft slot.

RB Darrynton Evans, Titans - Too small. Gadget player.

RB Joshua Kelley, Chargers - JAG-y to me, like Paul Perkins all over again.

RB Anthony McFarland, Steelers - He shows flashes and could have spurts of value. Long-term, you'd bet against him ever being the guy. Alex Collins-like.

WR Lynn Bowden, Raiders - It's really tough to make the jump from "slash" player to full-time WR and I think the odds are against him.

WR Bryan Edwards, Raiders - Labors in his routes and may struggle to create space at the next level. I wasn't wowed by him.

WR Quintez Cephus, Lions - Ugly 40 time, but competitive possession WR who could fight for snaps. Relatively good value for day 3.

WR Joe Reed, Chargers - Athletic traits are intriguing. 6' 220 and he can move in space. Probably just a return man in the NFL though. Limited WR production.

WR Quez Watkins, Eagles - Has some decent athletic qualities, but probably not worth a roster spot unless your league is ultra deep.

TE Cole Kmet, Bears - I was not impressed and will be fading him at his ADP.

TE Albert Okwuegbunam, Broncos - Doesn't play up to his 40 speed, but a unit with upside. Good value and worthy of a stash.

 

EBF

Footballguy
Just a few added thoughts:

- Tough group of players to evaluate. I'd feel really good about getting CEH or Taylor in the top 2. After that, my confidence drops somewhat. If you can crack that second tier, you can crush your drafts, but to me the margins are pretty thin there. The WR1 debate is really heated and I can see a case for 4-5 names there. It's really wide open to me and I don't have a lot of strong favorites.

- The day two WR picture is also a bit murky to me. Pittman looks like a relatively safe bet to be decent and I like Duvernay as my sleeper of choice. Odds are 1-2 of the others will be decent, but I'm not likely to end up drafting many of them.

- Looks like a weak RB group to me. Talent drops off quickly and even some of the day 2 guys have a JAG-y look to them. Might be a year to poke around and see if you can grab a Damien Harris or Alexander Mattison for an equivalent pick instead of burning draft capital on scrubs.

- In TE-premium, you may want to jump the gun on Asiasi or Albert O instead of grabbing filler at WR or RB. This isn't a strong TE class, but it's not totally devoid of talent.

 

Zyphros

Footballguy
Love the write ups and breakdown for each EBF as always, can't say much more than I just purely disagree on multiple fronts here.  

Aiyuk, Akers, Mims, Edwards, Higgins are my main gripes.  You've way undersold their floors IMO as more dart throw guys than solid role players, except Aiyuk who I just think is a WR3 on an NFL roster.  

When it comes to Aiyuk, I think you're seeing a more prototypical player and giving him the nod over other non-prototypical players because he's more of a simple projection.  I don't disagree with the write up, as I think he could be a #2, but that's the high end scenario.  He's a very cut and dry type of prospect that I think the projection is just "yes he's this type of player".  The floor as you said I think is there, but I don't see a ceiling beyond that.  Not necessarily a JAG but more of a slightly impactful guy to begin his career that eventually gets overtaken.  

I'd rather shoot a little more towards top tier territory with a good floor.  Or maybe we just disagree about their floors in general.  Reagor, Swift, Akers, Mims, Edwards, Higgins (all of whom you have ranked behind Aiyuk) fit that bill a lot more than Aiyuk does.  At least in my mind.   Maybe that's just draft strategy though.  

Also leading into the draft strategy part of things, if Swift or Akers hits, they're worth twice as much as if Ruggs/Jeudy hits.  I'd rather take that chance at 5 and 6 than go for a floor based WR.  

 

Trey

Footballguy
Reading now but just wanted to say thanks for this. Look forward to it each year. Great content. 

 
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Milkman

Footballguy
It's hard coming out on record on all these guys and making you're own thread. I agree with some and disagree with others. Not going to beat you up. Thanks for sharing. 

 

EBF

Footballguy
Zyphros said:
I'd rather shoot a little more towards top tier territory with a good floor.  Or maybe we just disagree about their floors in general.  Reagor, Swift, Akers, Mims, Edwards, Higgins (all of whom you have ranked behind Aiyuk) fit that bill a lot more than Aiyuk does.  At least in my mind.   Maybe that's just draft strategy though.  

Also leading into the draft strategy part of things, if Swift or Akers hits, they're worth twice as much as if Ruggs/Jeudy hits.  I'd rather take that chance at 5 and 6 than go for a floor based WR.  
You have to weigh floor and ceiling vs. probability of actually hitting those ranges. The hit rate on day two guys is a lot lower than the hit rate on first round picks, which is right away a big argument against trying to outsmart the process by taking an Edwards/Mims/Akers/etc over guys that the league liked a lot more. I try to use subjective analysis as a way to differentiate within tiers, and not as cause for jumping the tracks completely. That doesn't mean I never do it, but I try not to make a habit of it.

In addition, I wouldn't say Swift or Akers has twice the ceiling of Ruggs or Jeudy. Ruggs could be a TY Hilton or Isaac Bruce type of player on a team with an elite QB. Jeudy can maybe be a Donald Driver or Robert Woods. Multiple years of 1,000+ yards are going to be worth a lot in deep PPR formats. Very few RBs yield years of elite production and even if we buy that the ceiling of a three-down RB is a lot higher, it's largely offset by the lower draft slot. A big chunk of the elite RB careers come from the premium types (Lynch, Peterson, Edgerrin, Faulk, Alexander, George, Tomlinson). The hit rate on the day two guys, while still decent, is maybe 35% for any type of sustained success. In other words, the generic odds say Jeudy and Ruggs are more likely to become good NFL players.

Mathematically, a low probability of a big payoff is not necessarily worth any more than a solid probability of a middling payoff. Beyond that, "league-winning difference-maker" isn't something that I see subjectively when I look at people like Higgins, Edwards, Akers, and Mims. They seem pretty ordinary.

 
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Football Jones

Footballguy
Snorkelson said:
NO gave up a lot to get Trautman, he should at least make the honorable mention list. He will pay dividends down the road. 
I don't do hard rankings this early, but Trautman has round 1 upside in this class.

Didn't look up his ADP, but I got him at 23rd overall in a standard/non-PPR. If you need a TE, this is the guy if you're willing to wait a year.

I also like Asiasi as a high-end sleeper. Way more athletic than his test numbers would indicate.

 

Catbird

Footballguy
Thanks EBF for the time, effort and insight. You always drive home the weight and efficiency components on guys and bring me back to BMI and lateral burst.That grounding helps when I'm looking at guys like Mims who have high athleticism but maybe not the quick, tight situational force and drive that so many quality players have. I disagree plenty, but have a better feelng about many players from your take. Thanks again.

 
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MAC_32

Footballguy
You have to weigh floor and ceiling vs. probability of actually hitting those ranges. The hit rate on day two guys is a lot lower than the hit rate on first round picks, which is right away a big argument against trying to outsmart the process by taking an Edwards/Mims/Akers/etc over guys that the league liked a lot more. I try to use subjective analysis as a way to differentiate within tiers, and not as cause for jumping the tracks completely. That doesn't mean I never do it, but I try not to make a habit of it.

In addition, I wouldn't say Swift or Akers has twice the ceiling of Ruggs or Jeudy. Ruggs could be a TY Hilton or Isaac Bruce type of player on a team with an elite QB. Jeudy can maybe be a Donald Driver or Robert Woods. Multiple years of 1,000+ yards are going to be worth a lot in deep PPR formats. Very few RBs yield years of elite production and even if we buy that the ceiling of a three-down RB is a lot higher, it's largely offset by the lower draft slot. A big chunk of the elite RB careers come from the premium types (Lynch, Peterson, Edgerrin, Faulk, Alexander, George, Tomlinson). The hit rate on the day two guys, while still decent, is maybe 35% for any type of sustained success. In other words, the generic odds say Jeudy and Ruggs are more likely to become good NFL players.

Mathematically, a low probability of a big payoff is not necessarily worth any more than a solid probability of a middling payoff. Beyond that, "league-winning difference-maker" isn't something that I see subjectively when I look at people like Higgins, Edwards, Akers, and Mims. They seem pretty ordinary.
:goodposting:

*I kept Dobbins at the top of the RB food chain despite him falling to the end of round 2 because of the team that drafted him. My thought process is similar to Philly drafting Miles Sanders last year. This team has a good track record acquiring talent and only drafted a RB before round 4 once (Bernard Pierce - pick 84, 2012) since Ray Rice in 2008. I don't know where Baltimore slotted him and won't believe anything they say on the record, but I'm sure it's a lot higher than 55. This is exception to the rule though.

*I really like Shenault and think this is a great buying opportunity, but I'm also not going to pick him round 1. He was the 8th WR picked after all. I actively tried to get picks in the middle of the 2nd round, so I would be in a more appropriate position to get him. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn't. In once case, in the interest of value, I moved down from 9 and acquired picks 18 and 22. If I'm wrong then I got an extra bullet to fire.

*Regardless of what I think of them, picking Edwards over Ruggs would be stupid. I may think Edwards relative chances of hitting are better than most 3rd round prospects, but he was the 81st pick; Ruggs was 12. It's no more complicated than that. So I may try to move away from Ruggs at the end of round 1, but I am not going to over think it if I don't get a buyer. I may also think Edwards presents an exceptional value, but I am not going to elevate him beyond late round 2 because he was the 14th WR picked. 

---

Tl;Dr - If you are comfortable with your eval then trust it, but (at least partially) conform it to how the players were actually picked. You may be smarter than some NFL decision makers, but they have access to more info and they control who gets opportunities and who doesn't.

 

travdogg

Footballguy
EBF said:
- Overall, I am relatively down on this draft class. I think most of these guys are not as talented as you would expect given their draft slots, but some of them will inevitably hit big.
Thanks for doing these. Whether I agree or not, and I mostly do, I appreciate the work, and insight, and have since I first found this forum back in like 2008. 

I am in agreement with you, that if Tua were healthy the #1 QB is absolutely a debate. 

Its nice to see someone else who doesn't think much of Edwards. I really don't know what people see in him at all. 

My only 2 major disagreements are Moss and Shenault. Shenault is a lot faster than he times on tape to me. I think there is a chance he ends up being the best WR in this class, especially if he gets a big time QB, which is likely what the Jags get in 2021, as I'm projecting a top-5 pick for them, plus having the Rams #1. I kinda view Sheanult as a super rocked up Jarvis Landry, where he just vacuums targets and catches, due to his RAC ability and underrated hands. Unlike the other top guys(other than Reagor) he had some awful QB play in college.

Moss reminds me a bit of Arian Foster, where you see a guy with that size/speed and think he'll be one type of player when he is another. Moss is a great receiver, and powerful runner, who only lacks big play ability. I think he's a threat to Singletary in every way, for carries, catches, and GL work. People view Moss as similar to Montgomery, but I think that is his floor.  

 
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EBF

Footballguy
 My only 2 major disagreements are Moss and Shenault. Shenault is a lot faster than he times on tape to me. I think there is a chance he ends up being the best WR in this class, especially if he gets a big time QB, which is likely what the Jags get in 2021, as I'm projecting a top-5 pick for them, plus having the Rams #1. I kinda view Sheanult as a super rocked up Jarvis Landry, where he just vacuums targets and catches, due to his RAC ability and underrated hands. Unlike the other top guys(other than Reagor) he had some awful QB play in college.

Moss reminds me a bit of Arian Foster, where you see a guy with that size/speed and think he'll be one type of player when he is another. Moss is a great receiver, and powerful runner, who only lacks big play ability. I think he's a threat to Singletary in every way, for carries, catches, and GL work. People view Moss as similar to Montgomery, but I think that is his floor.  
Moss was the 8th RB drafted (9th if you count Gibson) and I have him at RB7. I actually have him ahead of two guys (Vaughn and Dillon) who were picked higher and who arguably have better opportunity. I don't dislike him, but I also think Singletary is a decent back. If we can roughly categorize all NFL RBs as...

Group 1 - Dominant talent who will start for most teams in the league (i.e. Barkley, CMC, Mixon, Kamara).

Group 2 - Useful RBBC player with stopgap capability (i.e. Carson, Mack, Lindsay, Hyde).

Group 3 - Pure JAG/roster depth.

...then I think Moss and Singletary are both probably group 2 guys. With a group 1 RB, you know he's going to hold a lot of enduring value because he's basically situation-proof. With the second level guys, a lot of their value derives from the situation, because they can lose their role really quickly if their team is on the clock in the 1st round and a Steven Jackson/Deuce McAllister/Shaun Alexander is sitting there on the board.

Now, this isn't a loaded RB draft by any means. Akers, Dobbins, and Swift are all probably mid-high group 2 types. Still, I'd have Moss as more of an average group 2 guy. I think the talent is good, but not top level, and the situation doesn't really elevate the value because Singletary seems good enough to cut into his workload. So the fear is that you get 2-3 years of middling RB3-RB4 FF production before a better franchise back comes in and ends the debate.

As for Shenault, maybe I need to look at him again. I have some concerns, but he does have some intriguing upside potential and it's not as though the Pittman/Duvernay/Claypool tier is loaded with flawless elite talent. He's a player that I went back-and-forth on a little bit, and I can see a good argument for him in the top 15 if you are a believer. If I have Gibson up at 16 on the basis of upside then maybe I need to move Laviska up in the future because he does present more of a compelling best case scenario than most of the day two WRs.

 

Milkman

Footballguy
Moss was the 8th RB drafted (9th if you count Gibson) and I have him at RB7. I actually have him ahead of two guys (Vaughn and Dillon) who were picked higher and who arguably have better opportunity. I don't dislike him, but I also think Singletary is a decent back. If we can roughly categorize all NFL RBs as...

Group 1 - Dominant talent who will start for most teams in the league (i.e. Barkley, CMC, Mixon, Kamara).

Group 2 - Useful RBBC player with stopgap capability (i.e. Carson, Mack, Lindsay, Hyde).

Group 3 - Pure JAG/roster depth.

...then I think Moss and Singletary are both probably group 2 guys. With a group 1 RB, you know he's going to hold a lot of enduring value because he's basically situation-proof. With the second level guys, a lot of their value derives from the situation, because they can lose their role really quickly if their team is on the clock in the 1st round and a Steven Jackson/Deuce McAllister/Shaun Alexander is sitting there on the board.

Now, this isn't a loaded RB draft by any means. Akers, Dobbins, and Swift are all probably mid-high group 2 types. Still, I'd have Moss as more of an average group 2 guy. I think the talent is good, but not top level, and the situation doesn't really elevate the value because Singletary seems good enough to cut into his workload. So the fear is that you get 2-3 years of middling RB3-RB4 FF production before a better franchise back comes in and ends the debate.

As for Shenault, maybe I need to look at him again. I have some concerns, but he does have some intriguing upside potential and it's not as though the Pittman/Duvernay/Claypool tier is loaded with flawless elite talent. He's a player that I went back-and-forth on a little bit, and I can see a good argument for him in the top 15 if you are a believer. If I have Gibson up at 16 on the basis of upside then maybe I need to move Laviska up in the future because he does present more of a compelling best case scenario than most of the day two WRs.
I'd move Singletary into the lower end of that first group. His vision is elite/special. Agree with your Moss assessment. 

 

travdogg

Footballguy
Moss was the 8th RB drafted (9th if you count Gibson) and I have him at RB7. I actually have him ahead of two guys (Vaughn and Dillon) who were picked higher and who arguably have better opportunity. I don't dislike him, but I also think Singletary is a decent back. If we can roughly categorize all NFL RBs as...

Group 1 - Dominant talent who will start for most teams in the league (i.e. Barkley, CMC, Mixon, Kamara).

Group 2 - Useful RBBC player with stopgap capability (i.e. Carson, Mack, Lindsay, Hyde).

Group 3 - Pure JAG/roster depth.

...then I think Moss and Singletary are both probably group 2 guys. With a group 1 RB, you know he's going to hold a lot of enduring value because he's basically situation-proof. With the second level guys, a lot of their value derives from the situation, because they can lose their role really quickly if their team is on the clock in the 1st round and a Steven Jackson/Deuce McAllister/Shaun Alexander is sitting there on the board.

Now, this isn't a loaded RB draft by any means. Akers, Dobbins, and Swift are all probably mid-high group 2 types. Still, I'd have Moss as more of an average group 2 guy. I think the talent is good, but not top level, and the situation doesn't really elevate the value because Singletary seems good enough to cut into his workload. So the fear is that you get 2-3 years of middling RB3-RB4 FF production before a better franchise back comes in and ends the debate.

As for Shenault, maybe I need to look at him again. I have some concerns, but he does have some intriguing upside potential and it's not as though the Pittman/Duvernay/Claypool tier is loaded with flawless elite talent. He's a player that I went back-and-forth on a little bit, and I can see a good argument for him in the top 15 if you are a believer. If I have Gibson up at 16 on the basis of upside then maybe I need to move Laviska up in the future because he does present more of a compelling best case scenario than most of the day two WRs.
That is fair on Moss. I'm probably his biggest fan, but I think he's gonna surprise a lot of people. I personally feel he's a better prospect than Singletary, and had similar draft capital, even though they already had Singletary. I do agree he is a group 2 guy, though I'm not a huge fan of this RB class in general, so I'd actually argue all the top RB's are tier 2 guys. I don't see any can't miss studs, as even CEH and Taylor have their flaws, though landing spot certainly isn't one.

If you do go back and look at Shenault, the thing that really stands out to me, is the way an almost 230 pounder stops and starts so quickly. I really wish he'd have gotten to do the shuttle/3-cone at the combine, because I think it would have been among the best WR times. He has Ruggs' quickness(not top speed) at 40 pounds heavier. If Shenault were a RB, I think he'd have been the #1 RB prospect in the draft. I think Sheanult has a high floor, I'd be shocked if he were a bust, but its certainly possible he's just a complimentary piece, if they aren't creative. Injuries also hurt his stock, but unless its chronic injury or multiple major ones, I tend to view injuries as bad luck more than a trend. 

 

Biabreakable

Footballguy
EBF said:
- Overall, I am relatively down on this draft class. I think most of these guys are not as talented as you would expect given their draft slots, but some of them will inevitably hit big.
Why?

Which draft classes have been stronger than 2020 for skill players?

 

Football Jones

Footballguy
I'm not sure I'd call this class the greatest ever, but the 2nd round (FF) is ridiculous.

You just don't see that kind of talent get moved down the board typically.

 

Football Jones

Footballguy
You have to remember that situation isn't controlled.

People were unhappy with some of the top players' landing spots, but that doesn't take away from the talent.

 

Andy Dufresne

Footballguy
I think we fantasy footballers convince ourselves that guys aren't very talented when they're not Saquon Barkley-like obviously talented.

It's like comparing Elle Macpherson to Anna Kendrick. Ones a Hall of Famer but the other will do just fine, thank you.

 
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ty247

Footballguy
*I kept Dobbins at the top of the RB food chain despite him falling to the end of round 2 because of the team that drafted him. My thought process is similar to Philly drafting Miles Sanders last year. This team has a good track record acquiring talent and only drafted a RB before round 4 once (Bernard Pierce - pick 84, 2012) since Ray Rice in 2008. I don't know where Baltimore slotted him and won't believe anything they say on the record, but I'm sure it's a lot higher than 55. This is exception to the rule though.
Eric DeCosta was interviewed and indicated they had Dobbins as a 1st round graded talent.  He indicated they see him as a 3 down back and couldn't pass on him being a run heavy team.

 

EBF

Footballguy
Why?

Which draft classes have been stronger than 2020 for skill players?
Lots of classes have been heavier at the top. There were no RB/WR drafted in the top 10 this year. There's no obvious elite level WR/RB/TE prospect.

I was higher on some of last year's day two guys (Sanders, Brown, Samuel) than most of the day two guys this year.

We've seen stronger RB groups recently (2018 was arguably better and 2017 looks outstanding).

The WR group is deep with bodies, but there aren't many guys I'd feel comfortable pointing to and saying they'll definitely succeed.

 

EBF

Footballguy
I think we fantasy footballers convince ourselves that guys aren't very talented when they're not Saquon Barkley-like obviously talented.

It's like comparing Elle Macpherson to Anna Kendrick. Ones a Hall of Famer but the other will do just fine, thank you.
Flipside of this is people tend to exaggerate the talent level of incoming rookies relative to players already in the league because we get so accustomed to evaluating these players within the context of college football/their draft class that we forget the NFL is a whole different level. So if you look at a guy like Vaughn or Dillon and think he's not even a top 5 RB in his own single draft class, it doesn't portend well for his chances of holding down a prominent role when the league is rinsing through a new crop of these guys every 12 months. The majority of these guys will end up like Josh Doctson, Bishop Sankey, Dante Pettis, etc. It makes sense to be critical.

I think the hit rate for the first 4 rounds of the NFL draft is roughly 50% / 35% / 30% / 10%, so when we look back at this list in 5 years, we're going to need a red marker to cross off all the irrelevant names, leaving maybe 6-7 guys left over whose careers you really would've wanted for your FF teams. That doesn't mean there's no value. There's probably a couple big hits ala Kamara, M Thomas, Metcalf, Andrews, or JuJu hiding out in that big cluster of RB/WR/TE picked in rounds 2-3, but probably only a couple. As with any draft, most of these guys are not going to live up to our best vision of what they can be.

 

dipandglide

Footballguy
I look forward to this write up every year. Thanks!

Count me as another that is surprised you have Laviska so low. 

How long have you been playing dynasty/devy? Where does your scouting background come from? What analysts do you respect? 

 
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EBF

Footballguy
I look forward to this write up every year. Thanks!

Count me as another that is surprised you have Laviska so low. 

How long have you been playing dynasty/devy? Where does your scouting background come from? What analysts do you respect? 
20+ years of FF, 15+ years of dynasty, and 10+ years of devy.

I don't consider myself an expert, but I've gotten better along the way just by making a lot of mistakes and trying to learn from them.

For the first 5-10 years I think I was just throwing darts at the board, but I think my process is a little more refined now (still far from perfect).

Don't have any real background in scouting apart from just enjoying the process of trying to pick the winners. I used to pick up the Sporting News draft guide every year and since then I've been following the draft as a small little side hobby for about 20 years. I'm not as interested in it now, but in some ways that helps since I can come to it late with fresh eyes and fewer biases.

I don't really have go-to people that I trust, but The Draft Network seems to collectively have solid takes on players.

Maybe I'm selling Shenault short. Didn't immediately click for me though. Wasn't wowed in the summer when I looked at him for my devy draft either FWIW.

 
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lardonastick

Footballguy
I look forward to this write up every year. Thanks!

Count me as another that is surprised you have Laviska so low. 

How long have you been playing dynasty/devy? Where does your scouting background come from? What analysts do you respect? 
Me too. Thanks EBF, fine job as always. Three guys that I will have to look at closer after reading your thoughts are Aiyuk, Mims, and  Duvernay.

 
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EBF

Footballguy
Me too. Thanks EBF, fine job as always. Three guys that I will have to look at closer after reading your thoughts are Aiyuk, Mims, and  Duvernay.
Nice thing about Duvernay is that the entry cost should be low. I reached for him way too high in one league out of laziness because I didn't want to sit on the clock any longer and send out a bunch of offers, but in another draft I got him with the 3.04 (28th overall) and that's probably a decent approximation of what his ADP will be like. He'll be there for you a lot in the 20-25 range, and at that price point you're not killing your team if he misses.

I don't want to go overboard with the praise because he's definitely not a lock or a top tier guy for me, just a guy that I like a lot relative to his expected cost. I was thinking about TY Hilton as a parallel example of a talented player who was drafted in the 3rd round into a great offense, and yet was still largely disregarded in rookie drafts. My recollection is that there was minimal excitement for Hilton and that his ADP was roughly late 2nd-mid 3rd of 12 team leagues.

Interestingly, Hilton was the 13th WR picked that year and the 92nd overall pick.

Duvernay was the 16th WR picked this year (if we count Gibson as a RB)... and the 92nd overall pick.

Doesn't really mean anything, but for reasons I mentioned he's likely to find his way onto all my rosters unless I get seriously snaked. I like the tape. I like the team. The production and workout numbers check out. I think they may have gotten a pretty good little player there.

 

ctrlaltdefeat

Footballguy
the rankings aren't anything different from others but the reasoning behind the rankings are pretty bad. just read what he says about this class as a whole, JT and Dobbins for a small sample...

 

az_prof

Footballguy
Always enjoy your write up EBF but this year I find my assessments closer to ZWK for some reason.

I really like Tee Higgins and the landing place is great. Watching his film he has great hands, runs precise routes, and always seems to get a few extra yards after the catch.  I like that AJ and Ross are likely gone next year and so he could be the stud that quickly and will likely be playing a lot even this year. I am hopeful for Burrow to become a great QB and obviously if one doesn't like Burrow then you would have to lower expectations for Higgins.  I took Higgins over Mims (who lacks any quality that makes him special); Mims gets a chance to be the WR1 this year but the Jets have been a pretty bad place for WRs for a long time.  I like Pittman too and could see taking him over Higgins but Higgins dominator score and early break out age broke the "tie" for me.

Didn't really look at Duvarnay that much but his landing spot seems bad for me. I don't think Lamar is suddenly going to become a 4000+ yard passer so the opportunity in the passing game is limited and Mark Edwards and Hollywood Brown will dominate targets and both are young and part of the team's long term plans.  Plus I don't think you can rule Miles Boykin out yet.  Basically, BA is a run heavy team and I don't see that changing.

I DO like your optimism for Aiyuk.  He looks like an electric runner with amazing stop/go/change of direction ability.  Not sure how he gets past being the third option after Kittle and Deebo but he could step right in and produce as the third receiver.

I also really like Antonio Gibson as the guy with the most upside after the top tier of RBs.  WA used the 66th pick on him and if Guice doesn't recover fully from his injury he could easily become a third down starter; if it takes him time to adapt to RB he will at least see the field as COP and spread out in the slot.  And he has PLUS RAC skills.  Great player to own in PPR.

 

EBF

Footballguy
az_prof said:
Always enjoy your write up EBF but this year I find my assessments closer to ZWK for some reason.

I really like Tee Higgins and the landing place is great. Watching his film he has great hands, runs precise routes, and always seems to get a few extra yards after the catch.  I like that AJ and Ross are likely gone next year and so he could be the stud that quickly and will likely be playing a lot even this year. I am hopeful for Burrow to become a great QB and obviously if one doesn't like Burrow then you would have to lower expectations for Higgins.  I took Higgins over Mims (who lacks any quality that makes him special); Mims gets a chance to be the WR1 this year but the Jets have been a pretty bad place for WRs for a long time.  I like Pittman too and could see taking him over Higgins but Higgins dominator score and early break out age broke the "tie" for me.

Didn't really look at Duvarnay that much but his landing spot seems bad for me. I don't think Lamar is suddenly going to become a 4000+ yard passer so the opportunity in the passing game is limited and Mark Edwards and Hollywood Brown will dominate targets and both are young and part of the team's long term plans.  Plus I don't think you can rule Miles Boykin out yet.  Basically, BA is a run heavy team and I don't see that changing.
I'm not high on Mims or Higgins from a pure talent standpoint, so the team context doesn't necessarily matter much to me. If I don't think the player has the right qualities to thrive then I don't see the QB play or opportunity elevating that very much long-term.

Lamar didn't throw the ball much last year, so maybe it's a bit misguided to describe the Ravens as a good landing spot for a WR, but I do think the underlying potential is there. We have to remember that Lamar is a relatively inexperienced player and his best weapons last year were an oft-injured rookie WR and a second year TE. I think he throws a little more in the future, and the Dobbins/Duvernay picks do show some intent to keep giving him receiving weapons. Brown is a good player, but it's too early to say he'll "dominate targets" since he's a ~170 pound WR who has had a lot of trouble staying healthy. This is a team with lots of promising talent, but no clear Hopkins-like target monster.  The door is open for Duvernay to get a big slice of the pie right away, and I like his talent independent of the team context.

The Ravens led the NFL in scoring last year and getting a good player on a good offense always seems like a solid move from an FF standpoint.

 

Don Quixote

Footballguy
I've ended up with Duvernay in 2 out of 3 of my rookie drafts.  He does seem to present good value.  I almost took him with my third round pick in one league, but I received an offer to trade that pick for 4.6 and my 3rd in 2021, which was hard to turn down.  It was made even better when I was still able to grab Duvernay at 4.6. It's a Zealots league with not a whole lot of back-and-forth during the draft, but I immediately received a couple of e-mails from a couple of owners angry that I picked him there just in front of them.

I'm not sure if he'll hit or not, but middle to late rounds are always tough to project, and I'll take the chance on a WR in a good offense.  Once you get into the fourth round and beyond, I'm usually just happy if I find a position player still worthy of a roster spot after the various roster cutdowns.

 
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Biabreakable

Footballguy
Lots of classes have been heavier at the top. There were no RB/WR drafted in the top 10 this year. There's no obvious elite level WR/RB/TE prospect.

I was higher on some of last year's day two guys (Sanders, Brown, Samuel) than most of the day two guys this year.

We've seen stronger RB groups recently (2018 was arguably better and 2017 looks outstanding).

The WR group is deep with bodies, but there aren't many guys I'd feel comfortable pointing to and saying they'll definitely succeed.
Here are all the skill players drafted in the top 10 since 2000

1 2020 1 1 Joe Burrow QB 23 CIN 0 0 0 LSU College Stats
2 2020 1 5 Tua Tagovailoa QB 22 MIA 0 0 0 Alabama College Stats
3 2020 1 6 Justin Herbert QB 22 LAC 0 0 0 Oregon College Stats
4 2019 1 1 Kyler Murray QB 22 ARI 2019 2019 0 0 1 14 16 16 5-10-1 349 542 3722 20 12 93 544 4 Oklahoma College Stats
5 2019 1 6 Daniel Jones QB 22 NYG 2019 2019 0 0 1 9 13 12 3-9-0 284 459 3027 24 12 45 279 2 Duke College Stats
6 2019 1 8 T.J. Hockenson TE 22 DET 2019 2019 0 0 0 3 12 7 32 367 2 Iowa College Stats
7 2018 1 1 Baker Mayfield QB 23 CLE 2018 2019 0 0 2 21 30 29 12-17-0 627 1020 7552 49 35 67 272 3 Oklahoma College Stats
8 2018 1 2 Saquon Barkley RB 21 NYG 2018 2019 0 1 2 23 29 29 478 2310 17 143 1159 6 Penn St. College Stats
9 2018 1 3 Sam Darnold QB 21 NYJ 2018 2019 0 0 2 13 26 26 11-15-0 512 855 5889 36 28 77 200 3 USC College Stats
10 2018 1 7 Josh Allen QB 22 BUF 2018 2019 0 0 2 17 28 27 15-12-0 440 781 5163 30 21 198 1141 17 Wyoming College Stats
11 2018 1 10 Josh Rosen QB 21 ARI 2018 2019 0 0 1 3 20 16 3-13-0 275 502 2845 12 19 26 151 0 UCLA College Stats
12 2017 1 2 Mitchell Trubisky QB 23 CHI 2017 2019 0 1 3 27 41 41 23-18-0 811 1280 8554 48 29 157 862 7 North Carolina College Stats
13 2017 1 4 Leonard Fournette RB 22 JAX 2017 2019 0 0 3 20 36 36 666 2631 17 134 1009 2 LSU College Stats
14 2017 1 5 Corey Davis WR 22 TEN 2017 2019 0 0 3 14 42 36 6 55 0 142 1867 6 West. Michigan College Stats
15 2017 1 7 Mike Williams WR 22 LAC 2017 2019 0 0 1 15 41 21 8 30 1 103 1760 12 Clemson College Stats
16 2017 1 8 Christian McCaffrey RB 21 CAR 2017 2019 1 1 3 38 48 42 1 3 50 1 0 623 2920 24 303 2523 15 Stanford College Stats
17 2017 1 9 John Ross WR 22 CIN 2017 2019 0 0 1 5 24 19 8 25 0 49 716 10 Washington College Stats
18 2017 1 10 Patrick Mahomes QB 21 KAN 2017 2019 1 2 2 39 31 31 24-7-0 724 1099 9412 76 18 110 500 4 Texas Tech College Stats
19 2016 1 1 Jared Goff QB 21 LAR 2016 2019 0 2 3 41 54 54 33-21-0 1166 1869 14219 87 42 112 215 6 California College Stats
20 2016 1 2 Carson Wentz QB 23 PHI 2016 2019 0 1 4 42 56 56 32-24-0 1311 2055 14191 97 35 206 785 3 2 11 0 North Dakota St. College Stats
21 2016 1 4 Ezekiel Elliott RB 21 DAL 2016 2019 1 3 4 49 56 56 1169 5405 40 189 1619 8 Ohio St. College Stats
22 2015 1 1 Jameis Winston QB 21 TAM 2015 2019 0 1 5 54 72 70 28-42-0 1563 2548 19737 121 88 248 1044 10 Florida St. College Stats
23 2015 1 2 Marcus Mariota QB 21 TEN 2015 2019 0 0 4 44 63 61 29-32-0 1110 1765 13207 76 44 242 1399 11 2 62 1 Oregon College Stats
24 2015 1 4 Amari Cooper WR 21 OAK 2015 2019 0 4 5 39 77 72 8 27 0 357 5097 33 Alabama College Stats
25 2015 1 7 Kevin White WR 23 CHI 2016 2018 0 0 0 2 14 5 1 9 0 25 285 0 West Virginia College Stats
26 2015 1 10 Todd Gurley RB 21 STL 2015 2019 2 3 5 50 73 72 1265 5404 58 218 2090 12 Georgia College Stats
27 2014 1 3 Blake Bortles QB 22 JAX 2014 2019 0 0 5 44 78 73 24-49-0 1562 2634 17649 103 75 283 1766 8 1 20 1 Central Florida College Stats
28 2014 1 4 Sammy Watkins WR 21 BUF 2014 2019 0 0 5 36 76 73 10 73 0 284 4244 31 Clemson College Stats
29 2014 1 7 Mike Evans WR 21 TAM 2014 2019 0 3 6 49 90 89 462 7260 48 Texas A&M College Stats
30 2014 1 10 Eric Ebron TE 21 DET 2014 2019 0 1 4 25 83 47


There are a ton of busts being drafted in this range so while it may seem reasonable to say there were no top 10 picks at RB or WR and therefore the level of talent is lower, the players who were top 10 picks is not exactly a promised land of elite talent either.

Despite the difference in draft position I think Johnathan Taylor is a better RB prospect than Leonard Fournette. I also think Jerry Juedy is very close to Amari Coopers talent level and that CeeDee Lamb much more talented than Mike Williams who I am not sure is a better WR prospect than Tee Higgins.

I think the 2020 draft class was loaded with very good players at other positions as well. A lot of people considered Lamb, Juedy and Ruggs to be top 10 talents and they were high picks.

As this perspective about the 2020 draft class being weak is coloring your entire view here, I respect your opinion but this is a gap in perception that I do not expect us to bridge.

 
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az_prof

Footballguy
Here are all the skill players drafted in the top 10 since 2000

1 2020 1 1 Joe Burrow QB 23 CIN 0 0 0 LSU College Stats
2 2020 1 5 Tua Tagovailoa QB 22 MIA 0 0 0 Alabama College Stats
3 2020 1 6 Justin Herbert QB 22 LAC 0 0 0 Oregon College Stats
4 2019 1 1 Kyler Murray QB 22 ARI 2019 2019 0 0 1 14 16 16 5-10-1 349 542 3722 20 12 93 544 4 Oklahoma College Stats
5 2019 1 6 Daniel Jones QB 22 NYG 2019 2019 0 0 1 9 13 12 3-9-0 284 459 3027 24 12 45 279 2 Duke College Stats
6 2019 1 8 T.J. Hockenson TE 22 DET 2019 2019 0 0 0 3 12 7 32 367 2 Iowa College Stats
7 2018 1 1 Baker Mayfield QB 23 CLE 2018 2019 0 0 2 21 30 29 12-17-0 627 1020 7552 49 35 67 272 3 Oklahoma College Stats
8 2018 1 2 Saquon Barkley RB 21 NYG 2018 2019 0 1 2 23 29 29 478 2310 17 143 1159 6 Penn St. College Stats
9 2018 1 3 Sam Darnold QB 21 NYJ 2018 2019 0 0 2 13 26 26 11-15-0 512 855 5889 36 28 77 200 3 USC College Stats
10 2018 1 7 Josh Allen QB 22 BUF 2018 2019 0 0 2 17 28 27 15-12-0 440 781 5163 30 21 198 1141 17 Wyoming College Stats
11 2018 1 10 Josh Rosen QB 21 ARI 2018 2019 0 0 1 3 20 16 3-13-0 275 502 2845 12 19 26 151 0 UCLA College Stats
12 2017 1 2 Mitchell Trubisky QB 23 CHI 2017 2019 0 1 3 27 41 41 23-18-0 811 1280 8554 48 29 157 862 7 North Carolina College Stats
13 2017 1 4 Leonard Fournette RB 22 JAX 2017 2019 0 0 3 20 36 36 666 2631 17 134 1009 2 LSU College Stats
14 2017 1 5 Corey Davis WR 22 TEN 2017 2019 0 0 3 14 42 36 6 55 0 142 1867 6 West. Michigan College Stats
15 2017 1 7 Mike Williams WR 22 LAC 2017 2019 0 0 1 15 41 21 8 30 1 103 1760 12 Clemson College Stats
16 2017 1 8 Christian McCaffrey RB 21 CAR 2017 2019 1 1 3 38 48 42 1 3 50 1 0 623 2920 24 303 2523 15 Stanford College Stats
17 2017 1 9 John Ross WR 22 CIN 2017 2019 0 0 1 5 24 19 8 25 0 49 716 10 Washington College Stats
18 2017 1 10 Patrick Mahomes QB 21 KAN 2017 2019 1 2 2 39 31 31 24-7-0 724 1099 9412 76 18 110 500 4 Texas Tech College Stats
19 2016 1 1 Jared Goff QB 21 LAR 2016 2019 0 2 3 41 54 54 33-21-0 1166 1869 14219 87 42 112 215 6 California College Stats
20 2016 1 2 Carson Wentz QB 23 PHI 2016 2019 0 1 4 42 56 56 32-24-0 1311 2055 14191 97 35 206 785 3 2 11 0 North Dakota St. College Stats
21 2016 1 4 Ezekiel Elliott RB 21 DAL 2016 2019 1 3 4 49 56 56 1169 5405 40 189 1619 8 Ohio St. College Stats
22 2015 1 1 Jameis Winston QB 21 TAM 2015 2019 0 1 5 54 72 70 28-42-0 1563 2548 19737 121 88 248 1044 10 Florida St. College Stats
23 2015 1 2 Marcus Mariota QB 21 TEN 2015 2019 0 0 4 44 63 61 29-32-0 1110 1765 13207 76 44 242 1399 11 2 62 1 Oregon College Stats
24 2015 1 4 Amari Cooper WR 21 OAK 2015 2019 0 4 5 39 77 72 8 27 0 357 5097 33 Alabama College Stats
25 2015 1 7 Kevin White WR 23 CHI 2016 2018 0 0 0 2 14 5 1 9 0 25 285 0 West Virginia College Stats
26 2015 1 10 Todd Gurley RB 21 STL 2015 2019 2 3 5 50 73 72 1265 5404 58 218 2090 12 Georgia College Stats
27 2014 1 3 Blake Bortles QB 22 JAX 2014 2019 0 0 5 44 78 73 24-49-0 1562 2634 17649 103 75 283 1766 8 1 20 1 Central Florida College Stats
28 2014 1 4 Sammy Watkins WR 21 BUF 2014 2019 0 0 5 36 76 73 10 73 0 284 4244 31 Clemson College Stats
29 2014 1 7 Mike Evans WR 21 TAM 2014 2019 0 3 6 49 90 89 462 7260 48 Texas A&M College Stats
30 2014 1 10 Eric Ebron TE 21 DET 2014 2019 0 1 4 25 83 47


There are a ton of busts being drafted in this range so while it may seem reasonable to say there were no top 10 picks at RB or WR and therefore the level of talent is lower, the players who were top 10 picks is not exactly a promised land of elite talent either.

Despite the difference in draft position I think Johnathan Taylor is a better RB prospect than Leonard Fournette. I also think Jerry Juedy is very close to Amari Coopers talent level and that CeeDee Lamb much more talented than Mike Williams who I am not sure is a better WR prospect than Tee Higgins.

I think the 2020 draft class was loaded with very good players at other positions as well. A lot of people considered Lamb, Juedy and Ruggs to be top 10 talents and they were high picks.

As this perspective about the 2020 draft class being weak is coloring your entire view here, I respect your opinion but this is a gap in perception that I do not expect us to bridge.
Interesting to see these.  Basically, if the NFL drafts a RB in the top 10, he has  a very good chance of being a stud as all four have hit it pretty big.  WRs are about 50/50.  Not enough data points to judge TEs but it doesn't look great.  Some of the QBs are too recent to evaluate properly but it looks like a 50/50 hit on them too.

 

EBF

Footballguy
After reading these comments about Shenault and going back and looking at him, I'm bumping him up. I think he belongs in the same tier as Pittman/Duvernay/Claypool/Hamler. He may have the highest ceiling of that group since he combines many of their best qualities (hands, plus size, RAC skills). I also think his overall speed and mobility are very good for a player of his dimensions. I actually just took him ahead of those other four WRs with the 15th pick in PPR rookie draft, which wasn't something I was expecting to do going into the draft. Sometimes you don't find your "real" board until you're on the clock and you actually have to make a pick.

In terms of negatives, he has a VIOLENT play style and takes a lot of ugly hits. Some of that is clearly down to usage. He played a slash role for Colorado, and it seems like that was largely because their team was weak overall. He was their best weapon, so they simply force-fed him the ball, giving him a lot of hand-offs that he won't be getting in the NFL. What I liked is that, as a pure outside WR, he actually showed decent vertical speed and a nice ability to get out of his breaks for a player with a colossal BMI. As a slot, he should be effective beating coverage and racking up yards after the catch.

I like Pittman as well, but every time I'm on the clock in a logical position to draft him, something prevents me from pulling the trigger. I'm not sure why. He has a big frame and good hands. He runs solid routes for a 6'4" player and has decent foot quickness for that size. I like him more than someone like Arceaga-Whiteside last year. There's really no glaring flaw to his game and maybe with solid QB play he will be a 1,000 yard guy on Sundays, but I guess his game just lacks dynamic qualities. 4 year collegiate. Deep speed is solid for a 6'4" 220+ pound WR, but not special. Very ordinary RAC ability. The "wow" factor isn't really there.

 
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BINGBING

Footballguy
Lots of classes have been heavier at the top. There were no RB/WR drafted in the top 10 this year. There's no obvious elite level WR/RB/TE prospect.
Bad teams draft RB's and WR's in the top 10.  Basing the talent of this class on that makes no sense.  The rankings seem tone deaf on recognizing the difference between this class and past classes.

 

BINGBING

Footballguy
Elite talent went at the top in previous years. This class is deep but lacks the elite athlete at the top. Teams are wising up at drafting RBs in the top 10. This draft was filled with WR2 types, but didnt have much as far as alphas in it. 
One RB/WR went in the top 10 of the 2018 and 2019 draft combined.  Uninformed again.  The 2017 draft was a who's who of bad teams overpaying for RB's and WR's.  And who was the terrible franchise to make an awful reach this year...the Raiders of course.

 

EBF

Footballguy
Bad teams draft RB's and WR's in the top 10.  Basing the talent of this class on that makes no sense.  The rankings seem tone deaf on recognizing the difference between this class and past classes.
Hard disagree. Teams take guys like AJ Green, Julio, Fitzgerald, Andre, Saquon, Richardson, Peterson, Blackmon, McFadden, etc. because they see special talent. As imperfect as the draft process is, it's not coincidence that many of the all-time greats like Peyton, Fitzgerald, Tomlinson, Peterson, and Faulk were identified as special long before they proved it in the NFL. Sometimes teams get it very wrong, but the rationale behind those picks is usually "Wow, we need this guy" and not "Wow, we need a RB." Competent teams (and even most incompetent teams) don't burn a top 10 pick based on need.

This draft is deep on solid talent, but there's no headliner. There's no Calvin. No Fitz. No Peterson. Nobody who you look at and say, "Wow, this is the best QB/RB/WR/TE prospect I've seen in years."

 

EBF

Footballguy
One RB/WR went in the top 10 of the 2018 and 2019 draft combined.
You don't realize it, but you are actually arguing against your own point.

The reason why it's rare to see players go that high is because players need rare talent level to justify that type of pick.

Nobody this year at RB or WR (or TE) is obviously that special.

 

EBF

Footballguy
Mims, Aiyuk, Claypool, Pittman get dinged kn being seniors. Aiyuk and Pittman had bad breakout ages. Shenault has better talent than those wrs, just has had injury troubles
Wondering if/how we should factor the JUCO thing into Aiyuk's breakout age? If you assume a steeper learning curve jumping from JC to full NCAA, maybe you can excuse the slow emergence somewhat. I know other guys have done it (Chad Johnson? Steve Smith? Cordarrelle? Tyreek?), but maybe there's an argument that you should be more patient with these guys because they are older than the typical prospect by the time they arrive at a major program.

For example, Aiyuk was old when he broke out, but he was only in his second season of major college football.

 

BINGBING

Footballguy
You don't realize it, but you are actually arguing against your own point.

The reason why it's rare to see players go that high is because players need rare talent level to justify that type of pick.

Nobody this year at RB or WR (or TE) is obviously that special.
Top 10 RB's and WR's taken in recent history are 50/50 roughly.  The fact that you had to go all the way back to Peterson, AJ Green, Julio, Fitzgerald, etc actually proves my point.  That's only a handful of players over a HUGE span of time, and all of those have been terrible franchises outside of one season of success from Arizona and Atlanta.  Those teams consistently pick in the top 10, so no, they don't judge talent properly.

 

Vandelay

Footballguy
What folks are failing to realize about Shenault is Jay Gruden has zero idea how to utilize a diverse weapon such as him.  He has a distinct system that works very well, but its classic square peg/round hole situation.  Jay has some strengths as a coach but thinking outside of the box isn't one them. 

For this to work, Shenault has to be a major hit AND his OC has to do successfully do things he's never done before.

Fade.  Major, major fade.

 

EBF

Footballguy
Top 10 RB's and WR's taken in recent history are 50/50 roughly.  The fact that you had to go all the way back to Peterson, AJ Green, Julio, Fitzgerald, etc actually proves my point.  That's only a handful of players over a HUGE span of time, and all of those have been terrible franchises outside of one season of success from Arizona and Atlanta.  Those teams consistently pick in the top 10, so no, they don't judge talent properly.
Draft position correlates with success. The top two dynasty backs right now (Barkley and CMC) were top 10 picks.

A player picked in the top 10 has a higher chance at an elite/Pro Bowl/HoF type of career than a player picked in any other range of the draft. This isn't even a controversial point. It's backed up by decades of data. There's no room for debate or discussion here because it's statistical fact.

If you misinterpret best odds as guarantee then maybe you can become confused here. We can all name players like Troy Williamson, Leonard Fournette, RG3, and Corey Davis who were picked in elite territory and haven't delivered elite careers. We can all also name players like Antonio Brown, Tom Brady, and Antonio Gates who had amazing careers despite being low picks/undrafted. None of this changes the discussion at all.

Top 10 picks have the highest chances of developing into elite pros and a significant chunk of elite pros were top 10 picks.

The reason why we didn't see a RB go int the top 10 this year like Barkley and McCaffrey is not because nobody needs a RB, but rather because none of the RBs in this draft convinced teams they had that level of talent. That doesn't mean none of these guys can have elite pro careers, but to suggest that Edwards-Helaire and Taylor are on the same level as the likes of Peterson/McFadden/Richardson/Fournette/McCaffrey/Barkley as draft prospects is not backed up by any consensus in the scouting community or what NFL teams did during the actual draft.

 
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EBF

Footballguy
What folks are failing to realize about Shenault is Jay Gruden has zero idea how to utilize a diverse weapon such as him.  He has a distinct system that works very well, but its classic square peg/round hole situation.  Jay has some strengths as a coach but thinking outside of the box isn't one them. 

For this to work, Shenault has to be a major hit AND his OC has to do successfully do things he's never done before.

Fade.  Major, major fade.
Over/under on any JAX coaching regime is what? 2-3 years?

If you like the player, I wouldn't let the current staff sway you too much.

I'd almost be relieved to see Shenault in a more limited role, as he took a lot of punishment on rushing attempts that he probably didn't need to be handling.

The flipside of the Jeudy/Ruggs/Waddle type of situation is where one guy is so far and away the best weapon his team that they actually over-utilize him.

 

BINGBING

Footballguy
Top 10 picks have the highest chances of developing into elite pros and a significant chunk of elite pros were top 10 picks.
NO FREAKIN DUH.  To say a draft class is weak because there weren't any top 10 skill position picks is just sloppy analysis.  This draft was deep at OT as well and even those bad teams knew not to go RB or WR.  Basing draft position of the skill players without acknowledging the depth of the class being the reason for that is flawed logic.    Like I said...

Bad teams draft RB's and WR's in the top 10.  Basing the talent of this class on that makes no sense.  The rankings seem tone deaf on recognizing the difference between this class and past classes.

 
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BINGBING

Footballguy
Over/under on any JAX coaching regime is what? 2-3 years?

If you like the player, I wouldn't let the current staff sway you too much.

I'd almost be relieved to see Shenault in a more limited role, as he took a lot of punishment on rushing attempts that he probably didn't need to be handling.
Now this I can agree with.  I'm not arguing just to argue.  I do think Gruden was a much better OC than HC though.

 

travdogg

Footballguy
What folks are failing to realize about Shenault is Jay Gruden has zero idea how to utilize a diverse weapon such as him.  He has a distinct system that works very well, but its classic square peg/round hole situation.  Jay has some strengths as a coach but thinking outside of the box isn't one them. 

For this to work, Shenault has to be a major hit AND his OC has to do successfully do things he's never done before.

Fade.  Major, major fade.
Its entirely possible Shenault could be an extremely overqualified Jamison Crowder, with infinitely more RAC skills. Could also see him getting put in a Jordan Reed-like role as an isolation option on the interior. Both of which have been very useful, especially in PPR leagues.

I don't think its fair to assume that how Colorado used Shenault is A) The only way to use him, or B) The best way to use him. 

I'm probably an outlier, but I could very much argue Shenault over Aiyuk, Jefferson, and maybe even Reagor. 

 

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