Time for the second iteration of my 2020 rookie fantasy rankings. If you don’t recall, I posted 1.0 a couple of weeks ago. Since then, the Senior Bowl has impacted some of these rankings, so I figured I’d give you this to work off of. I’m not writing up a new excerpt on players that haven’t changed, so this may be a lighter read.
(Image from Sports Illustrated)
Joe Burrow, LSU – yup, still here.
Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama – move on.
Justin Herbert, Oregon – hey, our first change. I was lower on Justin Herbert than anyone who does this coming into the Senior Bowl. What Herbert did last week was extremely impressive, and that’s why he jumped a ton of other guys. He showed a little more poise than I expected and ultimately just made plays. I never hated his arm talent – it’s always been there – but rather, his decision-making and lack of accuracy were the subjects of scrutiny. He showed an improved level of decision-making, and for that, he is now my number three quarterback (though still just barely).
Jordan Love, Utah State – the only thing Jordan Love did wrong was not be gifted with the opportunity to show out at the Senior Bowl. Sure, he started the game, but he also attempted the least amount of passes among all six quarterbacks that played. He went 4/6 for 26 yards, and didn’t look bad at all. I think that there will be another point in which I believe Love is better than Herbert – very likely the NFL Scouting Combine.
Jacob Eason, Washington – I do think that when we eventually return to seeing live Eason reps, there’s a chance he jumps back up. His arm is electric, but we haven’t seen him play as recently as we have the aforementioned two. I’m sure he’ll move upward come March.
(Image from YouTube)
D’Andre Swift, Georgia – this may change soon.
JK Dobbins, Ohio State – this is the guy who may cause that change.
Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin – he will not change barring a catastrophe.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU – he made my first list and that is where I said “this feels low, I may move him to the fourth spot.” Shocker that he is there now, right? He’s the best route-running back in the class, but he also has soft hands and runs like a bowling ball. I’d be snagging CEH in the first round of rookie drafts.
Cam Akers, FSU – I don’t hate Zack Moss. I actually still think him and Akers can be similarly productive. I do like the natural ability that Akers possesses, however. He had one of the worst offensive lines in college football in front of him last season, and I fully expect a good landing spot for him. I’d take a shot on him in the second round of rookie drafts.
(Image from Sports Illustrated)
Jerry Jeudy, Alabama – well.. obviously.
CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma – see above.
Henry Ruggs III, Alabama – questioning why I’m writing this article.
Justin Jefferson, LSU – ah, there it is. I cooled on Tee Higgins, and in the meantime, I also warmed up to the silky, smooth route running ability that Justin Jefferson possesses. I once noted that his separation is the one concern, and I fully believe that he will have absolutely no issues with that in the NFL. I think these four are in a tier above the rest, and for that, Justin Jefferson should be seen as a steal in second rounds of rookie drafts.
Laviska Shenault Jr., Colorado – his playmaking is still there, but he drops behind Jefferson because of the necessity to manufacture his touches. Shenault is a good route runner, but his ball tracking is the worst out of the four above him and a significant portion of his touches come from wildcat, sweep, and screen plays. I still think he is what Cordarrelle Patterson could have been, but I’m considered he’s simply Cordarrelle Patterson.
(Image from Dayton Daily News)
Cole Kmet, Notre Dame
Brycen Hopkins, Purdue
Adam Trautman, Dayton – this is the one guy that really stood out as a big winner at the Senior Bowl. There are major draft analysts that have him as their TE1 (and quite frankly, I can see why) and he is quickly rising up boards. Obviously, not a lot of people watched Dayton play football throughout the year – and when they did, the excuses used revolved around level of competition. News flash – that doesn’t matter when you’re an athletic freak.
Hunter Bryant, Washington – Hunter Bryant is my TE3 in the class, but for fantasy, he’s more Nick Boyle than Mark Andrews. I think he’ll carve out a solid role and have some receiving upside, but I think he’s best suited as a second or third tight end in a dynamic offense.
Harrison Bryant, FAU – from honorable mention in the top three to top-five (he actually dropped a spot, but we’re spinning the positive webs today), Harrison Bryant may actually be best suited as a big slot. But hey, Darren Waller doesn’t seem to mind that role.
A few updates, but overall, not a lot has changed just yet. I’m hoping that the Combine allows for some of these guys to separate from the pack and there is more clarity. If you haven’t, listen to Randy and I go through a full, one-round mock draft on Episode 2.02 of the podcast.
Until next time!