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2020 Dynasty Rookie Rankings 1.0

By Cody Smith

Now that the January 20th date for college players to declare for the NFL draft has come and gone, its time for my first official dynasty mock draft.

We’ll go ahead and go three rounds to give all the readers plenty to digest until the 2020 NFL Draft.

The 2020 NFL Draft will be sure to shuffle things up in these ranking once we know for certain where these players will be spending the first few years of their careers.

Until then, I decided to have some fun and forecast the landing spots for these skill position players and give a little insight on what to expect for potential dynasty owners.

Round 1

1.01. D’Andre Swift – RB, Georgia Bulldogs – 5’9, 215lbs

Potential Landing Spot: Miami Dolphins

Swift is the most versatile running back in the draft, and I personally believe only one other back is relatively close (more to come on that later.) Swift can truly do it all. He takes on contact well, maintaining his balance to pick up extra yards. He’s quick, agile and an above-average pass catcher out of the backfield. His workload at Georgia was relatively low, having just 440 career carries and giving him plenty of miles left on his legs for a full NFL career. No matter his landing spot, I can’t imagine Swift falls much farther down these rankings following the combine and draft. I see Swift headed to the Dolphins in the early second round which would be a good landing spot for a true three-down back.

1.02. CeeDee Lamb – WR, Oklahoma Sooners – 6’1, 189lbs

Potential Landing Spot: Arizona Cardinals

Lamb is my WR1 in this class by a small margin. He profiles as a true WR1 for a team at the next level. He is phenomenal at getting open despite not having the best speed of wide outs in the class. Lamb tracks the ball well in the air and can certainly go up and get it if need be. His acceleration and footwork are elite in this class, and his route running is great as a result. NFL competition will be a huge step up from the Big 12, but Lamb should adjust quickly. I’m hoping we see a reunion between Lamb and college quarterback Kyler Murray in Arizona. The Cards could use a true WR1, and already having chemistry with Murray would put Lamb on the fast track to becoming a fantasy asset.

1.03. Jerry Jeudy – WR, Alabama Crimson Tide – 6-1, 192lbs

Potential Landing Spot: Las Vegas Raiders

Jeudy isn’t far behind Lamb for me and should also be able to provide as a true WR1 to whoever takes a chance on him in the draft. Jeudy is a great route runner with great speed and footwork. Jeudy also displays great hands and an ability to get open. It's hard to find any negatives in Jeudy’s game, but the knock on him right now seems to be that his slender frame will make it easier for NFL corners to bump him off his route. I believe Las Vegas will be a nice landing spot for Jeudy. The Raiders have been in need of a WR1 since the Antonio Brown saga and Jeudy will supply just that and should help take pressure off of the likes of Darren Waller, Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow.

1.04. J.K. Dobbins – RB, Ohio State Buckeyes – 5’10, 216lbs

Potential Landing Spot: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Dobbins is the final player in my top tier of dynasty talent this year. Dobbins has shown he has what it takes to perform at the next level, as he has been rising through the 2020 class all season. In 2019, Dobbins set the Ohio State rushing record, running for 2,003 yards on just 301 attempts (6.7 yards per carry.) Dobbins also ran for 21 touchdowns in 14 games and added a pair of receiving scores as well. Dobbins is great when he can get to the outside and can also gain yardage up the middle as he is a great downhill runner. Dobbins has above average vision and is an above average pass catcher. He should make a great three-down back at the next level. I believe he would fit into the Tampa Bay offense as an upgrade to a backfield that struggled in 2019.

1.05. Jonathan Taylor – RB, Wisconsin Badgers – 5’11, 219lbs

Potential Landing Spot: Houston Texans

Taylor is the definition of a power back. He’s big, he’s fast and he runs hard downhill which should translate well at the next level. Taylor also isn’t a one-trick pony as he began showing some nice hands out of the backfield this season. Taylor caught 26 passes this season after catching just 16 combined in his first two seasons. Taylor turned those receptions into 252 yards and five touchdowns. Taylor has rushed for over 2,000 yards twice in three seasons and hit 1,977 in his freshman campaign. The biggest knock on Taylor is his college usage, having touched the ball 968 times in three seasons. Could this heavy workload hurt Taylor, or cause his NFL career to be shortened?

1.06. Tee Higgins – WR, Clemson Tigers – 6’4, 215lbs

Potential Landing Spot: Buffalo Bills

Higgins is a lanky receiver that has had great success over the years at Clemson. Coming off of a big sophomore season that saw Higgins catch 59 passes for 936 yards and 12 scores, he improved yet again, posting numbers of 59-1167-13. Higgins is a very long receiver that can go up and get the ball, even in double coverage. He’s great at attacking vertically, having an average of 18.1 yards-per-reception at Clemson. Higgins would make a great deep threat for the Bills and would compliment Cole Beasley and John Brown well in the offense.

1.07. Clyde Edwards-Helaire – RB, LSU Tigers – 5’8, 209lbs

Potential Landing Spot: Jacksonville Jaguars

Edwards-Helaire has been rising up draft boards with his recent production, especially in the National Championship Game. Against Clemson – a defense with multiple first round NFL draft prospects – Edwards-Helaire ran the ball 16 times for 110 yards. He also caught five passes for 54 yards. On the season, Edwards-Helaire hauled in 55 receptions which helps push him up draft boards in PPR leagues. He can cut on a dime and has a nose for the endzone, scoring 16 rushing touchdowns as a junior despite quarterback Joe Burrow accounting for 60 himself. A downside to the junior back is his size. At only 5’8, 209 it may be tough to carve out a three-down role at the next level.

1.08. Cam Akers – RB, Florida State Seminoles – 5’11, 212lbs

Potential Landing Spot: Buffalo Bills

Akers is a big physical back that has the ability to be a nice power back in the NFL. Akers has the size and power to be able to make something out of nothing. As a former quarterback, Akers is still a bit raw and may need time to develop at the next level. However, this should also help him to be able to pick up pass protection. Akers has been a good pass catcher over his career, hauling in 69 receptions for 486 yards and seven touchdowns in his collegiate career. Akers would make a nice addition to the Buffalo backfield in leu of Frank Gore to back-up Devin Singletary. Akers would be a nice change of pace back in that situation.

1.09. Jalen Reagor – WR, TCU Horned Frogs – 5’11, 195lbs

Potential Landing Spot: New Orleans Saints

Reagor is a deep threat. You won’t see him running across the middle very often, if at all. He’s on the field to burn you deep, and he did that on multiple occasions in 2019. Reagor is fast, can go up and get it, and has nice footwork, especially around the line of scrimmage to aid himself in getting open. Reagor is also a force in the punt/kick return game. Reagor averaged 20.8 yards-per-punt-return this season for the Horned Frogs. Reagor does drop his fair share of passes, and as a matter of fact, one of his punt return touchdowns this season came on a ball that he muffed and picked back up. He would make a nice compliment to Michael Thomas in New Orleans.

1.10. Henry Ruggs III – WR, Alabama Crimson Tide – 6’0, 190lbs

Potential Landing Spot: Philadelphia Eagles

Ruggs is an absolute burner. I’m legitimately excited to see his 40 time at the combine, because this guy has already been clocked at over 24 miles-per-hour. Ruggs makes catches in traffic and is a play maker with the ball in his hands. In the perfect situation, he’s the next Tyreek Hill. In a non-perfect situation, he’s the next Tavon Austin. Buyer beware.

1.11. Justin Jefferson – WR, LSU Tigers – 6’3, 192lbs

Potential Landing Spot: Cincinnati Bengals

Jefferson took advantage of Joe Burrow’s unbelievable season by hauling in 111 receptions in 15 games (over seven receptions-per-game.) Jefferson posted 1,540 receiving yards and 18 receiving touchdowns. Like Reagor, just one pick above, Jefferson is a deep threat. He’s very athletic and has found ways to get open near the goal line, as evidence from his 18 receiving touchdowns. I’d love to see Jefferson head to Cincy to continue developing with Joe Burrow.

1.12. Bryan Edwards – WR, South Carolina Gamecocks – 6’3, 215lb

Potential Landing Spot: Washington

Edwards is one of the more athletic wide receivers in the class. He has great strength and size and above average hands. He’s a physical wide receiver that will be a red-zone threat in the NFL. Edwards missed some time in 2019 with a knee injury and has never had a 1,000-yard season in his four-year college career. The numbers aren’t flashy, but he looks like a next-level talent.

Round 2

2.01. Zack Moss – RB, Utah Utes – 5’10, 222lbs

Potential Landing Spot: Kansas City Chiefs

Moss is quite a tank. He can run you over but is also agile enough to make defenders miss with solid cuts. Moss shows great balance, being able to bounce off defenders at will and continue running. He’s not the fastest in the open field, but his one-cut running style keeps him moving down hill well enough to rarely lose yardage. I’d like to see him end up in KC, where he has the potential to fill the void that has been the Kansas City backfield since Kareem Hunt’s departure.

2.02. Tyler Johnson – WR, Minnesota Golden Gophers – 6’2, 205lbs

Potential Landing Spot: Jacksonville Jaguars

Johnson broke out in his junior season in 2018 and followed that up with an even better 2019. Johnson caught 86 passes for the Golden Gophers for 1,318 yards and 13 touchdowns in 13 games. Averaging a touchdown-per-game and over 100 receiving-yards-per-game, Johnson flashed his incredible route running skills and above average footwork to get open. Johnson should make for an above average receiving option at the next level.

2.03. Antonio Gandy-Golden – WR, Liberty Flames – 6’4, 220lbs

Potential Landing Spot: San Francisco 49ers

Gandy-Golden may have the greatest hands in the draft. He’s also great at using his 6’4" frame to go up and get it. He does a great job beating defenders at jump balls. He also tracks the ball well in the air, and if the ball is coming his way, you better believe he is going to catch it. My only reservation is the fact Gandy-Golden comes out of a small school in Liberty. He hasn’t seen much, if any, NFL caliber coverage. He may have used that to his advantage in catching 150 passes for 2,433 yards and 20 touchdowns over the past two seasons. He may need time to adjust to the NFL, but if he does just that, he could be a great deep threat at the next level.

2.04. Ke’Shawn Vaughn – RB, Vanderbilt Commodores – 5’10, 218lbs

Potential Landing Spot: Carolina Panthers

Vaughn hits holes quickly and is hard to take down with arm tackles. He is a physical runner that has run for over 1,000 yards each of the past two seasons. Vaughn shows nice hands out of the backfield as well, catching 41 passes for 440 yards and three touchdowns over the past two seasons. Vaughn doesn’t have the greatest speed, and regressed a bit in 2019, running for just 5.2 yards-per-carry, down from 7.9 in 2018.

2.05. Laviska Shenault Jr. – WR, Colorado Buffaloes – 6’2, 220lbs

Potential Landing Spot: Philadelphia Eagles

Shenault is going to need some polishing before he can truly shine at the next level. His route tree is limited, and many plays were scripted to get him the ball at Colorado. He showed a significant drop off from his sophomore to junior season, catching just 56 balls for 764 yards in 2019 in a PAC-12 conference that is not known for strong defenses. The raw talent is there for Shenault, but if you end up with him, he would be a better taxi squad player than someone who will help fantasy rosters this season.

2.06. Joe Burrow – QB, LSU Tigers – 6’4, 216lbs

Potential Landing Spot: Cincinnati Bengals

Burrow is a lock to go to the Bengals with the first pick of the draft. He posted the greatest season in college football history in 2019 and is easily the 1.01 in Superflex or two QB leagues. If your dynasty team is in desperate need for a quarterback, I have no issue with drafting him earlier than this.

2.07. Cole Kmet – TE, Notre Dame Fighting Irish – 6’5, 250lbs

Potential Landing Spot: Carolina Panthers

My TE1 in this draft, Kmet shows great hands and physicality. Kmet is a huge target in the middle of the field and runs smooth routes for a tight end. Kmet will join Tyler Eifert and Kyle Rudolph as Notre Dame tight ends in the NFL. Like most NFL-bound tight ends, Kmet’s run blocking could use some work, but his size and athleticism should make him a viable NFL tight end. He caught 43 passes for 515 yards and six touchdowns in 2019.

2.08. Michael Pittman Jr. – WR, USC Trojans – 6’4, 220lbs.

Potential Landing Spot: Arizona Cardinals

Pittman had a huge season for the USC Trojans in 2019. He caught 101 passes (7.7 per game) for 1,275 yards and 11 touchdowns in a breakout senior season. Pittman has strong hands and a great ability to catch the deep ball. He’s tall and strong and a potential late second-round steal. Pittman isn’t super-fast and may struggle to learn the ropes at the next level. He can excel in the right opportunity.

2.09. Denzel Mims – WR, Baylor Bears – 6’3, 215lbs.

Potential Landing Spot: Minnesota VIkings

If you throw the ball anywhere in the same area code as Denzel Mims, he has a chance to catch it. He’s shown great hands, footwork and body control over the last three seasons at Baylor. He can go up and get it with the best of them and his 6’3", 215lbs frame certainly helps with that. Mims certainly has potential to move up my board as the rookie draft gets closer.

2.10. Tua Tagovailoa – QB, Alabama Crimson Tide – 6’1, 218 lbs.

Potential Landing Spot: Miami Dolphins

The only thing scaring me about Tua is how he can rebound from the injury that cost him the end of his 2019 campaign. Also, the fact that he is left-handed doesn’t help, but that can certainly be overcome. Tagovailoa has all of the skills to be impressive at the next level. I would take Tua if I’m looking for a backup QB that I plan on eventually putting out there after he proves himself in the league.

2.11. Hunter Bryant – TE, Washington Huskies – 6’2, 239lbs.

Potential Landing Spot: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bryant is listed as a tight end but plays more like a wide receiver. He’s great at tracking the ball as well. He has plus speed for a tight end. If he is played at tight end at the next level, it could take time for his blocking to come around, but he could contribute at receiver right away. He caught 52 passes for 825 yards and three touchdowns in 2019.

2.12. Eno Benjamin – RB, Arizona State Sun Devils – 5’10, 210lbs

Potential Landing Spot: New York Jets

Best case scenario for Benjamin is a running back by committee role in the NFL. He measured quite smaller than listed at the senior bowl, so his size could be an issue. Benjamin also regressed in 2019, falling from 1,642 rushing yards (5.5 per carry) to 1,083 rushing yards (4.3 per carry.) However, Benjamin shows great burst and doesn’t lose yardage often. He has great balance, often bouncing off defenders and gaining yards after contact. He has shown pass catching ability as well. He could be a sneaky late-second round pick.

Round 3

3.01. K.J. Hill – WR, Ohio State Buckeyes – 6’0, 195lbs.

Potential Landing Spot: Miami Dolphins

Hill set a school record this season for most career receptions, posting 201 receptions over his four-year career. Hill runs great routes and uses his quickness to get open. His size is a concern at the next level, but in the right system he may prove to be a quality slot receiver.

3.02. Albert Okwuegbunam – TE, Missouri Tigers – 6’5, 255lbs.

Potential Landing Spot: Pittsburgh Steelers

This guy is huge. I’m interested to see how accurate his measurables are at the combine, but either way this is a big man. He also shows flashes of having great hands and can certainly make the contested catch. His blocking needs some work, but if you have the room to stash a tight end on your roster for a few years, this guy has great potential for a second or third season breakout.

3.03. Jauan Jennings – WR, Tennessee Volunteers – 6’3, 208lbs

Potential Landing Spot: Denver Broncos

Jennings certainly carries a bit of baggage, which ranks slots him into the 3rd round for me. He has struggled through some injuries over his time at Tennessee. He’s already had a pair of knee surgeries as well as some wrist concerns and used a medical redshirt in order to play in a fifth season for the Volunteers. Jennings has also previously had a spat with some members of the old Tennessee coaching staff and was briefly dismissed from the team at one point. Jennings has been a starter ever since his freshman year but has never posted a 1,000-yard receiving season. The closest he has come was his senior campaign in 2019 where he caught 59 balls for 969 yards and eight touchdowns in 13 games. In all, Jennings is a tall, strong receiver that could be a diamond in the rough at the next level.

3.04. KJ Hamler – WR, Penn State Nittany Lions – 5’9, 176lbs

Potential Landing Spot: Detroit Lions

See K.J. Hill above, except Hamler is somehow even smaller yet. Hamler is fast and uses that speed to get open. He is a playmaker with the ball in his hands. He accounted for 56 catches for 904 yards and eight touchdowns for Penn State in 2019. His size reduces him to a slot role only in the NFL and his frame also makes it tough for him to come down with contested catches. He does use quick and agile footwork to get open.

3.05. Kylin Hill – RB, Mississippi State Bulldogs – 5’11, 215lbs.

Potential Landing Spot: Pittsburgh Steelers

Hill is a physical runner that posted some impressive numbers in 2019 for having to play in the SEC. Hill ran the ball for 5.6 yards-per-carry with 1,350 yards on 242 carries and ten touchdowns. Hill is also a physical blocker and displays decent hands out of the backfield. He He doesn’t have great speed but can make up for it in physicality.

3.06. Brandon Aiyuk – WR, Arizona State Sun Devils – 6’1, 206lbs.

Potential Landing Spot: Miami Dolphins

Aiyuk was a dynamic punt/kick returner for Arizona State in 2019. He was also paired with Eno Benjamin as the main source of offense for the Sun Devils. Aiyuk broke out in his senior season, grabbing 65 passes for 1,192 yards and eight touchdowns. He missed the senior bowl with an injury, but his ability with the ball in his hands makes him someone to keep an eye on.

3.07. Brycen Hopkins – TE, Purdue Boilermakers – 6’5, 245lbs.

Potential Landing Spot: Jacksonville Jaguars

Hopkins broke out in his 2019 senior campaign, nearly doubling his receptions from the year before. Hopkins finished with 61 grabs for 830 yards and seven touchdowns. Hopkins is a pass catching tight end that runs great routes and has solid hands. He’s also on the faster side for tight ends. He should find success at the next level.

3.08. Isaiah Hodgins – WR, Oregon State Beavers – 6’4, 209lbs.

Potential Landing Spot: New York Giants

Hodgins was the best receiver in the country in the red zone in 2019. In the red zone, Hodgins was targeted 12 times, catching all 12 of those passes for nine touchdowns. He scored 13 times in all on the season and had 1,171 receiving yards for the Oregon State offense. Hodgins has great body control which he uses to his advantage to bring down a ton of jump balls. Hodgins isn’t the fastest guy out there but in turn, he is able to change direction fairly quickly and get open.

3.09. Joshua Kelley – RB, UCLA Bruins – 5’11, 214lbs.

Potential Landing Spot: Carolina Panthers

Kelley has posted back-to-back 1,000 yard rushing seasons for UCLA and looks to continue that in the NFL. In his career at UCLA, Kelley has run the ball 454 times for 2,303 yards and 24 touchdowns. He is a physical back that isn’t afraid to run defenders over. He’s not super-fast but is incredibly physical. He will make a great fit for someone looking for a third down or short-yardage back.

3.10. Warren Jackson – WR, Colorado State Rams – 6’6, 219lbs.

Potential Landing Spot: Tennessee Titans

Jackson may be the tallest receiver in the draft, measuring in at 6’6. Jackson broke out this past season with a 77-1,119-8 line. His height obviously helps him win the jump ball as he was mainly a deep threat for Colorado State this season. It will be interesting to see his combine performance, as playing in the Mountain West Conference doesn’t always put receivers up against NFL caliber coverage.

3.11. Deejay Dallas – RB, Miami Hurricanes – 5’10, 214lbs

Potential Landing Spot: Green Bay Packers

I really like Dallas. He is a great mix of speed and power. Arm tackles rarely bring him down, and once he gets to the secondary, he is gone. He’s had quite a bit of success in the wildcat formation at Miami and has also shown flashes of greatness at returning kicks and punts. Dallas may not have flashy numbers, but his touches were managed nicely in his three seasons at The U. In his career, Dallas ran the ball 265 times for 1,527 yards and 17 touchdowns in three seasons. He averaged six yards-per-carry as a senior and should have plenty left in the tank for whatever team takes him in the draft.

3.12. Justin Herbert – QB, Oregon Ducks – 6’6, 237lbs

Potential Landing Spot: Los Angeles Chargers

With the recent news that the Chargers are moving on from Philip Rivers, Herbert becomes a clear top-10 pick in the draft and may be able to stay on the west coast. I’m personally staying away from Herbert, but after posting 95 career passing touchdowns and a career QBR of 153.1 at Oregon, there isn’t much that will keep NFL teams away from taking him early on the first night of the draft.

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