Rookies we like in 2020

The Top Rookies At Each Position.

Written By: Steven Perez

2/29/2020


In this article we will take a look at the top rookies from the 2020 class. This article will cover the Top Quarterbacks, Top Running Backs, Top Wide Receivers, and the Top Tight Ends. The 2020 class is full of Running backs and Wide receiver talent, and a lot of guys who could make early impacts on their new teams. So, let's get right into it because there is a lot to cover.


Quarterbacks

Joe Burrow - LSU - 527 Passing Attempts, 5671 Yards Passing, 10.8 Yards Per Attempt, 76.3 Completion Percentage, 60 Passing Touchdowns, 6 Interceptions, 368 Rushing Yards, 5 Rushing Touchdowns. 

   Joe's stats are as impressive as his play last season, leading the LSU Tiger's to their 4th national championship. Joe has good touch on his deep ball while having very good arm strength. His accuracy is up there with Drew Brees, and that is not an exaggeration. Burrow's arm strength won't be tops in the league, but he can make all the throws. He has great accuracy on his short to intermediate throws and great deep ball accuracy. Burrow has good athleticism and can run with the ball to get first downs. Near the endzone he is not afraid to tuck and run it in for 6. He should and will be the first Qb taken in this year's draft. For fantasy purposes in dynasty, I would take him middle to end of the first round, depending on if you need a Qb. He shouldn't go later than the beginning of round 2 in any dynasty league. In redraft, I would rather have a known commodity, but if you are an extreme risk-taker and depending on where he lands (He will be a Bengal), I would take a chance on him in the double-digit rounds.


Tua Tagovialoa - Alabama - 252 Passing Attempts, 2840 Yards Passing, 11.3 Yards Per Attempt, 71.4 Completion Percentage, 33 Passing Touchdowns, 3 Interceptions, 17 Rushing Yards, 2 Rushing Touchdowns. 

   Tua can make all of the throws. He has the pocket awareness to keep plays alive and is always looking downfield. In my personal opinion, for fantasy I believe he has the highest ceiling in this year's class at the quarterback position with his ability to make plays with his legs. There is not a throw he can't make, and his elusive pocket play reminds me of Steve Young in his prime. Tua's deep ball arm strength will never be elite, but he has good touch and can get it downfield. For fantasy purposes, his injury hurts his draft stock, so, in dynasty, the middle of round two is safe. I am more of a risk-taker, and if I need to get younger at Qb and I have a good vet like Tom Brady, I would draft Tua. In redraft leagues, you will have to wait on his health status to know if he is draftable or not.


   

Justin Herbert - Oregon - 428 Passing Attempts, 3471 Yards Passing, 8.1 Yards Per Attempt, 66.8 Completion Percentage, 32 Passing Touchdowns, 6 Interceptions, 50 Rushing Yards, 4 Rushing Touchdowns. 

   Herbert is the last Qb we will cover in this article. Herbert has incredible arm talent but it is what’s in between those ears that I'm worried about for him as a prospect. Herbert can make every throw you need him to make, but when he sees pressure, he folds up. Against good competition in college, Herbert never showed up. He is a work in progress, but with his arm talent don't be surprised if he finds himself in round one. A late 3rd or early 4th rounder in dynasty, but in redraft leagues, he won't be drafted. 

 

Running backs


D'Andre Swift - Georgia - 196 Rushing Attempts, 1218 Rushing Yards, 6.2 Yards Per Attempt, 7 Rushing Touchdowns, 30 Targets, 24 Receptions, 216 Receiving Yards, 1 Receiving Touchdowns 

   To my eyes, Swift is the most electric running back in this year's class. He reminds me of a poor man's Shady McCoy, with his ability to stop and go and make guys miss. Not the Biggest back at 5'8", but his 215-pound frame is ideal for his size, nice and compacted. With some of the cuts this kid can make, I believe NFL teams would love to take him in the 2020 draft. The one thing for me that he does that bothers me is his upright running style at times. He tends to stand straight up while running the ball. That is correctable for some guys, but we shall see if it is for Swift at the next level. Swift will be one of the first Rb's taken in this year's draft, and he should be a guy you take as a top 3 pick in dynasty and a top 4 round pick in redraft.   


Zack Moss - Utah - 235 Rushing Attempts, 1416 Rushing Yards, 6.0 Yards Per Attempts, 15 Rushing Touchdowns, 29 Targets, 28 Receptions, 45 Receiving Yards, 2 Receiving Touchdowns 

   Moss has a great all-around game. He can run and catch well and is not afraid to lower his shoulder and punish tacklers. Moss is thick and has a low center of gravity and has the frame to be a three-down back at 5’10” 210 pounds. His size makes him hard to bring down on initial contact. Moss has soft hands, which he showed in college, and he has the frame to carry a workload. His knocks are that he doesn't look particularly fast on tape. What he lacks in speed, he makes up in power. Not afraid to lower his shoulder and get those extra couple yards. Moss is a back that I will be very interested in, depending on where he lands. Keep an eye on this kid, Moss is sneaky good, and I would not be surprised if he is one of the first Rb's off the board in the 2020 Draft. Update* - Moss suffered a hamstring pull, which he contributed to his slow forty times while doing the broad jump. Moss was never expected to run a fast 40, but his other measurable may hurt his draft stock. The combine was not kind to Moss.


Jonathan Taylor - Wisconson - 320 Rushing Attempts, 2003 Rushing Yards, 6.3 Yards Per Attempts, 21 Rushing Touchdowns, 36 Targets, 26 Receptions, 252 Receiving Yards, 5 Receiving Touchdowns

    My favorite pure running back in this class. A guy who, over his college career, averaged over 2000 rushing yards. Taylor has the speed to take it to the house on any given play. He is shifty for his size, and he is a big boy. Not a receiving threat at all, but Taylor has everything else you want in a back. His heavy workload in college is a concern, but his size makes him a guy that should be able to withstand a pounding. He can block well, and as Chris Harris would say, his stop foot go foot is nasty. I hope Taylor goes to a team that can open up some holes for him because his open-field speed is electric. Taylor is a top 6 pick in dynasty for me, but only because he is not a receiving threat at all, which could spell committee back in the NFL. I'll be honest, that doesn't bother me too much because he has the "Juice" to be electric running the ball in the pros. In redraft leagues he should be a guy that goes in the mid-rounds, but depending on the landing spot could be higher.  


Clyde Edwards- Helaire - LSU - 214 Rushing Attempts, 1419 Rushing Yards, 6.6 Yards Per Attempts, 16 Rushing Touchdowns, 64 Targets, 55 Receptions, 453 Receiving Yards, 1 Receiving Touchdowns 

   CEH, as he is known, has excellent bounce and a three-down skill set. Playing behind Joe Burrow is always a good thing, but I say that not to take away from what he did this past college season. He made plays all over the field and was a big part of how good Burrows played this year. They were a perfect complement to one another. The only knock I have on CEH is his pass blocking. He may get his Qb blown up every once in awhile, but that can be learned with some coaching up. In dynasty, CEH is a first-round pick for sure, and in redraft a later round guy depending on where he goes. His pass blocking will slow his rookie season, so don't reach too far on him in redraft. 



J.K. Dobbins - Ohio State - 301 Rushing Attempts, 2002 Rushing Yards, 6.7 Yards Per Attempts, 21 Rushing Touchdowns, 28 Targets, 23 Receptions, 247 Receiving Yards, 2 Receiving Touchdowns 

   Now this is a guy I really like to watch play football. J.K. Dobbins, to me, is not the best back in this draft, but I love watching him play because he does it all and is so quick it gets me excited. When he finds the hole, he is through it in a blink of an eye. Not afraid to lower his shoulder and get the tough yards. J.K. always seems to be moving forward because of his acceleration. Excellent balance to stay on his feet, and good luck with an arm tackle with this guy's balance. Not too many bad things to say about Dobbins. The one thing that he does once in a while that bothers me is he runs straight up through the hole. Which, in the NFL, could lead to strip fumbles as guys rip at the ball. Just like what happened in the Michigan game when he lost a fumble, and it luckily bounced right back to him. Ohio State also has one of the best O-lines in all of college football, but I won't knock him for that. Dobbins did what he had to do with what he was given, enough to impress me to say I would take him early in dynasty, a top 3 pick for me, and in redraft also a top 4 round pick.

 


Cam Akers - Florida State - 231 Rushing Attempts, 1142 Rushing Yards, 4.9 Yards Per Attempts, 14 Rushing Touchdowns, 38 Targets, 30 Receptions, 225 Receiving Yards, 4 Receiving Touchdowns 

   Cam is another guy I like a lot. He never played behind an offensive line that you would call good, but finds a way to be productive. He is a three-down back that has all the ability to be a very productive back in the NFL. Some people may not see him in the same light as some of the bigger name backs in this draft, but for me, I'm taking him earlier than other analyst in all league formats. I believe Cam showed all the traits to be a very good NFL running back, and if he lands on a team that uses him in a three-down role, I believe he will show just how good he is in the NFL. In dynasty, he is an easy early first-rounder for me, and in redraft a mid-round guy, of course depending on the landing spot.


   
Antonio Gibson- Memphis -33 Rushing Attempts, 369 Rushing Yards, 11.2 Yards Per Attempts, 4 Rushing Touchdowns, 56 Targets, 38 Receptions, 735 Receiving Yards, 8 Receiving Touchdowns 

   Gibson is a Wr/Rb and at 6'2" 228, he has the size to be an NFL running back. He is fast and crazy elusive in the open field. An NFL team will see this and figure out a way to get the ball in his hands. His 4.39 forty time at this week's combine shows what kind of open field speed he has at his current size, and watching his tape he has the tools to be a guy we need to watch out for come draft day. In dynasty, I would be looking to get him in the second round, hoping people are sleeping on this kid. In redraft, it all depends where he lands and what their stable looks like. 


   
Joshua Kelley - UCLA - 229 Rushing Attempts, 1062 Rushing Yards, 4.6 Yards Per Attempts, 12 Rushing Touchdowns, 18 Targets, 11 Receptions, 71 Receiving Yards, 1 Receiving Touchdowns 

   Kelley is a low key running back that not a lot of people are going to be talking about this draft season. In the Senior Bowl he was the star by everyone's account. If you watch him play, Kelley has good, not great shiftiness but can make guys miss and find holes to exploit defenses. He also has good size at 5'11" 212. Kelley catches the ball fluidly and has a chance to become something on a team through his work ethic and grinding style of play. In dynasty, he will go late third-round early fourth, and in redraft, he won't be drafted unless he is drafted to a team that decides he has the skill to be their starter.


   
Ke'Shawn Vaughn - Vanderbilt - 199 Rushing Attempts, 1028 Rushing Yards, 5.2 Yards Per Attempts, 9 Rushing Touchdowns, 38 Targets, 28 Receptions, 161 Receiving Yards, 1 Receiving Touchdowns 

   Vaughn is a guy, that on tape, seems to like to round off his cuts, instead of cutting. At 4.51 he is not going to blow the top off of any defense, but he can get low and follow what is blocked for him. A good, not great receiver, he can be used in that capacity if need be. In dynasty, he will be a late-round three guy, and in redraft, unless he gets an immediate roll in an offense, he will be undrafted.



Wide Receiver



Jerry Jeudy - Alabama - 102 Targets, 77 Receptions, 1163 Receiving Yards, 25.1% Target Share, 10 Receiving Touchdowns         

   In my opinion, Jerry Judy is the best wide receiver in this class. He is always making guys miss in the open field and is fast, elusive, and has great hands. If you don't put hands on him at the beginning of his route, Jeudy can hurt you every time. He can stop, put his foot into the ground, and be almost at full speed in 2 steps. The only concern I have for Jeudy is if he can beat press coverage at the next level because he wasn't asked to do it much in college. Jeudy has all the tools to make him a superstar in the league. Personally, he would be my first Wr off the board in dynasty leagues and a Mid round draft pick in seasonal leagues.



   
CeeDee Lamb - Oklahoma - 94 Targets, 62 Receptions, 1327 Receiving Yards, 24.7% Target Share, 14 Receiving Touchdowns 

   CeeDee Lamb is my number 2 in this class. A lot of people’s number one, and to me, it's very close between lamb and Jeudy. Lamb is more pro-ready at this point in their careers. Lamb does everything you want in a wide receiver. He fights for every yard, great hands, leaping ability, elusive in open space, but doesn't have the same put your foot in the ground and be off to the races that Jeudy has. Lamb is excellent, always looking to make guys miss and never going down. He’s always trying to make the extra move to make a guy miss and take it to the house. I love the "Dog" in him. Lamb will be great at the next level, and I can't wait to see these two get to the NFL. In dynasty, Lamb is a top 5 pick, and in redraft a mid-round pick, same as Jeudy.


      
Brandon Aiyuk - Arizona State - 99 Targets, 65 Receptions, 1192 Receiving Yards, 26.9% Target Share, 8 Receiving Touchdowns 

   Aiyuk is quicker than fast and able to make plays in space, which he often did in college. An outstanding special team guy, he showed his ability to run in the open field and make plays. He has excellent explosion when getting in and out of breaks and has sure hands. He is a plus route runner who will transition well in the NFL. Aiyuk is just another excellent receiver in a very deep Wr class. In dynasty, I would take him early second round and be happy I have a good receiver for years to come. In redraft, he will be a late-round guy who could make a year one impact on your team.


    
Tee Higgins - Clemson - 87 Targets, 59 Receptions, 1167 Receiving Yards, 15.7% Target Share, 13 Receiving Touchdowns. 

     The Big Play waiting to happen, Tee Higgins is a guy I like a lot out of this year's class. He has all the tools to be a big-time receiver out of this class. 6'4" 215 with soft hands, and great field awareness, he routinely made catches while keeping his feet in bounds. Don't let the baby face fool you, this dude can ball, and he will steal your lunch if you don't get physical with him. The only knock I have with him is that he played with Trevor Lawrence in his two productive college years, which isn't his fault. If you let him get some jump balls and throw it to him while he is covered, he will make plays for you, no doubt. In dynasty, he is a first-round pick all-day, and in redraft, he is a guy I'm willing to take in the mid-rounds and maybe earlier depending on what Qb is throwing him the ball.


   
K.J. Hill - Ohio State - 75 Targets, 57 Receptions, 636 Receiving Yards, 18.7% Target Share, 10 Receiving Touchdowns    

   K.J. Hill is your prototypical slot receiver. Good hands and able to get open quickly while routinely able to make over the shoulder catches look easy. He should come on to a team that is slot receiver needy and be able to make an immediate impact on the squad. I like his savvy route running and his quickness in and out of breaks. In dynasty, he should be a late-second early third-round draft pick, and in re-draft, a late-round flyer.



Jauan Jennings - Tennessee - 92 Targets, 59 Receptions, 969 Receiving Yards, 24.4% Target Share, 8 Receiving Touchdowns 

  "The Dawg" gets his name from his physical play, always willing to throw his nose into a block and fight for extra yardage. His 4.71 forty is probably not going to kill his draft stock because he is a tall guy who takes a little bit to get to full speed, but his raw ability shows up on tape, and he can make plays in the NFL. Think of him as an Anquan Boldin type receiver. He never wants to be tackled and did get open on every fierce defender I saw him face in college. In dynasty, a late-round two, early-round three guy, and in redraft, will go late or not at all. 


 
Justin Jefferson - LSU - 134 Targets, 111 Receptions, 1540 Receiving Yards, 21.5% Target Share, 18 Receiving Touchdowns   

   A lot of the time what I saw out of Justin Jefferson was perfect ball placement by Joe Burrow, and not much of Jefferson doing a whole lot of anything to separate. I find it hard to see him getting a whole lot of separation at the next level, and that may be a problem. What I will say is he does make contested catches a lot of the time look easy, but in the NFL, the corners are just much better. If he can't make more separation for himself at the next level he will struggle. In dynasty, in my opinion, he is a guy I will let someone else take because people will see the production and be higher on him than me. In redraft, I won't touch him.



   
Tyler Johnson - Minnesota - 119 Targets, 87 Receptions, 1317 Receiving Yards, 32.8% Target Share, 13 Receiving Touchdowns 

   The best route runner in the class, his stutter-step is silly. He has good timing on his jump ball and makes contested catches look routinely easy. He is not going to take the top off defenses, but his route tree is large enough to keep defenders guessing on what he will do next. Poor man's Stefon Diggs is the best way to describe Johnson. I like what he brings to the table and he will be an excellent addition to whatever team he lands on come April. In dynasty, I would take him in round three, and in redraft, a late-round guy.


      
Laviska Shenault - Colorado - 80 Targets, 56 Receptions, 764 Receiving Yards, 20% Target Share, 4 Receiving Touchdowns 

   A physical freak at 6'1" 227, you won't see many receivers built like Shenault is built. Shenault breaks tackles like a running back. Rarely do you see him just go down, always looking for that extra yards with his powerful running style. Colorado put the ball in his hands as much as humanly possible, because he is just so dangerous with the ball. He needs some fine-tuning to his game, but he has the tools to be a ridiculous receiver in the NFL. In my opinion, he is a first-round guy in all dynasty leagues, and a mid to late rounder in redraft. * Update - Shenault will miss some time due to a core muscle injury. He will miss 4-6 weeks, which will include his pro day. We hope for a speedy recovery, but don't anticipate his draft stock falls all that much. Maybe the injury makes him a later second-round guy, but with his talent, we will still take him in the first round in dynasty.


  

Jalen Reagor - TCU - 88 Targets, 43 Receptions, 611 Receiving Yards, 23.5% Target Share, 5 Receiving Touchdowns    

   Jalen Reagor is one of my favorite receivers in the draft quick and fast is a great way to describe the 5'11 playmaker. His ability to cut and get right back up to full speed is up there with top receivers I have seen. Poor quarterback play was a huge contributing factor to his down 2019 numbers. He did have some drops in big spots in 2019, but his hands are not a concern for me. Reagor is just another one of these very talented receivers in this class, and for me, a guy I will be taking early to mid-round two in dynasty. His leaping ability at 5'11' makes him a guy that I don’t see having a big problem getting open, or even jumping over guys when he is covered. In redraft, a double-digit guy that has room to become a much higher pick in 2021. 


   
James Proche - SMU - 164 Targets, 111 Receptions, 1231 Receiving Yards, 33.8% Target Share, 15 Receiving Touchdowns    

   Proche is a guy I like a lot in this class. Playing alongside Courtland Sutton and Trey Quinn, he still had over 800 yards and 6 Touchdowns and averaged over 20 yards per catch in that 2017 season. I love his ability to make plays all over the field with his ability to make tough catches look easy. He attacks the ball in the air, rarely do you see him sitting back to wait on the pass in the air. Proche had a 12 game touchdown streak, which is impressive on any level. I love the fight in this kid and can't wait to see where he lands. Issues I have with him were his lack of competition in college (not his fault). His lack of tackle-breaking in college. His ability to get off the line of scrimmage in bump and run situations was not shown much in his college career. In dynasty, he is a round 3-4 player but has the potential to become an excellent slot receiver in the league, and that makes me want him on my dynasty team. 


   
Denzel Mims - Baylor - 113 Targets, 66 Receptions, 1015 Receiving Yards, 24.1% Target Share, 12 Receiving Touchdowns     

   Mims is big and fast, the kind of speed that shows up on tape and in his 40 times at the combine. If you're even, he's leaving, is a great way to express his speed on the field. When Mims has the ball in his hands he is ready to fight you for every yard. His ability to shield defenders with his body and make tough catches his where he excels on the field. His route tree is lacking, and the small things that make the great wide receivers great, he is lacking. With that said, he will learn those things. His ceiling, in my opinion, is just as high as anyone's in the class. Reagor is a guy, in dynasty, I will be taking at the end of round one, beginning of round two without hesitation. In redraft, it depends where he lands, but a later round shot, I would take on him and let him sit on my bench to see when he starts to pop.



   
Michael Pittman - USC - 133 Targets, 101 Receptions, 11269 Receiving Yards, 26.5% Target Share, 11 Receiving Touchdowns 

   4.52 is faster then I thought he would run if I'm being honest. He is a guy that won't kill you with his speed, but will kill you everywhere else. Pittman is fun to watch and a guy that is a true tactician, getting open in a variety of ways. His 6'4" frame blocks out the sun, and he can climb the ladder on any defender. He also has the ability to track the ball and adjust to it is on an elite level. I like Pittman a lot and will be looking to get him in late round, two early-round three of dynasty leagues. 



Henry Ruggs III - Alabama - 55 Targets, 40 Receptions, 744 Receiving Yards, 13.1% Target Share, 7 Receiving Touchdowns 

   Extreme elite speed and consistently outruns guys with angles on him. He is not just a speed threat, he has some route-running chops and is going to be a weapon on whatever team he ends up on this season. You can't teach his kind of elite speed, but every other aspect of his game can be molded into a weapon. A guy I am excited to draft in mid-round one in dynasty leagues because I see a much higher ceiling than just a deep threat in the NFL. In redraft, I would take him after round 9, only because he may be used as just a deep threat to begin his career.


    
Tight Ends



Before I start the Tight end breakdown, I want to express this is not a great Tight end class. None the less I will give you three guys I like in the class. Only one of them would I draft in dynasty and none in redraft.


   
Hunter Bryant - Washington - 80 Targets, 52 Receptions, 825 Receiving Yards, 3 Receiving Touchdowns 

   The new age wave of tight end continues to blossom out of college, and that is precisely what Hunter is in this class. Hunter looks more like a wide receiver than a tight end, but that doesn't matter because he is a receiving weapon and will be used as such in the NFL. 6'2" 241 is what the league is looking for in a receiving tight end, and Hunter fits the build. Fast off the line of scrimmage and can hurt you with his speed. An end of the third-rounder in dynasty and undraftable in redraft leagues. Although on the right offense he may shine year one, you never know.


  
Albert Okwuebunam - Mizzou - 44 Targets, 26 Receptions, 306 Receiving Yards, 6 Receiving Touchdowns 

   A red zone threat, and not much else at this point in his career, an NFL offense should be able to use him near the goal line. Okwuebunam is a guy that will go undrafted on fantasy, but if he starts scoring touchdowns at the next level, he will be worth a free agent pick up possibly.


Brycen Hopkins - Purdue - 89 Targets, 61 Receptions, 832 Receiving Yards, 7 Receiving Touchdowns 

   Hopkins is my number one tight end, and like Hunter, he has speed and playmaking ability. Not a guy I will make it a point to reach for because, as I said, in fantasy this class is not a tight end class. If you are needy at the tight end position in dynasty, I will take him no sooner than round three. I like his tape, but I don't love it. 



That concludes the 2020 draft class breakdown. Make sure you check back in to see what updates we make to the 2020 draft class breakdown. Any updates will be put into bold text and say update*. So, enjoy this draft class in the 2020 season because it is an exciting one. 

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