Donovan Peoples-Jones Fantasy
Peoples-Jones is a polarizing prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft. He was a 5 STAR high school recruit but was not able to break out in a Michigan offense that is notorious for not being able to translate talent to production. An impressive combine, combined with good film, will keep him high on the board of NFL scouts and GMs, meaning he should be high on your board as well. He likely will be going in the mid-second round or later in your fantasy football rookie drafts, meaning this raw but high upside player could be a tremendous value for your roster.
- 212 lbs.
- Age: 21
Donovan Peoples-Jones had high expectations coming out of high school. He was the top recruit in the 2017 wide receiver class, and 12th overall. Being the top recruit at the position in that class means he was rated higher than a lot of players considered to be top wideout prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft, including Tee Higgins (WR2), Jerry Jeudy (WR3), Henry Ruggs (WR11), Jalen Reagor (WR13), and CeeDee Lamb (WR24). Rankings, obviously, don’t mean everything but it shows just how high of a ceiling he has.
NFL Combine Recap
- 40 Yard Dash: 4.48s
- Vertical Jump: 44 1/2″
- Broad Jump: 139″
Peoples-Jones confirmed the athleticism that drove up his high school recruiting profile at the 2020 NFL Combine. Both his vertical jump (44 1/2″) and broad jump (139″) place him in the 99th percentile all-time for wide receivers. He also has prototypical build for wideouts; his 33 1/2″ arm length is in the 89th percentile and his 10 1/8″ hand size is in the 90th percentile. His 4.48s 40 yard dash time puts him in the 64th percentile, which is great for his large frame.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Donovan Peoples-Jones is an athletic, big-bodied wide receiver that can quickly translate to the Z role in an NFL offense. He has a large catch radius, consistently using proper body positioning to put him in a position to go up and get jump balls. He leverages his large frame well and is an enticing combination of fluidity and body control. He doesn’t burst off the line of scrimmage but has excellent long speed that can help him play on the boundary. He does release very well off press coverage, which allows him to separate quickly off the line of scrimmage.
His ceiling, though, does seem to be capped by his limited quickness and agility. Although he separates quickly off the line of scrimmage with strong hands, he loses that space quickly when defenders catch up to him. His tape doesn’t suggest he has an extensive grasp on the entire route tree; it will take him time at the next level to both develop his route tree and refine his rounded footwork. He also will not be making defenses nervous with the ball in the hands; his lack of elusiveness and burst means the majority of his damage will be done before the catch.
Best Fit: NFL Scheme
Peoples-Jones will likely never be the top wide receiver on his NFL team. Given his size and fluidity, he likely will line-up in a variety of positions. Likely, though, he will play primarily out of the Z for his future NFL team. I like this for Donovan Peoples-Jones; he works best when he is able to be schemed into one on one situations. He will find better success when he is not pulling top coverage and can use his size to out physical defensive backs. Creative play-callers also may bump him into the slot to create a mismatch against undersized slot corners. He best fits in an offense that will push the ball downfield through a spread or vertical attack. He would be best suited for success with teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, or Kansas City Chiefs.
Similar to his status on an NFL team, Donovan Peoples-Jones shouldn’t be the best receiver on your fantasy football team. He can, however, be a solid contributor on an NFL roster and your fantasy football teams. If he finds himself one of the offenses I listed above or any offense that prioritizes pushing the ball downfield, he has the upside to be a fantasy football WR2. If, instead, he lands on a team looking for him to use his large frame to block on the outside while serving as a third option flanker, such as the Baltimore Ravens or Tennessee Titans, his floor puts him closer to WR4 territory for fantasy football.
Peoples-Jones will likely come off the board in the mid-second round or later of your fantasy football rookie drafts. If he is still available at this point, and you have wide receiver need, his ceiling makes him a worthwhile pick.
Matt is a seasoned fantasy football analyst that writes dynasty and devy fantasy football content year-round. In addition to writing for Gridiron Experts, he writes and hosts a podcast for The Dynasty Draft Room and publishes all of his work at patreon.com/theffeducator