Dynasty Rookie Preview
The 2020 rookie class is flowing with talent, despite a few recent names that have decided to return to college. At the wide receiver position, there are a few names to keep an eye on as the top tier guys, but the depth is really where this wide receiver class gets fun. If you own some 2020 2nd round picks, hold onto them and you’ll still be able to get some great value this year.
Jerry Jeudy – Alabama
6’1 190 pounds
The first name up is Jerry Jeudy out of Alabama, who has been arguably one of the top Devy prospects in recent years. He seems to have lost some of his steam recently, and dynasty owners have forgotten just how good he is. Jeudy runs elite routes and I haven’t seen a rookie run them so good since Amari Cooper was a rookie. Jeudy is extremely well-rounded with great speed, decent size, and an insane ability to start and stop with his routes. It’s tough to find any real holes in his game, but some analysts talk about his drops potentially being an issue, but I don’t really see it. In 2018 Jeudy put up 1,300 yards and 14 TDs but saw a drop off in production this year. I’d largely chalk that up to losing Tua Tagovailoa, but he still finished the season with 1,163 yards and 10 TDs.
CeeDee Lamb – Oklahoma
6’2 190 pounds
Next up is CeeDee Lamb out of Oklahoma, who is basically the 1b to Jeudy’s 1a for me in this class. Many analysts have Lamb as the top wide receiver, and I have no issue with that. With his size, Lamb profiles as a WR1 in the NFL. He’s a big target with great hands, great body control, and runs great routes. Lamb also high-points the ball very well and is really tough to take down. I’ve seen some recent comps to guys like DeAndre Hopkins and Davante Adams, which is a little much, but with his size, style of play, and physicality, it’s really tough not to love this guy.
Tee Higgins – Clemson
6’4 215 pounds
Another name to keep an eye on is Tee Higgins out of Clemson. Size is his biggest advantage, and for someone who is this big, he’s got great speed and athleticism. Higgins has a massive catch radius and like many NFL players, is a former basketball player who can simply go up and get the ball. That combined with his size will make him very tough to defend in the red zone. Higgins plays on the outside almost exclusively, which is something worth monitoring as someone who doesn’t have a ton of work across the middle of the field or out of the slot. With 13 TDs in 2019 and 12 TDs in 2018, Higgins has a knack for finding the end zone and could end up being a weapon in the red zone in the NFL.
Henry Ruggs – Alabama
6’0 180 pounds
Next is another wide receiver out of Alabama, Henry Ruggs. Ruggs might just be the fastest wide receiver in this class and beats defensive backs consistently with his speed. His route tree isn’t the greatest, but that isn’t overly concerning given his play style. He definitely needs to improve on his routes, but he thrives with the quick slant passes and isn’t afraid to take on contact in the middle of the field. Ruggs might be a bit landing spot dependant, but he’s got some very intriguing upside and could be a nice weapon in the NFL. One concern is that Ruggs wasn’t super productive at Alabama, but with all of the talent at the position, it isn’t too surprising. Not to mention, the injury to Tagovailoa.
Jalen Reagor – TCU
5’11 195 pounds
If you’re someone that watches just the highlights and not a lot of tape, Jalen Reagor will get you very excited. At TCU, Reagor had some terrible quarterback play this year and still looked really good. Speed is the first thing you’ll notice when watching him play, and he’ll likely jump up some draft boards if he has a great Combine. Reagor thrives out of the slot and isn’t afraid of contact across the middle of the field. He’s a very physical wide receiver and does a great job of high pointing the ball. Reagor is an exciting player to watch and is someone it will be fun watching his draft stock over the next month or two.
Laviska Shenault – Colorado
6’2 220 pounds
Next up is a more polarizing prospect in this class, Laviska Shenault out of Colorado. Many analysts have Shenault as one of the highest-drafted wide receivers in this class, while many others aren’t a fan of him at all. He looks like a wide receiver in a running back’s body on the field, and is a nice gadget player. He has good size and isn’t afraid of contact. He’s very physical and will have some interesting upside as a weapon in the NFL as someone who has good vision and will likely be a YAC type of guy.
Shenault is concerning to many analysts thanks to his injuries over the past two years. His routes aren’t the best and there are times where he drops the ball which looks like it may be due to concentration. The upside that he brings is hard to ignore and it will be very interesting to see where he lands and how an offense plans on utilizing him.
Justin Jefferson – LSU
6’3 190 pounds
The next wide receiver to keep an eye on is Justin Jefferson out of LSU. Jefferson has good athleticism for his size and runs solid, quick routes to get open. He’s physical enough to make catches under coverage and he uses his body very well to do so. Jefferson has plenty of speed, but it doesn’t always look like it. He’s better in his intermediate to deeper routes, rather than the short passes. While Ja’Marr Chase is the best wide receiver on this offense and was the star in the National Championship game, Jefferson still finished with 106 yards. Jefferson finished the season with an LSU record in receiving yards with 1,540 as well as a record with 18 TDs. If you’re looking for a wide receiver with a fairly safe floor in this class, Jefferson is someone you might be able to snag in the second round of your 2020 rookie drafts.
Tyler Johnson – Minnesota
6’2 190 pounds
Next up is Tyler Johnson out of Minnesota. If you’re a fan of analytics and measurements, just check out his Dominator Rating. With his size, route-running ability, and ability to catch anything thrown at him, he’s a guy with plenty of upside. Johnson is someone that can play on the outside as well as in the slot and he has a knack for making defenders miss. As someone who converted to the wide receiver position and is fairly polarizing, the Shrine Bowl could be telling for his draft stock. Keep an eye on Johnson as someone who could creep up your rankings as the NFL Draft approaches. It’s also worth noting, that PFF has Johnson rated as their top wide receiver in this class.
Bryan Edwards – South Carolina
6’3 215 pounds
This next wide receiver out of South Carolina is a ridiculous athlete and has some amazing highlights and that’s Bryan Edwards. He’s a very solid athlete for his size, and has great ball skills. South Carolina didn’t utilize him a ton this year, but he still looked great with the volume that he saw. Edwards isn’t a burner but beats defenders with his ball skills and physicality. South Carolina used him a great deal against Vanderbilt and he was very reliable, catching 14 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown. He’s a bit underrated at the moment, but Edwards is someone that is very intriguing and I think offers good upside if he gets drafted to the right team. Edwards is also one of the few wide receivers to have a Breakout Age of 17, which is absurd if you’re into analytics. If you want to get really excited about Edwards, go watch his catch against Tennessee. You’ll know which one I’m talking about when you see it.
Michael Pittman – USC
6’4 220 pounds
The last wide receiver that I’ll be covering is Michael Pittman out of USC. For his size, he’s someone that is very quick and much more athletic than he appears. Pittman is more of a possession receiver, but I think if he gets drafted to the right spot he could be someone that is a threat in the red zone and is a solid NFL receiver. He’ll be someone to watch as the NFL Combine approaches, and could see a bump in value if he shows out with his Combine performance.