Dynasty Rookie Rankings
The following is Gridiron Experts Dynasty Rookie Rankings for 2020. We plan to expand on these rankings as more of our staff members begin to submit their dynasty rookie rankings this offseason.
Dynasty Rookie Rankings Overview
Nothing will stop the 2020 NFL Draft from happening on April 23, 2020. With all sports halted around the world amidst a global pandemic, the NFL continues to go on as “business as usual”. Roger Goodell will be announcing selections from his basement and maybe if we are loud enough from our respective quarantines he might still be able to hear our boos. Regardless I feel I speak for all NFL and fantasy football fans when I saw I am excited about the NFL Draft and it could not come with a better crop of players. The 2020 draft class is filled with all sorts of players and it will be an interesting process to see changes in dynasty rookie rankings with the rookies finally having landing spots. But for now, I am breaking down the 2020 positional draft class as a whole, going from quarterbacks all the way to tight ends. Enjoy!
The 2o2o rookie quarterback class starts with the projected number one overall pick: Joe Burrow from LSU. In 2019 he led the LSU Tigers to the National Championship after throwing for 60 touchdowns, 5,668 yards, and completing passes at an absurd 76.3%. It looks like a foregone conclusion that the Bengals will draft Burrow to be their franchise quarterback. After Burrow, the most coveted quarterback is Tua Tagovailoa from Alabama. One could argue that if Tagovailoa did not have any injury concerns that he would potentially push for the number overall quarterback drafted. Regardless he still has an extremely high ceiling which is why he should be selected in the top-five picks. These two quarterbacks are definitely the top of the class with high-end starter potential to start right away. However, there are a few other potential starters and wild cards rounding out the class that would benefit from sitting for a year.
Justin Herbert and Jordan Love are both projected to be first-round picks. Herbert is athletic and has a lot of experience coming from Oregon. Love has big-play upside and traits that have drawn comparisons to Patrick Mahomes. Jalen Hurts is definitely a wild-card in this draft because his traits translate to being an effective mobile quarterback at the next level; he is projected to be drafted in the third round. Overall this quarterback draft class has some future NFL stars at the top with a few other guys that potentially have the chance to be long-term starters at the NFL level.
The strongest group of this draft class has to be the wide receivers. Hardcore dynasty fantasy football players have been stockpiling 2020 rookie draft picks because of how great and deep this receiver class truly is. The top-three receivers CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, and Henry Ruggs III are all projected to go inside the top-15 picks. According to Sports Info Solutions, Lamb ranked number one last season in yards per target (14.3), yard per route run (3.9), and yards after the catch per reception (11.2). Jeudy from Alabama is by far the best route runner in the class and Ruggs (also from Alabama) ran the fastest 40-yard dash at the NFL combine since John Ross (4.27).
The next tier of receivers project to go in the backend of the first round: Justin Jefferson, Denzel Mims, and Brandon Aiyuk. Jefferson was the main slot receiver in the LSU spread offense leading all receivers in slot yards (1,518), receptions (109), and touchdowns (18). Mims’ stock has risen substantially since testing at the NFL combine where his workouts metric showed he possesses elite athleticism. Aiyuk was an absolute YAC monster at Arizona State where he ranked second in yards after the catch per reception (10.9). The under/over on wide receivers drafted in the first round is at 5.5; you can count me in for the over. Last years’ class had just three receivers go in the top-36. This year’s class could have up to eight receivers taken in the top-36 picks.
In 2019, we saw just two running backs taken in the top-53 picks and we should see something similar in 2020. There is a consensus big four between De’Andre Swift, Johnathan Taylor, J.K. Dobbins, and Cam Akers. Clyde Edwards-Helaire from LSU has also been generating a lot of pre-draft hype. However, the one that has been mocked most going in the first round is Swift; he is often most mock drafted to the Miami Dolphins with their last first-round pick. His three-down skillset is looking extremely attractive to NFL franchises.
The over/under line is set at 1.5 for running backs taken in the first round so it would be shocking if any other running backs are taken in the first round. There are no-generational talents at running back in this class, but there are multiple guys that can handle a three-down bell-cow role. For fantasy dynasty rankings landing spots are going to be a key factor in where to rank these running backs along with draft capital. This running back class has talent at the top and some of these running backs are going to not only be relevant in dynasty leagues but also resurface in traditional redraft fantasy football leagues.
If wide receivers are the strength of the 2o20 class than the tight ends are the glaring weakness. No tight end is projected to drafted until at least the second round; that differs completely from last year where we saw multiple tight ends (four in the top 52) be drafted very early. There is a chance in 2020 that no tight end goes in the top-60 selections. Betonline.com has the under/over on tight ends drafted in the first round at 0.5 with the over at +725.
When a tight end is drafted it will most likely be Cole Kmet from Notre Dame or potentially small-school standout, Adam Trautman, from Dayton. Kmet is an extremely explosive athlete; his burst score from the NFL combine was number one in the class (126.3, 88th percentile). He finished last season with 43 receptions for 515 receiving yards and six touchdowns. When it comes to Trautman he also excelled as pass-catcher albeit against opponents in the smaller FCS. Per PFF, no tight end had a higher receiver grade (94.3) than Trautman did in 2019.
The reason this class is weak is the tight ends are not NFL-ready players; they all need further development. It is hard enough to make the leap from college to the NFL for most tight ends anyway so don’t get your hopes up on targeting these players with high draft capital in your dynasty rookie drafts.