Best Fit for Players in the 2020 Draft

Photo Credit: SKYSPORTS.COM

Author: Chris Wolf

If we can expect anything from this week’s draft, it is to expect the unexpected. This year’s rookie selection event projects to be the most watched draft in NFL history. This historic function is sure to be loaded with plenty of fireworks involving trades for both picks and current players.

We will witness real life NFL GM’s doing their best impression of drafting like us fantasy sports enthusiasts; at home, on a laptop. Our guess is as good as anyone’s as to who will go where. Without visits, medicals, and agents middling in the process…this draft can go in any direction.

Instead of providing you with yet another mock draft, let’s take a look at the best team fits for some skill position players that will be selected this weekend.

***Their projected team salary for 2020 in parenthesis***

Tua Tagovailoa QB – Los Angeles Chargers ($4,832,502)

This could be the best case scenario for Tua. A red-shirt year would be optimal for this high-profile QB for not only medical reasons, but also the lack of preparation due to the pandemic.

CeeDee Lamb WR – Las Vegas Raiders ($3,031,205)

An advanced prospect that is just 21 years old. Incredible hands and an absolute beast after the catch. Known for his competitive fire, he would be a great fit in Jon Gruden’s receiver friendly scheme.

Jerry Jeudy WR – San Francisco 49ers ($2,950,550)

This route technician would be an incredible addition to any team. His landing spot with the Super Bowl runners up would be much needed to line up across from budding star Deebo Samuel and overlooked Jalen Hurd. The Alabama product is also reportedly coveted by Philadelphia as well.

Justin Jefferson WR – Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($2,816,127- $2,480,064)

Jefferson’s selection would be best as a result of Tampa trading down after the top 4 tackles are taken. If there is one thing that Tom Brady always had it was a sure handed slot technician. Although All Pro Chris Godwin ran 518 routes in the slot last year, his 4.42 wheels could be utilized on the outside with the addition of Jefferson.

Jordan Love QB – Miami Dolphins ($2,816,127- $2,480,064)

Miami has acquired an NFL leading 14 picks for the 2020 draft and is primed to reload it’s roster. Jordan Love just may be the 3rd QB selected this weekend and it would be a great fit for the Fins. His ultra competitive attitude and play making ability could just be what Dolphins have needed for a long time.

Henry Ruggs WR – Denver Broncos ($2,762,356)

This just makes too much sense, but he might not last to Denver’s pick at 15. Any team could use the talents of this speed demon. Although he had limited career production as Jerry Jeudy’s running mate at Alabama, Ruggs is a complete receiver. He is a precise route runner with sure hands (only 1 drop in 2019).

Jalen Reagor WR – New Orleans Saints ($2,305,310)

With the door closing on the career of Drew Brees, Jalen Reagor would be a fantastic addition for what could be a playoff bound team. With the ability to play in the backfield and be used as a gadget-type player, Sean Payton could have fun with this one.

Tee Higgins WR – Green Bay Packers ($2,046,218)

The Packers have been searching the last few drafts for someone to occupy the field across from Davante Adams. Tee Higgins just may be their guy. Size, speed, contested-catch ability are the reasons Aaron Rodgers will love this weapon.

Brandon Aiyuk WR – Kansas City Chiefs ($1,967,559)

The world champs may be better suited adding a CB in round 1 but a WR makes sense as well. They are wearing championship rings because they continue to add speed to their WR corps.

Aiyuk is a big play threat with solid hands and excellent after the catch ability. Probably not happening but it’s a nice fit.

Denzel Mims WR – Washington Redskins ($1,565,972)

Mims is raw but is a physical freak. He demonstrates fantastic body control and produced an explosive body of work at Baylor. He would add to the young receiving group of Terry McLaurin, Kelvin Harmon, and Trey Quinn.

Jonathan Taylor RB – Detroit Lions ($1,552,530)

Size, speed, and toughness is what Taylor would bring to the underwhelming running back group led by Kerryon Johnson. Taylor would bring the much needed hammer to Detroit’s rushing attack.

D’Andre Swift RB – Miami Dolphins ($1,514,891)

Possibly the best RB prospect in this class. Explosive, with superb vision and solid receiving ability would make a lot of sense for the rebuilding Dolphins. He and Jordan Howard would make good complimentary pieces in the backfield.

J.K. Dobbins RB – Jacksonville Jaguars ($1,423, 482)

An elite runner with good size and great hands. He would be a perfect fit for Jacksonville after they move on from the limited Leonard Fournette.

Clyde Edwards – Helaire RB- Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($1,297,661)

CEH is an elusive runner with gifted catching ability. He is extremely elusive and could become Tom Brady’s prefered weapon out of the backfield.

Jalen Hurts QB – Atlanta Falcons ($856,257)

Atlanta had a front row seat to the Taysom Hill show. The Falcons also need to add to their dynamic playmakers. They could kill two birds with one stone by selecting the incredibly athletic Hurts in round 3. It would benefit the team to upgrade the backup QB position and benefit Hurts to learn from Matt Ryan.

Zack Moss RB – Pittsburgh Steelers ($850,989)

The Steelers will need to add a dynamic playmaker to this workmanlike backfield in this year’s draft. Pittsburgh’s running back room could have doubled as the trainer’s room in 2019 with all of the nagging injuries. Coincidently, Moss reminds many of Le’veon Bell with his elusiveness and glide ability.

Cole McDonald QB – Buffalo Bills ($784,843)

This one is just fun. McDonald is an absolute clone of Josh Allen. The backup QB position candidates aren’t exactly intimidating with the likes of Matt Barkley and Davis Webb. McDonald is a draftable prospect that should go somewhere in rounds 4-6.

This list does not necessarily encompass team needs or what they will do come draft weekend. It’s simply a compilation of players that would benefit from a team’s scheme. This draft has the sense of “anything can happen” and it will provide some much needed entertainment for all of us.

Late Round Dart Throws for the 2020 NFL Draft

Author: Chris Wolf

With draft season upon us there are more uncertainties than usual. Due to COVID-19, NFL teams are in uncharted territory when it comes to the rookie draft. The NFL mandates that team Owners, General Managers, Head Coaches, and Directors of Scouting must be separate during the draft and are allowed one IT person to be present during the draft. You can view an inside look as to the world we live in ​here​.

A big issue, according to several NFL executives, is the 2nd phase of the draft. The second phase begins when the draft is complete and non-drafted players are able to sign with NFL teams. These undrafted free agents are free to sign with the team of their choice when they come calling.

The problem that teams face is the unusual lack of information when it comes to draft eligible players. Normally, NFL teams are permitted to transport up to 30 draft prospects to their facility for medical exams, interviews, and additional testing during the pre-draft process. Many players and teams were shorted this experience in 2020. Instead, teams must rely on private pro-days without a team representative present. The workouts have been awash with sketchy editing, weird camera angles and it seems everyone runs the 40 in the 4.2’s during the pandemic.

Listed here are five future NFL players with an estimated 2020 cap value. So, let’s take a look at some players that may be late round draft picks or UDFA’s that you might want to keep your eye on during your fantasy draft or free agency period.

QB Jake Luton – Oregon State

Luton is considered to be one of the top 10 QB prospects in this year’s draft class. With three years starting experience at Oregon State, Luton has put together an impressive resume in his tenure with the Beavers. Luton improved every year in passer grading including going for 28 touchdowns to only 3 interceptions in his senior campaign. As a two star recruit coming out of Washington, Luton accepted an offer to play at Idaho. He redshirted there and then transferred to Ventura Community College. During his lone season at Ventura, he posted a 3,551 yd/40 TD line white adding 175 yards and 6 touchdowns on the ground.

Sporting a 6’ 7” and 230lb frame, Luton offers above average pocket presence and escapability. He is absurdly accurate when given a clean pocket and is very proficient in the play action game, whether under center or in shotgun.

Playing in a limited offense for Jonathan Smith at Oregon State, we may not have seen what Luton was capable of. Luton should be a day 3 pick and does not project to be a year one starter but he offers potential in the right system and just might be a good stash on your practice squad.

Estimated 2020 Salary: $650,000-$800,000

WR John Hightower – Boise State

If it were any other year and the 2020 wide receiver class wasn’t so inslanely loaded, we would be talking about John Hightower being drafted in the 2nd round. A deep threat out of Boise State, by way of Hinds Community College in Mississippi, Hightower is a speed demon with above average ball-tracking ability.

His 2019 season saw him catching 51 balls for 943 yards and 8 scores. His impressive 18.5 yards per reception ranked him 5th in the nation (of those with more than 50 receptions) albeit playing against lesser competition in the Mountain West division. Hightower is not a tackle-breaker by any means. In fact, he is more of a catch and get tackled or catch and score type of player.

Evans is a vision runner that would excel with better blocking in a zone themed rushing attack. NFL teams will love the fact that he rarely fumbles and has some receiving chops. In 2019 he was able to carry the load for Appalachian St turning 256 attempts into 1484 yards and 18 touchdowns while adding 198 yds through the air.

What he lacks in elusiveness, he makes up for in vision and big play ability. Evans was able to bust out 28, 20+yd runs ranking him 3rd in the nation. At 5’10” and 203lbs soaking wet, Evans projects as a speed back in a complimentary role at the next level. Because the NFL is finally realizing that you can find quality running backs in the later rounds, expect Evans to go late in the draft or be signed quickly as an UDFA.

Estimated 2020 Salary: $630,000

RB/WR Antonio Gibson – Memphis

With fresh legs and insane explosiveness, Antonio Gibson is going to make some NFL team very happy. Gibson is undoubtedly the most talented yet anomalous selection on this list. His limited use at Memphis was a head scratcher with only 307 career offensive snaps.

He appears to be built in a lab with a solid base and supreme athleticism, his game oozes with quickness, bounce, and crazy tackle breaking ability. With an insanely limited 77 career touches; Gibson broke 16 tackles on 33 rushing attempts and 17 tackles on 38 receptions. That is enough to make any NFL GM drool over the possibilities. He is listed on several draft boards as either a WR or RB but should find work somewhere in between with his new employer.

He does not run the most polished routes and could do a better job of catching the ball away from his body, his incredible athleticism will translate well to catching balls coming out of the backfield or close to the line of scrimmage. The NFL seems to be finally coming around to the usage of athletes like Gibson (RIP Tavon Austin and Corradele Patterson fantasy owners). He should be a round 2-4 selection in the NFL draft and an early to mid round 3 pick in Dynasty Rookie drafts.

Estimated 2020 Salary: $860,000

TE Harrison Bryant – Florida Atlantic University

The list would not be complete without a tight end in what appears to be an underwhelming draft class for the position. Typically, tight ends outside the top three taken don’t get love in the fantasy community but Harrison Bryant is a name you may want to be familiar with. With a 6’5” 240lb frame, Bryant is a solid route runner that brings physicality to his game.

Bryant will not be confused as a good or even competent in-line blocker, his fantasy relevant abilities are why we’re here. In three seasons of work at FAU, he has compiled a resume consisting of 142 receptions on 197 targets for 2,076 yards while hauling in 18 TD’s. While he’s not a seperator like George Kittle or Noah Fant, he is a good seam stretcher that has a knack for finding openings in coverage. He reminds you more of a Cam Brate or Hunter Henry type player that bails out his QB with his smarts.

Smooth enough to create missed tackles and strong enough to gain some yards after the catch, he became a drop monster in 2019 totaling an alarming 8 drops. These drops appear to be fixable since they are mostly concentration drops and not ones that seem to be technique issues. That being said, his toughness with the ball in his hands and his contested catch prowess, he should be the 5th to 8th TE taken somewhere in rounds 5-7 at the end of April.

Although the players on this list may not and probably won’t be much more than year 1 bench stashes, they are still worthy of consideration for dynasty fantasy football purposes. These players are the ones you want to keep in mind if your rookie drafts get into the 3rd, 4th, or 5th rounds when the notable players are scooped up and you’re at a loss. With all of the uncertainty in this year’s pandemic influenced draft, you just might be able to find a gem in the late rounds.

Estimated 2020 Salary: $650,000

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