An Aaron Rodgers comp is a very high bar for the Ohio native,
but that kind of ceiling is within reach considering his accuracy,
awareness and vision - the last two of which may have been the
biggest reasons he thrived in LSU's spread attack in 2019. A more
reasonable expectation is Tony Romo, who did a good job of extending
plays for most of his career and was an underrated athlete. So
while it may be scary to trust one year of production in college,
Burrow doesn't have the feel of a player that will bust. A more
likely outcome is he evolves into a top-10 quarterback in the
league by the time he is ready to sign his second contract.
What does it mean in redraft? Burrow should
be considered a high-end QB2 in 12-team leagues, especially if
can stay healthy and the Bengals continue to beef up the offensive
line (and are lucky enough to avoid another injury to 2019 first-round
pick Jonah Williams, who is expected to man the left tackle spot
in Cincinnati for the foreseeable future).
What does it mean for dynasty? Top dynasty QB
off the board, likely at the end of the first round or beginning
of the second.
Rolling the dice on an undersized player with a long injury history
is still a losing bet more often than not. There is Pro Bowl talent
here for sure, but more bust potential than anyone cares to admit.
It would be irresponsible for evaluators to pretend his durability
isn't a big part of the equation and a major red flag. Whether
Tagovailoa ends up being a steal at this spot depends heavily
on whether his desire to not give up on any play (which has greatly
contributed to his ankle and hip injuries) can be coached out
of him. As such, he is a complete wild-card at the moment - one
capable of ascending to Steve Young-like heights if he is eventually
able to quiet concerns about his durability or settling in as
a less mobile version of Mark Brunell.
What does it mean in redraft? Tagovailoa's recovery from hip
surgery has gone about as smoothly as possible, according to multiple
reports. With Ryan Fitzpatrick serving as the bridge, it's more
likely than not Tagovailoa spends roughly a month on the sideline
(especially with the offseason program and possibly even training
camp being in question due to COVID-19) before he takes over the
reins. Because he is unlikely to be a Week 1 starter, fantasy
owners can probably leave him on waivers to start the season in
most 12-team leagues. Even if he gets promoted around midseason,
the combination of supporting cast, a questionable line and his
injury history makes him a likely low-end QB2 at best.
What does it mean for dynasty? Second dynasty
QB off the board, likely in the middle of the second round.
Herbert made more maddening decisions than his 23 career interceptions
would suggest - almost to the point where it was a legitimate
question whether the Ducks ran so often to cut down his chances
of making a mistake (as opposed to Oregon referring to run a conservative
offense). He inexplicably threw into traffic on several occasions
where he should have known better, and it is that inconsistency
that is probably the most agonizing part of his game. Herbert
could enjoy Carson Wentz-like success (hopefully, without the
injuries) in the NFL, but there is the possibility he is the next
Paxton Lynch if his decision-making continues to be an issue.
What does it mean in redraft? Herbert will almost certainly spend
the first half of the season behind Tyrod Taylor and perhaps longer,
depending on how successful the Chargers are during that time.
As is typically the case with most rookie quarterbacks who aren't
guaranteed to be a Week 1 starter and don't boast significant
fantasy potential as a runner, Herbert does not need to be drafted
in most 12-team leagues.
What does it mean for dynasty? Third fantasy
QB off the board, likely sometime near the top of Round 3.
The problem with Ruggs is that it is always dangerous for evaluators
to expect a player to be able to do something in the pros that
he never did in college - lead a receiving corps, in this case.
Every NFL team wants at least one player capable of being able
to outrun everyone else and dictate coverage, but Ruggs struggled
to get off press enough against the best SEC corners - and Jeudy
is so advanced as a route-runner - and didnít do near enough
in contested-catch situations that I find myself not liking this
pick. Ruggs' 4.27 speed is going to make sure he has the respect
of every defender, but the Raiders may end up getting disappointed
here if they are expecting the next Tyreek Hill (as opposed to
the my comp for him, John Brown).
What does it mean in redraft? With only Tyrell Williams to battle
as the team's top outside receiver (Hunter Renfrow should remain
the unquestioned option in the slot), Ruggs should take over as
the top receiving option before the end of 2020. That doesn't
mean he's ready to be an immediate fantasy starter in three-receiver
leagues, however, as Derek Carr is not the epitome of a deep thrower.
Considering he'll slot in behind Darren Waller and maybe even
Renfrow in the passing game pecking order, he figures to be a
high-upside, low-floor WR4 in 2020.
Where should I expect him to go in my rookie drafts?
1.10. He's my fifth-ranked rookie receiver.
A player I comped favorably to Antonio Brown and Stefon Diggs,
Jeudy is one of the most complete receiver prospects I have evaluated
since the loaded 2014 draft class. The ease with which Jeudy gets
his defender out of position, avoids a jam and creates quick separation
is remarkable. There may not be a receiver prospect in the last
five or so years who gets open faster or creates more separation
in the first second or two after the snap than he does.
Jeudy is a bit on the slight side and suffers from the occasional
focus drop, but most of the current holes in his game are more
mysteries than concerns. Press coverage could be a concern as
well given his size (6' 1"/193), but SEC corners rarely could
even get a jam on him. Even in a draft that boasts so much receiver
talent, Jeudy is a cut above the rest. Even though Courtland Sutton
has emerged as a quality lead receiver in this league, the Alabama
product figures to push him right away. Jeudy is a near-lock to
start opposite Sutton and move into the slot, and it would be
far from surprising if he isn't the No. 1 option in the passing
game by 2021.
What does it mean in redraft? Sutton's presence probably means
Jeudy won't be able to become an immediate fantasy starter in
12-team leagues that start three receivers, but it's also not
out of the realm of possibility he isn't a better option than
Sutton by the end of the year. At the moment, I would bet that
he will finish as a top 30 receiver in PPR formats as a rookie.
Where should I expect him to go in my rookie drafts?
1.03. He's my top-ranked rookie receiver.
Lamb can make an inaccurate quarterback look good and an accurate
quarterback look great. In that way, the comparison to DeAndre Hopkins is mostly accurate.
However, Lamb is nowhere near as physical as Hopkins and will
need to add some more strength in his upper body if he hopes to
get there. He also doesn't have elite speed or much experience
against press coverage. In other words, good luck getting seven-plus
targets consistently in an offense that already has Amari Cooper
and Michael Gallup. Ultimately, Lamb's run-after-catch ability
is going to allow him to be a factor as a rookie, but he's going
to struggle to get the chance to be the alpha receiver that many
expected him to be prior to the draft with Cooper and Gallup around.
What does it mean in redraft? While this pick is all about value
for the Cowboys, this is a disappointing Year 1 landing spot for
Lamb, who must battle Cooper and Gallup for targets. It seems
Randall Cobb's production in 2018 (55-828-3) might be pretty close
to the ceiling of Lamb's statistical upside as the third option
in this offense. As such, Lamb is shaping up to be a middling
WR4 if Cooper and Gallup stay healthy. If they don't, however,
the rookie could easily become an every-week fantasy starter as
a low-end WR3.
Where should I expect him to go in my rookie drafts?
1.05. He's my second-ranked dynasty receiver.
Among the potential concerns for the former Big 12 Co-Offensive
Freshman of the Year: he probably needs to begin his career as
an off-ball receiver (preferably in the slot), a few too many
concentration drops and too much reliance currently on his athletic
ability. It seems fairly obvious TCU was more concerned on how
to manufacture offense given its spotty quarterback play than
it was developing Reagor as a route-runner, so there will be a
learning curve if the Eagles are hoping he can be a lead receiver
one day. At the very least, Philadelphia should now have its long-term
replacement for DeSean Jackson and a high-end slot option. If
WR coach Aaron Moorehead does his job, however, Reagor will provide
a much-needed jolt to an offense that has become too tight end-centric
What does it mean in redraft? I would have preferred a bigger
receiver for Philly (there's a few in this draft), but Reagor
finds himself in the best spot for immediate fantasy production.
Among other things, Alshon Jeffery and Jackson both struggle to
stay healthy. Reagor should fit nicely right away as the primary
slot option, and it obviously won't take much luck for him to
crack the starting lineup early. As such, Reagor makes sense as
a WR4 in redrafts, although there is high-end WR3 upside if recent
history holds with Jeffery and Jackson.
Where should I expect him to go in my rookie drafts? 2.01. He's
my eighth-ranked dynasty receiver.
It's not hard to imagine Jefferson's career mirroring that of
Michael Thomas or Davante Adams; he plays the ball in the air
like they do at times. His 4.41 speed shows he can stretch the
field if needed, but he wins more often than not because he is
such a smooth and savvy route-runner. Even better for the Vikings,
Joe Burrow repeatedly trusted Jefferson in contested-catch situations.
More often than not, he delivered.
While Thomas and Adams is a potential ceiling for him, it's also
not hard to imagine Jefferson becoming a Michael Jenkins clone
in which he enjoys a steady career but never strikes much fear
into a defense. The 2019 FBS receptions co-leader does enough
of the things to earn trust from his quarterbacks and figures
to be a heavy favorite to start opposite Adam Thielen right away.
Jefferson very much has the look of a complementary receiver at
the NFL level who will be asked to move the chains and perhaps
serve as Minnesota's primary red zone option. Just don't expect
him to be "the man" until Thielen slows down.
What does it mean in redraft? Yet another receiver lands in a
spot where he won't be the primary option right away, even after
the trade of Stefon Diggs to Buffalo. The good news for Jefferson
is that he should be an immediate starter. It will be interesting
to see how the Vikings address the slot situation going forward;
Thielen does a lot of his best work there and Jefferson essentially
lived there in 2019 at LSU. Fantasy owners should consider Jefferson's
rookie-year ceiling as a WR4 if Thielen stays healthy in Minnesota's
Where should I expect him to go in my rookie drafts? 1.06. He's
my third-ranked rookie receiver.
1.25 - WR Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers
No question about it, the 49ers believe Aiyuk will eventually
replace what they wanted to get from the Emmanuel Sanders trade
last season. While his 4.5 time may seem pedestrian for an average-sized
receiver, his 1.52-second 10-yard split, 40-inch vertical and
10' 8" broad do a better job of displaying how explosive
Aiyuk is. To that end, his 10.9 yards after the catch in 2019
ranked sixth among receivers in this draft class, per Pro Football
Focus. He's a menace in open space and probably not a receiver
many defenses will want to give him a free release off the line
of scrimmage. For what it's worth, former longtime NFL receiver
TJ Houshmandzadeh worked with Aiyuk this spring and compared him
favorably to Chad Johnson.
Unfortunately, for a receiver with his hops and wingspan (80-plus
inches), Aiyuk somewhat surprisingly did not win in contested-catch
situations all out often during his time in Tempe (3-of-14, per
PFF). His route tree was generally limited to in-breaking routes,
perhaps in no small part because he wasn't as sharp as he needed
to be on out-breaking routes. It is at least a bit disconcerting
that in two games against some of the Pac-12 better defenses (Cal
and Utah) last season, Aiyuk was limited to a total of three catches
for 38 scoreless yards. There is room for growth in Aiyuk's game,
but his troubles against physical coverage may require him to
see a lot of snaps in the slot to begin his NFL career.
What does it mean in redraft?Deebo Samuel is the clear lead
dog in San Francisco at the moment, but Sanders' departure leaves
a gaping hole opposite him. Despite what appears to be a great
situation for him, it's unlikely Aiyuk will be any more consistent
than Sanders was with Samuel and George Kittle soaking up targets.
As a result, he figures to be a WR5 as a rookie.
Where should I expect him to go in my rookie drafts? 2.02. He's
my ninth-ranked rookie receiver.
Love is a gifted deep thrower and seems to have a solid understanding
of when he can go back-shoulder on a defender. His supporters
can also easily point to a large number of tight-window and/or
"bucket throws" he made in 2019 and make a strong case
for him enjoying success at the NFL level because he has the necessary
tools. It's not as if he doesn't have considerable upside, but
let's be real about his production to this point: he struggled
to post a 2:1 TD-to-INT ratio during his college career at a non-power
conference school and didn't fare particularly well when he got
a chance to play the big boys. His skill set may scream first-round
pick and rookie starter, but his 2019 tape suggests he needs a
redshirt season. Fortunately, he'll get that and maybe a few more
in Green Bay.
What does it mean in redraft? It goes without saying that Love
isn't going to see the field in any meaningful role anytime soon
as long as Aaron Rodgers is healthy and able.
Where should I expect him to go in my rookie drafts? 3.08. He's
my fourth-ranked dynasty quarterback.
Edwards-Helaire is pretty much the antithesis of what one would
expect from a 5-7, 207-pound running back. Two of his best qualities
as a runner are the patience he shows behind the line of scrimmage
and how light he is on his feet. Pro Football Focus charted 546
of his 1,414 rushing yards (38.6 percent) this season coming in
the A gap (on either side of the center) and 894 (63.2 percent)
came in either the A or B gap.
Perhaps no runner in this draft class can stop and start as quickly
as he does, and he's definitely on the higher end of the class
when it comes to making defenders look silly in space. He's a
matchup nightmare in the passing game and a pocket full of dynamite
in the running game that won't need to come off the field (assuming
his aforementioned pass protection "concern" ends up
being a non-issue).
It's difficult to find much fault with his tape. There are occasions
in which he trusts his elusiveness a bit too much. It'd be nice
if he is he could more homers and fewer doubles. He had an annoying
habit of running parallel to the line of scrimmage on swing passes
(instead of running an arc), making what should be a relatively
easy throw for his quarterback a more difficult one. But let's
be honest: that is being extremely nitpicky with a prospect, especially
one who was a full-time starter for just one season.
What does it mean in redraft? Edwards-Helaire's biggest obstacle
to success in the NFL figured to be whether his new team was going
to give him a chance to prove he can be "the guy." A
first-round pick by the Chiefs would seem to suggest he'll get
every chance he needs. While Damien Williams broke a few long
runs in 2019, he was a very pedestrian runner for the most part.
Enter Edwards-Helaire, who could conceivably enter the season
as the lead back in this highly expensive offense. Damien Williams
is unlikely to give up the job easily, but Edwards-Helaire will
prove to be the better man sooner than later. He has RB1 upside
if gets the same kind of opportunities Williams as the lead back
down the stretch last season, but owners need to view him as an
RB2 unless Williams goes down before the start of the season.
Where should I expect him to go in my rookie drafts? 1.01. He's
my top-ranked rookie running back.
Doug Orth has written for FF Today since 2006 and been featured in USA Today's Fantasy Football Preview magazine since 2010. He hosted USA Today's hour-long, pre-kickoff fantasy football internet chat every Sunday in 2012-13 and appears as a guest analyst on a number of national sports radio shows, including Sirius XM's "Fantasy Drive". Doug is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.