Second Round Post-NFL Draft 2020 Dynasty Rookie Rankings
13) Michael Pittman (WR8 – Indianapolis)
After a breakout senior season, USC’s Michael Pittman entered the 2020 NFL Draft as one of the most intriguing wide receivers in the class. The Indianapolis Colts selected Pittman with the No. 34 overall pick, giving veteran quarterback Philip Rivers the big-bodied wide receiver that he loves.
Even though Rivers only has a couple of seasons left before he’s off coaching high school football, Pittman is the type of talent that can flourish with the former N.C. State gun-slinger. Pittman should line up outside immediately with fellow wide receivers T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell having slot/outside versatility.
14) Ke’Shawn Vaughn (RB6 – Tampa Bay)
Vanderbilt’s Ke’Shawn Vaughn has risen up rookie draft boards after being selected No. 76 overall by the RB-needy Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While I still have Vaughn a few notches below the top five running backs, he’s in an R.B. tier of his own in the early second round.
While I have some long-term concerns about Vaughn’s workload in Tampa Bay, there’s no denying the Buccaneers are in desperate need of an upgrade in the backfield. Tampa Bay’s offensive nucleus of Tom Brady, Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski, and O.J. Howard should lead to plenty of red-zone opportunities for whichever running back earns the snaps.
15) Denzel Mims (WR9 – New York Jets)
After falling to the late second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the league and fantasy analysts differed on Denzel Mims’ talent. The former Baylor wide receiver tested exceptionally well at the NFL Combine while showing flashes of dominance in college. Still, Mims is raw and a work in progress at the position.
Even with the New York Jets in desperate need of a WR1, being attached to a low-volume Adam Gase offense is far from the perfect fantasy storm for Mims truthers. New York’s last-ranked offense only averaged 273 yards per game in 2019, while the Jets passing offense was fourth-worst in the league.
16) Laviska Shenault (WR10 – Jacksonville)
Uber-talented but often injured, former Colorado wide receiver Laviska Shenault sets up as the ultimate boom-or-bust prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft. After battling injuries throughout his college career, Shenault ran an unimpressive 4.58 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine before ultimately choosing to undergo surgery to repair a core muscle injury.
Along with concerns about his health, Shenault faces questions about his route-running and ability to contribute to the NFL immediately. Shenault is built like a running back, and Colorado often used the wide receiver close to the line of scrimmage on screens and sweeps. Jacksonville quarterback Gardner Minshew showed a willingness to let it fly in year one, so Shenault’s stock could fall on his ability to stay healthy and learn the position.
17) Joe Burrow (QB1 – Cincinnati)
Coming off one of the single-most dominating CFB seasons in recent memory, 2019 Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow holds a slight edge as QB1 in my 2020 dynasty rookie rankings. There are questions about Burrow’s ability to repeat his 2019 success, but the Bengals’ offense looks pretty solid on paper.
Cincinnati’s trio of wide receivers (A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins) and one of the leagues most overlooked running back’s will help Burrow adjust to the professional game. Despite being underused in the passing game, Joe Mixon remains one of the most talented running backs in the game.
18) Tua Tagovailoa (QB2 – Miami)
Is new Miami Dolphins’ quarterback Tua Tagovailoa more talented than Burrow? Possibly. Is there more risk involved? Absolutely. Therein lies the difficulty involved with drafting a quarterback in this year’s class.
Tagovailoa is absolutely sensational when healthy, but the question remains if the former Alabama quarterback is actually injury-prone or just unlucky. What is for sure is that Miami fans and dynasty owners alike will hold their breath every single time Tagovailoa takes a hit in the NFL.
Miami’s offensive nucleus of Matt Breida, DeVante Parker, Preston Williams, and Mike Gesicki is solid enough, but it isn’t exactly moving needles. If the 2020 off-season was about beefing up the offensive line and defense around Tagovailoa, Miami’s 2021 plans need to include surrounding their franchise quarterback with elite playmakers.
19) Bryan Edwards (WR11 – Las Vegas)
After missing the NFL Combine and pre-draft workouts due to a broken foot, former South Carolina wide receiver Bryan Edwards slipped to the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The Las Vegas Raiders eventually stopped Edwards’ slide with the No. 81 overall pick.
The Raiders drafting Edwards after selecting Ruggs in the first round was met by initial skepticism. The volume concerns are legitimate, but Edwards is a natural fit across from Ruggs’ play-making speed.
Ruggs’ speed opens up the middle of the field for tight end Darren Waller and slot-specialist Hunter Renfrow, while the No. 2 wide receiver in the Raiders’ offense should draw single-coverage. It’s only a matter of time before Edwards overtakes Tyrell Williams as the Raiders starting outside wide receiver.
20) Antonio Gibson (RB7 – Washington)
It was uncertain which position Antonio Gibson would play at the next level, but the Washington Redskins announced the former Memphis standout as a running back. And the potential for early playing time isn’t out of the question on a Redskins team desperate for offensive firepower.
We all had high hopes for Derrius Guice coming out of LSU, but it’s hard to trust a running back that’s only been healthy enough to play in five career games through two seasons. Even if Guice avoids the injury bug in 2020, Gibson’s speed will bring a different dynamic to the Redskins backfield. Worst case scenario, Gibson can be a Chris Thompson replacement in the passing game.
21) Zack Moss (RB8 – Buffalo)
One season after drafting Devin Singletary 74th overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills added another third-round running back to their backfield. At pick No. 86 of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Bills drafted former Utah standout, Zack Moss.
Even though Singletary showed signs of potential greatness in his rookie season, the Bills have thus far been reluctant to go “all-in” on the former FAU great. After sharing work with the ageless Frank Gore in year one, Singletary will now have to fend off the productive power-back from the PAC-12 conference.
22) Darrynton Evans (RB9 – Tennessee)
Leading up to the 2020 NFL Draft, former Appalachian State running back Darrynton Evans became a personal favorite of mine. Evans is a silky-smooth, explosive running back with ideal size for the position.
Unfortunately for Evans, his stock will forever be tied to 2019 rushing-champion Derrick Henry. Tennessee drafting the former Appalachian State standout in the third round is a terrific insurance policy in case franchise-tagged Henry sits out or gets injured. Still, the landing spot severely limits Evans’ ceiling unless Henry leaves town.
23) Anthony McFarland (RB10 – Pittsburgh)
Before the 2020 NFL Draft, there were rumors about Pittsburgh’s interest in drafting a young running back. Even though they couldn’t snag one of the top five runners, former Maryland running back Anthony McFarland is an intriguing option in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ backfield.
After starring at sports juggernaut DeMatha Catholic High School, McFarland turned down offers from top schools like Alabama and Clemson to stay close to home in Maryland. McFarland had issues staying healthy in high school and college, but the talent has never been in question.
Now McFarland begins his NFL journey on a Pittsburgh offense that finished 2019 as one of the league’s worst statistical offenses. Most of those struggles were due to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s absence, but the Steelers running game was one of the worst in the league. Current starting running back James Conner is a free agent in 2021 and seems extremely unlikely to finish his career in Pittsburgh.
24) KJ Hamler (WR12 – Denver)
Former Penn State wide receiver KJ Hamler seems very likely to slide right into the starting slot position in Denver. Hamler is undersized but explosive in the open field, making him the perfect player to play inside away from press coverage.
Consistent targets will be Hamler’s most significant issue on an offense also featuring Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Noah Fant, Melvin Gordon, and Phillip Lindsay. We’ll see how the Broncos can be fantasy-relevant with Lock under-center, but Hamler’s talent is a worthy gamble at this point in the draft.