Dynasty fantasy football leagues are on to the semifinals, and whether you’re in or out, you need to be paying attention to the dynasty rookies of the 2020 draft class. PFN’s own Neal Driscoll put out his first 2020 NFL Three Round Mock Draft earlier this month. With those landing spots in mind, here is a look at how the 2020 dynasty rookie mock drafts could go.
1.01 CeeDee Lamb – Philadelphia Eagles (Round 1 pick 12)
With how the Eagles receiving corps has looked this year, Lamb steps in as their top option. His playmaking ability alongside Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, DeSean Jackson, and Alshon Jeffrey will open up the offense and put him firmly in WR1 territory in no time.
1.02 Jerry Jeudy – New York Jets (Round 1 pick 9)
We’re not sure what the Jets will do with Robby Anderson (and Le’Veon Bell for that matter), but Jeudy would be the alpha for gang green the moment he steps in the building. One of the top players of this receiving class, he has top 16 upside if the Jets up their pace of play.
1.03 Jonathan Taylor – Kansas City Chiefs (Round 2 Pick 55)
The Chiefs RB situation should be so much better for dynasty fantasy football. Taylor has had issues holding onto the football, but Andy Reid will put him in a position to succeed with Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce.
1.04 Henry Ruggs III – Oakland Raiders (Round 1 Pick 16)
Somewhat of a surprise to me in Neal’s mock draft, the speedy Henry Ruggs III would immediately be a resident of the top half of 2020 dynasty rookie drafts if selected in the first round.
1.05 J.K. Dobbins – Miami Dolphins (Round 2 Pick 35)
Even before trading Kenyan Drake, the Dolphins RB situation was a bit of a mess. On an offense that needs a top to bottom rebuild, dynasty fantasy football players will buy into the idea of a rebuild, and if nothing less, the workload he would get from day one.
1.06 Laviska Shenault Jr. – Indianapolis Colts (Round 1 Pick 17)
Lining up across from T.Y. Hilton, Shenault may not see the volume of Lamb and Jeudy, but dynasty players and this dynasty mock draft will still see the potential he has as a player.
1.07 D’Andre Swift – Atlanta Falcons (Round 2 Pick 36)
One of the more intriguing landing spots, Swift would bring back the two-headed rushing attack in Atlanta. Devonta Freeman would have one of the top prospects in the draft behind him, eventually pushing for a 50/50 split until the pendulum swings more towards Swift.
1.08 Tee Higgins – New York Giants (Round 2 Pick 34)
A pick that had me outright excited, seeing Tee Higgins with Golden Tate, Evan Engram, Darius Slayton, and Saquon Barkley, gives the Giants a total offense to provide Daniel Jones.
1.09 Travis Etienne – Houston Texans (Round 2 Pick 57)
Yes, pass-catching will be an issue for Travis Etienne, which is likely why he didn’t go higher in either Neal’s or my mock draft. Still, catching on with one of the more impressive offenses and young QBs in the game will mean Etienne stays one of the more attractive dynasty rookies.
1.10 DeVonta Smith – New Orleans Saints (Round 1 Pick 28)
There may not be a better head coach at scheming his WRs into the open field than Sean Payton. Smith becomes a name to know the moment he puts on a Saints uniform.
1.11 Gabriel Davis – Jacksonville Jaguars (Round 2 Pick 43)
With the recent success of DJ Chark, adding Davis to the roster means that hopefully by 2021/2022, the Jaguars will have a full complement of talented options for Gardner Minshew.
1.12 Brandon Aiyuk – Denver Broncos (Round 2 Pick 42)
Joining what I believe is one of the rising stars in the league, Aiyuk could find himself as WR3/4 in his rookie season if Drew Lock continues to look as thoroughly impressive as he did in his NFL debut.
2.01 KJ Hamler – Green Bay Packers (Round 1 Pick 27)
It seems like there’s always an NFL first-rounder in the second round of dynasty rookie drafts, and this mock saw no difference. Hamler will be 21 when he begins playing NFL football with one of the most creative QBs in the league. That age will keep the 2.01 a valuable pick.
2.02 Hunter Bryant – Dallas Cowboys (Round 2 Pick 53)
Dak Prescott to Hunter Bryant would have a shot to help fantasy football players almost as much as Tony Romo to Jason Witten. Two years after getting leapfrogged by a division rival on Dallas Goedert, Dallas gets their TE of the future.
2.03 Jalen Reagor – Buffalo Bills (Round 2 Pick 59)
Paired with the speed of John Brown and the arm of Josh Allen, Jalen Reagor would be an incredible addition for teams maximizing their flex spot. Most useful in best-ball leagues as a rookie, Reagor could settle in as a weekly WR3 in a few short seasons.
2.04 Tua Tagovailoa – Miami Dolphins (Round 1 Pick 4)
The tank for Tua worked, and quite frankly until I see different, I’ll assume he regains most of his form. The push to be a dynasty QB1 will be dependent on the Dolphins putting better receiving talent around him. But a quick meshing with Mike Gesicki and DeVante Parker would go a long way towards fantasy goodness.
2.05 Najee Harris – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Round 3 Pick 79)
Someone will throw down a bet that Harris becomes the man in Tampa Bay. I have my apprehensions about seeing this become a three-headed monster and worrying about someone missing a blitz pickup and being banished to the bench.
2.06 Albert Okwuegbunam – Washington Redskins (Round 3 Pick 68)
What would surely be a sad sign of moving on from Jordan Reed, Okwuegbunam would be paired with sophomores, Dwayne Haskins and Terry McLaurin, in a reimagining of the Washington offense.
2.07 Joe Burrow – Cincinnati Bengals (Round 1 Pick 1)
Leading a team with an intriguing attack, but maybe lacking a true #1 receiver, Burrow has the best long term outlook but might need one to three years to truly reach it. Possibly seeing Zac Taylor guide him at the line of scrimmage through a headset a la McVay/Goff, there’s more than a possibility that Burrow comes out slinging it as a rookie.
2.08 Brycen Hopkins – Chicago Bears (Round 2 Pick 50)
With Jake Fromm selected by the Bears in this draft, providing him with the TE to grow with could be a foundational step towards completing the offense in Chicago. A TE2 until he’s entirely up to speed, Hopkins could be a name some regret passing on down the line.
2.09 Justin Jefferson – Arizona Cardinals (Round 3 Pick 71)
Larry Fitzgerald will eventually retire, maybe. But until then, the Cardinals will continue selecting receivers and hoping they can grow into the space he will leave when he departs the organization. Jefferson gives them a pretty solid shot.
2.10 Jared Pinkney – New England Patriots (Round 3 Pick 93)
Anyone who rostered Ben Watson and Matt LaCosse will be looking to add Jared Pinkney if he becomes a Patriot. Dynasty rookies always come in with the expectations of their predecessors, and more than a few would be calling Pinkney the next Gronk.
2.11 Donovan Peoples-Jones – Carolina Panthers (Round 2 Pick 45)
The expected volume would be the issue for analysts trying to predict how Peoples-Jones fares in the NFL and dynasty rookie drafts. It would be increasingly challenging to cut into the chucks of the passing game owned by D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel, and Christian McCaffrey. Not to mention how impressive Ian Thomas looked when given full reps as a rookie.
2.12 Tylan Wallace – Oakland Raiders (Round 3 Pick 96)
Devastating is the only way to describe Wallace’s injury towards the end of the college season. If the Raiders do indeed double down after taking Henry Ruggs III in the first round, we could see the makings of a terrifying offense three years down the line.
3.01 Justin Herbert – Los Angeles Chargers – (Round 1 Pick 10)
In an offense full of athletic pass-catchers, Herbert may have to ride behind Philip Rivers until he hangs up his cleats and bolo tie. Once he’s given command of the ship, Herbert would likely be a top 14 option for fantasy football players.
3.02 Tyler Johnson – Undrafted (through Round 3)
Speedy with impressive body control, I was a little surprised Tyler Johnson didn’t make it within the first three rounds. Landing spot will be everything, but the film on the Minnesota product is a fun watch.
3.03 Cam Akers – Undrafted (through Round 3)
A favorite of the devy and dynasty football community, Akers would have to flash quickly as a Day 3 pick to pay off as a rookie. Think something in the Justice Hill/Darwin Thompson mold from last year.
3.04 Michael Pittman Jr. – Undrafted (through Round 3)
I came into this season very high on the USC WR, once believing the right season could see him become a top prospect in this draft. This piece gave me pause, however. Athletic testing will be crucial, but improving that athleticism in the NFL will be an even larger piece of the puzzle.
3.05 Sage Surratt – Undrafted (through Round 3)
A great year cut short by injury, Surratt could be as big of an investment for his NFL team as his dynasty fantasy football ones. Impressive tape and athleticism are challenging to find this far back in a rookie draft, and in less talented classes, Surratt could even be a back of the second-round pick.
3.06 Denzel Mims – Undrafted (through Round 3)
The Baylor Bear will need a right landing spot to see the field early, but those patient enough to wait for him to develop could see a weekly WR2 if things break correctly.
3.07 Devin Duvernay – Undrafted (through Round 3)
The slot man out of Texas plays aggressive and reminded me a bit of Anthony Miller when he was in college with the ball in his hands. Joining the Eagles with CeeDee Lamb would likely be the best landing spot for Duvernay.
3.08 Jalen Hurts – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Round 2 Pick 44)
If Hurts can become the starting QB of a passing game led by Bruce Arians, then the dynasty fantasy football community would consider him a low-end QB2 from the moment he lines up under center.
3.09 Zack Moss – Undrafted (through Round 3)
Utah product and cousin of Jets and Washington WR Santana, Zack Moss is a tough runner who needs the right opportunity.
3.10 Collin Johnson – Undrafted (through Round 3)
You can’t coach 6’6 220+ lbs. That’s what we’ll read about Collin Johnson at the start of most pre and post-draft writeups. I want to see more refined route-running before I’m all in, but in the NFL, it just takes one coach to take a shine to you before you get your shot.
3.11 Chase Claypool – Undrafted (through Round 3)
You can’t coach 6’5 200+ lbs. That’s what we’ll read about Chase Claypool at the start of most pre and post-draft writeups. I kid, and it may seem like I’m getting on about how we overvalue size but know you’re talking to a man that wanted to add Miles Boykin and Hakeem Butler to all of his dynasty squads last year.
3.12 AJ Dillon – Undrafted (through Round 3)
Recently declaring for the draft, AJ Dillon is explosive through the hole and will shine in a power blocking system. Not being a Day 1 NFL starter, Dillon would have to fight for reps early on but would best find himself as the change of pace guy for a team early on.
So who missed the cut here? There are still notable names available in the fourth round of the 2020 dynasty rookie mock draft here. Eno Benjamin, Jacob Breeland, Ke’Shawn Vaughn, and Jordan Love are names I’d choose to highlight in particular.
And then there’s Chuba Hubbard. College football fans and dynasty fantasy football players alike will notice I took a significant chance and left Hubbard off this list. If this is an exercise to do a mock off of a mock, then Hubbard likely didn’t declare in this fictional world. Hubbard is probably a mid to late first-rounder for me right now in dynasty drafts were he to declare. His pass blocking will scare some teams off, and I wouldn’t want to run into a Bruce Arians/Ronald Jones situation. For the sake of argument, I’d say he likely pushes Travis Etienne for the 1.09.
Andrew Thomas Jordan is an editor and analyst for the Pro Football Network covering Fantasy Football. You can follow him @The_ATJ on Twitter.