With the deadline to declare for the 2020 NFL Draft officially passing by, we take a look at the Top 24 prospects available in our 2020 dynasty rookie rankings. While the depth of the 2020 draft-class has taken a hit with Travis Etienne, Chuba Hubbard, Najee Harris, Kylin Hill, and Tylan Wallace all returning to the collegiate ranks, there is still plenty of skill-position talent available in the 2020 NFL Draft.
While late first-round picks in 2020 rookie drafts have lost value, those lucky enough to own top-five picks have seen those values skyrocket in the past couple of days. Dynasty teams in need of immediate running back help will almost certainly have to trade up into the top-three to secure one of D’Andre Swift, J.K. Dobbins, or Jonathan Taylor. The top three backs aren’t the only ones benefiting as mid-tier running backs are now moving up boards thanks to Etienne, Harris, and Hubbard going back to school.
Without further ado, I give you my updated Top 24 2020 dynasty rookie rankings during Senior Bowl practices. This edition of our 2020 dynasty rookie rankings features the usual first-round projection with individual write-ups. I’ve also added a second round for an early look at the talent available in second rounds of rookie drafts. For a look ahead to next year’s class, you can also find my way-too-early 2021 dynasty rookie rankings HERE.
1) D’Andre Swift (RB – Georgia) – After Etiene’s surprise return to Clemson, D’Andre Swift jumps up to RB1 on my big board. Swift is a natural pass-catcher that presents a matchup nightmare in one-on-one situations. The Georgia running back only has 513 offensive touches (rushes and receptions), which is significantly less wear and tear than Dobbins (796 offensive touches) and Taylor (968 offensive touches) accumulated over their college careers.
2) J.K. Dobbins (RB – Ohio State) – Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins is one of the most complete running backs available in the 2020 NFL Draft. While Dobbins doesn’t seem to have a single dominating trait, he does everything at a high level. Dobbins has tremendous vision and cutting ability when given the rock, while he’s also been one of the most consistent pass-catching backs over his career. As seen here against Clemson in the CFP Semi-Final, Dobbins also excels as a pass-blocker, so it’ll be hard to keep the talented running back off the field in the National Football League.
3) CeeDee Lamb (WR – Oklahoma) – Coming into the 2019 season, I never imagined anyone could challenge Jerry Jeudy for WR1 status. Enter CeeDee Lamb. With Oklahoma losing Marquise Brown to the 2019 NFL Draft, Lamb slid into the Sooners’ WR1 slot and immediately took his game to another level. I’ve always been a fan of Lamb — he was the 8th ranked prospect in my initial 2020 dynasty rookie rankings — but the wide receiver’s career-year in 2019 (over 1,300 receiving yards and 14 touchdown receptions) plus immense potential was enough to push him ahead in my Top 24 2020 dynasty rookie rankings.
4) Jonathan Taylor (RB – Wisconsin) – The purest runner in the 2020 NFL Draft class, Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor is a nice consolation prize for RB-needy dynasty teams in early 2020 rookie drafts. While there are concerns about Taylor’s college workload, receiving ability, and early-career fumble woes, the Wisconsin running back possesses more than enough traits to build around. After entering 2019 with 16 career catches and 155 receiving yards, Taylor put some of the questions about his three-down ability to rest with 26 receptions, 252 receiving yards, and five touchdown receptions during his junior season.
5) Jerry Jeudy (WR – Alabama) – Even with Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy dropping below Lamb as WR1 in the 2020 NFL Draft, there’s still little doubt about the wide receiver’s potential at the next level. Jeudy is a terrific route-runner with tremendous stop-start ability in the open field. The Alabama wide receiver moves seamlessly in and out of routes in a similar manner as former Crimson Tide and current Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper.
6) Tee Higgins (WR – Clemson) – With surprising speed and YAC ability, Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins is more than your typical “jump-ball” wide receiver. Higgins excelled over his junior season with 1,167 receiving yards and 13 touchdown receptions. Possessing ideal size for the position, Higgins projects as a highly-targeted outside wide receiver at the next level.
7) Laviska Shenault Jr. (WR – Colorado) – After being used on a combination of go-routes and fly sweeps near the line of scrimmage over his career, Colorado’s Laviska Shenault Jr. will have to diversify his route tree to excel in the NFL. Although Shenault Jr. is dangerous with the ball in his hands, his ranking here is more about projection and the hope that the wide receiver can take his game to the next level once playing on Sunday’s.
8) Cam Akers (RB – Florida State) – After being surrounded by ineptitude over his career at Florida State, running back Cam Akers is talented enough to have a better career in the NFL than he did in college. Akers routinely had one of the worst offensive lines in college football, yet the running back averaged 1,120 total yards per season over his three-year career. With 69 career catches, Akers has shown to be one of the best receiving backs in the 2020 NFL Draft.
9) Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB – LSU) – After a nondescript career before 2019, LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire is the type of out-of-nowhere prospect we look for every season in dynasty leagues. While Etienne, Hubbard, and Harris returning to school hurt the depth of the 2020 draft class, players like Edwards-Helaire help to boost the running back depth back up. No player is rising up draft boards quicker than Edwards-Helaire after the LSU running back finished his junior season with 1,414 rushing yards, 453 receiving yards, and 17 total touchdowns for the National Champions.
10) K.J. Hamler (WR – Penn State) – After morphing into Penn State’s best weapon as a redshirt freshman a season ago, Nittany Lions wide receiver K.J. Hamler was even better in 2019 with 904 receiving yards and eight touchdown receptions. While that stat line doesn’t look amazing on paper, keep in mind Hamler was playing on a run-first Penn State offense. In fact, the Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford failed to reach 200 passing yards (six games) more times than he reached the 300-yard (twice) mark. While the difference between Hamler, Henry Ruggs III, and Jalen Reagor is rather slim, I’ve found myself gravitating more towards Hamler as I studied more film for my pre-Senior Bowl 2020 dynasty rookie rankings. Listed at 5’9″, 176 pounds, there will be obvious concerns about Hamler’s ability to stay healthy at the next level.
11) Jalen Reagor (WR – TCU) – TCU wide receiver Jalen Reagor is an excellent case-study on trying to project the next big star based on talent and skill-set instead of looking at underwhelming college production. Reagor did top 1,000 yards in 2018, but the wide receiver had a disappointing junior season with only 611 receiving yards and five touchdown receptions. With the TCU quarterback situation as one of the worst in all of college football, you can hardly blame Reagor for his lack of production in 2019. Even with the struggles on the offensive side of the ball, Reagor remained one of the most dangerous return men in all of college football with two punt return touchdowns on the season.
12) Henry Ruggs III (WR – Alabama) – There is a growing first-round buzz surrounding wide receiver Henry Ruggs III, but I’m lower on the Alabama prospect than most. While I see the obvious skillset on display, I just don’t think Ruggs III is as good of a football player as fellow speedsters Hamler and Reagor. Ruggs III has consecutive seasons with less than 750 receiving yards, but the explosive wide receiver has shown big-play ability with 24 total touchdowns in three seasons.
13) Justin Jefferson (WR – LSU)
14) Bryan Edwards (WR – South Carolina)
15) Eno Benjamin (RB – Arizona State)
16) Zack Moss (RB – Utah)
17) Denzel Mims (WR – Baylor)
18) Brandon Aiyuk (WR – Arizona State)
19) Tyler Johnson (WR – Minnesota)
20) Antonio Gandy-Golden (WR – Liberty)
21) Joe Burrow (QB – LSU)
22) Ke’Shawn Vaughn (RB – Vanderbilt)
23) Michael Pittman Jr. (WR – USC)
24) Gabriel Davis (WR – UCF)
Jordan Woodson is a writer for the Pro Football Network covering Devy and Dynasty Fantasy Football. You can follow him @Jordan_Woodson on Twitter.