10 days and counting until the first round of the NFL Draft! I hope this finds all of you well and safe and appreciating what there is to appreciate in all of our lives. I appreciate the opportunity to bring you the 15th edition of the Bloom 100. This year we didn’t get the benefit of pro days to fill in our understanding of combine snubs and players whose results might have been skewed by a change in the drill schedule that was a departure from previous years. Draft capital means more than ever, even though teams are worried about having to draft with the information teams had in the 70s and 80s (Narrator: They’ll be fine). There will actually be more attention on the NFL Draft than ever with no other sports happening, and dynasty rookie drafts will be greatly anticipated! We have been grinding in deep dynasty leagues just for this moment, so we can be even more engrossed in our “fantasy” as a departure from reality.
The Bloom 100 is ranked with the following type of dynasty fantasy football league in mind:
- Full IDP lineups including DT and CB
- PPR, start 3 WR
- Deep starting lineups and rosters
Of course, depending on your league scoring and settings, the placement of some positions can change, but the tier breaks and rankings within position should be good to use across all league formats.
Positional Class Report Card
QB: Very strong at the top with three “franchise” quarterbacks and another with a franchise quarterback ceiling. There are at least three more possible future starters to give superflex rookie drafts a few wrinkles. Grade: A
RB: Strong at the top with five or so backs who project as future starters, but a steep dropoff after that with a lack of ceiling in later tiers. Grade: B
WR: The best class in the last five years, but with a second tier full of boom-bust prospects. The depth in that second tier will make early second round picks worth more than they are in a typical year. Grade: A+
TE: Yuck. A few projectable talents and low ceiling but skilled prospects, which means they will likely be overdrafted in the NFL and dynasty rookie drafts. Grade: D
DT: Two premium talents, but more likely to create production for others than themselves. Grade: C
EDGE: One absolute beast and then a steep dropoff, with a few high ceiling players who could take time to develop. Grade: C-
Off-Ball LB: Worthy and unique prospects throughout the draft and destinations could create a few late-round diamonds in the rough. Grade: A
S: A terrific class oozing with ceiling that should provide some of the best values later on in deeper IDP leagues. Grade: A
CB: One premium prospect, one boom/bust first rounder, and a lot of players who we may target late if they are drafted into a spot with a shot to start in their rookie year. Grade: B
Pre-draft Strategy Cheatsheet
Trade down out of the top three
Early ADP indicates that running backs are going to dominate the top three, even though the top five running backs are very level and the top two wide receivers should probably be taken before any running back in the top seven. The value of a pick in the 5-7 range isn’t that much less than one in the top three.
Take Ceedee Lamb over Jerry Jeudy
They are both readymade for fantasy goodness and destination will be the final deciding factor, but Lamb has more ways to hurt a defense and could get more volume to feed his outstanding catch after the catch
Akers might have the most well-round game in the class and languished in a terrible offense last year. Edwards-Helaire was in the best offense in college football and showed how useful he can be as a receiver, which is something we can’t ignore in PPR fantasy football
Who is your favorite second tier WR?
This is going to be a very important question if you hold a pick in the late first round. Justin Jefferson is in a mini-tier above this group, with Laviska Shenault Jr, Denzel Mims (my favorite), Jalen Reagor, Michael Pittman Jr, Tee Higgins, Bryan Edwards, and Brandon Aiyuk making up the meaty second tier. The order will vary from draft to draft, so figuring out your target can help clarify what to do with that pick, and if you don’t have a favorite, trade down, as the tier is pretty level.
The calvary is not coming at tight end
This tight end class is hanging its hat on the hopes of Chase Claypool getting moved to the position and Adam Trautman translating after dominating at a small school level. If you wanted help at the position, trade a rookie pick for a veteran instead.
Quarterbacks will be a value as always
Joe Burrow could be an instant QB1 and has easy top five upside at his peak. Tua Tagovailoa has top 10 in his range of outcomes, especially in leagues that emphasize passing stats with bonuses or more than four points per pass touchdown. Justin Herbert and Jordan Love are very fantasy friendly prospects. All will be given ample chances to become their team’s franchise quarterback. Burrow will fall out of many first rounds and Herbert out of many top 20s.
The deep second tier at wide receiver will make the premium IDPs cheaper
If you want Chase Young, or Patrick Queen, or Isaiah Simmons, you should be able to get them with a second round pick and one or more of them could fall farther than anyone expects. The second tier of wideouts has a lot of players who will carry rookie first round pick grades by at least a few teams in your league.
The 2020 Bloom 100
1. Ceedee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma - Lamb is the most well-rounded receiver in a delightful class. His body is quiet in his routes and as a barnstorming runner after the catch, but the results are undeniable. Lamb plays with balance, focus and strength in all facets of the wide receiver game. He shines as a route runner, uncoiling into at times unorthodox paths punctuated by almost imperceptible moves to induce a losing move from a corner and dramatic changes in speed to leave them a beat behind. Lamb can fight for and win a ball at the catch point, but his most eye-popping plays come after the catch when he finds seemingly impossible ways through multiple defenders with patience and acceleration, leaving a wake of broken tackles behind him. Lamb, like Jeudy is not a true burner and might be behind Ruggs on some boards, and Jeudy would be better in a timing-based offense. Lamb easily has 100 catch potential early in his career with the likely emphasis on getting the ball in his hands on quick slants, crossing patterns, and screens, but he can develop into a receiver that can be dangerous downfield and all over the formation.
2. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama - Jeudy is at his best creating separation with precise route running and sudden breaks at the top of his route stem. There’s a killer instinct when he matches up with a safety or creates an unsteady moment for a cornerback trying to mirror him. Jeudy is smooth transitioning to run after catch mode. You can use him inside or outside and his releases and hand-fighting skills during routes are both NFL ready. He always has a good plan and executes it, playing with a lot of intent and will. Jeudy adds value as a feisty and effective blocker and he’s generally combative and physically sturdy in his game despite a somewhat lanky frame. If there’s a negative here, it’s that Jeudy lacks a dominant physical trait and isn’t especially elusive or able to break tackles after the catch. He also lacks true take the top off of the defense speed which is why a team might prefer Henry Ruggs III. Think DeAndre Hopkins minus some of the elite derring-do at the catch point.
3. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU - Edwards-Helaire isn’t a classic workhorse size and he’s not going to win footraces in the NFL, but everything else about his game indicates the makeup to thrive in PPR fantasy football and harvest a ton of production in a spread offense. He’s a compact back who naturally runs with a low pad level. Edwards-Helaire’s short area quicks and footwork help him find developing holes and he bursts through the hole with an extra spring in his step, catching second-level defenders flat-footed. He’ll thrive as a shotgun runner, but Edwards-Helaire lacks the sand in his pants to win collisions or push the pile. The route running, hands, and yards after catch game are all ideal for Sundays. He’ll likely still be my RB1 after the draft barring a surprise fall to the third day.
4. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin - Taylor is a little more destination-sensitive than other top backs because he is a downhill hammer and the quality of his offensive line and passing game will determine how many lanes he sees and how many defenders he’ll face in the box. There are stylistic differences, but he should be used the way the Titans use Derrick Henry and in the right situation he does has RB1 upside like Henry, but he’ll also lack significant passing game usage, just like Henry.
5. JK Dobbins, RB, Ohio State - Dobbins is excellent mixing it up on the inside, with subtle movements and always churning legs to get extra yards, and he has a surprising second gear in the open field. He’s rugged, but not a true power back, and nifty, but not exceptionally twitchy. He does project as a three-down back with good blocking skills and functional receiving skills, and should be drafted to start right away.
6. Cam Akers, RB, Florida State - Akers reminds me of Kerryon Johnson and that’s a good thing. I won’t be surprised if he’s the most valuable back in this class, and maybe right away. If he lands somewhere like Tampa Bay, I won’t knock anyone for making him RB1. He can be a true three-down back with route running potential and gives max effort on every run. Akers is at his best when he can get downhill and accelerate through the hole. He doesn’t give defenders a lot to hit and fights through contact. Akers isn’t phone booth quick, but he is strong and his running style amplifies his natural qualities. I won’t be surprised if he is in the top two or three when we look back on this running back class in a few years and have him valued closer to Dobbins and Swift than most.
7. Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU - Jefferson doesn’t look like a true alpha receiver, but he’ll still be very useful as a short and intermediate level target, especially out of the slot or bunch formations. He can work the middle of the field and gobble up easy catches with separation and timing, but he’s not a true vertical threat and shouldn’t line up outside despite his surprising Combine 40 time. He will have lasting value despite having the profile of a “possession receiver” which is usually a negative or limiting factor in fantasy.
8. Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama - Ruggs could be the first receiver off of the board because of the tactical value he adds with elite vertical speed and he doesn’t have any obvious flaws in his game. He has some polish on double moves and can be lethal on slants and jet sweeps, but there will be an adjustment time against better NFL athletes at corner. Ruggs releases, urgency in routes, and contested catch ability will be tested.
9. Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor - Mims is a big, long, fluid receiver who has a threatening second gear after takeoff and can finish the deal at the catch point, especially above the rim. He’s not a sharp route runner who explodes at the snap and creates separation at the route stem, but he doesn’t need it to make catches. He is an aggressive-minded receiver who can handle himself in clashes as a blocker and after the catch. Ball security can be an issue in the open field, but he contributes more than enough value in that phase of the game to make up for lapses. Put him on the Courtland Sutton-Brandon Marshall axis. Pairing him up with a quarterback who throws receivers open is key.
10. Michael Pittman Jr, WR, USC - Pittman will be perfect for a team that needs an outside receiver who has enough speed to be a downfield target and route running skills to be multi-dimensional, but adds most value at the catch point with length, strength, and ball skills. He will be a plus blocker and he’s got some nuance to his route running and YAC game despite being a linear athlete. He isn’t a gaudy athlete but his deep skillset gives him a shot to be a #1.
11. Laviska Shenault Jr, WR, Colorado - It might seem too easy to compare Shenault to Cordarrelle Patterson, but Patterson is certainly a player that comes to mind watching Shenault. He has a big imposing frame and a second gear that is respected by defenders - which creates separation when Shenault throttles down or explodes out of a stutter step to go deep. Shenault is a natural, fearless runner after the catch and like Patterson, he should get some touches on jet sweeps and as a running back. The unknowns of Shenault as an NFL route runner and more important his spotty durability record loom large and create a boom/bust profile.
12. D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia - Most will have Swift in their top 3-5 and he will likely be drafted early, but I’m not as impressed with Swift as others and I won’t end up with him on any dynasty teams. He runs with competitive toughness and has a second gear (not a fifth gear). He’s not sudden, but Swift can elude low contact and make subtle adjustments at speed effectively. Swift is a smooth receiver, but lacks the snap in routes to apply as more than an outlet or screen target. He could end up being a three-down back although in the landscape of NFL running backs, I expect him to have a teammate with more juice or power to share with.
13. Joe Burrow, QB, LSU - The only reason Burrow is this low on the list is devaluation of quarterbacks in start 1 leagues. He projects as a quality passer in and outside of structure with ability to add value as a runner and maximize the value of a quality supporting cast in Cincinnati. He’ll be an excellent investment of a rookie draft if current ADP holds.
14. Patrick Queen, LB, LSU - LSU is the new “linebacker U” and Queen is the latest in a long line of studs to come out of Baton Rouge. He plays fast, physical, and ferocious in the middle of the defense. His flow and ability to blow up plays once he diagnoses the action is electrifying and he can hang in coverage against NFL assignments. Queen isn’t a thumper and may have to improve his ability to shed blocks if his defense isn’t strong up front.
15. Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State - Young would be the first overall pick in a class without Joe Burrow. He is almost certainly going to Washington, which should give him the more valuable DE designation in Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio’s new defense. Young actually has room to improve with better hand usage, ball awareness vs. the run, and strategies as a pass rusher. He should have roughly the same immediate fantasy and NFL impact as last year’s #2 pick, Nick Bosa.
16. Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson - Higgins poor workout might throw some off of his trail in fantasy drafts, but his combination of length, fluid athleticism, and explosive acceleration will work on Sundays. He should be excellent on backshoulder throws and on “throw the receiver open” throws in general. Higgins concentration at the catch point can be stunning and he’s tough to bring down after the catch with a little swerve to his incursions into the secondary, although in the mold of DK Metcalf, he’s not going to create a lot of separation in short and intermediate routes with crisp breaks at the route stem.
17. Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU - The highlights are dazzling, but there’s a few troubling aspects to Reagor’s game that make it difficult to recommend him at his likely ADP. Reagor can execute a double move with the requisite distraction and explosion to make the big play, and he can soar like a bird of prey at the catch point when the throw demands it. Reagor also makes the first man miss on manufactured touches. His game has a bit of looseness in it that can lead to lapses, and his motor runs hot and cold. His non-deep routes don’t have the crispness as his double moves. Reagor will work best as a #2 outside deep threat in an offense with a lot of play action passing, but doesn’t strike me as a core passing game piece in the NFL, although his playmaking ability with the ball in his hands will demand some manufactured touches.
18. Isaiah Simmons, LB/Everything, Clemson - Simmons immense impact on the field might not be reflected in statistics because he is excellent in coverage and can be used to spy on running quarterbacks, but IDP players should be willing to take the plunge because he can also make plays all over the field and should also be used as a disguised blitzer. It’s going to be fun to watch games with Simmons on your roster, but his IDP range of outcomes is wide.
19. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama - Durability concerns are the only thing keeping him from being a lock as a top three pick, but Tagovailoa should be the second quarterback off of the board in any event. He’s not a threat as a runner and his deep ball might be average at best in the NFL, but his decision-making and accuracy will make him very effective and all of the intangible boxes are checked. He could hit the QB6-10 overall range at his peak in a good situation.
20. Bryan Edwards, WR, South Carolina - Edwards can motor for a big receiver and he also has good strategies and execution to get clean releases and create lanes for his straight line speed. He’s not the most flexible and definitely has a linear nature to his game, but Edwards can still create the chunk play on out and ups and adds fight at the end of his touches even though he’s not an elusive creator with the ball in his hands. His projection tops out as a secondary outside receiver who is less effective at the catch point than his size would indicate. He has been playing at a high level from a young age, so there could be hidden upside.
21. Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State - Aiyuk can contribute right away on screens, manufactured touches, and punt returns, but he has a potential slot-only hole in his game getting releases against press coverage. He does show the ability to dial up subtle moves to create a lot of separation on vertical moves and can create separation vs off coverage. Aiyuk’s second gear stood out in college, but might blend in more on Sundays.
22. AJ Dillon, RB, Boston College - Dillon is your bargain alternative to Jonathan Taylor in this class. He has enough afterburners to house runs, but he’ll need a hole to do it because he’s a pure downhill runner. Dillon projects as a two-down back who will flourish in a good gap running game and flounder behind a poor run blocking offensive line. Some may bristle at comparing him to Ron Dayne, but remember Dayne was the #11 pick, albeit in what looks like a different era now. If he lands with Seahawks, Chargers, or Titans (among others), he’ll be a good rookie draft target.
23. Antonio Gibson, WR/RB, Memphis - Gibson’s lack of home position between wide receiver and running back can evolve into a strength if he lands with an offensive mind that wants to embrace his versatility to create mismatches and flexibility in personnel packages. He’s got natural playmaking ability with a combination of elusiveness, strength, balance, a sturdy 6’0” 228 pound build and 4.39 speed. He’s a powerful athlete with game speed, not just track speed. You don’t see Gibson get caught from behind. Gibson is far from a finished product as a route runner, but has shown enough to believe that he can be a valuable weapon in the passing game detached from the formation. He might not be a lead back, but deserves touches every week, and he’ll be a dangerous kick returner.
24. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon - Herbert has all of the individual pieces of the franchise quarterback, but the sum is less than the parts. That won’t stop a team from taking him in the first round, maybe even ahead of Tagovailoa if there are concerns about Tua’s health. Herbert also has the running ability to inflate his fantasy value, so he could be the best discount quarterback this year if he hits.
25. Zack Moss, RB, Utah - Moss is fun to watch as a pass blocker landing blows like a linebacker, and he’s more than functional as a receiver with excellent ball skills and route running promise. He’s also a big, strong runner who is tough to bring down with surprising build-up speed. His initial burst/acceleration is underwhelming and while he can execute a Plan B on the fly, he’s not a back you want turning his shoulder pads parallel to the line of scrimmage. Moss isn’t naturally elusive or creative, but he can at least “get what is blocked” and could end up being the best of a mediocre bunch of backs for a few years, but he lacks the juice to be most teams best option to give touches in the running game.
26. Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas - Duvernay has speed to burn from the slot with excellent deep ball tracking, but he’s also rugged and competitive at the catch point and after the catch and generally has a running back’s mentality on the field. He isn’t going to create a ton of separation from sharp routes, which will limit his application on short and intermediate timing routes against good slot corners.
27. Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma - Murray is more a weakside seek and destroy linebacker who does his best with room to operate than a middle linebacker who can find his way through trash and play with strength and valid reads. When he has a bead on his target, he teleports around the field, and Murray added value as a blitzer and edge rusher, but Murray can also tire and show terrible instincts. He will make a lot of splashy plays, but Murray could also be a net negative in coverage and he might not be an everydown linebacker.
28. Chase Claypool, WR/TE?, Notre Dame - Claypool’s size and measureables will raise eyebrows, but it would present more problems in the NFL if he was a tight end. His combination of size and speed gave college corners problems, but NFL corners will stick to him. Claypool is comfortable winning the ball above the rim but longer, more athletic NFL corners will also be a more formidable matchup than the college corners he dusted at the catch point. I’ll be very excited about him if he is announced as a tight end.
29. KJ Hamler, WR, Penn State - Hamler is a slot receiver who can blow by stiffer safeties and players who otherwise can’t match his quicks and acceleration, but there’s not a lot of special qualities to his game beyond that. He projects as a useful NFL role player, but not a core piece of the passing game because of a lack of physicality to his game, especially at the catch point, punctuated by the worst drop rate in the class. He won’t make as much noise in the deep passing game on Sundays as he did in the Big Ten.
30. Quintez Cephus, WR, Wisconsin - Cephus’s slow 40 will raise eyebrows, but he has a complete game to more than make up for a lack of top end speed. Cephus usually has an excellent plan from release to reception to put a cornerback on their heels and he plays bigger than his 6’1” frame at the catch point. His ability to change speeds in routes and precise footwork will create separation in routes. Expect Cephus to become one of his quarterback’s #1 third down targets.
31. Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, Liberty - Gandy-Golden has a big frame which translates to a huge catch radius and he’s a tough customer after the catch with surprising speed. He also had a terrible time with drops in 2018 and isn’t the most consistent route runner. Consider him a boom/bust outside receiver who could become a very fun player to watch and roster in dynasty leagues.
32. Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton - There’s a lot of uncertainty here because Trautman won with athletic dominance that makes reps seem like practice against small school competition, and that leaves us uncertain if he has the skill and future development in his game to hang against the athletes the NFL trots out there every week on defense. The size, speed, and ball skills all hint at a potential fantasy TE1 down the line, but there’s a long way and a lot to learn from here to there.
33. Van Jefferson, WR, Florida - Jefferson is very polished for a college receiver, with excellent footwork in his breaks and releases and precise plans and paths to create separation in synchronicity with the play design. He lacks any single outstanding physical trait and probably projects as a modest but steady contributor in the slot. His pre-draft foot fracture could cause him to tumble in the draft.
34. Jordan Love, QB, Utah State - Love’s fantasy upside is tantalizing with athleticism and off script big play heroics, but he is also a mess when it comes to decision-making and getting valid information from his field processing. Some team is likely to take the bait in the first round, but Love could also have a very short stint as a starter if NFL defenses overwhelm him.
35. Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota - Johnson’s productivity, quality route running and strong game when it’s time to make the catch will encourage optimism, but he looks like a pedestrian athlete in NFL wide receiver terms and might only contribute as a role player on passing downs vs zone coverage or in the red zone, with little to offer after the catch or against NFL quality man coverage.
36. Antoine Winfield Jr, S, Minnesota - Winfield isn’t going to win any beauty contests with dazzling athleticism, but he is solid in every aspect of the game and his versatility will fit well in every defense. His reads and reactions to the play around him are natural and he should be a steady IDP league producer.
37. Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington - Bryant will have a specialized role in the pros, but it’s one that can be very good for fantasy football if he excels. A combination of speed, ball skills, and some added value after the catch gives Bryant the profile of a move tight end who can be a mismatch in two tight end sets and add big plays from his position. The margin of error will be thin with Bryant only a part-time player, but the bar for relevance at tight end in fantasy is low.
38. Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue - Hopkins doesn’t offer much as a blocker, but that shouldn’t concern us too much and hopefully ensure that the team that drafts him will be strictly looking at him as a big slot/move tight end type and focused on passing game production. Hopkins runs routes well, has some speed to get past linebackers and he can make the catch at full extension although sometimes the easy target eludes him. He doesn’t have high end fantasy upside, but could be a useful tool in the toolbox for a clever passing game coordinator.
39. Grant Delpit, S, LSU - Delpit was more highly regarded at this time last year, but he should still be a first-rounder and his physically striking game should translate well to IDP leagues. He’s likely to be a linebacker in subpackages, but will have to iron out lapses in coverage and as a tackler to fulfill his potential.
40. Devin Asiasi, TE, UCLA - Asiasi’s ceiling is up there with most of the tight ends in this class. He is big enough to be a problem for safeties, but athletic and fast enough to be a problem for linebackers. Asiasi is a late bloomer who has to improve as a blocker and play with more aggression, but the pieces are there for him to become a relevant fantasy tight end.
41. Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan - Peoples-Jones was held back by quarterback play, but he doesn’t play to his measureables and is the kind of talent that blends into the bottom of NFL depth charts more than it rises to the top in the NFL. He exhibits excellent ball tracking and will lay out for the ball, and Peoples-Jones is rugged and determined with the ball in his hands, but his overall speed and quickness won’t be imposing in the NFL. He’s likely a big slot only and it’s not clear that he’ll stand out among the players who play that role in the NFL, but there could also be hidden upside if he develops in the NFL - which is never a given.
42. Lynn Bowden, WR, Kentucky - Bowden can contribute to a team in a number of ways, including as a return man, runner, and a trick play quarterback. His ability to be an above average slot receiver is more of an unknown, although he is very strong after the catch and has enough speed to get downfield. Bowden’s route running is unimpressive and lacking snap, but he did have his development slowed by playing quarterback for more than half of the season.
43. K’lavon Chiasson, EDGE, LSU - Chiasson is a tantalizing edge rusher with explosion, agility, and flexibility that indicate the best is yet to come. He can turn the corner on a speed rush and is lethal on twists and stunts. While he has the range to affect the game as more than a pass rusher, Chiasson will have to toughen up as a run defender, which could make him a boom/bust IDP player if he is drafted to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 base defense.
44. Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame - Kmet gets a lot out of what he has, but he is going to be average at best in NFL tight end athletic terms. He is a bit stiff and linear, with a narrow base, but he can still get up to enough speed to threaten linebackers, and his sometimes spotty hands can also contribute to excellent concentration grabs. He’s tough and coordinated enough to be a two-way tight end and perhaps even a starter and primary receiving tight end, but he lacks the extra mustard to be a viable fantasy tight end outside of an absolutely ideal situation.
45. Kyle Duggar, S, Lenoir-Rhyne - You want small school prospects to dominate if you are going to buy into their NFL futures, and Duggar did just that. He’s ultraathletic, can project into most any safety role, and adds some punt return punch. There will be a big adjustment in game speed and Dugger will be exposed at times, but he has as high a ceiling as any safety in this class.
46. Ashtyn Davis, S, California - Davis could end up being one of the best defensive backs in this class in a few years. He’s a track star who was originally a walk-on to the football team and he’s still learning his way as a safety. He’s physical and tough but very athletically gifted, with a high ceiling if more valid instincts and instruction from the play around him come with more experience.
47. Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois - Chinn has an excellent profile to translate to the linebacker/safety hybrid role in nickel defenses. He can cover tight ends and defend the run with equal aplomb, although he is a bit single-minded and his instincts to get meaningful instructions from developing plays can be lacking. Chinn is a ballhawk who can rack up tackles and play in the box on early downs, so his IDP potential is exciting.
48. Harrison Bryant, TE, Florida Atlantic - That Bryant is among the top 5-7 tight ends this year shows the lack of true top prospects in the class. He could be a viable move tight end with good enough hands and acceleration into routes to contribute in the NFL, but he is not a dynamic athlete in any way and won’t add much value after the catch. His very competent play could still create fantasy relevance in the right spot.
49. Isaiah Coulter, WR, Rhode Island - Coulter is the better prospect of the two Rhode Island Ram receivers in this class, with NFL ready length and athletic ability, including vertical speed. He’s a raw route runner who is sometimes too passive and will have to be developed to hit his ceiling, but that ceiling is in the vicinity of some of the bigger names in this class.
50. Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State - Gross-Matos is more projection than finished product at this point, but he has rare athleticism for his size and should become more powerful, intense and nuanced with NFL experience. He should be able to collect tackles against the run with his ability to move in pursuit and match running back agility in a phone booth, but will likely take time to develop.
51. AJ Epenesa, DE, Iowa - Epenesa isn’t going to pop as a bendy speed rusher on the edge or dynamic athlete, but his size, power, first step, handfighting, and wide range of strategies will create an impact and give him a strong base to grow from. He’ll fit best as a 3-4 end or a 4-3 end on run downs who moves inside on passing downs.
52. Jeff Thomas, WR, Miami - Thomas comes with character concerns and he’s tiny (5’9” 170) by NFL wide receiver terms, but his quickness and acceleration are NFL ready. Even though he’s small, Thomas is tough after the catch and going over the middle, and he knows how to use the cushion he earns to create separation on shorter routes. He has the potential to be a big play threat in the return and passing game with added value on short targets in space.
53. Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State - Harrison is going to be an excellent run defender who relishes the clash with blockers and blows up running backs. He’s adequate dropping into coverage and blitzing and should be a three-down linebacker, but better in tackle-heavy than play leagues.
54. Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma - While Hurts might be limited as a passer, there is more than enough to work with when you add in his running ability, team-first mentality, and the trend towards NFL offensive coordinators being willing to mold an offense around a quarterback like Hurts. If he is drafted to a team without a long-term starter (Steelers please!), he will be a good late round rookie pick target.
55. Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF - Davis is a big receiver who has enough speed to threaten deep and the ball skills to finish the play. He is excellent at handfighting to get releases outside from press coverage and create separation with the ball in flight, but it’s hard to say if he’ll become the kind of route runner who has a wide enough usage in the NFL to have consistent fantasy relevance.
56. Isaiah Hodgins, WR, Oregon State - There’s a lot to like about Hodgins game, including a terrific combination of hands, ball skills, and body control at the catch point. He can create some separation in routes given some time to sequence moves, but he isn’t especially fast eating up the cushion or quick with his breaks in his routes, and Hodgins isn’t going to flourish against press coverage, so there will have to be a managed window for him to make an impact.
57. Zack Baun, LB, Wisconsin - Baun is a bit of a riddle when it comes to NFL application. He should line up on the edge, but can play in space and looks very adept at dropping into zone coverage. Baun can get around the corner as a pass rusher, but lacks power and nuance in his approach. He is probably best suited in a defense that asks linebackers to play multiple roles like New England’s.
58. Xavier McKinney, DB, Alabama - McKinney’s outstanding versatility and effect on the game has been overshadowed by Isaiah Simmons, but he could be a Minkah Fitzpatrick type with ability to play centerfield, in the box, and in man coverage. He’ll be a first round pick and instant upgrade to whatever defense he joins, although his impact might not show up as much in the box score.
59. Eno Benjamin, RB, Arizona State - Benjamin has a three-down skillset and he always brings a lot of fight to any confrontation. While he is elusive at his best, he can be inefficient, and his speed and burst are just ok in NFL terms. He fits more as a backup than starter, but could surprise if he gets an opportunity.
60. Ke’shawn Vaughn, RB, Vanderbilt - It’s easy to like Vaughn’s combination of thickness, initial burst, and toughness, but he’s not going to be a gamebreaking back in the NFL and he’s not going to be a passing game weapon. His tackle-breaking and determination will add some value to runs, but he looks like an NFL backup who can be more than competent if called upon in a good running game.
61. Kalija Lipscomb, WR, Vanderbilt - Lipscomb is a very skilled route runner and natural hands catcher who will fit in multiple spots in an NFL offense. He’s not an imposing athletic matchup in any way and probably projects as a depth receiver, but he’ll hang around the league longer than some less polished and more gifted receivers drafted ahead of him.
62. Quartney Davis, WR, Texas A&M - Davis is a solidly-built slot receiver who has no fear going over the middle. He’s combative in routes and at the catch point and should adjust well to tougher NFL corners. While Davis doesn’t have any athletic trump cards and won’t add a lot of value after the catch, his game translates.
63. Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB, Applachian State - Davis-Gaither is light in NFL linebacker terms (224 pounds), but physical, and he knows how to find the ball. He can hang in coverage and blitz, making Davis-Gaither a high ceiling IDP developmental prospect if he can bulk up a little and win a role in the base defense.
64. Logan Wilson, LB, Wyoming - Wilson is sturdy and tough and he can hang in zone coverage. He is a very sound tackler, very productive, and could start early in his career, but a lack of top-end athleticism could cap his IDP upside.
65. Jauan Jennings, WR, Tennessee - He might have a future as a big slot in the NFL, but Jennings will have to fight his way up a depth chart because he is under typical quickness/speed thresholds for an NFL wide receiver. He is a big slot only prospect who is stubborn, strong, and tough after the catch, and Jennings can present a big target with good ball skills and fearlessness over the middle.
66. Pete Guerriero, RB, Monmouth - Guerriero is a fun NFL projection, with game-breaking speed and the vision to find developing creases as they develop. Matt Waldman mentioned Phillip Lindsay when I brought Guerriero up and that’s a good name to keep in mind if he makes a 53.
67. KJ Hill, WR, Ohio State - Hill should definitely stick in the NFL as a short and intermediate route-running specialist, but he tops out at competent in even a best case scenario, with a low ceiling because he won’t be a downfield target or playmaker after the catch.
68. Darnell Mooney, WR, Tulane - Mooney has a slight build and isn’t the most refined, but his loose athleticism and legit long speed are fascinating and will be worth monitoring as a late round pick/priority UDFA.
69. Collin Johnson, WR, Texas - Johnson has a long frame and can be a mismatch at the catch point for smaller corners, but he doesn’t play as big as his 6’6” measurement suggests, and he’s going to create separation with routes or speed. The size will get someone to spend a pick to try to develop a role for him, but he doesn’t look like a future starter.
70. Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Missouri - You can’t ignore Okwuegbunam’s size/speed combination when it comes at tight end, but his game is largely unrefined and he’s only a mid-round project right now. Tight end premium leaguers should remember him if he goes to a good passing team.
71. Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn - Brown is the premier interior defensive line talent in this class, and he should be relevant right away in leagues that start defensive tackles, but watch to see if he ends up on a team that will ask him to be a two-gap tackle who creates more opportunities for his teammates than himself. He’s going to be a very disruptive player who helps free up linebackers who play behind him and pass rushers who play beside him.
72. Darryton Evans, RB, Appalachian State - Evans has good long speed but not elite in draft prospect terms and while he’s got some contact toughness and efficient moves, he’s not really a tackle breaker or exceptionally elusive. He looks more like a change of pace back than a potential starter, but he can contribute in the NFL.
73. Josh Uche, LB, Michigan - Uche doesn’t have a good NFL fit yet, but he can move and finish in a way that should get him selected on the second day. He has useful skills against the run, rushing the passer and dropping into coverage, but his game hasn’t come together yet and there’s a boom/bust nature to his outlook.
74. Troy Dye, LB, Oregon - Dye was ultraproductive and he has the passing down skills and instincts vs the run to be a three-down linebacker but he might lack enough sand in his pants to mix it up as an inside linebacker on Sundays.
75. Willie Gay Jr., LB, Mississippi State - Gay is hard to miss on tape, flying around the field and wreaking havoc, but he has some red flags after multiple suspensions and his playing style will have to be rooted in better diagnosing and reacting to not be a liability in the NFL. He’s an athletic high motor hitter who will be really fun if he can develop valid instincts.
76. Joshua Kelley, RB, UCLA - Kelley’s strength and thick build are NFL ready, but he’s not twitchy and should only be used as a downhill runner. There’s enough there on passing downs to be useful, but Kelley will be surrounded by more dynamic backs on NFL rosters.
77. Lamical Perine, RB, Florida - Perine’s combination of patience, a low pad level, contact balance, and a deceptive second gear gives him something to work with, but he lacks the juice to really stand out in the NFL. He is a good passcatcher and has the profile of an overachiever, but it’s unlikely that Perine is ever “the answer” in his NFL backfield.
78. Jacob Eason, QB, Washington - Eason is the classic big arm prospect that someone will overdraft, perhaps as early as the late first round. If he ends up with a team that has a clear path to opportunity at quarterback, we will have to draft him appropriately in deep dynasty leagues, although he looks like the type of incomplete package that will not live up to his prodigious arm.
79. Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina - Kinlaw will be a first round pick and if he develops a more controlled game with a lower pad level, he could be as impactful as Derrick Brown in time. For now, Kinlaw projects as more of a long and strong interior force who will cave in the pocket and often tie up two blockers. If he ends up in a 3-4 defense and gets some defensive end snaps while retaining defensive tackle eligibility, it will increase his IDP value.
80. Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State - Okudah is a true shutdown corner with prototype measureables, including vertical speed, and dogged determination to disrupt and neutralize opposing receivers. He can hang against the run and will at least be tested early in his career, although he could fall victim to the dynamic that makes the best NFL corners marginal IDP starters.
81. James Proche, WR, SMU - What do you do with a player like Proche, who is maybe #1 in this class at the catch point on contested catches, but seems to lack the size, speed, quickness, and route running skill to create advantages or separation on NFL corners. He has special ball skills and adjustments to the ball in flight and fights to create functional space when the ball arrives, but does there need to be more to a wide receiver than than to make it in the NFL?’
82. Quez Watkins, WR, Southern Mississippi - Watkins 4.35 turned heads at the combine and he has some length and explosiveness but he will need to get better at working the middle of the field and battling with physical NFL corners to get cleanly into his routes to have an NFL future. He’s a developmental project to monitor.
83. Javon Leake, RB, Maryland - Anthony McFarland Jr is getting more attention, but Leake’s instant acceleration and long speed might translate better to the pros out of the pair of Terp running back draft prospects. He can add value as a kick returner and could pop on a team that is good at outside zone running.
84. Reggie Corbin, RB, Illinois - Corbin plays too small to be a between the tackles NFL running back, but he’s a true gamebreaker with a combination of quicks and speed that jumps off of the screen. If he can build on his nascent pass-catching skills, he could become a dangerous role player.
85. Deejay Dallas, RB, Miami - Dallas is thickly built with excellent contact balance and a good enough burst and acceleration for a back his size. He offers some special teams value that could help him stick on a roster while he develops as a runner, and Dallas also has some experience as a receiver.
86. Anthony McFarland Jr, RB, Maryland - McFarland’s speed might get him drafted higher than expected, but it is only going to come into play on Sundays if he has a long runway. He does have some moves and pass-catching ability, but projects as a committee back at best.
87. Jason Huntley, RB, New Mexico State - Huntley is a favorite sleeper of some and he could make a name for himself as a returner and passcatcher out of the backfield more than a runner. He’s too slight to hang as an inside runner in the NFL, but could be a nice role player in a creative offense.
88. Justin Strnad, LB, Wake Forest - Strnad is a name to remember late in deep drafts because he has three-down range and skills, although he can be blotted out easily by blockers against the run and has some durability concerns.
89. CJ Henderson, CB, Florida - Henderson is going to be a first-round pick and maybe higher than expected because he has the athletic ability to hang with the best the NFL has to offer at wide receiver on the outside. He’ll get tested a lot as a rookie corner and should be useful in start two corner IDP leagues.
90. Lawrence Cager, WR, Georgia - Cager is massive and athletic with an arrow pointing up if he can stay healthy. While he’s not a burner, he wins at the catch point and could surprise down the line despite being on the fringe of draftable wide receivers in this deep class.
91. Trishton Jackson, WR, Syracuse - Jackson burst on the scene as a vertical threat, but most parts of his game need to be coached up. Ideally, he’ll spend a few years as the last receiver on the roster to develop and then his natural ability to get deep will matter on Sundays.
92. Jake Fromm, RB, Georgia - Fromm is a classic extension of the coach quarterback and he’s battle-tested in the SEC. He’ll be a high floor/low ceiling option, but for teams with highly-structured offenses, Fromm will be more attractive than more toolsy second and third day prospects and should be monitored if he lands somewhere like Jacksonville, New England, or Indianapolis
93. Aaron Parker, WR, Rhode Island - Parker can put together a highlight reel of contortion in the air to make snags with the best in this class, but he was playing at a small school level and doesn’t have the route running skill or raw physical gifts to make an early career impact, so he’s likely a late round practice squad type to start.
94. Michael Warren, RB, Cincinnati - Warren is a tough customer between the tackles who earned the nickname “Truck” who could stick as a short yardage back with some functionality as a receiver, but his role and upside are limited. He's a former Ohio Mr. Football.
95. Ty’Son Williams, RB, BYU - A Matt Waldman favorite who got knocked out last year by a torn ACL, Williams probably won’t need to be drafted in deep leagues, but should be on a dynasty roster after he likely gets put on injured reserve for the season as a redshirt on his pro career.
96. Sewo Olonilua, RB, TCU - Olonilua’s combination of size, speed, and functional pass catching skills is worthy of NFL projection, but he needs to think and run like a power back to become relevant. He’s a project, but an intriguing one.
97. JaMycal Hasty, RB, Baylor - Hasty projects more as a third-down back/special teams contributor, but those are tickets to make a roster. His compact build and short area explosion/quicks could make him an adequate runner.
98. Rico Dowdle, RB, South Carolina - Nothing stands out about Dowdle’s game in NFL terms, but he’s rugged, athletic and skilled enough to make a living as a backup NFL running back. He could have marginal fantasy value behind injury-prone or disappointing backs. Dowdle led the Gamecocks in rushing as a true freshman, but injuries have derailed his momentum.
99. Juwan Johnson, WR, Oregon - Johnson is thickly-built and fast enough to be an intriguing projection at tight end, but he lacks the consistent hands and route running to be a good bet to stick at wide receiver in the NFL. He was once considered a possible first-round pick at Penn State.
100. Tony Brown, WR, Colorado - Receivers like Brown who are built on skills more than traits tend to exceed expectations in the NFL, but the ceiling is still low because of a lack of above average athleticism. His refined routes and ability to win at the catch point were overshadowed by Laviska Shenault Jr’s highlight reel game. Brown started out catching passes from Patrick Mahomes II at Texas Tech.