Dynasty Watch: Updated Rookie Top 45

Dynasty Watch: Updated Rookie Top 45

This article is part of our Dynasty Watch series.

After looking over the landing spots of this year's rookie class, here are my updated dynasty rookie rankings. The players are grouped by tier.

TIER 1

1. Jonathan Taylor, RB, IND (5-10, 226) (2nd round, 41st overall)

I don't consider Marlon Mack a greater obstacle for Taylor than I do Damien Williams for Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Both veterans are concerning challenges in their own ways, but whereas I think there's ambiguity about whether Edwards-Helaire can match Williams in from-scrimmage effectiveness, I don't think there's much of a chance for Mack to match Taylor in that regard.

As much as Mack was a solid mid-round sort of prospect out of South Florida, one who's been reasonably successful in his first three NFL seasons, there's no particular function where he grades higher than replacement level. Taylor, on the other hand, is maybe a top-five pure runner from the backfield. I only have Christian McCaffrey, Ezekiel Elliott and Nick Chubb in mind as possible superiors. That's not meant to sound aggressive – even Taylor's critics should be able to concede that his credentials as a runner are all but beyond question.

For a running back to total 6,174 yards and 50 touchdowns in 41 games at 6.7 yards per carry is pretty much unreasonable, and for that runner to possess 4.39 speed at 5-foot-10, 226 pounds is to specifically describe the prototype. Maybe Mack can do some things, but he didn't produce like Taylor and isn't anywhere near the athlete. What Mack could do was run for 3,609 yards and 32 touchdowns in 36 games at 6.2 yards per carry, and run a 4.5-second 40-yard dash on a lighter (213 pounds) yet taller frame (5-foot-11). As far as the running function goes, there are likely tiers between these two, even if Mack is above average. Then again, there's not much evidence that Mack is better than average in this function. Over the last two years Jordan Wilkins and Jonathan Williams combined for 878 yards on 160 carries (5.5 YPC) – an inconclusively small sample, but one that does Mack's case no favors.

Of course, Taylor's fumbling issues at Wisconsin were substantial. This is the one way Mack could remain competitive for rushing tasks. Taylor fumbled 18 times at Wisconsin, which is once per 53.8 touches. Adrian Peterson has been my main comparison for Taylor, in large part because Peterson fumbled once every 49.9 touches over his first three NFL seasons. I'd rather Taylor didn't play it so close, because with Peterson-level fumbling comes the expectation of running as well as Peterson too. But I'm greedy and expect both Taylor to improve on his fumbling while otherwise presenting pure-running ability near the level Peterson did. Particularly with the latter point, I've been unable to find any objective reason to anticipate otherwise.

 
2. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, KC (5-7, 207) (1st round, 32nd overall)

Brian Westbrook was always the comparison I had in mind for Edwards-Helaire, so maybe I should have foreseen Andy Reid's fondness for the 32nd overall selection. As much as that theoretically makes CEH the prototype in the Reid offense – a theory I pretty much agree with – the problem for 2020 is that Damien Williams has already proven close to the prototype himself.

I had a lot of money on Williams last year – I'm as entitled as almost anyone to harbor bitterness toward him – but it still strikes me as bizarre the way so many rush to deny him recognition. Perhaps he's a product of the Chiefs system, but he's also close to ideal for this system. As much as he's not as good as the average running back in the typical setting, in this particular setting there aren't a lot of running backs who are obviously better. That's because the Reid-Mahomes offense and its downfield speed threats dictate an unusual amount of space for the running back, at which point explosiveness is more likely to exploit the defense than vision or even elusiveness. So CEH is clearly more elusive than Williams. What is there to elude, anyway? Speed exploits space, and Williams is the fastest Chiefs running back, even at over 220 pounds. That he's additionally a very good pass catcher makes it that much easier to practically utilize his speed. Saying 'But he was undrafted!' does nothing to change this, nor does his status as a former undrafted rookie make his speed any less real. On his last 242 carries and 95 targets Williams produced 1,109 yards (4.6 YPC) and 15 touchdowns to go with 74 receptions for 558 yards and eight touchdowns (77.9 percent catch rate, 5.9 YPT). That's... pretty good.

But Williams is also 28 and on the last year of his contract, so the future is almost certainly CEH's, and the future might be as soon as the next time Williams gets hurt. Even on a light NFL workload, Williams is no stranger to durability troubles.

 
Tier 2

3. D'Andre Swift, RB, DET (5-8, 212) (2nd round, 35th overall)

I consider Swift a vastly superior prospect to incumbent starter Kerryon Johnson. I was probably too harsh on Johnson as a prospect – I considered him a fifth- or sixth-round talent – but I also remain skeptical that he was ever worth more than a fourth. Even as a relative skeptic of Swift's, I always considered him a worthwhile top-40 pick, something I was never close to concluding about Johnson. Still, I rank Swift behind Taylor because I'm skeptical that Swift can become an NFL workhorse, and I rank him behind CEH because the Chiefs offense is so much better than the one in Detroit.

 
4. J.K. Dobbins, RB, BAL (5-9, 209) (2nd round, 55th overall)

Mark Ingram was reliably explosive last year and will likely remain Baltimore's starting running back at least until the next time he gets hurt. Unfortunately, Ingram turned 30 in December, and it's easy to forget that he had injury troubles in the first half of his career, before the relatively injury-free previous four years. It's actually Gus Edwards who gives me more pause than Ingram – Edwards is highly useful to the Ravens but pretty much nowhere else, so I don't know if he'll ever price himself out of Baltimore's budget. Still, I'm inclined to bet that Dobbins' talent will transcend the situation if necessary.

 
5. CeeDee Lamb, WR, DAL (6-2, 198) (1st round, 17th overall)

Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup are enormous obstacles, and that's without accounting for whatever Ezekiel Elliott will claim in this offense. On the other hand, I think there's reason to expect Lamb to be the best receiver on this team as soon as one year from now, and even if not, it's hard to see how Dallas could afford to re-sign Gallup, who will be a free agent after the 2021 season. Plus, Cooper has a bit of an injury history at this point. I think coupling a high-grade wideout prospect with an elite NFL quarterback should be viewed as sufficiently favorable, even if it's not the immediate ideal in itself.

 
Tier 3

6. Cam Akers, RB, LAR (5-10, 217) (2nd round 52nd overall)

I still think Darrell Henderson has talent as a ballcarrier, and I still think it's difficult to justify the Rams selecting Akers ahead of Dobbins. Still, the fact that the Rams took Akers over Dobbins is itself is a pretty convincing demonstration of commitment. As much as I think his talent level is more in the range of a Lamar Miller or Marlon Mack, Akers' athletic profile gives him a legitimate shot at an outcome more like Miles Sanders. A 5-foot-10, 217-pound frame with 4.47 is itself a lot to work with, and Akers certainly didn't embarrass himself at Florida State. I still think Sanders' tape and production were more convincing, though.

 
7. Jerry Jeudy, WR, DEN (6-1, 193) (1st round, 15th overall)

Jeudy is still my 1B after 1A CeeDee Lamb in terms of talent, but I consider Jeudy's landing spot in Denver worse than Lamb's in Dallas. It's less crowded in Denver, yes, but the quarterback could be truly bad, and it's not as if players like Courtland Sutton, Melvin Gordon, KJ Hamler, and Noah Fant will just stay out of Jeudy's way. Since I consider their respective competitions for usage similarly imposing, I'm letting Dak Prescott's vast superiority over Drew Lock break the tie.

 
8. Justin Jefferson, WR, MIN (6-1, 202) (1st round, 22nd overall)

Perhaps I shouldn't lament so much if Jefferson is merely another Adam Thielen – that's not a terrible redundancy to have. I rank Jefferson higher than this in redraft – his immediate opening to targets couldn't be clearer, and there's room for upside if the Vikings defense regresses. Tajae Sharpe won't be even a speed bump on Jefferson's way to a three-down role.

 
9. Laviska Shenault, WR, JAC (6-1, 227) (2nd round, 42nd overall)

It only recently hit me that Shenault reminds me in some ways of Dez Bryant. He's probably not as explosive or as good of a route runner, but particularly once he has the ball Shenault has an uncommon combination of shiftiness and strength. Unless the Jaguars view DJ Chark as their primary slot receiver going forward – and I doubt they do – then Shenault should quickly knock the miscast Dede Westbrook out of the slot rotation for Jacksonville, at which point it's all runway for Shenault.

 
10. Brandon Aiyuk, WR, SF (6-0, 205) (1st round, 25th overall)

Although I'm still not convinced that Aiyuk can create space for himself, I was always convinced that he was explosive enough to exploit space, and now that he's in Kyle Shanahan's offense I no longer worry about his ability to create space for himself. Shanahan should create the space with his scheme, and Aiyuk should in that scenario be capable of exploiting these arranged openings. There's subtle upside here because both Deebo Samuel and George Kittle have somewhat forgotten injury histories, and both players invite more contact than most.

 
11. Jalen Reagor, WR, PHI (5-11, 206) (1st round, 21st overall)

I mostly wait this long to list Reagor because the Eagles offense is somewhat crowded ahead of his arrival. Even if Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson get out of the way soon, the tight ends and Miles Sanders won't. Great as I think he is as a prospect, it's fair to worry that he'll mostly be a decoy to begin his career.

 
Tier 4

12. AJ Dillon, RB, GB (6-0, 247) (2nd round, 62nd overall)

Aaron Jones' explosiveness is utterly convincing, but he has an injury history going back to his days at UTEP, and he'll be a free agent after this year. If Matt LaFleur is truly in pursuit of the Titans offensive aesthetic, then the optics of Dillon's unusual power/speed combination will further tempt a workload split between the two even in the meantime, as if a second-round investment weren't enough reason in itself. Dillon should make quick work of Jamaal Williams on the depth chart, after which point he might take over as the team's primary short-yardage runner even if Jones stays healthy. On the other hand, even Dillon's best-case outcomes probably feature modest at best pass-catching production.

 
13. Zack Moss, RB, BUF (5-9, 223) (3rd round, 86th overall)

Only in the second year of his rookie contract and with the momentum of a blazing finish to his rookie year, I consider Devin Singletary a greater obstacle to Moss than Jones to Dillon. But I also think Moss is at least as good of a prospect as Singletary was, and like Dillon I can also imagine Moss establishing himself as the team's leading goal-line runner while otherwise remaining a backup. Compared to Dillon, Moss likely has more best-case upside since Moss projects as a standout receiver. Between the goal line specialist potential and the fact that Frank Gore saw 179 touches last year, Moss should still be taken seriously for a potential rookie-year impact. If Singletary should miss time, then Moss would become a plausible RB1.

 
14. Joe Burrow, QB, CIN (6-3, 221) (1st round, 1st overall)

I wouldn't criticize anyone for taking Burrow higher than this. He should have strong skill position support, and he should run a bit in the NFL. That's all we can really ask for out of our quarterback prospects, but I'd otherwise recommend against seeing Burrow for a Kyler Murray-type prospect. 'Jared Goff Who Runs More' is a fairer expectation.

 
15. Tee Higgins, WR, CIN (6-4, 216) (2nd round, 33rd overall)

A.J. Green is great and John Ross is a former top-10 pick, but Green will turn 32 in July and both players have demonstrated enormous injury liability. As long as Higgins is good for his own part – we have reason to believe he is – then he should have an opportunity to establish himself as the WR1 in Cincinnati as soon as 2021. If Burrow is any better than bad, then Higgins could be a top-30 WR type by next year.

 
16. Michael Pittman, WR, IND (6-4, 223) (2nd round, 34th overall)

Pittman is in a similar situation as Higgins – though the Green part is played by T.Y. Hilton, who's more than a year younger, and the Ross part played by Parris Campbell, who I personally consider the better prospect of the two at this point. There is no Tyler Boyd in this analogy, though, or at least I'm not willing to consider Zach Pascal for the part. Indeed, Pascal strikes me as a WR4 type, so I expect him to head to the back of the rotation once Pittman arrives and Campbell (hopefully) gets healthy. I mostly rank Pittman behind Higgins because Cincinnati's future quarterback play projects better than Indianapolis' does under the assumption of a Jacob Eason era.

 
17. Henry Ruggs, WR, LV (5-11, 188) (1st round, 12th overall)

I realize this is a low ranking for Ruggs, and I'm sympathetic to those who might criticize it. I like Ruggs as a prospect, I just feel uneasy about the landing spot. It's difficult to imagine Ruggs' downfield abilities providing anything more than a decoy with quarterbacks like Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota, and as much as I believe Ruggs could provide underneath utility, I can't convince myself that he will overrule Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller in that capacity beyond a handful of manufactured screen plays. Third-round pick Bryan Edwards is a substantial talent in his own right, moreover, and none of his utilities involve decoy functions. This picture is surprisingly crowded, and it might be a modest pie that they fight over for the indefinite future if they don't manage to Tank4Trevor.

 
18. Van Jefferson, WR, LAR (6-1, 200) (2nd round, 57th overall)

Coaches love Jefferson's route running, and we have reason to believe he would have run in the 4.50-second range or better had his foot allowed him to run a 40-yard dash before the draft. Still, he'll be 24 in July, and he only marginally outproduced sixth-round pick teammate Freddie Swain, who's two years younger. Jefferson's proponents don't put me at any ease when one of their leading talking points is the fact that Jefferson caught eight passes for 73 yards and two touchdowns on 10 targets against LSU, against the coverage of blue chip cornerback prospect Derek Stingley. Jefferson is a full five years older than Stingley – this is a pathetic talking point. Still, Jefferson at least strikes me as a faster Keelan Cole, which might amount to something like a Robert Woods, who has worked well with the Rams. The problem with that is Woods was hysterically productive at USC and from a young age, and Woods didn't turn 24 until his fourth NFL season. Still, no matter what I think of Jefferson, there is opportunity for him especially if the Rams don't re-sign Cooper Kupp. I don't think Josh Reynolds is an obstacle for Jefferson.

 
19. Devin Duvernay, WR, BAL (5-10, 200) (3rd round, 92nd overall)

Duvernay went a round later and therefore has less institutional capital than Jefferson, but I consider Duvernay the far better prospect. With 4.39 speed at a dense build, Duvernay offers plus hands and plus ability to run after the catch. With Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews, and Marquise Brown draining defensive resources, I think Duvernay's speed/hands/power combination could prove lethal.

 
20. Denzel Mims, WR, NYJ (6-3, 207) (2nd round, 59th overall)

Mims is a weird prospect to me, and one where I struggle to find a useful comparison, but his production was decent at Baylor and you can't find many superior athletes at receiver. I'm still a Sam Darnold truther, so I can have hope for Mims as long as he gets on the field early on.

 
Tier 5

21. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, MIA (6-0, 217) (1st round, fifth overall)

As long as his hip is ok, Tagovailoa has to have a decent chance to start in Week 1. I know we all like how fun Ryan Fitzpatrick is but come on, he sucks. Hopefully the offensive line gets itself into shape by then.

22. KJ Hamler, WR, DEN (5-9, 176) (2nd round, 46th overall)

Hamler is pretty much the Mecole Hardman of this draft – an exceedingly explosive but young receiver who probably will take a year or two to realize his full form. Unfortunately for Hamler, you only carry Hardman-level capital when you're in a Mahomes offense, which the Drew Lock offense will almost certainly never approach. If you must play with a below average quarterback, you ideally wouldn't have Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, and Noah Fant ahead of you in the target rotation.

 
23. Chase Claypool, WR, PIT (6-4, 238) (2nd round, 49th overall)

Perhaps I should rank Claypool higher than this just in case he gets listed as a tight end. Even if he doesn't, there's a chance he could emerge as a red-zone standout on a team that lacks height at receiver, crowded as they are otherwise.

 
24. Bryan Edwards, WR, LV (6-3, 212) (3rd round, 81st overall)

I don't want to invite similar expectations, but Edwards reminds me a lot of Michael Thomas on tape. He basically matched the production of Deebo Samuel when the two were teammates at South Carolina, even though Samuel is nearly three years older.

 
25. Ke'Shawn Vaughn, RB, TB (5-10, 214) (3rd round, 76th overall)

I'm sure I list Vaughn much lower than most, but I invite any ridicule it might stir. Everything about Vaughn screams 'average' to me, and even if Vaughn is a better pass blocker than Ronald Jones, I think we have reason to consider Jones the better runner and pass catcher between the two. Even as a third-year back, Jones is just shy of three months younger than Vaughn. Even if Vaughn somehow starts with a clear lead over Jones, you have to project Jones to gain some ground in my opinion.

26. Antonio Gibson, RB/WR, WAS (6-0, 228) (3rd round, 66th overall)

Ron Rivera apparently thinks he might use Gibson like Christian McCaffrey. I think he's wrong, but Gibson could be something like the next David Johnson. I'd still prefer a healthy Derrius Guice, though, so I mostly interpret Gibson's opportunity as dependent on Guice's misfortune.

 
Tier 6

27. Justin Herbert, QB, LAC (6-6, 236) (1st round, sixth overall)

Herbert has good enough pass catchers waiting with the Chargers, but the offensive line is asking for trouble at tackle after the Russell Okung trade, and it's tough to tell what kind of grip the coaching staff has at this point. Even if he's rough as a passer, Herbert could eventually offer fantasy utility largely due to rushing production afforded by his frame and 4.68 speed. Whether he's a realistic bet to outplay Tyrod Taylor right away isn't as clear.

 
28. Anthony McFarland, RB, PIT (5-8, 208) (4th round, 124th overall)

McFarland doesn't project as an obvious starting candidate in the short or long term, but his explosiveness could compel Pittsburgh to set aside an immediate off-the-bench role in an otherwise slow offense.

 
29. Joshua Kelley, RB, LAC (5-11, 213) (4th round, 112th overall)

Kelley might be a humble fourth-round pick and former walk-on at UCLA, but his athletic profile isn't that far off from that of Miles Sanders. Sanders ran a 4.49-second 40 at 5-foot-11, 211 pounds, while Kelley ran a 4.49-second 40 at 5-foot-11, 213 pounds. Of course, Sanders' jumps and agility score were significantly better. Still, I think Kelley is a better prospect than Justin Jackson.

 
30. Darrynton Evans, RB, TEN (5-10, 203) (3rd round, 93rd overall)

Evans had more hype than McFarland, but I consider McFarland the better prospect. Evans' 4.41 speed is interesting at a glance and he was certainly a good player at Appalachian State, but I'll take 4.44 speed on a 5-8, 208 frame over a 4.41 at 5-10, 203. Density really matters in my opinion – you saw with Justice Hill that 4.40 speed on a frame like this doesn't guarantee the ability to immediately stand out in the NFL.

 
31. Lamical Perine, RB, NYJ (5-11, 216) (4th round, 120th overall)

Perine strikes me as decidedly average, but Le'Veon Bell seems toast or close to it. Perine caught a lot of passes last year and isn't far from the field, so that's something.

 
32. Dalton Keene, TE, NE (6-4, 253) (3rd round, 101st overall)

I wanted to rank Keene higher than this but managed to summon a little restraint. I'll bitterly acknowledge the lowness of his floor, though I'll stubbornly say his talent and present opportunity dictate optimism. Keene is a quick and coordinated tight end who demonstrated standout running ability on screens while showing natural hands on his more infrequent downfield targets. His athletic profile is very similar to Austin Hooper's, though those of you with more historical references might see Jay Novacek in Keene's slightly-hunched gait.

 
33. Cole Kmet, TE, CHI (6-6, 262) (2nd round, 43rd overall)

Kmet is a better overall tight end prospect than Keene, but his landing spot is atrocious. Not only do the Bears have that ridiculous Jimmy Graham contract to justify with playing time, but the passing game projects to be less than fruitful. In closer study I've concluded Kmet is more Martellus Bennett than Kyle Rudolph, which is a good thing. I just don't know if the circumstances will let him show it anytime soon.

 
TIER 7

34. Jordan Love, QB, GB (6-4, 224) (1st round, 26th overall)

Green Bay's thinking with this pick strikes me as strange at best, and more likely indicative of questionable judgment generally. If Aaron Rodgers is still good enough then first-round picks should be used on maximizing his returns or improving the defense. Love's lack of polish could be an indirect gesture that they don't mean to bench him right now but that's not the point. You can find three-year projects in Day 3, otherwise you should improve your team's reps. If the Packers do move on from Rodgers then Love has an intriguing arm talent/athleticism tool set. It would just seem reasonable to worry that point about the general team environment.

 
35. Jalen Hurts, QB, PHI (6-1, 222) (2nd round, 53rd overall)

I'm choosing to list Hurts ahead of Jacob Eason, but Eason is closer to a starting role since Philip Rivers is so much older than Carson Wentz. I leaned Hurst because of his long-term rushing upside, but he'll need a Wentz injury or one of the two traded before offering a practical use aside from a long-term dynasty asset.

 
36. Jacob Eason, QB, IND (6-6, 231) (4th round, 122nd overall)

Quarterbacks with Eason's frame and arm strength get the most excuses made for them, so for him to fall to the fourth round indicates substantial concerns about his NFL projection. Still, it's easy to imagine him getting the nod over Jacoby Brissett if Philip Rivers were to retire after the 2020 season, and Frank Reich is probably one of the better candidates to develop a quarterback in the NFL.

 
37. Lynn Bowden, RB, LV (5-11, 204) (3rd round, 80th overall)

I'm leery of Bowden's supposed move to running back – he's a wide receiver to me, and the Raiders just re-signed Jalen Richard – but perhaps he'll see his share of usage anyway. I just don't think he's as likely to stand out from his fantasy competition at running back as he would at receiver. If eligible at wide receiver I'd probably rank Bowden more like 30th overall.

 
38. Quintez Cephus, WR, DET (6-1, 202) (5th round, 166th overall)

Cephus' brutal 4.73-second 40 from the combine was only slightly improved by his 4.62-second time on the fast Wisconsin pro day track – they might be very close to the same time, in fact – but he might be a case of someone who just doesn't run right in track form. Cephus was exceedingly productive at Wisconsin, and third overall pick Jeff Okudah said Cephus was the best receiver he faced at Ohio State (Cephus caught 10 passes for 179 yards on 19 targets in two games against the Buckeyes in 2019). Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola are free agents after 2020.

 
39. Gabriel Davis, WR, BUF (6-2, 216) (4th round, 128th overall)

Davis was productive for each of his three seasons at UCF, and he only turned 21 in April. Strong age-adjusted production aside, Davis' athletic testing at the combine was probably average at best. A big frame helps, but his 4.54-second 40, 35-inch vertical, and 124-inch broad jump don't really move the needle. Still, he's on a promising trajectory and could make an impact in the event of Stefon Diggs or John Brown missing snaps.

 
40. Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, WAS (6-4, 223) (4th round, 142nd overall)

Gandy-Golden lands in a crowded wideout rotation on a team with dubious quarterback play, but he was highly productive at Liberty and showed well a few times against bigger schools over the years. His 4.6-second 40 raises some concern, but it's fair to suspect that his 36-inch vertical and 127-inch broad jump are more reflective of his on-field athleticism. As much as Washington's positional assignments aren't settled, Gandy-Golden's frame and athletic traits would generally project him outside, where he'll probably need to fight for snaps against Terry McLaurin and Kelvin Harmon.

 
41. Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, DEN (6-5, 258) (4th round, 118th overall)

I'm convinced Okwuegbunam is about as good of a prospect as new teammate Noah Fant was last year, but Fant went in the first round and Okwuegbunam in the fourth. To me they both should have been something like mid-to-late second-round picks. Okwuegbunam ran a 4.49-second 40 at nine pounds heavier than Fant was when he ran a 4.51, and since 2000 the only other NFL prospects to run a 4.49 or better at 258 pounds or more were a trio of first-round defensive ends – Dwight Freeney, Montez Sweat, and Bryan Thomas. But Fant is there first and at a much greater team investment, so he'd probably need to be rather bad for Okwuegbunam to overtake him.

 
42. Devin Asiasi, TE, NE (6-3, 257) (3rd round, 91st overall)

Asiasi was selected earlier than new teammate Dalton Keene, but I chose to rank Keene higher because I'm pretty sure he's a better prospect. No offense, Bill. Asiasi was a one-year wonder at UCLA – his age-22 season. If a player is only productive at the age of the typical redshirt senior then that's a red flag for me, and that applies here. Asiasi was very good in that one season, to be fair, and his athleticism is above average. His 4.73-second 40 is solid for his frame, though Keene had the much better vertical (34 to 30.5) and broad jump (125 to 115).

 
43. Adam Trautman, TE, NO (6-5, 255) (3rd round, 105th overall)

Trautman's frame is just above average for a tight end, offsetting his slightly below average 4.8-second 40 to give him roughly average size-adjusted speed. More interesting is his 6.78-second three-cone time, which is about as good as you'll find from a tight end. Trautman was very productive at Dayton and it would be far from surprising if he emerged as an above average starter once Jared Cook heads out of New Orleans.

 
TIER 8

44. Tyler Johnson, WR, TB (6-2, 206) (5th round, 161st overall)

Maybe Johnson won't be great or anything, but it still seems like the NFL must have gotten this one a bit wrong. Johnson started the last three years, and during the games for which he was active, the Minnesota offense completed 57.6 percent of its passes at 8.4 yards per attempt. Johnson caught 199 receptions for 3,164 yards on 323 targets (61.6 percent catch rate, 9.8 YPT) in those 36 games. Scott Miller is imposing competition for the WR3 role in Tampa, largely because Miller is much faster than Johnson and poses a more credible threat to the safeties. But Johnson produced at the higher collegiate level, and his 32-pound weight advantage could work in his favor.

 
45. Isaiah Hodgins, WR, BUF (6-4, 210) (6th round, 207th overall)

Like his new teammate Davis, Hodgins posted excellent age-adjusted production in college, though Hodgins' poor timed speed (4.61-second 40) harms his projection. Hodgins' 36.5-inch vertical and 124-inch broad jump hint at some jumpball potential after making some remarkable catches at Oregon State.

Honorable mention:

Harrison Bryant, TE, CLE (4th, 115th overall)
Jason Huntley, RB, DET (5th round, 172nd overall)
John Hightower, WR, PHI (5th, 168th overall)
Quez Watkins, WR, PHI (6th, 200th overall)
Joe Reed, WR, LAC (5th, 151st overall)
James Robinson, RB, JAC (UDFA)
DeeJay Dallas, RB, SEA (4th, 144th overall)
Darnell Mooney, WR, CHI (5th, 173rd overall)
Collin Johnson, WR, JAC (5th, 165th overall)
Isaiah Coulter, WR, HOU (5th, 171st overall)
Eno Benjamin, RB, ARI (7th, 222nd overall)
James Proche, WR, BAL (6th, 201st overall)
Dezmon Patmon, WR, IND (6th, 212th overall)
Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, CLE (6th, 187th overall)
Tavien Feaster, RB, JAC (UDFA)
Kalija Lipscomb, WR, KC (UDFA)
Maurice Ffrench, WR, KC (UDFA)
Andre Baccellia, WR, KC (UDFA)
 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mario Puig
Mario is a Senior Writer at RotoWire who primarily writes and projects for the NFL and college football sections.
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