Which NFL Draft prospects should you start scouting now to help your fantasy football team win a championship this season?
Despite a coronavirus pandemic ripping through the United States, Roger Goodell is vehement on keeping the Draft April 22-24. In these unprecedented times, the NFL is taking a stand. Instead of postponing the process to allow for additional time for scouting, team meetings, Pro day workouts, individual team workouts and rookie physicals, the NFL made the executive decision to power through in an attempt to stay on track to start the season September 10, 2020. Enough about the current state of the country, let’s get back to fake football.
If your rookie draft takes place after the NFL Draft, I will have an updated wide receiver rankings article after we learn where the rookie running backs are selected. Draft capital is very important when evaluating rookies, and can make a huge difference in their rankings.
Wide Receiver Rankings: Tier 1
1. CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma (projected: 1st round)
6’2” 198lbs, 4.50 40yd
Lamb is the prototypical wide receiver prospect. He can line up anywhere on the field. He played X and slot at Oklahoma and he projects to be a workhorse for whatever team drafts him. His comparable players are DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins for a reason. He commanded 20+ percent of the teams target share in his final 2 seasons, and was used on offense and special teams. The gimmick offense of Oklahoma gives me pause, but CeeDee is as much of a sure thing as there is in the 2020 wide receiver draft class.
2. Denzel Mims, Baylor (projected: late 1st – early 2nd)
6’3” 207lbs, 4.38 40yd
Mims is how you would build a wide receiver prospect in a lab. The guy is carved out of granite. He’s long, has great top end speed, he’s agile, and he’s explosive. He is DK Metcalf, but more dominant at the college level. He commanded a target share of over 20 percent during his final 3 seasons at Baylor, and finished his career with 30 touchdowns and close to 3,000 yards despite inconsistent/atrocious quarterback play. Mims is a freak, and I comp him to a leaner Andre Johnson.
3. Jerry Jeudy, Alabama (projected: 1st round)
6’1” 193lbs, 4.45 40yd
Scouts praise Jeudy for his highly polished route running. He was productive at Alabama, but he did not command the trarget share of an elite producer. That may be due to his slender frame. Jeudy has NFL speed and agility, but his slight stature places him with comparable NFLers such as Santonio Holmes and Gregg Jennings. That does not inspire much confidence. Many compare him to Amari Cooper, but Amari was more dominant at Alabama and did so at a younger age. Jeudy will be a first-round draft pick, but I see more upside with Mims and Lamb.
4. Justin Jefferson, LSU (projected: late 1st – early 2nd)
6’1” 202lbs, 4.43 40yd
Jefferson put up huge numbers on Joe Brady’s record setting LSU offense last year. Even with the emergence of Ja’Marr Chase, Jefferson commanded 21 percent of the team target share. He amassed 1500 yards and over 100 receptions, ushered by Joe Burrow’s accurate arm. Jefferson is a stronger, more athletic version of Jerry Jeudy. He ranks below Jeudy because he is not as polished as Jeudy and due to the projected draft capital difference. JJ-squared could easily be flip-flopped after the NFL Draft.