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2020 Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft (Fantasy Football)

by Raju Byfield | @FantasyContext | Featured Writer
Feb 1, 2020

The consensus number one pick in single QB dynasty leagues, D’Andre Swift spearheads what is a very talented 2020 class of rookie running backs.

With the 2020 NFL Combine just weeks away and the Super Bowl yet to be played, dynasty football players are already looking towards their rookie drafts. This year’s rookie class is loaded with some top-end talent and promises to provide highly intriguing prospects all the way through the end of the second round of 12 team leagues. We will take a look at what a 12 team, single QB rookie draft may look like. The combine may force us to revisit where we have the top 10 picks ranked, but the names figure to remain the same. Things are wide open from 11th overall on, and we could very well see new players mocked at the end of the first as soon as the end of the NFL Combine. Let’s dig in.

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1st overall – D’Andre Swift (RB – Georgia)
The consensus number one pick in single QB dynasty leagues, D’Andre Swift spearheads what is a very talented 2020 class of rookie running backs. Swift should hear his name called in the first round of the NFL Draft and should be leaned upon to be an immediate starter for his new team.

Swift is a rocked up 5’9 running back that can handle 300 carries and is a plus receiver out of the backfield. While he did not have the gaudy rushing numbers of a Jonathan Taylor or a J.K. Dobbins, at 19.89 percent, Swift had the highest chunk play percentage (runs of 10 or more yards) of any top running back in this class. Swift is a power back with good speed and burst that should threaten 1,000 rushing yards and double-digit touchdowns as a rookie and never look back. Swift possesses great vision and cutting ability, two traits that make him electric in the open field. Swift projects as an immediate RB1. 

2nd overall – Jonathan Taylor (RB – Wisconsin)
When people in the dynasty community said to wait for the 2020 rookie class, Jonathan Taylor was one of the major reasons why. More talented than any running back from the 2019 NFL Draft class, non-devy dynasty players have been salivating in anticipation of Taylor’s arrival on the scene. Arguably the best pure runner in this entire draft class, Taylor blends explosion, great vision, and a great jump cut with legit ‘move the pile five yards’ power.

The major concern heading into the 2019 season regarding Taylor’s future dynasty upside was his lack of involvement in the passing game. He answered those questions this past season with 26 receptions and five receiving touchdowns. His 26 receptions represent a higher reception market share than Swift or J.K. Dobbins in 2019 and is higher than any mark Dobbins achieved in his career.

The other concern was Taylor’s long speed. Fortunately, due to our friends from recruit analytics in the tweet below, we see that he has much more speed than anyone had given him credit for. Taylor projects as an immediate RB1 providing that he does not land on a depth chart with an elite receiving back already in tow. 

3rd overall – J.K. Dobbins (RB – Ohio State)
J.K. Dobbins was always an intriguing prospect, but he exploded with 2,003 rushing yards in 2019 and put himself squarely in the mix to be the first running back off the board in both the NFL Draft and in dynasty rookie drafts. Dobbins is a big-play threat who can instantly become an RB1 behind a good offensive line. He has good speed and good hands, that when combined with his great cutting ability make him an every-down threat. Draft capital and depth chart project to be central to his 2020 role, but he is expected to be drafted to start. Dobbins has 1,200 rushing yard, 60 reception upside if he is installed as a featured back as opposed to being deployed in a committee.

4th overall – Jerry Jeudy (WR – Alabama)
The clubhouse leader at the wide receiver position in the wait for the 2020 rookie class proclamations, Jeudy has been an elite prospect since the 2018 season when he won the Biletnikoff Award as college football’s best receiver. Jeudy is squarely in the discussion to be the first receiver off the board on April’s NFL Draft, as well as dynasty rookie drafts. He is a terrific route runner who excels both downfield and in the red zone. He is also capable of taking short passes the distance due to his skill after the catch.

Jeudy will immediately be the most talented receiver on the majority of NFL teams, and should quickly ascend to the WR1 conversation provided he does not land in purgatory with Adam Gase and the New York Jets. With a strong combine, Jeudy can solidify himself as the top receiver on the board in the NFL Draft and dynasty leagues alike. 

5th overall – CeeDee Lamb (WR – Oklahoma)
CeeDee Lamb is arguably the most exciting prospect in this wide receiver class. The 2019 college season started with Jeudy sitting alone upon the throne as the top wide receiver in the 2020 class, but Lamb’s explosive season has opened enough eyes that he will come off the board first in some dynasty rookie drafts, and could possibly do the same in the 2020 NFL Draft itself.

Lamb is an elite route runner with great hands who would be the first receiver off the board in most draft classes. An explosive receiver who ranked second in the nation in receptions of 20 yards or more, Lamb is dynamic on all three levels and is also a threat after the catch. He is a game-breaking, downfield threat with excellent possession skills that could lead to him breaking out as a PPR dynamo as soon as his rookie season.

6th overall – Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB – LSU)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire burst onto the scene in 2019. He had a fantastic junior season in which he at times looked like the most explosive back in the nation. CEH is the total package. He has great hands and proved his mettle as a runner repeatedly against tough SEC competition. His skill set screams RB1 if he can land himself a starting job. He should be drafted to at least compete for a starting role, and could very easily end up as the most productive fantasy back from this entire draft class. An elusive back with explosive cutback ability and great receiving skills, only pass protection woes should be able to keep CEH off the field on the majority of NFL teams. While he has a lower floor than the running backs that were mocked above him, CEH can quickly become a fantasy star if he lands in the right situation.

7th overall – Cam Akers (RB – Florida State)
Arguably the most talented running back in this entire draft class, Akers could quickly become the RB1 of this class if he lands on the right team. Akers has the tools to be one of the most efficient backs in the NFL. He runs with good power and shows great patience due to years running behind an ineffective offensive line. While his hands are not elite, he is explosive once he hauls in his targets. His contact balance should lead to high broken tackle and missed tackles forced percentages, and should help him remain effective even if he has the misfortune of ending up on an NFL team with its own offensive line struggles. Akers may have the highest floor of any of this year’s running backs as potential workhorse RB2 with landing spot based RB1 potential. He has the potential to be special both in the virtual and the actual gridiron.

8th overall – Jalen Reagor (WR – TCU)
While everyone is busy talking about CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, and even his teammate Henry Ruggs, it may be Jalen Reagor who is truly the most exciting wide receiver in the 2020 class. Jeudy and Lamb are going to come off the board first in the NFL Draft, but after Reagor becomes a national darling at the NFL combine, he could find his way to being the first receiver off the board in some contrarian dynasty rookie drafts.

Reagor is exceptionally talented, but also has the elite speed to instantly become one of the most deadly weapons in the entire NFL. He is one of the rare prospects that film guys love, and data guys love even more. He broke out at 18 years old and has WR1 upside if he lands in an offense with a top-level quarterback and/or a creative offensive mind calling the offense. Jalen Reagor should be one of draft seasons biggest risers.

9th overall – Tee Higgins (WR – Clemson)
Tee Higgins is an exciting wide receiver who was able to outproduce an even more talented wide receiver prospect on his own team in Justyn Ross. The first thing you may notice if you watch any film on Higgins is his great catch radius and ball skills. He is an adept route runner who can make people miss once the ball is in his hands. Higgins is destined to shine both downfield and in the red zone, and depending on where he lands, he could threaten 10 receiving touchdowns as a rookie.

Higgins is a playmaker that broke out at the age of 19. He ranked ninth in the nation with 21 of his 59 receptions going for 20 yards or more. Due to being projected to be drafted later in the first round than names like Jeudy and Lamb, Higgins is more likely to land in a good situation then the wide receivers mocked ahead of him. This could help him become an instant difference-maker for his NFL team.

It is going to be very interesting to see where he lands as he can become one of the most explosive WR2’s in dynasty if he lucks into the good situation alluded to above. Higgins is one of the reasons dynasty owners should be buying the late first-round picks that are now on the market after players like Travis Etienne, Chuba Hubbard, Najee Harris, Kylin Hill, Tylan Wallace, and Devonta Smith made the decision not to declare for the NFL Draft, which in turn opened things up at the end of the first round in dynasty rookie drafts.

10th overall – Laviska Shenault (WR – Colorado)
Laviska Shenault is a tremendous football player. While he is no Jalen Hurd, Shenault offers upside both out of the backfield and as a receiver. He may not be able to handle 200 plus carries as Hurd did at Tennessee before transferring to Baylor, but Shenault has proven to be one of the best wide receivers out of the backfield in recent memory.

As a receiver, Shenault is still a little raw but oozes upside. Unlike Hurd, Shenault is a no brainer first-round talent who should hear his name called by the end of day one of the NFL Draft. He is a treat after the catch and breaks tackles like a running back. He has good hands and was able to produce despite inconsistent play from fellow 2020 NFL Draft prospect in quarterback Steven Montez.

If he lands in the right offense, Shenault can quickly become one of the most dynamic and explosive threats in the entire NFL. He projects as an eventual WR2 in dynasty leagues who should become one of the league’s leaders in yards after the catch, and yards after the catch above expectation.

11th overall – Ke’Shawn Vaughn (RB – Vanderbilt)
Ke’Shawn Vaughn is a talented, physical runner with good receiving ability. A likely day two pick, Vaughn should be drafted to compete for a lead back role. He has the talent to be a featured back, but without knowing where he will land, he is more of a late first-round pick.

Vaughn is a back that will need to land in the right scheme to truly realize his potential. He has shown some vision issues on tape that lead to some success rate concerns. An older prospect as a redshirt senior, Vaughn has depth chart dependent RB2 upside. There is a high likelihood that he lands on a team looking to deploy him as part of a committee. Fortunately, he has the talent to assume a lead back role in many of the backfields of running back needy teams. 11th and 12th overall are the most fluid, and will very likely change by the time we put out our next dynasty rookie mock together after the NFL Combine. 

12th overall – Zack Moss (RB – Utah)
With the combine still over three weeks away, Zack Moss still screams first-round pick in dynasty rookie drafts. It is not often you can land a running back as talented as Moss (or even Eno Benjamin who is also still on the board and a strong selection here) at the end of the first round in a competitive league. Moss is an exciting one-cut power runner who will quickly endear himself to his NFL coaching staff. His hands are much better than he is often given credit for, a fact one only needs to throw on the Oregon tape to confirm.

Moss can be a significant riser with a strong combine, as a good performance could increase his draft capital, and increase the likelihood that he is drafted to start. In the right situation, Moss could produce like an elite-level RB2. It is all going to be a matter of landing spot and depth chart.

There are many routes dynasty owners could take at pick 11 and 12 at this early juncture of the offseason. Players like Eno Benjamin, Henry Ruggs, Antonio Gandy-Golden, and Justin Jefferson should also be considered at the end of the first round. The NFL Combine and the NFL Draft itself will provide more clarity on the end of the first once they occur.

Complete early mock drafts using our free draft simulator >>

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Raju Byfield is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Raju, check out his profile and follow him @FantasyContext.

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