(Editor’s note: All players are listed as what year they will be entering the 2019 season)
RB D’Andre Swift – Georgia (5’9″ 215 / JR)
Last year at this time, Swift was stuck behind NFL stud running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel and was fighting for touches every week. Once the duo was gone, Swift showcased his same explosive play-making ability in a much larger volume. He saw his carries double during his sophomore season was still able to maintain his excellent yards per attempt at 6.4. He also proved to be an extremely reliable receiver, catching 32 passes out of the backfield. Swift is one of the most exciting and NFL-ready backs in all of college football who will be a top-three rookie pick in 2020.
WR Jerry Jeudy – Alabama (6’1″ 192 / JR)
Once Calvin Ridley left the offense, Calvin Ridley 0.5 entered the room. Jeudy showed his fantastic route-running ability and flourished in the Crimson Tide offense, amounting for 1,315 yards and 14 touchdowns on just 68 receptions. Should he be able to duplicate this production in 2019, Jeudy will challenge D’Andre Swift for the top spot. He possesses all the tools to be a go-to receiver and looks like a good bet to be the next Keenan Allen.
WR Bryan Edwards – South Carolina (6’3″ 220 / SR)
Edwards has the prototypical size for an alpha wide receiver at the next level and showcases all the tools to be successful in any offensive system. Having stepped on the field for the Gamecocks at age 18 and played a significant role, Edwards’ production has slightly increased over the past three seasons and ultimately decided to return to school for his senior season. Now that his counterpart Deebo Samuel is headed to the NFL, Edwards is looking to be the lead target next season and prove to be one of the best assets to own heading into 2019.
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RB Jonathan Taylor – Wisconsin (5’11” 221 / JR)
Arguably one of the most productive players ever through his first two collegiate seasons, Taylor has amassed over 4,000 yards and 29 touchdowns heading into his junior season. With typical Wisconsin running back build and playstyle, Taylor is without a doubt, one of the safest running back prospects to own in devy leagues. His skill set is not sexy in any way, but he possesses a solid all-around game that allows him to see yards and get yards extremely quickly and efficiently. Look for Taylor to pile on the stats again in 2019 and solidify himself as a top-five selection in 2020 rookie drafts.
RB Travis Etienne – Clemson (5’10” 200 / JR)
Having exploded onto the scene during his sophomore campaign, Etienne carried the workload for the Tigers, carrying the ball 204 times for over 1,600 yards and 24 touchdowns. With an all-around skill set that will be dangerous in the NFL, Etienne is quickly rising on devy boards and could find his way into the top three should he show the same explosiveness in 2019. Though the comparisons to Alvin Kamara may be a bit over the top, Etienne certainly has intriguing potential and is a hot commodity with room to grow.
WR Justyn Ross – Clemson (6’4″ 205 / SO)
The star of the 2018 National Championship game, outside of Trevor Lawrence, was his stud freshman receiver. Ross showcased an impressive skill set of great hands, deep-threat ability, and phenomenal speed. Though he is not eligible to declare until 2021, Ross already has a 1,000-yard season under his belt and is seeming to be the next stud receiver waiting for the NFL. His price may never be any lower, so take advantage and acquire him before anyone else.
WR Laviska Shenault Jr. – Colorado (6’2″ 220 / JR)
With one of the unique names in the devy ranks in a while, Shenault certainly has the potential to be one of the biggest playmakers in the league in a few years. With a great frame and an all-around skillset, Shenault looks to build off of his breakout sophomore season. Should he be able to improve his yards per reception, which was an underwhelming 11.8, he will likely be in the conversation for the top overall receiver in the 2020 class.
RB Cam Akers – Florida State (5’11” 210 / JR)
Once considered to be the next big thing in the devy community, Akers’ stock took a dip when the Seminoles struggled mightily and barely had an offensive line better than that of your local middle school. Though his rushing totals took a major hit, it was promising to see his usage in the receiving game trend upwards, as he caught 23 passes out of the backfield and proved himself to be useful as more than just a runner. Akers will more than likely bounce back and declare after the 2019 season, so his stock will certainly rise to the point of a top-five rookie pick in next year’s drafts.
RB JK Dobbins – Ohio State (5’10” 214 / JR)
Although the stat sheet may not tell the entire story, Dobbins struggled a bit in 2018, mainly in part due to Ohio State having the best quarterback at the helm of the offense for the first time in a decade. His yards per carry dipped 2.5 yards, but he still tallied over 1,000 yards and ten touchdowns on the ground, while catching 26 passes for 263 yards. A true dual-threat player, Dobbins has a skill set similar to that of Lamar Miller and will be an impact fantasy asset for many years to come. Expect a more efficient 2019 season and for Dobbins to remain one of the most coveted assets who could declare for the 2020 draft.
WR Amon-Ra St. Brown – USC (6’1″ 195 / SO)
The third of the St. Brown brothers is likely the most talented and biggest stud of them all. With an intriguing and massive upside, Amon-Ra did not fill the stat sheet during his true freshman season, but turn on the tape and see the potential he brings to the table. With a great set of hands and a strong frame that can stop on a dime, St. Brown looks like an Amari Cooper clone. Watch out for a breakout campaign in 2019, which could easily vault him towards to the top receiver in the 2021 class.
RB Trey Sermon – Oklahoma (6’0″ 224 / JR)
Sermon has yet to eclipse 1,000 rushing yards in a season, but he is loaded with talent and will more than likely make the jump into the elite tier now that Kyler Murray is taking his talents to the MLB NFL. Sermon has the perfect size for an impact running back and the necessary tools to make a significant fantasy impact from day one at the next level. Should he declare after the 2019 season, expect Sermon to continue to rise throughout the draft process and quickly become a dynasty sweetheart.
WR Justin Shorter – Penn State (6’4″ 226 / SO)
Another 2021 receiver cracks the top 12, and this one has the least production to his name thus far; however, Shorter has an incredible combination of size and speed and looks to break out next season now that he has a full year under his belt. Shorter shows an excellent ability to stretch the field and track any deep ball thrown his way. With the departure of Trace McSorley, the running back, expect Shorter to capitalize on the opportunity to catch passes from a natural passer. Should he take the next step, he will quickly rise through the ranks and become one of the most valuable 2021 wide receivers.
RB Eno Benjamin – Arizona State (5’10” 205 / JR)
Benjamin may have the size of a typical satellite running back, but he can carry a workload with ease. Although being given 300 carries, he maintained a 5.5 yards per carry average, while piling on over 1,600 yards and 16 touchdowns. In addition to his incredible rushing ability, Benjamin also tallied 35 receptions during his sophomore season. He is a shifty runner who showcases power from time to time and is quickly becoming one of the most exciting running backs who is eligible for the 2020 draft. Should he declare after this season, Benjamin will join the already loaded 2020 running back class and potentially be one of the most undervalued players in the devy ranks.
WR Rondale Moore – Purdue (5’9″ 175 / SO)
One of the biggest surprises of the 2018 season was the explosion Moore made on the landscape of college football. Moore was the life of the Boilermaker offense as he accounted for 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns on 114 receptions. He showed his ability to make plays across all levels of the field and be a legitimate threat to any opposing defense. Moore still has two years to improve his game before becoming eligible for the NFL, so ranking him at 14 is likely the lowest he will ever be.
RB Zamir White – Georgia (6’0″ 215 / SO)
White is a fully potential-based player due to his season-ending ACL tear before his freshman season could ever begin. With an excellent frame for a running back, White looks the part of a future bell cow at the next level. He will be stuck behind D’Andre Swift for at least the next season, but White will receive touches due to his natural play-making ability. White has an all-around skill set and is not eligible until 2021 at the earliest, but do not sleep on one of the most talented running backs Georgia has seen in the last five years.
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