2.01- Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma
Knowing I’d likely have a chance to select Hurts with this pick is what allowed me to draft a running back from the 1.01. Hurts looks every bit as savvy as a young Dak Prescott did coming out of Mississippi State when he led the Cowboys to a 13-3 record as a rookie. If he gets the right opportunity, I expect him to continue winning.
Since 2011, 8 QBs have ran a sub 4.6 40 yard dash & had a college QBR above 82:
– Cam Newton
– Andrew Luck
– Russell Wilson
All 8 have finished better than QB10 in fantasy in at least one season.
Jalen Hurts: 40: 4.59, QBR: 89.7
— CT (@sashinomics) April 1, 2020
2.02 – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Similar to Burrow, Jefferson also played college at LSU, and I also covered him previously in my rookie redraft series, this time in part 4 of that series. As part of LSU’s 2019 explosion, Jefferson had a stellar year, recording 111 catches, 1,540 yards, and 18 touchdowns. Then, at the NFL Combine, Jefferson ran a 4.43-sec. 40-yard dash, demonstrating that he had speed in addition to his strong route-running ability.
Given his profile and strong combine performance, I now project Jefferson to be a first-round selection in the upcoming NFL Draft. The Eagles pick at the 21st selection and have a dire need for a receiver to complement Alshon Jeffery. They have been a destination for Jefferson in multiple mocks, and he would immediately challenge J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and DeSean Jackson for playing time. Even if the Eagles pass on Jefferson, he could still provide value in numerous other landing spots in the late first-round, like the Vikings or Packers.
In terms of superflex rookie rankings, I have Jefferson as the 11th player on my board and as my WR3. Therefore, I’m delighted to grab him with the 14th overall pick and as the WR4 in this draft.
2.03 Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
In the deepest wide receiver class since 2014, and maybe ever according to some, it is not wise to go through two rounds of the rookie draft without grabbing a wide receiver. The fifth wide receiver to go off the board, Ruggs does one thing better than anyone else in this class and that’s beat defenders with his pure speed. Playing among Jeudy, Waddle and Smith, the 2019 Alabama wide receiver group may have four first-round picks.
The Ruggs pick is going to be very hit or miss as the landing spot is going to be crucial. Ruggs has the upside of Tyreek Hill, without the off-field concerns. Ruggs is an inch taller and a few pounds heavier than Hill with significantly bigger hands. Ruggs also clocked in a bit faster than Hill in their respective 40-yard dash times. If Ruggs lands with a big-armed gunslinging quarterback, this pick has the potential to have the best return on investment in the draft.
2.04 – Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
When I was first looking at the WR class for this draft back in February, I really took a shine to one guy in particular, outside of Lamb and Jeudy, Denzel Mims.
First impression of Baylor's Denzel Mims 👐🙌🤲 pic.twitter.com/elRMsbsnCA
— Eric (@EricJohnFlynn) February 12, 2020
He went on to stun the NFL Combine with his 4.38-sec. 40-yard dash, at 6’3”, 207 lbs.
He will be mainly used on the perimeter, but he can absolutely do some work inside with his release and those hands, he can catch any missiles thrown at him.
Say it with me because you’re going to hear a lot of it in the NFL….. Mims, Touchdown!
2.05 – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
Love is the fifth QB off the board and he comes at a good value. There’s a real possibility Jordan Love is taken in the first round of the NFL. If this is the case, landing a QB taken in the first round in the second round of a rookie draft is a no brainer.
Jordan Love is a polarizing prospect. He has immense talent, making Patrick Mahomes like plays at times. The raw talent has many people excited.
Scout on Jordan Love: Most upside of all the QBs https://t.co/sJbl8ceSu5
— NBC Sports EDGE Football (@NBCSEdgeFB) April 17, 2020
However on the flip side, Love has his warts. This past season, when many expected him to take step forward, he failed to do so and had a poor year statistically, throwing for only 20 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. Still at 2.05 in a superFlex league, this is a great value pick.
2.06 – Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado
The second round this year will be all over the place. Most analysts have Lamb and Jeudy at the top but after that? Well, it’s nearly impossible to find two people that rank the next 12-15 receivers in the same order. Historic depth at WR position will do that though and it’s rare that I’ll come away unhappy with my second-round pick in any rookie draft this year. This time I walked away incredibly happy. Laviska Shenault is WR4 in my rankings and consistently falls to round two due to injury concerns. However, take it from Shenault himself to explain what type of player he is in a USA Today article.
“I just feel like I’m a dog. I’m a playmaker. I’m a big, shifty guy and I work on improving my skill set every day. I need to get better and better.”
Big and shifty he is. At 6’1″, 227 lbs., Shenault was utilized all over the field. He played receiver, running back, and wildcat quarterback. He’s a great route runner and is excellent at beating press coverage. He may fall in the draft because of injury concerns, but I think whoever gets him is stealing. Between being able to take care of his body with the millions of dollars he’ll be making and the fact that he won’t have to shoulder the burden of his entire offense as he did in college, I believe he’ll shake the injury concerns and prove that he is one of the best receivers in this class.
2.07 – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
Higgins at 2.07 is a steal. His absence at the NFL Combine definitely has had an effect on his dynasty stock in rookie drafts. Higgins profiles as a true NFL number one wide receiver. He comes in at 6’4”, 216 pounds and is in the 96th percentile for breakout age (18.6). He finished 2019 with 59 catches for 1,167 yards and 13 touchdowns. Higgins fits the mold of a dominant NFL wide receiver and has the college production to back it up. I’ll take a shot on this kind of player in the middle of the second round every single time!
2.08 – Brandon Aiyuk, WR, ASU
In what has been said to be one of the best wide receiver draft classes ever, snagging a couple of top 10 wideouts with my first two picks makes me giddy for the future of my team.
Assuming Aiyuk goes to the right landing spot he has a chance to make a quick impact with his new team. Having played college ball at Arizona State he did not get as much of the national spotlight as some of the other receivers in this class. However, Aiyuk put up monster numbers in his junior year grabbing eight touchdowns and had a shade under 1,200 yards receiving.
A stat that I look closely at is what the receiver can do after he has the ball in his hands. To that end, in all of college football last year, the two players with the best yards after the catch were CeeDee Lamb and Brandon Aiyuk. A core muscle surgery may have him slipping down draft boards, but doctors have indicated he should be good to go for Week 1.
2.09 – Bryan Edwards, WR, South Carolina
Getting late into round 2 and I couldn’t resist taking the WR with the best analytical profile I have ever seen. Bryan Edwards is the only WR I know of with a “breakout” at the age of 17. He pairs the unheard-of breakout age with an upper percentile market share, making the number nerds (myself included) drool. On top of his insane metrics, Edwards sports a big muscular 6’3″, 212-pound fram,e making him a large and dependable target. His ball skills flash on tape, regularly making acrobatic catches. Against Tennessee back in 2019, Bryan Edwards made one for the best catches I have ever seen.
Catch of the year?!?!
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) October 26, 2019
Edwards is not an exceptional separator, but when you are 6’3″ and have great hands even when you are covered you’re still open.
I am hoping Edwards is drafted day 2, and if he is, he will more than likely be within my top 5 WRs in the class. So taking him as the tenth WR off the board is great value for me.
2.10 – Antonio Gibson, RB(?), Memphis
There are many debates among fantasy football players, but none is so prevalent as the film vs analytics debate. As someone who doesn’t have a lot of time to watch tape and doesn’t understand half of what the analytics community says, I prefer to listen to both sides and jot down players’ names who stand out to both sides. Antonio Gibson is one such player.
He tested as a wide receiver and played the majority of his snaps in college at the position. So why did I write RB? Because he’s built like a running back, and I think that is where an NFL team will use him. And what exactly is wrong with versatility? He produced at both positions in college and is an upper-tier athlete no matter where you put him. I think he will be an excellent piece in a creative offense (I’m looking at you, San Francisco).
2.11 – Michael Pittman, WR, USC
I’m really excited to grab Pittman at 2.11. He scored in the 93rd percentile for speed score and 89th in catch radius. Pittman is 6’4”, 223 pounds and finished with 101 receptions for 1,275 yards and 11 touchdowns. He’s projected to go on day two but landing spot is going to be a major factor.
I’ve seen him being drafted to the Buffalo Bills in a mock draft which could spell disaster due to the crowded wide receiver room there. I’ve also seen him land on the Baltimore Ravens which would instantly increase fantasy interest and the likelihood of him seeing real opportunity early on.
2.12 – Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota
Ok, so we didn’t even get close to grabbing Hurts. That’s alright, let’s grab OUR DUDE Tyler Johnson. If Zack Moss worked in the produce section, Johnson was the manager.
Johnson broke out at the optimal age of 19 at Minnesota and from there only continued to excel. After posting a 78/1,169/12 line in his junior year, there was speculation he would enter the draft in 2019. Deciding to return for his senior season, he put up 86/1,318/13. Johnson also sported a 57.2% college dominator (98th percentile).
So, why did he fall to the end of the second round? He wasn’t invited to the Senior Bowl, which might signify a lack of interest from NFL teams. He also didn’t attend the NFL Combine, assuming that he likely wouldn’t have tested well. The only other player I had close to Johnson on my board here was Eno Benjamin. But after taking Moss in the first, I elected to secure Tyler as I’ve been beating his drum all offseason.