Devy Targets: 2020 Draft Class #1-4

Running backs?  Again? I don’t know where they will go, but a lot of these guys deserve workhorse type opportunity and could be absolutely phenomenal in that role.  Some of the receivers in this class have pretty slick profiles, and there are some guys in that list that I like a lot. However, the running backs are where the can’t miss talent lies.  Both Cam Akers and D’Andre Swift look like transcendent players. So again, let’s go down my list as it stands and layout what we should expect/look for while we are waiting for these guys to make the jump to the NFL.

Running backs?  Again? I don’t know where they will go, but a lot of these guys deserve workhorse type opportunity and could be absolutely phenomenal in that role.  Some of the receivers in this class have pretty slick profiles, and there are some guys in that list that I like a lot. However, the running backs are where the can’t miss talent lies.  Both Cam Akers and D’Andre Swift look like transcendent players. So again, let’s go down my list as it stands and layout what we should expect/look for while we are waiting for these guys to make the jump to the NFL.

Cam Akers – RB – Florida State – Sophomore – 5’11” 213 lbs
2017 Stats – 194 carries for 1025 yards and 7 touchdowns and 16 receptions for 116 yards and 1 touchdown

Akers is a monster, a transcendent talent, a terrific running back.  If there is a superlative out there, it can likely be used to describe this kid.  He is a strong runner with all the traits you are looking for in a bell cow back. He is quick and elusive in space.  He is willing to lower his shoulder and throw his weight around when necessary. He can really come at you any way he wants to.  His understanding of the game is special as he was a quarterback throughout high school. That also means he is still learning the running back position and has so much room to grow and improve on everything he has shown already.  Akers is in for a special season with quarterback Deandre Francois returning from injury and looking to rebuild his NFL draft stock. The Florida State offense is going to be something to see with those two in the backfield. One thing I will look for a little more of this season is him catching the ball out of the backfield.  He can and will improve on 16 catches in the next two seasons.

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D’Andre Swift – RB – Georgia – Sophomore – 5’9” 215 lbs
2017 Stats – 81 carries for 618 yards and 3 touchdowns and 17 receptions for 153 yards and 1 touchdown

Two transcendent level guys in one class? It is absolutely possible that this is the case for 2020.  At the moment, it’s a fantasy player’s choice as to which guy you like better. I prefer Akers, but everything can change with two more years of film, two more years of football development and two more years of physical growth.  I like Swift a lot, but without seeing him in a workhorse role, I just can’t rank him above Akers. He will show out this year in another strong Georgia offense. Jake Fromm will open up the box by giving the offense a much more dynamic passing game than they ran last year.  While Zamir White tearing his ACL is sad and will take away a year of film for him, it will give us a big year for Swift. He will see a lot of volume and really take on that workhorse role that you want to see for a guy this talented.

Jonathan Taylor – RB – Wisconsin – Sophomore – 5’11” 214 lbs
2017 Stats – 299 carries for 1977 yards and 13 touchdowns and 8 receptions for 95 yards

Jonathan Taylor, as you can see, is a production machine.  He gets touches and then he gets his. While he isn’t a monster big play threat, he produces consistently and he produces at a very high level.  He reminds me quite a bit of Melvin Gordon honestly. All of this makes sense behind those Wisconsin offensive lines in that ground and pound system.  300 carries in a college season is an extreme workload. It equates to almost 400 carries in a 16 game NFL season which just doesn’t happen.

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Jhamon Ausbon – WR – Texas A&M – Sophomore – 6’2” 220 lbs
2017 Stats – 50 receptions for 571 yards and 3 touchdowns

Ausbon is currently the best receiver in this class.  He sneaks into my top 4 overall edging out JK Dobbins, though not by much.  Ausbon shows a lot of great traits despite lacking a little in the height department for a boundary receiver.  He is listed at 220 pounds, which, going into his sophomore season is impressive. Couple that with his quick feet and strong hand usage when running routes and he becomes a problem.  He has also shown an ability to high point the ball very well and be a threat down the field. He is a very complete receiver even at a young age with the athletic profile for plenty of growth.

About Josh Padgett

Husband and dad. From Indianapolis, to Purdue University, to living in Fort Wayne. Colts season ticket holder. On Twitter too much (@jpadgett94), but thrilled to talk about football, basketball, wrestling and more with anyone, anytime. Resident Devy/Draft guy here at Top 2 Sports. If you learn anything from me, it's that you got to risk it for the biscuit.

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