2020 NFL Draft Rookie WR Landing Spots: Rounds 5-7 (Fantasy Football)
The first two days of the NFL Draft featured a ton of wide receivers coming off the board. In fact, we saw a whopping six wide receivers come off the board in Round 1 and a total of 17 wide receivers taken through the first three rounds of the Draft. For a full recap of the wide receivers taken thus far in the draft, be sure to check out Lauren Carpenter’s Round 2 recap and Rob Wilson’s Round 3 & 4 recap. Next, we turn our attention to the sleepers of this 2020 WR class, the guys taken in Rounds 5-7. While draft capital certainly matters for projecting fantasy football success, there have been some late-round players taken over the years who have turned into solid fantasy football assets. Let’s dive into the names to know from day three at the NFL Draft.
Joe Reed – Los Angeles Chargers
Round 5, Pick 5 (151st overall)
A speedy slot receiver out of the University of Virginia, Reed finds himself on a depth chart where he can learn behind one of the best slot receivers in the entire NFL in Keenan Allen. At 6′ 0″ 224 lbs., Reed is built more like a running back than a wide receiver, which is ironic given that he was a high school running back.
Speaking of, his history of playing the running back position shows up on tape, as Reed displays excellent vision with the ball in his hands, specifically in the return game. During his time at Virginia, Reed averaged 28.8 yards per kickoff return. Look for him to contribute early in his career in the return game as he develops as a WR at the NFL level.
Tyler Johnson – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Round 5, Pick 16 (161st overall)
It wasn’t long ago that Tyler Johnson was considered to be one of the best WR prospects in the 2020 class. After 2018, Johnson’s stock rose as he set Minnesota’s school record for receiving yards (1,169 yards) while hauling in 12 TD then broke his own record in 2020 with 1,318 receiving yards as a senior. He’s got the college production to support the notion that Johnson could be successful at the NFL level. After all, he did account for about 40% of his team’s receiving yards, a statistic that tends to be predictive of success at the next level.
However, there’s two big problems with Johnson. First, he lacks elite speed when compared to these other prospects and often relies on his ability to overwhelm defenders with his physicality. How well that will translate against NFL corners remains to be seen. The other problem is that the Bucs have arguably the best WR duo in the entire NFL in Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. Oh and by the way, they just brought back some guy named Rob Gronkowski.
2020 Competition: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, Justin Watson
Collin Johnson – Jacksonville Jaguars
Round 5, Pick 20 (166th overall)
The second WR drafted in 2020 for the Jaguars, Collin Johnson joins Laviska Shenault behind D.J. Chark on the WR depth chart. Overall, Johnson was a productive outside receiver at Texas but missed six games in 2019 due to a hamstring issue. He profiles as an outside receiver with good ball skills but lacks top end speed and struggled a bit against more physical corners in college, something that could be a problem at the NFL level. Look for Johnson to make a push for the Jags’ WR4 spot on the depth chart his rookie season.
Quintez Cephus – Detroit Lions
Round 5, Pick 21 (167th overall)
Cephus is a versatile WR out of Wisconsin who can line up both on the outside as well as in the slot. With Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones entrenched on the outside, look for Cephus to work as a rotational role player behind Danny Amendola in the slot. Cephus is a physical WR who uses his body well to shield defenders to make tough catches, but his speed is a concern. He ran a 4.73 40-yard dash at the Combine then a 4.62 at his pro day. Cephus also has some legal concerns in his background, which kept him off the football field in 2018. He was later acquitted of those charges in 2019.
2020 Competition: Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola, Geronimo Allison, T.J Hockenson
John Hightower – Philadelphia Eagles
Round 5, Pick 22 (168th overall)
The Eagles went with Jalen Reagor in the first round then followed up by taking Hightower, a WR out of Boise State. Hightower has speed for days, posting a 4.43 40-yard dash and proving to be a vertical threat with an average of about 19 yards per reception. He’s a former JUCO transfer, so he’s only got two years of experience at the FBS level, indicating there’s room for growth for the young wideout. Worth noting, the Eagles also traded for Marquise Goodwin during the draft, adding yet another speedster to their roster.
Isaiah Coulter – Houston Texans
Round 5, Pick 26 (171st overall)
After trading away DeAndre Hopkins and acquiring Brandin Cooks, David Johnson and Randall Cobb, it’s safe to say the Texans offense will look much different in 2020. They add to their skill position group with Isaiah Coulter out of Rhode Island. Coulter is an intriguing combination of size and speed, but he’s a raw WR prospect who is likely going to take time to develop in the NFL. In 2020, Coulter is likely to be a role player for the Texans and get limited playing time.
Darnell Mooney – Chicago Bears
Round 5, Pick 28 (173rd overall)
Mooney is an undersized WR prospect out of Tulane, but man this guy can fly. He posted a 4.38 40-yard dash and posted TD catches of 86, 79 and 55 yards in 2018 while averaging more than 20 yards per reception. He’s explosive, but he’s undersized and could struggle against defensive backs at the NFL level. One intriguing this to consider with Mooney is that the Bears WR3 position is wide open on the depth chart, as indicated by the names listed below.
K.J. Osborn – Minnesota Vikings
Round 5, Pick 31 (176th overall)
Osburn’s career started at Buffalo before he transferred to Miami for his final season. He played primarily in the slot at Buffalo before transitioning primarily to an outside receiver at Miami, so he’s versatile in that he can play anywhere on the field. He also contributed as a returner, which is likely where he’ll make his name at the NFL level, at least in year one.
Donovan Peoples-Jones – Cleveland Browns
Round 6, Pick 8 (187th overall)
Donovan Peoples-Jones is a head-scratching WR prospect who is difficult to evaluate. Coming out of high school, he was a 5-star recruit and was considered the best WR prospect in his high school class entering Michigan. However, while at Ann Arbor, DPJ struggled to produce on the field. Was it poor QB play, or did DPJ just fail to live up to the hype? Time will tell.
Quez Watkins – Philadelphia Eagles
Round 6, Pick 21 (200th overall)
After taking John Hightower in the 5th round, the Eagles continued to fill their depth chart with Watkins, a WR out of Southern Miss. As mentioned above when discussing their selection of Hightower, the Eagles clearly had a plan to add speed to their depth chart, and Watkins fits the mold with his 4.38 40-yard dash. He’s a bit of a raw prospect who really struggled against press coverage in college. He’ll have a tough time earning a role in 2020 given the depth at WR for the Eagles.
2020 Competition: Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery, Jalen Reagor, DeSean Jackson, Marquise Goodwin, John Hightower
James Proche – Baltimore Ravens
Round 6, Pick 22 (201st overall)
Proche is an interesting prospect out of SMU. He performed well at the Senior Bowl and re-wrote the record books at SMU and tied LSU’s Justin Jefferson with 111 receptions in his final season in college. Worth noting, the Ravens traded up to select Proche in the 6th round. However, his skillset seems a bit redundant with their 3rd round selection, Devin Duvernay out of Texas. Look for these two prospects to compete with Willie Snead for slot receiver duties.
Isaiah Hodgins – Buffalo Bills
Round 6, Pick 28 (207th overall)
Hodgins has excellent hands and makes the ridiculous circus catches look easy. At 6’4″, he’s got the frame and wide catch radius to go up and make contested catches. He compliments John Brown (5’11”), Stefon Diggs (6’0″), and Cole Beasley (5’8″) nicely and gives Josh Allen a big target in the red zone.
2020 Competition: Stefon Diggs, John Brown, Cole Beasley
Dezmon Patmon – Indianapolis Colts
Round 6, Pick 33 (212th overall)
The Colts added to their depth chart in Round 2 with Michael Pittman then took Patmon in the 6th round. Patmon adds size to the WR depth chart in Indy and profiles as a jump ball receiver. However, even with his size, Patmon didn’t always possess that “my ball” mentality that his new teammate Pittman did. Patmon needs to work on using his 6’4″ frame at the next level.
Freddie Swain – Seattle Seahawks
Round 6, Pick 36 (214th overall)
Swain is a speedster out of Florida, but there are legitimate question marks as to whether or not this guy can be a WR at the NFL level. While in college, he failed to amass 1,000 total receiving yards in four seasons, but he made his name in the kick return game. Look for Swain to contribute in Seattle in the return game before he contributes as a WR on offense.
Jauan Jennings – San Francisco 49ers
Round 7, Pick 3 (217th overall)
It’s interesting to see Jennings fall to the 7th round given that our friends over at Pro Football Focus valued him as a Round 3 prospect. He has some off the field concerns and ran an uninspiring 4.72 40-yard dash, which is likely why he fell in the NFL Draft. However, he fits well with what the 49ers like in their wide outs – the ability to make defenders miss with the ball in their hands.
K.J. Hill – Los Angeles Chargers
Round 7, Pick 6 (220th overall)
The second WR drafted on day three by the Chargers, K.J. Hill made a name for himself at the Senior Bowl and is Ohio State’s all-time leader in receptions. He profiles as a slot receiver at the NFL level but did show upside in the red zone, catching 10 TD passes for the Buckeyes in 2019. He’ll learn from one of the best slot WRs in the game in Keenan Allen.
2020 Competition: Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry
Malcolm Perry – Miami Dolphins
Round 7, Pick 32 (246th overall)
A captain at the Naval Academy, Perry played primarily as a QB while in college, but he did line up as an RB and a WR at times. To say he’s a raw prospect as a WR would be an understatement. At 5’9″, Perry profiles as a slot-type receiver if he can translate to the NFL level.
Tyrie Cleveland – Denver Broncos
Round 7, Pick 38 (252nd overall)
Cleveland was the last WR taken in the 2020 NFL Draft and he lands on a depth chart behind two other rookie WRs and Courtland Sutton. Cleveland didn’t produce a ton in college while playing at Florida but was an important piece of the special teams unit there and is likely to contribute at the NFL level in the same role.
2020 Competition: Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, K.J. Hamler, Noah Fant