Fantasy Football: An Early Look At The 2020 Rookie RBs (Part 1)
For NFL Draft enthusiasts and Dynasty fanatics, the 2019 Draft is in the rearview mirror. The players that were selected such as Marquise Brown, Kyler Murray, Josh Jacobs, etc. haven’t even put on actual pads at practice yet, but that doesn’t stop the diehards from looking forward.
Some might say it’s too early to look at the 2020 Draft Class, but they would be wrong. If you have people around you saying that, ditch them. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life…
This 2020 Class has the potential to be special. There are some insanely talented players that are draft eligible for the NFL Draft in Las Vegas next year and it’s time to look ahead and get a grasp on who you should be watching this College Football season.
(Note: The players are listed below in no particular ranking order)
Travis Etienne – Clemson Tigers
Strengths: Speed, speed, speed. Travis Etienne runs like he’s shot out of a cannon on almost every play. He delivers one cut at the line of scrimmage, finds his opening and explodes through it for a big gain consistently. It’s extremely rare, when watching his film, to find someone who is going to beat him to the edge before he turns upfield and blows past the defense. To put this into recent context, he’s “Darrell Henderson on steroids”.
Travis Etienne is a BLUR 🏃💨 pic.twitter.com/FX9aEjTDPb
— ESPN (@espn) December 30, 2018
Needs Improvement: Etienne can be too willing sometimes to take one cut and explode through the line, which sometimes means that there were better openings if he would’ve waited a second longer and shown some patience. He’s also reportedly currently under 200 pounds, so I’d like to see him bulk up and fill out his frame a bit in 2019 before he enters the NFL Draft Process.
2019 Outlook: If Etienne displays anything close to his college tape in 2018, he’ll be a first-round NFL lock. He’s that good.
Jonathan Taylor – Wisconsin Badgers
Strengths: Taylor wins with a deadly combination of power, speed, and elusiveness. He has the ideal size for the position at 5’11″/214 pounds currently and he’s put up insane production his first two seasons at Wisconsin, rushing for a total of 4,171 yards and 29 touchdowns. (Note: Those are not typos)
Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor has a rare combo of size, physicality, and burst. Love his rugged style of play. The favorite to lead the country in rushing, he did in 2018. pic.twitter.com/BbXQLlnVmT
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) May 20, 2019
Needs Improvement: In order for me to truly be excited about Taylor at the next level, I need to see more from him in the passing game. While he’s put up insane numbers on the ground, Taylor has only amassed 16 total receptions in his two seasons at Wisconsin. I haven’t seen enough tape yet to say that he can’t catch the ball, but I’d love to see more of that in 2019.
2019 Outlook: Taylor has the chance to be a highly drafted running back next year if he can put together another dominant season. He’s going to be a fun player to watch moving forward.
J.K. Dobbins – Ohio State Buckeyes
Strengths: Dobbins has great hands coming out of the backfield. Ohio State uses him all over the field and formation to get the ball in his hands and it’s lead to some decent receiving numbers…even with a QB last season in Dwayne Haskins who loved to push the ball downfield. He has great vision as a runner and shows great discipline at the line of scrimmage to choose which hole to run through.
This may seem like an extreme combo in May but I really feel like I’m watching Le’Veon Bell when I’m watching JK Dobbins. It’s his running style as well as patience that really sticks out to me and reminds me of Bell. pic.twitter.com/E8eCvrnLna
— Andrew Harbaugh (@MandrewNFL) May 13, 2019
Needs Improvement: While Dobbins displays great vision and patience as a runner, he does not possess elite breakaway speed, burst or agility. He’s not overly elusive either but purely takes what’s given to him. In order for him to succeed at the NFL level, he’ll need to display an improvement in breaking tackles and becoming dangerous in the open field.
2019 Outlook: Dobbins has a chance to put up great numbers this season with Justin Fields at QB for the Buckeyes. If he can show improvements with his movement in space, he could elevate himself into 2nd round consideration for some NFL teams.