It is never too early to start forming opinions on players, but what is important is opinions are written in pencil not pen. I am going to give my personal updated rankings on the offensive players that may be available for teams to pick come next April's draft. These rankings are going to change, I cannot stress this enough. Players performances differ game to game, off-field issues may pop up, and some players may stay in school. These rankings will also change once players complete pro days, compete at the scouting combine, and finally what teams draft them.
The goal of these series is for you the reader and fantasy player to be introduced to names of players you will be drafting next offseason. This way you can have a leg up on the other people in your league come draft time.
Riser: Dwayne Haskins Jr., Ohio State
Faller: Drew Lock, Missouri
Underrated: Brett Rypien, Boise State
Small School Standout: Easton Stick, North Dakota State
Player Feature: Tyree Jackson, Buffalo
A hot name who first appeared this offseason and now is really popping on draft Twitter is Buffalo quarterback Tyree Jackson. The reason he has been such a popular player as of late is in large part due to his cannon of a arm. Jackson has a huge frame, 6’ 7” and 245 pounds, to go along with his arm. On tape he reminds me of another big arm, big frame quarterback, the Voldemort of the NFL Draft, JaMarcus Russell. Russell had the famous video of throwing from his knees through the uprights at his pro day and his frame was similar to Jackson. I am not saying that Jackson can’t be a good player, just his early tape suggests a similar play style to Russell. What did Russell in was his work ethic once he reached the NFL, while from all indications out of Buffalo this is something that Jackson does not have an issue with. It will be interesting to see him progress as the season goes and will be worth a watch.
Riser: Benny Snell, Kentucky
Faller: Bryce Love, Stanford
Underrated: Mike Weber, Ohio State
Player Feature: David Montgomery, Iowa State
This running back class is just begging for someone to stand out, and to this point that has been David Montgomery from Iowa State. Montgomery last year first earned a name for himself when he was a big part of the Cyclones pulling off several upsets in a tough Big 12. This year, however, he has not been nearly as impressive, but when he is on he can run through you or by you. What truly separates him from everyone else is his pass catching ability. Montgomery had 36 receptions last year, a rare number for most college running backs, because PPR monster Melvin Gordon had just 22 receptions in his whole college career. With the way the NFL is utilizing its tailbacks, this will help his case with teams as they evaluate him.
Riser: Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
Faller: A.J. Brown, Ole Miss
Underrated: Paris Campbell, Ohio State
Small School: Anthony Johnson, Buffalo
Player Feature: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Stanford
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is a playmaker, flat out. Arcega-Whiteside has the NFL size, 6’3” and 220 pounds, and the ball skills that should make him a playmaker at the next level. In past years he has had the benefit of having Bryce Love performing at a Heisman level that teams would have to load the box and leave him in single coverage. With Love not performing anywhere near what he had in the past, it has forced Arcega-Whiteside to become more of a playmaker for a top-ranked Stanford football team. He has the potential with his athleticism to be one of the players we talk about shooting up teams draft boards once the pro day and combine testing starts.
Riser: Foster Moreau, LSU
Faller: Dawson Knox, Ole Miss
Underrated: Zach Gentry, Michigan
Small School: Logan Parker, Southern Utah
Player Feature: Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri
As I was watching film on Drew Lock at Missouri I kept noticing him favoring one player over and over again. He targeted him on third down and in the red zone a frequently. His speed, size, and the way he uses his body to his advantage when going up for the ball reminded me an awful lot of Rob Gronkowski. With him being stylistically similar to Gronk paired up with the way he plays and the way he is used at Missouri is familiar. It will be interesting to see where he ends up in April with so many two tight end sets being used by NFL teams. As long as he tests well and continues to produce, he has a chance to be a weapon teams use from day one.
What players am I too high on? Who am I too low on? Be sure to let me know. If there is a player I’m missing or should watch, please tag me in a tweet or comment below so I can check them out!