RosterWatch Rankings Thought Process
by Alan Seslowsky
The 2020 NFL Draft is in the books. We can now start to form logical rankings thought process based on team context along with our pre-draft talent evaluations. The pre-draft evaluation process is about splitting hairs, especially this season since the talent pool is deep. Rookie landing spots also have a second-order effect on veteran rankings. The post-draft process starts to create separation. Below are a few storylines that changed how we will ultimately rank particular players.
Broncos second-year QB Drew Lock is looking like a riser on our epic cheat sheet. The Denver Broncos loaded up on pass-catchers in the draft with Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, and upside athletic TE Albert Okwuegbunam. If you add to that rising stars Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant, you have one of the most promising young core of pass-catchers in the league. A developing QB’s best friend is a rock-solid running game. The Broncos covered that when they signed free agent Melvin Gordon to lead their backfield. All of these moves point to a team setting their QB up for success. Rosterwatch 2019 pre-draft evaluation on Drew Lock was that he had some nice characteristics but would need time to develop. Lock cleaned up some of our concerns quicker than we thought, making him a compelling late-round QB for 2020.
Rookie RB1 Status: Two-Horse Race
There was spirited debate across the fantasy industry of how to rank this elite class of RB prospects pre-draft. Now that team landing spots and draft capital are part of the equation we can say without hesitation that Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jonathan Taylor are atop the heap.
RosterWatch Co-Founder, Alex Dunlap, identified Jonathan Taylor as one of his most promising prospects in the last decade. Dunlap also noted that another elite prospect turned all-pro offensive lineman, Quenton Nelson, will be tied to Taylor for the foreseeable future. This cements Taylor’s place on the top tier of our dynasty rookie ranks. RosterWatch believes that Taylor will render Colt’s incumbent starting RB Maron Mack useless at some point.
The case for Clyde Edward-Helaire is as clean-cut as you could ask for. His first-round draft capital, obvious skill-set match to the Kansas City offense, and excitement from the coaching staff, all point to a more immediate ascension to fantasy relevance. NFL Network analyst, Louis Riddick, sarcastically called CEH’s addition to the Chiefs an “unfair advantage.” RosterWatch co-founder Byron Lambert, made a point to say that he would take CEH over Jonathan Taylor, mostly because of his connection to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City offense.
RosterWatch was at the forefront of the Vaughn train in the pre-draft process. We had him grouped with the top tier of RBs based on evaluation alone. RosterWatch co-founder Byron Lambert was certainly the engineer on the Ke’Shawn train but still cautions that he was mostly a 15-touch player for most of his college career. Our modest comp for Vaughn is Kerryon Johnson, but when we put Byron’s feet to the fire, Byron said that Vaughn “has a chance to be Alvin Kamara-like.” Vaughn is able to shed tackles and keep his balance at the second level, similar to Alvin Kamara. There is serious upside here and Vaughn is a screaming value in all draft formats.