Devy 100: The Watch List

Rob Willette


Editor’s Note: This is a Dynasty Scouts exclusive article. Remember, our Dynasty Scouts section focuses on the stars of tomorrow, with a laser focus on High School recruits and College players who look to have the talent to be future assets in dynasty leagues and have value today in devy leagues. Dynasty Scouts articles are found in our Premium Content.

Compiling even a modest list of devy talent can prove to be a fool’s errand. Ranking 100 is sheer lunacy. However, many members of Dynasty Scouts have never been known for their sound decision making, and when devy is your game, failures are sure to pile up.

This grouping will undoubtedly look misguided in five years. However, that is the charm of the devy game. It is even more of an inexact science than traditional fantasy football. At the very least, it is fodder for anyone that cares to nerd out at the office water cooler.

Instead of a traditional ranking set, this is going to be broken down into tiers, with each tier representing players of similar value. The first tier will focus on those players who have flashed notable talent, yet have not done enough to warrant a devy selection. For more extensive rankings, check out DLF’s rankings page within the Dynasty Scouts section.

Nick Wilson, WR Arizona Wildcats

Despite the departure of Ka’Deem Carey, the Wildcats’ offense failed to miss a beat thanks to the emergence of true freshman back Nick Wilson. The California native piled up 1,375 rushing yards and 17 total touchdowns, becoming another big-time producer amidst a deep class of freshman running backs. Despite huge success at an early stage, I’m approaching Wilson with trepidation, as I see an undersized runner than lacks dynamic ability in space. Arizona’s system can make a lot of runners look good, and while Wilson has talent and his physical maturation will be key, I’m not investing a pick on him at this point.

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Josh Reynolds, WR Texas A&M Aggies

D’haquille Williams was the headline junior college transfer in the SEC, but he was not the only one to make an immediate impact. The Aggies’ Josh Reynolds quickly built a rapport with Kenny Hill and then Kyle Allen to pace the team in receiving while piling up 13 touchdowns. A tall, lanky, long-legged receiver, nothing about Reynolds really jumps out at you, and I’d need to see his game evolve before investing in him.

Pharaoh Brown, TE Oregon Ducks

If you’re confident in the health of Pharaoh Brown, go ahead and move him way up. Part of a deep group of talented tight ends at the collegiate level, Brown was starting to evolve into one of the nation’s elite prior to a gruesome injury. If he is back at full strength, he has the length, movement skills, and body control to be a hellish matchup.

Terry Godwin, WR Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia was able to hold onto Terry Godwin in National Signing Day, which is huge for a program that has seen its receiving core decimated by injury and underachievers. While listed as an Athlete by most recruiting services, it is expected that Godwin lines up as a receiver and versatile offensive weapon. Dynamic in space and demonstrating playmaking sagacity, he’s a safe bet to produce at a high level and can become an elite prospect with more bulk.

J.T. Barrett, QB Ohio State Buckeyes

Seldom does one of the nation’s best returning quarterbacks need to fight for his starting job, but such is life in Columbus. A savior following the injury to Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett quickly emerged as a dual-threat nightmare and has far superior long-term prospects as a quarterback than his predecessor. There’s still plenty of room for improvement as a passer, but he shows workable skills in the pocket and is a powerful runner that causes defenses to have to account for his running skills at all times. Needless to say, how the depth chart unfolds for the Buckeyes will be essential to his evaluation.

Demore’ea Stringfellow, WR Mississippi Rebels

A major 2013 recruit that contributed as a true freshman at Washington, De’morea Stringfellow finds himself in Oxford after being dismissed from the Huskies football program following a Super Bowl week incident in 2014. A lesser version of counterpart Laquon Treadwell, he needs to contribute immediately if he is going to emerge as a notable prospect.

Kerryon Johnson, RB Auburn Tigers

Tell me that Kerryon Johnson sticks as a running back for Gus Malzahn, and I am tempted to label him my number one incoming runner. The risk of a move to defense keeps him merely on the Watch List, but as an offensive weapon Johnson could contribute as an electric runner and combines that with the ball skills of an elite receiver. Even though he’d need to wait for work behind Jovon Robinson and Roc Thomas, the long-term upside is enormous.

Davion Hall, WR Baylor Bears

You often need to wait your turn in the Baylor Bears offense, and that is exactly what happened to Davion Hall, who flashed some goods early but eventually became an emergency option for Baylor during the conference season. A big, physical wideout with a “my ball” mentality, Hall figures to emerge following the departures of Antwan Goodley and Levi Norwood.

Stanley Williams, RB Kentucky Wildcats

Stanley Williams wisely dropped his legal first name in favor of the nickname “Boom”, lest he be confused with an infamous crime boss. Despite sharing the preferred colors of his namesake, Williams seldom lets people see that as he gashes through the defense. A decisive, shifty runner, he’s on the small end of the spectrum and lacks explosive athleticism, but he is smart and tough, and has plenty of room to fill out his frame and become one of the SEC’s better backs.

Quinshad Davis, WR North Carolina Tar Heels

Quinshad Davis entered the 2014 season with that ready to really burst onto the scene buzz, but put forth about as pedestrian a season as you can find, and saw his reception total dip for the third straight year. He’s still got plenty of talent, and 21 touchdowns over three seasons indicates he can find the end zone, but his game has seemed to stagnate. He needs a big final season to get back into the day two mix.

Equanimeous St. Brown, WR Notre Dame Fighting Irish

If only for his name, you need to include Equanimeous St. Brown in any devy report. Fortunately, he’s also an incredibly skilled receiver, standing 6’5” and possessing unteachable ball skills. Expect a slow start as he learns behind the Irish’s established receivers, but he possesses some of the highest long-term upside amongst this year’s freshman class.

Justin Jackson, RB Northwestern Wildcats

The transfer of Venric Marc left a huge hole in Northwestern’s backfield, enabling true freshman Justin Jackson to take hold of the Wildcats’ rushing attack. A smaller, shifty back, Jackson relies more on savvy and vision than sheer athletic talent. Much like most freshmen, his physical development over the next several years will be crucial.

Tarean Folston, RB Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Fellow 2013 recruit Greg Bryant was expected to be the next big thing in the Notre Dame backfield, but Tarean Folston has been the one constant for an inconsistent Irish ground game. Smart and tough, Folston may top out as a very solid college back.

DaeSean Hamilton, WR Penn State Nittany Lions

It was a rocky year for the Penn State offense, but that was no fault of DaeSean Hamilton who caught 82 passes despite ongoing issues from the Nittany Lions’ offensive line and Christian Hackenberg. With a good frame and quickness at the line, Hamilton could really shine as Penn State’s offense improves.

Jalin Marshall, WR Ohio State Buckeyes

Urban Meyer is notorious for getting athletes in space on offense, and Jalin Marshall is the latest jack-of-all trades weapon to really shine. A smooth athlete that is unstoppable in space, Marshall excels in the intermediate passing game and even takes snaps out of the backfield. Undersized and not yet a vertical threat, he’s still incomplete as a wide receiver and not yet an elite level prospect.

Dexter Williams, RB Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Opinions vary on the wares of Dexter Williams, but I see him as one of the more underrated backs in this cycle. A high-cut runner with excellent long speed, he needs some physical development in his lower half, but the long-term potential is enormous. He could contribute immediately in South Bend.


rob willette