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The Devy 100: Middle Tier

Hurd

Editor’s Note: This is a Dynasty Scouts exclusive article. 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. This third set will focus on mostly established talents that have just one or two flaws preventing them from joining the top tier. For more extensive rankings, check out DLF’s rankings page within the Dynasty Scouts section.

Travin Dural, WR LSU Tigers

LSU is always stacked with offensive weapons, yet outside of one season with Zach Mettenberger, they have struggled to find consistent play under center. That makes it difficult to evaluate their skill position talent, though with Travin Dural, one thing is apparent: he is a field stretcher. A tall, lanky receiver with a smooth gait, he can get on top of defenses in a hurry. Thin and far from physically imposing, he’s not a complete receiver and will likely never be a high volume target. That pushes him down into the middle tier despite an intriguing profile.

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Connor Cook, QB Michigan State Spartans

Connor Cook definitely looks the part, as a good sized, strong armed passer with a gritty playing style, but he has bouts of inaccuracy and frenetic play in the pocket that cause alarm. Like all top quarterback prospects, he will be picked apart, but he has the raw tools and profile to go in round one, and that has a lot of value.

Sony Michel, RB Georgia Bulldogs

The more heralded Georgia running back recruit, Sony Michel took a backseat to Nick Chubb last season, though he still had a notable freshman campaign. A smooth runner with enough bulk to handle a significant workload, Michel has the tools to thrive as a college runner, though there are question marks around his long-term NFL upside as he is not particularly dynamic at this stage.

Brad Kaaya, QB Miami Hurricanes

These are sad times in Miami, where a once proud football program is now battling to make the low-tier bowl games. Under center, however, is the great hope in Brad Kaaya. Poised beyond his years, Kaaya was a revelation as a true freshman and despite not possessing dominant physical tools he appears to have what it takes between the ears to be a top quarterback prospect. He’s still got plenty of development to go, and we have seen true freshman quarterbacks succeed early and then fall off the map in early years, but his upside is that of a top five pick.

Keevan Lucas, WR Tulsa Golden Hurricane

One of the more electric space players in college football, Keevan Lucas is arguably college football’s best small receiver, and a potential slot nightmare at the NFL level.

Jovon Robinson, RB Auburn Tigers

A highly touted high school recruit seemingly decades ago, Jovon Robinson has taken a circuitous route back to Auburn yet he still carries with him a surfeit of hype and a ton of talent. A rugged north-south runner with enough wiggle to make defenders miss at the second level, Robinson will team with Roc Thomas to give the Tigers one of the nation’s most dangerous backfields.

Michael Thomas, WR Ohio State Buckeyes

The Buckeyes are stacked everywhere, and receiver is no exception. While Devin Smith was the vertical threat, and Jalin Marshall has emerged as a versatile weapon, Michael Thomas is the Buckeyes’ most traditional, pro-style receiver. With a strong build and strong hands, Thomas has the profile of a quality possession receiver, though we’ve yet to see dynamic athleticism or true dominance at the catch point, which limits his current value.

O.J. Howard, TE Alabama Crimson Tide

It was a quiet sophomore season for O.J. Howard, with Lane Kiffin opting to limit his opportunities as throws were funneled to wide receivers. Despite modest production and a game that needs to add more toughness across the middle and at the catch point, Howard is a plus athlete at the position and offers a lot of versatility. That keeps him on the devy radar.

Sterling Shepard, WR Oklahoma Sooners

Sterling Shepard is a receiver that endears himself to fans almost immediately. Tough, reliable, and clutch, he seldom lets his quarterback down. With a rather slight build and less than elite athleticism, his profile speaks to a possession receiver with limited upside.

Elijah Hood, RB North Carolina Tar Heels

It was a lost season for Elijah Hood, as injuries and a mercurial offense in Chapel Hill led to a rocky start to his career. Despite a slow freshman campaign, Hood still offers a tremendous combination of balance, speed, and toughness. With a compact running style and plus athleticism, he should emerge as the lead back for the Tar Heels.

Jared Goff, QB California Golden Bears

Jared Goff continues to make strides, and has quietly been one of the nation’s top signal callers. Poised in the pocket and a natural thrower, he’s just added bulk away from becoming a top quarterback prospect.

Jalen Hurd, RB Tennessee Volunteers

Despite rumors of a position switch once he reached the collegiate level, Jalen Hurd stuck at running back and played well for the Volunteers. A tenacious runner with an atypical build, he’s a bit stiff as an athlete and is not going to be a pile mover. While a productive college career is likely, I am not buying as a premier NFL prospect.

Artavis Scott, WR Clemson Tigers

Despite a limited route tree, Artavis Scott dazzled as a freshman, routinely turning short throws into massive gains. On the older side given his experience, and yet to showcase his vertical game, I’m approaching Scott with more trepidation than most.

Tyron Johnson, WR LSU Tigers

There’s little doubt that Tyron Johnson can make plays after the catch. He routinely weaves his way through defenses, and has the size to run with power as well. LSU has done an excellent job of developing receivers, and Johnson has a great shot at being the next in line.

Hunter Henry, TE Arkansas Razorbacks

One of the nation’s top two-way tight ends, Hunter Henry is not explosive but does so many things well. Those types have a lot of values and can settle in as steady producers, despite limited ceilings.

Ronald Jones II, RB USC Trojans

Smooth is the most apt description for Ronald Jones II. His shoulder pads hardly move as he glides through the defense on his way to long gains. A bit thin through his lower half, weight room growth will be key for Jones if he breaks away as a true lead back.

Demarcus Robinson, WR Florida Gators

One of the few bright spots on an inefficient Florida offense, Demarcus Robinson has a lot of intriguing tools. He’s got good size, and can be extremely dangerous after the catch. Not a natural catcher and more athlete than receiver at this point, he’s boxed out of the upper tier of devy receivers.

Dwayne Washington, RB Washington Huskies

It took about half a season for Dwayne Washington to get comfortable in Chris Petersen’s system, but once he did, he was a big play waiting to happen, showcasing incredible long speed along with improved patience and vision. A taller runner with a receiver background, he lacks some of the phone booth quickness that you like to see in backs, but he could thrive in a system that asks its backs to be decisive and get north-south in a hurry.

Kenny Lawler, WR California Golden Bears

West coast players on bad teams seldom garner much attention. That makes Kenny Lawler one of the best devy values out there. A true elastic man with the ability to adjust any football in the zip code, he’s just starting to unearth immense potential.

Jeremy Johnson, QB Auburn Tigers

Seemingly each year, a relatively unknown quarterback prospects emerges to become a Heisman contender. That could very well be Jeremy Johnson in 2015. A huge pocket passer with adequate athleticism and a friendly offensive-system on his side, his stock should soar throughout the season. Had Nick Marshall not be in town this past year, Johnson may already be getting buzz as a first round quarterback.

Corey Robinson, WR Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Corey Robinson has yet to really understand how dominant he can be. At 6’5” and well over 200 pounds, he’s physically imposing and has the basketball, box out skills that have become so en vogue. His best is yet to come.

Travis Rudolph, WR Florida State Seminoles

Travis Rudolph looks poised to assume the Rashad Greene role as a savvy, chain-moving receiver that is the go-to receiver on third down. He needs to add more explosive ability to his game if he is to become a premier NFL prospect.

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