Devy 100: 100-91

Rob Willette

The off-season is always an exciting time for dynasty owners.  This goes double if your league also has a devy aspect.  Between depth chart shuffling, recruiting season, and spring ball, there is a lot going on in the college football world. 

This comes with the disclaimer reiterating fantasy football is an inexact science.  This is exacerbated when you throw college talent into the mix.  Many guys not on this list are sure to breakout and become notable NFL prospects.  But these are in my estimation the individuals with the most next level potential. 

100 – Benny Snell, RB Kentucky Wildcats

It was a strong debut season for many freshman runners around the nation, and perhaps most encouragingly, very few were elite recruits from blue blood programs.  There was some debate over which position suited Benny Snell best – is he a running back or a linebacker – but he settled in at running back and led the Wildcats two-headed rushing attack along with Boom Williams, who is now off to the NFL.  A well-built runner (5’11”, 220) with ample wiggle, this is perhaps too low for Snell.  We should get to see more of Snell in 2017 with Williams moving on as he leads the Kentucky offense.

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99 – J’Mon Moore, WR Missouri Tigers

One of the quieter breakout seasons across the country came from J’Mon Moore.  Eclipsing 1,000 yards in the SEC normally gets you noticed, yet when you’re playing for a Missouri team starting over with a new coach and traditionally known for its defensive prowess, you can get overlooked.  The springy Moore looks the part at a tall and lithe 6’4” and he moves effortlessly.  While there are still question marks – namely a thin frame and less than elite hands – he has a chance to fly up the ranks with a strong close to his career in 2017.

98 – Brian Herrien, RB Georgia Bulldogs

A late qualifier who signed well after Signing Day, Brian Herrien was an afterthought in Georgia’s recruiting class, especially when the Bulldogs had already welcomed in one of the nation’s elite tailbacks in Elijah Holyfield.  Herrien’s high effort, bruising running style dovetailed perfectly with the Bulldogs struggling for depth behind rehabbing stars Nick Chubb and Sony Michel.  This led to ample early playing time for the local product, and he’s established himself as a notable piece in the Georgia backfield, especially following the departure of Chubb and Michel.

97 – Shane Buechele, QB Texas Longhorns

While it was another forgettable season for Texas, they may have finally found a gem under center in Shane Buechele.  While he experienced the expected up and downs you’d expect from a true freshman signal-caller, he flashed with his mobility and flair for playmaking.  It remains to be seen if he is Tom Herman’s guy, and his size (6’1”, 190) is concerning from a long-term, NFL perspective, but he’s worthy of an add, especially in Superflex leagues.

96 – Salvon Ahmed, RB Washington Huskies

One of the better ways to find value in devy circles is to identify recruits listed as “Athletes” who figure to play on the offensive side of the ball.  This is sometimes tricky, as many expected both Juju Smith-Schuster and Keenan Allen to end up on defense.  However, in the case of Salvon Ahmed, it looks as though he will enter the college ranks as an all-purpose running back and has the opportunity to make an immediate impact despite an established depth chart.  An electric athlete with live feet and a tenacious style, Ahmed should quickly endear himself to the Huskie faithful, and he offers many of the same plus traits returning back Myles Gaskin does.  I prefer him to many of the more heralded talents in this class.

95 – Bradrick Shaw, RB Wisconsin Badgers

With long strides and a somewhat choppy gait, Bradrick Shaw is not the smoothest runner in college football yet he finds a way to be impactful and had a strong campaign as Corey Clement’s apprentice.  He figures to post some big numbers in the Badgers’ run-heavy attack over the next few seasons, and while I don’t think he’s a transcendent talent by any means, he has a great shot to reach Clement’s day three type of prospect status.

94 – Donnie Corley, WR Michigan State Spartans

It was a nightmare season for the Spartans, just one year removed from an appearance in the College Football Playoff.  However, there were some encouraging performances from their underclassmen and true freshman Donnie Corley flashed all season.  With a limited passing game, they found creative ways to get Corley the football, utilizing his short area burst on end arounds and in the short passing game.  He’s also got excellent body control, though we did not get to see his vertical prowess much in 2016.  He needs to fill out, but if he can add strength to his frame he should develop into one of the BIG’s better receivers.

93 – Jerry Jeudy, WR Alabama Crimson Tide

A top recruit out of Florida, Jerry Jeudy has drawn natural comparisons to Amari Cooper and Calvin Ridley due to his home state and style.  While not the athlete the other two were at the same stage, Jeudy is a smooth mover who is natural catching the ball and a monster after the catch.  He looks like a safe bet to be a productive college receiver, though I need to see him develop a bit physically before I get excited about his long-term prospects.

92 – Devwah Whaley, RB Arkansas Razorbacks

There’s little flashy about Devwah Whaley.  He’s a no-nonsense, north-south runner who sheds tackles with ease and uses subtle movements in traffic to evade defenders.  The lack of flash may lead to him being underrated during his collegiate career, though he has the tools to develop into one of the nation’s best all-purpose runners.

91 –  Tyjon Lindsey, WR Nebraska Cornhuskers

Perhaps no player in the 2017 cycle is more exciting to watch than Tyjon Lindsey.  He is an incredibly explosive athlete who never seems to break stride; he can get on defenders in a hurry and you’ll have to account for him whenever he is on the football field.  The major question mark, of course, is size.  At 5’9”, 161 pounds, Lindsey’s NFL potential is already a concern, especially given how we’ve seen electric collegiate playmakers reduced to niche players at the next level due to serious size deficiencies.  But I’d be more than willing to gamble on Lindsey given how low his cost should be. 


rob willette