Devy 100: 60-51

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.

60 – TE Jaylen Samuels, North Carolina State Wolfpack

I will be honest: I have no idea what Jaylen Samuels is.  He wears number twenty-eight.  He is listed as a tight end.  He stands in at 5’11”, 223 pounds.  None of these things make sense in the context of what you would traditionally expect, and you certainly have to hope Samuels does not land with a coach whose playbook expands barely past the one found in Tecmo Super Bowl.  A truly unique weapon who is smooth and powerful with the ball in his hands, Samuels looks natural as a runner and possesses soft hands as well.  As long as the NFL does not attempt to fit him into one of their preferred boxes, he is a talent who can post numbers in a variety of ways.

[am4show have=’g1;’ guest_error=’sub_message’ user_error=’sub_message’ ]

59 – RB Lorenzo Harrison, Maryland Terrapins

I was not turned on to Lorenzo Harrison until recently, but color me immediately smitten.  An incredibly compact runner, Harrison blends incredible balance with elite agility and transitions speeds effortlessly.  While the size is just short of ideal at 5’8”, 193, he has time to add strength in the weight room and most importantly, he carries good weight in his lower half.  A plus receiver, Harrison’s game is well-rounded and he shows the ability to dominate with his make you miss game and insatiable desire to pick up extra yards.  Maryland’s deep backfield may keep him from posting eye-popping numbers, though he has earned the right to be discussed as one of the B1G’s best backs.

58 – RB Damien Harris, Alabama Crimson Tide

Damien Harris is a 1,000 yard rusher in the SEC and was the top back in the 2015 cycle per many recruiting services, yet he is somewhat of an afterthought in the Crimson Tide backfield.  Such is life when you dabble in Alabama’s backfield.  A slashing runner who made big strides in 2016, Harris thrives in space and is incredibly dangerous when he gets to the second level.  I am not sure Harris is a lead runner in the NFL, but he has a role in a committee situation.

57 – WR Allen Lazard, Iowa State Cyclones

One of the nation’s best receivers in traffic, Allen Lazard has quietly seen his game grow in Ames and developed into one of the Big 12’s best offensive weapons.  His size is the obvious plus; he stands nearly a full 6’5” and has plenty of weight on his frame; however, he plays big as well, showing a fearless mentality and strong hands at the catch point.  While not a speed merchant, he is fluid in his movements and shows excellent body control.  He’s not a separation guy; his value will come as a possession threat (potentially a very good one) and he could be a dynamo in the redzone. 

56 – WR Velus Jones, USC Trojans

Perhaps no player has seen his stock rise during Spring Ball as much as Velus Jones.  An afterthought in the 2016 recruiting class given how much depth the Trojans brought in at receiver, Jones has turned heads with elite speed in a 6’1”, 205 pound frame.  USC looks poised to utilize Jones as a multi-purpose weapon; they’ll be creative with how they get him the football.  His development as a receiver is paramount to his long-term value, but he announce himself as an explosive playmaker in 2017.

55 – WR Tyrie Cleveland, Florida Gators

A receiver made in a football lab, Tyrie Cleveland is long, lean and explosive.  His athleticism dazzles immediately and he is your proverbial size/speed specimen.  He can adjust seamlessly to balls in the air, though I would like to see a bit more tenacity at the catch point.  If Florida can figure out the forward pass in 2017, Cleveland’s stock could really soar.

54 – WR Deebo Samuel, South Carolina Gamecocks

South Carolina quietly fields one of the nation’s better receiving duos, and Deebo Samuel has seamlessly replaced 2016 draft pick Pharoh Cooper as the Gamecocks do-it-all threat.  His frame looks like it may belong to a running back, though he makes plays on the football which illustrate his future is at wide receiver.  A skilled player after the catch, his combination of playmaking ability and receiving acumen speak to him having a significant role at the next level.

53 – RB Tavien Feaster, Clemson Tigers

Sparsely used within an established offense, Tavien Feaster nonetheless flashed his best attribute: speed.  An elite level athlete, Feaster hits the hole with haste and can hit a home run from anywhere on the field.  Most notably, he can destroy defenses in the passing game; he’s the ultimate mismatch weapon when you line him out wide.  As the Clemson offense transitions and ushers in a new era of talent, it could be Feaster who becomes the centerpiece.

52 – WR Kelvin Harmon, North Carolina State Wolfpack

A tip of the cap to SEA Nate (@AnOutragedJew), who has been driving the Kelvin Harmon bus following a strong freshman season in Raleigh.  With a NFL body already, Harmon thrives on the boundary, making spectacular catches and using his frame to box out defenders.  He has strong hands and more than enough athleticism to stick as a boundary receiver who can terrorize defenses with his strength.  He’s currently one of the more unheralded receivers in the devy ranks.

51 – WR Collin Johnson, Texas Longhorns

Yet another big receiver in this group of ten, Collin Johnson tumbled down the recruiting ranks after having his senior season washed away by injury, and quickly proved the drop to be foolish as he flashed alpha dog skills during his freshman season.  At nearly 6’6” and with natural fluidity, Johnson is the prototype jump ball receiver and has subtle post-catch moves which allow him to chew up chunks of yardage at a time.  As the entire Longhorn offense matures, it should be Johnson leading the charge as the key weapon in their attack.


rob willette