If you’re familiar with my work, you have probably seen my periodic installments of Making a List, in which I choose a topic and share my top five rankings. In this new version of the series, I’ll be ranking the top 10 devy players on a weekly basis, sorted by position and class. Also, each edition will also include a quick rookie mock draft for one of the upcoming seasons. This should be an easy way to track how college players are rising and falling as the season goes along.
This week, it’s time for a look at the potential tight end class of 2018. Dynasty owners have already been spoiled by the current rookie class as Evan Engram, David Njoku, OJ Howard and George Kittle are already making an impact. Next year’s class won’t be nearly as deep. In fact, my typical top ten list shrinks to just five today.
1. Mark Andrews, Oklahoma
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Widely considered the top overall tight end prospect in the class of 2018, Oklahoma’s Mark Andrews has increased his draft stock this season. Andrews has eclipsed 50 receiving yards in every game but one this season and currently ranks second in the nation in receiving yards among tight ends. He also leads the Sooners in receptions and receiving yardage. In what many view as a weak tight end class, Andrews could sneak into the late first round, though that will likely only equate to a mid-late second round pick in dynasty rookie drafts.
2. Mike Gesicki, Penn State
Penn State’s tight end Mike Gesicki flirted with the NFL Draft after the 2016 season, but ultimately chose to return to school. Now a senior, Gesicki is an underrated player in the class of 2018. At 6’6” and over 250 pounds, he possesses a nice combination of size and speed and could challenge Andrews as the top-drafted tight end in dynasty rookie drafts, assuming he is chosen early on Day Two of the NFL Draft.
3. Hayden Hurst, South Carolina
South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst is another size/speed combination player, but it’s fair to say he’s not in the same tier as Andrews and Gesicki. Scouts vary widely in their view of Hurst with some saying he has a first-round skill set and others pegging him as an undrafted free agent. Hurst, a junior who will be at least 25 years old before taking an NFL snap, will have to land in the ideal spot to be drafted any higher than the mid-third round of dynasty rookie drafts.
4. Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
Every off-season, as the NFL Draft approaches, small-school sleepers arise and dynasty players often buy in to extreme degrees. That will almost surely be the case with South Dakota State’s Dallas Goedert, who has been on the radar of dynasty and devy players for over a year. Goedert, who models his game after the Chiefs Travis Kelce, has racked up 587 receiving yards this season, which would be good enough to lead all tight ends at the FBS level. With a relatively small national spotlight, Goedert may be an unknown to many, but he also has the upside to leap to the top of this list.
5. Troy Fumagalli, Wisconsin
Entering the season, many draft analysts projected Wisconsin’s Troy Fumagalli as the top tight end in the class, and while he’s had a very respectable season in the Badgers run-heavy offense, totaling 350 yards and three touchdowns despite missing some time due to a leg injury. Fumagilli has also been praised for his run blocking ability, but I wonder if that will eventually lead to fewer opportunities as a receiver in the NFL. I expect Fumagilli to be a late second day pick in the NFL Draft and will be a borderline option late in rookie drafts.
In the fourth installment of this series, we’re back to the 2018 mock draft, so I’ve included the previous position projected for each player over a month ago.
2018 Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft
- Saquon Barkley, RB Penn State (Previous Position, 1.01)
- Derrius Guice, RB LSU (1.02)
- Courtland Sutton, WR SMU (1.03)
- Bryce Love, RB Stanford (NR)
- Auden Tate, WR Florida State (1.07)
- Nick Chubb, RB Georgia (1.08)
- Ronald Jones, RB USC (NR)
- James Washington, WR Oklahoma State (1.05)
- Calvin Ridley, WR Alabama (1.09)
- Equanimeous St. Brown, WR Notre Dame (1.04)
- Kalen Ballage, RB Arizona State (1.06)
- Deon Cain, WR Clemson (1.10)