It is time for the annual installment of the Devy 100, the third-most ballyhooed set of devy rankings completed within the greater Southwest Minneapolis area. As always, whittling this down to a mere one hundred was no simple task. If there is anybody you believe was omitted erroneously, feel free to pop in the comments and express your displeasure.
The Devy 100 is designed for the community of DLF to be as informed as possible about all the college prospects and future dynasty stars whether they play in devy leagues or not. Remember, all this information becomes archived in our library of content and goes into our annual Rookie Draft Guide for you to review when each of these players becomes eligible for traditional rookie drafts.
40. Collin Johnson, WR Texas Longhorns
Profile: Few devy prospects offer more peaks and valleys than Collin Johnson. He can dazzle with ball skills and mid-air gesticulations and then get outmaneuvered by a 175-pound cornerback on the next play. His highs are what get you excited, as few can rival Johnson when it comes to size and fluidity. He’s capable of moving with a rare elegance despite lacking serious wheels. The rough edges are very rough but he has bankable tools. The dangerous “potential” tag can be applied to Johnson, though his price point makes it palatable at this juncture.
2018 Outlook: Johnson was the Longhorns’ leading receiver by a wide margin in 2017 and is the favorite to pace Texas once again. However, Johnson was a Charlie Strong recruit. Fair or not, with Tom Herman’s recruits slowly taking over the roster, there is always a possibility he turns to guys he recruited to fit his system. Still, it would be a surprise if Johnson faded away after building on his game as a sophomore. Johnson has the toolkit for physically dominate, and you want to see him do it consistently in 2018.
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39. Noah Fant, TE Iowa Hawkeyes
Profile: Fant stands alone at the top of the devy tight end list, a year after posting 11 touchdowns and a 30.16 Dominator Rating. The plus traits are obvious. Fant checks in at 6’5”, 241 pounds and has the movement skills which have become some popular amongst today’s elite tight end prospects. While he is not a nuanced route runner, it is far from a major concern at this juncture given his ability to create separation with ease. It would be an upset if somebody pushed Fant in the 2019 tight end draft class.
2018 Outlook: With the departure of Akrum Wadley, Fant is the clear top weapon on offense. Nate Stanley is an incredibly underrated collegiate quarterback and offers Fant a nice floor of production. It should be another strong campaign before he declares in 2019.
38. Tyler Vaughns, WR USC Trojans
Profile: The rare freshman with interest in gaining the Freshman 15, Tyler Vaughns partook in a much-needed redshirt year in 2016. A full year in the weight room allowed him to earn some much-needed mass and become a key figure in the Trojans’ passing game. One of the best contested catch receivers in the nation, Vaughns can make plays without creating much separation. His ability to corral footballs from all over the stratosphere is what allows him to be a top-level receiver without possessing ideal bulk or athleticism. The hope is another year or two of collegiate training will allow him to get closer to the 200-pound mark and add to his overall explosiveness.
2018 Outlook: The departure of Deontay Burnett leaves a massive target void in the USC offense. The absence of Sam Darnold will certainly lead to a less prolific passing game, but the Trojans have plenty of talent under center to keep this offense afloat. Vaughns will face competition from fellow veteran Michael Pittman and newcomer Amon-Ra St. Brown, but ultimately stands as the favorite to pace this team in receiving.
37. Henry Ruggs, WR Alabama Crimson Tide
Profile: More athlete than polished wide receiver out of high school, Henry Ruggs nonetheless contributed for Alabama as a freshman. His high school basketball highlights may actually be more impressive than anything he did on the football field. They highlight the type of explosive athletic ability which made him a priority target for Nick Saban despite incredible depth at receiver already being part of the 2017 class. He’s a rocket ship off the line of scrimmage; his incredible burst and fluidity make him an impossible cover in the intermediate game. Already an all-purpose weapon with a quickly maturing game, Ruggs is an incredibly high-ceiling prospect for 2020 who has yet to get his due.
2018 Outlook: After funneling targets to Calvin Ridley in 2017, the Tide offense figures to be more generous with its footballs in 2018. Ruggs should heavily-involved in the rotation after a season in which he demonstrated a flair for the big play with 19.1 yards per catch and six touchdowns on only 12 receptions. Of all the intriguing Alabama sophomore receivers, he is the one I am most excited to see in year two.
36. Tarik Black, WR Michigan Wolverines
Profile: Tarik Black wasted little time making his presence known in Ann Arbor. He torched the Florida defense for a 46 yard touchdown in the season opener and quickly emerged as the top target for Wilton Speight. Unfortunately, his season was over in the blink of an eye following an early-season foot injury. He nonetheless established himself as a key part of the Michigan offense, one whose passing game is desperately in need of playmakers.
Black demonstrated his ability to get vertical and make plays in traffic against Florida, yet his ability to weave through defenders after the catch is equally as impressive. While still a bit robotic in his short area movements, Black is far from just another big and lumbering receiver. The arrival of Shea Patterson should kickstart this entire passing offense with Black quite possibly being the focal point.
2018 Outlook: Much like Alabama, the Wolverines stockpiled talent in the 2017 receiver class in anticipation of having a major need for weapons over the next several seasons. Black teams with fellow sophomore Donovan Peoples-Jones to give the Wolverines two explosive talents. Both should contribute in a major way in 2018, and if Black emerges as the leader of the group he could vault his way into the top ten of devy rankings.