Devy 100: 35-31

Rob Willette

As dynasty owners putter about the interwebs discussing short shuttle times and dissecting the nuances of the Dominator Rating, Devy owners are intently watching Spring Practices and eyeing key positional battles. They say dynasty football never sleeps, but devy football never even rests. From Signing Day (both of them) to fall camp, devy calendars are chock-full of important dates.

The Devy 100 is a breakdown of some of the best collegiate talent around. Players will be missed; others will emerge. My rankings will be cursed from Juneau, Alaska to Key West, Florida. Yet hopefully it provides a modicum of assistance to those navigating the murky waters of deep leagues, struggling to identify their tenth-round selection as they decide between Auburn’s third-string running back and an incoming freshman receiver at Ohio State. Without any further inane ramblings, on to the list.

35. Max Borghi, RB Washington State Cougars

The Skinny: Presuming he’s not embracing a full-time gig as the team’s kicker, all the stars are aligning for Max Borghi to become a star in Pullman. Borghi was a supporting cast member in 2018 as James Williams led the backfield but Williams’ declaration leaves a major void in the Cougar backfield.

Borghi weaves through traffic like a quidditch player on their broomstick, leaving defenders as hopeless as an intern attempting to explain analytics to Dave Gettleman. It is the elite feet and burst which make Borghi a special player, and his game is tailor-made for modern football given his comfort level in the receiving game. If he can prove durability with a full workload, he’ll cement himself as one of the nation’s elite runners.

2019 Outlook: Mike Leach’s offenses are always interesting and effective. Borghi is going to get all the work he can handle as arguably the Cougars’ best playmaker in 2019. This should prove to be his true breakout party.

34. Ke’Shawn Vaughn, RB Vanderbilt Commodores

The Skinny: Lost in the wilderness which is the Illinois football program, Ke’Shawn Vaughn returned home to Vanderbilt and immediately established himself as one of college football’s most explosive runners. A true home run hitter, Vaughn ripped up the SEC and nearly shut down the Baylor football program all by himself with a 13-carry, 266-yard bowl game performance which included three (three!) runs over 66 yards.

Vaughn is a competitive back and it shows in both pass protection and on the ground, giving him the innate ability to find extra yardage through sheer will. Vaughn may work best in tandem with a huskier back at the next level but his playmaking alone makes him an exciting investment.

2019 Outlook: While he is unlikely to match 2018’s efficiency, he’s sure to electrify the SEC again and make Vanderbilt a surprisingly entertaining unit. I’d have preferred to see him declare in 2019 and compete with a lesser group of runners, but few things outside of injury can derail his stock.

33. DeVonta Smith, WR Alabama Crimson Tide

The Skinny: Despite being a national championship game hero, DeVonta Smith is generally a forgotten man as Twitter fawns over Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs. While the other receivers at Alabama merit every spot of ink spilled over them, Smith is also a premier NFL prospect. Smith could also be a productive cornerback, and his movement skills speak to someone who thrives as a route runner and knifes through defenses after the catch.

Despite a thin frame, Smith is fearless at the catch point and has a massive catch radius. Smith may never be an alpha receiver but he should play in the league for a long time.

2019 Outlook: The Tide depth chart is jam-packed. You could easily Smith is fourth in the pecking order behind the aforementioned Jeudy and Ruggs along with Sophomore Jaylen Waddle. The offense as a whole, however, should yield enough numbers to allow Smith to build on an impressive Sophomore season, especially with Irv Smith not hogging any more targets over the middle.

32. Trey Sanders, RB Alabama Crimson Tide

The Skinny: A five star running back is joining the Crimson Tide. Alert the media. Like many backs under Nick Saban, Sanders has the physical maturity to contribute early. At just over six feet and closing in on 220 pounds, Sanders is a heavy runner yet one who showcases plus footwork and a smooth gait.

Sanders figures to endear himself to Nick Saban in a manner similar to Patriots rookie Damien Harris; Sanders lacks one elite, jaw-dropping trait yet does everything well and offers options in the passing game due to his versatility and hands. There’s little reason to doubt Sanders will develop into a star in Tuscaloosa.

2019 Outlook: Well, it was a short-lived 2019 campaign for Sanders. A foot injury will wipe away his freshman campaign, the second straight season a five-star recruit at running back has succumbed to serious injury before he could make his debut. We will have to wait until 2020 to see Sanders, though long-term, there’s little reason to drop Sanders too far.

31. JaTarvious Whitlow, RB Auburn Tigers

The Skinny: Truly a unique player in many ways, JaTarvious “Boobie” Whitlow pushed his way past more heralded runners to pace Auburn in rushing. An unrefined yet exciting runner, Whitlow is all heart and soul and approaches each carry as though it could be his last. Whitlow’s raw athleticism jumps off the screen and he’s a magician in space. The raw toolkit is rivaled by few and envied by many, and the only standing between Whitlow and superstardom is experience and maturity.

2019 Outlook: Auburn has intriguing talent in the backfield – namely the slippery Shaun Shivers and incoming freshman D.J. Williams, yet Whitlow has earned the right to lead this backfield. Auburn turns over the quarterback position, which should result in a heavier lean on the running game. If Gus Malzahn’s turn to playcaller proves successful, Whitlow’s price tag will soar.