Devy Spotlight: The 2019 wide receiver draft class
Have you been frustrated by the lack of upper echelon wide receiver talent in the past few dynasty rookie drafts? I know I have. In the years following the legendary 2014 wide receiver class there has been a dearth of alpha pass-catchers available to fortify dynasty squads. I’m here to spread the good news though — it’s all about to change, and it could happen as early as the 2019 NFL Draft. The devy wide receiver cupboard is stocked with a handful of players with the size, athleticism, and potential we’ve always associated with traditional NFL alpha wide receivers (read: fantasy producers). This is a great offseason to jump in to your first devy dynasty league if you love to build your teams around wide receivers.
(Player profile information includes bowl game stats.)
N’Keal Harry, Arizona State
(Height: 6-4, Weight: 220)
Harry is as close to a consensus overall No. 1 we’ve seen in the devy community. He checks so many boxes: early production, Power-5 school pedigree, size, red-zone presence, and even some rushing production. He will be a lock top-10 selection in the NFL draft. Harry is carrying immense value in dynasty leagues and could give Saquon Barkley level weight to next year’s 1.01 in rookie drafts.
Kelvin Harmon, North Carolina State
(Height: 6-3, Weight: 214)
Another massive player who found his way to freshman year production, Harmon has the look of a future fantasy star. He posted six 100-yard receiving games as a sophomore, with five of them being against Power-5 opponents. Expect him to be a household name by the end of the 2018 college football season.
A.J. Brown, Mississippi
(Height: 6-1, Weight: 225)
Brown’s 1,252 receiving yards as a sophomore were the most by an SEC receiver since Amari Cooper posted 1,727 in 2014. Brown misses the cut for tier one due to having one fewer year of production to evaluate and his 2017 season being bolstered by huge performances against lesser opponents. I’m looking for more consistency before bumping him to the top tier.
Ahmmon Richards, Miami
(Height: 6-1, Weight: 195)
Richards missed the end of the 2017 season after a meniscus injury sustained in practice. His elite freshman production gives enormous weight to his devy profile. A big play waiting to happen, Richards has been a bit of an inconsistent producer, so we’ll watch for improvement there in 2018.
Bryan Edwards, South Carolina
(Height: 6-3, Weight: 215)
Another giant receiver with early production (seriously, it’s a theme with this class), Edwards has established himself as a solid possession receiver. Hopefully in 2018 the team will use him more downfield, but he’s making the most of the opportunities he’s being given. He posted four or more receptions in 10 of 13 games in 2017.
D.K. Metcalf, Mississippi
(Height: 6-4, Weight: 225)
Like teammate A.J. Brown, Metcalf doesn’t have the freshman production of the other receivers in the class, but he did famously score a touchdown on both of his receptions that season. If his improvement arc continues, Metcalf should post bigger numbers in 2018 while defenses are busy trying to contain Brown.
Demetris Robertson, California
(Height: 6-0, Weight: 190)
Like Richards, Robertson splashed in his freshman season only to lose his sophomore year to injury. However, Robertson’s injury was apparently more of a chronic issue that he supposedly played through during his stellar freshman campaign. The speedster should be fully covered and ready to dominate in 2018.
Collin Johnson, Texas
(Height: 6-6, Weight: 220)
You read that correctly. Johnson is a towering 6-6 redwood. He still has plenty of room to max out his frame with mass and could end up being one of the larger wide receiver prospects we’ve seen in recent memory. Johnson has a flair for making difficult catches and will hopefully see more usage under the new regime in Texas in his junior season.
Tyler Vaughns, Southern Cal
(Height: 6-2, Weight: 185)
Vaughns impressed in his first season on the field for USC, including stellar performances when the lights were brightest. He popped in a head-to-head matchup with N’Keal Harry with a line of 6/126/2 against the Sun Devils. He also had a big game against Ohio State in the Trojans bowl game. With teammate Deontay Burnett moving on to the NFL, Vaughns should be the main focal point of the USC air attack in 2018.
Tyrie Cleveland, Florida
(Height: 6-3, Weight: 216)
Cleveland was a top recruit out of high school but hasn’t been able to put it together on the field yet in college other than a few big plays here and there. His ceiling remains sky high, but his junior season is critical to his future as a NFL and fantasy prospects.