With the fantasy football season complete and the NFL shifting firmly to playoff mode, dynasty teams shift to 2020 NFL Draft mode with rookies drafts in a few months the next critical items on the to-do list. Here is an early look at the metrics of the 2020 class across the skill positions:
*Data included reference the author's projection model, designed to improve the probability of predicting skill position prospects to produce fantasy starter seasons in the NFL*
*With the declaration deadline not until mid-January, some of the non-senior prospects mentioned here may end up returning to school*
The three big names on the early quarterback board are Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, and Justin Herbert. With Burrow, he is essentially a one-hit-wonder with his meteoric rise for LSU this season and, at this point, the highest probable No.1 overall pick in the NFL Draft (Cincinnati Bengals). Burrow's production tracked for the projection model including categories like completion rate, yards-per-attempt, TD-INT ratio, and rushing average all check the boxes of a No.1 draft pick at quarterback historically. One outlier would be Burrow's age (23.8 years old for Week 1 of his rookie season) as the oldest 1.01 in the model's tracking, dating back to 1999. The other 23+ years old 1.01 picks have been Baker Mayfield, Eli Manning, Carson Palmer, and David Carr. Burrow is closer in college sample size to Carr than the other three as a shorter-term starter.
Tagovailoa is the highest graded 2020 quarterback in the model at 99%. He's a touch old (22.5) for a junior exiting college, but everything else is there for an elite prospect. The curveball is Tua's healthy with his ankle and most recently his hip injury. Will he return to Alabama to complete his rehab and solidify his stock for 2021 or will he head to the NFL with being able to do little to nothing during the NFL Draft process? He has the profile to be a top-5, if not 1.01. The wildcard is how comfortable an NFL team is with his healthy, recovery, and future durability.