We’ve already covered the top-10 wide receivers in this class here. For more of an idea on the methodology on what goes into these early ranks, make sure to check out the intro to that post. You can also find the rest of the rookie rankings and all other 2020 rankings for seasonal and dynasty formats as they arrive in our 2020 rankings hub as they arrive and are updated throughout the offseason. Keeping things in order, we’re following that top outlook with wideouts 11-20 and some of the rationale that has gone into that early ranking.
2020 Pre-NFL Draft Rookie Wide Receiver Rankings
11. Bryan Edwards, South Carolina, Final Year Age: 21.1 (Model Rank WR8): Edwards never reached 1,000 yards in any season in college, but was involved in some anemic passing games. Despite his lower raw totals, Edwards accounted for at least 25% of the team receptions and 20% of their receiving yardage in each of the past three seasons. His 816 yards and six touchdowns this past season were 31.2% and 50% of the team total. Despite playing four seasons at South Carolina, Edwards is still the 11th-youngest wideout in this class. Edwards was unable to perform at the combine due to a broken foot.
12. Gabriel Davis, UCF, FY Age: 20.8 (MR WR4): I’m not as negative on Davis as the difference from the model suggests, but I do believe he’s more of an all-or-nothing type of prospect than where he scores objectively. This past season, Davis ranked fourth in receiving yards per game (103.4) in this class. His yards per catch rose in each of his three seasons at UCF where he ranked top four in receptions (16) and yards (620) on targets 20-plus yards downfield. Davis has ideal size (6’2”, 216) and speed (4.54 40) to win outside, but his limited resume inside (6.6% slot rate) and 21st percentile agility score suggest he’s only an outside option at the next level. I see Davis as someone dropping in the model ranking once actual draft capital is factored in, but if a team invests in him closer to the model, then he’ll be a riser post-draft.
13. Michael Pittman, USC, FY Age: 22.3 (MR WR14): Many expected Pittman to break in 2018 after Deontay Burnett left for the NFL, but it took Pittman an extra year to get there. He posted a 101-1,275-11 line this past season after 70-1,244-8 through three years at USC. That late-career breakout dinged him a bit with the model, but he still checks a good amount of boxes in size (6’4”, 223 pounds) and athleticism (85th percentile).
14. KJ Hamler, Penn State, FY Age: 20.3 (MR WR10): This is about as low as where you’ll see Hamler in ranks, so I understand this won’t be popular. First, the positives are transparent. Hamler can flat-out fly. Although he didn’t run at the combine due to injury, his speed is apparent. At 5’9” and 178 pounds, it better be. He also has return game juice, with the third-most career return yards (1,258) in this class. He has issues with drops, but you’ll trade some of those for the splash plays he provides. The major concerns for Hamler are him being significantly undersized and, despite his return game background, he forced just three total missed tackles as a receiver last season per Pro Football Focus. Thought of in the ilk of Tavon Austin, Hamler had just 13-43 on his rushing attempts in 2019. The only wideout to have multiple top-24 seasons at sub-180 pounds over the past decade has been DeSean Jackson. Without projecting to be more of a gadget player and more of a vertical burner, Hamler needs to hit the highest range of his outcomes to be a fantasy star over ancillary splash-play producer in an offense.
15. Devin Duvernay, Texas, FY Age: 22.4 (MR WR15): After 70 catches for 1,082 yards and seven scores through three years at Texas, Duvernay exploded with 106 receptions for 1,386 yards and nine touchdowns this past season. He ranked second in this class in receptions per game (8.2) and third in yards per game (106.6). The model doesn’t like his late breakout after no career production and those reception totals were inflated a touch by 42 coming off screen passes, but Duvernay is best after the catch. He’s not as polished or as big (5’11”, 200) as someone like Deebo Samuel was a year ago and is unlikely to play outside in the NFL.
16. Chase Claypool, Notre Dame, FY Age: 21.6 (MR WR18): Claypool is another late-career, non-early declare producer. After 84 catches for 1,122 yards and six scores through three years at Notre Dame, Claypool caught 66 passes (26.1%) for 1,037 yards (31.6%) and 13 touchdowns (35.1%) during his senior season. Checking in at 6’4” and 238 pounds at the combine, many suggested Claypool’s best bet was to convert to tight end. Then he ran a 4.42 40 (99th percentile speed score) and posted an 88th percentile explosion score. It will be hard to dodge the comparisons of Claypool to Darren Waller, but Waller is the rare exception of wideouts at the combine successfully converting to NFL production. Some others in that bucket over the past few seasons are Ricky Seals-Jones, Billy Brown, Devon Cajuste, and Neal Sterling. None of those players had the measurable athleticism as Claypool. Claypool is likely to also get comped to Evan Engram, but there’s no doubt that no matter what he’s finally labeled, he’s most likely going to be a Y-receiver at the NFL level over anything else. For fantasy, we’d welcome the TE designation if he can get it over WR since the bar gets significantly lowered.
17. Antonio Gibson, Memphis (MR WR38): There’s a major difference between Antonio Gibson the WR prospect and the RB prospect. For now, Gibson worked out as a wide receiver at the combine and is listed as wide receiver for fantasy purposes on sites such as MyFantasyLeague. That’s the opposite path his former Memphis teammate Tony Pollard took a year ago, whose role Gibson took over this past season. Gibson had 1,104 yards from scrimmage this past season… on 71 touches. He averaged 19.3 yards per catch on 38 receptions (with eight scores) and another 11.2 yards per carry on 33 rushing attempts (four scores). He also is a stellar return man, averaging 28.0 yards (and one score) on 23 kickoff returns. At 6’0”, 228 pounds, Gibson ran a 4.39 40, which kind of feels under the radar given how Henry Ruggs and Chase Claypool are getting most of the media buzz. Gibson is more advantageous to fantasy gamers at RB rather than WR, but he belongs up here in the event that a position switch is in the works at some point.
18. Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty, FY Age: 21.8 (MR WR19): Gandy-Golden is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with 10 touchdowns each since Liberty joined the FBS in 2018. This past season, AGG averaged 107.4 yards per game, which ranks second in this class. While that production is alluring, he also did so in a small environment at Liberty playing as an Independent, which is where the model docks him and where my questions also stem from in regard to how much his production is inflated by strength of play. At the combine, Gandy-Golden checked in with a physical frame (6’4” and 223 pounds), but did nothing to alleviate concerns that he was a measurable athlete in making a jump in competition, scoring in the 32nd percentile in physical profile. Small-school receivers are one of the better bets to make if you’re selecting a non-early declare wideout, but from this point, I will need to see a team invest significant draft capital in AGG while operating with trepidation that he doesn’t have the athleticism to consistently win outside at the NFL level.
19. Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan, FY Age: 21.0 (MR WR21): A former five-star recruit, Peoples-Jones turned in a disappointing collegiate career, totaling 103 receptions for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns over his three seasons at Michigan. While quarterback play was a part of his lack of output, Peoples-Jones was also just outplayed by wideouts in Nico Collins and Ronnie Bell this past season. But Peoples-Jones still has the physical size (6’2”, 212 pounds) and measured athleticism (89th percentile) to keep the lights on. Where he can cut his teeth out of the box in the NFL is in the return game, where he handled 89 career punt returns with two touchdowns.
20. Isaiah Hodgins, Oregon State, FY Age: 21.3 (MR WR16): Hodgins improved in all three of his seasons at Oregon State to a crescendo of 86 catches (33.1%) for 1,171 yards (38.3%) and 13 touchdowns (43.3%) this past season. His 7.2 receptions per game ranked fifth among this class while he was one of just eight wideouts in this group to average a receiving touchdown per game. Hodgins has ideal length (6’4”) and long arms (33 1/8”), with secure hands. Pro Football Focus credited Hodgins with just three drops in his collegiate career. But his speed is a concern and it proved true at the combine (25th percentile speed score). I see Hodgins as more of a discount version of Michael Pittman among prospects in this class, but he could slide further in the actual NFL draft than this WR20 ranking.