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2020 Rookie Sleepers: RoD Staff Picks

We asked members of our staff to name a rookie they like going outside the top 20 this year. Here are their responses.

By Brendan Taffe

We asked members of our staff to name a rookie they like going outside the top 20 this year. Here are their responses.

Favorite rookie I can get after the top 20:

  • Brendan Taffe @BCTAFFE – Adam Trautman, New Orleans Saints: Selected by one of the smartest drafting teams with one of the best offensive head coaches.  Jared Cook won’t be around forever, and although Brees won’t be either, the guy who led the league in passing yards last year is waiting in the wings.  I’m willing to wait a year or two for Trautman to reap the benefits of Jameis’ reckless playstyle.  
  • Ryan Bickerstaff @thedevydirtbag – Devin Duvernay, Baltimore Ravens: Duvernay will easily win the slot receiver job in Baltimore and has the skill set to be the team’s #3 receiving option behind Mark Andrews and Hollywood Brown, even as a rookie. At his ADP as the #32 rookie, picking up Duvernay everywhere you can is a no-brainer.
  • JJ Wenner @JJWenner – Josh Kelley, LA Chargers: Kelley will have the opportunity to take over the Melvin Gordon role in LA. Anthony Lynn is a great coach for running backs and chose Lynn as the MelGo successor. Look for Kelley to get opportunities on 1st and 2nd down, and possibly the goal line touches. 
  • Duncan Smith @duncafc – Darrynton Evans, Tennessee Titans: The Titans are a run first offense, it’s physically impossible for Derrick Henry to carry an entire offense himself. Evans will get passing downs and red zone looks plus spelling Henry in the trenches.
  • Jared Clifton @unstuckintime82 – Anthony McFarland Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers: There are no slam dunk RB’s past the top 20 this year, so I’m looking for the next Alvin Kamara type and McFarland fits that role. Like Kamara, he comes in with a lot of tread left on his tires and the Steelers need a player that can provide an explosive per-play option.  McFarland provides that in an otherwise boring Pittsburgh RB room.
  • Nick DaSilva @NickDizzle17 – AJ Dillon, Green Bay Packers:  This is more about the GB RB room than anything.  Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams are both free agents after this year.  If Jones doesn’t resign, AJ Dillon jumps right in to the #1 role.  I expect him to show the coaching staff that he can handle 1st and 2nd down work this year as well as goal line carries.  If he shows out enough he may make the decision on Jones much easier.   
  • Blair Pierroz @BlairPierroz – Laviska Shenault, Jacksonville Jaguars: Injuries have caused people to forget that early in the season Laviska was supposed to be a first round pick both in the NFL and in dynasty. He was the next WR after Lamb and Jeudy. He possesses size, speed, and versatility. And while the passing game in Jacksonville is subpar, there is opportunity for someone to step up. And there is a good possibility he will be catching passes from Lawrence or Fields next season and for many seasons to come.  
  • Don Detwiler – Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers: The young man is a monster at 6 foot 4, 238lbs. and runs a 4.42 40. In a normal draft year that’s round 1 all day, but in last year’s historic WR class he was #11. The last WR to combine at that speed/weight was a dude called megatron. I’m not saying Claypool is Megatron the 2nd, but man that’s nice company. The Steelers have a young and diverse group and if JuJu walks after the season Claypool will likely be the #2 WR in steel town. Oh and the last time Roethlisberger had a WR at 6-4 plus was Plaxico Buress who saw 120 targets annually. Get him late and stash him now folks. 
  • Kyle Allen @kallen_4 – La’Mical Perine, New York Jets: Much like having a late pick in the draft, I decided to take a guy lower on the list that might have gotten overlooked by the guys before me. Perine has shown that he can run with power, but has quick feet when he needs to make a move, has great vision, contributes in the receiving game, and provides plus pass protection. He checks many of the same skill set boxes as Le’Veon Bell and makes for a fantastic stash. Frank Gore’s presence in New York will obviously hurt Perine’s 2020 upside, but with the Jets having to make a decision on Bell’s contract in 2021, Perine could be in line for a massive workload very soon. Especially if Frank Gore retires before 2038.
  • Matthew Walters @M_Walt_10 – Lynn Bowden Jr., Las Vegas Raiders:I can’t say for sure what position Bowden will play in the NFL. What I do know is the Raiders used a second round pick on Bowden, and he was the main reason Kentucky went 8-5 last year. Will he become anything in the NFL? Possibly not. You add Bowden to your team with a 3rd round rookie pick though so he is definitely worth the shot. 
  • Josh Frey @freyj3773 – Van Jefferson, Las Angeles Rams: According to reports, Jefferson has been looking incredible in training camp. I believe he will easily beat out Josh Reynolds for the #3 duties, which could put up some surprising numbers in this offense. They had a down year last year, but Goff still threw for over 4,600 yards. If something were to happen to Woods or Kupp, Jefferson could become a weekly WR2.
  • Blake Koppen @BlakeKoppenFF – Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers: I didn’t want to steal Don’s pick, but Claypool is such a great late round steal. He has top end athletic ability and showed in college he is already good at getting open in other ways as well. Has a lot of similarities to D.K. Metcalf last year in terms of metrics and NFL draft placement. Being picked by the Steelers, an organization with a knack for picking talented WRs, certainly helps his case as well. It’s hard to dock him on anything other than the competition he has to deal with on the depth chart, but I could see him climbing his way up as early as next year, and for his low price tag he’s an amazing late round stash.

Brendan Taffe – Dynasty/Podcast
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