Slot receivers aren’t sexy. (At least, that’s what the Dynasty Community continues to convince itself.) Every year, players like AJ Brown, Cooper Kupp, and Justin Jefferson get pushed down rookie draft boards because they win from the inside.
TE Texas A&M
The advantage Jace Sternberger has over some of the other tight end prospects in this draft is that he played for Jimbo Fisher. Texas A&M ran a pro-style offense with some option concepts, and Sternberger flourished.
Wearing number 38 plays tricks on our eyes, but Iowa’s TJ Hockenson is no lumbering fullback. He’s a tight-end of the highest order and has the high-end skillset to win in any situation.
From Marv Cook to Dallas Clark to Fiedorowicz and Kittle, Iowa is a factory streamlined toward producing NFL caliber tight ends. This year, the Hawkeyes boast two elite bookends, headlined by Noah Fant.
The 2019 class has long been heralded as the Wave of Savior Receivers, but there are some top end tight ends on the way too. Alabama product, Irv Smith, looks to be one of them.
WR Fresno State
When I think of Fresno State, it immediately conjures up images of Jerry Tarkanian and his towel; KeeSean Johnson turning a defender on a double move is now a close second. His progression as a player is obvious with a glance at his statistics: Johnson increased his receptions, yardage, and touchdowns each year with the Bulldogs.
WR Malone University
Ashton Dulin is Bigfoot; barely more than a whispered myth, caught only on grainy, poorly shot film. And much like any legendary creature, the stories are rooted in truth.
Splash plays get headlines and highlight reels, but most production comes from consistently doing the little things well. Stanley Morgan pays attention to the minutiae.
There is not a more decorated wide receiver in this class; Renfrow has played in three National Championship games (winning two) and scored four touchdowns in those games including a game winner against Alabama in 2016. But none of that matters now.
RB Kansas State
Alex Barnes is a throwback to a different era of running back. I kept expecting to hear Harry Kalas narrate Barnes’s game tape, the booming voice of NFL Films chronicling each cutback and blitz pickup.