By Alex Kurpeski, Oz Jones, & Tzali Nislick
Before we get around to the intro for this piece I’d just like to thank Jesse Reeves @JesseReevesFF for inspiring this series and supplying us with some of his own data and research for future sections. If you haven’t checked out Jesse’s work then you’re missing out on some of the best insight there is. – Alex
Finding the right devy is arguably the toughest task imaginable in fantasy football, as your choice must depend on some combination of a player’s measurables, level of competition, college production, high school production, flexibility, floor, ceiling, median, injury history, off-field issues, athletic pedigree, etc, etc. It’s a tall task to determine all of these things accurately without the tools and advanced access allowed to NFL scouts (who are prone to making mistakes even with their resources). At a certain point, gut feeling needs to be placed on the back burner, replaced by the data-driven lizard brain that lives deep inside of our pink, squishy command center. Today, we here at 3CoSports are looking to provide you with a small sample size of devy prospect analysis, with fingers crossed that our self-scouting is as accurate as we believe it to be. There will be some aspects of this analysis that are a bit arbitrary, but we feel as though these parts are warranted. So without further adieu, let’s take a look at our finite list of devy targets for 2020 and beyond.
Rubric for Devy Analysis Grade
- Level of Competition → 1 (Big 10, SEC), 2 (ACC, Pac-12, Big 12), 3 (American, C-USA, MWC), 4 (other FBS conferences), 5 (Non-Div 1A)
- Athlete Scale → 1 (elite athlete), 2 (above average athlete), 3 (average), 4 (below average), 5 (poor athlete – rare)
- Production → 1 (elite-level production), 2 (above average production), 3 (average production), 4 (below-average production), 5 (poor production)
- Experience → 1 (played in > 75% of eligible games), 2 (75-65%), 3 (50-64%), 4 (25-50%), 5 (<25%)
- “Fit” (how well a player’s skill set translates to the NFL) → 1 (fits in any system), 2 (fits in the majority of systems), 3 (fits in certain systems), 4 (fits in few systems), 5 (fits in almost no system)
- Breakout Age (using Jesse Reeves data) → 1 (18), 2 (19), 3 (20-21), 4 (22), 5 (23+)
- “Help” (strength of team around them) → 1 (top tier team + coaching staff in all relevant areas related to player), 2 (above average), 3 (average), 4 (below average), 5 (poor)
- Grade Scale: (1-1.99 = A+ to A-), (2-2.99 = B+ to B-), (3-3.99 = C+ to C-), (4-5 = D+ to D-)
Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
Bryce Young, Alabama
D.J Uiagalelei, Clemson
Kedon Slovis, USC
Jayden Daniels, Arizona State
Justin Fields, Ohio State
Sam Howell, North Carolina
Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma
Trey Lance, North Dakota State
Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
Brock Purdy, Iowa State
J.T Daniels, Georgia
Today’s installment will be relatively brief, with just one passer (Brock Purdy) profiled in the B+ tier.
Brock Purdy, Iowa State (ETA: 2021/2022)
It seems as though the archetype of the undersized Big-12 quarterback is here to stay in the eyes of NFL Draft scouts, as recent draft classes have produced players like Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, and Will Grier as early-round selections. Purdy appears to be the next-in-line for this distinction, as the Cyclones star’s name has become synonymous with the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft in recent months. At 6’1, 210 lbs, Purdy isn’t the smallest passer we’ve seen gain traction as a potential first-round selection, as evidenced by the fact that Murray was able to parlay a tremendous season with Oklahoma into a first overall selection while barely standing above 5’8.
Purdy threw for almost 4,000 yards in 2019, despite losing big-time weapons Hakeem Butler and David Montgomery to the NFL. And, in a season where he more than doubled his attempts (from 220 in 2018 to 475 in 2019), his completion percentage dropped only 0.7%. Not too shabby. It wasn’t all roses, however. He threw three picks in a loss to Oklahoma State, though he followed that up the next week by dropping five TDs on Oklahoma, albeit in another losing effort. Purdy’s last two games – the Big 12 closer against Kansas State, and Camping World Bowl against Notre Dame – saw him average just over 200 yards passing, complete a smidge over 50% of his passes, and throw only one total TD.
An up-and-down season has not deterred NFL scouts before, as we’ve seen much more mercurial passers taken in the first-round with much more glaring inconsistencies. Unfortunately, many of the passers in that category were guys like Daniel Jones, Josh Allen, and Justin Herbert, who “checked all of the boxes” physically while showing flashes of brilliance on occasion in-game. For a smaller passer like Purdy, the path to the first round will be paved by an unquestionably dominant performance on the pitch, with a high-end completion rate being a necessity. The Cyclones offense should allow Purdy to be his best self, as he should benefit from the return of tight end Charlie Kolar and running back Breece Hall.
Most big-time throws in a two minute-drill situation last season:
➤ Brock Purdy, Iowa State – 5 pic.twitter.com/uWLoD3rFMG
— PFF College (@PFF_College) July 19, 2020
In 2020 the Cyclones find themselves (currently) favored in 5/9 Big 12 matchups. If Purdy shows off this year, he’ll most likely declare for the 2021 draft. However, if his play stays the same or improves only marginally, it’s not unlikely he comes back for 2022.
– Oz + Alex
Devy Analysis Grade: 2.14 (B+)
Ceiling: Jimmy Garoppolo
A relatively accurate passer with a nice, quick release, Purdy succeeds in a run-first offense that allows him to work in rhythm. While he may never be a top-end fantasy option, Purdy becomes a consistent mid-tier starter for a team that maximizes his strengths.
Median: Gardner Minshew II
Purdy is placed in a situation where his team needs him to throw the ball in order to win games and he does so semi-successfully while mixing in some moments of greatness. Not quite a franchise QB, Purdy hangs onto his role as the starter for as long as his contract is affordable.
Floor: Colt McCoy
Purdy becomes a trustworthy career backup who maxes out as a decent bridge starter thanks to his ability to improvise.