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
Our final installment in this series focuses on two passers who many draftniks have called “generational talents”: Trevor Lawrence and Bryce Young.
Bryce Young, Alabama (ETA: 2023)
A highly touted dual-threat, Young may very well be the starter for the Tide as soon as this fall, although the delays brought on by the Covid-19 outbreak may hinder his grasp of the playbook a bit. And, admittedly, it might simply be easier for Nick Saban to turn the reins over to Mac Jones this year, given the fact that Jones took over as the starter when Tua Tagovailoa went down. Either way, Young will be in a great situation once he does eventually start for the program, as his decorated high school career suggests that he may become a Deshaun Watson-level playmaker if he develops properly.
Roll the tape. ▶️
Bryce Young just dropped his senior highlight reel and it’s 🔥🔥🔥
— Hudl (@Hudl) July 8, 2020
While Young has yet to play a game of college ball, his arrival in Tuscaloosa was impactful enough to drive Taulia Tagovailoa out of town. Like Kyler Murray before him, Young comes from a program that turned him into a winner. With his impressive tools and the resources that Alabama will provide for him, there’s no telling how great this kid may be. Like Spencer Rattler and D.J Uiagalelei, Young’s upside is high enough that he’s worth taking with an early Devy pick despite his lack of tangible production.
– Alex + Oz
Devy Analysis Grade: 1.25 (A+)
Ceiling: Deshaun Watson
Young blossoms as a creative playmaker in Alabama’s offense, playing to his strengths and learning how to take calculated risks. From there he builds a compelling case to be the QB1 in 2023, landing in the NFL on a team that allows him to play his style of football.
Median: Baker Mayfield
Young does what he can with his size and excels when placed in offenses that allow him to make quick reads and pick up yards on option runs. Though he may be a bit system dependent, he averages out as an above-average NFL QB.
Floor: Everett Golson
Young’s dual-threat abilities prove to be his best quality and he fails to become an impact player for Alabama, tanking his draft stock along the way. Though this path likely has him putting up decent college numbers, his skill set fails to garner much NFL attention.
Trevor Lawrence, Clemson (ETA: 2021)
You could know absolutely nothing about college football and still be able to recognize Lawrence, a player who was once referred to as the best high school quarterback prospect ever. Somehow, even with these lofty expectations placed upon his shoulders, Lawrence has managed to excel as the starter for Clemson. At 6’6, 225 lbs, Lawrence has the ideal size that scouts look for in a prototypical pocket passer while also possessing the natural athleticism that has become requisite of the QB position in recent years. Like Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, and John Elway before him, Lawrence is as close to a perfect quarterback prospect as you could find and he will fit in with whichever team drafts him. In his two years as the starter for Clemson, Lawrence has been both a winner and a dominant performer in the clutch. While you can certainly knock him for the fact that he’s been surrounded by some unreal talent at the receiver position — from current NFL talents like Tee Higgins and Hunter Renfrow to future stars Justyn Ross and Joe Ngata — it’s impressive to see how Lawrence has worked with what’s been given to him. On an offense buoyed by a terrific ground game (led by future NFL draft pick Travis Etienne), Lawrence was incredibly efficient, with a touchdown to interception ratio of 66:12. Considering his first loss as a collegiate player came in the 2019 National Title Game, it’s fair to label the young signal-caller as a “winner”. It would take a serious injury or a complete regression for Lawrence to tank his status as a top prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft. Lawrence earned a PFF grade of 90+ in both of his first two seasons, a feat accomplished by only one other player: 2020 first-round pick Tua Tagovailoa. The paramount quality of Lawrence’s profile at this stage in his career is his ability to perform in big games, which is best evidenced by his tremendous performances against Ohio State, Alabama, and LSU in the two College Football Playoffs he has participated in.
— PFF College (@PFF_College) July 31, 2020
While Lawrence’s resume is incredibly impressive on its own merit, watching him play the quarterback position is simply a thing of beauty. The former five-star recruit combines an outrageously powerful throwing arm with a lightning-quick release, which he can supplement with an uncanny ability to throw on the move. Even at a young age, Lawrence has displayed a keen understanding of how to read defenses, while also sensing pressure better than any passer his age. As far as NFL-ready passers go, Lawrence fits the bill better than any QB from the last decade.
Devy Analysis Grade: 1.14 (A+)
Ceiling: John Elway
Lawrence delivers upon the hype surrounding him and becomes one of the best passers we have ever seen grace the gridiron. Given the amount of help he would need to reach this ceiling, we can only hope he doesn’t end up somewhere like Jacksonville or Detroit.
Median: Andrew Luck
Lawrence becomes an excellent QB with the occasional turnover-prone game. Struggles to reach his full potential due to flawed team-building strategy by the front office and leaves experts wondering what could have been.
Floor: Daniel Jones
Lawrence is debunked as little more than a toolsy prospect who was boosted by a strong supporting cast in both college and high school. Becomes a middling NFL starter but is seen as a “bust” due to the outrageous expectations surrounding him.