By Alex Kurpeski
Is your dynasty team in a rut? Maybe it’s time to look ahead to your rookie draft then. Here’s a little article about a few players who should be plug-and-play starters for whichever team drafts them this spring.
QB: Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
This one is rather obvious, as Lawrence is the best QB prospect we’ve had since Andrew Luck. Wherever he goes — The Jets, he’s going to the Jets — Lawrence should immediately start. If your team needs a QB of the present, look no further than the Clemson standout. Lawrence is a virtual lock to be the 1.01 in SuperFlex formats.
QB: Justin Fields, Ohio State
Fields would be the first overall pick in any other draft class, unfortunately, he shares this one with Lawrence. A terrific athlete with nice arm strength and tremendous accuracy, Fields should be the second QB off the board next spring, sliding in as his team’s starter fairly quickly. Thanks to his rushing ability, Fields could be a starting-caliber fantasy asset as soon as 2021.
RB: Travis Etienne, Clemson
Etienne is a true three-down back who seems to get better every time we see him. He’s the only running back in this class who I see as a first-round talent and I’m fairly confident that NFL scouts would agree. Few players come out of college with Etienne’s advanced skill as a pass-catcher. I see a lot of running back needy teams picking in the back half of round one, which bodes well for Etienne’s chances to start.
RB: Max Borghi, Washington State
Borghi may not be a “starting” running back in the traditional sense, but he should immediately take over as his team’s third-down back. A satellite back with nearly 150 receptions in his college career, Borghi is as NFL-ready as they come — as a receiving back, of course. If you’re in a PPR league, keep an eye out for Borghi.
WR: Ja’Marr Chase, LSU
You’ve probably heard about Chase, a receiver who many scouts are expecting to be better than his former teammate Justin Jefferson. In case you haven’t heard, Jefferson is leading all rookie receivers in receiving yardage. If Chase is in fact better than Jefferson then he very well may be worth taking as a top-three player in rookie drafts.
WR: Elijah Moore, Ole Miss
Moore has been outstanding for Ole Miss this season, hauling in 74 passes for 1,054 yards and eight touchdowns — in seven games. An electrifying slot receiver with tremendous route-running ability, Moore can start instantly even if he’s not a day one pick.
WR: Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State
Wallace is good at everything. That’s why he’s an ideal candidate to start for whichever team drafts him. Line him up inside or outside, Wallace can excel at either role. Even if he’s a middle-round pick, I expect Wallace to get some run immediately thanks to his pro-ready skillset.
TE: Kyle Pitts, Florida
Pitts has been hyped up as the next big thing at the tight end position. A 6’6 target with 4.4 speed, Pitts could be a superstar at the NFL level — and that’s just as a rookie. We’ve seen NFL teams figure out ways to use similar talents to Pitts — Darren Waller, Travis Kelce — as No. 1 options in the passing game. If your team needs a tight end, Pitts is the guy to have in this class.