5) Ke-Shawn Vaughn, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Vaughn is going to immediately push the underwhelming Ronald Jones in his first season in Tampa Bay. Despite playing for the often overlooked Vanderbilt Commodores Vaughn put together some great statistical years his final two seasons.
An explosive back that can break away from any tacklers if given space to work one on one. He will most likely be looked at as a third down back at the very least to help in the pass game. Early looks would put him in a spot similar to James White in New England. While Bruce Arians has openly said that Ronald Jones will start the season as the number one back but Vaughn has too much big play potential to not make a difference in the league.
4) Michael Pittman Jr, WR, Indianapolis Colts
The Colt’s dealt with consistent wide receiver injuries during the 2019 season. The addition of Michael Pittman Jr gives them insurance incase of another potential injury apocalypse. Pittman has great hands and a great frame for impact in the red zone. At 6’4” 223 pounds his frame is similar to Mike Williams. Philip Rivers had an instant connection with Williams in Los Angeles leading to double digit touchdowns in 2018.
Pittman Jr. is a physical receiver that fits in well with TY Hilton and Paris Campbell who will be able to stretch the field with their speed leaving the middle open. Pittman Jr.’s size and ability to handle press coverage will make him an immediate producer.
3) Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams spent their first pick of the draft on a running back. The obvious is that they believe in the talent of the former Florida State star. Despite having Malcom Brown and Darrell Henderson I see Cam Akers winning the starting spot. Akers had great numbers in college behind a subpar offensive line and will now be behind a more improved offensive line heading into next season.
Akers had 18 touchdowns (14 rush, 4 pass) in his final season as a Seminole, showing he has a nose for the end zone. His pass catching ability is going to fit in nicely with Sean McVay’s offense. The most telling part of the story of Akers is he was the first pick of the Rams, meaning they had little faith in their existing backs on the roster. He will be given the chance to succeed. Most rookies don’t get that chance right away.
2) Jerry Juedy, WR, Denver Broncos
I literally jumped out of my seat when Jeudy dropped to the Broncos at 15. Denver was in need of a second option behind Courtland Sutton. Jeudy combines deadly deep ball speed with unique acceleration in and out of routes that allows him to keep opposing defenders on their heels at all times.
While CeeDee Lamb is in a great spot Juedy has the potential to be the first option in Denver. Jeudy will immediately be in the starting lineup. He will immediately be given chances to make an impact. The Broncos will be a much better offense in 2020 and Jeudy will have a chance to be an elite receiver. I would still take Courtland Sutton before him in a fantasy draft but Juedy will be on my radar in early rounds.
1) Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
A dynamic dual threat option in an RPO offense. Kansas City had a running back carousel last season with injuries and lack of production. They needed a guy that they could rely on. Edwards-Helaire posted 1,414 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns for the defending National Champions. He became the only player in SEC history to rush for over 1,000 yards and have 55 catches.
Before the Patrick Mahomes days Andy Reid was money for fantasy running backs. Before the release of Kareem Hunt, Reid had 12 straight seasons with a back in the top 10 in fantasy. No matter who he put on the field they found ways to produce. The Chiefs have obvious talent all over the field and will now have a serious threat in the backfield. Edwards-Helaire should be the starting going into camp and if he stays healthy he should be a very high upside second or third round pick.