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Dynasty Rankings

Dynasty Rookie Top 40

by Evan Silva
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

These are rough post-Combine, pre-draft Dynasty Rookie Rankings that will be shaken up once landing spots are established. I believe there is a pretty clear-cut Top 7 and it becomes a bit murky after that. Where in the real-life draft players are selected by NFL teams will also play a major role in determining how to slot them in Dynasty rookie drafts. Guys who get drafted higher tend to get more opportunities, and opportunity is obviously crucial in fantasy football.

1. West Virginia WR Kevin White -- White only had one big statistical season in college, but knocked it out of the park (109-1,447-10) before doing the same in Indy. Measuring in at 6-foot-3, 215, White ran a 4.35 forty and showed adequate lower-body explosion with a 10-foot-3 broad jump. White isn't as quick in short areas as Amari Cooper, but projects as more of an alpha-type No. 1 wideout who wins on the perimeter in similar ways to Julio Jones. I suspect White will be a top-five real-draft pick, and he should be a shoo-in top-three Dynasty rookie. I believe White offers the highest rookie wideout ceiling, while Cooper has the safest floor.

2. Alabama WR Amari Cooper -- Cooper's short-area quickness stands out both on tape and on the spreadsheet. His catching radius is limited and he lacks ideal size (6'1/211), but Cooper is going to be very difficult for defensive backs to cover. This shows up in Cooper's 20-yard shuttle time (3.98), easily the best in this year's wideout class. Cooper profiles similarly to Sammy Watkins, although I suspect he will be asked to handle more passing-game volume than Watkins did as a rookie. Cooper is a likely top-ten real-draft selection and -- along with Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon, and White -- squarely in the hunt for the 1.01 spot in rookie drafts.

3. Georgia RB Todd Gurley -- The lone red flag on Gurley is his 2014 ACL tear. The quintessential running back prospect on film, Gurley is a twitched-up tackle breaker with trucking power, home-run speed, and soft hands. He can break long runs in addition to keep the chains moving. Gurley is also one of the better pass-protecting backs in this class. Watch his games and you know he's special. Remove the injury concerns and I think Gurley is a good-distance better than Melvin Gordon.

4. Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon -- I don't think Gordon's on-field skill is in the same tier as Gurley's. More of a boom-or-bust back than consistent offense sustainer, Gordon has a tendency to stop moving his feet behind the line of scrimmage, which too frequently leads to stuffs and negative runs. He is not pro-ready in pass protection, and his tackle-breaking ability is limited. But Gordon is a smooth slasher with big-play ability and could dominate in an offense that frequently schemes him into space. Because of Gurley's knee injury, I wouldn't have a problem with anyone selecting Gordon as the No. 1 rookie Dynasty back.

5. Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong -- There are mixed opinions on Strong's college tape, but he certainly turned heads in Indy, blazing a 4.44 forty and demonstrating lower-body explosion in the vertical (42") and broad (10'3") jumps at over 6-foot-2 and 217 pounds. When combined with multiple years of big-time Pac 12 receiving production, Strong checks a lot of boxes as a high-floor, high-ceiling prospect. His Combine performance has vaulted Strong into the first-round real-draft discussion. He's solidified himself as a mid-first-round rookie Dynasty pick.

6. Louisville WR DeVante Parker -- White and Cooper stand atop the wideout class, but there is an argument at No. 3 between Strong, Parker, and Dorial Green-Beckham. Landing spot figures to differentiate them. Parker didn't blow up the Combine like Strong, but has a much higher floor than DGB. Equipped with the best hands in the draft, Parker hardly disappointed in Indy, running 4.45 with a 36 1/2-inch vert and 10-foot-5 broad jump at just under 6-foot-3 and 209 pounds. Parker has longer arms (33 1/4") than White and is a better winner of contested passes than Cooper. No matter where he ends up, Parker should be a Week 1 starter with plenty of growth potential. He projects as a low-end No. 1 real-life receiver or a high-end No. 2.

7. Missouri WR Dorial Green-Beckham -- "DGB" is massive (6'5/237) with great speed (4.49) relative to his size. His jumps (9'11" broad, 33 1/2" vertical) were rather pedestrian, and Green-Beckham failed to stand out in the shuttle runs. He clearly isn't Megatron in terms of all-around athleticism, but Green-Beckham was put on Earth to score touchdowns, something he did on 47 percent of his college red-zone targets according to a recent study by Number Fire's Graham Barfield. NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah has likened DGB to Vincent Jackson. If not for myriad off-field issues that render him a boom-or-bust prospect, DGB would be threatening for a top-five Dynasty rookie pick. As is, he's more of a mid to late first-rounder.

8. Boise State RB Jay Ajayi -- Built compactly (6'0/221) with light feet and plus quickness, Ajayi is an extremely determined and aggressive runner. He is also among the most natural pass-catching backs in this draft. One concern on Ajayi's tape was a tendency to take a lot of big hits, although he was rarely injured in college. I thought Ajayi was more of a finesse than power runner, but in a good way. He shined in Indy, logging a 4.57 forty with a 39-inch vertical, 10-foot-1 broad jump, and outstanding marks in the shuttle runs. Ajayi must clean up his pass protection. When he does, I see Ayaji as a three-down NFL workhorse.

9. Alabama RB T.J. Yeldon -- A gliding, exceptionally quick-footed prospect on tape, Yeldon's running style reminds of Arian Foster. He is a downhill zone runner with NFL-ready passing-game skills. Yeldon had the same pre-draft weigh-in (6'1/226) as Foster with a superior vertical (36" to 32"), broad jump (9'9" to 9'7"), forty (4.61 to 4.69), and short shuttle (4.22 to 4.53). Foster did post a better three-cone time (7.09 to 7.19). Yeldon is a smooth pass catcher and has been pass protecting in Alabama's pro-style offense since he was a true freshman. Yeldon offers three-down feature back potential and should see the field early in his NFL career.

10. Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah -- Although he failed to impress in the forty-yard dash (4.60), Abdullah crushed the explosion and agility drills so much that he earned the highest SPARQ score in this year's running back class. Abdullah is a tougher version of C.J. Spiller on film, displaying explosive lateral moves and natural inside running ability despite limited size (5'8/205). Although his coaching staff may balk at employing Abdullah as a true workhorse early on, I personally believe he is capable of operating as a lead NFL back. When you watch Abdullah on college tape, you see a legitimately great football player.

11. Minnesota TE Maxx Williams -- Williams plays like a cross between Greg Olsen and Heath Miller, but tested out athletically along the lines of Brent Celek. While there's little doubt Williams is a good player, it's fair to question his fantasy ceiling. At the top-heavy tight end position, special physical tools (think Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, perhaps soon Travis Kelce) are required to ascend beyond the muddled mid-range/low-end TE1 pack. If you're using a first-round rookie pick on Williams, you're trusting your eyes over his measurables.

12. Auburn WR Sammie Coates -- Coates' college film reveals a receiver short on ball skills. He is an unnatural catcher of the football. That deficiency will make Coates a boom-or-bust prospect. He has fantasy WR1 potential if he booms. Coates is well-built wide receiver (6-foot-1, 213) with long arms (33 3/4") and 4.43 speed. There's a ton of explosion in his legs, quantifiable in his vertical (41") and broad (10'11") jumps, and verifiable on film. Coates also showed better-than-anticipated short-area movement skills in the shuttle and cone drills in Indianapolis. He'll be a high-upside target on the first-round fringe of Dynasty rookie drafts.

13. UCF WR Breshad Perriman -- Likened to Julio Jones in "size and movement" by NFL Films' Greg Cosell, Perriman is 6-foot-2 and 212 pounds with NFL bloodlines (son of ex-Lions WR Brett Perriman) and big-play vertical skills. He had too many drops at Central Florida, however, and is seen as a raw route runner. Perriman did not work out at the Combine due to a hamstring strain. He'll be someone to track closely on the Pro Day circuit.

14. Miami RB Duke Johnson -- If Johnson can beat contact at the NFL level, he's Frank Gore. If Johnson can't, he's Giovani Bernard. I found Johnson's tape to be similar to an early-career Gore as a slippery, natural tackle breaker with excellent receiving chops. Johnson's measurables are similar to both Gore and Bernard's, however, at 5-foot-9, 207 with 4.54 speed and a 33 1/2-inch vertical. (Gore ran 4.58 with a 34-inch vert at 5'9/210; Gio was 5'8/202 with a 33 1/2-inch vertical and 4.53 speed.) To truly pay fantasy dividends, Duke investors will need the NFL team that drafts him to envision Johnson as a potential lead back. That's a big question mark.

15. Florida State QB Jameis Winston -- Marcus Mariota may offer a higher ceiling because of superior athleticism, but Winston has a better chance to be a day-one starter. A strong-armed and unflinchingly aggressive passer, Winston can throw with anticipation and place footballs into tight windows at the intermediate and vertical levels. Whereas Mariota spent his career in a shotgun offense with clean pockets throwing to wide-open receivers, Winston has proven his mettle in a pro-style environment, executing with bodies around him. If Chip Kelly gets his hands on Mariota, however, these quarterbacks' rankings will likely change.

16. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota -- Mariota took five snaps from under center during his final season at Oregon. His big passing plays were predominately thrown to schemed-open receivers from a clean pocket. The Oregon offense lacks a number of critical pro-style elements, likely necessitating a learning phase for Mariota. All that said, Mariota is a special athlete with above-average arm strength, and is known as a quick processor of information. It's entirely possible he picks up the pro game immediately, particularly if Mariota reunites with his old college coach. For now, Mariota is just an intriguing ball of clay. His fantasy ceiling is higher than Winston's, albeit with a lower floor.

17. USC WR Nelson Agholor -- Agholor stands an unimposing 6-foot, 198, but runs 4.42 and is perhaps the draft's most technically sound wideout north of Amari Cooper. Agholor is a superior prospect to ex-teammate Robert Woods, who was drafted with a top-50 pick in 2013. Agholor's strengths suggest he is capable of being a high-volume Z-slot receiver who could catch 90-plus passes in the right system. In that regard, Agholor's landing spot will be key.

18. Ohio State WR Devin Smith -- Some were apparently disappointed in Smith's forty time (4.42) at the Combine, but he oozes "game speed" on film and is an elite deep-ball tracker. Smith also has hops, registering a 39-inch vertical. A quick-footed and explosive separator, Smith's vertical ability should translate smoothly to the NFL. Whether Smith becomes a high-volume pass catcher is the question, and renders him more of a second-round Dynasty rookie pick than potential first-rounder.

19. Indiana RB Tevin Coleman -- Coleman didn't work out at the Combine following toe surgery, so we only have tape and his weigh-in to evaluate. 5-foot-11 and 206 pounds, Coleman runs like a scatback with virtually zero tackle-breaking ability but a ton of straight-line speed. I've seen some compare Coleman to Darren McFadden, although DMC runs with more force and toughness. A better comparison would be Felix Jones, whose college calling card was winning open-field sprints. Although Coleman frequently outran Big Ten defenders, he is a mechanical, stiff mover around the line of scrimmage. Running backs with Coleman's strengths and weaknesses rarely pan out as more than change-of-pace backs in the pros.

20. Minnesota RB David Cobb -- Cobb got injured running the forty-yard dash in Indy, but showed explosion for a big man (5'11/229) with a 38 1/2-inch vertical and 10-foot-1 broad jump. Cobb's game tape reveals a one-speed runner who grinds out yards and runs with a lot of competitiveness, balance, and toughness. He also flashes power to push the pile. Cobb isn't a flashy NFL or fantasy prospect, but that could change quickly depending on landing spot. Since he can block and catch and ran out of pro-style formations with the Gophers, Cobb is equipped to compete for playing time early in his pro career.

21. Michigan WR/TE Devin Funchess -- Funchess has a big name because he played at Michigan, but he's a wideout-tight end tweener with a passive on-field playing attitude that reminds of ex-Chiefs bust Jon Baldwin. Funchess runs 4.7 and too often loses contested balls, therefore failing to exploit mismatches derived from his size (6'5/230). Funchess isn't yet 21, so it's conceivable he'll improve his game with a year or two of NFL seasoning. But barring dramatic development, it's hard to imagine Funchess helping a pro offense anytime soon.

22. Penn State TE Jesse James -- I need to watch more of James' games after he out-tested ballyhooed Maxx Williams. A massive 6-foot-7 and 261 pounds, James ran a Kyle Rudolphian 4.83 forty despite being taller and heavier, and easily out-jumped Williams in both the vertical (37 1/2") and broad (10'1"). Tight ends' fantasy outlooks are heavily tied to the offense they enter, so this is another case where landing spot will be critical. But James is an exceptionally young prospect with a strong athletic profile. He won't turn 21 until June.

23. William & Mary WR Tre McBride -- A decorated receiver and return specialist in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), McBride put himself on everyone's radar with a big Combine. At 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, McBride ran 4.41 with a 38-inch vertical, 10-foot-2 broad jump, and excellent shuttle and three-cone times. Expect McBride to make up ground as the pre-draft process moves along. He has the attributes of a top-100 NFL pick.

24. Northern Iowa RB David Johnson -- Johnson crushed the Combine, running 4.50 and showing explosion in the broad (10'7") and vertical (41 1/2") jumps. On paper, the numbers are impressive for a 6-foot-1, 224-pound back. Johnson's athleticism doesn't show up on film, however, where he is tight hipped with sluggish feet and a robotic mover who generates very little power. Johnson also seemed to shy away from contact, often bracing himself at the point of attack and even turning his back to defenders. He does have nice passing-game tools. Neither feature back nor viable change-up runner, Johnson has a questionable NFL fit.

25. Nebraska WR Kenny Bell -- Bell never put up top-shelf stats in the Cornhuskers' run-first offense, but he was a steady contributor beginning as a 19-year-old freshman. He helped himself in Indy, clocking 4.42 with outstanding marks in the vertical (41 1/2") and broad (10'9") jumps. Only two wideouts had better three-cone times than Bell's 6.66. Bell is not particularly big (6-foot-1, 197) and his arms are relatively short (31 5/8"), but he can pop the lid and shows traits consistent with high-volume targets. He's someone to closely track.

26. South Carolina RB Mike Davis -- 5-foot-9 and 217 pounds, Davis was seen as a top running back prospect entering his final year under Steve Spurrier. He battled a rib injury and was rumored to be out of shape in 2014. Davis didn't help his cause in Indianapolis, running 4.61 with an explosion-lacking 9-foot-8 broad jump. Tight in the hips and short on burst, Davis will likely be a late second- or early third-round rookie pick, depending on NFL landing spot.

27. USC RB Javorius Allen -- "Buck" Allen is a quick runner with some burst who showed solid pass-blocking chops and an ability to carry the mail for the Trojans, but overall has the physical skills of an NFL backup or replacement-level spot starter. He runs high and doesn't compensate with a weak lower body, therefore lacking tackle-breaking ability. There is no real power element and only mild elusiveness to Allen's game. Allen turned in a decent Combine, running 4.53 at 6-foot, 221 with a 35 1/2-inch vertical and 10-foot-1 broad jump. Another flag on Allen is his age; he'll turn 24 before his rookie season. I suspect he'll be a mid- to late-round NFL pick. Allen could be a short-term fantasy asset if opportunity arises.

28. Michigan State RB Jeremy Langford -- Langford turned heads by clocking the fastest forty time (4.42) by a running back in Indy, but the rest of his workouts were less impressive. On tape, he is contact averse with limited lateral moves. Langford's calling cards will be his straight-line speed and versatility. His fantasy outlook is entirely tied to landing spot. Langford could become interesting if he's drafted by a running back-needy team.

29. UNLV WR Devante Davis -- Davis likely sealed his fate as a late-round pick at the Combine, managing a weak 9-foot-7 broad jump and flunking the three-cone drill (4.25). At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, however, Davis did post a strong forty time (4.57) and respectable 35 1/2-inch vertical. Davis is still a big receiver with adequate athleticism, and showed a knack for corraling deep passes in college. He could make some noise in the right NFL system.

30. Kansas State WR Tyler Lockett -- Only 5-foot-10, 182 with tiny 8 3/8-inch hands, Lockett is a good-not-great athlete who made spectacular plays in college, but will likely struggle to do so consistently in the NFL. Unless Lockett lands in a situation where his offensive coordinator identifies him as a high-volume target, Lockett figures to be a better real-life than than fantasy player. He should contribute at slot receiver and on special teams.

31. Georgia WR Chris Conley -- On the heels of a nondescript college career, Conley made a name for himself by equaling Calvin Johnson in the broad jump (11'7"), registering an insane 45-inch vertical, and running 4.35 at 6-foot-2, 213. The shuttle and cone drills exposed Conley as a straight-linish athlete, but he's still someone to monitor. He's big, fast, and can jump, and Conley scored 20 receiving TDs in college while averaging 16.6 yards per catch.

32. Miami WR Phillip Dorsett -- Dorsett blazed a 4.33 forty in Indianapolis, but stands 5-foot-9, 185 with short arms and projects best as a slot receiver and return specialist in the pros. He only caught 36 passes as a senior. An NFL team should be able to find ways to utilize Dorsett's strengths, but he's probably a long shot to make much of a fantasy impact.

33. UCLA QB Brett Hundley -- Hundley is an elite athlete for the quarterback position and possesses ideal size (6'3/226), but there are serious questions about Hundley's ability to become an NFL starter. His pocket management is poor and Hundley has a tendency to drop his eyes at the slightest hint of pressure. He absorbed 125 sacks in three college seasons, fumbling 29 times. Hundley could become a fantasy asset if he became a first-string NFL signal caller, but there's a long way for him to go. He'll be a purely speculative QB3/4 Dynasty pick.

34. Georgia Tech WR Darren Waller -- Widely projected as a late-round pick or UDFA after a 26-442-6 final college season, Waller shined in Indianapolis, running 4.46 with a 37-inch vertical and 10-foot-5 broad jump at a gargantuan 6-foot-6, 238. Waller is a build-up speed receiver with limited quickness, but profiles as a touchdown scorer once he learns to run NFL routes. He's a project who could turn into something, but also might be nothing.

35. Miami TE Clive Walford -- Mike Mayock's No. 2 tight end behind only Maxx Williams, Walford clocked a respectable 4.79 forty at the Combine after weighing in at 6-foot-4, 251. His broad jump (10') was solid, although his vertical (30 1/2") and short shuttle (4.57) left something to be desired. Walford's blocking prowess should increase his chances of getting on an NFL field. His outlook benefits from the overall weakness of this tight end class.

36. Florida State RB Karlos Williams -- The one reason Williams might be worth a Dynasty flier is his Speed Score, a Football Outsiders metric that adjusts speed for a running back's weight. With 4.48 wheels at 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds, Williams has the best Speed Score (114.2) in the 2015 draft class. Unfortunately, Williams' Speed Score isn't a strong indication of his on-field skill set, which reminds of a poor man's LeGarrette Blount. Williams lost his starting job to freshman Dalvin Cook in 2014, lacks elusiveness, isn't as powerful as his body type suggests due to poor pad level, and has off-field baggage. A former defensive back, Williams' best NFL fit may ultimately be running down kicks on special teams.

37. Baylor QB Bryce Petty -- Quietly one of the top athletes in this quarterback class, Petty ran 4.87 at the Combine, but had a 10-foot-1 broad jump and fared well in the shuttles and cone drills. He offers plus size (6'3/230) and adequate arm strength. Baylor's one-read offense is working against Petty, but he has some developmental upside as a Dynasty QB4.

38. Arizona WR Austin Hill -- Hill looked like a future first-round NFL pick after an 81-1,364-11 sophomore season, but missed all of 2013 with a knee injury and returned with a pedestrian 49-635-4 line last year. Hill was essentially used as a tight end as a senior, indicating Arizona's coaching staff believed he had lost the ability to win on the perimeter. Hill wasn't invited to the Combine, but is a prospect to track on the Pro Day circuit. He's 6-foot-2, 210 with sure hands and reportedly stood out during East-West Shrine practices.

39. Florida State TE Nick O'Leary -- If O'Leary didn't catch everything, he would be a non-prospect. An H-back type, O'Leary is 6-foot-3, 252 with T-Rex arms (29 3/4"), 4.93 speed, and no real lower-body explosion. O'Leary has great hands and was a trusted college target for Jameis Winston, registering junior and senior stat lines of 33-557-7 and 48-618-6, respectively. Perhaps O'Leary could grow into a Chris Cooley type in the right offense.

40. Ohio State TE Jeff Heuerman -- After a college career marred by foot and ankle injuries, Heuerman didn't participate in speed or agility drills at the Combine. He repped 225 pounds 26 times and weighed in at 6-foot-5, 254. Heuerman has plus arm length (33 1/4") and big hands (10 1/8"), and flashed speed to stretch the seam at Ohio State. Heuerman's stock could rise with an impressive Pro Day. He is currently seen as a middle-round prospect.

Other Prospects To Monitor: South Dakota State RB Zach Zenner, Oklahoma TE Blake Bell, Maryland WR Stefon Diggs, Duke WR Jamison Crowder, Texas RB Malcolm Brown, Fresno State WR Josh Harper, Georgia Tech WR DeAndre Smelter, Auburn RB Cameron Artis-Payne, Florida RB Matt Jones, South Alabama TE Wes Saxton, Stanford WR Ty Montgomery, Michigan State WR Tony Lippett, Southern Illinois TE MyCole Pruitt, Florida State WR Rashad Greene, Rutgers TE Tyler Kroft, Houston WR Deontay Greenberry, Colorado State QB Garrett Grayson, Central Michigan RB Thomas Rawls, Notre Dame TE Ben Koyack, Utah WR Dres Anderson, Louisville RB Michael Dyer, Texas A&M RB Trey Williams, Washington State WR Vince Mayle, East Carolina WR Justin Hardy, TCU RB B.J. Catalon, Yale RB Tyler Varga, Baylor WR Antwan Goodley

Evan Silva
Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .