Welcome to the first installment of the 2019 Devy Weekly series! Every single week we’ll be covering some top college football players that just helped their case for a shot at an NFL future. We’ll break it down by position, giving you players to target in all areas of need for your dynasty rosters.
If you’re new to Devy Leagues, the long and short of it is this: You get to draft college football players and roster them long before they are drafted to an NFL roster.
Some of these players will be names that you recognize. Others might be the kind of player you didn’t know until yesterday. Regardless, the point is to provide you with some names to tuck away for draft day or give you potential trade targets in your leagues.
So far we only have Week 0 matchups to go off of, but there were definitely some players to get excited about from this past week’s action.
Khalil Tate, Arizona
For those of you unfamiliar with Khalil Tate, calling him a “mobile quarterback” is probably an understatement. Back in 2017 Tate racked up more than 1,400 yards on the ground in just 11 games for the Arizona Wildcats. But this past weekend he showed off his arm too.
The Wildcats replaced their entire starting receiving corps this season, and that showed early on. Tate went 1 for 6 for 29 yards and an interception through the first quarter. But after he found his rhythm Tate finished the rest of the game 21 of 33 for 340 yards and three touchdowns. He ran for 108 yards too. Tate is an absolute weapon. I call him Lamar Jackson of the West. But does he actually profile like Jackson? Let’s take a look at their best passing seasons.
|Player||Year||Pass Att/Gm||Pass Yds/Gm||Pass TDs/Gm||TD%||INT%||Pass Yards/Att||Adjusted Pass Yards/Att|
Short answer, they’re quite comparable as passers. Khalil was hampered by injury and learning a new system last season as well.
“But he certainly isn’t quite the rusher Lamar Jackson is, right?”
Actually, when healthy, Tate showed to be quite possibly even more efficient as a rusher than Jackson.
|Player||Year||Rush Att/Gm||Rush Yds/Gm||Rush TDs/Gm|
If Tate can put together a healthy season of rushing and passing production, there’s no reason he can’t be drafted at least in the middle rounds.
DeeJay Dallas, Miami
As I covered in my Confident Cash Plays piece for Week 0, DeeJay Dallas is in line for a potential feature back role for Miami this season. And his opening performance certainly didn’t hurt his chances.
Dallas racked up 132 yards from scrimmage with his 16 touches against a tough Florida defense that otherwise dominated Miami. His home run ability showed up twice, once on a 50-yard touchdown, and again on a 40-yard reception.
Dallas isn’t even in the devy rankings conversation right now, but that has more to do with his unconventional path to running back touches than it does his talent level. He started out as a hybrid receiver/running back when he first joined Miami as a freshman in 2017. However, after Miami’s star running back Mark Walton went down with an injury in 2018 Dallas was needed at running back exclusively.
Now that he’s had some time to develop as a runner, and he finally has the opportunity to lead the backfield, Dallas may fly up draft boards this fall. If he does Dallas could end up joining the long list of Miami running back studs to produce in the NFL.
Lamical Perine, Florida
Lamical Perine was looking like a “what could have been” player for a while. Back in 2016 he almost ended up going to Alabama in the same class that Josh Jacobs did. He’s from Alabama. Lane Kiffin recruited him. But then at the last minute he chose to go to Florida. Since joining the Gators he’s had three decent, but not impressive, campaigns at RB. However, it seems Perine may be in line for his most significant opportunity to date. Let’s take a look at the backfield rushers and their touches from Week 0.
|Player||Carries||Rush Yards||Rush TDs||Receptions||Receiving Yards||Receiving TDs|
Absolutely atrocious outside of Perine. Kadarius Toney is more of a receiver than he is an RB, so he won’t see much consistent work there. Malik Davis got himself in the doghouse after finding himself involved in two early fumble situations. Dameon Pierce is a devy darling to some, but obviously not so much to the Florida coaching staff.
Perine didn’t have a huge game by any means, but he was by far the most effective rusher and receiver out of the prototypical running back options for Florida. If Perine continues to show he indeed has a three-down skill set, he may find himself drafted next spring after all.
Cedric Byrd, Hawaii
When John Ursua left for the NFL after last season it was assumed that Cedric Byrd would indeed be the new lead wide receiver for Hawaii. But no one could have seen Byrd’s insane performance from this week coming.
Fourteen receptions. Two hundred twenty-four yards. Four touchdowns. One game.
Byrd lines up almost exclusively as the slot right wide receiver for Hawaii in their run and shoot, four wide receiver scheme. He profiles as a typical slot wide receiver at 5 feet 9 inches and 175 pounds. But just like last season, he consistently created his own space and found himself open deep downfield all game long. Three of his four touchdowns came on essentially the same skinny post route though. If teams wise up to Byrd’s go-to move, he’ll have to develop a new way to score quickly.
Byrd is a deep, deep, deep dive type player, but he’s definitely looks to be a better prospect than his former teammate Ursua. Expect Byrd’s name to be called on Day 3 of the NFL Draft.
Jamarye Joiner, Arizona
This is a name that virtually no one should know at this point, but that could become a household name in college football if he develops alongside Tate.
Joiner was originally a quarterback recruit for Arizona, but this offseason he converted to wide receiver in an attempt to gain playing time. That apparently worked out. Joiner grabbed four receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown in his first career action at wide receiver. In fact, on his touchdown he showed real savvy and precision to set up the play. He ran a corner route but waited until he was just past the shoulder of the defender sitting in a short zone to break off his route. Immediately Joiner was wide open for the touchdown.
At 6 feet 1 inch and 210 pounds, with the ability to line up in different spots already, Joiner certainly looks the part. Right now Arizona is rotating through six different receivers, but if Joiner settles in as the lead option he could easily have a breakout season at wide receiver.
Brevin Jordan, Miami
Brevin Jordan is an absolute monster and should be considered the most legitimate NFL prospect to have played in the entire Week Zero slate. At 6 feet 3 inches and 245 pounds, with speed already measured in the 4.7-range, Jordan has a fun size-speed combination. That was on full display against Florida this past week.
Jordan snagged 5 receptions for 88 yards and a score. He also forced a pass interference call in the end zone that would have likely been another touchdown for him. Jordan’s going to be a matchup problem for defenses all season long. But this isn’t new.
Jordan broke out as a true freshman posting a 25% adjusted dominator rating in his nine games last season as a true freshman. For a true freshman receiver that would be good, for a college tight end that number is absolutely ridiculous. Jordan may just be the next great Miami tight end.
IDP (Individual Defensive Player)
Jabari Zuniga, Florida (Defensive Line)
Zuniga wasn’t was top recruit coming into college, but he’s slowly developed into a force on the defensive line. He’s posted at least four sacks in every season that he’s played and looks faster than ever. Zuniga logged a sack and a half, three tackles for loss, and six total tackles on the day against Miami last week. Zuniga’s first step, play strength, and leverage allows him to play edge or on the inside. His versatility likely earns him some draft capital here soon.
I hope you enjoyed the first Devy Weekly of 2019! Expect more future NFL prospect coverage every week this season. Find me @FF_TravisM on Twitter if you have any questions. And until next time, keep living that Dynasty Life!