Welcome to the eighth installment of the 2019 Devy Weekly series! If you’ve been following along, we’ve been covering top college football players who recently helped their case for a shot at an NFL future. And we’re back at it again! We’ll break this 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 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.
There were so many players that lit it up in Week 7 of college football! It makes it tough to pick which players to highlight, but like last week and every week, here are seven players who dominated their respective games.
Jayden Daniels, Arizona State
The Sun Devils have definitely found a gem in the true freshman star-in-the-making, Jayden Daniels. Daniels was already off to hot start this season coming into last week, but he put the team on his shoulders last weekend against Washington State.
Daniels went 26-for-36 (72%) for 363 yards and three touchdowns through the air in his most impressive, dominant performance of his young college career. He connected with his favorite wideout, Brandon Aiyuk, on all three scores leading Arizona State to a 38-34 victory.
Daniels was already considered one of the top freshman in the nation as a recruit (top 50 according to the 247Sports Composite Ranking). But I don’t think anyone expected him to be posting an 8:1 TD:INT ratio (top 12 in FBS) and nearly 10 adjusted yards per pass attempt (top 15 in FBS). Those are veteran quarterback numbers. If he continues this amazing rate he’ll be the top 2022 quarterback prospect by season’s end.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU
There have been quite a few incredible running backs come out of LSU: Kevin Faulk and Joseph Addai years ago; recently, Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice (we’ll see if he pans out). Now it’s clearly the Clyde Edwards-Helaire show.
Edwards-Helaire hasn’t been asked to be a 20-carry feature back much this season, but it’s because he hasn’t had to. LSU has turned into a pass-first high-flying offense, which leaves the running back to be an afterthought at times, but Edwards-Helaire has still racked up over 100 yards from scrimmage in three of LSU’s six games this year. And this past weekend at Florida he dominated one of the best defenses in the country in Florida.
Edwards-Helaire dropped 134 rushing yards and two scores on the Gators in the 42-28 victory. He’s on pace for over 1100 yards from scrimmage and 14 touchdowns this year. He would be wise to stay at LSU for one more spectacular feature seasons in 2020, but his NFL Draft stock is rising.
Eno Benjamin, Arizona State
I don’t usually feature two players from the same team, but Eno Benjamin needed a dominant performance to solidify his 2020 NFL Draft stock and that’s exactly what he gave us. Benjamin ran for 137 yards on the ground and added six receptions for another 34 yards against Washington State.
Last season, those kinds of numbers seemed to come easy for Benjamin as he thrashed and dashed his way to a 1,905-yard 2018 season. However, this season has been tough sledding, thanks to some pretty despicable offensive line play for the Sun Devils. Coming into the past weekend Benjamin was averaging below 3.7 yards per carry thanks to that mess of an offensive line. He nearly doubled that against Washington State. Benjamin needs more efficient performances like that if he wants to maintain his NFL Draft stock. It’s been dropping some this year and at 5’10”, barely 201 pounds he needs to continue proving himself.
David Bell, Purdue
When Rondale Moore, one of the most electric college football players of all time, went down against Minnesota a few weeks ago things looked bleak for the Boilers. But true freshman David Bell stepped up in a huge way immediately. He snagged eight receptions for 114 yards against Minnesota. Then this past weekend he found the end zone twice on nine receptions for 138 yards. And those aren’t just good raw numbers inflated by volume in the Purdue offense. Bell has logged a 35% dominator rating and a 90th percentile yards per team pass attempt rate. Bell is dominating at age 18 with subpar quarterback play and newfound attention from opposing defenses. Once Rondale Moore returns his numbers will take a hit, but this four-star stud looks like he could certainly rise up devy draft boards soon!
Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State
So I definitely never talk about three players from the same team in the same week, but Brandon Aiyuk needs our attention. And it’s not too often that junior college transfer wide receivers turn into NFL stars, but Aiyuk looks like he could be an exception.
He started his college career at Sierra College, where he almost immediately became the best receiver on the team. But he wasn’t just a receiver. Aiyuk was also an elite return specialist. His final season he not only grabbed 60 receptions for 960 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns (in just 10 games), he also added 731 return yards and three return touchdowns. That’s good for 175 all-purpose yards per game for those keeping track. Now he’s the lead receiver for Arizona State and he’s making a strong case that he deserves to be drafted next spring.
Aiyuk was already leading the charge at receiver this season for the Sun Devils, but he absolutely embarrassed the Washington State secondary this past week. He scored all three receiving touchdowns for Arizona State, including one 86-yard explosion off a simple slant route.
Aiyuk’s current Adjusted Production Index numbers would currently slate him safely inside the top 10% of all drafted NFL prospects since 2005 and there’s no sign of that slowing down. He’s grabbed five of Arizona State’s eight receiving touchdowns and he has more than triple the receiving yards of any of his teammates. He’s absolutely dominating. If that continues there is a near-zero chance he isn’t drafted inside the first five rounds of the NFL Draft given his profile.
Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri
Oak-woo-aye-boo-nom. That’s how to pronounce this future NFL tight end’s last name according to his Twitter bio. You can also call him Albert O, or my personal favorite, Aquaman. Regardless of what you call him, the main thing to remember is that Aquaman finds the end zone.
He scored 11 touchdowns in just nine games in his first year for the Tigers. And he’s scored five more touchdowns in just six games this season. He didn’t grab a touchdown last week versus Ole Miss, but he did have his season high in receptions with four. Expect that number to potentially double against what is one of the most incompetent defenses in the country, Vanderbilt.
Okwuegbunam should definitely be considered a top-five devy tight end right now. And really, he has the potential to be a TE1 in his respective class when he enters the NFL Draft.
IDP (Individual Defensive Player)
Grant Delpit, LSU (Safety)
Coming into this season Grant Delpit was already considered one of the top defenders in the nation. However, his on-field production hadn’t been quite as impressive coming into this past weekend. He only had 19 total tackles, one interception, and one pass defended. But as most good players do, Delpit showed up in a big way in LSU’s biggest game to date against Florida last Saturday. Delpit made eight stops and defended two passes, reminding everyone why he’s considered a top 15 NFL Draft prospect for 2020. Consider him the next Derwin James to enter the league.
I hope you enjoyed the eighth Devy Weekly of 2019! Expect more future NFL prospect coverage down the stretch the season. Find me @FF_TravisM on Twitter if you have any questions. And until next time, keep living that Dynasty Life!