With the 2019 regular season wrapped up and our 2020 prospect coverage in full swing, the arrival of a new year offers an opportunity to look forward and look back. It provides a chance to play with the past. What would 2019 rookie drafts look like if they took place today?
The RotoViz dynasty crew had some serious hits back in May. We were much higher on A.J. Brown and much lower on David Montgomery than the community at large. Where else did we hit and miss? Check out the re-selected 2019 rookie draft and my picks for big 2020 breakout performances.
The 2019 Rookie Draft If It Happened Today
Dynasty ADP taken from the Dynasty ADP tool where you can explore the trajectories of fantasy stars through the years.
1.01 A.J. Brown
Rookie ADP: 10.6
Brown was our No. 2 rookie during draft season after a college campaign that gave him comps like Michael Thomas and JuJu Smith-Schuster. His collegiate dominance was most clearly illustrated by a breakout sophomore season that saw him roll up 1,252 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns in 11 games while averaging 16.7 yards per catch. Sharing the field with D.K. Metcalf, he was responsible for 35% of the receiving yards and 42% of the TDs.
Brown transitioned seamlessly to the NFL, ranking No. 3 in fantasy points over expectation (FPOE) among all receivers. He became the 19th rookie receiver to reach 200 points in the last 20 years. Rookie breakouts go on to average 212 points in their follow-up campaigns. Odell Beckham, A.J. Green, and Marques Colston all scored 280 or more. During this 20-year period, only Beckham was more efficient from an FPOE perspective, and history tells us that's a very good sign.
It gets even more exciting when we pull up the rookie season comps for Brown in the RotoViz Screener.
Keenan Allen, A.J. Green, and Smith-Schuster are among the other big names near the top of the list.
When you consider the names that start popping up with multiple connections to Brown, it's hard to contain the enthusiasm for his future prospects. Julio Jones may be his top comp, but Brown's late-season run was more reminiscent of mid-career Andre Johnson. Already a top-15 dynasty player in my rankings, Brown would be my top choice if drafts were held today.