There is a growing movement in the Dynasty community toward “devy” players. The term “devy” refers to developmental players carried on the dynasty league rosters. These devy players are usually college players but can even be high school athletes. Each week of the offseason and season, we looked at a different set of devy rankings.
As we survey devy prospects, we examine traits, abilities, and skill sets that will translate to the NFL. This week, our final edition of the season, we will look at the top 10 devy prospects eligible for the 2019 NFL Draft. We looked at this draft class earlier in the season, but the season has given us some surprises. There have been several players who have come out of nowhere this year, more than in recent memory. We value the players who will contribute at the professional level higher than the younger players.
10. Anthony Johnson (Buffalo) – The redshirt Senior is playing for his third college since leaving high school. As a Freshman, Johnson played at Butler Community College in 2014, catching 21 passes for 559 yards and five touchdowns. He transferred to Buffalo after playing at Iowa Western Community College where he had 19 receptions for 434 yards and two touchdowns in 2015. Johnson has a solid build (6-foot-2, 207 pounds) and is fast. He has three cousins in the NFL, including Jadeveon Clowney, so he has the genetics for success. Many will discount Johnson due to playing at Buffalo and bouncing around colleges, but there is no denying his talent. In 2017, Johnson caught 76 passes for 1,356 yards and 14 touchdowns. He started the 2018 season strong with a solid performance in the blowout victory over Delaware State. In that contest, Johnson caught 4 passes for 57 yards and a touchdown as Buffalo rarely needed to throw the ball. The receiver caught-and-ran-in the game-winning touchdown on Saturday. He has a chance to be the top wide receiver drafted in 2019.
9. Justice Hill (Oklahoma State) – The Cowboys did not use Hill much early in the season, but the lacking quarterback play has led to an increased dependence on the run. Hill splits time with J.D. King and Chuba Hubbard so he rarely gets 20 touches in a game, even with the quick tempo of the Cowboys’ offense. In his first two seasons in Stillwater, Hill carried the ball frequently in crowded backfields so his usage this year is curious. He toted the rock more than 200 times each season and still averaged 5.5 yards-per-carry each year. The Junior is from Booker T. Washington high school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a school that has produced several NFL players. Hill was the Oklahoma high school player of the year and totaled 3,364 yards and 54 touchdowns throughout his high school career, with 32 of those scores coming his Senior year. For a between-the-tackles runner, Hill lacks bulk (5-foot-10, 190 pounds), but is slippery with outstanding vision. He has the potential for a Warrick Dunn-type of NFL career.
8. Devin Singletary (Florida Atlantic) – Many see Singletary’s size (5-foot-9, 200 pounds) and think he is too small for the NFL. Yes, he is short. But, the Junior is thick and shifty. He carried the ball a whopping 301 times last year for 1,920 yards and 32 touchdowns for the Owls. In high school, Singletary had 4,975 rushing yards for American Heritage in Delray, Florida. Through nine games this year, Singletary has 18 touchdown runs on just 193 carries. He has turned those carries into 1,021 yards. Singletary will eclipse 4,000 rushing yards 400 receiving yards through his first three collegiate seasons. He is a player few discuss as a top player in the devy community but has big-time potential.
7. D. K. Metcalf (Mississippi) – The son of former NFL offensive lineman, Terrance Metcalf, D.K. was a four-star recruit out of Oxford, MS. Metcalf is a huge receiver (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) but is nimble for a player of his size. The one concern will be pure, straight-away speed as measured by the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. As a True Freshman, Metcalf scored two touchdowns in his first two games before breaking his foot and missing the remainder of the season. In 2017, Metcalf caught 39 passes for 646 yards and 7 touchdowns. He is out for the remainder of the season with a neck injury. Before injury, Metcalf scored a touchdown in every game this season except two this year. He will end the season with 26 catches for 569 yards and 5 touchdowns. The 22 yards-per-reception average is encouraging given the lack of breakaway speed. These types of injuries are serious. Highly-ranked Ammon Richards had his football career ended earlier this season with a neck injury. We are hopeful Metcalf will return to full strength this offseason, but the injury shows how tenuous the careers are of football players at all levels.
6. Darrell Henderson (Memphis) – Henderson is a Junior and could stay in school another year. He had a monster 2017 season (1,154 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns plus 226 receiving yards and 2 more scores) averaging 8.9 yards per carry. Henderson has started off quickly in 2018 with over 1,000 rushing yards while leading the nation in yards-per-carry average. He was not highly recruited even though Henderson was the 2014 Gatorade player of the Year for the state of Mississippi. After the game against East Carolina, Henderson has 1,280 yards on 135 carries (9.5 avg.) for 15 touchdowns. He has added 283 yards and 3 touchdowns through the air. He has five games this season with at least 174 rushing yards. Expect buzz on Henderson to pick up as the season progresses.
5. Ryan Herbert (Oregon) – The true Junior is a great athlete with an NFL physique (6-foot-6, 225 pounds). In high school, Herbert threw for 3,130 yards and 37 touchdowns as a Senior. He added another 543 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. Herbert hit .400 for the baseball team and had a 1.98 ERA. Additionally, Herbert was a starter for the 6A’s school basketball team that lost the state championship as a Sophomore. After completing 63.5% of his passes and owning a 19:4 TD:INT ratio as a true Freshman, Herbert was very impressive in year two. In 2017, his completion percentage jumped (to 67.5) and he had a 15:5 TD:INT ratio. We have Herbert as the top passer for the 2019 NFL Draft. Even though the Ducks season has been rocky, especially the loss to Arizona two weeks ago, the star passer has shown why his stock is soaring. In a weak quarterback class, Herbert is the top of the class if he chooses to leave school.
4. Bryan Edwards (South Carolina) – Edwards enrolled early as a True Freshman in 2016, starting all 12 games and earning Athlon's Freshman All-America second-team honors. He is still very young for an NFL prospect, not turning 20 years of age until next week (November 13). Edwards had 108 receptions for 1,383 yards and 9 touchdowns through his first two years at South Carolina. He has started year-three strong, too. In the loss to Georgia earlier in the season, Edwards caught 7 passes for 111 yards and a pair of touchdowns. After the game against Mississippi on Saturday, Edwards now has 556 yards and 6 touchdowns on 35 receptions.
3. David Montgomery (Iowa State) – The stout (5-foot-11, 222 pounds) Junior burst into the spotlight and carried the Iowa State offense last season. He was not highly recruited as a dual-threat quarterback with offers from only Ball State, Miami (OH), Buffalo, and Iowa State. Montgomery chose the Cyclones due to a chance to compete in the Big12. He has put up big numbers on the ground and through the air. In 2017, Montgomery carried the ball 258 times for 1,146 yards and 11 touchdowns. He added 36 receptions for 296 yards through the air. The stout ball carrier was able to do this damage while facing stacked boxes, but the sledding has been more difficult this season. Injuries have kept him out of some action. In seven games this season, Montgomery has carried the ball 158 times for 712 yards (4.5 yards-per-carry average) and 6 touchdowns. He has put up these numbers as opposing defenses are focused on stopping the Cyclones running game.
2. N'keal Harry (Arizona State) – Harry is a big receiver (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) who made a big impact early in his college career. Still a true Junior, Harry could be special by the time he turns pro, possibly in 2019. Harry should have 200 career catches by the end of the season. He put on a show against Texas-San Antonio in the opener with 6 receptions for 140 yards plus a pair of scores. One of those scoring receptions was on every highlight reel for the week where Harry broke several tackles for a 58-yard touchdown. He had another solid game against Michigan State the next Saturday. In that contest, Harry caught 6 passes for 89 and a touchdown. But, last week – against Utah – was Harry’s best outing on the year with 9 catches for 161 yards and 3 touchdowns. The poor quarterback play has inhibited Harry’s production, but he still has 195 catches for 2,629 yards and 22 touchdowns in his collegiate career. This is in less than 3 seasons.
1. A.J. Brown (Mississippi) – The stocky (6-foot-1, 225 pounds) Junior from Starkville, MS, made a lot of big plays last year. In 2017, Brown caught 75 passes for 1,252 yards and 11 touchdowns. This put him up to 104 catches for 1,664, and 13 touchdowns through his first two seasons in Oxford. He started off the 2018 season in big fashion against Texas Tech. In the opener against the Red Raiders, Brown caught 7 passes for 93 yards and a score. The Texas Tech defense is known for being a sieve, but the performance is a great sign for Brown’s progress. The next Saturday, against Southern Illinois, Brown hauled in 8 passes for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns. The game versus Auburn a couple of weeks ago was likely his best yet. In that contest, Brown reeled in 10 passes for 155 yards and a score. After the high-scoring game against South Carolina on Saturday, Brown has 66 receptions for 920 yards and 5 touchdowns on the season.