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Introducing the 2020 Rookie Quarterback Class


If you’re an avid dynasty football fan, you know very well that there is no off-season.

For the average fantasy football fan, the season is over and won’t be talked about again until the NFL Draft, or even later. Dynasty owners know that this time of year can be just as exciting as any, and if you like following rookies, this 2020 class is looking like an extremely talented and deep one on offense.

In this series, I’m going to cover the most important names that you should get to know with this 2020 class, starting with the quarterbacks. We'll cover late-round sleepers at a later date but for now, get to know the top incoming rookie QBs.

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Joe Burrow, LSU

If you recently watched the College Football Playoff game between LSU and Oklahoma, you know just how good Joe Burrow looks. Cincinnati Bengals fans have already been salivating over the thought of their new franchise QB coming in the 2020 Draft ever since they locked up the first overall pick. Burrow put up seven touchdowns in the first half against the Sooners and has looked elite since taking down Alabama back in November. The Heisman Trophy winner and kid from Ohio may very well end up with the Bengals, which means he'll be given a chance to start from day one.

With the way everything has gone for the Bengals this year, we should expect Andy Dalton to be gone via free agency. Ryan Finley will remain as a backup, but if Burrow lands here, it’s immediately his job. With an improved offensive line and weapons like Joe Mixon, Tyler Boyd, AJ Green, and John Ross, this offense has some very intriguing upside moving forward. With Burrow’s excellent arm strength, accuracy, and composure, he has the tools to be successful in the NFL today. He’s definitely the top name to watch moving forward. If you’re in dynasty, Superflex or 2QB leagues, look for Burrow to go first overall in your rookie drafts.

 

Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

The suspense is over - Tua has declared for the NFL. Unfortunately for Tagovailoa, his hip injury suffered back in November is going to make his draft stock fall. However, he should and most likely will still go in the first round. As long as he doesn’t suffer any setbacks with his injury and the rehabilitation process, expect Tagovailoa to potentially go as high as fifth overall to the Dolphins, but there is a chance his stock slides a bit further. Of course, he could still end up with the Phins at the 18th pick.

The talent is clearly there with him; he set an Alabama record for passing touchdowns with 87 and his 7,442 passing yards ranks third in Alabama’s school history. Tua has all the tools needed to be a franchise quarterback in the NFL. He’s got the accuracy, arm strength, size, and is very comfortable under pressure. Tua doesn’t make a ton of mistakes and in 2018 he threw for 43 touchdowns with zero interceptions. This year was obviously cut short, but he threw 252 times and totaled three interceptions compared to 33 touchdowns, but did have the best passer rating of his college career. There's some risk involved here but Tagovailoa should also be a first-round rookie pick in dynasty leagues for quarterback-hungry teams.

 

Justin Herbert, Oregon

Another name to get to know in this class is Justin Herbert out of Oregon. Herbert isn’t getting as much love this year as he did last year, making many people question whether he should’ve declared for the NFL Draft a year ago. The draft stock has fallen a bit compared to what it was a year ago, but that could also be partly due to the talent in this 2020 class. However, he may very well still be a first-round draft pick this year.

Herbert is a first-read type of quarterback who is very powerful and accurate with this throws. He gets a bit rattled if he is under pressure and isn’t quite as accurate with his throws. If he has a clean pocket, with his arm strength and accuracy he can really he just about any part of the field. Herbert is also very athletic and can still make tough throws when he’s outside the pocket or on the move. Depending on where Herbert lands, he could end up getting a crack at a starting spot sooner and he has some skills that could allow him to succeed in the NFL.

 

Jordan Love, Utah State

Another quarterback that could potentially end up being a first-round pick in this 2020 class is Jordan Love of Utah State. The Aggies quarterback has many if not all of the athletic traits that you want to see out of a quarterback. He’s got great size, accuracy, arm strength, and a quick release. Love has his own issues as he tends to throw into double coverage at times, making some questionable decisions.

After throwing six interceptions in each of his first two seasons in college, he’s totaled 17 this year, but also has a career-high in pass attempts and completions. His touchdowns have gone down to 20 this year after putting up 32 in 2018. His passer rating has also dropped some since 2018. Love is a good prospect with many intriguing traits, but this year may have ended up hurting his draft stock some. As someone who could potentially end up in the first round, he’s one to keep an eye on as well.

 

Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma

Next up is the former Alabama quarterback, Jalen Hurts. Now with Oklahoma, Hurts has done a good job with this Alabama offense, but there is definitely some cause for concern in his game. The biggest knocks on Hurts are his accuracy and arm strength. Hurts is a mobile quarterback with decent arm strength, and this year with Lincoln Riley and that offense, his draft stock has risen a bit. He completed nearly 70% of his pass attempts with an average of 12.2 adjusted yards per attempt.

Many analysts have talked about Hurts getting drafted by Carolina since Hurts fits the mold of Cam Newton to some extent. As of now I wouldn’t expect him to be a first-round pick, but could definitely see him going in the second round this year. His fantasy value depends on team context, so be prepared for his ranking to shift after draft day.

 

Jacob Eason, Washington

Another name to keep an eye on in this class is Jacob Eason out of Washington. Eason has some good and bad traits, but for the most part is someone that I’d be leaning towards avoiding in rookie dynasty drafts. Eason tends to struggle under pressure and while he does well with his short passes, he struggles on the intermediate to deep passes. He does have a strong arm, but he has difficulty putting touch on his throws and is inconsistent.

With two seasons at Georgia and one season with Washington under his belt, he’s totaled a career completion percentage of 59.8%. 2019 was his best season completion-wise, but it was also in the PAC-12 rather than the SEC. Eason will be an interesting name to watch this year, but could end up in the late-second, third-round, or even later in this year’s NFL Draft.

 

Late-round names to watch

Jake Fromm, Georgia
Jake Fromm didn’t do himself any favors this year regarding his stock in the 2020 NFL Draft. In his three years at Georgia, he just put up his worst yet in completion percentage, passing yards, touchdowns, and passer rating. Fromm has yet to announce whether he will enter the 2020 NFL Draft or not.

Anthony Gordon, Washington State
One popular name that many analysts are looking at as a potential mid-round value in this year’s draft is Anthony Gordon out of Washington State. He’s made the most out of his opportunity this year. With great arm strength, he can hit any part of the field. He’s definitely got some tools to make some noise in the NFL Draft this year and potentially on the field in 2020 if he gets the chance.

K.J. Costello, Stanford
After dealing with some injuries this year and playing in just five games, K.J. Costello out of Stanford is another quarterback to keep an eye on. He’s got great pocket presence, decent arm strength, but has some issues as well. His 2019 performance wasn’t ideal for this Draft stock, but he does have interesting upside as we head into the 2020 Draft.

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