Devy Watch: 13 Underclassmen We’re Watching and So Should You

With 4 weeks down in the 2017 CFB season, it is time we examine some top underclassmen emerging for their programs. This article, and the series of articles to follow, will help Devy owners know who to keep an eye on for their upcoming Devy drafts. Each week I will highlight some underclassmen that should be put on your draft boards.

And for the everyday Dynasty owners, this will help you determine who you may be trading for or trading away when it comes to dealing those future draft picks. It is important to know when the elite, top end talent looks like when it comes to rebuilding!

With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the top underclassmen through 4 weeks of the season.

N’Keal Harry, SO WR Arizona St | 6’4” 216lbs | 31 rec, 436 yards, 3 TD’s

Through the first 2 weeks of the season, Harry was getting off to a slow start. Not being a focal point of the offense caused his production to dip below what was expected. But these last 2 weeks of the season, well that is a much different story. Harry, targeted a team high 27 times, hauled in 20 receptions leading to his season total of 436 yards. Harry has displayed an excellent combination of size, strength, and athleticism; something you look for out of your high end WR1 at the next level. Harry also adds in good speed, solid route running, and very strong hands. If Harry continues to show these types of traits, and the production to match, he should be a top draft pick come 2019.

Jonathan Taylor, FR RB Wisconsin | 5’11” 214lbs | 53 att, 438 yards, 5 TD’s

Forgive me if I man crush all over the place, but Jonathan Taylor is an absolute stud in the making. Maybe it’s because I was so low on him coming into the season (a big whiff by me) or maybe it’s because he is THAT good. Taylor had a solid offseason and it looked like he would see a role in this offense in some capacity. But after the first game, it was clear that Taylor was by far the most talented RB on the roster. Not only was Taylor productive, but he showed a wide range of traits that will translate at the next level. He has a special blend of size, strength, athleticism, and speed to top it off. Taylor also shows great vision, patience to wait for blocking to set up, and elite balance. Taylor has also been ultra-productive averaging 8.3 YPC in his first 3 games and posting a staggering 223 yards in his 2ndgame. Currently ranked 5thin rushing yards per game, Taylor will have a strong case for the 1.01 in 2020.

J.K. Dobbins, FR RB Ohio St | 5’10” 208lbs | 69 att, 520 yards, 3 TD’s

J.K. Dobbins is another freshman phenom that is quickly rising up the ranks. Dobbins entered the season as the backup but due to injury was quickly thrust into the starting lineup and hasn’t looked back. He kicked off the season as the first ever true freshman RB to start the season opener for OSU and put up an electric 181 yard performance. Impressive and productive averaging 7.5 YPC thus far at 5’10” 208lbs, he has proven to be an absolute beast to bring down and has shown some elite level agility making defenders miss even between the tackles. Dobbins has also shown some elite level balance with his ability to shake off would be tacklers. Now that he has entrenched himself as the bell cow for Ohio St, Dobbins will also have a case for being one of the first picks off the board in 2020.

A.J. Brown, SO WR Ole Miss | 6’1” 225lbs | 16 rec, 389 yards, 4 TD’s

Coming into the season, there was a different Ole Miss WR people had their eye on. But it didn’t take long for people to turn their attention to A.J. Brown. Brown started off the season with a bang, putting up a monstrous 8 receptions for 233 yards and 2 TD’s. So far Brown has shown to have elite level traits that can translate to the next level. Brown has shown some excellent route running and the intelligence to find the soft spots in the defense. He has some strong hands and is an excellent hands catcher that doesn’t let the ball get into his body. To top it off, A.J. Brown is absolutely electric with the ball in his hands and his speed makes him a threat to take it to the house. Brown did suffer a minor injury, but he should return in a few weeks to being the focal point of the Ole Miss offense.

Collin Johnson, SO WR Texas | 6’6” 220lbs | 16 rec, 366 yards, 1 TD

Collin Johnson entered the season as a player on many peoples watchlist and so far, he has yet to disappoint. Johnson is a monster physically, standing at a staggering 6’6” 220lbs, but also has excellent agility to go with it. A fluid runner with very good route running and quick feet allows him to get in and out of his breaks quickly. He also does a great job of battling defenders using his length and frame to win at the catch point. Johnson is now adding production to go along with NFL-caliber traits notably by putting up 7 receptions and 191 yards on a top ranked USC team. With a talented young quarterback throwing him the ball, Johnson should continue his dominance and be seen as a top WR in 2019.

Kelvin Harmon, SO WR NC State | 6’3” 213lbs | 25 rec, 284 yards, 1 TD

Kelvin Harmon, or “Little Julio,” is quickly going from hyped player to potentially the top WR in the 2019 draft class. Harmon has excellent size at 6’3” 213lbs but also has excellent agility and athleticism to go with it. He does a great job in his route running often gaining separation from DB’s and using his speed to get over top of the defenders. Harmon also has elite ball tracking ability, strong hands, and good field awareness allowing him to haul in passes. Harmon does a great job using his length and excellent leaping ability to make spectacular grabs look routine. If he can continue to expand his route tree, Harmon will cement himself as one of 2019’s top WRs.

Stephen Carr, FR RB USC | 6’0 210lbs | 47 att, 298 yards, 3 TD’s, 13 rec, 130 yards

Stephen Carr was my #4 RB in the 2020 class and has outperformed even my expectations coming into this season. Carr has been a major boost to the USC offense and one of the most explosive backfields in the country. Kicking off the season with 2 TD’s in the opener he really burst onto the scene against rival Stanford posting 11 rushes for 119 yards. Carr has shown excellent vision and elite explosion to burst through the hole. He has also shown excellent footwork and quickness making defenders miss in the open field. Top notch route running and a very well rounded RB hints that Carr could be elite at the next level. With Ronald Jones there he will have to continue splitting reps this season. The USC backfield will soon be dominated by Carr and his production will skyrocket.

Joshua Jackson, RS-FR QB Virginia Tech | 6’1” 211lbs | 75/111, 1,127 yards, 11 TD’s, 1 INT, 144 rushing yards, 1 TD

Josh Jackson has started off the season has a pleasant surprise to CFB fans. After winning the job, the Hokies are off to a 4–0 start and are currently #12 in the AP poll. Jackson has shown a great combination of top notch passing skills and excellent athleticism. Jackson shows that he can avoid pressure and escape the pocket to make plays. He has shown solid touch and accuracy in the passing game. Jackson also does a good job reading defenses from within the pocket and puts nice zip on his passes. Jackson’s well-rounded game has helped the Hokies be the 10thranked offense in the nation in terms of total offense. If Jackson can continue to refine his game, he will be a top QB option for NFL teams in 2019.

Honorable Mention:

Trey Sermon, FR RB Oklahoma | 6’0 222lbs | 43 att, 283 yards, 3 TD’s, 3 rec, 23 yards, 1 TD

Jake Fromm, FR QB Georgia | 6’2” 225lbs | 43/69, 650 yards, 7 TD’s, 1 INT

David Montgomery, SO RB Iowa St | 5’11” 219lbs | 56 att, 321 yards 4 TD’s

Denzel Mims, SO WR Baylor | 6’3” 197lbs | 18 rec, 406 yards, 6 TD’s

Sam Ehlinger, FR QB Texas | 6’2” 230lbs | 36/67, 520 yards, 3 TD’s, 2 INT’s

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Originally published at dynastyfootballfactory.com on September 27, 2017.