2020 NFL Draft Wide Receiver Sleepers
Let me start off by saying that some of these guys are not considered sleepers anymore after a strong NFL Combine performance but these are the receivers I’ve highlighted that just missed my Top 12 list. An update to my Top 12 Dynasty receivers will come next, but for now, here are my 2020 NFL Draft Wide Receiver Sleepers:
Lynn Bowden – Kentucky
What can’t Bowden do? A true Swiss Army Knife, Bowden played quarterback for the Wildcats in the final 8 games. He carried the ball 185 times, returning kicks, and led the team in receiving. A jack-of-all-trades and master of none. The versatile Bowden will need to find his niche at the next level. If a play-caller wants to utilize Bowden to their advantage, they should look at how the 49ers deployed Deebo Samuel last season. Samuel a do-it-all playmaker, received a handful of carries per game while getting him the ball in space. It’ll take an innovative play-caller, but if Bowden gets into the right system he can be a sleeper on your dynasty team.
Devin Duvernay – Texas
Teams will know exactly how to deploy Duvernay at the next level. Put him in the slot away from press coverage and watch him eat in the middle of the field. Duvernay is a slot dynamo that not only can win after the catch but can also take the top of the defense vertically from the inside. He is not a proficient route runner at this point in his career, but what he does well plays at the next level. Duvernay breaks tackles consistently with his strong lower body. Taking a shorter pass to the house from anywhere on the field is in his repertoire.
Collin Johnson – Texas
Duvernay’s college teammate Johnson is also a sleeper but he wins in a completely different fashion. Johnson is the big physical outside receiver that wins above the rim. He’s not a dynamic, run after the catch receiver like Duvernay. Johnson is a prototypical X wideout who uses his hands well to create separation. He utilizes his huge catch radius to come down with contested passes on the outside. Johnson can make an immediate impact in red zone packages, creating mismatches on fade routes at the goal line.
Antonio Gandy-Golden – Liberty
Speaking of receivers that win above the rim, Gandy-Golden is a better version of Collin Johnson. He not only wins with his catch radius but can also rack up huge yardage after the catch. Competition (or lack thereof) playing at Liberty may cause teams and fantasy owners to shy away from him. However, he dominated that competition and held his own during Senior Bowl week. He may struggle initially with separating at the next level but if he improves his route running Gandy-Golden can be an unstoppable force for your dynasty team.
Denzel Mims – Baylor
Remember when I said some of these guys may not be considered sleepers anymore. Well Mims falls into that category after blowing up the NFL Combine running a 4.38 40-yard dash and leading all participants with a 6.66 three-cone drill. Baylor does not have a good track record recently in terms of receivers translating to the next level (Corey Coleman, KD Cannon, Ishmael Zamora). But you know the saying, “scout the player not the school.” Mims is a big physical receiver that explodes from his stance and reaches top speed quickly. He wins vertically easily and can stack receivers. He’ll go up and grab the football at the highest point and showcases his athleticism time after time on the football field. The arrow is pointing up for Mims with his 94% win rate in one-on-one matchups during Senior Bowl practices and his strong Combine performance.
Michael Pittman Jr – USC
Finishing my stretch of big receivers on the outside, Pittman is another sleeper candidate. I believe I am lower on Pittman than most but I see how he can be a big play receiver at the next level. Turn on the tape against Utah in 2019 and you see Pittman dominate from start to finish as he utilizes his catch radius to go up and over defenders. His ability to use his big frame to shield defenders from the football is a plus. I would’ve loved to see CB prospect Jaylon Johnson switch sides to defend Pittman more, but Utah kept Johnson at left corner back predominately. Pittman’s route tree is a bit limited like the previous sleepers, therefore landing spot will be huge for his early fantasy production.
Donovan Peoples-Jones – Michigan
No disrespect to the University of Michigan, but Peoples-Jones chose the wrong college team to display his talent. The former 5-star prospect enrolled to Michigan in hopes to win a national championship and to put up huge receiving numbers. Neither happened as the Wolverines offense has been lacking for some time now. On the field, Peoples-Jones played both in the slot and on the outside, but I see success from the slot at the next level. He attacks the football in the air and can go up and get it at the highest point. Peoples-Jones tested off the charts with his NFL Combine leading 44.5-inch vertical jump. He also shows plus run after the catch ability giving me JuJu Smith-Schuster vibes.
Jeff Thomas – Miami
Off the field issues and lack of consistent quarterback marred a promising college career. Thomas is a more electric Phillip Dorsett that utilizes his nifty feet and start and stop ability to beat defenders quickly. He has the ability to play and win anywhere on the football field. Thomas can run routes efficiently with no wasted movements or he can run right by you. He has the potential to be a late round steal in the 2020 NFL Draft.