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Devy to Dynasty: RB’s Tier 1-3

@SportsFanaticMB is to give you a head start on building that dynasty with his devy RB tiers.

Travis Etienne RB Clemson

Welcome to the new Devy to Dynasty series. For this series, I will breakdown my top Devy players for the upcoming seasons. My goal here is to help not just Devy players build a stout roster. It also helps dynasty players gain knowledge about these college players years before they enter the NFL draft. This will allow you time to manipulate draft picks and continue to retool instead of rebuild. You’ll have a step up on your competition already knowing these prospects.

If you don’t know what devy is, I would suggest you check it out. To give a quick explanation: Devy leagues allow you to draft current college players. These players could be a freshman when you draft them. You hold them until they enter the NFL, and then they move to your roster. It adds an extra layer for trades and a new way to build your team, as you still have rookie drafts for the players not drafted in the devy draft.

We are hopefully getting closer to the college football season being in full swing. We will start seeing who could be replacing players who have graduated, transferred, or entered the NFL draft. Which younger players begin to stand out? We will see. For this article, I will give you my tier 1-3 Devy running backs heading into the 2020 season. Here are my tiered Devy RB rankings.

Tier 1


Chuba Hubbard- Oklahoma State: eligible 2021

  • Height- 6’1
  • Weight- 207
  • Grade- Senior
  • Dominator Rating- 39%
  • H/S Star Rating- 3

Chuba Hubbard is likely the best prospect we have ever seen come from Canada. In 2019 Hubbard dominated at the running back position. He averaged 161 yards a game and hit 1,000 rushing yards in just six games, 12th fastest in FBS history. Hubbard is a quick and elusive runner who can break through tackles while also stringing together moves to make defenders miss. Hubbard proved he could be an asset in the receiving game. He will need to work on ball security as he had five fumbles last year. Pass blocking was a liability at times last season and is something Hubbard will need to improve. Hubbard, for me, is the no doubt RB1 heading into the college football season.

Travis Etienne- Clemson: eligible 2021

  • Height- 5’10
  • Weight- 210
  • Grade- Senior
  • Dominator Rating- 25%
  • H/S Star Rating- 4

Travis Etienne was in the discussion for the top RB in this year’s draft. He decided to go back to school and compete with the rest of his star-studded Clemson teammates. Etienne is a guy that does seem to split the community at times, yet he has improved every year. When someone has claimed Etienne has a weakness, he goes and shows its just another strength. Etienne shows excellent vision, contact balance, and breakaway speed. He has proven he can be dynamic in the passing game as a receiver as well. It will be necessary for Etienne to improve his pass blocking during his senior season. Still, he will likely be the consensus RB1 in the 2021 draft.

Najee Harris- Alabama: eligible 2021

  • Height- 6’2
  • Weight- 230
  • Grade- Senior
  • Dominator Rating- 23%
  • H/S Star Rating- 5

Najee Harris looked like two different running backs in 2019. He looked slow and indecisive at times. Yet the closer we got to the end of the season, the more we saw of a top-rated running back he is looking to become. Harris returning to school could significantly improve his stock as he’s coming out now with no sure running back as the secured one in the class. Harris is a massive athletic specimen. He’s quite elusive for his size but can just as easily run over defenders or throw them to the ground with an incredible stiff arm. He improved in the receiving game and will look to prove he is the best back in the 2021 class.

Kylin Hill- Mississippi State: eligible 2021

  • Height- 5’11
  • Weight- 215
  • Grade- Senior
  • Dominator Rating- 26%
  • H/S Star Rating- 4

Many thought Kylin Hill would have left and entered the draft in 2020. He stayed after the announcement of the new head coach and air raid master Mike Leach. Hill, who has already proven to be a versatile athlete, could show off his receiving skills in this offense (Max Borghi caught 80+ passes last season in this offense.) He also has a much better quarterback joining him in K.J. Costello.

Hill could be a steal in devy drafts as he could be a three-down back in the NFL. He has an excellent burst to the outside but has the strength and decisiveness to run through the middle. Hill will get knocked for his injury history but doesn’t have any other real negatives. He led the SEC in rushing and receiving in 2019. In the air raid offense, he will likely increase his stock, even more, he could break into the top three but will be in the argument at four.

Max Borghi- Washington State: eligible 2021

  • Height- 5’10
  • Weight- 197
  • Grade- Junior
  • Dominator Rating- 23%
  • H/S Star Rating- 3

In 2019 Max Borghi was the lead back in an air raid offense under Mike Leach. With it being an air raid offense, he was able to rack up 86 catches, which unfortunately led to just 127 carries. He showed off his ability to be a genuine receiving threat. Going into the 2020 season, he will be given a chance to prove he is a legitimate runner as well in the WSU new offense. Borghi has elite acceleration and long speed. He is extremely dangerous in the open field. With the new offense this season, he should show off his elite contact balance and vision to run behind the line of scrimmage. If Borghi continues to improve and show he can be an all-around three-down back, he should be in the discussion with the top Rb’s in 2020.

Tier 2

Breece Hall- Iowa State: eligible 2022

  • Height- 6’1
  • Weight- 215
  • Grade- Sophomore
  • Dominator Rating- 21%
  • H/S Star Rating- 4

Breece Hall was not a household name to start the 2019 season. The freshman had just 18 carries through the first four games. That all changed when in week five, he exploded for 132 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns cementing his spot as the starter the rest of the 2019 season. Hall, as a sophomore, should be the lead back for the Cyclones in 2020. Hall has shown off some great contact balance and speed for a running back his size. He has also shown himself to be a receiving threat out of the backfield. Hall seemed to be a bit indecisive at times, but that is the only knock on him. Hall should be a first-round devy pick and should be a top RB option in 2022.

Trey Sermon- The Ohio State: eligible 2020

  • Height- 5’11
  • Weight- 214
  • Grade- Senior
  • Dominator Rating- 8%
  • H/S Star Rating- 4

Trey Sermon looked like an up and coming stud in 2018. He couldn’t get it going in 2019 in which he didn’t rush for 100 yards in any game. Splitting time with Kennedy Brooks and suffering a knee injury in week 11 pushed Sermon to enter the transfer portal. At that point, he joined The Ohio State Buckeyes, which may have been perfect timing for both.

Master Teague, the likely starter for the Buckeyes with the departure of Dobbins, went down during spring practice with an Achilles injury. In 2018 Sermon showed some of the best vision in college football and good contact balance on strong runs. Sermon does have questions to answer, though. He has been limited in the passing game and hasn’t shown that breakaway speed. Sermon should get the chance to be the guy in a high powered Ohio State offense, which could be precisely what he needs to boost his stock.

Jermar Jefferson- Oregon State: eligible 2021

  • Height- 5’10
  • Weight- 214
  • Grade- Junior
  • Dominator Rating- 23%
  • H/S Star Rating- 3

Jermar Jefferson is one of my favorite running back prospects. He broke out his freshman year finishing 9th in the NCAA in rushing. He looked poised to be the guy in 2020. However, an ankle injury caused him to miss three games and split time with Artavis Pierce. He still rushed the ball at least 18 times in all but two of the games he played. Jefferson’s feet are elite. He can cut and change directions without losing any speed. Jefferson has incredible contact balance and incredibly elusive. He has good acceleration, and vision almost always hits the right hole. The negatives on Jefferson are he lacks the breakaway speed and tends to be tackled relatively easily. Jefferson is one of my hidden gems in this 2021 class and a great steal in devy drafts.

Isaiah Spiller- Texas A&M: eligible 2022

  • Height- 6’1
  • Weight- 220
  • Grade- Sophomore
  • Dominator Rating- 21%
  • H/S Star Rating- 4

Due to an injury to RB Jashaun Corbin, the top running back prospect in 2019, Isaiah Spiller got to take the reigns for the Aggies. As a freshman, he led all freshman running backs in receptions. As a true freshman, he showed off his versatile skill set as a true freshman. He has the size and receiving skills. He showed good patience behind the line and good burst, which was impressive behind a fairly bad offensive line. Spiller did have some ball security issues as he fumbled the ball three times last season. Playing in the SEC, he’ll get tough competition every week. He should still be a top RB prospect in the 2022 class.

C.J. Verdell- Oregon: eligible 2021

  • Height- 5’9
  • Weight- 210
  • Grade- Junior
  • Dominator Rating- 17%
  • H/S Star Rating- 3

Verdell is another running back many expected to enter the 2020 draft after back to back 1,000 yard rushing season. Losing Justin Herbert, I will be curious to see if Verdell is the centerpiece of the new Oregon offense. Verdell is very decisive behind the line of scrimmage and has great burst and speed. He has some good cuts and has shown he can be a receiving threat out of the backfield. Has a really good stiff arm for a smaller back. He has been knocked for not being as elusive as he appears.

Journey Brown- Penn State: eligible 2021

  • Height- 5’11
  • Weight- 206
  • Grade- Redshirt Junior
  • Dominator Rating- 20%
  • H/S Star Rating- 3

Journey Brown had quite a prolific high school career. He rushed for 720 yards and 10 Td’s in a single game, not a season. Brown has shown some promise in his two seasons at Penn State but has been stuck behind guys like Miles Sanders and Ricky Slade. Brown should be the lead back in 2020. Extremely explosive, Brown has speed for days. Yet his best ability might be his quickness. There are plays you can watch him evade defenders at the line of scrimmage and break off huge runs. Brown might be the fastest player in this article. The biggest knock on Brown will be considered his vision. If you can get Brown in a devy draft, you’ll have to wait till 2021, but he should be at the top of the class.

Bijan Robinson- Texas: eligible 2023

  • Height- 6’0
  • Weight- 200
  • Grade- Freshman
  • Dominator Rating- N/A
  • H/S Star Rating- 5

Bijan Robinson is a running back everyone is talking about. The five-star rating he received in high school is well deserved. He comes in, showing off incredible skills in high school. He makes cuts, and strings moves together with ridiculous speed. His contact balance and ability to find holes as a young running back speaks to his football I.Q. He also showed he could catch the ball out of the backfield with smooth hands. Robinson joined the Texas Longhorns. He will likely start the season behind Ingram, but he is by far the most talented back on the team and should take over the starting role by midseason.

Tier 3

Master Teague- Ohio State: eligible 2021

  • Height- 5’11
  • Weight- 220
  • Grade- Junior
  • Dominator Rating- 8%
  • H/S Star Rating- 4

Master Teague was the primary back up to J.K. Dobbins in 2019 and played well in mop-up duties, leading him to seventh in rushing yards in the Big 10. Coming into the 2020 season, it looked as though the job would be his to lose. Before the shutdowns of spring practices, he injured his Achilles and transfer running back Trey Sermon joined the Buckeyes.

Teague is solidly built with long arms. He runs with power and toughness, and when he gets a full head of steam can get moving faster than you’d expect. He seems to struggle to make defenders and miss and hasn’t shown much in the receiving game. With Sermon likely taking over as the starter, I still think Teague has a ton of talent, but he may not get to show it. He could be an interesting sleeper in devy leagues as he is now likely not taking over till 2021.

Re’Mahn Davis- Temple: eligible 2022

  • Height- 5’9
  • Weight- 210
  • Grade- Sophomore
  • Dominator Rating- 23%
  • H/S Star Rating- 3

Re’Mahn Davis broke out as a freshman for the Temple Owls. He came up just short of 1,000 rushing yards, but I would bet he gets there in 2020. Davis showed patience and vision last year. His ability to wait for lanes to open or hit cut back lanes was incredible. He also has impressive contact balance. His one weakness is that he doesn’t have that homerun speed. Playing for a smaller school like Temple, he may be off some people’s radars. Don’t let this happen with you. He is an RB who I think could be at the top of the 2022 RB class.

D.J. Williams- Auburn: eligible 2022

  • Height- 5’10
  • Weight- 216
  • Grade- Sophomore
  • Dominator Rating- 8%
  • H/S Star Rating- 4

D.J. Williams chose Auburn over Appalachian State to play college football. Williams impressed quite a lot of people last year in a limited playing role. He was so impressive as a freshman it led to Boobie Whitlow entering the transfer portal, likely leaving Williams as the lead back. Williams has the size and decisiveness behind the line. He does seem to lack long speed and doesn’t seem to be overly explosive. It was just his true freshman season, and Williams has time to grow into a top RB prospect. I’ll be excited to see what he does in his first full season as the lead back of the Auburn Tigers.

Eric Gray- Tennessee: eligible 2022

  • Height- 5’10
  • Weight- 190
  • Grade- Sophomore
  • Dominator Rating- 14%
  • H/S Star Rating- 4

Eric Gray started the season as the second back on the depth chart behind Ty Chandler. Throughout the season, he only had a handful of carries every game outside of a game against Brigham State in week two when he had 17 carries. However, the end of the season came around, and Gray proved he was the superior back. Ending the season as the Gator Bowl MVP and leaving many wondering why he wasn’t starting all season. Gray has shown off good vision and homerun speed. He is as elusive as they come and can string together moves like jump-cuts and a nasty dead-leg. Gray is a bit undersized, and I would like to see more out of him in the receiving game. He should be the primary back for the Volunteers 2020 and should start to rise up our devy ranks.

John Emery Jr.- LSU: eligible 2022

  • Height- 6’0
  • Weight- 210
  • Grade- Sophomore
  • Dominator Rating- 5%
  • H/S Star Rating- 5

John Emery was expected to be the guy for LSU last season as one of the most highly recruited running backs in 2019. Emery is a guy with all the intangibles. He has elite speed and quickness. In high school, he showed off amazing contact balance as well. If he can be the lead back in this new LSU offense, he could be an absolute stud moving forward.

That completes some of my targeted running backs in my top three tiers. If you want to check out my full devy ranks head over to dynastynerds.com. Follow me on twitter @SportsfanaticMB for all of my work and check me out on my podcast Fantasy Football Roundtable for all the NFL news and prospect talk.

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