By: Mike Colaianne | @FF_MikeC
Year after year, the B1G produces some of the top devy prospects in the country. We previously took a look at some of the impact rookies from a year ago, in our B1G East selections. Now, let’s take a look at the B1G West. While commonly referred to as the weaker division, there are still many talented devy fantasy football prospects that should have the opportunity to produce in the NFL one day.
The five players featured in this article have been chosen with consideration to their performance during the 2020 college football season and their potential impact in the NFL.
Ibrahim Mohamed, RB, Minnesota
In this condensed 2020 season, Ibrahim Mohamed was the most impressive running back in the B1G. In seven games, Mohamed carried the ball 201 times for 1076 yards and 15 touchdowns. Although he didn’t provide much as a receiver, it was fantastic to see Mohamed handle a considerable workload and still average 5.5 yards per carry. Mohamed continued to display his terrific combination of contact balance and power when carrying the ball in 2020.
As a redshirt junior, Mohamed is eligible for the 2021 NFL Draft. If he declares, Mohamed projects as a mid-round pick that has shown the capability of being the lead back for a rush-heavy team.
Tyler Goodson, RB, Iowa
If you haven’t already, you are going to want to get Tyler Goodson on your radar. The true sophomore took a large leap from his freshman year and is poised to break out in a big way in 2021. In 2020, Goodson registered 143 carries for 762 yards and seven touchdowns. He also added 15 receptions for 152 yards. Now, if you just look at the stats, they are almost identical to his freshman season. However, Goodson did all of this production in eight games in 2020, as opposed to 13 games in 2019. Goodson has taken over as the lead back for the Hawkeyes and has shown he deserves that role in 2021.
With a similar role in 2021, look for Goodson to continue improving and start gaining hype as one of the top running backs in the 2022 NFL Draft. Goodson has a ton of upside as a devy prospect due to his ability to carry a large workload and produce in the receiving game.
David Bell, WR, Purdue
One of the biggest risers in terms of devy value this season has been David Bell. Most people noticed that Bell was talented and was going to be a very good NFL prospect. However, Bell proved that he deserves to be a top 10 devy asset. In six games, Bell had 53 receptions for 625 yards and eight touchdowns. With Rondale Moore missing time in 2020, Bell showed once again that he can be the primary option in an offense with limited talent and still produce at an elite level.
Bell can win at every level of the field and has shown he has the potential to be a legit number one wide receiver for a team. As a true sophomore, he will be eligible for the 2022 NFL Draft. As it stands now, Bell is one of, if not the best wide receivers in the 2022 class.
Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Although his stats weren’t mind-blowing in 2020, Rashod Bateman was still one of the best receivers in the B1G. In five games, Bateman had 36 receptions for 472 yards and two touchdowns. With Minnesota as a whole taking a small step back and quarterback Tanner Morgan not taking the next step, Bateman looked the part of a top wide receiver that is going to be successful in the NFL.
It’s no secret that the 2021 NFL Draft is filled with a ton of talented wide receivers. Bateman is near the top of this list and should be a fringe Day One or early Day Two pick come April.
Jake Ferguson, TE, Wisconsin
With the emergence of Graham Mertz at quarterback, Jake Ferguson took on a larger role in the Badgers’ offense throughout the 2020 season. In six games, Ferguson had 29 catches for 284 yards and four touchdowns. Now, those numbers seem a bit underwhelming but Ferguson nearly matched his catch total the past two seasons in half as many games. Ferguson has shown that he can be a playmaker down the field and be a reliable target closer to the line of scrimmage.
In terms of his NFL outlook, it will be interesting to see what Ferguson decides to do. If he declares for 2021, expect Ferguson to be a mid-to-late-round selection with the upside to become a starting tight end. If he comes back to Wisconsin for his senior season, look for Ferguson’s role to continue improving, as Mertz continues to grow as a passer.