By: Skip Newton | @skipnewton31
Devy fantasy football managers should consistently keep their eyes on future talent. Adding talented young players who are likely to increase in value before entering the NFL Draft will give you an edge over your league mates. The four players featured below all had promising freshman seasons and flashed athleticism, making them top devy adds in your next draft.
D.J. Uiagalelei – Quarterback – Clemson
There are some big shoes to fill at quarterback in the future number one pick Trevor Lawrence. He’s a generational talent and has lived up to the lofty expectations. Who better to fill those shoes than top-rated prospect D.J. Uiagalelei? The five-star talent is an intimidating presence, measuring at 6’4, 246-pounds and has the exceptional arm strength one would expect from a quarterback of his size. In addition to superior distance and velocity, the freshman phenom is accurate on short, medium and deep throws. He completed 67 percent of his pass attempts for 914 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions in two starts and mop-up duty. Uiagalelei has a fluid motion and clean release that makes throwing the football appear effortless.
While the Bellflower, California native arguably has the best arm talent in college football, he also is surprisingly mobile for a guy of his size. Uiagalelei can escape the pocket to buy extra time to find receivers and will pick up rushing yards. He’s also a goal-line threat and managed to score four touchdowns in limited opportunities this season. The next phase in his development will be his decision-making and pocket awareness. The early signs are favorable, as he didn’t look overwhelmed in his starts. How much he matures in the next two seasons will determine if Clemson will have back-to-back quarterbacks who end up being future number one overall draft picks.
Jeff Sims – Quarterback – Georgia Tech
The Yellow Jackets are building a new offense with young talent and a pivotal piece to the puzzle will be freshman Jeff Sims. Rated as the tenth best dual-threat prospect by 247 Sports, Sims displayed his superior athleticism all season long. He finished with 492 yards rushing and six touchdowns on a combination of designed runs and scrambles. Sims covers ground quickly with his 6-3, 205-pound frame. He glides effortlessly and his quick feet allow him to cut to avoid defenders.
The ceiling for the Jacksonville, Florida native will be his development in the passing game. He features a strong arm but mechanics and accuracy are a concern. Sims completed just 55 percent of his passes for 1,881 yards with 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He will need to improve his decision-making if he’s going to enhance his touchdown-to-interception ratio and become as much of a threat throwing the ball as he is running with it.
Jahmyr Gibbs – Running Back – Georgia Tech
Another significant piece to Georgia Tech’s offense is four-star prospect Jahmyr Gibbs. His talent and explosiveness were evident in his first game against Central Florida, where he finished with 219 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. Gibbs is a combination of speed and elusiveness that teams covet. He accelerates quickly through holes to get to the second level and uses sharp footwork to make cuts without losing momentum. The Dalton, Georgia native excels at making defenders miss and pulls away in the open field for long scores.
Rated as the eighth-best prospect at running back in a talented class, Gibbs might be the most natural pass-catcher in the group. He was asked to run several different routes and has exceptional hands coming out of the backfield. He isn’t the most prominent target at 5-9, 191- pounds but his athleticism allows him to create separation and Gibbs is dangerous with the ball in open space. His style is reminiscent of Alvin Kamara. Devy managers should seek to add Gibbs to their roster before next season, or it will be too late.
Jordan Addison – Wide Receiver – Pittsburgh
He started the season as a devy and campus to canton sleeper but quickly established himself as a top wide receiver in the ACC. Addison finished with 60 catches for 666 yards and four touchdowns as the Panthers’ leading receiver. Wide receivers who lead their team are must adds in devy.
Rated as a four-star prospect from Frederick, Maryland, Addison was ranked the tenth-best athlete in the 2020 class by 247 Sports. He uses his superior athleticism to create separation on a variety of routes. Addison’s quick feet and sharp cuts allow him to get open and use his speed to turn a short pass into a big play. Addison measures 5-11, 161-pounds, so he will need to add some weight to his slender frame. But his future success will be a result of his excellent athleticism and continued development as a route-runner, not his physicality.