By: Matt Hicks | @TheFF_Educator
MACtion is a football tradition reserved for the most diehard of college football fans. A tremendous amount of talent from the Mid-American Conference is too often lost amongst the roar of Power Five performances. Devy Fantasy football players would be remiss to ignore the devy talent coming out of this conference; with impact alumni such as Julian Edelman, Antonio Brown, Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Gates serving as just some of the names that have transformed the fantasy football landscape over the past decade.
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.
Jaret Patterson, Running Back, University of Buffalo
The feisty Bulls runner projects to finish the 2020 season with back-to-back conference rushing titles. Through just four games, Patterson has 920 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns. That is more than double the closest back to him in rushing touchdowns in the conference. He has three performances with at least 100 rushing yards and two performances with at least 300 rushing yards.
His tape shows major NFL upside. Patterson is a power runner who shows no fear running between the tackles and taking on linebackers in the second level. He is agile and can start and stop quickly in tight spaces. He currently projects to be a late Day Two or early Day Three selection in the 2021 NFL Draft and should find a role in an NFL offense.
Quintin Morris, Tight End, Bowling Green State University
With a Senior Bowl invite in tow, Morris now has the attention of NFL scouts and will have the platform to showcase his skill-set to pro scouts.
The 6-4, 248-pound tight end leads his team in receptions (20) and receiving yards (248) through the first five games of the Falcons’ season. It may be rare for tight ends to transfer to fantasy football success but Morris is absolutely worth keeping an eye on throughout the 2021 NFL Draft process.
D’Wayne Eskridge, Wide Receiver, Western Michigan
The redshirt senior has impressed early in 2020, catching 24 receptions for 644 yards and seven touchdowns through the first five games of the season for the Broncos. At 5-9, 190 pounds, Eskridge is a bit undersized for a traditional NFL wideout but a creative-minded team may latch onto his athleticism.
Eskridge has accepted an invitation to the 2021 Senior Bowl, a showcase that launches the draft profile of lesser-known wideouts every season.
Dustin Crum, Quarterback, Kent State
The dual-threat Crum possesses a talent level that can elevate a relatively unknown player to NFL relevance. Through the first week of December in the 2020 college football season, Crum leads the MAC in completion percentage (73.5%) and is fourth in passing yards (1,181). He protects the ball well, throwing twelve touchdowns and just two interceptions in 2020. Over the course of his four-year career with the Golden Flashes, he has thrown thirty-five touchdowns and six interceptions.
At 6-3, 207 pounds, his mobility outside of the pocket is sure to catch the eyes of NFL scouts looking for upside on Day Three of the 2022 NFL Draft. He has over 1,300 career rushing yards at Kent State and has found the end zone twelve times with his legs, four of those scores have come this season.
Kobe Lewis, Running Back, Central Michigan
Keep an eye on Lewis, who makes this list as a projection of future fantasy football potential. The 5-11, 210 pound running back rushed for over 1,000 yards and scored twelve times in his first season as a starter for the Chippewas in 2019. His 2020 pace would put him at a similar level, with 410 rushing yards and six touchdowns through five games. Lewis also has 37 career receptions.
Currently a junior, Lewis will return to Central Michigan for at least one more season in 2021, but should absolutely be on your radar as a potential Day Three difference-maker in the 2022 NFL Draft.