Devy Players: Off The Radar 2019

BJ Emmons from Florida Atlantic is a sleeper RB this season

Last season, my Off The Radar Devy Players article was a huge hit.  Future first round pick Dwayne Haskins made the list without starting a game. Undrafted players RB Nick Brosette (Patriots) and WR Emmanuel Hall (Bears) are doing well in camps.  My TE pick, Oregon’s Jacob Breeland, is one of the nation’s top TEs heading into his senior season. This year, I bring a few sophomores, a transfer junior, and reliable senior to the mix in your devy leagues or your NFL Draft watch in the next few years!


Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA, Sophomore

Dorian Thompson-Robinson had a rough freshman year with 7 TDs and 4 INTs, appearing in ten games for the Bruins under new head coach Chip Kelly.  That being said, the highly recruited QB comes in with a high pedigree (4-star recruit) and a year in Kelly’s system to make it work. Kelly has been throwing praise on the sophomore, and with the NFL moving to QBs like Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson, Thompson-Robinson has a chance to not only develop into a college stud, but also a future NFL prospect.

Watching Thompson-Robinson, he has the physical traits of an NFL QB (except size).  A good release point, excellent velocity, and some nice touch lend to NFL traits that can be developed.  The mental side of the game seemed to get away from Thompson-Robinson at times, but he was extremely young.  I believe he will develop under Kelly for the next two years and be a true Pac-12 force. He is worth drafting late in superflex Devy leagues.

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Running Back

BJ Emmons, Florida Atlantic, Junior

If the name BJ Emmons sounds familiar, it is likely due to his high school pedigree.  Emmons was a 4-star recruit for Alabama, and played a bit as a freshman, but he was behind now NFLers Damein Harris, Josh Jacobs, Bo Scarbrough, and current Alabama starter Najee Harris.  After a successful JUCO season, Emmons has reunited with his old offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin at FAU and should show why he was a top recruit in the first place.

FAU has an offense built to run and they lost their top two rushers last season in Devin Singletary and Kerrith Whyte.  Both were NFL draft picks and Emmons figures to be the lead guy this season. At 6’0, 220 pounds, Emmons showcases an excellent blend of physical running with speed and finesse.  He has excellent balance while being able to drag smaller defenders for extra yardage. The talent is there and the situation is ripe for the taking. He can be one of a few sneaky devy players in your league who will put up stats and has a top end pedigree.

Wide Receiver

Terrace Marshall, LSU, Sophomore

JaMarr Chase is the sophomore WR for LSU who is getting all the buzz after a 23 catch season (tied for second most on the team,) but Terrace Marshall may be the most talented WR on the LSU Tigers right now and is in line to do better than many expect in his sophomore season.  He was the 6th WR on the team in terms of receptions (only 12 as a freshman) and all 5 players ahead of him are back for another season. Even with that being the case, Marshall flashed his 4-star recruit abilities against Georgia with two big receptions and seemed to draw more favor from the coaching staff as the year went on.

Marshall will be competing for passes in a crowded receiving group, but his talent will shine out this year as he grows more comfortable with the offense.  Even if he doesn’t “wow” this season and doesn’t get that 2021 buzz, look for him to breakout as a Junior (so getting him on the cheap now may be a good idea).  He is long, lean and has great ball tracking skills. Marshall also showed the ability to get down the field which is hard to defend against a 6’4, 209 WR. He is an excellent player that you can get on the cheap now compared to other devy players and receive the dividends down the line.     

Tight End

Josiah Deguara, Cincinnati, Senior

This tight end class is another good, deep one.  You will hear a ton of names tossed out as potential sleepers, but Josiah Deguara may be the best two-way TE in the 2020 NFL Draft.  Unlike the rest of this list, Deguara wasn’t a highly touted recruit. A 2-star athlete out of California, Deguara played special teams early at Cincinnati and was a natural TE early in his career.  Last year as a junior, he got a shot to start and made the most of it. At 6’3, 242 pounds, Deguara is an excellent blocker who gets lower body push in the run game and can drive defenders backwards.  He also is a good receiver with soft hands and the leaping ability to be a red zone target. Deguara moves well for his size and his footwork is very good. He is difficult to defend and doesn’t tip whether he is blocking or going out for a pass.  All in all, he is a technician with strength built in.

Cincinnati’s top receiver graduated last year and Josiah Deguara should have a bigger role in the passing game this season.  He is also a cornerstone blocker for the uptempo run game RB Michael Warren brings to the table for the Bearcats. I believe Deguara will be a higher pick than most think (or even will have him in NFL Draft rankings) and will be one of the great devy players to nab in TE Premium leagues.

Follow Shane on Twitter @ShanePHallam

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