The 2020 NFL Draft has come and gone with surprisingly little error. As the dust settles, everyone thinks their team landed the steal of the draft (except Packers fans, probably). The logical next step for those of us who participate is evaluating the fantasy value of the players selected last week to see if there's a late-round steal to be had. Here are three rookies who could be in line for very productive first seasons and could win you bragging rights.
Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams
The Rams needed a new workhorse in the backfield after releasing Todd Gurley outright earlier in the offseason, and they very well may have found it in Akers. The Florida State product was a monster last season, racking up 18 touchdowns and 1,144 yards on the ground. He didn't do too much through the air (only 30 catches for 225 yards and four touchdowns) but he projects to be effective in that area. While last year was a down season, Los Angeles still managed to rank seventh in yards per game and 11th in points per game; Sean McVay's offense still runs like a finely-tuned machine, and Akers is about to become a very important cog.
Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Indianapolis Colts
Pittman caught 101 passes for USC last season, a preposterous number for a college wideout. He's set to pick up where he left off in his new home of Indianapolis. New Colts QB Philip Rivers likes his big-bodied wideouts, and that's what he's getting in Pittman. Across from speed demon T.Y. Hilton, Pittman is the No. 2 wideout in the offense as soon as he walks in the building and should be able to contribute immediately just based on his contested catch ability. Rivers isn't afraid to toss it up there and give his guy a chance, and Pittman is very good at doing just that. He won't match his college production in Year 1, but a line of 40-50 catches for about 800 yards and anywhere from 7-10 touchdowns seems well within the realm of possibility and makes him a worthy fantasy pick.
Denzel Mims, WR, New York Jets
Presuming Sam Darnold's season doesn't get derailed again, Mims is in line for a big year numbers-wise by virtue of being by far the most talented receiving option available to Adam Gase & Co. The receiving room is Jamison Crowder, Mims, and a few reclamation projects, along with the notoriously unreliable Quincy Enunwa. While New York was indeed very bad offensively last year, everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong. Mims showed excellent hands and a huge catch radius at Baylor last year; he's built to be both Darnold's main and bailout option as a big-play threat who can grab anything in his general vicinity. Darnold will also enjoy improved offensive line protection to help him stay upright in order to deliver the ball. Be wary of investing too much in any player under Gase, but the signs point to Mims putting up at least solid numbers his rookie season.