Donovan Peoples-Jones‘ college career is best described as a disappointment, but that’s mostly due to the sky high expectations set for him coming out of high school in Detroit. As a senior at Cass Tech, he won Gatorade National Player of the Year in football and was also the All-City 100 meter dash champion. The No. 1 wide receiver prospect in his class among many college scouting services, Peoples-Jones made his hometown fans proud by committing to Michigan.
The entire Michigan offense struggled during Peoples-Jones’ freshman season, amassing under 2,250 total passing yards. He accounted for 12.4-percent of the Wolverines receiving yards and starred as a special teamer. He finished Top-5 in the country in punt return yards, averaging 8.0 yards per return. In his second season, he appeared to evolve into the dynamic playmaker scouts envisioned. With a mere 17.8-percent Target Share in his sophomore season, he produced 21.8-percent of the team’s receiving yards. This production earned him a 19.5 (77th-percentile among qualified wide receivers) Breakout Age, in the top 20 among qualified 2020 wide receiver prospects. He further demonstrated his dynamism with 250 punt return yards and a touchdown on 25 returns.
Peoples-Jones regressed as a junior with only 34 catches and 438 receiving yards, though he did find the end zone on six occasions. Given the fact he was stuck catching passes from 2020 Senior Bowl flop Shea Patterson the past two seasons, the limited counting stats can be explained away. On the other hand, his inability to command higher than a 17.8-percent Target Share in a single season is concerning. Especially given the athletic gifts he displayed at the Combine. He is truly built like an alpha NFL receiver at 6-1 and 212-pounds. He declined to participate in the agility drills, but showed extreme explosion with a 145.2 (99th-percentile) Burst Score. Add in his 4.48 (71st-percentile) 40-yard dash and 106.7 (86th-percentile) Speed Score and the incredible upside becomes undeniable.
Check out Donovan Peoples-Jones on PlayerProfiler’s Updated Rookie Rankings:
Draft and fantasy analysts who identify as productions snobs will pass on Peoples-Jones for reasons such as his poor counting stats and 25.1-percent (36th-percentile) College Dominator Rating. Still, the dude is an impressive physical specimen and projects as a Day 2 draft pick. Because he declared early, he will play his rookie season at 21 years old. He has shown dynamism and on-field spatial awareness in the punt return game that should make him a NFL contributor from Day 1. All things considered, Peoples-Jones checks in as a Top-15 wide receiver in Player Profiler’s 2020 Rookie Rankings. Currently a third round pick in dynasty rookie drafts, he’s a low cost, high-upside bet to finally fulfill his incredible potential in the NFL.