It’s hard to be position-agnostic in fantasy football. Obviously, Superflex puts a premium on quarterbacks, like Caleb Williams or Jayden Daniels. Zero RB and the rise of wide receiver ADP have resulted in Marvin Harrison being drafted 13th overall…in redraft leagues. The player who isn’t receiving enough attention may be the best prospect of them all: tight end Brock Bowers.

Bowers’ Freshman Season

Those who regularly follow my writing know that when I’m evaluating prospects, production comes first. Athleticism can help explain why a player is so special, but nothing trumps production. If one can’t produce like a dominant player in college, it’s hard to have lofty expectations for them to do so against far superior competition in the NFL. But if a college player can be dominant at a young age against older players, we can begin to expect big things from them.

With that in mind, Bowers is the type of player that can shatter all expectations. As a 19-year-old true freshman, Bowers had one of the best collegiate tight end seasons ever – regardless of age. He led the National Champion Georgia Bulldogs in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. On a team with multiple highly-regarded NFL talents like James Cook, Ladd McConkey, Adonai Mitchell, and Zamir White, Bowers finished with a 29% dominator rating. He averaged 2.23 yards per team attempt.

To understand how impressive that is, I researched early collegiate tight end production on RotoViz’s Box Score Scout. Looking individually at the who’s who of tight ends since 2005, these are the best freshman college seasons that I could find.

PlayerSeasSchoolAgeGRecReYdsReTDRecMSYdsMSTDMSReYPTADR
Bowers2021Georgia191456882130.220.240.332.230.29
Gronk2007Arizona18.6102852560.10.170.221.220.19
Engram2013Ole Miss19.382126830.110.120.230.880.18
Ertz2010Stanford20.181619050.090.090.280.780.18
Andrews2015Oklahoma20.391931870.090.10.241.020.17

These are the five best freshman dominator rating seasons that I found and Bowers’ season belongs in a different stratosphere. Bowers played in four more games than anyone. He had nearly double the receptions market share than any of the other players. Bowers topped the group in nearly every stat, finishing with one more yard per team attempt than any other player on this list and 10% higher of a dominator rating.

Ungodly Peripherals

The great Shawn Siegele wrote about Brock Bowers a couple of months ago and it did not disappoint. His article provides excellent insight into why Bowers is so unique. If you haven’t read it, do so immediately (and don’t be afraid to purchase a RotoViz subscription!). This excerpt is from his article, which notes where Bowers ranks among all individual TE seasons with at least 50 targets:

  • Yards Per Route: Bowers ranks No. 2, No. 4, and No. 5. Among Power Five tight ends, Bowers sweeps the category (1-2-3). His freshman season YPRR of 3.7 is better than Marvin Harrison’s junior season (3.6).
  • EPA: Bowers ranks No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4. Trey McBride’s 2021 season slips in at No. 3. If we look at EPA/target, Bowers ranks No. 2, No. 5, and No. 8.
  • Receiver Rating: Bowers ranks No. 2, No. 5, and No. 6. Isaiah Likely’s 2021 campaign comes in at No. 1, and Cade Stover’s 2023 slides in at No. 4.
  • Broken Tackles: Bowers’ 2022 and 2023 campaigns tie for No. 1 with Sam LaPorta’s His freshman season comes in at No. 14.
  • Yards After the Catch: Bowers sweeps the category, ranking 1-2-3. Bowers also ranks No. 1, No. 2, and No. 5 in yards after contact.

If this doesn’t illustrate the dominance of one player, who is the best prospect ever at his position, I’m not sure what will.

Austin Abbott added fuel to the fire on X, out of tight ends in the entire PFF College Era, Bowers ranks:

  • 1st in career PFF Receiving Grade
  • 1st in career receiving yards
  • 1st in receiving yards after the catch
  • 1st in forced missed tackles
  • Tied for 1st in receiving touchdowns

Bowers even rushed for 193 yards and five touchdowns on 19 career collegiate carries. As Blair Andrews noted, Bowers is the Wilt Chamberlain of tight ends.

Camp Buzz

Davante Adams was so impressed by Bowers’ no-nonsense attitude that he gave the rookie a nickname.

“That’s ‘BM,’ man,” Adams said. “That’s the ‘Business Man.’ He doesn’t care about nothing else other than just locking in on football. I tried to tell a joke to get him to laugh, talking to the rookies. Sitting there stone-faced, he didn’t laugh. That’s BM right there. I see what he’s about.”

Like at Georgia, Bowers is moving all around the formation in camp. Dharya Sharma of Sporting News has listed Bowers as the starting slot receiver. He is even receiving handoffs Bowers isn’t your grandpa’s tight end.

Don’t Miss Out

Tight ends have historically struggled early but times are changing as NFL teams prioritize getting their young stars the ball – especially if they are adept blockers like Bowers. Last season, Sam LaPorta led all tight ends in PPR fantasy points as a rookie while fellow 2023 rookie Dalton Kincaid made an impact as well.

If his college production is any indication, Bowers is a player that could easily be talked about as an all-time great in 10 years. Don’t be late to the party.