Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rookie WR Low Down

  1. Julio Jones – Falcons- Jones is in a great situation with what many are calling the sheik pick to win the NFC. I don't think Julio is the most talented WR in this draft, but you cannot argue the fact that he looks to be the one in this class to show up early and often courtesy of Falcons QB Matty Ice. Michael Jenkins has had plenty of opportunities to make his mark as the Falcons number 2 guy...I look for Jenkins to be pushed into a 4th receiver role in 2011. Look for Julio anytime after round 5 in your draft and maybe in round 8-10 in standard leagues. Expect 1000 yds and 5-7 td's year one.
  2. A.J Green – Bengals - AJ Green is the cream of the 2011 WR crop. He is big, has incredible hands and makes the kind of jaw dropping plays that we saw out of Randy Moss and T.O. in their younger days. The only thing keeping AJ from instant NFL stardom may be having someone that can throw him the ball. I don't like the fact that Andy Dalton could be slinging it in Cincy this season...at least not for AJ's early numbers. If you are building a keeper squad Green is the guy you want...if you have a contender and need some immediate production you may want to look elsewhere though no one would blame you for picking Green as the first rookie WR off the board. Overall I can see him going in the 6th round in keeper drafts and later in seasonal leagues. If for some reason Carson Palmer or another established veteran QB lands in Cincy I would take AJ as early as round 4...get him the ball and watch what happens!
  3. Leonard Hankerson – Redskins - Hankerson is an interesting prospect...he has good size and good hands and comes from The U which in the past has been a WR factory. This kid seems like the type of player to me that could have a better NFL career than a college career. If Santana Moss goes looking for the coin in free agency Hankerson could literally slip right in to the number one WR position which would instantly put him on the fantasy map alla the Bucs Mike Williams last season...keep an eye on the Skins WR situation this off season and adjust your rankings accordingly. If Moss stays in Washington I could see Hankerson being drafted somewhere around the 15th round depending on league size..in smaller default yahoo leagues he will probably be undrafted.
  4. Torrey Smith – Ravens - Smith is just what the doctor ordered for the Ravens...a WR that can stretch the field. Problem is the Ravens have never been much on letting their rookies do their thing...see Ed Dickson (who go rare PT last year though he is clearly a better player than Todd Heap right now) Torrey will take time to catch on, but the Ravens would be wise to get this kid in the mix. Will go undrafted in all but very very large keepers, but if they get him PT get your mouse ready because he will be a hot pickup.
  5. Randall Cobb – GB - Cobb played QB at Kentucky and is an athlete supreme...hard to predict what McCarthy will do with him, but you can bet there will be a few plays in the book for this kid. Will go undrafted...can't see any reason to roster him unless the Pack have another rash of injuries this season. I thought this was an interesting pick on draft night...I hope McCarthy has some tricks in the bag for Cobb.
  6. Jonathan Baldwin – Chiefs - The Chiefs need a good No.2 WR and if Jon can keep his attitude in check and come to work every day KC will have found itself another WR in the same athletic mold as their No.1 Dwayne Bowe.
  7. Greg Little – Browns - North Carolina has put out some good pro WR's in recent years and Little seems to be another pro ready guy. The Browns are an up and coming team in need of toughness at the WR position and someone that can take the short west coast routes and turn them into big plays...YAC baby! Little is great at this and could certainly be the best WR on the team this season. Brain Robiskie is a big disappointment and M.Massaquoi is a borderline starter in my book so Little's window is wide open here. Should be able to get this kid deep in drafts and off the wire in yahoo defaults.
  8. Austin Pettis – Rams - Greg Salas was actually drafted before Pettis, but Pettis (the Boise State product) looks to me to be the better fit for the NFL. The Rams have plenty of fast guys that simply can't run routes worth beans or just can't stay healthy. Pettis could roll into Rams camp and provide them with a WR that get's the team 1st downs. Pettis is a heady player with great hands and a good football IQ...Jerry Rice he is not...but a poor man's Isaac Bruce...it's possible. Questions abound with the Rams and often injured WRs Donnie Avery and Mark Clayton who is coming off another devastating knee injury...Pettis and Salas will get their chance. Sam Bradford is known for spreading the ball around so it's not impossible that Pettis or Salas could catch 50 plus balls with 5-6 TD's...if they win a spot in the top 4-5 WR rotation. I would wait and see before drafting either Salas or Pettis.
  9. Titus Young – Lions - Young will be down the pecking order for the resurgent Lions offense, but if he can somehow catch a Burlesson injury or slide into that 3rd WR role look out for some down field production. Young excites me as as deep deep sleeper this year...the only problem being is most of the experts don't see him getting many balls with Megatron, Best, Leshoure, Burlesson and Pettigrew all in the mix. He may only catch 35 balls but look out for him...keep an eye on him...maybe an off the wire spot start or two is in the works for him on your fantasy team this season.
There were other WR's drafted this year that could make their mark in the league, but these were 9 that caught my eye on draft day. Now that the Lockout seems to be wrapping up...we need to start looking at rookies that may or may not be drafted or those guys you may want to look for down the road when the long NFL season starts the injury carousel... know your backups people...and many of those guys are going to be rookies. Stay tuned for a look at the rookie RB's and QB's coming up here on the blog and also be looking out for a SFS radio broadcast of our fantasy rookie roundup.

Wes
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