Tag Archives: NFL Draft

Rookie Rankings – Wide Receiver

We have worked hard at Rookie Blitz headquarters to compile information and game tape for the 2010 NFL Draft class.

We are now ready to release our initial rookie fantasy rankings after reviewing college production, scouting reports, all-star games, and the scouting combine.  In our first installment, we reviewed the top tight ends available.

Top-12 Tight Ends

Wide Receiver

Georgia v Oklahoma State

Despite concerns about his character and maturity, Dez Bryant is the top wide receiver available.  He has everything you look for in a #1 wide receiver and his college production backs up his measurables.  Bryant should deserve consideration for the top selection in dynasty rookie drafts.

The depth at the position is impressive, but there are question marks for many players that could cause them to fall to the second round of the NFL Draft. In fact, there is a large gap between Bryant and Golden Tate in our fantasy rankings.  Tate has the college production in a pro-style offense and had a solid combine performance to boost his stock.  Aside from Bryant, Tate may be one of the most pro-ready players available.

Demaryius Thomas has the size and strength required, however, there are concerns about his ability to run the entire route tree.  If you watch highlights of Thomas, most of his big plays came on broken coverage or go-routes over the top of the defense.

Mardy Gilyard and Damian Williams are both more quick than fast and should develop into solid starting options.  Gilyard offers added value as a kick returner and it is hard to overlook his college production.  Williams does not fit the profile of many of the failed wide receivers from USC in recent years.  His game more resembles that of Steve Smith than Dwayne Jarrett or Mike Williams.

We have Andre Roberts rated higher than he will be drafted.  Roberts has been the talk of the offseason and his production at the Citadel makes us believe he could be a sleeper in the right offensive system. Mike Williams has first round talent and seventh round character.  Williams is the biggest boom-bust prospect available and he will need constant monitoring to succeed.  Brandon LaFell and Arrelious Benn will be drafted in the early second round but we are not sold on their pro prospects.  It can be argued that both were hurt by poor quarterback play but the lack of college production is alarming.

Ole Miss's Dexter McCluster in the AT&T Cotton Bowl

Dexter McCluster will be an exciting player to watch but may never be a consistent fantasy producer.  Jacoby Ford does not play as fast as his 40 yard dash time of 4.28 would indicate.  Ford did not stand out at the Senior Bowl, though, his speed is intriguing.  For all of the positive buzz that Taylor Price has generated, we have concerns that he was not more of standout at Ohio.

1. Dez Bryant – Oklahoma State
2. Golden Tate – Notre Dame
3. Demaryius Thomas – Georgia Tech
4. Mardy Gilyard – Cincinnati
5. Damian Williams – USC
6. Andre Roberts – Citadel
7. Mike Williams – Syracuse
8. Brandon LaFell – LSU
9. Arrelious Benn – Illinois
10. Dezmon Briscoe – Kansas
11. Eric Decker – Minnesota
12. Jordan Shipley – Texas
13. Carlton Mitchell – South Florida
14. Jacoby Ford – Clemson
15. Jeremy Williams – Tulane
16. Emmanuel Sanders – Southern Methodist
17. Dexter McCluster – Mississippi
18. Shay Hodge – Mississippi
19. Antonio Brown – Central Michigan
20. Riley Cooper – Florida
21. Taylor Price – Ohio
22. Danario Alexander – Missouri
23. Freddie Barnes – Bowling Green
24. David Reed – Utah
25. Marcus Easley – Connecticut
26. Alric Arnett – West Virginia
27. Chris McGaha – Arizona State
28. Verran Tucker – California
29. David Gettis – Baylor
30. Blair White – Michigan State

Senior Bowl Impressions

Mardy Gilyard

I finally had the opportunity to watch the game tape from the Under Armour Senior Bowl, which took place on January 30th, 2010 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.  Several players stood out in the game that could have an impact in fantasy football leagues in the near future.

I will never claim to be an actual NFL scout, but these players had impressive performances against the country’s best senior NFL prospects.  It would be foolish to base the future prospects of a player on his play in an all-star game, but the Senior Bowl is another tool for finding the players that will make an impact for your fantasy football team.

Jarrett Brown and Dan LeFevour were the most impressive quarterbacks on the field.  Brown showed impressive arm strength and the ability to move around in the pocket.  He will need some time to learn the NFL game, but he reminded me of David Garrard.  LeFevour looked like the most NFL-ready of the six Senior Bowl quarterbacks with his polished mechanics.  He led the North team on two touchdown scoring drives in the 2nd half that sealed the win.  The touchdown throw LeFevour had to Mardy Gilyard erased any doubts about his arm strength.

Mardy Gilyard made several big plays in the game including a 43-yard reception and a 32-yard touchdown reception from Dan LeFevour.  Gilyard looked great in the open field on his punt and kickoff returns.  Despite his small stature, Gilyard never gave defenders the chance to get a solid hit on him.

The South team had little success running the ball, while the North team had several impressive performances.  LeGarrette Blount and Lonyae Miller both improved their draft stock after being considered late-round fliers.  Blount ran with determination in this game and tried to prove that he had matured following his suspension for most of the 2009 season.  The comparisons between LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Jacobs will remain because of their running styles, but Blount reminded me more of T.J. Duckett than Jacobs.  Miller took a backseat to Ryan Matthews for the Fresno State Bulldogs in 2009, but made the most of his opportunity at the Senior Bowl.  Miller reminded me of Packers running back Ryan Grant with his hard running and surprising burst through the hole.

Two players that will make an impact in IDP (Individual Defensive Player) leagues are linebackers Sean Weatherspoon and Brandon Graham.  Weatherspoon had 5 tackles, but was most impressive in pass coverage.  He broke up a pass in the end zone intended for Dexter McCluster and looked like a running back in the open field on his 57-yard interception in the 4th quarter.  NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock compared Brandon Graham to LaMarr Woodley during the broadcast.  That is high praise, but I have to agree with Mr. Mayock.  Graham’s fantasy value will depend on if he is listed as a defensive end or a linebacker.  Graham would be better suited in a 3-4 defensive scheme because of his size, and he could use his aggressiveness to give opposing quarterbacks nightmares.