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In case you’ve missed our previous posts regarding the Combine (WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!), I touched on the draft-eligible Tight Ends here, the Quarterbacks here, and will be highlighting the Running Backs tomorrow. But today, please excuse me while I fawn over the wide receiver class, hard. This year has be proclaimed to be the deepest WR class in a long, long time, maybe ever. This class is deep, like real deep. And its not just deep, it has elite level talent at the top, too. You could tell me that any of the top 10-12 guys in the class went in the 1st round and I wouldn’t bat an eye, although I’ve never really understood that saying… I told you yesterday that these wideouts are pretty damn good.  I love the group of WRs in this class more than I do any other position group at the Combine. I seriously love these wide receivers more than Manti Te’o loved Lennay Kekua, you know, until she died. It was such a sad story and touching story… Wait, you mean to tell me none of that was real? Where the hell have I been… Anywho, where was I? Oh yeah, this wide receiver class is thebomb.com. And any discussion of these WRs has to start with:

1. Sammy Watkins (6’0 1/2″ 211) Clemson — Watkins very well could be the best prospect in this entire class, at any position. If the Texans had a quarterback and didn’t have a receiver like Andre Johnson, Sammy would definitely be under consideration as the #1 overall pick. Well I guess if the Texans had a decent quarterback, they probably wouldn’t be picking #1 anyway. But Sammy Watkins is the real deal. He does everything well and has no real deficiencies in his game. He’s fast (ran an unofficial 4.34 40), explosive (10’6″ broad jump), elusive, strong, is a great route runner, has great hands, a stunning smile, and lovely flowing locks… Sorry, got distracted for a minute, back to football. If this guy were an inch or two taller, he’d probably be considered the best WR prospect to come out since Calvin Johnson. In case you live under a rock, that’s high praise. As you can see, Sammy is my favorite guy in this draft. I like this guy so much that he could probably have an affair with my fiancé and I wouldn’t even be mad. I’d just be happy that him and I could have something in common and we could be eskimo brothers. Needless to say, I think this guy is going to lead me to many a fantasy football championships, or leading some other schmuck to those championships if I can’t manage to land the 1.01 pick in my rookie drafts. No one else should even be considered at that spot.

2. Mike Evans (6’5 230) Texas A&M — Johnny Football’s go-to-guy, Mike Evans definitely has the size that NFL teams covet at the WR position. He’s a really big guy and does a lot of things well. However, there are a couple issues scouts see with his game; he, by most accounts, is not a great route runner and struggles to gain separation downfield due to his limited wheels. However, his size helps make up for both issues, especially in jump ball situations. He performed relatively well at the Combine, running a little faster than most thought he would (4.53) and looked solid throughout on-field drills, running a variety of routes and catching almost everything. Granted, there are no defenders in any of these drills. He did struggle on the bench press, only putting up 12 reps. Evans may never rack up the yards or receptions that other guys  do, but he’s #2 on this list because he should score his fair share of touchdowns. Often compared to Vincent Jackson, I think he’s a good target in the middle of the first round of rookie dynasty drafts.

3. Jordan Matthews (6’3 210) Vandy — I already touched on Matthews in my Senior Bowl review here. In my opinion, Matthews helped his stock as much as any other wideout at the Combine on Sunday. One of the biggest knocks on him was his speed, with most predictions for his 40 yard time around 4.6. However, he showed out, posting a 4.42 unofficial 40 (4.46 officially). One scout I follow on the Twitter mentioned that Matthews’ 40 time said more about his work ethic than anything else, which has received rave reviews from most scouts. By all accounts, he’s already a polished route runner with solid hands and a good understanding of reading defenses.  He is the all-time leader in SEC receptions and receiving yards. That’s pretty good. I like him more in PPR leagues than standard leagues, but I still like him a lot either way. I’ve seen comparisons for him range anywhere from Eric Decker to Keenan Allen to De’Andre Hopkins. Not bad company.

4. Odell Beckham Jr (5’11 198) LSU — Timed with an unofficial 40 yard dash of 4.31 seconds, Beckham put on a show in Indy at the Combine. Although he lacks the ideal size of a #1 WR at the next level, Beckham has the physical skills to still eventually be that guy for whatever team he ends up on. Beckham could eventually turn out to be a similar player to DeSean Jackson, in that he may be a bit smaller but can still be a valuable deep threat due to his wheels. It doesn’t hurt when you can also make catches like this. He can also return punts, so a little extra value in leagues that count return yards. The only reason I have him behind Evans and Matthews is that, due to his size, I wonder how valuable he can be in the red-zone, therefore limiting his touchdown opportunities.

5. Brandin Cooks (5’9 189) Oregon State — The 2013 Bilitnikoff winner (given to the best WR in college football), Cooks, is an impressive prospect. His best trait is speed, and he has that in spades. He was unofficially clocked at a 4.30 for each of his 40’s and came in with the 2nd best official 40 of the entire Combine at 4.33, which earned him a nice chunk of change. While his size may limit him strictly to the slot at the next level, Cooks has the ability to be one of the very best in the NFL in that role, as he is arguably the best route runner in this class to pair with dat speed doe. He is going to work almost exclusively underneath, finding holes in zones, racking up receptions, and picking up YACs on YACs on YACs, with the potential to take it to pay dirt any time he touches it. If Cooks lands in the right situation, he could be quite valuable right away.

As I said in the opening, this class is ridonkulously deep. I could spend all day writing about all the draft eligible wide receivers who eventually could pay big dividends for you in fantasy over the next few years, because there are so many great ones. However, ain’t nobody got time for that. But I will leave you with the rest of my top 15 dynasty rookie WR rankings.

6. Marqise Lee USC

7. Allen Robinson Penn State

8. Davante Adams Fresno State

9. Jarvis Landry

10. Kelvin Benjamin

11. Donte Moncrief

12. Brandon Coleman

13. Jared Abbrederis

14. Michael Campanaro

15. Josh Huff

 

You can follow Josh O. at his twitter.

  1. Fantasy with Dase or Days

    Fantasy with Dase or Days says:
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    In terms of the WRs already in the NFL, we fantasy owners have a good amount of quality options to choose from. The options will get even longer once we hit free agency and the above players find homes in the NFL. That being said, I brought up a couple of players that could make that player pool larger a couple days ago. Another interesting team to watch once the free agency begins would be the Giants. The Giants believe that Rueben Randle will make a “significant jump” in 2014. In the team first 11 games(With Nicks playing), He posted a 2.9 catches, 47.63 yards, .54 TDs on 5.3 targets a game. If they let Hakeem Nicks walk and Rueben Randle gets the WR2 spot(targets) opposite of Victor Cruz. He has showed that he can produce with limited targets. No reason to think that with the jump in targets the production will not rise with it.

  2. Josh O.

    Josh O. says:
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    I like Randle ALOT for next year. Nicks aint coming back. With that said, heard the team thought incorrect routes by Randle were the cause of some of Eli’s picks. So that, to me, says he’s raw. Should be better next year with another offseason under his belt. He’s a guy I targeted last year in Dynasty leagues, knowing he has the big upside and Nicks would probably be gone after the season.

    Side note, I appreciate your numbers and preparation. Definitely speak from an educated point of view, much appreciated.

    • Fantasy with Dase or Days

      Fantasy with Dase or Days says:
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      @Josh O.: Thank you! I know it’s very early in the offseason for fantasy football(redraft). I appreciate you and Jay responding to my comments.

      Continuing with the Giants and Eli Manning going into this year. I know he had a dreadful past year. His stat line of 238.62 passing yards, 1.12 TDs & 1.68 INTs per game(yikes)! Looking at his previous 4 years, I see a stat line of 264.13, 1.76 TDs & 1.09 INTs a game. That stat line would have rank him as a QB1 last year. Right now he is being drafted as the 21st QB. Now I don’t think he is a QB1 but just like Alex Smith, he looks to be a QB that is going to represent some really good value come draft day.

      • Josh O.

        Josh O. says:
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        @Fantasy with Dase or Days: I’m all out on Eli. personally. There’s other guys, ie Alex Smith, that could be had around the same time that I like much better, honestly.

        • Fantasy with Dase or Days

          Fantasy with Dase or Days says:
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          @Josh O.: The beauty of each of these two price points is that you can load up on RBs, WRs & TEs and then draft them both and they will give you a quality QBBC for 2014.

  3. Why so low on Benjamin?

    My top 4 are:

    1. Mathews
    2. Benjamin
    3. Watkins
    4. Evans

    • Josh O.

      Josh O. says:
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      @James R: My concern with Benjamin is his crazy low floor and he really didn’t do a lot to impress in Indy, as in he wasn’t the athletic freak I had hoped he would be. He was slow-ish in his 40, bad vertical, average broad jump, slow 3 cone, short shuttle, and 60 yard shuttle. Sure his height and length are certainly impressive. However, he is a little raw. He wasn’t asked to run a ton of routes at FSU, mostly go routes. And while he made some ridiculous catches, he had some really bad drops. He’s one of those guys that wouldn’t surprise me if he’s one of the best or completely out of the league in a few years…

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