2014 Fantasy Football Rookies (Pre-Draft Edition)

Although we at FakePigskin.com live and breathe fantasy football all year long, some of you may take a break once the season is over and our own Blake Meek brings you up to speed on the high-profile, fresh faces entering the NFL.

Quarterbacks:

1. Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville: Despite what “scouts” and “team personnel” tell the media, Bridgewater is the best quarterback in this class. He has elite accuracy and pocket presence as well as being able to read defenses. He needs to work on his deep ball, but has very few flaws to his game. Franchise quarterback.

2. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M: The most polarizing player in this draft, Manziel is an elite quarterback prospect. Everyone knows about his running ability, but he throws the best deep ball in the draft as well as having elite accuracy all over the field. He needs to work on protecting his body better, but has few flaws. Franchise quarterback.

3. Blake Bortles, UCF: I don’t have Bortles as highly rated as most. He has the size and good athleticism that you love to see in a quarterback as well as a moxie about him. However, his mechanics need fixes and his decision making leaves something to be desired. If developed correctly could be a franchise quarterback, but has work to do.

4. Derek Carr, Fresno State: Carr has one of the strongest arms in the class and can throw the ball to any part of the field. He is a good athlete and can move when needed. However, Carr gets flustered easily under pressure and will miss open targets. Hasn’t shown consistent accuracy and needs to show he can play in a pro style offense. Carr has elite tools, but has a lot of work to do.

5. Zach Mettenberger, LSU: Mettenberger has the size that coaches love in their quarterbacks. Mettenberger also has a big arm and is able to push the ball down the field. He shows good downfield accuracy, but still misses on throws he should hit. He is heavy footed and won’t escape many pass rushers. Mettenberger got better between his junior and senior year and still has a lot of room to grow.

Running Backs:

1. Lache Seastrunk, Baylor: Seastrunk is one of the most explosive running backs in this draft. He can take any carry and go the distance. He can cut on a dime and makes some cuts that don’t seem possible. However, he needs to work on his vision and run north/south instead of so much east/west. He is a great athlete who runs with great balance and can be a number one back in the league.

2. Charles Sims, West Virginia: Sims is one of the best all-around backs in this draft. He is a very good runner, shows good vision and can get up to speed in a hurry. However, Sims biggest asset is his ability in the passing game. Sims is one of the best pass catchers in this draft. He can split out wide and play receiver or run routes out of the backfield. He is a true three-down back.

3. Marion Grice, Arizona State: Many of the same things I said about Sims I will say about Grice. Grice is a great all-around back who can do everything well. Grice shows great patience to allow blocks to set up and then a great burst and acceleration to get up to speed. He too is a great asset in the passing game. He is probably the best pass catching running back in this draft and can line up at receiver as well as running back.

4. Carlos Hyde, Ohio State: Hyde is a big back who shows good quickness to go with his power. Doesn’t go east/west unnecessarily, he is a north/south runner. Hyde is a power runner who shows some good fluidity to cause defenders to miss. Keeps his legs driving and doesn’t get stopped short very often. Needs to show he will work on his conditioning as he was fatigued at times during the season.

5. Tre Mason, Auburn: Mason shows quick feet and great patience in setting up blocks before he tries to make defenders miss him. He is a decisive, one-cut runner who doesn’t waste time dancing behind the line of scrimmage. Mason shows good agility to make defenders missed when he needs too. He wasn’t used much in the passing game, but he has flashed some ability. Mason is a one-speed runner who doesn’t have that second gear.

Wide Receiver:

1. Mike Evans, Texas A&M: Evans is a big, strong, fast receiver who can go up and get the ball as well as anyone in this class. Evans is a receiver in the mold of Vincent Jackson, he uses his body to out muscle and get position on the cornerback to make a play on the ball. Evans has the tools to be an elite receiver in the NFL and is worth a pick in the 8-15 range.

2. Sammy Watkins, Clemson: Watkins is a smooth athlete who is electric with the ball in his hands. He is a powerful runner for a receiver, but you’d like to see him be more elusive with the ball in his hand. He shows good body control when going up for the ball and shows great coordination. Watkins has the ability to be a number one receiver in the mold of a Percy Harvin if he continues to refine his game.

3. Marqise Lee, USC: Lee is a great athlete who is very good against the press. He can make defenders miss and is extremely elusive in the open field. Lee runs good routes and can track the ball over either shoulder. He has shown the ability to go up and get its ball at its highest point and play physical. He blocks well downfield. Lee was a top 10 receiver before injuries and poor quarterback play slowed his senior season.

4. Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt: Matthews might be the most pro ready receiver in this draft. He runs great routes as well is very physical downfield. He is one of the best blockers in this class and shows great hands. He showed at the combine that he has more speed that people thought, thought he may not have an elite second gear. Matthews is a potential number one receiver who can step in right away and make an impact.

5. Davante Adams, Fresno State: Adams shows great ability at the point of attack, going up and getting the ball at its highest point. He has deceptive deep speed, but doesn’t have elite speed. He is a strong, physical receiver who will go over the middle and use his body to shield receivers from the ball. Adams has all the makings of a number one in the league.

Tight End:

1. Eric Ebron, North Carolina: Ebron is widely regarded as the top tight end in the draft. He is extremely athletic and routinely makes big plays down the field. He is explosive after the catch and can make defenders miss, picking up lots of yards after the catch. He is a willing blocker, but still needs to work on his technique. Ebron is the only elite talent prospect at quarterback in this draft.

2. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington: Seferian-Jenkins is a big tight end who is still a good athlete. He can make plays down the field as well as make catches in traffic. He shows the ability to block when he wants to and be very good at it. Runs good routes and finds open holes in zones. He doesn’t play as big as his size indicates, but he has the ability to be a very good tight end in the NFL.

3. Jace Amaro, Texas Tech: Amaro lined up more in the slot than he did at tight end at Texas Tech. Amaro is a big athlete who uses his big body to get good position on corners and safeties. Amaro has good hands and runs with power after the catch. However, he hasn’t been a blocker at Texas Tech and isn’t a good fit for all schemes.

4. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa: Fiedorowicz is one of the best blocking tight ends in the draft. He can set the edge in the run game as well as hold up in the passing game. He is surprisingly athletic for a guy his size and can make plays down the field. He has soft hands and shows good body control. He can be a very good all-around tight end in the NFL.

5. Troy Niklas, Notre Dame: Niklas is big, even for a tight end. He stands 6’7” and weighs in at 270 pounds. Niklas isn’t the athlete the others on this list are and doesn’t take the top off the defense like the others ranked above him. Niklas is a strong blocker who wins with physicality. He needs to work on his routes, but the potential is there.

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