NFL Rookie Report

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NFL Rookie Report
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Ranking the 2009 NFL Rookie Class
Ranking the 2009 rookie class in terms of expected fantasy football significance...

May 9, 2009 JunkyardJake.Com

 

1) Chris Wells,RB  
1st Round (#31)  (6'1" ,235)  40 Time=4.48

The ideal prototype in terms of size and speed for an NFL running back. Powerful inside runner with good vision who can burst to the second level, or bully his way there by attacking defenders. Impressive lateral quickness and acceleration, and runs with determination and decent elusiveness.

Shows the ability to bounce outside for big gains and yields a nasty stiff-arm. Clearly becomes the best RB option for the Cardinals, but will need to assuage concerns about his maturity and durability.


Fantasy Significance=


 

2) Knowshon Moreno,RB  
1st Round (#12)  (5'11" ,220)  40 Time=4.5

The knock on Moreno is his lack of blazing speed, but he more than makes up for this with his natural ability to quickly exploit openings, his elusiveness and lateral quickness. As a bonus, he is known as a tireless worker with exceptional character.

The Broncos have assembled an interesting cast of characters at RB, with free-agent acquisitions Correll Buckhalter, J.J. Arrington, LaMont Jordan and last year's potential starter Ryan Torain, but Moreno instantly becomes their best option.

He is expected to share carries with Buckhalter initially.

Fantasy Significance=


 

3) Mark Sanchez,QB  
 1st Round (#5)  (6'2" ,228)  40 Time=4.9

What Sanchez lacks in experience, he compensates for with intelligence, swagger and confidence. Shows great ability to read defenses, anticipates receiver routes, throws with good zip and accuracy.

Will compete in an obligatory fashion with Kellen Clemens, but it’s difficult to see how the Jets will waste much more time with Clemens in 2009, since he has yet to show that he can be much more than a career backup.

Fantasy Significance=


 

4) Michael Crabtree,WR  
1st Round (#10)  (6'2" ,215)  40 Time=4.52

Crabtree was considered the best receiver prospect in the 2009 draft until he revealed a left foot stress fracture that required surgery in March.

Shows good cutting ability, great hands and deceptive speed, but is not considered an elite downfield threat. Great size, but it's doubtful he will be able to push around NFL CBs like he did in college.

Still, there is a lot to like about Crabtree, he's known as a tough competitor, dedicated worker and was drafted into a great situation in San Francisco, where he could immediately represent the teams’ best receiving option.

Fantasy Significance=


 

5) Jeremy Maclin,WR  
1st Round (#19)  (6'0" ,200)  40 Time=4.42

Some receivers have a 2nd gear, but Maclin appears to a 4th gear once he breaks into the open field. Moreover, he's not just a straight-line track star, showing good change of direction, cutting ability and great hands.

Demonstrates good awareness when plays break down, but could stand to improve his route running. Represents a challenge to injury-prone Kevin Curtis for playing time at split-end this year if he proves to be a fast learner.

Fantasy Significance=


 

6) LeSean McCoy, RB  
2nd Round (#53)  (5'10" ,202)  40 Time=4.49

He is not as bulked up as you'd like to see in an everydown back, but then again the Eagles have had no problem making 5'9" Brian Westbrook into a star by getting him the ball in everyway possible.

LeSean McCoy sure is fun to watch, he has absurd burst, he is equally effective inside and outside, is a dependable pass target, and has the type of agility that allows him to torment defenders if he gets to the open field.

Westbrook turns 30 early in the 2009 season, and last season was his worst since 2005, so LeSean McCoy should see significant action, even if only as Westbrook's stunt double to help him make it through the season.
Fantasy Significance=


 

7) Percy Harvin,WR  
1st Round (#22)  (5'11" ,192)  40 Time=4.39

Relatively small, but highly explosive receiver with the acceleration and speed to get deep in a hurry, and the cutting ability and field vision to be a menace on short routes.

Harvin was used as a hybrid RB/WR in college scoring in 32 of the 36 games he played while accumulating 1,929 yards receiving, and 1,852 yards rushing.

A minor history of questionable conduct, most recently testing positive for marijuana in February, but otherwise known as a tough, committed and focused player.

Fantasy Significance=


 

8) Donald Brown,RB  
1st Round (#27)  (5'10" ,209)  40 Time=4.46

Shifty RB with great instincts who explodes through creases, and very dangerous when he bounces outside. Terrific at changing gears, using his agility to avert defenders, and has the speed to break long runs.

On the assumption that Addai can rematerialize from whatever black hole he was sucked into last year, he should retain his position as primary ball-carrier, but Donald Brown might be tough to keep off the field.

Fantasy Significance=


 

9) Matthew Stafford, QB  
1st Round (#1)  (6'2" ,225)  40 Time=4.85

Exceptional arm strength with good accuracy with experience in a pro-style offense. Stellar collegiate career, despite playing behind a mediocre offensive line.

Should feel at home behind the Lions mediocre offensive line, provided that the Lions turn him loose this season.

As of now, the plan is to let Daunte Culpepper play himself out of the starting job before making a transition to Stafford.

Fantasy Significance=


 

10) Shonn Greene,RB  
3rd Round (#65)  (5'11" ,228)  40 Time=4.62

Tough, determined runner with good balance and strength. Lacks the speed to consistently bounce outside for positive gains, but can be very effective as an inside runner, using his decent burst and good vision.

Will need to develop as a receiver and a blocker at the pro-level. Should see time as a power-running complement to Thomas Jones and Leon Washington.

Fantasy Significance=


 

11) Glen Coffee,RB  
3rd Round (#74)  (6'0" ,210)  40 Time=4.5

Glen Coffee has good power, decent quickness, and adequate speed, but someone might need to remind him that he is only 209 lbs, because it is doubtful that his college running style of trying to run everyone over is going to work very well in the NFL.

Nonetheless, Coffee has the potential to make an impression this year, mostly because the 49ers have at least stated an intention to give Frank more frequent rest time.

While he doesn't offer the physical skills of the top rookie RBs this year, you can't argue with his collegiate productivity, where he ended up the second most prolific back in Alabama history, just ahead of Shaun Alexander.

Fantasy Significance=


 

12) Brian Robiskie,WR  
2nd Round (#36)  (6'3" ,210)  40 Time=4.47

Brian Robiskie may not have commanded the attention of the several wide receivers drafted immediately before him, but it would not be a surprise if he outperforms all of them in his first year.

His measurables are strong, he has great size, good speed, and the requisite agility and quickness for the position, but his maturity, work ethic and football instincts might be the attributes that allow him to adapt quickly to the pro game.

Even if the Browns retain Braylon Edwards for the 2009 season, Robiskie has a great opportunity to assume a prominent role for Cleveland right away.

Fantasy Significance=


 

13) Darrius Heyward-Bey,WR  
1st Round (#7)  (6'2" ,210)  40 Time=4.28

Heyward-Bey represents a scary size/speed combination, but he will need to evolve into more than a one-dimensional deep threat.

The Raiders were roundly criticized when they selected Heyward-Bey at No. 7 seemingly on the basis of his blistering speed, and for fairly good reason.

While he has good hands, and is a dynamic burner whos runs well after the catch, he is not a physical receiver, and has been somewhat inconsistent on patterns that do not involve streaking down the field with little resistance.

Fantasy Significance=


 

14) Jared Cook,TE  
3rd Round (#89)  (6'5" ,246)  40 Time=4.49

With the speed and hands of a wide receiver and the acceleration of a sports utility vehicle, Jared Cook is not a typical tight end. In fact, the last young TE who offered the same unique qualities of Jared Cook was Vernon Davis.

Unfortunately, just like Davis, Jared Cook appears that he might be very much a work in progress. For example, despite his natural pass catching ability, he did drop a fair amount of passes in college due to mental lapses.

Cook's route-running skills will also need some enhancement, as he was not used as a traditional TE in college, and sometimes had a tendency to "customize" his routes.

Fantasy Significance=


 

#15) Juaquin Iglesias,WR  
3rd Round (#99)  (6'1" ,209)  40 Time=4.45

It's hard to see how Oklahoma's Sam Bradford could have won the Heisman Trophy in 2008 without the luxury of a wide receiver like Juaquin Iglesias.

The Bears third-round pick improved every year in college, capping off his career at Oklahoma with a 74 catch, 1,150 yard, 10 TD season.

He enters a great situation in Chicago, where Jay Cutler now makes the Bears passing game instantly viable, and it's easy to envision him beating out Rashied Davis and/or Earl Bennett for significant playing time early this season.

Fantasy Significance=


 

16) Kenny Britt,WR  
1st Round (#30)  (6'3" ,218)  40 Time=4.48

Huge target with good hands and adequate quickness and cutting ability. Doesn't have the speed to challenge the secondary deep on a consistent basis, but can be very effective on short and intermediate post and seam routes.

Uses his size and power to break tackles, and has shown good ability to gain positive yardage after the catch.

Given that Justin Gage, who probably would not be a starter for almost any other NFL team, was the Titans top wideout, it's about time the team addressed thier dire need at the position.

One cautionary note on Britt is his tendancy to brandish an unaccommodating attitude, and he's not exactly known as most mature consummate team-player.

Fantasy Significance=


 

17) Derrick Williams,WR  
3rd Round (#82)  (6'0" ,195)  40 Time=4.45

Ran a disappointing 4.65 at the combine, but redeemed himself with 4.37 at his Pro-Day. Good quickness, great hands and reaches top speed in a hurry.

Potential big-play receiver with good character and strong leadership qualities. Playing behind Calvin Johnson and Bryant Johnson, Williams has a chance to play the slot this year.

Fantasy Significance=


 

18) Brandon Pettigrew,TE  
1st Round (#20)  (6'6" ,263)  40 Time=4.79

For fantasy purposes, you probably won't be interested in hearing what a great run blocker Pettigrew is, but unfortunately that is his strong suit. To the extent that he starts immediately for the Lions, as expected, this is great news for Kevin Smith and the Detroit running game.

In the passing game, Pettigrew is a hard-worker, with great hands and the ability to maul defenders who attempt to hold him up at the line.

He could develop into an effective short-area and/or goalline pass catching threat, but he lacks the speed to get consistently downfield, and will need to improve his route-running.

Fantasy Significance=


 

19) Louis Murphy,WR  
4th Round (#124)  (6'3" ,202)  40 Time=4.35

While the Raiders arguably reached for Darrius Heyward-Bey a bit too early in the 1st round, they may have made amends by securing a great value in the fourth round with Louis Murphy.

Murphy played in the shadow of Percy Harvin at Florida and needs to refine his route-running, but he has the speed, quickness, acceleration and good hands to make an impression with the Raiders, especially if Javon Walker is released.

Fantasy Significance=


 

20) Josh Freeman,QB  
1st Round (#17)  (6'5" ,245)  40 Time=4.9

In terms of physical attributes and arm strength, Freeman probably has the edge on both the better regarded first-round QBs, Stafford and Sanchez.

However, aside from the ability to throw deep, Freeman does not appear nearly as ready to encounter NFL defenses in comparison to his more celebrated cohorts.

Seems to have a deliberate release that could be a problem at NFL speed, and must improve touch and accuracy on short/intermediate throws.

Fantasy Significance=



Other Rookies to Watch:

21) James Davis ,RB 

22) Hakeem Nicks,WR 

23) Shawn Nelson,TE 

24) Chase Coffman,TE 

25) Austin Collie,WR 

26) Andre Brown,RB 

27) Rashard Jennings,RB 

28) Mike Wallace,WR 

29) Cedric Peerman,RB 

30) Bernard Scott,RB 


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