In the third installment I will be discussing the rookie wide receivers. This was by far the deepest of this draft and there will be players selected deep into your fantasy rookie draft.
I'll provide the short term impact, long term impact, and a projection for their fantasy life. Players will be ranked in order of overall fantasy relevance. Many rookie wide receivers far under produce compared to the projections, so keep this in mind when your deciding between a top running back and top wide out for the short term.
1. Michael Crabtree (San Francisco 49ers):
Short Term: A lot is going to depend on how he recovers from his foot injury. If he is able to bounce back and get in enough reps to learn the offense he could be very good. He has great hands, excellent body control, and great ability to run after the catch.
Best wide out in the draft even though he wasn't selected first. Although his numbers may not be great due to the lack of quarterback ability.
Long Term: The quarterback situation is the X-factor if they can get some legit talent behind center Crabtree could blossom into a stud, but there is always that dreaded "system" word thrown around because he was at Texas Tech.
I think his skills are good enough to over come this and he will be good. It might take some time 2-3 years. He has the talent to be a top 5 in the long term though.
Projection: Should be the first WR taken in your fantasy draft. I would take him fourth or fifth overall. I would place Wells, McCoy, and Moreno ahead of him for sure, and it's debatable that Stafford could go before him as well. If you're hurting for WR's, I would put Crabtree at the top of your list.
2. Darrius Heward-Bey (Oakland Raiders):
Short Term: Call me crazy, call me a Raiders fan(for the record, I live 10 minutes outside of Detroit so I live and die with the Lions). I think Davis was crazy to take Bey No. 7 overall. Bey is talented and very very fast. Not to mention he has a legit quarterback, Jeff Garcia.
He will be the starter has has some how managed to always steal the starting job where ever he goes. If Bey picks up the offense and Garcia is the QB he could make a big impact.
Long Term: Russell has a cannon for an arm and the running attack is pretty darn good. Those two factors are key to good wide receiver output. I feel he is a definite boom or bust pick, but if he hits he is going to hit hard and be very very good.
I believe that the Raiders could be on the up and up. Plus he has very little competition for the number one spot in Oakland.
Projection: Much like McCoy he will be undervalued and anyone who watched the draft or read anything about the draft heard nothing but horrible things about Bey. Call me a dreamer but I think Bey could be the surprise of the season.
He should have a huge chip on his shoulder and could really cash that in for a lucky fantasy owner. I'd say you can get him in the second round due to the Mel Kiper hate that has been thrown his way.
3. Percy Harvin (Minnesota Vikings)
Short Term: They are going to put Harvin everywhere: QB, WR, RB, KR, PR. He will touch the ball by my guess 15-20 times a game. He has game breaking speed but he is a little on the small side. He could get injured, as he wasn't the healthiest player in college so that could follow him.
Long Term: He is hard to project long term. His injury risk is high, but his talent is there. The first year will speak volumes to how he will handle in the rest of his career. It will let you know how much he will be used and in what ways. He has a chance to really step up in a Viking offense that really has no one other than "All Day."
Pro jection: I think that there will be one owner per league that really wants Harvin. I amjust not sold that he is going to be anything super special. I think he will be similar to a Devin Hester but used more in the offense.
He will get solid total yardage and about 5-8 touchdowns I feel. He shouldn't make it out of the first round but if he does he will be a steal for any owner that can start him in select situations.
4. Jeremy Maclin (Philadelphia Eagles)
Short Term: The Eagles are build to win now. They are going to try and make the move soon. Maclin should factor in big here.
The only problem I see is that him and Desean Jackson are very similar in style of play. He will catch some long balls and he will have some hit n miss games just like Jackson last year.
Long Term: The McNabb factor is the key; how long does he stay? He could break out, then be a part of a rebuilding process, and that could be trouble. All in all, I feel that Maclin is a fairly safe pick and he should have some good long term value. I see him as a safer pick than Harvin but lower reward.
Projection: I'd say that his value is interchangeable with Harvin. They could go anywhere from late first round to early second. I wouldn't be surprised to see him taken early or late. I'd make sure I had a solid pair of WR's before I count on Maclin to start every week.
5. Hakeem Nicks (New York Giants):
Short Term: A lot of WR's to fight through to get some playing time, but if he gets it he could put up good numbers. He has good hands and great body control. He is on a good team, too, as Eli is just entering his prime.
Long Term: He could be the Plax replacement and he could make a huge impact in the long term. He is very good and he displayed this at UNC. I wouldn't be surprised if he was one of the top rookie receivers and kept it up. I like him for the Giants and a long term option.
Projection: I think the fact that he has to win the spot is why he needs to be ranked below the players above him. He is a late first round pick and a steal in the second round. I feel he is going to make a big impact but Smith, Manningham, Hixon are in the way.
6. Jarrett Dillard (Jacksonville Jaguars):
Short Term: This cat can flat out catch the rock. He doesn't have elite speed or a huge name, but look up his stats at Rice. The Jag's receiving corps is decimated and they are hurting. He could step up with a good training camp and make a big impact.
Long Term: I think he could be one of the guys that is a late round steal of the NFL draft. He could be much like a Wes Welker or Eddie Royal type. I really think he will be a solid player in the long term.
Projection: Let's be real; you would have to have really watched some college ball to know about Dillard. Unless your league really knows whats going on he could be had at the late second round early third. Pick him then watch him explode thank me later.
7. Patrick Turner (Miami Dolphins):
Short Term: Miami has a lot of WR's but they are all young and on the smallish side. Turner is huge and he can catch the ball. This is another draft pick that the almighty Kiper didn't like, but guess what The Tuna is way better at evaluating talent than Kiper. So trust the Tuna.
Long Term: He could be come a good compliment to Ginn. He is a possission receiver and he could make a decent impact over the long haul. He will get a lot of red zone targets. Not to mention that the Dolphins are on the way up.
Projection: Another guy who wasbe over looked in many drafts and could be had around the same time as Dillard. He might need a year of seasoning, but in the end I feel he could pan out and be a spot starter.
8. Brian Robiskie (Cleveland Browns):
Short Term: Good hands and good route running. He will battle Massaquoi for the spot opposite Braylon. I think he could be a solid compliment to him and act like a Welker type.
Long Term: Browns don't have many options right now they got rid of Winslow so they could look to Robiskie to shore up the WR core with Edwards to give them a good one, two punch for years to come.
Projection: He was drafted in the second round of the draft but I think you could get him in the thrid round of a rookie draft. The QB position is unsettled and the Browns and in a transition period. Could be a good bye week guy and develop into a spot starter.
9. Kenny Britt (Tennessee Titans):
Short Term: Quick name a wide receiver on the Titans that's worth anything in fantasy football. If you said anyone it was most likely Bo Scaife.
Britt will most likely be the second WR behind Nate Washington but he could easily become the number one in Tennessee. The only problem is that its a run first offense and that is not changing.
Long Term: Fisher is going to keep running the ball so I wouldn't expect that to change. Now he could become a good red zone target. The issue is just that Tennessee isn't a great place for fantasy wide outs.
Projection: He will be ok at best. He could develop but you never know. Britt can be had in the second round for sure. I wouldn't pick him in the first round. He is a stash player but could be a pleasant surprise.
10. Derrick Williams (Detroit Lions):
Short Term: Has to beat out Curry and Johnston for the spot along side megatron. He will most likely return punts and maybe kicks. He could make it into the third receiver role and really take off there. He has good speed and good skills, he was the number one high school recruit.
Long Term: He wouldn't be the first short and fast WR to have a good career. He could be much like a Santana Moss. He has home run ability and he has one of the best WR's taking on all the double teams.
Projection: About the same time as Robiskie, but he could have a bigger impact because both Johnston and Curry haven't been impressive in recent stops. I would hold on to him because he has the skill set to become a very good receiver.
Ramses Barden (Giants): Interesting pick, he is huge 6’6 but Nicks is standing in his way. There are a lot of question marks on the receiving corps for the Giants so he could push through and get a spot.
Juaquin Iglesias (Bears): Bears have no receivers and they have Cutler now, so this could be a sleeper.
Mohamed Massaquoi (Browns): Possession type guy, Kiper hated him but he was pretty darn good at Georgia. I would wait and see how he works out. The battle is between him and Robiskie.
Mike Wallace (Pitt): Fast, but has an uphill battle to get on the field. Sweed is ahead of him and so are Holmes and Ward.
Deon Butler (Seahawks): They have some receivers already he could work out on returns at first then he could move to the starting lineup when there is a spot.
Please check out my other two articles on QB's and RB's and if you have any questions or players you want me to break down just drop me a note. Tight ends is a short list and will be out fairly soon.