Rookie Report: 2011 Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
I do not expect the wide receiver position to put up big numbers with the 2011 crop of rookies, despite some big names.
There are plenty of question marks for each of the top five and missing training camp, if there are hold outs, will not help their cause.
A.J. Green, WR, Bengals- Green is the best receiver of the bunch, but he does have questions at the quarterback position. He will step in as the No. 1 guy if Chad Ocho Cinco does not remain a Bengal. He has the best chance to put up big numbers as a rookie, but I would not bet the farm on it.
Julio Jones, WR, Falcons- Jones will be a great complement to Roddy White once he gets acclimated to the offense the Falcons run. The Falcons are a run-first team however, and Tony Gonzalez and Michael Jenkins expect to play bigger roles that Jones this season. Unless Jones impresses his coaches mightily before the start of the season, Jones could spend most of this season learning and adapting to NFL life.
Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Chiefs- The Chiefs had one target last year, Dwayne Bowe, and he was a good one. Bowe should be able to take some pressure off Baldwin by commanding double teams leaving Baldwin one-on-one with a cornerback. I usually favor the receiver in that situation, but with a rookie you never know.
Greg Little, WR, Browns- Little has a chance to contribute immediately because he is going to a wide-receiver-by-committee system in Cleveland. The Browns do not have a sure-fire No. 1 guy on the wings. If Little can impress early, he will get a chance at being the guy in Cleveland
Torrey Smith, WR, Ravens- The Ravens do have a run-first offense, but Derrick Mason is getting old and Smith is the guy the Ravens drafted to replace him. The problem with Smith is he has loads of potential, but can be erratic. He is a high-risk, high-reward player that will likely be up and down all season.
There were not any top-flight tight ends in this year’s draft, hence why no teams used a first-round pick on the position for the first time since 1999. This leads me to believe the tight end position may not be a contributor to most fantasy teams this season.
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings- Rudolph is the most athletic tight end of the group, but he has a ton of question marks at the quarterback position. He is the best bet to contribute early out of this tight end class, still.
Luke Stocker, TE, Bucs- Stocker is playing behind Kellen Winslow and the Buccaneers are a run first teams. The only good news is Freeman can usually scramble to find extra time and that usually leads to big play by the tight end.
Lance Kendricks, TE, Rams- Kendricks has athleticism and an up-and-coming quarterback getting him the ball. Younger quarterbacks like to lean on tight ends and Kendricks could benefit.
D.J. Williams, TE, Packers- Williams is a big-play threat waiting to happen. He came through in the clutch in college time and time again. The downside is all the players that will be ahead of him. He may have to hope for an injury at the tight end position before he even makes a grab for the Packers.
Robert Housler, TE, Cardinals- Housler has the skill set of a Heath Miller. A great blocking tight end that is reliable when thrown the ball. That will help no matter who is starting at quarterback at the start of the season.
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