NFL rookies ranked by their potential to help you win your fantasy football league.
1. Melvin Gordon RB San Diego Chargers
|Rushing Stats||Receiving Stats|
|2015 Projections||View Melvin Gordon's 2015 projected stats.|
While Todd Gurley was considered the top running back talent available in this year's draft, Gurley's knee injury and Gordon's own impressive talent and record-breaking season at Wisconsin left some question as to which one would come off the board first. A 6-1, 215-pound physical specimen, Gordon plays faster than his middling 4.52 Combine time in the 40, but it's outstanding burst, balance and agility that are his true weapons, as evidenced by the difficulty college defenders had getting a good angle or clean hit on him. Gordon's vision was called into question, as he bounced outside too often and relied on his talent to gain yards rather than waiting for a hole to develop, and he'll need to show more discipline in the pros. On the other hand, the work he put into becoming a better receiver, an area he showed noticeable improvement in as his junior year progressed, bodes well for his work ethic and future as a three-down back in the NFL. Barring a training camp disaster, Gordon will be the Week 1 starter for San Diego as a rookie, and should get a big workload right out of the gate.
2. Todd Gurley RB St. Louis Rams
|Rushing Stats||Receiving Stats|
|2015 Projections||View Todd Gurley's 2015 projected stats.|
Despite a difficult final season at Georgia that featured a suspension for accepting money for autographs, followed by an ACL tear in his left knee, Gurley was still selected 10th overall by the Rams. Built like the prototypical feature back at 6-1, 222 pounds, Gurley runs with impressive power and burst and proved to be extremely difficult for college tacklers to handle, gaining an incredible 62 percent of his yards after contact in 2014. That strength is complemented by good speed in the open field and plus receiving skills, making him a true three-down threat. While his rehab has progressed well, he's not expected to be ready for Week 1, and the ACL tear wasn't his first lower-body injury in college, as he also dealt with ankle and hip issues at Georgia. The Rams also rebuilt a below-average offensive line in the offseason to pave the way for their new star, but will likely ease Gurley into action as a rookie once he's fully recovered. 2014 third-round pick Tre Mason is still around to handle starting duties while the rookie is out, and Mason could even potentially share touches as the Rams slowly ramp up Gurley's workload. Once he's healthy, though, there's every reason to think Gurley will be special.
3. Amari Cooper WR Oakland Raiders
|Receiving Stats||Rushing Stats|
|2015 Projections||View Amari Cooper's 2015 projected stats.|
The fourth overall pick in this year's draft, Cooper won't hurt for opportunities in Oakland. The question is of what quality. While some are excited about quarterback Derek Carr's 21-TD, 12-INT rookie season, it came with a 5.5 YPA, last by a wide margin among the 36 quarterbacks with 200 or more pass attempts. To be sure, Cooper should be an immediate upgrade over Carr's targets from last season, and it's likely he'll be the team's clear No. 1 out of the gate even with newly signed Michael Crabtree around. But this is a bottom-of-the-barrel organization trying to improve a passing game that ranked 26th in yards and last in efficiency. Cooper himself is an interesting prospect because for such an early pick he lacks the elite size/speed profile of an A.J. Green or Julio Jones. But at 6-1, 211, he's above average in height and weight, and his 4.42 40 is fast, just not blazingly so. Cooper's especially polished as a route-runner, quick and fluid in and out of breaks and willing to take hits and catch balls in traffic. And he was massively productive in college. But while some have compared him to Marvin Harrison, no one is comparing his quarterback to Peyton Manning.
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2015 Positional Rankings
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