With the 2016 NFL Draft completed and teams about to begin rookie mini camps, the most exciting part of the offseason is behind us. Now that all the speculation is over as far as who will go where, we can get set for the next wave of fantasy football drafts. While we’re all excited about every rookie, let’s look at which ones are worthy of attention come draft time. For this analysis I’ll be focusing on rookie performances over the past five seasons and which rookies can potentially be relevant in 12-team leagues this year.
Now that the NFL combine has been complete for a few days, and everybody has had time to look at the results, it’s time for the annual over analyzing of those results. Did a prospect run faster or slower than expected? Did they come in over or under weight? Were they fluid in their movements? How did they handle the interview process? The questions go on and on. NFL players are heavily scrutinized and analyzed nowadays, and prospects even more so. As the draft nears, more and more mock drafts will be released with us telling you why each team will take each player and why each player will turn out, and we will once again all be wrong (here’s hoping nobody gets it totally right and makes me eat my words on that). In the end, it’s incredibly difficult to decipher who will turn into quality NFL players and who will be a bust, especially with players coming from such diverse backgrounds and experience levels. But what the heck, I’m going to give it a shot anyway.
Some important notes before I take you on this overly analytical journey: I’ll be focusing on the fantasy impact of players. As such, this article is on wide receivers, for several reasons. Wide receivers are vital in nearly all fantasy football leagues, there are several each year who see significant time as rookies, and in the increasingly pass-happy NFL, they are becoming more and more important.
Now, let us begin.