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NFL Draft Kit: Rookie Rankings

Mike Doria

NFL Editor for RotoWire. Roots for the Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, Celtics and the underdog. Plus the McGill Redmen.


1. Johnny Manziel Browns
6-0 - 210 - Texas A&M

Manziel was an absolute steal for the Browns, who nabbed the dynamic signal-caller with the No. 22 pick in May's draft. Although he will have to beat out returnee Brian Hoyer for the team's starting job, it's an assignment Manziel should earn. Once he does, his rushing ability should allow him to make an immediate fantasy splash, though the cloudy status of Josh Gordon does represent a hit to the team's otherwise shallow receiving corps.

2. Teddy Bridgewater Vikings
6-2 - 210 - Louisville

Once viewed as potential top overall pick, Bridgewater was another high-profile draft faller, lasting until pick No. 32. His selection by the Vikings cements the team's commitment to move on from Christian Ponder. Although Bridgewater won't be rushed into a starting role, he will eventually overtake Matt Cassel, and the Vikings do have some capable receiving weapons on hand when that happens.

3. Blake Bortles Jaguars
6-5 - 232 - Central Florida

After the demise of 2011 first-rounder Blaine Gabbert, the Jags are of no mind to hurry Bortles, the third overall selection. With the team intent on opening the season with Chad Henne as the starter, the rookie will be eased in, but once he takes over the job, Bortles has the right blend of size, athletic ability, mobility and arm strength to justify his lofty draft status.

4. Derek Carr Raiders
6-3 - 214 - Fresno State

The 36th pick in the draft is on track to begin his NFL career behind veteran Matt Schaub, but the strong-armed Carr gives the Raiders some long-term upside at a position that has been a trouble spot for the team recently.

5. Tom Savage Texans
6-4 - 228 - Pittsburgh

The fourth-rounder boasts good size and arm strength, but he'll have to compete with Ryan Fitzpatrick, T.J. Yates and Case Keenum. The Texans' quarterback situation is muddled enough, however, for Savage to potentially see action as the regular season progresses.

QB Sleepers
Zach Mettenberger Titans [ 6-5 - 224 - LSU ]
AJ McCarron Bengals [ 6-3 - 220 - Alabama ]
Jimmy Garoppolo Patriots [ 6-2 - 226 - Eastern Illinois ]


1. Bishop Sankey Titans
5-10 - 209 - Washington

Tennessee is a great landing spot for Sankey (the first running back to come off the draft board at 54th overall) with the team having parted ways with long-time starter Chris Johnson. A good athlete with strong receiving skills, Sankey is likely to seize control of the Tennessee backfield before long, with the underwhelming Shonn Greene (who has knee issues) representing his main obstacle to that end.

2. Terrance West Browns
5-10 - 225 - Towson

Given newcomer Ben Tate's injury history, the physical West could be a break away from making an impact for the Browns, assuming he lands the team's No. 2 RB job over the likes of Edwin Baker, Dion Lewis, Chris Ogbonnaya and UDFA Isaiah Crowell. Either way, the Browns are aggressively looking to rebuild their ground game after Willis McGahee ended up as the team's leading rusher in 2013, with just 377 yards.

3. Jeremy Hill Bengals
6-1 - 233 - LSU

For the second season in a row, the Bengals invested a second-round draft pick on a running back, this time taking Hill 55th overall. He's destined to work in tandem with last year's 37th pick, Giovani Bernard, though for now the Bengals still roster BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Hill, who possesses above average athleticism for his size, figures to make Green-Ellis redundant before long, though, and carve out utility in TD-heavy formats.

4. Tre Mason Rams
5-8 - 207 - Auburn

While Mason is hampered by the presence of Zac Stacy, who is coming off a big rookie season, he's an explosive player, who should contribute as the Rams' No. 2 back and an ideal complementary option for the team.

5. Ka'Deem Carey Bears
5-9 - 207 - Arizona

Following a productive collegiate run, Carey is no threat to overtake starter Matt Forte, but he makes for a nice later-round insurance policy, given that he looks like a clear-cut favorite to secure the Bears' No. 2 RB job.

6. Carlos Hyde 49ers
6-0 - 230 - Ohio State

The formidable Hyde offers a blend of power and speed, but the 57th overall pick lands in a less than optimal fantasy situation, joining a crowded 49ers' backfield that is still headed by the reliable Frank Gore. In dynasty formats, however, Hyde's stock is high.

7. Charles Sims Buccaneers
6-0 - 211 - West Virginia

Although he'll work behind Doug Martin, and Mike James and Bobby Rainey are still in the Bucs' backfield mix, Sims is an outstanding receiver, who could provide immediate dividends in PPR formats.

8. Jerick McKinnon Vikings
5-9 - 208 - Georgia Southern

He has to beat out Matt Asiata to earn the Vikings' top backup job behind Adrian Peterson, but the speedy McKinnon is player worth securing for those who invest a first-round pick on Peterson.

9. Andre Williams Giants
5-11 - 230 - Boston College

Although he's not much of a receiver, Williams has a good blend of power, size and burst. He's behind Rashad Jennings and David Wilson (presuming his health), but could end up being a decent in-season add, if injuries hit the Giants' backfield.

10. Devonta Freeman Falcons
5-8 - 203 - Florida State

The fourth-rounder slots in as Steven Jackson's long-term replacement, but his initial fantasy value hinges on his ability to overtake backup Jacquizz Rodgers, not an unlikely outcome. In such a scenario he'd present insurance value for Jackson, who missed four games last season due to injury and turns 31 in July.

RB Sleepers
Dri Archer Steelers [ 5-8 - 173 - Kent State ]
Lorenzo Taliaferro Ravens [ 6-2 - 230 - Coastal Carolina ]
James White Patriots [ 5-10 - 195 - Wisconsin ]


1. Mike Evans Buccaneers
6-5 - 231 - Texas A&M

Rookie receivers are tough to rely on, but the No. 7 pick overall is set to start alongside fellow big-bodied wideout Vincent Jackson, with the size, skill and wingspan to make an immediate impact for the Bucs, notably in the red zone.

2. Sammy Watkins Bills
6-5 - 205 - Clemson

The Bills aggressively moved up from the ninth pick to the fourth choice to snag the top wideout in the draft. Watkins, who features speed and excellent run-after-the-catch ability, figures to serve as the team's No. 1 receiver, but his 2014 fantasy production hinges on the development of second-year quarterback EJ Manuel.

3. Brandin Cooks Saints
5-10 - 189 - Oregon State

Although Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston and Kenny Stills are still on the Saints, the speedy Cooks (selected 20th overall) will own a playmaking role in an explosive offense, following the departures of Darren Sproles and Lance Moore.

4. Kelvin Benjamin Panthers
6-5 - 241 - Florida State

After parting ways with Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn, the Panthers have an immediate need for a top wideout. Given that the veteran replacement committee assembled by the team features Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant and Tiquan Underwood, it's a role that the hulking Benjamin, who the team tabbed 28th overall, could fill right away.

5. Jordan Matthews Eagles
6-3 - 212 - Vanderbilt

While Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper man the outside, the second-rounder figures to initially work the slot in the Philadelphia offense, an upgrade over previous jobholder, Jason Avant. Meanwhile, Matthews has the advantage of working in Chip Kelly's high-octane attack, which could make him a sneaky late-round grab.

6. Odell Beckham Giants
5-11 - 198 - LSU

Bump up the 12th pick overall in re-draft formats if he overtakes fellow wideout Rueben Randle as the preseason rolls along. The speedy Beckham is already an accomplished route-runner and could do some damage opposite Victor Cruz if quarterback Eli Manning can turn things around after a subpar 2013 effort.

7. Martavis Bryant Steelers
6-4 - 211 - Clemson

Fourth-round wideouts are typically fantasy long shots, but at 6-4, Bryant could factor in as a red-zone weapon for the Steelers, with someone needing to make up for the loss of Jerricho Cotchery's 10 touchdowns.

8. Marqise Lee Jaguars
6-0 - 192 - USC

Jacksonville is a good destination for Lee, who was once viewed as a top-10 pick. The team needs immediate wideout help due to Justin Blackmon's uncertain playing future. Lee, who fell to 39th overall largely due to injury woes last season, has fellow second-rounder Allen Robinson with whom to compete, but Lee has a shot to emerge as the Jags' No. 2 wideout behind Cecil Shorts.

9. Cody Latimer Broncos
6-2 - 215 - Indiana

As potent as the Denver passing game is, fellow wideouts Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Emmanuel Sanders are also in the mix, which hurts Latimer's chances of making a big impact as a rookie. Ultimately, he represents a viable long-term replacement for Eric Decker.

10. Allen Robinson Jaguars
6-3 - 210 - Penn State

Robinson may not be an immediate fantasy consideration with Cecil Shorts and Lee also in the Jags' receiving mix, but he's a good-sized wideout who could develop into a red-zone weapon for future franchise QB Blake Bortles.

WR Sleepers
Donte Moncrief Colts [ 6-2 - 221 - Mississippi ]
Davante Adams Packers [ 6-1 - 212 - Fresno State ]
Jarvis Landry Dolphins [ 5-11 - 205 - LSU ]


1. Eric Ebron Lions
6-4 - 245 - North Carolina

The No. 10 overall pick has good speed for his size and provides the Lions with another red-zone threat. With star wideout Calvin Johnson under constant scrutiny from opposing defenders, it's not hard to imagine Ebron seeing enough single-coverage to carve out instant value in deeper formats, despite the continued presence of fellow tight end Brandon Pettigrew.

2. Austin Seferian-Jenkins Buccaneers
6-5 - 260 - Washington

Along with big wideout targets Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans, the second-round tight end provides the Bucs' improving pass offense with another intriguing red-zone option. Seferian-Jenkins still has Tim Wright, Brandon Myers and Luke Stocker with whom to contend for TE looks, but there's little doubt he's the upside play among the quartet.

3. Jace Amaro Jets
6-5 - 260 - Texas Tech

A refined pass-catcher, who should overtake Jeff Cumberland as the Jets' top TE option, Amaro could do enough to merit fantasy attention as a rookie if he develops quick chemistry with the team's still-to-be-determined quarterback.

TE Sleepers
Troy Niklas Cardinals [ 6-6 - 270 - Notre Dame ]
Colt Lyerla Packers [ 6-4 - 247 - Oregon ]
C.J. Fiedorowicz Texans [ 6-5 - 265 - Iowa ]

1.  Sammy Watkins WR
2.  Mike Evans WR
3.  Carlos Hyde RB
4.  Bishop Sankey RB
5.  Brandin Cooks WR
6.  Johnny Manziel QB
7.  Terrance West RB
8.  Eric Ebron TE
9.  Jeremy Hill RB
10.  Jordan Matthews WR
11.  Devonta Freeman RB
12.  Kelvin Benjamin WR
13.  Davante Adams WR
14.  Odell Beckham WR
15.  Cody Latimer WR
16.  Andre Williams RB
17.  Tre Mason RB
18.  Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE
19.  Jace Amaro TE
20.  Marqise Lee WR
21.  Blake Bortles QB
22.  Teddy Bridgewater QB
23.  Allen Robinson WR
24.  Charles Sims RB
25.  Donte Moncrief WR