2013 was the first time in 49 years that no running back was selected in the first round. This year they not only waited until the second round again, but the very first back was not selected until the 54th overall pick in the draft - ten spots deeper than any other in history. There is simply no denying the move to being a passing league and the devaluing of the running back. Granted - the Seahawks and 49ers met in the NFC Championship game with Seattle later winning the Superbowl and both were the only teams that ran more than it passed last year. No matter. Throw the ball a lot. That is the NFL directive.
A dozen wide receivers were drafted in just the first two rounds and nine of those went before any running back was selected. There were even seven tight ends taken in the first three rounds.
Last season we witnessed the previous rookie stars of Doug Martin and Trent Richardson stumble significantly but Eddie Lacy, Zac Stacy and Le'Veon Bell all produced great stats and Montee Ball appears to be getting his turn this season. That wasn't enough to prod any NFL team to step up and grab an early back. None of the rookie wideouts of 2013 amounted to a difference maker except for the 3.14 pick of Keenan Allen.
Here's the first look at the Top 12 fantasy rookies as of the end of the draft. And until training camp opens and the pads go on - you just cannot be sure about any of them. A few will soar and a few will flop. And a few not mentioned will surprise. The morning after the draft, here is the starting point for fantasy expectations for 2014 value.
1. RB Bishop Sankey (5-9, 209 - Washington) Tennessee Titans 2.22
What rnard in many ways.
Fantasy Expectation: Sankey the most attractive rookie back.
2. WR Sammy Watkins (6-1, 211 - Clemson) Buffalo Bills 1.04
This pick looke
Fantasy Expectation: Even though to Buffalo.
3. WR Mike Evans (6-5, 231 - Texas A&M) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1.07
While Evans won't likely has as Tampa Bay even as a rookie.
Fantasy Expectation: Evans was a b ew level for the Buccaneers.
4. RB Jeremy Hill (6-1, 233 – LSU) Cincinnati Bengals 2.23
This could be one of the most talented of all rookie backs.
Fantasy Expectation: Hill brings in a uction will always be capped.
5. WR Brandin Cooks ( 5-10, 189 - Oregon State) New Orleans Saints, 1.20
Giving Drew Bre ver the middle.
Fantasy Expectation: Marques Cols lented wideout playing with Drew Brees demands tracking in training camp.
6. WR Kelvin Benjamin (6-5, 240- Florida State) Carolina Panthers 1.28
Not unlike Mike Evans, B mith left. The Panthers had a motley crew of wide receivers until Benjamin was selected and he will become the main connection for Cam Newton.
Fantasy Expectation: Benjamin fin
7. RB Terance West (5-9, 225- Towson) Cleveland Browns 3.30
The Browns brought olid runner and can provide the "big heavy" role in an offense.
Fantasy Expectation: West has t r stash.
8. WR Jordan Mathews (6-3, 212- Vanderbilt) Philadelphia Eagles 2.10
The Eagles parted w art of what should be a very productive passing attack.
Fantasy Expectation: He is mature a as much as WR3 fantasy value.
9. RB Tre Mason (5-8, 207- Auburn) St. Louis Rams 3.11
Mason leaves a tre aller than most, but he's been vastly productive as a runner in the SEC.
Fantasy Expectation:Not pass bl s year, but he could make it more interesting in 2015.
10. TE Eric Ebron (6-4, 250, North Carolina) Detroit Lions 1.10
Scouts saw Ebron as one mmy Graham only produced 31-356-5).
Fantasy Expectation: No dou
11. QB Johnny Manziel (6-0, 207 Texas A&M) Cleveland Browns 1.22
What you have to rem wasn't because he had Mr. Football's cell phone number.
Fantasy Expectation: Most likely he ith the least talented set of wideouts in the league.
12. RB Carlos Hyde (6-0, 230 Ohio State) San Francisco 49ers 2.25
While Hyde looks to only play
Fantasy Expectation: Hyde on scary good.
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