Over the six months before our next meaningful snap of NFL football we’ll be treated to the annual influx of talent from the college ranks. Some names—Andrew Luck, for example—you’re already familiar with; others, not so much. But at this time last year how much did you really know about DeMarco Murray, Roy Helu, or Doug Baldwin?
Consider this your quick and dirty orientation to the 2012 rookies.
Here you’ll find snapshots of the soon-to-be- rookie class, as well as a glimpse of what they bring to the NFL table. This isn’t an exhaustive scouting report; there are plenty who devote themselves to the college game, and if you check my Twitter list of NFL Draft follows you’ll find many of the ones whose opinion I’ve come to trust. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t formed my own opinions about this year’s rookie crop, and I’ll share those here as well. I’ll also include any NFL comparisons these scouts are making; I’ve found that having an NFL frame of reference for a college player’s potential makes it easier to get a handle on their fantasy value.
Of course, much of the fantasy value and potential of these players won’t be determined until we know what NFL team they land with. But there’s no reason you can’t already have a base of knowledge to work with, giving you a leg up on your fantasy league be it dynasty or redraft.
Below are preliminary rankings of the Class of 2012, based primarily on where in the NFL draft these players are expected to go off the board. The bolded names indicate players whose expected draft position falls on the first two days of the draft, though from Tom Brady to Victor Cruz it’s been established that where you’re drafted isn’t the sole predictor of success. These rankings will be tweaked throughout the predraft season, then revised extensively once we learn where each will ply their professional trade. If there are players not included here who you feel might deserve a closer look, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see if we can add them to the mix.