2013 Early Sleeper Predictions: Wide Receiver
Keep in mind that the ranking isn’t about who will have the best overall numbers, but how well, we believe, they perform in comparison to preseason rankings.
8. Davone Bess (ESPN 78th Ranked WR)
In 2009 and 2010, Bess had more than 75 receptions. New opportunity in Cleveland with Norv Turner calling the shots. No.1 recevier Josh Gordon to be out first couple weeks due to suspension.
7. Vincent Brown (ESPN 72nd Ranked WR)
After suffering a broken ankle in last years preseason, Brown did not play at all in 2012. The Chargers knew what they were getting from the SDSU Aztec receiver who averaged over 17 yards/catch in his 2011 rookie season. It’s whether Brown can stay healthy or not. Currently, the third-round draft pick is dealing with hamstring issues.
6. Jonathan Baldwin (ESPN 111th Ranked WR)
Baldwin’s size and speed is similar to Demariyus Thomas. Tebow to Manning worked out well for Thomas. Andy Reid is the new sheriff in town with new QB Alex Smith. It’s time for the first round draft pick in 2011 to shine in his third year. Dwayne Bowe will be attracting a lot of attention leaving one-on-one opportunities for the 6’4” receiver.
5. Alshon Jeffrey (ESPN 48th Ranked WR)
Jeffrey was once touted as the best player in college football’s best division, the SEC. In only 10 games played in his 2012 rookie season, Jeffrey averaged over 15 yards/catch with three touchdowns (half the amount of touchdowns scored by Matt Forte in 2012). New OC, Mark Trestman, will open up the offense and Brandon Marshall will have all eyes on him leaving one-on-one opportunities for the 6’3” downfield threat.
4. DeAndre Hopkins (ESPN 47th Ranked WR)
First overall receiver selected in the 2013 draft at No.27. Hopkins graded well in the combine with his 4.5, 40-time and 36-inch vertical added with his 6’1” 215 pound frame. Electric player in Clemson has the ability to shine on Sundays as the flanker to Andre Johnson.
3. Miles Austin (ESPN 35th Ranked WR)
If there is a trend in this countdown, it’s No.2 receivers in high-profiled, or soon to be high-profiled, passing attacks. In 2009 and 2010, Austin had more than 1,000 receiving yards and a combined 18 touchdowns. Romo throws the rock and a healthy Austin will get his targets (over 115 in each of the last three full seasons).
2. Michael Floyd(ESPN 44th Ranked WR)
Floyd is a big-body receiver who can stretch the field. A perfect combination for a Bruce Arians offense who threw the ball 63 percent of the time. Luck had the fifth-most passing attempts in his rookie year under Arians. Gun slinger, Carson Palmer can stretch the field with his arm and because of it will throw interceptions helping the Cardinal’s receiver value needing to catch up in most games.
1. Denario Alexander (ESPN 34th Ranked WR)- Injury Update- Tore ACL 8/6
In his first year with the Chargers, Alexander averaged 18 yards/catch with 7 touchdowns in 10 games. New OC equals a better offense meaning one-on-one opportunities for Rivers who made a career out of throwing it up to V-Jax and Floyd during his better years.