2013 NFL Fantasy Impact: Rookies
The 2013 draft was unlike any we had recently seen. After watching four skilled (QB, RB, WR) players go in the top five last year, the top seven teams, this year, decided to beef up allowing the Rams to grab West Virginia star Tavon Austin at eight.
Tavon Austin provides great athletic ability and quickness averaging 7.5 yards on catches at or behind the line of scrimmage last year leading the FBS in total yards on those type of catches. The second fastest official 40-yd dash time (4.25) was confirmation to the explosive career Austin had in West Virginia. The Rams released Danny Amendola for a faster more athletic receiver who I would put in the same category as Percy Harvin coming out of college. Sam Bradford needs somebody to throw to and Austin will be his go-to guy in 2013.
2013 PROJECTION: 70 receptions, 900 receiving yards, 7 TDs
Montee Ball is everything an NFL team looks for in a rookie running back. As a proven work-horse, touchdown machine, and chain mover in college, Ball will play for an offensive attack that highlights their backfield in red zone attempts and goal-to-go rushes. Since 2011, Montee Ball was the best running back in the FBS and is put in the best situation out of any rookie in 2013 to succeed when considering the Broncos personnel.
2013 PROJECTION: 200-250 rush attempts, 900+ rushing yards, 10+ TDs
Jacksonville created a new offensive position for fifth-round selection Denard Robinson who might have the most raw talent out of any rookie this year. A lot will depend on how the Jags use Robinson, but we could see him in many different formations in the slot, backfield, or lined up behind the center. Due to the ability of Robinson and the inability of Jacksonville to create any excitement on offense, the ex-Wolverine could very well lead all rookies in total yards.
2013 PROJECTION: 300-400 receiving yards, 300-400 rushing yards, 5 TDs
Pac-12 receivers, Robert Woods and Keenan Allen, had impressive junior seasons but were less productive their senior year. According to Chris Brown of the Bills’ website, Woods has been impressive with his route running and looks to be the flanker on the opposite side of Steve Johnson. The question is will rookie QB E.J Emmanuel be able to get Woods the ball? Along with C.J. Spiller and a new coaching staff who ran the ball more last year at Syracuse, it seems Woods is going to have to go through some growing pains before succeeding in the NFL.
2013 PROJECTION: 35 receptions, 400-500 receiving yards, 3 TDs
Third-round selection Keenan Allen is coming into a much better situation with Phillip Rivers at the helm than Woods, but a congested-undeclared receiving corps leaves Allen’s projection up in the air. If Allen impresses, he could start. If Allen doesn’t impress, he will have to battle it out with Vincent Brown, Malcolm Floyd, Eddie Royal, and Robert Meachem for playing time. Both Mike McCoy and Ken Whisenhunt were brought in to amp up the passing attack, one of the reasons the Chargers selected Allen.
2013 PROJECTION: 45 receptions, 600 receiving yards, 4 TDs
The Green Bay offense released Greg Jennings during the off-season and might be a better-more-complete offense with the additions of Eddie Lacy and Jonathan Franklin. The Packers have struggled to find a consistent running game and might have found it with the duo of Lacy and Franklin. The Bama back averaged 7.6 yards between the tackles and the ex-Bruin worked best out of the Shotgun last year catching the ball out of the backfield.
LACY: 200-250 rushing attempts, 1,000 rushing yards, 8 TDs
Franklin: 30-35 receptions, 300 receiving yards, 300 rushing yards, 3 TDs