Dynasty: 2014 Top 24 Rookie Rankings (June)
These dynasty rankings and evaluations were completed by our Rookie Evaluation Scout Nick Scott, aka EastBayFunk.
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Vertically explosive receiver with a rare size/speed ratio. Not the tallest guy around, but he's very heavy for his size. Can do some possession stuff, but can also hit the home run on deep passes or catch-and-runs. He's a bit straight-line in his movement and his lower body fluidity/sideways quickness leaves a little bit to be desired. He's not the smoothest athlete in this WR class, but what he has is sheer height/weight/speed/explosiveness. I see him being a relatively safe 1.01 pick. A notch down from the mega elite WR prospects like Calvin, but roughly on par in talent/outlook compared with Crabtree and Blackmon coming out of college (much different playing style though). He may not be the top player in this group when the dust settles, but he seems like he'll be a multi year 1000+ yard NFL WR.
Tall and aggressive with long arms and soft hands. Immense production in college. Not sudden, but has good built-up speed. Stiff and upright. Not the athlete that Vincent Jackson is, despite the frequency of that comparison. He is a long-strider with limited ability to sink his hips, drive off his plants, and make people miss. I wish he had better separation skills, but based on him being a 6'4"+ top 10 draft pick at WR, I think you have to take him if you stay in the two slot. He fits the generic mold of the guys who become dominant FF WRs.
The proverbial WR in a TEs body. Very clean movement skills with good speed, agility, and footwork. Great potential as a route runner. He may be the safest skill position prospect in this draft. There are some negatives though. While fast and athletic, he doesn't really have that next level freakish Jimmy Graham or Vernon Davis type of athletic ability. He drops too many passes and seems to lack focus in general. Talent-wise, he's close to a sure thing for a solid career. He may take a year to find his stride in the league, but he's a top 4-5 dynasty option at his position from day one. With Golden Tate and Calvin Johnson pulling coverage deep, he will be a nightmare in the middle of the field. Should be a reception machine, though the TDs might not be spectacular.
Cooks clearly has a special athletic quality with his elite speed/acceleration, which shows up both on the field and in workouts. His shuttle times at the combine were almost off-the-charts fast. Put him on turf with Brees and the possibilities are exciting. He could have immediate WR3/flex value as a rookie. At the same time, he looks and plays very small without the conventional frame of a #1 target. There is some risk that he ends up being just a flashy complementary piece rather than a go-to target, but in this New Orleans offense, that's still an exciting proposition until Brees retires.
Maybe the best overall athlete at WR in the draft. Good speed. Fluid movement with crisp route running ability and great suddenness. He shows some aggressiveness with the ball in the air. I think he's a can't-miss NFL talent, but his value in FF may be limited by his small frame. He will not outmuscle anyone in the NFL and doesn't have the size of a conventional number one target. I think he was overdrafted by about 15-30 picks where the Giants took him. He should become a top 20-30 dynasty WR, but I don't see top 10 upside. So if you're looking for a real difference-maker, you should probably look elsewhere.
I don't like him that much on tape. I think he's just okay. I also think Shonn Greene may be a little harder to nudge aside than most expect. All the same, Sankey was the first RB drafted and he has the best immediate opportunity of any RB in this class. Barring a catastrophic rookie year, he should hold solid trade value for the next 12 months. If you don't like what you see after year one, pawn him off to a believer and try your luck again next year.
My favorite WR in the draft on film, but there are some tweener qualities that warrant a little bit of caution. He doesn't quite fit the height/weight/speed profile of an elite pro because his 40 time is too slow. Despite showing up at the combine with a high height/weight, he has very limited lower body strength and is really a finesse player in style. He is not a slam dunk number one NFL WR, but he's an athlete and a gamer who should find a way to produce (even if it's ultimately as a number two target). He has rare quickness and RAC skills for a tall receiver with jump ball skills and sneaky route running ability to boot. For the price of a late first, I like the gamble. Linking up with the same WR coach who had Anquan Boldin as a rookie is a nice little bonus.
I don't love Hyde as a NFL talent. He's fluid with an ideal frame for the position, but he lacks fast-twitch explosiveness and deep run ability. He's a one speed runner and in the NFL that might be a problem. San Francisco's running game is formidable, but the 49ers have a mixed track record evaluating skill prospects (AJ Jenkins, Vance McDonald, LaMichael James). While it's the most likely outcome, I don't think you can assume that he's going to run away with Frank Gore's job in a year or two. All the same, the prospect of getting a war horse in this running game is very inticing and warrants a high pick.