Evan Silva

Dynasty Rankings

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Dynasty Rookie Top 40

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


These are rough post-Combine, pre-draft Dynasty Rookie Rankings that will be shaken up once landing spots are established. I believe there is a pretty clear-cut Top 7 and it becomes a bit murky after that. Where in the real-life draft players are selected by NFL teams will also play a major role in determining how to slot them in Dynasty rookie drafts. Guys who get drafted higher tend to get more opportunities, and opportunity is obviously crucial in fantasy football.

1. West Virginia WR Kevin White -- White only had one big statistical season in college, but knocked it out of the park (109-1,447-10) before doing the same in Indy. Measuring in at 6-foot-3, 215, White ran a 4.35 forty and showed adequate lower-body explosion with a 10-foot-3 broad jump. White isn't as quick in short areas as Amari Cooper, but projects as more of an alpha-type No. 1 wideout who wins on the perimeter in similar ways to Julio Jones. I suspect White will be a top-five real-draft pick, and he should be a shoo-in top-three Dynasty rookie. I believe White offers the highest rookie wideout ceiling, while Cooper has the safest floor.

2. Alabama WR Amari Cooper -- Cooper's short-area quickness stands out both on tape and on the spreadsheet. His catching radius is limited and he lacks ideal size (6'1/211), but Cooper is going to be very difficult for defensive backs to cover. This shows up in Cooper's 20-yard shuttle time (3.98), easily the best in this year's wideout class. Cooper profiles similarly to Sammy Watkins, although I suspect he will be asked to handle more passing-game volume than Watkins did as a rookie. Cooper is a likely top-ten real-draft selection and -- along with Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon, and White -- squarely in the hunt for the 1.01 spot in rookie drafts.

3. Georgia RB Todd Gurley -- The lone red flag on Gurley is his 2014 ACL tear. The quintessential running back prospect on film, Gurley is a twitched-up tackle breaker with trucking power, home-run speed, and soft hands. He can break long runs in addition to keep the chains moving. Gurley is also one of the better pass-protecting backs in this class. Watch his games and you know he's special. Remove the injury concerns and I think Gurley is a good-distance better than Melvin Gordon.

4. Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon -- I don't think Gordon's on-field skill is in the same tier as Gurley's. More of a boom-or-bust back than consistent offense sustainer, Gordon has a tendency to stop moving his feet behind the line of scrimmage, which too frequently leads to stuffs and negative runs. He is not pro-ready in pass protection, and his tackle-breaking ability is limited. But Gordon is a smooth slasher with big-play ability and could dominate in an offense that frequently schemes him into space. Because of Gurley's knee injury, I wouldn't have a problem with anyone selecting Gordon as the No. 1 rookie Dynasty back.

5. Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong -- There are mixed opinions on Strong's college tape, but he certainly turned heads in Indy, blazing a 4.44 forty and demonstrating lower-body explosion in the vertical (42") and broad (10'3") jumps at over 6-foot-2 and 217 pounds. When combined with multiple years of big-time Pac 12 receiving production, Strong checks a lot of boxes as a high-floor, high-ceiling prospect. His Combine performance has vaulted Strong into the first-round real-draft discussion. He's solidified himself as a mid-first-round rookie Dynasty pick.

6. Louisville WR DeVante Parker -- White and Cooper stand atop the wideout class, but there is an argument at No. 3 between Strong, Parker, and Dorial Green-Beckham. Landing spot figures to differentiate them. Parker didn't blow up the Combine like Strong, but has a much higher floor than DGB. Equipped with the best hands in the draft, Parker hardly disappointed in Indy, running 4.45 with a 36 1/2-inch vert and 10-foot-5 broad jump at just under 6-foot-3 and 209 pounds. Parker has longer arms (33 1/4") than White and is a better winner of contested passes than Cooper. No matter where he ends up, Parker should be a Week 1 starter with plenty of growth potential. He projects as a low-end No. 1 real-life receiver or a high-end No. 2.

7. Missouri WR Dorial Green-Beckham -- "DGB" is massive (6'5/237) with great speed (4.49) relative to his size. His jumps (9'11" broad, 33 1/2" vertical) were rather pedestrian, and Green-Beckham failed to stand out in the shuttle runs. He clearly isn't Megatron in terms of all-around athleticism, but Green-Beckham was put on Earth to score touchdowns, something he did on 47 percent of his college red-zone targets according to a recent study by Number Fire's Graham Barfield. NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah has likened DGB to Vincent Jackson. If not for myriad off-field issues that render him a boom-or-bust prospect, DGB would be threatening for a top-five Dynasty rookie pick. As is, he's more of a mid to late first-rounder.

8. Boise State RB Jay Ajayi -- Built compactly (6'0/221) with light feet and plus quickness, Ajayi is an extremely determined and aggressive runner. He is also among the most natural pass-catching backs in this draft. One concern on Ajayi's tape was a tendency to take a lot of big hits, although he was rarely injured in college. I thought Ajayi was more of a finesse than power runner, but in a good way. He shined in Indy, logging a 4.57 forty with a 39-inch vertical, 10-foot-1 broad jump, and outstanding marks in the shuttle runs. Ajayi must clean up his pass protection. When he does, I see Ayaji as a three-down NFL workhorse.

9. Alabama RB T.J. Yeldon -- A gliding, exceptionally quick-footed prospect on tape, Yeldon's running style reminds of Arian Foster. He is a downhill zone runner with NFL-ready passing-game skills. Yeldon had the same pre-draft weigh-in (6'1/226) as Foster with a superior vertical (36" to 32"), broad jump (9'9" to 9'7"), forty (4.61 to 4.69), and short shuttle (4.22 to 4.53). Foster did post a better three-cone time (7.09 to 7.19). Yeldon is a smooth pass catcher and has been pass protecting in Alabama's pro-style offense since he was a true freshman. Yeldon offers three-down feature back potential and should see the field early in his NFL career.

10. Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah -- Although he failed to impress in the forty-yard dash (4.60), Abdullah crushed the explosion and agility drills so much that he earned the highest SPARQ score in this year's running back class. Abdullah is a tougher version of C.J. Spiller on film, displaying explosive lateral moves and natural inside running ability despite limited size (5'8/205). Although his coaching staff may balk at employing Abdullah as a true workhorse early on, I personally believe he is capable of operating as a lead NFL back. When you watch Abdullah on college tape, you see a legitimately great football player.


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Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva



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