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matthews2This rookie wide receiver class is one of the deepest in years.  The next eight wide outs that I will briefly discuss all have the ability to start in the NFL and be productive.  I have my doubts that more than one or two of them will become superstars, but they will be good depth for your dynasty team.  Each receiver has a wart or two that is pushing them slightly down the rankings. I have ranked them by skill level from the games and practices I have watched.

8. Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt

He is a physical player who can battle defensive backs up and down the field.  Matthews knows how to use his body to create space and has good hands.  His 2013 numbers were more of a result of a lack of other offensive weapons as he played more successfully with Jordan Rodgers (Aaron’s younger brother) throwing him the ball and Zach Stacy (now starter for St. Louis) running it.  He plays a bit stiff and is a long strider, but is athletic enough to be a great WR2 in the NFL.  If he ends up being a receiver in a target rich environment like Carolina or Oakland, Matthews could have even greater value than some on my first list.

9. Jarvis Landry, LSU

Landry is a great technician because he runs fantastic routes and puts himself in the best position to make the play.  It’s his lateral agility and suddenness that help create tight spaces.  The receiver exposes those to make quick receptions.  He makes his fair share of contested catches, wrestling the ball away from tight coverage.  Landry’s huge catch radius and smoothness make him one of the best third down threats in his class.  He will be more successful in a spread offense like Denver or New England.

10. Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss

He explodes off the line quickly, catches the ball well in stride, and is strong enough to carry several defenders down the field.  If you watch his 2012 tape, Moncrief looks like a monster; however, his 2013 tape makes him look a bit lazy.  The receiver tends to use his body too much to make receptions and struggles against better competition.  Moncrief seemed to overrun his corner back and then wait for the ball to arrive, while misjudging his leaps.  He looked more like his 2012 self at the Combine, so perhaps the wide out is stepping up his game.

11. Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State

The first thing you notice about Benjamin is how huge his is.  Because he is so big, it takes the receiver time to build up his speed.  Now that isn’t to say that Benjamin isn’t quick and athletic, but he isn’t the most fluid of players.  He uses his body a lot to catch passes and doesn’t run very clean, crisp routes. Those inconsistencies he brings could drive his quarterback and offensive coordinator crazy. However with his massive size and power, Benjamin can run thru people and is hard to bring down once he has the ball in his hands.  He is a huge boom or bust dynasty prospect.

12. Allen Robinson, Penn State

Robinson might be underrated here if you believe he got held back by his quarterback this past season.  He is very quick off the line and did a lot of damage with short passes, including a few bubble screens.  Robinson is also a very physical player who can fight his way into a contested catch down the field.  However, there is nothing elite about his game that I see, so I have him ranked lower than most.

13. Robert Herron, Wyoming

He was another receiver that impressed during the Mobile practices.  Herron has the foot frequency and shiftiness to get a clean release off the line, wherever he lines up.  He starts and stops on a dime while needing almost time to accelerate past the defense at full speed.  Herron catches the ball with the palms of his hands, usually in stride, and fights for the ball in the middle of the field.

14. Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin

Abbrederis doesn’t look like an impressive athlete in shorts.  He does his talking on the football field.  In Mobile, I don’t think I saw him drop a pass as he was snaring everything that got thrown his way.  Abbrederis has soft hands, runs crisp routes, and plucks the ball out of the air.  He might be a better slot receiver, but he can also play outside.  It’s his dependability and grittiness that will make an NFL team draft him.

15. Brandon Coleman, Rutgers

He towers above almost everyone at 6′ 6″ 225 lbs. and has good straight line speed running a 40 in 4.56 seconds.  Coleman can pluck the ball out of the air at its highest point, but is not a tough, physical player.  He has less than ideal balance , which isn’t helped by his stiff hips, and he gets knocked off routes making Coleman hard to target on deeper routes.

For further questions or comments, you can reach me at @AndrewMiley or @Dynasty_Blitz on twitter. 

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