by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
The 2014 rookie wide receiver class was historic, to say the least. Littered with potential Top 20-25 options for 2015 and beyond, how do we rank them for moving forward? This list is going to change as theoffseason progresses, but let’s take an early look:
1) Odell Beckham Jr. – New York Giants
Is this really a surprise for anyone? He put up unbelievable numbers (91 catches, 1,305 yards, 12 TD), despite missing the first four games and all of training camp. Could you imagine what he will do if he’s healthy all year long and gets a full set of preseason workouts? You could easily argue that he’s a Top 5 option already and only getting better.
2) Mike Evans – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The next few players will likely be moved around a bit, depending on the circumstances each are in. However, it’s hard to argue against Evans as he put up impressive numbers (68 receptions, 1,051 yards, 12 TD) despite questionable play at quarterback. If the Buccaneers find a franchise QB this offseason, which is possible at the top of the draft, he could really emerge in 2015.
3) Kelvin Benjamin – Carolina Panthers
He has Cam Newton, which does give him an advantage, and was also impressive with 1,008 yards and 9 TD. He’s going to continue working as the teams primary red zone threat and, with a year of experience and hopefully a healthy Newton, so the numbers should continue to grow.
4) Jordan Matthews – Philadelphia Eagles
There are two main questions facing Matthews:
- Who will play QB
- Will Jeremy Maclin return
Still he finished fifth in receptions by rookies (67) and is going to be in an extremely up tempo offense, meaning there’s a good chance for continued production.
5) Sammy Watkins – Buffalo Bills
He clearly hit a rookie wall:
- First 8 games – 38 receptions, 590 yards, 5 TD
- Second 8 games – 27 receptions, 392 yards, 1 TD
Improvements in the QB play certainly will go a long ways, because there’s no questioning the talent.
6) Brandin Cooks – New Orleans Saints
Could he emerge as the team’ stop receiver in his sophomore season? He was really coming on strong before missing the end of the season and only appearing in 10 games. Look for a full breakout in 2015, as the entire team should improve.
7) Donte Moncrief – Indianapolis Colts
The Hakeem Nicks experiment was a bust and Reggie Wayne appears to be about through. That opens the door for Moncrief to emerge as the #2 option for Andrew Luck, and we all know that’s an enviable spot to be in.
8) Jarvis Landry – Miami Dolphins
He’s safe and will continue on in the role he played in 2014 (84 receptions, second among rookies). Hard not to like those type of numbers.
9) Davante Adams – Green Bay Packers
We will see what the offseason brings, but an expanded role and Aaron a Rodgers should mean big things.
10) Cody Latimer – Denver Broncos
He didn’t do much in his rookie season, but it’s easy to imagine him taking on a significant role as the third receiver (replacing Wes Welker). That said, with the development of C.J. Anderson and Peyton Manning getting older, it’s hard to expect significant numbers.
Just Missed – Martavis Bryant, Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee
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