2014 Rookie Receivers Look Real Deal

First Round

Sammy Watkins: Instantly became the number one receiver, replacing Stevie Johnson. Watkins is a physical specimen that will make freak-athlete type of catches. He is well-rounded, racking up 15 yards per reception with a handful of scores and a trio of triple-digit performances. Any time the ball goes his way, he is a home run threat.

Mike Evans: Looks like a mix of teammate Vincent Jackson, and Michael Floyd of the Cardinals. He’s a big guy at 6’5 and starting opposite of V.J. Just when you think he’s a possession receiver, he beats you deep and use his vertical to tower over DBs. He’s averaging 13 yards per catch with a pair of touchdown grabs.

Odell Beckham: He’s been limited to three game after missing the beginning of the season, but he looks great despite the lack of attention. Everyone wants to single out some of his teammates to fill the void left by Victor Cruz. Look no further than the kid that reeled in a touchdown in his debut, running a polished route and leaping for the grab. He did well in his first start against the rival Cowboys with a couple scores, he has three in as many games.

Brandin Cooks: He has been a playmaker so far for the Saints. A speed guy that can beat you downfield, they give him a rush here and there too. He has a few breakout games already and has become the moveable chess piece in the offense (relatable to the Queen). In nearly a must-win last week against the Packers on prime time, he crossed the endzone off a rush and a reception. He’s scored thrice so far.

Kelvin Benjamin: The kid keeps flirting with the century mark, only eclipsing it once but he came close a few times. The instant number one replacing Steve Smith, Benjamin is bigger than every defensive back at 6’5, 240 lbs. He fits what Cam Newton and the Panthers like to do, and that consists of running intermediate routes and going up for the ball. He uses his body well, both in the middle and along the sidelines. He’s picking up 15 yards per play and has five scores.


Second Round

Jordan Matthews: He’s been a slot receiver in Chip Kelly’s offense. His role has stayed the same, but his usage has spiked with double-digit targets coming out of a bye week. He’s another chess piece player that has lined up in the backfield at times. He has great hands and is exciting to watch as a YAC threat. Philly will keep mixing up his routes because the kid looks like a polished route runner and fairly well-rounded. His two touchdowns on the year came against the rival Redskins in a high-scoring affair. Still raw, he reminds me of Dez Bryant.

Devante Adams: He has run away with the number three role in Green Bay, in the absence of Jarrett Boykin. Hauling in 11 yards a catch and scoring twice, Adams has actually led the strong receiving corps in targets in two games. He’s a good route runner with strong hands, and the trust of Aaron Rodgers. With Randall Cobb slated to hit free agency, Adams could very well stake his claim to a bigger role next season to save the team some cash, especially after extending Jordy Nelson in the offseason.

Allen Robinson: One of three rookie receivers on the Jaguars, and a team full of rookie starters for that matter, Robinson has quickly settled in as the top passing target. Averaging 11 yards per catch with a pair of scores, Robinson has shown versatility. He’s beating corners deep, and making tough intermediate grabs. He’s a very good player that could be overlooked for playing on a struggling team. It looks like the Jags are prepared for life after Justin Blackmon, but if he returns to the field next season, this would be a dangerous duo.

Jarvis Landry: Exciting on special teams, the injury to Brandon Gibson opened the door for him to win the job all to himself, similar to Adams. He has done just that, and looks like a playmaker that will soon cut into Brian Hartline’s snaps on the outside. Miami is easing him in but he’s forcing them to not only play him, but throw to him when he’s on the field. He’s averaging a first down per catch with one TD.


Third Round

Donte Moncrief: Mostly playing limited snaps in a reserve role, he’s looked good when given the opportunity. Last week he started and went for over one hundred yards, with Reggie Wayne sidelined. He also scored his first touchdown. Previously, I know it’s the Jaguars, but he tallied four catches and a rush against the rivals. Another big receiver known for yards after the catch, I see a young Anquan Boldin in him.

John Brown: Already integrated into the system, Brown has been a mismatch nightmare with any of the three QBs on the roster. They put him in the slot and he does the rest, usually beating a corner and safety on a deep ball. He’s a fast guy with some shake to him, kind of like Cooks. They take advantage of sandwiching him between Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, and they’ll throw screens to him too. He’s getting 14 yards a pass and has has four scores. At first he was compared to T.Y. Hilton. Last week, head coach Bruce Arians, said he reminds him of a young Marvin Harrison.


Fourth Round

Martavis Bryant: Two games played, two impact performances for Bryant. He’s already scored three times, opposite of the sensational Antonio Brown. A big part of Ben Roethlisberger’s 500-yard outing last week, Bryant immediately outplayed starter Markus Wheaton. With a short sample size, his playing style of a big downfield threat compares to Alshon Jeffery.