Sometimes I am just a bit off on some of my evaluations of players in the NFL. Most importantly for Fantasy Football. This is not a good thing, but realizing I do this with some consistency is a good thing. I am usually a little more accurate on RBs as they can come in and have lots of success as rookies. So who is ‘a year away’ from breaking out this year? Let’s take a look.
QB: This year we had a strong class of Quarterbacks drafted, at least in number. None more publicized than Johnny Manziel. Blake Bortles though looked really good at times in preseason. He may start at some point in 2014, but he is probably a year away.
If Manziel gets to play this year, he may have some matchup value. Running QBs usually do fairly decent in their first year, mostly based on rushing yards and TDs. I think Cam Newton kind of rewrote the book on this with his rookie season.
Teddy Bridgewater lost the battle with Matt Cassel for the starting job in Minnesota, but he could end up playing if Cassel falters. His future is probably 2015 at the earliest.
RB: There are a few rookie Running Backs that are behind some proven starters this season. The cream of the crop for me is Carlos Hyde in San Francisco. He reminded me of Frank Gore when I watched him play last winter. He reminded the 49ers of Gore too as they drafted him in the 2nd round. Look for Hyde to contribute this season, but unless Gore gets injured, his time is at least a year off.
Alfred Blue, despite having my second favorite last name of all time (first is Jeff Saturday), is behind Jonathan Grimes who is behind often injured Arian Foster. Alfred runs hard and shows flashes of speed. He only played a little at LSU, so he is a little raw, but that bodes well in terms of wear and tear. If history is any indicator, he will have opportunities to play in 2014. 2015 though, after a year of NFL experience, looks more promising for my favorite color.
WR: In addition to a healthy QB crop, 2014 was largely the year of the Wide Receiver. 5 of them went in round one, which hasn’t happened in many years. Typically, WRs don’t do much until year 3 in the NFL, but the last couple years we have seen a trend of 2nd year players breaking out. Sammy Watkins, Brandon Cooks, Mike Evans and Kelvin Benjamin all should have at least moderate success this season. Watkins and Benjamin will probably see more success after having a year of experience under their belts.
Allen Hurns, down in Jacksonville has been catching lots of passes, in fact he leads all receivers in the preseason. He is behind veteran Cecil Shorts III and fellow rookie Marquise Lee. At 6’3″ and 195, Hurns has the frame that is becoming the trend for All-Pro receivers in the NFL. He could probably benefit by a year in the offseason strength and conditioning program. Keep your eye on Hurns, he will make some plays this year, but 2015 is probably when he will break out.
TE: The “name guy” is first round tight end, Eric Ebron. Tight ends, like wide receivers, take a couple, two-three years to develop. There are a few exceptions, but that is the rule. Ebron has a veteran QB in Matthew Stafford, but Stafford is learning a new offense and has a huge comfy target in Calvin Johnson. Ebron might have a game here or there but he is most likely to break out next year.