Fantasy Football: 2012 Rookie Wide Receiver Preview

by Nicholas Minnix on July 24, 2012 @ 16:09:49 PDT


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Ryan Broyles, Detroit Lions

This is a pick that will surely pay off ... in 2013. Some thought that he was first-round material before he suffered a torn ACL last November. That's being generous, just as the use of a second-round choice was this past April.

Which isn't to say that Broyles is destined to be a bust. Quite the opposite. He'll have time to expand his familiarity with NFL routes, and he'll need it. But the former Sooner's work ethic, polish and occupational range make him an outstanding bet to carve out a nice career. He has the skills of a solid punt returner - because he was one for Oklahoma - which will come in handy in his efforts to get open and run after the catch.

Broyles is only 5-foot-10 and about 190 pounds, and he's not a burner. However, he has a quick first step, which is especially effective after his feints, and reaches top speed almost instantly. Or, at least, he did before the injury. Detroit and fantasy owners can't expect much from him in 2012 because of it. Next season and beyond, he could easily be a quality WR3 or WR4 because of how explosive the Lions' attack will probably continue to be.

Rueben Randle, New York Giants

Cincinnati Bengals WR Mohamed Sanu
Sanu mentally sound

With Mario Manningham moving on, the Giants were looking for a receiver who would add to Eli Manning's stable of targets who could impact the game. They found one in Randle, who has good, not great, acceleration as well as speed. He plays tough, will battle in the air and is willing to go over the middle, something that's in greater demand these days.

Overall, Randle is just a good athlete, and it's apparent when you watch him. He has fine instincts. He sets up defenders well once he's established comfort with a pattern. The early draft entrant demonstrated frequently at LSU, as was required, that he could instantly diagnose when he needed to bail out his quarterback and how to do so.

At 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, Randle could stand to add a little muscle. His toughness occasionally disappeared in college, and he needs time to learn to execute multiple routes. The Giants were aware of those things but received a glowing rec from an LSU staffer who'd coached for the pro franchise. Randle may make a mark on occasion in his rookie season, but he won't be expected to step up until 2013 and beyond. He has a good chance to do so.

DeVier Posey, Houston Texans

Since Houston drafted Andre Johnson, the franchise has been woeful at finding receiver talent that can alleviate some of the defensive attention that goes to their All-World wideout. Despite a stated goal to address that need specifically this year, it appears that they've fanned once again.

Posey is a solid player. The 6-foot-2, 211-pounder has great change-of-direction ability, his biggest asset in gaining separation, along with his ability to accelerate. He's not always physical and will struggle to beat jams, however.

Although Posey rarely performed such duties at Ohio State, he could be an asset in the return game, particularly on punts. In recent years, Houston hasn't lacked players who can do that, however. They've lacked a consistent playmaking receiver besides AJ. Posey may become a fantasy asset, but likely only as a depth piece; he's not a particularly exciting dynasty prospect.

T.J. Graham, Mohamed Sanu, more

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About Nicholas Minnix

Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.

The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.

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