Written by Wesley Wood

After traveling across the country, watching games like the senior bowl, the shrine game, the scouting combine, and a whole lot of pro days, I realized something… I was dreaming. Instead of traveling and doing all those pro scouting activities, I have been instead watching all the tapes I can find on every rookie. This includes game cut ups, the senior bowl, shrine game, scouting combine, and pro days. After doing this extensive research and listening to Dynasty Pulse every week, I have finally concocted a complete pre-draft set of rankings along with a short abbreviated commentary on each player. Mind you, I have watched everyone at every position, but for the sake of length, I will focus on the top 5 QB’s, 10 RB’s, 10 WR’s, and 5 TE’s. Since we are almost a week away from the draft, this will not be my final rankings.  They will be adjusted after the draft.  We will have to look at post draft rankings in 2 weekends when the dust has settled from the NFL draft. From there we can get better clarity as to where the incoming rookies should be taken in dynasty rookie drafts. (To see complete rankings with no notes, scroll to the bottom)

Wide Receivers

1 – Tavon Austin (WVU)
Small Receiver but he is explosive and a true game changer. He made Geno Smith stats sky rocket with his amazing abilities with the ball in his hands. Tavon Austin is projected to go in the mid 1st of the NFL draft. That is justified as he is simply great and can contribute year 1. Only knock on him is that he is small and heck I only saw one game where he didn’t shine.

2 – DeAndre Hopkins (Clemson)
Did Roddy White have a long lost little brother? If he did then I think I may of found him. Hopkins is a great receiver who does it all and will be a QB’s best friend and possibly their safety blanket. He reminds me a lot of White and Hopkins is the most NFL ready wide receiver of the bunch. I see him being a fantasy WR3 maybe WR2 in his rookie year. His ceiling may not be as high as Austin’s but I am ok with that.

3 – Keenan Allen (Cal)
Allen is a great receiver who just finished off his senior year the wrong way with an injury. This caused him to not be seen again until his pro day where he ran a 40 time of 4.71. While others are put off by this, I am not. He has never been injured before 2012 and played very well despite having an average college QB at best. He is a good receiver who I can see becoming a QB’s safety blanket just like Hopkins. He does everything well and even can be used on end arounds. He may fall out of the 1st round in the NFL draft but he will be taken early in the 2nd round for sure. He is too good to pass up.

4 – Cordarrelle Patterson (Tennessee)
Is it weird that despite being a life long UT fan that I am not a big fan of any of the prospects coming out of my school this year. Cordarelle is my player who I cannot begin to describe how overrated he is. Actually yes I can… (http://dynastyfootballwarehouse.com/the-case-against-cordarrelle-patterson/)

5 – Stedman Bailey (WVU)
Too often overlooked but not by me. This man can do it all. Tavon Austin overshadowed him at West Virginia. Not until recently did people wonder “hey who is that other guy Geno is throwing to all the time”. Stedman is another solid all around receiver who I could see being a viable fantasy WR in year 2. Maybe late year 1. My only issues with him was him being lazy on plays where he wasn’t directly involved and how he isn’t someone to jump and win on a catch.

6 – Quinton Patton (LA Tech)
All I can say is watch his game against Utah State and his game against Texas A&M. You have now seen his ceiling and floor. Anyone not impressed by the 21 catch game against A&M is blind and if you missed what was wrong with the Utah State game then count how many drops he has. He more often than not has games like he did against A&M but buyer beware that he can have a really off day as well. He is another overall solid receiver.

7 – Justin Hunter (Tennessee)
Justin Hunter’s value isn’t perceived to be as high as Patterson and that sits well for me because he is the better prototypical receiver but has a whole different set of things he is good and bad at. He is a good receiver who isn’t afraid to go over the middle. He can make some impressive catches while also making some dumb founding drops. In fact his drop rate was 12 percent. Reminds me too much of James Jones and Greg Little. Both receivers have the potential for stardom but drop balls that should easily be caught. Jones has improved but the jury is still out on Little. My hope is Hunter goes the way of James Jones and improves in his areas of weakness and becomes someone we all want to draft. He has WR1 potential.

8 – Robert Woods (USC)
My last receiver who can do everything well. He was Matt Barkley’s safety blanket up until this year when a new receiver was pushed in as USC’s main focus making Woods the Stedman Bailey of his team just less productive. Woods has WR2 potential in the NFL and on fantasy teams. If he can knock it off with the body catches and stay healthy then Woods can be a real steal in dynasty drafts.

9 – Ryan Swope (Texas A&M)
This receiver has the potential of Wes Welker in New England. He is ppr gold and is someone to watch out for. His speed isn’t anything spectacular and he sure won’t be going deep a lot but short to intermediate catches will be his bread and butter which is something all of us want on a ppr team.

10 – Tavarres King (Georgia)
While Swope is a potential ppr gold mine. King is more in the realm of Mike Wallace. Essentially the opposite of Swope. King can burn people and doesn’t drop a lot of balls. He is not someone who does many short routes but he is someone to stretch the field and catch a bomb. Right now I see him as a boom or bust. However he wouldn’t be at #10 unless I thought he will shape up to be a boom.

Other notable WR’s
11 – Terrance Williams (Baylor) – An all around receiver who needs to stop dropping easy passes and work on being better in open space.
12 – Markus Wheaton (Oregon State) – A quick receiver who gets nicked up but never misses games.
13 – Aaron Dobson (Marshall) – A receiver who can make spectacular one handed grabs but needs to work on his concentration to be more consistent.

Tight Ends

1 – Tyler Eifert (Notre Dame)
Let’s get something straight right now. Tyler Eifert is in a class of his own in this years set of tight ends. Zach Ertz is nowhere close to touching Eifert. Eifert can do it all. Block, catch, run routes, use his size to catch a ball above his head. Main thing is that he doesn’t drop it. Plus since he can block he will not need to be taken off the field except to catch his breath… after a TD. I see the next Vernon Davis but hopefully he will have better QB play to make him more consistent.

2 – Zach Ertz (Stanford)
Ertz is an adequate blocker who can catch but sometimes drops the ball. He was a consistent contributer on offense at Stanford and can certainly help move the chains. He will need time to develop blocking but he is more Coby Fleener than anything else right now.

3 – Gavin Escobar (SDSU)
We are now in the cavalcade of tight ends who for some reason need to work on their blocking. Escobar leads this pack as he wins jump balls, can line up in the slot, and can create mismatches. He has some history of minor injuries. Just don’t ask him to block.

4 – Jordan Reed (Florida)
Reed is pretty equal to Escobar in the way that they both can do the same thing. Line up and create mismatches but cannot block worth their life. The only reason he is lower than Escobar is that Reed was benched during Florida’s 2013 bowl game for a sour attitude which is not something you should do in your final college game.

5 – Travis Kelce (Cincinnati)
Kelce is a solid blocker and can catch. So why isn’t he in the #3 slot? He was suspended all of 2011 and only has 1 year of starting experience. He breaks tackles, can burn defenders, and has soft hands. Lots of potential and hopefully he takes advantage as long as he keeps his head on straight.

Other notable TE’s
6 – Vance McDonald (Rice) – Injury prone pass catching TE who is average as a blocker.
7 – Dion Sims (Michigan St.) – Another injury prone TE who also was suspended in 2010 for being a part of a crime ring. However he is a good pass catching TE.
8 – Chris Gragg (Arkansas) – Aggressive blocker who can catch well. Despite being aggressive, he is only adequate at blocking and is injury prone.

Here are my complete pre-draft rankings

1 – Tavon Austin
2 – DeAndre Hopkins
3 – Keenan Allen
4 – Cordarrelle Patterson
5 – Stedman Bailey
6 – Quinton Patton
7 – Justin Hunter
8 – Robert Woods
9 – Ryan Swope
10 – Tavarres King
11 – Terrance Williams
12 – Markus Wheaton
13 – Aaron Dobson
14 – Kenny Stills
15 – Chris Harper
16 – Marquise Goodwin
17 – Conner Vernon
18 – Ace Sanders
19 – Cobi Hamilton
20 – Da’Rick Rogers
21 – Aaron Mellette
22 – Mark Harrison
23 – Marquess Wilson
24 – Lanear Sampson
25 – Marlon Brown
26 – Corey Fuller
27 – Brandon Kaufman

1 – Tyler Eifert
2 – Zach Ertz
3 – Gavin Escobar
4 – Jordan Reed
5 – Travis Kelce
6 – Vance McDonald
7 – Dion Sims
8 – Chris Gragg
9 – Joseph Fauria
10 – Nick Kasa
11 – Jake Stoneburner
12 – Philip Lutzenkirchen
13 – Ryan Otten
14 – Michael Williams
15 – Justice Cunningham
16 – Chris Pantale

Comments? Questions? Concerns? Let me know below.