The NFL draft season is officially upon us, but we’ve been in serious information-gathering mode for months now. Our Joe Dolan and Tom Brolley watch tons of college football each fall, and they've studied plenty of tape – we’ve included plenty of links for you to watch these prospects too. But we also lean heavily on our friends and sources around the league who not only watch more college football than we do, but they also closely scrutinize these pending rookies’ college tape.

While we’re a fantasy site and these players’ worth in our world won’t be clear until after the draft, we still like to stack these guys against each other based almost entirely on talent and their potential as they transition to the pros. We also break the players up into tiers in an effort to offer more insight into how they project to the NFL and the fantasy world.

Once the draft takes place on April 27-29, then it will be a lot easier to rank the rookies for the 2017 season – and we will in early May. We’ll also reset our long-term outlooks and re-rank the players for keeper and dynasty leagues.

Note: We plan on tweaking our write-ups and rankings prior to the draft after our Greg Cosell is done studying the coach’s tapes of this year’s class.
Note: These players are ranked more so for their long-term value and potential, so these rankings aren’t for just 2017. Once the draft takes place, we’ll rank all rookies for both this year and the long-term.

 

Potential Franchise Players

1. Corey Davis

School: Western Michigan | Ht: 6’3” | Wt: 209 | 40: 4.48 | Year: 4SR

Davis is the top small-school prospect in the draft and for good reason. He’s the all-time leader in Division I receiving yards, dominating lesser competition in the MAC with a ridiculous 332/5285/52 in four seasons. He went to Western Michigan as just a two-star recruit but stepped into the lineup immediately, earning MAC Freshman of the Year honors in 2013. He capped his career by winning the MAC Offensive Player of the Year award and capturing All-American honors in 2016. Davis underwent minor ankle surgery after injuring himself while training in January, and he wasn’t able to run at the Combine and at his pro day. Davis described the injury as a high ankle sprain with two torn ligaments. He has great size at 6’3”, 209 pounds and he’s a little more explosive than fellow top WR Mike Williams. But Davis is slightly small...