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Who’s the top Rookie WR of the 2019 NFL Draft Class? (Fantasy Football)

Feb 14, 2019

We recently looked at who our writers would select with pick 1.01 in 2019 dynasty rookie drafts. There is a consensus that this year’s rookie class is lacking overall, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t talent to be added to dynasty rosters. As such, we’re going to break down who our writers view as the top WRs and RBs in this year’s class, beginning with the receivers.

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A.J. Brown (Ole Miss)
“My top rookie receiver for 2019 is a receiver from Ole Miss, but it is not D.K. Metcalf. A.J. Brown offers the best combination of floor and upside in this class as he has the skill set to thrive on whichever team he lands on. A.J. Brown is a winner. He can win inside or outside, downfield or on horizontal routes at, or behind the line of scrimmage. A terror with the ball in his hands, Brown should rank among the league leaders in yards after catch beginning in his rookie season. In my first NFL mock draft of the offseason, I slotted Brown as the first receiver off the board. As the pre-draft process continues and NFL evaluators pick apart the warts in N’Keal Harry and D.K. Metcalf’s games and Marquise Brown’s lack of size, A.J. Brown is likely to be the main beneficiary. Expected to measure 6’2 in socks with a speed in the low to mid 4.4s, the 225-pound ruffian is certain to climb up draft boards once the receivers are tested on March 2.”
– Raju Byfield (@FantasyContext)

“While I don’t have a first-round grade on any of the wide receivers in the 2019 rookie draft class, A.J. Brown is my favorite of the bunch. It may seem odd to some, since his teammate, D.K. Metcalf, is among the most explosive athletes you’ve ever seen, but Brown is simply the more polished receiver. It is telling that while playing in the same offense, Brown posted more receptions and yards in each of the past two years than Metcalf did over his full college career combined.”
– Bobby Sylvester (@bobbyfantasypro)

“Brown recorded a ridiculous 2,984 receiving yards and 19 receiving TDs in his final two seasons with Ole Miss, leading the SEC in receiving for two years in a row. Although I selected Brown’s teammate D.K. Metcalf as my number one dynasty pick, I think Brown is the more NFL-ready wideout right now and will have a better rookie campaign. Metcalfe projects to be a higher draft pick which means a better long-term opportunity. Metcalfe is also three inches taller and more athletic overall, so his ceiling is higher. However, Brown has a much higher floor and the skills of a receiver who can produce immediately. He was dangerous at Ole Miss after catching the ball, and his 6’1/230 frame made it tough for defenders to bring him down. In a pass-happy league where QBs often throw quick, short passes, Brown could thrive. He’s ready to get it now.”
– Zak Hanshew (@ZaktheMonster)

D.K. Metcalf (Ole Miss)
“When looking at this wide receiver class, there are none that strike you as “can’t miss” prospects, but Metcalf is close. His physical attributes are special and cannot be taught, though some have expressed concern that he’s put on too much muscle and it may affect his level of performance. Fortunately, it’s easier to lose weight than it is to gain muscle, so if it does affect him, it’s easily correctable. His closest comp would be Josh Gordon, someone who would be considered a top-10 wide receiver in the game if not for his off-the-field issues. Metcalf may not have the stats some want for college prospects, but that’s because he played alongside another potential first-round wide receiver and another late-round receiver.”
– Mike Tagliere (@MikeTagliereNFL)

“While I am hesitant to crown a player that lacks the statistical production that would support the title of the top player at a given position, D.K. Metcalf is an exception to the rule. He showcases his superior physical ability and sheer speed at his size when you turn on the tape. At 6’3, 225 lbs he shares a similar athletic profile to Josh Gordon, but there is plenty more to uncover than just an athletic freak that only runs go-routes. He demonstrates savvy route-running ability and polished receiver traits that often are not highlighted. He should test very well at the combine and confirm his positioning as a first-round lock. A major question is if he can stay healthy, but if he can stay on the field the potenital is truly limitless. Metcalf has a lot of the necessary tools to be as successful as some of the best WRs in the game today.”
– Chuck Gioffre (@cgioffre34)

N’Keal Harry (Arizona State)
“Like JuJu Smith-Schuster, as a freshman N’Keal Harry was commonly the 1.01 in Developmental (Devy) drafts — or at worst — the 1.02 behind D.K. Metcalf. Much like my take on Smith-Schuster two years ago leading up to his rookie draft, I’m taking a similar stance on Harry. I will not be moving him down my rookie draft board based on either the heroics of other WRs in 2018 or their performances at the NFL combine. Harry has been my WR1 in this class all along. Furthermore, he’s done nothing but improve and become a better, multi-dimensional WR over his collegiate career. Harry has increased my confidence in his transition to the NFL, and he remains my 2019 WR1. If he is drafted by a team in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, Harry is going to be immediately fantasy relevant. If he has a great combine, your competitors are going to shoot Harry up to the top of their draft boards. Be ahead of the curve and trade for his rights now.”
– Jeremy Browand (@DFF_Madman)

Hakeem Butler (Iowa State)
“#HakeemButlerNoMatterWhat. Fortune favors the bold, and I want to add the wide receiver prospect who has the best chance at superstardom (read: highest ceiling) to my dynasty squad. At 6’6 and 225 pounds with a wide catch radius, among other skills that jump off the screen, Hakeem Butler fits the bill. Butler’s ability to utilize his big frame to box out defenders while simultaneously showcasing his long arms and a set of velcro hands to high-point the football is what NFL scouts covet. The Cyclone wide receiver doesn’t possess the lightning speed of a Parris Campbell but has the ability to break multiple tackles after the catch to create big plays (third in the NCAA with 22 yards per reception). Detractors will point to his limited collegiate production in his first two seasons (50/831/9) before enjoying a breakout junior season (60/1,318/9) as a red flag. Ignore these haters as they fail to mention the program’s all-time leading receiver Allen Lazard was the alpha dog of the Iowa State receiving corps during those first two seasons. The Iowa State wideout should shoot up draft boards and dynasty rankings alike when he inevitably puts on a show at the Combine later this month. This writer would not be shocked to see him routinely go in the top three of summer rookie drafts given the right landing spot.”
– Josh Brickner (@joshbrickner)

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