Bloom 100 Part 1
By Sigmund Bloom
April 9th, 2012

Another year, another Bloom 100... This year looks much deeper at wide receiver and running back than last year, and it has the best pair of elite QB prospect since Manning-Leaf. Linebacker looks better than last year, too. Those of you sitting on a lot of 2012 rookie picks should be very pleased with your haul. Obviously, these rankings will change with destination and the revealing of their actual draft stock in the NFL's eyes, but this represents my early take on the top 100 fantasy football rookies in leagues with these considerations:

  • PPR scoring
  • Full IDP lineups including CB and DT broken out
  • Start 3 WRs
  • In general, the Bloom 100 is designed for deep dynasty leagues, but is in no way a "one size fits all" ranking. Your particular league size, lineups, or scoring can change the landscape, as can your team needs or the relative perceived trade value of positions in your league. Let's get down to brass tacks:

    1. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama - Yes, the best RB prospect since Adrian Peterson. A complete package and part of a dying breed of do-everything workhorses. He'll be featured in the offense from day one wherever he ends up (probably Cleveland or Tampa). Richardson is No. 1 in all formats, all scoring.

    2. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor - Two through four is going to be different across leagues depending on personal talent evaluation, but I suspect Griffin won't go No. 2 in most drafts. His advanced passing ability and olympic-quality athleticism gives him the ability to be an instant elite fantasy QB a la Cam Newton. I'm buying.

    3. Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State - I'm somewhat down on Blackmon's NFL draft stock, as he isn't a game-changer, but he'll be a PPR stud and long-term strong WR2 with WR1 upside. He's a very safe pick, but he doesn't have the potential to redefine his position like RG3.

    4. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford - Luck is actually very athletic, and as the centerpiece of the offense, his upside isn't that far off of Griffin. He has a higher floor and could go as high as No. 2 to a QB needy team. I do expect one of Griffin or Luck to leak into the mid-first in most rookie drafts because of the existing depth at QB right now.

    5. Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor - Wright reminds me of Santonio Holmes, and he doesn't have Holmes' attitude issues. He'll represent more value in the mid-first than Daniel Thomas and Greg Little did last year.

    6. Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame - Floyd has the best physical package of any WR in this draft, and he could even be the first off the board in the NFL Draft. Floyd reminds me of Demaryius Thomas, and he's really not far off of Blackmon and Wright fantasy-wise. He's not very sudden in his routes, but has the best game in the air of the top three WRs in this class. Another improvement from mid-first value in 2011.

    7. Doug Martin, RB, Boise State - I love his intensity, low pad level, yards after contact, and all-around game. I expect he'll be the second back off the board in the NFL draft and potentially go as high as No. 2 if the team picking there is RB-needy.

    8. David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech - He is a little more high-cut and narrow-hips than your typical NFL running back, but that hides Wilson's considerable lower-body strength and balance. He hits the hole hard and knows how to break tacklers down in space. Wilson doesn't project as ideally to being an every-down workhorse as Martin and he represents a tier break from the top seven.

    9. Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina - Jeffery is a tough nut to crack. I love his my ball mentality and ball skills in the air, but I worry about his ability to create separation and master the route tree. With a bold quarterback, he could be a good fantasy WR2, but a meeker QB may not look his way that often. Destination could bump him down a tier.

    10. Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech - The boom/bust pick of the first round of rookie drafts, Hill's speed and size could be lethal in the right offense with the right QB. His spotty hands and lack of experience running anything other than go routes gives him a healthy amount of risk, but there's also WR1 fantasy upside.

    11. Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College - Instincts, leadership, athleticism, size, Kuechly has it all. He is an instant top 10 fantasy LB and a layup if you're looking for a safe late first/early second round pick.

    12. Chris Polk, RB, Washington - Polk is a solid back, but he might not be the most talented back on his team if he lands in a bad spot. He can be a workhorse if a team asks him to, and he has maybe the best hands in the RB class. Mid-late first value in the right spot.

    13. Lamar Miller, RB, Miami-Florida - Miller might be the fastest back in the draft in a straight line, but he's more of a one-cut slasher than a back who will work in every system and every role. He could be the best back in a "hot hand" backfield, but I don't see him as a bell cow back.

    14. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford - Fleener could crack the first round of the NFL Draft and rookie drafts. He's a big target that moves well, and Fleener has the speed to rip the seam. Good hands, good instincts to use his big frame to block out, and good enough blocking to not be a liability should make Fleener a startable fantasy TE for a long time.

    15. Rueben Randle, WR, LSU - The speed and decent size are there, but Randle's ball skills and hands can disappear and I'm not sure that he'll be more than a No. 2 at the next level. I see some Robert Meachem in him - physically talented enough to do more, but not a natural.

    16. Marvin Jones, WR, Cal - Jones reminds me of Vincent Brown last year - an excellent technician with very good ball skills and athleticism. If he lands in as good a spot as Brown did last year, he'll get first-round rookie draft consideration.

    17. Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers - I can't endorse Sanu higher than this without knowing his destination because his lack of great speed and quicks could relegate him to fantasy mediocrity in a middling pass offense. Sanu does have some Hines Ward to his game, so I'll be interested to see where he lands before coming to a final decision on his post-draft fantasy stock.

    18. Devon Wylie, WR, Fresno State - My first real "EEE" player this year outside of the mainstream is Wylie. Wes Welker with speed, and I'm not exaggerating. Wylie just needs to stay healthy, but his elusiveness, ball skills, and overall approach to the game is very promising. If he lands in Detroit (their WR coach Shawn Jefferson ran his drills at his pro days), watch out.

    19. Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma - Consider Broyles' ACL injury the opportunity to get this first-round NFL and rookie draft talent on the cheap. He is a smooth athlete with deceptive strength, speed and quicks, and an outstanding game in the air for a smaller receiver. He reminds me of Emmanuel Sanders, who would have been well-known by now in fantasy circles if he could stay healthy.

    20. Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M - In terms of absolute value, Tannehill is probably worth more than this, but you might not need to commit more than a mid-second land him. His speed and running ability enhances his fantasy value, but he doesn't have the instant gratification factor that Luck and Griffin have, and probably will land in a less attractive spot to boot.

    21. Mychal Kendricks, LB, California - A three-down linebacker with sideline-to-sideline range who can also rush the passer? Worth a second-round rookie pick. Kendricks should be an LB2 at worst with LB1 upside.

    22. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon - James would be lower on this list in a non-PPR, but his potential Sproles-esque role in the passing game could make him worth a late-first in a great offense. He reminds me of Reggie Bush before his breakout last year in Miami.

    23. Greg Childs, WR, Arkansas - Ryan Williams owners should take solace from Childs bounce-back this year after a patellar tendon injury. He's big and fluid with a terrific natural attack of the ball in the air. Think more durable Malcom Floyd.

    24. Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State - The very live legs, sudden cuts, good feet, and strength/determination that belies his size are all there with Hillman. He came out a year early, but the potential to be a very good fantasy back is there.

    25. A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois - Jenkins has the speed and lack of fear in the middle of the field to be very productive in the right pass offense, although I'm not sure if he's a No. 2 or No. 3 at the next level.

    26. Chris Givens, WR, Wake Forest - Like Jenkins, the hands, athleticism, and speed is there to create NFL production, but he also may have the career path of a No. 3 wide receiver.

    27. Cyrus Gray, RB, Texas A&M - Gray is underrated in draft circles and could surprise. His speed and vision are NFL quality, and he's built low, giving him a nice natural pad level. Gray isn't a big back, but he will run inside, and he hits the hole with great pace. I'll be back happy to stash him away in the third or later.

    28. Dale Moss, WR, South Dakota State - Moss may not hear his name called until well into the third day of the draft because he only has one year of experience playing football, but his fantasy upside is right there with the best in this draft. Moss's speed, ups, and basketball background make him one of my favorite sleepers in the draft.

    29. Ladarius Green, TE, Louisiana-Lafayette - The speed, size, and fluid athleticism are there to make Green a very good weapon in a creative passing game, but his game lacks edge and he could be a player who never lives up to his tools.

    30. Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois - The potential for Mercilus to stay at 4-3 DE in the pros puts him this high on the pre-draft list. Even though he's a one-year wonder, I see the motor, movement skills, commitment to run support, and natural instincts when a QB is in his sights to make Mercilus an elite fantasy DE.

    31. Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska - David has the range and coverage ability to be a three-down LB, but he is a little light and might get pushed around against the running game. He will be drafted to be a stalwart starter and should be valued as one for fantasy leagues, although one with a low ceiling.

    32. Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina - Coples is almost certain to stay at 4-3 DE and he has the tools to be a long-term top 10 option at the position. The risks of his less-than-ideal awareness and motor are easier to tolerate in the third round of your rookie draft.

    33. Lance Lewis, WR, East Carolina - Lewis could be underrated on this list with his Brandon Lloyd/Denarius Moore level ball skills and game in the air. His straight-line speed and overall athleticism might not be on their level, but he's a terrific mid-round flyer at WR who should come cheap.

    34. Tauren Poole, RB, Tennessee - There's a little Arian Foster to Poole's game. His eye for the cutback, lower-body strength, deceptive speed, and bold mindset running the ball could make him a third-day surprise.

    35. Chris Rainey, RB/WR, Florida - Anytime a player has Rainey's elite natural speed and quicks, you have to consider them with a third or fourth-round rookie pick. He has a long way to go as a receiver, but he'll be a pure offensive weapon wherever he lands.

    36. Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson - Allen reminds me of Alge Crumpler, but would Crumpler have been much of a fantasy factor if his team had anybody at wide receiver? Destination could push him to the top 20-25.

    37. Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas - On one hand, I think Adams speed and quicks are much better than his times, certainly good enough to give NFL defenders fits. On the other hand, he doesn't seem to have natural hands, which could make him a frustrating receiver to develop. I can talk myself into taking him at least 10 spots higher.

    38. Rishard Matthews, WR, Nevada - Matthews projects as a No. 3 wide receiver on most draft boards, but his speed and ball skills could allow him to become a productive starter if things break right.

    39. Orson Charles, TE, Georgia - Charles had a horrible March, with an arrest and very unimpressive pro day. He's somewhere on the Dustin Keller-Delanie Walker continuum.

    40. Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama - Hightower is a bad, bad man who will intimidate in the middle of the field and provide some pass rush punch, but he could be of limited usefulness for fantasy leagues because of his lack of quicks/speed a la Brandon Spikes.

    41. Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati - Pead will likely be drafted in the top 100 and potentially in a very good situation, but I just see a solid all-around depth back at the next level. He probably won't be on any of my fantasy teams.

    42. Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple - I do like Pierce's straight-line speed, but I'm not sure how often it will get into play in the NFL. Otherwise, his game is average and he might toil away as a career back-up.

    43. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Florida International - If you're looking for a burner to stretch defenses, Hilton is your guy. I'm not sure how much else he'll contribute to offenses.

    44. Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State - There will be at least one person in every rookie draft that loves Quick's speed/size/athleticism combination enough to take him in the second round, but I won't be that guy. He just doesn't have the look of a player who can translate those skills into production in the NFL.

    45. Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State - What to do with a Marshawn Lynch/Marion Barber who doesn't run quite as hot as those guys did coming out of college? It's a fine line between depth-chart purgatory and quality production at RB, and Turbin's stock is right on that line.

    46. Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina - I love Ingram's versatility and clutch game enough to advocate him as a top 10-15 pick in the NFL draft. IDP fantasy leagues are a different story as he's not a classic edge rusher and might have trouble putting up good numbers as an OLB. If Jacksonville, Miami, or Carolina takes him to play DE, he'll move up at least 10 spots on this list.

    47. Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama - Like Ingram, Upshaw's game has a lot more value for the NFL than it does for fantasy because he doesn't have the look of a sack artist. I could be convinced to put him in the top 30 if he lands in Seattle.

    48. Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State - Strip away the productivity of the system and Weeden looks like Kevin Kolb as a QB prospect. He should be groomed as a starter pretty quickly, but I don't see QB1 potential in Weeden.

    49. Michael Smith, RB, Utah State - Smith is a burner with sub-4.4 speed, but he plays small and might be relegated to a limited role in the NFL. His speed still merits a flyer in the late rookie draft rounds.

    50. Juron Criner, WR, Arizona - Criner is a big, rugged possession receiver who could be a 70-80 catch guy in the right situation, but he could also struggle to start because of his lack of speed or quicks to get separation. There's nothing special about his game, so it's hard to rank him higher than this.

    As always, thanks for reading. Questions, comments and suggestions are always welcome to bloom@footballguys.com.

    © 2012 Footballguys - All Rights Reserved