Select Page

Our Best Ball Subscription is live. Find your edge now!

Claim your $100 ETR Coupon

Create a new account with BetMGM and you will receive a $100 coupon to apply towards any ETR subscription. Click here for more details and other Sportsbook signup offers.


Rookies are the highest-variance group in fantasy football. They can win you your league, but many end up irrelevant, stuck behind incumbent veterans with no hope of seeing the field. Below, we’ve profiled 30+ rookies to give you a better sense of the type of player you’re drafting when you’re considering one in a season-long fantasy draft. As season long drafts approach, we’ll update this list with players who are on the radar in typical fantasy drafts.


QBs: Caleb Williams | Jayden Daniels | Drake Maye | J.J. McCarthy | Bo Nix

RBs: Jonathan Brooks | Blake Corum | Trey Benson | MarShawn Lloyd | Bucky Irving | Ray Davis | Tyrone Tracy | Kimani Vidal | Jaylen Wright

WRs: Marvin Harrison Jr. | Malik Nabers | Rome Odunze | Xavier Worthy | Ricky Pearsall | Xavier Legette | Keon Coleman | Ladd McConkey | Ja’Lynn Polk | Adonai Mitchell | Brian Thomas Jr. | Malachi Corley | Roman Wilson | Jermaine Burton | Jalen McMillan | Troy Franklin

TEs: Brock Bowers | Ben Sinnott


Caleb Williams (USC)

Height: 73.1 inches

Weight: 214 pounds

40 Time: N/A

Mike Renner’s player comparison: Kyler Murray on steroids

Williams is the best quarterback prospect of the past few drafts, and his ability to create plays out of structure has drawn Patrick Mahomes comparisons. Williams is a heavy underdog to ever approach Mahomes’ level, but the sky is the limit for the 22-year-old. His productivity early in college bodes well for his success in the pros, and his rushing ability (824 yards over his first two college seasons before notching a still-respectable 142 in 2023) gives him high-level fantasy upside.

In Anthony Amico’s prospect profile, he pointed out that scouts believe Williams could improve at sack and turnover avoidance, but there’s no questioning he’s an elite QB prospect who will be fantasy-relevant from Day 1. He can be a top-12 fantasy QB right off the bat.


Jayden Daniels (LSU)

Height: 75.6 inches

Weight: 210 pounds

40 Time: N/A

Mike Renner’s player comparison: Robert Griffin III

Daniels is the best running quarterback of the first-round prospects — and that rushing ability means he could be the best Year 1 fantasy asset of the rookie gunslingers, even ahead of Williams. Daniels won the Heisman Trophy in 2023 on the back of a 50-TD season and will look to carry that momentum into the pros. Anthony Amico noted Daniels was incredibly impressive as a true freshman at Arizona State before experiencing extreme hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic, both on and off the field. He got back on the right track after grad transferring to LSU, although there are still concerns about his tendency to take sacks (20.2% pressure-to-sack ratio last year, 24.5% for his career) and throw over the middle of the field. As a 23-year-old rookie (turns 24 in December), Daniels should start right away and figures to be an intriguing fantasy option on account of his rushing ability.

Daniels is worth a roster spot in fantasy due to his ability to run, but we’ve seen rookie QBs struggle from a real-life standpoint before, and Daniels took some time to adjust to the college game and only had his truly massive season once he had multiple first-round-caliber WRs in Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr. The Commanders’ passing game probably won’t explode in Year 1, but that doesn’t exclude Daniels from fantasy relevancy.


Drake Maye (North Carolina)

Height: 76.4 inches

Weight: 223 pounds

40 Time: N/A

Mike Renner’s player comparison: Ben Roethlisberger

For a while, it seemed like Caleb Williams and Maye were the clear top two options in this class, with some speculation last summer (likely just clickbait) that Maye could even surpass Williams as the QB1. That obviously didn’t come to fruition and Maye ended up closer to Jayden Daniels and J.J. McCarthy than Williams in the eyes of the NFL. Still, the North Carolina product is clearly an elite prospect, tossing 62 touchdowns to just 16 interceptions over his final two years in the Tar Heel State (he sat behind future NFLer Sam Howell as a freshman). Maye is still only 21 years old, led the class in PFF’s big-time throw metric at 8.1%, and avoided sacks much better than both Williams and Daniels. Scouts say he has among the best measurables and flashes in the class and could be a high-level NFL QB if he can sort out his inconsistencies. Maye is also a severely underrated rusher, as he led UNC with 698 rushing yards as a sophomore before posting a very strong 449 mark in 2023. He went pseudo-viral for throwing a touchdown with his left hand against Pitt last season. Overall, Maye isn’t as much of a lock as Williams and Daniels to start all 17 games, but he almost certainly will start at some point as a rookie and remains somewhat fantasy-relevant as a result.

New England has Jacoby Brissett if they don’t want to thrust the young QB into the spotlight right away. Brissett has started games for NE before and proven himself as a reliable albeit low-ceiling veteran. Given Maye’s reputation as inconsistent, there’s a solid chance he doesn’t start in Week 1. To put it lightly, this is a suboptimal situation for a rookie QB. He may not start Week 1, Demario Douglas or Kendrick Bourne is the incumbent WR1 on the depth chart, and the roster is littered with JAG pass catchers.


Marvin Harrison Jr. (Ohio State)

Height: 75.3 inches

Weight: 209 pounds

40 Time: N/A

Mike Renner’s player comparison: Marvin Harrison Sr. + four inches and 40 pounds

Harrison is the crown jewel of the 2024 WR class. He’s one of the best WR prospects of the past decade, right there with Ja’Marr Chase. Harrison broke out as a sophomore at Ohio State before posting an equally strong junior campaign. The son of NFL legend Marvin Harrison, the younger Harrison is the complete package with exceptional production, elite athleticism, and fantastic draft capital. Scouts have raved about him for years, and he’ll be an immediate fantasy starter in the pros.

We’ve seen what players like Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase have done in their first pro seasons. MHJ is a Chase-level prospect and figures to step in as Arizona’s WR1 right away. He will be drafted in the first ~3 rounds of fantasy drafts everywhere and should walk into an enormous target share. The Cardinals have Trey McBride to soak up a >20% target share, but the next-best player the Cardinals had before the draft was Michael Wilson (or Greg Dortch). They’ve since added Zay Jones, but that’s pretty irrelevant to MHJ. Harrison is a once-every-five-years (at least) prospect and has a solid chance to be a fantasy WR1 from the get-go.


Malik Nabers (LSU)

Height: 72.3 inches

Weight: 199 pounds

40 Time: N/A

Mike Renner’s player comparison: Brandon Aiyuk

Nabers had respectable production as a freshman while competing with Trey Palmer, Kayshon Boutte, and Brian Thomas Jr. for targets, but he took a major step forward as a sophomore with a 27% share of LSU’s receiving yards. Then, he took another huge leap as a junior, posting a massive 34% Dominator Rating (a metric that assesses how much of a team’s total passing offense is controlled by one player) in one of the country’s best passing attacks. He averaged 17.6 yards per reception and scored 14 TDs, demonstrating an unrivaled combination of explosiveness and big-play ability. There were murmurs throughout the draft process that some teams had Nabers ahead of Marvin Harrison Jr. on their draft boards. While most scouts have him as the WR2 in this class, that’s not a reflection of his ability, as he’d be the WR1 in basically any other year. Nabers looks poised to make an immediate impact in the NFL. This is far from a perfect spot for Nabers, as other spots like Los Angeles and even Arizona seemed somewhat possible. Landing with Daniel Jones in New York is awful for his efficiency, although he will get all the volume he can handle with Darius Slayton and Wan’Dale Robinson as his best competition for WR looks. Like MHJ, Nabers should roll to triple-digit targets, but unlike Harrison, he may struggle to post a WR1 season because of his landing spot. Still, Nabers is a fantasy WR2 off the bat on volume and talent alone.


Rome Odunze (Washington)

Height: 74.9 inches

Weight: 212 pounds

40 Time: 4.45

Mike Renner’s player comparison: Allen Robinson

Odunze was regarded by most scouts as the WR3 in this class, but his elite overall draft capital demonstrates that says more about the strength of the WR class than his individual talent. Odunze posted three straight seasons with great production after breaking out as a true sophomore. He spent four years in college, not ideal, but you can’t hold that too much against him considering how productive he was and where he was drafted. He’s been oft-compared to Larry Fitzgerald — and Renner comped him to Allen Robinsonfor his refined game and glue-like hands. Odunze should be an immediate contributor at the NFL level.

It would be a surprise if Odunze challenges D.J. Moore as Caleb Williams‘ WR1. However, he could overtake Keenan Allen as Chicago’s WR2 by the end of the season considering KA is 32 years old. The veteran still averaged 0.3 targets per route run in 2023, a very strong number, but top-10 WRs rarely spend their entire rookie campaign as the third option (although Jaxon Smith-Njigba‘s quiet rookie campaign comes to mind). With Williams at the helm, the Bears should be an above-average NFL offense too, so Odunze may have the best offensive environment of the elite WRs in this class. We have Odunze’s target share well below that of Marvin Harrison and Malik Nabers as a result of his target competition, but he’ll still be involved and could be the most efficient rookie WR.


J.J. McCarthy (Michigan)

Height: 74.5 inches

Weight: 219 pounds

40 Time: N/A

Mike Renner’s player comparison: More accurate Christian Ponder

McCarthy is perhaps the most controversial of the highly-touted QB prospects (see: Ponder comp). He wasn’t asked to do much at Michigan, as the Wolverines could simply lean on their defense and rushing attack to win games. He was efficient when called upon — the thing is that he just wasn’t called upon as much as some of the other top prospects. He quite literally did not attempt a pass in the second half of Michigan’s win over Penn State. Still, the numbers paint the picture of an efficient player with above-average mobility who has experience leading a winning team, and scouts noted his consistency and winning attitude throughout the process. He’s a favorite to start Week 1, but that’s not a lock; still, he’ll start in 2024 at some point due to his draft capital.

McCarthy’s legs present some fantasy intrigue, and he’ll be a starter at the end of the season when the games are the most important. Still, he’s likely a fantasy QB2 at best once he gets the nod.


Brock Bowers (Georgia)

Height: 75.1 inches

Weight: 243 pounds

40 Time: N/A

Mike Renner’s player comparison: George Kittle

Bowers is the unquestioned TE1 in the 2023 class and has been on the NFL radar since his freshman season at Georgia. Anthony Amico wrote in his prospect profile that “Bowers may be the best TE prospect we have ever seen.” He posted at least a 21% market share of receiving yards in each of his three seasons in college, which is especially impressive considering it meant he was highly productive as a true freshman at Georgia of all places. He led all tight ends in yards after the catch in all three of his collegiate seasons. He did not do testing at the NFL Combine or Georgia’s pro day as he recovers from tightrope surgery, but there’s no reason to question his athletic ability. Scouts have compared Bowers to George Kittle for his dual-threat ability as a receiver, particularly after the catch, and his proficiency as a blocker. After Sam LaPorta showed that rookie TEs could be highly productive in Year 1, Bowers will certainly be a highly sought-after asset in fantasy drafts this summer.

Michael Mayer had an alright rookie year and was a highly-touted TE prospect in his own right, but Bowers is on a different level and should be the TE1 in Las Vegas. Davante Adams will dominate targets and Jakobi Meyers played well last year too, so don’t expect a LaPorta-level rookie season, but there’s a path to immediate fantasy relevancy for Bowers.


Bo Nix (Oregon)

Height: 74.1 inches

Weight: 214 pounds

40 Time: N/A

Mike Renner’s player comparison: Zach Wilson

Nix was a five-year collegiate who became one of the best QBs in college football after transferring from Auburn to Oregon. Still, his advanced age — 24 years old — hurts him, and, while he’s not a statue, he doesn’t have the rushing prowess of the other top QBs in this class. Anthony Amico noted in his prospect profile that he doesn’t make many mistakes, scoring just a career 11.6% pressure-to-sack ratio and a 2.4% turnover-worthy throw rate, both of which place well among the Day 1/2 QB prospects in this class.

The best thing you can say about Nix as a fantasy asset is that we’re projecting him to start 17 games (at least for now — everything is subject to change). His benching risk is lower than most QB3s since he’s a rookie too.


Xavier Worthy (Texas)

Height: 71.3 inches

Weight: 165 pounds

40 Time: 4.21

Mike Renner’s player comparison: Will Fuller

We have to start here: Worthy set the all-time NFL Combine record with a 4.21 40-yard dash. He’s only 165 pounds, but he can play inside and outside and was hugely productive early in his career. His worst season from a market share perspective actually came in his final season in Austin, as he had to compete with Adonai Mitchell for targets. Worthy’s primary flaw is his size, as we haven’t seen many successful NFL WRs play at his weight. Still, he has game-breaking speed and is an underrated route runner. He’s a threat to house it any time he touches the rock, and that’s an appealing feature in a fantasy asset.

Rashee Rice is likely to be suspended for a significant period after reckless driving and assault allegations came out this offseason; that could thrust Worthy into the Week 1 WR2 role for Mahomes. Even once Rice is back, the former Longhorn is in for a big role as a rookie, and there aren’t many football minds better than Andy Reid at getting players the ball in advantageous spots. We’ve seen Reid design creative touches for Rice, Mecole HardmanKadarius Toney, and even Travis Kelce over the past year or two. It will be exciting to see what he can do with the fastest player in Combine history.


Ricky Pearsall (Florida)

Height: 73.0 inches

Weight: 189 pounds

40 Time: 4.41

Mike Renner’s player comparison: Calvin Ridley

Pearsall is an older prospect who turns 24 around the start of the NFL season. He played five years in college, transferring to Florida after a few years at Arizona State (including playing with Brandon Aiyuk at ASU). It was only in his fifth season that he really exploded with a 31% market share of receiving yards. That combination of advanced age and late production typically doesn’t bode well for NFL success, but there are things to like about Pearsall’s profile. First of all, he’s hyper-athletic with a 4.41-second 40-yard dash and elite jumping numbers. He’s regarded as a smooth route runner who gets open with ease. Both Aiyuk (in the form of a text message to 49ers GM John Lynch) and C.J. Stroud expressed that they view Pearsall as an elite WR prospect. He was also an efficient punt returner at Florida and was used a lot in the running game, demonstrating the coaches’ desire to get him the ball however possible. Despite the positives, the inability to post big numbers until his fifth collegiate season is a major red flag on his profile. Pearsall is a difficult projection right now. We have to project both Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel on the 49ers, and this target tree is heavily concentrated around those two, George Kittle, and Christian McCaffrey. As the roster stands right now, there simply isn’t room for a lot of Pearsall targets. However, we realize there’s a solid chance one of Aiyuk/Deebo aren’t on the roster come Week 1, so we are juicing Pearsall’s ceiling case to make up for it.


Xavier Legette (South Carolina)

Height: 73.0 inches

Weight: 221 pounds

40 Time: 4.39

Mike Renner’s player comparison: David Moore

At this time last year, Legette had 443 career receiving yards across four seasons at South Carolina. To put it lightly: That’s not good. As a fifth-year senior, he broke out with 1,255 yards and nine touchdowns, emerging as Spencer Rattler‘s WR1. Legette is an elite size-speed freak, running a 4.39-second 40-yard dash at 221 pounds. Those are elite measurables, but we’ve seen highly-touted WRs with elite measurables and minimal production (or late production like Legette) struggle before at the next level. It’s a red flag that Legette, despite his athletic traits, failed to produce until he was a 22-year-old super senior. Still, his combination of athleticism and strong draft capital provides some hope that he can be a stud in the pros. Plus, development isn’t linear, and it’s possible Legette really just got a lot better before his final season with the Gamecocks.

Legette could be a Day 1 starter for the Panthers. Diontae Johnson is the unquestioned WR1 and even told reporters he was told he’d be the first read on the majority of passing plays, but Adam Thielen and Jonathan Mingo are next on the depth chart after him. Thielen will be 34 years old come Week 1 and struggled down the stretch after a hot start in 2023, while Mingo had one of the least efficient rookie seasons we have ever seen. That’s pretty terrible target competition. I’m worried about Legette’s lack of production in college, but the path to a big role, if he has the talent, is apparent.


Keon Coleman (Florida State)

Height: 75.3 inches

Weight: 213 pounds

40 Time: 4.61

Mike Renner’s player comparison: Michael Thomas 

Coleman is a 6-foot-3 athlete with a long highlight reel of contested catches. He outproduced Jayden Reed at Michigan State with a 29% Dominator Rating as a sophomore, but then he was out-gained yardage-wise by Johnny Wilson in games they played together in 2023. The primary concern with Coleman is that he’s not well-regarded as a separator, and we’ve seen highly-drafted players with similar profiles flop in recent seasons. That’s not to say Coleman is the next N’Keal Harry, but it’s simply something he’ll have to work on in the NFL. His size and ability to win at the catch point present intriguing fantasy upside right away though.

Coleman can play immediately for the Bills. Khalil Shakir and Curtis Samuel are no slouches, but both are a different archetype than the contested-catch specialist Coleman, and his only competition for the “bigger WR” role is Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Mack HollinsDalton Kincaid is a de facto WR and the Bills will run a lot of 2-TE sets with him and Dawson Knox, but Coleman will rotate in — and could play in 2-WR sets — from Day 1 and can be a red-zone option for one of the highest-powered offenses in football. This is a great landing spot for him.

Buffalo did become much run-heavier once Joe Brady became offensive coordinator, posting just one game with a positive Pass Rate Over Expectation over the second half of the year. The decision to trade Stefon Diggs indicates that’s what they want to do again. This Bills offense may look different than what we’re used to, but any WR tied to Josh Allen still possesses fascinating upside.


Ladd McConkey (Georgia)

Height: 71.6 inches

Weight: 186 pounds

40 Time: 4.39

Mike Renner’s player comparison: Emmanuel Sanders

McConkey was never a big producer at Georgia, and production-based analytical metrics don’t like him as a result. Still, he’s soared up draft boards throughout the process and the league clearly likes him. He’s highly athletic, can play all over the field, and has a refined game, all qualities that make him an appealing option to professional football clubs. McConkey’s lack of production is a red flag considering how many highly-touted unproductive wideouts we’ve seen bust, but he’s still an intriguing option as a rookie on account of his polish and draft capital.

The Chargers are going to run the ball a ridiculous amount. They traded Keenan Allen, cut ties with Mike Williams, and let Gerald Everett and Austin Ekeler walk. They drafted Joe Alt fifth overall ahead of Malik Nabers even with Josh Palmer as their WR1. This offense is going to look a lot different than what we’re used to with LAC, but this is still a wide-open depth chart with Justin Herbert at QB. McConkey could realistically challenge Palmer for WR1 duties by the end of the season and should be an easy Day 1 starter given the lack of proven options on this depth chart.


Ja’Lynn Polk (Washington)

Height: 73.4 inches

Weight: 203 pounds

40 Time: 4.52

Mike Renner’s player comparison: Tyler Boyd

Polk is a contested-catch specialist who thrived in a pass-happy Washington offense, exploding from 694 yards as a junior to 1,159 (and nine TDs) in 2023. Polk averaged at least 16.8 yards per catch in each of his final two seasons and ran an okay 4.52-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. He’s not going to blow you away with his speed and he’s still improving as a route runner, but he boasts solid size at the WR position and can win at the catch point.

This Patriots depth chart is wide open. Can Demario Douglas build off an impressive rookie year (especially given his draft capital)? Can Kendrick Bourne stay healthy and be an NFL WR1 for a whole season? Can K.J. Osborn be anything more than a WR3? Is Polk going to establish himself as the alpha right away? They still have JuJu Smith-Schuster and Tyquan Thornton on the roster too. We’ll find out, but if Polk has the talent, he can ascend the target pecking order very quickly. The Pats’ passing offense will be a struggle in 2024 whether it’s Jacoby Brissett or Drake Maye under center with a below-average WR group and either a veteran journeyman or a rookie with a reputation for inconsistency, but the path to volume is there for Polk.


Jonathon Brooks (Texas)

Height: 72.4 inches

Weight: 216 pounds

40 Time: N/A

Mike Renner’s player comparison: Melvin Gordon

Brooks played sparingly during his first two seasons in Austin. That would normally be a red flag — except he was playing behind Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson. As a junior, Brooks was sparklingly efficient with 6.1 yards per carry before tearing his ACL. Recent reports are bullish on his recovery, but it’s still far from a sure thing that he’s ready for Week 1, and he could be eased in slowly during his rookie campaign. Scouts view him as the best running back in the draft though, so he could be a fantasy league-winner down the stretch once he gets his legs under him.

Brooks should have no problems surpassing Chuba Hubbard and Miles Sanders once he’s fully healthy. Both were ineffective last year (though Barry Sanders might not have been effective in the 2023 Panthers offense). Still, questions remain about how valuable the clear-cut starter in Carolina is. The Panthers averaged a league-worst 13.9 points per game and return most of their offense, although the hiring of Dave Canales is a reason for hope. Still, Brooks will likely struggle to be efficient unless Bryce Young takes a big step forward.

Rachaad White got a truly massive workload, especially as a pass catcher, under Canales last year, but White is also one of the league’s premier receiving backs and it’s hard to tell how much of his target volume was a byproduct of Canales vs. his individual talent. At the very least, it’s bullish for Brooks that we have seen Canales lean so hard on a single RB, and Brooks is highly talented.


Adonai Mitchell (Texas)

Height: 74.3 inches

Weight: 205 pounds

40 Time: 4.34

Mike Renner’s player comparison: Javon Walker

Mitchell spent his first two seasons at Georgia and failed to eclipse a 13% Dominator Rating, although he dealt with a stacked depth chart as a freshman and a nagging high-ankle sprain in Year 2. He then transferred to Texas and immediately posted a 32% mark. He’s also a bigger WR (6-foot-2 and 205 pounds) and ran a 4.34 40-yard dash. That puts him in pretty rare company, as not many wideouts his size can move that fast. Most scouts noted Mitchell is still developing his WR skills, so this is far from a finished product, but the traits are there for him to be a great NFL receiver, and he had strong production in his final collegiate season. Reports indicate Mitchell didn’t interview well and his visits may not have gone well, causing him to fall to the middle of the second round.

Mitchell should push and will likely beat out Alec Pierce for the WR3 role right away, while Michael Pittman and Josh Downs remain entrenched as the top two WRs. Pittman is a lock for a mid-20s target share if he stays healthy, while Downs flashed strong target-earning ability as a rookie. Pierce has generally been a low-volume deep threat in his two years with the Colts — that will be the role Mitchell attempts to fill. With Anthony Richardson turning so many pass attempts into run plays and two good WRs ahead of him, Mitchell has a tenuous path to production in Year 1.


Blake Corum (Michigan)

Height: 67.8 inches

Weight: 205 pounds

40 Time: 4.53

Mike Renner’s player comparison: Devonta Freeman

Corum was a powerful touchdown machine in college behind the best offensive line in the country, but he may struggle to win as a power back in the NFL since he’s only 205 pounds. He ran an alright 4.53-second 40-yard dash but dominated the agility drills at the NFL Combine. Scouts love his vision, finishing, and ability to fit through small crevices to gain yards, and his 2023 numbers don’t completely do him justice because he was coming off multiple knee injuries near the end of the 2022 season. Corum figures to be an immediate asset at the pro level. In L.A., Kyren Williams should still be the clear RB1 — Sean McVay‘s love for him has been apparent since two summers ago — but Corum will have a far larger role than what the backups combined for last season. Williams is a smaller back and got hurt in 2023. It doesn’t matter whether that makes it more likely for him to get hurt in the future; all that matters is whether the Rams think he can hold up for an entire season. This pick signifies a desire to alleviate the load on Williams. Corum was an elite goal-line back at Michigan but boasts below-average size for a GL option at the pro level. Williams is also small but had an iron grip on the role last year, so we’ll see if Corum can take away any of the looks from in close. It’s something to watch for in training camp.


Trey Benson (Florida State)

Height: 72.3 inches

Weight: 216 pounds

40 Time: 4.39

Mike Renner’s player comparison: DeMarco Murray

As a freshman at Oregon, Benson tore his ACL, MCL, meniscus, and hamstring. It doesn’t get much worse than that. He transferred to Florida State and split work with Treshaun Ward and Lawrance Toafili, but he was efficient with 6.1 yards per carry and 11.2 yards per catch at FSU. He then ran a 4.39-second 40-yard dash at 216 pounds, demonstrating the kind of athleticism that shines even at the next level. He has the potential to be a three-down back in the NFL, but he didn’t have a workhorse profile in college and obviously has a major injury history. Still, the upside is there for him to be one of the most prolific backs in the league.

James Conner turns 29 years old in early May and has an extensive injury history. Benson will likely open the season as the RB2 here — although we’ll monitor camp reports — but he could easily find himself atop the depth chart at some point during the season. He flashed receiving ability in college and is likely better than both Michael Carter and Emari Demercado — who held that role in 2023 — right off the bat. Benson is a hyper-athletic back in a respectable offense, and the only roadblock between him and the RB1 role is an aging RB with a long injury history. That’s a pretty good situation to be in for a third-round rookie back.


Brian Thomas Jr. (LSU)

Height: 74.9 inches

Weight: 205 pounds

40 Time: 4.34

Mike Renner’s player comparison: Terry McLaurin

Thomas Jr. was a late bloomer, going from a 16% Dominator Rating as a sophomore to 33% last year, plus he had to compete with Malik Nabers for targets at LSU. Still, his wildly productive 2023 campaign and big-play ability — he averaged 17.3 yards per catch and led the country with 17 receiving TDs — propelled him to Day 1 draft capital. He’s big and athletic and boasts the kind of deep-threat ability that NFL teams are always looking for. He’s a tier below Marvin Harrison Jr., Nabers, and Rome Odunze in this class, but he’s still a strong WR prospect who can contribute at the next level immediately.

Thomas Jr. seems somewhat repetitive with Gabe Davis since both are primarily big-play threats, but the LSU product has Round 1 draft capital and can grow into something more than a big-play/red-zone guy as he gets older. He may be more of a splash-play threat than a true target earner, particularly as a rookie. He also may take some time to become a weekly fantasy option since he’ll be at best third in projected target share in Week 1 behind Christian Kirk and Evan Engram, but the upside down the stretch is fascinating.


Malachi Corley (Western Kentucky)

Height: 70.6 inches

Weight: 215 pounds

40 Time: 4.56

Mike Renner’s player comparison: Deebo Samuel

Corley took four years to control the 30% of Western Kentucky’s receiving yards and TDs (a metric known in the dynasty community as a player’s “Dominator Rating”) needed for an analytical “breakout”, but he posted a 26% mark as a junior and still notched 73 catches and seven scores in his sophomore campaign in a pass-happy Western Kentucky offense. Corley has drawn Deebo Samuel comparisons for his after-the-catch ability on low-depth targets and his dual-threat ability as a runner. He’s built like a running back at 215 pounds, and the Deebo comps are interesting given he landed with Robert Saleh, who obviously was the 49ers’ defensive coordinator before landing the Jets job.

The Jets were transparent in their desire to grab Corley, as it was reported immediately that they spent the entire second round trying to trade up for him. Saleh and Jets GM Joe Douglas quoted “Draft Day” when they texted each other before the second round of the draft, noting they were going to get Corley “no matter what.” New York was clearly absolutely infatuated with Corley pre-draft, inspiring optimism that they will use him frequently as a rookie. While Corley is clearly behind Garrett Wilson and almost certainly behind Mike Williams in the WR pecking order, he’s an intriguing late-round WR, especially since NYJ adores him so much.


Roman Wilson (Michigan)

Height: 70.8 inches

Weight: 185 pounds

40 Time: 4.39

Mike Renner’s player comparison: Jayden Reed

Wilson is an athletic (4.39-second 40-yard dash) receiver who was highly dependable as Michigan’s WR1 in 2023. The former Wolverine took his game to another level as a senior after three relatively uninspiring seasons in Ann Arbor; while he only had 789 yards in an extremely run-heavy offense, he hit paydirt 12 times. He’s primarily viewed as a slot threat at the next level, and he’ll have every opportunity to step in as an immediate starter given his competition for WR snaps after George Pickens is Van Jefferson, Calvin Austin, Quez Watkins, and Scotty Miller. The Steelers are notorious for hitting on WR selections — it’s unclear how much of that is skill vs. noise — but it’s at least not a bad thing for Wilson. Many have noted that Wilson’s abilities are also a perfect fit for the play-action-heavy, over-the-middle style that Russell Wilson and Arthur Smith figure to run in 2024.


MarShawn Lloyd (USC)

Height: 68.8 inches

Weight: 220 pounds

40 Time: 4.46

Mike Renner’s player comparison: D’Andre Swift

Lloyd ran a 4.46 40-yard dash at 220 pounds, making him an elite size-speed specimen even at the NFL level. He was efficient with 7.1 yards per career in 2023, but he never had more than 116 carries in a college season, prompting questions of whether he can handle a three-down load in the pros (he definitely has the size for it). In Green Bay, he’ll compete with A.J. Dillon for the RB2 job behind Josh Jacobs. The rookie should have the upper hand given the Packers made only a small financial commitment to Dillon this offseason and then went out and spent a Day 2 pick on Lloyd. Jacobs quietly struggled efficiency-wise in 2023, though it was an awful situation, so Lloyd could even cut into his workload as the season progresses if he has the talent. For the moment though, we should view Lloyd as a chance-of-pace back who’s the favorite for the backup role in GB. He’s a contingent upside play mostly.


Jermaine Burton (Alabama)

Height: 72.3 inches

Weight: 196 pounds

40 Time: 4.45

Mike Renner’s player comparison: Kenny Stills

Burton mostly played outside in his final season in Alabama, but he spent real time in the slot earlier in his collegiate career. That’s likely his path to immediate playing time in Cincinnati, as slot veteran Tyler Boyd followed Brian Callahan to Tennessee, leaving a gaping hole in the slot and Trenton Irwin/Andrei Iosivas as the next two receivers on the depth chart. Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins will command likely around half of Joe Burrow’s targets, but Burton can have a double-digit target share right away if he earns that WR3 gig.

We mentioned Boyd here — but Burton is a far different player. He is highly athletic, and his average target came more than 20 yards downfield with the Crimson Tide in 2023. This is not a safety blanket like Boyd was; Burton is a legitimate big-play threat. Paired with one of the best arms in football, that’s a fascinating option late in drafts. We’ll see if he can indeed stave off Irwin and Yoshi for third-receiver duties. Assuming he does, Burton also has some of the best contingent upside among late-round WRs. If Chase or Higgins miss time, he’s a fantasy starter.


Ben Sinnott (Kansas State)

Height: 75.9 inches

Weight: 250 pounds

40 Time: 4.68

Mike Renner’s player comparison: Clay Harbor

Sinnott is a fantastic athlete, running a 4.68 40 at 250 pounds. Kansas State used him in a variety of ways, lining him up inline, in the slot, and he even got some snaps in the backfield. He was a productive receiver during his final two seasons in Manhattan and got Day 2 draft capital. While Sam LaPorta has muddied what we think of as realistic expectations for second-round rookie TEs, Sinnott should still have every chance to earn the TE1 gig in Washington. The only roadblock between him and that title is the apparently ageless Zach Ertz — who now-Commanders OC Kliff Kingsbury insisted on using ahead of Trey McBride. The efficiency of Washington’s passing game is also questionable with rookie Jayden Daniels under center, especially since Daniels is such a dynamic rusher. Still, if Sinnott can beat out Ertz for the starting TE role, there’s not a whole lot of target competition beyond Terry McLaurin. Jahan Dotson had plenty of hype entering his second professional season but couldn’t distance himself from Curtis Samuel as the WR2. Austin Ekeler might still have something left in the tank, but his performance with the Chargers last year wasn’t exactly world-beating. Sinnott is firmly in the upside TE2 barrel for now. In normal redraft leagues, you can likely do better and merely keep an eye on him (especially if he makes Ertz irrelevant at some point during the year). In best ball, he’s a fine TE2/3.


Jalen McMillan (Washington)

Height: 73.0 inches

Weight: 197 pounds

40 Time: 4.47

Mike Renner’s player comparison: N/A

McMillan played primarily in the slot at Washington, but the Bucs noted one of the reasons they liked him was his positional versatility. Considering Tampa Bay plans to move Chris Godwin back to the slot, McMillan will likely need to play outside to see the field as a rookie. If he can do that, his competition for snaps is pretty minimal with only Trey Palmer also gunning for WR3. Palmer averaged just 5.3 yards per target as a rookie and was temporarily beat out by David Moore. As a prospect, McMillan was taken third among Washington Huskies WRs last year, but he outgained Rome Odunze in 2022 before an MCL sprain hampered his effectiveness in 2023. McMillan is an adequate athlete with respectable size and reliable performance. It’ll be worth watching how the McMillan vs. Palmer camp battle goes, as well as where the Bucs use him positionally in the preseason. He can be a Week 1 starter if things break right, although so many of the targets are going to go to Godwin, Mike Evans, and the running backs.


Bucky Irving (Oregon)

Height: 69.0 inches

Weight: 192 pounds

40 Time: 4.55

Mike Renner’s player comparison: N/A

Irving is only 192 pounds and ran a 4.55-second 40-yard dash. He’s not a great athlete, and that lack of speed isn’t a good sign given his diminutive size. Still, he was highly productive at Oregon and flashed elite pass-catching chops. He landed in Tampa Bay, where he’ll compete with Chase Edmonds for the rights to back up Rachaad White. The fit in TB isn’t ideal since his strong suit (catching passes) overlaps with White’s specialty, but the competition for RB2 isn’t great, so he has that going for him. Buccaneers RB coach Skip Peete also alluded to riding the hot hand in 2024 and even singled out Irving as someone who will get an opportunity to showcase his ability (via Pewter Report): “The more you have success, the more I’ll leave you in there. Doesn’t matter whether you’re a five-year guy, rookie, or second-year guy, the best guy to help us win to do the best job is going to play. I think Bucky was drafted to come in here and help this football team so I mean he’s going to have an opportunity to showcase what he can do. I think it’s going to create a lot of competition in the room, which is a good thing for everybody.”


Ray Davis (Kentucky)

Height: 68.4 inches

Weight: 211 pounds

40 Time: 4.52

Mike Renner’s player comparison: J.J. Arrington

Davis is an older prospect who turns 25 years old in November — typically a red flag for predicting pro success. Still, he falls into a nice situation alongside James Cook in Buffalo. Ty Johnson eventually overtook Latavius Murray for the RB2 job in 2023, and he’s back to compete with Davis for the right to back up Cook, but Johnson has been in the league since 2019 and failed to make much of an impact. Enter Davis, who caught 33 passes at 210 pounds and topped the millennial mark rushing to go along with 21 total touchdowns. Buffalo became shockingly run-heavy after Joe Brady was named offensive coordinator last year, and its (coincidental?) correspondence with the Bills’ win streak probably means the run-heavy style will be back in 2024. Cook isn’t going to get 20 carries per game, so there’s room for someone to carve out a role here, and Davis could compete for goal-line duties too. Cook had only four carries inside the 4-yard line in 2023; Murray, who is admittedly much bigger, had 11. It’s worth watching to see if Davis can beat out Ty Johnson in training camp and the preseason.


Tyrone Tracy (Purdue)

Height: 71.1 inches

Weight: 209 pounds

40 Time: 4.48

Mike Renner’s player comparison: N/A

Tracy was in college for six years — not ideal for any prospect — but he has an interesting story, starting as a WR at Iowa (which seems almost oxymoronic) before transferring to Purdue and closing his amateur career as a running back. He was efficient running the football in two years at Purdue (6.6 yards per carry), we know he can catch since he was literally a wide receiver, and he has solid size and speed at 209 pounds with a 4.48 40. In New York, he’ll compete with Eric Gray and Gary Brightwell for the backup job. As a Day 3 pick, Tracy will not have that role handed to him, though Gray and Brightwell showed nothing last year, so he’s likely the favorite. Devin Singletary has consistently graded out poorly as a pass catcher in his pro career, so Tracy is actually pretty interesting as someone who can step in right away as the third-down and 2-minute-drill RB. It’ll be worth monitoring offseason reports to see if the Giants agree that he’ll contribute there right away, but he’d be a pretty ideal Zero RB candidate if he has that role locked up and has contingent upside if Singletary gets hurt.


Kimani Vidal (Troy)

Height: 67.9 inches

Weight: 213 pounds

40 Time: 4.46

Mike Renner’s player comparison: N/A

Vidal had an utterly absurd 315 touches in his final year at Troy, and his 18 receptions were actually the fewest of his career (92 total college catches). Showing the ability to handle that kind of workload and catch passes is impressive, even at a small school. The Chargers are also an ideal situation considering they have traded Keenan Allen, let Mike Williams go, signed Will Dissly, and drafted Joe Alt since hiring Jim Harbaugh, the man who led one of the run-heaviest attacks in college football last year at Michigan. LAC wants to run the ball a ridiculous amount, and Vidal’s barriers to carries are Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins. For a team that wants to run the ball so much, that’s a subpar RB room, so there’s a path to Vidal winning the job at some point during the year. Of course, he’s a sixth-round pick, so expectations should be tempered somewhat, but Vidal is arguably the most interesting Day 3 RB pick.


Jaylen Wright (Tennessee)

Height: 70.5 inches

Weight: 210 pounds

40 Time: 4.38

Mike Renner’s player comparison: Lamar Miller

Wright split work with Jabari Small for most of his time with Tennessee, but he averaged a ridiculous 7.4 yards per carry in his final season in Knoxville and caught 22 passes. He shredded the NFL Combine with a 4.38 40-yard dash and very strong jumping numbers at 210 pounds. He’ll be among the most athletic backs in the NFL from Day 1, and he’s flashed some level of dual-threat ability. The Dolphins traded a third-round pick in 2025 to draft him in the fourth round this year, so they obviously like him a lot. With that being said, he’s stuck behind De’Von Achane and Raheem Mostert on the depth chart, but Jeff Wilson is still there as well. Wright probably has the inside track for the RB3 role, but it’s not a given. Achane and Mostert both have an injury history, so there’s a path to fantasy relevancy for Wright in Year 1, but it’s not as clean as one would like for such an exciting prospect. He’s nothing more than a late-round dart.


Troy Franklin (Oregon)

Height: 73.9 inches

Weight: 183 pounds

40 Time: 4.41

Mike Renner’s player comparison: Bernard Berrian

Franklin is an impressive athlete with a 4.41 40-yard dash and a 39-inch vertical. He’s relatively skinny, but he still managed to be effective as a deep threat at Oregon with 1,383 yards (on 17.1 yards per reception) and 14 TDs in his junior season. Franklin was largely viewed as an early Day 2 prospect by most pre-draft but curiously fell all the way to the fourth round. In Denver, he’ll immediately compete with Marvin Mims and Josh Reynolds for snaps behind Courtland Sutton. Reynolds probably has a slight edge for the WR2 role after a respectable year in Detroit, but he’s not such a huge obstacle that Franklin can’t easily surpass him if he has the juice. The Bo Nix-led Broncos passing offense might be the odds-on favorite to be the worst in the league, but Franklin himself is a strong prospect outside of his low draft capital.