In this week’s edition of Impact Rookies we don’t move very far as we take a look at the NFC North.
It’s an all-around great area, I think we can all agree.
Oh, and they all have football teams too and about a month ago they added some new players.
While your opinion of their style of pizza doesn’t really matter, what the newly minted rookies in the region can produce does. And they’ve brought in some offensive firepower.
3 NFC North Rookies to Watch in 2015
Kevin White, WR, Chicago Bears
The crown jewel of NFC North rookies belongs to the Chicago Bears. Things couldn’t have worked out better for them after moving Brandon Marshall to the NY Jets, they landed arguably the best receiver in the draft. If you were building a create-a-player in a Madden video game, he would look exactly like Kevin White. He’s 6’3 and ran a 4.35 forty yard dash. He’s big enough to beat press coverage at the line and fast enough to run away from defensive backs in space.
To boost his stock even more he fixed the problem he had with drops during the 2013 season. The guy caught everything in sight last season and put up a 109/1447 stat line. It’s clear he has the skills to produce in the NFL.
Hopefully I’ve made it clear he has the skills, and if I haven’t make sure you watch his highlight video, but what makes him so alluring for Fantasy Football is he’s got the starting job for the Bears. Even better he’ll be playing opposite Alshon Jeffery and have Matt Forte in the backfield. Both of whom should draw attention away from White which means he should have some room to make plays once he gets the ball. Lastly you should know he’s great at coming down with jump balls and if there’s one thing we know about Jay Cutler, it’s that he loves throwing jump balls.
Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions
The Lions have a dynamic offense. The Lions like to throw the ball. The Lions have Calvin Johnson. The Lions didn’t have a great pass catching back until the drafter Ameer Abdullah in the 2nd Round of this year’s draft.
The Lions parted ways with Reggie Bush this offseason and quickly and cheaply replaced him. When Bush was healthy the Lions offense was a thing of beauty. Unfortunately, Bush was banged up for most of his time in Detroit and that offense never reached it’s potential. The starter for the Lions is power back Joquie Bell and Abdullah should work in tandem with him as the season goes along. The proverbial lightning to Bell’s thunder.
I’m high on Abdullah because of his potential on screen plays and quick out patterns but don’t forget that when he was at Nebraska that guy ran hard. He wasn’t afraid to hit people and rarely danced around in the backfield more than he had to. He was overshadowed in the Big 10 by Melvin Gordon but he was a force to be reckoned with in a conference know for power running backs. For a guy who’s only 5’9, he packs a punch.
He’s be worth more in a PPR league but is worth a late round pick regardless. And if anything happens to Bell, Abdullah’s stock could go through the roof.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings
Coming out of high school, Stefon Diggs was a 5 star recruit and looked like he was going to be he next star receiver. In his first season of college football he delivered on that promise racking up 1896 all-purpose yards. How did he do the next year? He broke his leg and lost half the year. Well what about his junior season? Got suspended and lacerated his kidney. It’s obvious things didn’t go according to plan after his freshman year.
But really do they ever? You come into college bright eyed and focused only to end up spending all your time working at the college radio station playing indie funk/rock fusion albums. It happens to the best of us. Those few inconsistent years at Maryland pushed Diggs down the draft boards but he has the skills and abilities that come along with a top round talent.
Diggs is great in space, can go off the line with ease and goes up and gets the ball. Those are the traits quarterbacks like to see when deciding who to throw the ball to. He’s not blinding fast (only a 4.54 forty yard dash) but he has never had a problem making people miss in the open field. He profiles as a prototypical NFL slot receiver and his elusiveness should get him open for a lot of catches. He’s not the biggest guy in the world so I don’t think he’ll be moving outside much but still a guy this dynamic can take the ball to the end zone any time he gets his hands on it.
Lucky for him in landed on the Vikings who have a solid quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater. They also have no receiver who you can pencil in for production. Add in having Norv Turner as his offensive coordinator and Diggs could turn into Percy Harvin-lite. Or what Cordarrelle Patterson was supposed to be. With no one else standing out the Vikings are definitely going to give him some looks. If he stays healthy we may see him turn into the star scouts thought he could be.
These guys may not get opportunities right away but they’re both one injury away from being stud players. Definitely keep an eye on them if you’re in a deep league.
- Ty Montgomery, WR, Green Bay Packers
- Jeremy Langford, RB, Chicago Bears
Keep an eye on these rookies from the NFC North — with the talented offenses in this division, we could see them pay big dividends soon.
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