With the 2012 NFL draft just over two months away (April 26)- most fantasy football junkies are analyzing Mock Drafts and will be calling out of work to watch college prospects in short shorts at the Combine. This year’s draft class is viewed as loaded at the WR position with as many as five potential first rounders (Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd, Kendall Wright, Alshon Jeffery, and Mohamed Sanu).
Today we present an article that takes a look back at the two elite WR prizes from the 2011 draft. ProFootballFocus.com focuses on which WR has the best long-term fantasy value and concludes that Atlanta’s Julio Jones has the greater upside as they view him as a more well rounded talent that benefits from playing with a more experienced QB. We also like Jones slightly more thanks to the fact that he gets to plays 8 home games in the Georgia Dome in a division that doesn’t include three top flight pass defenses in the Ravens, Browns, Steelers.
Last season’s draft produced two solid WR2 values as first rounders AJ Green and Julio Jones proved to be well worth the early pick. AJ teamed with fellow rookie Andy Dalton to lead the Bengals into the playoffs. The Georgia alum averaged 70 YPG with 7 TDs in his rookie season despite facing a ton of defensive attention. He broke Cris Collinsworth’s franchise rookie record for receiving yards (1,057) and should be primed to top 1,000 yards yet again in 2012. The Bengals offense could become more pass happy in 2012 with Cedric Benson due to hit free agency.
Julio Jones battled injuries (missed 3 games) in his first season in the league but flashed his explosive skill set on multiple occasions – topped 100 yards 5 times. JJ finished with 54 catches for 959 yards (74 YPG) and 8 TDs. With Roddy White and Mike Turner each now 30 years old – Jones will become the focal point of the Falcons offense sooner rather than later – 2012 could very well be the year he emerges as a solid WR1.