It seems like this quarterback has been around for years. He is however, just 26-years-old and entering the prime of his career. Maybe leading his team to the AFC Championship Game his rookie year was a bad thing? No, it definitely was not, but people and experts alike make it seem that way. He is not in a tough division by any stretch of the imagination compared to years past in the AFC North. Once he learns how to get over the hump that is Pittsburgh, he will be elite. He will also be overlooked in your draft, so grab some value when you draft him in the middle rounds. Expect 3,500 yards and 25-28 TD’s.
Yep, I am that guy. The one who picks the same sleeper two years in a row even after he burned so many of us last season. Ok, so this may sound exactly like what I said last year, but I am confident this is Shonn’s year….Pause for my and your laughter….Seriously, this has got to be the year. L.T. is getting older and breaking down earlier and earlier every season. With the potent Jets offense and nasty defense New York boasts, Greene will be in line for a huge season. He doesn’t shoulder the load as much as LT out of the backfield catching passes, but at this point in their respective careers, Greene is much better between the tackles. Expect 1,200 yards and 7-10 TD’s…If not this year, I’ll just pick him again in 2012.
If you watched this guy play at Mizzou in college, you wouldn’t be laughing so hard. Danario is legit in the right NFL system…And St. Louis is the perfect system for Alexander. At 6-foot-5, the lanky receiver has a world of upside. However, knee problems have cost him games in the past. If he stays healthy, he will be Sam Bradford’s top target in 2011 and beyond. This guy is a playmaker with Herman Moore ability. Yeah, I said it…Herman Moore ability. He also plays his home games in a dome, so slick field turf near the end of the season will be avoided by the Rams, enhancing his chances of staying healthy. Expect 1,200 yards and 8-10 TD’s if healthy.
We all saw what he could do last season when Steve Smith was banged up or just doing his best Chris Angel impersonation of disappearing from time to time. Now, with Smith in Philadelphia, all the attention moves to Hakeem Nicks, thus allowing Manningham to lock up the secondary receiver role almost without a hitch. The former Wolverine has a bevy of speed and playmaking ability. However, his height is a bit of a detriment. Nevertheless, the diminutive Steve Smith was made a popular weapon in Eli’s passing offense in the past, so why can’t Super Mario? (That won’t be the last time you hear that reference this season). Expect 900-1,100 yards and 6-8 TD’s.
I have been waiting for this guy to emerge since his freshman year at the University of Illinois. He is a freak of talent that reminds me of Anquan Boldin back in his prime. Benn has unbelievable speed, strength and agility for his size. With the emergence of Mike Williams and Josh Freeman last season, alongside the Bucs running back LaGarrette Blount, there is no doubt in my mind Benn will have almost no attention paid to him. The receiver will break out in a large way this season with Freeman becoming better with each passing day. Expect 850-1,000 yards and 4-6 TD’s.
I have been writing about two “house of receivers” in this article with Benn and Alexander, but now it’s time to add one from the tight end position. Rob Gronkowski is one of the most athletic tight ends in the game of football. He comes from a family of football powerhouses. I actually am the broadcaster for his oldest brother Gordie, who plays professional baseball. Believe me, the Gronkowski’s are a group of men you don’t want to ever mess with. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has been known to spread the ball around, and rotate his tight ends routinely. Yet, he has not had a tight end this talented in his career with New England. Gronkowski will benefit from Ochocinco and Aaron Hernandez’ presence on the field, alongside a running back tandem that will definitely open up the middle of the field. Expect 500-700 yards with 5-7 TD’s.