We here at Mocking the Draft put together a bracket to match up the top 32 rookie quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends drafted in April. Put simply, it's a NCAA tournament style bracket to help us decide which rookie will score the most fantasy points this coming season. If you want to see the updated bracket with the results of the quarter-finals, click here. Today we have the second semi-final: Robert Griffin III vs Trent Richardson.
This is probably the best match up of the entire bracket so far. I'm intrigued to see how this one plays out.
Why vote for Griffin III?
Griffin III has the arm and accuracy that most quarterbacks desire, but he also has the speed and athleticism that few else can claim. He'll put up solid numbers from the pocket, but his real explosiveness will come outside of the pocket. In Mike Shanahan's offense Griffin III will be bootlegging off play-action. This will make the game so much easier for him, and so much harder for defenses. While the defense is running one way, Griffin will be running the other way with just half the field to read. Defensive backs will have to be careful not to bite on the run fake or the likes of Pierre Garcon will run right past them. Griffin has the arm and accuracy to take full advantage of those miscues and pick up big fantasy points in the process. If the defenders have the routes perfectly, Griffin can use his legs to take off and pick up big chunks of yards. His ability to beat you with both his arm and legs makes him a major fantasy threat, rookie or not.
More after the jump.
Why vote against Griffin III?
He played in a fairly simplistic offense at Baylor. He will claim otherwise, but by NFL standards, it was simple. He's intelligent enough to pick up an NFL offense, but it could take him a while to fully get to grips with things. The Redskins could choose to rely on their run game while Griffin eases into his NFL career, which would mean a slow start fantasy-wise. One major concern is that he already has an extensive injury history, despite not having played a down in the NFL. The Redskins offensive line is far from dominant, meaning Griffin could see his fair share of hits. If he can't stay on the field, he can't score fantasy points.
Why vote for Richardson?
Richardson is expecting to be the workhorse back of the Browns offense. He's going to be an extremely valuable asset to the Browns, as they transition from the Colt McCoy era, to the Brandon Weeden era. I'm expecting anywhere from 20 to 30 carries a game for Richardson. Even at the lower side of that, if he averages just 3.5 yards a carry, that's a 1,120 yard rookie season. Add on top of that any receptions from screens and check-downs, and you have a big fantasy weapon.
Why vote against Richardson?
The Browns were a poor team all around last year, but their running game was just dreadful. They ranked 28th in the league with 95.7 rushing yards per game on average. Now their running backs were far from brilliant, but the offensive line didn't exactly help. They will need to vastly improve up front if they plan to get the best out of Richardson, or he'll be using all of his ability to just get back to the line of scrimmage.
In all honesty, I expect Richardson to have a stellar rookie year, but I just think Griffin III has that edge. What do you think? Let us know who you voted for and why in the comments below.