With the 2012 NFL Draft completed, we now have some answers. Values went up and values went down. In my past three articles, I broke down my top 45 rookies and will continue today with my top 46-60 rookie players to end the series. The list can and will change as the NFL gets into training camps and preseason games are played. Hopefully this will help you navigate through your rookie drafts. Here are my top 46-60 rookies:
46. RB LaMichael James, San Francisco 49ers- I'm not quite sure what the 49ers are thinking by adding him to an already full backfield. He is as shifty and fast as a diminutive back can be, but I'm not convinced that he will ever be a lead back in the NFL. James is not a physical back and has limited power. If he can take what the defense gives him, James can be an effective zone runner and excel if the offense is designed to get him in space. I'm not sure if he is better than Kendall Hunter or vice versa. James is a talented back, but don't know if he will ever reach his full potential even after Frank Gore is gone.
47. LB Lavonte David, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- The Buccaneers linebacker core is in flux right now and the quick, athletic, and aggressive David could be a major playmaker for their struggling defense. David is on the small side being a touch over 6 feet and around 233 lbs. He struggles to shed blockers once they have gotten into his body so the hope is that defensive line can keep him clean. David is a good tackler who can chase down plays while flying all over the field. He does a good job staying out of traffic when in pursuit of the ball carrier. I think he wins a starting job right away and will get plenty of tackle opportunities.
48. TE Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts- The Colts decided to double down on tight ends with the Allen and Fleener selections. He is the more physical tight end between the two, but he is not a great blocker. Allen should see more time on the field as he can line up anywhere; beside the tackle, in the backfield, and in the slot. He has good hands, runs excellent routes, and fights for the ball regardless of location. Allen could develop into a solid #2 fantasy tight end; however, I rank him this low because I am not sure if the Colts can support two fantasy worthy tight ends.
49. LB Sean Spence, Pittsburgh Steelers- This is a new look linebacker for the Steelers to combat the wave of the more athletic tight ends. Spence is very fast and agile. He can chase down ball carriers from sideline to sideline, but can over pursue them from time to time. Spence is not as instinctive in the passing game as he is against the run. He is on the smaller side of an ILB at just under 6 ft and 231 lbs. While he is a good tackler, Spence can be overpowered by blockers that get into his body. I'm not sure that the Steelers defensive line will be able to keep him clean, so he will need to learn how to shed blockers. Larry Foote may begin the year starting, but Spence has the skill set and motor to play his way into a starting role for the next 10 years or so.
50. WR LaVon Brazil, Indianapolis Colts- Here is another weapon that Andrew Luck gets to use. Brazil looks like your typical NFL wide receiver with average size and speed with nothing truly standing out about him. What he can do is find the ball in traffic and contort his body to make the difficult catch. I have a feeling Mr. Luck is going to enjoy that. He might be Reggie Wayne's heir apparent, but we might have some time to wait on that. Brazil will need to improve his route running and get physically tougher as he enters the NFL as more of a slot guy instead of an outside receiver.
51. WR Devon Wylie, Kansas City Chiefs- The Chiefs are always looking for playmakers and they found out here. The small, but wiry, Wylie is just under 5' 10'" and weighs 187 lbs. He is extremely fast and can accelerate quickly from a dead stop. Wylie uses his quickness to gain separation and has a good wiggle to avoid being tackled. He is an explosive returner with great field vision to find the weaknesses in the defense. I like the way he sets up defenders with his head fakes and that he isn't afraid to work in the middle of the field. Wylie is not without blemish. He sometimes fights with the ball, and because of his smaller stature, he gets knocked around by more physical defenders. Wylie also has an extensive injury history. I like his determination and his craftiness to make a play where it looks like there isn't one. In time, he could fit a Wes Welker type role, but he is no Wes Welker as there is only one.
52. QB Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks- If you are a fan of RGIII, you should be a fan of Russell Wilson as well. Let's get the bad stuff out of the way: he is short and struggles with deep throws (might be that he can't see over his line). The fantastic Wisconsin offensive line kept him fairly clean and Wilson got to hand off to some very talented running backs including the porch conquering Montee Ball (Ball didn't want to leave a stranger's porch). Wilson's footwork is atrocious as he doesn't keep his feet planted which limits his arm power. These are factors to consider when you look at him. Wilson is an athletic, running quarterback who is accurate within 20 yards of the line of scrimmage. He has already played in two different types of pro style offenses for two different college teams and was successful with both. Wilson is a great leader and a smart guy who learned the Wisconsin playbook in less than two months. I admit he is a work in progress, but his intangibles outweigh his height. Seattle will give him the time to develop and you should too.
53. WR Nick Toon, New Orleans Saints- The New Orleans Saints keep on reloading despite times of trouble. Toon has good hands and runs good routes, but is not a dynamic wide receiver. He has issues gaining separation against quicker defenders off the ball. Once the ball is in the air he does a good job of shielding the defenders away from the ball and can pluck it safely into his soft hands. As the #3 or #4 option for the Saints, he could be very successful as he won't be the focus of the offense.
54. QB Brock Osweiler, Denver Broncos- How early you draft Osweiler depends on how healthy you think Peyton Manning will be this season. Brock Osweiler is very inexperienced with only 15 starts and maybe he will get to use his size to his advantage. Of course, getting to speak with two ultimate quarterback, Peyton Manning and John Elway, he should have plenty of experienced guidance. Osweiler has good arm strength, a quick release, and is fairly accurate especially with shorter routes. He has some mechanical issues with his long wind-up and tends to decide where he is throwing as the huddle breaks. I have watched him not respond well to pressure and he gets some passes batted down despite his height advantage. Elway drafted him, so that's something and in a dynasty league, he is worth rostering to see if he develops.
55. RB Chris Polk, Philadelphia Eagles- What a turn of events, Chris Polk dropped all the way out of the draft due to injury concerns. He has the best down field vision, and aptitude in the passing game both receiving and blocking of all the running backs in this draft. Now he will get a chance to play with LeSean McCoy who does all those things better than Polk does. Polk needs to work on his speed and get lighter on his feet if he is going to succeed in Philadelphia's offense. His ranking is so low due to injury concerns and playing behind LeSean McCoy and Dion Lewis, as well, to start the season. He is a patience pick, so don't expect any significant production in the near future.
56. CB Janoris Jenkins, St. Louis Rams- The Rams played almost a baker's dozen last year in the secondary so the infusion of the talented Jenkins to their defense will be, wait for it, legendary. He has amazing speed/quickness with the ability to make up ground with his raw athleticism. Jenkins can play man to man or zone and excel at either. He is a physical force who gives 100% each play, but can get caught making mistakes occasionally. The concerns about Jenkins are that he likes drugs, fighting, and women. In today's NFL, it might be too much for him to overcome if he isn't willing to change. Jenkins is a true "high risk, high reward" player. I am happy to draft him, but I wouldn't take Jenkins higher than this.
57. RB Bernard Pierce, Baltimore Ravens- This was a great pick for the Ravens, because when Ricky Williams retired, their backup running back plan became very muddied. Pierce has a lot of speed and agility with good field vision, but is quite injury prone. He does have a knack for the end zone so he might be featured in goal line packages. He wasn't very involved in the passing game so he will need to work on that to see time on third downs. I would expect Pierce to be productive if Ray Rice were to get hurt, but typically only get limited touches if Rice is healthy and signed.
58. WR Jarius Wright, Minnesota Vikings- The Vikings desperately need wide receivers besides Percy Harvin, so Wright could play immediately. When I watch Wright, I see a technician not an amazing athlete. He has great body control and uses good angles to get open and away from defenders. He tends to body catch the ball, although he has demonstrated his good hands by plucking the ball at its highest point. Wright also struggles with physical defenders as they can easily re-route him. He will have to play in the slot to counteract that in the beginning. Wright is worth the risk at this point in your rookie drafts.
59. RB Cyrus Gray, Kansas City Chiefs- For the Chiefs, he looks like a luxury pick, but with the injuries last year to Jamaal Charles and the newly acquired Peyton Hillis, you never know. He is a rugged kid who is coming back from a shoulder injury that cut his senior season short. Gray runs a bit better outside and tends to bounce plays that way, but he can be a physical force when needed. I have compared him to Kendall Hunter because he has the same shiftiness and can find a seam in the defense. My concern is that he won't be able to hold up against the bigger physical defenders the NFL offers. Gray is an injury hedge at running back who could develop, but has no outstanding stand alone skills.
60. RB Tauren Poole, Carolina Panthers- He could continue the long line of solid #3 running backs for the Panthers. Poole reminded me a bit of Rashard Mendenhall with his glide and maddening spin moves. He has excellent hands out of the backfield and has good downfield vision that helps him read his blocks while taking the best angles. Unfortunately, he is very dependent on his offensive line play. If the running lane isn't there, Poole cannot make his own space. He doesn't take unnecessary hits and keeps his legs churning. Once Jonathan Stewart leaves in free agency, I would not be surprised if Tauren Poole steps into a dominant role next season.
Andy Miley is the host of Dynasty Blitz Podcast on Blog Talk Radio, Dynasty/Keeper Football Staff Writer at Fantasy Alarm and can be found on twitter @AndrewMiley