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Factoid

Treylon Burks

First-round wideouts about a 1-in-3 rookie proposition

What can be expected from Treylon Burks (and other first-round rookie wideouts)? Six were selected in the top 20 picks back in April, and most joined teams where there's the potential to be early starters. Actually putting up strong numbers right away in fantasy leagues, though, is a hit-or-miss kind of deal.

Drake London and Garrett Wilson join rebuilding teams with iffy quarterback situations. Chris Olave, Jahan Dotson and Treylon Burks will be working with veteran quarterbacks, but on teams that might prefer to run the ball. Burks specifically dealt with asthma and/or conditioning questions in August. Jameson Williams is likely to miss up to half his rookie season after tearing his ACL in January. Talented guys, all, but there are obstacles for each.

Being selected in the first round, at least, usually ensures getting some early opportunities to make an impact. And the last two years have produced a trio of immediate stars in Justin Jefferson, JaMarr Chase and Jaylen Waddle. So it happens.

I took a look at the rookie seasons from the last decade of first-round picks. There have been 40 such wide receivers, so exactly 4 per season.

Of those 40, about a third (14) have finished their rookie seasons ranked in the top 36 at the position in PPR leagues -- fantasy starters in typical 12-team, 3-WR leagues. Five more have made it into the top 50, which we'll call sometime starters.

Nearly half (19) didn't even finish in the top 60 at wideout. That includes a bunch of guys who are already on their second or third teams or out of the league entirely. Looked at in that light, nobody should be falling over themselves to select these players in drafts.

All first-rounders aren't created equal, though. Some of the flops -- Harry, Jenkins, Treadwell, Doctson -- weren't even selected in the top 20 picks (all six of this year's first-rounders were). With four of the six selected in the top 12, odds look a little better.

Rookie numbers from the last decade of first-round picks, sorted by PPR rank, are shown below.

FIRST-ROUND WIDE RECEIVERS, 2012-2021 (ROOKIE NUMBERS)
PkYearPlayerTgtRecYdsAvgTDRk
52021JaMarr Chase, Cin.12881145518.0135
222020Justin Jefferson, Min.12588140015.976
122014Odell Beckham, NYG13091130514.3128
62021Jaylen Waddle, Mia.14010410159.8712
72014Mike Evans, T.B.12268105115.51213
282014Kelvin Benjamin, Car.14573100813.8916
262018Calvin Ridley, Atl.926482112.81020
42015Amari Cooper, Oak.13072107014.9621
172020CeeDee Lamb, Dall.1117493512.6722
42014Sammy Watkins, Buff.1286598215.1627
52012Justin Blackmon, Jac.1326486513.5529
102021DeVonta Smith, Phil.1046491614.3530
252020Brandon Aiyuk, S.F.966074812.5735
242018DJ Moore, Car.825578814.3236
292013Cordarrelle Patterson, Min.774546910.4938
152020Jerry Jeudy, Den.1135285616.5345
202012Kendall Wright, Ten.104646269.8445
252019Marquise Brown, Balt.714658412.7746
272013DeAndre Hopkins, Hou.915280215.4249
82013Tavon Austin, St.L.694041810.5653
202014Brandin Cooks, N.O.695355010.4456
212016Will Fuller, Hou.924763513.5361
132012Michael Floyd, Ariz.864556212.5265
272021Rashod Bateman, Balt.684651511.2170
142015DeVante Parker, Mia.502649419.0378
152016Corey Coleman, Cle.733341312.5383
52017Corey Davis, Ten.653437511.0085
202021Kadarius Toney, NYG573942010.8089
122020Henry Ruggs, L.V.432645217.4289
212020Jalen Reagor, Phil.543139612.8291
202015Nelson Agholor, Phil.442328312.31101
292015Phillip Dorsett, Ind.391822512.51110
322019N'Keal Harry, N.E.24121058.82124
72017Mike Williams, LAC2311958.60139
222016Josh Doctson, Was.626633.00170
232016Laquon Treadwell, Min.311515.00188
92017John Ross, Cin.2000199
262015Breshad Perriman, Balt.0000999
72015Kevin White, Chi.0000999
302012A.J. Jenkins, S.F.1000999

--Andy Richardson

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