Mardy Gilyard is a small, speedy receiver who excelled at Cincinnati.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
It's the fourth round of the NFL's annual player draft and the "pickin is slim" if you're looking for fantasy value. There have been some fantasy rookies drafted from the fourth round and beyond to make a mark, but they are few and far between.
Let's look at eight of them to see if they are worthy of a late-round flyer on your Draft Day.
Mardy Gilyard, St. Louis - Gilyard was the first pick of Day 3 and the fourth round selection of the St. Louis Rams, a team in need of receiving help. At 5- foot-11, 179-pounds, he is a small, speedy receiver who excelled at Cincinnati to become an second-team All-American in his senior season accumulating 87 receptions for 1,191 yards and 11 touchdowns, adding two touchdowns on kickoff returns and another touchdown on a punt return. He could easily be a starting wideout on opening day given that the Rams return Laurent Robinson, Donnie Avery, Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson at the position. Watch closely in summer camp, but Gilyard could be a sleeper.
Mike Williams, Tampa Bay - The Buccaneers are another team desperately seeking receivers to help out their young quarterback. Unfortunately for Williams, the team selected Arrelious Benn with an earlier pick so he'll have his work cut out for him. And he'll have to overcome the stigma of quitting on his Syracuse team. Still, the competition is Maurice Stovall, Sammie Stroughter, the just-traded-for Reggie Brown and Michael Clayton, so it's possible. Quarterback Josh Freeman has a lot of talent, but a long way to go as does the entire Bucs' team, I'd probably sit and wait until the regular season and pick him up as a free agent if he warrants it.
Joe McKnight, New York Jets - McKnight might have a solid fantasy future, but not in his rookie season. He'll be stuck behind rising star Shonn Greene (ADP 13) and former-superstar-now-veteran-backup LaDainian Tomlinson. Until "LT" retires, McKnight isn't going to see much of the field. Pass.
Aaron Hernandez, New England - Hernandez was the second tight end drafted by the Patriots, behind Rob Gronkowski. It appears that while both should make the Pats' roster given that the team lost two tight ends in the offseason (Ben Watson to Cleveland, Chris Baker to Seattle), Hernandez will be the "receiving" end while Gronkowski the "blocking" tight end. Although the team also signed veteran Alge Crumpler, Hernandez could emerge as the pass catcher of the group. Still, in a league filled with good tight ends, Hernandez won't have much fantasy value this season.
Riley Cooper, Philadelphia - The Eagles' receiving corps is pretty well stocked with DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant and Hank Baskett. With a good receiving tight end as well in Brent Celek, don't look for Cooper to have any fantasy value in his first season.
Deji Karim, Jacksonville - For the second consecutive season the team has picked an FCS running back to help Maurice Jones-Drew in the Jaguars' backfield. Last year it was Rashad Jennings, who got all of 39 carries in 15 games. Barring injury to "MJD", Karim will spend most of his time on special teams or watching from the sidelines in Year 1.
Jonathan Dwyer, Pittsburgh - With Willie Parker gone and Mewelde Moore a third- round receiving back, Dwyer has a chance to see the field. With his size (6'0", 235), Dwyer could help out in goal-line situations, but it's going to take him some time to get used to the "I-formation" since his team at Georgia Tech almost exclusively ran the triple option.
Dezmon Briscoe, Cincinnati - Briscoe will start well down the depth chart behind Chad Ochocinco, newly signed Antonio Bryant, Andre Caldwell, Matt Jones and fellow 2010 draft pick Jordan Shipley. He has second or third-round talent, but off-the-field issues caused him to fall on Draft Day. He should fit right in with the Bengals, but he'll have a tough time getting on the field to show what he's got given the players in front of him.
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